by Max Barry

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The Outer God of
Father Knows Best State

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Harbingers of the Evermind

Who or what can understand the Evermind, if Its heralds are beyond most minds? The answer is not obvious, and less so is the true nature of these beings, where they came from and how they came to serve the end of history. Some gods say they were created - woven from time and space into vast and powerful entities, others claim them to be deities who sided with the one with whom few sided at all and were made exalted heralds for their loyalty, for the small price of their independence. Yet others speculate that they may be a mixture of the two, as the Eater of Gods also can build upon and uplift beings, should It see fit. Whatever the truth or half-truth, these beings are a step above common, mass-forged Servitors, and are unique entities of an eldritch nature and deific proportions that serve their eternal master as a "pantheon" of a kind, though the word does not truly apply due to their utter lack of any personal intent or agenda aside from that allowed by the Evermind's undying will. Indeed, there is nothing to be won by serving one who tolerates no challenge and suffers no nuisance - unless one is somewhat deranged or extremely single-minded.

These beings may operate on their eternal master's behalf freely, as most of them are unknown to be connected to It, and if they were once, they were uplifted and augmented beyond any recognition. Thus, agents acting on the Infinite One's behalf roam the Omniverse unchecked. When the time comes, it is these Harbingers which will lead the Evermind's infinite cosmic legions into a final omniversal twilight of the gods, on the heels of cataclysmic obliteration unleashed by reality plagues and god-rending infoviruses. They will also incessantly perform lesser tasks in the meantime, as mad proxies preparing creation for the return of its ravenous overlord.

Blrral-blrral, the Messenger of Hunger

Blackness swirls, and the maw opens.

Do not think too much or too hard about this one. Truly, do not - it likes it when you do that, and you do not want it to like you, or even think of you. Blrral-blrral is a vast sentient mass of transdimensional black ooze that has the capacity to appear anywhere in any shape or size. Whether amassed in a great gooey swirl or bubble across dimensions or spread into billions of pieces down to planck-size, the creature always possesses a single consciousness that can communicate instantaneously across any distance. Viral in nature, it is capable to use smallest bits of itself to infiltrate, possess and even utterly consume beings ranging from microbes to lesser gods. Or it can emerge above a million stars and rain its biliferous essence down with the force of kinetic projectiles, filling and absorbing the mass of galaxies and universes. It really makes no difference, as long as there is food, and a dose of delicious suffering to sate its sadistic appetite.

A part of Blrral-blrral consuming a galaxy whole, converting and adding its mass unto itself.

Having gained intelligence over time through the consumption and absorption of more and more sentient minds, this being's intellect is a borrowed one, and easily discerns who graciously grants the most opportunity for infection and grazing, being, of course, its eternal master. Not that the latter had left any room in the creature's mind for a cost-benefit evaluation of what will happen should the Evermind be victorious and no longer need lesser beings at all, a fact that holds true for most of its servants. All it knows is that life is good, stars are delicious and the perfect anguish of beings eaten from the inside is amusing. It also possesses a virtually infinite well of cunning from which to draw the means of satisfying its obsession with predation and control, making it a dangerously underhanded opponent capable of easily outmaneuvering its prey, even if most of it is instinctual rather than conscious knowledge.

The first test of its usefulness took place upon the creature's very birth. The Evermind did not need to create the full being that exists today; all that was needed was a single drop. Said drop was programmed with rudimentary commands, the main of which was "Grow". All else was left to the organic and chaotic course of history, with the Evermind carefully observing the capabilities the being could develop without interference, at any time ready to annihilate its creation should it foresee danger from it millions of years into the future. Beginning its spread, the entity absorbed the planet it was planted on, then launched the seeds of its infection through space towards thousands more. In time controlling a large swath of a galaxy, it began an inexorable march towards the core, where the greatest concentration of stellar matter, and a supermassive black hole, lay. Consuming the galaxy entirely and mastering the physical properties of spacetime through study and eventual absorption of the vast singularity, Blrral-blrral spread like a cancerous wave through the entire universe. Once the feast was finished, the black, starless cosmos itself was liquid. All was Blrral-blrral. In the end, the creature might have run out of energy, locked inside its universal membrane... but this was not an independent scenario, nor an idle experiment. The Evermind momentarily connected its infinite mind to the biliferous ooze, its guidance complementing the creature's incomplete intellect, and made Blrral-blrral an executor of its will. No future danger to the Evermind's carefully laid goals had manifested in the course of the being's evolution, as Blrral-blrral did not acquire full sentience on its own, and the experiment was a complete success. The thing that exists outside all things had gained another powerful agent.

