Andre M. Pietroschek

Banish with Laughcraft - A Weirdly-Humorous Cthulhu-Roleplay Tale

 

Banish with Laughcraft

My oldest finished and published roleplaying fiction story. inspired by (not a slave to) the Cthulhu myth written by H.P. Lovecraft & August Derleth.

1994 to 2023 © Andre Michael Pietroschek, all rights reserved

 

 

To roleplayers, and fans of the original cosmic horror concept, there are some rules you might appreciate being informed about:

 

  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Religion of the participants aka the players are seen as equalitarian until it violates the story playing out, as intended.
  • Original notion is that the investigators, be it by job aka profession, or wildcard of life, end up insane, or dead. Cosmic Horror has no happy ending for humanity. Ever.
  • Lovecraftian warning, and reminder, on the Cthulhu myth: Neither science, nor religion, nor any occultism, grant the slightest direct benefit, when it comes to the forbidden lore of his Cthulhu universe. And neither is violence able to off any of the real cosmic players. It makes sense, as not all of us are superficial jerks.

 

 

The Arkham Instigator, a popular newspaper, summary:

 

Today, 01.06.1923, the investigations of the police ended. The last months were filled with a nearly incomparable effort to illuminate the disappearance of the well-known persons struggling versus preternatural incursions. The small town, by the name of Dunseith, became the stage for an unsolved crime. The central persons: Adriano Putana, Sebastian Crowley, and J.T. Pryce remain missing. Few hours after the local police were alarmed the government ordered that Dunseith was to be secured by forces of the US army. The scarce evidence comes down to a torn, bloodstained coat, blood, and two bullet holes of handgun caliber. Police declared that the assumption of a cult crime might be realistic. With the end of the investigations, the flags were lowered to half-mast. To us, the protection of our American way of life, even in the wake of the supposedly racist serial killer H.P Lovecraft, remains of paramount importance. Arkham’s greatest newspaper willingly covers all expenses of the investigation and further search for evidence.

 

The story begins:

 

For years, the occultist and small-time actor Sebastian Crowley, the business lawyer J.T. Pryce and the ex-monk and pulp writer Adriano Putana got drawn into situations, which would shatter the mind of the average citizen. The activities of obscured cults and alien entities left tracks to a horrifying truth that is confronted by inspired people. Sanity-threatening discoveries of forbidden lore hint at the possibility that earth is suffering the dark plots of the maniac, chthonic deities who undermined humanity for eons. The myth was detected in multiple places and again and again, the survivors faced the problem of knowing the truth, while being surrounded by oblivious neighbors, tellurium energy, insane entities, and their bloodthirsty minions. Anxiety and pressure of ignoring the unacceptable facts take their toll. Yet some myth-sleuths gained special insights, which proved beneficial. One of those valiant groups operated in the light of publicity and scored admirable successes in series. They became a symbol of inspiration and prudence for the entire humanity. Of course, the tentacled conspirators flayed them alive before this story started. The survivor of this bunch was Adriano Putana.

 

After the death of his fiance, he was trying to compensate for trauma by indulging in masculine fallacies. The Old Ones had other plans in mind though. In 1918 he was dismissed from the Corpo di Armato and realized the gain of the initiative.

 

Confronted by overwhelming forces he decided to deal crucial damage as long as he could. His journey on the fruitless road of retribution. He was seen gazing at a burning tarot card. The desperate assault of a single brave soldier. Illusions of heroism and glory were not for him anymore. A long-termed and painful struggle against forces one couldn’t defeat was his more realistic answer. Yet he was aware of how many times outgunned individuals stood forthright against cults, criminals, and crazed scientists. Where they succeeded they were called heroes, where they faltered they were labeled fools. The necessity of introspection was not to be overseen. In the battle with horrors from beyond, there was no reason to grant them further advantages due to one's mental instability. Of course, such insights came the hard way in a man's younger years.

 

The three protagonists had their first meeting in 1922, in Calcutta, India as they were drawn into a revival of the thug activities and the masterminding influence behind it. Through a lack of subterfuge in the thuggish actions, they found out about the occult meaning of their vile crimes. Supposed accidents and sicknesses could be proven ritual murders of this heretic, abstract local cult of hierophants.

