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The Cursed

For thousands of years, information about the expansive world of Thalasso has pooled up in the archives. Countless contributors risk their lives to study the endless seas and their intricacies. Their tales are immortalized within the digital planes of the Archives like the great heroes in the stories we tell our children before bed. Among the heroes of Thalasso, one name has continued to ring for far longer than expected—Monomachos the Cursed.

Among the first pieces of evidence for Thalasso’s existence all those years ago, before the Archives existed, was a letter Monomachos wrote to someone named Adrienne. The parchment was weathered beyond salvageability, but scraps of the content were deciphered.

Memories of your warmth keep me going in the scarlet waste. I tell him no, but I get tossed back down below. Time and time again sunken into the nightmare with my only anchor being the rope attached to my waist.

Oh, your crooked but beautiful smile. I miss your eyes of vermillion! The field of stone harbors beasts so vile. The sunken bodies down below must number in the billion.

When I come home to your loving embrace, I won't let you go again. The horrors follow us apace. I dive still for the day I can hold you, my dear Adrienne.


At first, it was dismissed as an unknown poet’s handiwork. His strange name was thought to be a nickname but later evidence would prove Monomachos to be his legitimate name. After multiple journals and even art surfaced years later detailing Stonecrown with its scarlet seas, the letter was returned as proof of the otherworldly seas. While the original group of skeptics who theorized about Thalasso’s existence are long gone, their compilations of evidence remained for the Archivists to acquire.

The Answerer’s Era

When the Archivists recovered all the documents from the defunct group, they discovered several other letters written by Monomachos. The letters mainly were just more poems to Adrienne, but a few were written to the families of people who died among Monomachos’ crew. None of the names could be traced back to living or dead people. Regardless, the notes had scraps of information about Thalasso, such as the kinds of seas and beasts that took the men. Throughout the letters, Monomachos stayed strong and kept to his writing style. He trudged on fighting alone.

Decades passed with no more letters from Monomachos. In that time, Thalasso was found, and its Cardinal Thresholds were charted. The Archivists established a few outposts and connections for study and ease of information access. It was an exciting era of exploration for the Visionists, Vagrants, and Venturers that decided to delve into the depths. Melting pots of cultures, ideas, and legends bound to mythical seas intrigued the Archivists. Thalasso was a shining star even among other limspace systems. The Answer’s Era, as it was called, still brings back great memories for some of the older Archivists who stuck around.

The sights described by Monomachos were being discovered one by one as the Venturers dove deeper into Thalasso. One day while conversing with locals of an island village, an Archivist heard the name Monomachos the Cursed. A story tied to the name circulated in Horizon’s lesser-developed societies. The legend described a hulking man of bronze metal with a singular unblinking eye that would be an omen of disaster encroaching. Wherever Monomachos the Cursed arrived, death would follow. The legend says not to go near him unless you want to be made a target for Monomachos’ curse.


The supposed make of Monomacho's suit. Thousands of these archaic diving suits are found through Thalasso, though none match Monomachos' armored diving dress exactly.

The Hunt for Monomachos

This legend spurred Monomachos’ name back up to note for the Archivists. They felt the need to find out more about Monomachos as his letters helped them in the past and because he seemed to have a mysterious pull about his name. It allured them. Thus, the search for Monomachos began in a few small groups. They scoured tales and writings for any mentions of a cyclops, man of metal, or Monomacho’s name.

Years passed with only scraps of info about the walking legend before the hunt was called off. That is until a letter was found in a bottle clinking against the dock of an Archivist outpost. The letter was not a poem but rather a rough description of an undiscovered sea of rainbows. Soon after, more bottles were found across Horizon with notes about deeper oceans and their life. All of which were signed “Monomachos the Cursed” in deep crimson ink.

