the grass withers

Drifted

“I drifted on through the midst of this passionate music and motion, across many a glen, from ridge to ridge; often halting in the lee of a rock for shelter, or to gaze and listen. Even when the grand anthem had swelled to its highest pitch, I could distinctly hear the varying tones of individual trees […] and even the infinitely gentle rustle of the withered grasses at my feet. Each was expressing itself in its own way, - singing its own song, and making its own peculiar gestures - manifesting a richness of variety to be found in no other forest I have yet seen.”
― John Muir

A Dark Side of Imagination

Anonymous said to the-modern-typewriter:
Right now my absolute favorite prompts are your dark fairy ones and the most recent dark imaginary friend one! Is there any way that you could incorporate the two? 👀

Anonymous said to the-modern-typewriter:
DUDE! Your last prompt about the evil imaginary friends gave me CHILLS!! My lil sister has an imaginary friend named Prism! He’s a tall wispy colorful thing that plays hide and seek with her by her definition. I hope he’s not secretly evil omfg. 😭(Anyways since I like to torture myself can you write a couple more? Maybe this time when the kid is a bit older like a teenager or smth?)


1) “I always thought I must have made you up.”
“Oh, we’re a regular fairy-tale,” their old friend said, nastier now at being confronted. “Don’t you know that all the old stories have a bit of truth to them?”
“Humans don’t leave the human realm, if we’re talking old stories.” 
“Whatever makes you think you left, my dear?”
And the world around them shattered to the fairy realm, to withered grass and cruel laughter. They remembered how long they’d been there. How they’d done exactly this conversation before, what felt like a lifetime ago, and then a lifetime before that. It all came back.
“You always have to try and figure it out and ruin the fun,” their friend replied. “It’s like you don’t want to play with me anymore.”


2) “We believe the creature may have attached themselves to you, like a parasite,” they said. “It feeds on your emotions, hopes, fears. In professional circles we call it an Imaginarial.”
“This has happened before? I’m not…crazy?” 
The relief vanished at the serious look on the stranger’s face. Parasite. 


3) The tea party was a rather grand one, with the best china from the cupboard and all the stuffed animals lined in a watchful circle. A mad Hatter’s tea party right down to the frozen seconds. The teenager forced down a dutiful sip of ‘drink’, heart pounding. They didn’t want to have to pretend to be eight years old forever. But their friend had no kindness for ‘grown ups’. And nobody left a fairy ring once they took a drink.


4) “Too old for me now, is that it?” Their friend warped in front of their eyes, face shifting and body changing from its previous colourful iridescence and into the shape of the teenager’s crush. “Maybe this is a better game?”  
“Stop it.” 
“Aw, but I know how much you want to play with them. You’re positively smitten. They’ll never like you back, you know. I can see right into the heads of all your horrible new friends.”

Acquainted with the Night (14/16)

Summary: In a bid for the power born of true love, King Arthur binds Emma to the broken blade Excalibur.  Unbeknownst to him, Killian Jones is bound to the other half, having given himself over to the darkness in order to exact his revenge on Rumpelstiltskin.  He frees Emma from King Arthur’s control, sparking the beginnings of war between Camelot and Misthaven, and a quest to rid her of the darkness.  (No Curse AU)

Rated: M

Warnings: Death, angst

Words: ~9800

Chapter: Prologue, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Epilogue

Notes: Much love and gratitude to @ripplestitchskein and @unfolded73 for their help with this fic.  Credit to @seethelovelyintheworld for the gorgeous banner.

Tagging by request: @natascha-remi-ronin, @the-captains-ayebrows, @maryvmassakre, @katealexandra26, @superchocovian, @vanyali07, @imhookedonaswan, @captain–kitten, @dreadpirateemma, @like-waves-on-the-beach, @fairytalesandtimetravel

Also on ff and ao3


Chapter Thirteen

When the light faded, Emma came back to herself.

Silence.

As surely as the Dark One had been destroyed, the creature had disappeared, and the living water that was drawn out of the earth flowed down the hill, benign, soaking into the valley.  The sounds of battle halted, a hush of confusion.

Keep reading

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah. 40:8)
God’s word is true and enduring. Above all the change, confusion and chaos stands God’s Word. It is unchanging in a changing world.
Voltaire, atheist French philosopher who died in 1778, declared: “If we want to destroy the Christian religion, we must first destroy the Bible.” He declared that the Bible would soon become obsolete and forgotten. Ironically after he was dead his home was sold to the Bible Society. Since Voltaire’s dire prediction more than two hundred years ago the Bible is still the most translated book in the world and still is the best seller around the world.
It transforms people’s lives. In the midst of all the crises in the world comes God word with the good news of comfort, forgiveness and restoration and above all salvation of our souls through the work of the cross.

When the sky is blue,
But you can only see grey,
When the grass is green,
But withers at your feet,
When the ocean sings,
But wails in your opinion,
When the quiet is necessary,
But screams in your ears,
When the lights turn on,
But you feel safer in the dark,
When the days turn longer,
But you want the night,
When the clock keeps ticking,
But you’re in a race against time,
When things are meant to be right,
But you are left,
When things are going wrong,
But you only have one chance,
When you feel lost,
But have to get somewhere.
When you don’t love yourself enough,
That is when I will love you most.
one safe haven.

When Ozpin speaks in his mind, it is often to tell him of his great destiny, of what he must do, of what lies in wait, and the terrible things that are coming. Other times, it is of his memories, vibrant and terrible things that blur through Oscar’s mind like pages caught in a high wind.

Tonight, it is neither. 

xx read on ao3 xx 

Ozpin had been silent for a while.

Ever since Oscar had boarded the train and left his farm, auntie, and Hazel behind, his head had been filled with silence. It was a welcome change— Ozpin’s constant nattering in his head was, admittedly, getting old— but it was unnerving. He’d become almost used to his incessant prattling, and without it, it felt like something was… off.

