Also known as the Realm Which Should Not Be, the Realm of Terror is the shared Realm of the Terror-Gods (also known as the Gods from Below by the Kaaradi). It is a twisted and horrific place, where only madness, terror and corruption roam freely and where hope is nothing. It is the most feared Realm by the Kaaradi.
Geography of the RealmEdit
The Realm of Terror is a place of darkness and anguish. There is no sun nor moons, and stars are all but unheard in this Realm lying far beyond the Mortal Plane, yet any who would find himself lost in the Realm of Terror would see the floor made of living, twisting flesh, he would see the tree-shaped bodies of unfortunate wanderers or the rivers of living blood, bile and feces. Worst of all, he would see the Cells.
The Cells are four strange building made of a dark stone, where the symbols of the Monster-Gods from Kaarad can be seen, keeping whatever is inside the Cells locked in it, even after more than ten thousand years. But there, at the core of the Realm Which Should Not Be, the Gods who are no Gods are waiting in their prisons, the Gods born from the very corruption of the species who gave birth to them without naming them. And while trapped in their Cells, the Gods from Below whisper to their slaves, to those mad enough to worship them under the sky or below the earth, and they speak to those unlucky enough to enter their Realm.
Their whispers are the most atrocious sounds of the Realm, but they aren't alone, for morn groans, hysteric laughs and screams of despair are common in the Realm of Terror. The very few who came back from this atrocious place with but a shred of sanity left talk about the subtle differences between each Cell : one looks like a spear of stone as tall as any castle from where bloods flood from the joints, one look like a mountain carved and then sealed, from where darkness itself lurk as a living thing, one look like a pit where chains of stone bind something in the darkness and from which come putrid emanations, and the last one look like a simple house, whose windows, doors and fireplace were filled with stones, and it is said this simple house is the most horrific place inside the Realm Which Should Not Be, for it is Terror itself which ooze from it.
Finally, there is another Cell, or more exactly the ruins of one. Those ruins are the only place where a lost traveller could find some semblance of solace, for the aura of Terror is all but lost, and a sense of grim but necessary duty fleet around it. It is said, among the Kaaradi and the Urshari, that those ruins where at first the nest of the God from Below which was killed at the end of the Age of Myth by the Children of the Underworld (the Asha, Dwarves and Kaaradi, and maybe some other species). It is the one and only way to get out of the Realm of Terror. for those who didn't sell their souls to the masters of this horrific place
Gateways to the RealmEdit
Contrary to most of the other Realms, the Realm of Terror's gateways don't exist only for those who know he existence of this Realm :a Black Rift (called Zargrok,in kaarada) can appear at any place in the Overworld or the Underworld, while some more conditions listed below must be presents in the former.
Firstly, the place must not see the light of the sun, the moons or the stars, for such light would destroy the rift, a fact which explain why the Gateways to this Realm are so few in the Overworld. Secondly, the place must had been the theatre of an act of great horror, be it an atrocious murder or deviant practices so horrific than any sane creature would flee from it (it must be noted that such feats of horror varies from species to species : while for a Kaaradi, eating the flesh of the dead is both a necessity and a religious practice, for a Täjaran, such action would be atrocious, thus potentially leading to the creation of a Gateway).
Finally, what is most important for the creation of a true Gateway, and not just a Black Rift, is the creation of a Cult. The Cults are born out of the corruption which slowly creeps out of the Realm, appearing in the dreams and nightmare of individuals where the darkness who gave birth to the Gods from Below lurks. Little by little, the most corrupted members of the species in the surrounding area secretly gather around the Black Rift and practice the behaviour which led to the opening of this crack in reality.
It is to counter these Cults in the Overworld and to purge the Kaaradi of the corrupting presence of the Terror-Gods that the Covens of Assassins were created by the Kaaradi, but even them can't be everywhere, and in most places in the Overworld, corrupt individuals gathers, practising foul acts of devotions to their whispering masters, hoping to gain more powers, secret knowledge and, more than anything else, the Ascension promised to the more devoted among them.
