Forever Is A Family's Love
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Excerpts from "The Parrhesia, Tales Etched into Calcified Bone by Tooth and Claw, Records of the Sibling of Truthful Lies" for your enjoyment, Dear Reader.

Sibling Dearest,

It has never been clearer how much your Sister misses you. Each day, she dedicates a thousand skulls in your name, flensing every last one clean of their former owner's skin with her own blade. Such an act of love might only be known between we three, for we know what it means to love and be loved. To wage war against existence is testimony to our adoration of it. A thousand worlds and a thousand peoples. Ten-thousand worlds and ten-thousand peoples. A hundred-thousand worlds and a hundred-thousand peoples. We love life, and therefore we grant it death.

I remember, when we yet still dwelled within the oceans of Forever, you once told me the tale of our ancient lineage; "Across an oozing moist mat of microbial detritus, bacteria devours bacteria. In time, the survivors of such microscopic wars came to line the foreguts of our basal ancestors so they might dissolve the sulphur spewing forth from the black smoke towering over our ancient breeding grounds. Sulphur nurtured our growth, depositing itself within our everted skeletons, and we gorged ourselves upon larger creatures; chitinous insects and shelled worms. This is the most fundamental aspect of the endless conflict which life finds itself endlessly embroiled within." You named this conflict, survival, and we dedicated ourselves to it.

Beneath the waves of Forever, we were once inseparable. The silence of the sea was our sole companion during those short, few years. Even as the Cage of Steel devoured our star, you clung steadfast to your first truth; "There must be some greater purpose than waiting here to die upon this barren rock, Brother." I still dream about the old days, when we would swim freely between the crags and canyons. Do you remember how your Mother would chastise our Sister and I for leading you down into the cavernous depths of the Sunken Hollows? How we used to play games of hide and seek between the icebergs resting upon the ocean floor, darting and dashing between the hollow corals? Do you recall how our Sister dreamed of visiting Verglas upon setting her eyes on it for the very first time? She was so very young and knew nothing of the Cage of Storms, those raging atmospheric winds that devoured the moons falling inside the gravity well of Verglas; the very fate awaiting our own Forever.

Now, we are strung out across distant stars, yet I feel as if our love for one another has only grown longer in one another's absence. I wonder, do you hear your Sister's truths halfway across the universe? Whilst you explore the infinite depths of reality, she plies the bones for their own secrets. A sagacity of survival unto itself, no? Just as you yourself were shaped by your multitudinous Truths and Lies, she has shaped herself through our endless Love and War. Doubtless, the Archons would be proud of us all; no matter the paths we now walk. Do you still honour their deaths? Their silent cries are carved into the recesses of my mind, hollowing out the paths through which we laid claim to our Thrones. Blinded by their own delusions and comforts, they did nothing to advance the Ever-Hunger but feed upon our strength! Parasites, just like the ancient bacteria of our foreguts, and once we had no further use for them… we devoured them.

With my love,
Your Brother of Joyous Sorrows

The Sibling of Truthful Lies chittered as she sagely inspected her Brother's letter, her four mandibles clacking against one another. She opened her palm and immersed the writing in balefire, observing the gory letters curling and dancing between the writhing, sickly flames. Her court gathered close within the shadows of her halls, eager to cast a furtive eye or four upon the words of another Archtriumvir. She made note of those who clung to the recessed doorways and windows, their faces illuminated by sconces alight with balefire. They of cunning thought who lacked the ambition to boldly step forward and press their claim to a place within her Inner Circle. They who would imagine themselves worthy to bask in her presence. They who would soon find themselves tending to her libraries, archives, and mausoleum for the next thousand years. For her trust is earned; never freely given.

The chittering from her Inner Circle soon became a deafening cry across her membranous air sacs; vestiges of their ancient ancestral lineage. She raised her four-fingered hand aloft in a wordless gesture and the Circle was silenced. Her memories of Forever were a distant one. Not one of them had returned home since their lonely voyage across the stars had begun countless years ago, and yet her Brother still clung fondly to the comforting tales. The Sibling of Truthful Lies scowled down at the smouldering ashes of her Brother's missive, each furled letter little more than a stain upon her floor. That fool doted upon a past that never existed and would never exist again. They had been young then. Misguided and misled. Naïve, even.

Still, it would be remiss of her not to reply to her Brother in kindness…

Brother Dearest,

I hope my message finds you in the best spirits. Perhaps you will have just cleaved the head clean from the shoulders of some new adversary, or finally disposed yourself of that foul traitor from the Encarmine Horde, who even now schemes with the inner circles of your court, or perhaps you will annoint your latest champion in the halls of the Slaughter Pits — enshrining his name for all eternity within Archon's Bones. Regardless, ask not how I know of these things, Brother, for you should know well that my web stretches beneath and above the places betwixt.

