You get tired when sleep is denied you. You get so that the screams of everyone who can’t deal with what they are going through stops being background noise and starts feeling like an ocean.
I come from a people that loved oceans, to seek the places that are, or were, or may be. To go where the map has not been made, to the places others failed to return from.
Along the seas of rage and fear I sailed in a mind whose defenses I did not bother to raise, for my soul was my sail, and as the waves broke green upon the prow and the mast of my sanity groaned and the keel of my identity snarled, and the dark corded lines of my training sang songs of overstrain and danger.
Far beyond the shores of sanity, at the edge of the abyss where the sea drops away to places that are not always there, but not always gone either something stirs.Before the ages of man, before the steps of the dinosaur, when the first trilobite formed an eye to behold the horror that was already ancient, they sang their songs of madness in the deeps, to drive the first creatures onto land to escape.
To this place my ship flew swift over darker and darker waves, until an island raised up from the sea like the nightmare mockery of Atlantis sinking.
He who ruled there rose up in infinite dark hunger, and stirred his tentacles into a mind shattered into a thousand splinters, and tired beyond tired.Doom he promised and madness, soul destroying knowledge that would blast my reason beyond salvage and warp my flesh beyond human.
“Yes” I snarled, reaching for the howling maelstrom with a hunger that would shame Fenris Wolf.
I looked into the abyss of madness and it looked back into me.Dark tentacles drove into me, seeking to ravage and destroy those bright memories that made me human, but dark roots and blood stains covered them.
The whispers of his words fell before the laughter of the hanged one, the howling of the frenzied one, the thunder that was the shattering of sky, of shield, of souls for the strife bringer.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” A voice like a chorus of a thousand lost souls screaming shook my bones, and blasted the surface of the sea into mist two fathoms high.
I laughed and pulled at the maelstrom, clawing at it with my hands and devouring it like a starving wolf on his still twitching kill.Dark tentacles sliced into me, shattering, slicing, punishing, seeking now to kill not to bind, and from the shattering darkness bled to cloak an absence that was a figure made in negative.Power lashed out and was consumed.
Ancient and unclean power rent my soul with claws of inhuman will and undying hatred.I died screaming, laughing, in ecstasy, in revelry, screaming, silent, straining, sighing, each blow shattering me like a fist in the water’s reflection of a face.Like the water, I reformed.
The laughter of ravens, the sobbing of the broken, the howling of the lost, the chanting of the wise, and the cold eternal hunger for all that was not known bled to fill every wound that cut me.
Ancient beyond ancient stared at the thief of knowledge, the rider of Hel’s road, and knew that each and every death he gave whispered secrets his secrets to the one eyed upstart.
“Begone fool. I would have used you better, and killed you cleaner than this” The Great One said, then sank again.
Great winds caught the sails of my soul, and the churning of the island sinking back into the depths below the depths whipped the sea into a frenzy my serpent howled and writhed to cross, the great keel that was my identity was carved of Yggdrasil, and he who rode it into madness was its master, as he was mine.
The sail that was my soul was in tatters, the mast that was my sanity shattered full length; yet nine bands of gold girt it, the rings of all riches, and what was stolen filled my holds for the god of cargoes, the first and best of all thieves to know.
What was lost, I cannot say. What was gained, I do not ask. There is no rest, no comfort, no peace, no ending, but there are places the map does not run, secrets the wise do not know, and uses still for madmen and fools.It is enough.