Object 252

The Holder of Diligence

In any forest, in any country, make your way to the thickest, darkest part of the woods. Once there, you will find yourself facing a large white stone, embedded in the earth. In order to proceed, you must offer a sacrifice of blood. Once you have drawn the blood, you must run it across the face of the stone, from top-right to top-left. After your sacrifice of blood, nothing will seemingly happen. At this point, you must sit down upon the earth, cross-legged, and wait. After twenty-five minutes, you will hear shuffling from somewhere behind you; you mustn't avert your gaze from the stone before your eyes.

After another five minutes, the earth will begin to shudder. As the shaking grows more violent, you must rise to your feet and bear witness to the stone as it slides away from you, revealing a large square hole in the ground. When the quakes end, you may proceed into the dark hole. As you descend into the bowels of the earth, you will notice the air becomes cooler, damper.

Eventually, after several long minutes of descent, you will come to a passage in the earth, covered by a thin blue sheet. This is your last chance to flee. If you choose to move forward, you must say the following before continuing: "I wish to prove my worth. Please accept my word that I proceed, seeking only truth."

When you enter the passage, you will find yourself just a few paces away from a large, dark, round cavern. Entering, you will be greeted by the reflective eyes of a vaguely humanoid creature, crouching in the center of the room, his hands folded atop something on the floor. Once again, you must wait, this time for sixty minutes before moving or speaking, lest the creature lunge and attack you. After the five minutes are up, the creature will bow its head and you must ask: "How long has it been?"

The creature will look at you again and begin whispering its past, the means of its coming into possession of the Object, its time waiting for a Seeker. Its story will pierce you to the soul, making you feel as if you have aged along with the crouching creature, ancient feelings overwhelming you. If you submit to the strong desire to remain still, you will become a living statue, unable to move, unable to speak. If you take a step forward, the spell will be broken and the creature will reveal the Object to you, muttering something incomprehensible, before fading into darkness. You may move forward now and take the Object, a small gray stone, cold to the touch.

The stone is Object 252 of 2538. They have endured the test of time, but shall you?