The Shadow of Reaver Bay (Guest Story by Asterisk)

Posted on May 9, 2017 in Gifts from Others by

A Lovecraftian giantess story by Asterisk.

It is with much caution and hesitation that I begin to write this memoir. I understand that what I am about to say will come off as pure fiction at best or, at worst, the insane ramblings of a woman tormented. Be aware that I have spent much time trying to reconcile what I went through with every bit of logic and reason I could muster. In the end however, I must concede that despite all my best efforts I have no choice but to accept that what happened to me those months ago in the dank ruins of Reaver Bay was indeed a reality.

Before I begin explaining myself proper allow me to preface this tale by explaining that I do not have, nor has my family ever, been a victim of mental illness. Barring the occasional unfortunate disease or tragedy, my family and I have had completely normal, perhaps even mundane lives. I say this in the hopes that any who might read my tale take my words seriously, for I fear I have stumbled upon a darkness the scope of which is beyond any man is aware of. The sort of eldritch, abysmal horror that we speak of in stories with no true comprehension of the bottomless terror they are meant to inspire. If nothing is done soon, I fear all we know in this beautiful world shall end.

I spent the early years of my life as most do, raised by loving parents and sent to school where I developed myself academically during my adolescent years. I was a normal child, a tad introverted but otherwise sociable and with a modest circle of friends and adolescent escapades to call my own. Were there a unique quirk to my name it is, as you might have noticed, my penchant for a classical style of prose and a general tendency to ramble. I like to attribute this to my passion for literature more than anything. Over a dozen years of reading almost every sort of fictional story and tome imaginable has granted me an excellent, if not wordy vocabulary and now I find that even my casual writings might come off as needlessly complicated or pompous. For this I do apologize and I must emphasize that this holds no bearing to me as a person. Although I cannot fault you if my vernacular make you think this tale is something woven from the overactive imagination of a young girl far too obsessed with archaic literature out for attention.

Apologies, I have already begun to ramble haven’t I? As I said, I lived a normal life. I ventured through grade school, got accepted into a successful college, and began to take the initial steps into true academia that would define my adult life. Well into my college years I discovered a deep-seated passion in the study of Occultism, perhaps stemming from my youthful adoration for stories featuring mythical beasts and magic. The practices and idioms of those who believe in the supernatural had always fascinated me to no end, but, I must stress, never as anything more than fiction. After all, the realms of magic and otherworldly phenomena were nothing more than the creation of the human mind. Or so I used to believe. To those ends I studied to become an expert of such things, driven more by passion than a cohesive plan for the future.

It was during my infrequent breaks from school that I had begun to take the chance to explore what I could of famed occult locations, driven by my insatiable desire to learn and experience more and more. Although I was only 22 years of age I had traveled all over the country in pursuit of the famed places of occult lore. Salem, Portland, Charleston, even the popular Alcatraz. Such places were fascinating to be sure, and those who operated in the area were more than happy to accommodate my own unique quirks and interests. However, I quickly realized these were but surface level findings. The famed locations rather than the unknown, forgotten gems of the world if you will.

From there I had begun to research for what I soon dubbed “The perfect unknown occult place” to visit during what would be my final summer break as a college student. With my studies nearing a close I wished to end on a high note of sorts. Simply visiting a location already well known would not do. I wished to delve deep into the obscurest facet of Occultism I could find. It was during this research period that I had first learned of Reaver Bay, Massachusetts.

The tome where I first learned of the town was a thick encyclopedia of sorts I had purchased during my freshman year. Detailed within were the countless cults and secret societies scattered throughout American history. From the Masons to the Illuminati to even the seldom covered foreigner known only as Abdul Alhazred. It was a hefty book with a plethora of information. Incidentally a personal favorite mind that I had read many times, although now rather than focus on the stories told I opted instead to focus on their locations.

It was in reviewing the locations I noted the peculiar name of Reaver Bay. A port city in the late 1800s according to my book. The unique name drew my eye almost immediately and, as I soon found out upon looking it up, information on the town was scarce and no modern map seemed to hold record of it despite my best efforts. Why this of all the many towns called out to me I do not know. Something about the name titillated my senses in a way others simply could not. Put bluntly something about it simply beckoned to me. Perhaps I was under the town’s spell long before I ever drew near its winding roads.

The story of the town within the tome was not an altogether uncommon one. A story of ancient Pagan societies who revered their Mother Goddess as the almighty one. The being whom they thanked for life and death and would rightfully rule the world as the Holy Mother. It was not my first time seeing such things, but I noted with increasing peculiarity the distinct lack of any traits of the Society’s beliefs or of their God. I understood as an academic that much information was lost to time, yet this was but a mere 200 years ago. For there to be absolutely nothing struck me as quite odd. Even within the tome I found it in the passage was brief, offering little more than acknowledgement the society existed at one point in the distant past and moving on. Compared to the other passages within the book it was little more than a footnote.

Further research only intensified my curiosity as not only could I not find much on the Society in question, but I couldn’t find information on Reaver Bay either. “Was this it?” I wondered. Was this the hidden gem I was seeking?

Before I had realized it, my casual inquiry into the matter had become a deep and intrinsic investigation. I was like a woman possessed, much to the disquiet of my friends who labeled my interest as, and I quote “Lame”. I was, and suppose am, still a young woman after all. Perhaps my interests would have been better put towards my future or my social life. The cruelty of hindsight makes me wish I stopped my investigation when I did.

Despite my best efforts, information came in painfully slow. Most knowledge of the town I had garnered was hardly relevant to my interests. As a coastal city, Reaver Bay was once a popular community within the area, but it had appeared a terrible earthquake had destroyed the town one fateful night in the late 19th century. Records beyond that only offered history prior to the rise of Paganism within the town. Like many towns within the era of Colonial America it was settled by immigrants seeking their freedom to live as they desired and, for a time, the town thrived as a center for commerce and trading. After the earthquake, however this apparent thriving industry had been all but extinguished. What remained was a dying land that the few lingering documents assured was long since gone and abandoned.

I know not what made me keep searching beyond this, but I remained unsatisfied. I needed to find this place. To bear witness to it at least once. I had dubbed it my personal mission to see this investigation of mine through. Much to my misfortune, I succeeded.

It was near the end of the semester when I found my first major breakthrough within an old map of Massachusetts I had managed to locate through no small effort within the university library. The paper was decrepit, yellow with age, and feeble to my touch. Locations on it were outdated and inaccurate as I noted, indicating the sheer antiquity of it. However, unlike all other maps I had procured I at last found the location of Reaver Bay on its tattered page. Cross-referencing it with other maps I could locate revealed nothing to be there today, but it mattered not. I had a lead now.