There was debate about how these bottles could have found their way up to Horizon from a seemingly deeper layer and whether Monomachos was still alive when the bottles arrived. The first mystery was solved when Beaconglass’ self-repairing properties were found. The bottles were all found to be made of Beaconglass, a material only found in Horizon. Somehow, the Beaconglass bottles were finding their way up Thalasso to recombine with their origins in Horizon. Even more peculiar was how Monomachos knew about this strange property. Regardless, the discovery was celebrated as it allowed for the simple transportation of physical information and the foundation of the Crystallineroad.1

The letters detailed seas yet to be found and more treasures hidden beneath the tides. Yet, Monomachos remained a distant figure of legend. The Archivists clung to anything that could lead to Monomachos or more of his notes. The bottles stopped arriving as quickly as they had shown up. Monomachos was, yet again, a mystery that slowly faded from all but the most devoted minds.

These “Hunters of Monomachos” spent their lives descending Thalasso searching for the legendary figure who gave them so much. All they had to go off of was legends twisted over the years. Tales of Monomachos ranged from twenty-foot-tall omens of death to wandering robots from long ago. No story could be trusted entirely, but all mentions of Monomachos had to be collected for clues about his whereabouts.

After years of searching, when the trail seemed to die, a small island within Impetus was discovered with a beached ship turned into a makeshift shelter. Inside the ramshackle home was a collection of journals written by Monomachos and a few cursed artifacts securely locked away. This was the jackpot for the Hunters of Monomachos, as the amount of information was astounding—entire hundred-page journals detailing Monomachos’ descent down Thalasso and his mental state.

Monomachos was finally more than a name. While he rarely wrote about himself directly, the pieces of his being slowly came together over the volumes and previously recovered information. Monomachos was once a burly man with a warming voice that could both comfort and command with ease. He stood as a bulwark against the onslaughts and as the spear that divided the enemy: a warrior and a caretaker wrapped in a bronze body.

However, Thalasso tore him apart.

Journals of the Cursed Man

The earliest chronological journal found belonging to Monomachos has its first entries started just before he would leave out to the sea on a job. This journal is unlike the other journals as it is in much better condition, made of good paper, and written using black ink. This led the hunters to believe that this first journal was the only one taken from outside Thalasso.

Entry 1:

My wife told me that the time apart would be a lot more bearable if I were to occupy my mind by writing. While I love her so much, she is not the brightest… how could she expect me not to write about her? I miss you already Adrienne. Your luscious golden hair like rays of light from the heavens! I miss you, Adrienne! This job will only be three months but to me, it will feel like thirty-thousand years! How can I remain calm when I don’t know how my angel is doing? How can I remain stalwart when I don’t know the safety of my love? How can I remain joyous when I don’t know whatever little thing my darling is dancing about?

This will be a long trip but I must keep my wits. I am the only man capable of the job. The wreck they found is deep and only the heavy suits can reach it. It will be easy once I get into the water. Just… the long mundane trip full of silence occasionally broken up by a stranger's attempt to lighten the mood. We know too well what lurks in the water. Many ships have been disappearing lately. My crewmates have families they left behind like I did. The only thing I can do is help around the ship, sleep, and write.

Entry 2:

This whole time, I’ve felt a sense of… death. The air feels putrid and the sea feels dead. No one else has seemingly felt this. I must just be getting seasick. Though, I am usually good about keeping my guts onboard.

I looked overboard for a moment and saw what looked to be an ensemble of stars glistening in the sky—at the center was my reflection but wearing the heavy diver dress. I could hardly believe my eyes. But, when I started to focus, the vision dissipated as if it was never there at all.

Maybe I really am sick.

Entry 3:

That was the worst storm I have ever been in even in my twenty-eight years at sea. There was nothing we could do to control the ship. We were at the mercy of the storm. The lightning crackled across the sea like a battlefield full of cannons. The winds picked up the ship as if it was merely a paper ship rather than a sturdy vessel. Even the captain was bewildered by the sight.

I tried to get everyone calm but it was hard to do so as I was just as crazed. This storm was truly angry. It was attacking us in particular with a vengeance. The storm hated us. I am sure of it.

