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1. The Epsilon Exordium


[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, discovered May 1899, near the great Temple at Tiahuanaco, Peru:
23 September: 1893
Upon extensive examination of the nefarious arcane codex known as The Epsilon Exordium, I believe my search may at last be drawing to a close.
Indeed, I feel that perhaps the great discovery which has eluded me for so long may finally be within my grasp.
And yet I must be cautious, for twice more have I seen the figures in the night, watching me in silence from the confines of the darkness.
I cannot discern their features, only that they are vaguely human in shape, save for their arms which seem abnormally long and oddly jointed.
My native guides are becoming increasingly agitated and skittish, babbling incoherently about the guardians of the tombs... citing legends from their ancestral past which speak of mysterious travellers who reputedly came down from the stars in great silvern chariots drawn by steeds of flame.
At any rate, I have my trusted Martini-Henry .45 calibre breech-loader should these silent stalkers prove malign and ever deign to lay hold of me in the night.
I have at last translated the carvings on the stone fragment I unearthed amidst the ruins of Angkor Wat.
To my astonishment, I found that it predated the construction of the temple itself by countless thousands of years, and that it spoke of the same subject as did the hieroglyphs I beheld on the wall of the concealed chamber which I and Lord Blakiston discovered within the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Successive examinations of the edifices at Giza and Karnak revealed further parallels too precise to be mere coincidence.
The pieces of this great cosmic puzzle are finally beginning to fall into place...

2 October: 1893
Yes, it is as I suspected.
I have long felt that the Sumerians of Mesapotamia were among the first peoples to attain elucidation concerning the dread matter I pursue.
My excavations at Lagash, Eridu, and most notably the ziggurats at Ur, have revealed truths which subsequent finds at Angkor, Egypt and Sacsahuaman only serve to consolidate.
I now know that the Olmechs, the Aztecs and the Mayans were also undeniably key tendrils of this grand global web,
and the unnerving truth I hitherto felt compelled to deny now seems inexorably to point to some grand and terrifying universal axiom.
It seems however, that the closer I come to enlightenment, the greater the danger becomes. Last night, one of our expedition's chief guides disappeared without trace.
His native compatriots could find no tracks, nor offer any evidence of his departure to suggest that his superstitions had finally compelled him to abandon the party... the man seems simply to have vanished inexplicably into the oppressive, sweltering dark.
In light of the disappearance, I opted not to inform the group that during the darkling hours before sunrise last night I had peered from my tent to behold what I perceived to be three of the shadowy figures I have previously described moving furtively in the gloom, keeping ever just out of the illuminatory radias of our campfire.
By the time I had brought my rifle to bear, they had melted away into the fathomless shadows of the benighted jungle...]

2. Atlantis Ascendant

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued...
10 October: 1893
The inscriptions on the tablet I discovered seem to be a fragmentary piece of some mysterious, perhaps apocryphal, larger work; evidently a lexicon of some description, undoubtedly of antediluvian origin.
The first section, as far as I can discern, tells of an era thousands of years past when countless great and advanced civilisations, apparently with the legendary Atlantis foremost amongst them, spanned the circumference of the globe.
The initial passage, seemingly a celebration of Atlantis Ascendant carved by a renowned chronicler of the day, speaks thusly:]

[The Chronicler of Antediluvia:]
Long ago, before the Third Great Cataclysm reshaped the face of creation, one nation rose above all others in the antediluvian world... Atlantis.

This jewel in the azure sea, Atlantis Ascendant!
Pax-antediluvia, Atlantis Ascendant!
Kingdoms rise and empires fall, Atlantis Ascendant!
Pax-antediluvia, Atlantis Ascendant!
The prophecy... the prophecy! What price may the gods demand?!
(Ancient) prophecy carved in stone, (countless) aeons past by hands unknown,
Winged fiends scream forth attack, carnage as the sun burns black!

[The Sage Counsel:] 
Doomed... doomed! The end is nigh!
The Host of Z'xulth: Your realm is lost... it shall be devoured by the sea!
The Sage Counsel: The worm comes, riding the ravening oceans... the Outer Darkness disgorges its horrors!
It is foretold... Atlantis shall be destroyed!

