And The Truth Shall Make You Free

It has been my experience that the true purpose of axioms, adages, and “wise old sayings” is, more often than not, to promulgate ideas that provide reassurance rather than to convey concepts that accurately reflect true reality. Of all of the popular aphorisms, I feel that the one that is the most dangerously fallacious is the saying, “The Truth Shall Make You Free”. This maxim has most definitely been proven counterfactual in the case of my older brother.

I hale from a proud Bostonian lineage that has built its fortune upon the solid foundations of fiscally conservative banking. Our family business, which admittedly is not one that will enthrall one’s imagination, has served my family well. In order to ensure the continuation of the family’s prosperity, it has always been expected that all male children born into our clan will enter into the profession. This expectation had, rather remarkably, always been met by my progenitors. Generation after generation, my forefathers obediently stepped forward and faithfully undertook their familial duty of providing meticulous and sober-minded banking services. This long line of selfless gentlemen encountered its first breech in the person of my elder brother, Quincival.

Quincival, from my earliest recollections, had always impressed me with his incredible brilliance. It seemed that anything he set his mind to, he could eventually master. Great leaps of logic seemed to be his most common thought process. As is the case with many men of great genius, the price for this gift was debited from the account of his sanity. Quincival was not known for sailing a steady course with an even keel.

Although it was true that Quincival could seemingly master any subject, the subjects that he chose to master were invariably of a bizarre quality. His interests were diverse, but had a tendency to gravitate towards the very most obscure and aberrant portions of the historical record.

Of course, this preference for subjects that had little to do with accounts, balance sheets, or other fiscal appurtenances made Quincival something of a maverick in our brood. My father was beside himself, often becoming nearly apoplectic upon finding his eldest son poring over yet another dusty old document that had been ferreted out of the forgotten archives of some mouldering old library.

I have to confess that I had always been jealous of Quincival’s intellect. In fact, as I grew older, I became so resentful that I began to attempt to subtly manipulate my brother in ways that would drive an ever more pronounced wedge between him and my father. I did everything within my power to encourage his odd interests and to discourage any tendency he showed towards appeasing my father and taking up the mantle of financial management. I was determined that, if I could not be the most brilliant scion of the family, at least I would be the one to uphold our prosperous dynasty.

My efforts met with wholesale success. For, when the time came for my brother to enroll in an institution of higher learning, he elected to forego the usual Ivy League education and instead opted to enroll in a rather shoddy and obscure university in a dingy little town named Arkham.

The peculiar scholastic choice shocked the patriarchs of our clan. Not one of us could imagine how he had arrived at such a choice. The school had something of a dodgy reputation. It appeared that it generally just barely managed to maintain its accreditation from year to year. This seemed to be largely due to the fact that the instructors at the institution were in the habit of encountering grisly fates, invariably of a most mysterious nature. Thus, the college had a difficult time maintaining a qualified staff.

Nevertheless, Quincival matriculated with this institution and proceeded to pursue a series of courses that bore absolutely no relation whatsoever to the family trade. His studies consisted largely of ancient history, dead languages, and parapsychology.

Our father raged against this foolishness and made repeated threats to withhold tuition funds. However, I always managed to somehow soothe our parent and ensure that Quincival was able to study as he desired. As I was obviously firmly set upon following the normal professional course for our family my father was somewhat mollified, knowing that he had at least one secure heir apparent.

By the time I had completed my studies in financial and economic subjects at Harvard, Quincival was still thoroughly embroiled in pursuing his own arcane curriculum, and he showed no sign of concluding his education any time soon.

I was in my tenth year of bank management when Quincival wrote me and stated that he had completed his third doctorate and felt that, to further his acquisition of knowledge, he would need to undertake an expedition to the far side of the Atlantic. He indicated that he felt a need to study certain documents and artifacts that could only be found in the British Isles and other parts of Europe.

I was delighted at the news. My administration of the family commerce was smoothly continuing our ensured affluence and I was more than happy to help my brother pursue whatever diversions would keep him from interfering in my pursuits. My father had recently retired and had resigned himself to accepting the fact that his eldest child would never amount to more than a hopeless academic. Therefore, I was completely at liberty to wire my sibling the funds he would require to mount his expedition.

