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Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

12/24/2016
There he was. A lion on his knees, before the worst of enemies. Them. Clad in stolen flesh and stolen cloth. Which a flick of a stolen hand in a stolen glove, his enemy jested about how the ‘Tyrant of the Western Waswood’ got into such a predicament as to sit in the same room with them.

He was one of the elder beasts in the Court. Regal. Renowned. Righteous, on occasion. What the Tyrant wasn’t, though, is far more important. Adaptable. Subtle. Compliant. The sorts of traits that would’ve saved him when he was on the wrong side of the board. The majority demanded changes. He did not, and resigned to avoid his comeuppance. He is mainly known as the Obscurantist Abdicator now, and only among those who write their secrets on their bandages. He wishes not to be.

And that is why he’s there, a lion on his knees, before the worst of enemies. “I do rather find that we need each other, once-Tyrant. For all the charms of this place...” They gesture at the dusty streets of the Tomb-Colony. “It is not a location fit for either of us. Therefore, I propose an agreement. A contract, as the infernal would have it…”

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+6 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

8/23/2017
YOU AND YOU AGAIN, AT THE END OF A CENTURY

Quiet in the pleasure-palace. Only you and the sun’s rays, from all sides and all times. Dawn’s red. Noon’s gold.

“Perhaps you aren’t even me anymore. Perhaps I gave my life, my reflection, my past and present and my future to one of the Kings, who has come back to extort more from its subject. Would that be surprising, with how different we are?”

“You aren’t yourself, dear Understudy. Dear Solicitor. Dear Game-Carver? How far back do you want to go? Before I sold my soul for a speck of light in a rock? Before I opened the Irrigo gates? Do you yet remember our surface dedications, pawn?”

“I do not, but it does not matter. One is not defined by something as minor as one’s past. You should know as much, freed from the hassles of linearity.”

“That is why the Kings are so little, pawn. We derive meaning from what one has done, and we can do nothing by ourselves. I wear my memories of Paris, of the wind through my hair, the shadow laid thin on the ground, the lively murmur of the crowds. Most of the Kings cannot boast even that.”

“So you say you are the poorest of all people, with the entirety of Parabola open to you? Others have given up so much for a place under the Cosmogone Sun. What makes you so different?”

“Parabola is an empty luxury. You can do everything there, but nothing can be done to it. The Sun shines brightest here, but it never burns. All meaning is lost when all choices are as easy, as cheap to make, as a single thought.”

“Then why would anybody seek to be there? Why does Prisoner’s Honey exist at all? Why do Glassmen?”

“Their actions are grounded in the real. They want an easy life, a relief from their burdens. We want to have a life, with all its trials and tribulations, to ground ourselves so that we do not disperse like candlesmoke in the wind. So we trade. They take our place, for a while, and we take theirs.”

“So you admit that you took- will take, my life away, and that the I-in-Paris will still... act? Move as a King would?”

“I am you as much as you are the Game-Carver, and they… They are nothing, now, so they can do whatever they wish in their little corner of nonexistence.”

“Do you think they are- I will be, happy?”

“Perhaps. I was never pleased with my humanity before the deal. Maybe they’ll finally be satisfied.”

“I shall fondly await the coming of the Sixth.”

“You deserve to enjoy your life while you still can, but I cannot stop you from dreaming up such terrible nightmares.”

Quiet in the pleasure-palace. Only you and your reflection. Dusk’s red. Night’s black.

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+4 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

10/3/2017
THE SOMNAMBULIST'S METHOD


As a sign of what counts as evening, London’s lights have begun to dim, and the sort of people who respect London’s timekeeping have begun their slumber. You, as you gaze out of the high windows of your Pleasure-Palace, prepare to sleep, and dream, and walk as another.

The Tropological Débutante is with you, to record the procedure, and to react appropriately if things go awry. Take a half-dose of honeyed laudanum for memory of what you’ll see, lay upon Luxury’s Lap, close your eyes, and dream of an impossible place.

<=======<0>=======>

The world outside inches to night, and you, head buzzing, stand in the middle of a jungle clearing. Struggle to remember through the violet fog and haze, those dreamwards directions. The marks sprawl through your mind and over each other, like a map folding into itself or a knot of blind serpents.

The endless castle halls and the pocket battlefields where we play the game, if not even the Game itself.

The city of our life, burning bright and frozen over, our riches lost to the flames and the blizzards.

The far places of no turmoil and no squabble, where all things only wait for their respective ends.

The violent shores, where the flesh of the guilty and the blessed is sacrificed to a mad exile judge.

The dark and endless sea of sand, sprinkled with fools swimming towards oblivion’s whirlpool.

And, of course, our eye, our eye, our eye. An inwards-gazing lens set inside a mirrored sclera. An admirable vigilance.

