(NOTE: All 545 OBJECT ENTRIES IN THE HOLDERS SERIES ARE WRITTEN BY UNKNOWN AUTHORS)
The Holder of the End
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house in you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the End". Should a look of child-like fear come over the workers face, you will then be taken to a cell in the building. It will be in a deep hidden section of the building. All you will hear is the sound of someone talking to themselves echo the halls. It is in a language that you will not understand, but your very soul will feel unspeakable fear.
Should the talking stop at any time, STOP and QUICKLY say aloud "I'm just passing through, I wish to talk." If you still hear silence, flee. Leave, do not stop for anything, do not go home, don't stay at an inn, just keep moving, and sleep where your body drops. You will know in the morning if you've escaped.
If the voice in the hall comes back after you utter those words continue on. Upon reaching the cell all you will see is a windowless room with a person in the corner, speaking an unknown language, and cradling something. The person will only respond to one question. "What happens when they all come together?"
The person will then stare into your eyes and answer your question in horrifying detail. Many go mad in that very cell, some disappear soon after the meeting, and a few end their lives. But most do the worst thing, and look upon the object in the person's hands. You will want to as well. Be warned that if you do, your death will be one of cruelty and unrelenting horror.
Your death will be in that room, by that person's hands.
That object is 1 of 538. They must never come together. Never.
The Holder of the Beginning
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask the clerk for permission to visit someone who calls herself "The Holder of the Beginning." A small smile will work its way over their mouth, almost as if to say, "You fool."
You will then be taken down a long hallway -- long enough that you would expect it to lead outside of the building. Yet, in clear violation of the laws of space and physics, it instead leads deep into the heart of the institution. The hall will be forever silent, even if you try to make noise. Screams will die before leaving your mouth, and footsteps will be muffled. In lieu of speech, your guide will simply point to a door.
Beyond it lies a cozy room filled with a pleasant yet unidentifiable perfume. At the room's center, a beautiful woman holds her empty arms as if cradling something. This room will remain just as silent as the hallway that led to it, until you ask a singular question: "Why were they separated?" The woman will then explain, in excruciating detail, every horrific event in history. Every beating. Every war. Every rape. Every killing. No travesty in the history of the universe will escape your ears. When she finishes, all will fall silent, and you will be free to leave. It is up to you to do what you will with this information.
That woman is Object 2 of 538. It is up to you if they should be joined or not.
The Holder of Eternity
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Eternity". A sigh might escape the worker as they look upon you with the utmost pity. They will take you down a flight of stairs that you might expect to lead to the basement; they don't.
As you press deeper and deeper into the underbelly of the institution, you will begin to hear a chorus of screams. At first it will be barely audible, as if originating from a point a great distance away, but as you approach the end of the hallway, the screams will grow clearer and more thunderous, until they drone so loudly as to consume all other noises. The din will quickly become so painful that you will feel the unrelenting urge to claw at your own ears to escape it; resist this impulse. The worker, stoically enduring the cacophony, will show you a door. As swiftly as they can, they will unlock it and run, leaving you alone in this cramped, dark hallway.
This will be your last chance to run. If you decide to continue, open the door; the piercing wail will then end abruptly, leaving your ears ringing. The room you will enter will be coated in an almost tangible darkness that consumes all but the far wall. Manacled to that wall is an emaciated figure covered in raw lashes. He will stare directly at you with a maniacal grin plastered to his face, seemingly undisturbed by his festering wounds and the scalpel rammed into his chest. The only way to save yourself from this man's dark designs is to ask, "Who created them?"
He will cackle in a manner befitting the death throes of an animal, before responding. His will be the most horrific tale you have ever heard, beyond such primitive concepts as pain and death. It will delve deep into the very essence of evil; those of weak mind would go mad hearing it.
When he finishes, it will be up to you to release this man from his terrible burden. Remove the scalpel and he will shudder once in agony before falling silent... forever.
That scalpel is Object 3 of 538. It is up to you if the rest should be protected or destroyed.
The Holder of Nothing
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls herself "The Holder of Nothing." Should a look of sheer, primal disgust mar the worker's expression, you will then be taken to a separate building, one that appears to be an old, wooden outhouse. Inside will be a seemingly endless corridor that far exceeds the length of that outhouse.
The corridor will be completely silent. Attempting to make any sound at the wrong time is a grievous, lamentable mistake. You will notice the lights in the corridor getting brighter and brighter as you make your way down towards the end; eventually, you will find yourself blinded by their brilliance. If, at any point the lights go out, quickly shout out, "No! Stop! What you are doing is wrong!" while backing away. If the lights do not come back on, bolt for the door you came in through. It should still be open; hopefully you aren't far enough down the hallway for it to close on you. If it does close, an eternity in Hell would be preferable to what you will suffer.