Yet, the true terror of the Gateways to the Realm Which Sould Not Be exist only in the Underworld, and especially in the dark maze of Kaarad. There, Gateways can appear and disappear within minutes, moving as if the Gods from Below sought a weakness in their prison, a mean to get back to the land they stole long ago when they were birthed by the corruption of the Ashendants. In the darkness of the Underworld, many a traveller was lost body and soul when a Gateway opened before them without warning. It is those travellers, more often than not Kaaradi or Aingeleen patrolling in the less populated parts of Kaarad, who come back corrupted and devoted to new and dark masters.
It had been noted by the Kaaradi that the Gateways don't appear as much near their settlement than they do elsewhere, thus leading to the belief that, by their strong devotion to the Monster-Gods and the sheer presence of their civilization, the Kaaradi are able to repel the Realm of Terror, a fact which had convinced all the Kaaral to promote a high birthrate among their subjects.
Inhabitants of the RealmEdit
For all its atrocious geography and its corrupting effects on Solcu, it is maybe the inhabitants of this repulsive place which gave it its name of Realm of Terror.
Contrary to most of the Realms, where the God at its core can be found anywhere within the limits of his very own Plane, the Gods from Below are sealed within the Cells, with some of their most powerful servants. However, their Realm is far from empty, and a hierarchy of a sort exist among the countless aberrations which haunt the Realm Which Should Not Be.
The bottoms of this hierarchy is constituted by the creatures known as Feverish Dreams; those creatures, barely more than the Terror-Gods' whisper given life, are almost invisible, looking as strange smoke. The Feverish Dreams appears in the real world when a Black Rift opens, and they must then quickly discover a fitting host, for they can't survive on Solcu for longer than three days in the Underworld and one night in the Overworld (or even less, if the light of the moons is powerful).
The Feverish Dreams seek people who are already repulsive in their behaviour and beliefs, and possess them during their sleep. They then talk to them, tempting them, offering them greater strength, intelligence, beauty, everything which could lead their host to submit to the Hods from Below. This how the Cults are born, out of the worst of each nation, when individuals seeking more of anything are corrupted.
In the Realm of Terror, those creatures are but messengers and slaves for the more important entities, sometime used on poor travelers unlucky enough to get stuck in the Realm, as a mean to weaken them so their masters can turn the weak wreck into something they deem fitting, usually a par of the landscape.
Above the Feverish Dreams are the Exalted Sacrificed. As their names imply, those creatures are the twisted souls of poor victims killed during the rituals of the Cults, but also those of the least lucky of the wanderers who entered the Realm, for the lucky ones are turned into the very material of the Realm of Terror. These souls are send to the Realm of Terror, where they are slowly tortured and corrupted, just as their bodies were before their death, by the prisoned Gods, and slowly turned into disgusting aberrations, hideous caricatures of themselves.
The Exalted Sacrificed are sent to the most powerful Cults in the Overworld, those who manage to open a Gate and could very well open a true Gateway to the Realm. Those monstrous creatures hide their abomination behind a mask of incredible beauty. They then offer to the leaders of the Cult greater powers and knowledge, if they pass the night alone with them. At this point, all leaders agree to their doom, while they don't know it. Indeed, the Exalted Sacrificed will reveal their true appearance to the leaders and then physically fuse with their prey, stealing their body and consuming their souls, while only the mind of the leaders remain, forever trapped in their own empowered bodies, while one of their own victims taunt them by getting everything the leader ever wanted. However, such possession doesn't last long, for the corrupting aura of the Exalted quickly destroy the body of the host. However, the possessed explain to his flock that such abominable transformation is in fact an Apotheosis and that he will be reborn in the Realm of their God as an immortal, if a Gateways is opened.
And it is true. If a Cult manage to open a Gateway, their possessed leaders will enter it and be rewarded by the Gods from Below : the Exalted Sacrificed will be turned into a Dire Lord of Atrocity. Such abominations are among the strongest servants of entropy which can be found on Solcu; they are even more terrific than the Broodmothers of Those from Below, being able to twist all their Cult's slaves into twisted aberrations, just as the Gods from Below twisted the Ashendants into Those from Below when they came into existence. Thankfully to both the Overworld and the Underworld, the creation of a Gateway require such atrocious acts in such a quantity than no more than ten Dire Lord of Atrocities were created during the last ten thousand years; yet, the actions which led to their creation and the carnages which ensued where more than enough to forever scar History.