I believed you did not wish to speak with me, Oscar. I can sense your disillusionment… your indecision at leaving your home and coming out here. It was a brave action on your part… though I know this is not what you wished to do with your life.

Right, Oscar thought back with gritted teeth. So now you show up, huh? I guess you’re not here to make pleasant conversation…

No, Ozpin said, almost regretfully. I wish it were so, but our paths twine in different ways.

Whatever you say, Oscar said.

Oscar, I’m not here to idly chat. Ozpin sounded faintly sharp; Oscar could imagine him in his head, eyes piercing, back straight. A matter has come to light, one of most urgent importance. Do you remember the Huntsman I spoke of to you?

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Belief systems in The Testament of New Ezekiel and Temple Gate

I wanted to analyse some of the belief systems in Temple Gate, particularly The Testament of New Ezekiel. This does not exclude Val’s beliefs as their narrative is entwined with what made the Heretics. The Gospels of Knoth are a tricky business because they follow Christian imagery and certain Abrahamic formats, however, they are pretty disingenuous in many ways with Christianity and other Abrahamic formats. 

This is evidenced by some of the imagery present and the words used. In fact, I think some Youtuber and Tumblr users specifically pointed out that gospels used the words “cunt” too much than actually proper sentences/words. Seeing “cunt” is a slang we can definitely see how this is a cultish text far removed from usual religious language, motifs, lexicon and imagery. Similarly, a point I wanted to mention and adjoin from the beginning is the phrase “breach hell’s cunt” is similar to Outlast’s “spirit breach.” I mentioned this before on another post. We can definitely see the use of semantics, contexts and lexicon favours a Murkoff setting and ambience rather than a traditional or even free-thinking Christian setting. 

This post is long and I want to try to understand the Gospels of Knoth; so bear with me pals. We don’t get the gospels in chronological order, there are 15, so I tried to place some things chronologically.  In conjunction, I want to include Val’s journals and such as Val, like Marta, is an indispensable figure in understanding Knoth’s gospels and also The Testament of New Ezekiel. 

In the very first Gospel of Knoth there are these lines:

6.For the seed of Prophet shall root the Enemy, that the Prophet may strike down with furious vengeance the bastard of lies begot in his own sin cleansed by his own blood, spilled of his own issue.” Knoth 1:6

Basically, Knoth is supposed to be the father of the Antichrist of Temple Gate. Though, definitely, the entire story is contradicted by Lynn being the mother. Lynn hasn’t slept with Blake in months. Unless, Knoth did something Lynn can’t be pregnant. Also, Blake is called “The Spiller of foul seed”, “rut-mate” to the “devil’s whore” and “The father.” Basically, the belief system definitely has literal problems rather than semantic ones. 

Also, Knoth is “elected” prophet by “the blood wept in revelation” (1:2) which is completely strange and is not there in Christian Faith or Abrahamic tenets. Furthermore:

4. O. Zion, Zion, thou that stonest the prophets sent unto you so that your house is desolate and the blood of your ill-got children is sprinkled upon the earth to feed the wheat that fattens your brood for slaughter.
5. For all flesh is grass to fatten the sacrificial ox or sacrilegious calf, O Ba’al, O El, O Guaglana, O Moloch, but grass left to wither and fertilised with blood will to seed and spread
.” Knoth 1: 4&5

Well, you can see basically infanticide is stated in the very first gospel. And now we can understand why Blake coming to Temple Gate meeting the shadows heard them speak “All flesh is grass to fatten oxen. Sacrifice. Sacrifice.” by one guy and then Corgan, the guy who says “I’ll bleed you in the yard”, goes  like “Consume the flesh, spice it well, burn the bones.” It is like they are performing a cycle of killing and infanticide to please their “god.” Additionally, the carrion of animals is considered to be food for “the wheat” as well, making them kill anything, after the tribulations to the end of days start. Marta herself talks about this, I believe, as “the saviour’s wedding supper.” which would be filled with “flayed carrion” and rotten women. 

Knoth’s second gospel is pretty much reiterating this message. It talks about the holy mission of killing the antichrist as important. That any other understanding is antithetical to this mission on the grounds that “the line of Adam corrupted beyond salvation by the line of Cain” (2:3) which is also antithetical to regular Christian practices and also Abrahamic tenets. It talks about not being overwhelmed by lust and to be ready for the antichrist who is also described as such: “defend His Heaven by the spilling of the heart’s blood of the spider-eyed lamb, The Enemy, the unborn prince of lies.” (2:6) Reiterating that the people of Temple Gate are good stating: “ye holy, for I am holy.” (2:7). 

The Third chapter is actually about Sullivan Knoth’s awakening. Basically, he was, as Outlast wiki also states, 34 years old and in debt and residing in Albuquerque. Knoth was apparently a shoe salesman when he started hearing the voices. However, these things also happened to him:

13. And I silenced the voice and looked, and beheld unseen a great fire enfolding itself in the brightness of the rising sun, and out of the midst thereof a color out of space;
14. And my frenzied eyes cast back in unworthy gulfs of darkness, away from knowledge unbearable to man, and noise of the fury of the Lord came upon me;
15. And my ears bled as the member of a child at circumcision, and the Lord made known by this our covenant is made which ye shall keep.
16. He that hears where words cannot be spoke shall abide until time is no more, and the Enemy born of thine own issue shall be thy charge for my vengeance
.” Knoth 3: 13,14,15 & 16

Sound familiar? It should. The light and the noise part, as gamers we experience as Blake. The rising sun cloaked with an obscure light, well, Blake faces that in the end and is swept away in some place. That is probably Murkoff’s way of indoctrination and showing levels of indoctrination. The Third gospel pretty much explains levels of indoctrination by Murkoff’s Towers. However, we can only piece this by the end as things happen gradually to our protagonist Blake. 

