The realm mostly consists only of dust, palaces of smoke, and vaporous creatures; anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash fill the bitter air. Few mortals manage to reach the realm, where levitation and magical breathing are necessary to survive. The Mages Guild have been known to bottle this thick, roiling vapor.
However, some areas of the realm are safe for mortals. Circa 4E 40, Malacath chose to bring Sul and Prince Attrebus Mede to the Ashpit, where they found a garden of slender trees, and "vines festooned with lilylike flowers" wound about the trunks; a "multitude of spheres moved, deep in the colorless sky, as distant and pale as moons". This garden seems to have some emotional significance to Malacath, who describes it as a "shadow of a garden", and an "echo of something that once was".
The Ashen Forge sits at the center of Malacath's own stronghold in the Ashpit. For the Orcs that revere Malacath, the afterlife promises rewards of immortality, abundant food and drink, and constant battle deep within the Ashen Forge. It is also said that The Ashpit bastion stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next. In Malacath's stronghold, every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need. The stronghold's walls rise one hundred feet into the smoky sky, constructed of polished steel and worked iron. Inside the walls, stone keeps, iron towers, and massive longhouses surround the central square that houses the Ashen Forge.
The Spine of Ashpit is a surprisingly light skeletal spine found in the realm. It is made from a grey dust, and fragments of bone have been known to be taken from it and brought to Tamriel. Sheogorath claims that the spine is the metaphorical "backbone" of the realm, and looks down upon it.
- The Doors of Oblivion — Seif-ij Hidja
- Events of ESO
- Lords of Souls, Gregory Keyes
- On Orcs and the Afterlife — Erisa Moorcroft, Scholar, Comparative Religious Studies
- Sheogorath's dialogue in Shivering Isles