Correlated Contents

Davis Rault
c/o Royceton University
Braving, MN 56619

Dr. Eben Stone
c/o Miskatonic University
Arkham, MA 01723

Esteemed Dr. Stone,

As a fellow "soldier" in the war against the evil machinations of the Great Old Ones, it was with great interest that I read your recent account concerning your expedition into the Peruvian jungles — necessarily dressed up as fiction, of course, and published in Tomb of Tsathoggua magazine under the sensationalistic title, "The Temple of the Aeons" (the editor, Bud, told me how you could be reached — hope you don’t mind!). Even under the guise of fiction, the knowledge the tale imparted concerning the Father of Serpents was substantial and very much on the mark, as was the section dealing with the fragmentary pre-human records which you came upon in such singular fashion. Yes, "Temple" did appear to be fiction, and a masterful specimen at that . . . but you and I know better, don’t we? Although I wish I could lay claim to the naivete of the rest of the world at large! And as you may surmise, although Yig does not often spread his virulence too greatly in these frozen northern climes, rest assured that others of his brethren do — most notably Ithaqua the Wind-Walker, of course, and the anomalous encroachment of hoary Tsathoggua in the vicinity of Toad Lake. And, most peculiarly, those hellish devil-gods of the Lu-Kthu Mythos whose loathsome influence I found myself especially involved in the countering of their awesome malignance time after time, and which seem to be particularly concentrated around Braving and its insidious environs.

And, in fact, it is just this latter daemonic pantheon, spawned by the blasphemy of the void known singularly and terribly as Lu-Kthu, which I, however indirectly, wish to discuss with you in the body of this letter. Perhaps as a fellow sorcerous ally of our chosen sponsors, the benevolent Elder Gods — and I trust I am not wrong in this perception of you, judging by the writings of your past exploits which have reached my eyes (yes, I am a longtime reader of Tomb of Tsathoggua; its often fanciful contents help to relax me in between my altogether graver studies!), not only in the Cthulhoid fiction outlets, of course, but I’ve had the occasion to read your not too inconsiderable works in the scholarly journals as well — I hope I can trust you to help me to put some of my own fears to rest. For you see, though I myself have had considerable success in the forestalling and the banishing . . . and even the occasional vanquishing of these omnipotent and incomprehensible entities which I feel the need to discuss herein this letter, lately my studies and battle plans have reached an impasse which I find nigh-unbreachable. Not even out great Royceton Unversity — which has become a bastion in our service against the Great Old Ones and their minions here in Braving even as your own Miskatonic University has been there in Arkham for, I believe, several centuries — has been able to help me overcome my unfortunate predicament, and so I turn to you, a relative stranger (and yet a man I have come to truly respect!) for aid. But even as I am driven to write to you in such a hopefully forgivably long-winded fashion, I fear that it will come to no avail, for as Alhazred has it in his damnable Necronomicon:

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

And on that fatalistic note, I move on at last to the heart of the matter of this letter, and indeed, to my sad affair.

I’m not sure how familiar you are with Royceton University, or Braving and its environs, but surely Braving does seem to be some sort of eldritch focus for weird occurrences and strange goings-on. And as such, she has always attracted to her dark, brooding fold an extraordinary number of aristic types and sensitive souls. Perhaps you’ve heard of our little "Hall of Hell" in the prestigious Hutseth Institute? At any rate, it serves primarily as a gallery for the weird and fantastic: bizarre sculptures, outre paintings and the like, by such minor (and tragic) luminaries as Simon Wenner and Brian Parker. And, of course, you can guess with what subjects these works concern themselves: yet again, that blasphemous pantheon of devil-gods!

One of these artists, whose work has lately come to disturb me to no end (and you shall soon see why yourself, and perhaps be likewise damned in the doing!) is the (again) late Thomas Jeffries. Have you ever seen any of his work? The man was a genius! And yet . . . .

Most of Jeffries’ paintings are startlingly lifelike, and seem to be imbued with a peculiar quality entirely singular to his work and his work alone. Although I do dabble in the occasional fictions, I am no artist myself, and so I am not sure just what the artistic terms would be for such an effect, but Jeffries’ paintings seem to be executed on several levels! That is, the longer you stare at a given work the more details you are able to pick out — and each further recognition of detail carries with it frightening doses of comprehension and revelation!

