I descended in what I assumed to be glory and honor and terror upon a world until I realized, as I landed, that my omniscience had vanished. The boasting and arrogance I had intended died stillborn as I gazed forward into an abyss whereupon I saw the creature that suspended it. The speech died, yes, but then came with it a rumbling and echoing call of a wrath beyond that of mere ordinary spheres:
So, Zee, you're already here, then? You must be wiser than I expected to be here so soon.
This too died stillborn when the creature walking toward me gave a hideous smile and then calmly moved with a deliberately slowed and shambling walk. A slopping and unnatural voice echoed in levels of sound different to my kind, a sound so alien to the geometries of the material plane that only by analogy could it be called sound:
Quiet whelp. My race was here long before e'er your kind was. Your kind erect the first steps in a great empire and delve into forbidden secrets, and all kneels before you because your progenitor, like mine, is no longer a mere being of flesh and blood. He has become something other.
I am not Zee, whelp, I am the Sovereign you offended by storming into mine own realm, inheritor of a Dark Dreamer whose father lies dead but dreaming in a necropolis that covers half the globe. Xaderavcal stands before you. You stormed into my realm and disrupted a plan a decade in the making as it was poised on success. And you have given to me proof that others since the Stars changed are initiating a return of Wonders not seen since my father's realm sprawled over much of Existence itself.
Xaderavcal, said the being that spoke to me, was its name. But it was not the brutish and arrogant military despot who interrogated me. No, it couldn't be. The creature shambled and its voice was a slopping and hideous mockery of voice and sound themselves. With it seemed to emanate an ancient mist, and for the first time I noticed that people were either suspended by or dead of fright, and that the very ground seemed to ripple where walked the green mist, and then the booming slopping voice rose to a new pitch.
I shall show you in full what it is that faces you. But that shall not be now, quite yet, no.
First, I shall show you that gap between the power you esteemed when the virus gave to you a voice and a pretense of strength, and that which was when the Empire of Xoth was supreme o'er all existence.
The thing in Xaderavcal's face made her smile and for a moment her flesh wavered and a hint of something gigantic and green with a monstrous tentacle-adorned face leering with countless eyes appeared, and then the creature waved a hand, speaking two words in an ancient tongue that predated countless universes:
And everything went silent with a sudden onrushing of darkness and I didn't even have time to scream.
I awoke in a charred field of fine rubble, seeing only something kneeling in the darkness, eyes watching with contempt. A mountain watched, rasping with unholy laughter, six gleaming eyes of dark blue laughing as a figure not unlike a monstrous caricature of a human, a dragon, and an octopus opened vast wings and spoke again:
And everything changed again as I once more fainted, mind overwhelmed by the unfathomable ancient energies of Something that was when my kind was not even yet a part of a grand design. I had only the time to wonder what it meant when someone aware of the nature of Story found oneself a cat's paw in an entity's hands able to overwhelm even this. Darkness swallowed me before the icy and unfamiliar sensation of true fear could set in..........