Friend of this blog C. Chancy (aka Vathara) spent NaNoWriMo writing a first draft sequel to her fantasy novel, A Net of Dawn and Bones.
I was pretty confused by some of the stuff going on in that book, mostly because I don’t follow the Egyptian/Coptic patristic literature and am not super-knowledgeable about its interrelationship with older Egyptian pagan beliefs.
Basically, the Copts mapped the Hebrew idea of Sheol and the Christian ideas of Hell and Purgatory onto the Egyptian land of the dead, Amenti.
So here’s an example. The Investiture of the Archangel Michael is mostly an orthodox Coptic book, but it has a few of the Gnostic concepts mentioned. (Not all of which were necessarily unorthodox theology, either; there was some mysticism terminology going on.)
In this book, Jesus describes the fate of normal sinners as to be taken to “the firmament” (ie, the waters above and below the world) and through it, into a place in the west where several punishment realms exist (fire, darkness, etc.). But these realms are purgatorial, because after time is served, the sinners are brought to Heaven and join the just. This is somewhat similar to the “stations” that are used as a Purgatorial concept in much of Eastern Christianity, except those are usually pictured as being “up” toward Heaven. It is also similar to the Islamic concept of Gehenna being a temporary prison and punishment for souls. (In some flavors of Islam.)
Anyway, pre-Christian sinners are told at one point (before Jesus’ death) that they will have to stay in Amenti until the Son, the one who has stood surety for them, comes and gets them. (Referring to the Harrowing of Hell between Jesus’ death and Resurrection, of course.)