|Titles||The Land of Dread|
Sahkil tormentors & Sahkils
|Description|| Demiplane within the Ethereal Plane|
the domain of the sahkils.
|Images of Xibalba|
Source: Planar Adventures, pg(s). 219
Xibalba outwardly resembles a seamless part of the Ethereal Plane, to the point that many travellers have walked right into it and then thought that they had transitioned into the Material Plane, as its matter looks solid and real. In truth, every atom in Xibalba is coalesced from the fears of countless mortals. Xibalba's essence is maintained by the very essence of terror, particularly that of sahkils' victims.
Xibalba's centre is a creepy, sparsely populated, partially ruined city surrounded by a dense, blighted forest. On four sides, the forest is surrounded by a vast tundra, a blazing inferno, a jagged canyon, and a disgusting marsh. At the heart of this city is the Black Pyramid, situated upon a high hill threaded with catacombs, ritual circles, and torture chambers. These parts are divided by dark, quivering veils into separate studies in terror, all filled with traps and trials that would test any visitor's sanity.
Xibalba's underground portion is reportedly much bigger than the surface and consists of an endless, inescapable array of massive caverns, each controlled by different creatures and outfitted with its own flavour of horror; here, space is twisted and time is slowed in a way alien to mortals. One such chamber is filled with rains of blood and purple lightning; another is riddled with howling winds that sound like the torment of souls; yet another is a moon-sized, ice-walled cavern where travellers feel isolated, even from their companions.
Xibalba is generally dim, shadowy, and disquieting to travellers, who often hear familiar whispers, feel insects crawling on their skin, sense panic and anxiety deep in their heart, or see, in their peripheral vision, trees twisting and looking at them. Xibalba itself watches them, torturing them with piercing screams alternated with oppressive silences so they can dwell upon their predicament, before moving them to the places best suited to their fears.
Government and inhabitants
Sahkils are the rulers of Xibalba, but are more often found stalking prey in the Ethereal or Material Planes. On Xibalba, they lurk in the shadows, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting trespassers. The sahkil tormentor demigods rule over Xibalba and plot endless plans from the Black Pyramid.
Other than sahkils, Xibalba is also home to animate dreams; ghosts; creatures from the Shadow Plane; phase spiders and xills warring over the forest; visiting night hags; and the deity Camazotz, who makes his home in the underground House of the Bat. These creatures contribute their own flavour of fear to Xibalba and are usually, but not always, left alone by the sahkils.
- John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 164f. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 219. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Adam Daigle. (September 22, 2017). Take a Look, It's in a Book—Of The Damned!, Paizo Blog.
- Xibalba (real-world mythological location)