Correspondence from Ardad
I have been understandably reticent to speak of this; the consequences of the forthcoming letter are no less than foundation-shaking and revelatory. I have spent many hours pondering the consequences of revealing this knowledge to the general public. Finally, in my darkest hour, the realization came to me that, no matter the personal consequences to myself or my family, I must accept them and bring the contents into the arena of public thought.
Months ago, I received a letter with no return address in a firm envelope better called a thin dusty volcanic slate box, sealed with what would appear to be an Ouroboros Serpent in the throes of death over an oily and substatial ribbon. In my excitement and intrigue, regrettably I broke the seal and opened the package without reproducing the image either manually or digitally, and the only remains are the shattered seal and still-vivid image within my own memory. In order that the facts be disseminated as honestly and faithfully as possible, a drawn approximation of the seal admittedly wanting for a more practiced and steady artistic hand and the actual remains of the seal are entrusted below:
Upon removing the contents of the envelope, the nature of the script struck me as unearthly but strangely familiar, as if I was merely having trouble reading my native tongue. The flow of the characters suggested a hand both practiced and inhuman. After weeks of research and the script gnawing at my every waking thought, I was able to find an apparently similar language deep in the Archives of the Istitute of Esoteric Research that managed to produce workable text from what had previously been merely apparent nonsense, if undoubtably intriguing. From the beginning, the tone and language of the letter, possibly owing much to my own imperfect translation abilities working in a language which I do not, nor does any person of my aquaintance or to my knowledge work in or speak, affected me deeply, and imply that the author was writing from another time, place, or culture. This unsteady feeling was by no means assuaged by the content I was eventually able to gleam from the source. Beneath, find an example of the text, redacted for the purpose of sparing the pain of the text in the event that someone follows my own research path and endeavors to translate the meaning of the words.
I apologize for the censorship of the piece. My conviction that the content be revealed is not of itself strong enough, nor is my will steadfast in the extreme sufficiently to allow every word of the original to pass through my pen. The redacted portions are only those that caused me extreme personal pain and would, without doubt, cause similar pain in the souls of every reader of the passage without enlightening or providing positive repercussion. I cannot in good conscience release that measure of evil into the world, even as messenger or reporter. With this explanation in mind, please read on carefully, knowing that I have only removed the most damaging segments of the text and what remains may, in fact, be similarly scarring. I hope for you that your perusal is less strain to you than mine has been to me. Reproduced below is the best available translation of the original, edited by me only for the content listed above and, slightly, for ease of reading. The language and word choices have been selected for the most authentic possible account, though at times it was necessary to choose between several, and it was I who made the selection. If you are interested in a more direct translation, please reach me by the proper channels and we can come to some understanding. Please do not ask for the original, nor a reproduction, for I now have access to none except the redacted version, which I will not further disseminate. I have made proper arrangements for the piece, and it is correctly accounted for and retained, though I shrink from revealing the authority into whose capable hands I have entrusted it in consideration for multiple levels of security as well as assurances made by both parties.
Now, the letter.
Ardad, Called He-Who-Leads-Travelers-Astray
Writing this first day of Aviv, prime of 5771 לבריאת העולם [Anno Mundi ,”in the year of the world” it would appear that the writer considers their time accounted by the Hebraic Calendar] and by the sight of the unreflected glass.
In our responsibilty, cruelly enforced by the many who calls himself The Adversary, we have become grand though we were. Our reflection upon the methods and maintenance of our position shall not be called to account in establishing our unwillingness to serve, but conversely serves as portion of the campaign involving the reader and future readers whose character was judged unwilling to redoubt the assertions set forth herein in consideration of [Several personal assertions about this editor and alleged future readers redacted as discussed]. Many tales would here suffice to serve our purpose, and the tale we have selected of our methods and ineluctable successes in the neighborhood of our calling is notable only in the magnitude of success achieved in the practice of the Grand Art.
There was a man on Earth, named there as Charles. His intentions were worldly, and in our Great Plan the usual course of action undertaken in such circumstances is to allow the course of the subject’s own coarse yearnings to work on their own in accounting for the acquisition of the subject’s soul. Having grown thus acquiescent to the strivation of such subjects, it would have been inconsiderable for us to certify this course for the particular in accordance with the common administration of torment. This particular man was what is referred to as “Loamy Soil for the Plant”, in which the seeds of sin and debauchery have not even to be sown, but sprout wildly as weeds, the vegetables of damnation thusly throve even though the field is not tended by we custodians. His affinity for and weakness to all the sins of the flesh offered ample opportunity for destruction, his case could have been accomplished by strong drink, fornication or other intoxicants of the flesh with equal ease.
