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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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”
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The small mystical team had been trying to Shift for days. A few had quit in exhausted frustration, but others remained at the suspiciously secluded mountain cabin. Eventually they succeeded, and shifted to the Chromatic Dimension. At first they had great trouble even discerning their surroundings, but as they slowly got accustomed they realized that they were surrounded by a pack of hound-like beings, which seemed to be lead by something like a pack leader. Had they inadvertently and against all odds aroused the interest of the dreaded Modulacror?!
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.
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” ———
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
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.
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.
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”
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.
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
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.
The two photos that the old university professor had received from the deep sea divers were of a horrendous quality. Truly! He had expected much more from the advance of technology! He ended up having to hire artists for an interpretation that he could present in class. It was enough fro him to say that the creature was Animalia of Phylum Arthropoda, at least related to Subphylum Crustacea, but not much more. He could identify a lot of commonalities that he could explain, but also some organs that he could not explain and had no place being functional from an evolutionary perspective.
Unless they served some other purposes he was not aware of? No matter, he still was happy to have payed the divers even that exorbitant sum, as ever since he saw those images he had discovered a new zest for life and a surprising new hunger for his old age. Thus were his thoughts as he sat in the old mansion at the whole huge wooden table covered in half eaten marine animals, all bloody and uncooked emanating such an unpleasant odor that he thought it fortunate there was no longer anybody else around to complain about. But it didn’t bother him, on the contrary… it made him think of the photos and he felt hunger anew and lusted for more, feeling invigorated at the transformation he was feeling in his once frail body.
By now it was nothing unusual that the small lava pool was surrounded by more than twenty radio amateurs even in the scorching noon sun. It was so every day, for at least two months now, ever since that nosy newspaper man published the article letting the world know of the strange radio waves that could be picked up around it. There were many theories, the main one was that somehow the top of the dormant mini-volcano was somehow connected to a deeper magmatic receiver which was itself picking up signals from distant outer space, and that was the reason why they seemed to sound almost like a language that people felt they could understand but somehow still escaped them.
Things today ended very differently, as for the first time that … thiiing flew out of it, splashing hot lava in all directions over the screaming audience with what looked almost like a retarded boredom. It’s lack of interest towards the panicked group of amateur and professional scientific observers was the thing that most struck them, and the one detail they could all remember and agree on when at the hospital they related the experienced to agitated but useless municipal authorities.
Humbertos Nargha had studied ancient asian writing scripts all his life, and thus was more than qualified to the job that the secretive committee had given him. They were right to assume it’s some kind of pre-chinese set of glyphs, but obviously none of their previous translators had managed to figure it out. He might have also stumbled here, were it not for his doctor’s degree on ancient persian empire encrypted espionage messages, as this seemed to be a mixture of the two. So he proceeded to translate. It was a silly story about the artifact somehow connecting to the nearmost 1000 souls, unlimited by distance, only by soul count, and that it could then influence if not the thoughts then at least the feelings of those (there was some linguistic ambiguity here). What silly fairy stories grown ups must’ve believed in order to spend the huge resources they had done in order to acquire it and now translate it’s instructions. But who was he to complain, he got richly paid for his efforts!
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…
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
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.