Was it something real that she was seeing, or just a pattern constructed or re/de-constructed in her imagination in the mind’s eternal loop of trying to make sense of the stimulus data of reality? She tried blinking, closing eyer eyes and vigorously rubbing them and even shaking her head in dazed disbelief while mumbling guttural sounds… it wasn’t working. It wasn’t going away, it was becoming stronger with every moment she was looking at it, gaining in depth, consistency… reality.
The Bnii Fyid skull had been passed on from great ruler to great ruler for millennia now, ever since ancient times since when it is rumored to have fallen burning out of the skies and the someone discovered it’s amazing one-to-many subconscious communication abilities. Many great wars of empires had, in fact, been fought solely for this ancient artifact, as regardless weather they were called cesars, pharaohs, sultans, kaisers, kings or presidents they all realized the great usefulness of playing with the fears of the masses, the value of instilling popular fears of other people/cultures/languages/civilizations, and how this allowed their own power to be increased on waves of fear. It is not a precise tool, it is is rather speculated it functions for the emotions of the masses like a prism for light: it breaks balanced ones into spectrums of intense separate sentiments which once separated can be distinctly channeled like rivers.
This ancient political knowledge that the fear of an (even imaginary) common enemy is possibly the greatest way to unite a people under a “great leader” may be commonly known, but the great use and even existence of the Bnii Fyid for this purpose is a secret sealed with ocean scale pools of blood, and not just that spilled by the many spies of different nations trying to find it again, and then their own as soon as they do. Those who know it, know why.
“And should you ever get squeamish thoughts, remember, nature is the best instructor in it’s ruthless ways. It teaches us that always and everywhere the inefficient is eaten away and reused towards the growth of another being more adapted to see the nutrient where others perceive just disgusting waste or do not use the striving essence to it’s fullest. Any niche that has an opportunity will always and everywhere be eventually filled by somebody… or someTHING better able to use those resources.”
Excerpt from the instructional books written by the frightful plantmaster Jooirkhi’ih the IIIrd
Xanadians perceive the world not through color wavelengths but as a form of bounce-back melody of the universe, a living song that’s ever-changing with their motion. Woe unto the man that becomes part of this song. He might hear beautiful rhythmical bony clicking that delight his ears, and a deep low vibration wonderfully going through his body… but not for too long. Few are knowledgeable enough of the secret world around us to run with all their strength at the first sounds of this amazing melody.
When the Rogganite first arrived, they thought it to be reason for great celebration. The Pharaoh instructed the priests to make a great feast in it’s honor, hoping to thus secure his lineage’s rule. He was struck with fear as the priests told him the Rogganite had come not to help, but to rule as God among men.
Many of the paintings of Lucilian Bradley were controversial, some were even banned by the art community, but, in his morbid fascination with the unknown, he didn’t really care about that. However there was one in particular that he exposed that night at the new gallery that caused the outrage to explode into incendiary violence. In truth is, even having barely escaped the burning building and the furious mob, he was secretly happy IT was swallowed by the flames. The fact that his paintings were inspired not by imagination but by the demonic trance visions was his dark secret, one that he could live with, but what he saw when he painted that particular one traumatically opened his mind to the horror that some abominations can occasionally fuse, creating fresh new horrors.
However, a few weeks later, his secret relief shattered on the cliffs of reality as he received a large check with the post. Normally he would’ve celebrated the huge sum of money, fueling his expensive decadent lifestyle, but, to his unease, the check revealed that the secret collector who had been generously bidding at the exhibition auction somehow managed to save that painting and wanted to thank him. Lucilian wished at least he hadn’t known! From that day on he started praying for engulfing fires, seeing them as paths to salvation.