Come the end of the semester I prepared for my semi-annual Occult trip, saving what money I could and planning accordingly. I knew not what I would find in Reaver Bay. I recall excited fantasies of stumbling onto archaic shrines or magically preserved documents that somehow withstood the test of time. Or at least the stunning vista of a town destroyed and lost to the ages. In hindsight, I can acknowledge that my obsession had drifted into a morbid sort of romanticism unbefitting of a woman my age, but I retain that it was purely academic interest that motivated me in this endeavor. Academic interest and the foolhardiness of youth.

So, it was that I prepared my belongings and readied a drive to Massachusetts to find my fabled destination once and for all. After many hours of travel, I had at last arrived into the town of Brambleton, Massachusetts. As per my findings, this was the closest town to Reaver Bay and, as I had decided, the would-be base of my expedition.

As I checked into a hotel to leave my belongings, the Hotel Owner, a man of stubbly facial hair and of a portly physique, made small talk by asking me what I had intended to do in the area. “It’s not often we get visitors here ya know.” He spoke with a thick tone that suggested he wasn’t perhaps the most educated of men.

Although I hardly expected him to know what I was talking about, in my excitable state of mind I answered him accordingly. “I’m here to find a place called Reaver Bay.”

Much to my surprise, the man’s eyes filled with an obvious recognition at the name. Recognition, and what I momentarily thought was fear. After a moment however the expression vanished and I too shrugged it off. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you Missy. It’s dangerous down there.”

I found myself taken aback in a number of ways. Firstly, the man knew of Reaver Bay. Considering the extensive research I had to undertake just to learn of the town’s existence that struck me as odd in its own right. Even more bizarre was his sudden warning. Why, I asked, is such a place dangerous?

“Some unsavory folks like to hang around there.” Came the gruff reply. “Not to mention the tides.”

“The tides?”

The man nodded at me with a stern visage. “Yeah, the land there is below ocean level. ‘Cause o’ that it’s usually flooded. Just gettin’ down there is dangerous what with the cliffs and all, but then you gotta constantly worry about getting flooded in.”

As far as I could tell, the Hotel Owner wasn’t saying any of this to me out of a place of spite or malice, rather it was from a place of concern. His words and distinct lack of formal education informed me that perhaps Reaver Bay had become a subject of local superstition as of late. Happy as I was at his concern, I assured him I was prepared for a such a thing. Given my research beforehand I quickly realized that topography was likely why Reaver Bay was as culturally unknown as it was. Perhaps the environment would be too hazardous as he said, but I had come too far to simply not try. As far as his comment regarding people in the area, this too didn’t surprise me. In my prior trips, I had come to realize areas with a troubled past had a tendency of attracting society’s outcasts and dregs. Once more, I wasn’t too concerned. Thanks in large part to the stun gun I kept in my purse at all times.

Once it became clear I had no intentions of simply leaving the town alone the Hotel Owner conceded, admitting it wasn’t his business in the end. I offered appreciation at his concern at the very least. He seemed to be a good man speaking from local wisdom. It was I, as the curious outsider, who should have listened.

After finishing checking in and moving all my belongings into my room I soon set out in my car for the town at long last. The day was already waning and I knew I would have no time to properly explore; nor was I particularly wishing to after the extensive drive it had taken me to get to the area in the first place. I merely wished to see Reaver Bay before I settled in for the night. Both to verify the Hotel Owner’s claim and to satiate the deep, burning curiosity that haunted me from within.

I realized I was drawing close as the roads grew less maintained and fewer in number, soon giving way altogether for winding dirt paths that seemed seldom traveled. Cars that I once saw in plentiful numbers grew fewer to the point that I was soon utterly alone with nary so much as a street lamp to offer guidance. The terrain, I noted, was lush with thick, unkempt grass and foliage that no doubt made the area a thriving vestige for all sorts of animal life. Although oddly enough I didn’t see any signs of a single animal in the area. It felt akin to traversing a cornfield I would wager. There was a distinct unease and wariness as I found myself unable to see of the unfiltered fauna of the area and could only stick to what could only loosely be called a path.

The further I went the wilder the plant life grew until I soon reached a point where I could drive no longer. The dirt road had ended near the rock-covered side of what appeared to be the beginnings of a cliff. Were my information correct, Reaver Bay rested at the bottom of that cliff. Driving, however, was an impossibility and the rest of the way would have to be ventured on foot. Exiting my vehicle, I walked along the crags of the terrain for a moment to gather my bearings and swiftly spotted a rudimentary path leading down along the cliff’s surface. After making note of where my vehicle was I opted to follow the path for a moment, driven by my ever-insatiable curiosity.

All at once I felt a chilling air rattle my body as I stepped towards the cliffs. A draft, I figured. No doubt caused by my elevation and proximity to the coast. Although, I couldn’t help but feel an unnatural uneasiness as I walked. A feeling I attributed to the warnings the Hotel Owner had given me more than anything else. However, that offered little comfort as the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I felt my body tense unconsciously as if I expected to be attacked at any moment.

There was a definite shift in the air as I drew closer to Reaver Bay. I could sense the humidity amidst the chilly air and the path I walked along was a constant effort. In the distance, I began to hear the soft roars of water from far below, but the nature of the winding cliff-side prevented me from seeing it in its entirety.

As much as I had thought I had steeled myself for the journey, there was an unmistakable aura to the area I wandered in. A feeling of thick, amorphous tension I can still only scarce explain. As if an instinct far more primal than anything my consciousness could hope to verbalize was instructing me that I shouldn’t have been there. Academic curiosity pushed my steps through the feeling as I shrugged it off, once more blaming the Hotel Owner for my unfounded fears.

The terrain was quite fascinating to my observant eye. While I shall admit I am by no means a geologist, I could still deduce that the formation of the cliffs was unnatural. Their uneven divots and the sudden crags of the various rocks indicated a most peculiar and sudden displacement. As if a huge portion of the land had sunken all at once rather than through weathering over time. Could this perhaps have been because of that fabled earthquake over 200 years ago? I began to theorize such as I walked. A town that was now hidden underwater because of an earthquake. A proverbial modern Atlantis. Simply imagining it brought an excitable grin to my lips in spite of the uncanny feeling of danger that made my hairs stand on end.

As I ventured further still I at last came upon a clearing with which I could overlook the rest of the cliffs. They formed a semi-circle of sorts, surrounding the area below with their towering masses save for a single entryway that allowed the ocean to weave itself in and out of the area. True to what I had been told the land was submerging with the incoming evening tide. However, poking just below the water’s surface I could faintly make out immobile shadows just under the surface. I had no proof to my excited beliefs, but I quickly deduced to myself that these must have been the ruins of the buildings from what had remained of the city. Looking back, it could have just as likely been a series of rocks, but in my eager state of mind I thought no such thing. I had at last found Reaver Bay. Though nothing more could be done that day it seemed. The tide had already come in and submerged everything, leaving me with no choice but to return. So I did so, venturing back to the hotel and planning out my journey for the next day.

