Two Versions of a Truth We'll Never Know
By Solar Sail-Master's Mate Ivgahlin of Gith Nykajau, transmitted to Gith Hakain before the former's fall to the Void.
There fly two legends before the tide of Nothing
From all refugees, one of two tales repeating,
Defacto heralds chased from worlds unmade.
A careworn soldier over his ale, muttering,
Court inquisitors, reciting confessions made
And scores of others from a million worlds impart
Two stories about the King who drives forth the dark.
One speak of a God, a bitter, jealous swine
born ninth of ninety. Hateful to his mind
Were all his kin and the space he must share
With them for deeds of creation. 'It should be mine.
All should be mine. I should stretch out my hands and tear
Out their hearts, tear down their works, and my own, too.
They are befouled as they were by other eyes viewed.'
Long he muttered thus in his pitch black realm
Whilst his peace-besotted kin in their brighter realms
Could scarce remember their hermit kinsmen nor know
The evil he planned, and thus they were overwhelmed,
First victims of the Nothing. Through flesh and through bone,
It drove them out of all existence. Thus they died,
And in their sundered lands, his emptiness bides.
For one bare trice, this kin-slayer was satisfied,
But with free reign of his parents' house, he soon spied
Great swathes of creation, greater than he'd been told
Could exist. Lies! Lies he'd told fed, and these lies
Almost wrought despair. Alas he resolved
To stretch out further, to see all of it undone.
It screeched in his mind as his kin's labours had done.
* * *
The second tale tells of a dashing fool.
No kin are spoken of, no dark realm did he rule.
Instead he sought adventures past imagining,
Exploring the fathomless, fighting mighty duels
Against godly tyrants. Thus in the beginning,
Our current craven was, to the sight, a hero.
Ere came a day which saw him become all life's foe.
There came a quest afore this multiversal strife.
The godly-swain sought the origin of life,
Of matter, of existence itself. Few details
Of this quest have come to us, just the grisly-rife
Examples of its aftermath. He did not fail.
He found the answer he sought and could not forgive
What it was, for now he makes war 'gainst all who live.
The secret of creation drives him to destroy
Everything he finds and nameless horrors employ
In this dark enterprise. Some claim a bruised ego
Drives him on, that the secret proved him but a toy
Of greater schemes and schemers. I'd reckon tis so.
Yet others, mad folk, think his deed one of mercy,
Spreading destruction ere some worse fate comes to be.
The truth, of course, is that none of us know for sure,
And the truth seems not to matter. We must endure,
Perhaps for the rest of time, 'gainst the darkness come
From the Sea's wide border to darken all our doors
And pray to what Gods survive to deliver some
Miracle to turn back the horrendous tide
Or else fight on until we finally die.
The truth is, two stories we hear, both unlikely,
And the full facts we're not likely to ever gleam.
Perhaps legends hide creation's ordained end.
Perhaps there's no King but a Republic or Queen.
Answers lie in the Sea, through which no one can wend,
But for expediency's sake, let's say a King
To name the power behind the doom of all things.
The truth is, worlds die by the thousands every day,
And more Void slaves come forth to replace those we slay.
They strike us ceaselessly with blade, shot, maw and claw.
Mourning with each tormented breath, we end their pain
A legion at a time, but there are always more.
The truth is, we enter the last weeks of a siege,
But hope shall endure… at least so commands our liege.