 

Deluded that the goddess Chalice asked to re-establish the cosmic balance with Shiva, there was assassinated whoever stood in the way of the vicious hierophants and their deranged plans. Crowley valiantly stepped up to face the blood magick, Putana welcomed the escape from boredom, and Pryce wouldn’t allow a bunch of crazy, strangle-cord, and knife-wielding wackos to spoil his investments in this region.

 

When they discovered the first signs that a surprising outbreak of the disease was the dirty work of these religious madmen, even the British advisors could no longer hesitate. Need of circumstance and Pryce’s political influence allowed them to join forces with the responsible military of the Commonwealth. Weeks passed in the draining heat and short of the breaking point they eavesdropped on information about a ritual gathering and even managed to identify some thugs. They followed those cultists and discovered their hideout. Caverns in derelict parts of the country and minor camps along the roads. Duty on side of the British soldiers and the grim resolve of the three made them charge into the caverns. During the first phase of infiltration, they managed to rescue Doctor Derek Nail from the fangs of a dark courtesan who planned to ritually feed upon him in service to that which lurked in the darkness.

 

Nail's natural gift of seduction had blinded him, overconfidence for the price of seeing women only as sex toys. For the three myth-snuffers, it didn’t matter, the cult had to be stopped and if Nail was foolish enough, he would continue to reap forbidden fruits until the consequences tore him apart. After their first case was solved they were honored by the British embassy and the society of early human culture. They had by chance not only fought the cultists but by their raw courage alone cast a minor banishment versus the dreaded influence from beyond. Now such villains had to expect repercussions if they dared to stomp on law and humanity. Doctor Nail was brought forth to the best asylum in the western world, to purify his shredded self from the torment of his recent experiences. While the media entitled them heroes it was Colonel Fleming who earned this.

 

It was his tenacity and disciplined leadership that made them prevail, even when body and soul were at stake. The memories were clear enough to still shake all of them. In those dark and dreaded caverns, they suffered the sight of a lower servitor, whose stench and insane chanting, full of soul pain and sorrow, haunted their minds for a long, long time. In midst of those stone-carved cavern walls full of ceremonial symbols, a strangling feeling hit their guts.

 

They would never know if some incense or the alien atmosphere shocked them more. As they entered they had still believed to fight down some thugs, arrest the cult's guru and go home. A notch from the truth they were.

 

As they charged on they encountered the abomination, which the cult worshiped. For instance, insanity kicked God himself from the throne and seemed all-consuming. A second later they had to fight for their very souls. The handful of soldiers prepared for battle while Crowley studied the painted walls. Putana, who was pretty shaken by this intense situation, realized this was no problem solved by simple firepower.

 

Pryce, influenced by this thing, was drowning in a wave of horrid self-pity and soul trash. Unable to fire his reliable handgun again, he stared like a drunken peasant who realized he just kissed his cow. Crowley focused on countering the strange ritual formula and achieved some form of banishing power.

 

The German-Sicilian Bastard guarded the occupied occultist, but couldn’t shake free from the grasp of shock completely. As the magical effort overstretched Crowley’s mental balance and the first soldiers got seriously wounded, Putana focused his mind. Mistaken to be the effect of Crowley’s ritual incantation, the banishment of the horrid creature came completely surprising to all of the shocked eyes. The creature faded from flesh to ethereal, much like an overcome nightmare. In this moment of triumph, it was Adriano’s realism that shocked his companions. He explained that the creature was neither destroyed nor arrested, capable of returning after a short phase of recovery. While their psyches were marked by this night, they fell into a cheerful victory mood, everyone busy rationalizing these haunting moments.

 

The look in the eyes of Colonel Fleming was all which spoke of this chapter ever after. After they had withdrawn from the caves, short after the first full night of sleep, the next setback awaited.

 

Embittered they had to swallow that further investigation was impossible, cause the British army decided to detonate caves in this area to secure the local villages and avoid further spread of this wicked disease. They had saved hundreds of people and given their very best, yet they felt like beaten dogs as they left India. Pryce rapidly ventured back to the United States. An old acquaintance, by then a high-ranking diplomat had asked him to interfere with a political crisis. Gunter von Gotha had manipulated the economy to revive his dream of the German Kaiser Reich. Pryce coordinated and led several executives to deal with this mundane danger. This time there were no signs of mysterious influence to be found. Aiding the USA shortly after the Great War proved valuable nonetheless.