It was that evening that I had the first dream.

Like all people I too am liable to the occasional profound or unusual dream. It is far from typical and more often than not I am unable to recollect any details of whatever images my subconscious weaves, but not this time. For the first time in my young adult life I had experienced a dream that felt every bit as vivid and real as reality itself. A lucid dream of sorts I suppose.

Most curious however wasn’t so much the fact I had it, but rather what the dream entailed. I found myself in a void. A vast, cosmic space of nothingness that lacked any sort of human definition of color or shape. A realm beyond which I can find the words to explain. Somewhere both physical and not. Amorphous in the sense I felt as though something was present in my surroundings, but indescribable and beyond my mortal comprehension.  Thanks to the realism with which I experienced this I felt myself immediately ill at ease and concerned. For several moments, it seemed more akin to a nightmare than a dream as the creeping, existential unease gradually filled my person and threatened to boil over into panic.

Trying to figure out the origins of my surroundings only elicited a sharp pain from my temples. As though I was trying to figure out a puzzle too complex for any human to understand. Before my mind strained itself too hard grasping the realm I found myself in however, I saw a person. The one thing my mind could comprehend in this bizarre realm and my immediate source of mental reassurance. She had simply appeared before me, although something in my subconscious told me she had stood there the entire time and it was my fault I hadn’t seen her before.

It struck me right away that she, like the Euclidean realm I found myself in, was peculiar in her own right. In terms of appearance I can best describe it as she appeared both normal and utterly abnormal at the same time. Her presence carried with it an inherent contradiction that befuddled the mind and deceived the eyes. This is not to say she was poor looking by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the contrary, her face was a lovely one clothed in a bundle of strictly maintained, soft, shoulder-length auburn hair that danced slightly over one of her eyes. Her body as well reflected this, being of a modest physique with perhaps some curves on the larger side but hardly anything that would cause the unnatural feeling welling within me. Nor were her clothes particularly outrageous, consisting of a simple pair of jeans and a tight-fitting crimson shirt. The sort of attire I could buy at any store should I have wanted.

By all accounts she appeared, at least physically, like any other attractive woman. The sort whom, even for a fellow female like myself, would at least cause my head to turn should I happen to pass by her. So why was it her gaze mesmerized me so? Why was it that when I looked at her I felt a sudden surge of inadequacy spread throughout by entire being? For a microcosm of a second I felt the sudden, inexplicable desire to prostrate myself before this woman and apologize. For what I do not know. It felt like the gravest of sins in this world to look directly at her; and doing so made my mind go numb with pain whose source I did not comprehend

She didn’t say anything, and any attempts I made to open my mouth fell off with an uncontrollable silence. All I could do was meet her gaze, where it quickly struck me what it was that unnerved me about her. At least, one of the reasons. Her eyes.

Despite all of my rationale telling me they were just a pair of playful, brown eyes looking at me, every fiber of my being said otherwise. It felt as if a great, powerful beast was staring at me like I were a particularly helpless mouse. As if I was simultaneously an upcoming meal, a plaything, and something so woefully insignificant there was no purpose in addressing me at all. They were not a human’s eyes. I could sense a deep eldritch evil nestled behind her colorful irises. A darkness the woman made no effort to hide in the slightest.

Stranger still, an eerie sense of acceptance fluttered in my chest after I realized this. Some part, no matter how small, accepted the ideas her gaze filled me with as…natural. Like it was only fitting that I be nothing compared to this peculiar woman. That my very existence was for whatever she decided. My heart began to pound in chest in what I could only perceive to be excitement. But why I did not know. She was merely a beautiful woman with a particularly captivating gaze was she not? Yet I felt as though she need only nod and I would end my life in an instant for her.

Throughout it all she remained silent, only smiling as if she could read the internal struggle that basking in her presence brought about within me and found endless amusement in it. Her eyes remained unflinching in their stare. To the extent that I began to wish she would blink for but a moment of reprieve from it. Any attempts to formulate words or even coherent thought ended in failure on my part. Who I was as a person was melting away under her watchful eye and what was left was little more than a drone whose eyes I looked out from.

I do not know how long she stared at me like that. Only that eventually her gaze wandered to the ground; or at least, to whatever unseen amorphous substance we stood upon. Unable to control myself, I found my gaze wandering to where she looked as well.

Up to that point I hadn’t noticed, but she did also have on a pair of dark leather boots. Hardly worth noting at first, but now it was as if I had received an unspoken command. For reasons I cannot, nor do I wish to fathom, I began to wet my lips and crouch down. All while the woman stared expectantly. I drew closer with a body that didn’t seem to follow my commands anymore, heart rate pounding with an uncontrollable lust the woman somehow inspired amidst the torrent of other feelings that had arisen.

I planted my lips along her boot once, the taste of fine leather powerful in my mouth before I awoke in a cold sweat. My heart was pounding and, much to my shock, the region between my legs was soiled. As the alarm gradually withered in my person I was left with a growing weariness as I changed undergarments and attempted to go back to sleep. A glance at my phone informed me it was nearing four in the morning and it would be nearing five before I found the will to go back to a more peaceful slumber.

The dream was the focus of my thoughts the next morning as I prepared to venture back to Reaver Bay once again. Just who was this woman and why did I have such a bizarre dream about her? As best as I could determine, I figured it was a mixture of weariness from my travels, too much reading into the occult as of late, and a lack of self-gratification that put me into an especially strange state of mind. Regardless of the deeper reasons, I put the thoughts to the back of my mind and made my way back to the cliffs to resume my exploration.

After venturing back down that winding road and traversing the cliff-side’s paths again, I returned to the overlook that saw the end of my journey the previous day. Now that it was nearing midday the tides had receded and I could at last gaze upon Reaver Bay in all its splendor.

The years of oceanic intrusion had quite clearly taken their toll on the surface below. Any ground I spotted, even from afar, was marsh-like and seemed somewhat hazardous to traverse. Spread across the area were the occasional remnants of ancient buildings from centuries ago, covered in algae and barnacles. Little more than broken and fragmented walls, splintered wood, and foundations that only seemed to survive by some sort of miracle.

Nothing that remained standing could truly be called a building even in the most liberal sense of the word. To the uninformed it looked like little more than trash that had simply washed in via the tides frankly. Certainly not the last vestiges of any sort of town or the like. Unfortunately for me, this likely also meant that any traces of the civilization that once thrived here were gone as well. Still, no matter the impossibility of my task I was determined to get a closer look and made my way deeper still.

