Object 398

The Holder of Chirography

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Chirography". The worker will look sternly at you and reach into his desk and hand you a silver pen. Take the pen from his fingers and hold it firmly in your left hand. The pen will be ice cold in your grasp, but you must not let go of it. The worker will then ignore you and go back to his duties. Turn around and walk directly to the door behind you. The door has no handle, but will open for you when you approach. Enter the door and wait for it to close before continuing.

You will find yourself in a long stone hallway adorned with torches on the walls. Throughout the hallway, you will hear continuous scratching sounds, as of many quills writing on parchment. If, at any time, the scratching sounds stop, immediately and without pause plunge the silver pen into your eye. This is infinitely preferable to what will happen to you if you do not.

Continue down the hallway, taking care to never look back from your journey. You will walk for what seems a very long time, but continue onward. No matter how long the path leads, do not stop for rest for any reason; walk steadily until you reach the end. When you finally do reach the end of the hallway, stop before the blank wall and sit down and close your eyes. This is the only place where it is safe to rest. Take extra care to not fall asleep while you are resting, for if you do you will never wake up. When you feel you are able to continue, stand up and open your eyes.

Around you will be a garden with gravel paths leading through the trees and hedges. The sky will be an oppressive gray and the air infused with a dull light, though there is no sun to warm you. Wander the pathways but never step off of them or tarry to inspect the fauna growing beside them. Eventually, you will meet a young man with long gray hair dressed in a robe and holding a book and feather quill. Under no circumstance look at the pages in his book, for to do so would mean your certain end. He will smile at you pleasantly and greet you. If you choose to talk to him, know that all things he tells you are the truth but be careful. The innocuousness of things might be enough to plunge you fully into madness, never returning.

If you are brave enough to have spoken with him or even if you choose to say nothing, afterward, ask him politely for the quill that he carries. He will shake his head and decline your request, explaining that without the quill he would not be able to do what he is there to do. Raise up the pen still in your left hand and offer it to him in exchange. He will take the pen from you and hand you the quill in return. Avoid touching the red liquid that drips from the point and take it by the feather part. Even if the feather squirms in your hand, do not drop it or you will never see the waking world again.

The man might continue trying to speak with you, but trust nothing he says any longer. Say nothing until he finishes and turns to leave. Follow him wherever he goes until he passes through another door. Let him enter the door and close it behind him before following suit. You will find yourself outside the building, the quill still in your hand.

The quill is Object 398 of 2538. Use it only once to write the proper inscription.