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(NOTE: All 545 OBJECT ENTRIES IN THE HOLDERS SERIES ARE WRITTEN BY UNKNOWN AUTHORS)

The Holder of Solitude

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. As you approach the front desk, keep your gaze on the floor. Should your gaze wander, then you have already failed. At the desk, do not move or shift your gaze until the worker makes a sound, recognizing your existence. Without upturning your eyes, ask her for the being known as "The Holder of Solitude." As these words leave your lips a great gong will ring, shaking the very ground you stand on. Once the ring of the gong turns to silence, you can finally observe your surroundings.

You will find yourself under a strange sky in a vast and morbid wasteland, only a cold stone path leading towards the horizon. The instant you become aware of this lifeless wasteland, you must start moving, for they know you are there. And they do not take well to outsiders.

Should clouds gather in the sky and darkness encroach on the path during your crossing towards the horizon, shut your eyes and kneel. No mortal has ever let his stare rest upon this world's inhabitants. As you kneel, you must plead: "I do not know you, nor have I any wish to. But my path is here and I must follow it." After you have uttered these words, await their judgment. Should they choose to allow your presence, you will feel them retreating; should they decide otherwise, then this was not your fate. Hope that they end your existence quickly.

At the end of your path awaits an obsidian pillar. Perched atop it is an obsidian gargoyle, regarding your approach. The gargoyle will only stir to the sound of one question: "Who shall perish?" Once these words are spoken, the gargoyle shall descend upon you, and his wings will envelop you in darkness. There he will show you the lives of all human beings as stars in the darkness, and as stars you will watch them flicker and die. For eons you shall watch the deaths of those who came before you and those yet to come. And you shall experience their loneliness as you watch them die, sensing how utterly separated they were from each other.

This shall continue until your sanity shatters or until only one light remains. And so the gargoyle shall speak: "Your end is not mine to reveal to you, and it is not what you seek." These words will echo inside your head until the day the task is completed. Once again you must shut your eyes, lest you keep your gaze on the last remaining light, and the gargoyle will devour you. As you shut your eyes, you will feel as though you are being hurled through the dimensions, spinning endlessly until solid ground is only a vague memory. At that moment you will be thrown to a stone floor, and it will be as being born again, as returning into the light after eternities in darkness.

And once you open your eyes you will look around at a gargantuan, withering ballroom, the cracked marble floor covered with dead leaves. At the far end of the room you will see a light, calling you. As you advance towards it you will be able to make out something hung upon the wall: a dark kite shield decorated with macabre symbols, the symbols seemingly alive and pulsating. You need only to take it off the wall to claim it.

The moment the shield leaves the wall you will be back at the front desk where the worker is staring at you intently. She knows what you have started and she hates you for it.

The shield you hold in your hands is Object 41 of 538. Pray that it can protect you from what is to come.

The Holder of the Star

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or hospital and ask at the main desk for the one who refers to himself as the "Holder of the Star". The worker will stare into your eyes with a smug look of contempt for several seconds. If he does not see your heart's resolve in your eyes, he will laugh arrogantly. If he does, flee, or guards shall take hold of you and lock you in a cramped cell where you will hear the man's laughter in waking and sleeping as long as you live. If he sees the determination in your eyes, he shall stand and guide you down a hallway. He will stop at a cell door and will hand you the key, saying nothing and walking away. With key in hand, grab the handle and turn it slowly; it is not locked.

Instead of a cell behind the door, there is a hall, dimly lit. Enter the corridor then close and lock the door behind you. As you walk down this hallway, you will hear the laughter of children playing mixed with the heartwarming chants of foreign monks. Quickly the laughter will turn to screams and the chants to curses. As long as you hear these terrible noises you are safe, but if your courage sways, and the slightest fear overcomes you in this corridor, the sounds shall stop. And if this happens, shut your eyes and pray that what hideous creature that just awakened will take your life in its first bite. If you survive this corridor, you shall reach a small locked door. The lights will dim around you until all you can see is the door. When all is dark, use the key you were given and unlock the door. Enter through the door into a small, pitch-black cell. In the cell there is a hooded man in red robes. He holds a candle and keeps his eyes closed while chanting. He sits in the middle of a pentacle drawn in glowing red blood. The stench it produces will cause you to gag, but dare not do any more than that. Before the man is a smoldering rock. Do not stare at the stone directly for too long, or the burning from the rock shall envelop your mind and send your body into a fiery eternity. Instead, stare at the candle and listen to the old man.