Thankfully, we escaped its thundering grasp into calmer waters. The stars above shine much brighter out here. We all huddled together shivering around a fire quietly. Maybe it's because of the hardship we just endured. I could see the haunted faces of the young men. They felt like they were going to die. They felt like they would not return to their families.

I spoke up and comforted them. If we were going to make it out of this, we would need our sanity. I stood up as a shield and told stories from my past to them. While none of them spoke up during that time, I like to think I helped soothe some of their souls.

Entry 4:

They are all dead. It all happened so fast yet so slowly. We fell down the edge of the world. The cosmos was inviting our ship to join them but we fell down the falls. I could barely understand the sights I was seeing. There were monsters from legend consuming one another. The sea glistened a billion hues and danced like gravity had no control over it. A few of my crewmates fell off the ship and got dragged far into the horizon in seconds. This was not our world. This was a world without reason.

When we eventually landed at the bottom of the waterfall, we were not greeted by safer waters. Instead, a scarlet sea full of jagged stone rocks pulled us in. It was unlike anything I had seen before. The sea was like blood.

We could not pass the ring of stone that we landed in. Our ship was stuck on something beneath the water. We all knew what had to be done… especially me. I dawned the copper diving suit, readied my air tubes, and dove into the water. I had to. Beneath the water, I saw terror incarnate. Hundreds of ships and bodies scattered across a sea floor of bladed rocks. I turned to find what was keeping our ship from moving and was met face-to-face with a thousand-toothed smile. A large red eel had wrapped its tremendous body around the hull. It continued to smile as I punched it without thinking.

Blow after blow, it would not give up or attack back. It just stood smiling at me. I returned to the ship and explained the situation. We all tried to knock the eel away but could not. I was forced to go back in time after time to try something new against it. More nightmarish fish arrived to make things even worse.

Over the course of around four days, my crewmates fell—starvation, evisceration, and suicide. I was left alone still in my suit. The flesh of crimson fish and my allies caked the copper. I sat down and watched the black sky awaiting death. I cried out for my wife Adrienne. I wanted to see her one more time! But, death never came.

Entry 5:

Still here. I haven’t taken off the suit. I haven’t felt the need to. I can barely feel my body anyways.

The eel is still down there. Smiling.

Entry 6:

I don’t know how long it has been. I keep dozing off into the dark only to wake up to the same scarlet sea surroundings. The suit is getting lighter and easier to move around in. Why am I not dead?

I keep coming back to this journal every time I think of Adrienne’s words. Perhaps I am not dead because of the promise I made to her. I need to get out of here. But, to do that, I have to get the eel to release the ship.

The next time I wake up, I will break that eel.

Entry 7:

The eel is gone and I couldn’t be more upset. I dove back to meet the eel with a blade fashioned of bone. But, the eel was smiling even greater. As I lunged with my full might at the eel, it spoke to me… or directly into my mind.

“Monomachos. I can work with that!”

Its words hissed like fire in my mind. As it released the ship and sunk into the deep red sea, I felt the fog in my mind dissipate. Drifting attached to the ship, I felt a wave of emotions and feelings penetrate through my suit. I was cursed. Cursed to be alone. Cursed to fight. Cursed to live.

The copper suit was fused to my flesh painfully. I could feel my nerves grow into the seams of the suit—fusing metal and man. The tears in the suit healed like skin, and the dents in the helm popped back into place like bone. We are one.

Adrienne, I am coming back.

The first journal continued for dozens of entries detailing Monomacho’s pain while traversing Stonecrown. The ship would be torn apart along jagged rocks, forcing him to swim across the red waters. Despite this, the journal was not found to be wet. The hunters theorized that Monomachos had carried the journal and other vital supplies in a crate that he would guide along the surface. The bolder among the hunters think that the journal was cursed along with Monomachos to be undamageable so that its contents would never be forgotten. So Monomachos is eternally reminded of his failures and who he was before being cursed. The truth behind the journal's pristine condition is an unsolvable mystery with little importance. All that matters is that this exemplary dive into Monomacho’s past has remained preserved for us to find.