[The Atlantean Quorum:]
Hear the call Atlanteans, proud we stand forever,
Mightiest of warriors, we sail across the sea.
Conquering the ancient world, a legacy eternal,
Raise the arcane sigil high, steel and sorcery!
Blessed with immortality, dreaming spires of majesty, glory crowns our destiny!

[The Host of Z'xulth:]
Your realm is lost... it shall be devoured by the sea!

[The Chronicler of Antediluvia:]
And so it was written in the stars, astride the world would stand the children of Atlantis!
And yet disturbingly, another voice, a wholly darker and more malevolent presence, can be perceived lurking within the ancient body of the inscriptions, an ominous tone which prophesizes doom and ruination for the Atlantean realm, speaking of a disastrous cataclysm foretold in the stars when the sun would burn black and the agents of some unfathomable evil would besiege Atlantis, ultimately compelling the seas to rise and devour the continent, leaving no trace of the glory which once was.
These passages seem to have been deliberately obscured, and this fact combined with the passage of countless aeons and the embrace of the eternally shifting sands lamentably prevents me from translating the inscriptions on the fragment any further.

3. Draconis Albionensis

[The Oracle of Logres:]
It was a time of change. The descendants of the Atlantean mages had fallen before the New Praesidium, and the wolves were baying at the Empire's door.
An oppressive new faith was encroaching from the east, and the sylvan liege had locked tight the gates of his arboreal realm.
And so it was that towards the end of the Age of Mystery, the last of Albion’s great Dragon Lords, commanded by the glorious Lady Bright-Anya Ophidia, did gather for what would be their final battle...

[The War-song of the Dragon Lords:]
Dragon-phalanx rend the sky, Albion our gleaming prize,
Sentinels of land and sea, guardians of destiny.
(Prowling amongst the pecseatan; Draconis Bipedes, swift and furious beast of battle!)

[The Dragon King's Vow:]
(Dragon-Runes etched by the firey tongues of the IX Legio Draconis into the primordial stone of the great Logres Drachenstahl Cromlech):
The foes of this sceptred isle shall be driven back into the sea!
An oath sworn in battle, a vow blessed by steel,
I swear by the dragon’s blood in my veins... Wyruld Cyninga!

[The War-song of the Dragon Lords:]
Dragonfyre in the fray, faith and steel shall win the day,
A god to serf and king alike, the Adamantine Hammer strikes!
(Devouring the infidel outlanders; Draconis Nematoda, great winged worm of war!)

[The Dragon King's Vow:]
To victory eternal... this world shall be our empire!
An oath sworn in battle, a vow blessed by steel, 
I swear by the dragon's blood in my veins... and the dragon's heart that pumps it!

[The Oracle of Logres:]
“...craving for corpses (carrion), the dark raven shall have its say... when, competing with the wolf, it laid bare the bones of corpses.”
Wyruld Cyninga!

[The Dragon King's Vow:]
Dragon Imperium, Throne of the Ancient Gods, Behold the Axiom, Wyruld Cyninga!
Dragon Imperium, Behold the Axiom, All hail to Draconis Albionensis!
There is no ignominy, there is glory,
There is no servitude, there is dominance,
There is no defeat, there is victory... victory eternal!
Dragon Imperium, throne of the Ancient Gods, behold the axiom, Wyruld-Cyninga!
It is time! We shall rule, and upon our dominion the sun shall never set!

4. Star-Maps Of The Ancient Cosmographers

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued... 
12 October: 1893
I must commit this to the pages of my journal, while it is still vivid in my recollection... not that such a macabre vision could possibly soon be blissfully forgotten.
Just before dawn, I awoke from a fantastic and somewhat horrifying dream in which I traversed a great black cyclopean cityscape, its towering stygian walls inscribed with some form of outlandish glyphs which seemed to writhe squamously and alter their shape even as I gazed at them.
A sibilant whispering which seemed at once familiar and yet intrusively alien compelled me to walk to the edge of a particularly sinister looking edifice and peer out over its precipitous perimeter.
When I did so, I beheld this world of ours, recognizing vaguely the apparent shapes of the five continents, yet the entire vista seemed so distant that the whole appeared in its entirety no larger than a sphere which I could fit snugly into the palm of my hand.
When I turned again to behold the looming obelisks, I found I could then easily read the previously untranslatable ciphers in the black stone.
They were the words of a great thaumaturgist who had seemingly discovered a repository of aeons-old lore detailing the sidereal web of the cosmos, with arcane diagrams pinpointing certain astral portals and places of empyreal potency, a sort of pangalactic ley-line chart, if you will. Indeed, these Star-Maps Of The Ancient Cosmographers seemed to take a not insignificant toll on the author's sanity, as evidenced by the tone of his inscriptions, which seem to suggest that in discovering this Pandora's Box of dark elucidation, his fate was to be inexorably dogged by some nameless and implacable gloom;]

[The Thaumaturgist:]
The Great Eye of the Universe opens!
Through this astral art the secrets of the cosmos are mine to know... for the stars are my dominion!