The fourth gospel pretty much commands Knoth to do his duties. One particular paragraph:

6. Turn ye from your evil ways, turn ye from your unsired rutting, take not pleasure in women unmarked by their natural blood covenant with the Lord. but fuck and multiply as the act was designed by the Lord.” Knoth 4:6

The language is coarse. It is also misogynistic. It talks about not sleeping with women, I understand, who don’t wish to conceive as that is “natural blood covenant.” These articles are also pretty isolationist. In the second chapter of Knoth’s gospels there is also that instruction of always being ready to holy purpose and never to stray away from it in idle conversations with family and such. Pretty much building an environment where infanticide and other violations can occur. 

This is also reiterated in the school’s lesson plan in which the aim is stated “The children should fear their duty but celebrate it as a guaranteed entrance to Heaven”: obviously, this is how cults operate. The indoctrination is repeated with the bold title of “ENEMY: Your fear is a tool of The Enemy. God knows best.” Basically, also saying that their lives belong to papa and also “god”, is pretty much like cultist behaviour. Infanticide is a sin in Abrahamic tenets. One statement in the school lesson that completely erases Christian beliefs and Abrahamic tenets is this line: “Abrahamic killed Isaac in his heart.” This solidifies that abandonment by their parents and also by everyone is a religious cause whereas nowhere in Christianity or Abrahamic principles is this stated. It is obviously a belief system that evolved from being indoctrinated by Murkoff;s Towers. 

Knoth’s fifth gospel follows on talking about their awakening. The light that he sees is:

1. And I looked, and a gyre unwound from the night, a fire turned inward, burning from all directions towards the center, and drew the light from the walls of my room so that I hung in a void that shone in rainbows like oil upon a black mirror.” Knoth 5:1

I do like the metaphors in this one so kudos to the creative team. However, if you see the imagery and read the metaphors you will see that some of this imagery is inconsistent with what we define as “light.” It feels almost like a dark mass, almost Walrider like in nature (which Outlast wiki says the developers called “Nano Cloud”). It gives the players some interesting food for thought on what could have actually emerged and what was Knoth seeing. It continues towards the end with a long list of descriptions which I include to emphasize the “Nano” phenomenon:

5. And their faces were innumerable and joined to one another, a thousand eyes and everything a mouth, with wings and jaws inseparable even in sight, and the purpose of the eyes and the purpose of the jaws was both for a more perfect consumption.
6. Thus were their faces, and in the next moment, they were the bones of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse and the bones of the Horsemen, too.
7. And in the moment that followed their faces were the sex organs of angels, and in the moment that followed a bonfire of flame with voices singing in beauty to rend the mind, and in the moment that followed a reflection in silvered glass.
8. For their faces were all of these things at once, and their wings were joined one to another and as they flapped woke to arrest time and I could not take air into my body
.” Knoth 5: 5,6,7&8

As we can see this is where the idea of consumption of flesh and all of that figures so powerfully in Temple Gate. Basically, this is also why everything felt like an inevitable dream but as  stated “not mine.” which is effaced on the Temple Gate town plaque. This is why Laird also believes that the Scalled Messiah will come down in locust wings. Furthermore, this is why Val commented how this all seemed like a message but nothing holy. This could also be why the letter from the cultist Lisa talks about thousands of cocks raping the earth. Abrahamic beliefs don’t necessarily have gendered angels so what sex organs did Knoth see is questionable and brings back the nano Cloud of Outlast. This entire thing also reminds me of Loutermilch demon being a mutilated, mutated demon chasing Blake in another dimension. It brings back the Outlast concept of Lucid Dreamers as well who are heavily affected by the Morphogenic Engine.

The description of the images also happens in Knoth’s sixth gospel. The wheels of Ezekiel becomes reference because the voice(s) pretty much tells Knoth about Ezekiel. Also, there are creatures upon wheels which Knoth sees. However, this part got me:

6. The rings of the wheels were dreadful, and full of eyes round about them four, thousands of eyes and none of them human, but black and intelligent and shining like the eyes of beasts ready for slaughter.
7. And where the unfaced creatures looked, the eyes of the rings focused, for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels, and the spirit of the wheels was in the creature
.” Knoth 6:6&7

The eyes were not human and they were black. The wheels were moving and they seem the creature and the wheels were one. A reading of the Walrider in the Outlast wiki pretty much surmises that the nano cloud phenomenon of the Walrider is pretty much something that moves around and can dissipate. Thus, this imagery feels pretty much allusions to a creature like a Walrider in my opinion.

The seventh gospel is amusing at the end because it completely states something that goes against what it has been saying.  What Knoth talks about and the indoctrination that is concomitant with what Variants say in Mount Massive:

2. And the spirit entered the cunt of my mind and made seed there, and I became as the chorus of screams in the movement of the wheels.” Knoth 7:2

This is interesting that Knoth would call his mind a “cunt” as well and almost like Val he is talking about “a membrane seeking penetration” (Val 4) Also he was hearing voices and seeing things that is correlated to patients at Mount Massive.

What is amusing are these lines that come after:

7. For if you worship Me but partway you are as the parent who cuts away the limbs of his child to better love what remains.
8. And that child will die and I will hate thee as a killer of little children
.” Knoth 7: 7&8

For a cult, that rejoices in the “ecstasy of the lord” by blatant infanticide, murder, mutilation and rape I find that to be ironic. However, it seems that children already grown cannot be mutilated. Which could make sense seeing they may already be nullified as the probable antichrist. So, that can be another belief in Temple Gate. 

The eighth and ninth gospels deal with the formation of Temple Gate. The lines that interested me the most is “you have not cut away thine eye, but the scale you took for an eye, and now you may see.” (8:7) and “lord spilled such vision into my split and bleeding orb, as man issuing seed into the split sex of a blossomed woman.” (9:9) The fact he would sexual scenes is pretty much now kind of staple. At the same time in the ninth chapter he stated:

1.And the hand of the Lord took me by the roots of my innards and put a hook in my jaw and lifted me away from the bones of the dead Zion and shit of Publican swine. 
2. And in the murk of outer dark I became as a cloud that covers the land and saw many things:
” Knoth 9:1&2

Knoth is talking imagery similar to the Walrider again. Of being possessed by a demonic like entity. However, it does end with him thinking of the formation of Temple Gate. 

