Father Dagon

“Nobody said the ocean was a safe place. There are … things down there, things that slide effortlessly through the arctic chill and lightless void. Creatures that wait for their time, the time of flood — the time of Dagon.”

Pope Paulius III —
Selected letters to Aleister Crowley, p. 142, Volume IV

I live on the western region of the Greenland. Now I know this sounds a bit weird, but its true. All alone on the Crow Point Redeemed in a cottage 314 miles from the nearest human settlement. No-one hear but just me and the occasional polar bear, who tend to come by my house by night, drawn to the unusual warmth in this ever cold inferno.

Indeed, I used to be a catholic priest, tending to my masses every Sunday and carrying out other rites of the most ordinary. A true believer, you could say. Seems almost ironical at the least that now I, a priest, acknowledge blasphemous truth about legends that at an younger age had I regarded them only as weird fiction and pagan-lore.

The turning point of my life was thought to be after the graduation in Vatican itself, when the Bishop of the Saint Garlemange personally handed me the symbolic scroll of reckognission. So I became a priest. But not just a simple priest. After all, not anyone are called to Vatican by Him (the Pope of course), and be given relevantly free hands in one of his extensively large library.

About 3-4 years it took me to do my essays on religious topics, especially my views on other, more ancient, forgotten and unheard-of cultures and their own Lords. As in any secret group, so it is in organized religion that the so-called Head Master will tell to only a selected few the mystery’s of its core and essence. And the things Bishop revealed to me were wondrously horrific.

They had already assured themselves of my strong and zealous belief in Yahweh, the true intentions and their ultimate purpose became clear to me. Out of the university had been selected only a few: of whom could be noticed great outlines in becoming a religious man as were they. I differed from other brothers in Christ by having a progressive mind; or a way of thinking and analysing the Holy Book and other handier religious texts that wasn’t so constricted or bound by narrow-mindness.

So after getting my hands on the long-lost manuscript called “The Confessions of the Mad Monk Clithanus”, it opened my eyes to stranger truths than just the Bible. As I secretly read the Mad Monks confessions, the name Dagon became an expression which would forever haunt me in dreams and vision. Clearer and clearer came facts that he was more than just a god of the Philistines. And being a fool as I was the first doubts and questioning out the Bible were written into my works.

The lecturer in theology soon took notice and apparently introduced my heretic research and in turn notified “necessary authorities”. I was now, unknowingly, being watched and secretly followed by the Church emissaries. They had to like the development in my investigative nature, for I was not shunned or banned from my studies, nor the church itself.

When I finally started the final semester two men approached me while I was reading newspaper articles collected from all over the world about sudden uprisings of natives in British colonies in India, Africa and even Indonesia, the explosive growth-rate of maniacal lunacy among poets and another persons of the sensitive nature, also insane asylums reported the hyperactive state of their unfortunate patients. I could never finish reading those, because the tall, towering shadows beckoned the light from my table.

An envelope was given to my holding, made of old-looking, but cleverly recreated papyrus paper with a seal on it, partly a catholic symbol, partly an unknown triangle-like deformity that amazed me for the strictness in the church’s hierarchy was know even to the most blinded atheist. They left without saying a word, but from their white collars I knew that these were men of God.

When I rushed to my apartment on 34th and Clockworks, a shabby place, where there was only room for a bed and a table for my studies, I opened the ill-looking seal and pulled out a paper made of finer materials than the envelope. I must admit that my hands were truly shaking of the fear, while thinking of expellment for the nature of my probing works had met the eye of some strict headmaster.

As it turned out, things took a u-turn as an opposite to my fears: my work had indeed been noticed, but not by critics, but by the Pope himself! Feelings of joy then mixed with oncoming feelings of surprise and curiosity. The letter was also an invitation. To Vatican.

On the next day I packed my seven things an 9 hours after that i was crossing the French soil and changing it to Italian. There I was welcomed by an inspiring, young priest, about my age and emitting an aura of a zealous potency. He too was invited to Vatican under ‘special circumstances’, but he did not show any joy or for that point, any emotion: his face under the sickly beige greatly resembled a mask of yellow, still and determined.