 

The public was pleased and the media celebrated Pryce as a defender of western culture. The Arkham Instigator entitled Pryce as „a Star shining brightest“. Crowley compared this with his astrological data and made some divination concerning the destiny of JT. Putana was less euphoric and remained silent.

 

After they had left India some months of recovery and calmer life took place. In February 1923 the three met again, as they dared to intercept some uncommon occurrences in Japan. Work on a planned road brought forth a discovery of some strange relic, which seemingly summoned a group of spooky, pale cultists out of nowhere.

 

The chanting and dancing of these people irritated the workers and when the heart of a workgroup leader was found on some savage altar, it was no longer prejudice that spoiled the climate here. The real horror started when a small mountainside monastery was discovered to be the headquarters of some weird Asian sect.

 

Far from the shores, there was just one village close by and so the monastery was still filed as deserted in the official Japanese reports. An illusion that was falling apart, as Sergeant Koromiko arrived with a squad of soldiers.

 

Patient information gathering and his cunning made Koromiko realize a sense of weirdness about this mission. Maybe support from Iteki was seen as more appropriate than risking more Japanese soldiers. Officially the honor that Iteki like Pryce were allowed to join up on this investigation is nearly inexpressible to western barbarians. Adriano was somewhat uncertain about the usefulness of Japanese infantry equipment for securing a building. This insight should prove real. Koromiko's decision made them clash with the lunacy of a culture that was nearly as strange to them as the vile web of the Old Ones.

 

While the first monk cells still somehow resembled something human, every step towards the center made the foreboding sense of danger more intense. Dirty, degenerate, and hideously desecrated was this scene.

 

The acumen of Crowley would be the only chance of escape for the trio, yet this was unknown to them at this point. Anyway, without the glorious sacrifice of the Japanese soldiers, they would have been condemned to a painfully slow death. Confronted with an abomination of myth horror and battle-ready thugs of this entity it should come to a tunnel fight which equaled the German- French trenches from 1914-1916 in all bitter aspects which fighting wreaks upon human existence. The scene turned into utmost torment for the flesh, Ki and Do which was hard to top. A gory skirmish through the narrow corridors of the monastery was about to begin. As the first wave ended in those tunnels, the adventurers split to support some soldiers.

 

Sebastian concentrated, forming an astral blade, resembling the dagger he wielded. Thereby he gained the chance to hurt the essence of ethereal beings as well. Joined by two soldiers he entered a corridor, advancing in flickering light and surrounded by nerve ripping sounds.

 

Close to the end of the passage, he recognized an arcane symbol and while the soldiers thought of a dead-end, Sebastian chanted versus the walls. Due to his talent with Magick, he was able to energize the symbol and opened a secret door. The soldiers were struck by surprise due to his innate abilities. Crowley expected the natural, an attack of a dark adept. The bloody dance of blades would demand toll from them. The toll that Crowley was more than willing to pay. The soldiers could fire once before it became close quarters. Meanwhile, Pryce led another two soldiers and marched on. The dirty gibberish on the walls left him unimpressed. Instinct was, what made him survive such situations. The slot-eyed cultists felt so superior in their ambush, that the massive counterstrike of JT caught them unprepared.

 

As he had expected those degenerates never before encountered resistance. His automatic clip pistol brought death to some of them and another one was smashed down by a powerful punch even before the soldiers could fully react. Boxing, bleeding, shivering, and blocking they survived this altercation. For a while, the illusion of a glorious victory would offer itself. Putana stood close to Koromiko, watching. Giri and Courage couldn’t make the confusion go away. This was no typical mission for soldiers. The men sensed that they wouldn’t survive such a place much longer. Adriano sneaked into a corridor. Fear tried to strangle his confidence and it demanded an act of willpower. Two times his intuition made him throw grenades into sections he felt to be dreadful. The following death cries made his doubts vanish. In his guts cramps started, this was not only fear.

 

This place was not part of their via fatum, whatever lurked here, his awareness failed to reveal anything about the deeper levels. Surprised by his skill he perceived himself blocking the knife of a cultist and countering by a deflection he had adapted from the few months of Wong Chen Kung Fu he once decided to practice. Calm but dedicated did he cut his gratitude into the flesh of this cultist. While Putana expressed his allergy to vice, the tables began to turn. The minions launched an organized assault and the pure strength of numbers drove them backward. When defeat became obvious the remaining soldiers grouped, giving evidence that mere mortals are as heroic, to allow Crowley the chance to grasp through a breach of reality and save his companions.

