It was 1868, not even a decade after the Fall. Upon finding themselves just downriver of Hell, the Royal Army planned a good Christian invasion. One that went straight to hell, in exactly the wrong way. The Royal Army literally invaded Hell.
The operation, dubbed the Campaign of '68, was a complete disaster, as the soldiers were overrun in the Forgotten Quarter. Only a few units and troops actually managed to breach the borders of infernal territory. Too many lives were lost that day. The ones that did make it to Hell described strange and terrifying sights: fields of burning roses, devilbone churches, brass triremes, a vast and pitiless bureaucracy, a throne that stands in the shadow of a gallows.
One can find veterans around the city: traumatized warriors in Watchmaker's Hill’s bars, peculiarly ambitious clergymen, drunkards passed out in the gutter. The invasion left a long shadow on London; the peace treaty gave devils free reign in its streets and formally established the Brass Embassy on Ladybones Road as a hotel for Hell's residents. But even after such a dramatic loss, there’s no way the clergy doesn’t have more plans in store for the devils.
The Bishop of Southwark is a veteran of the campaign. He was part of a brigade that was captured in battle; the Bishop says that his scream after touching a hellish (burning) rose alerted the devils to the regiment's presence. Most of his comrades were hanged, but the Bishop himself lived to tell the tale.
Original by NiteBrite/Mrs. Brite