“I was prepared for the next time. It wasn’t cheap, had to sell one of the smaller family mansions, but I was prepared. So, 3 seasons later, when the caravan came through town again, I went straight to the old gypsy lady. Upon giving her the gold and diamonds (the only currency she would accept) she sold me her small bottle. There were just a few drops inside, but I knew it was worth it. As instructed, I went home and lied down on the big bed, after of course having arranged for 2 servants to stand by should there be emergency need for help or to run for a doctor. I put a droplet into my left eye and two into my right eye, just as she told me… but nothing happened. Where was the Deptais!?! I waited a few minutes feeling ashamed like a little kid who still believes in dragons, and I was just about to stand up and do something I would regret when it hit in: I suddenly found myself floating in a sea of colors, the room faded into a blur of violent spectacle of vibrancy, and true to the promise, I saw a couple of Deptais come attracted by the smell of the drops. They were excited, talking constantly in a language I so wished I could understand… and one, one was in particularly animated… and even as I watched him (and it knew!), to my amazement it split into two similar and yet different parts, which then proceeded to complete themselves. It was all worth it, just for that moment!”
Excerpt from the dying journal of trans-substance addict
I followed the being breathlessly into the swampy forest, deeper and deeper, until, knee deep in mud and dizzy from the strange yellow vapors, I lost my breath. For hours I kept searching, but everything by now looked to me like one of these old sunken knotty trees. Exhausted I stopped to lean on one but upon touching it i had an overwhelming vision: I found myself in a wholly different place. Through IT’s feelings I was tempted to call it “home”, yet my spirit told me I was galaxies away from my home lands. Hot furious sandstorm winds hit me with a barrage of pebbles in the sunset of the twin suns. And then the stone sands beneath me started to tremble, as if something humongous was moving underneath. I could feel my heart singing joyously: “father, father!”
In many cultures across the wide green earth storks are associated with the bringing of babies. Of course that is primitive nonsense, weather through natural science or common knowledge we all know of how babies are really made. There is however a bit of truth behind this myth, the truth of the Swhuushirimi Predatorius that might have inspired the legend. Though a being of the spiritual plane and thus invisible to most observers, every one in about ten thousand men are born with the aberration of glimpses into the spiritual world, and such men sometimes see a flicker of a Swhuushirimi as it brings the free choice chaotic spirit of the child (though often only years after the lump of clay enters the world).
edge of page scribbled annotation on the apocryphal writings of the heretic Narimian Opteul.
“Sometimes, even through some accidental trick of the light, or some coincidence of events, the mortals see the other side of things, a glimpse of the other beings that surround them. This is not natural to them, as they, as any other species tends to search for what they know, for bodies, minds, actions and thoughts like their own or that at least fit into their world view. And of course somehow related to the act of feeding or continuation of the species. But sometimes it does actually happen. Mostly though they immediately ignore such things as the mental apparatus of perception and association cannot “digest” what they saw/felt/perceived and it is forgotten.”
Natural Observations on the human species – Lhfosjfoy-Hhhri-Nhrrrololow-Whii’3
The young lord was a great disappointment not just to his parents, but in fact to the whole county which had payed a high price in taxes over the years for his high education in foreign lands that he may come back and rule them all with benevolence and the wisdom that would bring them the great prosperity of the trading knowledge of the distant orient. Instead he returned obsessed with ancient cryptic books from the deep desert and tormented by visions and fantasies, which he insisted were not dreams but contacts with beings from other dimensions. They locked him up for his own good, despite his half-hearted protestations. He seemed to pay little interest to it all, conversing further with his imaginary friend from beyond “in order to acquire more knowledge”. The matter would have long been put to rest were it not for the recently released memoirs of his old doctor, Hanupembert, which insisted he would sometimes say things which made great sense and started a great number of incredibly profitable business ventures based on the rantings of the useless madman.
As the small group of survivors climbed the stairs towards the gruesome sacrificial altar something even stranger happened. Instead of looking at the poor victims as you’d expect, they all independently started looking respectively at the two frozen statues framing it, with a kind of morbid fascination. Cold vapours emanated from them forming a kind of mist which was slowly drifting downwards from the eternal ice, freezing anything they touched.
Weak powers shout and scream, and are quick to show bloody fangs and broken bones, while the truly powerful need only stand there benevolently to invoke the petrifying fear of their subjects. Such is the power of The Queen of Rerrn-kha that even just a figurine representation placed by the emissary on the grand room table was enough to fill the hearts of the imperial council with fear and make all the shouting stop into a deadly silence.
