Caveat Lector: All GoH stories have an element of religion in them. Most of the time, I try to keep my own sentiments out of the mix. However, the very nature of this story made it impossible. I found that Hell is a very personal concept, and so I had to use my own beliefs in its creation. But this is MY version of Hell, no one else's. Although I had to use my personal morals and belief system in this, by no means am I trying to convert or coerce anyone else. For more information on this, see Morality Commentary.
This is the fourth story in the Gates of Hell series. I encourage you to read Bayou, Reckoning, and Lilith before reading this one, or you will be terribly lost.
This story is based on Inferno, one of the sections of The Divine Comedy by Dante. The quotes from the story are from the Longfellow translation of the Italian work. Any similarities, or deviations, from that well-known piece of literature are purely intentional.
Ladies and Gentlemen: At this point I advise you to suspend all belief and logic. This story is part fantasy, part adventure, part classical (the Inferno references), part inspirational, etc. I guess if I'd added a Baby Care section, it would cover everything in your average bookstore. :-) But more importantly, it's fiction. Please remember that as you read.
I hope you'll find the following information useful in achieving enjoyment of this story:
*I didn't actually read the entire Dante story. The 'net has a variety of helpful study guides on the work.
*Want to see a comparison between Dante's Hell and mine?
*Information about Circle Casting, Ritual Baths, and Candle Magick can be found at Pagan Ritual, Spells, and Chants.
*The complete text of Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll.
*Spirit Animal information was taken from Shamanism: Working With Animal Spirits.
*The information on Saints came from (gasp!) a real book-- you know, the paper thingies in the library: Saints-- The Chosen Few, by Manuela Dunn-Mascetti.
*Disclaimers will be listed in the endnotes.
*A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to my beta, K. Geesh, I have no idea why she puts up with me.
*Finally, a Special Thanks to all of you. As this grew longer and longer, I started obsessing, and ignored all recent LOCs. Thanks for your patience, understanding, and coming to read this thing although it seems I don't appreciate you. I really do, and I hope my writing shows that.
Okay, here we go:
For those of you with power machines that load quickly, I have the entire ~360K story for you-- Inferno.
For the rest of you (or should I say us):
PART I: Chapters 1 - 7
PART II: Chapters 8 - 14
PART III: Chapters 15 - 21
PART IV: Chapters 22 - 28/Epilogue
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