A creature of deep space, home on baren planets devoid of life and feeling, they are cosmic scavengers. How would such a creature end up on earth?
As the two grey haired men with incredibly expensive suits sat in the antechamber awaiting to see The Great Politician, they were getting more and more nervous. The older one was periodically wiping his sweat filled forehead with a golden embroidered handkerchief. They were THE two leaders of business and banking in their country, yet they both knew that the real power belonged to this diminutive man, the man who controlled men with guns who could destroy their empires in gunfire, and controlled the press in to every whim under state imperative. In a mixture of fear and boredom they would both repeatedly be looking at the big portrait painting that was dominating the great room. And as they did so, and as the minutes of waiting turned into hours, they started to get the feeling that the setting sun moving across it was revealing an underpainting, something much older and more frightening. Or maybe they were just going crazy.
“The last time the Kingserr had been mentioned in the histories was in some apocryphal writings which suggested that the secret campaign in the Peloponnesian wars was around it’s negotiated transfer safely from Thrace over the Aegean Sea and into Sparta, something which the Athenians naturally didn’t want to allow for fear of the horrible consequences. Since then this great artifact of the power of kings over kings has gone in the black market underground, with no official mentions. The silencing mainstream story tries to suggest that it was lost at sea, but rumors are beginning to resurface that it’s out on auction again.”
Excerpt from the intercepted blood note
Frimuntz Kulbert was born and raised in the big city and was just starting to make a name for himself in the still emerging field of portrait photography when the great war broke out. It was said to be the war to end all wars, that it would be quick and decisive, and other such stupidity. Patriotic cries were everywhere, in newspapers, on the streets and especially on the radio, no other opinions were tolerated by the thought police. As he feared he was called into the army. Kulbert was under no self deceiving illusions of what that meant, he wasn’t like that fools that spoke enthusiastically of “dying for one’s country”. Dead was dead… and as evil as the propaganda portrayed the other side to be, he knew he was more in danger of being shot “as a coward” by his own side than by those “evil foreigners”.
< So he ran away. Who cares if they'd call him a deserter? There's no pride in death. If he was going to die anyway, he'd rather do so running eastwards through forests. Who knows, maybe the other side wouldn't shoot him. They might imprison him, but at least they wouldn't trust him enough to make him a "honorable" suicidal soldier, like his "loving"compatriots would. His best hope was to run into one of those peasants he'd heard of, secluded and isolated. After 3 days he thought he saw one in the deep woods. As he realized he was looking at something else he instinctively reached for the only thing from his old life he'd brought with him, his camera.
The Forgotten Catacombs had been built in the early years of the roman empire, then, as now, serving as a prison and experimentation facility for the handful of shadow beings from Beyond that were captured by mankind. The roman emperors who experienced the great millennial planetary alignment and the resultant horrors that seeped into our dimension were painfully a serious threat to their rule. That’s when the unholy alliance with the Anatherit warriors was done. It wasn’t an easy decision as these creatures where despicable abominations that put fear into the hearts of even the most veteran soldiers, but what won’t a ruler do to maintain his power? In fact this alliance worked surprisingly well for many many centuries. Indeed it worked so well that in just a few decades most of the mortals came to never have to encounter beyonders themselves, and over the centuries popular culture forgot of their existence. However, as humanity grew and prospered forgetting this ancient pact, the Anatherit became discontent and began to neglect their ancient horrible duties, leaving more and more inhumans to roam the mortal realms.
AnNichi Rebamael – Historian of the Forgotten
A lemplaj infestation advances slowly, very very slowly. It takes many weeks, months, sometimes even years until the disturbing biomass conquers a usable habitat. This however doesn’t make it less terrifying, as the realization of the inhabitants has time to settle in and all attempts of stopping it fail, be it in slow motion but still irreversible ways. Feeding on all kinds of biological mass, not just plant and animal life but many a brave knight has unwilling fed it to a new explosion. The same driver growing it also kills it off though, as it runs out of nutrient it eventually dies out leaving behind only little red spore formations. Cursed is the fool who would want to collect such spores.
