Rites of Accession (Weaver's background)
Rites of Accession Part 1
Part 1 Thematic Music
With the mask known as Legion now dissolved, the man known as Weaver eyed the remarkable inn before him. All kinds of men, women and creatures existed here, some politely chatting, others loudly drunk and telling jokes, others plotting and brooding... it was a peculiar place with a distinctive vibe that resonated through ones bones, as if to say, yes, this is truly the end of existence...
The feeling wasn't unwelcome or intrusive, but affirmative, and yet somehow comforting. Weaver made his way to the buffet that was laid out before him, almost bumping into Ifrit server as he was clearly distracted by the spectacle. The server smiled and went about his way carrying a load of dirty dishes. He felt awkward but the server just smiled and excused himself even though the near mishap was clearly Weaver's fault due to him being a bit out of sorts.
Weaver sat alone with his meal, not wanting to risk intruding on anyone's personal space... he could tell a small group had taken notice of him, possibly gossiping... he'd heard the term "white witch" muttered which was a name he was familiar with owning, but decided to keep his head down and not risk anything for the moment... it wasn't like he was truly offended.
He noticed what looked like a ship captain pining over a singer off to the corner, playing a harp... the man was drunk with lust, and weaver could understand that... the elf girl was truly beautiful and her voice was indeed intoxicating... He sat and listened to her while he ate and enjoyed the show for what it was, though after another song she was done and he had finished his meal... he wondered if he should deposit the plate somewhere to be helpful, but a blackened elf smiled and him and removed the plate without a word, but a wink... he dismissed the gesture not willing to trust much given how surreal this place was... certainly it was a reprieve from the warp... but somehow unlike any other place he had been.
This place, like the far realm, was beyond typical time-space, but unlike far realm, there was a calm here, a sense that the underpinnings of the universe weren't entirely devising against you as they had been in the warp.
He saw a man not far from there with a circle of listeners, a story teller like he'd remembered from his youth in Tyraeon, but here, he wasn't surrounded by children, but a gaggle of adventurers from all walks of life who listened quietly and intently. It was an odd sight... old scarred warriors of various shapes and sizes listening to the words of a teller as if he were the divine creator of all...
The group bowed their heads in silence for a moment as the old man stroked his bear, signaling completion of the story. Zolael hadn't quite heard the story but heard the closing line... a parable it seemed...
...apathy is a sort of living oblivion.
The group quietly stood readying to leave and the old man caught Weaver in the eyes...
You there, you are new here, are you not..? Of course you are... come, tell us your story...
Weaver's eyes narrowed, calculating the motive of the man...
What business of it is yours? My tale is estranged and of no value to anyone. It is both discordant and depressing.
The old man chuckled lightly... You have little faith in your audience and in yourself newcomer... these men, women and creatures have heard tales upon tales, yours will be another... they will find the wisdom in it for themselves... The know well the value of a lesson, of learning from the experiences of others...
Then what value is it if they are to interpret it and already have the answers within themselves? If it is just another story for the shelf then why bother at all? Weaver questioned someone bitterly as if he'd been slightly insulted...
The old man smiled.
Perhaps you're right... what would I know... The old man winked at Weaver.
Alright then, Weaver retorted, My curiosity has peaked. Who are you?
I am called Morthos the wise, Oracle of Shelyn. I consider it a divine blessing and duty to tell the tales of the greatest heroes across space and time. I am a fortunate teller in that I am gifted with the ability to remain here in this place, a crossroads of the greatest tales that have and will ever occur...
I doubt my tale would interest you then... Weaver offered pragmatically. There was no reason to suspect his story was at all unique or of value when compared to all of time and space...
Nonsense... It is the first lesson you shall learn from Morthos the long winded... Morthos gave a playful smirk at the self deprecating comment.
The purpose of your first life is to discover your gift, the purpose of this life is to give it away...
Each story, if you want to be dark about it, is the same... a movement from the choice of no, to the choice of yes... if you wish to simplify it to its most prime, but to do so, is to miss the point entirely... it's not the result, the pragmatic riches, so to speak, but the journey that makes the story, and by living through your recollection and joining you on your sojourn, we listeners will not only learn, but live a truth, and that is something no amount of material riches can encompass properly... you'll learn that as you continue here at Eternity's End...