I did not hear from my brother again for several months. Finally, I received a letter that my brother had sent to inform me of his latest findings, and, of course, request more funding. The text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Randall,

My researches here in Britain have met with astounding success. I have been consulting with a Mr. Alfred Watkins, who has developed some very interesting theories regarding ancient British trackways and the straight routes that some of these form between locales which held major religious significance for millenia, (if not longer). I have been making measurements of the magnetotelluric currents between many of these ancient sites. I am convinced that the currents that I’ve observed are a by-product of another, less discernable, force that is more akin to the animal magnetism that was popularized by Dr. Mesmer.

I strongly suspect that these, “ley-lines”, as they are called, are related to certain antediluvian texts that I have previously studied. If this is the case, certain rituals contained within those codices may actually enable me to tap into the power that flows between the nodes of force.

I also plan to employ certain hermetic processes to examine some of the menhir, (or “standing stones”), which one can find at various locations in the countryside. I suspect that these stones where once covered with engravings that have been worn away by the ravages of time and tempest. These processes should make any residual markings visible, even if they are only left in the form of a slight compression of the stone due to the impact of the engraver’s chisel.

Unfortunately, the supplies required for these alchemical operations are rather dear. Therefore, I am forced to request yet another allotment of the family’s proceeds to continue my work. I am sure that you are as eager to learn the results of my researches as myself. I will forward my results as soon as I have had time to accumulate and analyze the data.

Yours truly, Quincival

The letter also contained a list of needed supplies and the prices for each to document the amount of money that would need to be sent. Although the sum was, indeed, considerable, it was nothing that would present a difficulty to a family with a fortune such as ours. Thus, I was most happy to comply with my brother’s request.

Several more months went by, during which the family received occasional seasonal greetings from Quincival that contained assurances that he was still in sound health and that his work was showing fruit. Finally, I received a rather sizable box that contained another missive from my sibling as well as a large collection of documents and data. The text of this new letter is as follows:

Dear Randall,

My theories regarding the ley-lines have proven to be verifiable. There is definitely an arcane force that flows along the ley-lines between these ancient holy sites.

My hermetic studies of the menhir have also proven successful. There were definitely carvings upon these stones that have been worn past the point of visibility. I have collected a rather huge library consisting of copies of the worn rune carvings. I plan on spending the next several months studying these runic inscriptions and attempting to discern their meanings.

I also plan on continuing my experiments in the use of ceremonial rituals to “tap into” the power of these ley-lines. The potential energies contained in these lines seem to be of a phenomenal magnitude. I have so far managed to use the energies to levitate a stone that weighed more than fifty pounds. I truly wish that you could have been there to witness the event.

Please place the documents and various other items I have sent in a safe and secure place for me. They will play an important part in my plans to eventually publish my findings.

Yours truly, Quincival

I had always known that my brother was not quite right in the head. However, the claim that he had used arcane powers to actually levitate a large stone caused me a bit of concern. I hoped that I would not be receiving a call soon from British authorities informing me that my brother had been institutionalized. Nevertheless, I did not see any way in which I could positively affect the situation, so I decided to just wait and hope for the best.

The data and documents that he had sent, although totally incomprehensible to me, seemed to at least be put together in an orderly fashion. So, it seemed that his mind at least still held some semblance of stability.

His next communication was, unfortunately, not very reassuring in regards to the possible state of his mental health. The text of that letter is as follows:

Dear Randall,

I have experienced the most peculiar and disturbing encounter. Several nights ago, as I was studying in the rooms I have rented, I suddenly sensed the presence of other beings within the room. I had not heard any movement, but when I looked behind me, I was astounded to find three small, dark skinned men standing in the center of the room, regarding me with extremely stern expressions.

These fellows must have been no taller than three or possibly three and a half feet! Although they had dark complexions, they had no other facial features common to the natives of the African continent or the Indian subcontinent. They all wore rather dingy smocks and were armed with hammers.

Seeing that I had noticed them, one of them stepped forward and delivered a warning. He claimed that they had somehow sensed the operations which I had been performing using the energies of the ley-lines. He told me that such an act was “wicked” and if I did not stop such activities immediately, that the consequences would be most dire.

As the group, although diminutive, looked well muscled and were armed with hammers, I did not think it would be wise to argue. In any case, I was too shocked to do anything other than just nod silently.