The path grew more treacherous the closer to Reaver Bay I drew. The cliffs became more jagged and slick with algae, more than once leading me to stumble and risk falling. I was determined though, allured by the mystery of this lost vestige of the American Occult. Even should I find nothing; at the very least I would be the first to take the time to explore and document what had become of the area. At least publicly.

It took the better part of an hour before I finally touched down on the ground below. An immediate chill fell upon me as the wet, humid air beckoned with it a wind from the direction of the water. The same mysterious unease I felt when I first entered the area only grew more egregious down here. It was an indescribable tension that tempered my otherwise profound excitement, but I had at last reached my destination.

My first order of business was to investigate the ruins of as many buildings as possible. I approached the first subject of my study, a lone brick wall that stood multiple stories high and had bits of a frame still adhered to it at key intervals. Erosion had worn most of the bricks down to a rounded, uneven, almost cyclopean shape, but as far as I could tell the wall was rounded to begin with. A lighthouse perhaps? There were no other clues for me to go on as to the nature of the building, but given the town’s close proximity to the coast it seemed to only make logical sense. I ended up taking multiple photos of it for future reference, moving on to another bit of lingering refuse that appeared to be the corner of an ancient home.

I wish I could say I made some deep and profound discovery during my investigations of these ruins, but as you might have guessed it was a fool’s errand from the start. Nothing identifiable remained in the structures and anything of note I did actually find was so worn from the years of endless tides that it was useless. At the very least it assured that the excitable, curious side of me would have much to do and speculate over as I took pictures and jotted down notes on possible theories. Nothing substantial on the Pagan organization that once thrived there however. The closest I could find was a symbol of some sort etched into a wooden wall, but its shape was so worn and fragmented I couldn’t ascertain what it could have possible been originally.

After hours of searching I began to reign myself in, reminding myself that the tide was on the surge once again and were I to linger it would be most dangerous. Not to mention the idea scaling my way back up the cliff’s path in the dark was not an especially appealing one. As I neared the path however, I heard the most peculiar sound. Soft at first, but without a doubt the squelching sounds of footsteps.

Remembering the Hotel Owner’s warning from the previous day, I instinctively cowered behind the towering wall I had theorized to be part of a lighthouse and surveyed the situation from afar. After minutes passed I could soon see them. Men and women of varying ages, walking with an almost uniform purpose that kept their gaze strictly on the path ahead of them.

How odd, I thought. When I first heard the warning I had imagined a group of exclusively younger people. Teens and young adults seeking to rebel against the status quo with their own personal haven of independence. Yet, much to my surprise, the group was a myriad of different ages and genders. No two looked or even dressed alike. In the dimming light it wasn’t too hard to count as of yet, so I mentally noted there were ten total who were present. All walking without uttering a word. Almost in a trance-like state of marching towards one of the edges of the cliffs.

My own curiosity had me continue to watch them. Just what were these people doing? In my experience people who frequented these places were either fanatics such as myself, or troublemakers who only wanted a place to themselves for unsavory purposes; and while these people certainly did not give off a friendly aura, I failed to see them as the sort who were here without any sort of explicit purpose.

Mercifully, they did not seem to notice me, too focused on their singular destination as they were. I watched on as they neared the cliffs and, with the casual nature of people who had done so countless times, slid behind a boulder near the cliff side and ventured deeper within. My surprise was evident in the breath I let out, one I wasn’t even aware I was holding in the first place. One by one each of the group entered in such a fashion until I was alone once again.

Were I a more reasonable girl perhaps I would have taken my chance to flee then and there. As I’ve stated many times however, I was far too curious for my own good. So it was, driven by my constant quest for knowledge, I followed at a safe distance.

The particular placement of the cliff side had crafted an illusion I hadn’t seen through during my investigation, but there was most certainly a cavern hidden where the group of people ventured. Stepping inside greeted me with a warmth that I was not expecting nor could I explain. As if the dark, dreary atmosphere of Reaver Bay and this cave I had now entered were two wholly different realms.

Fear welled within my chest as I carefully walked. I was confident I could take on two or three with my self-defense weapon, but ten? That was a battle most clearly not in my favor, but for reasons beyond my recognition I pushed on through the darkness of the cavern all the same.

I could no longer hear the footsteps of the group. Or any sounds at all for that matter. In spite of this there remained this overwhelming, unidentifiable sense that I was somewhere I should not have been. I could feel a gaze on my back as I moved, but in the multitude of times I turned to check not once did I ever find someone following me. After a bit of awkward fumbling I fished out my flashlight and weighed the risks, ultimately opting to use it.

My fears were somewhat unfounded as it turned out. With a bit of traversing, I reached the end of the cavern with nobody to be seen. All that awaited me was a circular end with no signs of anyone having been there. As you might expect, this revelation confused me to no end. I could not have passed the group of people; nor could I have missed them in the cavern with me. Was there a path I missed? Another secret of Reaver Bay that eluded a stranger like me but remained obvious to those familiar with it?

I concluded that I had already come much too far for my own good and fought back my curiosity with all my remaining self-preservation so I could begin my trip back. As I turned however, my flashlight happened upon something I never thought I would have encountered. Something that at once filled the inquisitive side of me with giddy elation and the rational side with a sudden, inexplicable dread. For etched upon the rocks was a very clear emblem. The same I had found in pieces outside in the ruins, only this one was complete. A pair of crescent moons surrounding a circle with a pentagram within. Something about the symbol seemed vaguely familiar, but I recalled that the tide was coming in and I had no time to spare. Thus, I settled for a picture and hurried my way back from the cavern.

On the long climb back up my mind rattled with the possibilities. Could it be that I had stumbled onto an actual, honest to God, secret society? Between the odd group and the emblem of the cavern I couldn’t rule it out as an impossibility. Frankly, a part of me was hoping that was the case. If so it would make for the sort of thrilling, groundbreaking discovery I had yearned for. The things I could learn. The traditions that might still have been going on to this day! The possibilities were endless!

Of course, this excitement was leveled in part by the realist in me that remembered the warning. These people might have been dangerous. In fact, there was a good chance they were. Wandering recklessly could end very poorly for me. Whatever it was I would do, I had to be careful. They hadn’t noticed me this night, but who was to say how the next would go? Would I be so foolish as to push my luck yet again just for the sake of trying to learn secrets that were perhaps best left forgotten?