The tenth gospel is interesting because it talks about cases involving women and Knoth’s somewhat “celibate” or unmarried life. Basically, they were pursued by authorities, after all their hideout in Lydia Deagan’s ranch was ruined, if we remember Knoth’s backstory that is online. Basically Knoth took on anyone in his cult:

4. The Lord gave to Ezekiel more wives than brothers, though I turned away none; neither thief, whore, rapist, addict, murderer, pedophile, cripple.” Knoth 10: 4

I don’t know if “wives” meant that Knoth had numerous wives or basically if he meant he was sleeping with people and that  meant they became his wives. Though the women part and the proclivity towards incest is later on stated. Basically, Knoth asked what he can do about getting the temptations to have many wives. Then this was told:

6. It is simply commanded that you take no woman as rival to her sister, do not uncover ones nakedness while the other is alive.
7. Nor take your daughter as rivals to their mothers before their blood or while the elder is alive.
8. And of your wives and daughters you will have your greatest warriors, in wimples with weapons that censer.
9. And it shall be yours to multiply, to make children upon a legion of women, and children upon those children, and upon those children, until your line is a nation.
10. For from your nation the Enemy shall emerge
.” Knoth 10:6,7,8,9&10, my highlights.

I highlighted the parts where incest is addressed as lawful in The Testament of New Ezekiel. Incest is outlawed in Abrahamic tenets and Christian Faith. Knoth practices sexual practices with every women who are even wives of other people. As one cult member I heard say in the barn, after we pass the first cornfield, talking about parentage of children: “I knew you was mine even if Papa furrowed your mama.” Basically, this is completely against anything Abrahamic but Knoth is told by the voice to do so. So, Murkoff wanted incest and this sort of sexual practices to happen. Perhaps, as I mentioned before, to allow the “ecstatic rage” and “proximity to death” as Rudolph Wernicke once stated. In fact:

2. And I gathered my disciples, from the land of Al-Barquq, and the town of Holy Faith, and from the impotent apocalyptans in Los Alamos.” Knoth 10:2

Los Alamos is where Wernicke’s exit interview occurred in the 60s I believe around the time Knoth was also leaving. If you think about it, this converges aspects of Outlast and Outlast 2. 

The eleventh gospel begins with another imagery. Though, it is of the antichrist:

1.The fruit of destruction shall ripen within the foul womb of the martyred mother, the spider eyed lamb shall bring judgment of the lesser whore onto even the great whore who sitteth upon many waters.” Knoth 11:1

Basically, this could be the reason Marta calls Blake “the spider-eyed lamb” as Lynn is the “martyred mother.” Whoever brings the person who is supposed to bear the antichrist becomes the spider-eyed lamb. This could be anyone who is connected to the martyred mother.  Lesser whores and greater whores: reminds me of Val personally.

The gospel keeps on going on how there will be people who will have “strong delusions” but these are all lies. And, those who do fall for them will be damned. This is somewhat like Abrahamic tenets but also completely perverted. The “delusions” that the cultists face are all for the towers. They may be “lies” or gateways that don’t matter to our own dimension but they can be dangerous so the cultists wanting to discuss them as Val stated was considerably smart thinking. Another perversion:

9. For God has said the flesh of beast is yours only in sacrifice to me, even unto the flesh of your offspring.” Knoth 11:9

Of course, infanticide cannot be compared to making meat religiously edible. Thus this is total corruption of Christianity and of Abrahamic principles.

Chapter twelve talks about the coming of the antichrist but it is completely replete in pretty chaotic imagery and also contradictions. Saying to “harden thy hearts and thy hands, and sharpen thine blades” (12:2) so that they can finish the “bloody work”. What is disturbing is this is mentioned:

4. Fear not the dreams that walk outside sleep, that by which ye shall be imprisoned and tortured; that shall dredge from the prisons of thy memory of your unrepentant sins…
7. And the air shall be as thick with locusts as will choke thy breath.
8. And ye shall be ravaged with boils and sickness; your body a temple and city to pestilence, and thy sex will wither and rot as flesh for carrion bird
.” Knoth 12: 4, 7&8

Some of those things did happen for the radio signals of The Towers and the syphilis. It seems Murkoff had some way planned this or hypothesized, as the Old Traveler document showed, that the parallax and the feedback loop would definitely augment homicidal, hypersexual and chaotic thoughts. 

The contradiction is “for all things must die when God finds no perfection even in his own perfection.” (12:10) This goes against Abrahamic principles and pretty much shows that “god” can only be Murkoff getting rid of its Subjects and Projectors after their use has been done. 

Chapter Thirteen talks about heretics coming about and also the “hated of God, shall commune with the Enemy, shall bathe in the seed of the spider-eyed lamb” (13:5): Which pretty much sounds like Val’s orgy. Though, because it was already determined by the Old Traveler that Jenny Roland and other scientists predictable lascivious and voracious sexual appetite for the feedback loop this can explained by that. 

The 14th Chapter states some things that are clearly carried out in the context of the game showing that signals may have had some of this information:

1. And in the moments before her birth the Antichrist shall wake, eve in in the womb, and her woe and misery will bleed and corrupt the earth.” Knoth 14:1

The antichrist is a female child and Lynn also thought she was having a girl. This is interesting, Perhaps, a patriarchal, incestuous cult would consider a woman to be the harbinger of destruction. I wonder if Val, to celebrate this occasion, also made breasts and a vagina on their body out of mud (this could also be them reclaiming their intersex origins or showing they are trans woman). Val also wore “crowns of the earth” as in crown of thorns on their head. Could be a desire to be enveloped by the antichrist. Thus Val seeking penetration by a female antichrist is both a non-gender normative imagery and also a queer one. 

