Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dark Gods of Bal Sagoth

"There are many gods in Bal-Sagoth but the greatest of all is
    Gol-goroth who sits forever in the temple of shadows."
 (Robert E. Howard, The Gods of Bal-Sagoth)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Adompha's Garden

"And there were many other weird plants, diverse as the seven hells, and having no common characteristics other than the scions which Dwerulas had grafted upon them here and there through his unnatural and necromantic art.
These scions were the various parts and members of human beings. Consumately, and with never faillng success, the magician had joined them to the half-vegetable, half-animate stocks on which they lived and grew thereafter, drawing an ichor-like sap. "
 (from "The Garden of Adompha" by Clark Ashton Smith)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sorcerer Kings of Lemuria

In those last days of Lemuria sorcerers were given great power by the Old Ones who dwell in the primal dark, and the sorcerers ruled over men as though they themselves were gods. Idols of Great Cthulhu, Sub-Niggurath, and Yig were placed in the once sacred temples of the Elder Gods, even the statue of great Nodens was defiled and men swore that the elder gods of earth had lost their power. The land became cursed and all manner of evil was indulged.

    But in far Kadath, great Nodens watched and waited.
    In time the stars wheeled in their eternal course and the Old Ones slept, in their dreams seeking out other worlds to corrupt. Great Nodens came down from Kadath to the land of Lemuria and the people cried out praises to him. But Nodens did not listen, he went to the high peak of Koltheg-Kla and there he did awaken the fire worm that is the child of Cthugha, and the fire worm devoured the foundations of the land of Lemuria that it would sink beneath the boiling seas.
   All the tribes of Lemuria were destroyed but a few of the Sorcerers were gifted with the sight of things future and past, knowing what was to come they prepared spells and philtres to preserve their bodies and containers for the preservation of their dark souls. For in time the stars would wheel again and even great Nodens would become not even a memory and the Old Ones stir from their dreaming, then would the sorcerers rise and the tribes of man bow down to them again.
(from the Scrolls of Vecra Tutthoon)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daughter of Set

"But he could see only the god-like face, the finely molded head which swayed curiously from side to side. The full lips opened and spoke a single word, in a rich vibrant tone that was like the golden chimes that ring in the jungle-lost temples of Khitai. It was an unknown tongue, forgotten before the kingdoms of man arose, but Conan knew that it meant, “Come!”

(Robert E. Howard, The God in the Bowl)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Rites of Shub Niggurath

By no means is the worship of the outer gods a vague myth of mankind's primitive past. It is said that the blasphemous Tch-Tcho people still sacrifice to Shub-Niggurath, she who is called the Dark Mother of a Thousand Young, and others serve the Dark Mother although they may call her by different names and practice their foulest rites in secret. The talismans of the Dark Mother are still found in places where the woods are dark even by day and strange cries are heard in the night.
(from a lecture given by Rev. Alton Bowers at the Church of the Holy Light in Arkham, Massachusetts in 1903)


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Black Lotus Rituals

   Abdul Alhazrad was pleased with the spot he had chosen to perform the Black Lotus Ritual. It was a one room hut on the edge of the wastelands. Once the home of a madman who wandered the hills talking to shadows and oddly formed rocks, that hermit had disappeared one night during a sandstorm and the place had been shunned since. The hut had a single window facing south and that too was a good omen; for as a boy Alhazrad had glimpsed an ice bound mountain in the grip a fever dream and had known it was in the southern most reaches of earth. Perhaps the visions that the Black Lotus granted would allow him to see that mountain again or even the things that slumbered beneath it.

    Alhazrad seated himself in the midst of a complex series of circles and mystic symbols drawn in white chalk on the floor. He chanted the Dho-Na formulae as he lit the brazier. The dried Black Lotus began to smolder and lazily the blue smoke rose, tendrils coiling and twisting like serpents. As the smoke drew near his face, Alhazrad inhaled deeply.

   The lotus fumes struck his brain like thunder, he had brief but terrible sensation of falling down an endless tunnel, then he was standing, staring at his still chanting body, Alhazrad's astral form had been freed from the cage of flesh. He turned toward the window and could see countless paths leading from it. Alhazrad stepped through and began to travel.