It was a wonderful day to be walking in the sun and the two lovers were thrilled they had chosen to get away to the peaceful countryside for the weekend. Intrigued by the playful shouts of children they veered off from the beaten path into the pleasant shade of a small forest. As they approached the clearing however the children ran away, leaving behind what felt like a deadly silence, somehow made even more ominous by the sound of the blades of grass in the gentle wind. They also seemed to have forgotten something they had apparently been sculpting, some kind of a wooden figurine. It somehow managed to frighten Lady Mir’Garleen something terrible, because she dropped it screaming and it took him a few hours to calm her down from the ensuing state of agitation. What could it have been that she had seen or felt? Sure, it was mayybee a little bit strange, the eerie pig/goat shapes intricately cut into the wood… but definitely not to this level of distress. He felt in fact somewhat… intrigued the whole story. Knowing she would never agree that he take it back into the city he pretended to throw it away while secretly packing it at the bottom of the picnic bag. Where could be the harm in keeping this peculiar wooden carving?
The demonoid had been ordering humans around for millennia, so when it realized this stupid man was actually seriously trying to actually order him to do something, the expression forming on it’s face was a mixture of disgust, surprise, disdain and infernal anger.
Death in nature is a state of harmony and assimilation, it has it’s keepers and it’s makers, but it’s evil is in the eyes of the mortals only. The sheep must be herded to it’s embrace as the transformation cycle is the perpetuum of the universe.
They all had thought it to be just another crazy figment of the imagination of yet another lost soul, an outcast addict. Just a frightful dream fantasy in the middle of the night of a mind that was no longer recognizable to it’s past glory. But then, as the countess received the mummified THING and the whole court wondered around it mumbling … suddenly things looked very different. Forever!
At the core of this whole beehive of life, powering not just the amazing mechanisms he had seen all through the day, and the layers of luxuriant gardens with living water, but also giving life energy to the inhabitants of this great cosmic city, was a floating shape, “dodecahedron” was the closest name that came to his mind, yet that was clearly not correct as it was constantly shape shifting, and sometimes he even had the impression that his mind perceived cross-sections of it. For some reason his mind flew to an old dried seal he had seen as a child in his father’s cupboard, before everything… no, he, had changed.
The legends say Narra-Ku’thm used to be the capital of an ancient forgotten empire, but then they became so decadent that the Gods of Light abandoned it, and the Shadow Deities took an interest. The inhabitants built a great temple to honor their great hunger for passion and life, which lead to a renewed bloom of their empire, until one frightful day the whole city was swallowed by the vengeful earth. This is where the legends end and well documented history steps in, because 3 centuries ago this ancient metropolis has risen again as a moving city, only partially devoid of life, carried by a frightening great tentacular mass from the depths, and in constant motion. Not fast motion, mind you, to a casual observer it looks just like an old ruin, for it moves just a few meters per year, not enough to notice with the naked eye, but enough to frighten all who ever visited it with the implications that this entails. A few end-of-days cults moved into it immediately, along with the adventurous and extravagant, and even the old temple started to see a resurgence of the old rituals. But nothing happened. In a few years caravans of goods and trade started to include it in their routes yet again. Who knows, maybe in a few more centuries of uneventful strangeness all will be forgotten, and in that behavior so typical of the short lived humans this city will pulse again with great crowds of people spreading out and conquering the world from their moving fortress.
The music now reverberating through disoriented air molecules was as impossible as the feelings that the crowd was experiencing. Even as their minds’ eyes were opening to see the stage in it’s true frightening form, their spirits were lifting with the growth of the repeating musical pattern into a crescendo of fiery emotion. The couple of hundred in the audience today were any day of the week of the type that would gladly abandon rationality for an urgency of acting on their intuitive feelings, but as the chorus approached they indeed lost all such pretense of either rationality or of the glorified social norms they normally had replaced it with.
Newspaper clipping report on “The unbelievable incident at the National Opera House”
The “Bones of Saraoth” ritual seemed to Jarredth to be a smart way to work his way up to communicating with the high Lord of the Abyss himself. But, even as he tried that, the apparition that started to gently materialize in the mist clouds now gathering around him made his heart stand still forever.