Anyway, you’ll see what I mean from the following detailed descriptions of his works which I’ve prepared and present for you here — along with my own insights gathered in my studies and travels far and wide, culled from that hellish Lu-Kthu Mythos. Afterward, at long last, I shall put to you that frightful question that haunts my mind, body and soul nearly every waking hour these days. I pray to Nodens you can give me an answer and set my mind once again at relative ease.

Here follow, in no particular order, the descriptions of the (unfortunately untitled) paintings:

Scene #1:

An old Napoleonics-era sailing ship on a storm-tossed sea. Frantic sailors scramble over her violently pitching deck in terror in the face of the mighty squall. Riggings are torn and masts are snapped and lay haphazardly like discarded matchsticks. Upon closer examination, you notice in the upper left hand corner, in the distance, another ship sailing gently on placid seas! As you look closer, in the lower right hand corner, directly below the tilted deck, you see s small clutch of sailors striving desperately for handholds as they slide head-over-heels down the deck and over the side. But are they falling into the SEA? The waves look bizarre, almost like animate wriggling things, and as you stare intently you realize that the "wavelets" are in truth flailing tentacles!

You can just make out the scarcely-submerged gaping maw of the thing, its jaw ringed with fearsome fangs like that of the lamprey. There is a suggestion, too, of a dark colossal barrel-like body lurking beneath the surface. And you notice, too, that the colossal breaker looming over the ship is not a massive wall of water at all, but the rearing trunk of a monstrous sea-worm bearing down hard upon the ship, its body likewise alive with writhing, flailing tentacles!

Of course this scene illustrates a group of the offspring of Y’lla, the titanic tentacled sea-worm imprisoned in its ancient citadel called K’hraa sunken beneath the sea. Taking after their sire in terrible appearance and in awesome attributes the progeny of Y’lla can of course swim with ease throughout the world’s oceans. Often mistaken for whales and giant squid, the monstrous sea-worms seldom stray far from the murky ocean deeps. But their awesome visitations upon the surface dwellers are near legendary in the form of documented reports of enormous hurricanes and tidal waves of particular severity throughout human history. It has even been suggested that perhaps the sea-worms are responsible for the sinking of a number of ships . . . perhaps even the Titanic herself! And is it possible that Nessie herself, in her famous Scottish loch could be kin to Y’lla, the Master of the Seas?

Scene #2:

A steaming, weed-choked jungle vista seemingly on some alien planet, monstrously overgrown with gigantic species of plants and trees of an immensity and a like never seen on Earth. The painting screams at you: Green! At first glance this seems to be a view of jungled Kr’llyand, the planet populated by the monstrously-fertile seedlings of the sentient Star-Seed known as Ei’lor, which planet is revealed in the terrible Revelations of Glaaki as being near enigmatic Tond and revolving around the green sun of Yifne and the dead star of Baalblo. But as the viewer studies the painting closely he begins to make out frighteningly familiar shapes choked in the horrid green life: buildings, in the style of Earth’s burgeoning metropoli! And there behind a nearly opaque wall of spider-webbed vines — the Statue of Liberty!

This painting portrays what the entire surface of the Earth will look like when the stars come right and the horrible plant-god’s seeds are allowed to spread and be sown and reaped unchecked!

Scene #3:

This obviously arctic scene depicts a largely unbroken plain of pure white snow. In the center of the picture a man runs toward the viewer. He appears to be running for his very life from an approaching snowstorm in the background, bearing swiftly down upon him. It seems odd that the man is surely not dressed for this arctic mileu: he wears Bermuda shorts and a short-sleeved shirt; no hat or hood adorns his head, and he wears no gloves. You can see the agony etched into the man’s face and body — his skin is covered in places by patches of ice and his exposed members and features are blue-tinged with severe frostbite. Centering your eye upon the storm-cloud behind him, it, too, appears odd. The looming icy spiral of whiteness seems to be almost animate in form and it seems to exude and essence of sentience in its single-minded purpose in relentlessly stalking and eventually claiming its fleeing victim. Suddenly you notice something else, so graphic that you’re shocked that you didn’t notice it before. In his headlong flight the man seems to have stumbled against a rock or something — and it hits you like a bullet that it’s actually a street curb! With the jarring impact his left foot is fractured and shatters into thousands of pinkish-white and blue-tinged SHARDS! Lastly, you notice a street sign leaping at you, and you recognize it as a marker for Orange County in California!

