Yes, I know that was a bit dramatic: opening the huge and curiosity-inducing tome known as the Ostium Sagas and then leaving you there with nothing further. But it wasn’t intended to be dramatic or cliffhangerry, it was just the right place to stop, honestly. I’d been going on for some time and this was a good and natural stopping point.
And that’s because there was a bunch of writing on the inside cover and facing page of the book. Actual writing with a pen by whoever had been reading this book and had it in their possession, presumably. They’d chosen to do this; for a strong reason.
There’s more of the same writing on the next couple of pages and then there’s two blank pages, left and right, and after that are actual printed words. No copyright information or date explaining how or when this book was published, just a printed page with the title of INTRODUCTION, yes, the one one I mentioned earlier in my “Introintroduction.” That is the introduction by the author of this book. But now I’m going to read aloud what the former owner of this book wrote in blue ink starting on the inside cover. They did not give a title or date but just started writing and this is what they wrote:
To whomever has discovered this unique tome, understand that I am almost certain it is the only one of its kind in the entire universe. Yes, the universe. If you are of or are familiar with the Ostium Network, then you understand that I speak the truth. If you know not of the secret town of Ostium nor the Ostium Network, then I think it prudent you return this tome from whence you found it and never think on it again. What lies within these pages is not for you nor will you fully comprehend its words and meanings. To try to learn and understand when you are not fully trained can lead to severe damage. To you, to your loved ones and friends, and to the very world you live, no matter the time in existence nor the location within the universe. You know not of these utterances and stories and do best to avoid them.
For those who are trained and think yourselves ready and prepared for what lies within these forthcoming pages, also know that you are not ready. You are not prepared. Nevertheless, I will, to the best of my abilities, get you ready and prepared. So read closely and carefully at the words I am about to scribble down before you truly begin your reading of the Ostium Sagas.
You must be wondering how this seemingly miraculous book came into my possession, and that in itself is quite the tale to tell, and I have nowhere else to tell it but here. For my story and the stories within are to be kept hidden and secret from those in charge and control of the Ostium Network, most especially Him at the very top of the Rock. You know whom I speak of. If they were to discover these words, it would lead to far worse destruction than has already been both conducted and permitted. All irreversible. So do your very best to keep this tome and its sacred words between you and me and the few you trust utmost. Only then will the many lives that have been sacrificed and wasted in the name of the Ostium Network not have been foolishly and pointlessly snuffed out in vain.
You will understand then why I will not identify myself, with the crucial need for the aforementioned secrecy.
I came across this tome in the year 1756 of the common calendar. Yes, I am sure you must find this quite shocking, and I do not mean to be dramatic, but it is very important you, dear reader, understand the scope and ramifications of this very special book. I came across it during my third excursion to Ostium and through the door to the middle of the eighteenth century in a small church located within the mountains of the Pyrenees where the countries of Spain and France are joined. Why I was in that region on that date will not be explained here for it may simply provide more evidence to discern my identity which I will not grant, especially, Heaven forbid, if the Ostium Sagas were to somehow end up under the scrutiny of the wrong eyes.
I had been traveling with a small group of people from France into Spain and maintaining my incognito status as a storyteller of the times and not a person from the 22nd century. One of our group spotted the church and wished to travel there to pray for our continued safety and wellness on our journey. We were all in agreement on this and made a speedy sojourn to the ancient looking church. It appeared to have seen better days, barely standing the ravages of time and weather. But, nevertheless, it still remained standing and was therefore still a functional place of worship. We each knelt on the rough, worn pews and prayed, and as heads were bowed, I took my opportunity to study the insides of this derelict building. I couldn’t help marveling at its age. How many sights and changes and upheavals had this minor house of god paid witness to? The renaissance? The Black Plague? The Hundred Years War? The Moorish conquest of Spain? Had Charlemagne the Great stopped and prayed here, just as my compatriots were right now, almost a thousand years ago?
