The Eighth Day of Apollo

In Apollonian Caladon, each week was divided into eight days. The eighth day was reserved exclusively for worship at the Apollonian temples around the city.

The most notable feature of this worship was the process of blood-letting, during which members of the congregation would be selected for scarification. Although this scarification was believed to be random, although there is no specification along these lines in any of the remaining literature pertaining to the subject.

In truth, the Apollonian cult ruling over the city was a blood cult secretely devoted to summoning Nergal, the dog-faced poisoner.

Apollonian Caladon was ended during the Pythonite revolution, after which the city succumbed to the God-Craze.

Of the Cherax

Of the Cherax, that terrible species that was responsible for the destruction of Los Pelos, little is known.

Typical Cherax range between 7′ and 12′ long, possess six legs, two strong front claws and jagged, gnashing mouth-pieces. Their bodies are protected by chitinous armour; only the underbelly, eyes and antennae are vulnerable to attack.

The Cherax are an aquatic species not known to leave the water except to carry out rapid and brutal invasions of landborne settlements. The purpose of these invasions remains a mystery, as the Cherax quickly abandon the ruined cities they have destroyed, taking nothing with them, and return to the water.

Many believe that the Cherax may be controlled by some separate guiding intelligence, but whether this would be in the form of some “Prime Cherax” or alxeetnr unencislef is unknown.

Punching Gravel

i’m so sad
that i want to punch gravel
until the flesh of my hands
is stripped away
and only bloody stumps remain
bones snapping and crunching
mangled remains
useless now
i strain and i scream
because it hurts so much
i have no hands left to punch with
and i’m still so sad

Containing Chaos

Beyond the first eternity–that seventh primal element which had come into being as a result of the meeting and mixing of the other six, previously disparate, elements and came to be regarded as the Trickster (see Interviews with the Gridwalker, The Adventures of Autolycus) spread chaos wherever it went and destabilised a great many worlds.

Not bound by the philosophies of Love or Strife, nor guided by the primal impulses of the Manifest Elements (see Manifest Elements: A Beginner’s Guide), Chaos walked where it could and changed what it would, rapidly undermining the unsubtle laws of logic, reason, time and space.

Thus, a pact was formed around the Meeting Stone (see The Dark Place) whereby it was agreed that the Trickster should be captured and contained.

With the assistance of the Cerebellum (see Welcome to the Cerebellum) a prison was created in a form so labyrinthine and inconceivable  that any mortal to set eyes on it would be driven irrevocably insane.

But Chaos could not be restrained, for insanity was the Trickster’s very strength. And so they escaped and chaos spread across the multiverse.

It was clear then, by the non-Euclidean bendings of the Mad Prison (see Warren’s Companion to Strange Places) that Chaos could not be contained, but must instead be mitigated (see The Mitigating of Chaos).

Monolith Protrusions and Their Effects

“…the Monoliths, known in some worlds as ‘Foundation Stones’ and existing as they do in flux, have sometimes been proven to protrude into the worlds they were created to sustain.

Due to the many dangers associated with coming into contact with the stones (see Monolith Hazards), the locations of these protrusions are usually regarded as cursed and are, as such, avoided.

In some places, large-scale structures have been constructed in order to contain the dangerous Monolith protrusions, while some sentient species have discovered ways to use them to generate energy (see Harnessing the Monolith: Imaginary Energy).

Though ingenous, use of the Foundation Stones as energy generators can often lead to catastrophic consequences (see The Implosion of Shog-Ma, Tsunamis of Ether, On the Destruction of Worlds, Fused Worlds).

In rare cases, Monolith protrusions are capable of becoming gateways to the Sphere, though this is only possible should the individual in question know The Rules. In the event of such an incursion it is crucial to deal with the Interloper as soon as possible, through either elimination, capture or reintegration. In most cases succesful reintegration is impossible.”

Into this New World

The blank page does not frighten me, why would it? For what I see is no blank page but a portal, a mirror shining back at my imagination. It is a flood, a rush, a tumble through space and time, down a rabbit hole and then… are they, objects? Times and places appear to me like flickering projections: a piece of wood, a fishing hook, an anchor. Wait, is this… the sea?