Entry 90:

I finally found other people in this horrible world! I was surfacing to get a grip of where I was in the new blue sea when I saw an island with smoke coming off of it. I swam over and found people dancing on a beach, playing drums, and enjoying each other’s company. They looked so happy that I almost forgot what I looked like and what I had just been through.

When I reached the beach, these strong-looking men pointed spears at me. Luckily, I was able to show I was not a threat by kneeling with my hands raised. They took me to a fortified structure inland. Inside the structure was a mountain of wealth and comfy-looking pillows. It was dazzling. An elderly woman sat in the room, and we had a chat. I say chat, but I could only communicate through writing. She was very friendly and understood my situation.

She allowed me to stay in the village if I would help the fishermen each day. While the shelter they gave me is not great, it certainly beats staying out in the elements. There is little to do here until “The Great Lighthouse shines,”… whatever that means. I am glad I can rest even if I don’t need it.

Entry 91:

That was an exciting day. I spent the day diving with giant nets to catch fish for the island. The islanders were initially scared of me, but now they seem to appreciate me. One of the guards from earlier slapped me on the back. Though, they immediately recoiled and washed their hand off. Sometimes, I forget I am in the suit. I haven’t gotten a good look at myself in a while. I am probably quite filthy after swimming through the scarlet sea.

The sun set, but I decided to explore the island. They called themselves the people of Webwall because of a legend they have. Supposedly, a great giant sea spider protected the island long ago from powerful waves by constructing a wall of webs. This place is quite peculiar.

I think the people here don’t have any good medicine. I keep hearing them cough through the night. It pains me to listen to their poor dry coughs. Maybe in the morning, I can try to find herbs or something that can help them. I need to pay them back for sheltering me.

Entry 92:

I couldn’t find anything to help them.

The elder took me to her home, and she told me things for hours. Humongous living islands, spirits of the sea, talking crabs, horrific curses, mysterious people who live inside giant fish, and tons of different oceans. These things seem like stories to most, but they are all real. I have seen so much here already. Just where am I? How can I escape? How can I break my curse? As I learned more from her, I got more questions.

The whole time she spoke, she looked pained. She looked like she would keel over and die at any moment. It was painful to watch, but I had to respect her for helping me and granting her wisdom. I really need to find something to help the islanders.

Entry 93:

The elder is dead. The island is dead—the air tastes of rotted flesh. I wandered the island that was once lively and loud. Inside the homes, families lie asleep forever. Everyone is dead. All is so quiet. Why did this happen?

They were so lively when I first arrived. Did I bring a sickness from a nearby sea to their small town? Am I the cause of all their deaths?

Why can’t I have anything good? Why am I here to suffer? Why, eel? Why did you curse me? What did I do to you? Why must I be alive while everyone else dies? I must find out. I must.

The other journals were made of various materials, such as leather, stone, and scales. The leather journals were heavily damaged and barely readable. The red ink could only be properly read when shined with a dark red light. These journals mostly detail Monomacho’s travels across the seas of Horizon.

The peculiar red ink that glows under dark red light has not been replicable, and its source is unknown. However, it does make sense that Monomachos would turn to some other ink source after he ran out of the black ink from Baseline. An interesting theory suggests the red ink to have been produced by Monomachos using his blood. Perhaps a curse turned his blood into red ink. In any case, the unique coloration and properties have made it much easier to determine whether documents are legitimate Monomachos writings or scams.

Entry 143:

I anchored along the shore of a massive crystal island. The rainbow coloration contrasted with the dull grey of the pebble stone water. This place looks promising. It is the only place of color within this rocky wasteland.

While circumventing the gemstone aisle, I saw people. I must be careful not to disturb or let them know I am here. I don’t want to ruin their lives like I did the people of Webwell. I should be able to avoid them if I move at night. Perhaps I should hide the ship too?

I need to get to work.