   He flew through nearer astral realms and beheld spirits of the dead, some lost in  false bliss and others lost in equally false torment. Those realms could not hold him and he probed beyond the nearer realms and glimpsed the maelstrom of time itself. Lean and hungry Hounds of Tindalos stalked the edge of the maelstrom, he spoke to those things, telling them the time and place to slay his earthly enemies. That vague scent was enough for the tindalosi, they leaped into the vortex to find their prey.

    Alhazrad guided his spirit sideways into the lands of dream. There he marveled at great shantaks on the wing and was briefly entertained by the antics of playful zoogs. Then he watched as the zoogs devoured a lone traveler and his amusement became revulsion.

    He left the dreamlands and returned to the plane of earth. He sent his spirit to the very bottom of the sea where he stood with Mother Hydra and her daughters before the sunken tomb of Great Cthulhu. He felt a call from the sepulchre and he entered within, his spirit passing through the stone like mist. There he beheld the corpse of Great Cthulhu, a mountain of alien flesh that was dead but still dreaming. That dreaming essence of Cthulhu flowed out to touch him and something attached itself to Alhazrad, pain ripped through both his astral and corporeal forms.

     The agony shattered the spell and sent the sorcerer's soul crashing back to his body. Alhazrad  came to his senses with the morning light, the black lotus had long since burnt out, the sigils and diagrams on the floor were smudged from the convulsions that had wracked his body through the night. But something had changed in Alhazrad, as though a veil had been lifted from his eyes, he perceived certain angles were corridors leading to other worlds where other things gazed hatefully upon mankind. The were also changes in his physical form, but Alhazrad decided it would be best to hide those from curious eyes and bound himself with rags as though he were a leper. For those new parts of himself fought for control and they were so very hungry.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dark Mother

     The  shrieking apes whose children would some day be called men clambered down from trees and stood upright on two trembling legs, they began to kill with clubs and carried burning embers to make fire.  Their primitive intelligence grew and among them one began to dream, not of mating or hunting, but of a beautiful female voice that spoke from beyond the stars. That gentle and wise voice named herself as Shub-Niggurath, the Mother of Darkness.
     The Dreamer had only simple language, but he understood the voice of Shub-Niggurath and she told told him many things. He found an ancient oak and carved a symbol on it, exactly at the time and in the proportions she had instructed. In a season many plants that were good to eat grew around the tree and the tribe ceased roaming to dwell there. The voice taught him of plants that would heal the sick so that his people would prosper.  The voice of Shub-Niggurath would sing to the Dreamer and he in turn taught the tribe to sing the Dark Mother's praises as they gathered around the mighty oak. For a time it was perfect, there was much food and peace, the tribe grew large and its children strong. The tribe held the Dreamer in high esteem and his word became first in all things.
   Then one night near the time of the falling leaves, Shub-Niggurath spoke to the Dreamer with a voice harsh and fearsome. The Dreamer awoke in a fit of terror and he told the tribe of the Dark Mother's desire; that they should capture people of another tribe, as many as were the fingers of both hands and bring them to the oak. Half were to be bled dry on the roots of the tree in the dark of the moon and praises sung to the Mother of Darkness. The other half were to be given to the terrible firstborn of Shub-Niggurath, who would come to receive this tribute of flesh. It was done, the Dreamer led his tribe to war for the pleasure of his goddess and she smiled upon him as he performed the grisly rituals.

  With the blessings of Shub-Niggurath the dreamer lived far beyond the normal span of a man and spawned many children, some with strange aspects and even stranger appetites. When at last the Dreamer died they buried his body at the foot of the great oak so his bones would be tangled in the bloodstained roots of the ever growing tree.
 The tribe dwelt for countless years at the great oak and in time they evolved into true men and built a stone temple around the ancient tree and around that temple sprang up the first great city of man on earth, which was called Gron-Hia in that old tongue.