As I opened the giant sarcophagus, he, or rather “it” (for it looked like it was long no longer a person for a long time) just lay there in the dark, in the grotesque bed of fused bones and flesh, cackling occasionally a demonic laughter. After a few minutes of frozen horror I was able to move again and pushed the stone back shut, gasping, but all I could think of was what divine providence that it had failed (or was unable?) to notice me, for if it had turned those strange eyes in my direction, even for just a moment, I fear I would’ve never regained my sanity, frail as it already was. It seemed the Pharaoh’s high mage(ister) had indeed managed to obtain immortality… but at what price?! What dimensions had it been traveling all these millennia?
And after that I heard the two black figures make a strange shrilling whistle-like noise, which brought forth from the foggy night two frightening cries of reluctant obedience. With the sound of fluttering hurricanes, two shapes formed in the darkness before them, shapes that I could only describe as reminding me of strange morbid twists of what children’s fairy tales would call dragons… if they were built out of ripped fragments of nightmares. And the figures climbed onto their backs and flew off into the night to hunt for fresh human blood.
Fragment from the now banned “Memoires of the years of my captivity in the Dark Lord’s dimension” by the occultist Rudolph Malegro
Among the forbidden works of the insane painter Lucilian Bradley was found this strange painting of the Lord of the Abyss, Saraoth. His friends and family speculate this might be one of the reasons why he went mad and burned the house as this one was found in the only a decade later in the reconstruction discovered secret laboratory where he apparently also practiced occult rituals, a subject and passion he’d been fascinated with ever since he read that dreaded book that his wife still curses long after his death. Was this the demon that eventually got him for playing with his minions way more than a mortal should ever even dream?
The long dark night of the freezing season had ruled these lands for 6 fatal months, but now the first blessed rays were starting to push it back. Most creatures of the long night were quickly burrowing under the ice and into chilling caverns with their victims, but not so the Carnispecter. It remains active through the weak light times, still preferring the long shadows, but scouting and coordinating the movements of the others deep beneath from wherever is was needed, as it has for hundreds of cycles and as it will for many more.
Gaigaii seemed unstoppable for a few centuries, conquering planeverse after planeverse, until, in this provincial world he suddenly fell and was assimilated by the other powers. The most popular theory attributed this to something called “the spear of spiritual triumphal defeat”, while others call this nonsense and rather ascribe this historical mystery to shadowy local forces that prefer to remain unrevealed and keep this little cluster for their own experiments of higher magnitude than even an imperial conquistador’s armies.
The whole family had come to the secluded beach this weekend. It was a wonderful sunny day and the ocean was shining in bright blue-green tones. They hadn’t read the local papers about the disturbances with the native populations in the islands on the horizon, nor did they care for that TODAY. Eamon was the first to notice the distant growing drums. The waves were somehow resonating with their beat, and soon so did the sky, which got an ominous feel. Not long after they started to notice shapes under the waters coming towards the shore. They materialized into strange aquatic beings, hundreds of them, climbing out of the oceans they had evolved in. They were covered in algae and other plants of the deep waters, some even seemed to be decorated with them.
The Shellwalker had had many names among the human tribes across the millennia, not in his true form, but in the form of the humanoid skin-body it was by now accustomed to wearing among them. Only once in a century or two did a situation call for his celestial form to be revealed or it’s powers to be needed, so he had just gotten used to living as a human… as many humans. A boring yet, to his surprise, a very satisfying life. He hoped the cataclysmic mission he was sent on would never be activated, and that the great powers across the galactic dimensions would never trigger him for the purpose he was actually sent here so, so, soo long ago.
The basket near his ornate wooden desk was already full with crumpled up paper when he threw another one in it. For days Aniramus of Lebrairr had been trying to write to his friend about the subject matter, but no sooner would he finish writing that he would change his mind and throw it away yet again. On the one hand it was his friend and he wanted to let him know of the Huua’sh great mystery that he had finally solved with the paranormal solution… but on the other he worried, this could be too much even for his friend’s scholarly inquisitive mind.