Apparently satisfied that their warning had been delivered, the three small, dark men then turned and walked off towards the front of the flat. I sat and listened for several minutes, but never heard the door open or close. Finally, I arose and carefully searched the entire suite of rooms. Although I had not heard them exit, they were gone!

I am totally at a loss to explain the incident. However, for the moment, I feel that it would be best if I heed their exhortation and refrain from further attempts to draw upon the energies of the ley-lines via arcane means.

I still plan on attempting to translate the runic carvings, however. I can’t imagine that an activity such as that would be sufficient to incur their wraith. I also plan on looking into exactly who, or what, those three “men” might have been. I couldn’t help but sense a rather supernatural aura about them.

I hope this letter will not cause you undo concern. Please rest assured that I will take every precaution to ensure my continued health and safety.

Yours truly, Quincival

Was my brother suffering hallucinations now? He was seemingly convinced that he had been visited by some manner of magical dwarf or elf creatures. Could this simply be the result of his years of uninterrupted, intensive study? Had I unwittingly caused my sibling harm through my selfish encouragement of his fanciful obsessions?

The apparently mad ravings of his next letter all but confirmed my fears:

Dear Randall,

I have been delving into all manner of legendary erudition in my search for answers concerning the nature of my peculiar visitors. I have compiled a truly astounding set of correlations that seem to indicate the existence of another intelligent race that resides upon this world without our knowledge of their existence!

I have found reports from all over the globe of small, dark skinned men who are invariably gifted at stone carving and the construction of stone structures. The references that you would be most familiar would be the Norse myths of dwarves or dvergar. However, I have also found nearly the exact same creatures described in the legends of people from the far side of the globe! The Polynesian people have legends of a small race called Menahune that they claim constructed several rather complex structures that can still be seen to this day on their islands.

The most compelling aspect of the Menahune myth is the fact that the Polynesian peoples have no native aptitude, techniques, or tools that would have allowed them to construct such works. The structures are undeniably there, and the natives are quite adamant in their claims that they did not create them.

Another example of dark skinned stone-workers of small stature is found in the mythology of the people of the land of Khem, or Egypt as it is known today. The Egyptian god Ptah was the chief of a small band of small, dark skinned craftsmen that supposedly visited Egypt in the ancient past. They created wondrous structures and supposedly taught some of their knowledge to the masons of the ancient Nile valley. It seems that Ptah may have been a Menahune and may have gifted the Egyptians with the engineering knowledge that allowed them to construct the great pyramids!

Also, the megalithic stone circles that I have been studying were constructed by unknown workers in the prehistoric past. However, the similarity between the term for the standing stones, “Menhir” and the name of this race, “Menahune” seems more than coincidental. I suspect that this race may have been the original builders of Stonehenge and similar sites! This would certainly explain why they were interested in my manipulation of the energies associated with such locales!

I plan to continue looking into this incredible hypothesis. I can’t believe my great fortune to have actually been able to have an encounter with this enigmatic people!

Yours Truly, Quincival

I was now beside myself with worry. My only brother seemed to be sinking deeper and deeper into phantasmagorical delusions. He was seeing hallucinations and then weaving his mental aberrations into this whole artificial structure that he was obviously contriving from fairy tales. I felt I had to do something, but I was not sure what actions I could take that would be helpful. I certainly didn’t want to risk acerbating the situation while my brother was so distant from all friends and family.

Finally, I contacted some of my closest business associates in Britain and confessed my dilemma. I asked if they could possibly suggest someone that I could retain to keep a watch over my brother and attempt to keep his irrational activities contained to harmless eccentricities.

My associates were most helpful and located a young professional who would be willing to undertake such a mission. Of course, his fee was quite high, but I was more than willing to pay it. The young practitioner was named Dr. William Brant. Although his references were rather scant, due to the fact that he was only beginning his practice, my associates assured me that he was most competent.

I wired my brother and informed him that I was afraid that he might be working too hard. I stated that I had therefore taken the liberty of securing the services of an assistant who would help ensure that he would have sufficient aid to enable him to take time from his intensive research to have adequate amounts of rest and regular nutrition.

My brother was surprised that I would take such an initiative, but he was very grateful for the aid that I was providing. My ploy was apparently successful, in that he never seemed to suspect that I was placing him under the watchful eye of a minder.

