As I sat down to an evening of reading in my study, I heard the door open. You had arrived. I was overjoyed to receive your letter two months ago. It seems that nobody has time to hear this old man's stories anymore, but I was glad you had come.
I reclined in my chair, tea in hand and hearth roaring, waiting expectantly. And then you spoke the question I hadn't heard in centuries. "Who climbs to the heights of Gods?"
A tear dripped timidly from my cheek. That phrase brought memories all too vivid of sorrow and failure back to the front of my mind. I told you of my life long ago as a Seeker, and later, a Holder. You leaned forward, listening intently as I recalled. I was once just like you. A young upstart who had heard the legends and wanted to see for myself what Objects I could obtain. I set to protect the world from that terrible secret: the key to its undoing. I had a naïve sense of duty back then.
So it was not coincidence that brought me to an old mansion, not very different from this one we now sit in. I asked the butler to see me in, and guide me to him, asking the right questions, always alert to the danger and horror that lurked about each corner. He brought me to a gentleman in a suit who was cradling a scorched and broken form which I could only guess was his child. Tears streamed down his face. His voice was riddled with stutters and sobs as he answered the Question I asked of him. He told me not of the crumpled figure wrapped in his arms.
He told me of the danger of being a Seeker. He told me of his special role among Holders: to stop any one Seeker from accumulating too many Objects. "You see," he sputtered, "The quest to hide these pieces of Doom is not for the ambitious. It becomes a quest destined to fail as the Seekers gather Object after Object, intending to guard them but only bringing closer that untold destruction and despair. The Holder of Hubris stands guard against these ill-fated Seekers."
I didn't realize back then just how cruel the irony of Hubris was. I requested that he hand over his burden, that I may take his place and keep such dangerous Seekers under watch. He presented a pair of charred wings, hot to the touch and black as the night. With an expression of grief which I did not understand, he said, "Every angel falls". And with that, he picked up the burnt remains, and walked out.
You interrupt me. "But... what is the cruel irony of Hubris?" I put my face into my hand, holding back tears. "Only the arrogant seek it. Only the arrogant receive it. And it is a solemn duty of futility."
I tell you the number of Hubris. And for a moment, you share in the sorrow that only a father who buries his son can know.
Credited to adam80027