Entry 144:

I knew there was something important about this island. Last night’s expedition into the crystal mountains revealed something entombed deep below. I could barely see it, but I am sure of what I saw. Deep in the central crystal shard, a chest is suspended. Perhaps a Cursed Coffer? I couldn’t get a better look at it because the day started to break.

I was able to get to my ship tucked away safely. But, I fear one of the islanders saw me. I felt someone's eyes fall upon me through the translucent stones. I need to lay low for a bit.

Entry 145:

I failed and fell into a deep sleep again. Dammit, I failed. I failed. I can’t do that again.

When I awoke, I was strung with chains to a great stone at the center of a coastal village. I recognized this place as the village I was trying to avoid. The tribals were of many races and ages. It was clear they were a Crashlander tribe. They probably had a horror story about a haunted diver suit like mine. Crashlanders have an awful habit of misinterpreting fictional stories from their ancestors. Regardless, I had to get out of there. Who knows how long I had been chained? The curse had already seeped into the land. I could tell that they were doomed. All I could do was wait and watch as they all fell one by one. The elders fell to sudden illnesses. The adults soon after fought amongst themselves over many disputes to the death. Lastly, the children… they… no, I don’t need to write it down.

I struggled to break the chains, they wouldn’t give way. As days turned to weeks, I waited for nature to break the chains. Day after day, I remained bound, watching the scavengers pick away the islanders' bodies until nothing was left. Why couldn’t I go to sleep then? Why must I sleep when I do not want to?

Eighty-four days and nights after the last child died before me, one of the chains loosened enough for me to break out. I was able to get the rest of my body free with ease. I wandered on unsteady legs around the village, once full of life. As I searched for anything I could use on my voyage, I stumbled through their joyous memories—drawings upon stones, ornate clothes, and children’s toys.

I returned to my ship to find it broken beyond repair. So, I am writing this under the cover of some large crystals. Now that the people are gone… I can open the coffer and repair my ship.

The coffer under the crystals was found in the shack. It was indeed cursed at one point, but the curse was long gone by the time the hunters had found it—most likely transferred to Monomachos.

At this point, in chronological order, legends about Monomachos had been passed around. These original tales were much tamer than the corrupted versions the Hunters had to go off of before the journals. They describe Monomachos as a bulky deep-sea diver covered in corals and rust and with a caged helmet that harbored a sinister darkness. Anyone who spoke to the man would soon suffer an ill fate. The tales sometimes included closing lines supposedly said by Monomachos, such as “Run away while you can” and “Leave me be.”

Passed around the city of Pridescale is a notable tale that establishes the exact time Monomachos left Horizon for Impetus. During the 237th Litwalk event since the founding of Pridescale, several ships prepared to embark down the yearly fall into Impetus. Their heavy ships and crews had been preparing for the day for several years as the journey down is considerably perilous.

The 237th Litwalk? Of course, I heard the stories! My great great great great grandmother was there! She passed the story down through the years.

Right before the 237th Litwalk, as the embarkers were saying their goodbyes through tears and laughs, a wooden ship barely intact came out of the fog. The crews laughed at the flimsy boat, thinking it was an omen or perhaps someone's last-ditch effort to dissuade them not to leave. But, standing on the bowsprit like a hero from a children's tale was a bulky man in an ancient-looking diver suit. He stood staring off towards the location where the maw of the ocean would open up.

The crews figured it was either someone trying to kill themselves or a lunatic unaware of what they were doing. Still, they embarked to the lip of the maw, waiting for it to open. As the mouth opened with horrific screams, the diver dove straight off the ship into the mouth. The crews then navigated their boats down the chaotic descending waters and rivers to Impetus.

Legend has it that when the few surviving ships reached the bottom, the diver’s body was nowhere to be found.

— Pridescale resident

In Impetus’s seas, Monomachos suffered greatly. Most journal entries at this time detail Monomacho’s physical and mental pain. Eaten by giant beasts multiple times, shot hundreds of times, and put under many curses, Monomachos did not have much good to write about.

Entry 629:

The pain. Adrienne, please. Soothe the pain, Adrienne. Adrienne.