However, several weeks later, my brother sent another wire. He, once again, thanked me for providing an assistant. He was rather sorry, however, that the man that I had hired had no knowledge of ancient languages or lore. He felt that Brant was of limited usefulness. He confessed that his new assistant did little more than act as a domestic. He also said that he found it most odd that his new aid seemed to have a peculiar fascination with my brother’s temperature and pulse rate. He suggested that perhaps it would be better if we let Brant go and found another helper that my brother would recruit from the ranks of archeological graduates.

I responded that I would prefer that he keep Brant on, but I also stated that I would be willing to provide funding for another aid of a more academic nature. This compromise seemed to please my brother and he began to look for another assistant at once. I began to wonder just how extensive my brother’s staff would be in the end.

Dr. Brant provided me with regular reports regarding the mental stability of Quincival. He felt that my brother exhibited signs of paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and possibly delusions of grandeur. He also indicated that he felt there was a possibility of occasional schizophrenic episodes. He intimated that he felt that Quincival would benefit greatly from a program of regular enemas but that my brother was not being at all cooperative in that area.

Nevertheless, Dr. Brant assured me that my brother was well contained and that there seemed to be no chance of any violent outbursts. This soothed my nerves greatly. When I received the next letter from my elder sibling, I was very reassured to know that, despite his seeming incoherence, he was in good hands. The letter read as follows:

Dear Randall,

I have acquired a new assistant by the name of Mr. Gerald Hopkins. He graduated with top marks from the Oxford College of Antiquity Studies. He is planning on pursuing a doctorate, but agreed to take this position for the next several years in order to widen his knowledge of the field and to also fortify his bank account.

I have had more success in my research into the nature of the Menahune/Dwarves. I made a trip up to the Orkney Isles and discovered the most wondrous thing upon the Orknian Isle of Hoy.

On the Isle of Hoy is a massive block of granite that the natives refer to as the “Dwarvie Stane”. The block has several rooms carved into it which are too small for a grown man to comfortably occupy but are of perfect dimensions for one of the little dark men that paid me a visit. The natives leave regular offerings outside the stone, believing that some sort of magical spirit inhabits the place.

I made an extensive study of the small rooms. When I applied my hermetic operations to the walls, I was delighted to find markings that showed me how to open an incredibly clever secret chamber! The skill with which the door to the chamber had been constructed was astonishing. The door had gone undetected for centuries despite the fact that the young men of the island would often search the Dwarvie Stane and the surrounding area for a legendary magical treasure they believe is hidden there.

The secret chamber that I found did not contain any magical treasure, at least not in any sense that would seem to be magical or particularly valuable to the average man. However, to someone such as myself, it contained the find of a lifetime.

The chamber held a massive collection of stone tablets that were inscribed with the same type of runic symbols that my hermetic techniques had earlier revealed upon the megaliths. With the aid of these new tablets, I have been successful in deciphering the runic script!

The tablets revealed that the Dwarvie Stane had indeed been the home of one of the members of the Menahune race for several centuries. Apparently, this fellow was something of a hermit who preferred to dwell above ground while most of his fellows preferred to live in subterranean areas.

This Menahune was charged with the task of maintaining the menhir and the ley-line network that stretches across the northern part of Scotland. He apparently performed this task until he finally passed away. Most of the tablets were records he kept regarding his duties, but some of them were messages that he had received from a friend of his who was located in the region we today call Central America!

>From the information on these tablets, I believe I can find the location occupied by this other member of the race. Therefore, please send sufficient funds for the transport of my two assistants, my library, and myself to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Yours Truly, Quincival

Surprisingly, Dr. Brant’s reports corroborated my brother’s claims regarding the secret chamber in the “Dwarvie Stane”. Although I had to wonder a bit if the sanity of the good doctor was completely intact, I had no choice but to accept the reports. Therefore, I sent the requested funds to my adventurous sibling.

The next letter that I received came from southern Mexico. It appeared that my brother and his two companions had made a rather arduous trek into the heavily overgrown jungles of that region and had come across some authentic Mayan runes. The tone of my brother’s letter was quite jubilant. The text of the letter is as follows:

Dear Randall,

We have successfully reached the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. I am most grateful that these ruins had already been located for us by Stephens and Catherwood back in 1839. My task would have been much more difficult had those intrepid explorers not already begun the task of clearing the thick jungle growth from these timeworn stones. As it was, we very nearly became hopelessly lost in the dense tropical foliage of the area. I was only able to finally locate the place by following the energy flows of a ley line that we happened to stumble across.