So be it... My name is Zolael, though most call me Weaver, and this is my story...
Last edited by WoLT; 09-24-2012 at 01:48 PM.
Rites of Accession Part 2
What is Far Realm?
Part 2 Thematic Music
There are only two tools available to the educator. The easy one is fear. Fear is easy to awake, easy to maintain, but ultimately toxic. Other tool is passion. Far realm is an expert at manipulating both.
Whoever said " Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." obviously never locked eyes with the crawling chaos... so let that be a segway in that conventional wisdom is not always completely reliable.
Continuing in that vein, one of the things the scholars fail to report about the warp is that it doesn't force you to go mad... no, that would be far, far too easy... it would not allow one to fearfully embrace the true madness that is the dreams within dreams of layers upon layers... no... it merely invites you to go mad... posing the question...
"Would you like to go mad today...?"
But what is today in a world without time, where seconds are lifetimes and lifetimes are seconds...? It's a never ending question, a question that itself is maddening and on a long enough timeline, no matter how strong the mind... you say yes...
Yes because you have nothing left. Yes because you are curious to see through the other lens... Yes because you're tired of fighting off the question... and you go mad.
No, Far Realm does not make you go mad... it lets you go mad in your own time, making sure that you are the one responsible, that it was your choice to lose yourself, so that you can only have yourself to blame, only yourself to hold responsible, and that knowledge too, will make one mad, helping them lose themselves further within the warp, blurring the lines of reality and dream, one is left wondering... do I still have a soul, or am I now this thing, this warp...
Becoming one with the Warp
At times it was always hard to say where the warp ended and you began, because you would become one with it, it would consume you entirely...
...there you find a screaming twilight abyss, you are not you anymore, not even your mind is yours to command. There, cacophony permeates the psyche, assaulting the senses, pounding in a disjointed rhythm throughout whatever the core of your being might be... There you succumb to the concentrated, primal, ultimate instability underlying time and space...
The eyes of Weaver roll into the back of his head and he speaks the following in an alien, yet haunting voice as if possessed...
He who waits behind the wall
in a palace of tortured glass
served by legions forged from the tears of the sleepless dead
and clad in armor carved from the suffering of mothers
In his right hand he holds a dead star
and in his left hand he holds the Candle Whose Light Is Shadow
His left hand is stained with the blood of Am Dhaegar
His six mouths speak in different tongues
and the seventh shall sing the song that ends all...
Weaver returns to his normal self, his eyes coming back to face front and he smiles lightly suggesting he is completely unaware of what transpired.
There's not much like it, and it's not at all entirely unpleasant as one might imagine... it's transcendent, yet horrifying, yet satisfying... Did you ever dream, looking down upon a scene of actors only to find yourself become one of the actors without even realizing it..? That's sense of looking down, only you are looking down on yourself, and you find yourself the actor again when your mind and form returns... I'm sorry if it's hard to explain, the experience is an abstract and alien one at best, but consider yourself better off for not knowing, you haven't missed out on anything anyone sane wouldn't gladly have given up, simply for the not knowing of it all...
A memory of Far Realm
I still remember some things, it's not all twisted, if you would call them memories... more like watching a life lived behind the eyes of someone else... I remember the flying fish and the tentacled horrors, I remember air that you'd swim through as soon as breath, the shifting of distance at the whims of the plane, the malevolent raining blood, the endless dancing spirals... the dreams within dreams... he who waits beyond the wall...
Make no mistake, the warp is alive. It knows you and entices you, pulling you back from the brink, right after pushing you over the edge... It knows just how and when, for it is the subconsciousness of all of creation, resonating with the psyches of every consciousness in existence... that's why the plane is mad, it's everyone... funny that, there's a lot of vast empty darkness between the stars there... long periods of vast empty desolance that could stretch on forever...
That was where you'd most likely encounter the wriggling and pulsing shapes that would defy enduring vision.
It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. Some of the darkest things existed in those bleak depths... but usually the worst was your own cruel mind playing tricks on you in conspiracy with whatever unutterable sentience was that was out there. The place had its own signature rhythm that pulsed with cutting and abusive dissonance both out of time and out of key...
