Invocation of Khaerrezal III

Purge all wasting

from my shell,

that tidal,

I may over swell,

the cage of stone,

the plane of night;

in vacuum dark

past crystals slight,

that I may find

the wretched core,

of ordained decline

and boundless hoar;

the primal vector;

cosm’s root;

and there enthroned,

reign absolute.

The House Of Starless Sky

§

Behold, the house of starless sky

Thread the needle through the eye

Of the storm that ever breaks

On windy shores of I’hy’s lakes

—Stands the dome of vanta

§

And if the suture be not torn

And if the will be sure of form

The seeker may then pass the fjord

To hear the whispers of its lord

—In the dome of vanta

§

He is the wind beneath the lake

He is the storm that endless breaks

He is the iron, in the ore

He is the key—and you, the door

—To the dome of vanta

§

Rumination One | What Did It Matter?

When I awoke from the dream the world seemed to have shifted. As if something within me had moved or grown or diminished, I knew not which, only that something was different. It were as if I had carried those fateful imaginings back into the waking world with their full weight, as if they lingered in the air about me. I remembered the man man’s ax hacking through my flesh and the ocean of blood and the bodies, half-alive and rendered by great columns of barbed wire so thick and expansive that they were more mountain-range than scrap heap. Yet never once had my constant passanger appeared; it was the first time in many nights he had abandoned me completely. Why? Had I done something to displease him or had he simply grown bored of my company? The very thought sent shockwaves of anger throughout my inner sanctum. He could have warned me! Could have girded me against that malformed and perilous realm! If I had displeased him, let him tell me how, let him tell me why. If he had grown bored of my company, let him say as much, for I was not so pathetic as to be unable to bare the brunt of such a emotional assault.

All these thoughts and more swirled throughout my fast churning mind as I rose from my bed and stretched in the amber’d light before the window pane of my loft.

It was just a dream.

What did it matter?

The Third Visitation | The Red Duomo

IN MY DREAM | The red duomo loomed over me, suspended between a bottomless mist that had a bizarre solidity, enough to maintain the weight of a full-grown man and the endless ambit of a shimmering and starless sky, black save for a strange-flickering of blue-lightening, threshing the skin of the void like great and arcane flails. Curiosity overwhelmed my mind upon gazing up at the high and imposing facade which looked to have been carved of ancient stone and after a moment in nervous contemplation of my circumstance I took a step forward whereupon I heard the voice of my ever-present companion, echoing throughout my mind in a hundred discordant tongues.

The tempation of curiosity leads thee down a path which thou art not prepared to tread. You know nothing of what lies beyond this portal, yet, in thy errantry, thou hurries forth without a care. Most unwise.

What therein could harm me? Some monstrosity? If you know, speak.

It is not monsters which thee should fear.

You speak in riddles! Plainly now.

If from this much thy cannot glean even the smallest morsel of wisdom then, for thy understanding, it is not. Experience is the greatest teacher. Step forth, fool, and see what awaits.

I bristled at the entities’ barbed remarks and steeled myself to ascend the portal and enter the duomo. Inside I found myself walking down a long hallway lined with mirrors and clocks, whose arms were frozen at different times. The hall let out into a grand foyer which was covered over in a thick silky carpet of a sanguine hue much akin to the chandeliers which hung in thick and odd-angling bundles from every possible surface of the ceiling. Across the red I moved, covered over in red light and there beheld two branching paths, the first was another corridor down which I could see a glistening golden mask where the eldritch light ebbed from almandine to tanzanite. The other path cut off to the north and therein was a temple and an altar and a woman upon the altar. The offering table was swathed in red cloth and the woman upon, naked; tracing the laylines of her body with slow, sensuous movements; at length she gestured to me and though I could not see her face, covered as it was by shade, it seemed as if she were smiling, eyes twinkling like fallen stars. Instantly, I began making my way to the female, my heart pounding, knocking gainst my ribs like the kettle drum of some agued madman; to touch her, to feel her warm embrace, to trace the gorgeous curves of her body and to kiss her plump and shimmering lips, red as blood, were to the working of my fevered imagination to reach a state of absolute perfection.

I could hear the rumbling of the entity within me. He was displeased but his echoing voice was drowned by the barbaric increase of my lust. Shortly I stood before the woman, her hair writhed above her, as if suspended in invisible liquid and a darkness masked her face, a darkness that seemed to have a solidity all its own. I extended my hand and she took it and pulled me close as the entity burst through the inner sanctum of my mind, wreakful and scolding.

Leave this place. She means to drain thee of thy passion. She-

Silence!

