Type: Warehouse; despite its small size, this Hell houses perhaps tens of thousands of Damned, huddling in freezing, improvised living quarters.

Entrance: Tick-Tock can be accessed from Late Regret, a below-surface maintenance hatch on an abandoned oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico - the site itself is in contention between a number of different "interest groups", including the original owners of the drilling platform and more than a few scavengers, pirates and South American drug-smugglers.

This portal is one-way. In addition, the Borderlands (or, in this case, Boundrywaters) between Topside and Tick-Tock are marked by a sudden shift from warm water to cold - a deadly undertow kicks around in the submerged Labyrinth, drifting underneath jutting rusted machinery, and more than a few bags full of supplies have been wrenched open, lost or destroyed on the way in.

Transit Access: A number of tall, proud, white-sailed ships approach the Clocktower by sea on the irregular clear days, bringing strange goods & scabby, weeping masses of new damned from the Factory, Be'YT and other 'processing points' - and rarely, they drag the Shaking Damned of Tick-Tock to other, unknown Hells. Passage on these mighty vessels must be approved by the gibbering, inhuman sailors of the Pale Merchants, who trade in all manner deviant pleasures and treasures. In addition, only the Blind Watchmaker, Lord of Tick-Tock, can arrange for bodies in this hell to depart from his docks.

Otherwise, leaving the confines of Tick-Tock is a simple matter of leaping off of the outside of the Clocktower and into the freezing black waters below, swimming towards one of the sagging shapes in the distance, and hoping for the best. Other methods of travel are, at best, merely rumor - neither the Creeping Dollhouse nor the Shuddering
Storm make landfall here, and the twisting warrens of filth and debris inside the Tower are not known to contain any passages out.

Citizens: The Shaking Damned who make up the crushing population of Tick-Tock are in constant struggle with each other, themselves and the clicking, aching "hardware" that they must drag up and down the interior and exterior of the Clocktower. Each damned soul of this place has an amount, usually between ten to fifteen pounds, of useless, clacking clockwork embedded into their body; a complex and stuttering machine with the sole purpose of producing scalding surface heat and otherwise disrupting their host.

Trade of these implanted devices provides one form of economy in Tick-Tock, and can only be performed by the Blind Watchmaker – along with goods, occasional kindnesses and his insane Dictums, all handed down by the Watchmaker's Wives, ambitious bio-mechanical surgery keeps the huddled masses of Tick-Tock ever at the Watchmaker's feet, squirming for his attention and favor.

Because of the readily available food supplies and "creature comforts" of Tick-Tock, as opposed to the constant deprivation, shock and torture of Hells like LonelyWood or Empty Breath, some have theorized that Tick-Tock is a "Lesser Hell", an eternity for not-so-bad people who, perhaps, committed minor or trivial sins, or a place for those
who were good merely because they were afraid of Hell - the Three-Eyed Man, for example, has referred to the place as something of a holding center for atheists and the "Righteous Unbaptized".

This naive view of Tick-Tock's unique brand of suffering is, of course, exactly incorrect. Because the Shaking Damned here "have more" than the Damned of places like, for example, Zoblosh, they have that much more to lose. The possessive paranoia of the Shaking Damned breeds a horrid anxiety and viciousness that produces a never-ending cycle of self-maintained horror.

Tick-Tock is, in fact, the Hell of a boot stomping on a human face, forever.

Shackles: The weighty, churning implants within each Shaking Damned are the most obvious Shackles, along with the desire to trade them – a thudding mass of hot iron and steam implanted into the small of the back might be preferable to a useless, shrieking coil of wires and screws stabbed into the upper meat and bone of the arm. Because wounds inflicted in Tick-Tock slowly heal over the course of months, a number of the Shaking Damned trade obsessively to find the "least uncomfortable" implant.

There is, of course, no such condition.

Beyond the obvious implants and their horrid effects, the Damned here trade, betray, fight and scheme for layers of clothing, scraps of food, height from the constant floods, positions of mob authority, and warm places to live. All of these struggles are constant and self-inflicted, plotted out meticulously by the Blind Watchmaker.

