- Bal Sagoth
- Relase date:
- October 11, 1999
- Nuclear Blast
- Magoolagan Robert
The Power Cosmic tracks
1. THE AWAKENING OF THE STARS
Reverie on the Ascension Mandate:
With but a gesture of my incorporeal hand I illumine the heart of a new-born sun,
Revelling as its searing stellar radiance engulfs my ersatz form.
Gazing out across the limitless, stygian cosmos,
I hear the whispered voice of destiny echoing within the solar winds...
No small task, to awaken a universe from slumber.
Words gleaned from the Crystal of Memory:
In 2104, lithological excavations at the Fourth Mars Colony unearthed an artifact of unknown, seemingly non-human origin; an icosahedron of an unrecognized, non terrestrial metallic composition, inscribed with strange, indecipherable sigils and glyphs. After long months of intense study, epigraphy experts on Earth ascertained a tenuous parallel between the unknown language on the icosaherdon and certain obscure Aztec hieroglyphics, and thus were able to extrapolate a meaning from the unearthly inscriptions. The translation spoke of a legendary repository of ultimate knowledge known as the Empyreal Lexicon... a codex of alien origin said to contain incredible cosmic secrets; arcane words and psionic waves of power which were the keys to unlocking a network of cerebral-transferrence portals linking the myriad galaxies of the multiverse, and also the means to transcend the boundaries of the space-time continuum, enabling corporeal beings to travel between dimensions and traverse at will the unknown realms which lay between universes, tapping into the limitless energies which permeated the sidereal fabric of the cosmos. The translation of the Mars icosaherdon also hinted disturbingly at a great pangalactic conflict which was waged over the possession of the codex between the mysterious cosmic beings who had appointed themselves the keepers of the Lexicon and some terrifying shadowy foe mentioned only fleetingly in the alien text. The final battle in this cataclysmic power struggle was apparently fought in Earth’s own solar system, and the Keepers of the Lexicon, their power depleted and teetering on the verge of defeat, shattered the codex into a myriad shards, scattering the fragments across the star system in order to prevent the secrets of the Lexicon from falling into the hands of their darksome nemesis. According to the Martian artifact, several fragments of the Lexicon were hidden on the third planet from the sun, the Earth itself. One fragment was secreted in ancient Atlantis, another in Lemuria. Further pieces of the cosmic codex fell to earth in Ys and eon-veiled Mu. Still further fragments of the Lexicon were said to have been hidden somewhere beneath the frozen surface of the bleak moon Callisto, and on the other mysterious orbs Hyperion and Titan. Lastly, the alien artifact spoke mysteriously of something hidden beneath the cratered surface of Earth’s own Moon. Ascertaining co-ordinates from the Mars icosahedron, an expedition embarked immediately from the Epsilon IV Moon Base and began to excavate the lunar sphere. Thus was a veiled warning unheeded, and no one could know what to expect as the machinations of humankind breached the ancient surface of the moon’s Mare Imbrium....
2. THE VOYAGERS BENEATH THE MARE IMBRIUM
Words gleaned from the Crystal of Memory:
Travelling Ones, some call us... others know us simply as the Kl'aa. Our true name has been lost beyond the veil of eternity for more years than even we can fathom. Voyagers are we by nature, traversing the endless realms of the multiverse and bearing witness to acts of sublime creation, and deeds of cataclysmic destruction. Not long ago by the reckoning of the temporal flow, we recorded the birth of humanity, a curious species engineered at the whim of those ersatz Merans with whom we share the dominion of the myriad galaxies. Our foes are many, not least of which are the dire Z’xulth, imprisoned within the dreaded Black Galaxy, but ever scheming to liberate themselves and honour their black mandate, unleashing wanton obliteration upon the universe and enslaving the lesser races of the cosmos. Aye, we are ancient, and have forseen the time of our own passing from the annals of creation. From a time beyond time, we come. We, who once crested the waves of the great astral sea... and who now must strive again for the domination of the stars...
Entreaty of the Fourth Moon’s Keymaster:
Awaken... awaken! Tellurian sphere!
