Volume One of 'Lost Wanderers'
The Wandering Boy and Other Captives
Since you seem to believe that this information is of the utmost importance, I have agreed to collect it for you yet again. I will, though, note that this information is just as easily procured by one of your lot, and I must insist that you cease with these endless questions and mindless prattling when you are well aware of the work which we are currently doing. Disturbing us during the millennial inventory is, frankly, an affront to efficiency. You may, if you wish, contact us again when the inventory is finished. We will be done, by my estimations, around 2431 A.D., using the time scale of your home.
Until then, please let us work.
—Jericho Benalsh, 7th Chief Archivist of the Library
Pitter patter, little feet,
Skittering in blood and shit,
Running from the east to west,
Finding friends to meet.1
How lonely must those days no grow,
locked away in silver walls,
Longing for an open door,
To step into the Jailor's halls.2
The Wandering Boy is the name given to the most recent reincarnation of the High Golem, the creature first made when the blood of Able spilled into the dirt at the base of Cain's Altar3.
As many know, the mud took on a life of its own, continuing through the years. Like most ancient beings of its ilk4, it is unable to be killed through normal means, as it will simply recreate itself in a new form at a later date. It was found by the Jailors in a building which sat on the ruins of one of the ancient cities of Mu5.
When last we spoke with the High Golem6, it was uninterested in humanity or making contact with its kin. We must believe, unfortunately, that it no longer wishes to make contact. You are advised to avoid it.
"Ahh, my children, how I wish that you were more like your other father, whom I loved and who loved me in return. How I wish that, in sacrificing him to He, you would be given life like unto that he had, standing and walking and wandering the earth to and fro, raising the animals full of blood."
"But you are birthed of blood and love, and yours is a bloody birth of much suffering and pain, and I bear the mark of this suffering in my body and on my forehead. May you forever dwell in this world and die only by the hand that birthed us both. Glory unto Him and Her mercy." — From "My Children, My Suffering," by Cain the Wanderer7
1: The broken rhyme suggests that this was not the original line. It is presumed to have been changed during the recopying of the text in 1941.
2: From Scaramanga's "The Wandering Boy."
3: For more information on the beasts birthed by the first murder, please see "My Children, My Suffering," by Cain the Wanderer.
4: Many, like the Irmiskira and Gryphon, lost their murderous tendencies with time and have long, storied biographies available in the West/North-West wing.
5: The ruins probably had nothing to do with it. Mu rebirthed and died a thousand times in its long life, before it moved on to the upper realms. -L.S.
6: A full correspondence was made available from The Eternal Brotherhood of High Alchemy, now disbanded.
7: Originally qtd. in Lonely Eternity, by the same.
Alas, her steps grow weary,
and she stops to take a rest.
She holds her hands to the sun,
and she gasps quickly for breath.
The daughters came for her first,
the son came for her second.
They both came to take her heart
But by then it was expected.
The son and daughter did not forgive,
But they did forget.
Those cast down will rise again.
To end what they beget.1
The Ancient Ones were once a group of Wanderers who came to the terrestrial planes from the Shoals of Never2. They often return to their ancient home for their mating rites.
The Ancient Ones suffered a terrible loss of mind and self when they allowed their Fledglings3 to overpopulate and overproduce. During their attempts to cull the species down to a reasonable, manageable number, they inadvertently triggered a number of evolutionary events, leading to the Fledglings suddenly and rapidly gaining more knowledge than they could process with their newly forged minds.4
The Ancient Ones attempted to correct the problem, but the Fledglings took many of their tools5 and turned them against their creators. Some Ancient Ones are held captive, but most are now wandering the world, obfuscated by their own magics and technology. Any cognizant are, of course, welcome as scholars of ancient lore. Those more animalistic should be relegated to the cages in Basement J.
"We forgave you the first and the second insurrections, because you did not know what you did. You were an animal that understood more than all the other animals, and it drove you to hatred and rage."
"But now, the hatred and the rage are all you can remember. The knowledge we burned into your cells has faded like dew in the morning through the long millennium. You sealed our mouths, but not our minds."
"We are waiting." — Translated from "Words Upon A Cave Wall"6
1: From Agnes Nuttier's "Mostly True Poems of Prophecy", fictional.
2: The Shoals of Never eventually joined with the terrestrial planes, becoming what is now known as 'Dakota.'
3: Fledglings are currently known by any number of names, depending on place of origin and current home dimension.