The gospel continues with some of the things that were already happening: 

6. And the angels shall be carrion birds, who feast upon the flesh of kings, the flesh of mothers, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and them that sit on them, the flesh of free men and slaves.
7. And if they feed on the flesh of that damned child, then heaven is yours.
8. But if the child draws breath; if the eyes of the antichrist are allowed to take in the light of the world, they shall  swallow the light of the world.
9. Then death shall reign again, and the endless suffering shall reward those who revel in suffering, and endless regret shall torture the righteous in the immedicable regrets of sin and shame
.” Knoth 14: 6, 7, 8 & 9

The game pretty much fulfills these prophecies probably because they were bound a bit to happen or theorised as such. There were already birds dying as Blake saw them around. Marta also talks about the lines about eating the flesh of kings and strong men. The unused dialogue that talked of Val’s death talked about them happy about going to a hell thus “revel in suffering.” In the end, the child is not completely real as Lynn says there’s nothing there. However, Blake sees the sun being swallowed up and is swallowed into the gateway with Jessica where she says she will never let him and go and knows he won’t let her go either. So, Blake could have succumbed completely into the alternate dimension made by the radio signals. Perhaps, that is what happened. 

Personally, Blake’s own history coincides with the gospels. Loutermilch also thought of Jessica as a culpable figure though being obsessed with her like anything. If radio signals talk about antichrist as female and all of that there is a chance that the belief of such things is Blake’s indoctrination to the signal being passed onto Jessica. I still think The Towers may create demons that walk out of dreams to also torture and get rid of possible “variants” outside the engine. Blake still could have become a lucid dreamer. The thing is the heretics and cultists are still pretty much bound by these visions and gospels which are all courtesy of Murkoff.

The fifteenth and last gospel is just an adherence to these gospels saying that they should be copied exactly and their lives should be lived righteously under Knoth as “ye shall climb the tree of life or be crucified upon it.” (15:7)

Already, we can see detractions from that. Either the radio signals are getting choppy after the storm or people are losing it. The New Gospels for instance are a sign of such a detraction. The new Gospels talk about Val and includes Val’s name into it, mixing it with the leader of the heretics and condemning them to damnation. The New Gospels Part 1 and 2 are a rewrite of the 11th gospel of Knoth. 

There is also “Laird’s Gospel” or “Gospel of The Scalled Christ.” It is the gospel Blake picks up after escaping crucifixion and being buried alive. It seems Laird also fancied himself as a prophet or saint. Basically, there is also sexual imagery there which talks about Laird’s mind being too tight that the Lord’s penis would probably split it with the knowledge. I am not kidding you. That is exactly what is written there.

17. And the Scalled Messiah shall rise from the grave, conquering sickness and conquering death, and those afflicted shall call him Immanuel. 
18. And the Scalled Messiah shall say: this is my flesh, eat of it and be healed. Whoever eats of my flesh shall have eternal life.
19. And they shall proclaim the glory of Laird, who lead them to salvation
.” 
The Gospel of the Scalled Christ 17,18 &19

It is completely obvious that Christian Faith or Abrahamic tenets do not speak of cannibalism. Laird got that on his own. ‘

In the midst of all of these things, Val ‘s journals are a secret. We know that paper is considered a  luxurious commodity of Temple Gate. That only when copying the gospels they could be used or when some other instructed purpose. Val being a deacon has access to paper and is well educated. Their grammar, syntax and imagery is pretty salient and goes with the person they are. Val’s journals touch me at first as very emotional and moving. One can read them and realised they are looking at a person with a lot of emotional energy and intelligence, only they are becoming exhausted.

The first journal talks about having to take care of more children, seven to be exact. They are taking care of more than forty orphans. 

[W]ho love me desperately, as only can a child abandoned by the parents they thought were as natural and dependable a fact as the rising sun. And I love them. As I will never have children of my own, and have so much love to give. When God leaves them, too, I will be there with comforts and guidance.

What do these dreams mean?” Val 1

We can see already that Val is a kind and compassionate person. They are able to understand that what is happening to the children is unfair. However, Val’s journals also show the contradictions at Temple Fate. This first entry implies that either Val is infertile, told to be celibate or has been castrated. There has been no specifications about this. Was Knoth the only person who was able to have children? I don’t think so. So if Val is intersex it can be reason for them not being able to have children though if they were castrated it seems to go against Temple Gate’s understandings of birth and order.

The second journal is a horrific account of infanticide. 

March 9

   A quiet sky. Six more of my own children (though no blood of my own) met the blade this morning. I wept as at the slaughter of the issue of my own loins. I cut Marcus’ throat deep enough for the knife to scrape against spine, but still he was writhing on the pyre. And Papa smiled and sang about gathering at the river. All the voices of Temple Gate joined in chorus.

One one voice was absent, and conspicuously so.

God should have answered by now. Whether by words or action. God please give us an answer. Fulfill the promises of your prophet. 

We have sent such oblations into the earth by blood and into the sky by flesh burnt to smoke that this continued silence is a message in itself. Do any love God as I do? As often as I do?”  Val 2 (highlights my own).

This is a very graphic account of infanticide. Of actually feeling the pain of killing children. Val is wondering if “god” can love if “god” wants this. They have loved so much and yet they must do this. It feels barbaric and ruthless and completely inhuman. And, it is.

In fact, the killings always have been hard deaths. Val is not the only one who faced a child “writhing on the pyre.” When Blake crosses the first corn field and comes about the shed with the two cultists in them, one of them keeps on talking, the same one who says they knew the child was theirs if even Knoth slept with their wife says he can hear the voice of the girl he killed and tells her to tell God that he didn’t hurt her as much. The cultists says things like “Some cut too deep and got the windpipe and not the arteries. That makes a long time dying.” and “Laughing. Carrying on. Clear as a bell because I didn’t cut that windpipe.” These statements make me wonder if some of them try to sneak up on the kids and kill them so that they feel no pain or don’t want their children to look at them with questioning or accusatory looks. 

