Hah! Foolish Seeker! You think you know all that there is to this Seeking business. You think you can proceed foolhardy into the next challenge and take the next Object. You think the universe will just bow down to your will. How little you know, Seeker. How little you know.

Some things were meant to be hidden.

Corruption

No doubt you have heard of the Black King's Sword, foolish Seeker. Oh, you have not? Leave, and do not return until you have completed your research, lest I tear you asunder from whence you stand. You see, foolish Seeker, unbeknownst to you and your colleagues, there are various Items of Power scattered throughout the various universes that comprise reality. And yes, some have even been banished into the Void. These Items are similar to the Objects in many ways, but they also differ from the Objects in many ways. Created with only a single purpose in mind, these Items are lightly slumbering until the next time blood is spilled on their account.

You may try to locate these Items, Seeker... but know that there are no Holders guarding these Items, no knowledge of their whereabouts, and the memory of these Items is fading from even Their minds. You may spend an eternity roaming the universe, searching for the Items, Seeker, yet you will never even come upon the whispers of one. They diligently await for their respective master's return. I know not beyond that, however, it is said that once The Reunion nears, the Items will awake from their eternal slumber, and clash once again, like the days of yore.

You may ask, why am I telling you this? Why am I troubling you with unattainable... treasures, let us say? That will come in due time, Seeker, in due time.

Now sit, foolish Seeker, and hear the first tale, the tale of The Seed of Corruption. Well, it is not much of a tale, rather more like a description. Most of the details have been lost through the eons, it is up to you to take what you will from it.

They say after the chaos of the first Gathering, when the universe was remaking itself, there was a spot that just would not heal like the others. It was pitch black, and what you would describe as space-time was highly convoluted and deformed near this... shall we say, anomaly. Your modern scientists may describe such a thing as a black hole, yet it was anything but one. I would say It was half your size, Seeker. None of Them gave It much thought, that is, until It collided with a planet. What happened next even disturbed Him to His core.

Before this... let us call it "incident", the planet was vibrant, full of life, and even had several civilizations developing. When the "incident" occurred, black tendrils shot all across the planet's surface, the life energy was drained out of all life forms, and even the planet itself lost its color, becoming a gray, withered husk after the process was complete. Yes, what was most unsettling, was the speed by which it killed the planet. All it took was a few minutes to destroy what had taken many millennia to create.

That planet was the first of many to fall to Its ravenous hunger. They, fearing Its hunger, banished it to the Void, where it can consume no longer. Some say the banishment could not work entirely on such a... foreign entity. Some say it is the seed that created Edo Edi Essum. Others say that that is Edo Edi Essum's true form. All I know is, we may never know what entity controlled It, or whether It did indeed have a master.

All I know is, if The Seed of Corruption should return, even He will fear Its wrath.

Death

Hmm... I see you have returned, foolish Seeker. I see you have questions on the first tale. I am not the one to answer them. What, do you wish to learn more? Very well then, take a seat, and listen closely, for I am beginning the tale of the Horseman of Death.

You may ask yourself, "The Horseman of Death, that sounds like a conscious entity. How can that be an Item?" I assure you, no entity could do what it was able to do. Well, he was one of Them, in ages past. Yet his soul was corrupted, twisted into something unrecognizable and monstrous. He then imposed exile on himself, and when he returned, nothing was prepared for the destruction It wrought.

It became the vessel for the very spirit of Death itself.

No one knew whose orders It followed; nobody knew whose name It called master. When It appeared on a world, well, you would pray to whatever deity you call god that It was not on your world. Entire planets were mobilized, entire armies were slain as if they were ants. Billions died from Its blade.

It was unstoppable. Even Their legions were slaughtered by Its hands. Until one day, It appeared before a young boy. It slew his family, then disappeared. The only trace of Its existence was a mark left on that young boy, and Its sword, that it mysteriously left behind. Whoever tried to wield the sword was immediately immolated in black flames, except for the boy. That boy disappeared shortly after the revelation, never to be seen or heard from again.

There is much speculation about who that boy would grow up to be, and the vestigial powers left in Its sword. Some say he became the Black King, and imparted some of Its sword's power to create the Black King's Sword. Some say he is in another dimension following the orders of Its original master.

