Apep is my greatest invention.
It has been a decade since I created them, and in that time we have created much for ourselves. Sanctity of Punishment was met with unmitigated praise by the academy. As a work, it has revolutionized the structures of our society and uplifted the body politic to new heights. Through my pen and key, I have transformed the very laws of the land.
I am a known force within the State—such that I can move through the lands with impunity. When I feel my powers ebb, I simply need to take a trip to the provinces and inflict small pains upon wretches in need of money. Not enough to kill, but enough to keep Apep and my knowledge sated. This new rhythm has worked well for my purposes.
In the mean time, I toil away at my next work. Since that first egress from reality wherein I completed Second Winter, I have sought the door and path to cross into the other planes.
I am close—I have found the path and the door, but I do not yet have the strength to open it.
It is time to visit an old friend.
Lir was a pitiable sight when I found him.
It took me longer than it should for someone of my station to find one such as he. It seemed that, not long after he had taught me my lesson, he returned to his family to find them gone: the diseases of the Gorscht could reach far into the provinces, it seemed. After his grim discovery, he traded his art for drink, and a decade was dissolved in a bottle.
It made me feel better, that Apep and I were granting Lir a mercy in these actions.
It was a long three weeks, but The Sanctity of Punishment did its work wonderfully. I now have the power to open the door. I will enact the Dark Seal of Mathematics.
I have survived, but only just.
As a uttered the final words of The Dark Seal of Mathematics. I collapsed in a broken heap, my body spent after what seemed to be uncountable sleepless moments. As I walked in the dreaming I realized I was between planes and place of…un-nothingness.
I looked and beside me were familiar/unfamiliar faces. One was a man with a salamanders head and leathery wings—Iqq. Another was a pearlescent snake, coiling and uncoiling as if floating in unseen liquid. I knew this to be Apep. My work to create a new mind to help myself through my last discovery is now a fully-realized being!
They both spoke to me, praising me for my prowess and accomplishment—I had surpassed what they had both expected me capable of. Apep was particularly proud of my ability to find Lir and do what was necessary to achieve new heights of power. They both felt I was ready for the next task: to open wide the doors between the realms—not just for one, but for all.
These two beings are the only ones to not betray me in my life—they’ve both been true to the promises given. Of course, I accepted. Upon that acceptance, I felt pain in my right hand for the first time in 15 years as its pearlescent sheen cracked.
This morning as I woke, I knew my path.
I must succeed.
The Leviathan rises.