The Hellbound Web
The Hellbound Heart
Encyclopædia 0.4


Also: Demons, The Gash, Hierophants, Theologians of the Order of the Gash
Ageless experimenters "in the higher reaches of pleasure." Cenobites can bring about "conditions of the nerve endings the like of which [one's] imagination, however fevered, could not hope to evoke." Scars cover every inch of their flesh which is "cosmetically punctured and sliced and infibulated, then dusted down with ash." They glow with a blue phosphorescence but are invisible and inaudible to people who have not summoned them. Their stench is barely covered by the scent of vanilla. Cenobites must be summoned by a device such as Lemarchand's Configuration to cross the Schism into this world. They cannot reseal the Schism until they take someone back to Hell with them. Once in Hell, they torture their captive using machines created by the Engineer.

Cenobite, First
Its clothes are sewn into its flesh and it had "hooks that transfixed the flaps of its eyes and were wed, by an intricate system of chains passed through flesh and bone alike, to similar hooks through the lower lip." It also has "a row of tiny bells, depending from the scraggy flesh of its neck." It appeared to Kirsty in the hospital room after she solved the Box. It accepted Kirsty's deal, agreeing that it might not tear her soul apart if she led it to Frank.

Cenobite, Second
"Its voice... was light and breathy -- the voice of an excited girl. Every inch of its head had been tattooed with an intricate grid, and at every intersection of horizontal and vertical axes a jeweled pin driven through to the bone. Its tongue was similarly decorated."

Cenobite, Third
"Its features were so heavily scarified -- the wounds nurtured until they ballooned -- that its eyes were invisible and its words corrupted by the disfigurement of its mouth."

Cenobite, Fourth
She first appeared dressed in a hooded robe. After Frank's senses were overloaded, she greeted him sitting on a pile of rotting human heads. She "was gray yet gleaming, her lips bloody, her legs parted so that the elaborate scarification of her pubis was displayed." Presumably, she gave Frank a unique sexual experience.

Cotton, Frank
(1959-1987, 1988-1988) Caught in a "dull round of desire, seduction and disappointment that had dogged him from late adolescence," Frank felt that he had "exhausted the trivial delights of the human condition." Frank sought the Lemarchand Configuration to summon beings who experimented "in the higher reaches of pleasure." The Box was sold to Frank by Kircher for "small favors." After a week of preparations, he solved the Box in 55 Lodovico Street's damp room. The Cenobites arrived, bringing a definition of pleasure much different than Frank's. After consuming Frank's offerings, the Cenobites overloaded Frank's senses. During memories of every sexual experience he'd ever had, Frank masturbated and spilled semen on the floor of the damp room. After the fourth Cenobite had her way with him, Frank was then taken to Hell and tortured. In-between sessions with the Cenobites, he was kept in a prison that looked out into the damp room. When Rory spilled his blood on the damp room's floor, Frank consumed enough of its energy to enable brief contact with Julia. The nutrients from the Julia's first victim partially rebuilt Frank's desiccated body. Because of the semen he had spilled, he was able to create enough of a connection with the damp room to escape Hell. Julia brought him two more victims to consume. While killing the third victim, Kirsty discovered the skinless Frank. Frank attempted to rape her, but Kirsty escaped with the Box. Before she returned, Frank killed and skinned Rory. Wearing Rory's skin, Frank tried to deceive Kirsty. When Kirsty discovered his identity, Frank tried to stab her.  He missed, stabbed Julia, and consumed the nutrients from Julia's body. After Kirsty got him to state his true identity aloud, the Cenobites captured Frank with their chains, tore him apart, and took him back to Hell.

Cotton, Julia
Rory's beautiful wife. She had sex with Frank a week before marrying Rory. When Frank contacted her from Hell, she seduced and killed three men to rebuild his body. She was accidentally stabbed by Frank as he chased Kirsty. He consumed most of the nutrients from her body and left her for dead. In one final act of will, Julia pulled her wedding dress on. She was beheaded by the Engineer.

Cotton, Rory
(1960/1961-1988) Frank's younger brother by 18 months. He cut his left thumb with a chisel and bled on the floor of the damp room. His blood gave Frank the energy to contact Julia from Hell. Frank killed him and stole his skin.

See Cenobites.

