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Across the broad horizon, and beyond known and unknown plains, flows a crimson river. Much has been told of its waters ever-flowing in the shades of blood, of its connections to realms beyond that of the Dying Kind, of mortalkind. Thus the river has assumed the names of countless varieties, Vaitarna of Hindu and Buddhist faith, to Gjöll and Hubur of the Old Norse and Sumerian tales that have long since faded into obscurity. One name emerges from all others; its very mentioning provokes a long lost meaning ingrained within unconscious minds. Its name is the River Styx.

The minds of dying mortalkind cannot fathom its vast reaching tributaries, for you people only wish to know the borders of life and afterlife. There are those, however, whose mind’s eye can glimpse a portion of the many paths to which it flows. The paths beyond that of the known, stretching into plains, dimensions, and realities, for the waters of the Crimson River Styx flows through ALL things, its waves of blood washing upon the shores of all that is known, and all that can never be known. The heavens and hells are only a small portion of the many paths to which it flows.

Now why, you ask, is this so? Listen to me closely dear children to my tale, of its great expanse in ways that your dying minds can comprehend.

In the beginning, there was He, the Creator of ALL things, and so too, in the beginning, was the River Styx. Before you ask, how this is so. Perhaps the Creator does not know. And as He stretched out his hand, bringing forth all things, so too did the River Styx, as its waters pure and clear flowed through the edifices of all things. The creation of the Living Kind, of humankind, brought forth many things, and for a time there was peace, in that time the color of the River Styx remained clear. The Fall of the Living Kind into that of the Dying Kind brought about a curse upon the land, with the shores of the River Styx darkening, and its once peaceful flow corrupted. The Fall brought forth many things, Evil Things with new and horrifying realms, and the Corrupted River Styx, branching forth, flowed through these evil places. Innocent blood was later spilt by jealous, angry brothers. Innocent blood, the blood of first murdered, seeped into the Earth, and into the River Styx. Its waters now tainted with murdered blood, the River Styx now crimson red from innocent blood.

With blood spilt, a keeper emerged to forever ride its now crimson current, his name ever-changing as the tide flows ever onwards. Upon the Crimson River Styx he resides, be it walking or paddling to and fro, across its ceaseless reach. To those of limited minds, he is a guide, ushering those dead into the afterlife, and for that, the Greeks called him Charon the Ferryman. Though as with the Crimson River Styx, his purpose extends beyond that of a simple ferryman. He is The Stygian; Guardian and Caretaker of the Styx and its scarlet waters. Those living that seek passage upon the Styx, or threaten its flow must do so at the risk of pain or death, or a fate worse than death.

How, you say, could one enter, while still drawing living breath? A warning I shall give, for careful what you wish for my child, for once opened you are at the mercy of Styx and Stygian, and they shall not be treaded upon lightly.

And still you ask for the answer? Very well then, I shall tell you of its entrance. Each river upon the Earth that flows into the sea, lies a connection to the Styx and it’s forever current. Entrance to such connections has three options to gain passage, though only two for those whose hearts still beat with living blood. The first is bribery most old, with gold tainted by the blood of a living thing, dropping bloodied currency into such connection, both Styx and Stygian would be roused to action and approach. Perhaps in their curiosity, they may grant you brief audience, for the Styx is an entity onto itself, its thoughts ever-flowing. The second option is rare, though far more dangerous of the two. You must wait upon the shores of connecting rivers, near the symbol of such connection etched into hardened stone. And wait you must until the moon dips into crimson colors, its scarlet light shining upon the waters; simply walk into the waters and emerge upon the other side of the Styx.

Beware, dear child of Styx and Stygian, for once you take mortal passage, forever will they look upon you as something lost and that which must be reclaimed. Forever will you be haunted by your time upon the river of unending paths, eventually your time will end. With your end, neither heaven nor hell is open to you, for you are now of the Crimson River Styx, and there you shall remain forevermore.

Author

Hayden Larsen
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