Alla inlägg den 4 september 2013

Av Christian - 4 september 2013 15:30

As I said in my earlier notes, it has as of today been twenty years since the death of my uncle.

Twenty long years of paranoia, fear and though suppressed by endless effort… a certain apprehension.

 

I know in my bones that but for a miracle I will end up just like him; a mindless wreck left o fester in his on self-made Hell, but still. Still there is the undeniable fact that before his end, he knew. He knew that what we call “reality” is but an infinitesimal part of the Universe, and that the god of the Christian civilisation is but a newborn baby, mewling in impotent rage towards beings far older, far greater… and far more terrible.

And I do not think that his knowledge and his growing madness simply coincided, far from it. There are, as the great minds of earlier generations told us, things that Man was not meant to know, and to ignore such warnings is to invite mind-rending terrors from dimensions so strange and so utterly alien that our frail senses cannot hope to embrace it all without paying a most dreadful price.

 

Yet, a small part of me sees beyond the atrocities my uncle indulged in to gain his knowledge, and the horrors visited upon him in return, and that small part longs to experience that utmost insight into what lies beyond the boundaries of humanity, beyond the limits of Time and Space… endless, eternal, chaotic and beautiful.

The sound of pipes played by a piper unseen, unfathomable, burning at the centre of a Universe in the grip of powers the like of which we can barely even begin to imagine.

The Demon Sultan on his throne of madness, The Dark Pharaoh, The Woodland Mother of a Thousand Young, and the One we pray will remain undisturbed; the Dreamer Beneath the Waves. Ia! May He sleep forevermore!

 

Even as I pen down these words I feel the tendrils of madness slithering into my mind, a down-payment for the secrets I wrought from the books he bequeathed to me, for the knowledge hinted at long before he became in full the black stain on our family that he is now considered to be, the small truths he gave me hidden in the shape of bedtime stories and holiday reminiscing far below the radar of my mothers attention.

 

 

 

Looking back at it now as a man approaching his middle age, I can see clearly that he was preparing me for an inheritance vaster than the books and scrolls that I did receive, and I can only pray to these most ancient Gods that I manage to unite the pieces of this fragmented puzzle before the madness grows enough to make it impossible.

 

Then again, maybe the madness in itself is indeed the very key that unlocks the final door?

Not the Key nor the Silver Gate that Carter found, but a key to the doors of perception and sanity, like unto the sword that cut the Gordian Knot in half and freed the way… and what a way to travel it would be! Free from the limits of the human mind, free from the rigidity of the petty morals of mankind, free at last from the borders of the real!

 

No!

No, I must not allow myself to take such an easy way out. The loss of my mind is the price I swore that I would pay, and I WILL NOT break that word. Not only would it be betraying my own principles, but there is the possibility of some… thing… having heard the oath I took and that may decide to hold me true to my word, and if there is a single grain of truth in the stories of old, then that is something to be avoided at all costs.

I will suffer the consequences of my actions, knowing full well that madness or not, I am surely damned.

 

*****

 

A damnation well earned, some may say, and though I am in some ways tempted to agree I am still human enough to approach the unknown with my lust for knowledge tempered with fear and trembling, ironically like the followers of the Christian god were called to serve their lord and keep ignorant, secure and obediently waiting for others to tell them how to live their lives. Waiting for orders, waiting to do another’s´ bidding, waiting for some ethereal reward long after death.

 

Not so for this man.

No timidity born of fear, no false hope in promises never to be fulfilled. Since I awoke to the truths of this world, each day has been a struggle against that wilful stupidity in order to enact my never ending desire to break through the illusion that in ignorance lies bliss; a lie if ever there was one.

For as long as there are secrets to unravel, questions to be answered, pieces to assemble, I shall not rest. I may have already given up my sanity, and if I have to watch this wretched Earth turn to ashes and dust then so be it. The gray crowds inhabiting this planet has had their chance for thousands of years and done nothing; let the meek inherit the Earth, when I´m done sifting through the ruins for the last scrap of knowledge to be found!

 

This, because I know that the Old Gods are waiting for their servants to call the Names, raise the Signs and open the Paths for them to return, and if the small traces of power I have gathered about me is enough I shall be such a servant; not a dull-witted slave of the younger gods of the West, but a willing serf doing his duties not out of fear but with pride in a job well done, and knowing that the rewards will be both terrible and wondrous.

