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Unfettering The Hoary Sentinels Of Karnak

Fragmentary delusional recollections from within the confines of Grimm's Hold Sanitarium:

When Blackthorne returns from his expedition to Tiahuanaco and the Peruvian jungle I shall duly
tell him of the catalyst which compelled me to those cursed black vaults in ancient Ur, should
Hildebrandt allow me another visit. Yes... Giza, Karnak, Thebes... I see them now once more! In the
grip of a waking dream, I walk those restless sands again. Egypt... here my journey began, and here
I took the first steps towards destiny and damnation.
(The events recounted here took place before "The Dreamer in the Catacombs of Ur.")

From the expeditionary journal of Doctor Ignatius X. Stone:

Giza, Egypt (March 17, 1890)

The heat here is damnably oppressive, and all day the omnipresent sand has been whipped up by an
impudent wind, making progress all the more difficult. At dawn, I pinpointed the location of the
Great Pyramid's secret chamber which my old friend Professor Caleb Blackthorne and his benefactor
Lord Blackiston had discovered several months previously, but ingress to its concealed depths was
denied me by a partial collapse of the age old edifice's stone ceiling. Excavation is evidently
impossible, lest more of the mighty tomb come crashing down about us. At any rate, Blackthorne has
studied the incredible inscriptions within that hidden alcove exhaustively, and in truth my own
interests lie elsewhere in this desolate sand-flayed landscape. The traditionalists believe that,
in keeping with Egyptian tenets, only mundane things such as new air shafts and ever more ornate
sarcophagi are yet to be discovered deep within the tunnel networks of these cyclopean monuments.
Feh! If only they knew the true extent of this great cosmic puzzle! They are as fools who view a
tapestry in a darkened room by the light of only one candle, seeing only small sections illuminated
one by one, and refusing to recognize or connect the darkened and unseen areas to the entirety.
Working from the geometric calculations which I prepared before our arrival here, I have studied
the alignment of Cheops, Chefren and Mykerinos. It is as I suspected. Tomorrow, I leave the
imperious and hoary mausoleum of Khufu and seek answers within the Great Temple of Karnak...

Karnak, Egypt (March 18, 1890)

What oblations to the grim chthonic deities of the ancient world were once offered solemnly beneath
the stygian skies of this sweltering place, I wonder? What sublime power awaits the aspirant, the
querent who dares seek answers in those shadowed places where men of lesser fortitude fear to gaze?
Blackthorne often berates me for what he calls my preoccupation with the arcane, the occult, the
sinistrous lore of the chthonic... he insists no good will come of such delving into nighted
realms. Ha! The path to elucidation is seldom devoid of thorns, the road to knowledge rarely free
of perils! I seek enlightenment and by the erudite tongue of Herodotus, I may have found it!
Ancient tradition of this land has long spoken of strange flashes of light emanating from the
depths of pyramid passages and temple catacombs. Over a thousand years ago the Arabs wrote of the
transient walls and hidden chambers of these monuments; of secret doors moved by an unseen force
and of implacable sentries who guarded the secrets of the temples with dour tenacity. What I found
this evening gives credence to all that and more. Is the lore which I discovered carved into the
ancient stone of Karnak's temple the next fragment of the cryptic conundrum which I have dedicated
my life to solving? The Coptic papyrus states that, upon the walls of the pyramids and the temple
were inscribed the mysteries of science, astronomy, geometry and physics; inscriptions of unknown
peoples and lost civilizations whose lore was carved into the stone to preserve it from the ravages
of the great deluge. The surviving knowledge of long forgotten antediluvian races! Aye, prudent
Surid, heeding the warnings of his priests, erected certain repositories of long forgotten
knowledge to withstand the first great flood, and then an all-consuming fire which was prophesied
would come from the sky. Masoudi, in the tenth century, described automata; titanic guardians of
stone and metal which were placed to guard the treasures and the entombed lore, and which were
tasked to destroy all those deemed unworthy, all those who dared enter the chambers unbidden. I see
them! The hoary sentinels of Karnak are unfettered! Rising from their sandy tombs to smite the
intruder, the raider and the interloper with righteous fury! And what is this... was there once a
glimmer of life within the sightless stone eyes of the Theban guardian? Does the silent watcher of
Giza even now descend from its granite dais to once more stalk the shifting sands on carven claws?
Hu! Horem-askhet!

The alignment of Cheops, Chefren and Mykerinos revealed,
Chthonic lore concealed in Khufu's imperious mausoleum,
By the erudite tongue of Herodotus, I have found the answers,
Arcane secrets inscribed in the ancient Coptic papyrus,
The Pyramid's legacy compels me to these dark discoveries,
The Theban guardian rises from its sandy tomb to meet us,
The Silent Watcher stalks, behold the Sentinels of Karnak!

