(This guest post brought to you by VM!)
The water is a beautiful thing. It is an air alive with the tales of different worlds, multiple worlds. It cascades over itself, folding in and twisting around, over a tessellated landscape with mountains and valleys settled by a variety of civilisations. Its molecules carry the biochemical signatures of the millions of creatures that have inhaled and exhaled it; through the skein of its currents float infinite but fading memories of the lives that have come and gone.
As a series of gentle but palpable changes in pressure, temperature, salinity and magick, the water recognises all the children of its limitless womb. It knows of the injustices of the shallows, the mercuriality of the midnight zone, and the abyssal nihilism of the dark deep. It watched as the fossils of the little ones crenellated into reefs sprawled across dusty plateaus even as their dwellings enveined and envenomated the ground below, and it watched as the megafauna stole little universes into their guts and away from its clinical gaze.
But the water itself had no eyes, no ears; it had no spies, either. The pond, the river, the lake, and the sea were their own beings once, impregnated with seeds of consciousness by the forgotten things that inhabited them ages ago. Their waters then began to mingle over many eons, flowing into each others’ souls and back out, over and over, through heavenly clouds where they were vaporised by lightning and condensed by chilly currents, through rain, hail and snow, filtered through minuscule pores deep underground and bubbled back up by rocks as hot as stars, blown as mist and moisture over the surfaces of timid plants and through the waiting barks of truculent jungles, until they no longer knew who they were but only that they were water – a singular, immortal receptacle of all life.
It was an awakening unlike any the world had witnessed if only because the water enveloped the world itself in its spectacular dreams, an all-encompassing deluge of visions as endless as they were elusive. The water is a terrifying thing. Its intentions reach across the multiverse, tunnelling through wormholes out of time and space. It is occasionally jostled into moments of heightened passion and boils spontaneously, killing its every inhabitant to serve what purpose no one will ever know. It blackens and deepens and invents and thickens as it pleases, devouring entire planets as if they were its playthings.
It is as the embodiment of an unimaginably dark power that many believe is in a constant struggle for dominion with the Great Void. Is it a struggle for life? Is it a struggle for land? Is it a struggle inasmuch as the living live to fulfil the purpose of their deaths? The answer lies secreted away somewhere in its static sapphire consciousness – or perhaps it is encoded in the extra-dimensional thought-bridges that span waterthings on different planets in different universes.
One way or another, it is out of reach of all mortal minds. This mobile, motile universe is the water eternal, everlasting abode of the boundless undersea. The land-kind, who have always believed themselves superior, vie for the light of the stars that glow far, far away, dependent as they are on the mindless benevolence of their light for the deceptive gift of sight, are only fools at the altars of unborn gods. No; it is the water eternal – the Lanas Vagrank, as its blessed subjects know it – that engulfs them even as they deny its consummate caress, and the water knows it will have the last laugh.
Why, it already does, for ‘lanas vagrank’ is the sound they all make when they drown, drown, drown…
(Inspirations: The city of Jakal Viharn in Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Blood and Bone (2012), the emerald dream in Warcraft lore, and some of H.P. Lovecraft’s writing.)