Nadir: Manifold Palace

Everything is the maw slashed into existence.

Existence is nothing except the maw, this endless chasm with no terminus; endlessly extending, splintering; endlessly long, endlessly plunging into the darkest depths, reaching endlessly upward with its bleakly striated walls towards the thin wan slit of pale-ghost light scavengers and exiles, bone-wings and darkcrawlers, hermits and exultants call the sky.

Try not to fall.

The darkness below croons a melody in the heart; ripples now and then with motion, dark on dark.

Try not to fall.

Winding up and down the chasm’s fissured faces, like the tiniest ants, look there: thin tracks carved into the cliff-face, splitting and meeting, hugging the wall, at times hemmed in with flimsy fencing, most times open to the air and the maw below, leading to tiny pockets of ruby-green, coiling weedery; or to larger, spiral-carved ledges and rough-hewn uneven cells stacked upon each other, like clinging growths emerging from the dusty sooty stone before burrowing deeper within its face. And within those cells, light flickers and furtive figures flit.

Penitents find their way here, and exiles, and those who know no other way, seeking release. None trust the strangers who seek to mine the maw’s splintered faces, nor the fools seeking the melodious dark.

And here, and there, strange luminous spars — like green-white glass, like smoky ghost-amber — reach fitfully across the maddening gulf. Creeping, inching, a hair at a time, tiny ripples of new growth stretching across the darkness. Sometimes they even meet. More often they shatter, and the denizens of the cells scavenge what they may.

Do not answer the melody.

Try not to fall further.

* isolation * unbalance * loss * bleakness * privation * penitence * abyss *

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