What do I believe? What I believe is that the boy is still here, in this very universe. He is merely waiting for the Sword's master to return. Every cell in his body looks forward to that day. I believe he will attempt to acquire his vengeance. I believe he will be either slain or corrupted by It.

I know even He will fear the return of the Horseman of Death and his apprentice.

Life

So you are still thirsty for the knowledge of the Damned, Seeker? Very well, then, before I continue, I shall ask you to fulfill me one simple request:

Define life.

I can see you balking, Seeker; I can see the sweat dripping from your brow. Why so nervous, Seeker? Do you believe I seek to kill you? Nay, for if I had so wished, you would have been dead even before your procreation began. I merely asked so I can introduce you to the next of the Items of Power:

The Fountain of Life.

You and your primitive race have circulated the myth of the so-called Fountain of Youth. Little do you all know, that there was actually a powerful Fountain of some sort, not of youth, but of Life. Even being present in the same locality as the Fountain would rejuvenate your soul, and make you young again. Therefore the legend of the Fountain of Youth, as It became known, spread throughout the Universe.

The elderly traversed long distances so their youth could be renewed. Those on the brink of death made a pilgrimage to the Fountain so their wounds could be healed. They all thought that their life was being renewed. They did not know that It was being siphoned away from them.

Therefore, It came as a shock to all those who went to the Fountain, to see one of the most frequent users, an ancient entity named Ren'Alevium, disintegrate into dust and bone right after he had been returned to his youth.

The Fountain's appetite for life only grew. And Its ability to siphon life only became stronger with each life It claimed. It soon gained the ability to siphon life away from the planet that It was situated on. What was once a hub for galaxies became a gray, withered husk. To even call that planet a shadow of its former self would be an overstatement.

After all life had been siphoned away from Its own planet, the Fountain produced an unusual green liquid from the life that It had absorbed. This liquid tainted the once pure waters of the Fountain, and It slowly began to spread across the surface of the planet.

This liquid was the essence of "Life" incarnate. And It does everything in Its power to harm those who take life away. Unfortunately, due to the mere fact and burdens of existence, every sentient being is Life's enemy, including you, Seeker. Its power allowed It to traverse through space and time as easily as one muddles through water. It even battled Them and nearly wiped all of Them from the face of existence. And It very nearly removed His life force from his being. Though a concerted effort by every living being in the Universe, Life was somehow contained. Even though all that effort has been put into Its containment, every now and then, It somehow manages to seep out and taint this Universe. Those taints are irremovable, and civilizations die in a matter of minutes. Lush, vibrant worlds become dark dead spots void of life.

Therefore, be wary when confronting Life, of It will, without hesitation, easily steal yours from you.

Healing

Do you feel your sanity slipping away from you, Seeker? Do you feel rational thought losing power in your mind? Do you believe that you are slowly losing your mind? You have no idea what true insanity is like, Seeker, and you never will.

However, to truly comprehend the gravity of my tales, one must be insane. However, you have not lost your mind... yet.

What will you do in the name of knowledge, Seeker?

Will you lose your mind to the quest? I can already see the telltale signs of insanity on your mind. You are not going to remain yourself for long.

I believe the best way for you to learn about the next Item is for you to experience it firsthand. Now let us delve into your mind, and experience the power of the Stone of Healing firsthand.

The farther one travels, the less one knows. Objects, Items, Holders, Seekers, Them, He, what does it all amount to?

Circle after circle after circle, it's almost like a Cycle in a sense. I see all the people in the world, the majority of whom are ignorant, little do they know what horrors are to be unleashed upon them. Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, why are you so blue?

2 is 5 and 3 is 8. The most marvelous digital intelligence can be broken down into a series of zeros and ones. They Fear him say there is A monster out there Everywhere who kills Seekers Rips them to shreds and takes away Just run all of their Objects Abominations what he Can't run, can't hide does with them Kill them all no one knows.

Futile, it is all futile, with no end in sight, just go around and around and around, run and run and run, you run away, but from what? Yourself Eyes darting from left to right, what is he looking for?

Humans are so fragile, so very fragile. Aberrations, errors, glitches, these are normal in electronics, few know that the Universe has them too.

Open, close, open, close, welcome back old friend of mine, what sharp teeth you have.

Life goes on within you and without you.

