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IX: The Bargain Books of Sorrow 5 Common

Verse 1:9 — The Bargain

You are Aurash. Heir to the Osmium Throne.

You stand on the naked hull of an ancient ship. You stand exposed to the crushing pressure and ferocious heat of the deeper Fundament. It should annihilate you. It is by my will alone that you survive.

I am Yul, the Honest Worm.

Behold my passage. Behold my vast displacement, my ponderous strength, my great and coiling length, my folded jaws and curled wings. Behold the hiving cities symbiotic with my flesh. I am fecund, Aurash. I am at the beginning and end of lives.

Behold Eir, and Xol, and Ur, and Akka. The Virtuous Worms. Look upon us, and know that We are go[o]d.

For millions of years We have been [trapped|growing] in the Deep. From across the stars We have called life to Fundament, so that it might contend against extinction. For millennia We have awaited you... our beloved hosts.

Against you stand the cruel Leviathan and all the forces of the Sky. They would crush you down into the dark. They have arranged their moons to drown you, in fear of your potential.

We want to help you, Princes. We offer to each of you a bargain... a symbiosis.

Take into your bodies our children, our newborn larvae. From them you shall obtain eternal life. From them you shall gain power over your own fragile flesh: the power to make of it as you will. And should you find an imperfection in the world, an injustice or an inconvenience — you will have the power to repair it. Let no mere law bind you.

We ask one thing in exchange, oh Princes.

You must obey your nature forever. In your immortality, Aurash, you may never cease to explore and inquire, for the sake of your children. In your immortality, Xi Ro, you may never cease to test your strength. In your immortality, Sathona, you may never abandon cunning.

If you do, your worm will consume you. And as your power grows, oh Princes, so will your worm’s appetite.

But we offer eternity, Aurash. We offer you a chance at the universe. Would you deny your people infinity?

Reach up to me. Let my flesh be your sacrament.