The Engineer
Its head is like "a cone of white fire" and shines with "the brilliance of a minor sun." It constructs the torture devices the Cenobites use in Hell. After the Cenobites reclaimed Frank, it appeared under Julia's wedding veil to Kirsty. It bumped into Kirsty after she fled 55 Lodovico Street and gave her the Lemarchand Configuration.

The Gash
See Cenobites.

See Cenobites.

Met Frank in Düsseldorf. They studied the diaries of Bolingbroke and Gilles de Rais looking for information about the Cenobites. Kircher sold the Box to Frank for "small favors." He also gave Frank instructions on summoning the Cenobites "that were part pragmatic, part metaphysical."

(1962-?) Has a "dreamy, perpetually defeated manner" and harbors a secret crush on Rory. After discovering Frank killing the third victim, she fled with the Box. She fainted from her experience and was taken to a hospital. Kirsty solved the Box in her hospital room using Frank's dried blood as a guide to its seams. The first cenobite arrived. She offered to lead it to Frank so that she wouldn't have to go to Hell. She tricked Frank into naming himself aloud and the Cenobites took him back to Hell. The Engineer bumped into outside of the house and gave her the Box for safekeeping.

A French maker of mechanical singing birds. He created the Box that summons the Cenobites across the Schism. In making the Box, he added "to the acuity and technical genius of the Chinese... a perverse logic that was entirely his own."

He helped Rory and Julia move into 55 Lodovico Street with Mad Bob. He used his van to move the furniture from Alexandra Road.

Mad Bob
Also: M.B.
He helped Rory and Julia move into 55 Lodovico Street with Lewton.

See Mad Bob.

A guest at Rory and Julia's housewarming. He hit on Kirsty by asking her if "she had any interest in cat breeding."

See Victim, Second.

Sykes, Stanley
See Victim, Third.

Theologians of the Order of the Gash
See Cenobites.

Victim, 1st
A pudgy and nervous married man. "His body was pale and waxy, like a fungus. His upper chest was heavy, his belly too." Frank's first meal.

Victim, 2nd
Also: Patrick, White Tie
A salesman from Newcastle in town on business for two days. He was confident and wore a white tie. Frank's second meal.

Victim, 3rd
Also: Stanley Sykes
A middle-aged, stocky, balding assistant chiropodist. His wife is named Maudie, and his children are named Rebecca and Ethan. He tried to flee Julia when he decided infidelity was immoral. Frank caught and killed him, as Kirsty watched.

White Tie
See Victim, Second.


55 Lodovico Street
Rory and Frank's grandmother's house. When she died, it was willed to the brothers. Frank solved the Box in its damp room. Rory and Julia moved in a year later. Its insides began to collapse after the Cenobites reclaimed Frank.

Alexandra Road
Rory and Julia's old home. Lewton and Mad Bob helped them move out.

Damp Room
The "front room on the second floor" of 55 Lodovico Street. "The room was... chillier than anywhere else in the house; the air stagnant." Frank solved the Box in this room and was forced to look into it when not being tortured in Hell. When Rory spilled his blood on its floor, Frank was able to escape Hell and hide in it. Frank and Julia killed four people in this room including Rory. The Cenobites ripped Frank apart in this room.

Düsseldorf, Germany
The city in which Frank met Kircher and purchased the Box.

The Cenobites' domain. A realm of "vast black birds caught in perpetual tempest" and "tinkling music" and "bells and troubled darkness." It is separated from Earth by the Schism. In-between sessions with the Cenobites, humans are kept in prisons that look out into the place they left Earth. Escape from Hell is possible if a human leaves a part of themselves on Earth before being taken.

Hospital Room
Where Kirsty awoke after escaping Frank. Because the room was white and devoid of decoration, she concentrated on the Box she'd taken from Frank.  After solving the Box, she made a deal with the first Cenobite in this room.

Junk Room
See Spare Room.

London, England
Location of 55 Lodovico Street.

The threshold between Earth and Hell. Only when summoned with a device such as the Lemarchand Configuration can the Cenobites cross it. Only by bringing someone back to Hell with them can the Cenobites seal it again.

Spare Room
Also: Junk Room
Where Julia hid the bodies of her victims. The room is too small for a bedroom and is used as a storage dump with "half-emptied tea chests, pieces of furniture they had not found a place for, all manner of rubbish." Kirsty hid in here when Frank was chasing her and sneezed from all of the dust.


