Meta in Valtena
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You step across the threshold onto an inky black floor. The world fades around you just out of reach until you're left alone in perfect darkness. You walk forward, and the ground sinks slightly beneath your feet, but the only reason you think it's solid is because you haven't started falling yet.   "Welcome, stranger. You must be lost."   A deep voice echoes in the darkness.   "You are a long ways away from the material realm from whence you came. I am Chaos, Uncreated, Spurned, Exiled, Destroyer of Realms. I am everywhere, invisible, glorious, and monstrous. I am your darkest temptation and your greatest pleasure."   A chill wind blows across your face, and the darkness is replaced by the light of lit braziers and torches. Shelves packed with books and scrolls as high as you can see surround you. The floor beneath you is solid for certain, though it seems to be more like darkness solidified. The owner of the voice is nowhere to be seen. You approach one of the shelves and pull out a book at random. The script is unlike anything you've seen before, and yet, you can read it perfectly.   "Stay awhile. Read as much as you like. Time doesn't exist in this place. If you decide to leave, I'm sure you'll find the way out."

Cover image: by DigitalCurio