|Island of Threads|
The Island of Threads, also referred to as Ghenna, is the area which we come to after having completed the trials in the octagonal puzzle room and subsequently defeated Pyrichiel. It guards the well of the Soulstone.
The name of this location is taken from the:
Adam finally reaches the Island of Threads, the place that guards the well of the Soulstone."
On one of the screenshots in the PC Power feature on Realms of the Haunting, the Island of Threads is identified as Ghenna, a "Jehovah Witness's version of hell". If we think back to our lengthy conversation with Hawk after his liberation, he too mentioned Gehenna when we asked him about Sheol.
According to Jewish and Christian belief, the term Gehenna is commonly is as an analogue of hell and "derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem, known in the Hebrew Bible as Valley of the Son of Hinnom (Hebrew: גֵיא בֶן־הִנֹּם or גיא בן-הינום, Gai Ben-Hinnom)."
As soon as we pass through the dimension gate, we're attacked by two Khulkith. Somebody kindly left a Violet Potion for us by the green arch, the most potent vial in the game. Nota bene that, in case we forgot to pick up the Perdition Shield after the fight with Vine, two malevolent fire creatures will be roaming around these grounds. Cautiously leaving the small floating isle with the arboretum by traversing the make-shift tree stem bridge in front of us, we now have some time to take a closer look at the remains of fortification that must have belonged to a castle of sorts at some point. Off in the distance, we spot several floating isles featuring even more castellation.
Stepping through the broken portcullis, we wonder what old battles could have been fought here. Keeping left we find two valuable Red Potions stashed next to the overgrown stone walls. Walking around the edge of a pool of shallow water that's running off the cliff on one side, we decide to explore the imposing white tower (also referred to as Elohim Tower) in the far distance.
Adam: This tower. Full of old memories. They seem oddly familiar.
Entering, we slowly stride around the perimeter until we reach an open spot with a balustrade that grants us a magnificent sky vista. If this were
Tree of LifeEdit
Walking up the stairs, we eventually come into a rotunda that seems oddly familiar to us, the central feature being a tree with three shimmering lights in its crown. We've already seen an image of this place in the basement of the Vicarage. The floor is entirely entrenched with the tree's roots, and next to the stem we find a Violet Potion.
Adam: What the Hell..? Hey, this place looks oddly familiar. I'm getting an awful familiar feeling from this place. But why? It's like I've somehow been here before. A long time ago. Hell if I know what's going on.
In the Book of Genesis, it is a tree planted by God in midst of the Garden of Eden (Paradise), whose fruit gives everlasting life, i. e. immortality. The fruit could be represented by the shimmering lights in the crown, if we take Adam's musings into consideration: "Those lights. Seems to be... something growing in the lights."
Together with the Tree of Life, God planted the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the biblical account states that Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life.
Leaving the tower, our attention is now drawn to the central green dome that we recognize from our journey to the Gnarl's Domain. The dome is encircled by a formation of seven rocks which appear to be melted off (cf. the game's , in which we bear witness to the creation of this place). Interestingly, the painting of Florentine dressed as a Knight Templar which can be seen inside the Mansion's Armoury shows in the background a green hemisphere which is surrounded by several (still intact) slabs of rock.
Alternatively, in case we're not in possession of the Power of Dominion scroll, we will be subject to an illusion induced by Belial where Adam finds an unconscious Rebecca sedated with chloroform and chained to a rock:
The image of a woman being chained to a rock might refer to the story of Ethiopian princess Andromeda in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Her mother Cassiopeia bragged that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus. To punish the queen for her arrogance, Poseidon, brother to Zeus and God of the Sea, sent a sea monster called Cetus to ravage the coast of Ethiopia and the kingdom of the vain queen. The desperate king consulted the Ammon, the Oracle of Zeus, who announced that no respite would be found until the king sacrificed his virgin daughter Andromeda to the monster. She was chained naked to a rock on the coast of Jaffa. She was saved from death by Perseus, her future husband. The subject has been represented in works by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn and Gustave Doré, among others.
On the other hand, if we do have compassion with Rebecca, Adam will unchain her, unwarily placing Eternity on the ground which gives Belial the opportunity to take both the sword and the Shrive from him. Adam, then, has to defeat Belial again in order to reobtain these objects:
Alternate Ending: If Adam storms directly towards Belial instead of hiding behind the rock as they fight against each other, another cutscene will be triggered in which Belial impales Adam with the sword Eternity and takes the Shrive from his coat pocket, disdainfully stating that
There is no armour against fate; Death lays his hands even on kings
which is a loose quotation from British dramatist James Shirley's The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses for the Armour of Achilles. The cutscene ends with both of them wrestling and falling into the abyss:
After defeating Belial and subsequently using Eternity on the green dome, we initiate Chapter XVIII Threads and materialise below the floating well.
Below the WellEdit
Stepping off the one-way teleporter, we now find ourselves in a cavernous region. There are two precious Red Potions and a nasty red Khulkith attacking us through the window. Proceeding through the dark cave passages, we eventually reach a brighter section in which we're confronted with many more flying creatures, both Slanderers and Khulkith. Hurrying across the wooden walkways along the cliffside, we enter another cavernous section in which our path is blocked by a total of 3 Nephilim. On the ground we spot a Red Potion. Slowly fumbling through the dark across a sequence of narrow passages, our tedious progression being additionally complicated by 3 Khulkith, we eventually reach a teleporter which takes us to the notorious Chamber of the Soulstone. If you wish to follow this walkthrough chronologically, please click on the following icon to continue reading about our final confrontation with Florentine inside the Chamber of the Soulstone.
- ↑ PC Power #33
- ↑ PC Power #33. Scan kindly provided by Disthron.
Adam: We've heard of Sheol, it sounds like a dangerous place.
Hawk: Some call it Hell, or 'Gehenna', the seven terrible layers of fire and darkness. Sheol is only the topmost layer of Hell, the lowest being the Pit. It is within the place you call Sheol that the Soulstone lies.
- ↑ Wikipedia entry for Gehenna
- ↑ PC Format #65, page 10
- ↑ Texture: "ELTOW2.extl wall of elohim tower.bmp" & "ELOHIM2.floor of etower.bmp"
- ↑ Book of Genesis 2:9
- ↑ Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book IV: 663-705 Perseus offers to save Andromeda
- ↑ Rembrandt, Andromeda Chained to the Rocks
- ↑ Gustave Doré, Andromeda