Object 311

The Holder of Deities

In any city, in any country, go to any temple or place of sacred worship from your religion. When you head inside, do what you normally do in it, but before you leave, kneel somewhere, close your eyes, and pray, even if the faithful of your religion do not practice praying. Start praying in the way you're accustomed to (or the way you think you'd pray, if you do not) and concentrate. Before you finish, calm yourself, concentrate, and ask your deity about "The Holder of Deities".

At this point, start counting with your mind. If you do not hear any strange, startlingly different sound in 5 minutes, it means you have failed the test and are not faithful enough. You must quickly get up and flee the place, and I suggest you get out of the city as well. From now on, you must never step into any place of worship, even one of another religion. You must also never pray again during your lifetime, for they will know where you are if you dare to do so, and they will stop at nothing to bring horrifying death and an empty afterlife to you. You have been warned.

If you hear a strange voice uttering unthinkable words, just loud enough so you can tell it apart from any background noise, you may open your eyes and look around. You will now notice that any other sign of life is gone, from plants to people, and deathless silence will dominate the place. Look around yourself and you shall find a figure completely covered in a strange cloak made of neatly stitched leather, slightly hunched. If you think you are prepared, steel yourself and approach the figure from the back or side, but should you find your beliefs cracking under the pressure of this alien ordeal, stand in front of the figure. The figure will ask you, with a gentle, welcome voice, "Do you repent your sins?" Answer it truthfully; do not attempt to trick it or you will suddenly pass out, awaking several days later on the place you once prayed and must flee and never pray again. The same thing shall happen if you answer truthfully, but you will be safe and free to come back and try again another day.

If you are indeed prepared, touch the figure on either of its shoulders and it shall start to walk forward; you must follow. It is safe to just walk along it for now, but once it reveals a once unseen door and starts to turn the knob, you must IMMEDIATELY hold onto its shoulder and close your eyes. Follow it beyond the doorway, always with your eyes closed, even if you experience extreme cold or immense heat, do not flinch; you will not be hurt unless you let go of the figure, and if you dare to open your eyes you will be able to see Them and They will now see you as well. While They will be unable to hurt you as long as you grasp the figure's shoulder, you will have to endure the journey knowing that, once you have to let go of the figure, you will suffer a fate far worse than hell for daring to set your gaze on Their forbidden features.

If you remain steadfast during the long journey (which, mind you, will last for hours on end), the figure will, at some point in time, stop completely. When it does, wait until you hear the sound of a heavy lock being opened. If you do, it is safe to open your eyes and let go of the figure. If you do not, don't do anything at all, the figure will resume the march after some time; you must do so as well, and do not let go of its shoulder.

At the moment the figure stops and you hear the noise, let go of the figure and open your eyes. You will find yourself staring inside a gargantuan hall, decorated in gold, crimson silk, and bones. You must now walk inside without hesitation; do not set your gaze on anything else until you are inside, else you risk being locked outside in the endless gray oblivion. The Cyclopean doors will lock behind you.

At this point, there is no way back, but you are free to wander and look around. The ceiling is completely covered in awe-inducing images depicting the genesis of the universe, as described by each and every religion in the same fashion as the countless windows, each depicting a religious figure. The hallway's sides and walls are almost completely covered in all manner of idols, symbols, statues, images, and marks of every religion in this universe: some beautiful to hold, some so horrific that your gaze will avoid passing over it, and if you looked carefully and long enough, you would find one of your religions as well. ALL of them are priceless artifacts of unknown eras, eternal reminders of their faithful. You must not touch ANY of them, no matter what, even one of your faith, else you condemn yourself to suffer all penances of all religions for the rest of your impossibly long existence, and unable to die until you have suffered them all.

