Of Doctors and Alagadda
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Two colleagues sat in the mansion's study, one man cradling a snifter of brandy, while the other drew on an ornate pipe. When his voice broke the silence, it was accompanied by a cloud of smoke. "Rare of you to have your servants leave the room, Rydell. What fey mood has come over you?"

Pausing for several moments to down his brandy, Rydell produced a leather bound journal from the breast of his suit. "I have just this morning received, by way of courier, my newest purchase. An account penned by an inhabitant of the realm beyond the Janus Door." His guest's eyes widened at that. It had been several long years since another clue to the arcane gate had been uncovered.

"Where did you find such a thing?" Erasmus leaned forward and reached out his hand for the book, obviously eager to read its contents.

The host extended his prize, and his guest took it. "Blind auction, by a Mr. Darke. It merely cost my summer estate."

"A small price to pay." Erasmus agreed, carefully opening the journal. "And from what manner of creature did this account come?"

"A gentleman, cracked and fractured, if the merchant is to be believed. The man sought to open the doors from the other side, and traded away this journal for the reagents he needed to activate his door." Rydell refilled his snifter with brandy from a decanter on the table next to his chair, then continued. "Who's to say if the man found what he's after."

Erasmus turned through the pages, desperate to read a firsthand description of this mysterious Alagadda. Finally, he found what he was looking for.

The ever twisting golden maze of endless facade and orgy was alight again with the joyous screams of lust and sharp sadism. Beautiful scarlet flowers atop such wondrous garments, danced doggedly with their hosts in an unholy display; and the dapper of a gentleman being lost in a impulsive fit of irony. These paved streets are a blessing to those who follow its vulgar dogma, and by the damned Lords they do. The thirst of these delinquents on the streets has such a profound affect, that even I; in a chosen existence of celibacy, have almost succumbed to the tainted pursuit of that abominable intoxicant.

One would think, with the mongrels of the street being so entangled with the social heights of degeneracy, they would have the skill of excellent banter; but to the dismay of I, they even fail in that regard. Most of them are not able to hold a civil conversation for little more than a cluster of words, before they stumble off from a drunken concoction of poor ales and the drowsiness of reality.

Lost in their twisted lusts, it takes little more than a blink of the eye to find one's inquiries either forgotten or ignored; lost to the back of the mind, along with other interactions to fester in a sea of madness. These memories would never to enter the thoughts of that simple brain again, oft replying merely, "Does thou know I?"

To lack verbose on the resolution that both parties come to: "Aye! But, neither know if that is true." For, time is convoluted in its goal of passing, and does not follow a simple path. It's twisting and contorting throughout our existence in this city realm, so events are not unique to one 'time', and instead the correct question to events is not 'when' but 'where'. Waiting at one point for a lengthy period, one may find an old event. But not that this matters at all, as one's experience of this repeat is of that of one's first time. An extended stroll will find one with many memories of events they were not there to perceive.

I walked past a clock tower near my abode, it towering above all below on the street in a golden excellence displaying crooked hands aiming towards ciphers and digits. Each blink or passing moment displays a face on the clock, vastly different to the one a moment before, legitimizing its entire existence in a sea of disjointed instants.

Yet despite all this, my condition worsens; my hatred turns to poison within me. Anguish tempts me to plunge yet deeper into forbidden lore to find the remedy. Even now I am drawing up preparations to make mine invasion to the Library of Cosmic Speculation, wherein, it is said, knowledge from all worlds are cataloged for the purview of the twisted court of sin.

He read on for hours, consuming the thin book with his eyes as his host slowly consumed his brandy. Erasmus's eyes were wide when he looked up, but soon narrowed as his mind moved onward to the next hurdle. "What guarantee have we his methods will open the Gate?"


The scholar's tongue moistened his lips as he held the open book in his hands, slightly shaking from the tension with which he sat. "Still, it is too grand of a chance to pass up. A library wherein one might uncover even a lost portion of the holy literature is worth any cost."

Rydell nodded his agreement, his mind hid well its secret desires to search for texts more profane and powerful. "I'm glad you agree, as I hope to leave to you the procurement of his required reagents."

Erasmus nodded, a fair deal. Only the crackle of the flames broke the silence as he pondered the magnificence of the journey before them. Rydell was merely glad his guest had been so amenable to supplying payment. In truth, he had made the journey alone, once before, in secret, and at tremendous cost. He had spent months there, by his reckoning, before his rations had given out and he'd been forced to retreat through the door. How bitterly he had cursed when it slammed shut behind him! He never did uncover the knowledge he sought, though what he had found enticed him all the more.

Rumors of men who had cast aside their mortality and overcome the great specter of death filled Rydell's mind. At last he would have his second chance at uncovering the truth of those secrets, within the court of the Hanged King.

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