In the following years I became to know him by working with him in one of the secret libraries under Vatican: my first expressions about him were absolutely right. Born in England, on All Hallows Eve, he was named Christian Abner Donahue, and there-on raised up in a family of the most stern catholic family. As I found my way to God by myself, he was Christian even before his birth, the parents belonging in a now forgotten sect of “The Chronotica Yahwea”, which was dispersed by the local church itself; for the manner and the way of thinking was very extreme regarding other pagan belief systems, often relating in death-sentence like punishment and use of magickal devices and rites.

To the both of us then came the surprise, that even if we were on the side of Christ, we were destined to be working together on a mysterious case the administrates had left to us yet unrevealed. But the urge of knowledge about distant and by-gone things and places was hot within us burning with a tall flame, forcing us to burrow ourselves through piles and piles of books and manuscripts, making notes and sharing thoughts.

Evening after evening, taking on yet another stack full of papers, that the Pope’s Royal Guard’s brought in, I started to piece together a pattern, that linked all of those insanely off-related topics together: Egypt and why Napoleon suddenly turned back with only half of his scientific crew together, of Salem’s nefarious witch-cults and of sumerology and its religious system. Having read Champollion’s hidden notes ( God only knows how they found their way to Vatican), and even Edgar Cayce’s theory about the gigantic library of knowledge of the pas races of semi-humanoid people, and finally a notebook of someone calling himself Artimus Carter, within it descriptions of an Arctic expedition!

While Abner chewed his way through past-Euclidean mathematics theory book, I decided to go for a brisk walk, for I knew that constantly reading and analysing pseudo-occult materials left a mental print into the mind of the curious victim, which, in case of a weaker person, would undoubtedly leave off to the dim and twisted paths of madness.

The ever-so beautiful and secretive order of the gothic architecture sullied my mind with strange gratitude and wonder for the builders of these arches and facades, which brought to my mind images of gone-by centuries. The long pathway out of our current luxurious study was leading to other, twisting and turning, paths and hallways, for we took an oath to only wander in the gardens, sleep in our ascetically furnished chambers and work and research in one of the many library’s here. To other areas we were not forbidden; but the few monks around here made it clear not by threat nor command, that entering into other rooms or citadels under the building was considered unauthorized, and could end up in chastisement.

Then why, oh why, did not take heed of their reserved warnings, discarded them by looking for excuses to enter into one of those off-limits rooms, of which the modern press and literature was giving proportions promising to spin into a modern folklore; for everybody knew of the huge amounts of strange and legendary objects the Church claimed to hold their own; and some It didn’t even care to disclaim or prove as fact. That alone heated up the senses of the occasional fiction-writer, fancying in their works all sorts of outrageous ideas about what the Church hides, especially in the Vatican catacombs, for purposes and reasons too obscure for a common man to guess.

Fifteen minutes had passed when I had decided to go for a walk; six minutes of it had been spended on standing secretly in front of a door, which was designed more commonly as in opposition to all the other more distinguished-looking, coat of arms style engravings-covered oak doors. Curiosity has certainly made the kin of Man superior of other life-forms by letting us develop a distinct sense of insufficient exploration with more needed. That feeling will without question, destroy us too, wit leaving the Fates grinning and Other Gods free to ravage Earth once more.

Doubt was the monster in my mind, for it was tearing me apart, with on the other end I saw a caricatured version of the angry-looking Pope waving his finger with one hand and with the other pulling my by the ears back toward the passageway which led to the study. Then, assuring myself with the thought that nothing in this facility of the messenger of God could be against a holy-mans will, I pulled the knob, opening the door and the invisible Abyss, as like jaws of some portentous being spitting malign and distorted waves of chaos that we label ‘evil’.