It was in those places I got the name Weaver, stemming from my ability to weave dreams into reality, it was my cousin N'eZarrine that gave me the name... she was younger than I and I used to entertain her with light shows and magic tricks. It would sometimes get rather boring and cold in the distant gaps between starlight.
The name sort of clung, we all took new names in that strange world, trying to carve out our own identities separate from anything that would remind of us all of the collapse of our home. We needed something to make ourselves feel whole so as not to absorbed by the warp... it's a constant test of will... suicide would carry off many, the devils of the far realm would claim the rest.
Weaver pauses here with a deep, sad sigh...
Last edited by WoLT; 05-01-2012 at 04:22 AM.
Rites of Accession Part 3
The World of Tyraeon
Part 3 Thematic Music
I wasn't always in far realm though... There was a time I was a boy in a world named Tyraeon... There we arose in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world, with the capacity for both, which made it hard to plan the day, but that was about the extent of our worries.
It was a beautiful, colorful place. The shades of the sky colors would shift and shimmer, donning all the colors of light through a prism on a given day depending on how many suns and stars were out.
Magnificent and majestic creatures populated Tyreaon along with my people... exalted dragons, radiant fae, unicorns of flawless, authentic, majesty... all together in prosperous harmony, for the most part of course. The fae courts still had their differences, as did the peasants have their criticisms, but it was to be expected that it would be impossible for everyone to be completely without complaint. Regardless, life as a boy was good there. As I recall I was born to some status and wealth, but for the life of me I cannot remember the faces of my mother and father no matter how hard I try. Memory, it seems, might occasionally be even be more precious a commodity than time.
The Natural Beauty of Tyraeon
Most of my youth was typical for my station, I wasn't consider remarkable or unremarkable by my people, just another quiet child prone to listening, learning. Though those around me didn't know, insight was something I had a knack for. I suppose my father is to blame for that.
I don't remember much of him, but I do remember he was full of little pearls of wisdom he'd pried loose from his life of adventure... I still recall the last thing he said to me before running off to fight some nether-nemesis in a battle he'd never return from. He said,
"We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure."
I think he specifically meant our race would endure... but seeing as how I'm the last of my people, I probably give my father's wisdom more credit than is due.
The City of Absolahm
Last edited by WoLT; 09-24-2012 at 12:05 PM.
Rites of Accession Part 4
The Day the World Died
Part 4 Thematic Music
I was thirteen when the changes starting happening. I remember it well, the beautiful skies we knew, all the colors of the prisms... for a time they left the world and the skies went black and all forms of life went feral for a time, I can't say for certain but I think it was three days of darkness, madness and a full solar eclipse of all three sons. The colors eventually returned to our dismal world, but with a change... the stars had come closer, and were closing in... The elders wouldn't explain it to us, saying it wasn't for children to know. We all knew what that meant though... it was dangerous and horrific, which of course meant, as young people, we had to explore it without any conscience for caution.
When a World Drifts too close to the Stars
There were strange shifts in the wind, endless ribbons of color that would cut through the sky, sometimes into the ground... They would warp the horizons where they appeared like a heat wave, only more erratic with behaviors that could only be determined by some mad routine. They would give you a sense of dread as you approached the periphery of one, and a sense of flat out horror if one ventured so far as the marrow of the anomaly. Being children, of course, we had to dare each other to push further and further in, to challenge each other's bravery... of course, such a thing wouldn't end well.
I remember the duke's son was murdered that day, drawing too close to the core of the blot...
We all watched as he had put his hand into it, he looked drunk from the experience but when he removed it, though still appearing intoxicated, his arm had changed, hideous and twisted in an unnatural way; the arm had sprouted an eye and tiny tendrils as well as being bent and warped in a fashion that only seemed possible in a dream... his eyes had disappeared but seemed to almost see past the world he inhabited...
There was a new danger now, the warp had come to our planet and those that touched it were sometimes changed into hideous creatures that I would later come to know as foulspawn... Hunters made quick work of them at first, but over time they became more numerous as the ribbons appeared more frequently, tearing through reality, in some cases even warping it. I know now the phenomenon to be called cerebrotic blotting...