You are already, of course, amidst all of them, you merely need to look in the right direction. And, indeed, you turn, and face scrutiny of a vast mirrored dome-eye, and the Queen’s. A little snake - light-as-a-shadow - has wound itself - swift-as-the-wind - around your neck, and commands - in-but-a-murmur - that you take her with you.

You, of course, refuse. Only one of you may perform of the rite, and you intend it to be yours fully, conception and execution. It, as a response, tightens its coils around you, and whispers.

Choke and cough, pull and struggle, I shall have my way.

Turn again, to the vast castles, for so desires the Queen. Pass by the Soldier and the Standard-Bearer, the insignificant dreamers. Enter through one of the back doors of the castle, and search for the Bishop. Find him, discussing the complexities of strategy with his King. Extend your hand in greetings. Let me wind around his hand and bite. Stare him deep into the eye. Leave this dream, and wake as another.

<=======<0>=======>

You rise in cold sweat, covered by a simple sheet, on a simple bed, in a simple house. Not poor, but there’s nothing remarkable here. As to be expected, from one playing the Game. You conduct a cursory search of the room, finding a scrap of puzzle-damask under a bottle of surface wine in a drinks cabinet, and a chessboard - locked by a frustrating mechanism - under the bed. You try most of the obvious solutions as you look for a shovel - a player of the Game should always have a shovel on hand - and get dressed for a long walk and hard work.

Carrying both of your finds in a thick leather bag, you stop at Tyrant's Gardens. Hours later, you are done. If your memory holds, you’ll know where to look after you wake as yourself. As you stroll back to your - the Bishop’s - house, you take notice of the time. It’s almost noon. You can feel sopor wash over you as the Bishop leaves his own sleep, unnaturally prolonged by the Queen. You leave this body before you can reach the bed, and the Bishop wakes up with a red nose, lying on the floor.

<=======<0>=======>

You wake to the luxury of your Pleasure-Palace. The Tropological Débutante had prepared a pen for you - and a knife for the Bishop. She has been taking her own notes on your condition, as well. You gladly accept the former, and write down the symbol which marks the tree under which lay the Bishop’s embezzled belongings. Maybe you’ll excavate them, someday, and solve the Puzzle-Damask’s mystery. Either way, you’ve greatly hampered another player of the Game, and discovered a safer method of perfidy for yourself.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 10/4/2017

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+2 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

10/28/2017
VAGARIES OF THE BOARD

A chessboard. You and your accomplice. Silence.

A gloved hand moves a pawn, a bone-white rat-catcher.

An uncovered one - hers - moves a knight, an obsidian fisher-king.

Another move. A piece falls. A giggling and snickering realization.

A doubtful look. Curiosity. Searching for reason.

“I had played a similar game, once, with a Captain.”

“I didn’t take you for the sort to make company with zailors.”

“Oh, we partook of similar fields. Dreams. Geometry. Games of skill.”

“You’ve many acquaintances. There must be more to it if you remembered it.”

“Yes, yes. I made this chessboard to play with him. To satiate our curiosity.”

“Oh. This is one of those ideas. As above, so below, yes?”

“In theory. I am beginning to understand that its power is ambiguity.”

“Your current ambiguity is much less helpful, I find.”

“Right. Take the pawn and the knight, for example. The rat-catcher and the fisher-king.”

“They’re from of your little coterie, yes? Charlotte and the… erm, yes. It’s those two, is it not?”

“You would not have guessed so had you not already known them.”

“Admittedly, you are correct. But, if so, how is the chessboard visionary? How is it powerful?”

A grin. “Because it promises it is. It promises it will give answers, and then it gives nothing.”

“Why tell me, then?! To reveal this is to sabotage its own and its owner’s power!”

“Because I value you? Because I wish you to use this knowledge? Because I lie?”

Checkmate. Unexpected. “You’ll regret this, Amets.” She leaves the room.

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+3 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

11/5/2017
SUN'S SMILE

The Conjunction had deigned to visit you today.
They needn't a key to your door.
They've got a way to your home.
They're here, now, wearing your henchmen.
A fair few mirrors have been moved to the balcony.
All gather to witness it.
the Is and the Is-Not.
The king and the queen.
The cats and the snakes.
The Débutante.
You.
The first pinpricks of light have reached the gathering.
Nobody knows what will happen.
Will this impossible place protect them?
Will they see nothing from their vantage?
Will they go mad, as the rest below?
Will the glory tear them to pieces?
To shreds?
To nothing?
No matter.
All smile at the coming light.
And the sun smiles back.

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+4 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

12/11/2017
THE CROWN


[yeah, uh... This one's gonna get graphic. This is your WARNING FOR GRAPHIC CONTENT. There's gonna be a bit of a lot of gore. If you don't feel like dealing with a bit of a lot of gore at the moment, feel free to close this tab.]





