A Small Bundle Of Letters
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(RECOVERY NOTES: Documents were recovered during excavation of the ███████ site. Site was believed to be connected to foundational Initiative elements, destroyed during the presumed “Cloudburner” action. Documents found sealed in a buried section of brick, believed to be a former fireplace. Authenticity of documents is still under review.)


R,

Finally home, despite the Austrian winter seeming determined to murder us on the train. Stuck for hours on some bleak peak, feeling the floor roll like an old ship while the snow sounded like it was trying to chew through the glass, it was enough to give credit to H's old-woman bleating about sins and curses. Still, we survived, and are roosted back at the Munich estate. We've just finished unpacking, and your letters had ended up on the bottom of the mail pile. Chances of fate, and all that. So, if this letter finds you a bit late, it's due to travel fatigue and not a slight. I'm sure you'll find some means to be offended anyway.

In response to your primary inquiry, we do not as of yet have a set date. Some say solstice, some equinox, and V still insists that until Jupiter is ascendant in the third house, even attempting to plan is doomed to failure. In essence, not dissimilar from last year. However, I can say that the dates and times are all that still remain to be decided. The last few items and texts have been collected, and we even had luck with the old Hospitaller roosting in Constantinople. V, again, assures us everything is genuine, but I suppose time will tell. I imagine the planning will continue up until the actual evocation, but it seems like the next couple years will be the end. It's odd, thinking of an end, finally. Once you walk a path long enough, it becomes its own purpose, I suppose.

I have no plans to return to France, nor do I plan on making any. I understand your love of it, R, but all I can see is a poxy whore with divine makeup. I said it before, and I'll say it again, the heart of your city is rotten, and if it wasn't so necessary to collect and collate the old alchemical texts at Flamel's hidden chateau, I'd insist you quit that place. It has a rotting force to the will and the body…but I'll say no more. You know my mind, and I yours, and despite both our natures, we do what we must. My wife insists, however,on visiting Florence next Yule; perhaps you could join us, duties permitting.

We will remain in Germany until next fall, assuming nothing more concrete is decided, then return to England. It will be easier to wait there, and if we have not made a decision by then, it may behoove me to re-examine the Dogger shards. My door remains open for you, wherever it may be. I worry that the old texts might be seeping in too much. They were blind men, R, who happened to grasp the key to the kingdom. If you ascribe too much wisdom to their jottings, you'll go mad.
And now you'll grunt and dismiss me as a block-headed old Mason who couldn't hear the divine if it shouted in my ear. I broke with them because of that, R, so stow your grumbling and relight your pipe. That's no divination, R, just old-fashioned deduction. If we are going to do this, really do it, we can't be bogged down by fear of divine wrath. The tools may have been made by mystics and priests, but we are scientists and explorers. At least some of us, and enough to know that what we do is not what we wish to do, but what we must do.

We cannot cower like scared children under our beds, trusting the divine force of our parents to protect us. At some point, we must pull back the covers and do for ourselves. We fight not just for ourselves, but for humanity! We cannot accept our chains merely because they are comfortable. We are a race of adults, and it is well past time we took up that mantle in truth.

That's why I clashed with E so much, at the start. Well, our start. I dismissed his flowery titles and popeish Latin engravings. For what we are, and what we intend to do, what other than The Order of Iscariot could suffice? What he did for silver, we will do for the cold iron of truth, and with our own hands.
Best wishes, and I hope the letter finds you well. And sober!
D.


D,
I’ve had an odd windfall. After L and A scattered to the winds, I’ve been stuck in Heidelberg waiting for fresh materials. As I detest idleness, I decided to do a little digging through various archives at the university. Some interesting finds, but it turns out there’s still a partially crumbled transcript of that disastrous presentation that Z produced, all those years ago, at least up until they hauled him off the podium. We were lucky the university was as happy as us to make it discreetly go away. It didn’t end up saving him from the Church, in the end, poor devil. Still, a fine bit of history. We still don’t know why he did it, if he just cracked or if it was an attempt to expose or blackmail. Imagine, exposing what amounts to thousands of years of work to secure clout with a few academics!