Our goal within this long abandoned city happened to be a pyramid that has been given little attention by the archeological scholars. This is not surprising as there are many other ruins here which are much more impressive in size and design.

I managed to communicate with some tribesmen who dwell not too far from the ruins. They were able to provide me with some very interesting information about the pyramid that we are seeking. These natives know the structure by the name “The Temple of the Dwarf”; they also refer to it as “The Pyramid of the Magician”.

According to their legends, this particular pyramid was constructed overnight by a magical dwarf. I’m positive that this legend must have originated with the Menahune that was mentioned in the documents found in the “Dwarvie Stane”. Their legend concerning the dwarf was rather odd, claiming that he was born from an egg that was hatched by an old witch. They claim that this dwarf actually became king of the city after crushing the skull of the previous king in a contest of strength.

I’m not sure what to make of such an odd tale, but I can’t help but believe that the legend supports my belief that a Menahune once dwelt here amongst the human population.

It will be difficult for me to send letters from here, as I have to hire a local to carry the letter to the nearest city. Out here in the wilderness we have to barter with the natives, as they do not use any currency. Therefore, I won’t be able to hire them too often to make such mail runs.

I plan on spending at least a month at this site. I can only hope that I will find some clues here that will help me discern the truth regarding this mysterious race.

Yours Truly, Quincival

My brother’s remote location not only prevented him from maintaining frequent communications but also interrupted my reports from Dr. Brant. I was thus left with no alternative but to trust that my sibling would remain safe and healthy under the watchful eye of the doctor.

I began to worry, however, when I did not receive any word after a period of two whole months. Out of desperation, I finally arranged to have a search party sent out to the ruins. They were instructed to rescue my brother’s party if necessary. However, if my brother and his comrades were safe, the expedition would at least serve to deliver fresh supplies.

I was greatly relieved when the expedition sent word that my brother and his assistants had been located safe and sound. They also forwarded a letter that Quincival had sent back with them. The text of that letter is as follows:

Dear Randall,

I’m terribly sorry to have caused you such worry. I should have made a greater effort to send word. However, the discoveries that I have made at Chichen Itza have required much more time to fully scrutinize then I had originally anticipated.

Employing the same hermetic techniques that had previously proven so useful, I discovered a cleverly concealed area within the Dwarf Pyramid. As with the secret chamber in the Dwarvie Stane on Hoy, this chamber contained a collection of invaluable inscribed stone tablets. From these tablets I have managed to glean something of the history of this structure.

The Menahune individual that built and dwelt within this structure was apparently exiled from his colony. His crime was to dare to interfere too directly in the affairs of humans. It seems that, over time, these creatures have had a growing conviction that they should minimize contact with humanity except when it was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the mystical ley lines. In the distance past, such as in the era of the Egyptian Ptah, contact was fairly common. Over time, however, the Menahune have grown more insular and less trusting of humanity. Of course, now days, such contact is so very rare that the race is considered to be little more than fanciful legend.

At any rate, the Menahune that built this structure decided that the local human population was engaging in activities that were too dangerous to allow to go unchecked. As you know, early meso-american cultures were marred by the evil practice of human sacrifice. The Maya occupying Chichen Itza during this particular period appear to have not only practiced that abhorrent rite, but also were beginning to venerate certain strange entities which the Menahune consider to be their enemies. The tablets name one of these entities Kutulu, which I suspect may a variation on the name of a rather terrible force that I have seen in some ancient works.

The worship of these entities, at least in its most effective form, involves human sacrifice. Thus, the practices of the people of Chichen Itza were well suited to be adapted to the veneration of these beings. The Menahune in this area were concerned, but their leaders decided that interference was not justified at that time.

One member of their society, however, disagreed so strongly that he chose to take matters into his own hands, despite the fact that his actions would condemn him to a life of exile from his own kind. This Menahune, with the aid of a Mayan “Wise-woman” who also opposed the adoption of the new deities, insinuated himself into the culture pretending to be a deformed human with mystical abilities.

The rulers of Chichen Itza at that time used various techniques and schemes to convince the populace that they wielded great magical powers, so as to discourage any rebellion. This Menahune eventually managed to impress the people so greatly that the ruler had no choice but accept a personal challenge from the miniature mage.

