“A crown of thorns is still a crown.”
He realized that the rituals of mysteries performed around him were not fit for his intellect, but for the minds of weaker willed individuals. Yet there was no doubt that Ambrose had succumb to a singular intoxication for the festivities that he proclaimed to be so far above. Unfortunately, if he had not resigned himself to his own insignificance in the ceremony as a mere acolyte, he might now be the one adorning the pillar of fire, or might even be the masked supplicant leading the ceremony known as the ‘Birth of Totengott’. But because of his disillusion from the sect which he pronounced as juvenile he shall never attain such titles with them, or lead them to proper enlightenment.
“I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” - Aleister Crowley
The dim rays of a gibbous moon cast lonesome shadows that stretched across the sleeping valley, and the wind poured between the trees, rustling the reeds of the marshy plains into spasmodic disarray. An overcast began to mount, and a lurid discoloration of the landscape highlighted the amber lanterns proceeding up the forested trails leading toward the frost capped mountain. It was amid this concourse that I kept my identity a secret, for I was disguised in a waxen mask, my hands were gloved, and I was hidden under the veil of an enormous robe; all giving me the genuine appearance of being one of them. We darted this way and that, silently slithering through the reeds of the encumbering marsh…
Above the gnarled trees of Dun hung the thin waning moon, pouring its pale beams between horned branches, casting crawling shadows upon the uniform pits which lay below. Stygian crypts exhaled miasmal vapors of earths inner secrets, which collected around their summits of disheveled dirt and dry, aged bones. Archaic carvings of amorphous creatures and ragged, Satyr like deities rested amidst the crude courtyard, and upon the whole place there lingered a vague hum despite no current of wind or physical activity. Pillars of immemorial years slept under fantastic patterns of vines, among which slept little gray apes whose dreams were restless. The columns arched backward upon their bases as the centuried pillars extended along the flattened earth, and among the canopy of endless trees that ascended upon the mountains was, weathered and half obliterated, the gigantic altar which stood as a testament to ages long forgotten.
The Keeper knew nothing of what the altar stood for, as he was young and restless, accustom only to the monotonous task of servicing those graves. Upon the end of each strenuous evening of thankless digging the Keeper would look longingly upward to that aged monument, and wish that he could visit it’s peak to see the lost and beautiful vistas of the world which might lay beyond. It was from atop that very architecture that sat the Elder sat, looking wishfully down upon the forests of Dun, and it’s curious leaping apes and archaic ruins, hoping that one day his weary and dying body could carry him down to that land which he always dreamed of. For untold aeons he played his viol; his mournful songs reminded him of days he could not remember, but neither fully forget. And for penance the Keeper dug in equal measures of time, until at last both men could no longer contain their spirits. And so, each set out, leaving behind their instruments as they undertook their journeys.
The Elder picked up the shovel and began to dig. The Keeper was weeping as he sat down to learn the viol.
Only when it is waning upon the horizon on starless nights, pouring its pale beams over the ripples of the Nile, do the Sheiks whisper hideously of the Legend of the Moon. Sheiks whose curious ages are but a crease in time compared to the echoing void of life. Frigid winds poured over the mossy fields of the cooling earth whilst creatures of unnameable aesthetic crawled reluctantly into the Stygian tunnels and vaulted crypts of the Great Mountain, progenitors to the forms which grazed nervously from the vegetation soaked into the fibers of the fields. And from the oceans of time immemorial came the hum of pleased creators, with the echoing toll of bells from their temples signifying the dawn of a new age. The final gusts of the star winds swept over the vales of abandoned primordial cities whose inhuman secrets rested in peaceful ignorance.
“The arm is extending outward and… it’s in place. The translator is functioning correctly. 1, 2, 3 – yes, all clear. Activate the microphone signal… easy does it, people! We want a blinking red light. Good. We only have one crack at this. Are temperatures holding? Yes, yes. Excellent. Reroute cooling fluids to the exterior hull of the studio. The first sign of metal warping and we’re out of here. The translator is now online, we’re ready to activate the conversation phase.
You ready in the ‘studio’, Frost? We’ve practiced this a thousand times. You’ll do fine, chief. Keep calm and only answer when you’re spoken to. Let it introduce itself first. … Alright, Frost, you’re live.”