Before you start blustering, yes, admittedly we don’t know for sure. Z was never careful. Earnest, but not careful. You of all people must admit that. The amount of blood and empty treasuries you’ve left to preserve secrecy is testament to your security. Maybe it truly is as you and others had said, Z was just an old fool who tried to bring some context to his life, at the expense of the entire Initiative. Still, if you’d like to argue about it, please feel free, I have likely months of free time, and watching you wet your pen with increasing sizzling and impotent vitriol does help pass the time.
I’ve attached a copy from one of the better preserved sections. Who knows, maybe it’ll end up in a museum one day, a relic of the time of struggle and rebirth.

I stand before you now not to argue over the existence of God. God lives, and if he did not, then he does now. God exists as far above and outside us as we exist outside the lives of crawling, blind creatures in the mud of the ocean’s bottom. However, God touches our lives much moreso. It exists as a force, a light, a hand that seeps into every aspect of all that was, is, or will be. For many this is a comfort, the sense of purpose and connection that brings context to life. Others, however, those of learning and firm purpose, like you assembled men of knowledge here assembled, may balk and scoff at the idea of a divine will constructing reality.
To you gentlemen, I say now, you are correct.
The presence of God represents a stifling, constricting force. It chokes and smothers the will of humanity and reality like an overprotective sow, suffocating those it presumes to nurture. God is a cradle, and egg shell that has long outlived its purpose. Today, I will detail to you the why and how that God must perish so that we may live. With no nod to the so-called corrupt or satanic forces of the world, we will explore, as men of science, the reasons and evidence lending to the sentence of death. We will observe with open eyes the unvarnished reality of the world, and you shall learn of others who, even now, labor for this end.
As men of science, I implore yo-


D,
Massive news, massive finds. We will need to shift our timetable from years to months. I've sent word to others, but you are the core of the English arm, and you need to be here. I apologize, I didn't intend to override you, we simply stumbled upon an opportunity, and couldn't wait to clarify with you.

The John Dee archive wasn't complete. We found the hidden portion. D, he was closer then we or anyone ever dreamed. Our experiments with perceptive alchemy and spirit vision? He'd already advanced beyond physical anchors, even to metaphysical control! He likely saw even more than we can, even with V's Rubedo lenses. He may even have seen the Veil, even if it's unlikely he fully understood it. We've found a manuscript full of formula that don't appear anywhere else in his known archive. D, they go even deeper than the Gnostics, they directly mention the Veil and the Fog. This is it, D, that “if only” we were hoping for.

I beg you to come here with all due speed. You have an eye for the old Alchemical riddles that I can’t hope to match, and some of the manuscripts are damnably suggestive. H insists that they record failures, but I’m convinced these processes will work, that they were just never fully tried. If it’s true, and Dee never fully finished the exploration, we could close a loop left open for centuries. Imagine finishing something even the old master couldn’t or wouldn’t do, I admit it gives me chills even now.
We’ll need to move swiftly, and part of my call is to keep the Rosicrucian from catching wind. They’d mean well, as they always do, but you know what a mess they would make. Imagine what would happen if they knew someone was working out the tools needed to engrave the tombstone of God? World reformation indeed, well-meaning fools lead by bored nobles and coin lent from

Forgive me. It seems the old wounds of separation may still bleed with the right pressure.

With that, I will wait with trembling anticipation. Please, make haste, if only for the sake of my nerves.
Best Wishes,
A


The Esteemed ██████ D█████████
The Justus laboratory can, indeed, acquire what you have requested. The agreed-upon sum will be more than sufficient, and transport is being arranged. This letter is, in some ways, a formality.

There is a concern among the associates. We are men of science, not mysticism, and there is a concern that this may be related to some of the most base aspects of the old Alchemist and Necromancer arts. We have endeavored to bring acceptance and respectability to the world of chemical investigation, and distance ourselves from the mystical ravings of men seeking to produce gold or immortality.