He responds to only one question: "What must be done to complete their task?" The man shall stop chanting, and will tell you five names and five questions. He shall inform you that you must learn on your own which matches with the other. He shall then dab his forefinger in the blood of the pentacle and will draw on the wall a formula. A Key, plus a Book, plus a Quill, plus a Word scrawled in a way that it is illegible, yields an open book with three ovals drawn around it. He shall chuckle warmly and return to his seating place. He will hand you the still-burning stone and from behind his robe he shall pull out a still-beating heart. With all your might, crush the organ until it no longer quivers. Inside the meaty mush you will find an antique fountain pen. When you look back up, you will find the old man dead, with a look of serene content upon his face. Pay this man the final honor of closing his eternally glassy eyes, and leave the room. He was the Holder, and his looks deceive. If you are to touch him again, you will become one of the cursing monks for eternity. The darkness will sweep over you and, when it lifts, you will find yourself outside of the hospital.

You will find the pen to never require refilling of its red ink. Though the ink never stinks of it, you will realize that it is your blood that drains through the pen onto paper. Should you ever allow this object to be destroyed, a horrific, slow death will befall you. As long as you hold this item, you will hear whispering chants in the back of your mind until you die or do their bidding.

This pen is Object 42 of 538. It wills you to write in the cursed tome with your own blood. To do this is folly. It is your choice to continue their work, or to destroy the chance of the objects coming back together ever again.

The Holder of Earth

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 Earth". The worker will laugh loudly, drawing the attention of only one other patron. The worker will remain seated, but the person whose attention he drew will call you over. Do not ask him anything as he leads you to a disused broom closet deep in the asylum. He will open the door for you and wait for you to enter first; do not do this, or the stairway inside the door will disappear and you will plummet endlessly through the ice-cold black. Instead, tell him, "I would not dare see these sights before you". If he believes you, he will nod slightly and enter, and you should follow him. If he does not, be thankful that you are deep enough into the asylum that no one can hear your screams.

As you descend the stairway, you will hear beastly yells coming from all sides, but primarily from above you. Keep your eyes trained to the darkness below you (for the man will have vanished in the darkness, though you will be able to feel that you are not alone). You must never look up, or the demons and hell spawn watching you, mocking you, will descend, rending your flesh from your bones, draining your blood, ripping your muscles and sinew in all too long of an instant.

As you climb down, you will find the atmosphere becoming more and more tomblike, and though you will still be able to hear the demons above, it will seem as though there is finally a ceiling overhead. You must still take the utmost caution never to look up. After an impossibly long amount of time, you will set foot on solid, soft ground again. If the demons from the stairwell have stopped their yelling, you will not live to see the ground. If they have not, you will wish they had, for now is your opportunity to ask the only question to which the darkness will respond. You must ask firmly, "How can they be stopped?"

When you do, ghastly wails will emit from below you, though you will still be able to feel the ground under you. You will be able to sense the gentleman who led you here turn around. His eyes will pierce you, though you will not be able to see them. You must never look down or otherwise falter your gaze from the darkness immediately in front of you. The wails will continue, wordless at first, but a strong male voice will lead them into speaking in unison. They will tell you of the one thing that can prevent the result of the objects coming together, but it will be interlaced with every last consequence of doing so. They will tell you of the sky raining fire, of rivers running red with your blood, and they will tell you so much more.