Screws: The Watchmaker's Wives are damned with the power of Screws, who report vigilantly back to the Blind Watchmaker on the condition of his reeking, bloated Clocktower. All of the many Wives are identifiable by the ticking, blood caked old-fashioned alarm clock embedded where their mouths, jawbones and upper-throat should be. Because they cannot eat, the Wives are emaciated and skeletal creatures with sunken blood-shot eyes and balding skulls, wrapped thick in filthy blankets and shit-stained fur coats to show their political power. Clutching the latest Dictums from the Watchmaker, they travel down from On-High into the Clocktower to mutely post
notices, give food and clothing to their favored sycophants, retrieve members of the Shaking Damned into the presence of the Blind Watchmaker, dispense horrifying violence to those who catch their notice, and otherwise run mad errands for their ever-watchful Lord.

Occasionally, members of Watchmaker's Wives are stripped of their title and shunted back into the general population, where they rapidly become victims of their victims, the very lowest of the low, whores and food for cannibals.

Such is the nature of Tick-Tock.

The Place: Cold. Dark. Creaking. Wet. Rancid and filthy and seething full of hateful, hobbled life. And always, always clicking with the sound of machines. The Clocktower of Tick-Tock stabs drunkenly from the surface of a slushy black ocean of shit, rust and floating debris, constantly flooded and ever crumbling.

Tick-Tock is a vertical Hell, rather than a horizontal Hell – height within the vast Tower is the biggest single determining factor in Tick-Tock's nightmare economy. While no parts of the Hell are precisely "comfortable", there are perhaps a dozen or so places more livable than the horrid chill of the black, rust and rot-choked waters
outside of the Tower proper - tiny places where the wind and snow barely reach, places where the worst of the weather and the pain can be temporarily avoided.

Crumbling wooden stairs, sagging platforms, rusted gears and broken widows are the main features of the Clocktower, with thousands of groaning damned fighting for landings, cupboards, closets or makeshift
rafts in the vast black pool at the center. The poorest of the poor eke out a blighted existence outside of the Tower on fragile boats, fishing and scavenging the waste of the chill tides. When the water is low, whole new realms open up beneath the feet of those who dwell on the lowest floors, full of barnacle-encrusted oddities and strange rooms smeared with seaweed and flapping, albino fish. When the storms rage and the water is high, bloody wars are waged and bodies plummet like snow as masses fight for a place to hide from the worst of the

At the tip-top of the Clocktower, above the four broken clockfaces and even the highest of the rusted machinery, in the realm of On-High, dwell the Blind Watchmaker and his Wives. At a whim, the Watchmaker can evict occupants of any floor, raise taxes on prostitution or goods like bread, clean water, firewood or clothing, give bounty on those who offend him, allow or disallow trade of implants, declare martial law or give any other tyrannical dictum to the Shaking Damned – he creates anarchy, loss and hate where order might otherwise slowly
begin to take root.

Scurrying for the favor of the Blind Watchmaker, the Shaking Damned commit atrocity after atrocity upon each other - and themselves.

Landmarks: The Tarnished Library, named for the ever-changing collection of water-logged books taken from the unknown depths of the Clocktower over which they preside, is a low-dwelling gang of violent, starving
and conniving Damned who have collected numerous favors, usually by fulfilling bounties, from the Watchmaker's Wives, which they jealously hoard. They will gleefully trade audience with the Blind Watchmaker for Topside food, weapons and tools - they plan to take the highest reaches of the Tower by violent force.

The Shifting Docks, where the Pale Merchants come to trade, are in constant conflict between any number of rival factions, all living in perpetual terror of the Watchmaker's Wives. Though they dwell outside of the Tower, all of these gangs are staggeringly wealthy - they take a small cut of the products that exit the ships for the holds of On-High, which they then use to bribe the Wives who oversee the trade of sunken art, broken metal and oily white fish for goods from beyond.

The Rusting Reaches, a place of relative luxury directly outside the warm realm of On-High. The sociopathic, sadistic aristocracy of Tick-Tock play a dangerous game, pledging to keep the festering city below them in line through fear and pain while siphoning the best of the Blind Watchmaker's gifts into their own larders. Playing pimps and gangs against one another, and second only to the Wives in their power, they are often targets to open mob violence.

The Drowned, who crawl up from the freezing waters at the base of Tick-Tock, are the pathetic remains of what happens to those who fall - or who are assaulted by their fellows, usually stripped naked and flung, bleeding, into the blackness. All tides lead back to Tick-Tock, and some of those who haul themselves, sputtering cold and weeping, onto the lowest parts of the Clocktower are those who once dreamed of escape from this "Lesser Hell".

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