[The Last Cosmographer:] 
Vector-alpha, heed this warning... Lexicon, the threshold calls...
Vortex open, in Omega... Sentinels!

[The Thaumaturgist:]
Empowered at the periphery, ascending to the Id's eyrie,
The cosmos feathers her nest with fire.
Ephemeral, the nexus calls, besieging cyclopean walls,
Branded deviant and pariah.

[The Last Cosmographer:]
Everything you have been taught about the nature of creation is a lie.
This is a voyage in search of the truth. It will not be a pleasant journey.

[The Thaumaturgist:]
I have discovered a terrifying universal axiom which cannot be denied.
Betwixt the hammer and the anvil are forged the stars...
On the wings of the ersatz ones... through the fathomless abyss....

[The Thaumaturgist's Epiphany:]
Like a blackened and baleful sun shall I gaze down from beyond the cumuli and the firmament upon you.
I alone must bear the burden of this fiend-wrested lore.
New stars without number burn in the heavens, but the shadow of oblivion falls ever closer.
Lucidity through thaumaturgy, enlightened thus.
Seeking solace, this opalescence, to span the stars...
Zircon into pentlandite, the shifting sky.
Open, the Eye is open!
And let mankind gaze at the shifting sky and know enlightenment, for the stars are my dominion!
Shortly thereafter, the dreamscape began to fade, and reality beckoned my consciousness away from the incredible vista.
In truth, I was indeed glad to awaken...

5. The Ghosts Of Angkor Wat

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued...
15 October: 1893
After a sleepless and oppressively feverish night spent pondering the truths which I exhumed amongst The Ghosts Of Angkor Wat, I have concluded that these perceived parallels and their possible significance carry me ever closer to the centre of this great global web, the strands of which I have been traversing in my long quest for enlightenment, and yet I now fear that the owner of this web has surely felt the tremblings I have caused along its delicate filaments, and may well feel compelled to investigate the disturbance...]

6. Cry Havoc For Glory, And The Annihilation Of The Titans Of Chaos

Behold glorious Hyperborea, gleaming jewel of the north; an eon-veiled kingdom forever steeped in ancient legendry and the renown of its martial splendour... but of late, an ill wind whispers malignly through its opulent labyrinth of marbled citadels...

Episode I:
To be found on the second Bal-Sagoth album: "Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule";
Episode II:
To be found on the third Bal-Sagoth album; "Battle Magic"]


[Episode III:

And so, it ends.
You have learned much, young Xerxes.
Your training is nigh on complete.
The years which you have spent here at the Praxeum have been difficult ones, but the reward of elucidation you have gained far outweighs the hardship you have endured.
Many lessons have you learned, not least of which is that knowledge is never without its price, my neophyte.

Yes, master Altarus.
I have heeded your tutelage well, and your wisdom has been a great balm to me during the many trials I have undergone.
I can now command the Mists of the Oracle, and the Great Eye of the Universe opens at my bidding.
And yet, before I am placed before the final scrutiny of the Elders, I ask that I be allowed to gaze into the sidereal vista once more, to witness the final outcome of that great struggle which has so captivated me during my studies at the Praxeum.

Ah yes... the epic conflict between the Dark Liege of Chaos and the royal Scion of proud Hyperborea.
Very well, my young apprentice.
Command the starscape to divulge its mysteries... look deep into the fathomless mists, and the ruinous carnage of A'zura-Kai shall once again be arrayed before thine curious gaze.
Aye Xerxes, thrice you have summoned the besieged and benighted vista of Hyperborea... now pay heed, for the final battle is at hand!