That was when the nightmares began for our kind... the presence of the far realms and foulspawn began to spell disaster. I'm still not quite sure how it all happened, but from what I've learned since there was some dimensional anomalies instigated by the Fae courts for some purposes I can't quite gather... not that it really matters anymore, but it's one of those things I would just feel better knowing... Those responsible are long dead and their abuses of the world gate are ancient histories.
An old sage parable comes to mind...
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
Rites of Accession Part 5
Part 5 Thematic Music
Over time, as the distant stars grew close, the presence of the far realm began to leak through the world gate itself and that's when the destruction began... the reality itself was toxic and began to break up our world in places and warp and distort it in others... Warp storms became common in those days and the shift of life became one of prosperity to one of survival...
I still recall the first time I saw a twisting chaos spawn cross from the nethers on the other side of the world gate... as it made it's way through, a literal army guarded the world gate armed with arcane powers unspeakable, barely able to turn the beast back with all the wards in place...
The World Gate
I wasn't there when the army finally fell, I was in the crystal palace in those days, guarded from the outside world with wards and protections... we young highborn were to be the salvation of the race they had told us... put aside and trained until we could all go off on our own and find a distant world to repopulate... but it didn't quite work out that way.
Still, we heard rumors and stories from the survivors that hadn't gone completely mad... I know now what had occurred though I didn't then...
The world had broken apart into fragments, entire civilizations were gone and more importantly, communication with them was lost... any surviving bits of land became scarce of resources turning the populations against each other and against other land masses. The endless ages of prosperity were indeed poorly named. Everything became a quest of need and desire like the old world before we'd surpassed the needs of food and water...
A world without form
If that weren't enough, the beings of the far realm piercing the veil was enough to spell doom for all civilization... We couldn't face them at full strength at the world gate, and we certainly could not resist them now...
Survival became more of a chance situation as time went on... did a Nightseed pass over when the daylight was away? If so it was safe to assume you wouldn't be around in the morning... those times were probably the most grievous, as one might wander into a camp that lay in the wake of destruction, knowing that the slaughter was senseless and that it could have just as easily been you if you were a day ahead of schedule... Many of us came to believe in luck, even if we had forgotten our deities in those years...
Rites of Accession Part 6
Part 6 Thematic Music
I couldn't say how, but eventually the stability of our plane collapsed. The whole of existence slid into far realm... we all knew... not specifically, but we could tell that the world we once knew was no more and we'd entered a terrifying and frightening new realm of a depraved imagination without a conscience.
There was a handfull of us that made it... those of us that had survived the horrors of the world collapse clung together out of need for sanity, to remind each other what was real and what wasn't... it was a trying period... because sometimes the hallucinations would know your own grounding tricks and reassure what was real, and of course, sometimes they would lie...
We carried on in as large a group we could muster... it was good that our people didn't require sustenance... the beings that did, they died early from starvation and other complications, or in some cases from eating poisonous or otherwise hazardous...
Those of us that survived the initial onslaughts of the various beasts of foulspawn, Ilithid, Kaorti and occasional Slaadi incursion were able to master our powers enough to sustain ourselves... There was about a hamlet's worth of us at our largest, but the noncorporeal time would eventually take its toll.
Because we had become powerful, the constant fighting had slowed and we had earned our space as far as the local elements were concerned, but that didn't stop the warp itself from its will eroding tendencies... usually, when someone was lost, you could see it coming for a time in advance... they would start to cease to be social, become morose and hopeless, eventually we'd even have to shy them off so their depression didn't infect us... and then, they would make a casual "mistake" or wander off on their own, never to return... Sometimes things weren't neat though... occassional someone would fall over the edge and make a public spectacle of their suicide... The sight was never pleasant, but then again, not much was.
It was Dom-Areia that said "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best." In far realm that was the key to survival among other things...
The Last Days
When are numbers dwindled enough to about a handful or so we became hunted once again, though by now we had all known the signs, and were all made strong through our trials and tribulations...
We had all grown close and referred to each other as family, cousins more specifically, and we were... We even came up for a name for ourselves, what would translate to "Angels of Tyraeon" in Sylvan... for a time, but we all knew it wouldn't last forever. We stopped using the name when Adonai left... he was the strongest and smartest of us, our leader, and the one who came up with the name...