When I had finally arrived back at the hotel I was a weary mess with boots caked in the mud of the marshy town and a general heavy sensation that permeated my entire body. I felt a twinge of guilt at leaving footprints in my wake along the hotel floor, but I hurried to my room all the same and took a much-needed meal and bath. With myself refreshed and energized once more, I opted to look into the symbol I had found in that cavern. Something about it seemed familiar to me, I just needed to ascertain why.

Interestingly, I did manage to find my answer relatively quickly, but it wasn’t in any text about the Occult or Paganism or even scriptures of Satanism. Rather, it was in ancient Greek lore. The symbol was, as I learned, attributed to the Goddess Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night and a daughter of Chaos. I vaguely recalled her from my prior dabbling in mythology at a younger age. As one of the less renowned gods her stories were less plentiful than those of Zeus or Hercules, but her presence on Greek mythology as a whole was an utterly unmistakable one nonetheless.

Per the myths, her power was a great one that supposedly even made Zeus fear her in some regard. In terms of ability the legends varied, with some attributing all that was dark and evil in the world to her. Aside from her power, her other primary qualities seemed to be two specific things. An insatiable cruelty with which she took much pleasure in tormenting Man, Titan, and God alike; and an otherworldly beauty that made even Aphrodite envious. It was said her beauty could sway anyone to do her bidding. That with but a single glance she could drive men and woman alike insane upon the spot or cripple them with a deep enthralling lust.

Her legend was one of a monster. Not unlike the tales of the Gorgon of the Cyclops. Nyx was as much a devil as she was a God, battering out punishment and torment to all with reasons known only to her. Those who worshiped her did so out of a fear. That is, assuming they even had minds in the first place and were not simply thralls to her bidding. It was a most troubling symbol to have stumbled upon I realized.

How odd to find a Greek symbol in America though. Was it perhaps appropriated with its original origin lost in the transition across the sea? Or was it maybe that it was in fact some sort of Order of Nyx that had ventured from overseas during the colonial era? They may have even worshiped her back before the earthquake if such an order persisted.  Whether or not those today did the same though I did not know. Still, it was not implausible. As a goddess Nyx was bound to have her share of followers. Perhaps on some level her following lasted far beyond those of the other Greek gods.

I posited this theory in some notes I took among many others. No matter my concerns regarding the dangers of this society, the prospect of what I might have been on the verge of uncovering was exciting.. A modern day Greek cult? The mystery only seemed to deepen the more I investigated Reaver Bay, as was my curiosity. How much was Nyx tied into all of this? Had the initial texts on Paganism in Reaver Bay been entirely unfounded and had merely mislabeled what was in fact a religion of foreign descent? I did not know, but decided that the next day I would find out. As it was, I was tired and all the excitement in the world couldn’t stave off sleep any longer. I set my belongings aside and swiftly drifted off into sleep.

That was when I had the second dream.

As before it was such a vivid ordeal that I have trouble discerning it from reality even now. However, this dream was markedly different from its predecessor in that I found myself in an actual place with designs and architecture that were refreshingly human. Greek in fact.

I became distinctly aware of a number of things at once. One being that I was in the Parthenon of Ancient Greece. At least, that was what my mind in my dream calmly assured me. Towering stone obelisks held up a massive roof as myself, along with several others all sat prostrated before a massive ivory throne. Another revelation was the fact that I was clad in a ragged tunic and trousers, a slave my mindscape told me. As for whom I was bowing before I didn’t dare to raise my head and see, but I instinctively knew it to be the same woman from my dream the previous night. I, along with several others, seemed to be her thralls and were doing as she commanded. Which, at this moment, seemed to be pampering the edges of her sandaled feet with whatever meager affections we could muster.

While this behavior seemed perfectly normal for my dream self, the modern, real world self had more than a few questions and uneasy concerns regarding this scenario. Not the least of which being why I was debasing myself before this stranger so dutifully. Perhaps another question, which took an alarmingly long time to ask, was why and how this woman towered before me as a literal giant?

Without a doubt, she was the same woman from my previous dream, complete with the same maddening gaze that made me quiver whenever she glanced at me in passing. The only difference came in her attire which seemed to change to suit the period we were in. What was once an ensemble of pants and a shirt had been traded for a loose-fitting white toga and a golden circlet that wrapped around her scalp and held her auburn hair neatly into place over one of her terrifying eyes. It was with some forceful recollection that I managed to realize that this woman was a god of some sort and I was among her devout worshipers. The self in my dream seemed to have a separate mindset for this world and gathering information from it was a trying effort, but with time I began to piece together the details.

The same troublesome feelings from my previous encounter with her had returned twofold, but mixed with it now was an added confusion directed towards my actions. Why was I pampering this woman so? What about her inspired such a deep, almost eldritch fear within me? Or perhaps most troubling of all, why was I enjoying it as much as I was? As my lips danced around one of her large toes with the sort of resignation that spoke of much practice I found myself wondering such. It was as if the body was not my own and I was but an onlooker. Able to see and experience every vivid detail with no ability to control or change the events as they unfolded. Yet even so, as an automaton, I felt an indiscernible mixture of lust and horror that both welcomed and shunned this woman from my world. I at once eagerly kissed at her feet as if my life depended on it, and did so with an almost zealous passion. Lingering on this inherent contradiction only brought familiar pains to my temples.

I became more aware of the others around me soon after. Fellow slaves who worked desperately to appease this towering goddess before us. At my right was a bearded man whose hair had long since greyed and began to thin at the scalp. Deep wrinkles in his brow indicated many years of stress and fear. Likely as a result of his servitude if I had to speculate. At my left was a young woman who couldn’t have been older than fifteen or sixteen. Yet the resigned, weary look in her eyes matched that of the older man; and my own I imagined.

Behind us stood a single figure clad in a toga similar to what the giant wore. A whip rested calmly in their hand, only lashing out whenever any of us slowed down even the slightest.

It was a frightful scene to be most certain; made only worse by the fact that it all played out in such a vivid detail that I had to remind myself time and again that this must have been a dream of some sort. Yet, I must reiterate, that it was unlike any dream I ever had before. It was not just that I could see myself fervently worshiping this stranger my subconscious had dubbed a goddess. It was that I could experience her with each of my senses with such a stunning accuracy I still to this day recall each detail. Each touch of my lips upon her foot brought with it the distinct taste that salivated my mouth and brought a loss of appetite. The odd yet not unfavorable scent of the woman permeated my nostrils. As my hands gripped the base of her sandal I could feel the softness of its fine leather giving way to my fingers.

And of course, before long I heard the sudden and soul-wrenching shrieks of one of my fellows. It was the older man it seemed, having been yanked away by our observant guard and prostrated before our goddess for the great sin of failing to worship her properly. Whatever thinly veiled terror he had been holding within boiled over as his wrinkled face was wrought with desperation and fear. His quivering lips opened to speak, but no sounds resembling words could escape.

