1 You walk down the corridor, nothing seems to change in fact the corridor seems to go straight down forever. You grow bored, then exhausted though it seems your feet are determined to continue one step at a time. You cannot stop and as you reach exhaustion the floor slopes down dramatically and you fall. You are in water. What appears to be a lake with cliff sides surrounding it. The lake is lit from beneath by an eerie yellow light and as you swim towards the cliffs they get no closer and instead become darker. The water shifts from yellow to blue to red to colors you cannot name as it froths back and forth against the tide pools. Inside you find various creatures, some larger than whales, some microscopic, each touching and feeding you in a different way. As you eat their flesh it tastes repulsive. You spit it out only to find the morsels have been reduced to their numeric values. The numbers run through your fingers like sand, piling beneath into great dunes. Birds tunnel out with their hands until they reach the purple sky, flying into flocks as their legs reach down to smash the dunes from which they were created. Night oozes off the creature’s back, scattered by the dozens of desperately flapping wings making up its body. where the drops reach the ground, stars are born and die. You gaze upon their lifespans and grasp eternity if only for a fraction of an instant. It is dark. Your bodies are massive and twisting and you can feel the sun burning into you but you cannot see it. You are close, much too close. Its rays burn through your skin making holes that are inhabited by legions of the dead. You feel the inhabitants of your body without care. They exist, you think nothing more. You go about your business in the library, digging through piles of wax to reach the tomes. Others around you chatter backwards. They are carving faces into the wax. The ice consumes them. It is cold. You cannot see. You feel the ice as it penetrates your bones, fusing with the essence there. It is very dark and very cold. The ice rises into castles above the sand. Each with a king-like god or a god-like king, you cannot tell which. The First visits you in a dream. Her dress is yellow and she is standing on a pedestal of coal. She says no words but you understand. The Second wears a black dress, as she approaches you, you understand. The others look down on you. the purple sky above you folds in on itself and the moon plummets to the ground. You ask it how its day is and it laughs.
Riri As you look down into nothingness you stand to get a better look. You trip and fall over the balcony and the darkness swallows you. You are in a grand marble hall. Women sweep about the dance floor in fanciful gowns, following the steps of men in dashing suits. You’re not sure you’ve ever seen anything so decadent in your life. You flounce in wearing your own perfectly tailored ball gown and as you do you can other others whispering in envy. what a vision you are, the picture of wealth and high society. Men fawn in your wake. Your own voice speaks with unnatural elegance and refinement as you mingle. You are the bell of the ball. You return home after a most satisfying night of party going and as you open the door gold coins come spilling out. This is your fortune Riri, everything you have worked for and earned. You are in a sea of riches as the party goers clap politely. Your butler puts a crown fit for a king atop your head and as you sit on your throne you hold a scepter in your hands. You look into the ruby atop it and it is magnificent. Facets of red and gold fleck its shining interior and the party goers being to laugh jovially. You look up at them and their faces are hidden by masks, mouths wrenched open in a mockery of cheer. The crown on your head begins to feel heavy and as you take it off you are holding nothing but dirt in your hands. Your scepter clatters to the floor and the ruby shatters. The guests laughter rises manically and you reach into your troves of gold only to pull away your mud-stained hands. Their arms extend upwards and they pull at your dress, tearing it away all the while laughing hideously. You are standing in a pile of dirt. Your axe lies before you and you reach down to pick it up but your arms feel light and weak. You cannot lift it. Laughter echoes down the endless corridor. “What a joke.”
Master IlliathYou turn the corner and a child stands before you. He seems familiar but you can’t recall ever having seen him before. You probe his mind and find nothing. A terrible pulling nothing. He reaches for you pleadingly and asks a question in a language you don’t understand. he is crying. A thin red line appears across his neck and his head slides off his body, crying and pleading all the way to the floor. Through the viscera of what’s left of his neck, several fleshy pink tentacles writhe their way out. the neck bulges as the creature forces its way up into the world. You feel something bump against your foot as the child’s head screams out in agony, rocking back and forth through a slimy puddle of its own tears, blood and mucus. You’re back in your library, books spread out before you. You are sitting across from yourself. Slowly you melt into a puddle of glass and as you look down you can see your reflection ni the searing pages of your books. You are standing in a pile of ashes. You reach down and take a page in your hand as it crumbles in your fingers.
Your tentacles begin to move of their own accord, twisting and writing against each other. A greasy, putrid smelling substance begins to secrete from your pores and they slide together, coating them until they squelch wetly with it. They feel heavy and you begin to sag under their weight as one by one they fall off your face with a wet slap onto the ground. You touch your face and feel soft skin and fleshy bulges. You look up at Zozma and six tentacles have sprouted from his face as he takes ahold of you, beak breaking slowly into your fragile human skull as the intellect slowly drains from your body. You stand there stupidly, unable to grasp your surrounding. Your jaw flaps, opening and closing the gaping hole that has so inelegantly replaced your beak. You make a moaning noise without knowing why and the party simply laughs at you.
Matthias As you walk the hallway begins to brighten. You walk through an archway into the bright sunlight and blink in surprise. Wind sweeps across the rolling hills. Framed by the blue sky it is practically picturesque. In the distance you can make out a building, as you approach you can hear singing and roaring laughter. “Matthias!” shouting voices greet you as you walk into the tavern. The air is practically swimming with cheer. And booze of course but it wouldn’t be a party without. “Mathias my lad!” A familiar face appears out of the crowd. “Didn’t I tell you adventure ran in your blood?” Your father Gavin claps you on the back. “And by the gods did you venture far!” Everyone cheers and invites you to sit down and drink. You deserve it after all; the savior of Creation. Many have told the tale of Mathias Venture who slew the hordes of hungry ghosts. As you laugh and revel and drink the alcohol begins to take effect and the words of your father become foggy. Before you know what’s happening you are standing outside, the cool night air feels refreshing in your intoxicated state. “We’re glad you made it back lad,” he says fondly. “We’re all proud of you.” You look at your father and his skin begins to blacken and char. “I know you probably feel guilty but we don’t blame you at all,” he continues. Pockets of ember begin to erupt from his pores. “You had your own adventures to take car of son. You made it back to our ancestral grounds and that’s what matters.” You look behind you and everyone is standing outside, smling as they burn. The tavern behind the crowd crackles as flames lick is walls. Your father is smiling though he is little more than a burnt corpse. “We’re just happy we got to say goodbye.