Object 67

The Holder of the Cosmos

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to. Get the front receptionist's attention and ask to visit someone called "The Holder of the Cosmos". He will look you up and down. If he mutters and walks away, stay in place - he will return momentarily. Upon his arrival, he will unlock a trapdoor beneath his desk and motion for you to follow. He will lead you down an ancient, creaking staircase made of wooden planks. It remains somehow suspended in an impossibly large room, the sides or bottom of which you will not be able to fathom. The only light will be from the quickly receding entryway. Vast, hulking shapes lumber in the darkness - I recommend that you do not make any noises louder than the gentle squeaking of the stairs.

Your guide will remain only a few steps ahead of you, but in the oppressive darkness, his features remain unclear. You will be descending the stairs for what seems like an eternity. During this time, do not let your thoughts wander. Focus entirely on your objective - the Keeper of the Cosmos. As you sink further into the blackness, wooden planks swaying beneath your feet, your guide's form may seem to shift. It is not a trick of your eyes. If he stops at any time, throw yourself from the stairs immediately - an eternity of falling would be preferable to his torment.

However, should he continue to move, you will eventually begin to feel a wind pick up. Far below you, the tops of trees will become visible. Above your head, a vault of stars and clouds. To your sides, a vast and unimpeded horizon, save for one structure far to your right. As you descend further, you can see it is a mansion with a small dirt road leading from it. This part of the descent is incredibly peaceful and will last for several hours. Enjoy it, but do not under any circumstances look back from where you came. The rickety staircase will collapse and you will plummet to your death.

Eventually, you will reach the bottom of the stairs. They will have deposited you in a thickly wooded forest, a few yards from a dirt road. Your guide will stop moving. In the sparse shafts of moonlight filtering down between the trees, you will notice that he has changed considerably. Where once stood a man now stands a hellish, hulking beast. He will begin to turn. You must run. The staircase you recently descended will have disappeared. Your only choice is the road. The demon is slow, but he will not relent.

Run. Run until your lungs burn and your chest heaves. Run until your throat is slick with blood. Until you cannot run any longer. Give up hope. Fall to your knees. Weep. You will feel the demon's breath at your heels, and you will mumble a prayer into the dirt road as you see your life flash before your eyes. At that very moment, as you have lost all hope, a gunshot will roar into the void of the darkened forest road. The demon at your back will have been slain.

This next moment is crucial. No matter how winded you are, you must stand up and immediately say: "Who is their enemy?" If you wait a split second too long you will be blown to bits in a similar fashion to the demon. However, if you are fast enough, an elegantly dressed gentleman on a horse will trot out of the darkness a few steps down the road. He appears rather young and is holding an ornately crafted, 18th-century pistol in his right hand. He has several large tomes strapped to the saddlebags of his horse and bits of script in a foreign language are visible pasted, in a fashionable way, to various bits of his clothing. He will slowly approach you, making no move to dismount, but visibly interested in your appearance. You must hold his gaze until he disappears in the opposite direction. Following this exchange, your exhaustion will suddenly catch up with you, and you will find it increasingly difficult to stay awake. Give in to your weariness and sleep.

You will awake the next day in your bed, clutching a rough piece of paper. On it, in an elegant script, are written the words: "You are a fool."

That man is the Holder of the Cosmos, and he still holds Object 67 of 2538. He defends the cosmos from their revival. Now that he knows your intentions, he will do anything to stop you.

There is, however, an alternate option. You must already bear the Widowmaker for this work. Instead, when you rise, ask the Holder not, "Who is their enemy?" but instead show him Object 186. If you do, his eyes will widen in surprise and he will dismount. In his hand will be the white, ornate 18th-century pistol he used moments previously to save you. It is the brother of Object 186. He will then ride into the distance, soon fading.

The Holder of the Cosmos has relinquished the Gravebringer, Object 67 out of 2538. You have freed him - but at what cost? For you must now defend the cosmos from their revival in his stead.