If the lights come back on, continue walking down the corridor. At the end of the hall lies a cell; the worker will open its door for you while glaring at you in disgust. Inside the cell will be a mad pastiche of colors, arranged in several harlequin-like formations. You must not be distracted by them, for at the center of the room is a naked young woman, slathered in blood and bound by strips of human sinew, and you would be better off not knowing what will happen if you take your eyes off of her face for even a moment. Focus on her, and ask: "What were they when they were one?"
She will look you in the eye and speak the answer in incredible detail. It will be unlike anything you have ever heard, leaving you on the verge of both ecstasy and agony. It is not uncommon for a Seeker to lose themselves in the euphoria. But you mustn't let your focus break, and you must take special care not to look upon her tattooed chest. Your mind will tempt you to gaze upon it, but you must resist, for if you fail, she will flay you alive and add your mutilated flesh to her bindings, and you will remain trapped with her, fully conscious, for the rest of time.
That tattoo is Object 4 of 538. They desire to be one again, but they mustn't.
The Holder of Light
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, close your eyes and ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Light". You will be led to a single door leading to a long, winding hallway, and then told to open your eyes. Open the door. The hallway beyond it will be pitch black, but narrow enough for you to feel the walls with outstretched arms, and guide yourself forward.
If, at any point during your trek down the hall, it is suddenly bathed in light, shut your eyes immediately and quickly make your way back to the door you came in through. If your eyes stay open for more than a second, what you see will force you to instinctively tear them out.
If, on the other hand, the lights stay off long enough for you to navigate the entire corridor, you will reach another door. Look down: if you can see any light escaping from the crack beneath the door, flee immediately, for what you seek is not there. If no light escapes the next room, then carefully turn the doorknob and enter.
The room beyond will be completely dark, aside from a single, dimly-lit candle at its center. The faint light it emits will reveal the outline of a cloaked, motionless figure huddled over it. There is only one question that he will respond to: "What can protect us from Them"? Say anything else, and the man will tear out your eyes, and force you to take his place under the cloak for the rest of eternity.
If you ask the proper question, a piercing scream will ring out from the candle, and a series of lights will illuminate the room, revealing images of the most horrifying thoughts, fantasies and memories experienced by sentient minds throughout history. Most people cannot handle this event, turning violently insane or perishing instantly at the sight of such horrors. If you should somehow manage to survive the ordeal, the cloaked man will rise slowly and put his hands to your head, turning your gaze to meet his youthful face.
Stare directly into his empty, gaping eye sockets, for if you look away from that terrible sight, you will be stranded in this room, forever forgotten by time itself. Do not turn to look as he opens your right hand, and places a small, round object upon your palm. As that object touches your hand, you will find yourself able to ignore even the most fearsome agonies -- unless you are in the process of obtaining another Object, for the pains you feel then are far beyond any worldly suffering. Know that even this newfound power will never help you cope with the horrifying images you have witnessed in that room. They will be burned into your memory for all eternity.
The eye you hold in your hand is Object 5 of 538. The awakening has begun; they must not be brought together.
The Holder of Song
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls herself "The Holder of Song". You will then be guided to a long staircase that spirals higher than the building stands. At the stairs' summit is a door.
As you open the door, a sudden wave of heat will pour out from the hallway beyond it, and wash over you. Proceed down the hallway. As you walk, the air around you will grow increasingly frigid. When you feel as if you are encased in ice, you must stand perfectly still, remain silent, and listen. If, after a few seconds pass, you hear a baby crying, turn and run. No harm will befall you, but the infant's cry will follow you wherever you go. If you hear it for the rest of your life, count yourself lucky; if and when it stops, your firstborn child will die.
If you do not hear a baby's cry, wait for the hallway to grow warm once more, and then proceed to the door at its end. Enter.
The room beyond will be awash in green light. At its center will be an old woman turning the handle of a silent music box. Her legs have both been severed at the knees. When you speak to her, you must look her in the eyes. She hides a spear fashioned from the bones of her legs; break eye contact, and she will impale you with it and leave you to bleed to death in seemingly unending agony. She will respond to only one question: "What was the song they used to play?"
