Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Chaos and Horror in the World of Impius Malum

So last week I found myself assaulting the mortal world with three posts in which I described my ghastly idea of the World of Death starting with a post titled The Rays of Un-Life. Mostly what you can take away from those three posts is that the World of Death is unrelenting, all-destroying, and without the least bit of joy, or sorrow, fun, or in fact any emotion at all, with the sole exception being ... a horrible and insatiable hunger to devour all life. The World of Death Incarnate. There's nothing fun in that world at all. It is pure unadulterated horror. An infinite dried up dusty darkness centered and powered by the Remorseless Will-of-Death.

So, this week I want to make up for that bit of moroseness by discussing something much more fun! The Chaos and Horror of the World of Impius Malum. Of course I should probably preface this post with some sort of caveat about how this is Fantasy, and not a reflection at all of my views of reality in any way whatsoever, least my friends and neighbors begin to worry about about the state of my mind. But that should, naturally, go without saying, so I'll just breeze on down the road, and leave it at that.

Compared with the World of Death, the World of Impius Malum is sheer Wicked-Evil Joy. And horror. And perpetually entangling, agonizing, soul-shattering Chaos. But lots of fun... Depending, of course, on who you are. Unlike the World of Death where it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever at all, the World of Impius Malum as all about who you are.

If who you are happens to be Diabolically Evil, and you've gained status and power among the demons of the infernal World, why then you, too, can have lots of fun in the World of Impius Malum! Provided, of course, that your sanity lasts more than half a second, and you manage to maintain your (infinitely precarious) position of Power. And that you manage to avoid running into anyone who happens to be even the slightest bit more powerful than you. Which of course, isn't very likely at all... or even possible. Impius Malum just doesn't work that way, you see. Once there, it's almost a guarantee that while you can horrendously lord yourself over the Pathetic Miserables beneath your august and magnificent self, and as heinously as you can possibly imagine to the absolute nth degree, ... you will never be able to escape the same horrific fate from those monstrous devils above you. You'll see. It is the Wheel of Fortune Incarnate!

And of course, if you don't happen to be a Noteworthy Person of Power, and are merely one of the countless souls who dragged yourself through life as a poor miserable schlub, an ordinary human being who might be only modestly evil, or pretty damn evil, but not quite Exquisitely Horrendously Evil enough... well, then the World of Impius Malum really isn't ever so much fun for you at all. Such people are only the playthings of those wicked Powers that wildly dance, frolic, cavort, shrilly laughing, and gorging their bellies to bursting in riotous feasts, those who spend themselves indulging in every sensual pleasure imaginable... all while the Miserati loathsomely groan and suffer, endlessly humiliated, tricked, bedazzled, and terrified out of their wits Forever! Actually, for the vast majority of people, Impius Malum is a tremendous drag. A non-stop and wild-eyed game of deadly, horrifying, agonizing and humiliating tricks and traps, one after the other in a constant, incessant, ceaseless, and relentless progression. Every trick is unique, every trap shocking and disturbing, every combination mind-blistering in its terrifically ingenious terror! It's a World designed to entertain and delight those who are Truly Diabolically Evil via the mechanism of ceaseless torture and soul-searing terror. It is a Pandemonium of Evil Chaos. So fun! Well, compared with the World of Death, it definitely is. No seriously. Compared with that, it's a joy.

Welcome to the Wondrous World of Impius Malum!

The Wondrous World of Impius Malum

The Bosch painting above gives a wonderful depiction of a tiny little itty bitty speck of a spot within the greater World of Impius Malum... which happens to be just like this across its entire infinite domain, though every inch of it is completely, mind-warpingly, unique. No two horrors are the same, and every single nightmare is tailored specifically to accentuate and focus the mind on the specific and peculiar sins, fears, foibles, and once-upon-a-time hopes and dreams of the damned souls who happen to wind up trapped there. It is an incredibly personal place!  Very unlike the World of Death, it is. Indeed.  Let's take a quick jaunt through the insanity, shall we?

