Most of the waters in Kinigi were part of the massive rivers that cleansed and recycled souls, erasing their memories and preparing them to be reborn into new bodies. Each one would twist and turn, from the Sea of Death to the Ocean of Birth. This lake though was the exception. A whirlpool in the middle of nowhere, that only seemed to go in one direction, back to the Sea of Death, where all other souls would normally arrive when they die.
That wasn’t the weirdest thing though. What was weird was that there were thousands upon thousands of signs scattered around, all screaming to not swim in the whirlpool, all written in goodness knows how many languages and drawn in goodness knows how many images. Considering the fact that there were bones scattered around, perhaps some being hasn’t listened. There were also large numbers of orange crystals on the ground. Occasionally, one would fall over and slowly roll towards the whirlpool, disappearing under the lilac waves.
Of course, like every other territory on Kinigi, this chunk of land was protected by a Veth. Arkay had never met this Veth before, mostly because his duties involved being on the coasts of Kinigi. But since he had some time off, he decided to come and have a look.
“Buried in egos… Hm… Hello, Veth Prime?”
The Veth seemed happy to see Arkay as they pulled themselves out of a small cave near the water’s edge. Their armour was tattered and scarred, the glowing rings on their body cold and faded, drenched in blood. They clearly got few friendly visitors around here.
“Hello…” Arkay almost hesitated. “I’ve not been around here before.”
“No need for you. Not here. Not at the Fountain.”
The Veth tutted to itself and began to clean itself up, licking old blood off its claws.
“Do you have a name?” Arkay asked.
“Yes. But I want to know yours first. Veth Primes do not visit. Well, they did not. Now you change that.”
“And I am Anyparxia. The Veth that should not exist.”
Anyparxia started humming to himself, ignoring Arkay’s question. He was acting as if Arkay should have already known what all of these things were.
“Forgive me for repeating myself,” Arkay sighed. “But why shouldn’t you exist?”
“The same reason why this should not exist!” the ancient Veth growled. “But mortal and Deitic alike, they all try and come here. Mythopeioa. The act of believing a myth or legend so hard that it becomes real. I was a normal Veth originally. But alas here I am.”
The Veth Prime blinked in confusion. Anyparxia’s words had not explained anything. Did mortals believing in a whirlpool really make one appear in Kinigi?
“There is a punishment though. Wrapped up in amber, eternally. Well, not quite eternally. For a long time. They all die in the end.”
“So is this… some sort of magical beacon or something? Something worthwhile to normal beings?” Arkay edged closer to the water. It was spinning away to itself quite happily. But there was an unusual undertone to the sound of sloshing water. As if something was… crying or shouting…
Anyparxia grunted. His claws were clean. Now he had moved on to picking up bones and throwing them into the whirlpool. “Did She teach you nothing?”
“Not really,” Arkay admitted. “Kinisis… has little patience for me.”
“Probably for the best then. Our Lady is… not a nice being.”
“She allows the Fountain to remain here. Despite the suffering it causes.”
Arkay looked around. The confusion was lifting. All these beings, lured into a trap, then frozen alive.
“So many Mortals come here to try and extend their lives. So many Deitics come here, hoping to give themselves souls. They all come here in a desperate attempt to live forever.”
Anyparxia seemed dismissive of it all. He had been here for a long time. He was immune to it all. He just made sure that anyone who trespassed died.
“Most of the time though, I don’t need to, little Veth Prime. They kill themselves. So close, yet so far. They die. They go back to the Sea of Death. They get reborn like everyone else.”
As Arkay approached the water, he realised what this place was. What the faint cries were. What the water was.
“Just throw themselves in. No self-control. Pure insanity. They never realise. Not until they reappear on the beaches of Kinigi.”
Anyparxias smiled at Arkay as he disappeared back into his little cave.
“Everybody is drowning in the Fountain of Youth. Be thankful you are not screaming with them…”