Temple of Hella Building / Landmark in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

Temple of Hella

The only temple known within the Underdark to be dedicated solely to the goddess Hella, the temple acts as a shrine to balance, a place where both life and death can be celebrated. People from across the Underdark make pilgrimage to the temple with their dead, so that they may be cremated under the watch of Hella and her priests, ensuring that they are treated with the kind of dignity in death that is sadly a luxury for the most part in the Underdark.

Purpose / Function

As its name suggests, the Temple of Hella is a sacred space dedicated to the goddess of balance, Hella. The temple not only acts as a focal point for the deity’s worship, but it also functions as a place where people can come to have their dead cremated, a common practice for the disposal of the dead in the Underdark, where soil deep enough to bury people is scare and hungry predators are often drawn to feast on corpses.   Logistically, most of services; religious, pastoral and funerary that the Temple of Hella provides, are most frequently used by the inhabitants of the nearby town of Sun Hollow, which is the only population centre for many miles in either direction that the tunnel in which the temple is situated leads. However, the temple welcomes all who pass by, offering food and shelter, as well as funerary services to those in need. As the only such temple for many miles, it is surprising, even to the people of Sun Hollow, how far people will travel to reach the temple so that their dead can be sent to the afterlife respectfully.


Unlike the nearby town of Sun Hollow, whose buildings have predominantly been constructed on the floor of the cavern the town is situated in, built out of stone excavated from the cavern’s sides, the Temple of Hella has instead been built within the tunnel wall itself. There is only one entrance into the structure, which is located about twenty feet above the floor of the cavern and this entrance is accessed by a set of carved stone steps.   The building is comprised of two levels, the upper level and a lower level. The upper level is comprised of a small chapel, immediately upon entry, which is designed for the leaving of offerings and for prayer. This chapel, along with the corridors that loop round to the stairs to the lower level have a number of large stone biers, where dead brought to the temple for cremation can be laid in state before making their final journey.   The lower level of the temple is mostly comprised of the large main sanctuary, within which four braziers, large enough to take the body of an average humanoid are kept continuously lit. These braziers are used for the cremation of the dead, and for the immolation of larger offerings made to Hella. Behind this area are the quarters for the priest who looks after and runs the temple, along with a storeroom for supplies.


  The temple is located within the eastern wall of a tunnel in the Upper Underdark, opposite and below the ledge upon which the town of Sun Hollow is located. Whilst it is not technically deemed to be part of the town itself, the temple is the main religious focal point for the inhabitants of Sun Hollow, many of whom regularly make the trek of around half a day each way to leave offerings to Hella the deity of balance, or to carry the bodies of their deceased to the temple for cremation.
Founding Date
Temple / Religious complex
Parent Location

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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