He appeared to be in great agony. I dared not to follow his gaze up towards our mistress but I could see from my work place how quickly it sapped at whatever mental strength he had remaining. I knew from my prior dream that meeting her gaze would only end poorly and without fail that was what had become of the man. I watched from the corner of my eye as anything resembling reason left his visage, leaving behind only an insane, gibbering shell.

“End him.”

Much to my surprise she spoke, in a foreign tongue granted, but I somehow understood it all the same. Her voice was much like her eyes in that it inspired a number of feelings within me. A simultaneous mixture of fear and adoration. To such an extent that I dreaded to imagine the effects of it should she speak while locking eyes with someone. I found myself doubling down to my task at pampering her feet once more. My fellow slaves seemed to follow suit, driven by the ethereal voice our god had and a desperation not to elicit her wrath any further.

I did not watch what had become of the man, but I could hear the sudden unmistakably screech of a spear as it impaled its target. Followed only by pained groans and the dripping of gratuitous amounts of blood onto the fine ivory floor.

The massive figure before me shifted at last, bending forward from on high as her large fingers grasped the impaled, dying man in the same manner I could a piece of cheese on a toothpick. Although I was not watching, much to my eternal gratitude, something in my dream self’s psyche told me exactly what was happening in real time

I somehow saw her lock eyes with the man once more and smirk with the same knowing smirk I saw in my previous dream. She offered him enough time to realize his ultimate fate before her lips opened and deeper he went, past her soft lips to the wet, unyielding hell within.

As her lips closed with him inside I heard a maddening scream and suddenly awoke to my morning alarm. Once again the night had seen me awake in a cold sweat and out of breath.

Twice now I’d had dreams about this mysterious woman and I had yet to ascertain any real reason as to why. The sudden Greek motif of the dream led me to think that perhaps I had researched too late into the evening, but why her again and not the various images of Nyx I saw online? Who was she? Why was this woman appearing time and again, and why did she have such an inexplicably powerful hold over me?

I had never considered the idea of a woman in any sort of infatuatory sense before, but with this woman it seemed…almost a given I would say. Or rather, perhaps it would be more prudent to say that it did not matter what my preferences were and that her decision was the one that had mattered. As perplexing as it was, I could not help but begin to associate her with all my research as of late. Thus, after some pondering I had opted to dub this mystery woman after the goddess my research had informed me of: Nyx. It seemed only natural after all, and as soon as my mind had made the connection it seemed such a natural fit that I didn’t so much as second guess settling on it.

With some added difficulty, I managed to once again put Nyx out of my mind and focus on the task at hand. I was, after all, now faced with a rather difficult choice. Assuming that I had indeed stumbled onto some sort of secret society or group, what was I to do now? As much as curiosity demanded I just return to the caves and search anew I had at least maintained enough of a rationale to understand that doing so would be incredibly dangerous. Even assuming the best case scenario and that I was wrong on multiple accounts that still left me exploring a cavern I knew nothing about with a group who remained equally mysterious to me. Pursing it in spite of such an obvious choice was not only asinine, it was downright suicidal.

I understood such then as I do now, as you likely do as well. So it may come as much surprise that I had opted to return to Reaver Bay once again. “One last time.” I had told myself. This matter needed to be settled for me to put it behind me once and for all. Were I in the proper state of mind and knowing what I know now, I would have packed my belongings and fled far from the town and never dwelled on it ever again.

Looking back, I can only say I was possessed under a sort of spell that beckoned me back there. Thoughts of academia or occult fascination no longer guided me. Rather, it was more as if I needed to be there. Some unseen force was telling me not to concern myself with all the obvious signs of danger and to pursue my single-minded goal with reckless abandon. Despite all the clear warning signs that urged me to stop my efforts I did no such thing. So impatient was I that I skipped through breakfast just to rush through to Reaver Bay once again.

It was a trip I had made three times now, yet there was an unease in my person that had only grown worse with each successive visit. No matter what I rationalized to myself, or how I have reflected on it, I could only describe it as the most basic of primal instincts urging me to flee far from where I was heading. The fact I ignored such a natural fear tells me now that I had already fallen under the area’s unique spell. I doubt even now that my actions by this point were entirely my own and that I wasn’t just another pawn being manipulated for some unspeakable abomination’s horrid amusement.

For the third time, I had driven up to the clearing of thick grass and began to descend down the now familiar path of the treacherous rocks to the ruins below, driven only by my singular, almost zealous urge to find something. For reasons beyond my mortal understanding I was certain that this night would prove far more lucrative than those prior to it. So it was I made my way down to Reaver Bay once more.

The ruins that had enthralled me for countless hours yesterday now didn’t so much as illicit a head turn. Much like those people I had encountered that day, my gaze remained steadfast on the cavern and my body moved with a singular desire I cannot fathom. Before I had even fully realized it I was back in its murky depths again.

Although I had entered with such dogged determination, actually traversing the cavern quickly ate away at whatever confidence I had blustered inside with. Within the cavern laid only darkness. Dank rock walls formed burrowing passages that went onwards with no end in sight and remained eerily slick to the touch. It was difficult not feel as though I was traversing in the domain or innards of some sort of mythical beast and that the walls I touched to guide my way were not the slimy surface of some alien creature.

Even having been there the night before I was surprised at how unfamiliar the path was on the second trip. Areas where I was certain there would be a turn now went straight and junctions were where I expected there to be none at all. The pathing quickly warped any semblance of direction I might have had and were I in a proper state of mind I would have most certainly turned and made my way back before going too far. Unfortunately, I did not.

I had the good fortune to have a flashlight at the very least. Its luminescence was the only source of guidance I had as I walked onwards for reasons I did not know. All semblance of direction had lost meaning to me by this point. I did not bother checking my phone as I was most certain that any use it had was now utterly useless so deep into the cliff’s caverns.

As I walked I found my mind wandering back to my almost memory-like dreams of Nyx. Of her maddening smile and the eldritch horror that seemed to fester just behind her callous gaze. Why now of all times was she the focus of my attention? Had I grown so mad with fright I was fleeing back to some mental image of a woman I had concocted out of some repressed fantasy of some sort? Or was there perhaps, dare I say, a deeper reason that no mortal could properly explain?

The academic in me laughed such a notion off immediately, but there remained the unshakeable feeling that on some level I had stumbled onto something with the idea. After all, nothing but questions had arisen since my arrival to Reaver Bay. Even though I expected little to nothing in the way of answers during my journey, I found my curiosity only encouraged by the countless ideas fluttering to mind.