Deign to lecture me, boy? Thee might as well cut thy wrists. What passion will well once it has been exhausted in this frivolous, disgusting dance? Have thee forgotten thy purpose?

I did not answer. Did not listen and instead cupped the mysterious woman’s breasts with strong, sinewy hands, to her infinite delight. She moaned and tore at my clothes, tossing them free of my pale, tensing flesh and pulled me upon the altar and kissed me upon the lips, her loins grinding ‘gainst my own, swelling my hardness, eroding all sense of place or time or purpose. The darkness upon her faces swelled as I thrust my manhood within her warmth, spilling out upon me like some distended abyssal cephalodpod; feelings of confusion, bliss and terror mingled all and washed over the totality of the soma liken to a wave of crystal mist. As my thrusts became ever more wild and animalistic the darkness grew and as it grew the red cloth rose and grew, shifting strangely all about the room as if it were possessed of a mind of its own. It merged with the darkness, becoming as a floating river of blood and wrapt about me; first the wrists, then the torso, then the neck. I gasped. Unable to breath and, as the blood river tightened upon me, unable to move. The woman giggled and stroked my chest from where she lay below and then dragged one, long sabre’d nail down my pectorals, slicing through my flesh and drawing a ruddy, gushing line; a living art display.

I screamed and screamed and screamed until the blood river slithered about my mouth and down by throat; filling up my lungs til the grotesque liquid spilled out my nose and dripped in heavy globs upon the skin of man and woman alike.

You were right. Hear me, ᚲᚺᚨᚨᚱᛁᛉᚨᛚ and forgive my impetuousness!

Forgiveness breeds weakness. Yet, it is not my forgiveness thy utmost desires, but rather, assistance.

Both.

Will thee promise to listen when next thou art advised?

I give you my solemn promise!

Good.

The woman, still cackling maliciously, drew her claw down to my stomach, but when she attempted to pierce my flesh once more, her sword-like nail clattered ineffectively against a blackened carapace which glistened abhorrently under the temple’s rubied hue. She gave a hideous roar and slammed her claws ‘gainst my chest with all her might, yet that assault too afforded her nothing, for the entities chitin had ensconced my body. I could feel his power flowing through me and merging with my own. I gave a shout and tore free of the living blood river and spit up the remnants which resided within my lungs and grabbed the woman about the head and without expression crushed her skull between my obsidian hands.

The Second Visitation | The Sea of Corn

IN MY DREA M | I stalked along a dusty road which ran betwix two fields of corn that stretched beyond the line of sight and vanished into the space between earth, horizon and sky, the liminal realm where Apep lay with baited breath for the encroachment of his eternal foe. Each stalk, higher than the highest man and certainly higher than the five foot, eight inches of blood and bone and flesh.

A strong wind gusted in from above and shortly thereafter, a sound in the corn. A steady and readily multiplying thrumming, liken to the sound of footfalls, but unlike the footsteps of any normal man. My heart raced and my breath quickened as something moved beyond at the periphery of my sight, fear subsumed me and pressed me to its bosom. With haste, way was made into the cornfield, stalks flying by, as if accelerated through some cosmic convergence; shortly, a clearing with an old scarecrow. I braced myself against the farmyard prop and listened. Nothing. Straightening, I caught the mischievous wyrm-of-breath which sought its escape from my heaving lungs, longing to return to its brethren in the clouded realm of the lunar dancers where they thundered to ancient and draconian rhythms.

Back in, back in! I require thee! Fuel for my engine. Fuel to flee this queer plot.

The next moment there came a dreadful creaking. Wood. The scarecrow was moving! It’s head spun about in unnatural, inhuman contortion to stare at me with it’s blank, black sack-hole eyes. Then it leapt from its wooden perch, leapt at me! The next moment was a blur of motion, my feet hitting the husk scattered ground hard and fast until I was long and good and free and clear of the animated farm ornament and his clacking and odd-angled limbs of wood and hay and cloth.

They are coming. To rend and tear. To rip and gnash. To sund and split.

Alack, again that voice, ringing in mine ears as if it were emanating from my vary brain! It was HIM. He who I had encountered in my last dream, he who had loomed over me upon the endless stair in the limitless hall. I could not see his centipedal form but could feel his presence, pulsing, not around, but within me.

What will you do? How will you gird your pathetic flesh? Can you? You can barely keep up this pace. Already your legs slacken, your pulse soars and your pores slick over with wetness. The whole of the body subsumed by fear. Feeble.

Shut up!

Anger will not avail you. I did not bring you here. You have no one to blame but yourself.

