I will resist this madness that claws at the edge of my mind. These dark waking dreams that have seemed to consume me. It is not merely the death of so many at the Tomb, nor is it the rational, or irrational, implications of the Tome. It is something else, something creeping through the world. I now simply have the faculties to realize it.
While the cosmos may have many parts, its “one-ness” has been identified as a fundamental characteristic since the time of the first cosmologist in Patheria centuries ago. Ergo, all things that are cosmic in nature are shared throughout, even as the evidence has built that the workings of reality do vary greatly from one bit to another, much like the climate or terrain may change as one travels across Thraeya. So the True Gods have cosmic influence, even if various saints, demon lords, and so forth, may have much narrower and variable power. But now I cannot help but wonder if there could be another cosmos? Of course, there could be anything, but if there is never any chance of interaction or influence, it is a point beyond academic. So the real question is, is there interaction?
To re-enter into that dark shadow would consume me and surely lead to a death more imminent then the one I face…Even as I have freed myself of the Tome—may it sit securely in the Melkar House Library—my obsessions with dark rifts in the cosmos will not abate. I am also now convinced that Acererak had great knowledge of these rifts, even in his decrepit state…..
One may question if Moil ever had any kind of “virtue”, the caliber of its great scholars not withstanding…the fact that not only did it suffer the devastation inflicted on all Demoria, but was also cast into shadow of the most dread kind, presumably has some implications. One may wonder, as a “City of Necromancers” as it was openly referred to in the waning days of Demoria’s great decadence, if its great curse was not in fact self inflicted…Clearly Moil retains some relevance in all this. I know not exactly what. With the Tome, I could almost certainly find my way there. Yet surely I would only find the most appalling part of the Aether, and even if a mystery was solved, what horrible questions would be raised?
The dark Aetherial stain is too evident. In my darkest paranoia, I wondered if the Tome itself was responsible. It could certainly accelerate the spread!
I write this with some clarity, having set aside the Tome, but not all the thoughts it plagued me with. Somewhere deep in the cosmos, a great flood of necrotic energy has spread through the shadow Aether. One is tempted to point to the action of a god or incarnate, but even that would seem to be insufficient, at least as the direct cause. This would seem to require a great act of death. Beyond that which any Thraeyan may yet imagine. Again, a distant divine war, as written of in ancient texts? For this event seems distant, with the effects slowly filtering through reality. Again, in this moment of some clarity, my own feelings, one could even called visions, of a bizarre and misshaped world, struck by a great cataclysm, a cataclysm to great that it ripped a rift in the cosmos, seems so far-fetched…yet, it remains my best guess.
I have little doubt that, somehow, others have become aware of this Tome, inspite of my best efforts otherwise. Smedley and his cronies make me nervous. And those shadowy shapes that seem to follow me…just my imagination?
There is a path. There is a nexus. What should be a twisting, turning way no mortal could ever follow through. Like wandering through tracked mountains. But a tunnel has been bored through the Aether. I can no longer dwell on these implications.
The Tome of Shadows. Rumored from the early Illumarian period. Undoubtedly what I have. But what is it? Whither its core? No obvious author can account for what is there. It is almost certainly taken from a Demorian source, but what Demorian could even know what is there? An extract perhaps, but again from what?