The Dimension of Death is where souls are held to be judged according to the legends of the kingdom of Daventry, so it appears to be some kind of limbo. The dimension is ruled by Lord Azriel with the aid of his skeleton guards. The land is located under Daventry and the surrounding lands, however there is no physical entrances into the Dimension from the surface.
Death fascinates men the world round, and there are as many philosophies about what comes after this life as there are, it seems, lives which end.One of these philosophies includes the belief in the Dimension of Death.
The Dimension of Death is not physically connected to either Daventry or the The Swamp, although there are magical portals which can be found in each for the purposes of travel. These portals have been silent and unseen for centuries, and are but legend in Daventry. Only recently have they opened--as if in preface to the cataclysm. The first gate leads from the Kingdom of Daventry into the realm, known as the Portal, the door of divine origin, the second is the Gate to Life which leads into the Swamp. The Dimension of Death is the holding place of souls awaiting judgment. Here Lord Azriel rules with the aid of his skeleton guards. The Dimension of Death is dominated by the great City of the Dead.
Azriel, Lord of the Dead, once claimed eternal control over this realm. However, when the evil curse infected even this seemingly immune region, the "undead" had a stronghold on the dimension. Passing through this land in search for the key that unlocks the gates of the dead lands, Connor had to fight off skeletons and zombies to avoid becoming a permanent resident! And in order to depart from this realm, Connor had to find the only way to cross the River of Death, some say is the famed River Styx.
It is unclear what particular afterlives this realm is connected to after one is judged. Though perhaps it leads to some kind of hell (Abyss, Black Abyss), though some kind of heaven may be implied as well, by the Sylph of Inner Beauty.
- City of the Dead
- Entry Hall
- Altar of Azriel
- Pedestals of Death
- Death's Door
- Sanctum of Azriel (Main Hall)
- Compound of Death
- Sylph's Fountain
- Boat Dock
- East Tower
- Northwest Tower
- Southwest Tower
- Central Tower
- Shrine of Azriel's Hammer
- River of Death
- Bridge of Life
- Gate to Life
Behind the scenes
"Roberta's point of view was that the "Dimension of Death" was not the under world(KQ6). It was a unique and different place."
-Mark Seibert, Mask of Eternity's Producer.
The programmer notes in 2000.msg file in KQ8's files hold a few extra details such that DoD is referred to the City of the Dead, it also is referred to as the Underworld, and it also makes mention of the River Styx. However it seems Mark Seibert's context is that the Underworld see in KQ6 and the one seen in KQ8 are not intended to be the same place, thus the new characters encountered.
Several elements of the Dimension of Death originates from both Egyptian, Christian, and Mesopotamian lore.
Even the name 'Dimension of Death' is a nod to the Mesopotamian beliefs and philosophy of the 'dimensions of death'.
The River of Death and the Hall of Truth, and the Scale of Justice, the Feather of Truth originate in Egyptian myth. In Egyptian culture the Great Scales of Truth were located in the Hall of Two Truths. Anubis or Osiris weighed the heart of a soul against the ostrich feather of Ma'at to find if the soul was worthy to continue on into the afterlife. The Boatman is similar to Charon from Greek mythology, who carried souls over the River Styx.
The River of Death can also be found in Christian literature as well. Pilgrim of Pilgrim's Progress had to travel through the River of Death to reach the Celestial City.
Lord Azriel is derived from Azriel, the Angel of Death in Christian lore, but also shares elements of Anubis.
The dimension is decorated with combination of Egyptian symbols (ankh, hieroglyphics, etc), Minoan (minotaurs), and Mesopotamian and Sumerian (bull/Gugalanna/Taurus) artwork.
The wings above the various portals to the Halls of Life, and decorating other portions of the dimension are inspired by the outstretched wings of Ma'at (though Nut and Isis are sometimes portrayed in a similar way) or the winged sun disk of Horus. The Feather of Truth is Ma'at's symbol as well. Whereas the goddess Ma'at is usually depicted between the wings with her arms outstretched the variation in KQ8 includes the wings surrounding the name of the various halls, or wings surrounding a crest made of two crossing scythes surrounding a sun disc (vaguely similar to the Horus of Behdet). Although based on its location the disk could represent a full moon rather than the sun. The two crossing scythes with a disc (minus the wings) can also be seen as a wall decoration in the Wizard's house, and on the back of the statues of Azriel in the Dimension of Death. In that those reliefs the crest is shown with two piles of skulls on each side, and in some cases with strange glyphic text.
In Mesopotamian mythology, Gugalanna, the bull of heaven, was the first husband of Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead, a gloomy place devoid of light. Gugalanna was defeated by Gilgamesh, who represented the light of the sun. The bull was lunar in Mesopotamia (its horns representing the crescent moon). The constellation Taurus is related to the Mesopotamian and Sumerian bull god.
The images of the Minotaur not only connects to the bull traditions, but is also a nod to the Dimension of Death being a sort of labyrinth for dead spirits.
Lord Azriel has the head of a bull and is a minotaur-like figure, thus connecting both imagery.
- ↑ Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles, pg
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20001028161655/http://www.sierrastudios.com/games/mask/worlds/death.html From the KQ8 website; Azriel, Lord of the Dead, once claimed eternal control over this realm. Now, with the evil curse infecting even this seemingly immune region, the "undead" have a stronghold on the dimension. Passing through this land in search for the key that unlocks the gates of the dead lands, Connor must fight off skeletons and zombies to avoid becoming a permanent resident! And in order to depart from this realm, Connor must find the only way to cross the famed River Styx.
- ↑ KQ8 Hintbook, pg 50