Awaken! Beckon the moon... Tellurian!
Resurgent... beneath the moon... Ephemeral... Dreaming forever...
The crystalline core has been activated once again, after countless aeons of dormancy! The safeguards are active! The Empyreal Lexicon is beckoning! And He who slumbers with thee, the Hound of Z'xulth, has heard its incessant call! Zurra has awakened!
Zurra:By all the black gods of the Z’xulth! Life flows through my ersatz thews once again! For too long have I waited, for too long have I slumbered, my power negated by the machinations of my foes! What unfathomable ages have passed during my incarceration beneath this desolate sphere? Stand fast, arrogant Voyagers! The ruinous hybrid despised by his progenitors is free once more! My brethren shall be unfettered! The Lexicon shall be ours! The great lunar seal is broken... we are free... free to rule! It is time... it is time!
The Prime Voyager:For more than ten times a thousand years have we slept beneath these cratered, lifeless stones...The Lexicon’s crystalline core has at last been exhumed from the embrace of the fourth orb’s crimson sands! Our power, once drained by waging epic battle with the emmisarries of shadow, is at last renewed! The filaments of creation are ablaze with astral energy once more! The veins of the cosmos may again pulse, coursing with the sidereal mana which empowers our timeless souls! We have heard the sighing of a thousand souls... now at last we shall hearken once more to the siren call of the cosmos. The battle for the Lexicon must begin anew!
Zurra:Fools! The Darklight Portal has grown strong.Only one moon remains in orbit of this pitiful blue sphere.The mewling ape-spawned humans have fulfilled some of that potential which the Mera did weave into their genetic configuration... the manlings have discovered the icosahedron! The Lexicon’s call can once again be heard throughout the stars, beckoning my ireful brethren to return to the slaughterous embrace of the fray! We have won! This insignificant world so prized by the Ersatz Ones shall be the first to feel the wrath of the true gods! The orb azure is ours... ours to enslave! The very universe itself shall become the dominion of the Z’xulth!
The Prime Voyager:You! You who have embraced the insidious manipulations of They- Who-Lurk-And-Breed-In-Limbo... You who pledged your devotion to our darksome foe... allying yourself with the dread titans of the Z’xulth... Begone from my sight, traitor! Away, Zurra... hybrid fiend of the nether-void! Come, fellowship of weary travellers... the war is far from won. We must gird ourselves and once more prepare for battle. The shards of the Lexicon must be kept from the clutches of chaos! Cast off the shackles of slumber... the galaxy whispers our name.
Entreaty of the Fourth Moon’s Keymaster:
Travelling Ones! Awaken! Beckon the moon, empower thyselves with the energies of the sidereal web. Be replenished! Resurgent! Your nemesis seeks vengeance! Zurra has seized the icosahedron... the crystalline core of the Lexicon! The Spectrum of Shards must be denied him! Lest he enthrall the firmament! Enslave the stars! By Klatrymadon and Zuranthus, the Astral Gate must remain closed!
Zurra: Hearken, proselytes of a dead race... My power shall be absolute... greater even than that of the ancient Mera! With the aid of my darksome brethren I shall crush the Tellurian sphere, and the flaccid lickspittles who strive in vain to safeguard it... We shall seek out the very heart of our foes, the homeworld of the Ersatz Ones! And you, their myrmidons shall be laid waste! Yes... The dreaming is over! Now, let the vengeance begin!
3. THE EMPYREAL LEXICON
The Keeper of the Black Shard: So, it begins anew. The eternal struggle for mastery of the crystalline codex. I have forseen this day, the day when the Hound of Z'xulth would come seeking the Black Shard of power. Long ago, when this star did burn brightly with glorious and incandescent life, I was charged with the task of safeguarding this, the most dangerous shard of the Lexicon, keeping it from the grasp of those who would abuse its peerless potency. It is a mandate by which I shall abide, so long as the spark of life remains within my ancient form. So cold are the spaces between the stars... For blackened suns are the only legacy of worlds long dead.
