Object 550

The Holder of the Old Way

To locate this Object, you will need to carry with you some sort of weapon. In any city, in any country, locate any indoor spot of seclusion. This needn't be any particular building, merely one you find sanctuary in. Calm yourself and state clearly, in a confident voice, "Death before dishonor. A noble soul knows his worth." Make sure not to misread the words, as to do so is to willingly seek a grizzly end. Once you have said the words, exit the building. You have all the time in the world in which to leave this building, however, know that they are now watching you and it is not polite to leave them waiting for long. On your way out it is important not to speak to anyone inside this building, this is of the utmost importance, as they are no longer themselves, and once you respond to anything they say they will jealously begin to devour your body shred by shred.

When you exit the building, begin to walk in any direction. To the first person you come across, you must look directly in the eyes and state: "I wish to see the Holder of the Old Way." They will look confused and explain they don't know what you are talking about. You must insist, however, and repeat once more, "I wish to see the Holder of the Old Way." At this point, they may become angry and start to yell at you, try to walk away from you, or threaten you. Ignore these, they are simply to goat a reaction out of you. Say nothing after you've asked twice and eventually they will sigh and lead you to a nearby church.

They will not pass through the door, only lead you to it. Once there, thank them and enter the building. Upon entering, you will find yourself in a large circular room, the walls lined with bookshelves, the wood having vines crawling along it like a cancer, and the books ancient as time itself. Standing before you will be a strange figure. The figure will walk toward you; DO NOT FLEE. Instead, stare it directly in its eyes, they will not harm you if you show you are unafraid. The figure will then request that you draw your weapon. This is the only time in which you can avoid having to fight this being. Should you wish to fight it, draw your weapon and pray you have the strength to defeat the creature. Should you wish to avoid a harsh and difficult fight, refuse to do so and state, "Once drawn, my weapon must taste blood, and none need be shed here." The figure will nod and begin to disintegrate, leaving no trace it was ever there.

Instead, in its place, will be another strange figure. This one will offer to shake your left hand. Immediately refuse, for to shake its hand is to allow it to tear your very soul out from within you and cast it into a void of suffering Dante could scarcely describe. Instead, offer your right hand and it will shake that instead. Be prepared, for immediately afterward, it will begin to attack you. Despite the demonic nature of the creature before you, it will only throw punches at you throughout this fight. You must land a single strike anywhere on its body, but take caution, for should you hit it below its torso even once by leg or fist, you will feel nothing ever again.

Upon striking it, it too will vanish and you will find yourself looking at a man behind a desk. Do not ask his name. The figure will then ask several things of you. First, he will ask your name. State it proudly. Then, he will ask you to retrieve a book for him. If you are a smart Seeker, you shall do so. He will then ask you to cut your right arm three times. Should the weapon you brought not be a blade, you will find he has one situated on his desk. Make the cuts quick and precise. Finally, he will ask you to bring him the heart of your closest friend. REFUSE. I cannot begin in a thousand years to describe how important it is for you to refuse to perform this task, for should you have even the slightest intention of accepting, you will be forced to carry the task out and never obtain the Object, having nothing but your guilt for eternal company.

After you refuse, the figure will look up at you. His eyes will have the tear and pain of betrayal wrought through them and you will feel every ounce as you meet his gaze. He will demand that you slay your closest friend, he will tell you that should you refuse you will never obtain the rest of the Objects, that you are not half the Seekers Legion was, and that you shall doom the world to darkness. Now you must state clearly, "Then to darkness it shall fall."

The world will fall away from you and you will find yourself in complete darkness. You are nearly done. As the darkness sets on you, you will feel yourself moving through space and time until finally, which may take days, you will find yourself standing on the top of an old tower overlooking the other Objects and the carnage they have wrought and shall bring again. Standing opposite you on the tower is a figure clad in an elegant suit. He is the Holder of the Old Way. The figure will turn to you and you will notice a silver rapier in its hand. You will notice a small rusty blade at your feet. Pick it up and begin to fight. The Holder is quick but will likely try to match your skill, rather than exceed it. You will notice several guns lining the edges of the tower, but do not use them. To cheat now would be to cast your soul aside and invite misery on all you cherish. Survive the fight. After an unknown amount of time, the figure will drop its blade and look at you. Should you strike it while unarmed, the blade will wrap around you like a snake and slowly begin to travel down your throat, making its way through your body until it will finally cut through your spin and straighten, ripping it utterly in half.

Instead, ask it, "What makes a worthy soul?" The figure will tell every story of valiant hero, of noble samurai, of honorable duelist, and devoted lovers. It will speak of every soul who lived by their word and held true to their vows. Then it will speak of all those who did not, who betrayed those who trusted them, and who cast aside honor and pride without care. The pain of these stories will cause you to blackout.

When you awake, you will find yourself back outside your building of sanctuary. Sanding in the ground at your feet will be the silver rapier. As long as you hold it, it will pierce anything, even the void. Be warned, however, for the blade will force you to honor your word, even at the cost of your own life, and should you ever attempt to strike an unarmed opponent with it you will wish dearly that your soul be obliterated and your mind spared the absolute endless misery it will be forced to endure for all time.

The rapier is Object 550 of 2538.