Your pardon is humbly asked if this comes as a shock, and your tact understanding should it be a warning. No more will be said, and should something occur, we are merely distributors, and are otherwise unconnected to whatever ends you may find.
It is difficult to imagine what needs would be filled for a private individual with a little over a metric ton of high-purity mercury. Should the old arts indeed have been more than stories, it would be enough to make a man an emperor, or produce enough Stone to allow an army to bodily breech the final door of death. Science is the spirit of questions, and this sudden, and well-backed request does raise many.

Should you have questions, the laboratory mail service will route them to the necessary receivers. We hope that whatever it is you are doing, we will see the results in scientific journals, and not tawdry broadsheets.


D,

I do apologize, and I mean no personal affront, but I cannot just accept your assurance that all will be well. I know you feel I’ve been paying too much heed to your old colonists, but the American cabal is raising valid points, and we should at least be listening. It isn’t just foolhardy to dismissing a dissenting voice, it’s stupid, and dangerous, especially considering what’s at stake.

No, I haven’t “given up to popery” as you put it. I don’t even agree with E’s general thesis, I am an avowed Gnostic, one of the few with us, might I add. I view the felling of the Demiurge as the only true goal of not only mankind, but any form of thinking life, at whatever layer of reality. However we must kneel to the simple, yet total truth: As Above, So below. We cannot begin to understand the effects and ripples we will be sending forth. Attempting to simply bypass the innate laws governing reality through what amounts to brute-force application of a host of disciplines will, by its very nature, have unforeseen effects.

Despite your pronouncements, neither you, nor anyone else, can truly state what will or will not happen with any certainty. It may be a worst case, but there is a real chance that reality itself could collapse. Alarmist, perhaps, but we will not get a second chance. We must get this right. One does not need to kill one’s parents to leave their home.

I plan to again call for a vote on the containment initiative. Your disdain for the “colonials” notwithstanding, it would be foolish to simply dismiss their ideas, especially in light of recent discoveries. I would hope you will give the proposal at least some thought.

Respectfully,

L


R,

I will never understand the oddly aggressive cowardice of Spaniards. They speak, and charge, and rattle sabers, but when the time comes to do the work, suddenly they wish to talk, to plan and consider. That, barrel out with a savagery more in place in the new world, rather than the old. If I’m forced to listen through another round of hand-wringing and philosophy while E smiles that gloating grin in smug silence one more time, I swear that I will next see him over the barrel of a pistol at a dozen paces. Still, at least it’s one problem dealt with. I’m not unsympathetic, but the world is not so kind as to allow one such an elegant solution. Besides, what chains could truly hold god? Who’s to say that others, long ago, though the same. In the end, I’m glad most saw the need for direct action, even if there was some quibble on the steps.

It was wonderful to see you again, and in better health. I will not say I told you so, but it is good to see the “salons” of Paris have not let too deep of a mark. I do apologize for not having more time, but as you know my wife’s health demands consideration. She is much recovered, and hopes she didn’t alarm you. She still refuses anything beyond the basic medical sciences, despite my assurances and even demonstrations. I fear she still has much of the church’s brand on her soul still, and I am not ashamed to admit I do fear it will bring her to ruin in time. The pain is at least under control, though the treatment does leave her drained. All the more reason for haste, yes?

At least we were able to collate between the Dogger shards and what you scraped up from that moldy catacomb. A whole cycle, lost and buried…just seeing some of the tablets was enough to make the blood run cold. Still, we’ve come too far to shiver overmuch now. I’ve reached out to the others, and barring any fresh nonsense. I think we’ll be able to finally move from discussion into real, final action. Securing supplies and transport has been no small task, but in the end, we can’t commit anything less than our all and expect to succeed. In a way, even if we do fail, we will shift the balance enough that our bones may yet bask in victory. Don’t call me a fatalist, now, I'm just being reasonable. What is it that C always says, “failure is always an option” and all that?

