Metanoia

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Chapter One

I abruptly awoke to the screams of the ship’s crew. A storm had struck, and the windows had burst open carrying with it the salty ocean water. I hastily closed the window and put on my leather frock to head towards the deck. As I opened the doors of the chamber a harsh breeze nearly knocked me off my feet.

While walking on the deck to assess the situation, a massive wave struck the deck taking with it two men. I held onto the shrouds of the ship as waves rocked it back and forth.

Climbing the shrouds to take a better view of the raging waters I spotted something which I suspected had created this unusual storm. I had been plagued with horrid dreams which had haunted me two nights prior. Taking out my journal and reviewing it, I noticed an uncanny resemblance to an Otegon, the ancient entity that was protector to an assigned part of the sea. I hastily put my gloves on, and took the dagger from my satchel, jumping into the wrathful sea.

The scaly kilometer-long elongated body had radiated a feeling of utter dread. Its effeminate head and web like anatomic structure made my heart beat alike drums, and its jarring presence would make any entity, mortal or immortal, tremble into catatonic fear, but I had to resist it.

Swimming towards creature with all my strength I headed straight for his heart. The entity noticed my presence and let out a blood curdling screech that nearly rendered me deaf. Undeterred I did not let that stop me.

As I approached the Otegon, it jolted straight for me. Its enormity was so vast that minuscule movements made the waters roar. I was fortunate enough to attach myself to the entity with the dagger before it created internal waves of colossal magnitude that would have pushed me deep into the trenches.

Jabbing my way up the Otegons’ web-like scaly body, it screeched and caused sounds that would haunt my dreams for eternity.

Before I reached the entities’ heart, the Oregon decided to swim down into the abyss. My hands began to feel sore so I decided to complete the job as swiftly as I possibly could.

Approaching the heart, was a task in in of itself, its slimy maze of a body made it nearly impossible to reach the chamber.

At last, there I was, standing in front of the dreaded heart of an Otegon. Its heart had held the souls of sailors from all seasons and all centuries. Thousands of tormented faces which had cried for mercy could be discerned on the foul crust of the Otegons’ heart.

To kill such an ancient entity was not just to be rid of it, but to release the souls of its caged prisoners. So, before proceeding, I readied myself for a rapid escape.

I approached the abominable heart, lifting my dagger and vigorously plunging it onto the heart of the Otegon. The combined shrieks of the entity and screams of the released souls made me cringe as I dragged the blade of my dagger down the heart. When all the souls where released, I jolted out of the Otegons’ body and speedily swam to the surface as the ancient entity dissipated into the abyss.

Emerging from the cold and dark trenches of the ocean, I spotted an island on which the ship had run aground.

I could scarcely swim due to the waves dancing in the black and thunderous sky, knocking me back and forth.

Lying on the cold and rocky beach, I rested as I reminisced of my journey, its beginning and, current predicament. A tiny rock on the beach caught my attention. Picking it up I noticed that it resembled a triangle. Taking a fancy to it I willed it into my realm.

I was able do such things, as with my clothes and other possessions, but I could never will a soul into my realm. Anything of flesh and blood, or of such complexity, since it would bring nothing but fragments of an abstractions which no mortal being could conceive. Indeed, I had tried.

I recall the first time; I had tested my curse with my professor. He had given me a simple rat and told me to will it into my realm. I gave it all my best, only to destroy the simple sanity of the poor rat. Days later the rat had extirpated itself in a bottle of acid.

Nevertheless, the professor tried his best to help me. Through all his imperfections, he was a good person, and the only one that could, to an extent, recess my loneliness.

The first time I met him was a while after I had my first encounter with an entity. I was bewildered with a sense of curiosity and intrigue. Exploring the libraries of London, trying to determine what I was, or more precisely, where I was, in the far corners of the vast library I had encountered books speaking of mythologies and magic which I felt akin to.

Nevertheless, they did not give me rest or any sense of revelation as to what I was or where I might be, since they were but fairy tales and grimoires.

One night in the darkest hour, when all the patrons had left the library, I noticed a man, walking about. He seemed different, extraordinary. His eyes seemed to contain knowledge which no man should hold. Taking a special interest in him, I followed this mystery man through the grand and vintage library.

After a short period of time, he halted, and doubtfully turned his ears toward me, as if he sensed my presence. Nevertheless, the strange figure kept on walking. He had wandered into places which I had never known existed in the library.