 Even to this day the oak still stands in the crumbled ruins of the temple and the Prophets of Pnom claim that when the comet Oucarobius stains the sky the Dreamer can be heard singing to his dark goddess. Although some would say it is just the echoing shrieks of apes from the distant forest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Vile One

"And in those places where men delight in vice is the presence of Y'Golonac known, and he draws to him those most wicked, that they may be devoured by him, their flesh made sweeter by their sins."
 from the The Hagan Apocrypha

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Demon of Yiddaqqua

No scholar knew the origin of the strange demon that lurked the ruined city of Yiidaqqua and no sorcerer knew the true name that might bind or banish it. But the demon rarely showed itself in an angry mood and would sometimes converse with travellers who took shelter in the crumbling palaces of that once great city, telling tales of heroic warrior-kings who vanquished monsters and treacherous sorcerers.
The demon often spoke of a great treasure in the catacombs beneath Yiidaqqua and graciously offered to lead many a traveller to the hidden trove. But strangely none who searched for these riches ever returned.
 (From the Scrolls of Druuna-Cosan)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spawn of the Windwalker

I am the howling wind of fear.
I am the frost that brings starvation.
Who calls me with the words older than mankind?
Ia IT-AH-Qwa
Ia Shatukk ng'liu
Ia Ki-Nah-uk
Ia IT-AH-Qwa
Who calls me with an offering of flesh?
I am the Wind-Walker.
The frozen dead follow in my footsteps. They come to devour the living.

(Inscription from a menhir discovered on Ellesmere Island, translated from the Aklo by Professor Ben Crawford)

Necronomicon pages referencing human sacrifices made to the Spawn of the Windwalker by primitive tribes

Windwalker cult artifact in Miskatonic collection

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Temple of the Worm

"Out of the temple the monstrous dweller in the darkness had come, and I, who had expected a horror yet cast in some terrestrial mould, looked on the spawn of nightmare. From what subterranean hell it crawled in the long ago I know not, nor what black age it represented. But it was not a beast, as humanity knows beasts. I call it a worm for lack of a better term. There is no earthly language that has a name for it."
 The Valley of the Worm by Robert E. Howard

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Arkham Witch Box

In the spring of 1692 a woman named Keziah Mason was tried for witchcraft in Arkham, Massachusetts. The old woman was accused of being in league with the devil and many strange artifacts were found in her home and submitted as proof of her crime. Mason confessed freely to witchcraft and declared the various artifacts to be gifts from her infernal mentor, a being she referred to as "Nyarlathotep" or "The Dark Man".
 Several witnesses swore to have seen corpses walking in the forests near Mason's home and when questioned about this necromancy Mason claimed the Dark Man had given her a magical formulae that allowed her to trap the souls of dead men into a box and raise their rotting corpses to be her servants. The transcript of her trial even states that audible moans, wails, and hoarse whispers were heard to issue from the witch box.
Based on the overwhelming evidence and Mason's own confession, she was convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However the convicted woman somehow escaped on the eve of her execution, that same night the witch box and her other possessions also disappeared from a locked room in the local church.
 The story might have ended there had not the witch box been recovered in 1939 during the demolition of a long abandoned farmhouse near Arkham. The item was found in the cellar of the old house near a pit containing the remains of twenty four human beings, some of these cadavers were in a skeletal state and dressed in 17th century clothing while others appeared to be much more recent. The disinterred corpses were assumed to be the work of a grave robbing cult, and since none of the remains could be identified the case was quickly closed by the local authorities and the bodies reburied. The witch box was placed in the care of Miskatonic University and has remained there since.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Servants of Yuggoth

 It is truth to say the Heirophants of Atlantis are immortal, but that longevity comes with a terrible price. The masters of Atlantis serve the Mi Go, who are sometimes called the fungi from Yuggoth. The surgical skill of the Mi Go enables them to extract the brain and preserve it alive in certain nourishing formulae. Then the bodies are prepared much in the same manner as one would prepare a mummy, drying the flesh until it becomes of a leathern quality. The Fungi then add certain apparatus into the spine of the lich,  that the disembodied brain may have perception and control of the body, much in the fashion of a puppeteer manipulating a wooden doll. The bodies are dependent upon the Mi Go to maintain the apparatus of control, thus do the Mi Go truly rule Atlantis. A mage of sufficient ability need not fear the Atlanteans, for the process renders them deprived of the means to properly conduct the subtle etheric energies, making their thaumaturgy mediocre at best. However the Mi Go are to avoided at all costs as they possess magic and knowledge inconceivable to the human mind.

