So Your House Is Built On A Hellmouth
With real estate prices skyrocketing, a limited budget may call for making some concessions on your dream home. This could mean finding a fixer-upper, giving up the ensuite, or buying a house in a less desirable area, like a Hellmouth.
What is a Hellmouth?
A Hellmouth is a portal between Earth and the nether realms, used by demons and monsters of various types to enter our world and wreak havoc. This can be a real inconvenience when you’re trying to make dinner or get the kids ready for school.
How can I tell that a house might be on a Hellmouth?
There may be hints in the real estate posting. Phrases like “up and coming area” or “hot neighborhood!” are often red flags.
Do your homework before making an offer. Do you see a lot of “for sale” signs on nearby homes? Are there more decorative pentagrams than you’d expect? Is the area known for mysterious disappearances and gruesome unexplained deaths?
These can all be signs of a Hellmouth and the seller should be providing some flexibility on price.
What if I’ve already moved in?
If you’ve already moved in, there are certain clues to look for. For example, if you’re hearing groaning sounds from the basement, that could be the house settling, or one of the Eldritch Gods preparing to emerge and scour the Earth clean of the plague that is humankind. If you think it’s the former, contact a specialist in foundation repair. If the latter, shut the basement door and play soothing rain sounds when the noise keeps you awake.
There are many other possible signs, including shadow figures that whisper insulting remarks about your weight, rats with human faces, and Victorian bedrooms that appear and disappear without warning.
Be aware that some homes may have Hellmouth-like qualities, but different root causes. These are covered in the other articles in this series — “So Your House Is Built On An Ancient Native Burial Ground” and “So Your House Was The Site Of Multiple Grisly Murders”.
What can I do about it?
Not much, unfortunately. Exorcism is a possibility, but keep in mind that priests and shamans are expensive and rarely helpful. Many of the creatures you’ll be dealing with have been around since the birth of the multiverse, and have a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
Some demons do respond well to sacrifices. If you’re not squeamish, consider establishing a relationship with your local animal shelter.
Where does that leave me?
Try making the best of the situation. Incubi and succubi can really spice up a waning sex life, and zombies are a great way to say goodbye to guests who‘ve overstayed their welcome.
If you’re willing to negotiate, a lot of demons will be happy to help you manage the inlaws or get ahead of your office rivals. Prices can range from serving them a nice curry every Tuesday right up to your firstborn or your eternal soul. Always read the fine print.
Still, the minuses definitely outweigh the pluses when it comes to Hellmouth housing, so drive a hard bargain if you buy. Ultimately only you can decide whether the savings are worth the extra hassle.
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