Objects. Shelves and shelves filled with objects. Corridors after corridors made of narrowly placed shelves. I’m describing these things on ‘display’ as just plain objects because their nature ranged from obviously organical, but now long dead matter to different talismanic pendants, gnomish obelisks, various stiletto’s, giving away bluish glow into the gulf of breathtaking silence that I had created for myself.

Then the vacuum of weird and creepiness broke like bubble, making me come to my senses and stumble my way back towards the door, falling on a chest that had been near the doorway lying in the shadow which the glimmering sun threw to the dust-filled dark air of the gloomy chamber of oddities. Busting my elbow on the floor, shredding the sleeve of my left arm in the progress, I stormed outside and slammed the door shut. A pack of doves took flight from the bell-tower, screeching and flapping.

Making my way back to the study, only to find Abner reading a copy of the “Cabala Of Saboth”, I murmured something about a pounding headache and told him that I’d be in my room taking a brief nap. Of course there wasn’t any headache, but what was pounding was my heart, riddled with questions. As soon my head touched the pillow, I fell to the mercy of the dream world. There, for the first time, I met my Nemesis.

Usually the dreams I experienced were by my own nature, vivid and fantastic, and ranged from the most unbelievable to the most life-like surroundings. Sometimes it seemed that I was on entirely other planets, taking walks on the banks of their green-watered lakes; or then again the planets would turn hostile towards me, leading me into terrible feelings of terror – but never did I get a glimpse at the source itself, just a burning sense of paranoia smacking on my back when I was not looking, for a thousand alien-eyes were always lusting for my soul behind me.

The sleep was restless: no memory of the events passed there though. But still, sitting on the edge of the bed pondering on the alien room in the near-by hallway, when a series of flashes blinded me for a second, making me grab my head and think of a heart-attack or stroke. Nothing of the kind, for there was no pain: only fear.

I had read many books of weird stories and scientific fiction in my days: the notes of early explorers of Africa and their imaginative drawings of the creatures there, and the newly recovered Voynich Manuscript, on which many discussions were based without cause. On this being were united all the Egyptian abominations that Nile vomited each Spring; The Seven Devilish Apparitions mentioned in the “Liber Damnatus Damnationum” and all that was foul and perverse in all Creation that They brought down here to rule and reign…

It rose as a mound – a royal and definitive emissary of the creatures living deep, deeper than man can even guess and fear. In a split-second I spied his features, but would last for a lifetime to try to forget. Maybe madmen even dreamed of seeing this: I could have gone mad by wishing not to have seen this. I fell down.

The few monks had lifted me to my bed where I awoke. As I opened my eyes, three other ones turned to me. I recognized Abner’s, the other man sitting next to me in a simple robe I marked as a simple monk with a vow of silence; and the next one just emitted such a feeling of holiness and order that for a minute I took him for the Pope. It was in fact, Rome’s head cardinal.

The conversation followed was long and stunning; but I have no intention of boring you. Instead, ill try to summarize the flow of questions and answers, fired from both sides. Firstly, my small adventure into the Storage Room (in my mind I found no less sacrilegious word for it) had gone unnoticed. Secondly, my interest gone into research of other god-forms in the Holy Book and especially the Book of Genesis raised eyebrows in Vatican indeed. As through divine intervention the Vatican was planning various expeditions of missionary work and also a bit of exploration into the older points of religiously important parts of Europe, but for one exception: Greenland.

As the situation was weird and comical even without the mentioning of Vatican’s ‘expeditions’ with me lying on the bed because of a faint-attack I had, the Cardinal then told me and Abner to pack our possessions: we were due to leave tomorrow for Switzerland, then Germany and finally to Denmark, all places that had played historically important roles in the baptizing of European barbarians in the East; but we were suggested that we’d hurry. The Cardinal had left, but as he left with the monk that had taken care of me, Abner and I divulged into an excited dialogue.