Zurra: The key word of Transcendence! The key word of Transference! Enlightenment flows from the icosahedron! The Black Shard awaits my grasp, and with its power I shall liberate the rightful owners of the Lexicon... the true rulers of the cosmos! Hail the Z'xulth!
Darker than a score of hells,
Wherein astral horrors dwell,
Macrocosmic realms aflame...
Prey of fiends that have no name!
Darker than a score of hells...
Where astral horrors sublime dwell,
Macrocosmic realms aflame...
Bow to the gods that have no name!
The Keeper of the Black Shard: So cold, at the heart of a frozen star... Stay thy hand and thy tongue, slave of the Outer Darkness.... Surely you are not foolhardy enough to dare unshackle the dire titans of Z’xulth!
Zurra:Hidden within the blazing core of this sun is that which I seek, old one.
Do not seek to thwart me, lest the horrors of oblivion be a balm to your time-addled mind. Ages past I waged war side by side with the Z’xulth, smiting the ruin of our foes across the intricate tapestry of the cosmos, hammering the vaunted Kl'aa and their lap dogs to the brink of annihilation! With the liberation of my brethren, the universe shall once more tremble at the footfalls of its rightful rulers! The Lexicon shall be mine... Behold the cosmic codex! The tome of the astral abyss!
The Keeper of the Black Shard:By the eternal forefathers of the multiverse! Evil permeates your soul like gangrenous corruption within a baleful wound, stripling of Chaos! I witnessed your creation within the Spawning Vats of the Mera deep beneath the Pre-Cambrian oceans! A glorious experiment you were, the first genetic progeny of mighty Zuranthus, the great one whose genetic template was utilized for your genesis. And yet base treachery was afoot, as your matrix was tainted by the cells of a captive fiend of Z’xulth. Never have the myriad galaxies witnessed such reckless and unquenchable hatred... never has the cosmos beheld such unparalleled ire and corruption! Such diabolical evil... sublime macrocosmic malevolence!
Zurra:I have become far more than the Ersatz Ones ever intended! I was shunned by my creators, an outcast and an abberation... cast into the lightless depths of the Well of Black Flame... but I endured, and dreams of vengeance sustained me! I shall be father to the new master race which shall sweep across the cosmos and bring the glorious embrace of the Outer Darkness unto all the denizens of creation! The Z’xulth shall rule all, and the glory of their reign shall shine like an ireful beacon across the limitless expanses of the multiverse! All shall bow before us! Fear is the power... Terror is the key!
I am replete with sovereign mastery! The portal to the Outer Darkness shall be open! They-Who-Lurk-And-Breed-In-Limbo shall be free!
I have won... bow, yield, kneel!
Darken the sun... Narra, Gorra, Kaasha!
I arise... bow, yield, kneel!
Parhelion dies... Narra, Gorra, Kaasha!
I can taste the sweet ichors of omnipotency upon my lips... Let it begin! The Black Shard shall be mine!
X’atham-ry’aa j’aiigh! Tha’zai-tonn nax’a-gorrha!
The Keeper of the Black Shard:By hoary Klatrymadon’s ersatz wings! I am smitten by the diabolism of the Z'xulth Hound! Life drains from me, the stars flicker and fade in the heavens! I am undone by the envenomed blade of evil! And yet with my last breath, I shall summon those who may yet thwart your aspiration to power, Zurra spawn of Zuranthus! So cold, the spaces between the stars...
Zurra:X’atham-ry’aa... Tha’zai-tonn... The Black Shard is mine! Combined with the power of the icosahedron, this crystalline fragment shall magnify my nighted energies tenfold! With each new piece that falls into place, this grand cosmic puzzle inexorably continues to illumine my path to ultimate power! The Astral Gate shall yawn wide once more and my darksome ilk shall again know the glory of unfettered freedom... and together, we shall recover the remaining shards of the Lexicon and utterly annihilate the ancient foes of the Z’xulth! But first, I feel an audience with my renowned progenitor is long overdue... and yet I vow it will not be a favorable reunion! The blood of Zuranthus shall annoint my zircon blade, this I promise thee!
