Finale: Promotion

Dear Vera,

The Battle of the End of Days has finally finished in The Hidden District. The Behemoth, the Leviathan, and Ziz (I think that was the name that the giant bird-like creature had written in the back of its neck, but Aramaic was never one of my strong points, so I might be wrong) have disappeared, and only a crater has been left where The Hidden District used to be. The fiery bird has taken me down there, where I haven’t been able to find even a single living creature, not even a piece of a robot.

As I’ve arrived at the very bottom of the crater (about 200 metres below ground level), I have seen glowing portals appear at what used to be ground-level in The Hidden District. After that, some screaming figures have dropped from it, and hit the bottom of the crater hard. The weird masses of meat and bones have stayed there, unmoving, while the portals have disappeared, and then reappeared at the crater’s bottom.

Christina, the High Priestess, has come out of one of the portals and advanced directly towards me. She has congratulated me on destroying the Freemasons and reaching the summit of the White Mountain by myself, and declared me a hero of the Illuminati. I have asked whether this was a promotion, and she has said that, actually, it technically wasn’t, because there hadn’t been any vacancies at higher levels of the of the Illuminati hierarchy, and that I would have to stay as sub-Lieutenant Third of the American Branch of the Illuminati.

I don’t know what has happened next exactly. The point is that, somehow, the High Priestess has ended up ensnared between the feathers of the fiery bird’s tail. Unfortunately, the fire has burnt her soul, and her hollow body too, and not even dust has been left. Everyone has looked at the fiery bird, and then declared me High Priest of the Illuminati! I cannot believe it! I’ve reached the top of the Illuminati hierarchy!

Also, from what I’ve been told, the Illuminati have seized power of the Plains of Angst and Sorrow, and all of their surrounding worlds. This is incredible! So many good news in a day!

Anyway, I think that, now that I’m at the very top, I’m going to change some things here. But first, I think I’m going to take a holiday.

I’ll see you soon at home!



The battle of the End of Days

Dear Vera,

I’m fine.

Now that that is out of the way, let me tell you about what happened with the Behemoth and the Leviathan (as you might remember, both of them were fighting the battle of the End of Days in some universe when I summoned them, and continued it in The Hidden District, this apparently created a lot of confusion both in The Hidden District and the universe that was going Apocalyptic).

Well, when the building was destroyed, even though the two beasts managed to leave the site pretty easily, I needed some time to escape. In that time, the fight had moved a few blocks away (actually, had moved through a few blocks, and away), and I had to run to catch up with the beasts, who were, at the time of my arrival, tearing a giant building of the shape of a golden orb-weaver down.

The robots in the District did not seem too aware of my presence at the time, which allowed me to advance pretty quickly. They seemed pretty distressed by the fight between the two creatures, and all headed towards the building, too. Thousands of robots were fighting to keep the building’s structure stable, but, in the end, it was all in vain, for the sheer power of the Behemoth and the Leviathan crushed the  large spider of cement and steel (and probably some reparation and maintenance nanobots, but I’m not very sure) to the ground.

Suddenly, the golden orb that had been stuck to the spider-building’s back disappeared. For an instant, there was a golden web that connected all of the robots together with the fading orb, and when it disappeared, every single robot in The Hidden District fell to the floor. I don’t know what this stunt was all about, but it sure made advancing towards the Leviathan and the Behemoth quite a hard operation, since I had to avoid the armies of robots that were piled in the middle of the street.

However, before I could get to the beasts, a sudden bolt of energy hit me, and I found myself on the floor, with energy shackles on my hands and feet. Several humans advanced towards me, one of them with a gun, and they yelled at me furiously. I had finally found the Freemasons! I explained to them that I was part of the Illuminati, and that I wanted to reach a deal with them, because I thought that our main objectives were complementary. I was quite disappointed to find out that the Freemasons were not very willing to negotiate with me.

When they put me upright, and were going to take me to the organic disposal chamber (I wonder what that is? My knowledge of renewable technologies is so lacking that I should feel ashamed), an electric blue circle opened up in the sky: someone was opening a portal into The Hidden District. A giant crossed through the portal, and asked what the heck was going on, because there was an Apocalypse that really should’ve ended by five pm, and that he was going to be late to the final celebration of the gods if we didn’t send the Behemoth and the Leviathan back.