The Menahune easily bested the ruler through the use of the mystical knowledge that his people hold. Having done so, he was able to take control of the city and eliminate both the veneration of the inimical entities and the practice of human sacrifice.

His rulership ushered in a new era of prosperity to the region – something of a “golden era”. Sadly, when this Menahune finally passed away, (after ruling for over 200 years!), the people of Chichen Itza eventually fell back into their old appalling ways.

The documents also point to the existence of an entrance to a Menahune colony being located some seventeen leagues from here. However, I have not had any luck in locating the portal.

I made one other extremely exciting discovery while studying the stone tablets. There is a mention of an extremely important Menahune settlement that was located in the Cappadocia region. Apparently, the Menahune have excavated large underground cities in that area.

The tablets state that, much to the dismay of the Menahune, humans discovered the underground cities and the upper levels of most of them had to be abandoned. The Menahune relocated to lower levels and closed off all connections to the areas the humans had discovered.

Strangely enough, several tribes of humans actually had the audacity to take up residence in the abandoned underground cities, despite the fact that they were ignorant of who the builders were or what had happened to them. Generally, human cultures tend to be too superstitious and cautious to occupy such strange areas. I imagine the humans who dwelt in those caves must have been driven there by desperation caused by an otherwise inescapable danger.

>From the information in the tablets, I believe that I can locate the cities mentioned. The tablets imply that these cities contained one of the most important nodes in the ley-line structure. Surely, I will be able to learn the whole truth regarding this race at that locale.

One of the puzzles I am most eager to most eager to solve is, exactly why do these Menahune place such importance on the ley-lines? I have not been able to discover any information that explains how they use the ley-lines or why the lines exist.

I believe that it will be most elucidating to make the journey to Cappadocia and explore those subterranean cities. Therefore, please send the funds I will require to buy passage to the Anatolian Peninsula, (which is currently under the control of the Ottoman Empire). I have also sent a fairly detailed list of supplies I believe we will require and I would appreciate it if you would be willing to send the funds to cover these expenses as well.

Yours Truly, Quincival

Along with the lengthy message from my brother, I also received a collection of reports that Dr. Brant had written up for me but had been unable to send. These reports indicated that my brother had indeed located the aforementioned secret chamber in the odd pyramid. The reports stated that the stone tablets did indeed exist. Dr. Brant, however, was unable to personally verify my brother’s interpretation of the runic script on the tablets due to his inability to comprehend the language. However, he indicated that my brother’s other assistant, Gerald Hopkins, seemed to agree with my brother’s translation.

I was somewhat hesitant to have my brother enter into the territory controlled by the Ottomans. It seemed that the Ottomans were becoming increasingly belligerent towards Englishmen as tensions rose on the European continent. Although Quincival was an American citizen, he would be traveling with two Brits and could easily suffer some sort attack. I wasn’t even sure if an Ottoman would be able to differentiate between an American and an Englishman.

However, I felt fairly sure that I would not be able to dissuade Quincival from his quest. Therefore, I sent the requested funds along with an admonishment to take extra care in his dealings with the people there.

The next message I received from Quincival came from the town of Derinkuyu in the Cappadocian Region. The text of the letter follows:

Dear Randall,

We have successfully made the voyage. The entire party is still in good health. Of course, this is possibly largely attributable to my assistant Brant who seems to have some sort of obsession regarding sickness. I’ve told him several times that he should really consider attending a medical school, as peoples’ health seems to be something of a peculiar fascination for him.

We have visited several of the communities in this area and found that there are, indeed, extensive subterranean living areas here. Currently, it seems that no one is actually living within these ancient excavations, but I’ve found that a number of homes have entrances to the underground areas which they use as cellars.

I have finally decided to focus my explorations on the underground city near the village of Derinkuyu. Once again, I made use of the technique of tracing the flows of the ley-lines to locate the most promising site.

We have already made a foray into the depths of this extensive, benighted ruin. At the lowest point, I would estimate that we must have been at least five stories below the surface.

The ley-lines within the city seem to converge on a huge stone block on the lowest level. I strongly suspect that this great stone cube may have been placed here to block the main entrance to the lower levels of the city, which they quite possibly may still occupy.

Unfortunately, I have so far been unable to locate any hidden entrances that will allow us to travel deeper. I also have not discovered any workable method via which the stone could be moved.

