You who have dreamed of the holy land, come forth and face the dreamer’s ascent. But bear with you this warning: to seek the axle of our world is to court not only death but damnation. For the great Unmaker has long held designs over the power that it cannot use, and the great Architect has withdrawn in sorrow from what was once its proudest creation.

Seek out the place whence gentle showers once came, now dried into a desolation marked only by the tears of a land that has forgotten itself. At its heart lies a blighted spring where dark waters pool, wept from dead eyes the cosmos over. Breathe not the miasma of the desolace, or its dust shall devour your days. Do not drink deep of the dark pool, no matter your thirst, lest the darkness drink in turn from you.

Beneath the waters lies a dark catchment, which seals in the air of the old world. Do not let the echoes of the former paradise beguile you, for those days are irrevocably past and their merest suggestion may suffocate you with ephemeral ecstasy. Dark labyrinths twist beneath the thick rind of the earth there, sketches abandoned by the Architect when it recused itself in sorrow from the act of creation. You must pierce this dark stillness, a sword into dusk.

Many have called the penultimate chamber the everneed way, stretching as it does for league upon league with neither comfort nor succor. Through some abandoned design of the Architect or some machination of the Unmaker, the terrors unleashed upon the world at paradise’s end gather thickly there: hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue, and every other sort of desperate want. No supplies will slake the everneed, and to succumb to the welcome mists of slumber within is to have your soul torn from your body.

At the furthest reach of the everneed lays the morass of Nature’s Tomb, the repose of all that which the Architect has allowed to perish or the Unmaker has managed to destroy. Its bounty of flora and fauna are deceptive, for theirs is a mockery of life and to consume that which has died is to join it in the Tomb. The centralmost reach of the Tomb holds the Judas Cradle, repository of all the Architect has struggled to suppress and the Unmaker has struggled to encourage in humankind.

Somewhere in that puzzle of weakness and deceit lies the final door, behind which lies the holy land and eternal succor, and the power to shift the cosmos about its axis once and only once. None have made it so far, but there are whispers that the Unmaker itself stalks the Judas Cradle, gnashing its teeth over its inability to comprehend, and thereby undo, the Architect’s final and most devious riddle.

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