Flash Friday – The Cultist’s Tale

My name was Staff Sgt. Robert Carter and this is my tale. I began my career in the guard on Delorosa Coil. It was less than stellar, like everyone else in the AC, good soldiers don’t end up in the Arkham Confederates.

Once Innsmouth Base was established, I was part of a group sent to explore the Southern Continent of Vhoorl in the unit Valkyrie. Reaching the continent, as we passed over the coast, a violent storm erupted. Only time had ever seen lightning close to this magnitude it was being hurled from a Primaris Psyker squad in combat. Our report back to base

“On the wing. After storm, have spied mountain range ahead higher than any hitherto seen. May equal Olympus Mons, allowing for height of plateau. Probable Latitude 76° 15’, Longitude 113° 10’ E. Reaches far as can see to right and left. Suspicious of two smoking cones. All peaks black and bare of snow. EMP from storm & gale blowing off them impedes navigation. Possible engine damage. Scouting LZ to make repairs”

We had to land for repairs. We received instruction from Innsmouth base to recon the area while repairs took place. After landing, the Imperial geologist, myself and 5 of the guardsmen not needed for repair work loaded up and, at the geologist’s suggestion, headed toward the smoking cones as they did not seem too distant.

Topping a nearby ridge in the direction of the smoking peaks we saw a city that I just don’t have the words to describe. For some idea of mind numbing scale and oddness I give you this description from the geologists report.

“…a cyclopean city of no architecture created by man or his imagination. The nearly impossible construction formed of night-black masonry. The angles are uses consist monstrous perversions of geometrical laws even the most insane architect could conceive. There were truncated cones, some terraced or fluted, surmounted by tall cylindrical shafts here and there bulbously enlarged and often capped with tiers of thin scalloped disks. A strange honeycomb-like construction suggested piles of multitudinous hexagonal slabs, circular plates, and five-pointed stars with each one overlapping the one beneath. There were composite cones and pyramids either alone or atop cylinders and cubes. These were flatter truncated cones and pyramids, and occasional needle-like spires in curious clusters of five. All of these structures knitted together by tubular bridges connecting each structure in vast webbing, often at dizzying heights. The sheer scale of gigantism was terrifying. At this time those dark, mountain peaks soaring ahead, peaks whose shadows cast a pall of probable disaster devouring the greater part of our expedition. We found in it all a taint of latent malignity and infinitely evil portent.”

There were geometrical forms for which Euclid would scarcely find a name – cones of all degrees of irregularity and truncation, terraces of every sort of provocative disproportion, shafts with odd bulbous enlargements, broken columns in curious groups, and five-pointed or five-ridged arrangements of mad grotesqueness. As we drew nearer we could see and detect some of the tubular stone bridges that connected the crazily sprinkled structures at various heights. Of orderly streets there seemed to be none, the only broad open swath being a mile to the left, where the ancient river had doubtless flowed through the town into the mountains.”

All this oddness left the geologist amazed, the miasma of the place, at once dead yet, strangely alive, left the rest of us feeling like we were being watched. Last time had this feeling was when ‘nids invaded the Pandora Sector. The Vox caster squawked inspection and repairs done, we were glad to high tail it back.

But the dreams started after we returned to Innsmouth Base. You just don’t talk about dreams like these, too easy to get burned as a heretic.

Those of us in the squad started to notice, the little tics, like we had all been knee deep in bugs for a week. We were all dreaming of that city.

Then, the really scary thing happened. One by one each of us were called to the Ministorum Priests Akeley’s office.

He spoke of my dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone – whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong – and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn.”

A peace washed over me for the first time since we returned. Priest Akeley explained these dreams were not heretical. For they whisper back to a time when the Great Old Ones ruled the universe before the emperor, before chaos, before the oldest of the races. How in a treacherous war with the C’tan the last of the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu, was flung into another Dimension, R’lyeh. I and others like me, those who heard the call through our dreams, could help to free him. Through Shub-Niggurath, guardian of the portal, The Black Goat with a 1000 young, we would free Cthulhu.

Over the weeks, until the Inquisitor arrived, we sought out others who were dreaming and introduced them to High Priest Akeley.

On the dark of the twin moons, the High Priest brought me to a charge. I could become a Champion for Shub-Niggaruth if my faith were strong.

To the Altar I walked proudly, like a Champion should and upon the great rock I lay.

“The sun has entereth the Sign of the Ram and the time of night is upon us. Akeley turned to the North wind and spoke aloud:

Iah ! SHUB-NIGGURATH ! Great Black Goat of the.Woods, I Call Thee forth

 ZARIATNATMIX, JANNA, ETITNAMUS,

HAYRAS, FABELLERON, FUBENTRONTY,

BRAZO, TABRASOL, NISA,

VARF-SHUB-NIGGURATH ! GABOTS MEMBROT !

And then the Black one came forth and the thousand Horned Ones who howl shall rise up from the Earth. And thou shalt hold before them the talisman of Yhe upon which they shall bow to thy power and answer thy demands.

 And before all did indeed appear Shub-Niggurath. The Black Goat with a 1000 Young, standing there, legs astride the altar looking down at me.

“This one is a worthy supplicant. I accept him and he shall go forth to spread the truth.”

As he spoke, the mighty form of the Shub-Niggurath leaned forward and swallowed me.

Into the warm darkness I slid, the tight slickness of my new Master enveloping me. Yet, there was no panic, all was calm. Indeed, could feel changes in my being, stronger, bolder, until finally there was a great spasm. I hurled with fantastic speed then the stone floor of the chapel was beneath me.

Shub-Niggurath spoke.

“This one has been reborn, he will lead my fight. More of you must come forward, in many there is power. He is the first of many. There is another you must awaken and your time grows short. Take this image of the last Old One and go now, do as it is foretold.”

 Through many battles I have led Shub-Nigguraths followers fighting to free the Great old One.

Now, this last time, I go to HIS Altar. For to open even the tiniest portal to the realm of R’lyeh; sacrifices must be made.

To grant my brothers in arms the power needed; I peacefully listen to final words I will hear on this mortal plane.

Ia!! Ia!! Cthulu Phatagn! Ia!! Ia!! Cthulu Phatagn! Ia!! Ia!! Cthulu Phatagn!

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh Wgah’nagl fhtan.

‘In His House at R’lyeh Dead Cthulhu waits dreaming, yet He shall rise and His kingdom shall cover the Universe.”

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