   The Prophets of Pnom have often spoken of the doom that will befall Atlantis and of the pathetic bottled brains who will spend untold millenia buried on the ocean floor after this cataclysm. They will dwell trapped within their thoughts until the final death plunge of the Earth into the Sun grants them oblivion.
   (from the "Path of the Crimson Eye" as translated from the Hyperborean Aklo by Dr. Ben Crawford)

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Necromancer

The old Necromancer bade Alhazrad to be silent as he chanted an invocation to the Unspeakable Lord of Hali. The two wizards sat in an ancient graveyard on the outskirts of Mandore, protected by a magic circle drawn in their own blood. Alhazrad stole a glance at the necromancer's scrolls. Written in the magical tongue of lost Hyperborea, the scrolls contained secrets of life, death, and the undead.

The necromancer lit the wick of a stinking candle and sprinkled the essential salts over it. Then he spoke, "Now neophyte, watch as the dead rise. While the candle burns they know me as their master and before it burns out I will claim the most able and lay the carrion back to their graves with my art."

Spasms of fear ran through Alhazrad as the graves began to vomit forth the dead. They rose with moans of pain, angry at the interruption of their sleep. The eyeless sockets held nothing but grave worms, but to Alhazrad they seemed...hungry.

The Necromancer strode outside the protective circle and stood among the living dead. He gloated, "Fear them not, though they would devour us living were they not restrained by the candle. Now neophyte, tell me who is greater than he who quickens the dead to make them his slaves?"

Then a sudden gust of wind blew out the candle, plunging them into darkness. Alhazrad fumbled for his flint to reignite it. He heard the sounds of struggle, then screams of agony from his companion. After seconds of desperation Alhazrad restored the candle's flame. In that feeble flickering light, eyes wide with horror, he watched the dead feast on their former master.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Priest of Bokrug

"It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the gray stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold. Very odd and ugly were these beings, as indeed are most beings of a world yet inchoate and rudely fashioned. It is written on the brick cylinders of Kadatheron that the beings of lb were in hue as green as the lake and the mists that rise above it; that they had bulging eyes, pouting, flabby lips, and curious ears, and were without voice. It is also written that they descended one night from the moon in a mist; they and the vast still lake and gray stone city lb. However this may be, it is certain that they worshipped a sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug, the great water-lizard; before which they danced horribly when the moon was gibbous."
 (from "The Doom that Came to Sarnath" by H.P. Lovecraft, 1920)

Friday, May 11, 2012

In the Temple of Yezyud

The sorcerer Ludvig Prynn had traveled to the temple of Yezyud , in the library of that foul temple was a book written by a madman named Abdul Alhazrad, a book called the Necronomicon by some mystics and Prynn intended to learn the secrets of that dreaded tome. The journey had been difficult, for not only is the land of Yezyud barren and inhospitable, it is veiled by magic and many who wander into that place never return. But the sorcerer had prepared well and made his way to the temple with little trouble beyond maintaining control of the four apprentices who had accompanied him, they sensed the strangeness of this place and desired with all their hearts to flee. Only fear of Prynn had stopped them from bolting, that and the certainty that they could never find their way back to the caravan route as the stars that shone above them were abnormal and the night in this land seemed so much longer than the days.

The priests of Yezyud guarded Alhazrad's book and it would be difficult to gain their trust, only a scholar who humbled himself before their terrible god and gave proper sacrifice would be allowed to pass the great iron door and enter the library. Prynn had studied the lore of Yezyud and he knew what was expected of him; he allowed the priests to cast his four apprentices into the sacrificial pit and sang praises to the huge, many legged thing called Yezyud as its tentacles drained the screaming victims of their bodily fluids. In a final abomination the wizard went into the pit and offered the monster a taste of his own blood to seal the pact.

The reward was great, Prynn was granted one full day to study the Necronomicon. In that time he intended to absorb all the eldritch knowledge his brain could bear. The iron door swung open and closed swiftly behind Prynn, his shaking hands unlocked the ancient book and he began to read. An hour later his screams began, followed by sobs and pleas to open the door. But the servants of Yezyud paid no mind and the door was not opened until the first rays of dawn.