When the consequences are finished, the lights will suddenly go on. The man who led you here will be gone. In his place will be an object that you will not be able to see in this place, lest it drive you completely insane. You must close your eyes as soon as the lights come on and feel around blindly on the floor for the warm, rough texture of the object. If you do not close your eyes, you will see what the ground is made of: disemboweled human corpses, all missing their eyes, though their mouths still breathe. If you look at this sight and are not driven mad immediately, you will become one of them, joining the satanic earth.

If you take the object successfully, though, you will be transported to the exterior of the asylum, where you may open your eyes.

The granite stone is Object 43 of 538. Though you know how to stop them from coming together, you will not be able to.

The Holder of War

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Gaze at the ceiling with a bored expression as you walk up to the front desk, and with a voice that sounds like it is distant and indifferent and ask to see the "Holder of War". You will get a light tap on the shoulder; it is now safe to look down. The attendant will smile politely and begin walking, giving a speech that sounds almost mechanical as he describes the history of the asylum. Do not react to his speech- it is insanely bloody and filled with rather graphic descriptions, but reaction at this point means a one-way trip to hell.

After some time of walking, you will come to an elaborately carved door of mahogany and gold. Stop in front of it. Keep your bored expression on your face, possibly adding a blank grin, but do not react as the worker grabs you by the back of your shirt, or he will change his grip and you will be without your head.

The worker will pitch you through the door, and you will hear it slam shut behind you. You are on what might have once been fertile farmland but is now a ravaged, blasted battlefield. Soldiers clad in two colors- a horribly bright, yet somehow stained, white and a filthy, sickening black- are battling in the most horrid manners possible, fighting with rifles, cannon, swords, bows, all the weapons of war that have existed since the dawn of time.

Do not shrink from this battlefield, or the soldiers will notice you, stop their quarrels, and turn upon you with a ravenous hatred, for you are what they have been fighting over, and in their fevered, battle-crazed minds, that means that you are the cause of all their bloodshed.

Also, do not try and go back through the door. It has fallen flat in the mud, pushed over by a screaming infantryman wielding a bayoneted rifle. If you let him get the better of you, he will rip you to pieces in seconds, but somehow not manage to kill you. The pain of the experience will undoubtedly drive what is left of your mind mad.

Instead, drop your bored expression and put a grim, determined one on your face. Walk in measured, military-style steps straight ahead until you see a three-story tall structure of blasted concrete that might have once been a command bunker. Do not turn around while doing so; the armor has arrived to the field, and if you stop, or change your pace, the tanks will run you down.

Once you have entered the bunker, do not give any notice to anyone who makes a request of you or tries to talk to you, no matter how desperate they seem. They each think you are the enemy, and the moment you respond, you will be rewarded with a knife to the face. Instead, go straight up the stairway in front of you, to the second level of the bunker. As you mount the stairs, a crash will be heard behind you- that's the fire doorway sealing as a flamethrower detachment attacks.

On the second level, there is only one man, sitting at a desk, yelling into a phone. The stairs to the third level are a mass of twisted concrete. The man at the desk wears the stars of a general, but does not seem to notice that the phone, as well as all those on the level, are dead.

Walk up to him, salute, and in your finest military voice, yell "SIR!" He will snap around to stare at you. If he thinks you are not worthy of his army, he will slowly dismantle you with his hands, and you will join him in his oncoming death. If he thinks you are worthy, he will nod and stare pointedly at you. He does not like slackers, so quickly ask him your question.

The only one he will respond to is: "Where do I go, Sir?"

He will tell you. He will tell you in such detail, such horrifying detail, that you will be tempted to strangle him. Do not try it- he is a far more experienced fighter than you could ever hope to be, and should you break salute, you will meet an extremely messy demise. When he is done, he will say "at ease", and hand you his pistol. This is your cue to drop salute. Take the sidearm and put it in your holster- if you did not have one before, you do now.

An explosion will suddenly decimate the far wall and atomize the general. Through the hole you will see, on the horizon, the long, thin shape of a missile rising.

Shut your eyes tight and open them for nothing. The sounds of horrid battle will fade away until, out of the silence, a single gunshot rings out. Open your eyes.