Like so many before he just wandered right into harm's way... straight into the maw of some living wall with a thirst for blood... he said he could hear his baby sister calling to him and he was choking back some tears when he said it.
We'd all heard things like that, and knew enough not to believe... I still think he just said it to try and make it not so hard on the rest of us... it would be easier to think he had lost his mind than to face the fact that after all that time he had simply given up. We all wanted to, every day, but we didn't.
After he was gone the attacks from the locals worsened, they could smell the blood on us, like wounded prey.
Last edited by WoLT; 05-01-2012 at 04:52 AM.
Rites of Accession Part 7
Part 7 Thematic Music
The multi-verse is transformation, and you'll never find yourself until you face that truth, because there is no self to find, just a road...
I'd walked a long road in Far Realm, so had N'eZarrine. We were the last two, lovers on occasion, as we were the last of our kind and the notion seemed romantic enough when we weren't otherwise preoccupied with the dream wastes with some psychotic break from existence or horror made physical. She still wore her Angels of Tyraeon banner as an homage to the fallen. I didn't. It seemed unwise to give myself excuses for depression, though she swore she drew strength from it. I knew she was lying of course, but I couldn't bear to part with her... not just because I cared, but also because... I was scared of being alone in that place. I don't really think that's the right word... but I can't really think of a better one.
We were out of supplies, out of hope, waiting to die, when an Uvuudaum Lord came... we were both paralyzed with madness when it warped into sight at supernatural speed, stopping abruptly, just shy of us...
It studied us for a moment, and said something to her, inside her mind... she rose under its power then, levitating, but bending, and bending, until she called out and snapped in half, her essence broke free, leaking into the warp, consumed by it...
The Uvuudaum spoke to me then inside my mind...
Given the choice of immortality or death, for herself and the other for you, she chose death. Do you accept her dying wish?
It wasn't a fair question, to be sure. Of course I didn't accept it, all the horribleness and betrayal of it all, she had given up, leaving only myself to deal with the endless, relentless tides of madness, but at that point, my will broke, and I gave in too.
Yes. I replied dryly... not a choice of sound mind to be sure. There was no hope for survival of my species any longer, no chance that any I met would understand who I was or where I came from, what I had seen and experienced. Everything I had ever shared with another was now unmade in a single choice... perhaps that was her thought, that she didn't want to live forever with that responsibility... I suppose I can understand that, even if I can't forgive.
The Uvuudaum commanded, I turned to see it had summoned a door. I didn't know where it went of why, but I couldn't use any sort of logic any longer so I went through the door...
A Doorway to Eternity's End
That's when I came here... only it wasn't quick... there was all the distance of eternity to close, and I was very much dead in that time, I could tell... it wasn't like the normal routes of the petitioners... I'm fairly certain, what this was, was pure, unadulterated oblivion. After that I met Legion.
So you've arrived then, Weaver. Morthos acknowledged. We can draw lessons from the past, but we must not live in it.
What future awaits you now? Sometimes the sanest thing to do is just wallow in the misery for a while. Then climb out, grab a towel, dry off, and go about living.
A good question... I'm not sure... I led my life for goodness and right... never strayed from the path, always did the right thing because it was right, and found it to be my downfall... the end of my world, all that I was...
Now... now I must have liberty, the freedom to choose. I suppose I could be angry, but I'm not... Weaver answered with a reflective emphasis.
Choosing not to act on an angry impulse and to feel the pain that lies beneath it is a very courageous thing to do.
You are kind to say so Morthos, but it doesn't make the road ahead any easier.
So it doesn't. Morthos offered.
Know that you have not lost here, the one they call Weaver... You have gained one of the most valuable insights known to the living...
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
In our deepest moments of struggle, frustration, fear, and confusion, we are being called upon to reach in and touch our hearts. Then, we will know what to do, what to say, how to be. What is right is always in our deepest heart of hearts. It is from the deepest part of our hearts that we are capable of reaching out and touching another human being. It is, after all, one heart touching another heart.
Thank you for sharing your tale.
He stroked his beard and the crowd bowed their heads in silence.
If you'll excuse me, I think it's about time I had a drink...
Word count is well over 4700
Last edited by WoLT; 05-01-2012 at 05:11 AM.