Prayers were soon over but we all elected to rest for a while and eat. I chose to investigate the church further and it soon became clear there was no one else here and the place had likely not seen a visitor in some time. Other than the pews, it seemed everything had been either damaged or ransacked or both to some degree. A priest had not given a sermon here in who knew how long. And any item of value or worth was long gone. Nevertheless, I was still curious, to be walking in a relic such as this place was. I searched the cupboards and storage chests, but there was nothing whole; what remained was broken and in pieces. And yet in one particular storage chest, after examining a piece of broken pottery that bore the colorful depiction of the resurrection, or at least a small part of it, I dropped it back in the chest and noticed a hollow sound. Deeper than one would expect for a solidly built article of furniture. I then proceeded to remove all the broken articles within the chest and examine its floor further. I pushed on each corner and then on the left side, and the right elevated a little, leaving a space wide enough to get my fingers around. Before lifting, I looked about me to make sure I was not being observed. Then I lifted the false bottom of the chest and beneath found the book you now hold in your hands. It had not seen the light of day in some time. Covered with dust and grime and neglect. And yet when I cleared the dirt from the soiled cover and was finally able to read the two words that had revealed themselves to me . . . OSTIUM SAGAS . . . my jaw literally dropped. Of all the possible permutations of time and space and reality, to come across this particular word on the cover of a hidden book here of all places. It seemed impossible. Unconscionable. And yet, here it was. Of course, I was fully aware of the word’s existence before the creation of the Network or that very special town. So I began looking through its pages and as I began to read the author’s words in their introduction, I soon had my suspicions confirmed. Just as you will when you start reading this incredible text.
I secreted the book upon my person and closed the chest. When asked by my compatriots if I had found anything of interest, I said other than a handful of broken items that were probably once quite beautiful and perhaps even valuable, there was nothing of any use to anyone. We continued on our journey and I completed my mission for the Ostium Network and then eventually returned to the town of Ostium. There I hid the book under the mattress of the bed in one of the rooms behind door number one. Then a week later, at the behest of a favor from a good friend I trusted who was working the Inception Chamber, I was able to get back to the town and retrieve that book and return to the Ostium Network without the bigwigs being any the wiser.
And then I read this incredible book from cover to cover; a little of it each night before I went to bed. And then I read it again. And again. And again. Each time I learned and discovered something new and fascinating that I had missed during the previous reading. And how I wish I could share my thoughts and theories with whomever is reading these words at this moment, but alas, much like the ghosts who visited one Jacob Marley, my time grows short, as does my space in the opening pages of this very special book.
Therefore, I leave you with these final words. This is a book of people’s lives who were thought lost, and explained away as acceptable casualties. Yet these people continued on and lived their lives, and kept going. As far as I know, no lives have been lost in the keeping of this book. And it remains of the utmost importance, nay, it is tantamount, that this book continues to end up in the right hands, with the right people, and that the stories of these unique people’s lives continue to be told and shared. Only in that way will this all not have been done in vain.
Okay, let me explain the title right from the get go, because that’s probably what you’re most confused about at the moment. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of other questions about the name and who the hell I am, but let me just clear up that one detail right from the beginning.
It’s called an “Introintroduction” because once I’ve given this . . . my introintroduction, there’s going to be an actual introduction at some point in another person’s words but in my voice and I couldn’t very well just start reading that person’s words aloud and expect the listener to understand what the the hell is going on without explaining myself a bit first. And because when I do get to reading that person’s words, the first section is literally called the “Introduction,” I had to come up with something decent and witty to call it, and after thinking on it for a bloody long time, and when my head started to really hurt, I decided why bother complicating things further. Why not just make it easy and obvious and I came up with a completely new word that I’m not sure anyone has actually ever used before . . . hence “Introintroduction.”
Okay, now to answer your next question: who the hell am I? Well, if you don’t recognize my scintillating British accent and aren’t familiar with Ostium or the the Ostium Network, well then, I’m not really sure how you came across these recordings; or if you know of my earlier recordings or the Enigmatic Mysteries of the Unknown, or Jake’s Ostium recordings, or even mum’s for that matter. Anyway, enough waffling on, I’ll just do a quick self intro. My name’s Steve Chase. Monica Chase is my mum and Jake Fisher in addition to being my mate is . . . well, he’s Jake Bloody Fisher. Trust me. He’s the apparent lynchpin to this whole Ostium Network thing, though none of us – including himself – fully understand how yet. You see Ostium is a very strange town where there are no people and lots of doors, and those doors take you to different places in space and time, so long as you do it in the right order. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out the Ostium recordings of one Jake Fisher. Everything will make more sense then if you’re still confused. And so the Ostium Network is the creator of the town of Ostium and it’s what was once the city of Gibraltar and is now its own island in another dimension. I know, it’s a lot to take in. Again, check out the recordings and I won’t say everything will make sense, but you’ll at least understand things a lot better. And so the Ostium Network is where I’m currently residing with a fantastic AI named Zhang and a sorceress of the Circe, named Thyra, and for her story you’ll want to check her recordings. They’re even helping her get her magical abilities back, somehow. Yeah, I know, pretty cushty isn’t it?