 

Weeks later Crowley honored the sacrifice of the Japanese squad with a play in the Noh theater. Adriano chose silence as a suiting honor and never mentioned anything about this, except that Wakino, who translated for them in the village, escaped her shame via traditional suicide.

 

The survivors took care that the few captured scripts and warding symbols were handed to proper instances. When the evacuation of the village was coordinated they found some weeks to flow with their true personalities. They met a Miko and even found an ancient Kitsune scroll, which they copied and handed to a museum. While Adriano had nothing more to offer he found some emotional link to the female side of Japan. Here he learned that not all women taste like rotting fish. Crowley studied the scripts and practiced some Tantojutsu. Again their interference had cost them much and they spend a month for recovery. Adriano chose to visit his place of birth, Giardini and enjoyed the Italian monastery close to Monte Casino.

 

Time went by and the memories were no longer so haunting to them. When Putana met tourists he couldn’t ignore the self-righteous ignorance that transformed so many humans into a twisted bunch of swine. Crowley told them at the departure he would visit Egypt and indeed, Adriano received two letters. The first covered Crowley’s first week in Memphis and described his attempts to teach the basics of the real myth to his adepts. Unknown to Putana his brother-in-arms Crowley was busy countering the spreading of a cult of Apophis. From the moment that he stepped out of the plane, Sebastian was sure that something was lurking for him here.

 

The atmosphere and bustling streets could no longer delude a skilled occultist from sensing the telltale signs. Sebastian asked subtle questions, observed, and bribed his way to get more detailed information right away. When he finally investigated the poorer districts, he learned to translate the lore. It was Anuthotep who had decrypted the necromantic Lore from the books of the dead in a distorted way. Unsurprisingly, even in Egypt people got angry, when some deranged fanatics dug out their ancestors, had sexual intercourse with them, and finally swallowed the remnants of their brains. By the sheer stupidity of the brain eaters, one could discard the idea of gaining the wisdom of the dead through such depravity. 

 

Fallacy became dangerous by the latent criminal potential of this psychopathic brotherhood. Being on his home turf Crowley made the police do their job and launched a guerrilla war on the Apophis cult. Falcon and Sphinx would become the fundamentals of his later works.

 

To Putana’s surprise, the second letter arrived from the Hürtgenwald, where Germany meets France. Crowley sent some greetings and wrote he played sheep dumb tourist. Mentioning his plans to visit the US of A by the way. Sebastian’s physical vessel, a tool of the higher self he constantly dabbled about, needed further recovery. At that moment Adriano sensed a vague menace between those lines. Rovinato C. needed his aid, although he seemed to be yet unaware of this himself.

 

Adriano busted his low finances to dash towards the border of Austria and purchased a train passage to Germany. Stress and forbidden knowledge could even hamstring Sebastian, part of the existential limits of a human being. The natural area of the Hürtgenwald was turning into a place of dread for in the last month several wanderers and women had been victims to some deranged killer. Police were working over-shift, yet an area of this size was near impossible to cover by the dutiful cops. Putana cursed himself that they ventured so ignorant concerning retaliation from the minions or even setups from petty criminals.

 

Carlisle D. Wardstone, an anthropologist, had unleashed the madness as he stumbled upon scripts of the forbidden cults. Fascinated by old tales, which Germany had plenty to offer, he couldn’t resist. Encouraged by his academic backers he was too stubborn to notice how much their urge to harm him motivated their advice. Even the major warning didn’t even make him think: Do never conjure such, which you cannot banish or destroy, nor summon ever, what can conjure such forces, which you cannot ward yourself against.

 

As a man of scientific education, Doctor Wardstone didn’t want to admit, how much his darker impulses had clouded his brain. His triumph of superiority came in form of a ghoulish nightmare, which instantly fed on the hapless academics. The moment the last notch of common sense reached Wardstones jelly brain he started fleeing for his life, leaving his fellows and ritual trappings behind. The murders and Wardstones following suicide left the police more than a bit puzzled. The doctor had pushed his head into a coal oven after slitting his wrists. Newspaper conjured a demonic meaning into all of this and the sects of psychoanalysts wanted to establish themselves by offering their questionable help.