A whale-creature larger than imagination looms out of the chaos, blaring like an air-raid siren, vibrating my bones and then I am it; the whale passing through me like some ghost, the mad ether churning around me. I need to stop spinning, I need to grab onto something. Hold on until the spinning stops.

Gasping, spluttering, I awaken. The horizon is ablaze with the thread of a blazing sun. I pick myself up from wherever I have fallen and I take my first few stumbling steps into this new world.

The Michaelean Library

It is raining outside but the library is warm. There are no windows, only wall upon wall of shelves brimming with books. The titles of the books are blank until you cast your eye upon them, then: strange titles form on the bindings…

Storage of the Sacrosanct, Mystical Magnetics, Limitations of the Vatari, Whispering Trees, Animism and Telephony, Piracy in the Ether, The Temperance of Stone, Genetic Replication in Quantum Nanobots, Telurian Tactics, Husband and Wife, Strange Rituals of the Amplitudehedron, Chaos Magic and Facial Reformation, Arguments for Changdalean Ethics.

Containing Chaos, Flora of the Frostwood, Unholy Ziggurats, Territorial Disputes of Newlucia, Explorations of the Dreamscape, Sentient Continents, Fraid, Arcane Clockmaking, The Ten Disturbances, On Structures and Systems, Distant Transmissions, Cherax Society and Culture, A Square Between Two Spheres.

A Trip Around the Coil, Anachronistic Artefacts, Kuluck’s Way, Liminal Reflections, Unreplicable Experiments of T. Lewis, Images in Static, The Woman Who Laughs in the Dark, Khorkhoi Breeding Dens, Messianic Lovers, Alien Polymers, Son Lomas: City of Ghosts, Thuul Communication Systems, Witchcraft at 56k, The Singing Desert.

And a great many others. There is a comfortable reading chair and a crackling fireplace.

Dissonant Song

Don’t accept average. Don’t merely be “good”. Your only option is to be the best; to be the greatest.

To do this you must destroy everything that stands in your way. You must erase them. You must demolish each obstacle and reshape the world around you until you are indistinguishable from the dust that remains.

Silence all dissent. Burn and destroy.

Forge your will the way the earth forges diamond. Become the hardest substance. Become the only thing of value. Become invulnerable.

Become everything until nothing is left except you. Become the forbidden light and the blindness that results.

Know only darkness and that you have become the greatest. You have ended everything. You are the only. All that exists are you and you are all that exists.

You are the darkness.

Put On the Hat

NEW YORK, 1981

A man–yet just a man–sits on a metal girder high above the city of New York City. The sights and the smells of the sounds of the city assail him, but up here he is above them all. Up here he can merely look down and wonder.

Behind him the glorious city skyline and with it: innumerable possibilities.

But Mario is a man–just a man–and the wind tousles his hair.

At the top of this vert construction site a monstrous, enraged gorilla is hurling barrels at those below. And held captive by that gorilla is Pauline, Mario’s girlfriend.

Even now a flaming barrel comes tumbling through the sky and explodes as it strikes the ground below. The authorities will surely be on their way: soldiers with sniper rifles and fancy helicopters. They will kill the gorilla and rescue the girl, Mario is sure of it, he’s seen this motion picture before.

Beside Mario, on the steel girder, there rests an upside-down hat. It is Mario’s hat, emblazoned with a red M such that nobody else could mistake it for their own. The girders vibrate with the quaking of the monkey’s rage, but the hat does not fall.

Such weight does that hat carry: such density of destiny. Does the hat sparkle in the light or that tears in Mario’s eyes?

For he knows that the moment he puts that hat upon his head he will become something else. No longer Mario, but…

Super Mario.

— The Weight of Destiny

Twilight

Hello old friend,

It is the New Year and with it such a collective hysteria and obsession with the “passing of time” that it is impossible for me to not be gripped with jarring existential dread that approaches me, even as I write, along the terminator; that dividing between the day and the night.

Even as I attempt to ignore it, the collective projection of a society so enamoured with this system of days is impossible to ignore. And thus, in my delicate state, it it infringes upon me and indeed unsettles the subtle waters of my very psyche.

I will think of you tonight, old friend, as the twilight passes over.

— Letters from an Unknown Collection (4223)