Above you will find... a green suited monster with tree-twig hands fondling a despairing, yet beautiful naked blond women with some sort of black toad-like thing on her chest, reclining limply next to a grinning black mule. Above and behind her a Bird-headed man-thing wearing green jars on his feet and a large copper kettle on his head, sitting on a tall golden toilet while devouring a bird-and-fire farting Miserati whole, from the head down. Beneath this bizarre yet elegant and beautiful looking creature is a large blue bubble-droplet of toilet water into which a man is descending from the bum of the Bird-man, while another man, already trapped in the hideous droplet, is half immersed from the groin up and dangling over an open pit in the ground, into which a grey skinned nun is forcing one man to vomit brown turds while another person poops white blobs from the shadows. Meanwhile, the languishing woman is staring listlessly over at horn blowing, and rather adorable looking, sado-rabbit who happens to be carrying half a man upside-down on a pole-arm over his shoulder, while the woman next to him, another naked and beautiful blond, is furtively reaching for a weasel faced monster's sword with one hand while incongruously holding both a burning candle and a white vase in her other hand. By the contortions of her face you can see her mind has entirely snapped. Before her is a gambling table that has been overturned by a riot of hapless humans being violently mauled by a variety of animal and insect devils. AND SO ON! IT IS ENDLESS!

Such is the World of Impius Malus. A place of perpetual delights and terrors.

Fortunately for those Characters that dwell in the normal World of Elthos, the World of Impius Malum is very, very far away, and quite imaginary, like a dreadful bit of fairy tale designed to terrorize little children into behaving themselves when the adults aren't watching them. One quip about Impius Malum is enough to set most children of Elthos straight in an instant! In fact, actually, most Player Characters in Elthos really have no idea at all that there even is such a place as Impius Malum. Not the faintest idea. They never even heard of the place. This is because we usually breeze over their Character's childhood, and so I never go into what Elthosian Fairytales are like.  Ha ha... they have no clue.  Seriously. I have only once alluded to it in the 40+ years or so I've been playing the World of Elthos. Impius Malum a very far off land, indeed!

Which isn't to say that it isn't real. Oh it's definitely real alright. In fact, the Player Characters recently (well, not so recently anymore, but in the last major Elthos Campaign) brushed up against a distant reflection of Impius Malum when they came to the township of Whitewode. I describe that place in some detail (and very little of it, in fact!) in a previous post titled "The Overly Ambitious Campaign Design!", so I won't go into it again in this post. That one was long enough on that topic! But I will say that if you read that post, and get an inkling of the endless convolutions and intrigues among the Witches of Whitewode, you'll have some idea of what the World of Impius Malum is like. Now I should say that the Witches of Whitewode were absolute amateurs at the game of Impius Malum, though they believed with a dreadful certainty otherwise. Scarparelli, I'd like to mention, knew exactly what tremendous fools Sylvia, Jennifer, Johnathan, Muttmaw and the rest of their coven were, and he never let on for a single second, nor did his demonic minion Nicholas Blair. They strung the jolly bunch along for centuries before allowing them to haplessly fall into the Horrors of Doom that they had spent so long crafting for themselves. This is what the World of Impius Malum is like. Only, incredibly, far worse than that!

The World of Impius Malum is on the far side of the axis of Evil. Whereas Death is Lawful Evil, Impius Malum is Chaotic Evil. And as such they share that one trait in common ... they are really, seriously, Evil.

Who rules Impius Malum? Some say it's the Devil himself. But this is actually not correct. The Devil rules over Hell. And Impius Malum isn't actually Hell. It is its own place. So who? Some say it is The Elkron of War, Mars, or his Celestial Sire, Ares, the Lord of All Evil Chaos. And that would be correct. If you are aware of the Elthos Tarot Deck, then at this point you'd realize that Death is Ruled by Pluto, or his Celestial Sire, Scorpio. You can check that on the Elthos Tarot Deck Backface card here...

So the World of Death and the World of Impius Malum are the two extremes of Evil along the Metaphysical Axis of the Celestial Island Cosmological Map.  If you want to find the World of Death, head East, and veer slightly South, and keep going.  If you want to find the World of Impius Malum, head West, and veer slightly South, and keep going.  You'll find them.  They're there. Very, very far away ... but there.

Such is the backdrop of the World of Elthos.

Maybe at some point I'll chat a bit about other, lighter and happier realms of the Celestial Island.  Perhaps.

To learn more about my Elthos Project, please visit my site at Elthos.com. And if you're feeling generous, please make a contribution. Thanks!

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