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Holder of Understanding

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In any city, in any country, travel to a guidance center or another place where you may receive counseling. Any place will work, but it is better to pick one as far as possible from the places at which you have met other Holders. It is advisable to wait at least a week after contact with another Holder before trying this, for this particular Holder has no love for the others.

If, however, he does detect the stench of the others on you, he will place his mark on you. You will henceforth be identified to every Seeker you come across, and they will all attempt to take your Objects from you, or kill you if you have none. However, some consider this to be an advantage in that you may not necessarily lose such an encounter.

Once you are there, approach the attendant or secretary and ask to see the ‘Holder of Understanding’. None shall be denied entry to this place except for two reasons.

If, in your life, you have ever given advice which is insincere, or given advice that secretly furthers your own agenda, it is unwise to approach this Holder. Instead, you must seek forgiveness from all those who you have deceived. If somebody denies you forgiveness then you will not be able to seek the Holder of Understanding until that person dies.

If, however, you have not violated this condition, or the other, then the attendant will nod and ask you to a take a seat. An unspecified amount of time will pass.

If you become impatient, or wish to leave, do so, with the knowledge that this Holder values patience and that you will not be given another chance to seek him. As you wait you may still grow hungry, thirsty and experience any other bodily urges, except none of them will kill you or grow stronger than a constant irritation.

After a length of time, which can range from seconds to days, somebody will enter from an adjoining room. This person – which is, of course, the Holder – will have the guise that is most calming and reassuring to you, but do not be fooled by it.

Error in his domain thus far has not resulted in death or agony, and there is a reason for it – this Holder considers himself above such overt measures, and seeks to distinguish himself from his brethren. Be warned, however – there are far, far worse punishments than insanity, death and pain, and this Holder knows them all.

The Holder will greet you warmly and beckon you inside the room. Follow him quickly and in an orderly fashion. Once you follow him inside, the door behind you will close. Do not attempt to leave until after this is over. Wait for him to sit. He will invite you to sit on the comfortable-looking chair opposite his. Once you are both seated, then it will begin.

One at a time, every person you have ever ignored, ever turned a blind eye towards and ever refused them in their time of need will enter. You will experience their suffering, their anguish and their pain, just as you did the first time, except with a difference – now you will feel it, and more importantly, you will understand what you cost them with your heartlessness.

Some of them may attack you. The pain you will fill is what they felt, and you will suffer the physical wounds they suffered, the ones that you were blissfully ignorant to, but the ones you caused. Others will relate their emotional torment to you, and soon you will sink into misery and agony at the weight of their torment. All their sadness, their anguish, their despair will be placed onto you.

At the end of the ordeal, the person you have hurt the most will appear. If you still do not understand the agony that you have caused through your life, behind them the Holder will sigh, hand your victim a dagger, and they will be given the power of your salvation or damnation. If you are lucky, the capacity for understanding – and thus, forgiveness – will be with your victim, and they will spare you. Otherwise, you will die by a stab to the heart.

However, if you understand the pain you have caused, but you do not care, the Holder will banish your victim and assume his true form. You may attempt to battle him if you dare, with whatever objects you have concealed from his sharp senses. It is an extremely difficult fight, and there is only a slight chance of you winning. If you do, you may take the Object from his corpse, but beware – most of the other Holders fear this particular Holder, and now they fear you. Never again will you go unnoticed by them, even if you cease your quest.

But, should you fully understand the terrible things you have done, both covertly and overtly, the Holder will send the last person away, then smile at you. This is your signal. You must tell the Holder of everything. All the suffering, the pain, the agony you have both caused and gone through in your life, ending with the pain caused to you and the pain that you, in turn, caused to others, through this quest. Do not worry, for you have passed his test, and no harm will come to you.

At the end of your tale, you must stand and ask the Holder this: “Do you understand?”

If he shakes his head sadly, you will wake up in your bed, without any memory of the Objects or your quest. Never again will you encounter them.

If he nods, you are free to leave. However, you will not receive his Object.

If he asks, “Do you?” you must step forward and embrace him. Try not to show repulsion at his touch, for his illusionary form does not extend that far.

Holder of understanding

Then, he will take a custom-made black revolver from his pocket and hand it to you. Inscribed on the barrel are the words “The Widowmaker.” The gun holds any bullet, and it is indeed a formidable ally. This Holder understands what you have been through, and he is also your ally. In your time of need, neither he nor his gun will fail you. You may only call upon him once.

The Widowmaker is Object 186 of 538. Now that you understand the price of your actions, there is no choice of your devotion to your cause. To recant now is an insult to all those who you came across.

There is one last thing.

The other condition for entry is that you must never have visited the one who rides on horseback. The Holder of Understanding and that particular Holder has a long history. However, if you take the Widowmaker with you when visiting the rider, you may yet obtain his Object.

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