 

This time, Crowley and the cultists of the Old Ones arrived, both eager to get close to Wardstones daughter and capture the remaining notes of the deceased. This was even subtle from both parties because none would benefit from the police finding a certain pattern in this. What he lacked in subterfuge and stealth Crowley made up with divination. Gaining the information yet caught in a cauldron of hostile adversaries all on his own.

 

Both Sebastian and Putana concluded that the summoning will manifest most damaging here through a human with a repressed violent temper. Adriano did a desperate search for Sebastian, hoping to find him in time. Looking back, he was exhausted by the intensity of his memories. He visualized the final flashbacks. 

 

The Hürtgenwald after sunset, Putana marched along with the ways, sneaked through the vegetation, and stumbled under the light of the crescent moon. Fresh forest air, atmosphere, fatigue, and doubts faded into oblivion the moment he heard a cry of agony from Crowley. The visualization became most lucid the moment Putana swung the ax to end the unwanted duel between Crowley and the psychotic criminal.

 

Weeks of hide and seek only to compensate for Crowley’s deficiency in martial self-preservation. Again Adriano’s life didn’t benefit from any of his efforts. A shine of hope struck the frowning Sicilian. Perhaps he would never again have to bury body parts at least. The departure was of a blasphemous mundane flair this time. They send some letters to Pryce and went their ways again. In November 1924, JT had withdrawn to his Landhaus for recovery from business; news of two well-known people asking for him reached his ears.

 

This time the news lines of the Arkham Instigator clashed brutally with those of the Miskatonic Mirror. The attention of mankind was turning towards Dunseith. The third major joint venture of the three myth snuffers was about to begin. They prepared again to resist the greedy talons of tentacle horrors.

 

Putana perceived bad rumors from a coastal cluster named Dunseith. Proclaiming to work on a new novel he ventured to Washington. Adriano was busy gathering information, comparing notes, and checking archives for weeks.

 

His natural gentleness made him get access smoothly, although his shock to realize that he still was able to socialize with normal people shook his emotions. The librarians whispered about his dedication while studying the dusty tomes in the stuffy atmosphere of the old buildings. Comparison of the notes made him admit that again forces from beyond were storming into human society. In the end, his introspection would make the situation clearer to him. As he lay on the bed of his cheap hotel room, he perceived mental images and began to understand some of their meaning. In the haunted spot, Dunseith nearly cried out the challenge to those willing to dare. Putana would conclude that an old signal tower, once build upon the place of atavistic hermits, was the source of the strange coincidences. Adriano expected another set of cavern tunnels. Emotionally shaken by his mental efforts, he took a night walk through the foggy streets delving into the autumn wind. He admired the architectural wonders for several hours, praising the spirit and skill of craftsmen and visionaries. 

 

The architectural wonders were clad in the typical dresses of females. Hit by surprise he was later informed that Sebastian Crowley was in town. Escaping the embrace of his favorite dance girl, he started his way to the Miskatonic Residence motel. As many times before they sat in a darkened room, exchanging news and contemplating the dangerous, alienating myth. Putana watched the smoke rise from his Gimel cigarette and playfully flattened his soft pack. Overwhelmed by memories and melancholia. Crowley remained silent in such moments and this was one reason for Adriano’s respect.

 

Putana was busy wondering if his feelings were an obstacle or the longing for things he failed to establish. Crowley studied his notes and charts, muttering arcane syllables. He recovered his mental clarity when Crowley became agitated. Sebastian suspected that it wouldn’t be a tunnel, but rather some alien kind of portal that they sensed. Freudian assumptions mentioned the symbol of the portal as linked to the female abdomen, relating to some childhood traumatic experience of Crowley being unable to attain sex with his mother. The myth just meant a gate to another realm of existence though. Adriano worried why he could sense resonating of truth in statements while most others were seemingly oblivious to such insight. Anyway, to him the myth was a replacement for his average life.

