A Personal Inferno is a blog written by ZacksQuest. It can be read here. It is heavily influenced by Dante Alighieri's The Inferno, and content usually corresponds directly with each individual Canto.
Riccardo Abandonato, a Catholic priest working in the Vatican, has fled after an unfortunate incident caused him to be pursued by people who would torture him. He hides in the woods, and even establishes a camp, but soon the pursuers catch up to him. Riccardo is confronted by the Black Dog as he attempts to escape, who appears as a hellhound telling him to confront his pursuers and face the truth. Before Riccardo can make his mind, a Nightlander emerges that turns out to be his former superior and confident, Father Lorenzo Laguardia. Laguardia tells Riccardo that, in order to escape, they must venture into Hell, so Riccardo can face his fears.
After a night in the woods, the two descend into the Vestibule, the outermost circle of hell, where apathetic and Lovecraftian gods lie. Soon they meet Charon who allows them entry to his personal accomodations. However, when Riccardo picks up one of his books in his study, Charon's mind slowly begins deteriorating. This climaxes when Charon begins chasing Riccardo in order to take his memories. However, Riccardo burns the remaining books and Charon collapses comatose in his study. On the other side of the Acheron, Riccardo and Laguardia awaken to the circle of Limbo, where those who were neutral in spirit but good in action lay. They also meet proxies who weren't with the Archangel but were not against it. One such proxy attacks Laguardia, but Laguardia whispers something in his ear and he fades into Purgatory.
They enter the opposite side of Limbo, where Minos the Judge awaits them. Minos begins tormenting Riccardo, until Laguardia threatens to send Minos to The Malecoda. Minos then releases Riccardo and motions them to the entryway to the second circle. In this circle, The Lust Storm holds dominion. It has its Lustful accost and sneer at Riccardo, and attempt to make him join them in their lust forever. Riccardo refuses and passes through the circle a little more uneasy.
HUMANS - Human beings or at least human souls who are seen in Hell or venture into Hell.
- Riccardo Abandonato- The protagonist of the blog, a Catholic priest running from a group of unnamed pursuers. He is constantly trying to escape his past, but he decides to take a spiritual journey through hell in order to finally be able to face his fears.
- Lorenzo Laguardia- Riccardo's former superior and confidant, Lorenzo was once a suffering soul in Hell before being sent to Purgatory. Now he is a Nightlander. He acts fatherly toward Riccardo and has stern indifference to the souls in Hell. He has very little memory of his past.
- Paolo and Francesca- Two of the Lustful who are forced to eternally be restlessly thrown across in the storm. Francesca was forced into an arranged marriage in Italy, but then the two began to have affairs with each other. In the end, tragedy forced them to commit suicide.
THE DEMONS - Creatures who hold dominion in Hell as minions, and many are all against Riccardo and Laguardia's journey. Many of them have been coerced into attacking the duo because of Malacoda.
- Charon (The Blind Man)- The Ferryman of the River Acheron, who is first hospitable to Riccardo and Lorenzo. It is discovered that the books in the study are tomes that contain the memories of multiple people, including Lorenzo's. It is later discovered that Charon's own mental health is determined by the amount of memories he has stored. In the end, he begins pursuing Riccardo in a frenzy, until Riccardo burns all of Charon's books, leaving him comatose. He is not seen after Canto III.
- Minos (The Eye)- The Judge at the end of the circle Limbo. The Judge is a sadist and enjoys torturing its souls before wrapping its optic nerve around them and sending them to the deeper servants. It tries to judge Riccardo even though he is alive. However, at the mention of The Malecoda, Minos drops Riccardo and allows them to pass.
- The Lust Storm (The Red Cap)- A great hurricane-like storm made of blood. The souls of the Lustful flow in the storm, like its cells. The victims inside are controlled by their deeper instincts against their will. It sometimes melds its cells together with a piece of itself.
- Cerberus (EAT + The Black Dog)- The ruler of the circle of Gluttony. Appears as a great mass of clean water amongst the filthy lake around it. Tendrils with the Black Dog's heads on the ends of them rise from the lake. Initially blocking Riccardo's way, it is frozen by Laguardia for them to pass over it. It is unclear as to whether or not it recovered.
- Plutus (The King in the Mountain)- The ruler of the circle of Greed. Appears as a man bound by gold and stone to a throne, he gives Riccardo three choices: turn back, move on at the destruction of 50 souls, or move on at Plutus' release. Riccardo ends up attempting to choose none, and it ends up in the destruction of 50 souls. Riccardo ends up beating Plutus mercilessly for it.
- Medusa (The Mother of Snakes)-