[Chapter 7: The Last Stand Against Chaos]

And a crimson sun rose slowly over the Field of Blood... and such were the corpse-mounds of the dead that they aspired to touch that ireful orb.
Slithering shadows nuzzled the massed bodies of the slain, as the King rallied the survivors of the battle against Chaos to one final act of defiance...

Impertinent mortal wormcast!
Do you truly aspire to prevail against me?
I am the Bane of the Atlantean Kings, the Scourge of Lemuria, Arch-Foe of the Immortals of Ultima Thule!
Long before man hurled himself squamously from the primordial ooze, I waged war with gods and thwarted eternity!

Lord Angsaar, the Dark Liege of Chaos, was poised on the brink of ultimate victory.
By insidious manipulation, he had carefully drawn the forces of Hyperborea to battle at the Shrine of A'zura-Kai, pitting his legions of ravening wraiths against the stalwart forces of the Hyperborean Empire, and during the fray his agents of evil had seized the Ninth Crystal of Mera from the grasp of the King.
With the cosmic energies of the Shrine magnifying the empyreal power of the Ninth Crystal, Angsaar triumphantly performed the arcane rite that would sunder the sorcerous fetters which had hitherto kept his physical incarnation confined within the ancient Chamber of Slumber.
Summoning the interdimensional portal which the mystic power of the Shrine allied with the sorceries of the Crystal could generate, Angsaar channelled his fiendish presence from his darksome prison directly to the death-gorged Field of Blood.
Thus was the spell of confinement woven countless aeons ago by Angsaar's immortal nemesis broken, and on that fateful day the dread Chaos-Liege strode the world of mortal men once more.
The King, flanked by the few valiant survivors of the ruinous Wraith-onslaught, stood defiant before the withering glare of Chaos...

Ah, great King of Hyperborea!
My mystic shackles are at last broken... I am free once more!
Your army is lost, your realm is mine... it shall be blessed with the honour of being the first to fall before my renewed onslaught!
Bow to me in obeisance!

For too long your diseased machinations have hung like a black pall over glorious Hyperborea... you have invaded my very dreams and sown the virulent seeds of base treachery within my court.
It ends here, arch-fiend!

Feh! Yield to me, throw down your sword!
Obey and I promise that your death shall be swift, if not entirely devoid of suffering!

I defy you!

Hyperborea shall fall!
Your court shall become the heart of my new imperium!
Your people shall become my lackeys, bearing the glorious burden of my sovereignty with sweet praise upon their lips!

I shall always defy you!

Then your pain shall etch a new legend of suffering in the benighted obelisks of the Outer Darkness, and not even that cursed blade of adamantine black steel shall preserve thee!

So, the final battle begins!
Into the fray we ride!
For the eternal glory of Hyperborea!

And the Chaos-Liege summoned the remnants of his cackling wraith-horde, commanding the unholy brood to once more hurl itself like a black tide against the now bloodied but still razor edged steel of the grim survivors of Hyperborea.
With the enchantments of the Ninth Crystal still crackling in the air about the Shrine, the incorporeal frames of the wraiths were once more transmogrified into squamous pseudo-flesh, and thus vulnerable to the biting blades of the King's depleted war-host.
Rallying his forces once more, the Royal Scion of Hyperborea clove into the massed hordes of nethermost horror, his ensorcelled ebon blade hewing five-score left and five-score right, leaving a viscous and noxious trail of sundered fiends in his wake.
The Arch-Wraith of Lord Angsaar, that same bestial horror which had smitten the King and seized the Crystal of Mera from his gauntleted fist, swooped screaming from the crimson sky in a bid to extinguish the life-force of the Hyperborean monarch, but the benighted blade of the King was swifter, and with a flash of noisome green light and smoke, the Arch-Wraith's head rolled to the blood-slaked earth, its leering countenance forever frozen in a grotesque parody of un-death.
And once more, like a purifying storm of righteous fury the heroes of Hyperborea dealt steel-cold and martial discipline unto the baying hounds of Chaos.

And yet I perceive that the wraith-horde's number was being ever bolstered by the sorceries of the reborn Chaos-Liege... for every keening horror hacked down by a Hyperborean blade, three more were summoned from the Outer Darkness by the machinations of Angsaar.
Even the courage and the grim determination of the King's valiant force could not hope to prevail against such an overwhelming foe.
But the last, best hope still remained, clutched tightly within the King's fist!
The Shadow-Sword!