For generations all the inhabitants of the small isolated mountain village of Nigaggua had known to avoid the great cavern upriver from them. Maybe it was common sense. Maybe it was tragic experiences long forgotten even by collective memory. Either way, they knew enough not to try to explore it, and to ignore the occasional otherworldly screams that occasionally came from there. Not so the group of 10 tourists that came that weekend. They were never heard of them again…
The brothers Dheadjat had always been united. United in their desire to have more land. To own it, to control it, along whit whoever passed upon it. This was as true today as it was 3047 years ago when they lived out their mortal lives. They started out humbly with some adventurous thieving and pillaging with their small band, but within a short decade or two they managed unite a few tribes and after a couple of guided wars they managed to take over their own little government, even to graduate into instituting the moral code in their region by smart use of a couple of priests, until it became immoral to oppose their tributary taxes, as they began to call them. Nothing to complain, they lived a good life, with many castles and many slaves, up until a leisurely luxurious old age.
The only thing that surprised them was awakening fused together, just a few short years after their deaths, into this dark overlapping dimension. It was strange, but after a while they got used to it. Pillaging among the dimensions had it’s joys that they could live with. They had some disagreements though, now that they had to share a body as well as these strange lands. This lead to them not talking for a few centuries, but in the end they still shared the same passion, this desire to acquire more precious land, and even without words they had this unspoken understanding of what is truly precious.
The fantastic thing about the golden figurine was how it synergized with it’s environment in a way that was nothing less than supernatural. It was slow, to be sure, but in a matter of short hours it was already noticeable. At first it would lose it’s perfect polished gold shine, and itself acquire the characteristics of it’s surroundings, be it moss, rust, erosion and even environmental micro-vegetation. But the even more incredible effect was that over longer time-frames it’s environment would also transform as if to seep into the same universal substance. THIS was the part that on the one hand excited and on the other frightened him terribly to the point of recurring nightmares.
He had experimented in different environments, from his house to fort ruins to dirt to wild forests. He dared not leave it anywhere more than a few days for when you thought about it, about the logical continuation of what he saw every time… it was quite frightening. Enriching, indeed, and he had already made a much resented new fortune based on it… but also frightening in the possibilities should he ever forget it somewhere for a longer period. He still bore the painful scars of the first days of excitement when he foolishly used to carry it in his pockets.
It is murmured in woefully dark library corridors that to the reader of the ancient 8 Kara-sasirr-Yi books of knowledge, dimensional gates open as he uncovers the secrets within their pages. Each one more difficult and more distant in space and time and mind’s madness than the other, the word-feeling-spirit key to each one hidden in the forbidden knowledge of the previous book’s ritual’s. At the end of this road, beyond the corrosive mists of atemporarity lies a world full of the archives of ancient beings from many universes, a warped gathering and mirroring of many dimensions holding great secrets… or possibly great horrors? For of the very few who managed through the 8th portal, none have returned to tell. Was it because of the endless knowledge to be found there… or because of a far darker and more frightening reasons, holding them there for a lugubrious eternity?
He was totally lost. He’d been walking for hours in what must’ve been gigantic circles as he had the feeling he kept seeing the same trees. And that thing. It was like a vase… just that it wriggled a bit, or at least made his mind imagine things. It was too strange for him, so he just avoided it and always took the opposite direction, yet somehow he’d always end up back near it. In the end he gave up and approached, only to find himself in a conversation that lasted many days and nights, or so it seemed to him. It told him the fascinating tale of what was once something like the spirit of these woods, and it’s binding into tangibility.
At times through their history humans have wondered if the gods play dice with the universe, which is of course not true. Chess is more like the game they play, with some chaos thrown in for most delightful outcomes to surprise even the ether-beings. Powerful demons have at one time or another been just pieces moved around by hands of more powerful shadow forces.
The recently departed professor’s old office was filled from floor to ceiling with stacks of papers, notes and even sketches of his studies. One that attracted his attention what was a colored crayon depiction with the following sub-note scribbled in ugly hand writing:
“The Lokuss of space-time is a form of energy like any other, a structured form of the universe, so naturally there have evolved beings that feed upon it’s order and live and develop based on it’s entropic transition of form.”