Saturday.
You’re waking?
Maybe. Maybe not.
It’s too hard to tell, here.
It won’t matter anyway.
Either way, you’ll need to make the preparations.
First comes the watch, to tell you when midnight comes. You muse. It knows so much: Here, if you turn it slightly this way, and look between this and that dial, you can see the small arm moving towards your next death. Change perspectives, and you’ll see the time until you must go below, or the days you have before her betrayal. If only this little thing could speak, it would tell you so much!
Alas, it does not. If you were to dream it did, you’d only dream your own words coming from another mouth. But you’ll need it, like Orion needs the Sun.
Next come the knives. The many knives. The historian’s knife, to carve truth into bone. The elder knife, to cut away the moult, to render you strong, but brittle. The shining knife, so blue, so blue, so blue, to be your torch, to light the way. And the last knife - passion’s knife, to open the road to the heart, to commit passionate murder.
It would be useless, were it not for the legends. Who needs of a dagger barely large enough to wound skin? Who needs of a dull blade? But a weapon of passion itself, that protects emphatically, that forgives one’s sins? That weapon is a necessity.
You are ready.
Clear a spot of land in the sea of memorabilia strewn on the floor. Such a mess, isn’t it? Lay your tools out in a row.
Undress. Reveal your body to the world, in its messy history. Serpent-scales crawling over illumination-shapes crawling over the scars and the burns and the changes writ in red, all crowning the twain marks. The mask and the messenger, the moult of greater stories. You will blemish them.
The shining knife lights the way, showing where the scales are thinnest, where the shapes are simplest, where the changes are weakest.
The flint knife cuts away the moult, leaving not a spot of flesh before the barred ribcage.
The historian’s knife carves truth into bone, the gate of ribs parts.
Passion’s knife opens the road to the heart, goes in like a zubmarine into the zee, dives deeper, deeper. Past the hilt, past the handle, past your fingers, past your hands, past your wrists.
You have reached your destination. You faint.
You wake.
Dead.
A grin.
A questing hand drags out guts.
Another wraps them around a mad thing’s head.
A questing hand pulls out tooth after tooth.
Another decorates the crown.
A questing hand plucks the heart like a ripe fruit.
Another slots the greatest jewel in.
There are more jewels, of course.
The liver. The lungs. The spleen.
They make for worthy decorations and regalia.
Gore fills the dingy boat.
Coin fills the royal hoard.
The hands have made a grandiose king.
Armed with a scepter of vertebrae and an athame - passion’s knife.
And you? You?
You don’t remain.
There is only the crown.
The crown, sitting on your shelf.
The crown, spread across jars.
The crown, beribboned with red and green.
Something will wear it
The blot of emptiness
You’ll leave behind
When you leave
Forever.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 12/31/2017

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+3 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

21 days ago
TRUTHBREAKER

Three gather in the University's chapel. The Other Chapel. You, green-eyed and armed with Stereoscopic manuscripts. Her, the infamous Professor Denuntiatus (Denuntiata!). The Turbine, something beyond yours - and, hopefully, hers as well - understanding.

"It's hungry," the Professor tells you gleefully. "What have you brought it?"

"Mirror-lore. I need to establish some... important possibilities." You respond distantly.

"Oh! This is going to be interesting," she remarks playfully. "Very interesting. I hope you know what you're doing."

"Do any of us?" Your smile is bittersweet.

"It's as good an explanation as any other, I suppose, and all explanations have a bit of truth to them by definition. So, yes. We do."

A silence hangs as you stuff the manuscripts into a slot in the rear end of the Turbine. The Truthbreaker beast wakes and growls and raw truth is processed in its guts. The Professor is staring at you.

"I'm curious, Professor: Was this place ever used for, well, religious practices. Benthic don't exactly strike me as a God-fearing lot."

"Definitely not God-fearing, no. But sometimes you need God to add a little wind to your sails and a little courage for all the thesis defenses. There was a guy, once, who came here to worship my old girl," she says, affectionately patting the roaring Turbine behind her as it splits facts into fables. "I do suppose she is sort of a god. Fulfills a lot of similar functions."

"Such as?" The noise is deafening. You have to shout.

"Constructing the secrets of the world, of course," The Professor is grinning, "The whole process takes her a few minutes at most, so it's easy to see how you could consider the Turbine a deity. The previous prototype took days, if not months!" There is a sudden silence, then a whirring and a click, and the Enigmas descend into the collection basket. "And here're your mysteries. Use them in good health."

"I'll do my best," You reply. "Goodbye, Bishop."

And you're gone, your riddles in tow.

The Truthbreaker is back to her hungry sleep.

"Professor Denuntiata is a better title anyways."

