Yu Huang had the idea of building hell after Buddhism became more and more popular in his domain. A preacher named Kuo had traveled to the mountain Feng-tan to find the entrance to hell and had disturbing visions from subterranean gases. People believed that Feng-tu was indeed an entrance to a hell realm and soon, the Shroud began to weaken. Yu Huang, ever creative and willing to try new ideas, adopted the idea of Hell that new wraiths brought into his realm and sendt his best constructors to build the hell his new subjects were so eager to believe in.
In the Modern Nights, Feng-tu is used to house political dissidents. A sentence to Hell is the highest punishments the courts of the Yellow Springs are able to issue and only the Emperor himself can veto such a verdict.
Yu Huang's architects paid great attention to mortal myth in their constrcution. The realm is centered around a central city, Ti Yu, which floats in the Tempest and is surrounded by lesser "hell"-realms. On the way to the Ti Yu, passengers are faced with seven harrowing trials that are designed to break the spirit of the arrival.
The architecture is designed to mimic the great Labyrinth below, reacting to an inmates P'o. Wraiths imprisoned here lose their connection to their Fetters, so even a Harrowing will simply send them back to their hell. There are nine hells (called abysses) in total, each designed after one of the buddhistic images of purgation between lifes.
Rumor is that if a Wraith passes all trials and all hells, they are released again. For most, this hope proves false and they end as White Jade, transformed into a kuei-go or fall to Oblivion. Others become citizens of Ti Yu and take on new professions as torturers that model themselves after demons.
Relationship to other ShenEdit
Feng-tu is regarded as a necessary evil by most Shen. Few are aware that the "Hell" is actually artificial and honestly believe it to be a place ordained by the Celestial Bureaucracy. Only few realize what is really going on within its confines and even fewer have the courage to fight against it. Most of them are Wraiths from the Conquered Territories, but they also include the Kuei-jin of the Devil-Tiger society of the Righteous Earth-Prison Smiting Fist, who see Feng-tu as an appropiation of their heavenly ordained role.
The Wu-Keng believe that Feng-tu is the domain of the Yama King Ku of the Thousand Tears. Allegedly, it lies in the Far North and was originally the same realm that other mages refer to as the Dark Kingdom of Jade. It is unknown if Feng-tu has grown into a full-flegded Hell itself or if a Yomi Realm of the same name exists elsewhere.
- , p.87-103
- , p.110
- , p.48