While the Freemasons tried to explain that it hadn’t been them that had summoned the Behemoth, or the Leviathan, hundreds of humans started to jump out of the portal and into The Hidden District, and the giant (I think a deity of some sort?) crouched to collect them, and started to put them back through the portal. However, the size difference was quite considerable, so humans were managing to sneak around, and more humans were crossing the portal towards The Hidden District than the other way around. The giant asked the Freemasons for some assistance, and, seeing their territory being invaded by strange forces of other universes, they started to fight whatever humans they met. But wihtout the robot army, the Freemason forces were no match for the hundreds of thousands that were coming in, escaping from the end of their world.

In an instant, everything went black. Only whatever lights people were carrying with them were available in an otherwise complete darkness. I looked up, and distinguished a large bird-like creature covering the sky. I was grabbed by a bird-like creature significantly larger than myself, yet significantly smaller than whatever was covering the sky. The flaming bird that was carrying me flew over the Behemoth and the Leviathan, made a sharp descent towards the floor, and then, at the last second, turned vertically towards the giant bird-like thing.

And the bird and I were the fire. We ascended like a rocket, and burnt through the enormous creature’s feathers, rising to the very ceiling of the sky, and soaring high, well over the white tower that I had climbed just a couple of days ago. The wind was strong, but this flaming bird was stable, up in the air, as the Battle of the End of Days happened in The Hidden District.

I am sending you this from the bird’s back (after a few minutes it has agreed to carry me on its back), free from the energetic shackles of the Freemasons. When the Battle of the End of Days finally comes to an end in The Hidden District, we will get down to inspect the region.

Give mom and dad my regards!



Dear Vera,

I am still at The Hidden District, but, boy, how the situation has changed. I’m now trying to find and stop the Behemoth , and the Leviathan, who have gone on a rampage and are wreaking havoc. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Let’s rewind to my situation when I wrote the last letter to you guys. At the time, I had been imprisoned by a hive of robots controlled by an incredibly advanced Artificial Intelligence (Scynet? I don’t remember well, but it was something like that). From what my robot guard explained to me, when war was declared on the Illuminati, the humans retreated to the core of the Hidden District, and the robots were ordered to arrest any humans that they saw while the Freemasons decided on their war strategy.

I demanded a fair trial, and a lawyer that would defend me (those are my rights as an American citizen!), but my petition was denied. They explained that The Hidden District, as well as the Plains of Angst and Sorrow and all of the surrounding regions (including The Occult Neighbourhood) do not actually belong to the United States, and are actually not eve a part of that dimension. Apparently, the territory’s ownership is being contested by several races, including the reptilian overlords who rule Russia. It is the reason why the Plains of Angst and Sorrow are uncolonized. The reason why everyone is so interested in the Plains is that it can be a source of power. Legend claims that whoever conquers the summit of the White Mountain and survives, will obtain all of the Plain’s immense power for their people.

Among the humans, it’s the Freemasons and the Illuminati who claim this land, and for some reason, they know that, whichever faction gets the power will obliterate the other one. And that will mean World Domination for whoever wins. So the tension between the two factions was already quite intense, even before the war declaration. This, the large forest that now covers the Plains, and some nuclear test that an unidentified power has carried out on the Plains of Angst and Sorrow near Illuminati territory have taken the tension to the next level, and complicated Interdimensional Diplomacy (yes, that was an extremely informative Interdimensional Geopolitics I received from my robot guard!).

Anyway, after a few days of listening to the whole history of all of the worlds and nations (I learned a lot! Like how the Alien powers who ruled over Egypt were enemies with Gradrgfbni, the Lord of all Martians (who actually moved out of Mars before Gradrgfbni became their Lord), and how they fought the war that ended all wars, and all other wars after that have just been a figment of our imaginations), I was getting quite tired, and lonely, so I decided to summon the Behemoth. I had met the Beast while at university, and had become quite good friends with it.

Anyway, it would seem that the Apocalypse was going on at whatever dimension the Behemoth had been at the time. It was fighting the Leviathan in a battle that was going to end the world, and they had both been in a lock position at the time of my summoning. As a result, both of them appeared through the portal, in their Titanic forms, which took the size of an entire block. Needless to say, the prison building blasted out as the two monsters appeared inside of it.

