The narrator, a wealthy traveler, accidentally finds his way a world inside the Earth occupied by strange beings, the Vril-ya, who resemble angels. Our hero soon discovers the Vril-ya are actually descendents of an antediluvian civilization. They now live in a subterranean utopia supported by their advanced technology. Chief among these technologies is an all-permeating fluid, Vril, a powerful source of energy. The Vril gives to the spiritually advanced beings control of awesome reserves of power—powers to both heal and destroy.
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, First Baron Lytton (1803–1873), was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a popular writer of his day whose work spanned most of the 19th century and included the genres of historical fiction, mystery, occult and early science fiction. He is responsible for such phrases as “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword” and Snoopy’s famously used quote “It was a dark and stormy night.”