The old woman will begin to sing in a language not of this world. Her melody will be the most beautiful one you have ever heard, bringing peace and serenity to your mind, body, and soul. You will find yourself vividly imagining a band of carefree children playing and singing, innocent as can be... And within minutes, the scene will eventually take a horribly sinister turn. The children will begin to fight each other, and their conflict will quickly escalate to the most brutal, lethal violence you can conceive of. They will impale each other on wooden poles, disembowel each other with sharp rocks, and even rip flesh from bone with their bare hands. You will witness these children, now merely tattered doppelgangers of themselves, spreading death and destruction more horrific than you could ever imagine on your own. You will see a naked boy, drenched in blood, singing with delight as he runs through a hellish wasteland, pursued by unspeakable monsters. They will overtake him and utterly destroy him, the song still issuing forth from his shredded lips all the while.
...Yet, inexplicably, you will remain calm and peaceful even as you watch this unspeakable brutality.
When these horrific visions end, an intense pain will stab at your chest. Your heart will feel like it is about to explode. Do not let the agony break your focus, and do not break eye contact with the old woman, lest you invite a fate so horrible that an exploding heart seems lovely by comparison. If you remain steadfast in your gaze, the pain will eventually cease. The woman will stand up (though, with your eyes still focused on hers, you will know not how) and place the music box in your hands.
The music box is Object 6 of 538. When its song plays again, they will all come together.
The Holder of The Path
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the Path." The worker there will try his best to keep a look of indifference on his face while handing you a key which, as he will explain, belongs to an unused supply closet in the building. If only it were that simple. Upon locating and unlocking the correct door, you will find yourself staring out onto a narrow, winding road suspended in an endless void, the sight only occasionally obstructed by the massive outlines of things best left undescribed.
To fall off the path is to be thrown out of reality itself. A nightmarish eternity of inconceivable horror awaits anyone who either stumbles into the void by their own error, or is dragged off the path by the timeless monstrosities that reside on the outskirts of creation. If you should ever feel as if you are being watched while traveling through this piece of oblivion, the best chance you have is to immediately freeze in place and hold your breath. Continue to do so until your audience either loses interest, or moves in to claim you. If the latter should occur, feel free to scream as hard as you want, though your screams will fall on deaf ears.
At the end of the path lies a door that leads to a small, dirt-caked room. Propped up against the room's far wall is a heavily emaciated corpse; what's left of its skin has long since blackened with necrosis. Approach it and ask one question: "How did they acquire guardians?"
In response to your query, the "corpse" will begin to stir. A subtle red glow will emanate from its eye sockets as it lifts its head and begins to whisper the long and macabre history of the Holders. It will speak of unholy pacts and unspeakable atrocities. Within time, its tale will touch upon every form of evil known to man or God, and a few forms that neither can comprehend. Furthermore, if told the title of any Holder, the corpse will reveal that Holder's history and the meaning of the object that it protects.
Well, almost any Holder. The Holder of the Path will never go into detail about itself. This is because the ghoul hopes that you will not question why it seems to be lacking an Object. Truth be told, the ominous glow from within the ghoul's eye sockets is actually the shining light of the Object that was somehow sealed inside of its skull.
That is Object 7 of 538. Its Holder will do anything to keep you away from it.
The Holder of Wealth
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Wealth." The worker will raise one eyebrow, as if puzzled by your request. Ask a second time, and the worker will shrug and take you across the street, where an opulent mansion awaits. If you are observant by nature, you may notice that the mansion was not there when you started your quest... Its owner would rather you didn't think about such things.
Inside the front door will lie a grand staircase, spiraling up across the foyer. The walls will be covered with fine paintings, and a large marble statue will rest on a pedestal by the base of the stairs. The statue's eldritch features will evoke an image of a truly horrific beast, at once both alien and evil. Admire it all you want, but don't touch it, unless you wish to awaken this starved monster.
Ascend the staircase. As long as you don't touch anything, you will be safe. Don't panic. At the top of the stairs, you will find a small, wooden door; its plain and unassuming appearance is a sharp contrast to its decadent surroundings. It will open on its own for you, so long as you are not afraid.
Past it, you will see a man with a pointed goatee and short, cropped, gelled hair standing behind a large, mahogany desk. His suit is made of both human flesh and Italian silk. He may speak, and at great length. He will talk about his amazingly beautiful house and the lovely statue of his concubine resting downstairs. Do not interrupt him, and do not answer any questions he may ask. When he is finished, steel yourself and confidently ask, "May I have my salary?"
He will proceed to explain to you, in great detail, the value of life. He will talk of things worse than death, and he will tell you exactly what he expects you to do. The fabulous interior of the room will rot away, and the floor will turn from French weave to feces. The man's appearance will become cyclopic and unimaginably horrendous. He will fish out a small bank note from the pockets of his human suit, and hand it to you.
That note is Object 8 of 538. Its Holder is counting on you to spend it.