Just what was this group I had stumbled upon? What were their beliefs or purpose? How were they tied to the legends of the Reaver Bay of old? Or for that matter, what about them possessed me with such a uniform determination to see this through? I had explored countless places prior to this and there were times then when I knew better than to push my luck. So what was different about this? Why did this, more than any other place or legend I had investigated, fill me with such a growing sense of dread and unease? All the while drawing me ever closer, much like my increasingly frequent visions of Nyx?

The path I ventured along seemed considerably longer than the one I had taken the previous night and of a wholly different layout as well. Perhaps I had somehow taken a turn to a different path without realizing it? It most certainly would explain how I got separated from the group I was following back then. Although where such a change could have occurred I do not know.

Just as reason was finally beginning to reclaim me and I was on the verge of turning around from this horrendous path I now walked my eyes fell upon a most peculiar thing to find in a cavern: a door. A simple, wooden door, complete with decorated, cyclopean brickwork that formed a sudden and very clearly man-made wall for what was otherwise a naturally formed cave. Never mind the amount of work and labor it must have taken to bring materials and construct such a thing or the immediate questions of why someone would. I felt my blood go cold as a very simple question overcame me. Just what rested on the other side of this door?

Something was most certainly there. Of that I was one hundred percent certain. I do not know how, but every fiber of my being told me then and there to run like I had never run before in my life. To flee and never look back. To forget this hellish place ever existed. And yet, so too did the ever-present curiosity demand I open the door. To look into what would mostly assuredly be a life changing discovery. It urged…No, demanded that I do so.

Both sides of my own consciousness engaged one another mercilessly as I remained steadfast by the door, unaware of anything aside from my own breathing. For what purpose was this door here? I couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t the beginning of much more man-made designs inside, but it begged the question of just how much further this all went. Engraved on the door was the emblem of Nyx once again, all but confirming my theories regarding this place anew.

I know not how long I stood there petrified in place. Only that it was not by my action that the mental impasse was broken. It began with the clear sounds of footsteps. Not from behind me, but from within the door. There were people inside. How many I did not know, but they were chanting words in a dialect I could not begin to ascertain or describe. Only that it was not of this Earth and must have come from the deepest, blackest pits of Hell based on the sudden tension that renewed itself in my body. The sounds seemed too unnatural to come from human lips yet one word in their chanting made it painfully clear that these were indeed the utterances of a human. Or at the very least, something resembling one.

Nyx.

They were chanting the name of their god in low whispers amidst other abominable, wretched sounds. How humorous looking back that I had stumbled onto exactly what I had been gleefully theorizing of for so long only for it to inspire paralyzing fear within me.

Chants weren’t all I heard. Breaking them apart was the sudden, piercing screams of a woman. Her shrill voice cried out in desperate English for help and mercy. For myself it was a grim confirmation that what I was doing had placed me in grave danger and that I should have taken heed and fled. Should being the operative word.

I cannot begin to comprehend what sort of unimaginable horrors compelled me not to flee from the door, but to instead actively open it. It slid open with an eerie smoothness that seemed to welcome my presence. From within I was greeted by another pathway.  Torches now lined the rock walls towards a series of brick pathways where the chanting and screaming originated. Like a moth to the flame I was compelled towards it, unable to help myself despite knowing the inherent folly of what I was doing.

Time and rational reason had utterly abandoned me since entering the cavern. Even now I could not tell you how much time I had spent in that intricate network of dank passageways, nor what possessed me to act the way I was. Each step brought with it a renewed tension and vigor that demanded I run, yet my body moved in direct protest to what my mind ordered of it.

Soon I arrived at the corner of the path. Right at my side was the room where something unholy was happening. That much I instinctively knew. It was my damned curiosity that caused me to finally peek around the corner. What I saw seemed to confirm something I had known all along, but it still brought with it a dizzying revelation that made my mind wince in sudden pain.

The path broke off into a large, circular room comprised of the same cyclopean brick design I had seen along my way there. Numerous torches lit the room surprisingly well, offering far too much detail for my liking as I saw them all near the center of the room. Four figures whom I recognized from the previous night held a struggling woman in their grasp before an finely crafted throne whose design reminded me of the lavish seat from my Greek-inspired dream.

Most alarming however, was the woman who was seated upon it. Without a doubt, I recognized the auburn hair and radiant face immediately. The presence her person carried was unmistakable and filled me with such a deep existential dread that I knew any attempts to fool myself would only end in failure. Seated atop the throne, clad in the same simple jeans and shirt from my first dream, was Nyx.

Her eyes were focused solely on the woman before her with her usual sardonic smirk. Her presence was even more intense in person, carrying with it every bit of contradictory, insanity-inducing feelings they had in my prophetic dreams. Her gaze only fell off for a brief instant to usher a command to her followers, who promptly lifted the crying woman’s eyes up to meet Nyx’s directly.

I had known from my dreams what such a thing would do to a person, but still, to see firsthand how a hysterical woman such as her could simply go limp almost immediately made my body shiver with uncontrollable, incomprehensible fear. Nyx’s visage remained unflinching, only seemingly growing more intense the longer she maintained direct eye contact. The woman was sobered in an instant. Seconds later she actively shriveled beneath Nyx’s gaze as if ashamed of her very own existence. Whereas Nyx only calmly leaned forward in her seat, her presence only seeming to grow more menacing.

The beautiful woman whom I could only describe as a goddess in human form offered a hand to the enfeebled woman who was screaming mere moments before and, much to my dismay, she took it. Now I must reiterate, no matter how fantastical this part may sound this is exactly what I had witnessed. You, as the reader whom I have shared this tale with, can be the judge of my sanity. As horrific as it is to imagine, this is indeed reality.

After taking Nyx’s hand I had to blink and rub my eyes as I was most certainly bearing witness to the impossible. For the woman I saw was now shrinking before my very own eyes. I could see an unnatural cloud of greens and blues escape from the woman’s palm. Seeing such a thing felt like a sin against the natural order of the world and no words could fully describe the horrifying feeling it instilled deep within my gut. This energy of sorts, transferred itself via the woman’s hand into Nyx’s own, sapping her size along with it. The smaller she got the weaker she seemed to become as a result. What was once a mane of beautiful blonde hair quickly turned thin and gray. Skin that appeared soft and well-kept became wrinkled and sagging. All the while she grew smaller and smaller, oddly complacent with the horrific fate that was befalling her. All the way until she was little more than a bug in Nyx’s hand.

Although I had watched it happen in real time, my mind struggled to accept the notion that what I was watching was a human being stranded atop the palm of another. If such a thing could even be called human anymore. Anything resembling intelligence vacated her mind the moment Nyx laid eyes on her, and with whatever it was that had been sapped from her she barely resembled anything more than a corpse with skin over it.