So what does that have to do with the price of bread? Well, give me a bloody minute and I’ll explain it to you. You see I found a book, a very special book by the looks of it, called the Ostium Sagas.
Pause for dramatic emphasis. And . . . dum, dum, dummmm.
It was on a random day at a random time after a very satisfying lunch that I began another jaunt through the Ostium Network. Being the city of Gibraltar, I don’t need to convey the fact that this is a very big place, especially for one person to be searching . . . door by door . . .
Did you see what I did there?
About the doors?
A blatant Ostium reference?
Well, if you didn’t, sod you then!
Anyway, I was searching through one of the residential sections, going through the houses. Not looking for anything specific necessarily, but lots of belongings had been left and none of these people would be returning anytime soon to claim them. And one of the houses led me to the basement after I’d thoroughly checked every other room in the abode. My house doesn’t have a basement, but some of these apparently do, like this one. So I was definitely a little curious and excited to see what I would find. And then was promptly disappointed to discover shelving racks with lots of boxes of old clothes and knick knacks and personal items that were all pretty mundane. But as I said, I had to be thorough. To be a hundred percent sure I didn’t miss anything. So it meant taking every box off the shelves and going through them all one by one. I decided I’d put them all back up once I’d gone through all of them. If I’d put each one back up immediately after going through it I definitely wouldn’t have noticed the slightly different looking spot on the wall.
It was an ordinary looking wall, as wall standards go, with shelving covering it up. But in one spot down low to the ground over on the far left was a lighter spot. The color looked the same – the color of the paint on the wall that is – but this one spot looked just a little bit lighter. Again, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all if I hadn’t taken down all the boxes and seen it completely bare. So then I went to investigate. Up close it was really hard to see if there was any difference but this one spot. I actually had to walk back to the place I’d been in before just to make sure I was looking in the right place, and then retrace my steps. That’s how minor the difference was. I couldn’t help reaching out and touching it. My balance was off as I crouched down to do this and I felt myself falling forward and my hand pressed on the wall in that one spot . . . and pushed into it. Apparently, I’d found a hidden panel. There was a clunking sound of something unlocking behind me. I turned around and didn’t see anything different. Of course, the floor was covered in boxes. So I started putting them all back on the shelves as quickly as I could and then I saw the part of the floor that was now sticking up. A square panel that definitely hadn’t been visible before.
I carefully lifted it up and a piece of the floor came away to reveal a wooden box beneath. The box came out of the hole in the floor and I couldn’t help letting out a sigh of relief when I saw there wasn’t a lock on the box. And then I asked Zhang, the AI, if they knew anything about this, and they said they were completely unaware of the existence of this book and of the hidden mechanism in the wall, or the panel in the floor. They told me about the person who lived in the house, who was a cleaner for the Ostium Network. So nothing special then. What was this person doing with this box? And more importantly, what the hell was in the box?
And because there was no locking mechanism, I didn’t waste any time finding out. I took a deep breath and then lifted up the lid [CREAKING SOUND]. Okay, that hadn’t been done in a while apparently. And inside was this big old book. How exciting! I wrapped my hands around it and lifted the book out of the box. It was really big and bloody heavy. And really thick too. There must’ve been thousands of pages. I couldn’t see if there was anything on the cover because it was all covered with dust. Another deep breath and some strong blowing later and the room was now pretty dusty but I could see the thick dark brown leather cover. And two words scorched into it: OSTIUM SAGAS. In big black capital letters. I ran my finger over the words and could feel the roughness and scarring that had been caused when it had been singed into the former animal’s flesh.
Then I opened the cover [LEATHER CREAKING SOUND].