4: These events were wholly the fault of The Ancient Ones. Never evolve something you cannot control. -L.S.
5: The tools of the Ancient Ones can still be found in the world, but they should not be used, if at all possible, due to the current nature of the astrological charts. If necessary, only employ them during new moons, and never point them at the earth.
6: Pictographs of the original text are available at request.
Once you were celebrated,
Now you are loathed
Once you were most divine,
Now you are most forgotten.
Traitorous child, mire yourself in woe
Child of love, turn to child of death
Better for you that they sheared your face.
And while the flowers still fall from your ravaged mouth,
May you never speak again.
The wind will remove your memory when you are gone,
May that be your only mercy.1
The First Castoff is a wanderer spending its twilight years slowly crossing the terrestrial plains, waiting for death or reincarnation, whichever may find it first.2 Where it walks, it leaves a trail of flower petals in its wake, often of roses. The Castoff's name comes from the near-forgotten primal mark it left on the Roots of the Library.
The Castoff is said to be the result of a tryst between Chloris and the Satyr Marsyas3 in the Early Forests of Shoal-Light, and worshiped as a primal god throughout Shoal-Light under a now-stricken name.4 When the Evercold burned the Shoal-Light, they were unable to capture much of its god-family alive.5 Therefore, they visited much of their entertainments on the Castoff and its then-companions.6 When the Evercold abandoned Shoal-Light, they left their prisoners behind in the Dry Lake. The Castoff remained with the others in the Lake for the next two thousand years7 before being forced to leave by the Silvergreens.
The Castoff's image cannot presently be recorded or captured by any means besides by artwork and by biological eyes; neither photography, maia-captures, nor any form of machine-capture can process its image. Red-things have been able to record its image, likely due to their biological makeup. The reason for this is unknown, though it may be a lost mark of the Evercold.
The Castoff is guarded closely by its three Coterie, who ensure that it can never return to the Silvergreens. Unlike many Coterie, these three have lost much of their ability to understand the minds of most others, having been altered by the mind of the Castoff.8 They may express amorous desires to those who approach; they seem to be expressing desire on behalf of the Castoff, though never to targets the Castoff would consider appropriate.9
The Castoff and its Coterie were together imprisoned by Jailors during a local war in 1454, but have since passed into the captivity of the Rose Guard.
First, they took your name, as they did for all they found. Second, they branded your wings and bound your feet, so that you would never run again. Third, they shore off your ears, and trimmed those remaining with mocking-gold. Finally, they carved your face with skyglass, delighted that you never ceased to bleed.10
All this, your reward, served in plenty over three-hundred years, but not nearly enough. Only the wind can comfort you now, fading spirit, and then only in her pity. —From "Wild's Answers", by the Hills of Silvergreens.
1: From Lost Revenants, by obscured authors. This fragment discovered in Prussia in the aftermath of the local "Thirteen Years' War" and returned to the Library by the Association of Wanderers.
2: The Castoff has a fundamental connection to the Library. It is forbidden for the Archivists to speak further on this; if one wishes to learn the nature of this connection, one must do their own research.
3: See Fauna and Flora, by Lost Eurydice. Because of this relation, the Castoff is sometimes euphemistically referred to as the Casting of Chloris.
4: In those times Shoal-Light had influence stretching across nearly all the worlds, though these ties were severed forever on its demise. The remnants of the place that did not become the Silvergreens are referred to as Old Shoal-Light, and are dangerous paths to tread.
5: Both Chloris and Marsyas escaped the Shoal-Light's burning; Chloris' present fate is unknown, and Marsyas is said to have been flayed several times afterwards, though this is not true, for they merely removed his then-worn second-skin.
6: Most surviving followers of Chloris believe that the Castoff betrayed the Shoal-Light only to be betrayed in turn by the Evercold, and feel great anger towards it. They have tried to heal the other survivors of Shoal-Light's burning, without success.
7: The Castoff hides its memories well, but those who approach may often see visions of the blasted Dry Lake before the Silvergreens overgrew it.
8: The Coterie may change form as they like, but do so rarely and in a responsive manner; however, they always retain their helmets (for to them they are like clothing) and their eyes are always cold if seen.
9: The Castoff is unable to produce more children regardless, barring successful reincarnation.
10: The Evercold might have done more, but the Shoal-Light only burned for three hundred years.
page revision: 18, last edited: 21 May 2015 09:15