You are standing in the middle of a field of waving wheat. Somehow, you know that this is where the horrific battle you walked through will take place. And you also know, somehow, that you will be in the general's place.

The pistol he handed you is Object 44 of 538. Learn how to use it- it has one magazine left. If you fire the last shot at the right time, you will avoid the fate of the general. If not, you will join him.

The Holder of Peace

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Storm up to the front desk with a look of rage on your face, and demand to see a person who calls themselves "The Holder of Peace." Immediately the attendant will recoil and ask you to speak softly. Do not comply with his request- if anything; speak louder- for the anger in your voice is all that keeps the chains locked on the door behind the desk.

Keep the anger in your voice- the attendant will duck under his desk and point with a quivering finger down a hall to the right that was not there before. Immediately turn and stomp off down the hall. Do not look over your shoulder, for should the attendant catch you- and he will- he will casually lean back and flip the lock off the door behind him.

Walk until you find a door with a beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay design. Throw it open, but take the rage off your face immediately- the ones inside do not appreciate such anger.

With a peaceful look across your face, enter. You are in a beautiful, open-aired temple, with ivy curling up the marble pillars and beautiful mosaics embroidering the walls. The door will lock behind you. Do not try to open it, for it never will, and the monks in brown robes you see wandering about will do anything to get you to stay- even if it means your death.

Wander around. No matter what language you speak, the monks speak it too. They're friendly, and all of them would love to chat, but politely decline. Tell them you must speak with the Head of the Order.

Eventually you will be directed to a man sitting at a chessboard - the temple's abbot. The figure across from him is hooded and wearing armor. Do not attempt to speak to the hooded figure, or your death will be far worse than any vision of hell that man could conjure up. Instead, turn to the man in the now-familiar brown robes. The game is one move away from checkmate.

Bow, and ask nicely, "Why do they gather, Father?"

He will open his mouth as if to speak. But the figure across from him will let out a demonic howl of rage and draw a sword. It is beautifully crafted, but seems somehow stained with an unthinkable evil. With a yell, the figure will kick you down and begin systematically slaughtering the other monks. They will try to fight back, but they have only staves, and the sword the madman wields is so sharp that it slices through the pillars like a knife through butter.

As you are watching this, the abbot will make the final move in the game. The man in armor will swing around, and then run at you with the sword upraised.

If you were rude or did something wrong, you will be rent at the atomic level by the blade of the sword, and the pain will never cease. However, if you were polite, the abbot will step in front of you and jam the black king into the right eye of the warrior.

Pay no heed or sympathy as he falls to the ground, screaming, or the abbot will whirl around and do the same to you with the white king. Instead, focus on the abbot, who has now turned around to face you.

He will tell you why they gather. It is a long tale, so fraught with bloodshed and horror that it may well snap your mind. But if you survive its telling, he will reach under the table with the chessboard and pass you a scabbard richly jeweled and inlaid with gold. Though you have never seen it before, you instinctively know that it matches the sword the warrior was wielding a moment ago. Do not hesitate- take it, walk over, pick up the madman's sword, wipe it, and sheath it. Buckle it on as well- you will have need of it.

Move to leave, but before you do, the good Father will halt you and gesture towards the, now un-hooded, face of the warrior. He was handsome, but pay no heed to that. The one thing you should be focusing on is the fact that the black king is gone. Look up at the abbot, who will nod and say one word: "Regicide".

A flash of light will blind you, and when your sight returns you will be standing on the curb two blocks down from the asylum. Step back onto the sidewalk- you don't want to have an accident.

The sword you now wield once belonged to the white king, and is Object number 45 of 538. The Black King is running from the scene of his murder, and the White King's sword longs for vengeance.

The Holder of the Mirror

In any city, in any country in the world, go to any mental institution or hospital, and ask the attendant for the "Holder of the Mirror". The attendant will look at you strangely, as if you had spoken in a different language. Ask again, until they finally understand, and they will lead you deep into the institution without a word.

