In Pan Post 40 a tour group explores Mega Jonestown Prime. When one of the tourists asks about the 13th Throne of the God-Monarchs, Namuras the White goes in search of the secret of this mysterious throne. Memnoch the Archdevil agrees to unveil the secrets in return for thirteen powerful souls. Eventually Namuras gives him a soul cube containing thirteen villainous immortals. In return Memnoch reveals that the memory of the thirteen God-Monarch has been Twice-Forgotten by a powerful being, that thirteenth monarch being The Shard. The Shard is a great wyrd, according to Memnoch. He agrees to take Namuras to see the creature that was powerful enough to Twice-Forget The Shard. In Tartarus' The Abyss he shows him the Beast in the Pit. But, because of this knowledge, Memnoch throws Namuras into the pit where he is twice-forgotten from existence.
The 13th Throne
Billions of years ago, a gigantic domed city floats in space, orbiting the bright center of the NeSiverse. This is Mega Jonestown Prime, founded and ruled by the pantheon of 12 God-Monarchs, who are among the most powerful beings in this existence and many others.
Tour Guide: If everyone is ready, please raise your hand, tentacle, or other appendage!
The newly arrived visitors to the great space city comply.
Tour Guide: Great! Glad to see that the interdimensional transports from your various different universes didn't make any of you sick - that often happens. But hey, it's better than accidental disassociation of your component particles, which used to occasionally happen!
She smiles brightly with both of her mouths, and a couple of the alien tourists blanch.
Tour Guide: Now then, if you will form a line, I can pass out your complimentary t-shirts, your complimentary cameras, your complimentary meal passes, and your complimentary bloints!
Random Alien Tourist #1: This is so cool! I've traveled all the way here from a zillion universes away just for the bloint! The height of fashion, this is!
Random Alien Tourist #2: Looks like a hat to me.
Random Alien Tourist #1: It's no ordinary hat - you wear it on your pants!
The other tourists oooh and aaah appreciatively.
Tour Guide: Very good! Right this way, step lively now, this is a big place, and the tour will take all day.
She leads them to various points of interests in the megalopolis, which is constructed mostly of marble and crystal spires. Togas, robes, and bloints are the most common clothing of the citizens, but all manner of styles can be found. Random Alien Tourist #1 buys a dozen different varieties of bloints throughout.
Tour Guide: And here we are passing through one of the finest parts of the city: the noble district, where the thousands of baron-deities and their families reside. All the baron-deities are omnipotent, their powers second only to the 12 God-Monarchs themselves! This mansion here is the Ohgmorkoth Estate, where Cthulhu often dines as a guest.
Random Alien Tourist #2: How can there be so many omnipotent deities in one place?
Tour Guide: An excellent question! Beneath the ground lies the city's power source - the Sacred Flame of Mega Jonestown Prime. It is the collected essence of the unspeakably vast creative powers of the titans themselves, who have built most of the universes in the Deep Void.
Random Alien Tourist #3: Pretty arrogant of you to trap them in your universe, don't you think?
Tour Guide: Oh, I assure you it is for the good of everyone!
Random Alien Tourist #3: I'm sure...
Random Alien Tourist #2: That's really interesting, but what does it have to do with the baron-deities?
Tour Guide: There is so much power in the Sacred Flame, and more being constantly generated at an exponential rate, that the excess bleeds off. In order to control that excess flow, the God-Monarchs chose a thousand families to direct the excess into, creating our fair city's nobility.
Random Alien Tourist #3: I bet the cosmic gods weren't too happy about that - you know, the ones that actually fulfil duties and roles in the NeSiverse, like fate, time, magic, and devilry. Being passed over for some random chumps to get omnipotence greater than their own powers.
Tour Guide: Oh, the God-Monarchs had very excellent reasons. Every candidate was subjected to rigorous examination of credentials and worthiness!
Camera zip to even more billions of years ago, when Mega Jonestown Prime is young.
Imeryn: Amazing! I've never seen someone juggle with all their tentacles before! You're in!
Camera zip back to only some billions of years ago.
Tour Guide: Now for the pinnacle of our city - Mount Tall!
She gestures to the center of the city, where a massive peak stretches towards the domed sky, topped with the grandest and greatest of palaces.
