Travelling Across the World and Up and Down through It.

I’ve stepped back into the dark recesses of the Underworld again, a lot sooner than I expected.

The Underworld

By John Irvin

            I’ve returned to the world of my Magic’s Time Split series—click through this link to check out the previously published ebooks in the series, found on Amazon Kindle and Barnes&Noble’s Nook!

            It feels like as soon as I began the new draft, my friends, the Immortals, were thrust into a new foreboding adventure. Back in Book 3, As Flesh Rots, two of them, Gael and Jenna, were attacked by zombies and there was a scene in which Jenna was dragged by the undead down into what could have been a piece of the Underworld.

            It was a cavern close to the actual Underworld, but they never actually had to see the horrors awaiting them there.

            All this time, trekking our ways through the next several books, I knew there would come a time, eventually, when they would have to actually enter the realm of the dead. It was just a given from the sensation of the story.

            And now, in Book 7, The World Burns, Gael, Jenna, Jessica, and Levi have been pulled through an Ifrit’s portal into a hot, fire-lit, demon-infested network of tunnels and caverns. They’re pretty sure this is the Underworld.

Some entrances to the Underworld are simple caves.

            I’m excited to share what happens next…you’ll just have to wait a couple more months. These final four books in the Magic’s Time Split series will be published soon—all before the end of this year.

            Speaking of the Underworld, returning to this disturbing place, makes me think of Rick Riordan’s adventure fantasy series, Percy Jackson, and its spin-off series. All of these awesome books are based on Greek and Roman myths and there are, in fact, several times our heroes venture into the Underworld.

            I’m now reading more on the different types of Underworlds in the world’s mythologies. Quite a fascinating subject to explore: the opinions of the ancients on where human souls went after death.

            Now, I think, every mythology believes the Underworld to be the realm of the dead. There are plenty of stories about heroes questing into the realm, though.

            Of course, everyone knows the Greek version. It’s named after the god ruling it: Hades. Although, contrary to popular belief, the god of the Underworld wasn’t as mischevious as most present him to be…well, there was that one time with Persophone.

            The Mayans of Mesoamerica had their own theory on the afterlife. Xibalba, which means “place of fright” was for everyone—whether you were good in your past life or evil. Nice, huh? Apparently, only those who died violent deaths were allowed into heaven.

The Realm of the Dead

            In Xibalba, the dead were there for eternity. Only kings or nobles could be summoned by relatives in a “Serpent Vision” ceremony. There were eight levels, according to the Aztecs. Each level had its own special danger.

            In Egypt, the Underworld was called Duat and represented by a star inside a circle. It was believed the god, Osiris, governed this place. He personified life after death: rebirth. Duat was also the region the sun god, Ra, travelled from west to east during the night.

            It was here when Ra would battle with Apophis, the primordial chaos who constantly tried to retake the creation.

            Duat was where souls went after death for judgment. But they weren’t in judgment for the rest of their afterlife. There were apparently twelve different regions—based on the twelve hours of night. When Ra was in the Underworld, the dead got to enjoy a bright life. They would then fall back to sleep when he left, awaiting for his return the next night.

            Up in Celtic mythology, the place of the dead was a realm of delights. Similar to the Greek fields of Elysium, Mag Mell—or Annwn—was an otherworld kingdom often depicted as an island kingdom or kingdom beneath the sea.

            Then, of course, there’s the Norse mythology—one of my favourites. Their underworld is called Hel after the goddess of that realm. There are Nine Worlds, according to the Nordic tales. Hel is the ninth of these worlds and the place where evil men go after death.

Valhalla was the Hall of those slain in Battle

            There is another realm for the dead: Valhalla. The “hall of the slain” is an enormours and wondrous hall located in Asgard. This is where those who die in combat are taken by female beings called Valkyries. Actually, only half go here—Valhalla is ruled by Odin, the King of the gods. The other half slain in battle are taken to Freyja’s field Fólkvangr. Freyja is the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, war, gold, and others. She also has a hall in Fólkvangr, it’s called Sessrúmnir.

            These dead warriors are to feast and prepare for Ragnorak, the end of the world.

            I think that’ll be enough discussion on the types of Underworlds in myth…now the question is, which Underworld will my Immortals discover awaiting them? Or will it be a mixture of the various ones? I guess you’ll just have to read to find out.

            Speaking of reading and books, there’s a chance I may be having a single author event here in the town of Pensacola. A local bookstores has been corresponding with me about adding my books to their shelves. It would be nice to get some experience in before the big deal next spring for the book tour.

            If you could spare some dollars to put toward this and my book tour, that would be amazing!

          Until next week, y’all have a great life.

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