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"Through his eyelids, Rudgutter saw the inside of a slatted cage; iron bars moving like snakes; arcs of unthinkable force, a jagged, rippling maelstrom of heat. Where the ambassador sat, Rudgutter caught glimpses of a monstrous form."
—Mayor Bentham Rudgutter's glimpses of Hell's embassy

Hell, also referred to as the Pit, is a distinct plane from Bas-Lag. Its only known residents are daemons.


Hell made contact with the Mayor of New Crobuzon shortly after the end of the Pirate Wars and the destruction of Suroch by Torque bombs. New Crobuzon currently hosts one of Hell's embassies in the diplomatic section of Perdido Street Station, alongside other embassies.


Hell is ruled by the Czar of Hell, addressed as Its Diabolic Majesty. It appears to be a monarchy.


Hell's culture is obtuse and complicated to outsiders. The rules that apply to communicating with its residents vary from month to month, and although the daemons do not appear to lie, they tend to carefully phrase questions to obtain maximum benefit for themselves. Outsiders can be credited questions and favors, although the reasons for the credits are not elaborated on.


The Czar of Hell is on good terms with the New Crobuzon government, even while the populace at large is unaware of Hell's embassy. One of its representatives is posted to the city, although his office is located in another plane. Bartering with Hell requires adherence to ever-changing rules and a great deal of caution.


Hell's biggest items of trade are favors, questions, and unnamed "merchandise". The "merchandise" can be exchanged for favors, such as military support or daemonic labor. Daemons will answer questions truthfully in exchange for payment, unless the asker is in credit.

Process of contacting[]

New Crobuzon is able to contact the embassy of Hell with the aid of karcists, although the ability to contact Hell is dependent on inter-planar conditions. Contacting Hell also requires that an elaborate procedure is followed, including the use of protective wards and a thaumaturgical device that enables a "bloodless sacrifice".

In addition to the formal process used by the New Crobuzon government, private individuals are also able to contact Hell and recruit daemons. The Transcontinental Railroad Trust is alleged to sacrificed several workers to Hell in return for the grading and clearing of terrain as part of railroad construction, leading to a parliamentary investigation.