They will lead you to a plain iron door, unlocking it and motioning for you to enter the dark hallway beyond. They will stay behind, never uttering a word, never making eye contact with you. Once the door closes behind you the hallway will be lit by an ethereal light, to reveal the walls of the hallway made of mirrors. The reflections stretch out to infinity on either side of you, but none of them show your reflection; they show the reflection of those who came before you. Each reflection shows another who sought the Holder, each shows how they died. Try not to look at their faces as the beasts devour them; try not to look at all, just walk in a straight line. If you look, if you watch, the beasts in the reflections will see you, too, and they will come for you.

If ever the light begins to dim, if you begin to lose your way in the darkness, close your eyes tight and say firmly, without fear, "The ones you seek have gone before". If the lights return, you are lucky, and the creatures that stalk you have let you alone. If it goes dark, do not run. There is no point in fleeing, nor in praying for a swift death. They will catch you, and your end will stretch out to eternity.

At the end of the impossibly long corridor, you will find another door, with hot white light shining around its edges. Knock on the door, and you will be allowed entry. Standing in the center of the octagonal room will be a figure, merely a silhouette in the half-light of the chamber.

He will pay you no heed, until you ask him the question, "What do they reflect?" Any other question, and he will fill your every pore with a thousand needles, flaying your hide and letting it fly in salt winds as he tortures your mind into insanity, ensuring you live eternally with him in the chamber, merely a shade of what you once were, every moment of existence a mad agony.

If you ask him the right question, however, he will answer you, in details that will chill you to your bones and turn your heart to stone. He will tell you what the Holders mean, why they exist, and what is to come.

After he tells you this, he will step into your vision, revealing who he is. You will see yourself, except instead of eyes your copy will have shining silver mirrors in its sockets. As you watch, unable to move in horror, your copy will dig one of the mirrors out, blood spilling thick and fast.

You will hand yourself the bloodied shard, and then you will find yourself back, outside the institution.

This bloodied mirror is Object 46 of 538. Do not attempt to clean the Blood from its surface, or your end shall be a Nightmare beyond even the Horrors of Hell.

It will reflect what has been, and what is to come.

The Holder of the Bloom

In any city, in any country, go to any inn, motel, or any place you can rest; simply find a bed that is comfortable enough for your tastes. Then sleep, and sleep awhile longer. Should you dream, then you are meant for this task. If not, then your success up until now was only luck, and pray, pray that you never awaken. The objects you have are yours no longer, and their Holders will want them back.

In your dream you will see a beautiful garden, with cool fountains and rare flowers sparkling in the mist. Here you may rest and prepare yourself. When you are ready, search the garden until you come upon a gazebo in the middle of a clearing. In the gazebo's shade rests a beautiful woman in a dress that echos the colors of the garden. She will gesture for you to sit on her left; she likes you and she has a task for you to complete for her. Without words or gestures, she will ask you to find her a flower in her garden. It's best to do as she asks; you are, after all,she is your friend and it best to be in her graces.

She will keep the description of the flower a secret; she is testing you, after all. If you are destined for your role, or if your luck continues, you will come upon two interwoven trees, each producing a different flower. Choose wisely, for if you displease your hostess it would be more advisable to smash your skull upon the rocks than to face her discontent. If you choose the right flower, then simply head back to the gazebo and give it to her. She will smile, kiss you on the cheek and say, "I was a Seeker once, too; be aware of your fate.” As she turns away, you will see her back has been mauled and mutilated by fire, teeth, and things your mind couldn't hope to comprehend. Follow her into her home. Do not be afraid; she wishes you no harm, as she understands your journey. You will stop at the entrance of the house, and she will open the door for you with these final words: "I will let you go freely, but you must promise me one thing: if ever your journey brings you back here, I ask that you end me. If you break my promise, sleep will never hold safety for you again." With that, she will gently push you through the door and back to the realm of the waking.

You will awaken in your own bed. Through the corner of your eye you will see something being slipped under the door. It is an envelope containing a single flower petal.

The petal is Object 47 of 538. You have gained a powerful new ally, but will you keep your promise when the time comes?

