Pre-War Story: The Compass Rose

The Compass Rose

A Historic Novel
by Giga

“By simply straining I can see farther and farther back. Now I am going back through strange curves and angles. Angles and curves multiply about me. I perceive great segments of time through curves. There is curved time, and angular time. The beings that exist in angular time cannot enter curved time. […]
 
“The Hounds of Tindalos!” he muttered. “They can only reach us through angles. We must eliminate all angles from this room. I shall plaster up all of the corners, all of the crevices. We must make this room resemble the interior of a sphere.”.”
-The Hounds of Tindalos, 1929

It was a time of terror. Nightmarish Tindalos Hounds would materialize from darkened corners, using Tindalos Doorways to emerge from portals to another world.

Only one man knows how to stop the terror. One retired recluse – Daniel Humble.

Daniel is a 80-year-old retired psychiatrist from Madrid with declining health and a thirst for spells.

He knows that to stop the horrifying Tindalos Hounds eternal hunger, he must betray his adept apprentice, Sally Ball.

Searching for a second chance, he travels to Philadelphia where he attends a gruesome ritual, opening a door into another realm.

However, the end of the world approaches, and time is running out for Daniel. He is left with two options: stop the Tindalos Hounds in one hour, or allow the world to be consumed by an endless hunger.

 

 

“Never have there been more chilling monsters than Tindalos Hounds. I will never look at a shadowy corner again. “
– The Daily Tale

Post-War Delicacy: The Life Experience

A “Life Experience” is a dish that isn’t cooked. It is crafted. It requires a lot of foraging and scavenging in order to make. Only the most diehard survivors can even attempt to gather the ingredients.

The following ingredients create a single serving. It is not recommended to do more than one at a time. Do not deviate from the recipe, you will not get another chance.

-1 plank of wood salvaged from a saltwater Sunken Ship
-60 grape leaves, each plucked from a different vine
-1 Rosa Bianca Eggplant harvested at midnight on a blue moon
-2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice
-1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
-2 quarts of safflower oil, collected from a rainbow of flowers
-1 teaspoon of bamboo salt
-2 quarts of chicken broth made from a chicken slaughtered during a loving embrace
-1 Vidalia onion
-1/2 cup of dill, grown in home soil
-1 cup of lemon juice made of lemons fertilized with bone dust

-Cast-iron pot seasoned with herbs collected from battlefields
-Knife that has experienced the struggle of survival. One that has saved a life and taken a life.
-Femur or other long bone of a dear friend or despised enemy shaped into a spoon, carved to expose the marrow

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the rice, onion, dill, and mint for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Pour in 1 quart of broth, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is almost cooked. Stir in 1/2 of lemon juice and remove from heat.
  2. Take one leaf, shiny side down, and place 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture at the bottom (stem) end of the leaf. Fold both sides of the leaf towards the center, roll up from the broad bottom to the top, and place into a 4-quart pot. Repeat with all leaves, leaving no gaps as leaves are placed in pot (to prevent from opening while cooking). Sprinkle with remaining lemon juice and with olive oil.
  3. Pour chicken broth over all to cover grape leaves. Cover pot and simmer for about 1 hour (do not boil, because this will make the stuffing burst out of the leaves).
  4. Serve over a smoothed salvaged-wood plate. Contemplate over the generations that came before you and the experiences that shaped the flavors that you are about to enjoy. Good luck.

 

Pre-War Fable

The cultists came in the night. Their raids had been growing ever more fervent, killing the people out on the fields and stealing the ones that were unfortunate enough to survive for some terrible purpose.

Their father had given Alexander a single task. ‘Don’t let them take you’ was the last words he spoke, shoving the NCO’s sword in one hand and Elise’s hand in the other. She was crying quietly, begging Daddy not to go.

He left to join the defense while Alexander took his sister into the cellar. He held his sister close as the distant sounds of fighting grew closer and closer.

By the time there were footsteps and screaming coming from the nearby homesteads, he knew what happened to the first line of defense. But he had to keep a brave face. He had to stay strong for Elise.