Your perceptions are clear, young Xerxes.
The life-essence of Angsaar's arch-foe was still encased within the stygian sword following their last cataclysmic encounter many aeons past, and that yard of fearsome black steel spoke once more to the King in the same long dead tongue it had burned upon his mind deep within the Mountains of the Dead.
One hope remained to defeat Angsaar, but it would carry with it a most terrible price for the King.

[Chapter 8: The Return Of The Immortal]

Hearken, noble King of Hyperborea.
Long ago, before life evolved from the boiling oceans of the primordial sphere, I waged furious and slaughterous battle with the Chaos-Liege over the possession of the sacred Crystals of Mera, shards of such incredible sorcerous potency that even the Empyreal Lexicon itself was no greater a prize.
Although I succeeded in smiting the dark one and imprisoning him within his Chamber of Slumber, I was hammered to the brink of dissolution by the abominations of Chaos, and I thus transferred my life-essence into my Sword, that same blade which you now hold in your grasp.
I committed my fading energies to concealing the blade from the sight of man until such time as it would once more be needed to bring to bear against Chaos... aye, until such time as Angsaar reawakened.
It was I who guided you to the mountainous resting place of the blade when my arch-foe marked you as central protagonist in his scheme to recover the Prime Crystal, o' King of the North.
To utterly destroy the Dark Liege of Chaos, you must join your essence with mine... we must fuse our life-forces and become one so that my full power may be unleashed against Angsaar once more.
But this final deed demands the most severe of tolls, o' noble monarch...
To become as one with the immortal essence of the Shadow-Sword is to sacrifice forever your own mortality, and to forsake eternally the world of man.
Are you prepared to pay this price, King of Hyperborea?

To preserve the sovereignty of my realm and safeguard my people from the forces of darkness?
Aye! For my kingship demands no less a commitment!
So be it... let this final deed be done!

Imperius Rex!

What futile gesture is this?
Curse you, manling!
Can you not accept the inevitability of your defeat?

Begone, servitor of Chaos!
Your nemesis awaits thee!
Return to the Outer Darkness!

You fool! You cannot comprehend your actions!
I offered you sweet oblivion, and instead you have chosen tortuous damnation!

I would sooner suffer damnation a thousand times than bend the knee to Chaos!

And a great stillness descended over the Field of Blood.
Grimly, slowly, the King held aloft the Shadow-Sword and spoke those baleful words of power which had been forever branded indelibly upon his soul.
Writhing tendrils of night-dark, coruscating energy lanced from the surface of the blade, entwining the King in a pulsating chrysalis of searing sorcerous power.
His eyes shone deep crimson with an illuminatory radiance not born of this world, and forces which had lain dormant since before the fall of the Third Moon stirred at last from their aeons-old slumber...

No... my eternal nemesis, you will not thwart me!
Abominations rise!
Destroy these mortals who vex me as the buzzing of gnats vexes a titan!
Drag their impudent souls to the abyss!

Havoc is the cry! Come, fiends of the nether-void... face righteous pattern-welded death!

Praise Chaos! By the crystal heart of Mera I shall stand deified!

Glory eternal! For our King and sacred Hyperborea!

Noble warriors of Hyperborea... I salute your steadfast courage.
This will be my final command to you.
Now come... follow your King into battle one last time.
Into the fray we ride... For the eternal glory of Hyperborea!

The circle closes... you cannot resist the unparalleled might of Chaos and the exquisite majesty of the Z'xulth!
I shall unleash all the terrors of the Outer Darkness against thee!
Behold the true extent of my power...
My flesh is a shrine wherein all demons dwell!
Va'an Zurra, Ultaar Maaloth, Amaal-pha-gus, Me'zaa maalech!
Va'an Zurra, Ultaar Maaloth, Amaal-pha-gus, Angsaar Z'xulth!

Stand fast!
Cry havoc for glory and the annihilation of the titans of Chaos!
The glory of battle is nigh at last!
We fight to the last man!

By all the gods of Hyperborea... a legacy shall be wrought by our blades... our legend shall live forever!
Hear me, Angsaar!
My humanity fades... my mortality dissipates as does the darkness before the glimmering kiss of the dawn!
Let us finish it...
Let this be our final battle!