The Keeper of the Black Shard:Such carnage wrought with your malevolent tongue, dark one... What unfathomable horrors dwell within the lightless corners of your cursed soul? What will you do once the power of the codex is within your evil grasp? Be wary Zurra, for the Lexicon consumes all those who seek to manipulate its untenable might! Is your mind strong enough to wield the power of a god, o’ stripling of Z'xulth? Heed not the voice of the Lexicon... lest its whispers drive you mad!
4. OF CARNAGE AND A GATHERING OF THE WOLVES
Deep within the lightless, labyrinthine reaches of the great Darkenhold forest ...
Voice of the Night: Who are you, wanderer?
Wandering Spirit: I can’t remember...
Voice of the Night: The wolves are gathering, the stars are shifting... come, join us in the hunt.
The Sylvan Oracle: What arboreal augury be this? Has the Realm Verdant at last seen the countenance of the one born of prophecy?
Voice of the Night: Who are you, wanderer?
Wandering Spirit: I have the scent...
Voice of the Night: Gaze into the mists... feel the earth thawing beneath your feet. Come, bring down the prey.
The Sylvan Oracle: The wolves are gathering,
The stars are shifting,
This spectre at the feast,
This nectar of the vine.
Voice of the Night: Look at the power you possess... See the might which you wield! You know who you are, do you not?
Wandering Spirit: Yes, I am the scythe in the field at summer,
I am the thunder that awakens the earth,
I am that which gives the night air its chill.
Voice of the Night: Who are you, wanderer?
Wandering Spirit: I am far beyond the ken of men... my gaze shall make the night tremble!
The Sylvan Oracle: So dour a mien, let all night’s fulgors flame. Behold, the ghost of a king as yet unborn! He is the scourge, the thanatos, the cleansing fire, the purifying storm... he is the cataclysm given corporeal form! He is the embodiment of our rage, the fury over the injustices which the Insidious Host will one day perpetrate against the descendants of the Realm Verdant and their Arboreal sentinels! He is the hammer of vengeance, the sword of retribution which will one day be wielded in this kingdom's name! But be wary that your progeny does not consume thee, Zyl-Zyn-Horhuz... the Voice of the Night!
Voice of the Night: Who are you, my son?
Wandering Spirit: Father... I am annihilation incarnate!
5. CALLISTO RISING
Zuranthus: Earthbound, a star falls to my tongue.
Come to me, Hyperion’s child...
Come to me, spawn of Titan.
Condemned Souls of the Brotherhood of Dark Elucidation:
Callisto rising! Glory ascendant! Hearken Zuranthus, heir of Klatrymadon... your blood-kin is free once more! The rogue godling, your offspring Zurra, has again cast his wondrous virulence upon the firmament!
Zurra: Break the sidereal seal, my progenitor! Open the astral portal! Give me the Lexicon... give me that which is rightfully mine! Destroy the guardian-light... Kill!
Zuranthus: Earthfall... the firmament weeps for this fallen star.
The cosmic ebb and flow... Behold my splendour, progeny of Titan!
Condemned Souls of the Brotherhood of Dark Elucidation:Callisto rising! Goddess ascendant! Hearken Zuranthus, heir of Klatrymadon... on a whim you may devour the luminous sentinel which binds this crystalline fragment of the Lexicon to bleak Callisto... Empower your renegade spawn... free our souls! Bestriding the tundra... Mistweaver!
Zurra: Unfetter yourself, brother Zuranthus, father Zuranthus! Bestow upon me the shard which I seek... give me my godhead, or I shall condemn your flaccid essence to a dimension of unparalleled pain! Kill!
Zuranthus: Do not seek to threaten me, wormcast. My tenure here is preordained... and I will suffer your arrogance no longer, o' wayward hybrid. The power of the Lexicon is not destined to be possessed by one such as you. Begone!
Klatrymadon: How bewitching... so poignant in the shadow of death. Tell me, my myrmidon... Where did you send the renegade whelp?