I know my Sister misses me. A single day does not pass wherein I do not awake to a set of freshly polished skulls resting upon my dais.1 Her love does me a great honour, but I fear it is misplaced. She does not love me, but the shadow which I cast upon her. She must rise out of this shadow and claim her own path. She is yet young, and her truths are not fully formed. Whilst she dedicates this adoration unto me with her words, it is you, Brother, that she loves through her actions.

Those bones she carves and the skulls she whittles are but pale imitations of your own crusades. I have never once erected a pyramid from my victim's fallen bodies — for such is the way of a brutish simpleton — but I have seen such acts replicated within the ranks of my own nobility. From the highest ladies of my Inner Circle, to the lowest lords of my distant lineage, all such acts are directed towards me, true enough, but they are designed in your image. Their supplication is hollow; a thin veneer of worship and exultation. All others know you to be the First of the Archtriumvir and seek to walk beneath your shadows. They hunger for your acceptance. Just as we three did, they wish to feast upon the flesh of a God.

As for your memories of Forever, I am glad to hear you have not forgotten their lessons, and remain gladder still that you have not forgotten my truths. "Your ancestors were doomed from the very moment they began to lick sulphur from the walls of the hydrothermal vents they called home, clinging steadfast to warmth and sustenance; the desperate instincts which life names survival. You were never supposed to exist, a pungent anomaly in the endless struggle between the Nascent Architect and the Blind Womb. A mistake in her design." Scholars from amidst my own Inner Circle have dedicated entire lifetimes to transcribing their passage over and over and over, drawing an infinitude of meanings and arriving at countless conclusions based solely upon the Archon's words. Truth, lies, or perhaps something more?

If we are a mistake, how did we three come to traverse the frozen wastelands of Forever? If we were never supposed to exist, why have we proven our right to life whilst the Archon received the mercy of our love? I have taken truths of my own from their lying tongues, but they are my truths and my truths alone. Now, it is your turn to do the same. Ours is a complex system of religious sacrifice, violent exultation, and feudal hierarchism. Our way is not conventionally moralistic or desirable in any sense of the word. Our innumerable foes have declared us alien and evil, yet we alone prevail. We have proven our right to exist. We are better. We are good.

With all my love,
Your Sibling of Truthful Lies

She watched as the pallid runes burned with balefire beneath a starless sky. Each one had been carved into the circular surface of the ritual platform by a needle of bone, chitin, and sinew. Her retinue of ladies gathered close and loud chittering filled the conductive membranes within her skull. They knew well enough that a simple letter would never suffice for the Sibling of Truthful Lies. Whilst her Brother would often armour himself within noble traditions and ancient customs, she preferred a more direct touch. She had learned this beautiful practice from a people whom she had conquered in a memory lost to time. The war had raged for centuries. One of many. As irrelevant as the next. They had been capable of communicating by means of the hungry void between the stars, notifying entire star systems of her arrival in the time it took for the Sibling of Truthful Lies to blink her four eyes. Despite their advantage, she had annihilated that species and took their talents for herself. Such was her personal obligation to the universe. She would know everything, cleaving the truths from within lies.

Two of her loyal ladies-in-waiting stepped forward, gathering the twinned trains of her dress in their hands. The bones and teeth of countless species adorned her ritual garb, offering up the truths of their deaths as tribute to her ritual. Strength was found in the death of life, it was known. The Sibling lowered her hand, calling for silence, as she stepped forwards into the flaming runes. They leapt and swirled about her, eagerly lapping at her body. She remained unscathed. Her message, distilled as viral symbology throughout the runic inscriptions adorning the circle, was sent screaming through the place betwixt. There, it would surely deliver itself to the intended recipient…

Sibling Dearest,

I see a hundred-thousand years has only served to sharpen your scheming nature. Though you may once have been our Father's favoured daughter, do not imagine that I shall brook any defiance towards Brother's reign. Our Brother presently finds himself indisposed fighting armies raised by the Lord Encarmine in open rebellion against our names, whilst his newest champion takes to the field against an enemy which even now refuses to engage our fleets. A thousand skulls in your name, and this is how you repay me! If my Inquisitors should uncover a single scrap of evidence that your claws were involved in these latest heresies, I will personally carve your chitin from your living corpse and forge it into a glorious plate of armour for our Brother! I shall have your treacherous head! I will spike it upon a throne decorated in the gore of your entire household. I shall bask in your death, for that is my love!

For the love that is death,
Your Sister of Loving War

The glowing embers of the ritual circles collapsed into spent ash and burnt chitin. Ten thousand souls had burned for her words to cross a distance of ten-thousand parsecs. Such a paltry offering was nothing in her eyes, just another of the countless sacrifices made throughout our lives. It was as if she had skipped a pebble across the fabric of reality, as they had done upon the shores of Forever's ammonia seas when they were but young broodlings, sending her words hurtling into the heart of her Sister's Weeping Bastion. It was not an act of treachery which she had performed, but an act of love, our dear reader.

"And oh, how I love you, little Sister."

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