What’re you waiting for? If you haven’t applied to join OSW already, you should be on your way there. Failing that, be sure to follow us on Twitch at TheRAGEsmash and FastLanePlays!
Back to Top
Image Alt

The Ladder

The Ladder

High above a pit hangs a briefcase.

The Briefcase.

Inside it: a ticket to the greatest treasure in Arcadia.

But it was said that only the bravest and strongest could reach it.

So they came to the edge of the chasm, looking up high to the sky at the dangling Briefcase. None could see a way to the top.

It was then that the helper appeared, with a ladder behind him leading up to their goal.

“Do as I say, and you will get that which you desire.” He sang into their ears. “But the climb will be difficult, and there will be much suffering.”

This did not dissuade those who had come.

Despite the warning, they began to climb, eager to reach the top.

The helper was there beside them, simultaneously their guide, their friend, and even their foe.

Rung by rung, they ascended. Their feet calloused, their hands raw.

But they kept climbing.

Endlessly climbing, fleeing the pit beneath them that would swallow them if they failed.

Beneath the creaking and groaning ladder, they could still not see their goal, nor hear their song, nor find any artistic merit in the sheer grind of their climb.

Through darkness, through blood, through sheer grit, they sought their reward for the suffering they’d endured.

Even just a glimpse of the Briefcase they sought to invade. For those that could bear to open their eyes.

But atop the slippery rungs, the journey only drew on and on.

Still, they clung to this ladder, fighting it with every rung they ascended.

But eventually, all strength faded, and those who still remained on the ladder realized the helper was still right there beside them.

“We have done as you asked,” they cried out, “why can’t we get to the top?”

Laughter greeted them, for the helper knew what they did not.

The Briefcase was their goal, to punch their ticket to greatness.

But over that deep chasm, hung something much different than they expected.

So will it be for my foes.

For in truth, do any of you even know what this Briefcase is?

It’s a lie.

It’s that helper, weaving a tale we agree to repeat over and over until we forget that the lie even existed. If we convince ourselves that the journey will be worth it, only then will we undertake it.

But abandon the lie, and what remains?

The pit itself.

Pain: A gaping maw waiting to devour us all.

But verily verily, I say unto you all: Pain is not a pit. It is a ladder.

It’s the same ladder each of you blindly wish to climb.

But how many have tried? How many have failed and never got to try again?

Because the fall broke them.

They could not embrace the pain, only foolishly try to medicate it.

Some are given the chance to climb, but they refuse, lacking the vision to see the truth. They cling to their art, to their song, even to their work.

Illusions, all of them.

Because the climb is all there is.

Only the ladder is real.

Only pain.

Only Grimskull.