Hellsborough & The Dark Peak

Discovering the unexplored parallel world of Sheffield, S6 -- Hellsborough and The Dark Peak

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Hi, I'm Pip. I'm a researcher. I spend time in Hellsborough, Hallamshire and study The Dark Peak, its people, its politics and its general weirdness -- of which, there is much.

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Crossroads are liminal places -- many a junction spans that gap between one world and the next. There is such a crossroads here or hereabouts: A pentagonal junction, where five roads meet and where a river -- a liminal place in its own right -- the tracks of a trolley bus, and an ancient grave site -- the bone yard -- a cemetery, occupy the same crowded space. In the off-world, they call it a corner...

... From here, you can enter a parallel world: Hellsborough. In many ways, this world is similar to yours. You'll recognise many of the buildings, the shops, the bars -- the ones at ground level at least. But you'll also notice things that differ -- it's like going back in time, somehow, yet not. It's not the dark ages, it's far darker than that.

And when you look up, you'll see a whole new world.

You've heard of Dark Matter, right? Sure you have. Dark matter doesn't absorb, reflect, or emit light; it cannot be seen. But it exists. Dark matter effects things around it. That's why at places like the crossroads -- if you visit it, in the off-world -- occasionally you'll see things leaking through -- things trying to escape the pull of the darkness. Like a flutterby can't see its own wings, you can't see this dark matter world that surrounds you. But it's there...

Map of Hellsborough Junction
Hellsborough Junction

Reminiscent of a previous age of industry, the epoch there is the same. What you thought were long dead chimneys now spew warmth into the air, raising humidity, blackening the sky and obscuring natural light -- breathing life into the murk, a filthy, oily, all pervading fog that shrouds much to yet be discovered.

Don't think that this is some backwards place though. The technology here is sufficiently different to anything you have ever experienced -- you would consider it advanced, magical even -- and there is magic here, of sorts. Mysticism rather than maleficium, but magic all the same.

Folk go about their business here the same as you do in the off-world -- but they're content in a way that you're not. When I say content, maybe I mean distracted. Much like you might be distracted by the comings and goings of daily life, by the pressures of work and family, so the residents of Hellsborough are distracted by the chitter-chatter of the hive mind -- an internal world that they carry on their faces, that services their every biological, physiological and psychological need.

They're not the only ones you'll meet here though. There are many familiar creatures. There are marauding bands of humans. There are races that developed eons ago from insects and crustaceans. All are the legacy of Dunlockslyn, as this world diverged from your own -- after the illimitable cleavage.

Hellsborough. A dark alternative reality, waiting to be discovered on your doorstep.

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