Thebes, Egypt (March 19, 1890)

Niut-Ammon! Lucidity has reasserted its blessed hold upon me. I understand now the true nature of
that knowledge which was revealed to me deep within the shadowed confines of Karnak's timeless
temple. Telluric energy, harnessed by the ancients... triggered by lunar rays and solar radiation,
channeled to impart static charges to rock strata and lines of natural power running through the
earth. Neuro-electric energy generated, developed, creating light, separating inertia from gravity!
And what more? The fourth state of matter, forged countless millennia ago in the hearts of burning
stars... fettered, channeled, for creation and destruction! The secret of the great monuments of
the ancients! Yes, secrets... answers. A rogue celestial body passes inside the orbit of the moon,
becoming a captive of the earth's gravitational field. The world tilts upon its axis, its
revolution slows, the planet shifts farther from its parent star... one of many such cataclysms.
Asteroid strikes, floods, firestorms, the sky swathed in a veil of darkness through which the sun's
light cannot pass, great ice-ages enshrouding the globe. And what is this? The forces of evil, of
chaos... servitors of the sinister gods of the universe... manifesting upon the tellurian sphere?
What dire agents of malignity were unleashed upon mankind? Bringers of carnage and destruction,
pestilence and decay! The Z'xulth! Secrets once known by the forgotten peoples... ancient
Atlantis... time-lost Lemuria... Hyperborea. Ultima-Thule, utopian Atland and its enduring legacy.
Fragments, memories... descendants... the Incas, the Aztecs, the Maya, the Egyptians, the Greeks,
the Britons, the Frisians, the ancient Sumerians. Yes, it is clear to me, like a diamond worked to
perfection in the skilled hands of a master craftsman. The sigils and glyphs I beheld carved into
the ancient stone of Karnak (which I somehow understood implicitly), the visions I experienced
within the temple, it is all quite clearly compelling me to the next stage in my grand voyage of
enlightenment. According to the inscriptions, the truth, the key, awaits me within the ziggurats of
ancient Sumeria. I hear the call of the ancients, beckoning me to that aeon-veiled place across the
unforgiving sands. We shall depart at once. I feel sure I shall find that which I seek between the
two rivers, at the place of the seven cities. Yes, I shall surely meet my destiny within the
mystery-haunted catacombs of ancient Ur...

[The Keeper of the Ancient Lore of Ur:]
Hearken to the warnings of the Ancients... tread softly those sacred and unforgiving sands. Do not
break the seal of the seventh city!

[The Chief Cultist of Ur:]
The Gate must not be opened. You dare not awaken the Dreamer!

Cuneiform tablets bear a grim, darkly portentous warning,
Sumerian catacombs astir with vile Chthonic horrors.
The lore of Babylon inscribed in stone as old as Atlantis,
Glyphs and sigils now compel me to the ziggurats...

In a waking dream, I hear the call of the Ancients. I shall find that which I seek between the two
rivers, at the place of the seven cities... in the Catacombs of Ur!

To Storm The Cyclopean Gates Of Byzantium

Spring, 196 A.D. (C.E.)

[Centurion Decianus Varus:]
Alea iacta est! Emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax has fallen victim to the assassin's blade. As I
stand gazing out across the massed ranks of our Pannonian legions, Septimus Severus duly strives to
consolidate his newly acquired control of the Empire. Pescennius Niger is slain, his forces
expelled from Cyzicus, Nicaea and Issus, and yet Clodius Albinus has sailed from Britannia and is
raising an army in Gaul in his own bid to seize the throne. Severus intends to engage that northern
host at Lugdunum once his campaigns here in the east are concluded. Behold Byzantium! We now
prepare to lay siege to this ancient and splendoured city. Strangely, the order has been given that
the Byzantine library is to be searched thoroughly following our victory. Rumour has it that
Severus's aged soothsayer Angsaar is searching for a collection of arcane scrolls said to be of the
utmost importance, scrolls which are reputed to be hidden somewhere here in Byzantium. Something
about that wizened old shaman unnerves me... there is something strangely unnatural about him,
something... sinister. Feh! What are those scrolls supposed to be called again? Ah yes, The
Chthonic Chronicles...

Arcana Antediluvia

Act I: The Argosy on the Eldritch Sea

[The Antediluvian Oracle:]
And so it was written, that rage would carry him like a howling wind, leaving only frozen corpses,
Their bones rattling in hollow armour, to tell their tale in his wake.

[The Black Mariner:]
Behold, my blackened, grim and gory axe, the searing glow of trenchant steel.
I'll notch another widow to my haft, and wreak red vengeance 'cross the waves.
Tales of black-sailed argosies, bedeviled by base treachery!

[The Antediluvian Oracle:]
His gaze is as fire, his words are as spear-points, his voice is as thunder, his touch as the

[The Black Mariner:]
Storm-prow cleaving, dragon rending, nighted deeps far, far below,
Hail-scur scouring, sea devouring, sunken realm's ethereal glow.

[The Antediluvian Oracle:]
And one night, there came a storm, a storm with searing red winds.
Fire and steel rode within it, and vengeance writ in thunder and blood!

