As we ascended the mount, so decreased the density of life giving substance, and so increased the many substances of immateriality.
As I later came to realize, any one of us might have recognized this from the earliest ledges, and seen that only the ground itself had been hospitable -- that it was only the forests, rivers, and lands themselves that offered any substantial aspects of being. Or at least, any one of us might have been able to recognize this if able to look backwards. In such a manner however, we were not taught the art of scaling.
Instead, all sights peered forward, and the manifest reality of the ground, which had by way of unnatural increase cast its material shadow upwards, made hard this dark palisade. In truth, it was only near the base of the mount that the hue of the rock obtained. The shade of the rising mount then continued as something not quite so simple as gray, upwardly approaching something not so obvious as crimson.
The highest projection recalled in its tone those oracular flames which consumed the burning enthusiasts of Pythia. Here was that same fury, which we ourselves made and approached. Presently we chose to disremember such histories, and regarded it by a different name, though it remained as one. Master and Mistress of the inverted mount, host and hostess of the frozen blaze: Cocytus.
Though it was early of the day, the hours soon began to harden, and we strengthened our pace. As we surged impulsively toward the scarlet peaks, the lowest scarps quickly drew blood from our grips. In our mindless condition this served not as a warning, but provoked us to climb ever faster, as so many clambering bloodhounds.
The higher we climbed, the greater the number of collapsed passes and broken ridges that lay across our paths. My own work was such that the higher my ascent, the more savage became all aspects of the heights around me. Before long my reason was put to onus, and it was only by modesty of effort that I evaded the caverns below.
The caverns; those narrow fissures, shining with reverse brilliance, beguiling the bold and aloof into descent and abyss. Indeed, one may easily see with an inward eye their shining fables are merely the sparkling artifice of rocky chains pressed in on all sides, contorted under the weight of ancient phenomena and primal artefacts.
My bodily escape notwithstanding, those same ancient pressures weighed no less heavily on my spirit, and therein was I subject to an internal decompression. Stopping momentarily to reflect on the fissures, I suddenly discovered my circumstance was more precarious than could previously be understood. Here it was that instead of finding sure footing, the ledge beneath my feet began to crack, and was ultimately destroyed.
Through such a destruction was the false nature of the beastly mount revealed, and thus I discovered I hung in the air not by a secure grasp of the firmament, but only by clasping at the hairy flanks of the dark master himself.
Here began the second leg of my journey.
Part of the series: Zwingli