The Holder of Sacrifice

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 Sacrifice". A look of bliss should then come over the worker's face, and they will ignore you. Request twice more. You will then be taken by another staff member to the highest floor in the building, then one higher. It will be in an unused, pitch-black section of the building. It will appear as if it is under construction. If you hear the sounds of work being done, demand that you be taken to the overseer. The staff member will realize he has not fooled you and will take you to the true floor. You will hear an unending groaning reverberate off of the walls from the area furthest from you. It is of utmost importance that you listen to where the sound echoes from. Should the source of the noise change, stand still for 5 seconds and extend your right arm, displaying your palm towards the darkness. If you feel what seems to be thousands of the most wretched bugs in existence crawl across your arm, do not flinch, do not cry out. If you do either, there is nothing that will save you. If the feeling ceases, then proceed further. Upon reaching the end of the hall, something will trigger the lights. The light shall reveal thousands of corpses formed together as the floor, so as to show the sacrifices one must make to achieve ownership of the object. A door will be to your right. Open it.

Once you cross over the threshold of the door, you will arrive in an office. A man will be facing you, sitting in a chair on the opposite end of the room. He will speak on a cell phone dripping with blood, but his voice will be nonexistent. However, once you ask him the question, he will pause. "Why have I been chosen?"

He will then hold out the bloodied phone to you. Take it, and listen. A raspy voice shall describe the purpose of the objects, and why you have been chosen, and you shall shake uncontrollably.

This phone is Object 48 of 538. Those who can bear to listen will receive the truth.

The Holder of the Grail

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 Grail." As soon as your words reach her ears, the worker will suddenly have a blank stare on her face. If you stare at her, you may suddenly lose all grasp of reality. You should avert your gaze, and ask your question again. A blunt object will smash into your head from behind, and all will go black.

When you wake up, you'll be in a dark room. A compass stands on a pedestal in the middle, pointing out the four directions for all eternity.

If you go south, you'll find a well. If you look inside the well, a stream of demons will emerge and eat you. This is far worse than it sounds, as your consciousness does not vanish, and you will have the experience of being digested in fifty different places for countless millennia.

If you go east you will wander the land of Nod for all time. The wind may strip the flesh from your bones but your skeleton will not cease to walk.

If you go west you will reach The Edge and will not resist the urge to throw yourself over.

If you go north, you'll find a door with a strange marking on it. If you place your hand on this mark, you'll see an image of Him. He will tell you to enter the door.

Inside, you'll find a forest. If you go into the forest, you'll find a lake. Quickly, if you turn away, you'll escape from sudden death, for the lake is but a mirage, masking a creature far more horrible than anything from your worst nightmare. If you keep going and suddenly turn left, you'll find a pool of blood. There's a man in the pool of blood, and he asks for your soul. If you give him your soul, he'll get up. This man has the face of a devil, but his voice is that of an angel. When he smiles at you, if you do not turn away, your soul will be lost forever. When the man walks up to you, he'll say, "Thank you," and will give you a grail filled with blood. And suddenly, in a single second, you will wind up in the kitchen of whatever place you call home. Be thankful- if you had done something wrong, the man would still be holding your soul, and the pain of such a separation is an experience you do not wish to go through.

But bear in mind, you will survive. You will live on in screaming agony till someone deigns to end your suffering. Put the cup in the freezer- it should be kept cold and never spill a drop, lest it ignite once more the fires of hell on the earth.

This grail is Object 49 of 538. If you drink His blood, you'll either go mad or become the Antichrist. Only your fate can decide.

The Holder of the Afterlife

This journey is not for the faint of heart, nor the wicked. I control the lives of all men, and those that are...inhuman. If you still wish to seek me, be advised you cannot make this journey more than once.

You will go to any morgue in any city, state or country. Ask any mortician there to see the most current "customer". Should a look of disgust and disbelief come over him, thank him for his time, take a bow, turn around, and walk, do not run, walk calmly out of there. I know your time as I know everyone's and it has not come yet.

Should a look of understanding come over him, he will leave the room and return with a large French chef's knife, two surgical needles with thread, and a gold bar. He will also roll in a fresh body and a medical book.