Now the two are fighting the battle to end the world in The Hidden District, without realizing that they have been transported to some other dimension. I need to stop them and send them back to where they came from if I want to ensure peace with the Freemasons.

I’ll write again as soon as I manage to control this situation.



The Hidden District

Dear Vera,

Last week (maybe not that long for you? I don’t know, considering how malleable time has been recently. Tying the shape of time to the exchange rate of GBP to EUR was probably not a great solution to the time travel problem that the Illuminati were facing, but well, at least it works when needed, and doesn’t fail that much) I reached The Hidden District, the place where the Freemason headquarters are located.

Many people say that this place is very similar to The Occult Neighbourhood, where the Illuminati headquarters is located. And, you know, sure, both places have grown around two superlarge secret organizations that are fighting a war to control the world in all times and spaces, across dimensions of possible and impossible realities. But that’s where the similarities end. The rest of it is all so different.

So, when we talk about Freemasons, we usually expect some secret satanic cult that has mystic hidden rituals (pretty much like the Illuminati). Yet, apparently, that only applies to the English branch of the Freemasons, as the rest are based on rational principles of science and engineering. Everything is mechanic in The Hidden District, automatized to the maximum, to a level unimaginable by current technology in the world.

And that has been, in part, one of my problems. When I walked into the nearest cafeteria for a drink (after weeks in The Plains of Angst and Sorrow I needed to get something!), I ordered a caffè latte and a piece of cake to the server in the counter. She pulled a weird face, and stared at me with large, unblinking eyes. In fact, the whole cafeteria stopped doing whatever they were doing, and stared at me.

“Unidentified meat-man” the lady in the counter pronounced. “Activate arrest protocol”. Before I knew it, the mechanical hive had captured me. Apparently, I had gone into a robot-only area of The Hidden District (that was the reason why the cafeteria looked so weird to me!) and, because they had not recognized my face, the robots in there used their hive-mind capabilities to perfectly coordinate a quick arrest.

Now I am waiting inside Freemason cell for my captors to come talk to me. I think this might take a while, because, apparently, due to the war declaration, the Freemasons have grown quite paranoid. Oh, well. I really hope I can work my way through this.



The tower of the world’s fate

Dear Vera,

I hope everything is well. I’ve finally managed to make it out of the Plains of Angst and Sorrow. Let me tell you how it all happened.

So, as you might remember, I followed the ram-skull-head person (that’s what I’m calling him… maybe her? I don’t know, let’s say “it”), and tried to ask it for directions. However, it was completely silent, and for some reason, kept advancing through the forest, without me even realizing where I was going. I think it was quite a long time until we reached the tower.

This was the most massive thing that I had ever seen. A large monumental complex, a tower larger than had ever been built, a giant shrine with some complex name like “Tower of the world’s fate” (I can’t say for sure, my reading speed is not as good for runes as it is for English, and we just went past the sign that indicated the name quite quickly). Now that I think about it, it’s quite strange that I had never seen it before, neither from The Occult Neighbourhood, nor from the air after the gigantic explosion. I guess a bone-white spear that cuts through the sky would be pretty visible. Weird.

The ram-skull-head person started to ascend. It went up the monumental complex, and I followed it. If it wasn’t going to give me any directions, at least I could walk up the tower to get an approximate sense of what direction I had to take to get to the Freemason headquarters. I spent many days climbing, avoiding the sculptures that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It was really strange, the ram-skull-head person would go up a blank space, and when I got there, there would be some statue with a longsword, and I would almost hit it! I don’t know who thought about this mobile-statue kind of thing, but it’s quite dangerous, if you ask me, to have a 4-meter-tall statue holding a claymore as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel to move around without any sort of warning (artists should consider health and safety, too!).

Now, when I got to the very top, the view was breath-taking. Like, literally. I think the tower went up over 8 kilometres, and the air was so thin up there that I had to use a ventilation spell to keep myself oxygenated. To be fair, I don’t know why I kept going up, following the ram-skull-head person. Maybe I should have stopped climbing after the first kilometre or so. I was looking for some landmarks in the surroundings of the tower to get some orientation when the ram-skull-head person raised its arms and bellowed as he looked out of the tower.

