PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Cavelord_Sevaah
Myths were born in the Mire.
They rippled across the water, casting grooves that cut into the minds of those that were willing to listen, to hear, to see, to feel.
The call of ancients, of those primordial whispers that connected the past with the present, that determined the future rise and fall of generations, there was no clear point where one ended and another began.
There were no lies in the Mire.
Truth came in the form of life and death. The marks of humanity were slowly but steadily becoming the memories of the Mire. It was the inevitable cycle of rise and fall--civilization had its moment, golden and glorious as the sun exploded a thousand times a thousand across the surface of the Earth. And once the gray mist of a winter that seemed to never end slipped silently out of mastery, there was a chance, once more, for a new civilization to rise. It was both familiar and strange, growing as only nature might when forced to decide what would survive and what would be sacrificed.
For twenty-five years, the Mire tested the mettle of Man. They came in army green, burying themselves into the rock with fortresses of steel and claiming that they would survive. They came in suits of metal, promising an end to the plagues and pestilences that raged unchecked. They came in uniforms of tan and black, convinced that the America they worshiped would provide the blessing of salvation. They came in wrought iron and barbed wire, determined to expand the territories of squabbling gangs hellbent on being top dog.
One by one they came, and one by one, the Mire stripped their flesh, inch by gangrenous inch, until only the white truth of their bones remained. But even then, the Mire would not release them. Their memories were angry whispers that flickered as sickly light above the stagnant waters. Their griefs were nooses set to bring the unwary to a death within the muck beneath. Their warnings were the totems of that which existed beyond death, beyond the shadow of a silent mind, and invited madness to infest as a consuming rot.
The Mire would not be tamed, and that was their error.
Those that embraced the Mire for what it was, for the ancient pulse of countless lifetimes passing era into era, survived. It was more than a home; it was the sustaining refrain for those that eschewed the marks of steel progression and atomic reliance. Here, individuals like the Cavelord survived… and more. Here, where ghosts and demons skittered on the fringes of consciousness, the Cavelord became the manifestation of fear.
The Tribal thrived in the Mire, giving physical form to the dark fears of the human mind. It mattered little whether the prey was armed or not, hostile or not… All were weak and wanting, soft and bloated, and fed the Mire in the same decaying way once he was finished with them. Tales of the brutality spread, the warnings to those that would listen given by men and women who spied the antlered demon on their peripheries, a serpent in the water, a devil in the flesh, a hunter of men and Chosen One of the Mire.
The embodiment of stalking terror, the berserking rage cleaved through the sanctified and unholy alike, spreading their ego as a sacrifice to the heartbeat of the Mire in pieces of death. His name was known, such were the nature of myths, but the Mire did not lie. The Savage was exactly what the stories claimed, over and over, becoming the ever-growing truth of the fantastical fears of the populace.
The Mire thrived around the Cavelord, bestowing its verdant crown of primal truth upon his head. The Mire bent itself to him--ouroboros, devourer, measurer, executioner--and where he walked, fear sprang up as hooked barbs that crept, vine-like, across the mind.