From serene darkness a figure approached the churning surf like a shadow swallowing the daylight. Stark, cold eyes glared against the setting sun. To all appearances he was but a man, and still he was as no other. What lurks within the shadows of a man's soul can never be truly known, and it is in those caliginous depths where doom, prophecy, and eternity stir the gloaming visions of madness.
Following silently behind, came the fragile line of a resplendent form. She was haunting to behold. Like a specter, she seemed to float across the sea battered shore. All that he would ever love was etched upon her soul. Her radiance emptied him.
The wind blew her long, raven hair as the waves crashed and scattered against the beach. The alabaster skin that adorned her fragility glowed in the moonlight as if the sullied dusk feared to taint her perfection with its touch. Lleyanna was an angel; she was Nagash's miracle.
Nagash gently clenched her hand in his. "Lleyanna, do you love me?" he asked her quietly. The whispered words he spoke were difficult to bear. They buried deeply in his soul and exploded like a million shards of broken, jagged pieces of glass tearing him inside out. His hand gripped hers more tightly. All things had a price. Even unto the Eternal...
The desire he felt for her was tenacious.
She answered him, "Yes, my love." Her face shown brightly in the starlight, glimmering beyond the vainest reaches of the heavens. Lleyanna's glory was beyond mere words. Those full lips drew meekly into a tender, reassuring smile. Then she kissed him. How often we kiss those same lips that bite.
Lleyanna removed her clothing slowly, dropping it all timidly to the earth like a dove shedding gravity. The air was cold, and it gnawed her exposed flesh like a dull blade scraping shattered bone. Her body reacted to the chill, even though her heart was racing to blunt the edge of the biting winds. Blowing wildly, her black hair lashed against her face. Naked, she waited for what was to come.
There was distemper to the natural order on this dismal eve, as if the pillars of Heaven were being shaken by the discord. The sea roared violently as storms kindled in the distance. The time was right.
"Baby, I'm cold," Lleyanna said, her teeth chattering furiously. She was beginning to tremble now, her muscles twitching in an aching orchestration. The chill had dug deeply into her comely body, as damp air spilled from the moiling sea.
"Please, down on your knees," he commanded her gently. Nagash tenderly ran his fingers through her hair, moving it from her face as he caressed her. "I will always love you...beyond forever and anon." He smiled as tears began to fill his eyes.
The tears puzzled her, but she said nothing about them hoping to avoid any embarrassment later. She did as he asked, kissing him softly first. Then she said, "Let's hurry, this isn't doing anything for the mood."
Cold eyes stared down at her. The tears were all gone now, leaving in their place a chilled resolution. He stepped behind Lleyanna and placed his hands on her shoulders. For a brief moment they said nothing, as lightning bolted across the distant horizon.
The sky was stirring violently...storms continued to charge the heavens as
a phalanx of natural rage besieged the grey skies fallen. It was chaos at work,
as the natural laws were broken down and reconstructed, leaving in its wake
a renewed sense of its auspicious glory. Every beginning must first have an
She was so cold. "Baby, this isn't going to work with you behind me. It's a physical impossibility," she was saying until his hand gently slid over her mouth. This angered her greatly. Her wrathful murmurs clawed noisily under his snaring fingers.
"SHHHHhhhhhhh!" Pulling his hand from her snarled lips, he slowly and gently ran it down her exposed flesh. From her cheek, then to her neck, down her shoulder, across her breast, and between them he stopped. Skin against skin--every pulsating sensation an electric overload--he craved her endlessly.
Nagash quietly whispered in her ear sweet words he often wanted to adore her with. Softly he uttered a verse from Lord Byron, saying:
"She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that 's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which Heaven to gaudy day denies."
"I love you," he said, bringing a cruel blade across her tender throat. The flesh tore exposing bone, blood, and muscle with such savage art. The blood gushed and splattered, pulsing wildly, as she choked to death in a gurgling whimper. The hard part was over. Everything has its sacrifice.
With inhuman strength he lifted her broken vessel above his head, and tossed it into the burdened sea. Then he raised his arms to the sullen sky and called out,
"Cthulu Rise, Rise From Stormy Sea, Raise The Thing That Should Not Be, Cthulu Rise, Rise From Stormy Sea, Dream Unto Oblivion, Beyond Eternity."
On the distant horizon a column of blackened clouds formed from the squall. Chaos stirred within their midst, as red bolts of lightning struck simultaneously one tranquil spot in the torrid seas. The rampage of lightning continued as that seemingly placid pool began to boil and froth with an unnatural fury.
