The Asphodel Meadows
The Abyss Express screeches to a halt. After a seconds pause the doors swing open and you step off the train. A gentle mist hangs in the air as you approach the entrance to the Asphodel Meadows. The gateway is marked by an arch of soft, willow-like branches that seem to sway with a tranquil breeze. The arch is adorned with pale flowers, delicate asphodel blooms that give off a faint, soothing fragrance.

Two unassuming pillars of marble, weathered by the ages, stand on either side of the entrance. Carved with simple patterns reminiscent of life's ordinary moments, the pillars evoke a sense of quiet reflection for you. Torches flicker softly, casting a warm and muted glow that guides you into the heart of Asphodel.

You walk down the path leading through the entrance to a meandering trail of gently swaying grasses and wildflowers. The ground beneath you is soft underfoot, reminiscent of a sunlit meadow in eternal spring. The air carries the distant echoes of muted whispers, the voices of souls who reside in this tranquil expanse.
“Is it him?” You think you hear them say, as you catch a glimpse of Hades coming towards you.

“Welcome to the Fields of Asphodel," Hades greets you with a wry smile. "Not too shabby, huh? It's the in-between place, not too shabby, not too spicy. Just the right blend."

You look around as Hades continues, "Here, you won't find the grandeur of Elysium or the depths of Tartarus. It's like the universe's waiting room, where souls chill until the big judges decide what's next." Hades begins walking down the path, and you follow. He points out the unremarkable beauty of the landscape, and emphasises the peaceful monotony of the Asphodel Fields.
"Now, let me introduce you to a few of your neighbours," Hades declares with a theatrical sweep of his hand. "This is Philomena, who once held the Guinness World Record for the longest knitting session."
"And over there is Barnaby, the guy who perfected the art of grass whistling. Fascinating, I know."

With a cheeky grin, Hades continues the introductions, revealing the eclectic mix of souls that populate the Fields of Asphodel.

You look around and catch a group of souls nearby, pointing at you. You reach for your glasses and put them on, squinting to see if you recognise any of them.

“Is it him, the stand in?” One of them says just loud enough for you to hear.
You look back at Hades and catch the look of annoyance on his face for a brief second before he stops you near a bench by a tree. “You’ve had a big day today, I’ll leave you here for now –.”

Just then, another soul from the group calls out to you - “He’s coming for you.”
“Ignore them.” Hades says. “One of them started the flat Earth conspiracy. Get settled, make yourself at home. You’ve had enough adventure for one day. I’ll be in touch tomorrow with your first task of eternity.” Hades hands you an old pager. “Wait for my message. You’ll know the sound when you hear it.”

And with a snap of his fingers, Hades vanishes, leaving you on your own once again.
await further instruction
That's a wrap for today.
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