That night we talked until the moon set up Her shining rule, leaving the dethroned Sol running into the red-boiling sea. No chance had we had from the moment we had met for the work supplied was vast; but the liberating feeling of sharing thoughts and truly taking interest of the others words made us hold back nothing we were thinking. Still I kept the knowledge of the Storage Room to myself, and I felt in the depths of my mind that he too was harbouring a secret thought or deed.

Now I knew that the Church had selected us for our impressing quality’s that were missing in so many priest-aspiring catholic young men and women: my ability to have limited and controlled way of analysing thinking-method and Abner’s strictness of following detail and the zealous and inquisitive memory and instinct of a spanian inquisitor. Our proclaimed abilities were to be tested in an arctic-based English colony named Truman’s Stop, for research purposes!

Naturally we were made priests, but sadly without the ceremony and ritual in honoured. This they considered as a bonus and a kind of ‘throwing a bone’ to a bunch of hungering catholic priests “ready for initiative action”. The inspiration I drew was celebrative, but careful; my instinct told me to be wary of the seemingly perfect order and proceedings my life had taken when taken as a protégé for a job I hadn’t even asked for and didn’t even know that existed. Abner was of course rejoiced, but as always he hid his truest emotions perfectly under the mask of carelessness and sageful wisdom.

Now we had both been given envelopes, sealed and untouched, with further instructions for our mission. I didn’t then at the time realize all the secrecy and even the true point of our trip: if it indeed owned archaeological purposes as we thought, why not send a crew of professional scientists and experienced men instead of two investigative priests, who knew a bit of mythology and lore. We boarded “Virgo Aquanautica” on the evening of our 6th day of the journey and parted towards Iceland.

There we rested for three days, because the constant journey onwards to Denmark had kept us mostly awake and now my forehead pounded and throbbed under headaches, which changed forms but never the region. Nobody had questioned me about why I had collapsed in Vatican; but the fear of the headache worsening and bringing disturbing visions of It made me conceal it even further, saying to Abner that I was going for a long walk up to the volcanic mountain summit. Hopes for the fresh air clearing my mind of doubts and pain, I paid for a guide from the village in the harbour, and as we started to climb and ascension upwards, a mild conversation with my guide, Guntar, began.

He and his family had settled here in Iceland since the time of the Viking-era of Scandinavia; when their raids reached even Roman outposts and Russian forts. Guntar was a direct ascendant of Björn Thaldesdalë, a former museum treasurer and a fisherman, a job almost every man practised here. Guntar knew Iceland’s history in detail, and answered my questions eagerly and openly, for my collar and position made people around me feel easy and comfortably.

When my feet were aching, I decided to stop and just sit there, admiring God’s creation and its evolution, I asked about his Viking ancestors. Startled at his sudden lack of words and the manner he’s lame attempts to derail the subject, I didn’t let go and directly confronted him with my notions of his behaviour. All what he then said should have been enough to drive me back to Austria, but then I listened with silent amazement and pieced in my mind together parts missing from the future shock.

Vikings were raiders: but no barbarians for their strong hierarchy and chain of command within their nation. Eager to conquer foreign coastal areas and to bring home treasures and wealth made them sail into every direction available by seaways: their charts were always up to date compared to the spanian explores later on; some still are. Weaker Roman outposts were taken and burned, no survivors to tell the tale but hanged and decapitated soldiers. We knew that they worshipped pagan-gods like Thor and Odin, even Loki if warpath was to be taken against those who opposed them.

Little toleration was given to Christianity: every chapel and monastery was brought down, leaving only ashes and the foundation yawning like a toothless mouth. Needless to say that the unfortunate monks and priests were slaughtered at the sight of am eye. This looting started from eastern parts of Russia to the near borders of Italy, leaving the Byzantines to take notice of the growing rate of barbaric assaults upon their empire. But then, about the year 950. A. D., the way of war fell suddenly apart; interior struggles began in the formerly so united and close kinmanship. A part of the Viking nation turned so cruel that their former comrades, who wielded the art of berserk, grew to shun them and finally, grew apart from them to the line that those darker people were driven deeper into the mountain area of Oslo, now the capital of Norway.