Hey everyone, Alex C. Telander here; creator and writer for Ostium. And it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Ostium Podcast is now officially part of the Rusty Quill Network. When they got in touch with me over a year ago and we began talking, it didn’t take me long to know this would be the beginning of a beautiful partnership and friendship. Rusty Quill aligns with Team Ostium in values and representation, and we’re honored to be included with all these wonderful shows on the Rusty Quill Network.
What does this mean for the Ostium Podcast? Well, nothing is really going to change. We’re still going to be making the show in exactly the same way we have for the last five years, and Rusty Quill will be helping with hosting and promotion and getting Ostium into more people’s ears.
And I would just like to welcome our new Rusty Quill listeners. You’ve got five seasons of Ostium to enjoy, plus a bunch of bonus material. And we’re working hard on season six right now which we’re hoping to get released later this year. But I also have something else in the works to keep everyone entertained coming late summer if season six isn’t ready yet. I came up with an idea for a miniseries that’s now turned into a potential long-running bonus series called the Ostium Sagas. So that’s something to look forward to later this year.
And just a quick mention of our Patreon, where you now get access to the Ostium Sagas, as well as a lot of bonus content on there, including ad free episodes to all the Ostium Network shows. I’m even doing a special promotion there now where whatever level you support at you will automatically get access to the Ostium Sagas, with new episodes dropping every week!
Thank you listeners, old and new, and may you always find your door.
Hey everyone, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you about our Ostium Season Six Indiegogo Campaign. Thanks to the Ostium Patreon, we’re able to pay Team Ostium for their work, whether it’s voice acting, sound design, editing, or artwork. With our Indiegogo Campaign our goal is to pay our whole team fairly, and you can help make that happen in two ways.
One, by supporting the campaign. There are a variety of rewards from sticker packs to postcards, to notebooks, to signed copies of the Ostium book, and access to a brand new miniseries just for the campaign.
Two, by sharing the Indiegogo link with friends, family, and through your social media and telling everyone about this campaign and why you want it to succeed.
Okay, one more time here’s the link to the campaign, thank you for your support and help.
Just wanted to share that last night I put the final words on the final episode of Ostium Season 6. Like seasons previous to season 5 it will be ten episodes long and this time I ended up writing a total of 71,509 words, which is the most I’ve ever written for a season. What this means is that some episodes in season are going to be nice long ones.
So, first drafts are done and then this week I started editing those and once they’re ready we’ll move on to recording!
Hi all, just wanted to give you an update with Ostium season 6 progress as you may be wondering how it’s going.
The good news is the writing is going great! The plan is to have it be another 10-episode season, like season 1-4, and the episodes are looking like they’re going to be nice long ones, which I’m sure you wonderful listeners will be happy with. As for the writing progress, last night I finished the seventh episode of the season, so it’s looking good. I have this crazy dream that I can get all ten episodes completed with first drafts fully written by mid-June, but we’ll see how it goes. If not, I’m shooting for the end of June.
After that it will be a case of going through and re-writing and editing, and for the first time I’m going to be having my good friend (and big fan of the show) Dwayne Farver reading and providing feedback and comments for all the episodes, until we get the final drafts of the ten episodes all done. Then we’ll move on to getting the lines to our wonderful voice actors and starting to record. Then it’s on to editing and mixing with our wonderful sound engineers at Hail and Well Met Podcasts, plus recording the music, for which I have a surprise composer in mind that I’ll be announcing once everything is confirmed. And then it’s a case of putting it all together and getting it ready for release.
So I’ll be honest, I’d love to start releasing episodes in late fall, early winter, but it might not start until January 2022. With the pandemic and lots of other things going on with the Ostium Network, and in my own life, there have definitely been some delays. Nevertheless, I’m really happy with how the season is coming out, and super excited to eventually release it to all your wonderful listeners!
Alex C. Telander.
For those who might be wondering what’s going on with the Ostium Network Twitter account @ostiumpodcast, well I thought it would be fun to change the start date to “January 1st, 2017” when Ostium first started, and this violated the terms of service since it would make the “owner” under 13 years of age and promptly locked the account.
But have no fear! I’m working on getting it back as soon as possible, and thank you for your patience with my stupidity.