It's bubbling under the suit. Under the skin. It burns so much. The sea of fire is true to its name. The fire seeps through the cracks and burns me. Over and over. My scaled skin can’t keep out the heat. I am a living oven. Release me, eel! Adrienne! Please! God. It hurts.

Entry 630:

With this moment of coolness, I need to organize myself. While I can still write properly, I need to detail what lives beneath the fire so that others don’t have to experience the heat like me. I must.

Besides that, my arm is healing unexpectedly. I don’t know which curse and what is causing it. Perhaps the eel’s curse that fused me to the suit makes it repair itself slowly? I thought it was gone for good after that explosion. Though, knowing my luck, I wouldn’t be given that relief from life. I am here to experience all the pain.

The only redeeming quality of this sea is the lack of people. The fewer people around me, the better. I can't stand watching them die and leave behind their families. I feel the pain coming again, I need to go back down.

Entry 631:

My arm… no.. it is not mine. Its tentacles move on their own like snakes or kelp. I should really be more concerned about the sudden growth but I feel… comforted? The shadowy tentacles are alive like the beasts of the sea but they feel friendly. Perhaps this is a Graft like those Deepwalker documents described? I tried to pull them out but as soon as I did, a mind-numbing screech exploded into my brain. I nearly lost consciousness. I guess we are in this together.

I think I can leave this sea of fire now. There is nothing here that can help me. I think I saw some ruins beneath the waves that could lead to an exit. I need to decide what to bring with me. If only my vault could hold more…

The legends of Monomachos throughout Impetus seas do not resemble those of Horizons. Rather than a man of death, they describe a freak that trembles and talks as it trudges along coasts. “The Abyssal One” as they call him, was a name taken from Chamberkeeper tales of yore. Though, the similarities between The Abyssal One that birthed the Wateraiths and Monomachos are few and far. The parallel that caused Monomachos to gain the title was his singular large eye that shone a vermillion red through the night. The Abyssal One of old was said to have an eye that burned a bloody red like a star.

Sketches of Monomachos portray him in many different ways most likely due to his reclusive nature and the errors passed along with the stories spreading. Some describe him as a titan, others an insane Deepwalker. His clothes and body have no start or end as if they were one. Writhing tentacles burst through the suit grasping at anything that nears. Almost always covered in entrails and clinging barnacles. Indeed, a horrific sight.

The journals and tales from Impetus indicate that Monomachos stopped using boats and other marine vessels in favor of swimming through the seas. He only ever used boats as temporary camps to collect his thoughts and jot down information for his reports.

Entries 700 and beyond are all written on large scales in the same crimson ink. The scale’s bronze-gold coloration matches with sightings of Monomachos. This led to the conclusion that Monomachos started using his scales as paper to write his entries as he descended. The scales are extremely durable, thermal-change resistant, and waterproof—thus making them optimal for deep sea writing.

Entry 1532:

The silence of the deep sea. Oh, how marvelous. The silent life in the dark is just so spectacular. Their lights flash like a sunset, only to be quickly extinguished when they see me. Like a home whisking away the candles pretending to be dead. Their simple minds fail to realize that here in the dark, I am the master. I am the apex for I am the king.

The beasts that once terrified me are now nothing more than numbers or elements of the environment. I know their movements, their biology, and their mind. Yet, I do not give in to my slaughterous desires. I am not the monster here. I am just doing what I must do. I must. I must.

Entry 1533:

Ninety-two hours since I descended. The pressure is starting to affect me but I found what I was searching for. The carvings in the throne room pointed toward an extensive labyrinth designed to contain some great being. While the carving may have exaggerated the nature and biology of the beast, I still have to investigate it. If I am right, it is either a cursed being or a Sea Spirit.

I’m starting to get nervous. This is not like me. I wonder if this is an effect caused by whatever is down there. What is it Ambrus? Stop writing and deal with it.

Entry 1534:

Ambrus, continue writing. Oh, you already are? Carry on then.