Prynn strode forth with a strange light in his eyes that never left him for all of his days. The Necronomicon had opened his mind to realities he had glimpsed only in Black Lotus induced nightmares, beings from beyond had spoken to Prynn through those ancient runes and he was no longer a mortal man. Without speaking a word Prynn left that same day, his weary camel suddenly skittish of the man it had carried across the barrens to this unholy place.

The priests of Yezyud went on with their normal affairs; stalking the hills for sacrifices to feed their gluttonous god. But curiously, Yezyud retreated to the honeycomb of caves beneath his temple and did not emerge to feed until a fortnight later, when Prynn had passed far from the hidden land of the Yezyudites.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prophecies of Pnom

   For a time Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones will be freed from their tombs to prey upon the herd of mankind. In their fear and madness the remnants of humanity will call upon their Elder Gods to save them, but those gods are weak and fearful, and they will not leave Kadath to face Great Cthulhu.

  In this time the crypts under the Monastery of Tsan-Chan will give birth to the Avatar of Nyarlathotep that is to be known as the Prince of the Black Flame. He shall inhabit a body sewn piecemeal from age old corpses and cover himself with yellow robes to hide his decay, only those with the third eye will see his crown of black fire and wings of black flame.

    The Avatar will cause the stars to change their course, then will Cthulhu and his spawn be made to retreat to their tombs and be sealed again, dead but dreaming. All men will turn will turn to serve the Avatar and he shall build a great empire to cover seven tenths of the earth. Mighty altars will be set for the Outer Gods and they shall run red both day and night. Elder Seals shall be broken and the demons beyond Kadath set loose on the world to be worshipped and given all manner of sacrifice.

   In the far reaches of Kadath will the Elder Gods of man cower, for the world will no longer be theirs. In time they will be forgotten by all men. Their names not written down on any parchment or carved upon any tablet they will grow old to become mere shadows, eternally whispering of all they have lost.

("Prophecies of Pnom" as translated by Prof. Christian Morgan)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Primal Vampire

    Istvan Hunyadi was a desperate man; in the spring of 1520 the church had ordered the bold Hungarian knight to destroy the vampires who plagued the countryside. To this end Hunyadi gathered a group of brave men, each of unwavering faith. But the effort was a disaster, the vampires tore his men apart like rag dolls and seemed to have none of the weaknesses the priests had claimed for they did not cower or weaken when presented with the either the Cross or doused with Holy Water.
    Hunyadi sought out a heretic named Prynn, a man reputed to have knowledge of ancient lore concerning vampires and other things even more blasphemous . Istvan used his influence to get Prynn access to the libraries of the church and there, locked away and untouched for centuries they discovered a moldering scroll written in a strange language. The knight was repulsed by the horrid runes, feeling as though merely looking upon them was a sin. He became even more horrified when Prynn read the glyphs, revealing the terrible rituals that could give power to equal the vampires and the location of the monstrous thing that even the undead feared.
  The knight and his sinister companion left the following day, vaguely hinting that they would travel into the Carpathian Mountains on some pilgrimage.
   Hunyadi returned from the journey alone, never speaking of what they found or of the fate of Prynn. But the knight brought back a darkly stained wooden stake, vowing that it was the key to destroying the vampires.  He quickly proved the value of his mysterious weapon by killing a dozen of the undead over the course of a fortnight, more vampires than had been slain over the previous century. Rumor spread that Hunyadi drank the blood of the vampires he killed and chanted in strange tongues, causing his own warriors to draw back in fear of his battle madness. But the men who started these tales disappeared and no more was spoken of the matter.
Priests whispered about the origins of Hunyadi’s stake and the nature of its power; some suggested it was a splinter from the Ark of Noah, others thought it to be a limb pruned from the Tree of Life, some even speculated it was fragment from the Holy Cross itself. Hunyadi remained silent, occasionally mumbling that it was a gift from his god if one of the priests pressed him on the matter.
   The elder vampires came into the land, things so old they had fed upon the slaves who built the pyramids of Egypt, and they also whispered into the ears of the church leaders, revealing the true origins of Hunyadi's weapon. It was a splinter from the stake that impaled the heart of the first Vampire, holding that primal monster in its tomb. Hunyadi prayed to the father of the undead each time he slew its grandchildren and it became stronger with each sacrifice. Soon it would be strong enough to tear the stake from its heart and rise to consume all the living and the undead.
   The church leaders acted swiftly, Hunyadi was charged with witchcraft and sentenced to death by fire. As he burned Istvan Hunyadi screamed for his undead master to save him. But to no avail, he was burnt to ashes. That night the elder vampires gathered the ashes of the fallen knight, they mixed them with salt and scattered them across the land that no necromancy might ever raise Istvan Hunyadi.
   In a crypt hidden in the Carpathian Mountains the primal vampire listened to the death cries of his servant but paid little heed, the loss was a small thing for it could not die and eventually another would come to free it. The monster returned to its eons long death sleep, dreaming of revenge on its children and the ocean of blood waiting to be drank.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Dhole Rituals

