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Page history last edited by Azeari 12 years, 6 months ago

Madam Zelda learned her secrets by listening to the great tree, for it is old and wise and knows many of the world's hidden mysteries. The Hermaic Sutras she consulted are written in the bark and printed on the leaves. But there was one set of prophesies that she never cared to read - a thing she found too upsetting and which caused her great sadness. She said that one day a band of 6 heroes would come and force her to make sense of it:


And Ganga Thumba went up into the Wall of the World, where men were never meant to go. For it was from the Wall of the World that he saw the darkness coming. And there on the heights were the tombs of the Ancient Ones (Evil Ones? Thirsty Ones? Something like that). And those Ones dreamed troubled dreams and thirsted for the souls of men. But Ganga Thumba was not afraid, for he carried with him the Ring that Jangaga the Trickster had given him in the deeps of the jungle, at the ruins of Arnesh Napoor.


And in that ring there was the toenail clipping of the Goddess Whose Name is Life, and no Unclean Beast could bear its sight. Nor anything that hates life.


And though those Ancient Ones (Wicked Ones?) were older than the Goddess, older than the jungle, older than the sky, they did fear the power of Life.


And first he came to the Hall of Silence, which rests atop a mountain where the air burns and chokes. And beneath the Hall of Silence, on the slope, he saw a fiendish labyrinth, built by the ancient ones for some awful and unfathomable purpose.


The Thing in the Hall of Silence was stirring, much closer to wakefulness than any of its fellows. It had dire plans for the Labyrinth and for the people who dwelt in the valley below it. And though Ganga Thumba had a more terrible place to visit and a more desperate business to avert, he thought he would begin here.


And Ganga Thumba found the Thing, writhing in the ecstacy of its sordid vices and he showed it the ring and said 'be afraid' and the Thing chuckled and it said 'only a woman may use that ring, and then only one of noble blood, for your puny goddess scorns all others.'


And it broke poor Ganga Thumba and sent him, ruined, down into the valley without his face. And he screamed though he had no lips and he wept though he had no eyelids and he said to the people there 'I must find a woman of noble blood to bear this ring of jade. For a thing is coming, a being that makes the Thing in the Hall of Silence seem like a shadow or a cobweb. It will come to the Kingdom of Zanskar and there it will do and it will do and it will do.'


But the people were cruel and wicked and they mocked Ganga Thumba's pains and they said 'we like the Thing in the Hall of Silence and we like the Labyrinth, for men come here to see these things and then we rob them. And there is no Kingdom of Zanskar, neither here nor anywhere else. You are a fool and you deserve to die a death far worse than the one you have found.'


'There may be no Kingdom of Zanskar yet,' he replied as patiently as he could in his agony. And he would have said more but he was drowned out by their laughter.


And a young woman felt pity for Ganga Thumba and he saw it in her face.


'Here,' he said, 'take the ring. You must give it to the Queen of Zanskar when you meet her on the road. Then all will be well.'


But the girl was afraid to look a fool in front of the others, so she flung the ring into the dust at his feet and said, 'You look funny without your face.' And she laughed.


And the people said, 'if he looks this amusing without his face, we will see how merry a figure he cuts without the rest of his skin.' And they took off his skin and left him for the sun to burn.


And the girl went to him, for she felt ashamed and she would have said that she was sorry. He was already dead when she reached him. But the others had seen her and they began to mock her for her softness. She thought they might soon bully her to death, so she fled and went far, far away, where no one would ever know her shame. To the other side of the world she fled. But no one can outrun themselves. For every night she thinks of Ganga Thumba and she weeps and she thinks of the ring she cast aside and she moans and she thinks of the poor Kingdom of Zanskar and of what is coming and she shudders.


For she did not meet the Queen of Zanskar on the road and she could not find the ring and now something worse than the Thing in the Hall of Silence comes. And it is coming for her first of all.


The last part of the prophesy has been scratched out, so that it is barely legible:


...heroes, six in number, one with violet eyes... to the labyrinth... Maze of Screaming Silence... the ring may be found... that terrible contest... danger, much danger... but not to visit the House of Ruin themselves, for the time is not... When the time comes at last, many years hence, the Queen will know what to...

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