Ia! Ia! Let the Outer Darkness shine on us!

 

I… I´m slipping.

 

A moment of fear sends a chill down my spine, But I call to the Elder Gods for the strength to finish my task, pour another few drops of blood-honey in my wine, and after choking down the bitter taste of iron and dreams I can once again focus. I must fight to keep a grip on the part of my mind that remains human, at least for long enough to finish this, my testament and epitaph, my legacy and lament; a guide… and a warning.

Guide to those of you with sufficient strength of will and a warning to all others, weak, mindless fools that they are. Guide to those who can gaze into the abyss and let it gaze into you in turn, keep your eyes open and laugh at the Void, and warning to those of you who still walk in fear of the unknown and would rather spend life smothered in the comfort of your narrow-minded ignorance.

 

As such, I was once told that“A man chooses, a slave obeys”, and all these years later I fully understand what those words truly mean. I chose to listen to what my uncle told me and to hear what was hidden between sentences. I chose to follow the leads that his at he time nightmare-inducing fairytales gave, and when the veil of reality started to tear apart before the onslaught of this forbidden lore, I chose to take the path less trodden and commit myself, body and soul, to that journey.

 

 

Today, I choose to finish what I started twenty years ago, when the obsidian dagger that my uncle had appropriated on one of his many trips to the godforsaken corners of the planet was driven into his heart my very own hand. Driven in, wrenched out and with a hunger I have neither felt before nor since brought to my lips with hands as if in the control of another, outside, force. A slow movement and all the dread wisdom of his mind passed with that putrid blood into me.

 

I blacked out then, and when I woke up to the first morning light the room was empty.

 

The sacrifice had been accepted.

 

*****

 

But I digress.

 

The important thing here was not meant to be my own transgressions, but the deeds of my uncle and how those deeds, black as they were, led me to the place where I am today. I could begin like David Copperfield simply with an “I was was born, I grew up”, but I fear that would make for far to pale a story to tell. Let me instead begin when I first saw him for what he was; a seeker of forbidden wisdom, walker of forbidden paths and worshipper of forbidden and long forgotten gods.

 

The sound of his voice and the very scent he brought with him – a smell of yellowed parchment and the dust of old tombs – has been with me for as long as I can remember, and to this day I can not feel such a smell without falling into a sort of dread reverie. Made my first school trip to the local museum quite interesting, it did… and long will that unfortunate curator remember the name of my family.

Perhaps it is unwise of me to take such a flippant attitude to what happened then and happens still, but I have heard it said that the last capacity that a man looses when spiralling into madness is his sense of humour, so I guess it might be just another desperate attempt to keep hanging on to sanity by the skin of my teeth.

 

Long enough to complete this sad attempt at storytelling, at least.

 

Still, even as I write this I realise that the deeds of my uncle and what I myself have done are perhaps inseparable, and trying to bring order into the chaos of the Old Gods that we both serve may be more of a challenge than any of us could ever hope to overcome. They are infinite and strange, and when you have walked the path towards Them for several years, time itself seems to unravel to the point were it might even by my own quest that started my uncle down the very same roads decades before my birth.

 

I know not where I am heading safe for into damnation and madness, and I can barely remember what drove me here, so who am I mere mortal to say where cause ends and effect begins?

 

One beginning was the time when I woke up from a commotion downstairs, during the night before my tenth birthday. My father was angry, I could hear that easily enough by the way he was trying with all his might not to shout at the top of his lungs, but I knew not why.

There was another voice opposed to his, a voice harsh and strained as if the speaker was in great pain and could speak at all only through a great force of will; it would take almost a decade before I found out just how right I was in that assumption.

 

I fell asleep again, eventually, and all my efforts to coax from my father the reason that a man whom he told me was his estranged brother had visited in the middle of the night and what the fight had been about were in vain. Unsurprisingly I was told not to be nosy, and that it was “grown-up talk” that I would understand when I got older. Grow older I did, but I could never persuade my father to tell me about that particular night.

Although, in all fairness he did eventually tell me about his brother, even if never by name, as if naming him would somehow call down the so called darkness that he had supposedly gotten himself involved with and that had subsequently branded him as pariah and black sheep of the family.

