“The flat alien landscapes passed by at a rapid rate – the stretch of the open road and Max’s ample fee to the driver facilitating a median speed bordering on the reckless. Less than a mile beyond upon either side the landscape began to shift into shimmering dunes, hot winds throwing sand in small cyclones and eddies amidst a terrain which meant death to human life and was only liveable for the most sturdy of entities and even for them survival was not an easy thing. Beyond that, ahead of them and to the north, insane and eldritch mountain ranges visible far in the distance – twinkling with the greenish light of hallucination and the sadistic fervor of well-entrenched military installations – these marking the border from here into the other through which Max sought a dangerous passage.
With the thoughts of these real-time images within his mind Max considered, his driver having gone silent for sometime now, amidst his own immediate concerns and formulating the stratagems which would take them across shortly, what sort of entities existed in the environs in which he now found himself – so full of not only potential for devastating, exoteric acts but in fact profuse with the sort of ultra-violence, catastrophe and terror only known through a glass darkly by the soft and civilized inhabitants of the lands from which Max himself came and which, despite his myriad travels abroad, still marked him as a civilian – and observer only – to the darkness, not incipient, but manifest, which exhibited itself in regions still obscure to western man.
One thing he did know – and this beyond the shadow of a doubt – is that he was the bearer of the torment. A bearer of something so far beyond the consciousness of those who bore pretense about their adeptship in the black arts – what to speak of the man on the street – that anything, anything could happen. He knew that his hubris was probably part of the game – something that everyone that had come before him in similar circumstance, in possession of the amulet bearing a reputation blacker than black, had probably felt before. Yes, each one of them thought that they possessed the fanaticism that no other had possessed – that the alchemical juxtaposition of themselves and the frightful demoness that lived within the torment, in an existence eternal, would provide that elusive key toward unlocking a global harvest the likes which none had ever seen.” – Lera’s Torment