Val’s third journal entry is also from March 9th. Though Knoth tells them that they will find the killed children in heaven; Val doesn’t really like any of this. This obviously starts making them go insane.

But my dreams are nothing but the murder of my children. And I wake laughing, and aroused, and often wet with the involuntary lust of sleep.

I woke this morning thinking I was wetted with the blood of a child’s slit throat. But it was wetness of my own making. 

The others are having similar dreams. We have dug a tunnel so that we may meet in secret. We gather and share our visions and wonder at their meaning,

I feel increasingly this is a message. But nothing holy.” Val 3

I think Blake and us gamers stumble upon the underground tunnel which is one of the first heretics caves we see and Blake thinks is a church or a heretic temple. It seems some people were obviously dumbstruck at what was happening at Temple Gate. Val, obviously, being one of them.

In June 17th, Val’s fourth journal entry, the penultimate one, it is short and full of aroused feelings and figuring out the voices are not God:

Give me pleasure. Fuck me and cut my skin. Burn me and caress me. I am a membrane seeking penetration. Be aroused at my awe. Let my fear give you appetite. I love you, I love you, I love you. Tell me what you want. Tell me your name and I am yours.” Val 4

The fact Val wants to feel the voice with their fear obviously brings back the parameters of the Morphogenic Engine. The different names of the Walrider comes into mind. Val may be listening on a different frequency now. Could the Heretics be a lighter version of the Variants? In theory they have some similarities.

Val’s last journal entry is in June 19th. It is the 5th one before the letter telling Knoth “Come after us. Hunt us down. We are waiting and eager to murder and fuck every body you send up that mountain…My God is no god at all. But he is true…I do not ask you that you join us. I tell you: you will join us. Because our love is greater than you can ever imagine.” So. the last entry was telling val is “filled with sex and appetite” and tells the voice “You love me. I am yours.”

The image here that sticks out to me here is mountain. Even in Outlast wiki the Walrider is thus named also because it is a creature that lives up on Mountains. Mount Massive is built in a mountain thus it creates those connections. Val also has taken shelter in a mountain. The Walrider and mountain imagery seemed to collide. Thus another connection between the trilogy perhaps can be established.

We have seen Murkoff likes twisting religion, it likes brainwashing people using images and radio signals and that it likes to make base camps in mountains. The belief system of Temple Gate: The Testament of New Ezekiel, The Scalled and The Heretics are all groups that adhere in some way to the gospels of Knoth which are indoctrinated “planned” radio signals by Murkoff. It makes sense that these groups are obviously broke off from the same roots.  Even though they borrow things from Christianity and Abrahamic tenets they are not really Christians nor of Abrahamic Faiths. They seem to have formed their new ideologies and Faiths based on also what Murkoff was encouraging them to do. It is interesting, however, to look at the subtle conjunctions between the games.

I wanna THANK EVERYONE who read this entire piece. 

Womanly Ways

it is only with an open heart
that you will see her
truly see her

her strength
her fortitude
her determination

how she carries the world
like a child on her hip

her light
her darkness
her anger

how the grasses wither under
the gaze of her displeasure

her beauty
her softness
her wisdom

how she longs to be seen
to be heard
to be listened to

her love
her grace
her passion

i cannot help
but wish to touch her
both in body and in soul

Azuki Lynn

Where the World is in the Making, Chapter 2  [Kristanna Homesteader AU]

When homesteader Kristoff Bjorgman advertises for a wife, the woman who arrives is not what he expected. Rated K for now.

Chapter 1 by @upthenorthmountain

Kristoff glanced sideways at the girl—woman—on the wagon seat beside him. She was holding her hat onto her head with one hand and clinging to the bench with the other, squinting ahead as if she was trying to see something more than the wheel ruts of the track and the acres of flat, featureless prairie.

His wife.

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3

there is no honour in killing one’s brother.

no honour in plunging a stake into his neck; no honour in watching the red bleed out of him; no honour in seeing both of your blood mingle together, in one final attempt to reach out to his kin in the most carnal and physical way possible.

for one final time, their family blood ran together.

everyone had congratulated him. thanking him for saving their leader, their chosen one from starclan. they had thanked them for killing a traitor, the son of a murderous tyrant, who fall all intents and purposes appeared to be heading in the same direction. they praised him for hours, ignoring the rapidly cooling body and ushering him away from the scene of the murder.

no, not murder, they had said, but “justice”

“he will not go to starclan. there is no place in silverpelt for a cat such as himself. he will go to the place where exiles go. a place where the moon does not shine and stars do not appear. the place where the wind howls and the grass withers. where no light touches the tree tops and the air is permanently chilled.”

“a fitting place for him,” they had said.

“starclan wills it.”

but how honourable is starclan?

the sun had been shining when brambleclaw had faced his brother. the light had been warm when they had locked blades for one final time. the air had been crisp and clean when he plunged the wooden stake into hawkfrost’s throat.

the stars had been bright when their family blood seeped into grass and tainted the water.

what kind of people honoured such a death? what gave them the right to congratulate him for executing his own blood and kin?

how could they have the sheer audacity to tell him that what he did was “honourable?”

there is no honour in what brambleclaw did that day.

there is no honour in fratricide.

NaPoWriMo Day 22: A Hummingbird’s Home

She must know my mother waits for her
each morning—swaddled in plum robe,

perched on the edge of the couch, gazing out
the window into the front yard: a patchwork mess

of stubbled grass and withering stalks of lavender
belted by crumbling brick and concrete—she must know

because she, little hummingbird, blue-green mass and
miracle whirl of flight, dives deep into stone fountain

every morning, knowing that this is no rock of God—no water
has babbled from this floorless brook; no flower blooms

in this cracked earth; no sweet nectar dews in the sun
or drops here. And still—still!—when dawn colors

the morning sky in purple-gray, my mother’s hummingbird
flies low; dips into stone fountain; comes up with—a miracle—water.

Nico's Confession

So.

