Sora Journal

The Onyx Pillar

By Charles Ch.

Sometimes, our lives exist like a tranquil island in an abyss of unknown horrors. Human knowledge, each straining over the thresholds of enigma to find the answer to the questions of life. But if we ever find the truth, our meaning and purpose for existing, will the revelation save us, or break our sanity? But what would happen if we actually did find the answer? 

Then came the Stones, these stones were not of any geology or mineralogy known to humankind. Some speculated they came from the stars when the earth was young. When it was still molten and unforged on the great anvil of time. Old stars gazed upon the new planet, and its young star, and cast their light from the glaring gulfs of space. With this queer light, followed the Stones. This was all they were ever called, simply the “Stones”. But these Stones should have stayed hidden, from the time they arrived to the time Earth dies. But as a cruel turn of fate, they turned up too soon, though Earth would never be ready for them. So the Stones crawled from beneath the earth, and with them crawled madness. The Stones were round where there should be angles, and angles where there should be curves. The logic and geometry of them felt all wrong, an impossibly dizzying physical paradox. During an experiment by scientists who studied these Stones at Itaensine University, they discovered that the stones moved as if drawn by an invisible force, to an unknown location, yet the stones were not magnetic. When word was sent from Africa about the origin of the force drawing in the terrible stones, a team of scientists was sent from Europe to a secluded section of an African desert. Their small helicopter landed on the hard ground of the desert. Tents were erected around a large pit in the process of being excavated. After weeks of digging, the scientists finally unearthed the horrible pillar. A shout of excitement as one of the scientists, an esteemed geologist by the name of Edward Cuggins, struck a black triangle in the sand. As they kept digging, a pillar rose from the pit like a horrible black sentinel of the ancient desert. The sun was high in the sky above the scientists, yet the shadow the pillar cast was not as it should be. Instead of little to no shadow, the pillar cast nine long wavy shadows in each direction like eerie hands. The queer shadows seemed to wave, blend, and augment like light in a heat haze. 

The visions had started the same day as the discovery of the black onyx three-sided pillar in the desert. Edward Cuggins had the misfortune to cross, along with other scientists, stones written in writing known to no man. These stones depicted queer scenes of disproportionate people bowing to a terrifying visage, one of neither humans nor animals on earth. The discoveries were led by the stones to an antediluvian site of a previous enigma. A strange force drew these particular stones together, yet not by any

magnetic force known on the side of the known universe. Upon revealing the pillar, scientists agreed it would be wiser to tell nothing of it to the outside, for what they saw made shivers run to their very hearts. The stone column depicted grotesquely contorted bodies staring up into the faces of modern humans. Those present in turn stared into the maw of an undefinable future. Some witnesses thought the contorted peoples to be of an elder race of earth. One scientist by the name of Edward Cuggins dared to rouse his audacity to the certain point of crawling down into the depression to touch the Pillar. After this, he became, as was said by others, demented or mad to some aspect. 

He murmured: “Something rising … Old as … No … Older … Far surpasses the stars themselves … Ysuggoth’s Sæonic Cycles … Liiggnmho-Kli, Tæo’Khullh-U … Death is more merciful than this!” And he cast himself upon the cracked red sandstone-littered valley. 

Others knew not of what poor Edward Cuggins had witnessed; for if they did, they would have been just as mad as he was. Then the visions began. All who gazed upon the abhorrent Pillar of Madness had the same vision-like dreams. Dreams of the falling and hiding of an Old Race, their immemorial remains buried by the prehistoric beings, yet none had dreams like the delusional Dr. Cuggins who had touched the vast onyx cyclopean monolith. His vision began as a feeling. His mind was blank and dark as he slept, yet a creeping feeling encroached on the edges of his maimed conscience, crawling like an unclean daemon in the darkness, then a rush of light, of colors never seen by any sane man, then a single eye, burning with eons of loathing chaos. To most, he was never sane again. Yet as his body lay, deep in a coma, in the hospital bed, his mind embarked on a horrendous, yet glorious trip of benightment. He dug up the graves of long-buried entities, resurrecting them into the mind of modern humans. Beings of vast power, seeping from beyond the far-flung gulfs of opalescent stars and shimmering voids at the edge of the universe. His consciousness traversed empty planes faster than light itself. Myriads of Olden Things flying on vast fan-like wings slicing through the silent vacuum of the interstellar void. He witnessed the birth of stars, and how such seemingly eternal celestial bodies died as the Olden Things kept flying toward an unseen place. Then he seized from a table by his bed, paper and though his eyes remained closed, began to sketch his ghastly visions As he experienced his five-month-long dreams – if one could scarcely call them that – his one good hand constantly sketched detailed pictures of what he saw, never making any mistakes. The doctors, naturally curious about his condition, replenished his paper supply so as not to miss a drawing. And the brain scans they did yielded things no sane human mind had ever done. The conscious leaped and dipped then backtracked five whole days of reliving the same memories and shot forwards once more. The bewildered doctors knew not of what to make from this patient, only that he was truly mad. And the words Edward Cuggins murmured in his coma scared the doctors as much as the drawings. He spoke of a dark shadow-veiled planet far out beyond the Milky Way. A planet known