Zuranthus: Far beyond, across the tenuous filaments of the great temporal web. As you have taught me, in this dimension, velocity itself is no longer limited by the speed of light.
Condemned Souls of the Brotherhood of Dark Elucidation:
Bipolar nebula! A falling star! The gate yawns wide above eon-veiled Mu... the hybrid fiend of Z'xulth's destiny awaits him upon that coruscating isle!
Zurra: V’aan-ayth’ultaa, No’maal-pha’guus....Damn you, Zuranthus... You will pay dearly for this outrage, I swear it by the blackened maw of the sacred Z’xulth! I WILL NOT BE DENIED MY BIRTHRIGHT!
Zuranthus: Your very existence is a virulence which beclouds the face of the cosmos, o' aberrant thing! To think that a grand scheme with such lofty and benign intentions could have produced such unfathomably vile a result! Curse the black day of your genesis in the spawning vats beneath the Pre-Cambrian sea! Curse the corruption of the Z'xulth! Curse the Mera for their grand aspirations! Zurra, mark me... Stray not into my darksome embrace, lest I grind my jaws on your soul.
Condemned Souls of the Brotherhood of Dark Elucidation: Spare us your wrath, great one, we beg thee. Begot of the thunder... spellbinder. Callisto Rising!
Zuranthus: Humans! You who would invoke my name to further your own wicked schemes! Have I not granted you counsel over the centuries? Have I not generously answered your pleas for knowledge with that selective lore deemed fit for your flaccid, questing minds? Now, once more I see the use to which you would put this knowledge! Unfetter the fiends whose names are inscribed within the Tome of Shadows at your peril! Did your forebears not learn their lesson with the blackening of the crystalline metropolis? Do not seek to invoke my name again, foolish manlings! You purport to revere me as a deity? You profess to call me a god? Well then, behold my godhood... and pray!
Grand Arbiter Of Temporal Jurisprudence: Hearken, young Zuranthus. I summon thee to appear before the Great Temporal Court. We have a pressing matter to discuss with thee.
6. THE SCOURGE OF THE FOURTH CELESTIAL HOST
Uatu: They possess power unparalleled... ageless, remorseless. Without pity or conscience. Manipulators of evolution on countless worlds. Gods of the stars... the Celestial Host!
Norrin-Radd: Zenn-la! (My homeworld, denied me by the whims of Galan of Taa! I vow that another world shall not be taken from me while I live!)
I beseech thee, great ones... spare this insignificant planet... this earth.
The Living Tribunal: Humankind, behold your creators... behold your destroyers.
Arishem, Exitar... Judge and executioner!
Uatu: They who sow the fields of the stars... They return to reap the evolution harvest.
Arishem, Exitar... Judge and executioner!
The Infinity Watch: Time, space, soul, mind, reality, power...
Norrin-Radd: I am the last scion of Zenn-La,
Never more to embrace Shalla-Bal.
I was born to soar beyond the stars...
Uatu: And lo, the Exterminator, the Destroyer of Worlds, the Purifier of Galaxies...
Norrin-Radd: The edge of oblivion beckons... (the blood of countless billions stains these silvern hands... but I must... I will endure!) I am the protector of this world! I wield the Power Cosmic! (Behold, from the Realm Eternal my ally speeds to lend his might and the power of his Uru hammer to the fray!)
Arishem, Exitar... Judge and executioner.
I shall scatter your atoms to the four cosmic winds!
The Infinity Watch: Time, space, soul, mind, reality, power.
Hail Arishem! Hail Exitar! The Star-Gods have returned!
Norrin-Radd: The vast sea of stars stretches into infinity before me...
I am the last scion of Zenn-la,
Never more to embrace Shalla-Bal,
I was born to soar beyond the stars.
“Paradise unearned is but a land of shadows.”
