Mechanus

  • Type: a blend of a Heaven, an Other World and a Battery, leaning heavily towards the latter.
  • Origin: TSR’s Planescape line
  • Admission: followers of the deities who live there, or those of lawful alignments.

Imagine a world of perfect harmony. Perfect order. This is Mechanus.

The cosmic ideal of law and order, where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, and never ever leaves its place. It is not a soul-crushing order, or at least, it does not set out to be. It is however, an order as lacking in mercy as it is in malice.

This is Mechanus, inhabited by a race of beings who are little more than Euclidean solids given life. One would describe it as ruled with an iron fist, only rulership implies decision-making, and all the decisions here were made so long ago no one remembers who made them, nor much cares, so long as the ancient rules and traditions are followed to the letter, without deviation.

Unfortunately, the John Lennon-inspired vision the phrase “Imagine a world of perfect harmony.” calls to mind for most of us is far from the reality of Mechanus. You’re more likely to hear the music of the cogs than the music of the spheres here.

You’d really need to be a serious techhead – and I mean ‘grafting untested technologies to your living flesh’ type techhead – to get much out of this place. And unless your patron deity lives here, you are not welcome in any case – tourist detract from the order of Mechanus, and are politely discouraged. At best.


The Unborn God

  • Type: Upload
  • Origin: Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross
  • Admission: all those deemed worthy by the ReMastered

A cyber-heaven in which all uploaded personalities will exist within the Unborn God, both as a part of the God and individually (the coding is complex, and the Unborn God is envisioned to be a weakly-godlike AI). The Unborn God is worshiped – and uploaded personalities are collected for it by – a particularly nasty group of neo-Neitzscheans going by the name of the ReMastered.

They are sneaky, devious political manipulators who are as blind to the contradictions of their belief system as any other Nazi group, and it is unlikely that their plan to create the Unborn God will ever come to fruition. Uploading, by the way, is an astonishingly painful process combining the worst aspects of trepanation and forced consciousness overwriting. (That’s right: you need to be a part of the Unborn God like you need a hole in your head.)


Warren Ellis’ WildStorm Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell are, in this cosmology, nothing more than siege engines endlessly pushing against each other, powered by the souls that each one takes in. There is, apparently, no escape from them.

Or rather, there wasn’t until the Russian nuclear program really got going. In Kazakhstan, there’s a bar called The Last Shot. Every photo on its walls belongs to one of “the triumphant dead” – people who died strapped to nukes detonated underground. Apparently, something in the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear detonation disrupts and destroys the soul as well as the body. Those who die this way die safe in the knowledge that their souls will be denied to both hell and heaven.