I had been walking the moors for three days when I first saw it. It was a great big tower, situated on a little knoll, with a creek running under a small stone bridge that led to the great oaken door at its front; it was picturesque. It was too small to belong to a Robber Knight; they liked to act as if they were kings.
I was much farther north than any of the reavers, and the local clans were not currently at war. At least, not with each other. I decided to have a peek inside. I crossed the bridge easily enough, but the door was a different beast. The door seemed as though it been built for a non-human hand. It was a black as night, yet very bright, cylinder protruding from the middle of the door; it was as if it was giving off light.
The cylinder felt almost slick to the touch, and I could not get a hold on it until my fingers found a series of small holes on the bottom. I stuck my fingers in these, and pulled out; I had expected to fell a bit of pain as I pulled out. I pulled at what I thought to be a large heavy door, but no tug came; the door was gone. I walked into the main room of the tower, to find that instead of a staircase going up, there was one that went down.
I noticed that there was no light source in the room. The door had closed behind me, yet there was light. I considered turning back at this point, but something kept me from turning my heel.
I seemed to receive a shove down the stairs from some invisible entity. Needless to say, I kept walking. I had studied anthropology briefly in University, but I had never heard or seen anything near what was at the bottom of the stairs. It was a statue, albeit a rough one, and made of clay, but it was still a statue. It sat in the middle of an octagonal room, with a door on the opposite side. It was modeled after what appeared to be a very hairy creature, standing on two legs. I noticed there were no arms.
I realized that I was looking at it from behind, and moved to see it from the front; the head was just a gaping maw. There were carvings in many languages on the six other walls. Savage, ancient dialects littered the walls, many of which I had never seen before. I found the English translation written on the second closest wall on my left. It read;
“Knowledge is a weapon. It is best to arm yourself only with what you can handle.”
I found that extremely vague, and decided to investigate the room a bit more.
I didn't find anything I hadn't seen when I first walked in, so I sat on the marble floor and challenged to see how many of the languages I could translate. I found the German and Cyrillic texts, and began my work.
What I found was that all the different carvings had different things to say. I already gave the English quote, and the German text proved to read the same. However, the Cyrillic text proved different. Written in a brutal hand, it read: "A man does what he is told, and asks no more. This is the way it should be." Once again, I found the writings strange and vague. I continued with my little game.
There was a Gaelic sentence, which I translated with ease: "If a man can bear the weight of a world on his shoulders, what can a god bear upon his?"
Damned Scottish, I guess they were drinking back then, too.
I scoured the walls, but I could only find one more with characters I recognized, let alone could translate. It was, of course, Latin.
It was as followed: "In Academiis, Nehil Melius Quam Magister Deus".
I read it aloud, and the statue rumbled behind me. Its great clay maw turned to face me, and I made a run for the door, however, I could not find one.
"Qid Vis Scire," it rattled.
I tried my best to translate it. I tried to think of how to respond.
"I only wish to know tat which you will teach me, m'Lord."
I'm not sure where the m'Lord came from. Probably some repressed memory of going to court with father.
The great beast moved a paw, and stepped in my direction.
"Quid Te Doceam Omnia. Omnes Oportet Vos Facere Est Ingredi Interius."
Its gargantuan jaws slid apart, and inside, books.
More than at University. More than at court. More than in Christendom.
More than I could handle.
For knowledge is a weapon, and it is best to take no more than you can handle. For a man should only do what is asked of him, nothing more, nothing less. I get those. Those were written as warnings by those who had found a way out.
But the Gaelic one... Well, it was written by someone like me.
I learned that a man could bear the wight of a world on his back.
And, sadly, I learned how much a God can carry upon their back.
What feels the heaviest upon your chest, if not a secret so dark, so terrible, that you can scarcely breathe?
I know too many.
Here is one I will share with you.
He ate me.
He ate my secrets.
He ate my dreams.
And most importantly, he ate my thoughts.
And with these pen strokes, I commit this scrawled note to the vast array of knowledge this God bears upon his back.