   In primal times the men of Lemuria served the outer goddess Shub-Niggurath, she who is called the Dark Mother of a thousand young.  A great temple was built to honor the goddess and her jade altars were stained red with the blood of human sacrifice. The terrible first born Children of Shub Niggurath came to dwell in the forests of Lemuria and these places were made sacred to them, these things spawning abominations with beasts and even upon the daughters of the lemurians. For their veneration of the outer god the Lemurians were rewarded with lush harvests and became wealthy beyond all other tribes of men.

  Then the Picts came to Lemuria in their long ships decorated with skulls of men and  beasts. The Picts were mighty warriors who acknowledged no deity save the war-god Cruuach, who had decreed that the world belonged to those with the will and strength to take it. In the field of battle they slaughtered the Lemurians and even the abominations of the Dark Mother fell to their spears, for in those days Pictish wizards had knowledge of the Seal of Koth which made iron as poison to those things from outside.

    The Lemurian priests begged Shub-Niggurath for aid. In a single fortnight they sacrificed a thousand virgins in the garden of the great temple, the ground become as red mud, soaked with blood that nourished the strange and unwholesome plants that grew there. At last the Dark Mother appeared to them, she came in a form so exquisite the young acolytes gouged their eyes from the sockets, wishing her beauty be their last sight. The Dark Mother spoke, "From across the void I have watched these foul men defile my land and slay the children of my own blood. It shall end now. I shall give to thee formulae to rouse the Dholes from their sleep in the deep earth, let those devouring worms feast and cleanse the land". The Dark Mother laid her hand upon the head of the groveling archpriest, words older than the stars flowed into his mind. He fell to the ground numb with knowledge.

   The archpriest was alone when he awoke; Shub-Niggurath had taken the other clergy and acolytes as tribute. The high priest took hammer and chisel to carve the alien words that gnawed at his mind, setting them forever into the temple walls. Then he traveled to the edge of the pictish camp as his god had instructed. He could hear the useless cries for mercy from his countrymen as the Picts cast them alive into flaming pyres, hatred overcame fear in the archpriest and he at last spoke aloud the formulae that would call up the terrible Dholes.

      It was so; the titan worms rose and swallowed the screaming Picts. But their hunger was not satisfied, they consumed all the men and beasts of that ancient land, till nothing of flesh lived in Lemuria. Only at the oceans did the Devourers stop, for the mystery of water is beyond the mind of the Dhole. The Devourers turned away, burrowing through space, time, and dreams, back to their home deep beneath the Crypts of N'kai.

 For eons the land was empty of living things but in time men returned to the Lemurian continent and inhabited the ruins of the previous race. Wisely they sealed the Temple of Shub-Niggurath and when that land sank beneath the waves the Dhole formulae was lost in that forgotten temple on the ocean's floor.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Demoness of the Wastelands

Abdul Alhazrad was dying of thirst, he had wandered into the great desert searching for a nameless city of antediluvian kings and swiftly became lost in that endless waste. His supplies and camel had disappeared in a sandstorm nearly four days gone and now it seemed his doom was upon him, but a whisper carried on the hot winds led him forward;
Come to me, wanderer.
Would you dare gaze upon me?
Come to me,
burn in the fire of knowledge and beauty.