And thus was etched into the eternal codex of the heavens the immortal legend of the Hyperborean Empire.

But master Altarus... what was the outcome of the final clash?
What effect did the power of the Immortal have upon the King?
Did he ultimately defeat Angsaar and the horrors spawned from the Outer Darkness?

Alas Xerxes, no one knows the final outcome of the battle.
Even the Great Eye of the Universe and the Mists of the Oracle are unable to ascertain the fate of the King and his army on that fate-steeped dawn.
So much unparalleled and polarized arcane power was unleashed upon the Field of Blood at that instant that it has forever obscured the oracular vista and shielded the truth from the eyes of even the most talented and presentient master of the Praxeum.
Today, Hyperborea is but a memory, a glorious legend which rests forever within the same fathomless shark-haunted grave as do mythic Lemuria and fabled Atlantis..

I shall make it a priority to ascertain the truth, master.
I vow I shall channel all the skills I have learned here at the Praxeum into discovering the final fate of the King of Hyperborea!

And I believe that you may well succeed, my young apprentice.
But whatever the case, one thing is certain.
As long as legends endure in the cosmos and the deeds of heroes are celebrated in the annals of eternity, none who gaze in awe beyond the mists and are blessed to behold it shall ever forget the splendour of a thousand swords gleaming beneath the blazon of the Hyperborean Empire.

[THE END...?]

7. The Dreamer In The Catacombs Of Ur

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued...
17 October: 1893
Such grim musings as have been occupying my mind of late unfortunately seem to suggest a possible link to the fate of my learned friend and colleague Doctor Ignatius Stone.
That brilliant researcher was last seen in command of all his faculties whilst on an expedition to the ruins of the Sumerian city of Ur, an undertaking which preceded my own work there by some eighteen months.
Stone was a gifted archaeologist who also dabbled, perhaps unwisely, in certain areas of the occult, particularly involving the various grotesqueries once worshipped as Cthonic deities by the ancient denizens of Ur.
Some mysterious discovery he made whilst on an expedition to Egypt's imperious pyramids allegedly compelled him to seek the ruins of Sumeria, and mere days before he ventured into the ziggurats of that foreboding, mystery-haunted site, he had dispatched a letter to me claiming that he was on the verge of a truly staggering arcane discovery at Ur which would simultaneously prove the cyclical nature of human civilisation as well as immediately render redundant all previous theories on the origin of man.
Whatever misfortune befell him within those aeons-old tombs robbed him irrevocably of his sanity, for when his attendants finally managed to prise open the stone door of the vast central catacomb, which had, I’m told, inexplicably shut fast behind his three-man torch-bearing party, they found two of the regularly stalwart men had seemingly expired of pure fright, while Stone was slumped against the north wall, staring vacantly into the gloom, gibbering about visitations by beings so terrible that the very contemplation of their existence would sunder a man’s tenuous hold on the reins of sanity.
When I later visited him at the sanatorium in England, I found him to be a tragic shell of the man I once knew, a man beset by imagined terrors and ever wary of the immemorial horrors which he claimed lurked at the periphery of humanity’s perceptions.
Indeed, I was glad I had taken a journal into which I could transcribe his delusional rants, for he had a great deal to tell me about The Dreamer In The Catacombs Of Ur:]

[Doctor Ignatius Stone:]
It was like some dark, dark dream. We had not heeded
the warnings of the ancients, and now we would pay the price... here, within the catacombs of Ur.

Lost within the lightless catacombs of Ur... Entombed within the ziggurats!

[The Keeper of the Ancient Lore of Ur:]
Trapped forever in the catacombs of Ur...
your screams are heard in Babylon!

[Doctor Ignatius Stone:]
Warnings etched into the cuneiform tablets of Ur...

Entombed within the ziggurats!

[The Keeper of the Ancient Lore of Ur:]
Behold the great Cthonic deities of Ur...
Your screams are heard in Babylon!

[Doctor Ignatius Stone:]
What aeons-old slumber has our meddling disturbed?

[The Keeper of the Ancient Lore of Ur:] 
Behold the great Cthonic deities of Ur... Your screams echo in the abyss...

[Doctor Ignatius Stone:]
Trapped forever in the catacombs of Ur...
There is something in here with us!
Here, beneath the eternally shifting sands, I sought enlightenment... but found only damnation!