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+4 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

17 days ago
A few moments ago, you weren't.
At most, you'd be considered a crimson splatter of blood on the floor and a measure of lacre in a sea of such.
Now you've clad yourself in snow-flesh. Your thoughts run vital, sanguine. You slowly take shape.
The first thing you witness is a face - your face. You know your face. You quiver as you arrange a smile.
The second thing you witness is a face - your face, in the mirror. There is a glacial realization.
Your hand cradles your frigid shoulder, and you beckon yourself into the mirror, and into your home.
---
You cradle your face in your hands as you mime tears. You do not cry.
"We're so similar", you say. You're so different. You do not cry. You merely leak.
Your eyes are a verdant forest-green. You do not have eyes, but mere holes.
Your voice flows like the river. When you speak, your voice is throaty and stiff.
You will live down here forever. You will melt down to parts in weeks, if not days.
Why are you even here? Why were you made? Why did you make yourself?
You do not cry. You slowly tear yourself apart.
---
You've sought out sleep in your free time. It's relaxing, not being yourself.
Your dreams always begin with your unmaking, and falling back into the lacre-pool.
Then a bird, which was once you, emerges. A milk-white serpent! A cat caught a rat!
Care tossed to the wind! Weirder thoughts, farther thoughts, creep out of the faux-snow!
A statue - muddy, murky, milky quartz - asks a statue - clear as glass or a cup of water.
"Will I forget that?
Even that?"
A slow answer echoes,
"Yes.
That
is
one
of
our
few
certainties
down
here."
Across hours, days, months, it speaks of sharpness, of forsaking emotion, of eternal calm.
The day that follows, you think only about those words. Your dreams spark your interest.
---
You took yourself out for a night of drinking. You forgot your condition. You forgot your dream.
They are coming back to you now. You feel the sting of guilt. You tell yourself you need a walk.
This many mirrors is uncomfortable. So many of you are uncomfortable.You need a walk.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 1/16/2018

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+4 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

14 days ago
Across hours, days, months, it speaks of sharpness, of forsaking emotion, of eternal calm.
---
Two cloaked and hooded figures tour the city. You and the other you. The better you.
The better you leaks stories like molten wax. You ask prodding and provocative questions.
The discussion turns philosophical. One of you speaks of the seven temptations of the Game.
Darkness. Rebirth. Mirrors. Vertigo of the Well. Taste of the Red Sky. Adoration of Brass.
The Joy of Faces, that comfort of the mask, the practiced dance whose every move is known.
"I fall prey to all of them," You say, "It's good the Game is over, or they'd remove me personally."
A sad and bitter laugh. The sort laughed in despair, and the acceptance of one's comeuppance.
"You do not have a name, do you?" You have your name. You do not feel need for more.
The better you thinks otherwise. "Cecil?" You shrug. If it pleases you. "Cecil, then."
---
You are introduced to somebody in Spite. A librarian? A cartographer? A trader in rags?
He says that he dabbles in dream interpretation, and that he would be interested in yours.
You begin to speak: The abandonment of form, melting and molting. The crystal statues.
This is where he stops you. "You are describing the Is now. Your dream may be prophetic.
Come here, I'll name you the location." The word rolls down from his tongue to your ear like honey.
You leave Spite with something like a smile on your face. Maybe you'll live to see the place.
You don't dare speak the name of it, or else it might fly out from your clasped mouth and leave you.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 1/13/2018

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+3 link
Vavakx Nonexus
Vavakx Nonexus
Posts: 828

9 days ago
You've had the good luck to avoid thought about your health. Your mortality had dawned on you only rarely.
When you became. When you had to clean yourself off the carpet. You don't stand on carpets nowadays.
And now, you're thinking about your health. Your mortality. Your coming demise in Spring's vice grip.
You've got, at best, a few weeks in you. You cannot wait. You simply cannot. Something must be done.
---
Desperately, you clutch your lapels, you murmur of necessity and hunger. You stand on the carpet
You make a show of your despair when you are refused. Of course you cannot afford a zubmarine!
You never did anything for you, did you!? You run out the door, down the stairs, into the streets.
---
You huddle with a clay crew. One of them explains, in a thundering monotone, the duties you'll undertake.
Polythreme, you gather, pays captains to deliver clay men for... improvement? Honing? Completion?
Before they reach the city of flowers, the clay crew stoke the engines and turn the occasional knob.
The chief engineer shoos you away as you drip lacre all over the floor, and returns to the oxygen gauge.
You've set yourself in the corner opposite to the blazing engine, glaring at it. It is, certainly, glaring back.
edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 1/14/2018

--
Amets Estibariz, the Moulting Eidolon: The Queen, the King and the Pawn. Banded in red and black and gold.


Blabbing, the Hobo Everyone Knows: The One Who Pulls The Strings. A Clarity In The Darkness.


Charlotte and the Caretaker: A duality of character making their collective lives in the city below. One may call them a family, even.
+4 link




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