 

Unlike Thoth and Crowley he was not drawn but born into this myth. His lifestyle was similar to nemesis and sanctum to him. Without his few talents, he would be just another cocaine-crazed puritan or a petty criminal. Such realizations sucked him into an emotional abyss, but today Crowley would prevent him from drowning there. A litany of encrypted chanting was intoned by Crowley and Putana was again amused how easily he could suffer this, to him meaningless, gibberish. While the occultist checked his equipment Adriano planned to ask for support from Pryce. The ambient atmosphere of the nightly drive towards the corporate building did, once again, prove Nature also is a global scale artist of sorts.

 

The choice of employees was one sign that Pryce’s clear; the sharp-cutting mind was needed for this venture. Although Adriano couldn’t deny that money and a comfortable limousine would perhaps be among his considerations, too. The clean rooms granted a relaxing mood and while Crowley told the constellation of stars wouldn’t hint at Adriano getting laid with the secretary, the Sicilian was in a deep, passionate trance, his gaze transfixed to her... aura.

 

Back in his mind, he remembered Crowley’s symbolism. The sword of determination, the staff of desire, the coin of valor, and a cup full of insight. Putana wouldn’t like to miss his Gimel cigarettes in all of this. Metaphoric. Nearly like stars, which were synonymous to humans in this occult dabbling. Entire libraries full of such crap should ensure that adepts were kept from the few useful insights of these studies for eternity. On the other hand was the idiocy to paint pentagrams and chant evocations in ancient languages, at secret spots of ritual meaning, a misinterpretation that begged to be punished.

 

For some short moments, the serious threat of the surreal situation could be ignored and resembled a vacation. Even when they had any proof at all, they were forced to choose wisely whom to trust with this forbidden lore. Crowley recruited from his adepts, JT and Adriano had seen them fail, fall into despair, and suffer before, though. Adriano acted on intuition, yet solitude was the better choice manifold. Putana had seen remnants of the women he loved locked away in the Arkham Asylum or buried in another dusty grave. Pryce never mentioned anything since his wife was killed. Contemplation was smoothly shoved aside by the entry of Jeffrey Ronald, the personal assistant of JT. The scarce shreds of evidence were discussed in absence of Ronald due to precautions taken before. JT radiated coolness, but couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for long. A deathwatch, or the politically less correct realization that the own survival instincts were no longer valid. Preparations were made and two days later Pryce drove the impressive limousine gallantly.

 

Dunseith, where God's light denies to shine, is the place where unspeakable abominations crawl through shadows pursuing unexplained goals. The arrival at the outskirts of Dunseith was done. In light of street lanterns, they walked towards the meeting point that they had arranged per messenger. Police found the messenger's half-eaten corpse a bit too late for our protagonists’ story. Dunseith was a run-down, nearly rotten village. The air smelled of salt, smoke, and fish. When they perceived the first dwellers their mood turned to vigilant. The inhabitants displayed certain stigmata of the insane myth and its toll upon the human body and soul. 

 

Fat, anxious, and nervous with a dumb or piercing gaze in their eyes they weren’t people they wanted to meet at all. Crowley noticed that the erratic thoughts were not concealed by their facial masque. Even the professional welcome by the village’s leader couldn’t banish the foreboding sense of dread from their minds. The only tavern was used as the meeting hall and Pryce started the negotiation. In this small, atmospheric setting the three stood surrounded by villagers, like heroes of old folk tales. Years later these moments were still held in memory by the people. While Adriano played Pryce’s advisor, JT had noticed years ago, that Putana’s insights were not based on pure acumen or psychoanalysis, but strange insights into the application of the myth.

 

His essays and quotes were sometimes shockingly strange, yet he could score successes that none whom Pryce had ever met could match. JT learned over the years to sense which of these ramblings were to be taken seriously and which delved into metaphorical blasphemies. Seemingly, Adriano strived for a path that would banish the Old Ones and supply compensation for the bitter years they had to survive. Sebastian was prone to fall into nervous glossolalia from time to time and JT would bet that Putana kept a low profile concerning occult studies with respect to Crowley.