[The Chief Cultist of Ur:]
You have defiled the sanctity of this sacred place!
Laagash, Nippurr, Shurupak, Kullah, Ur, Eridu.

[The Keeper of the Ancient Lore of Ur:]
Ancient before the Fifth Cataclysm, here between the two rivers in Ur the Dreamer waits!
And when the seal of the seventh city is broken, then shall the dreamer in the catacombs of Ur awaken!
Forsaken (when His darksome splendorous glory eclipses it) burns the sun, Enthrone (the eternally) benighted one, Usurper of the skies.
Named in (that black, shunned tome of ) forbidden lore, Destined to rule (this telluric sphere and the myriad stars beyond) once more, The Dreamer shall arise!
Now, let the Gate yawn wide and the horrors of the Abyss engulf the earth, for the Dreamer in the catacombs is risen!
How many of my colleague's rants were merely the result of his psychosis and how many were actually born of fact, I cannot discern... nor in truth do I wish to.

[For the events immediately prior to "The Deamer In The Catacombs Of Ur", detailing Doctor Ignatius X. Stone's expedition to Egypt, see "Unfettering The Hoary Sentinels Of Karnak"]

8. In Search Of The Lost Cities Of Antarctica

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued...
20 October, 1893
I have long felt the celebrated map of Admiral Piri Reis, which quite astoundingly depicts the continent of Antarctica in a state wholly free of the ice which has bound it ceaselessly since time immemorial, to be of far wider and more resonant implications to humanity than the proud echelons of the scientific community will ever dare admit.
I believe that beneath the ice-veiled surface of that southernmost continent lie the remnants of time-lost civilisations which were ancient even before fabled Atlantis sank beneath the waves.
Indeed, further translation of the sigils engraved into the antediluvian artefact has imbued my oft derided theory with an unmistakable aura of veracity.
Piecing together the fragmentary records evidenced in this incredible relic, whilst simultaneously cross referencing the resultant lore with information gleaned from other sources on the same theoretical subject, I have been able to extrapolate a meaning from the arcane carvings which transcends all but my most fevered imaginings.
What mighty cyclopean structures once towered skyward where now only the desolate wind-whipped ice-wastes endure?
What splendid peoples once throve where now only the hardiest and most resistant forms of life subsist?
This ancient and wondrous testament is truly an elucidatory blessing to such idealistic questors as I, who are forever In Search Of The Lost Cities Of Antarctica:]

[The Explorer:]
Beneath the ice, the endless ice of Pangaea's now axial eternally frozen frontier, entombed for countless millions of years... the lost cities of Antarctica!
Secrets locked within the ice, the endless ice of Antarctica,
'Neath the peak of Erebus the First Ones sleep, Lords of Pangaea,
Cities lost within the night, the frozen night of Antarctica,
Pre-Cambrian, the Voyagers, beyond the stars, Lords of Pangaea.

[The Testament of the Winds:]
Once, the coruscating spires of man here offered their splendour to the heavens.
Now, those spires gleam no more, save in dreams of verdant plains, save in dreams of time-lost citadels.
Legacy of a utopia lost, forever enshrined 'neath the ice...

[Echoes of the First Ones:]
Sail across Panthalassa to Gondwanaland,
Three moons to guide us on this voyage across the sea,
Sail across Panthalassa to Gondwanaland,
New lands to conquer and claim for our progeny.

[The Testament of the Winds:]
Before the Third Moon fell from orbit, before the Nine Continents were formed from Pangaea's shattered surface...
Hewn from the Pre-Cambrian rock, behold this primordial metropolis!
And the First Ones shall awaken on that day, when man will return to the stars!
On the eve of the Third Moon's fall from the tortured sky,
On the eve of the cataclysm, the stars align...
Hewn from the Pre-Cambrian rock, behold this primordial metropolis!
And the First Ones shall awaken on that day, when man will return to the stars!

[Echoes of the First Ones:]
We, who were before Man, are destined to be the architects of his future!
It is true... a vast ice-bound megalopolis lies concealed beneath our very feet... as does one of the axial entrances to this planet's inner world!

[The Explorer:]
And humanity shall one day rediscover the secrets long-frozen within the lost cities of Antarctica!
There will come a day when the ingenuity of man shall pierce that impenetrable shield of ice which keeps Antarctica's wonders from our inquisitive gaze, and I truly believe that day shall herald a glorious new era of enlightenment for us all.