Blrral-blrral ooze traverses the upper voids of existence.

Resembling the goo blights which frequently infest odd locations where civilisations are less than cautious with their construction and warfare, Blrral-blrral has deceived many beings into viewing it as less than it was, before showing its true dangers. Aside from the on-contact capabilities of matter transmutation and intrusive control, this menace is very capable of swiftly changing the cosmos around it with mastery ranging from the quantum to the macro level, reconfiguring reality from great range and even making great clusters of branes unto nothing in dimensions spatial and temporal. Blrral-blrral is also known to build remote avatars of potentially limitless variety for itself, infiltrating worlds and structures to ply its will far and wide, consequently leaving many independent factions compromised from within. What now is a model citizen and servant of the public may in a second extend black strands to lower system defenses...or project a shield to strengthen them, depending on the faction's role in the great game. These are things not often expected of assumedly mindless predatory goo, and distinguish this entity as a master of reality in its own right.

Cqilesu, the Away-One

The absent is unseen.

No one knows where Cqilesu is, or whether a term describing location is relevant at all, with the notable exceptions of itself and the Evermind - but that should go without saying, no? This is a truly vast entity spanning untold dimensions and spaces, rivaling such eldritch beings as Cthulhu, Tsatthoggua and Hastur. Should its baleful, all-piercing gaze fall upon a location, one can be sure it will not be deterred until its objective is fulfilled. Little is known of this being aside from the fact that the unexplained destruction of certain lesser pantheons had been attributed to it and that a certain lack of informational integrity had befallen places where it pushes and treads, but this had never been verified, and it has never given any cause to suspect its ties to the thing that lurks outside reality.

This much-seeing entity often observes many closed gateways and coordinates certain movements between various Harbingers, though in its eagerness to serve the Evermind, it sometimes thinks itself entitled to greater respect among them. This may end up being frustrating for Cqilesu, as though the information its observations have gathered often would bring it leverage over some of them, it rarely benefits the being any more than letting it smugly state the fact that it knows more. The Evermind will never tolerate any but the most inconsequential squabbling among Its thralls; Harbingers are valuable, and may not harm each other, or place themselves above the grand plan, a fact as hardwired into Cqilesu's mind as its own pride.

Viramku, the Unwritten

Harsh is the void.

Is it foolish to serve a being that would likely dispose of everything remotely close to existing as soon as it ascended to complete dominion of reality? Maybe, depending of course on your vantage point and priorities. And the cosmic entity Viramku had chosen his priorities long ago. An accident, of cosmic scale of course, at some point in the past had left him companionless and alone, with no other framework of subjective meaning in place to fill the void of lost friendship. And so it wandered, and wandered, and wandered in utter and complete vacant dejection, until the multiversal membranes began to tremble, vaguely and uneasily at first, then more strongly, vibrating and shaking themselves apart at the pandaemonium of distant cosmic warfare. A minute surge of curiosity, quickly drowned by gray dejection once again, was enough to bring Viramku closer to investigate. The entity that now is known as the Evermind was in full swing with its brilliant plan to eradicate deific beings of its caliber and greater, yet seemed to be realising that the momentum of the offensive could not be kept up to a victorious conclusion.

A whisper, a caress across eleven dimensions, and a promise of final, complete oblivion at the end of service, and Viramku entered the thrall of the entity that would go down in history as the Ancient Exile among other, less flattering and more menacing titles. On the verge of defeat, its master crumpled and cast away this servant's form across the Omniverse to preserve it, only to pick it up again uncountable -illions of years later when Its influence once again began to seep into reality after lengthy seclusion and resuscitation. Still Viramku, unmentioned and unknown among gods or amoebae, serves the one who promised him clean and instant oblivion, something he is physically incapable of inflicting upon himself.

Unlimited Svarl, the Insipid Deity

Insipid once, insipid always.