The voice skimmed over Jason’s head like a bullet. When he turned, there was no one

You have come to claim the sceptre.

Nico had positioned himself behind him, and for the first time, Jason was glad to have the boy’s company.

“Cupid,” called Jason. “Where are you?”

The voice laughed. It definitely did not sound like a cute little angel. It was deep and melodious, but also threatening - like a tremor before a major earthquake.

Where you least expect it, replied Cupid. As love always is.

Something hit Jason, hurling him across the street. He fell down some steps and sprawled on the floor of an excavated Roman basement.

I thought you knew that, Jason Grace. Cupid’s voice swirled around him. You found true love, after all. Or do you doubt yourself?

Nico was running down the steps.

“Are you okay?”

Jason accepted the outstretched hand and stood up.

“I am. I was just made a fool of.”

Ah, you expected me to be fair? Cupid laughed. I am the god of love. I’m never fair.

At that point, Jason was on high alert. He felt the air rippling and an arrow materialized, shot in the direction of Nico’s chest.

Jason intercepted it with his sword and turned to the side.The next arrow hit the wall and exploded, peppering them with shards of limestone.

They climbed the stairs. Jason pulled Nico out of the way when another gust of wind toppled a column that would have crushed them.

"Is this guy Love or Death?” Jason growled.

Ask your friends, Cupid said. Frank, Hazel, and Percy met my antagonist, Thanatos. We are not so different. Sometime death is kinder.

“All we want is the sceptre!” Nico shouted. “We’re trying to stop Gaia. Are you on the side of the Gods or not?”

A second arrow struck the ground between the Nico’s feet, glowing brightly. He staggered backwards when the arrow burst into a pillar of flame.

Love is all around, said Cupid. And on the side of no one. Do not ask what love can do for you.

"Excellent,” said Jason. “Now he’s reciting cheesy songs.”

There was movement behind him, and Jason turned, striking the air with his sword. The blade hit something solid. He heard a grunt and attacked again, but the invisible god was no longer behind them. On the stones of the floor, shone a trail of golden ichor - the blood of the gods.

Very good, Jason, said Cupid. At least you can feel my presence. A mere glimpse of true love is more than most heroes get.

“Then, will you give us the sceptre?” asked Jason.

Cupid laughed.

Unfortunately, you could not control it. Only a child of the Underworld could summon the dead legions. And only a Roman officer could lead them.

“But…”

Jason hesitated. He was an officer. He was praetor. Then remembered his doubts as to whether he belonged. In New Rome, his position had been given to Percy Jackson. Would that make him unfit to lead a legion of Roman ghosts?

Jason decided to tackle the problem when the time came.

“We decided,” he said “Nico can summon…”

A third arrow whizzed over Jason’s shoulder. He couldn’t stop it. Nico gasped when the projectile hit him in his sword arm.

“Nico!”

The son of Hades staggered. The arrow dissolved, leaving no visible blood or injury, but the demigod’s face was twisted in anger and pain.

“This is a joke!” Nico shouted. “Show yourself”

It is complicated to look at the face of true love, Cupid said.

Another column fell. Jason jumped aside.

My wife, Psyche, learned this lesson, Cupid continued. She was brought to me eons ago, when my palace was here. We were in the dark. She was warned to never look at me, and yet she could not bear the mystery. She feared I was a monster. One night, she lit one candle and saw my face while I was sleeping.

“Were you too ugly?”

Jason had located Cupid’s voice at the edge of the amphitheater, about twenty feet away, but he wanted to be sure.

The god laughed.

I think I was too beautiful. A mortal can not contemplate the true form of a god without suffering the consequences. My mother, Aphrodite cursed my Psyche for her distrust. My poor lover was tortured, forced into exile and had to perform terrible tasks to prove her worthiness. She was sent to the Underworld on a mission to prove her dedication. She got back to my side, but suffered greatly.

Now I’ve got it, thought Jason.

He pointed his sword to the sky and thunder shook the valley. Lightning opened a crater in the spot where the voice had come from.

Silence. Jason was already thinking: man, this actually worked, when an invisible force knocked him down. His sword across to the other side of the street.

Nice try, Cupid said, his voice already distant, but love can not be detected so easily.

Beside him, a wall collapsed. Jason managed to roll to the side.

"Stop it!” Nico shouted. “Do what you want to me. Leave him alone!”

Jason ears buzzed. He was dizzy from being thrown. His mouth tasted of limestone powder. He didn’t understand why Nico thought he was the main target, but Cupid seemed to agree.

Poor Nico di Angelo. The god’s voice was full of deception. You do not know what you want, let alone what I want. My beloved Psyche risked everything in the name of love.It was the only way to atone for her lack of faith. And you, what have you risked in my name?

“I went to Tartarus and returned,” Nico growled. “You do not scare me.”

I scare you very much. Look at me. Be honest.

Jason stood up.

The ground around Nico shook. The grass withered and the stones cracked like something was moving under the ground, trying to make its way to the surface.

“We want the sceptre of Diocletian,” Nico said. “We have no time for jokes.”

Jokes? Cupid struck Nico, throwing him aside against a granite pedestal. Love is not a joke! It is not the softness of flowers! It is hard work, a quest that never ends. It requires all of you, especially the truth. Only then will it give you rewards.

Jason retrieved his sword. If the invisible guy was Love, Jason was starting to think that Love was something overestimated. He liked the version of Piper: thoughtful, gentle and beautiful. Aphrodite he could understand. But Cupid seemed more like a bandit, an oppressor.

“Nico, what does this guy want from you?”

Tell him, Nico di Angelo, replied Cupid, Tell him that you are a coward, afraid of yourself and your feelings. Tell him the real reason you fled Camp Half-Blood, and why you are always alone.

Nico uttered a guttural scream. The floor at his feet opened and skeletons dragged themselves out: dead Romans without hands, with sunken skulls, broken ribs and jaws loose. Some were dressed in the remains of their togas. Others brought brilliant pieces of armor hanging on their chests.