There was a crash at the door, and Alexander counted three separate footsteps looting their home. He pulled out the sword and held it in front of him. It wobbled in his hands, far too heavy and too big for a boy like him. But he wasn’t going to give up.

He was going to be a Soldier when he grew up. He was going to swear an oath in the town cathedral and defend the weak from the dark creatures of the night. He was going to—

…The cellar door burst open, and a man dropped down with a machete. He had a crazed look in his eyes and blood on the few teeth he had left. There were no words, just cackles and grins as he swung the blade around and lunged at the children…

It has been a month since the last raid. The dead had been buried and prayed for, too many to count. Many homes and huge swaths of the farmland had been destroyed, crippling the community. The people of the village had thought that there was nothing else that could be taken from them. But that didn’t stop the monsters.

Another raid, this time led by some sort of foul demon, had rushed into the streets. Some tried to fight it off, but most of the villagers ran for the cathedral. It has no huge oak doors or thick stone walls. It was practically the same as the other older buildings, save for the intricate stain glass window on the far wall. The whole town had given money to order one from abroad.

Some people clung to their families, others wept openly, and others still prayed at the altar for anyone, Angel or Demon, to save them from the monsters.

The doors swung open, and the mob of cultists smiled as their master looked over his prey. He spoke something in an infernal tongue about how they would feast on these pathetic worms. He tried to step inside to claw at the first person he saw…but he could not.

One of the men, with a single bloodshot eye and teeth sharpened to fangs, tried to enter the cathedral. But he was stopped as well. The swarming horde climbed on top of each other, trying to get inside at the trapped animals that lay in wait, but not a single one could enter the cathedral.

The building began to glow slightly, as the moon shone down through the window. Everyone was distracted by the almost comical sight, so only a few of the other children noticed the two spirits smiling down on the people below.

Not all heroes die in armor.

Message #1

“Hello? Are there any other survivors? Can you read me?…”

“I don’t know if these messages are getting through, but I want to believe there is someone listening, someone on the other side.”

“I will be recording these, my thoughts, my…I don’t know, maybe I just need to do this to stay sane. It all started a few days ago…”

-My week began like any other first week. Meeting classmates, teammates, professors, and reuniting with old friends. It was also the first week after the end of my hiatus. See, along with being a student, I am a storyteller. I had taken some time off in December and was unable to return due to power outages and other inconveniences. But then the semester started and I was granted access to my GIS programs and a regular schedule….—–

I was focused on continuing a year-old GURPS campaign with my friends, on ending my hiatus and hitting the ground running. After getting a better idea of what DS106 entailed, it seemed like the perfect fit. It fell in line with my interests and gave me another creative outlet. One without the need for dice…—–

—Out of all the possible world-ending scenarios, my favorite was one of a lovecraftian nature. The entire concept of cosmic horror and the implications of beings beyond out imagination existing and traveling through space and time offers limitless possibilities. And it also opens many fantastic doors. Science can be weirded and wielded, the laws of physics can be rewritten, mathemagical formulas and textbooks can become spellbooks. Any lovecraftian story that gives an inkling of hope for man tells of factions like Miskatonic University, the Mafia, the U.S. Military, paramilitary operators such as the Delta Green, and of people who decided to not join the ranks of the damned and fought for their survival…—–

When time, space, and the dimensions become fractured, we will no longer be limited. In this apocalyptic world where ignorance and madness go hand in hand, the power of imagination and human ingenuity can be as useful as any tool…—–

“I do not fully understand quite yet, but it seems that witnessing that event changed you. Something inside you, something you don’t quite comprehend, understood what was happening.”

“…”

“Colors became more vibrant. The air became more crisp. The sea teemed with a living calm, waving with its hypnotic allure. Every single speck of dirt seemed to have a purpose to its existence, a destiny and destination. It was as though Nothing had happened, Nothing had changed, and no time had passed. It was as though Nothing was real.”

“…”

“The world is no longer black and white. We have to redraw the lines between make believe and real life.”

“…”

“I’m sorry for waxing poetics, but nothing is as real as it was a week ago. I’m doing my best to try and make things as clear as they can be given the circumstances.”

“…bzzz

“Hello? Anyone there? Tell me if you can hear—”

 

-End of recording-