It is written in the ancient legends... that high amidst the moon-swathed
peaks of the great Mountain of Shadows, hides the aeon-weary threshold of the
Astral Gate... the portal from our world, to beyond... It is said that one who
holds the key and knows the empyreal incantation may stand within the ancient
ring of stones atop the mountain when the stars are correctly aligned, and
unlock the mystic gate, summoning its sidereal sentinels, thereby attaining
ultimate enlightenment and wisdom unparalleled...
[Part 1: THE INVOKING]
[The Aspirant Reaches The Summit]
Keepers of the cosmic threshold, my ascent has been fraught with terror,
deathsteeped, storm-hammered. (These grim mountains are strewn with the bones
of the ill-fortuned dead.) O' Guardians of the Astral Gate, the spheres blaze
at last in trine... I hold the Key! (The trinity of stars shall touch the
circle of stones once more...) The incantation of Xuk'ul is known to me, the
Orb of Summoning earned with bloodshed! (The crystalline key to the Outer
Realms and the arcane rite to empower it are at last mine, Seized at
swordpoint from the citadel of the Black Templars. Enlightenment awaits!)
Many years ago, the mystic Orb of Summoning was seized by the mysterious
Black Templars,a band of sombre, plunder seeking knights from the kingdoms to
the east of the Great Sea. They wrested the sorcerous gem from the ancient
shrine of Azaimedes, where i t had lain hidden for countless centuries, its
true power and purpose known only to the dour shamans who tended to the elder
place of worship. It is said that the tapestry of slaughter woven that day was
unparalleled in its ferocity, and that the marble walls of the ancient shrine
were, and still remain, stained vivid crimson with the spilled blood of the
Ka-kur-ra, I summon thee,
Zul'tekh Azor Vol-thoth.
Mighty Xuk'ul arise,
Kur'oc Gul-Kor, come forth.
I hold aloft the pulsing orb, astral spheres, empower the mystic key.
Ring of elder stones entwined in prophecy, the Rite of Invocation enthralls
thine power. Replete from drinking deep of darkness, black shapes dancing
'twixt the stones, Lucent beams lancing forth from the gleaming, cepheid
stars, a creeping mist ensorcells my tongue...
A great stillness binds the moon-cloaked mountaintop in glooming
shackles... (High above, the myriad stars gleam bright against the night sky,
three more resplendently bedazzling than the others, their sidereal auras
engulfing the stones...) And the central stone of the ancient ebon ring begins
to pulsate with a darksome energy... A thunderous maelstrom ablaze with
writhing celestially spawned power then rends the stygian night... (A vast
shimmering aperture, a vortex of heliacal fire... the pathway to beyond
The Astral Gate is open...
The Guardians have awakened...
[XUK'UL:] Impudent mortal! You dare summon us? If 'tis elucidation you
seek, you shall have it!
Such searingly terrible stellar majesty... my sanity is lashed like a
vessel on a storm-wracked sea. What price this invocation? Shall the singing
stars claim my very mind?
To countless worlds we travel, riding the endless black seas 'twixt the
stars... the ebon oceans of infinity... flying through a thousand suns, then
watching their light fade, as if it were but a flickering candleflame snuffed
by the wind. As beings of p ure energy we become one with the vastness,
transcending the ethereal walls of time, spanning at once this celestial
eternity, and yet existing as no more than a mote of dust within the vista of
its endlessness... Journeying beyond...
The threshold looms, (the star-way between dimensions stretches before
me...) The Gate To That Which Lies Beyond yawns wide... Unspeakable forces
gibber and pulsate in the Outer Darkness... Elder horrors dwell here, things
which were ancient and revelled in sublime galactic malevolence when even
Xuk'ul was naught but a bloated cosmic maggot, writhing and suckling at the
breast o f its amorphous mother... They-Who-Lurk-And-Breed-In-Limbo... the
squamous sovereigns of the elder void!
Primal terror drags my essence screaming back from the threshold. The
ichor of pestilent tongues clings to me, tendrils probing, the ire of fiends!
The ravening black worms of madness are devouring the shredded remnants
of sanity as I return to my slumbering steel-clad body... but as the
dream-veil lifts, I feel my limbs transform, flesh becoming cold stone...
enshrouded by a dark mantle of obsidian . And the laughter of the Guardians
echoes, carries upon the winds of this spectral eve. Such is the price of
enlightenment. And so, a new brooding sentinel of stone joins the others on
the nighted mountain top... Standing silently in the ancient circle of truth,
standing... waiting, Beneath the stars.