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There is a terrible darkness that gnaws at the souls of men. A vast and inescapable void that looms, ever present, and hungers. My own studies into the forbidden had led me down the path to madness. The toll of grappling with things which should not be seen, and cannot be unseen. I had worried my nails to ruins, and found myself plagued by a cough. My laugh a nervous titter. The Miskatonic University was more asylum than a place of learning. The lost and wicked roamed the halls, either unaware of uncaring what they had sacrificed in their quest for knowledge best left hidden. A sanitarium of the damned.
I slept fitfully, straining against my covers and sweating profusely as horrors haunted my dreams. Dead things in sunken cities that would rise once more to bring ruin to our world. A terrible mass of undulating tentacles that would alight upon the forest and give birth to twisted nightmare beasts. A king in yellow, seated on an ancient throne in the frozen plateau of Leng.
One night, he came. The Viking. His eyes blazed beneath his helm. He pointed his axe at me and spoke. I cannot say for certain what he said, for I do not speak Norse. The path was clear to me, however. Ragnar himself had come to me in a vision. He swept his arm to reveal a trail. An escape. I could not save myself from what I had learned, but I could run from it.
Run I did. Into the night. Through the night. In the mornings. Afternoons. It did not matter the time. Only in flight could I find peace. Only in fruitless attempts to flee could I find some measure of tranquility. I found others, and joined with them. Ragnar himself had brought me to this place, and while it is not salvation, it is the best I can hope for. When the Deep Ones come, boiling forth from the oceans in advance of the dread Cthulhu, I cannot escape, but I can run. When the spawn of Shub-Niggurath ooze forth from the woods, I can run. When Ragnorak comes and Ragnar himself takes the field of battle against the giants, I can run.
Last night’s kill count: 1
There you were. Daintily perched atop the wall, contemplating your course of action. On one side, security and safety. A place you knew. Where you grew into your current loathsome incarnation. Where you might go about your business unmolested. Where you could hunt and lie to yourself that you are a king. The unchallenged apex predator.
On the other, tales of death and horror. Of a mad man with eyes like fire. A demon with a stick and poison breath to rain suffering and doom on you and all your wretched fellows. A crazed beast that frothed at the mouth and screamed for blood. That which hunts the hunters.
Did you expect your temerity might save you? That I might be wracked by the same indecision and stay my hand? Fool. What did you seek to find here, scorpion? Glory? These are fields of Gehenna. Here you shall find judgement and death. Only judgement and death. There are no tales of valor sung in this accursed place. No tome inscribed with tales of great heroes. Only the corpses of the shattered and broken. The rotting flesh of those who felt their insides burn and putrefy. This is where you met your end. This is how it always ends. I left your wretched remains atop the wall as a monument to your impertinence. Let any others who share your ambition look upon them and know the cost of hubris.
Tonight’s kill count: 1.
Scorpions, is this your secret shame? Does some erotic desire cause you to come here, seeking punishment? Do you listlessly toss and turn in your earthen beds, soaked with sweat, yearning for my unforgiving caress? When you begin your grotesque coupling, is it me you picture, a stern and foreboding overlord primed to deliver punishment?
You continue to seek your end here. There must be some primal, unfulfilled need at work. Blatant idiocy? Pure suicidal madness? Yearnings of the flesh? It matters not. The French have an idiom for orgasm, Le Petite Mort, the little death. Allow me to deliver the grand, final death. I shall be your overture, if that is what you wish. I am the storm, and I can not be contained.
Tonight’s kill count: 1
Scorpions, did you enjoy your respite? Did you imagine yourself free from the madness and the terror? For a week and a half I have not visited my terrible vengeance upon you. You have had your run of my domain. How did you comport yourself during these auspicious times? Did you feast? I hope so. Now is the feast of sorrows.
Did you hope absence would cool my rage? Yours was a forlorn hope. My hatred was tempered. Strengthened by my time away from you. I imagined a litany of crimes you were committing in my absence and I resolved to make you pay. My vigil is unending. Let us walk the path to hell together. I shall have my road smoothed by passing of your numberless dead before me.
Tonight’s kill count: 2.
RAGE! RAAAAAAAAAAAGE FROM THE HEAVENS! Fire and death and blood! Poison and ruin and hate! You cannot escape it. You cannot hide. I continue my hunt, and my soul burns with seething contempt. Would that my gaze could set you alight. Would that my anger burn your insides like acid. Would that I could manifest my will, and turn this world to endless fire that consumes you in the flames of my wrath. I would make this planet a cinder simply to eradicate every last one of your number. I would leave a kingdom of bitter ashes in my wake. Come, feast at the banquet of misery. Drink deeply from the cup of lamentations, and eat your fill of regret.
Tonight’s kill count: 30+
Imagine my surprise, scorpion, when I saw you daintily poised upon my wall, glowing a radioactive green under blacklight. Something was strange about you. Your back shimmered and undulated in an alien fashion. Children. Dozens upon dozens of your hideous children. A vile raiment of future horrors to poison my home.
You brought your children to this place. To the killing fields. Some three feet beneath you lay the shattered corpses of at least two of your brethren, yet you saw fit to bring your foul get here. You doomed them and yourself. Did it shock you when the poison came? A stinking, burning cloud that set the vile fruit of your loins dropping like rotten fruit from the vine. Your progeny fell like wheat before the scythe. You tried to run, perhaps at last realizing your folly, never knowing you were already dead.
There are none left to weep for you. You brought this on yourself. Your line is at an end by virtue of your thoughtless action. For myself, the harvester, I shall sleep the sleep of the righteous. Victory, you spindle legged weakling. Victory over two generations. I have severed your line from the loom of fate. I pick at the string and it unravels. You are undone.
Tonight’s kill count: 1.
You scurrilous fiend. Did you think your attempts to conceal yourself in leaves would be your salvation? Did you hope hiding beneath a bush would give you refuge from my reach? Mine is the arm of wrath. There is no place it cannot reach. Mine is the gaze of vengeance, and it burns wherever it touches. You die, and in so doing fuel my desire for further carnage. Mine is a furnace of rage, and the fuel is the death of your wretched kind.
Last night’s kill count: 1
Where have you all gone, scorpions? I used to be able to count on you making yourselves known nightly. Now your incursions are decidedly more sporadic. Are my fortifications that formidable, or has cowardice won the day? Do you break so easily? Come once more, my foe. Step into the grinder. Feed the fires of my malice.
Tonight’s kill count: 1
I came upon you and you simply stared at me. You made no attempt to move. To hide your putrid presence. I stared back at you, wondering if you were a fool or a madman. Did you come seeking death? You had survived my wall of poison. Crawled through the blighted hellscape of diatomaceous earth. All to find yourself here, at my mercy. You were a survivor. We were kin. I scooped you up in a jar and placed you on the wall, to tell your tale and the trials you had passed to the other scorpions.
Only kidding. I lifted my foot and sent you to hell, where you belong. Mercy is for the weak. Your brazen presumption disgusts me.