The Passage to the Dark Realm

Mixaq lead Foolnool away from the planet of black sands. The lights of fire and rage were no longer sending auroras through the cosmos and it seemed that Roitaven’s anger was dormant for the moment. Still, Mixaq did not trust her fate to the God of Light’s whims. She preferred to keep to the shadows, far from the gaze of the great Opilan star. Foolnool obliged her fears though he pestered her with questions, and was often distracted by rare materials or anomalies as they passed into the darkening places of the universe.

“So, this benefactor, she is your mother?”

“She is” replied Mixaq.

“And all that I desire to create will be provided by her?”

“Did I not already say that?”

“Well forgive me for being skeptical. I have never met this Skivrend.”

“Silence!” Mixaq hissed. “You must not speak her name beyond the Passage.”

“The Passage?”

“It is the doorway to the negative places, the shadow world, the pockets where no light energy may transgress. Such is the place where I was raised and where we could always seek refuge. The Passage to the void; you must not speak my mother’s name beyond it.”

“...Why?”

“It is her bidding!” Mixaq hissed again. “Because the other, the father of light, Roitaven, he is seeking her and though he is boorish and stupid, he may yet hear her name and come to her sacred home.”

“Why’s that?”

Mixaq looked back to Foolnool glaring at him with her piercing eyes.

“Do you not understand how to be silent?! Your incessant curiosity shall soon be assuaged.” She turned up to the celestial terrain, “Look, before us is the Dark Passage.”

And Mixaq pointed ahead, while Foolnool squinted to see where it could be.

Far in the distance, beyond planets, dwarf stars, and ripples of energy, was an anomaly. It seemed as though the ever-night sky had been distorted, as though a small hole had been burned into the starlight. Mixaq could feel its draw from even the great distance where they stood, and could feel Foolnool’s mind jump as a bolt of excitement struck through him.

The two traveled, moving with their divine power, their innate connection with the universe letting them bend gravity to their will, past the monolithic splinters of unknown ancients, and observing as the great passage grew before them. One must remember that this was in an age when everything was quite new. There were no living things save for the gods. The only threat to their journey were the natural phenomena of the galaxy: stars, asteroids, and meteors. These were simple things to navigate, as this was well before the great monsters of deep space stalked the stars.

Nearing the threshold, the great burn now became vastly intricate. Luminescent rays from stars were stretched all around the periphery of the eternal darkness, purple wisps of nebula and blue clouds of gas caught in its negative spiral were interrupted from their flow and caught in the tide of its gravity well. Along its edges, snaps of dark lightning erupted as reality was gyred and ripped from itself. As one looked within its depths the veil was complete and eternal, the gradients of all color, energy, and life flickered away toward the chthonic center. Mixaq was glad to hear that Foolnool had finally been silenced and glanced to see his large mouth agape and his dimpled eyes widen before the great conflagration of void. He lowered his goggles to his eyes and their lenses illuminated with instruments and identifying programs while his robotic chair produced a vial that was taken up by one of his mechanical hands. He reached out with it to the perceived material of the passage.

It was then, in the silence she so desired, they came to the foot of its threshold. Within swirling gasses before the anomalous magics of the passage, the two gods were dwarfed. Mixaq’s robe glowed with white starlight and her eyes likewise pierced the veil with pale blue orbs of illumination. Foolnool remained by her side, mouth pursed with determination, his machine appendage reaching for a sample while his goggles flashed with internal facing lights. Although Mixaq had known this place, it was at its banks where she had been exiled, the passage had grown and became much more violent. She hoped it would not reflect Skivrend’s demeanor.

“Let us go, Foolnool. The way is treacherous, but I may yet find a way through to the realms within,” spoke Mixaq. When she looked back, she saw that Foolnool was engrossed in his goggles and so quietly grasped one of his metal arms and pulled him along.

Foolnool was intently focused on his vial, moving his arm to different points to collect what material the passage was made of, but finding that at each new depth he reached was empty despite the intricate layers of energy readings on the sensors. Each wave and cluster and energy and mineral was being recorded before his very eyes. This was what the slug had lived for, a whole new world with fantastical possibilities, new elements, and refining catalysts, and yet he was infuriated by its trickery.

“There is great power here,” he said. “Great untouched and untold chemistries and possible components. I could create anything I desired if I could only reach it!”

Mixaq smiled in the darkening light.

“If all works out Foolnool, it will all be yours, but this is a place beyond the control of the outside world. It and all are my mother...all within here, is Skivrend.”

Foolnool seemed not to hear for he was chasing the pips on his goggles with the vial. He let Mixaq bring him deeper into the maw of the internal depths, her pale eyes glowing and his flashing. The lights of the stars behind them faded and even the lights from mixaq’s mystic garments were manipulated and stretched within the drawing power of the gateway. As the two beings walked through the passage, the void gave shape to what seemed once shapeless. It was only Mixaq who saw beyond the veil of void, for she was raised in it, but Foolnool let out a cry when his goggles suddenly died out and he was plunged into darkness. His fat head darted for his eyes to grasp any distinction, his chins jiggled and his robotic arms flailed.

"They’ve stopped! My goggles! I can’t see! This place! It sends a chill through my very core! That there could be so much nothingness!"

And Mixaq sighed, she looked into the eyes of Foolnool. All the mechanical god could see were her two divine irises in the pitch.

"Look into my eyes, and see the place that we have come to."

And Mixaq with her magics and a wave of her hand, cast her starry cloak high above her and revealed all the splendor of Skivrend's realm. High walls and towers stood around them, looming in purple and dark shadow under a dim and deep blue sky above. Foolnool was again awed for he saw now with only his true eyes, the fear priming the elegance and impressive design of the great structures about him. The pair were standing before an ornate gatehouse. The doors were seamless with heavy iron handles, the surfaces lined with studs and broad spikes carved with depictions both maddening and beautiful; force and peace in complex-meshing-simple designs. To either side of the gatehouse walls loomed over them with great spires and parapets.

“This is the palace where my mother dwells,” Mixaq said. She spoke with knowledge and confidence to the newcomer though she felt a great fear arising in her own heart . For when she had dwelled here it was a nurturing place where safety and simple pleasures were a bastion from the world of chaotic energy beyond. Now it was a fortress.

“Truly if your mother has built all of this, she must be powerful.” said Foolnool. “I very much would like to ask her questions. What remains to be done?”

Mixaq tentatively walked across the courtyard to the spiked void gate. She took in a breath and held her stance before the great handles.

“We must knock.”

So it is said.

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com