Does she love you? No. Does she like you? She may decide, someday. The truth is, Unlimited Svarl cannot be bothered to choose. Another entity that had entered the Evermind's service of its own decision, such as it was, this flamboyant and strangely undefinable being chose the path that most titillated its almost nonexistently hollow sentiments. Of a jaded outlook and bored by everything and then some, the entity calling itself Unlimited Svarl sees a coming cosmic war and the prospect of probable Omniverse-scale annihilation to be moderately entertaining - that is, millions of times more so than the next best thing, which is baroque continuum stitching. If you ask nicely, she will teach you too, provided you are an 11-dimensional being or above and thus capable of understanding the concepts involved in the art.

Only the chaotic destruction of unraveling realities and hypercomplex power games now capable of piercing the veil of her ever-increasing indifference, Unlimited Svarl serves the being that promises the greatest respite from boredom and the freedom to pursue her destructive thrill-seeking inclinations without sanction or consequence. The eldritch being is rather too bored and infantile to ever concern itself with the future and what may follow from its aid to something even entities such as itself do not understand.

Kerten'olpaggl'marn ("Main Outside Way"), the Weaver of Substances

Greatness in ominous shapes.

Its obsession with building and forging of wonders and terrors to the exclusion of almost all else makes this entity seem extremely one-sided, and that is precisely right. Unconcerned with anything but its reality-altering projects and maddeningly perfectionistic creation processes, Kerten'olpaggl'marn's activity is easily channeled into doing the Evermind's bidding. At the end of times, it will be the anchor and guide of Dark Warper flights everywhere, hemming in and destroying opposition for its master's benefit and for its own aesthetic pleasure at the crafting of intricate spacetime webs. Indeed, given its obsession, this being's spacetime manipulation abilities are as refined as they are immense. Itself existing in intricately woven and constantly shifting dimensions of its own creation, the entity views its own being as its most perfect project, with only the Evermind itself arousing more adoration and curiosity.

This being seldom leaves the Archipelago's testing grounds, and is not known to the greater Omniverse aside from a few extremely knowledgeable beings, and then only through derogatory rumours and unverified anecdotes. It is however believed that Main Outside Way may in fact have been a contemporary of the Evermind before the latter was driven into exile, and even a mentor of sorts to the ever-growing and ravenous entity. Whatever the case may be, it is clear the Evermind had long since surpassed its ancient benefactor. It is often so that deities require aid to become what they are... until they do not.

Hihramasch, the Magnificent Destroyer

Betrayal lives, and the hunger awakens.

It is argued among other Harbingers whether this being is merely an avatar of the Evermind itself, a semi-autonomous representation of Its infinite power in the conventional Omniversal planes. Whatever the case, it is something to be feared, perhaps more so than all the other Harbingers combined. The reason for this is not merely the being's power to affect physical reality, for while immense, it is overshadowed to an overwhelming degree by its legendary, malevolent cunning. This being is responsible for millions of political shifts in thousands of Multiversal clusters, and more civil wars among the various pantheons than can be counted. Regularly taking on new forms and wearing multiple masks in simultaneity, it has eradicated or suborned more beings than it ever could with pure force.

Rumours exist that this being's proficiency at playing any role required for a situation may partially stem from its habit to devour other gods and add their personality matrices to its palette of personas, which it can mix and match for optimally handcrafted facades. Yet it is certain that the sower of discord knows how to use its faces well, whatever the truth of that might be.

If one at one's own peril listens in on the interdimensional telepathy of certain deific chroniclers, one may glimpse a story or two of Hihramasch's exploits. Apparently, at some point between two billion years ago and yesterday, it had infiltrated the Jebann Pantheon and set its members against each other to the point the alliance utterly broke apart, then used this fact to quietly convert all their subjects to the Evermind's purpose. In simultaneity, another of its masks hyperbranes away convinced several other groups to intervene for the sake of restoring order. When they all converged upon the now completely isolated and unobservable location, the ultimate betrayal was waiting. The Harbinger's full powers of memetic conversion could not be denied; as the infoviral overwriting spread through them all, all would-be peacekeepers, no matter their deific power, were made to serve The Thing Outside for eternity without memory of their past or hope for independence.

While arguably the greatest and most potentially destructive of all Evermind heralds, Hihramasch is also by far the most subtle and insidious. Ominously involved in omniversal affairs and supremely manipulative, the being's role in the cosmic game has been likened to that of Nyarlathotep, though it is far more obscure and known only for its involvement in specific cases rather than omnipresent control across the board. This however does not preclude its influence from having spread wider than could heretofore be guessed at.

The Outer God of The Evermind