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The fiery hell at Erebos’ doorstep is yet another example of Anomaly’s blunt honesty-in-naming. The Thanatos River (Greek for “Death”) is spoken of as a living entity, as is often the case with A’Raf. This may have as much to do with the primitive view of fire (that it is “alive”) as what likely ensues behind the walls it surrounds. Thanatos is, after all, a river of molten lava!
The exact channels feeding Thanatos are unknown. The Nolacs have said such tubes crisscross the earth surrounding A’Raf like an underground net of fire. Several Nolacs died trying to navigate the deadly canals pulsing with molten rock. The idea was brilliant in its simplicity. They sought to attack Erebos from below, using the very fires he uses for defense as the means to destroy him. Whether by accident or by design, A’Raf is situated in one of the most impenetrable places on the planet, inaccessible to anyone not “invited” (taken prisoner) through its gates. The seas of minions under Erebos’ control only add to the unlikelihood of any assault succeeding.
Thanatos proved useful after Muties killed a number of Nikdo who were feeding on the dead. Nikdo began avoiding the area, and the resulting plague, fueled by the rotting corpses, created more bodies than Erebos could readily dispose of. When it became clear anyone even suspected of illness would be burned alive to ensure the plague was stopped, thousands were seen hurling themselves into Thanatos. Mutie prisoners easily grasped the logic of a fast death rather than being hogtied, bludgeoned and heaped onto a pyre while still alive.