From beneath the waters it rose as a leviathan. What it was could not clearly be seen at first, the spray from the ocean rose like an ethereal pillar towards the angry heavens. Lightning struck within the mist, exploding flashes of ominous glow inside of that tumult.
The thing rushed towards Nagash and the shore, cutting a disastrous wake behind it. The gale escalated as the winds took on a velocity of hurricane status. Nagash could barely stand against the force of it. They whipped and tore at his flesh with a hellish rage. This was not the time to blink.
When the storm hit the shore it stopped dead, throwing a 30-foot wave against the sands. It had missed Nagash by merely inches, but he didn't back away. Even he understood the price of fear.
Before him was a giant red eye, with form but no substance. The serpentine iris shimmered as lightning jaggedly ran through it. This ethereal essence stared at him, through him, and into him. He was being measured. Weakness meant his instant death...
The orb spoke in a polyglot...every language ever uttered by man used piecemeal as conveyance, and as portence. Beneath this rumble, Nagash could hear the words within his mind with a clarity of understanding beyond superficial fluency. He heard not the words, but their meaning within context. The disorder of the languages meant nothing. He heard them, and understood perfectly.
It spoke, "Who calls me?"
Nagash clenched his fists. Then he replied, "Nagash Rhone."
It spoke again saying, "Why have you called me?"
"I seek the means to free you from the briny deep that has been your prison. I was born to serve you. Give me the power, and I am yours to command."
The eye glinted at him, glaring with an utter wrath. The animus that it felt towards any man was evident, even when that man served its means. "Why have you called me?"
"I want power...power enough to rule this wretched world. And in return I will free you from the watery abyss that has been your snarled tomb for aeons past. Without form you are trapped in this world, your strength being greatly limited. There are other spheres, other worlds to conquer. All I want is this one.
Without substance you are nothing but a dreaming horror. Continue within the lucid void, and become less than a shiver down a dead man's spine...or be freed by me. The choice is yours."
The audacity of this mortal angered Cthulu, but there was time enough for pain. As long as he served his means Nagash would live, for now. "So be it. The three keys must be gathered before the lock can be broken. All of them used before the dream cycle has ended, and I can step forth from behind the wall of sleep.
The first is the Necronomicon, the second the Scrolls of Eibon, and the last is the lunatic prophet. Only he can unite the forms so that I may be unleashed."
Rhone stared into the iris. "Where do I find these?"
"You must prove your worth," the Avatar answered. "Now do as I bid you! My power wanes, and this avatar cannot remain much longer.
The Scrolls of Eibon are buried beneath the front paws of the Great Sphinx in Egypt. And the mad seer is near...he sees my dreams and dreads the visions there. He believes that he is mad, but his madness is his belief..."
The waves rolled in, and standing in the crashing surf was Lleyanna. Her wet, delicate form shimmered in the moonlight as she slowly walked towards him. By the light of long dead stars her naked body glistened, showing but a brief glimpse of her fully exquisite beauty. In the radiance of her presence Nagash could barely see the dimly lit glow of her eyes. Red, like dying coals, her eyes burned. Reborn she stood before him, and he was hushed in awe of her.
The Avatar spoke, "She is my child now...a reminder to you of my power and your oath. Rising as a phoenix she has been changed to serve my will, and she will be yours so long as you serve mine. Succeed and I will reward you. Fail me, and I will crush you.
There are those even greater than I, but remember that I am greater than thee. Remember..." The avatar faded, as its essence dissolved, returning to the oblivion from which it had come.
Often before he had called the Sleeper from the ebon sea, beseeching knowledge of powers and the means to thrall them. But on this night Nagash Rhone had struck a deal that even the Devil himself would not claim. Now there was only deeds and darkness ahead.
Lleyanna stood in the surf-pristine, cold, and beautiful. Even now he wanted her, even after Cthulu's mark had been placed upon her. She was part of his get now, beyond any mortal's true reckoning or belief. Never had a heart beat so cold in a creature this exquisite. Her beauty was murderous.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, and deeply kissed him. To be still warm her embrace was cold, as if he had touched a corpse. Lleyanna's small, elegant smile broke across her face and she said, "My love, we have much to speak of. And matters to reconcile."
Nagash lowered his head, and pulled her tightly against him. He would always love her, no matter the cost. Eternity stretched before them as tenebrous infinities unfolded into aeons of shadowed glimpses of twisted fates left stillborn. There was oblivion, and the dreams within. They walked away from the sea, and into the churning night together.
Written by W.B. Vogel.
Copyright © 2000 A.D.
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created by W.B. Vogel.
May 29, 2001 A.D.