We, battling against our incumbent and cyclical ennui as must be encountered and defeated periodically by each in their own line of strivation, personally accounted for this case and expended much ingenuity, foresight and [Here there is an unusual word in the ancient tongue. It is commonly (as far as that applies here) translated as “consternation-production” but in this case the modern vernacular supplies the astoundingly applicable term “cockblockery“, which I have chosen with all apologies for the affront this may cause the reader. You were warned.] cockblockery in the expedition and complete bedamnment of the subject. In each case when, after our consolidation of his case under our own constant and vigilant interferement, he endeavored to encounter strong drink, no bottles were forthcoming and no flasks to be found. When a bottle was encountered, in his case, through complicated time-reconstruction rituals he found them having been watered as though they were withering plants, and thus gave him no relief. In each case when, again, after our consolidation of his case under our own constant and vigilant interferement, he sought the company of a woman, he found no willing ditches into which to cast his seed, or when undesirable ditches were forthcoming he experienced the repercussions of strong drink in such matters without any recourse to the comfort thereof.
As his erstwhile pursuits where coming to naught in a most designedly frustrating and confounding manner, the man called Charlie decided to take his own life, which conventionally accounts for a great victory in the Grand Art and would have normally been not only sufficient, but a cause of celebration within these walls. We were not content with this result in this case, however, having renewed our mania and therefore genius for our own trade, and we continued our own erstwhile cockblockery [again, this is the simultaneously most appropriate and least appropriate translation of the word utilized]. Whenever he attempted to end his Earthly life through the manner of medications, a thoroughly unliked and nosy neighbor could be called upon to intervene with a call to the Earthly authorities, resulting in forced regurgitation and expenses which he was not in a position to account for. On the several occasions when he constructed apparati involving expurgative mechanisms and household equipment to remove his Earthly head from his shoulders on the next occasion that the door was opened, either the expellent or another bit of his engineering could certainly be counted on to fail at the last possible moment, he having stared at his own hoped-for demise a sufficient time beforehand, which inevitably caused intervention and additional expenses. By the time he attempted to burn away his suffering in his oven, by his own inattention and neglect and by no circuitous mechanations of our own, at the end of 30 minutes staring at a metal grate he discovered the unpaid statements of accounts from the corporation which supplied the fuel to his dwelling. Feeling the full despair of his situation, Grandly engineered by us, he, accountably, threw himself again through the oculus of his abode, unknowingly onto an ambulance waiting below, having been summoned by a hypochondriacal neighbor for the purpose of diagnosing the cause of cough, the master stroke.
In the medical house, recovering from his self-inflicted wounds and still suffering from an immeasurable amount of existential pain, he encountered a nurse known as Mary and she, through the machanation known by the modern name for the Swedish capital, was easily induced to attraction for him. Through his recorporation, she paid special treatments to him and her administrations did not go unnoticed. Soon after, they married, though they suffered a false love. Through his rehabilitation, Charlie had accumulated a strong moral sense, having accounted for his sufferings by a statement that left his prior behavior at stake, and hurried to rectify his leanings, including those of undying compliance to his past word. By the time that Mary realized that the marriage, and the three children produced of the union, were sources of embarassment and further consternation to her, Charlie had convinced himself, with no further machinations on our part, that he must remain ineluctably steadfast in his relations to her. He had also become an accountant, though having no prior interest and certainly no continuing interest in the operations of that occupation, though the salary provided the means by which his disaffected wife and offspring continued their existence. Mary, having not the will to leave of her own, remained there with him, unloving and sharp, causing his undying affection and attention to be returned with bitter disappointment and pain, through which he endlessly persevered until his dying day, on which he finally broke upon the wheel of reflection which can be counted upon to haunt those near the end of their Earthly life and recounted the reorganization of his life, which led him directly to us.
We impart this story to you explicitly for the purpose of our further machinations, and entreat you to think of it when you think of your own life.
Further correspondence forthcoming.
– Warmest Environmental Regards
Having been thus hunted, I have no recourse but to do exacly as the writer commands, the consequences come what may. I wish the reader luck in this, our shared endeavor.