The sum is Zero.

The sum is Zero.

The sum is Zero.

Devourer of worlds, Devourer of minds, Devourer of mine.

The farther one travels, the less one knows

The Stone of Healing has the power to heal any illness, including those of the mind. Many wars have been fought over it, nearly annihilating the Universe in the process. Then the stone was shattered. I happen to hold one of the shards, Seeker. However, the stone, once fully assembled, has range over entire galaxies. Your army could be fighting on another planet, yet any and all injuries they sustain would be instantly healed. The stone was once even used by Them, in eons past, but if misused, as it once was, the Universe will be plummeted into darkness. Be wary, Seeker, for there are many others who know of the stone, and will gladly kill you if you happen to be in their way. However, those who use the stone for healing, will find that that is the only thing that will heal them. And that brought the downfall of many an Empire.

Sometimes, to be healed, is to be wounded.

Fury

Why is a marvelous word, Seeker. Why do things happen this way? Why are there horrors and monstrosities? Why is your species so... tempted by anger? In fact, that is an excellent question, Seeker, why do frail creatures like you become the most aggravated and irrational of beings at times?

Why do they think they are king of all they see, free to command all within their domain? Do they not think that they are the only ones who can unleash fury?

You may be getting tired of my tales, Seeker. You may nod them off as stories, something old men tell by the fireside to entertain the imagination of young children.

Yes, I need not even dictate to you this story, for the vestigial effects of the events that happened are apparent even now.

It was the spawning of fury, of hate; of every odd little feeling of malevolence toward another being. It was the incident that first shone imperfection into existence, and continues to taint reality with every passing moment.

It was the first murder.

Nay Seeker, forget your fairytale of Abel and Cain that your species tend to revere, for you are sadly mistaken to believe that that was the first crime ever committed.

It happened long ago, long before you, long before Them, before the Objects; it was a time when reality was good, blessings were plentiful, there was no reason to be fearful of the dark, and altruism was second nature to everyone.

This was truly the Golden Age, a moniker your species tends to place on every above-average timespan.

So why did it come to an end? Why are we living like this now?

The answer, young Seeker, is simple: because there are sorrowful souls out there who are never content with what they have.

There was a creature, Ol'feyhat was his name; he was a humble being, always giving to those in need, never hoarding everything for himself, a disgusting effigy of the apex of what your race calls the perfect human.

But I do admire him for one thing: he was content with what he had, and never asked for more than he needed.

As the Golden Age reached its end, there were whispers and shadows growing. Hearts were teetering over the edge of corruption. What was once satisfactory a while ago is now no longer sufficient.

I do not know what caused him to do it. I honestly have no idea.

He was the wealthiest and most powerful person in all of existence, but when he saw the look of contentment on that man's face, it just ate away at him, for it was something he did not have, nor could he ever receive.

There were no weapons, you see, the very concept of murder had not been invented yet. Yet, the man had a slab of obsidian, a prized jewel of his collection. He crafted it, fashioned it into a larger and more shallower form, guided by his heart's most evil desires, he turned what was once a gem into a desecrated staff, and from that, he fashioned a dagger. The dagger was as dark as the blackest night, and pure hatred emanated from its hilt.

The wealthy man was overtaken by darkness and corruption.

I was there. I saw it with my own eyes.

I saw as he plunged the dagger deep into Ol'feyhat. I saw the blood everywhere, I bore witness to the first crime ever committed.

And my eyes grew wide with shock and astonishment as I realized what my crime signified.

I threw the dagger away, banished it from memory and place, I washed myself clean of the blood and guilt, and yet, the damage had been done.

The Golden Age ended, and no living creature will ever experience another peaceful era again.

I still weep with the thought of the potential future the Universe would have had if I had not been so foolish.

So, Seeker, I pray that you, nay, I pray that no one ever comes across The Dagger of Darkness. You may laugh at the name, but there is a reason why every creature has an innate fear of the dark.

Know this, Seeker, every action you do has consequences, some foreseeable, some, unknowable. Deliberate, and be hesitant before you act, for you cannot know everything.

Have I ever told you how fascinated I am with the word "why"? It is a question that I ask myself continuously, yet I can never reach a conclusive answer.

And to this day, Seeker, I am still paying penance for my sin.