The Abyss is a bottomless crater that appeared on Gahla during or after the Scream. Above the pit, some stubborn frostbitten ayrlands pulled in by the tempest are cast ruthlessly into the void. Most of their brethren fell long before, into the oceans or onto the ice, or caught and pulverized like half-chewed rotleaf between the jagged teeth of the mountain range that encircles the Abyss. At Brokenbow, they warned us that the Abyss would steal our memories should we gaze into it. They neglected to mention that the first thing you forget is how long you've been staring. The Lacunites of Pandaemonium say this is a place for healing. I know I once thought they were wrong, but lately it seems I cannot articulate why. As I write this, in these fleeting moments of clarity, it begins to dawn on me that I should have kept a record of how many days I have spent here. When I focus, I see only a cold and black stillness that gazes not back, but past. Know that it cares not for you, gahl. Your flesh could not sate its hunger. Nor would all the ashes of the thousand ayrles of the Old World. It yearns for something more distant - not even yet a glimmer in the firmament, but approaching all the same. Still, it cares not for you. It cares. But not for you. Is it an eye that breathes, or a mouth that beholds? Nethergazers shall find naught else but the truth of all things: that the vultures cannot taste virtue. Here in the black embrace, there is no need for judgment, and much less forgiveness. The sinful and saintly alike shall be born anew, free and guiltless, shapeless. Go now, pilgrim, knowing this: Be not afraid to fall or offend. Seize what you know to be yours. Or stay if you lack the will. There is no shame in that either. There is no shame in anything. Not here.
I heard a fellow came back from Pandaemonium last Fall. Folk say he had a sharp temper before, but now his eyes smoulder when he gets angry. And not figurative smoulderin', like some kind of shaven brute from the romance yarns, I mean smoking, smokin'. Like a drip of hog-fat wot fell into the cookfire. Hmm, but I know he's not the only one with the 'gaze. That's why I don't keep any mirrors in any of the guest-rooms. Hell's bells, I fear to even polish the plates! The Reflector told me the mad buggers can't stand to see their image. Drives 'em into a frenzy, and if he says it, then that's the minted truth.