I was attacked by an aggressive squid. It looked like it was considerably old based on its size and the wretched scars carved into its tentacles. I don’t think anyone or anything has been down here in a long time. I am surprised the squid could withstand this pressure. How could something of its size be able to live down here without any food? Perhaps it is like me. Cursed to live and fight alone forever. Maybe I freed it from its curse or maybe I just gave it another scar to wake up to. It's not my problem anymore. I must go deeper. I must. I must.

Entry 1535:

Seven-hundred-twenty hours since descent. I am stood before the gate. It is in strangely good condition given its age. The feeling in my stomach is not ignorable now. This is it. I am going to be rid of my curse soon. The beast is the answer. Ambrus, package the entries. This is it.

The Truth Found

This was the last recovered journal found in the shack. At first, the hunters thought their search was over. That Monomachos was finally freed from life. However, one hunter speculated about how the journals got to the shack. Some of the artifacts would be exceptionally hard to bring to the hut and would be pretty dangerous. Did the shelter belong to Monomachos? Who was Ambrus?

Years passed without answers. The artifacts were slowly lost or destroyed, and the shed was knocked into the sea. Thankfully, the journals were copied, and the originals were taken somewhere safe. It seemed that the Hunt for Monomachos was over. Once again, the trail was cold.

The Hunters of Monomachos compiled all their information and tediously transported it to the Sea of Skyscrapers of Horizon. While they knew they could never return, they trusted the hunters who stayed behind rather than dive for the hunt.

The hunters in Horizon organized the case and wrote their own stories about the man they had sought for decades. They even edited the journals of Monomachos for publication to spread. Some thought the journals to have been fiction created by a fanatic cult to spread their god, while others believed them to be the accurate ramblings of someone who descended. Regardless, Monomachos joined the list of legendary heroes spread throughout Thalasso. The tales of Monomachos as a monster bringing destruction were slowly dropped as the truth surfaced.

A startling discovery in Limelight reignited some of the hunters who wanted the thrill of the hunt once more. However, the truth of Monomachos the Cursed would soon be made abundantly clear and the hunt would be called off forever.

I saw him. The legend Monomachos who we have hunted for who knows how long now. Without a doubt, with his eye's scarlet glow and massive stature, that was him. I was pretty far from him in the crow’s nest, but I could still see how gigantic he was. He stood taller than the trees even when coiled in his massive bloody red serpent body. I had no idea he was so huge, but I guess living for thousands of years exploring the deepest reaches of the sea will do that to you.

He reminded me of that time I saw a Deepwalker as a child. Their submarine had surfaced so they could give some documents to our leader. They looked like aliens even when compared to the fish of the ocean. One had a serpent body like Monomachos, but she was much smaller than him. While Monomachos looked like a Deepwalker at first, I soon felt like I was looking at something… more twisted. He wasn’t the result of meticulous genetic engineering. No, he was tragic. I felt deep sadness and disgust as I watched him pluck life from the ground and dissect it with his claws. It was like watching a scientist or robot unthinkingly take life away.

I thought I would be excited to see the man I’d hunted my whole life finally. Yet, I am not happy. I feel a lot of things even now. Sad, scared, angry, and empty. I sometimes dreamed of living forever, but now, I don’t want to live at all. I witnessed firsthand what millennia of life does to you. I can’t decide if Monomachos is an affront to humanity or a tragic tale. Maybe he is both. What I do know is Monomachos the Hero, is not here. He died long ago.

Ever since we saw him, misfortune has followed us. Minor things at first but over time it got worse. Most of us are dead. I am writing this through shaky hands. I have some sort of sickness and can't see properly. Is this what happens when you go searching for answers for questions that shouldn't be answered? If this is a curse, I can't imagine how he has suffered through this for thousands of years.

Please, don't go looking for him. Call the hunt off. He is gone.

— Kapn, Hunter of Monomachos


A depiction of Monomachos the Cursed.