The Box
Also: The Lemarchand Configuration, Lemarchand's Box / Configuration / Device / Miraculous Box
A puzzle box constructed by Lemarchand. It consists of approximately five pieces, which fit together with "fluted slot[s] and oiled peg[s]" so that their joints are invisible. The pieces are coated in a black lacquer and their inner surfaces are polished to mirrored finish.  After each piece is removed, a "short rondo of sublime banality" is played from within. The Box is "a kind of invocation by which [the] Cenobites can be notified." It opens the Schism and allows the Cenobites to come to Earth.

After consuming the second victim, Frank asked Julia for some bread.

Charts to Hell
There are several ways to open the Schism between Earth and Hell. "One such chart was in the vaults of the Vatican, hidden in code in a theological work unread since the Reformation. Another -- in the form of an origami exercise, was reported to have been in the possession of the Marquis de Sade, who used it, while imprisoned in the Bastille, to barter with a guard for paper on which to write The 120 Days of Sodom." Frank used the Lemachard Configuration to open the Schism.

Diary, Bolingbroke's
Contained information about the Cenobites. Frank and Kircher studied this in Düsseldorf.

Diary, Gilles de Rais'
Contained information about the Cenobites. Frank and Kircher studied this in Düsseldorf.

After consuming the second victim, Frank asked Julia for some ginger preserved in syrup.

Great Bell
Indicates the coming of the Gash. Issuing from Hell, it rings "a steady somber tolling" as the Box is solved.

Rory and Julia invited nine guests over for dinner after they moved into 55 Lodovico Street, including Kirsty and Neville.

Invocation Ritual
Frank spent a week preparing the damp room for the Cenobites: "The bare boards had been meticulously scrubbed and strewn with petals. Upon the west wall he had set up a kind of altar to them, decorated with the kind of placatory offerings Kircher had assured him would nurture their good offices: bones, bonbons, needles. A jug of his urine -- the product of seven days' collection -- stood on the left of the altar, should they require some spontaneous gesture of self-defilement. On the right, a plate of doves' heads, which Kircher had also advised him to have on hand." After overloading Frank's senses, the Cenobites had "taken the flowers with them, leaving only bare boards, and on the wall the offerings he had assembled were blackening, as if in the heat of some fierce but invisible flame." They also took the jug of urine and the doves' heads.

Julia's murder weapon of choice.

The Lemarchand Configuration
See The Box.

Lemarchand's Box / Configuration / Device / Miraculous Box
See The Box.

The Order
See Order of the Gash.

Order of the Gash
Also: The Order
The Cenobite's organization. There are five known members: four Cenobites and the Engineer.

After consuming the second victim, Frank asked Julia for a radio so he could find out what was happening in the world.


1959 Frank is born.
1960/1961 Rory is born.
1962 Kirsty is born.
1984 Mar/Apr Two weeks before the wedding: Frank visits Rory and Julia.
One week before the wedding: Frank and Julia have sex. Frank leaves for the East.
1984 Apr Rory and Julia marry.
1985 Aut/Win Frank and Rory's grandmother dies and 55 Lodovico Street is willed to them.
1987 Sum One week before solving the Box: Frank arrives at 55 Lodovico Street and prepares for the Cenobites.
Almost 12am: Frank begins to solve the Box.
Near dawn: Frank solves the Box and is taken to Hell.
1988 Aug 3rd Week Rory and Julia examine 55 Lodovico Street.
1988 Aug 21 (Sun) Rory and Julia move into 55 Lodovico Street.
1988 Sep (Sat) The day of blood: Rory cuts himself and bleeds in the damp room.
1988 Sep Rory and Julia hold a housewarming.
1988 Sep 3rd Week Early afternoon: Julia picks up her first victim.
4:41pm: The first victim is killed and consumed. Rory comes home early.
1988 Sep 28 (Wed) After 2pm: Julia picks up her second victim.
Kirty visits Julia.
11pm: Rory comes home and Frank makes noise.
1988 Sep 29 (Thu) Julia picks up her third victim.
Kirsty discovers Frank consuming the third victim.
Kirsry solves the Box.
Frank steals Rory's skin.
Julia is stabbed by Frank. The Cenobites take Frank back to Hell.


Barker, Clive. The Hellbound Heart. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. [buy]

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