I knew this myself from general books of references, but where the books stopped, Guntar went on to say the reasons such developments took place. Before the splitting of Viking people the raid of a roman outpost was made; abundant was the loot from their temple and libraries too, because even though they didn’t know the roman letters, they valued knowledge highly and stored these precious books and scrolls with pride and value. But the outpost the raid had wiped clean was said to been ‘foul’: the temples weren’t sacrificing wine to Bacchos, instead human sacrifices to Kübele were made! The Viking elders had sent spies in the cover of night to seek enemy weaknesses of guarding posts: but instead they returned shaken, and mumbling about devils flying over the camp screaming in the tongues of men and humans practicing evil magick.

This atrocious activity upsetted the leaders so, that plans and thoughts how to dismantle the fort secretly was thrown out of the window; over 500 muscle-bound men, over 2 meters in height and 400 kilos of weight, considering armour and heavy mallets flooded the camp, screaming war cries that chilled the bones of night-guards, who thought the Hades himself had let loose the dead from their infernal graves. A most fierce attack, where in the state of berserk even Vikings chopped their friends in a frenzied state of murder, and naturally, every living creature from roman general to the goats behind the soldiers dormitory were slaughtered.

But what they then discovered, made them hold their breath as they combed the grounds for gold and valuables: mutilated prisoners in smouldering hot metal-body casts; human-shaped creatures partly eaten by some sort of beaked deformities that they had seen scattering away just before the attack; educated roman noblemen had stripped themselves naked and had jumped and leaped around idols and eating living flesh ripped from animals not yet dead and so on… Now the men, who had lived through snowstorms which crumbled trees into splinters and had seen more blood and spilled guts than any other tribe at that period of history, fell to their knees into the blood-soaked soil, and called out to Odin for mercy and help to scourge these lands from those butchers of witchcraft.

Then the camp was burned to the ground and all the valuables had been carried back onto their mighty ships; that’s where supposedly some of the power-hungry chiefs opened the books without any letters to cloth the pages: and understood the universal language of the Abyss – and they became corrupted for the seed was easy to be awaken within them.

Ways to kill and rejoice and shout they secretly put into use: meeting with infernal valkyres out of the cracks in the oldest plateau’s on the face of Earth. From the sanity they had not yet paid for ill-gained knowledge they did try to rebel within their communities and overtake control of the lands. It failed miserably, starting with an uprise of citizens and resulting in the emigration of those who began to worship a new sea-based god, who the people became to know as Kraken.

Even then peace was not really won: screams would echo down from the mountaintops and the thick smoke with intoxicating odours blew down upon the villages, making the dogs howl and newborn babies ill and sick. Finally the elders, who had left the way of raids behind them and taken up the more social manner of trade, clothed themselves into steel armour and terrifying mauls and hammers from the numerous smithies, and climbed upwards to rid the world from the evil ways of these former friends and relatives.

The men who then returned after the massacre, which sounds rising from the freakish throats of the victims had been heard almost every settlement in northern Norway, were changed men, many of whos beard had turned yellow or white as snow. Their hands didn’t stop shaking until the grave, nerves as strong as steel had been turned into mish-mash. They did not speak of what they saw up there to anyone, saying only that if the damned world would have seen what they did, the current order of things would crack and eventually break into anarchy and chaotic vortexes, crushing religions into a state of jokes and men back to the lower part of the food cycle in the cosmic way of ‘aeons’.

All that were able to get away from the blind wrath of those northern braves, had taken small and crudely built transport ships and made way towards Iceland and Greenland, carrying their religious fetishes along with them. Pursuit was of course started, but the sea, that the thrived on and earned their food, rebelled into a enemy to be feared: fugitive boats showed strange speed, with black wind in their sails and figures of entities silently swimming along the boat with them, singing of subjects that shocked the foul-mouthed Vikings and drove them mad enough to throw themselves overboard.