Random Alien Tourist #1: That's almost as impressive as a bloint!
Tour Guide: There the 12 God-Monarchs reign. Their thirteen thrones--
Random Alien Tourist #3: Wait, thirteen?
Tour Guide: --are in the public audience chamber on the ground floor of the palace, but that room is unfortunately closed today for repairs, due to the assassination attempt on the pantheon.
The alien tourists gasp, their attention wrested away from the oddity of thirteen thrones for 12 God-Monarchs.
Random Alien Tourist #2: What happened?
Random Alien Tourist #1: Were any bloints harmed?
Tour Guide: Everything is well, I assure you, the assassin was repulsed. It was a villain who rules an empire that stretches across the Deep Void - Highemperor.
The random alien tourists all blanch, knowing well of the High Empire.
Tour Guide: But we should continue our tour! Outside the noble district, you have the various orders of magic. A majority of our citizens are demigod super-mages, divided into 99 orders, such as the White Order, the Order of Seventeen, and the Order of Bread Butter Side Up.
She gestures to three buildiings - one a majestic edifice constructed of pure white stone, one a complex of 17 squat towers, and one a glorified granary.
Random Alien Tourist #3: But wait, I almost forgot - why are there thirteen thrones on Mount Tall, if there are only 12 God-Monarchs?
Tour Guide: No one knows. It's the great mystery of our city! But the God-Monarchs surely have their reasons. Perhaps in their omniscience they await the coming of one last fellow to their ranks, but no one knows for sure. Now then, the tour's almost over, and I know you're all getting hungry, so if you'll follow me...
From the balcony of the majestic white edifice, two demigod super-mages look down on the group of tourists as they walk off.
Namuras the White: It is an excellent question, one which I have oft wondered. Why ARE there thirteen thrones?
Fladnag the White: If the God-Monarchs do not see fit to tell us, then I dread finding out. Some knowledge is meant to remain secret, and if it is forbidden, there can be terrible consequences for seeking it out.
Namuras the White: Nonsense. We are demigod super-mages of the greatest city in all the universes there are!
Fladnag the White: There are other contenders for the title of 'greatest city in all the universes there are', you know. Urbis Imperia wins every year.
Namuras the White: That contest is rigged and you know it. They're always afraid to piss off the High Empire by not placing their capital first. Anyway, as I was saying, I will find out the secret of the 13th throne, no matter the cost!
So begins Namuras the White's millennia-long quest to discover the secret. It is all in vain however, for the God-Monarchs guard their secrets well. One day, Namuras the White is pacing in consternation along the back wall of the public audience chamber atop Mount Tall, glancing repeatedly at the thirteen thrones, only twelve of which are occupied as the pantheon holds court. Finally he bleats in exasperation and stalks out.
Namuras the White turns to see Memnoch leaning against the doorjamb of the grand entry into the throne room. The archfiend of the Tartarus overhell is clad in one of his less sinister forms today, that of a short wrinkled old Alien-Japanese-Expy[Ext 1] man, but with multifaceted insectoid eyes.
Namuras the White: What do you want?
Memnoch: I think the real question is, what do YOU want?
Namuras regards him warily.
Namuras the White: I'll not sell my soul to one such as you to find out. I know what you do with your souls.
Memnoch: Thirteen other souls then, instead of yours.
Namuras the White: I don't need your help, archfiend.
Memnoch shrugs again, and vanishes in a puff of acrid smoke. For another thousand years, Namuras researches in vain, Memnoch's offer teasing the back of his mind the whole while, and finally he gives up. Memnoch's pact with the 12 God-Monarchs prevents him from consuming any innocent soul, so Namuras hunts down 13 notorious villains and captures their souls.
The 13 villains he captures are immortal, and therefore would never find their way into any hell without being killed, so Namuras hopes his offering is sufficient. It is, for when he returns to his lab in the headquarters of the White Order, Memnoch is there.
Namuras the White: Here.
He proffers a cube marked with glowing sigils. Faint whispers can be heard emanating from it. Memnoch's insectoid eyes glitter reflectively, and Namuras shivers at the hunger in them.
Memnoch: The bargain is accepted.
The glowing cube vanishes from Namuras's hand, leaving behind a flash of acrid smoke and his palm stinging.
