... and to all those who are posting after this.
Whether you stepped down the pristine steps and entered the abyss laying at the bottom normally, or dived from the top into the center in a showmanship of bravery or foolishness...
You were swallowed.
Not figuratively either, as it felt like they were being squeezed through a slimy esophagus. You would sink and drown as the darkness consumed you, yanked into the very depths of an ocean incomprehensible in size. Those with 'sin' would find the weapons latched to them acting like anchors, dragging them even more violently through the blackness. You would be unable to properly move as you fell further and further from the glimmering light above, left with only a flimsy 'charm' to spare you from the absolute horrors. The Nightmare felt vast and empty, yet teeming and congested at the same. Voices can be heard calling to those passing through, screaming profanities, sobbing confessions, and utterances of dark secrets in a loop that played in perennial. As though the nightmare they had come from never ceased. But the presences, the eyes that lurked beyond gazed upon you with hatred, with utter disgust. But also of fear. They would not dare touch you, though they swam and stalked from the black nether, circling and bobbing like a frenzy of sharks around a fresh cage. Among the voices were garbles and bizarre gurgling utterances, the void shuddering like gigantic pulsing waves. These were the most maddened thoughts pertaining this asylum of monsters, reaching you from the far-flung, but unable to grasp upon your little soul. If you listened to the Goddess, you would be spared this horrifying experience, bearing the nightmare and waking up thinking just that.
"It was only a nightmare..."
But those who chose to look out, lured by fear or curiosity, were met with something far darker. These muted experiences belong only to them, and to those unfortunate enough to hear their stories.
Chapter 01- The Sanctuary of Forlorn:
You awaken, among those already recovered and those who have not, feeling an aching pain and the terrible 'nightmare' you had been left with. Your quickly find your weaponized 'sin' still connected to you. The grotesque forms were stood upright in the murky cobblestone beside their sleeping owners, almost as though they had been waiting.
A familiar sight welcomes you, though it was rather difficult to pertain for sure. The grand Atrium that you had just departed, or rather, what remains of it, surrounds you once again on all sides. The stark and foreboding red glow from the dying star was gone, but it was up for debate whether this brooding atmosphere was any better. The interior has long aged and become worn over what appears to be whole ages, many of the etchings and artsmanship completely lost now to overgrown moss and grime. Numerous stones in the walls have fallen out, and even more pillars have cracked and fallen, leaving you a cautious feeling of the integrity of it all. Waste litters the floor, swamping the once-cozy furnishings. A thin layer of murky slime runs among it all, filled with debris of old books and tombs, the pages and covers long deteriorated and rotten. The ends of the massive chamber spreads far out into the dimness, leading to a great many passages, as they also did in the 'Dream'. Though many of them are now crumbled and lost, closed away forever. There appears to be only about four that were currently accessible, out of the dozen, each pointing to a cardinal direction. There was actually a fifth, in fact, but slipping though the crack at the bottom of the rubble would require some effort. There were a few faint lights at the ends of the North and South ends, probably providing you with the dim vision to make all of these observations in the first place.
About the only major difference than this place from what it appeared in the 'Dream' was the stairway you find yourselves scattered around, eerily dissimilar to the one you descended. This time, the ornate frame wound upwards, not down. Though much like the ruins, it too has fallen into disarray. The steps, from those that remained, and guided railings pierce into the ceiling, which slopes into a point many times above you, leading into an unknown lost to the dim lights.
If what the Goddess said was true, this was what the 'Dream' was derived from, but so much has changed that what now lay beyond was a mystery. Not that you had much chance to see much of the previous version anyway.
You are left in the darkness now, the only sounds being the voices of your companions hushed muttering, and the quiet stirring of those yet to wake. What do you do?