     After a long nightmare of sun, sand, and misery, Alhazrad stumbled inside the gates of a ruined city. The ancient demoness Ereshkigal greeted him and restored his strength with words of healing and honeyed wine of no mortal vineyard. In return she bade Alhazrad to remove the hundred binding runes that the Elder Gods had written upon her flawless body. The glyphs held her to the dead place, punishment for the abominations she had led her worshippers to perform in primal ages. Fearing the wrath of the Elder Gods even more than the seductive demoness, Abdul refused . 
 Ereshkigal offered to trade him knowledge of many unspeakable demons for her freedom. The mad arab's lust for arcane secrets overcame his fear. He agreed and bade her speak.
   For two days and nights Ereshkigal sang to him. Her songs were older than mankind, they told tales of the Great Old Ones; Tsathoggua, black toad of the abyss; Yig, father of serpents; Ahruman, who is called the lord of corruption and Pazuzon who breathes the black wind that kills men and beasts; even whispering of Yog-Sothoth, who is the gate and the key; of all these and many others she sang .
  By the third day Abdul could bear no more as his brain seethed with things no mortal should know, he begged the demoness to be silent.

   Then Ereshkigal demanded her payment, she gave Alhazrad ink and quill that he should mark through the runes that held her to a dead and forgotten place. But he betrayed the demoness, inscribing yet another binding to her perfect skin and then fleeing for the city gates. Ereshkigal's voice turned to a roar of curses and she prophesied that the knowledge she gave Abdul would lead to his terrible demise. Alhazrad stole a single glance over his shoulder at the horror the Ereshkigal had transformed into. Then he ran harder, praying his heart would burst and save him from the memory of what he had witnessed.

   Alhazrad was found days later by a caravan, screaming at shadows and frothing like a mad dog. When he recovered his sanity, Abdul put to paper all he had learned from Ereshkigal. Secrets that would eventually reward him only with madness and pain.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Glass from Leng

Abdul Alhazrad sat cross-legged on the rapidly cooling desert sands. Night had fallen and he awaited the rise of the moon. Beside him petals of Black Lotus smoldered in a bronze brazier crafted in sunken Lemuria. The mad poet forced his brain to ignore the monstrous shapes formed by the lotus smoke. His attention was focused on a chunk of glass held in his hands.
    He had obtained the glass from an eyeless beggar on the outskirts of Damascus who claimed it to have been created in the fabled land of Leng and that it gave a man visions of things beyond imagining even a glimpse of the abyss beyond space and time wherein dwells the daemon sultan Azathoth. The old man had fallen on hard times and in the end had traded the glass shard and ancient scrolls written in the high Aklo tongue for a few crusts of moldy bread and a skin of sour wine.
Abdul had spent a week studying the scrolls and waiting for a full moon, now he was ready to look through the veil of time and space.
   The moon rose and the blue light streamed through the glass into Alhazrad's left eye, then deeper into his mind. Within the glass Alhazrad beheld wonders of primal ages, glorious cities and kingdoms so ancient no scholar could remember their names. Further back he saw the first men, shaggy brutes who sacrificed their children to winged things in exchange for knowledge of fire and primitive magic. He saw the ancient Serpent Men hissing incantations and mixing vile potions. He beheld the continent of Rl'yeh in its colossal glory, hurriedly looking away when Great Cthulhu turned to meet his gaze.  
    Then the poet cast his vision far out into the silent void, past Yuggoth and Xoktli, past Hali with its slimy churning lake, to the very rim of space and time to the place where dwells Azathoth. The great eye of Azathoth opened to stare back at him. With that vision Alhazrad hurled the glass from Leng away and ran screaming into the blue-litten dunes for the eye of Azathoth held no ultimate wisdom only idiocy and cosmic madness.

Pnakotic Fragments

   Beyond the worlds we know, beyond Yuggoth at the rim, beyond Almuric where savages battle endlessly and beyond Nh'ule of the black towers, there rolls in a strange orbit the world god Gauru-Yoth . The world thing circles seven stars, three are red and old, four are dim and older still. The seven stars hold Gauru-Yoth in check. But even the stars die and one of the seven shall someday go cold then shall Gauru-Yoth be free to roam among the stars and devour all life. Azathoth has power to bind the world thing, but Azathoth is mad.