From the crack in the cavern stone where he was listening in he could observe the two bizarre figures, or at least (what he assumed were ) grotesque parts of them. They seemed to be talking big picture strategy elements of long term planetary conquest. They both looked strange and alien, speaking a tongue of vibrations that he surely wouldn’t have comprehended were it not for the uncomfortable parasite. But so he managed to pick up some bits of meaning among the garbles, such as this part, when what looked like the older one spoke:
“Modern man forgets that nature is deadly and ruthless in it’s conquest, thus, sitting in the comfort of his urban agglomerations they proceed to idealize a state of nature that their ancestors barely survived. That’s why I have always proposed that the cup of poison we should offer to humanity ought absolutely be of a “natural” type.” At this point the two started laughing in frequencies so disturbing that the ear parasite simply refused to cooperate anymore and instead curled up into a slooshy mass and fell to the ground convulsively twitching to death.
Popular opinion was that it was time! That great things were afoot, and the a for change, that after the long waiting, it had finally come. For what or why… that nobody knew. But cares about that? They could all feel it. And they could see in the eyes of everybody else that they felt the same!
The secret key to it all was in that peculiar painting. The king had been persuaded by it’s extravagance to store it inside the palace at Sersaiici. And thus the seed was planted. Nobody noticed the slow transformation that was happening inside the painting, the blooming of the colors, the transformation in mood. It was too slow for mortals to notice as the changes were at each stage was so minuscule that only somebody with a fantastic memory seeing it but once a week might have a chance to notice something. But what everybody DID notice was the gradual change of the mood at the imperial court radiating even to the distant colonies. There had always been royal intrigues and assassination attempts, this was normal, but nobody could figure out why their frequency had been increasing… seemingly on a weekly basis. In the first year it was barely noticeable as the court spies would catch them before anybody could realize and eliminate all traces, but by the 3rd year it was becoming hard to hide rumors of all the failed attempts, and by the 5th it seemed just a matter of time until one would succeed. The punishments for intrigue were getting more and more severe, some even grotesque, which would normally reverse the tide at the cost of just some good prestige, but as it was currently not even that worked. The strangest thing was that the assailants were not the same, or even the same interest group, but rather of seemingly different backgrounds and motivations, and constantly new groups emerging… the strange painting was indeed working. He’d have to order more to gift to the other rulers across the continent!
When she got her hands on the old manuscripts from back in the first centuries of the founding of the great cult of power, the first thing she did was search among them for any mention of the famous Cup of Fangs, used in the initiation ritual. For ten years now she had wondered at least how it looked like. Of course a nobody like her would never even get to see it, let alone touch it, still it had intrigued her endlessly. But what she found out was beyond her wildest expectations.
She had found some initial designs for the cup along with explanations of intended functionality. And in there she found something that possibly even the High Council Inner Group didn’t know… except maybe for one?!? If she correctly understood the Old Language, it seemed to suggest that the cup had a secret purpose also: that it’s name was more than a metaphor: that it was designed so that it would literally cut, a tiny unnoticeable mark, the lips of those who partook in the ceremony, and that those little droplets were a way for the cup to gather their powers, for a later unspecified purpose. This was too much for her to know! She wished she had never found this out. Surely she would be killed (or worse) if ANY of this got out. She was too afraid to even read further for fear that she may know more. She proceeded to burn them all!
And then the fire which undulated in weightlessness turned to sound, pulsating waves of it radiating and spreading with flows of deep blue wrapping around them like magical ribbons.
Having spent the last 9 years of his life and a considerable portion of his family fortune searching for “The last book of mysteries” the Honorable Count Iyoakhi Radanael Vlariki was understandably pleased when it was unexpectedly delivered to him on this snowy day of delayed spring. His excitement took a turn into depression though when he realized that far from being the old frail paper bound tome that he was expecting he received a metallic block which indeed matched the descriptions… but it was… ahem… made out of metal! Was this some kind of cruel joke of fate? How was he to open it? Melted into it’s top was also a golden figurine. He had of course read about the horrible guardian.. but this was ridiculous! Vlariki spent the night staring at it every which way, half crying in desperation, not helped much even by the strong alcohol he kept drinking. And thus sunrise came upon him, and as the first rays of the sun intruded through the window they hit the guardian figurine. That’s when at first when he thought he perceived a slight movement, but naturally he ascribed it to his drunkenness, but then he started to hear a distinctly growing and threatening hissing sound as the guardian began to move, at first slowly but then showing great and restless agility.