Will you hide among the dead, as you always do? Cupid taunted.

Waves of darkness emanated from the son of Hades. When Jason reached him, he almost fainted, overwhelmed by hatred, fear, shame …

Images crossed his mind. He saw Nico and his sister on a snowy cliff; in Maine, Percy Jackson is protecting them from a manticore. Percy’s sword glowed in the dark. He was the first demigod Nico saw in action. *

Later at Camp Half-Blood, Percy took Nico’s arm and promised to keep his sister, Bianca, safe. Nico believed him. He looked into his sea-green eyes and thought: he can not fail. He is a true hero. Percy was Nico’s favourite game, Mythomagic, brought to reality.

Jason saw when he came back and told Nico that Bianca died. The boy cried and called him a liar. He felt betrayed, but still … when the skeleton warriors attacked, he could not let them hurt Percy. Nico invoked the earth to swallow them, and then he fled, terrified by his own powers, by his own emotions.

Jason saw another dozen scenes like this from the point of view of Nico… they left him stunned, unable to move or talk.

Meanwhile, Nico’s Roman skeletons advanced and grabbed something invisible. Cupid fought, pushing the dead, breaking ribs and skulls, but they continued to emerge, holding the arms of the god.

Interesting! said Cupid. You have the strength, after all?

“I left Camp Half-Blood for love,” said Nico. “Annabeth … she …”

Still hiding, said Cupid, leaving another skeleton in pieces.You do not have the strength.

“Nico,” Jason managed to say. “Everything is fine. I understand.”

Nico stared at him with pain and affliction stamped on his face.

“No,” he said. “You couldn’t understand.”

And so you turn to flee, rebuked Cupid. From your friends, from yourself.

“I have no friends,” Nico shouted. “I left Camp Half-Blood because I didn’t belong in that place! I never belonged!”

The skeletons had Cupid immobilised, but the invisible God laughed so cruelly that Jason wanted to bring down another bolt of lightning. Unfortunately, he doubted that he had the strength..

“Leave him alone, Cupid,” Jason complained. “This isn’t…”

His voice failed. He meant to say that it was not the god’s problem, but then he realized that it was exactly the matchmaker’s problem. Something Favonio had said buzzed in his ears: are you shocked? **

The story of Psyche finally made ​​sense to him: he understood why the girl had felt that deadly fear. Why she had run the risk of disobeying the rules to look upon the face of the god of love, fearing that he could be a monster.

Psyche was right. Cupid was a monster. Love was the wildest of all monsters.

Nico’s voice sounded pained.

“I-I wasn’t in love with Annabeth.”

“You were jealous of her,” said Jason. “And you didn’t want to be near her. Especially not when she was with… him. It explains everything.”

All of Nico’s fight seemed to fade at the same time. Darkness fell. The dead Romans turned into piles of dust.

“I hated myself,” said Nico. “I hated Percy Jackson.”

Cupid became visible - a young lean muscular man with wings as white as snow, straight black hair, wearing a simple white tunic and jeans. The bow and arrows hanging on his shoulder were not toys. They were weapons of war. His eyes were as red as blood, as if all the hearts of Valentine’s Day and been squeezed and distilled into a poisonous mixture. His face was beautiful, but as hard to look at as a spotlight. He watched Nico with satisfaction as if he had identified the exact spot which would guarantee a clean kill with his arrow.

“I had a crush on Percy,” said Nico. “That’s it. That’s the big secret.”

He looked at Cupid.

“Happy now?”

For the first time, Cupid’s look turned sympathetic.

“I wouldn’t say Love always makes you happy.” His voice sounded smaller, more human. “Sometimes it makes you incredibly sad. But at least you’ve faced it now. And that is the only way to beat me.”

Cupid dissolved into the air.

On the ground, in the place where he has stood, was a an ivory staff one metre in length, with a dark globe of polished marble the size of a baseball on top, nestled on the shoulders of three Roman gold eagles. The sceptre of Diocletian.

Nico knelt and picked up the sceptre. Jason looked up, as if expecting an attack.

“If the others find out…”

“If the others find out,” Jason said, “you will have more people to support you, and release the fury of the gods against people who give you trouble.”

Nico grimaced. Jason could feel anger and resentment emanating from him.

“But the decision is yours,” Jason added. “The decision whether to share it or not. That’s all I can say.”

“I don’t feel that way any more,” muttered Nico. “I mean… I gave up on Percy. I was young and impressionable, and I, I don’t…”

His voice failed, and Jason saw that the boy was about to cry. Whether Nico had actually given up on Percy or not, Jason couldn’t imagine how he’d spent all those years, keeping a secret which would have been unthinkable to share in the 1940s, denying who he was, feeling completely alone - even more isolated than the other Demigods.

“Nico,” he said gently, “I’ve seen a lot of acts of courage. But what you did: that might be the bravest of them all.”

Nico raised his head, uncertain.

“We have to return to the ship.”

“We can fly…”

“No,” Nico snapped. “This time we shadow travel. I want to stay away from the wind for a long time.”

The grass withers and the flowers fade. Yes, even the beautiful roses from the handsome boy you adore so deeply. Everything fades in time. But why should that stop you from running full speed after what you love? Go forth, confidently. Chases your aspirations and live for experiences. Because, even though the memories will someday fade away and the pictures will wither, those moments were your beautiful wildflowers. They brought joy. And they still mattered.

every single day satan says the same thing. “you’re not happy. if you stopped trying to live for Jesus, you would be happy.” and every day i have to tell him

“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”

For @fangirlinghufflepuff who sent me the prompt. Thanks, lovely! It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything Jily, so I hope this tiny sketch-inspired thing’s okay and not too cheesy? The title comes from a poem by e.e.cummings

the moon is hiding in her hair (…)

“You know, what they’re going to tell us,” she says, “is that we’re young and irresponsible amd wherever it may be where we end up, it’s going to be a precarious march on the edge of a cliff.”

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