as Sugguh and the dreadful name of some long-forgotten cosmic entity. The name of Tsuggoth. He spoke of things that broke all known theories and laws. Of objects hurtling faster than light, and of shapes even the most astute mathematician could scarcely name. And about other beings, beings of more than three dimensions of the universe. He sketched on, sickly and feverishly, his drawings became more grotesque and ghastly depicting rituals of the Olden Things and of entities resting in a forgotten land where time and space and other accepted laws have no meaning, spawning into a world beyond the universe known by humanity, a world called R’yith. He spoke of a dystopian future, where humankind was enslaved by a strange race from a far-flung universe. The speech of enigmatic formulae horrified the doctors even more. He babbled about queer elements undiscovered by man causing the death of a thousand worlds. Though the most sinister and unnerving things he spoke of were the enigmatic gods from lost aeons of different worlds. These deities controlled the great cycle of the Astral Realm and its connections to the Primal Sources called the Sæonic Continuum in which every universe was born. Then he spoke of the source itself. Though his voice was so quiet, the doctors strained to hear. He spoke of a Primal deity, caring not for humans on earth, called The Thing Beyond All, the Primal One’s main generals, He Who Has No Name, and It Which Lies Unseen, and the Tsynogg Sect. Then he drew, in great violent strokes, a horrific malevolent being. A being no human should ever think of, let alone one who has long gone image reincarnated on a sheet of paper. The man then took a rattling breath and died. Five days later, the dead man spoke mysterious words: “Istak’le R’loch Kei’Leh-Niix. Yuggoth-A'on Xibrx’un! Ilr! Ilr!” 

The doctors, horrified at what they saw, watched the dead man rise yet he still had no heartbeat. 

“Where am I?” he asked his first sane words in months. 

“Greywich Hospital.” 

“Why?” murmured him, clutching his head. 

“You were found in a petrified state in a coma, then brought to Innport by boat and to us from Ravensmouth.” explained the doctors. “Do you remember your dreams?” “Like they are happening now.” he moaned softly. “It was horrific yet enlightening on another aspect. A terrible aspect.” 

Edward was carried from the hospital, hailed as a miracle of coming from the dead. Yet sometimes later, he still believed he was dead. At night, the dreams replayed themselves over again in a horrific subconscious panorama. The same resonating voices whispered in his head driving him mad. During the day, Cuggins took it upon himself to research his dreams. To his horror, there were rumors of a cult called Tsynogg worshiping entities of vast power most unlike any earthly god. He took a visit to see the cult leader, Jakob Niqrrui, down in Greywich. The images he was shown on the walls of the temple were the same entities he had dreamed about while in his coma.

“Tonight, three stars will align with the Red Comet, the Shattered Moon, and the B14X-67 asteroid, Ctqu-Uhulzr the Harbinger of the Astral Gods will be summoned to Earth.” 

The painting he pointed at was of an enormous, towering creature, appearing as a spiral of black slime and red eyes. Tentacles spun off the whirling mass, some becoming hands, horns, or other grotesquely contorted parts. 

“How do you know?” asked Edward Cuggins, worried significantly. 

“The time is right. When these celestial bodies align, they will always summon something. This time we believe it will be Harbinger itself.” 

In the night it came. Like a horror straight from the heart of pandemonium that no good earthly god or gods would allow in their world. The Conjunction of the celestial bodies was in its favor. It had come from beyond the stars and deep gulfs of space. The abhorrent unknown, lurking worse than death, a fear stinking worse than a thousand open crypts, emanating utter terror from its lithesome presence emerging from the tenebrosity of infinite eons of crawling insurmountable continuums of chaotic abhorrence. Far worse than any demon known or imagined by man was it, a spawn of creators most foul, older than the stars themselves, eternally lurking beyond the edge of the universe in a world governed by no earthly or wholesome principles. Then, the presently invisible thing screamed a call, a call of dark bloody things. The sound, both unholy and unearthly, was never heard or sourced by any earthly denizen. In the instant the vision of this horror came upon him, he felt his previous ignorance of the beyond was most merciful indeed if he had known previously even an inkling of this, he would have ceased to have risen from his sleep or have ended it all. He crept from his bed and found Jakob standing in the yard and staring at the stars. 

“I had a vision,” Cuggins murmured. 

Jakob smiled, “It’s here.” 

Jakob’s fellow cultists made a half circle around the yard and raised their hands in a queer design, holding a gold seven-point star in the other hand. The Harbinger stood tall on the horizon. It loomed over them like a pillar of shadows then it vanished. 

“It has arrived, so now can others. The gods can finally come to earth.” As the monstrous god vanished, Edward Cuggins’ mind shattered into thousands of shards. He felt himself lifted toward the stars, leaving his body below on earth. The chant of the cultists ringing like echos: 

“Tthktii Liii-psu'l Haiibr’’angurl Ctqu-Uhulzr, Tthktii ei doimu Taerra, ““Rise Harbinger of Dark Gods, Rise and claim the Earth.”