THE EMPEROR OF OTHER DREAMS

Three Poems in Prose

Illustrations by Wm. Michael Mott

R’LYEH

Where does the city called R’lyeh exist?

Some say it lies beneath the waves of a great ocean on a planet named Earth.

There, at its highest point stands a mausoleum built of green stone. And there a creature called Cthulhu lies, the tentacles of its face twisted and twined like torpid serpents, as it sleeps and dreams its awful dreams.

Others point to the center of the nebula called The Lantern of Lost Worlds where the dimensions commingle. There are places there that are not places; worlds that are not worlds; possibilities that are impossible. There are assertions that this place was once called the twenty-third nebula and in it was a world called Vhoorl; and R’lyeh is on Vhoorl, now no longer a planet but a gathering of the elements, states and orders of countless dimensions; of all possible agreements of quanta and all possible contradictions.

R’lyeh is placed by various cartographers of Chaos on an electron whirling on the edges of a powerful black hole at the center of the Andromeda Galaxy. Others document its location as being Larus Di, one of the Dark Matter worlds hidden in our galaxy.

On the planet Miib, centuries ago was born a great scholar named Triknikium. In his long life Triknikium learned much about the Great Old Ones and composed his knowledge into a Book which he devoted the latter part of his life to reciting to any who would listen. Down through the centuries since, the avatars of Triknikium have memorized this book and recited it without change.

This is what Triknikium says about R’lyeh:

“There is nothing in this Universe so strange and unlikely as the fact that things are no stranger than we know it to be.

“There is nothing more logical in the universe than that R’lyeh should be. And in being that, since it is many things and not all of them rational in accordance to the systems of your science, or the systems as well of any other, that it is in some way co-existant with itself in many places. But we speak here of its physical nature and R’lyeh has no physical nature.

“R’lyeh is.

“And R’lyeh is builded of green stones found no place else in all the dimensions and at its highest point there stands a mausoleum. And in that mausoleum Cthulhu dreams.

“It is in the dreams of Cthulhu that R’lyeh lies.

“And there lies Cthulhu.”

Those were the words of Triknikium, spoken by him on many occasions and repeated down the centuries by his avatars that have repeated those words often and perfectly and without flaw.
Wonderlust
The Emperor of Other Dreams
R'lyeh

CTHULHU AND THE IPLINGS

Near the nebula known as Lantern of Lost Worlds, there is a dismal planet that orbits a star so dim that the baleful glare of the nebula casts more light upon its surface. Here dwell the creatures known as Iplings.

All things magical and supernatural excite the Iplings, and nothing spiritual.

Now it came about that Nyarlathotep, in passing close to the world, once took notice of it and made time in his schedule to survey it. What he saw was that the creatures living there had created many religions and built many temples; and the mightiest of them were dedicated to the worship of the Great Old Ones. He viewed temples built to Yog Sothoth; watched congregations dance grotesquely in honor of Tsathoggua; smelled the fetid odors produced to honor Ezindont; observed supplicants crawling on their bellies across the rock-strewn Plain of Yig. In short, he saw one religion or another devoted to each of the Great Old Ones – with one exception. On that whole pathetic world, not one Ipling worshiped Hastur.

Because it is incumbent upon Nyarlathotep to be of service to the Great Old Ones, he went straightway to a certain dark star where Hastur is imprisoned and informed that being how things stood. And Hastur rose in fury and gave an order to Nyarlathotep as to how to repair the matter. So it was that after a passage of not too much time, a dark figure could be seen walking across a plain toward the entrance to the burrow where a clan of Iplings lived. And this figure called out for one of the priests there, a young Ipling named M’lDeemer, who came eagerly, for he recognized his caller.

Nyarlathotep inquired of him about his religion.

M’lDeemer threw up his paws in ecstacy and said, “We are active in the worship of Dread Cthulhu, who, in his temple in R’lyeh lies scheming. One day Great Cthulhu will wake up and destroy the universe and eat all the living creatures therein. Thereafter I suppose, Cthulhu himself will starve to death. But that can’t be helped.”

And Nyarlathotep asked of this poor beast how they worshiped Cthulhu.

“In many, many ways. We cavort across the plains in his honor. We chant his name loudly for hours on end, mixing in certain words of potency to his glory. Our priests have duels to settle theological disputes, which draw crowds from all corners of our world. In short, we worship Cthulhu in many, many ways.”

Then Nyarlathotep asked the creature why he worshiped Cthulhu. It was a question that an observer might suspect had caught the young priest by surprise. He started to answer, then stopped; and started and stopped again. He could only manage, finally, to sputter, “It is good to worship Dread Cthulhu.”