I was deeply saddened to hear about your son. At least, from what you’ve said, it sounds like recovery should be somewhat direct, once he’s through the worst. Anything at all I can provide, please don’t hesitate. I know we’re supposed to be gathering strength, but if a man cannot help a friend, then what is the point of it all, honestly? It’s strange, thinking on it. It would be easy to call up the mystical “bad luck”, but it does seem that many of us are having a rough go as of late. Perhaps V’s right, the shadowy hand tilting our plots out of true. Bit of rot, really, but it does seem more weighty in the dim, small hours.

Regardless, we march on. Most of the materials, at least on my end, are secured. Just waiting at this point for the location, assuming one can be found, and not forced to be created. E’s looking, but you know what I think of his lauded “network”. A conglomeration of spies and rubbish, and that…thing he calls his “fist”. Aside from the classlessness, I have real worry that they may expose something, if only from ignorant, drunk rambling. I’ve already had Rosicrucian trash sniffing about, and I’ve even heard some speaking in quiet halls around the old club…we need speed, R, and for more than just auspicious reasons.

Forgive my wandering. I’ve had to keep up appearances for the last few days, and finally thought to send something. I’ll have something more functional for you in the coming days, and if you’re settled I can have a parcel sent as well. I do hope this finds your old bones well, and I insist, again, you must come up at least for the fall. Stay a time, give us both a chance to breathe some open air. Yes, yes, I ramble when I’m weary, off I go.

Regards, D


D,

Sorry, but I must follow as needs dictate. You may speak of your dislike of celestials, but they have access where others do not. It is not as if they will be involved, and I am confused over your talk of corruption. We must draw out the thin secrets of the old tombs, and of the locked lands, if one can do this better than another, why not use them?

The woods, bones and silks will be more than effective cover. Everything is in readiness to be moved, though some assistance may be helpful, if not needed. If a small accident could be arranged? The Nightmare of Europe is gnashing and rattling, and our ships would make fine plunder in his jaws. Better to leave him with dry bones, rather than the real flesh. The stones will not be harmed by water, and the texts are well secured. They will keep well past a sinking, but I cannot arrange without suspicion here. As you will, we will find a way forward regardless.

So many have worked for so long, is it not strange to, now, complain over the hands laying the last bricks? Perhaps I am biased, I am but a mercenary, not a grand lord or scholar like so many of you. I see the world for what it is, and worry no more about it, as all I can see may be bought with gold. Worry not, war and plague have not stopped me in the past, a few egos will not now.

S


Ladies and gentlemen,

We stand now overlooking a great cliff of history. The world that was, and is, lays behind, and the future before. However this future is new, and unknowable, the first truly unbound future the world has ever known. In the coming months, much will be asked of you, but I know we can meet this challenge. It is no longer theory, or whispered rumor, I will state to you today with clear, open voice, in text, in whatever form you may need to hear it:

Within the year, we chosen few will murder God.

Place away your rebuffs and cries of symbolism and theory. In any and all forms that he or it may take, we will end the existence, the life, the event that is God, and we shall do so with our own hands. We shall rip humanity free from these dim, grasping tentacles that have ensnared our souls since the beginning of time, and strive forth with open eyes and minds, even if what they show us is difficult to take. Humanity will stand up proud, for the first time free from meddling.

I ask you all to recommit your efforts. We enter into the crucial time now, and the smallest lapse may have dire ramifications. Focus on what we, each, must do. Leave behind the petty squabbles and posturing. Soon, it will matter little. I thank you all for your efforts thus far, and only hope to congratulate you again after the end.

B


D,

Amazing. Manages to blow hot air as if he was still lord, acting as if it wasn’t blood and sweat of hundreds now, and thousands through time, that got him there. That damn blue blood, eh? Something to be said for showmanship, though. It’s easy to dismiss through text, but when the man speaks, it’s hard not to be drawn along. I was at the Vienna meeting, all those years ago, and I think that’s likely why I’ve stayed on so long. It’s a comfort as I sit here, damn near in the ice chest of the world, overseeing the planting of old stones like some modern-day Jacob. Thankfully fewer dreams, or at least less prophetic ones.

