The Messages

The following are excerpts from the hand-written notes that The Messenger has left for Draffin.

The cave was enormous and round, as if scooped out by the hand of a giant. The cracked stone of the floor stretched from where I stood to the center of the chamber. A haze rose from the cracks, a red mist that invaded my nose and made me taste blood. In the middle of it all, a handless arm the height of a giant waved a hypnotic trance.

This place was forged of steel, hammered thickly into smooth plates that made up the five walls. There were windows, but no doors. The air itself glowed like the inside of a candle’s flame. An incessant creaking echoed through the place, passing through the windows and walls and growing in volume. The lines in the walls began to glow.

I saw you, searching through piles and piles of papers, trying to find something, anything, to learn the truth about your suspicions, pushing aside a dusty tome to refer to the drawings you made underneath, then scribbling more on the back of your hand before you could find a place to write down the revelation you had just discovered, before it slipped once again from your mind. I understand what you are going through, but I don’t understand what is happening.

A gang of masked shadows were pushing their way through an endless crowd of faceless men. Each man they touched changed, their blank faces manifesting a glowing pair of eyes. The glowing-eye men then looked at me with green eyes, at the shadows with black eyes, at the sky with yellow eyes, at the ground with red eyes. The shadows surrounded me, and everything I saw faded to black.

In a field of mushrooms, I heard a deafening crack from above. I looked up and a glowing comet ran down from the sky. I heard another, and another, and I smelled the omen of a thunderstorm. The entire sky was alight with falling stars, and my mind was filled with chaos and noise. I tasted blood running from my nose.

A vast plain of dry, cracked earth stretched before me. The ground shook with a low rumble, and the pebbles and clumps of dirt danced across the parched surface. As the rumbling rose, sticky, red blood flowed upwards from the cracks in the ground. In no time, the blood rose to my knees, then the ground buckled beneath me and I plunged into the red sea.

I saw a cliff face rising sharply from the ground in front of me, unbroken except for a single crack, just wide enough for a man to squeeze through. I walked to the crack, looking deep into the crevice to see inside. I could see something moving inside, just beyond my reach, but it was obscured by the angle. I put my eye up to gaze into the void, and saw arms and legs, mouths and eyes, growing in all directions from a mass of bulbous, veiny flesh. The thing smelled of filth, and gurgled a thick ichor that wept from its many orifices. Suddenly, all of the eyes set upon me, and a muscular appendage lunged at my neck.

I opened the door to my home, and the potent smell of cinnamon hit me, along with something else I couldn’t quite place. Standing in the middle of the room was a large dog, with no fur and the eyes of a man. The top of its skull had been torn off, revealing the living brain pulsing and squirming inside. As I gazed into the reddish-gray mass, the thing paced toward me, wheezing in some forgotten language. I could see its brains multitudinous, somehow contained within the space of its skull, and yet grotesquely boundless, innumerable and incomprehensible. As it stared and came closer, I felt a scratching sensation in the middle of my forehead.

I stood outside, in front of a large fire under the light of the voideyes. The flames grew black, and ceased emitting light and warmth. A chill ran down my spine, as the cold fire drew the light from the nearby homes. A low hissing sound passed from each place as the light went out, then from above. One by one, the constellations fell and faded. The worg, the thief, and the shaman were erased from the sky, until all light was gone, and I was in a great cave, underground and isolated from the gods.

I sat in my home, warming by the fire, listening to the earth as a low groan grew and a rumbling arose from the ground. The sound grew to a great grinding roar, and my house began to shake itself apart. As I ran to the door, the floor fell from beneath me, and the ceiling came down on my head. The debris fell off me like water, and I floated in the air, rising above my ruined home. It was then that I realized that my home was falling, and so were the buildings around me, collapsing and falling as the very ground gave out. Hundreds fell, screaming, into the maw of the earth. The chasm coughed a cloud of black dust up at me, and I was blind. When my vision cleared, all was destroyed, as far as the eye can see.

The Messages

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