Chase was lost, only a small leaking boat reached back, because the sea that night was a stranger, foaming poison and emitting anger towards them. Along that last boat that returned from the village, there was a young man, Erik, who was the highly-ranked son of the village Elder, and as a praised quality, knew besides the runic alphabet also Russian Cyrillic. He put that in use of making the 23 stone tablets telling the story of the ‘Doom of Svensger’, one series that was cut in stone in cyrillian, the other version in runic. Guntar finished the tale by saying that the part of people arriving in Iceland, (only 24 kilometres from our port!) were wiped out by a Viking colony, which had discovered Iceland only 30 years before, and were settled on the coast.

When I asked what became of those artefacts and bodies, and also about there was no information about this obviously historical event in any of the reference materials, he answered, that he had shown these tablets to the local church, a catholic one, but the priests there took the tablets which had been preserved by Guntars family by many centuries now, and locked them in their basement, for “they were of pagan nature, made by the Devil and simply owning them could have lead to damnation in the pits of Hell”!

This hit me as a surprise and the way of intimidating a poor old man with aged utterances made me carry a holy wrath against those misfits down in abbey. To the proposition of retrieving those tablets for him, he only said that his better of without them, for those tablets told the story of evil and suffering, the part of history he’s people were trying to rub out of their lives.

I returned to the ships cabin shortly after he had told me of “Doom of Svensger”, and after that I couldn’t possibly answer him about my and Abners destination – Greenland. That night we had refreshed our supplies and cast off, my sleep was again lucid and too vivid. In the morning if wrapped myself into animal skins we bought from shore that proved excellent protection against the biting frost outside. Climbing up to the mast of the ship, where a small observation post was made for spotting icebergs. Seagulls and a whale were only creatures I saw, viewing the breath-taking beauty and ruthlessness of this northern desert of cold: I tried to bring up visions of the dark chase that took place over a thousand years ago. Failing to see how this peaceful pool of icy silence could turn into a cold-blooded killer, I remembered an author’s quote that fitted in with my current thoughts: a comparison of the seas velvet paw concealing the sharp claws was most becoming.

Five days after that we stepped on Greenland’s soil. Following with an excruciatingly long-seeming sled-ride to Truman’s Stop, we then saw in the vastness the colonial city. In my view there was nothing to be colonized here, and even the nearest Eskimos were 19 miles of south from here. Here is the point I must stop my narrative. For all that was honourable and by the human nature has ended right here.

I’ve read the letter the Cardinal hoped to fool me with: here are no men to be baptized or for that matter no one to spread the word of God. They are all mad here. Abner is missing. Maybe they have made the ‘their own’… I must pretend I know nothing. Ill let their ill manners pass now, and get away from this madness if I’m planning to survive here. They have given me a small cottage on Crow Point Redeemed, after my insisting request.

Until they don’t know that I know, I’m relatively safe. What goes on here must be made heard to the world. I have already made my first attempt to summon help: outside their knowing I yesterday wrote a letter, rode with the sled down to the cove, where I saw the fishing-boat rest and hide themselves from the storm. The captain was Scottish, he understood, what to do with it and whom to give it, when they return to Ireland. My nightmares have grown… beyond the point of reason, but I… must keep my head and not go mad for some time. I sense here a presence besides them down at Truman’s Stop… besides the presence of those men…

I hope that there will be enough time for salvation of the soul of mine and then all of yours, for my God has left me to the pleasure of Him to toss and torture me when I’m asleep or even awake. But the faith in humanity remains, these gods are hell-bent on wiping us away from the face of Earth and claim it back to their heel once again. Well, we’ll see about that. This is the final letter from Sigmund Wakeley Jr.

May the Elder Gods be merciful on my soul. Iämen! Iämen!

2 Responses to “Father Dagon”

  1. Joshua Goudreau Wrote:

    This story’s narrative is a little awkward at the beginning but once it gets rolling is really quite good. You have a very Lovecraftian style in this and I quite liked the tale.

  2. Adrian Wrote:

    Thank you 🙂

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