A few more reported sightings of Monomachos would surface in the coming years. Each of which detailed a monstrous being more beast than man. His diving suit was bursting at the seams with tentacles, corals, and growths. His helmet caged a vibrant scarlet light like a sun. In place of his left arm, a writhing creature of tentacles groping anything nearby to take apart and writing along his scales. His right arm looked like it could have belonged to an ancient giant crab with its massive pincers. But, most peculiar was his lower body, which took on a form like a slithering red eel.

What life around him that didn’t instantly wither would be plucked by his tentacles and disassembled cleanly and efficiently. He would be spotted only for brief moments before diving into the sea. Yet, a quick look was enough for most to lose their minds. Most likely a curse, whenever someone saw Monomachos, they would suffer a barrage of mental attacks as if being attacked by one of Thalasso's mind eating beasts. Flashing images, hallucinations, headaches, and mood swings were the most common. In rare cases, the observers instantly died.

Something awful happened to Monomachos between his last journal entry and the sightings. Whatever was behind the door in the depths that he thought would break his curse must have broken him or at least pushed him down a terrible path. Though, it is also likely the many curses he suffered on his quest turned him into a monster. A few believe that Monomachos was always a monster but was hiding under a mask in his writing.

Among the cargo of an Aerowhale trade ship, the latest journal entry of Monomachos was discovered. These final words of Monomachos were the nail in the coffin for the last hunters. Monomachos was gone.

Entry 12750:

Limelight has yet to prove itself helpful in countering the curse. The spirits do not approach me. The curses here have a negligible effect on me. I will continue to dive. I will not stop. My mind is full. I must make space. Emotions have too much weight in the mind. I must purge them. I must break the curse.

I am currently analyzing Gravewater. There are many spirits here, but they flee when I approach. I must find out why. I must catch them. I must learn. They cursed me. They must be able to break my curse. I must break my curse. I must. I must. I must.

Entry 12751:

Humans saw me. Their emotions took control of their feeble bodies. Their screams disturbed the fish I was analyzing. I must find a new sample. I must. I must. The humans had blood like those I found in my old shelter within Impetus. Descendants, most likely. Why do they still follow me? Have I not given enough reasons for them to stop? I must find out why. I must find out. I must. I must. I must.

I must follow them. Dissect them slowly from a distance to learn their minds. Their biology is useless, but their knowledge is valuable. The pooled knowledge of hundreds is bound to have something of use among the wasted space. Perhaps they will know how to break my curse. I must find out. I must. I must. I must. I must.

Entry 12752:

Their thoughts are mostly useless. I only found three puzzling pieces that I must explore. I must. I must. I must.

There is another layer that I still need to explore. The layer is shrouded in mystery as no one has ventured into its depths. Yet, the seas down there do exist. I have felt their presence. Something is down there speaking into my mind. I must find it. I must. I must.

The other piece I must explore is a being who is the answer to many questions. They have the power to pull people towards them. They have captivated people for hundreds of years. Their letters were full of information that would be hard to get as a human. Monomachos is someone I must find. I must find him. I must know. I must. I must.

Another person of interest is someone named Adrienne. The name triggered a response in my body, and my mind tried to picture her. I must find out why. I must. I must. She must be the one who cursed me in the beginning. I must find her. I must. I must break free of my curse. I must find Adrienne. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must. I must.

When the first letter was found, no one expected where the road would lead. The long hunt for a single man through the endless seas of Thalasso was full of ups and downs. Many lives were given up in pursuit of the legend. A man of inspiration that was both the bulwark and the spear. A poet writing to his wife. An explorer going where no one else could. A cursed man giving his all to break free. A legend who invoked fear and joy. An omen of death. A man. A monster. Monomachos will never be forgotten.

My father and his father before him both hunted Monomachos. It drove their lives. They died on the hunt leaving behind families. They left me behind. If I ever reunite with them in some other world or afterlife, I don't think I will have the heart to tell them what they were chasing. Some questions are better left unanswered. Some masks are better left on. Some heroes are better left fiction. It is time I close the book once and for all.

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