At last finding his destination, he settled into an empty corner of the library. The place was dark and damp, with spider webs covering the empty shelves. In the middle of this corner was a triangle carved into the rocky ground, with symbols unknown to me.

The mysterious figure stood in the middle of this triangle. His torn dark blue cape was waving in a wind whose source could not be determined. As the man put on his hood, he took out a small twig, which erected into a formidable wooden staff.

I was in awe and continued admiring the sight. The intriguing man had then kneeled upon one knee and touched the cold rock with his hand. Bright scorching lights illuminated the outlines of the triangle and a staircase conjured into the ground. My curiosity was at bay as I followed the strange man down the conjured stairwell.

As we arrived at the last step, we entered a rather bland room, with nothing in it but an old wooden door. It was perplexing, as the old wooden door had not leaned on any wall, for it was set in the very middle of the cold and empty room.

The man approached the aimless door, opened it, and closed it behind him. I stood there, amazed by the act.

With hesitation I walked around the old wooden door, in hopes that I could unearth some form of explanation. Seeing none I curiously stood in front of the enigmatic wooden door and opened it.

Coming out on the other side, I was confused. It was the same room as before. But there was something odd about the atmosphere of the room. It had a warmer tint to it, the tint of the morning sun.

Eyeing the stairway, I hastened to it. Climbing the stairs, I noticed that the bookshelves which had previously been empty, where now full and the spider webs had vanished.

Finally, arriving at the top of the spiraling steps I was met with the unimaginable. A canyon of bookcases, kilometers in height and hundreds of meters in length. I was baffled by the grandeur and in absolute fascination of the sight.

Suddenly from nowhere a man descended, landing on top of me, and pinning me up against the bookshelf which resided now behind me. His clothing was drastically altered, for now he wore a long black coat and a dirt-brown vest over his white button up shirt.

“What are you doing here?” the man asked.

“You can see me?” I answered with a sense of confusion and joy.

“Yes of course, I can.”

The strange man lifted his staff from my neck and pointed it at me.

“Now, I ask again, what is your business here?”

“I don’t know! I just followed you! Are you sure you can see me?” my voice trembled at the weight of confusion and bewilderment.

“What?” the man had a puzzled look on his face, trying to interpret what was happening.

“I swear! I just followed you down here! I did not know you could see me!”

I was overwhelmed by the situation and tried to comprehend what was going on.

“Hmm…” The man put his staff down and turned his back to me. “So, it was you I sensed in the library.”

The man then lifted his staff up towards the left side of mountainous bookcases.

After he lifted his staff a smaller bookshelf began to levitate towards him.

“I guess?” confusedly I uttered.

I was distracted by this act and gazed in perplexity. The arcane man turned his glare my direction and sensing that I was no threat, he squinted his eyes, trying to discover who I was.

“What is your name boy?” The man asked as the bookshelf arrived before him.

“My name?” I asked to stall for time.

“Yes, your name boy”, the man replied, as he retrieved a book from the floating bookcase.

I noticed a book to my left, which had fallen due to my being pinned against the shelf. Its author was named Augustine the Necromancer. –“Augustine…” -Hastily I searched for a last name on various books. In the corner of my eye, I noticed a last name -Warlock.

“Warlock! Augustine Warlock is my name,” I replied with what little confidence I had.

“So, you are a warlock? “The man inquired.

“No.”

“How about we just stick with, Augustine?” the man sarcastically asked as he retrieved the fallen book back to the shelf.

“Sounds good…” I lowered my head. The innominate man noticed my shame. Approaching me, he stretched out his hand.

“Griffin the alchemist! Pleasure to meet you.”

Staring at his hand for just a moment, I gazed into the eyes of the alchemist, and noticed something I simply could not put my finger on.

The alchemist turned his back to me and sent the bookshelf back to its place, among the vast wall of books. He gave me the book which he had taken from the shelf, and with his staff called upon another bookcase which was already soaring about.

“Follow me, young Augustine.” The alchemist uttered as he stepped on the roof of the shelf.

“Come, come,“ He called out to me with his staff.

I hesitated, but at last, I stepped on the peculiar transport. When it lifted, I nearly plummeted down into the unknown. Fortunately, I gained my balance, but the book which the alchemist had given me, slipped from my hand, and plundered into the mist.

It was at this moment when I realized the grandeur of this canyon of books, for it stretched further than the eye could see, and its vastness made me seem minuscule.

“Where are we, sir?” - I asked, trembling.

The alchemist did not return the gaze, but instead smirked with a pride.

“Welcome, Augustine, to the Athenaeum of Myriad.”

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