   By certain formula a skilled wizard may open the gate to Gauru-Yoth and if the Guardian of the Gate deems the traveler worthy he may go forth onto the surface of that sentient world. There he will be watched by countless eyes and will hear the screams of countless mouths, all beings that have been consumed by the world god in ages past. Some of those voices will speak and the adept may learn powerful formulae and lore of elder times. Some of the voices are simply mad and will plead for release from Gauru-Yoth or plead for the mercy of death. But their is no release and there is no escape in death, for all that Gauru-Yoth consumes lives on in his substance.
  When the adept prepares to return to his world the Guardian of the Gate will bid him to feast upon the flesh of Gauru-Yoth, and thus will the adept become one with the world god and carry the essence with him. Over time the body of a man will take on the cast of Gauru-Yoth and become an unspeakable thing, taking on the appetites of Gauru-Yoth, ravenously consuming man and beast alike. After much carnage this thing will grow to a great size and the world god will call him back, there it will sink into the mass of Gauru-Yoth and live on eternally.

 ( from the Book of Veiled Gods, author unknown)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sarnath Texts

 Two men groped through the ancient catacombs beneath the glorious city of Sarnath lighting their way with torches that barely penetrated the gloom. One man was very old and frail, and he was far older even than his appearance suggested. He was Ysra the Hyperborean and he was a great wizard. The other man was young and large, his name was Malak and he was one of Ysra's apprentices, although he was reckoned by many to have neither the talent nor intelligence to make a wizard.
    In the streets above them the men of Sarnath celebrated the three hundred year anniversary of the destruction of Ib, a neighboring city that had been populated by odd creatures considered repulsive and inferior to men. Malak had wished to join in the celebration, but Ysra had no interest in such foolishness, he had witnessed the destruction of Ib and he knew eventually Sarnath would pay a dire price for the transgression. They traveled ever deeper into the earth until the sounds of the city and it's riotous festival ceased to echo the tunnels.
   Ysra stopped at the entrance to the deepest section of the catacombs, runes carved in the rock caught the old wizard's attention and he read them for a bit. He spoke, "Douse your torch, good Malak, fire is no friend to those who dwell beyond this portal. We shall instead view this realm with the second sight granted by this potion." He produced a flask and they each took a sip. For a moment all was black, then a pale green glow began to illume the tunnel and the men could see easily as well as in the torchlight.  Malak was amazed by his master's craft, his father had been wise to pay Ysra the tremendous sum required for acceptance as the old man's apprentice.
Peering about with his new vision Malak was disturbed by the number and size of the spiders crawling the walls, he sought to crush one under his foot that crawled near but Ysra pulled him back with surprising strength. The wizard hissed, "Fool! Would you enter a great kingdom and kill it's people?" Bewildered by the comment Malak made no reply.
    The pair came to a gigantic cavern, massive pillars carved with ancient runes of power stretched up a hundred feet to the ceiling and the floor was like a living carpet of spiders. The arachnids were all sizes and colors, some no bigger than a coin and jet black, others large enough to kill a house cat and covered in wild hues of yellow and purple, the largest were pale white spiders that had never seen the light of day clinging to the walls and seemingly watching them with their clusters of black eyes.
 The spiders parted and cleared a path as the men approached a dais made of human skulls and webbing.  Malak shook with terror as he looked up for resting atop it was the supreme horror of this subterranean realm, a great thing like a spider but as big as a horse and with a face similar to that of a man. The spider thing spoke with a harsh rasping voice, "Greetings, Ysra of the Crimson Circle, hast thou come to gain more of my knowledge?" The old wizard replied, "Indeed Great Son of Atlach, I would know of the Swarm of Nebros and how they devour a man when summoned and yet that man lives on in their swarm. I would know of the depths under this realm and the foul dwellers below, and I would know of the dimension of Lord Kour-Gath and to what gods he sacrifices endlessly. I have brought this gift according to our ancient bargain." 
    Suddenly the dim-witted Malak realized his fate and turned to flee. Ysra was faster, he struck Malak in the neck with his left hand. One of his rings had a tiny needle dipped in black lotus extract and it pierced Malak's skin, the apprentice dropped to stone floor.  Malak was awake but his limbs were paralyzed by the lotus extract, he could not even scream as the great white spiders carried him high up the wall and cocooned him in webbing. He hung there for many days, listening to the Great Son of Atlach whisper arcane secrets to Ysra, while the wizard carefully wrote down all that the monster spoke.