Sometimes hell is full of fire, sometimes it’s full of ice and snow. Sometimes hell is a jungle, sometimes it’s an ocean, and sometimes it’s a desert. Sometimes hell is oblivion: total metaphysical dissolution, usually devoid of torment in favor of leaving you deader than dead. There are as many different hells as there are cultures that believe in life after death.

Now, the Greek Underworld was not the same as hell. Tartarus was closest equivalent to a Greek “hell.” The Underworld was closer to a purgatory or limbo — it was a nowhere, the place where people go when they just aren’t here anymore. It’s an important note that there are differences between hells and underworlds and netherworlds and all that, because in my series about death symbolism, death mages draw on the powers of the Underworld, and/or hell.

A quick note, and then I’ll be done here: in Diablo 2, necromancers are associated with poison, disease, and for some reason, fire. They can accelerate the particles in the air to create a fire golem. Why? Because it’s cool. There’s this weird mysticism thing connecting the necromancer to golem, and the final, most powerful type of golem is made of fire. Now, in Guild Wars, the necromancer is associated with cold because hell is cold Grenth is the god of death and ice.

Does a death mage draw her power from the Underworld? Does she draw her power from hell? Does she draw her power from the failing of life? Does she draw her power from the division between life and death? If she can draw her power from hell or the Underworld, as stated, can she draw power from heaven? It’s just another part of the afterlife, you know.