I have to recognize that I was quite startled. For a moment there I thought that he was having a heart attack (then, of course, I remembered that I had only seen the creature’s bones, so the heart attack seemed, though not impossible, quite unlikely). I hurried towards the ram-skull-head person and I saw that it’s robes and body had turned into the same white stone of the rest of the tower, in a position of raised arms.

Seeing that there was not much that I could do there, I looked around until I saw the Illuminati headquarters. It was quite hard to spot, but I saw the gold triangle shining in the distance. Thus, turning in the opposite direction would be the Freemason headquarters. The square and compass were extremely difficult to distinguish, but I saw them. It was a long way away, and would probably take me just as much time as it had taken me to get from headquarters to this tower to get there from the tower.

I must not have stepped properly when I was looking around, because I tripped and fell from the tower. I saw a statue with a lance launch towards the position in which I had been an instant before, probably to help me, and wondered what I would do. I barely had a few seconds to think of something. But before I could cast a spell, a large red bird with a fiery tail picked me up in its back.

I thought that I had seen this before. The bird seemed all too familiar, and I suspected that I had seen something like this before. And then it dawned on me: this was just like that Lord of the Rings scene in which Gandalf escaped the tower using the eagles! It was so amazing to fly like that!

The large bird took me out of the Plains of angst and sorrow, and near the Freemason headquarters. The white tower is not visible anymore, and there is just a vast green opening between me and headquarters. Let’s hope that this contact goes smoothly!



The Plains of Angst and Sorrow, Part 2

Dear Vera,

I’m finally out of that cavern. Took me long enough! Anyway, let me first explain a few things about the mail system. Any time I make a ritual for mail that I send to you, I get a tracking number, which I can then use to see if you’ve received my letters. I’m telling you this to clarify some stuff I told you last week: time seems to pass very differently ever since I came into the Plains of Angst and Sorrow. The interval between my last two letters should have been of several months, yet, apparently, there was only a week in between for you. I also noticed that there were two months between the reception of the letter about the government. From what I’ve calculated, if time keeps bending, you will receive this letter before I send it!

Anyway, remember how I went to the cave a couple of months back? It was very nice of the bear to show me that shortcut, and I really thanked him. I think he was pretty moved, because he then extended his long sharp claws and tried to give me a surprise hug in the darkness. However, the floor was pretty slippery, and I was a bit taken aback by the suddenness of the whole thing, so I fell back. The bear advanced towards me, but it was so dark in there that he tripped and fell, with the extremely bad luck of meeting a stalagmite, which wasn’t supposed to be sharp. But the bear’s eye and a part of its brain were crossed by the rock, fatally injuring him.

The bear obviously panicked, and almost mauled my arm while I was trying to free him from the rock. I think the brain damage must have been quite severe, because he started talking about murdering me and my whole family, even when I helped him lie down on the floor, his arms weakly flailing towards me. I used a calming spell to make his last few moments more bearable (pun not intended), and then gave him a proper funeral service.

Of course, the problem with all of these things was that I was in the middle of a dark cave with a dead guide, so getting out of there was quite a challenge. Luckily, after many days of walking in the darkness I found some gorgeous murals that glowed with strange characters and figures that moved in every direction. I followed the moving men and women from the walls, and got to a dead end. I looked around, and saw that it was a room full with bones and skulls ordered neatly. It looked fairly similar to my own bedroom in the headquarters of the Illuminati, and I was glad that they offered a place for sleeping the night. I do have to say, there are some really nice people here, I don’t know why they would call it the Plains of Angst and Sorrow.

The next morning, the figures were impatiently looking at me from the wall. Apparently, I hadn’t noticed a sacrificial dagger that had been lit when I arrived at the chamber (so that was that light that had disturbed my sleep!). It looked quite dusty, and was full of cobwebs, so, trying to be a polite guest, I cleaned the place up to leave it in a better shape than when I had arrived here. Not to be arrogant, but I have to say that I did quite a good job about it. I even managed to clean some dirty marks from the floors, along with some blood marks in their centre. Apparently, the previous guest was rude enough to leave a blood mark in there.

