Book of the Sight of the Lamb
Empire of Swedish Russia: Soon after all of this had percolated through the halls of power in Riga the Pope himself landed at Stockholm to view the pieces of the True Cross in the Cathedral of the Blood of the Lamb.
Alexander, after recovering from the impertinence of the press, held a great open-air mass in Huddinge outside of the city and then processed to the Cathedral of the Blood and spent some days and nights fasting and praying before the massive platinum and emerald reliquary that holds the True Cross. At the end of this time the stained glass windows of the Cathedral were suddenly lit by a bright actinic flash and the Papal Guards rushed within. There they found themselves blinded by a coruscating light that poured forth from the reliquary. Alexander himself cowered before it as the acid light coiled and hissed around the great columns and statuary of the sanctum. The six guards fell screaming to the ground, their eyes burned out, their flesh seared to the bone. Then the light snapped off, leaving the vast nave of the cathedral lit only by the guttering light of burning hangings and puddled pools of flaming wax where once a thousand candles had stood alight in the glory of God. Alexander was carried from the burning building by groundsmen drawn by the smell of smoke.
Thirteen days later the Pontiff woke from a comatose sleep, his sightless, blind-white, eyes turning this way and that. During all that time he had raved and ranted in a security of a chamber in the Solna Palace, under heavy guard. The transcripts of that long delerium were then brought to him and, with shaking hand, he turned the heavy vellum pages one by one. As he read his face grew paler and paler, at last he thrust the heavy book from him as he would a poisonous asp. Destroy it, he groaned, render it to ash and dust, scatter that dust to the four directions of the earth, turning ever leftwards whilst doing... The book was taken away and, some say, destroyed. Others did not feel so and rumors oft surfaced in latter days of the Book of the Sight of the Lamb, which contained all manner of strange marvels and alchemical formulae.
Empire of Swedish Russia: In Warsaw, Brecht Kane, a commander of the Knights of Wonder (a religious fighting order) swore allegiance to Pope Alexander in his crusade against the manefestations of evil that seek to escape from hell into the world of men. A company of Wondernachten had apparently found a peculiar fane in a crypt on the shores of Lake Constance and destroyed it. Some items recovered from the tomb had convinced Kane that strong action was necessary to forestall "armageddon". The ruins had been the site of strange dissapearances ever since the Vision of the Blood of the Lamb.
Partial Transcript of the Meetings held at St. Michael's Basilica during the Summer of 1668 concerning the Cultic Problem, T170
"I relay to you gentlemen", said Chigi, "today, the words as I myself have heard them from his Holiness, the Pope Alexander. Aside from myself and a scribe, no others have ever heard the fullness of this tale before. As many of you know the Holy Father was blinded some years ago - before his captivity in Venice - while praying before the Shards of the True Cross that our Swedish brothers maintain in Stockholm. He was blinded, gentlemen, by the full force of divine revelation. After his vision he has had no further use for mortal eyes, yet he sees as well as your or I, to this day!"
At the back of the room, behind the chairs of Lord Tukun and the hunter Deerslayer, Jacob Hammerstein bent over his notebook, furiously scribbling. Though his realm had foundered under the Marôcain wave, he continued to carry out his duties.
"What the Holy Father saw," continued Chigi, "was a vision of our world as none have ever seen it before. As from a vast height, he looked down upon the roundness of the world and saw not the lands and mountains that we are familiar with, but rather a surface of great shining diamonds, trapezohedrons and multisided shapes. For the greater part these shapes, these facets that formed our world, were clear and unblemished, gleaming with the glory of the True God. But some, my friends, some were not."
It was quiet in the room, only the slow susurration of the ceiling fans stirring the torpid air to break the silence.
Hammerstein looked up, a slow bead of sweat crawling down his hand to the parchment below. From his vantage he could see the profile of the Armenian Sviodo, his restless eyes making a slow circuit of the room. Their eyes met and Hammerstein was suddenly chilled by the realization that the gangly Armenian stood ready to kill anyone in the room that made a sudden move. Then the pale hunter's eyes passed on, searching for some unknown danger.
"Those facets that were not touched by the light of the Lamb were broken, shattered like the pane of a window, and behind them were lit the very fires of hell itself. Darkness spilled through, my friends, darkness of the very devil himself. We have seen the work of that darkness already, since the inexplicable rupture of these panes that - we believe - have long shielded our world from the reach of Hell. The servant of Lucifer, Kror, has already come, wreaking ruin in the Americas."
"Yes," interrupted Deerslayer, his thin lips tight around his mouth as he spoke, "our holy men have seen the face of the enemy in their dreams. He has a thousand heads and a million eyes. His temples were long covered by jungle and earth but now they are open to the sun and at night he comes down from the stars, hissing and buzzing, to feast upon the spirit of the sacrifices that are offered him." The Huron fell silent, and though the others waited for him to continue, he did not do so.