This work surely depicts the awesome work of B’gnu-Thun, the soul-chilling ice-god!

Scene #4:

A space scene in a star-filled void depicting a monstrous blackhole inexorably drinking all light into its dark depths. As you look closer, you see a tiny fleet of strange disc-shaped spaceships leaving the blackhole despite its surely abyssal pull, and shapes begin to make themselves seen inside the blackhole as well! One can just make out a monstrous city of titanic blocks at its center — and a monstrous amorphous thing whirling weirdly over it!

This scene portrays the wandering blackhole Vix’ni-Aldru, and its hideous vampiric dweller, Haiogh-Yai, also known The Outsider. The Outsider’s minions, the occupants of the tiny fleet of ships, are doubtless the lizard-like and worm-like shapechanging Voorlak, the inhabitants of the strange blocky city called T’halu.

Scene #5:

A group of rugged-looking armed men are standing in a vaulted chamber filled near to brimming with a sparkling pile of jewels. The greed is plainly evident on their faces, and the viewer can sense that very soon the men will train their rifles and pistols upon each other in a bid for a greater share of the wealth for themselves. But can’t the men see that such actions will not serve them in the least, for the gem-pile is not what it seems, but rather the bulk is the body of living, jewel-facetted, semi-crystalline Stone-Thing known as Dygra . . . as evidencd by the geodic tentacles starting to curl about their legs, to drag them kicking and screaming into its glittering polychromatic maw!

Scene #6:

A monstrous pile of naked sweaty bodies, a sheen of sweat covering them in their straining exertions toward orgiastic release. Shocking in its frankness of sexual matter, at any rate, but hardly weird. But as the viewer draws back suddenly he sees the pile of bodies take on a horrible animate shape, almost as if the whole outlined a monstrous amorphous monster of surely prodigious size. As he draws closer, he notices sundry small details: the sheen of sweat on the participants seems to have been applied too thickly to be mere perspiration, almost as if it were rather a nauseating grayish slime; the faces on many of these deviants depicted carry not the expressions of unholy joy one would expect, but rather grimaces of unimaginable terror — indeed, the body lanuage of the participants seems to carry the suggestion of straining against these unsettling proceedings! And lastly, the pulsing form the orgists perform on seems organic and amorphous as mentioned earlier, and seems to be completely covered in a mutitude of eyes and mouths and other less-nameable orifices and projections . . . and even a large number of both male and female sexual genitalia! And many of the celebrants seem to be ejaculating blood!

This scene of course depicts the nauseating worship-ceremony of the bi-sexual Vhuzompha, both mother and father to all marine, and much terrene, life. After satisfying its less-nameable appetites, the hermaphroditic god will most likely devour most or all of the participant worshippers, thereby satisfying its physical appetites as well.

Scene #7:

The scene is a jam-packed concert hall, a leather ‘n’ chains bedecked band pumping out furious thrashing rhythms onstage. The energy is inherent in every brushstroke, the masterful work, as in the subject itself, speaks volumes! As you look closer you notice several subtle points: the postures and the coutenances of the band and audience alike seem horribly wrong.

First, the audience reactions: at the center of the moshpit of ragged, bleeding bodies stomped into the floor and pressed crushingly against the stage itself. Several other audience members seem engaged either in brutal battle with their fellow concert-goers, or are seen to be painfully pressing their white-knuckled palms against their ears in an effort to shut out the noise. Several of the latter groups’ palms seem to dripping blood freely. Lastly, a pair stage-divers are seen to be flying off the stage, faces equal parts a mixture of rage and pain, about to land directly atop of a painstakingly-placed jagged pile of broken beer bottles!