To my son,
should he be foolish enough to follow in the footsteps of his father, I leave this message on my death… bed?!? (can you even call it death as your spirit fades and multiplies exponentially across dimensions, yet into shapelessness unable to carry memories?). I leave this message written inscribed into the fabric folds of our dimension as the only hope to get to you: never judge an outer being by the shapes we know as earthlings! For our human mind cannot comprehend the expressions on the faces of other species, let alone when they’re not of our worlds. Their value systems and ways of communication are so far from ours! That was my conceit of knowledge as I judged that animal-looking gargoyle I found in the sunken ruin by human thought, thinking a to me Phasianidae-looking being was harmless and weak-minded… I was wrong. So so wrong.
————- Lost testament of a fading father
As I lay that night in bed, for some reason sleep kept eluding me and instead I felt myself in a restless strangely frightened state, with no reason that I could discern. I kept feeling there was something wrong about the past day, but I just couldn’t figure out WHAT it was. The visit to the factory with the pompous ignorant state official was surely nothing out of the ordinary. The parade, the workers with the flowers, singing as usual something foolish about how their collectivist experiment was going to be glorious and righteous, about how the productivity in the factories as in the fields has been improved by big percentages and all that usual nonsense that had always been convenient for rulers to convince the masses of for thousands of years just as long as they got to rule them with iron fists. But, let’s be honest, that was the usual, nothing special. It must’ve been something I had seen, something not obvious enough for my conscious mind to pick it up, but that somehow now my subconscious was nagging me with. I tried for hours to sift through all the memory imagery of the day, all the flowers and colorful ribbons, the women and the men in festive attire yet working for show at the dirty machinery, the big billboards, the fresh strong paint on the otherwise decrepit factory and machinery, all of it meant to overwhelm the senses along with the sounds of machinery and people at work, meant to convince through me the bank that we should give them yet another loan for their newest great utopian dream… all of that was what my mind had sort of noticed and remembered, the themes on the walls of workers holding hands and singing praise to the motherland or some-such typical nonsense. Was it the bombardment of new “modern artwork” covering walls and the freshly made big imposing statues? No! The big bas-relief with the typical patriotic nonsense in the new artwork style sanctioned by the government… no it wasn’t that still… But there was something… something sticking like a thorn in the back of my visual memory, something nagging for an answer!
And then, it hit me! It was the little bust on the desk of the factory foreman! It just didn’t fit! It wasn’t in the new state religion artwork style, neither did it have any uplifting patriotic message for the masses. And then it hit me why my brain must’ve noticed it: unlike everything else that was freshly painted over for my inspection IT looked old, very old, and even rusty at parts. Except the top part which seemed very smooth, like those religious artifacts from the time before the state atheism became all encompassing, the ones which the masses would touch a lot for luck/blessing/salvation and they’d become smooth and worn in those spots. THAT’s how that bust looked like! It didn’t make any sense!!! And why would it be there!?! Surely the government representative would not be the worshiping type… and yet it was all there, I remembered it now clearly. I couldn’t sleep all night wondering about this. How peculiar! I finally managed to fall asleep after filling out a form 5347b request which I’d mail first thing in the morning to ask for another inspection of the local officials. This prospect seemed to finally calm my tired mind enough to fall into the much needed sleep.
The imperial jester then proceeded to advise the ruler (something the foreign ambassadors found eminently strange) that he put down the blade of blood and instead accept and pay tribute to both overlords, thus feigning respect and submission until the time shall come that their lands were strong enough and the religious fervor of the peoples was intense enough that they will be able to overturn the occupiers and take what was rightfully theirs by the right of strength and determination.
He spoke in a booming angered dimensional voice: “Students of the ether-mysteries, listen up, and listen up good as I’m only repeating this one more time. Your test results were pathetic, in particular the ineptitude answers you gave to the questions relating to the VaseK ritual of binding were simply embarrassing. Not a single one of you gentlemen made a half decent effort at learning how to to duplicate the effects of a spirit capture in a VaseK holder. Instead you all blurted out the methods of a weak simple one and useless trivia such as it changing appearance to reflect the spirit held within, but that is the things that every initiate knows even just from fairy tales. Lamentable! Get back to your respective universe laboratories, and come back better prepared the next time!”
It took a few hours until the clouds and thunder went away and the mini earthquake stopped. They’d study better for the next time. Some were having second thoughts about what they had enrolled in.