 

Naïve as I was in my early teenage years I took the talk of darkness and black secrets as nothing more than a man holding on to his 1950´s values, and thought that my uncle had simply married a woman of colour or something in that vein… and little did I know how wrong I was.

 

 

Contrary to my youthful ignorance I know today of an Elder Being called by some The Dark Pharaoh, and I would be quite surprised if my uncle had not shared this knowledge, but the similarities in language ends there. I know also that there exists past the light of the most distant stars a darkness beyond anything we can possibly understand, a Void of pure nothingness were life itself is anathema.

Was my father as well aware of this; the Ancient Tenebrosity, the Gods Beyond, the secrets they hold and the price one might pay to learn those secrets? I am unsure as to the depths of his knowledge, but I hold no doubts that he had at least some insights.

 

What differed him from his brother was that while my father had always been careful, my uncle – I was told -  had since childhood been dead set in the habit of acting first and seldom, if ever, slow down to contemplate the effects that his actions might have. I assume that it was in no small amount this particular state of mind that led him to keep digging after the initial discovery of which I will probably never know the full story, and to keep searching for the next clue, headstrong and stubborn old man that he was, and to eventually tear asunder the last remnants of the veil that more merciful gods long since placed before our eyes to spare us from seeing to much. The veil was torn, and he saw.

 

He saw, he remembered, and eventually I too would come to see.

 

*****

 

And by the Old Ones the things I were to se and experience!

 

The Void beyond the stars not empty space, but darkness itself made manifest and sentient.

Gateways to worlds that has never had a name in any human tounge.

Gods worshipped when Atlantis was young, and who’s altars are still waiting to be found in the hidden places of this Earth.

 

I saw it all, and it changed me.

 

 

 

 

It changed me in ways neither you nor I will ever fully understand no matter how long this testament of mine becomes. Some things simply can not be described, only experienced in person, and while I do not doubt that you are curious just as I once was, rest assured that you are better off not knowing the full extent of my transformation… a transformation I should have seen coming. It was with that now all too familiar feeling of apprehension tinged with utter dread that I noticed the changes starting to take hold, with me as they had with my uncle.

 

In hindsight I guess I should have been more careful, and that I should have looked closer at the few photographs of the man that I had managed to find; what at first I, as a young boy, had thought to be a nose broken and flattened by some accident or in a burst of violence , and the eyes seeming far to big and somehow off-putting behind the thick and curiously tinded glasses he wore…

 

… well, now I know better since the very same changes, subtle though they may have begun, are becoming more and more noticeable each time I look into a mirror – an occurrence that is becoming far more infrequent as of late. Still, all of that came later and is a subject to which I will return, should the madness not overcome me before that time.

 

I was on my way to tell you how it all started, but as is my want I got sidetracked into half-mad ramblings once again. You must excuse these occasional burst of insanity; it is hard for a broken mind to gather the pieces of itself to a coherent whole for long enough to tell a story such as this. So where was I before I went out on this metaphorical limb yet again?

 

Ah, yes… my father and his brother, the increasingly strained relationship between them and what was at that time an unknown reason for said strain. As you might have guessed by now, those reasons were not to remain a mystery but would instead unravel during the course of my life, when the boy I was could but marvel and rejoice with trembling at these revelations. It would take many years, but finally the reasons were clear to me as the answers came from solving ciphers perhaps best left alone.

 

Although in likeness of my uncle I could not help but open just one more book, read just another chapter, call just one more forbidden name skywards and strain my senses to their very limit in order to feel that one sensation; the chill touch of a prayer heard.

 

*****

 

I have mentioned before that the feelings between my father and uncle got more aggravated and that as I grew up the times that they spoke at all were far and few between. As a child I did not know why, but after that fateful night when I first heard their intense argument things became clearer, and I soon began to unravel the mystery behind a brother’s fall from grace and a family estranged.

From the night of my tenth birthday until I left home to attend my high-school studies I did not hear much of my uncle except from my fathers mutterings about “unhealthy interests” and “a waste of time and money”. Little did I understand about this in the beginning, but that was soon to change.

 

I was just coming back to my apartment – my first one, actually – when I saw the big, padded envelope that the mailman had tried in vain to shove through the slot in the door pnly to give up and leave it jammed. A moment of irritation soon changed into curiosity when I saw the name and address of the sender; my uncle had written to me and not only that but from Egypt of all places, and judging from the look of the package there was more than just letters inside.

