Yes in Monkey, like the Novel , you too can can visit Hell – or to be precise King Yama’s Ten Hells.

The Ten Hells are a vast underworld consisting of ten courts, each ruled by a Demon Judge, and eighteen levels of Hell where the
wicked are punished before drinking the milk of forgetfulness and being reincarnated in their next life. In Hell, a scribe keeps a book
that contains the name of every soul and its allotted time on Earth.

If you are unlucky to get sent to hell your descendants  can reduce your sentence by paying “Hell Money” to King Yama, which is delivered by burning it during religious festivals. Here’s a Hell Bank Note that my son was given during last year’s Chinese New Year.

The front of a Hell Bank Note, showing an image of the Jade Emperor

The front of a Hell Bank Note, showing an image of the Jade Emperor

The back of a Hell Bank Note, showing an image of the Hell Bank

There are two accounts of visitations to King Yama’s dismal underworld in the book. One in a chapter where an imperial official goes there on behalf of the Chinese Emperor to pay a debt to a soul who helped the Emperor during life. This really lies the foundation for how dark and dismal the place is, but at the same time how it has its own strict organisation and internal (or should that be infernal)  logic. The second account is off course Monkey’s chaotic escapades there. Monkey annoys the Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean by stealing the Iron Rod of the North Star (aka Monkey’s staff) from his armoury. The Eastern Dragon King goes to the Western Heaven to report this to his superior the Jade Emperor and demand Monkey’s execution. Monkey gets wind of this and sneaks down to the Ten Hells and finds King Yama’s Book of Names and decides to cheat death by erasing his own name and for extra cheek all the names of his Little Monkey subjects.  While the former account gives the detail of Yama’s realm, its Monkey’s trip to Hell which gives a good example of how players can visit and interact with it. The Ten Hells are one of the Mythical Realms, along with the Western Heaven and Four Oceans of the Dragon Kings, that the players can interact with quite easily by virtue of being Immortals.

If you are a fan of the 1st Edition I’m looking to expand the “Worlds of Monkey” chapter which has the Ten Hells write up in with more information, characters and adventure seeds.

Hell is also one the Origin’s of Player Immortals, being the home of Demons who serve King Yama by torturing the damned who sent there. Also technically Pigsy and Sandy are demons when Monkey meets them on Earth. Here’s another character from my home game, Manju the Demon Hunter who is looking to rise above his station and become a virtuous inhabitant of Heaven.

Immortal type: Demon (Hunter of souls escaped from the Ten Hells of King Yama)
Crime (Weakness): (Violence) If there’s a fight in the offing, Manju is up for it. He
was thrown out of the Western Heaven for brawling with the demon hunter Prince Natha.
Yin: Lazy
Yang: Rash
Kung Fu 3,  Demon Hunter 2,  Acrobat 1
Magical Powers:
Flight, Shape change, Demon Strength (Limitation: Tires him out after use), Teleport  (Limitation: Destination must be in line of sight)

Finally there are representations of the Ten Hells in various Chinese temples and this video shows some of them (warning graphic images of torture and CHINESE PUNK ROCK soundtrack).

Day 3 of 23 Days of Monkey, Kickstarter in 20 days on 8th January 2017