I have considered using explosives to breach the obstacle, but I fear that such a method would cause a massive cave-in. I am sure that, if we could only find some way of moving that block, we will discover many wondrous hidden truths.

I have considered once again tapping into the energies of the ley-lines and thus generating the type of force that would be needed to shatter such a great impediment. I am extremely leery of such an act however, due to the dire warnings that the Menahune issued.

Unfortunately, Imperial officials have been keeping tabs on our movements. I fear that they suspect us of spying for their enemies. Therefore, I am rather desperate to move that block as soon as possible. I suspect we will not have much more time during which we will be able to continue our explorations.

Nevertheless, we will persevere as well as we can. I hope that I will be able to write to you again soon with additional exciting discoveries.

Yours Truly, Quincival

I did not receive another letter from Quincival for the next three months. During that time, the situation in Europe continued to deteriorate. When I learned that the Ottomans and the Russian Empire were beginning to mobilize against each other, due to the assassination of the Austrian Archduke by Serbian revolutionaries, I knew that Quincival’s danger had become much greater. The continent was a powder keg on the verge of exploding.

Some days thereafter, I received a message from Dr. Brant. He was writing to me from the Greek city of Athens. He reported that local officials had come to the inn in Derinkuyu where they had taken rooms and announced that they were under arrest and were going to be deported. Brant and Hopkins were both taken, but Quincival had managed to slip out of a window.

Brant indicated that the officers had pursued Quincival but that my brother had disappeared into the underground city. Due to the familiarity that Quincival had obtained through his explorations, he had easily eluded his pursuers in the stygian ruins.

Brant and Hopkins were deported to Greece the next day. They had received no further word regarding Quincival’s fate.

I nearly expired from sheer dread as I read that letter. What had Quincival been thinking? Was he planning on hiding within those mouldering depths forever?

I immediately called an emergency meeting of the most prominent members of our extended family. Fortunately, we were well known in the office of the governor, who put us in touch with the proper people in the diplomatic corps of the Federal government.

Through these channels we were able to gain assurances from the Ottomans that if we were to send people to the region to find Quincival and bring him home, that we would be allowed to do so. Therefore, I set off for Cappadocia immediately.

During my voyage, the situation in Europe flared into a full-scale war that seemed to involve every nation in the region. Luckily, America was maintaining a neutral stance. Still, shipping on the Atlantic and within the Mediterranean was still hazardous, even if the vessel flew an American flag.

Nevertheless, fortune favored me and I arrived safely at my goal. I hired several guides and immediately began to search the subterranean ruins for any sign of my brother. After nearly a week of fruitless hunting, one of my guides suggested that I consult with an old man in the town who was a practitioner of something called “tasavvuf”.

Desperate for anything that might aid in my quest, I took his advice. After meeting with the strange old fellow I discerned that “tasavvuf” was a local brand of Sufiism, or Arabic mysticism. When I explained that my brother had been trying to trace lines of mystical energy, the old man assured me that he could, most likely, aid me.

He stated that he had recently noticed alterations in the mystical energies of the area. He had assumed that it was the work of jinn, but after hearing my tale, he believed that my brother might have been involved.

After agreeing on a rather sizeable fee, we returned to the underground dwellings, led by my new mystical guide. The old man led us to an area on the lowest level. He stopped before a blank wall, which showed no sign of having been touched in centuries, and declared that we would have to tunnel through this stone to reach my brother.

I hired a large team of men to undertake the excavation. Within two days our tunnel opened into a much larger area. The old mystic declared that strange creatures dwelt in the cavern and he would go no further. Seeing that the old man refused to enter, none of the other locals could be convinced to go forward either.

Finally, I proceeded onward alone, armed with a lantern and several pistols. I did not have to travel far before I came across a most remarkable spectacle.

I found Quincival sitting calmly at a location where several passages intersected. He appeared to be in some sort of trance. Whenever I turned the lantern away from him, I could see a strange white glow covering his entire form.

Cautiously, I approached him and shook his shoulder, calling his name. I was greatly relieved when his eyes opened and he smiled at me in recognition.

“Quincival,” I exclaimed, “Are you ok? What happened? I’ve come to rescue you! We have to get you out of here!”

His face took on a sad expression and he responded, “Randall, its good to see you. I truly appreciate your attempt to come and save me. However, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to leave here with you.”