Then Nyarlathotep asked why it was not a good idea to worship Hastur.

“It is a very good idea to worship Hastur,” insisted M’lDeemer. “Everyone knows that.”

But when it was pointed out to him that on this pathetic conglomerate of dirt and rock there was no congregation gathered in the worship of Hastur, M’lDeemer could only answer, “Oh.”

When Nyarlathotep was gone, M’lDeemer turned toward the opening to the burrow in which his people lived and saw the worried faces of many of them peering out at him. He realized they were waiting on his word. It astonished him, but only for a moment. And in that moment he made his decision. He waggled his very handsome dorsal fins and waddled back to the entranceway and there proclaimed, “A sign has been given me, and a command by the Great Old Ones. Henceforth we abandon the worship of Vile Cthulhu and worship Holy Hastur instead!”

The other Iplings stared at him a moment as if harboring, not for the first time, suspicions of M’lDeemer’s sanity. Then they all joined in thunderous agreement with his proclamation.

Nyarlathotep, meanwhile, went to R’lyeh, and told Cthulhu what had transpired.

So it was that as the congregation of the Iplings led by the Prophet M’lDeemer gathered to cavort in their new found dread of Hastur, the sky above them filled with Star Spawn. Down on their spreading batlike wings they came; and their writhing tentacles and clawed underpinnings tore at the celebrants and ripped them limb from dorsal fin. Blood flowed in that plain like water in a flood. And though the worshipers of Hastur quickly began to proclaim their love of Cthuhu, it did no good. And something more or less the same happened everywhere on that wretched world that day.

Near the Lantern of Lost Worlds, there is still a dismal planet that orbits a star so dim that the baleful glare of the nebula casts more light upon its surface.

But here no longer dwell the creatures known as Iplings, except for one named M’lDeemer, who understands now why it is good to worship Cthulhu.
Wonderlust
The Emperor of Other Dreams
Cthulhu and the Iplings

THE ARTIFACTS OF THE GREAT OLD ONES

In the nebula called the Lantern of Lost Worlds, there is a planet named Vrisper, which circles a dead star. There are no living things on Vrisper, but there is built there a temple. And in that temple is an altar and on that altar are several artifacts of great distinction. There is the Torque of Azathoth, constructed of the dark matter that hides from the stars; there is a shadow left in the frozen wastes of Yuggoth by Nyarlathotep as he fled from Koschei; there is a likeness of Cthulhu carven from a diamond that is utterly black. The horn of Ezindont, torn from her head in the battle with Zazarin, lies on that altar,

as does the broom with which Sereda swept the cottage on Mispec Moor.

Nearby these items are the bones of ancient sacrifices. Once there came to the Lantern of Lost Worlds a starship from a far off world. The captain of this ship was a brave, stalwart creature, filled with curiosity about the universe and eager that his planet – and particularly himself – should benefit from the knowledge, arts and wealth of other worlds; in short, a pirate. He found the planet named Vrisper and the temple. He found the Artifacts of the Great Old Ones. He found them seemingly unprotected. Eagerly and obediently his crew loaded those items aboard the ship they came in; and as eagerly, they left. For Vrisper, with the shadowy faces seen in the mists that gather round that world, is most unsettling.

Yet before they had gone far, it seemed to their navigators that they saw dim forms and movements in the dust and energy of the nebula that surrounded them and which could not be pleasantly explained. And indeed the being that abruptly formed in front of them and extended great tentacles to wrap around and crush their ship, destroying every living creature aboard, down to the smallest bacterium, was as unpleasant as anything they could imagine.

Thus it often happens in forbidden places. Things sometimes change; and change is often accompanied by the letting of much blood usually in notable and violent ways. And things then go back to how they were – almost.

So even yet, in the nebula called the Lantern of Lost Worlds, there is still a planet named Vrisper which circles a dead star; and still there are no living things on Vrisper, but there is a temple. And in that temple is an altar and on that altar are several unique artifacts. There is the Torque of Azathoth, constructed of the dark matter that hides from the stars; there is a shadow left on the frozen wastes of Yuggoth by Nyarlathotep; there is a likeness of Cthulhu carven from a diamond that is utterly black. The horn of Ezindont, torn from her head in the battle with Zazarin, lies on that altar, as does the broom with which Sereda swept the cottage on Mispec Moor.

Nearby these items are the bones of fresh sacrifices.


by Gerald W Page

Blame the frames on ShelVy

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Wonderlust
The Emperor of Other Dreams
The Artifacts of the Great Old Ones