We’ve managed to secure some of the last of the supplies, and I thank you for it. I know dealing with that old mercenary S can be a chore, but he does get results. Imagine what those sailors would think if they knew what we had here? That the great frozen lands of death actually played host to an old diabolist and a cabal of lunatics? I suppose, for some, it’d be not all that unexpected. The cold, D, the cold. It’s not even chill, it’s numb, it burns like fire until it kills the flesh. I’ve seen living men frozen like statues, locked in a moment of gasping death, in mear hours. I’d speak more, but I know how terribly squeamish your English heart gets around the macabre. Without A’s pumps and boilers, we wouldn’t be able to draw breath, let alone work.

There’s been steady progress, at least. Once this is finished, we all head for Indonesia to finish the last of it. Not much left, really, and it’s strange to think of an actual end. At some point, the means become the end. Don’t worry, I’ve spilled too much innocent blood and sinner’s tears to start in on philosophy again, but it is no dross thing to step back a moment and admire.

Imagine if someone knew. Someone outside all this. Show them the years and years of work. Tons of gold, oceans of blood, enough chemicals to turn all of Ireland to gold, enough tones to drown out the roar of a hurricane. The riches of a legion of arcanists and wizards from the depths of time, wisdom stolen from every point on the great wheel of Time, all to write the largest and most complex magic circle the world has ever known. And even that is just the physical, the things we can see. Soon all of it comes to an end, and we sever the throat of the thing that had drunk the devotion of a whole reality since before time was time. Leave me my pride and my musing, D, I know they can never know, but I’m old and the cold outside reaches for my heart, let me warm myself with a gaze to the navel.

This time next year, provided everything goes correctly. I hope to catch up to you and R at the Austrian estate once the screaming dies down. I’ve taken to waving at the whalers when they sniff around some of the outer ice flows, when we have to pop up topside to recover caches. I do wonder what they think of us, likely some ice demon of beast, eh? I’d think I’ve gone a bit mad down here, but we both know that happened long ago. Tell R he still owes me a game of wist. We’ll settle the debt once god is dead, hooray hooray.

Y


Lord ██████ D█████████,

We are saddened to receive word of your absence from the coming meeting. We hope to receive you back once you return, and wish both you and your wife well. Sometimes a change of air does wonders for the health. The east, while often barborus, does carry secrets that can benefit even the modern man.
We do, however, have a small question. It appears you have withdrawn a sizable sum from the club account. While your personal finances are, indeed, personal, we have had questions raised. This, and your, at times, aggressive withdrawal from public life does elicit concerns. It’s almost as if you’re preparing from a much grander journey than the one stated, or worse. We simply hope you are, and continue to be well.

The ██████████ Club


R,

Just a spare scrap before we hurl into the breach. It is breathtaking. We shall make of the world an alembic, and purify the dross matter that makes up life. The vibrations are trimendous. I watched K weep blood today, and treated it as no more than a sneeze. I watched B press his hands into a solid stone, and leave prints as if it was wet clay. The shell of the egg of the world is cracking, R, and we are swinging the hammer against it.

D


light2.png

Likely caption: "THE LIGHT, THE LIGHT, THE LIGHT IS COLD AND EMPTY". Author unknown.


R,
Forgive my long absence. Time moves strangely now, or perhaps it’s just finally age catching up. I’ve retired to the Austrian estate now, assuming it will endure. We’ve all scattered, it seems, criminals fleeing to the shadows to deny the crime. I still believe in what we did. In a small way, it was needed, but we could not have known. I knew I would have to leave England when I saw the snows falling in July. An eruption, they say, the simple, mundane rumbling of the world. They view the death of spring with the blind stoicism of a cow walking up to the hammer and spike. E wrote, telling me how much he yearns for death, but is willing to follow the blackest of necromancy to endure, knowing what lies beyond that final door. Final, ha, if only!

