The Underworld is the world of dead in the Sword of Truth series, where spirits of the living go when they die. There seems to be two major possibilities that occur when one person die, either they go off to live with the 'good spirits', spirits of benign or even benevolent intent in the world, where they live in relative peace and happiness. Or, if they were to be an evil person or a Sister of the Dark, they are sent to be with The Keeper of the Underworld, where they are tortured and in pain for all of eternity.
Denna was sent to the Keeper after she was killed, but he rejected her due to her noble acts and sent her to be with the good spirits, where she helped Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell be together, in a place between worlds, after being separated in the world of life. Several Sisters of the Dark have been sent to be with the Keeper in the Underworld. When these Sisters of the Dark are killed, it is often said that the world of life becomes completely black even on a sunny day, as the Keeper comes to “Claim one of his own” for failing to release him.
- Main: Boundaries
Zedd also used the Underworld to help create 'the boundaries' that separated the Midlands, D'Hara and Westland after the war. Nobody could cross except in special passes likes Kings' Port. Anyone who ventured in was greeted with a pale green light. If you went past this green light, and into a black wall, you would be called by the deceased, who tempted you beyond measure to enter into the world of the dead, from which there was no return. There were other threats as well, even in the passes, such as the grippers, creatures that, once faceted themselves to a part of your body, were impossible to remove, unless you removed the appendage itself. If you did not remove the appendage, it would eventually kill you by sucking all of your blood out of your body. Another threat was the Shadow People, who if awakened would try to push you through the wall and into the Underworld. The sorceress Adie was said to know more about the underworld than anyone, as she lived near Kings' Port, and used bones to protect herself, though she still lost part of her leg to one of the grippers.
The Eternal Now
The Underworld is eternal and unchanging. Time has no meaning because there is no beginning or end, there is no way to measure time. In the Underworld there is no future or rather the future is the same as now. This is explained in the Cerulean Scrolls as the eternal now. (Warheart)
All possible futures exist in the eternal now.
Things from the Underworld
Other things notable about the Underworld:
- The Temple of the Winds also resides in the Underworld, and spirits seem to be able to come and go inside of it as they wish, as well as decide who may be allowed to leave and at what cost, as Darken Rahl did upon Richard's visit.
- The Screeling was an undead creature from the Underworld
- The Chimes also come from the underworld, as they were locked away to prevent the destruction of magic, even though they were later freed by Kahlan.
- The skrin and the Stone of Tears are also of the Underworld.
- The Blood Beast, a monster from the Underworld created by the Sisters of the Dark under Jagang's Command.
- The Shadow People are conjured creatures from the Underworld.
- Prophecy is dead prophets speaking from the Underworld where time does not exist and all futures (including possible futures) exist in the "eternal now". (Warheart Ch. 28)
- Regula, what powers the omen machine, was from the Underworld and allowed prophecy into the world of the living. (Warheart)
Legend of the Seeker
In the second season of Legend of the Seeker, the only part of the Underworld shown is the one overseen by the Keeper, depicted as a pit of eternal suffering filled with souls. According to Darken Rahl in Extinction, this was because of the tear in the veil disrupting the natural order of the Underworld, thus allowing the Keeper to take every dying person to his realm, even the good ones as shown in previous episodes. Nonetheless, Darken Rahl did confirm the presence of a portion of the Underworld where one could "bask in the Creator's light" that he hoped to enter, and that this would return after the veil was restored.