What remained of him after the ascension-transmogrification was not really a pretty sight. A shell of his former physical human self, a mixture of all the biological and ethereal beings he had consumed, he would definitely not be accepted back into the high society polite circles he came from just a few centuries ago. But that didn’t bother him, nor did the screams in the rare occasions he showed his true new form to what used to be his kind. What he did miss however, was water. Immortality and powers beyond even his ambitious plans were now his, pulling the strings of the world like a true dark puppeteer, but he missed water.It wasn’t just that his newly pieced together body would be at risk if he left the safety of the dry deserts and arid lands because of the increased corrosion of atmospheric moisture, but there was something, something about large bodies of water that stopped him from approaching, lest he become unconscious again for another decade like the last few times he tried with his typical stubbornness. He had succeeded it multiple times, to cross seas and oceans… with enough preparation and at high expenses it could be arranged that he is carried safely across, even in his slumbering state… but he hated it, and he hated that loss of control as the world passed by. Sob he often stood, as near as he could get to the edging of aridity and great waters, and on the hottest days with his empty sockets stared for hours with his mind-eyes trying to understand what frightening powers could be lurking there, stopping even a monster like him from approaching the fascinating waves and their great secrets of the depths.
I soon discovered that meditating upon the little figurine would lead to a kind of “projection” from it, some kind of spiritual form of it, which would then in turn take my spirit with it. In this form I would see myself above the clouds, which were moving like a strange stratosferic ocean of peace, uncaring for the turmoil of the world far bellow it. And near me, standing huge was a solidified cloud of the figurine itself, except that it was different, opening up to reveal it’s inner power, making me see the world bellow with far different eyes, eyes in the mind.
Upon seeing the artifact the team of archaeologists brought back from the expedition the museum administrator almost broke into crying. This had been a huge investigation, the culmination of years of research and excavations… and now all they had to show for it was a pile of broken shards, which might’ve been a great thing once, but would impress no visitor today. His spirits started to lift in the coming days as, as if through some miracle, over the passage of hours and days, it would seemingly gather and form into something more interesting. In a few weeks the artifact became the museum’s chief exhibit, public, press, even officials and scientists from the old continent would come to see the slow-forming-miracle, and unlike all other exhibits which at their best got one visit per customer/month anybody who saw it would come back the next day to see the progress as it was the talk of the town in each cafe. After a while the konstruct even started to supernaturally float in the air, and in a few weeks it had begun to form a bubble of sorts, of vacuum and glass and … who knew? But who cared?!?! This was a hit, a great hit! Now if only it would stabilize already…
The few ever seen by mortals, were described like a mass of bones fused as if in great heat and polished eternally by wriggling black threads that lurk under the skin. It is speculated that they improbably rise in the rare event that an asteroid from the heavens hits a mass/pile of bone (or creates one?), and are somehow the result of an alien consciousness either taking possession of them or bringing them to life with a fused will.
Nobody believed me until i showed them, but ever since I recovered that strange statuette from the cave in the jungle, I started to be able to “feel” somehow all the insects in the vecinity (about 5 miles by my estimation, which was quite vague given the confusing cacophony of unnatural “signals” i was perceiving). After the little show I put on for them last friday night, evoking a few shouts of amazement and followed by nervous laughter and even some applause they started to believe me, and treat me like some kind of hero of humanity. What I was afraid to tell them though was that I could feel the connection was two-way, and that influenced by my way of thinking and perceiving the universe through my eyes I could feel the hive mind developing quickly in rather unsettling ways.There was no need for them to know, after all, right?
And then in the twirls of thickening darkness I started seeing a shape, no more of them, feeding upon the soul-remains of the depths. I remembered then of my master’s teachings and realized I was seeing the bottom feeder beings known as Deepscourers. Remembering that was fortunate, as otherwise I might’ve let myself be deceived by it’s benign looking, almost peaceful outlook and gotten closer, risking being mistaken for a damned soul and being mercilessly fed upon.