Anyway, the moment I did that, the fiery figures from the walls started to scream. I think they were cheering for me, and thanking me for my help. They started to do some weird dance, frantically moving around, moving their arms up and down. But I had to fully clean it, so I kept scrubbing until all of the marks were gone. At that moment, the figures disappeared, and, for some reason, the cave started to collapse. Using a protective spell, I managed to navigate my way up and out of the cavern, but I think the figurines didn’t make it.

A figure with the skull of a ram then sentenced that “A civilization had been lost in that cavern”. It took me a bit, but then I recognized the thing! It was the one that appeared some months ago, when your letter turned into this forest! It started to walk away from me, but I decided to follow it. Let’s hope it can give me directions to the headquarters of the Freemasons!

Give my regards to mom and dad.


The Plains of Angst and Sorrow, Part 1

Dear Vera,

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a letter. Well, at least it has for me. I am still trying to understand what’s going on with time and space, ever since I entered the Plains of Angst and Sorrow.

So, as you might remember, back in March I sent you a letter telling you about a mission I had brainwashing some cabinet members in Washington. The following week, when the Freemasons noticed that we had replaced the members of the president’s cabinet with golems, they declared war on the Illuminati. As I already told you in that letter, I was going to try to negotiate with the Freemasons.

So I sent you the letter and went to the Plains of Angst and Sorrow. The headquarters of the Freemasons are on the other side of the plains, so I just needed to cross the plains to get there. Easy job. Except the region has now been covered by a thick forest (I think this is my fault?), and is almost impossible to navigate, even on foot. I summoned a hatchet to open my way through the vegetation, yet the moment I entered the forest, it melted in my hands. Like, even the wooden part of it, turning into some weird sludge that dropped to the grass.

The moment this liquid touched the floor, it exploded, sending projectiles in the direction of the Occult Neighbourhood, and throwing me to the floor. Luckily, I wasn’t harmed, because I fell on a bed of unusually comfortable grass. It was pretty cold in there, and, in fact, I was quickly trapped in a block of ice, yet it was soooooo comfortable. Dad would have loved it, because it had great support for the back (and you know how picky he can be when choosing a mattress).

Anyway, from the directions I had gathered before leaving the Occult Neighbourhood, I had to travel north, while the grass was taking me somewhere towards the west, so I lit a small fire in my hands to slowly melt the ice enclosing. The problem was that drawing Dark Runes for spells is quite hard in such a cramped space, and so I made a small mistake and used the superlative imperative to create the fire, instead of the common imperative (I know, I know, this is some Dark Rune linguistics gibberish), thus setting literally everything in a five kilometer radius on fire. Every single atom of every single molecule in a sphere around me was on fire.

Everything happened in a quick succession from there. I think that, because the ground was below me, there was a lot more stuff on fire below me than above me (because air is very thin when you compare it with five kilometers of Earth’s crust), so the massive amounts of energy lifted me, the only object that was not on fire (thanks to the extremely handy fire resistant Illuminati cloak), high towards the sky. The lift was enough for me to see the circular blast spreading in every direction and a mushroom-shaped cloud forming just below me.

As I was up in the air, I noticed how far I had travelled from the edge of the Occult Neighbourhood. The Illuminati Headquarters was barely visible as a dark tower in the skyline, and the yellow triangle on the top was not discernible against the sky. It would seem that the grass had taken me miles away. However, I did not have much time to look around, because my imminent fall and the shockwave of the explosion were more urging matters at the time. I deployed the handy parachute that the Illuminati cloak has in it (I could sing the praises for that cloak, it’s truly a great tool for the job), and landed safely, not as far from the blast site as I would have liked.

The gigantic hole was being filled with superhot materials from the crust’s lower layers, which, added to the radiation, created an extremely dangerous combo. I fled the place, always followed by that wave of destruction, and ran towards the north. Days passed, and I eventually reached a calm area, from where I could start to travel like a normal person.

Sorry, I can’t continue writing. A very friendly looking 6-meter-tall bear is telling me that I need to go through a dark cave to continue my travels. At least, that’s what I’ve understood. The bear says that it will absolutely show me the way to my destination, and definitely not lure me into a dark cave to kill me and steal my organs. Sounds pretty trustworthy!

Regards to everyone at home. Love,