We did it, R. Whatever else, we accomplished what we set out for. God is dead, and the hands of man murdered him. We knew there would be complications, but…we could have never guessed. Sometimes things are secret for a reason, sometimes things are put beyond grasping hands to keep harm at bay. We reached despite the warnings, and too late realized our frail forms could not hope to even understand the obligation, let alone bear it. Yet now, we must.

At the very least, most of us feel this way. I admit the magnitude of change does weigh on me, and every time that cruel, yellow sun rises I shudder despite myself, but we accepted the risk. I may morn for the easy life of ignorance, but I will not even entertain the idea of returning to it. A few others have approached me, out of need or ambition, and we plan to, as they say, “make a go of it”. Amusingly, it seems my business and societal contacts, so often dismissed as base and distracting, are serving well despite the change. You know I’ve never enjoyed profiting off the misery of others, but if it is to happen, why not I? It’s not as if I’ll face judgement for it anymore, now will I?

My wife is dead. The strain was too much, and we both knew it was likely. She chose her fate…and now, I must choose mine. I do not think I will make it to the Austrian estate, R. Or any other, for that matter. It’s time to embrace what we have unleashed. If we are to live in a slowly decaying world, we must pull ourselves up to at least enjoy it. Or, failing that, manage to not scream and weep until voice and tears turn to blood. I will not revel in the corpse of God, but neither will I shy from it, or behave as if my suffering will somehow raise him again.

You will understand, in time. Or, perhaps not. Time is such a soft, pliant thing for us now, isn’t it? I think I might do what so many have advised me to, and see about opening that little museum I always toyed with. A private place for those with eyes to understand and see. Should you grow worried, R, and I know you will, then drop by sometime. No, no, not the London estate, I imagine by the time this reaches you the things in the basement will have rendered it a sinkhole. The northern one, the cottage near the creek we used to ramble by. You’ll know when you see it.

For what it’s worth, I am sorry R. I can’t morn any longer, and since I cannot weep, I will smile though broken teeth.

D


D,

I sit here, in the old rooms we used to know, and I question what I am even doing writing this. You are gone, vanished from the world, and only the darkest of rumors even hint at you. More than three years, and yet somehow everything is still spinning. We’ve fractured so much, swallowed by mysticism, superstition, science and even blind ignorance. Somehow the Wounds keep opening, yet the bleeding never drowns us as we thought it would. You would despair to see the state your old haunts are in, though maybe you know? France is opening its mouth to swallow all of Europe, yet even that is just a footnote in the end. What good is an empire when an oil lamp can burn off the Channel?

I write, and a storm rages outside. There are others, but far from here, chasing something that wears clouds like a cloak and speaks with fire. The cottage is crumbling, but enough for an old man and some memories. I can see the spot where we sat, and listened to your mad grandfather ramble about the far spheres and bloodthirsty adventures until late in the night. Back before we knew, before they came and whisked you off on a patents and new family, and me to university. I found the letters, you old fool. Supposed to burn them, but somehow I knew you’d keep some, if only to gloat or threaten. I suppose I should, but I will not. Let another, someday. What harm will it do?

I know this will not reach you. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to post it. However, as you would say, symbolism matters. Where have you gone? Have you truly joined with that husk that was M? So many questions, but then the one who could answer them is dead, isn’t he? We made sure of that. So I keep them, and pour them into the page. My son died last spring. Something got into his blood, and he broke into shards of light that sliced through stone like old cheese. Everyone was screaming, but I couldn’t help but feel the smallest bit of envy.

The thunder is marching closer now. I think I may go to meet it. They’ll call me a hero, I’m sure. Leave me my flair for the dramatic, you were just as bad. Are just as bad. Will be just as bad? I miss you, I admit it. So many fallen away now. I don’t care what they tagged on you, or what names you hid and slithered under. I say at the end, at least, that I am Rechter, and that you are Dark, and we killed God and damned the world. Let them call us madmen or mercients, until the stars burned out we stood where no other would. Now I will bury these, and go forth, because wherever you are, Dark, this old, withered flesh isn’t what I need to get there.

What greater honor than to be killed by the murderer of God?

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