1 Regarding Orx

The manifestation of the Orx may constitute the single greatest danger to our world. This can not be over emphasised. Anyone who witnessed the events known as the Overcast will testify to the horrors unleashed upon them that day, marking their souls forever. First hand accounts from Bizapul amongst other cities speak of a dark day boiling with the humours of hatred and fear, with friend attacking friend, families enraged in blood feud, neighbours tearing each another apart with their bare hands and nothing sharper than their teeth… a day which sullied the spirit of a generation of children and curdled the blood of the most hard-hearted of Royal Guard. Nobody was left unscathed.
Although that event passed only once in the extended memories of our historian annals, it should not be treated as an isolated or freak occurrence. Rather it was the high tide of a storm yet to come. The Meherim have long been aware of the darkness rising in the west, but to its full extent we have been ignorant. The day of Overcast brought the darkness to the shores of the Empire, and its shadow cast long into the homeland. It is not impossible to consider the Overcast may swell once again, and its reach may extend further such that the Pharohim may see His skycity unfounded and its citizens razed to a rubble of broken minds.
The Meherim have known of the threat from the West for many years, but our progress in understanding has been pitiful. Reflection in the Crystal Lake has revealed the significant progress made by independents, albeit idiosyncratic and untempered by formal practice. Information is being consolidated, cross-referenced, and a picture is beginning to emerge. What we know for definite is that the Orx has intensified at the fringes of the Empire, across all Outer Reaches simultaneously. What has first come to the Seven Valleys is now being seen across other Gal territories, and replicated across Rone, Zu and Agrahal provinces. Unlike the day of Overcast, it is a constant presence. Crops spoil, livestock sicken and die, and men turn upon themselves. It erodes the wellbeing of civilisation, and makes dwelling together impossible in cities or towns or even villages. In common terms, lands infected by this unholy plague are commonly known as Shadowlands, a buffer zone before the Underlands where the Orx multiply rampantly and where men fear to tread.
And what we know for certain is that these Shadowlands are expanding, encroaching into the Outer Reaches and if unchecked, will expand to the boundary of the homeland within our lifetime — sooner given additional Overcast events. It is for this reason that a division of Meherim have been formed under the auspices of the venerable and wise Exarch Arkon, the Necrons whose sole task is to nullify the plague and innoculate us against the worst behaviours of another Overcast event.
Individual monks and wizards, as well as mendicant meherim, have conducted forays into the Shadowlands to investigate the Orx. Accounts are varied and will require time for sorting and validation. Meanwhile expeditions are being mounted not only in rax form empowered through the amplification of the Crystal Lake but also physically in person to capture atarax in their native habitat. All spiritual warriors must be fortified against the powerful psychotropics which characterise these Shadowlands. Meherim inspired by the call are welcome to participate, but only the strongest may join the ranks of the Necron. Even well trained meherim can be snuffed out in an instant or their minds turned in the presence of the more powerful Orx. Despite the trickling down of low state garsu into the general populace and the correlating math to empower them, meherim training still requires years to complete. We must be careful we do not squander our reserves at this early outset, in case an all-out state of war comes to pass. The Meherim must retain its numbers for future encounters. For those who have the stomach for it, may the uncompromising reflection upon death in the placid expanse of the Crystal Lake invert their mind to become Necron practioners.
What has been gleaned so far about the Orx is that it is chaotic, unruly, anarchic, full of the darker sides of human motivation, a seething mass of ill-intent. Anger, contempt, anxiety, disgust, envy are its constant emotional state, a cesspit of feelings which eats away within it in many and varied hideous forms. Witnessed by common folk as goblins, trolls, wraiths, all forms of horror once imagined in fairytales now made real. Currently their ability to organise is poor, no form of togetherness is possible beyond the species and even within species they fight amoungst themselves. Which makes the day of the Overcast that much more unlikely. It has been postulated that what made the Overcast possible was a concerted effort across a legion of dark forces which pulled at the rotten parts of mens souls and gave rise to their wild behaviours, worse than animals truth by told. What appears to be influencing it, like a magnet around filings, is greed and avarice, the selfish sense of taking, an insatiable sense of stealing from others, an unholy pit fathomless in its appetite. It is recognised that this sense has been growing within man from the dawn of time, or at least when man set stone and brick to build cities. And it has been postulated there is a correlation between how we lead our lives and the manifestation of Orx. If so, it may be that Orx have been collecting in Everdark for thousands of years and may even explain how the ancients came to an end. Expeditions into the Underlands and into Everdark might verify the many and varied hypotheses being proposed, but who might be willing to risk themselves in such foolhardy endevours? Searching for origins of the Orx is of academic interest. We face more pressing concerns.
What may explain the phenomenal growth of Orx over recent years? Here we have disconcerting evidence that the Meherim itself has been instrumental in its acceleration. Rax vapour, or leakage. Just as garsu dust leaked in the waters from garsu mines have led to the discovery of living clay, the base material for the formation of golem, so there is a side-effect of rax. That whenever we manifest rax, a little evaporates and is flung around the world as fine mist, finer than dust, and it accumulates and coalesces as the substance of Orx. There are some esteemed colleagues who posit something more precise and even more disturbing: that the exercises of azrax gives rise to Orx directly. In fact, though it may pain us to acknowledge it and especially by my colleagues, the earliest proponent of this hypothesis is the disohonoured exile Grad-hacr’ash, whose subsequent investigations are unknown to us either because he is dead or because he has shielded his garsu from resonance with the Crystal Lake.
As is fundamental to garsu operation, azrax nullifies rax, utile in the inhibition of unwanted rax, the manifestation of unwanted feelings and thoughts made real, subconscious tendencies which if unchecked spoil any rax. Absolutely necessary when working with untrained minds as many in our order are employed to do, fulfilling the fanciful imaginings of so many royals. The azrax practices are less required within our own ranks, but even the azrax of the honed and perfected order of azmeherim, those stone-minded bulwarks who are feared even amongst our order, the azrax practices contain inherent misapplication: that is, these subconscious rax have in fact been banished, and not vanquished as first thought. It may be these noxious rax vapours have been fueling the growth of Orx for decades. And should any reject this hypothesis offhand, it has been verified by Guise. We still do not have replicable proof. Investigations are being conducted and once azrax practices have been purified, the stemming of this leakage of rax will slow the growth of Orx. However, with the increased number of common minds operating lower state garsu, whatever reduction in leakage on our part as Meherim will be dwarfed by the increasing amount of leakage from lesser minds. It is a problem we can not solve within ourselves, as Meherim, nor stem the spread of garsu abuse; we may only pray for deliverance by Machus.
A final consideration, and it is this: the force of greed and avarice which drove the Overcast may exist in one, singular entity. A powerful entity capable of uniting the division of Orx, as much as the sun unites all living things. We have already lost several respected Meherim elders to its investigation. Its psychic gravity is too strong, capable of bending primary attention and turning the mind; as a consequence, more indirect methods are being developed. We have bound this psychic hole with the ward Manx. The word barely protects those who utter it. It has the potential to bring utter destruction to all that man has built, it might see civilisation brought down and all barbaroi slaughtered, its hatred of the human spirit so great as to burn out the heart of any man who witnesses it unprotected. And in the face of this unholy enemy, even the kindest of souls cower. Demonstrating mercy merely excites more hatred and anger, such is the deep extent of its mindrot. There is no appeasing Manx. Having grown for centuries or millennia in the Everdark, the rising darkness in the west may only be countered by the rising our saviour, Machus. Only Machus may have the power to unite and protect us, and purge man’s soul of this wicked plague.

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