There are lights. Flashing upward through the darkness, arcing toward some unknown destination. You reach out for them instinctively, though you know they are far from you and from an age long ago lost to memory. No records survive, only tales, most of which you know are half truths and utter lies, told to placate you or to make the teller seem a warlock or adjutant. No one you know can claim such a storied lineage. Those who can left long before, abandoning you to this place.
You imagine what the lights are, fevered dreams, all yearning. They are immortality. That much you know, though you cannot put it into words just how that might be. They are a world gone, a world of forever. The warlocks riding their dragons through nights without end, weaving their spells. Those places died long ago and the roads to reach them have been destroyed.
The world is getting colder. The skies forever overcast and grim, but bearing no moisture. Day by day by day it seems the passage forward grows narrower and narrower as the fire at the heart of all things grows dim. When you close your eyes at night, huddling closer to whoever is near, you dream of the inner workings, those gears and tubes and mechanisms that have kept turning for all these lifetimes. Time without measure. But now their time is growing short, each turn of the gear growing slower and slower.
You know the answer lies within those fearsome mechanisms, which only the warlocks and their acolytes knew the inner workings of. In your dream you walk among them and there the secrets of the warlocks are revealed to you. When you awake you know that you will go.
There are mirrors and pulsing lights at the heart of all things. It is beyond comprehension, beyond imagining. Is it dangerous to stand here, to look on in awe? You cannot know. You go ever forward, in search of what you don’t know. Something, some sign or invention, that makes the mechanisms that whir in your head spark with realization. But nothing comes. These are things for warlocks and acolytes, those who can animate matter into being. There is no place for you here.
And so you wander through corridors and rooms, up and down stairs, twisting and winding your way to where you don’t know. Has anyone ever stood in the places you have stood? Not in memory. There was no reason, and now that there is, it is far too late. Those who knew these ways are gone. Those whose hands could make pinpricks of light dance have vanished and left us bereft.
Finally you run out of passages to traverse and come to a portal sealed tight with arcane runes scripted upon it. It is bespelled by the warlocks, but those spells have grown weak and a word and a twist of its wheel sets it open. From there you step into a new and impossible world.
There is void and nothingness everywhere. Far into the distance are stars beyond number. You drift into the ether, The universe is beneath you, suddenly seeming miniscule, no more than a speck in a greater whole. In a moment it is gone and you are left utterly alone, galaxies unfurling in the dusk of your pupils.
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