“You have betrayed our entire kingdom and endangered the royal family!” l’Dhecc spat. “Do you have a defense?” The hooded man could feel the Grand Vizier’s rage as he bowed before him. His betrayal was far more extensive than the Grand Vizier knew, but he would never reveal this. Deceit would get him far.
“Betrayal… is only betrayal when there is a king to betray,” said the hooded man quietly. “Who do you say me to be?” The ancient ritual question fell from the man’s lips easily, almost impatiently. l’Dhecc paused a moment. Wording was everything when a Man of Power named an accused. One slip of the tongue, and the man in the hood could walk out of the room innocent, and the guards would be Powerless to stop him.
“You are y’Gguta, and I name you a traitor to Huia, by the Power. I now name you to be within the Sealed Catacombs, with no hope, eternal hunger, and to be merciless unto yourself, to be betrayed to your own mind and actions, that you will never escape, by the Power.”
The man looked up and removed his ceremonial hood, and l’Dhecc knew his mistake. This was not y’Gguta. This was the King himself, and though he was still guilty as charged, the naming would be severely diminished. But it was too late, and even as the man in the hood was vanishing to the Catacombs, l’Dhecc heard a whisper from the accused, “I name you Failure.”
One would think that safeguards would be in place within the Catacombs for failed naming. But the training was so intensive, the selection process so exclusive, that the Men of Power had grown relaxed, too confident in their own abilities. Years of living with no fear in their hearts had made them weak.
The Sealed Catacombs were designed to not let time pass within their walls, but the Huiites were not all-powerful. Time always infected where it was not wanted, even a little. The man in the hood aged only a small amount, and learned much in his long incarceration. At first, he thought to name the Power to return to him, but decided that a stronger weapon would need to be made. Naming and the Power had a close relationship, and creating a completely new facet of this relationship could be deadly or rewarding, and if he was incredibly lucky, both.
He made the motions, starting with a point, infinitesimally small, then moving his hands apart to change that point to a line. The line was widened to a plane, and the plane deepened to a cube. This cube was made of pure thought, and only when pushed into the fourth dimension did it have any effect on the real world. A four-dimensional cube was the basic form of the Power, but this new type of naming would need to be different. So he removed two adjoining faces of the cube, and sealed the newly exposed sides and corners together into a tetrahedron. This might work. He expanded the triangular sides into the fourth dimension, sealing the edges together to ensure strength. With a swift motion, he compressed the inner tetrahedron into a point, and his work was completed.
The man in the hood opened his eyes. He saw nothing. At first he thought he had failed, but then, slowly, a flicker of darkness began to appear, spreading outward, enveloping him, taking his mind from him. He saw everything, his prison, the Children of Quiet guarding it, and saw inside them. The darkness forced its way into their minds and they became his servants, even more twisted than he. Though he would not be able to escape, he knew that this darkness could never be contained, and he used it to force his will upon countless worlds.
Far away in Huia, l’Dhecc was begging on a street in the capital city. The naming of Failure all those years ago had proven true, and his Power had been taken away by it. No gold came this day.
“l’Dhecc,” said a voice, like the thunder of a winter storm.
He replied, trembling, “Who is there? I see no one, and no one else around me hears you.”
“Your Failure has not failed you, though truly, you did fail. And through it, I shall reward you, for without your Failure, I would not have success.”
A spear of cold thrust itself into his mind, and he writhed on the ground. Soon, though, his tremors stopped, and he saw the great Octachoron, the six universes, all sealed together. All passersby thought him mad for the ramblings he said after, about the Six Facets, the Scaileanna Nua, and other bizarre preposterousness. In time everyone forgot his existence. But little they knew the terror he would soon bring to their world and others, and the truth of his ramblings.
I smiled in the darkness, and knew that my experimentation, however blind, had brought forth much fruit. Soon this prison will be destroyed, and I along with it. But destruction is not my end, and the Six Facets of the Octachoron will fall to the Great Deceptionist.