Object 469

The Holder of Revelry

This Holder cannot be found in any normal halfway house or mental institution. During the 1800s, after muckrakers uncovered a series of horrific abuses in certain asylums, many were forced to close down after the public learned of the horrors perpetrated within. With the rapid change that accompanies the passing of so many years, these abandoned buildings were forgotten in the mists of time by generations who had never had the misfortune of being trapped within their walls. But, not by those who yearned only for the thrill of the unending horrors that those dark and long-forgotten cells once held in store for them.

If you should ever come upon an abandoned building in your seeking, look for its entrance if you dare. Should you find the words "I am Dionysus unbound, joy and terror one" written upon it in red, your fate is sealed. You must open the door and enter, without fail. If you should walk away, you may not enter His domain, but He will make His way into your very soul. Every laugh, every moment of high spirits, every glow of contentment that you shall ever feel will bring with it unbearable, gnawing fear without bound, and the feeling of looming dread at the mere thought of happiness will walk hand-in-hand with the sickening rush of danger. You will either swing like a pendulum from the euphoria of endless peril to the crushing burden of merciless terror, or you will separate yourself from anything and everything you love so that your horror will never claim you again in the shadow of a life you now endure. Both are but paths to the certain madness that awaits you if you deny the Holder's invitation.

Enter the asylum; you will know you are in the right place when you feel the oppressive humidity of hot, stagnant air weighing down upon you. A pale little girl in a pristine white dress will trot up to you, angelic features turned up in a broad smile, and shove a full black glass into your hands. Drink it all, no matter how much it burns, for if you fail to accept this gift the little one's eyes will turn to a monstrous glare before she leans forward on tiptoe, jams her little fingers into your neck, and tears out your throat, leaving you to wander as a forever thirsting shade. Once you are done, she will offer her hand. Take it. The little girl will lead you down a long corridor, past countless cells, all of them roaring with hysterical laugher as your gait begins to grow unsteady and your sight blurs from the drink overpowering your senses and your mind. Do not dare to look inside any of the cells, for in each is a patient horrifically mutilating themselves to their own riotous cackling. If you should so much as glance into their wild eyes, you will join them in their maddening laughter as you watch your own two hands rend your flesh apart in your mindless stupor.

If you should manage to keep hold of your senses long enough, you will eventually reach the far end of the corridor, where not even the dim light of this forsaken place shines, the hideous laughter fades, and all that can be heard is a distant whistling from afar. The little girl will release your hand, and you must begin to walk forth on your own without looking back. When you have ventured far enough down this hall, you will, at last, see a dim red light before you, and the whistling will grow ever louder 'til the walls seem to shudder from its thunderous volume. As you come under this light, a hoarse, breathless voice like that of a man who has been screaming for all time shall ask, "Who am I?"

Stop. Do not say "You are Dionysus," for you shall yearn for nothing more than the peace of nothingness as its hacking laughter resonates in your ears so long as you live. Say only, "You are the Holder of Revelry." At this, step forward, and you will see Him in an opened cell lit by that same red light, bound against the ceiling by chains and manacles that cut deep into burnt flesh too dry to even bleed, empty eye sockets drawn fast as he looks down upon you, the stumps of his ears twitching at every sound you make, and no nose save for the cavity in his skull that whistles as he inhales quickly and unevenly. His face will be twisted into an expectant grin, almost trembling with anticipation. Ask, "What are the joys of evil unbound?"

You will barely have finished your question before he licks his charred lips and begins to speak in that raspy voice that grates against your very soul, speak of the joys of all the twisted men in their endless and vile deeds, and as he speaks you will share their twisted satisfaction as it passes through your mind for but a moment. He will tell of how when the End is near all of the darkest desires of man will be let loose as humans become no more than beasts reigning their terror upon one another, until there is nothing but oblivion. His voice growing ever quicker and more exhilarated with the telling, the red light will flicker, buzz, and then die as he speaks the last few words of the inevitable doom of all that walks the earth. Then, silence.

Step forward into the now flightless cell, and grope in the darkness against the floor. There will be the glass the little girl handed you before, the 469th Object. It grows ever fuller with each of its kind you gather, to send its drinker into murderous ecstasy in celebration of the End that is soon to be.