“The nightmare traveler journals” by Ruberti Markun
To be honest it surprised her that nobody commented on the huge and very peculiar stone sticking out of the river as they passed by it. Any other day she would have made a big deal out of this, but given the shocked state in which the whole team still was after the earlier life threatening events, she tried to shrug it off and just forget about it. But for some reason however she discovered she just couldn’t and she kept wondering about the face she (thought she?) saw stuck/emerging/transformed/captive in the stone. What strange epithets to use. It was just a stone. Surely!She was ashamed of herself for thinking like that, after all maybe it was just some natural rock formation, an accident of the weather corrosion, or maybe who some kind of long forgotten meaningless sculpture. Why was she still thinking about it!?!? It had been more than an hour now. And not like she didn’t have the opportunity to raise the issue: everybody was silently walking along in shocked exhaustion, with only the quiet hum of those annoying mosquitoes to be heard. She could’ve said something! Did nobody else notice it? Was it too late to tell them how it made her feel? Would she just make a fool of herself? And why couldn’t she stop thinking about it? And then there were these other thoughts…
It was true, that which they all feared so much that they invented religions to cover it up: money did bring him happiness! Lots of it. And most importantly, the power to fulfill his goals. Thus he was already 60 when he finally was able to afford buying the Bazial Statuette at the gallery (after a series of well orchestrated political bribes, of course). But what matters? It was now his, forever! He had been obsessed by it and driven into higher motivation in his many businesses and exploratory endeavors. It wasn’t easy, and sometimes he felt like giving up, resting his tired always spinning mind, but then he’d visit the gallery, look at it memorized in deep thoughts for minutes on end, reflect upon the legend of how it’s golden base was molded onto the shape of the jaw of a long extinct dinosaur with supernatural attributes that had allegedly killed many Agrrarorian and later Nermani mages who tried to control it. It always gave him new energy, and now, after all this time, it was finally resting in his own home, the most valuable of all his great treasures.
The Eyeani Emblem seems unimpressive to the unknowing, but what makes it special is that it’s a frightfully repugnant mental sight to the observant holders of the dimensional gates to the plane of Norikash. A dimension normally inaccessible, it’s transfer gates are held shut by the many little gossiping watchers. They like to see everything, everywhere, at the same time, and nothing escapes their inquisitiveness. The Eyeani Emblem however reverts this reality like an inside out planar mirror, and therein lies it’s wonder. It projects back onto them the eyes of the world, which is the most frightening thing to them, making them lose grips on their portal for a short while, thus enabling intrusion. This however should not be done more often than once a century otherwise they get gradually and increasingly immunized, leaving this wondrous place locked away for untold aeons.
I’m outraged! How indirect can you get when the only depiction of the great deserter general that was maintained till today is a student’s drawing of what must’ve been a comemorative bust of this famous figure of the interdimensional war. Of course plenty of details are known about his actions when he famously turned from being a demon crossbreed general to instigating and training the movement of the slave-beings, yet despite all the historical records we have about his actions, this is the only guess we have as to how the (part)”man” behind the actions might’ve looked. And even this is contested by those speculating this is a “humanized” depiction, as was the current standard practice in the centuries of speciation discrimination of early scholarship.
from the journal of “The Apocryphal Historian”
Normally the fields and forests all around the village were relatively quiet, with nothing but the mundanely soothing sounds of cows eating and the occasional runaway agitated geese to be heard. Not so today. The screams of horror and distress could be heard echoing all along the countryside, over the field and even across the river delta. Villagers could be seen from a distance running away screaming, like little agitated points moving across the grass. Upon approaching one could notice that some were stained with splashes of fresh blood.
It had been just one egg, presented as a curiosity at the Saturday market, but when it hatched and the young baby had the urgent biological need to feed after its many years of incubation. Others would have sympathized with with the poor tragic bystanders, but traveling professor Narkhu’m Lervantus felt more for the poor baby (which he suspected to be a Ktronimus dimension slice incarnation). Sure, it was tragic, and he definitely wouldn’t have wanted to see this “front row and center”, but how was IT any more guilty than any other form of life with its newborn instinct of feeding and desire to grow and take its place under the sun? If anything one could take pity on it as its parent were not of the nurturing type and it had to take its first risky steps in life on its own.
In the middle of the cavern was a white glowing almost milky liquid that would gradually thin into the thickness of a glowing fog. At first I noticed an ominous shadow swimming a few centimeters underneath, but then it rose and broke the reluctant surface only to emerge and start slowly lifting into the center of the lake like a majestic living chitinous column.
