The Night Market

The paradigms rippled in the furious gale of reality, invisible but to the eyes of those trained in the secretive art of paradigmatics. Slowly, the realization begin to spread among the Illuminati that there was an immense force disturbing the paradigms. As they wondered of its source, a cloaked Illuminatus arrived at the Eternal Flame to commune with his fellows over the strange happenings. Sensing the essence of the Dreadform of Iklara leaking forth behind the veil of reality, the Illuminati sought out the strange obelisk within the Skarch. Sensing a vast power beyond the obelisk the cloaked Illuminatus attempted to open the way but the Mysterious Presence that had so plagued the Basin of Life guarded the stone statue. As strange energies washed across the pictogram of two men entwined on the face of the monument, the Illuminati declared he would destroy the image that seemed to empower the Presence. Gathering flesh and flame, the Illuminatus transformed his arms into burning whips and flayed away the image.

As the icons was seared away, the Mysterious Presence let out a howl of triumph before fading into the Night. Now prepared to open the way of the obelisk, the Illuminatus consumed the glands of the desert sandworms and went into a trance that flowed upon the paradigms, providing passage to all those gathered. Those who tread this path entered a strange market and founded the wounded Elder Gods Terentia and Eventru, who fled from that place once the way had opened. Soon after, the sun rose upon the Skarch and as the first golden beams touched the market; it dispersed as if it had never been.

The cloaked Illuminatus waited at the obelisk through the day, probing the strange path through the paradigms. When his fellow Illuminati, led by Ixchilgal Mes’ard, returned, he asked them to barter with the alien merchants in the market of night so that he may use their artifacts in a ritual to divine the true origin of the place. While many rushed to help, the many adventurers scrambling to assist caused friction between those of the Illuminati and those hailing from other nations, most notably Kalas Ixion. And so the groups shuttled back and forth for twelve nights, each vying for control of the strange merchants’ wares. It proceeded this way each night until the final night. As the darkness fell across the desert and the diplomatic attempts of the Illuminati to end Ixion’s interference failed, both parties rushed into the market to gather the final payment needed. However, the only bartering was done in words of bickering and no goals were achieved as Father Sun brushed the Night Market away.

As night fell once more, while Ixion stood defending himself against the accusations of the Gaudiguchian contingent, the Illuminati strove into the market once more and obtained the final payment for the merchants. As Feyda Mes’ard provided the final key to the ritual, the Illuminati parted the paradigms beyond the Night Market for a glimpse of a far distant place where the Dreadform lay imprisoned.

What was it about the pictogram that drew the Mysterious Presence? Will further rituals open the way to the prison? And what is Shimotabi Xiim’s interest in the ritual artifacts? Such answers are as fleeting as the Night Market when the sunlight breaks upon the First World.

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