And now the band: The bass guitarist seems to have run pell-mell into his stack of amplifiers, and seems to be trying to topple the precarious stack of speakers down on top of himself. The lead guitarist seems to be striving mightily at his guitar strings, his fingers bleeding freely and nearly worn down to the bone. Deep cuts, presumably also from the guitar strings, criss-cross his body from head to toe. The rhythm guitarist seems to be attempting to impale himself on the pointed corners of his Gibson Flying-V guitar. The drummer seems to be exerting himself to the limit, tendons straining and veins popping out on his body in bold relief. His right arm seems to bent at an unnatural angle, surely broken, and yet he drums on to the gory end. Worst of all, he has rammed one of his drumsticks directly into his right eye! The singer seems to be straining mightily as well, his tortured grimace wearing a perpetual sonic scream. The cords popping out in his neck seem to be as thick as a telephone cord. His voice is likewise obviously strained, for he vomits forth a spray of bloody red mist. The worst thing about the band, however, is the stark fact that they seem, despite their best ghastly efforts, unable to stop playing!

This scene excellently portrays the Chaotic mastery of Xa’ligha, the Demon of Dissonance and the Master of Twisted Sound. The band are his unwilling, yet faithful, priests and the concert-goers are his likewise unwilling sacrifices!

And there are countless other paintings as well. That hellish subterranean grotto acrawl with those amorphous blobs of darkness, which I recognize to be the humped, tentacled forms of the Spawn of Shuy-Nilh, the Devourer in the Earth; the rearing mountainscape which floats above its towering peaks a gigantic multi-eyed spiky ball hanging like some strange ufo or small moon . . . this I recognze as a scene depicting a visitation to our fledgling Earth by Gi-Hoveg, the cosmically-charged Aether-Anemone; another mountainous scene showing a nest and the talons of some gigantic bird of prey hanging over the nest and dropping a tiny morsel of food to waiting colossal beaks stretched to the sky: the tiny morsel recognizeable as the wildy-flailing figure of a human being! Feeding time, of course, for Ragnalla’s brood, the cycloptic and cyclopean Winged Ones!

And last, but not least, certainly the most revolting of all: a raw, bloody scene of what appears to be a mass of entrails and internal organs. On closer examination, however, the mass seems to be a planet-sized wet, warty globe, covered with countless ovoid pustules and spider-webbed with a network of long, narrow tunnels.

Looking closer yet, the pustules seem to be slimy, semi-translucent amniotic birth-sacs and the tunnels are in actuality the veins carrying nutrients and plasma to the occupants of the birth-sacs. Concentrating on the birth-sacs, the viewer can’t help but to notice tentacle-tips and wing-edges and claw-ends and things less-nameable erupting forth from their wet, steaming bowels.

The mass is the living body of Lu-Kthu, hellish birthplace and birthwomb of the malevolent Great Old Ones, and the figures struggling from their amniotic sacs are the living-planet-dwarfed larval forms of the monstrous Great Old Ones themselves!

There you have it. You can see, as a whole the paintings portray the extraordinary work of someone very familiar with the particulars of the Lu-Kthu Mythos. But what if I were to tell you that many of these particulars portrayed concerning Lu-Kthu and his terrible brood have just recently come to light in the form of journals and testaments and documents, even folktales — and often merely obscure hints gathered from the obituaries in the Braving Bulletin and similar sources! — published as a result of the services of George Christendahl, Curator of Manuscripts, under auspices of the Royceton University here in Braving (whose noble purpose it is not only to educate but also to illuminate — though I assure you there is nothing of the Bavarian to be found lurking behind this Illuminati!). ome of these particulars have come to light as recently as but a single month! Yet it is a fact that Thomas Jeffries painted these works at least five years ago!

So tell me, Dr. Stone, just where did Thomas Jeffries get his unholy inspiration for these accursed works?

Ah, I am anticipating that you are preparing to write back and tell me that perhaps he got it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, the very source itself of our own knowledge of all these particulars — those ancient and mouldering and oftimes antediluvian tomes themselves. And yet I say to you that this is not possible, for neither the Litaniea ad deum Fraceum nor the Eo’lor Fronds nor the Xithu Shards nor the Kqatt Manuscripts — m>none of these, or any of their innumerable kin were ever printed in braille!

For you see, it is an attested fact — easily investigated and confirmed through his birth records and death certificate — that Thomas Jeffries was totally and incurably blind from birth!

So I ask you again, Dr. Stone: through the agency of the ill-fated Jeffries, just who or what painted those paintings?

Yrs.
for Esoterica,
Davis Rault


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