Our lord works in mysterious ways, it is said by many and while I may not have considered myself a devout worshiper of a particular faith, I know in my heart and soul there is a god above in the heavens watching down on us and rewarding those who do right and just.
And yet when I was formally admitted into the Conclave, what little faith I had was strongly tested; one might even say shredded. I know not what remains, but what I have learned from those in the Conclave, as well as my own studies, has led me to wonder and question everything in this world that I have either taken for granted as part of the reality we live in, or that adheres to the robust laws and theories of science and matter that governs life in our everyday, whether we be a small ant scurrying along the ground, or a mighty whale traveling the great oceans, or a man who thought he had a good grasping of life. And that is changed now and things will never be the same.
At this moment of this introduction, I am instructed by the Conclave to let the reader of this book know that I am putting together this anthology; this collection of the most unique stories I have ever been allowed to read and enjoy, with the approval and sanction of the Conclave. There is to only be one copy of this book in all existence and it is to remain within the Conclave for all time; to aid those that are brought into the Conclave; to educate them in this new reality that the Conclave not only believes but wholly and completely stands by.
As for who I am, the author of this introduction, I am little more than a scholar who specializes in translating works. I am well versed in five languages of old, including Latin, Greek, Sumerian, Aramaic, and Hieroglyphics. I only considered myself proficient in Latin and Greek until the Conclave brought me into their confidence and comforting embrace and since then . . . well, as you can see, I have gained an impressive knowledge that not many I believe on this Earth possess. There are others like me: well versed and fluent in other rare and old languages decreed forgotten and obsolete by the general masses. I would not be surprised to learn the Conclave houses the greatest grouping of scholars on the entire globe. But enough self-aggrandizing, it is time to move on with what and who the Conclave is and to explain why and how this book exists and its purpose and importance, not just fo the Conclave and its members, but also for other people not just of the present but perhaps, more importantly, of the future.
According to our records, housed in a secret location for obvious reasons, the Conclave has been in existence for over three thousand years. There are some sources, crumbling and fragile with age, that purport we have been around since before the written word; since the time before farming and sedentary life, and the world of towns and hamlets; before humanity began to settle down with the development of agriculture, and still traveled the world as nomadic roaming bands. We know this because that is when one of our first narratives originates, we believe, to the best of our scholarly and research abilities. You will find that account in this collection, and even though chronologically it should perhaps appear at the very beginning of the Ostium Sagas, it appears – in time, so to speak – when it was discovered through diligent foraging and search and the painstaking work in translating it from whatever sort of language was spoken a number of millennia ago; what they call an Indo-European language, though little to nothing is known about it; that is outside the Conclave. Within the Conclave, while I will purport it to be an exact and perhaps even thorough translation; it is nevertheless a faithful one that we believe comes as close to the original as we are able to achieve at this time.
A story told in an ancient, dead language. You may recall my own language specialties, yes, there are narratives in this tome translated from those languages also. Originating from many different times, spanning a large number of centuries. I am careful to call them narratives and not simply stories because they are taken from real people we believe, to the best of our research and reckonings. Much like the sagas of Iceland and Scandinavia are purported to be, and even the embellished and apocryphal tales from the medieval period such as Beowulf, the Song of Roland, and even the myth of the legendary King Arthur. At the root of all these stories is a real person, a real life lived. It is the Conclave’s job to tease out and reveal these tales, these narratives through whatever means necessary.
And yet the stories within this tome we believe go one step further in being the story from a once living person, because each of them contain a number of similarities; words and phrases, and even ideologies that link together, and they all hint at something far greater going on that we can barely begin to make wild assumptions about; much like the metaphor of the iceberg, with a small part appearing above the surface and beneath the icy waters there is a much larger tale taking place that we know next to nothing about.
One word that is common to all these stories is a simple one: Ostium. Hence, the Ostium Sagas. How I feel compelled to launch into a lengthy diatribe on what Ostium might be and whether its many references throughout these narratives are to be fully believed. But is that not a tenet of the Conclave? To have faith, like so many do in the lord above. Faith that these special people from all these different times spent their own time in writing these words. What is the alternative? That this is all some magnanimous fabrication? A ripping lengthy yarn for entertainment value, akin to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales or Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
I have faith, as we all do in the Conclave. There is of course room for some doubt, for that is healthy; both good and stimulating for the spirit. And what better way to foster discourse and debate, what the Conclave has been conducting for many centuries, as it works at translating and preserving these unique narratives.
Very well. I believe I have succeeded in my intention with this introduction and conveyed the message the Conclave wished me to make to the best of my ability. The reader will simply have to discover for themselves what the meanings are of these stories of truth and what sort of place this Ostium truly is. Know that you are not alone, however outlandish and seemingly impossible your ideas and theories may be.
One final note I should like to make is that in compiling this anthology, where I am able, I have included author’s notes and details to elucidate any points made or provide details that have been discovered through the Conclave’s scholarly endeavors that were not apparent in the translated text. At the conclusion of each narrative I will also make an endnote of the history of its discovery, explanation, translation, and anything else that may be deemed useful in pertaining to the particular narrative.
And, if you will permit me, for you are about to embark upon a literary journey you have never ever taken before in your life, and likely never will, I present to you . . . the Ostium Sagas.
Tread slowly and carefully and trust in the Conclave, and in so doing, you will be rewarded in your continued discoveries.
Fare the well, traveler of the future.