Day 82. 64 pages, 25,967 words.
“I do not know what I am, or what I was. Not precisely. I do not remember the time before I was ensnared within this flesh. According to the archives, though, this was my history.
“When the Firstmade Gods cast the Worm from Their dominion and reclaimed Their worlds, They tore down all that the Worm had wrought. They rent the mighty vessels and fortresses of the Enclave asunder, and They made the Riddle Towers, the homes of the Worm’s own Gods, into Their trophies of war.
“The Riddlespawn of the Towers were not Gods in the classical sense. They were events, Gods in potentia, each one a pupating un-thing in a chrysalis of unimaginable complexity. Even so, they were dangerous. They were drawn from their Towers, and dismembered, and destroyed. As you saw the wrong-form destroyed before your eyes, so too were the Riddlespawn – as yet unborn to their promised dominion – unmade by the vengeful Firstmades.
“And as you can see with the wrong-form, there were … traces that remained.
“Not physical traces, perhaps – although I am given to understand that there may have been those as well. But there were more esoteric things. Vitality, or purpose, soaked into a stone or into a weapon upon which the infant would-be God had shed its blood. One such strange relic was brought aboard a vessel called the Vorontessa. It was holy, the Firstmade-worshipping abominations believed. A trophy of their victory over the Worm that, unlike the Tower itself, could be enjoyed and gloated over by the common mortals.
“And so the Vorontessa flew for the home from which she had been cast. And the Destarion flew with her, as protection against the innumerable desperate and dispossessed who coveted the Firstmades’ riches.
“This relic, this scrap of broken thought, found fertile soil aboard the Vorontessa. The abominations within met their ends, and the Destarion was forced to take severe defensive measures to protect the rest of her convoy. The Vorontessa, and the thing that grew within her – like a Riddle Tower, perhaps, writ small – was thought to have been destroyed. But instead, it entered the Godfang herself.
“The Destarion was by far a greater and more formidable enemy, of course. And the remnant of the Worm, the fragment of embryonic Riddlespawn, was … enfleshed. And this is the beginning of the life I remember – such as it has been.
“Within these walls, I am trapped by the same protocols that keep a Godfang’s Flesh-Eater in its place. The energies and transformations that consume and destroy me are turned upon one another in mutual cancellation, my abilities curtailed by forces more powerful than any accord. Here I have remained, with only the lower archives as company, ever since.
“I am not Flesh-Eater, not Riddlespawn, not Worm. I am neither mortal nor Divine. I am a prisoner in this place.
“And now, it seems, you are to join me.”