Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Skarl the Drummer


OF SKARL THE DRUMMER
When MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI had made the gods and Skarl, Skarl made a drum, and began to beat upon it that he might drum for ever. Then because he was weary after the making of the gods, and because of the drumming of Skarl, did MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI grow drowsy and fall asleep.
And there fell a hush upon the gods when they saw that MANA rested, and there was silence on Pegana save for the drumming of Skarl. Skarl sitteth upon the mist before the feet of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, above the gods of Pegana, and there he beateth his drum. Some say that the Worlds and the Suns are but the echoes of the drumming of Skarl, and others say that they be dreams that arise in the mind of MANA because of the drumming of Skarl, as one may dream whose rest is troubled by sound of song, but none knoweth, for who hath heard the voice of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, or who hath seen his drummer?
Whether the season be winter or whether it be summer, whether it be morning among the worlds or whether it be night, Skarl still beateth his drum, for the purposes of the gods are not yet fulfilled. Sometimes the arm of Skarl grows weary; but still he beateth his drum, that the gods may do the work of the gods, and the worlds go on, for if he cease for an instant then MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI will start awake, and there will be worlds nor gods no more.
But, when at the last the arm of Skarl shall cease to beat his drum, silence shall startle Pegana like thunder in a cave, and MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI shall cease to rest.
Then shall Skarl put his drum upon his back and walk forth into the void beyond the worlds, because it is THE END, and the work of Skarl is over.
There may arise some other god whom Skarl may serve, or it may be that he shall perish; but to Skarl it shall matter not, for he shall have done the work of Skarl.

"The Gods of Pegana" by Lord Dunsany

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Saga of Huurgan, part 1

In time it came to Huurgan to leave the island of Co'crissus and take up again to the sea, for the wanderlust in his heart was far greater than his desire to remain as consort to the Queen Saajh, regardless of the comforts and pleasures of that position. He woke early one morning and left the Saajh dreaming in the royal bed chambers, then roused his crew and bid them to set sail as the sun rose.
Saajh awoke alone and went down to the docks in time to spy Huurgan's ship pulling from the harbor. A great anger rose in Saajh and she swore by the dark gods that her lover would not leave until she tired of him. With good reason was Saajh called the Witch Queen of Co'Crissus for she conjured a terrible astral demon that set to devouring Huurgan's crew.

Seeing that a ship with no crew is useless, Huurgan took up arms and fought the monster. But to no avail for his weapons passed without harm through the creature's vaporous form. In desperation Huurgan  turned and hurled his spear in a long arc across the bay, striking full into the ivory bosom of the Witch Queen. Saajh sank to the docks with a sigh as the last breath left her body and without the Witch Queen’s life force to sustain it, the ravenous demon faded away.
Huurgan's crew pulled mightily upon the oars and the ship raced to the open sea. But a great sorrow came upon Huurgan while he plied the tiller and pondered the death of Saajh;  for that spear had been a gift from a gladiatrix of Ukadd and it was a very fine spear indeed. (From The Lemurian Codex, Chapter XXXVII The Journeys of Huurgan)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Scrolls of Druuna Cosaan



"And the great King Khossus looked into the glass from Leng, and therein beheld strange stars and further to strange worlds where life took shape only glimpsed in the nightmares of men. Thus did Nyarlathotep touch the mind of Khossus as he gazed upon the things beyond, and ruin came unto the land of Sohure."
(from the Scrolls of Druuna-Cosaan)


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Rituals of Hali

The members of the cult of the Yellow King groveled before a roaring bonfire. The cult leader, an enigmatic old man named Prynn, chanted aloud an incantation from The Rituals of Hali, an ancient book written in a tongue that only a handful of scholars across the world could read. That book revealed the path to eternal life in the mortal shell and the awful price to be paid .
Blood ran freely from the runes Prynn had carved into his chest. The wounds that would scar not just his flesh but his very soul and forever mark him as a servant of the Yellow King.
 Prynn completed the incantation and the old wizard grinned as the avatar of the Yellow King emerged from the flames. It's shape was hazy and indistinct, Prynn had the impression of great height, ragged yellow robes, and an ivory mask covering the face. The creature bent close to whisper something into Prynn's ear. Without hesitation Prynn sank to his knees before the entity and presented his wrists. A blade flashed from somewhere within the Yellow King's tattered robes to slice across the outstretched wrists and more of Prynn's blood splattered the ground. The cult leader lifted a quill with numbing fingers and signed his name in blood on the outstretched palm of the hideous thing. His name was but one of many, most of them in languages forgotten before the first stones were laid in Sumeria. Prynn fell to the ground, fainting from blood loss.

The Yellow King turned to face the grovelling cultists and their ecstasy turned to horror as he assumed his true shape to begin the feast. The screams lasted long into the night.

 Prynn awoke the next morning amid the butchered remains of what had been twenty foolish humans. I didn't matter, he had been reborn as a servant of the Lord of Hali and granted one hundred years of life until the stars wheeled around and the time came to renew his pact with the Yellow King. So would it be forever until he failed to pay the tribute of blood and souls his terrible master required. Prynn hid the Rituals of Hali, the book must be preserved for he knew his name would not be the last written on the hand of the Yellow King.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last of the Dragons


In the time of the first men the ancient dragons made war on the dark lords of the chaos realms, seeking to end the influence of the demon spawn upon mankind before the young race grew numerous and covered the world. 

But the demon prince Su'Kru-Ital devoured the King of Dragons and a third of the dragons were destroyed by the demonic hordes. The dragons retreated to meditate upon their defeat and fully a third more died from grief in that first millennium of contemplation. 

And so by the apex of the Hyperborean age  of sorcery only eight dragons were thought to exist and of those only Suroc’ur was known by name.
( The Lemurian Codex)  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Scroll of Kirem

The caravan had stopped for the night. One of the travelers  the sorcerer Abdul Alhazrad lounged on a fine rug, by the light of the full moon he studied the glyphs on some ancient scrolls obtained from a tomb in the crypts of Kirem. His brawny servant Achmed and the other travelers had already drifted into strange dreams induced by the Black Lotus petals that Alhazrad burnt during his evening meditations.

Alhazrad could read the ancient hyperborean language however he was not certain of the meaning of the words he chanted from the scroll. He suspected they were words of power for they seemed to  linger in the  air after being spoken. Perhaps the scroll could summon up spirits of  vast knowledge or some amusing imp from the netherworld. Alhazrad had no fear of what the words might call up, his  knowledge of the seal of Koth protected him from spiritual harm and  Achmed was well equipped to handle any physical dangers.

The chant ended, apparently with no effect. Suddenly Achmed lurched from spot where he lay dozing; clutching his stomach, he began screaming, bloody froth poured from his mouth. The man stood upright and Alhazrad stared with horror at the source of his agony;  monstrous taloned hands ripped open his belly from the inside and yellow eyes gazed out of the wound. With a final heave that tore Achmed apart, the demon stepped into the world of men through the gate the sorcerer had unknowingly created. Alhazrad sank to his knees before the gore covered demon and pleaded for his life. The demon  towered above Alhazrad, staring down at his groveling new master with blazing contempt, for he was bound into service to this human by words that neither he nor the sorcerer understood.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Father of Tsotha Lanti


"I am a sorcerer, and older than men reckon, but I am human. As for Tsotha—men say that a dancing­-girl of Shadizar slept too near the pre-human ruins on Dagoth Hill and woke in the grip of a black demon; from that unholy union was spawned an accursed hybrid men call Tsotha-Lanti"
Robert E. Howard, "The Scarlet Citadel" 1933