 

The last years repeatedly evidenced what power the ethereal beings wielded against humanity and thereby versus Pryce’s investments so that their skills were a useful addition to the repertoire. His employees never understood, why JT invested in a pulp writer like Adriano. Even the best among his workers couldn’t deal with the smallest insights he handed to them. If JT needed a competitor crushed, he made sure that he received Adriano’s less fictional writings. Pryce’s attention circled back to the villagers dabbling. He enjoyed the taste of his coffee and analyzed their smarter ideas with an honest smile on his lips. When the discussion transformed into an articulation of paranoid superstition JT cut it short and arranged last-minute preparations. Meanwhile, Putana managed to get Crowley out of the waitress bed. They made their way across the only worn-off road towards the goal of this investigation. The place itself was mundane as it could be. Nothing mystical, no bad vibrations. Short of the door to the signal tower Crowley drew out a blade with carved symbols, which remained enigmatic to JT and Putana, even after their initiation.

 

JT took his Automatic Clip Pistol out of its luxurious package and Adriano made himself look foolish, as he clumsily tried to handle his brass knuckle, flashlight, and revolver while opening the door. The door opened and in the pale, yellow light of their electric lanterns, they entered the conically formed room. While stairs led upwards, their senses foretold it would be here to search for another way. They started checking some chests and looking around carefully.

 

Thoth found a crowbar among some chests and caught a medic kit a while later. Crowley borrowed the crowbar and Adriano found a trapdoor in the floor. They took their positions and opened the door, prepared for whatever they could prepare for. The intense smell of fresh wood hit their noses. This was not what they had expected, no sense of dread, no rotten smells. Giving hand signs they coordinated their moves and Adriano sneaked downwards. He was aware that pleasant sensations could cloud one's perception, too.

 

He entered a room of surprising width and looked around. Short before he perceived the first creature his senses warned him of danger. It would be a fight, soon. In the light of his, Taschenlampe stood a creature that he perceived as a ghoulish nightmare turned real.

 

The pale gray skin looked unfamiliar and their metallic teeth reminded him of sharks he saw in Japan. The creature moved gently, exuding a sense of menace. Adriano’s body felt numb and he was aware that martial arts would be no good to him here. With a clumsy punch, he launched the brass knuckle on his left towards the head of this creature. He had needed the few seconds to deal with adrenaline and fear and therefore couldn’t yell any warning to his companions. He felt Crowley arriving and thought him outflanked by another of these ghoulish freaks.

 

Crowley reacted like a samurai of legend, cutting a chunk out of the flesh of his aggressor before he was pushed into defense. The magus spend daily hours in physical training and contemplation, here it had just saved his life. JT was on the stairs, alerted by the sounds. He suppressed a scream of pain as a third ghoul bit his back bumpers (yes, his ass). Before pain made him stumble he shot. Two bullets precisely through the sneaky ghoul's eyes.

 

Putana was pushed into infighting and landed blows as he took them. For an instance, he thought time stands still, so he could hear the sound of his blood splashing against the walls. The unreal moment should fade back into a painful reality. Adriano launched a brutal combination of punches until he fainted in a fog of exhaustion and pain. Crowley and JT covered their backs and made the creatures pay blood.

 

Putana awoke the moment the metallic drums could be identified as gunshots again. He felt the shakes, pain, and fear in a weird mix of perceptions. A look at the source of an unknown smell made him realize that his pocket watch and parts of his belly were bitten away. Bandaging himself while watching the bruised Sebastian shove his blade through the brain of the last ghoul and the grim Pryce busy tending his wounds.

 

A moment of silence made Crowley bark out his theory that these creatures were manifestations of their darker aspects. Facing the threat of hearing further dabbling about Magick, JT enjoyed his cigar and Putana braced himself, faking unconsciousness. The morbid humor of perceiving the melodramatic occultist in this bloodstained room shook their egos. When the pain became tolerable they stood up, used what the medical kit had to offer, and thought about the situation. Mental images of unspeakable horrors, eternal torment, and torture of the flesh began haunting them. Of course, no angel came to save their souls. The desperation of incomparable quality invaded their minds and the onslaught of mind flaying impressions was as greedy as Ute and Carole, the village whores. The atmosphere began humming with unknown energies and a shift of energy shook their bodies.

 

While a simple flashlight was high-tech at this time, the three were quite calm the moment that shock and despair made way to reveal a shining door. Crowley proclaimed this to be a dimensional gate and they stepped through. For an instance that seemed eternal, they struggled to gather their courage. Then advancing to the final challenge that was now part of the heroic mood, they used to subdue their common sense. For the last time their minds, like a nutshell on the stormy sea, attempted to cross the ocean of madness and nausea. Within moments the steps were done.