Having taken what she wanted of the woman, Nyx closed her palm and a distinct crack echoed across the chamber, shivering me to my core. Nothing in her posture or visage changed to indicate anything. For her this seemed no different than me swatting a fly or adjusting my clothes. Then, with her fist still clenched, she looked directly at me, the same smirk she always had only growing wider.

The same powerful emotions that had overrun my dreams now hit me with a whole new level of intensity. Much like the woman who I had just watched die I felt the urge to scream uncontrollably. Only for that urge to be snuffed out as quickly as it came. I could almost sense the condescending wave of Nyx’s finger. Almost chastising me for even considering it.

All at once I became aware of my own utter, pathetic insignificance before this person. She was no god, but a devil given flesh. Some beast that sought to torment me in ways the human mind could not even begin to fathom. Her existence was a sin against this Earth and an unnatural slight into this glorious thing we all call life. All my life I had read stories of great horrors and never truly understood them until I stared into this eldritch creature’s eyes for myself. A hopeless sense of helplessness overwhelmed every fiber of my being and told me that no matter what I did my fate had already been sealed. That nothing I could hope to do would ever so much as affect the beautiful abomination before me.

I do not know when I started running, only that once I had started I did not stop. The treacherous and winding paths of the cavern instilled a deep sense of claustrophobia and behind me I was certain I heard the footsteps of pursuing cultists ready to bring me as the next offering to their Dark God. Although the path I traversed was entirely linear I felt as though I was only running in circles and would soon be pinned with no way out. Despite my relative lack of athletic skill, I pushed my body in ways I never knew it could run before and refused to ever acknowledge the impending steps behind me with a glance.

Somehow I found myself back outside under the dark sky. Night was coming fast and I dared not to linger any longer than necessary. Without any time for respite I rushed to the path up the cliffs once again, no longer taking the precautions I had before lest my pursuers catch me. Such was my folly I soon found out, as the inevitable at long last happened and the slick rocks found a victim in me. With one precariously misplaced step my body tumbled back into the overlooking cliff wall, head smacking against the rock with enough force that knocked me out immediately.

Mercifully, no dreams welcomed me in that period of unconsciousness. Just the extended, maddening laughter of a woman who was particularly amused by my actions.

When I had come to I felt arms shaking me by the shoulder and my mind immediately went back to my pursuers. Letting out a scream, I looked up to find myself locking eyes with a police officer. As it had turned out, the Hotel Owner had noted my extended absence as a result of my fall and had called for them out of concern. Very fortunate for me considering I now nursed a head injury that would’ve made scaling the cliffs a trial otherwise.

With their help, I was taken to a nearby hospital where I received treatment. I told them the events of what had occurred in Reaver Bay. It all no doubt sounded like insane ramblings to them, but they agreed to investigate all the same. Despite all the instructions I could offer however, they never could find the intricate cave system I told them about so vividly. In time, they had no choice but to drop it and inform me that I must have been mistaken as a result of my injury.

Considering all that had happened, my rest at the hospital was oddly relaxing save for my near constant bouts of anxiety that came with coming to terms with what I had borne witness to. The dreams of Nyx did not haunt me during my stay as they had in the hotel. Instead it was only nightmares of my experiences. Actual memories as opposed to the false ones I saw in the world of slumber. Coming to terms with those, as well as accepting that the police investigations revealed nothing, became the main purpose of my stay.

As soon as I had recovered and was able I gathered my belongings and made for my way home, desperate to put Reaver Bay behind me.

Thus concludes my story as it happened several months ago. Whether or not you believe it is up to you. I have merely laid the facts as they happened, but I must reiterate what I said at the beginning and that is that something must be done lest we all perish. I have tried to rationalize my experiences in every way imaginable but I have no choice but to accept that what I saw is the truth. That within this world exists a dark being with enough power to end us all.

Perhaps she always has existed. Tucked away in the darkness of the world, amusing herself with her followers and by sapping humans of their essence. Perhaps she has been doing so for a very long time, patiently gathering more and more power until the day she decides to take the world for herself. What if the stories of all the gods and creatures of the night really do exist? What if we have merely been applying new names to several ancient faces? My dream of Nyx in the Greek era makes me wonder if the same could be true of other eras. I could just as easily see her commanding the pyramids to be built for her whims. Or for ritualistic sacrifices in the Aztec. Or even ushering in an ice age just to see mortals struggle for survival.

Should you believe me and accept this all as fact, then you too realize the importance of settling this matter once and for all. I do not know whether it is possible to do anything about Nyx. Her power seems limitless and her knowledge far vaster than anything any mortal can attain. Simply gazing upon her is inviting madness to come and take you. To actively go against her…I cannot begin to fathom if such a thing could ever happen. Even trying to imagine it instills a deep-rooted fear.

What I fear more than anything however, is a loss of myself.

The dreams returned shortly after I arrived back home. Vivid scenes of Nyx at various points of time and space. Killing and tormenting creatures both familiar and alien in places that were both of this Earth, or another, and of different dimensions entirely. Always doing so with the same callous, amused expression. As insane as it might sound, I bore witness to the end of Reaver Bay through these visions, and I can tell you it was no mere earthquake that crushed that town into the dirt. Nyx is out there, far, far more powerful than anything you can imagine.

Even these dreams that continue to haunt me I believe are part of a prolonged, twisted game of hers. Worse yet, it is a game I am certain she is winning. With each vision I find myself more and more under her sway. Crippling terror has gradually been growing more and more lustful as I find myself yearning to return to her in the same manner a dog wishes to be at her master’s side. I fear for my sanity. Perhaps it is already gone. One day I might wake up and not be myself anymore, but instead be the latest of Nyx’s countless playthings.

I have seen what she does with her followers. All that awaits me in such a life is death and despair. If I am fortunate she might keep me as a slave for the rest of my mortal life. Assuming of course, that the end of my life would impede her whims in the slightest. Perhaps my soul itself is already in her clutches. Perhaps even this entreaty is of her own design. A challenge to all those who think they can stand against a god.

I cannot claim to fathom what deplorable ideas she has in mind. Only that she has already planted her depraved fangs into me so it is too late. That is why I have to implore you. Stop Nyx. Find a way to do it. Please. I no longer have the will to go against her like I could back then. Given time, I will either be another offering or a devout follower who will do her wicked bidding. But you are still safe. Please, while there is time. Please, this is my last request while I am still sane. Learn from my story, lest the fate of Reaver Bay become the fate of our entire world.

Please, I beg of you. Find a way to put this eldritch horror to rest while there’s still time. Before she decides to crawl out from the darkness and rule the cosmos with this world under her heel.