Anticipation gripped me, and I could not get indoors quick enough before I ripped the envelope open, and with the sound of paper tearing a scent that to this day stays with me and reminds of those first days spread through my small home; parchment, sun-bleached bones and as always a lingering note of the wretched cigars I have never seen him without, either in photographs or in person.

 

I sat down in the kitchen with the stack of papers, when something small, heavy and covered in bubble-wrap fell out of the torn envelope to land in my lap.

 

At first glance it looked like nothing more than a piece of rock, and while I knew my uncle to be eccentric I did not think him the type to send random gravel to someone he had not met for many a year. There had to be some meaning behind it.

Careful unwrapping made the shape of the stone visible, and yet another strange scent wafted into my kitchen, this time a hint of rain, salt and myrtle… the ocean?

 

 

 

Why would a stone sent from he scorching deserts of Egypt smell of the ocean in autumn?

Looking closer, the star-shaped little stone had a carving on its surface; at first hard to discern, after a careful rinse it turned out to be another star not unlike the shape of the stone itself and with what could be either a flame, an eye or perhaps just a crack running through the centre of it.

 

If it was a hieroglyph stolen from the walls of the Necropolis, then it was one I had never seen before. Granted I’m certainly no expert in matters Egyptian, but like many other young boys I went through a period of intense fascination with pyramids, mummies and the like, and I knew for a fact that I had not once seen the symbol on the stone before. Indeed it did not even resemble any of the signs and symbols from temples and tombs that my books had ever shown me, something which did nothing to still my curiosity… and I do not doubt that my uncle had that part figured out when he sent it to me.

 

Putting the strange stone away for a moment I reached for the letter. Written in a small, cramped hand it took me some time to read, but what it said was to open my eyes to a whole new concept of reality;

 

 

Dear nephew.

 

I hope you do not mind the “dear”; although we have not met many times nor spoken many words to each other, the simple fact that you are of the very same bloodline as myself, and of course your father, make you very dear to me indeed. Your father may have turned away from our legacy and tried to keep the knowledge therein from you, but I know that you have heard some of our arguments, and while those small pieces of the puzzle have yet to give you a comprehensive picture of the whole, you are on your way to something astounding.

Though it will most assuredly cause my brother to damn me forever for endangering his only son, the same blood that binds us all together also compels me to share what I know with my only worthy heir; you.

 

And so it is to you I shall bequeath what I have uncovered during a life dedicated to finding the lost, unseen and forgotten things hiding in the outskirts of what we call reality; old gods, ancient beings of unfathomable origin dwelling beyond our universe, beyond our ability to comprehend. Vast, powerful and very, very alien.

 

I can almost see your face as you read this.

You hesitate; you doubt that this is anything but insanity or the ramblings of a senile old man, but at the same time a fire burns inside your mind, a fire that no amount of rationality or logic can ever quench and that pushes you forward when any normal man would stay put.

I know, for the very same fire burns within me as well and has done so since the time when I was around the age that you are now. The spark that awoke in me then soon grew to a raging blaze, and guided me to a kings ransom in treasures as well as to realms of unimaginable nightmares… and I were I given the change to live my life again, I would not change a single thing. Curiosity has always been my driving force, and the knowledge is has brought me is far greater than all which I have sacrificed.

 

Sacrificed?

Yes, I knew that word would catch your eyes, but do not worry about such trivial matters at this time; all things in their due time, this I promise you.

 

 

 

I must soon leave the hotel room in which I am currently staying and board the last train to Abydos, for I have recently learned that the Black Pharaoh was once worshipped in that place long before the temples now in ruins were built, and I can ill afford to let the trail grow cold once more.

 

Thus my time for letter-writing draws to a close for this now, but I will write you again as soon as I am able. In the meantime, discover what you can about the stone carving I have sent you. The Elder Sign it has been named in some manuscripts, and an item of great power should you learn how to use it. I cannot simply tell you, for the power of the Sign must be awoken for each owner, but it –will- protect you as your inner fire leads you on to the paths of knowledge. Treasure it, know it, and most of all; keep it always close to you.

 

From under the warm sun of Africa,

Your Uncle.



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