Namuras the White: What is the thirteenth throne then?
Memnoch grins, a wily grin.
Memnoch: It is for the 13th God-Monarch of course.
Namuras the White: That is no answer! There is no 13th God-Monarch!
Memnoch: Ah, but there is.
Namuras the White: How could there be, if no one knows it?
Memnoch: Everyone knows it. But they have forgotten. Have your memories restored!
He waves his hand, and chill shadows drape over Namuras for a moment, as memory returns to him in a flash of insight.
"Originally Posted by Namuras's Restored Memory"
A thousand years ago, Namuras is pacing the back wall of the audience chamber on Mount Tall, just before he stalks outside to be greeted by Memnoch. He glances over at the thirteen throne, and sees the strange being floating in front of it. The Shard.
The Shard is humanoid with pure white skin. The lower half of its torso vanishes away, from opacity to translucence to transparence. It is clad in a ragged black cloak and hood. Its face is blank, unadorned by eyes or nose or mouth, and there is no hair atop its head. Its right hand has elongated fingers and is wrinkled and mottled as that of an old man's. Its left hand is that of a toddler's, and is missing its pinky.
Black script from an unknown and untranslatable language covers the creature's white flesh, and more black script arcs from nonexistence in the air around it to attach to its skin before vanishing, as though it is absorbing words from its surroundings. When it speaks, its voice is incomprehensible, yet its commands are enforced with a geas so that its whims are carried out regardless of ignorance.
Then Namuras looks away, and all memory of the Shard vanishes completely, as it has every time he leaves or looks away...
Namuras the White: What...what was that? I remember it now! But who is it? Where does it come from? Why do we keep forgetting it?
Memnoch: It is all that remains of a great wyrd.
Namuras the White: A great wyrd? Aren't those just myth?
Memnoch: You should know better than that, mage. Somewhere, somewhen, you can always find something you consider a myth.
Namuras the White: A hyper-astral entity many times larger than a universe, floating forever through the Deep Void... what happened to it? How could such a thing be reduced so much?
Memnoch: It is still as powerful as it ever was - but it and its power have been annulled. Twice-Forgotten. Only its incredible power allows it to cling to its shadowy existence, though none save a few know it.
Namuras the White: What could possibly have Twice-Forgotten something as massive and potent as a great wyrd?!
Memnoch cocks his head almost challengingly.
Memnoch: A prisoner in Tartarus did. I can show you.
A flicker of warning passes through Namuras's mind, but his curiosity overwhelms it.
Namuras the White: Show me, then.
They both vanish in puffs of acrid smoke.
When they reappear, it was in within one of the top layers of Tartarus, the 666 layers of the NeSiverse's cosmic overhell. Memnoch silently leads Namuras down through layer after layer, until they reach the end of the constructed layers. Then, Memnoch takes Namuras down an elevator to the 665th layer, which is complete darkness. After that, Memnoch leads the super-mage through the 'Get Smart'[Ext 2]-style series of security doors, until they come to the yawning lip of the infinite pit.
Namuras the White: What...is this place?
He is staggering and gasping, his eyes tearing up, due to the fumes that rise up.
Namuras the White: That's not even possible. Before the Deep Void? There was no 'before', there can't have been. The Deep Void itself is outside time, there is nothing 'before' or 'after' it.
Memnoch merely grins with malevolent glee. Namuras sighs, and peers down into the infinite, opaque blackness.
Namuras the White: What fell creature lays here? And how was it bound?
Memnoch: I have never laid eyes on it myself, for it was already here, bound, when I excavated the 666th layer from the substrata of reality. But if you wish to know it, I can always send you down to it.
Namuras the White: I have seen enough. Thank you, Memnoch. You have satisfied the bargain. I shall return now.
Memnoch: Ah, but you carry forbidden secrets with you now. The secret of the Shard, which only a few know...and the secret of the Abyss's prisoner, which none save I know.
Namuras the White: You can be assured that your secrets are safe with me, Archfiend.
Memnoch: On that count, you are correct...because you will never leave here again!
He gestures with his hand, and with a telekinetic shove more powerful than even a demigod super-mage can resist, Namuras the White is hurled into the eternal chasm, his screams echoing for a long time before finally dwindling down beyond hearing.