[The Black Mariner:]
Down sixty fathoms, from stygian coral-clad tombs, the pitiless abyssal sea disgorges its shambling
mold-mottled dead,
Dank innards blackly acoil with nests of slithering things!
Ghosts aglide upon the eldritch seas, unfathomed voyage to ascendancy,
Traitorous blood, the surf roils red, churning crimson, thrice-cursed dead.

[The Antediluvian Oracle:]
'Tis enough that men might dream of being kings without aspiring to the power of gods.

Beneath The Crimson Vaults Of Cydonia

Ruminations from the Six Pyramids of Cydonia:

This red charnel pit of primal horror, howling black ecstasies to the void. Ancient and divine,
older than the hidden Icosahedron, now rebirthed beyond the chaosphere. Rise... rise and destroy!
Hatred, carnage, slaughter, havoc, chaos, murder! I am become the devourer of all life!

Phobos, Deimos! The moons' rays liquefied in these blood red pyramids.
In the shrines of abomination, black tongues rapt with blasphemy.
Chaosphere, watchtowers, genesis, Cydonia...
The Abyss yawns wide!
Spirit of the carrion-thronged battlefield, open wide thy gate!

Colossal shapes etched against the moons, supine obeisance 'fore the mound,
Accursed fiends, hail the Slitherer, abhorrent jaws drooling lunacy.

The Abyss yawns wide... Claws sharpened on the dead.
The Abyss yawns wide... Ensanguined fangs agleam.

Great shadow, awaken and eclipse the suns of a thousand worlds...
Slumbering 'neath these crimson vaults, behold the majest of the Outer Darkness!
Praise the Z'xulth!

Fell Worm of the Black Galaxy, awaken and descend without pity upon the Tellurian sphere! Destroy
the flaccid priests of the newborn usurper faiths. Sweep away the thralls of the cruciform stave!
Crush the lackeys of the corrupted hexagram! Devour the slaves of the eastern crescent!

Crush them, grind them, slay them all!
Plague-blessed, flay them alive!

Now, behold in terror what waits beneath the crimson vaults of Cydonia...

Return To Hatheg-Kla

(The Sixth Key: The Omega Axiom)

Some would call it epiphany, others would deem it the final descent into madness... whatever the
case, the last vestiges of those tenuous palisades which had previously, and blessedly, safeguarded
my reason and prevented my mind from accepting the full and staggering magnitude of the naked truth
then crumbled, fading into nothingness like the dissolution of a night-mist. At length, one
oppressively miasmic night, with such malefically portentous lore preying pitilessly upon my
sanity, I began to descend through a myriad veils of sombre and swirling shades, finally
surrendering my grip on wakefulness. And on that fitful, fateful eve, the last of the dreams
came... A waking dream? I dare not speculate. The vision was mine, the soul too... but the time,
the place, the very flesh, all this and more was unknown to me. I stood upon a nighted vista...
unfeasibly alien, and yet at once wholly, unnervingly familiar. In my hand I grasped a glimmering
crystal which although beautiful in its shimmering radiance, was as black as the impenetrable
depths of the most stygian midnight sea. As I gazed into the obsidian heart of the gem, a needle of
black light lanced forth from its multi-faceted surface and filled my eyes with a panoply of
fantastic hues, revealing to me in between its pulses of massing darkness certain fleeting glimpses
of places and things so fantastically terrifying that I could not faithfully begin to recount their
hideous and yet grimly compelling nature. A terrible sound filled my ears... an insidious resonance
which sent waves of excruciating pain coursing through my mind... a sound which inexorably
coalesced into a recognizable but entirely inhuman voice, a voice which slowly, inevitably, formed
approximations of words which I could discern...

[The Crystalline Oracle:]
Hearken, o' manling of the Tellurian orb... the Circle closes. Perpare to embrace the agony of
enlightenment. Know you of the Six Cataclysms?

[The Aspirant:]
I do. Six times has the world perished and been reborn!

[The Crystalline Oracle:]
You have discovered the true meaning of the six coruscating rings of arcane power?

[The Aspirant:]
Praise Klatrymadon and Zuranthus! The Six Keys!

[The Crystalline Oracle:]
Know you of the blackened orb which burned bright o'er ancient Lemuria? Know you of the sidereal
flame which engulfed the high seat of power in Ultima Thule? Know you of that martial sorcery woven
in the pitiless throng of epic battle? Know you of the astral power permeating the multiverse and
the might of the cosmic codex? Know you of the rise and fall of glorious Atlantis? Know you the
blasphemies contained within the Chthonic Chronicles?

[The Aspirant:]
I know all this, and more!

[The Crystalline Oracle:]
Have you, o' hybrid child of the cosmos, gazed into the Great Eye of the Universe?

[The Aspirant:]
I have.

[The Crystalline Oracle:]
And what did you see there, young Xerxes?

[The Aspirant:]
I saw oblivion and damnation. I saw truth, and enlightenment. I saw the closure of the Great Circle
Without End. I saw the Sixth Great Cataclysm. I saw the alpha and the omega, I saw the beginning...
and I saw the end. The end of all there is!


Unfettering The Hoary Sentinels Of Karnak / Bal-Sagoth

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