In the frightening depths of oceans, where no human has ever been except in nightmarish dark visions, there where horrible ancient creatures still swim undisturbed as they have for millions of years, the Aqueroyel is king among the underwater demons through a mixture of savage violence and unfading old magic from beyond. Only a true madman, consumed by all absorbing power hunger, could ever even conceive challenging him in his domain.
“Etheral Bureaucrats of the outer dimensions, the Branded Observariusoid float between universes and time, capturing all sorts of esoteric knowledge for unknown nefarious purposes. Scholars have speculated they centralize and coordinate it but nobody I’ve ever talked with has an even half credible guess as to whom they could be reporting to.”
from the private notes of Archimedius the 3rd, Great Scholar of the Unknown
By my third week of captivity I have realized that what I initially took to be a bunch of mindless giant insectoid beasts was far more than that, that it was a society, complete with social norms, cultures and an intricate religion. From my strangely manufactured cage I had now seen how three times a day a “chosen one” would be elected by group consensus and it would have what I can only assume was the honour of getting to carry their idol/deity through the community, to the great reverence of the others (one day I observed the individual for the whole next day and he seemed to have temporary higher privileges as a result). This moment was apparently of great sanctity, not to be disturbed, as unfortunately some of my fellow prisoners had learned. Normally nobody seemed to pay attention to us in preparation for some great ritual, BUT, anybody who spoke louder than a whisper during the procession was promptly silenced… forever. I write these things down in the journal today also, in the hope that when the great ceremony happens and if I am right I will be taken away they will ignore this little leather bound notebook and then after the next migration somebody of my own species will find it and learn something from it, that it may not be too late for them also and they may learn from our mistakes.
——— from “The lost notebook” ———
After just a few hours of wondering around the great plain all the while fumbling with the makeshift map the old man had made for me, I finally got to what seemed to me the spot matching his description. I even found the strange “petrified” rock he had talked about incessantly, but they didn’t seem like anything special to me. However, upon putting on the uncomfortable ring that he had sold me me all that changed, at least in my eyes. The whole landscape turned crimson and I could now see the shape that what he had struggled to describe INSIDE the stone. The irony was upon me as (should I ever muster his courage) I would struggle too from now on.
The island of Zolglos was truly beautiful to behold. The trouble was convincing any of the superstitious natives on the surrounding islands to actually take him there. They were all afraid of some wax-stone great statue in a cave or something stupid like that. Ignorant primitives! They were clearly inferior intellects, for why else would hundreds of people crowd in the scarce tiny landmasses of the archipelago when there, in the center of them all, was a huge island within viewing distance, that looked to be teaming with life and vegetation, and, if the stories were true, had been once the host of huge cities of many thousands, but now lay there abandoned, ripe for the picking, full of ancient treasures!?! In the end he decided to buy one of their canoes and go there alone if need be.
First and foremost, there’s the dispersionary forces of the universe, pushing things apart, desiring expansion. But all this would lead to too much thin spreading of the life essence over the universe and thus the spirits of cohesion, lead by the mighty pseudo-visible Prototoniaa Elypsi were born, to keep things together. Mistake this not for a benevolent force, as it can easily be a togetherness of slavery and dictatorial, as many civilizations have experienced. Yet it must be so.
from “Teachings for the Raliaani larvae colony”
In my dream the strangely (?) colorful (?) being was explaining to me a kind of mathematics of waves and concentric circles, a looping and returning, arrangements and combinations that harmonized ethereally. I could feel deeply that what it was telling me was important, and that should I understand it it would change everything, not just for me, but the universe, but I could feel it losing my grasp with every outreach. I woke up at that point, as somebody ran by on the street close to where I had been sleeping and splashed unto me water even colder than the murky rain of the evening, which had apparently not woken me up. I tried hard to remember something of what it said, but all that remained in my mind was a kind of ringing of my ears in ways of alien harmonics.
There were many wondrous things hidden in her father’s secret chamber. She had suspected it must exist ever since she was but a young girl. This must be where he would sometimes disappear to for days, without any of the servants having had seen him leave. But of all those things she discovered after he died, the most fascinating was a crystalline figurine. Every couple of hours it seemed to vibrate in high frequencies… and she swore she could hear voices in it. Voices with strong opinions, world views much stronger than her own. Voices telling her what to do, guiding her, for good or for evil, that she couldn’t tell anymore.