Put down the needle on the roller, stab the knife over the body's head, and stand facing the top of the body with the bar in your hand, (do whatever with the book, only a book). You must wait until the mortician leaves the room, (which will be quite a long while). Before he leaves, he will state the scientific name of a location in the body and will take his leave.

Stand until the mortician leaves the room, and do nothing until he does. When he leaves, look in the book for the name of that place in the body, and use the knife to split that part of the body open. Place the gold bar in that part, and thread it up. Only one of the needles will completely remove the scar, so choose wisely. Do all this while holding a stoic expression on your face. After you have completed your task, the room will go dark, and you must yell in a clear voice, "See? I have prepared a gift for you, take what is yours." I will then appear in all my unearthly glory, and judge.

If you had a reaction from anytime the mortician left the room up until the lights went dark, or the scar remains, your soul will be mine to take as well as the gift, and you will both be taken to my lair. If your face was stoic throughout, and if the scar healed, I will unwrap my present with my great Scythe, searching for the bar. Remain with a lack of expression on your face, or I will decapitate you, not so bad an end as to others in this journey.

When I find it, I will Smile. And when I Smile, a bright light will flash, and the room will reappear, shockingly different. I describe to prepare you.

The room will be constructed out of dead children and toddlers, their eyes gone, and blood ebbing out of their mouths. They will be cemented together with a black substance slowly enveloping them. They will writhe, and cry for their mommy and daddy, blood will replace their tears. You cannot close your eyes, or show emotion, lest I judge you to be unworthy, and will take you to Tartarus.

There will be one baby in front of you, dead, normal, with a scalpel in its head, perhaps you will recognize it...

After half a minute of this horror, if you remained sane, it will be time for the third test.

A dark, twisted version of this world shall appear, inhabited by the damned. Where we appear, there will be a strange, smooth stone field, with one 3-foot pillar in the center.

I shall reappear, and throw you a wicked, dark knife, carved with symbols. You must stab the end of your forefinger with it. You will feel unbearable pain in your finger, but be pleased that I have lessened the pain for you, otherwise you would have had pain throughout your body. You must bear the pain however, and though the blood will not clot the finger, you will not run out of blood, for you are in my realm.

After which, you must draw me a pentagram, 6 feet circumference, with the tip of the star pointing me. Make sure it is good, I am a ruthless judge. (You are allowed to plan and measure.)

When you are done, I shall look upon it. One of two things will happen.

One: I turn and close my eyes in disgust; if this happens, the pentagram will catch ablaze. As your blood on the ground burns, so shall the remaining blood in your body. Your veins shall burn for all eternity, in the center of the pentagram, the pain never leaving.

Two: I like your art, and Smile. I will turn to you and Smile. My eyes will blacken, dark, shadowy tendrils will come from my mouth, and form a hellish grin. You will realise that the same is happening to you, and that I have just infected you with my Disease.

When the blackening will cease to flow from your body, it will have turned night; stare only at the pentagram. A demonic audience is watching you, and they tend to rip people to shreds if they look at them, so keep your gaze fixed upon the pentagram. They will dance around you in a devilish flurry, taunting you, mocking you, spitting on you and the like. If you remain stoic, then they will leave. After they have all left, the blackening will return, and ignite a random number of candles around the pentagram. Count and remember this number; it will serve you well at The End.

The light will return and you will awaken outside of the morgue, around mid-day. The cut on your finger will have healed, and it will the exact number of candles that will dictate how many days have gone by. You will notice a dark ooze on the ground in front of your face, and sticking in your clothes. The Blackening has followed you. You now hold the power to summon the Blackening within you at will, the same you saw in my face during the third test. The ones who gaze at your face when it appears will slowly be consumed by the Blackening, the Disease. Every time you summon the Blackening, you will feel the pain you felt on your finger, over your whole body, increased tenfold. You will not pass out, but the pain will be unbearable.

The Disease is object 50 of 538. With it, you can Blacken anyone, even the immortal...

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