9. The Chronicle Of Shadows

[The Imperator of the Night (Hearken to the Attestation of the Sinistrous):]
For it is the iniquity of man which compels him to these tenebrous gates, seeking opiate dreams and the alluring embrace of oblivion...
Know that I have cavorted beneath the horned moon with repellent fiends, and liberated virgins from the burden of their maidenhood.
(Supping deep of that sweet ichor and revelling in the sanguineous megrims my ophidian tongue has wrought.)
Tyrannic I am where the Serpent dwells, the lissome embrace of the succubi,
Like a wolf in the fold, red of tooth and claw, enthroned beneath black nether-skies.
Such adoration bestowed upon me beneath the cryptic moon... 
Shadows stalk the viscid gloom, (beware the) blades of the assassins,
The call of Ul-Yeh in the air, the crystal skull is shattered,
A veil of cloud about the moon, (fevered) dreams of (trenchant) steel and fire,
Hearken to the slithering, the envenomed kiss of night.

[The Imperator of the Night (Thus Spake the Chronicle of Shadows):]
Such adoration bestowed upon me beneath the cryptic moon!
Ah, the sepulchral throng of tortured souls, supine before the pitiless evil of the abyss...
Caressed by ululant lotus-stained tongues...
(Behold the true purity of that which lurks concealed beneath the mantle of shadow, and let the deluded, debauched sybarites flee in terror from that darkness which they profess to embrace!)
On the wings of a charnel wind I return, as the temples of flaccid piety burn... Caressed by ululant lotus-stained tongues... 
Beyond the spheres of light and darkness, beneath distant pallid stars, I bring the iridescent glimmer of forbidden truth, seared in the crucible of blasphemy!
And ecstasy shall reside in the inexorable culmination of this sublime nightmare... 
For amorphous they come, steeped in the fetor of ten thousand years,
Abhorrent colossi spawned from the sinistrous cosmic spheres.
Shadows dance at my bidding, demons execute my every whim...
And upon their tongues, vile secrets so terrible sweet madness is a redolent balm!

[The Imperator of the Night (Revel in the Triumph of the Dark):]
I shall glut the maw of that ineffable nameless evil which lurks forever in
the soul of man, for so it is written in the Chronicle of Shadows...

10. Six Keys To The Onyx Pyramid

[From the journal of Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, continued...
29 October, 1893
They came in the night, and butchered five of my party, the terrified survivors fleeing with the first wan light of dawn.
The fiends seemed inexplicably to be an extension of the night, as if their misshapen bodies were actually somehow composed of the darkness itself.
Even as I gazed directly at them, I found I could not truly focus on their stygian forms... their bodies appearing to shimmer and shift like the ripples of a heat-haze upon an arid plain.
My ammunition, discharged in vain, is all but spent... and now, as night unfurls its malign wings once more to enshroud this desolate and forsaken place, I wait alone for the sunrise I fear I shall never see.
At dusk I discovered a hidden alcove in the time-raught surface of the great monolith which stands as a mute sentinel before the entrance to the colossal temple; a moss encrusted crevice concealed from the eyes of man for I know not how long.
As the darkness massed about me, a strange miasma seemed to grip my mind in tenebrous tendrils, and I beheld that horrifying and immemorial edifice which I now feel certain once cast its diabolical shadow upon the Gate of the Sun.
It is all true, everything I feared, everything which I dared imagine only in the blackest embrace of the most narcotic malignity.
Curse the treachery of Hildebrandt and the Quorum!
There are Six Keys To The Onyx Pyramid, which conceal a terrifying truth never intended to be grasped by the woefully fragile mind of Man.
I now pray that no unfortunate soul ever again stumbles as close as I to those cryptic axioms which lie ever in wait between the incorporeal veils of light and shadow.
I would offer up a prayer to the divinity which once I worshipped, but I know it would echo emptily through the abyssal reaches of the unheeding cosmos.
As I scrawl this final entry in my journal, the sun sinks with a chilling finality below this now alien horizon.
I know the shadowy figures shall soon return to claim me.
I must fortify myself for the onset of the night...]


Total Playing time : 49:14

Thanks to metalmitch for correcting these lyrics.

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