The Holder of Wisdom
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Wisdom." The desk clerk will chuckle and guide you to an empty room. They will hand you a key and tell you to wait some time in the room until you hear a bell ring. When it rings, you have to lock the door through which you entered, wait until a second ring, and unlock it.
Once those instructions have been carried out, the door will open all by itself and reveal a long hallway, with every conceivable color painted onto the walls, ceiling and floor. Follow the hallway until you hear a little girl singing. Stop, close your eyes, and stay where you are until the girl finishes the song. If you fail to remain perfectly still, run. Run back to the door through which you came, as fast as you can. Jump through the window of the room where you waited earlier, and you might live. Should you be unable to reach the window in time, you will be dragged back into the hallway by something that is definitely not a little girl. You will be pulled by this horror until time itself ends, forever feeling the pain of every soul dragged to an early grave.
If, on the other hand, you manage to remain perfectly still until the song ceases, you will be free to either turn around and leave forever, or venture further into this realm. If you prefer the latter course of action, walk deeper into the hallway until you reach a human-shaped door. Open it with the same key that was given to you earlier, step inside, and close the door behind you. In the middle of the room, you will see a desk with a bright candle. Behind the desk is a man, whose face isn't visible behind the shine of the candle. Approach, but always keep the flame between you and the man's face, for if you witness what he looks like, your gaze will be fixed on his until your own hands have removed every inch of skin from your bones.
Stop when you are five steps away from the desk. The man will raise his hand and gesture you to come closer, but do not step any further than this. Close your eyes and ask him one question: "Who will bring them back together?"
You will hear the man rise from his chair and begin to pray in a language that you will not understand. After two minutes, you will hear a name. If you hear "Anubis", then you had best utter your own prayers in the short time you will have to do so... but if it is "Thor" you hear, then you may open your eyes. You will see the man's severed head lying on his desk, still speaking. After another three minutes, his prayer will cease, and he will tell you how you will die. He will describe every minute detail of your horrible death, and you will be unable to move or react while he explains your end. Lastly, he will describe the one who will steal your life away from you, and go into such detail as to why it is necessary that you yourself will question which would be worse: you being murdered, or you being allowed to continue to live.
Eventually, the head will finish its ghastly tale. It is object 9 of 538. It is up to you what you do with the knowledge of your death, for now, it is inevitable.
The Holder of Ambition
In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit a man who calls himself the "Holder of Ambition." The sound that escapes the mouth of the worker will be so slight, and betray so little reaction, that at first, you may not even be sure your words were heard. All doubt will be settled when they guide you toward a stairwell lit by many windows.
At the top of these stairs, the worker will leave you to continue your journey alone. You will find yourself standing at the beginning of an eerily calm hallway. Walk to the end.
In all likelihood, you will encounter a shadow that moves along the wall. Do not follow it, for it is the one thing that will lead you to a place you do not wish to go: a place filled with your silent fears and failures, from which you cannot return. No matter what shape the shadow takes, and no matter how it eases and taunts your dreams with the greatest of your desires and hopes, do not even let it tempt your gaze, let alone your feet.
If you make it to the end of the hallway without losing sight of your goal, you will find an open doorway with no locks, bolts, or restraints. A soft light bathes the floor in front of the opening. This is your one and only chance to leave without facing the Holder of Ambition or collecting his Object: if that is the course of action you wish to take, then walk directly back the way you came, without attempting to peek around or into other doors, lest you discover what that seductive shadow hides.
Beyond the doorway lies a room, bathed in an artificial light cast by high windows that cover each wall's expanse. At the room's center stands a tall, healthy man, standing naked and looking out into the light. His body is covered in uncountable tattoos and scars; only his face is recognizable as unaltered human flesh. You might be tempted to look where he looks, in search of the object of his focus; feel free, but you will see nothing, and learn nothing. The man will not react to anything other than the question, "What joins them together?"
When asked, he will turn to look you in the eyes. Meet his gaze, but know that if you are not prepared -- if there is even the slightest doubt of your intentions -- then you will lose yourself in his soulless eyes for an eternity. If, on the other hand, your gaze is an honest one, then he will begin to speak in a low voice. His tone will be a comical one, his tale told as if they meant nothing at all, but you must not miss a word, for this story is your preparation. Listen carefully to his tale, and remember every detail.
When the man finishes speaking, he will bring his hands to his chest, and remove the sutures from one of his more noticeable scars. As the stitches come out, he will bleed profusely and fatally. When the last of his sutures have come out, he will offer them to you, uttering his final words through his own gurgling blood: "Choosing to seek... leads to an inevitable fate..."
The clump of sutures is object 10 of 538. How you use them depends on what you hear.