Reaper Redux: Heaven, Hell & the In-Between

Talking about world-building today again and some of the settings of the Reaper series.

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Purgatory 

This is the angel Rashnu’s domain. Rashnu is the sorter who sends the reaped souls to their final destinations after reapers deposit their cargo via a tube-like system inside Purgatory. There are many tunnels and tubes in the stone walls of Purgatory all leading to different destinations and levels of Heaven or Hell. Imagine if you will Grand Central Station completely underground and encased in stone. That’s Purgatory. There’s even a Star Wars-esque cantina where reapers—all sorts of reapers—can have a drink and share war stories.  Purgatory is members only and patrons need to be carrying a soul to enter or a.

 Excerpt from Reap & Repent

“Ruth opened her eyes to complete chaos. There were creatures everywhere. She would have been hard pressed to prove most of them were now or ever had been human. It was like the Cantina scene in Star Wars without the fun band. Ruth’s mouth gaped open. It was dark, foggy and damp in the long unground cave-like chamber. She’d never seen anything like it.

It was a depot of sorts with long tunnels crisscrossing and disappearing into the stone walls. The floors and ceilings were also rough stone and light from an unseen source emanated down through strategically positioned skylight structures along the ceiling. Creatures were everywhere. A scant minority of the occupants appeared to be human. There was so much to take in it was overwhelming. Chiseled placards demarked the top of each tunnel in a language she didn’t understand. At both ends of the main channel huge platforms rose above the fray and what looked like an angel, complete with a flowing purple robe, sat upon a stone throne.”

 

Heaven

Most of the story takes place on the earthly realm, Purgatory and Hell. We don’t get to see Heaven but we know there are levels of Heaven just like there are levels of Hell. One passes through them on their way to perfection.

Certainly something to strive for and about a bazillion times better than the alternative.

 

Hell 

The fallen angel Lucifer is the King of Hell. He has a palace and everything. You’ll get to see quite a lot of it actually.

The trip there: Excerpt from Reap & Repent

“They spun and sputtered through a long tunnel of red strobing light that made Ruth’s head hurt. Her stomach turned as she tried to close her eyes, but the light strobed against her retinas as intensely whether open or closed. They seemed to slide through the tunnel forever. It was much longer than was comfortable or than she ever traveled on her trips to Purgatory. A carnival ride gone bad.

When she was sure she was going to vomit, they crashed to a stop at a dusty crossroads. Red fog hung low as far as she could see which wasn’t very far at all. Nate landed hard but stood up quickly, dusting the red clay off his jeans. Kylen frowned as he looked down the road towards the red glow in the cloud-covered covered horizon.”

 

What they see when they arrive: Excerpt from Reap & Repent

They walked on for what seemed like several miles, enveloped in their manufactured auras. Nate maintained his with only an occasional push or touch from Ruth. He was getting stronger despite his reluctance to admit it. His calling was still unclear, but he’d already proven himself useful more than once with the powers he had. Who knew what other resources lay within him, waiting to emerge.

There was nowhere left to hide, and the closer they came to the palace, the fog began to dissipate. The place looked like an impenetrable fortress, complete with a moat of what appeared to be flowing lava.

Wonderful, Ruth thought.

A guard stood post at the main entrance. It was small and toadlike, an imp like the one Ruth had run through with a fire poker in her living room only a few days ago. It seemed like an inadequate guardian for such a tremendous palace, but then again, Ruth assumed that not too many folks were hot to visit this place of their own accord. 

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Reap & Repent blurb:

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.