Steel your resolve once more and head toward the end of the hallway, where you will find a large stone door. To pass you must kneel before it and say, "I wish to worship the lord of all prayers." Only then it shall open, revealing a place cursed with a very thick mist, preventing your eyes from seeing anything farther than a few feet in front of you; be thankful for that. At the exact moment the giant door opens, cover your ears, for you will be engulfed in chanting cacophony. The chanting will be repetitive and maddening, being repeated in all languages, by all manner of beings, and your hands will not be able to stop it from reaching your brain; but even so, do not remove your hands from your ears. The part of the sound they block should be more than enough to protect your mind's integrity. Should it not, try to at least keep your ears covered while you walk through the mist, for hearing the full, unblocked chant will shatter the very control of your body and your heart, ears, and eyes will explode, and your soul will be forever stunned by the endless cacophony, stranded forever in the noisy hell, forever screaming at the top of your voice but never hearing yourself; and no one, not your god or even another Seeker, will be able to save you.

Head straight forward through the mist until the endless chant starts to subside, as if you were far away. Keep moving until you stop hearing the chant; it is now safe to uncover your ears, but stay on guard, for it also means that the Holder is nearby.

At this moment, you must kneel and pray. Speak into your mind, "I am faithful, show me the way!" Open your eyes, get on your feet, and do not say a thing. Many open hands will pierce through the mist, all different from each other, inviting you to hold and follow them to their owner. It is crucial that you do not move an inch; you must not touch any of them. They will slowly retreat back into the mist, but others will appear, and the cycle will repeat for some time. Do not touch any of them. No one knows what happens if you choose one, except for two facts, which puzzle the minds of all Seekers who have knowledge of them:

  • The one who dares to touch one will be taken away to an unknown, foreign place.
  • It has been said that if the Objects ever unite themselves, these places may be the only ones to not be touched by the unthinkable force that will be released on the cosmos.

These beliefs are dubious at best, and what awaits you on the other side might be worse than any horror this universe can conceive. But it is certain that an eternity in the bowels of hell is much more pleasant than to experience the horror of the union of the Objects.

If you persevered in the path of the Seekers, after all hands subside, you may finally ask the question, "What do they pray for?" The mist will then start to fade away, very slowly, as a withered old hand with six fingers reaches out to you. Grab it. You will be slowly pulled upward, walking up some steps that will now be visible, the hand pulling you at the same rate the mist subsides.

At the top, you will find yourself facing the Holder: a tall figure covered in a lush, yet horrid, robe, stitched with gold threads and covered in countless mouths. His facial features will also be mouths, mouths instead of eyes, nose, and ears, all smiling at you. He will let go of your arm and slowly move backward then stop, and you will notice that, as the mist thins, that he is standing on the edge of an endless abyss, spanning indefinitely in the distance, shrouded in darkness and dotted with distant lights, like a cloudless night sky. He will now sing a chant with every single mouth he is endowed with; this one will not hurt you.

You will notice a gargantuan figure approaching the edge, nothing but a faint silhouette on the endless distance. You must close your eyes, or you risk gazing upon something beyond the reaches of time and the limitations of space; looking at it will shatter your soul, forever erasing you from existence, though you will feel no pain.

As you wait, turn around and do not move. It will take a long time, but no matter what sounds you may hear, what fear gets hold of you, persevere.

When it is done, the Holder will reach gently for your hand and put a cold, heavy object in your hands. The Holder will bend forward and whisper to you every reason, every faith, every gruesome motive that fuels them, and why their prayer must not be answered. After the maddening sermon, he will say, as if mocking you, "Now open your eyes and see the truth."

When your eyes are fully open, a powerful gust of wind seemingly coming from nowhere will blow the rest of the mist completely away, and then you will see.

Of every size and every shape possible, all of them. Looking at you in disgust. Mocking you in so many ways your mind cannot grasp. Uncaring. Indifferent.

And now, everything you once believed in will cave into your very soul. You may cry. You will never be the same again; your god has not committed the greatest sin, in front of your very eyes.

Your vision will fade into black and you will be back right outside your former place of worship and you will see a black, smooth stone idol in your hands, completely engraved.

The engraved idol is Object 311 of 2538. It holds the prayers of a doomed world; they will be answered when they are united.