 

A single house close to the edge of a European forest was Adriano’s first mundane perception after his eyes got used to the moonlight. He couldn’t tell any difference in his general condition, although he was quite focused and aware. The insight that Crowley was by now within the house he looked at came as no surprise. He was too fixed upon his Magick, never willing to realize that confronting his problems would have granted him, what he longed for in this occult crap. Pryce landed a few yards away and displayed himself as a mutating and degenerating ball of flesh, bone, and body fluids. When he reached the state of bloody pie, the moaning and screaming ended. Finally, the cosmic goat had caught him, Adriano had tolerated his flawed existence for quite some time. J.T. never wanted to accept that his compulsive sticking to normalcy caused fears and flaws that, logically, took their toll on him.

 

His greatest merit, machismo beats the reason, had become the key to his critical failures. A pie of blood and feces, the last shine of the Pryce he liked, grateful that he landed far away so Adriano didn’t have to smell this. A movement along the edge of the forest made Putana look up in surprise. Astonishing, after so many years?

 

Whoever came from there was initiated into the myth and for the first time, Adriano met someone who also learned the practical application. Now, where the moment he wished for his entire life had become reality, his mind noticed the total lack of joy within. A silent agreement. Heinrich Kremser, ex-cop, wanted to eradicate the degenerate minions, just like Adriano.

 

A dominant insight reached his brain, breaking through the silence like a hammer through thin wood. Adriano felt the fear and pain only long enough to enjoy the meaning. He would die here, pretty soon.

 

Kremser handed him a Gimel fluffy flavor and Putana ignored reality to allow a last onslaught of memories. Gimel, the first he smoked after the most passionate night with Verona. One of the three women he had met, who fascinated him via personality and sex appeal alike. Again a minor confusion and pain struck him. He never realized that he had found his grail, so many years ago. A tribute to the phantasm, which had made him, survive years of disgrace and suffering. Now the time to release the salts, which still bound him to this degenerate existence, was reached. Human existence had an end. Well, the thought that some mad scientists or cultists would one day summon him back to earth made him smirk.

 

Sincerely, Azel, Shrub, and Nylonthotep begged to get a mental steel brush shoved into their astral asses. With a deathly pallor, shivering and cramped, he inhaled from his Gimel, although the lungs were filling with blood and the distaste spoiled much. Bleeding from old scars and shaking from the nervous shock he finally collapsed. This story and Adriano’s life end here...

 

Defiant Creed:

It's not so dead what can there eternally lie

In these strangest eons, even death may die

We strike dead our masters on an icy night

We claim the power cause the stars R right!

 

 

  • ``Pietroschek was true: When Frank Belknap-Long warned us about the Hounds of Tindalos, he had no idea, how much fiercer the Critics of Tindalos can hit any author! LOL´´

 

The Miskatonic Mirror: The charade of occult fallacy found its silent, tragic end!

 

Excerpts from The Miskatonic Mirror: 01.06.1923: H. Kremser, the official speaker of the police admits that Dunseith was the place of the last chapter in a story of the by now notorious, exalted occultists. The questionable investigations of preternatural affairs, conducted by Sebastian Crowley, Adriano Putana, and J.T Pryce tragically, it seems, ended in a mysterious disappearance, which is presented, as a staged act of the publicity-addicted neurotics. Vigilant readers will have already noticed what weird topics our journalists had to work through in the last months. Still, we daresay the Arkham Instigator is NOT thorough enough to evaluate the facts. We further advise all reasonable people to avoid or use with utmost precaution, the writings of Adriano Putana. These novels have been declared upsetting and mind-threatening by concerned experts of the Church and well-known Doctors of Psychoanalysis. The Mirror will collect all evidence, to prove that the only cultists of alien chthonic deities were the three unstable persons, who are by now missing. The populace of Dunseith is unharmed and police could not even find minor evidence of secret cults or unbelievable abominations from beyond.

 

THE END

 



Well, my oldest story written for publishing it as so called web-fiction. A parody of Lovecraftian Cthulhu
Roleplay horror by intention of the author. I chose an alienating writing style, as the story was made in a
time, when I still overestimated intuitive writing.

Not worth a sequel. Neither worth to be made into an audio drama or short film.
Authors comment

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Andre M. Pietroschek.
Published on e-Stories.org on 11/09/2003.

 
 

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