I’m not the one chasing me – now – get out of my head!

The scarcecrows close upon you. You cannot outrun them for they do not tire.

Get. Out. Of. My. Head.

The words poured out of my mouth this time, no longer merely contained to my mental sanctum; as if the foreign entity within me had expelled all speech, as if his consciousness had begun to displace my own. Control swiftly dissipating. Tension and dread the whole of my form, form the whole of my world. Was this how it was to end? Was I to die sad, harried and alone in a nowhere cornfield? I would not allow it. This was not my design.

Your imagination rebels against demise, for you can picture a life beyond your present circumstance… the will is lacking.

The will? Did he expect me to fight them? Still running haplessly, I shot a glance behind; the scarecrows where everywhere, numbering in the hundreds, lumbering through the corn with savage increase, their forms horridly skeletal in the failing, amber light.

Why aid me, ᚲᚺᚨᚨᚱᛁᛉᚨᛚ?

An amused laugh echoed throughout the endless caverns of my mind.

Why not? Better you then they. They’ve no imagination. They are no artists. They are no creators. They are husks and nothing else besides.

Tell me then, what am I to do?

Find the ship that lies to the north.

I nearly gasped for my route of escape had taken me south. To find the ship the entity spoke of I would have to transgress against the skeletal horde.

The choice is a simple one. Your coward’s heart or me. Decide.

I glanced out at the field, roiling out and beyond the horizon’s fathomless edge. He was right, there was no escape. Steeling the nerves and focusing my will I turned upon my heel and rushed the grotesque conglomerate. The first scarcecrow, feeble and rickety was as a brickwall and against it I was powerless. The creature pinned me to the ground, it’s sightless gaze piercing the outer sanctum of my mind; tearing into my flesh and reaving great and bloody gashes upon the ground. I shouted out in desperation.

ᚲᚺᚨᚨᚱᛁᛉᚨᛚ, help me!

The moment the words had left my mouth my skin was covered over in chintinous plate as dark as pitch, hard as obsidian and ‘gainst this newest skin my foe’s ravishments were rendered superflous; its scrawny wooden-straw arms dinging off my glistening carapace. Strength such as I had never experienced before surged throughout my body and with the lightest jerk of my arm I tore the monster’s head from it’s miserable body and threw it into the oncoming waves of its fellows. Charging through the rest was as if I were but passing through a shallow shrub and when fifty had been rendered by my hand a great galleon of clockwork rose up from the sea of corn, a ladder hanging from its side. Climbing aboard, it instantly began to rise, though it unhelmed and empty.

Standing upon the bow, the ship floating across the top of the stalks as if fording mighty waves, I looked down upon my inhuman form and smiled.

The First Visitation | ᚲᚺᚨᚨᚱᛁᛉᚨᛚ

IN MY DREAM | I stood upon a great stair in a endless hall, below which was a voiceless chasm, above which were the voices of a multitude. Tongues in discord liken to the rattling of leaves under a gale. All was lightless, save for a single beam upon the landing & when I stood thereupon the voices spoke as one & the hall was filled with a centipedal chittering. From the amniotic null arose the form of a great and monstrous being with a chintinous carapace like as that of a centipede. The wondrous thing enwrapt the stairwell and filled up the whole of the room and shuttered the light with its chthonic frame and spoke in a million concordant tongues.

D e v o u r 

My heart knocked ‘gainst my ribs; paralysis the whole of my form and, in that moment, my name. With great courage I steeled my nerves and forced myself to behold the towering entity, to muster the inner strength to hold it in my gaze. It was not the being’s size which impressed and terrified me, but rather, the tilt of it’s head, inquisitive and inhuman and the luminous sheen of it’s eyes, like coal-fire in the night and the pleasing tenor of it’s cacophonous voices. Yet, the creature did not move forth in a manner to threaten.

What was to be devoured?

A l l  t h a t  i s  t h a t  c a n n o t  b e c o m e

Even me? Will you devour me as well, creature? I inquired with the last and fading remnants of my courage. The titanic centipedeal being moved forth ever so slightly and, thought it had no lips, it seemed to smile.

O n l y  p a r t

When?

A l r e a d y

A strange sensation then in the pit of my stomach and when I looked no stomach of my own was left, but only a black and chitinous shell, like the carapace of a scarab. I opened my mouth to scream but the tongue was drowned by a dozen skittering legs which then slithered from my throat | I AWOKE AND KNEW HIS NAME.

ᚲ ᚺ ᚨ ᚨ ᚱ ᛁ ᛉ ᚨ ᛚ