“What?” I gasped in shock, “What are you talking about? We’ve dug a tunnel into here, we have a way out.”

Quincival shook his head and replied, “Randall, I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible mistake that will make it impossible for me to ever leave this place. When I fled from the officers I came down here and decided to use the energies of the ley-lines to destroy the huge stone block so that I could enter the realm of the Menahune.”

“Unfortunately,” he continued, “my rash decision proved to be disastrous. The huge stone that I destroyed was a key part of the mesh that the ley-lines form. By shattering the stone I nearly caused a major section of the lines to totally collapse. When I felt the instability, I was able to maintain my hold on the energies centered here and keep the lines intact. The sad result of this act is that if I leave this place, the lines will collapse. Therefore, I’m trapped here.”

“You’ve gone mad Quincival,” I retorted, “You don’t have to stay here to hold up any sort of magical lines. Who cares if they collapse? We have to get out of this country while we still can.”

Quincival answered, “No, I have finally had the opportunity to speak with the Menahune and have my questions answered. From them, I have learned that the true purpose of the ley-lines is to form a mystical barrier that holds certain horrific powers in check, trapping them within the earth. If I allow the lines to collapse, these malicious and powerful creatures will be free to destroy all of humanity. Once they have slaughtered our race, many of them will also go on to destroy countless races that live on worlds that circle distant stars. My actions would cause untold suffering and chaos.”

“No!” I exclaimed, “You’re sick Quincival! There is something wrong with your mind and I am taking you out of here now!”

I attempted to seize my brother, thinking to physically drag him back to the surface. I was shocked when an unseen force seemed to seize me and toss me away from my brother, as if I were nothing but a weightless rag.

“I’m sorry Randall,” Quincival said, “But you aren’t going to be able to do that. I must remain here and a thousand men wouldn’t have the strength to move me.”

“But-but, how will you survive?” I stammered, “What will you eat?”

“The Menahune are providing for all my needs,” Quincival answered, “They bring me food so that I can maintain the ley-lines. Unfortunately, for all their advanced craftsmanship, it seems they never developed the art of actually cooking food. But I suppose I will eventually get used to eating everything raw.”

“They are working on creating a new menhir to act as an anchor for this node,” he went on, “however, such a object takes decades to craft. Hopefully they will be able to complete it during my life span.”

I was unable to think of anything reasonable to say in response. Noting my shocked silence, Quincival said, “Randall, I’m very sorry that you came all the way here for no reason. You’re going to have go back now. I need to once again enter a deeper level of concentration to hold the lines steady, I can feel them beginning to waiver.”

“Good-bye Randall, send everyone my best wishes,” he concluded.

I was about to jump up and make another attempt to grasp him when I suddenly lost consciousness. When I awoke I was back up on the surface, in the village of Derinkuyu. The men I hired claimed that I had emerged from the passage in some sort of trance and had walked back up to the surface.

I wanted to go back down and try again to haul my brother out of that strange place, but I could not convince any of my guides to go back down with me again. I made several more trips down to the lower level by myself but I was never able to find that passage again. It seemed as if the whole lower level had been redesigned, but I could see no trace of any work being done recently.

Finally, I gave up and left Derinkuyu. As travel had become so dangerous across the Atlantic, I took a more circuitous route home, opting to travel south through the African continent, sail across the South Atlantic, and travel back up through Latin America.

I told my family that I had never managed to find Quincival. I didn’t want them to think me mad and I knew they surely would if I related the true course of events.

They were crushed, but as Quincival had been gone for so many years, prior to his final disappearance, his absence did not bring about any true difficulties.

Mr. Hopkins, Quincival’s assistant, contacted me sometime later, asking if I would be willing to send him the information which Quincival had shipped to me during his years of travel and research. He apparently wanted to try and publish the findings that they had been able to discover.

I considered his request for some time, but in the end I decided to write him back and tell him that I was not willing to allow my brother’s research to be presented for publication. I simply felt that the information he had collected was too dangerous. I further urged him to abandon the idea and to avoid relating the story to others.

I’m not sure if he took my advice or not. I never heard from him again and I suspect he may have perished in the trenches of the Great War as did so many other young Englishmen.

I hope that he took the knowledge my brother had collected to his grave with him. I do not want to see others follow in my brother’s quest for truth, a path which seems to lead only to madness and entrapment.

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