Dear friends, if you were already missing our Lovecraftian mystery, related to the upcoming new album "MANTA" of the post-rock project Postcards from Arkham, we have good news. The next chapter is here!
Last time we visited the iconic Dunwich; today we are bringing you another articler by Roger J. Greeves that covers what happened after.
As usual, we got the original from 1923:
and a transcript for an easier read. Enjoy, have a weird one, and to be continued!
On the Verge of Breakthrough?
Clues found in Dunwich
Dear readers, in my career as a journalist for the Arkham Advertiser I reported upon various happenings, some mundane, some noteworthy, some even dangerous, yet none can compare to this search for the Manta Primordialis and her followers. I would never dare to fathom that the letter from the late professor Downbarrow would turn into a quest that would lead into strange places and even stranger encounters. I am most likely overreaching, pursuing forces that I neither understand nor can hope to control. And yet, the desire to get to the bottom of this compels me to push forward.
So here I was in Dunwich, in front of an old cabin at the slope of the Sentinel Hill, about to enter, yet frozen in place, watching what I can only surmise was some sort of an echo of what transpired at the site.
There was the cabin interior, covered in a shadowy haze, and as if fluid…its various parts coming to focus, only to recede back into indistinctness. Amidst, shapes of men would similarly appear and dissolve. Some were playing various musical instruments…others stood still, as if locked in some deep meditative contemplation.
Then there were the sounds…guitars and violins…playing against each other, and yet in concert…a symmetrical cacophony building towards some mind shattering crescendo. But a could swear there was something else…beneath that. Indistinct whispers…repetitive…reminded me of ritual chanting. And deeper still…was that flute?
As suddenly as it appeared, the vision ceased, replaced by the sight of the derelict cabin and my hand on the doorknob. Shaken from the ordeal, I decided to enter nonetheless. As I somewhat expected, there was no one there and no signs of recent habitation. Only few pieces of rotting furniture here and there under a thick layer of dust and cobwebs.
I began to search the place, at first finding nothing that could propel my investigation further. But then, in a small, almost completely dilapidated, cabinet at the back room, I found an old book. One glance at the cover told me I struck gold.
Azathoth In Musica – the same title as the document that somehow got to me in Innsmouth and that brought me to this place. It appears that what I originally considered a pamphlet was in reality a fragment of a larger work, one I was now looking at. I needed time to study it. Thus, I completed my search, returned to my car in the village and left Dunwich.
Upon returning to Arkham, I spent the next several days studying the contents of my find. For the most part, it covered things I barely understood. It said that the all we perceive, the “angled space”, as the book called it, is but a surface beyond which lie other vistas of “modality and expression of existence”, some comprehensible to us, others not. It also said that further still, beyond even those, lies the crux of the reality – “an Abstract Machine: nonlocalizable, nondimensional chaos, the force of chaos, a tangled bundle of aberrant lines, which the Mad Arab named AZATHOTH, the Lord of All; peopled by infinite bits of impalpable matter, of which each concrete assemblage is a multiplicity, a becoming, a segment, a vibration. And the Abstract Machine is the intersection of them all.”
As the book further elaborated, “The Abstract Machine knows only motion and potentiality. It ceaselessly fluctuates, and in so doing propels its particles to enter happenstantial correlations that may give rise to nuclei of individuation, whereby it transgresses itself and radiates a dimensional space with horizontal layers, vertical cross sections, unwritten customary lines, a whole terrestrial interior force.”
I am none the wiser from this as you probably are, dear readers. In any case, and this is where it may get more understandable, the book also suggested that there are places in the world, where the surface is so thin that it is possible to traverse into these other vistas. Then there are other places that are at the threshold so much that it is possible to “descry the vibrations of the Abstract Machine, hear AZATHOTH’s Cosmic Song, of which the Great Manta is the symbol and guide”, and by attuning to it, one can possibly glimpse the Abstract Machine itself. Is that what the Orphic Assembly is hoping to achieve?
However, before I could consider this further, I received a very surprising letter in the post:
“Mr. Greeves, since the unfortunate death of professor Downbarrow, you have been following in our footsteps, witnessing on occasion fragments of the Great Endeavor we can to the New World to accomplish. Though secrecy is not necessary as far as the matter is concerned, it is nonetheless prudent to avoid needless tragedies before such time that the Eternal Monument can be displayed openly.
As you might have guessed, we were acquainted with professor Downbarrow, from the time he sought us out in Bohemia some years ago. He was a kindred soul, fascinated by our work, yet later decided, for reasons unknown to us, to pierce the veil on his own, albeit unprepared for what he might encounter there. It was a reckless move that ultimately led to his demise, which is why we mitigated your exposure as much as possible, so that you do not meet the same fate.
Yet you persist, and are now even in possession one of the surviving copies of Azathoth In Musica, a window into what is for you a terra incognita. We would urge you to recoil from this uncharted land, yet it is our opinion that you would not desist, which is to your credit, but simultaneously puts us into an uncomfortable position.
So that our work proceeds unhindered and your curiosity is safely satisfied, our recourse is to invite you to Kingsport to join us and bear witness to a key phase of the creation of the Eternal Monument. Take it as an exclusive, if you will.
Seek us at the threshold in one week time. Sincerely, Orphic Assembly of Manta Primordialis.”
Mystery trail leads to Kingsport
Peculiar indeed. I would never image the OAMP reaching to me like this. Is it some attempt to foil my investigation, or am I really in a greater danger than I realized?
Of course, I have doubts about going, yet this on the other hand may be too great an opportunity to pass. If I go, I will need to take precautions. Fortunately, I have about a week to prepare.
I also need to ascertain where exactly in Kingsport I am to meet them. The letter says “at the threshold”, which is to suggest that one of these transitional places mentioned in the book is in Kingsport. But where?
Kingsport is an old seaport that, unlike Innsmouth and Dunwich, does not really have a particularly odd reputation. It is not without its singularities though. One of those is a rather unsavory local character the townsfolk called “the terrible old man”. The other is a small house that rests on the peak of a gigantic cliff that rises from the sea just north of the town, very close to Miskatonic’s estuary. No one knows how to reach it, but it is rumored to be inhabited. They call it “the strange high house in the mist”.
I am not sure if former has any connection to Manta Primordialis, but I am optimistic about the latter. A house where none should be sounds like just the right place for a threshold. I suppose I will soon see for myself. If I can get there… RJG