7. BEHOLD, THE ARMIES OF WAR DESCEND SCREAMING FROM THE HEAVENS!
During the ninth millennium of the Neo-Atlantean Calendar (3590 AD by the old reckoning), the fiends of Z'xulth were liberated from their infernal prison via the traitorous machinations of their dark agents and acolytes. The Great Chaos War thus began, and red havoc was wrought across the cosmos. Man’s clarion call to battle was heralded by the Third Adulation of Zakumakura, and the final blessings of guardianship being bestowed upon a mortal destined to assume the mantle of Sentinel Omega...
The Disciples of Zakumakura: Since before mankind hurled himself squamously from the sea we have awaited the final awakening of great Zakumakura, the Abyssal Worm who slumbers far, far beneath the fathomless oceans! Prophecy speaks of the Three Adulations of the Abyssal Worm; the first soon after His glorious genesis, the second when His fury was directed against Atlantis, and now... the Dragon-King shall at last rise, an instrument wielded by the servitors of the Z'xulth! Cast your gaze to the firmament and know fear, for the forces of Chaos fill the sky! Behold, the armies of war descend screaming from the heavens! The Great Chaos War begins!
The New Order of Kl'aa: Treachery! Betrayal! The Praxeum's fallen revenant unfetters the forces of evil... the Hound of Z'xulth too is liberated! Hearken servitors of Chaos, your legions will fall as wheat before the harvest blade. The long aeons of tyranny are at an end... now, let the Ninth Millennium begin. The guardians of Order have assembled!
The Servitors of the Z'xulth: The Ritual of Ascendency is complete. Now is the time for trenchant steel and the massed throng of battle! Cry havoc! Crush them, kill them, destroy them all!
The Invocation of Zakumakura:Kaiju, Dragos, Gojira! Kaiju, Dragos, Gojira!
The Disciples of Zakumakura:You have lost the game, myrmidons of Mera and Kl'aa! Your attempts to thwart our will have come to naught! You are guilty of dire crimes against the Z'xulth and the Terran Imperium! The charge is high treason against the empire... you will bear this punishment with praise on your lips! Behold the splendour of the Abyssal Worm... behold Great Zakumakura!
The Invocation of Zakumakura: Zakumakura Es-iaah! Zakumakura As-aaoh!
The Techno-Mages of Telluria: High treason against the First Tellurian Interstellar Empire? Such base duplicity! You and your dark acolytes seek to bring down the imperium, not safeguard it! Bah! A thousand curses upon the coils of Zakumakura! A genetic experiment gone awry, bolstered by sorcery and the energy of untold millions of fettered atoms! There is a countermeasure against your reckless abuse of power! The might of Sentinel Omega shall be brought to bear against you!
The Disciples of Zakumakura: Invoke the Dragon-King... and let the great serpent rise to devour the world of men! Hearken... He rises, He rises at last! Behold the celestial majesty of Great Zakumakura!! We are all entwined within the coils of the great galactic worm!
The Aspirant to Sentinel Omega’s power:Dire cataclysm befalls the orb azure! Elemental disarray... chaos beyond the Tellurian cloudscape! The galaxy burns! I am the receptacle of the ultimate power... the power of Sentinel Omega... I am the vessel of his greatness! I am the One! Chosen to weild this power of the Ersatz Ones! I am the first, and the last sentient lifeform to embrace the might of these unstable molecules! I shall ride the crest of this reverse-engineered wave of grandeur! It is time the Sentinel's mettle was tested!
The Disciples of Zakumakura: The galaxy is their battleground... the stars are their arena! Let mankind despair in the knowledge that this day did see an end to his insignificant dominion... and the birth of a new era of glory for the servitors of the Z'xulth!
Sentinel Omega: I feel it... the omniverse exists within me! Every molecule in my body is ablaze with cosmic fire! I have forsaken my humanity forever... I, who now walk with the gods amongst the endless stars!
And as the fires of the Great Chaos War guttered and died, as the century of conflict drew to a close, so the universe witnessed a tenuous new age of enlightenment. It was said that upon mankind’s final evolution and long awaited ascent to a level of non-corporeal existence, beginning at last to wield that power once exclusively the domain of his ancient progenitors, the Elder Races of the universe would begin their long retreat into the ageless shadows, as their predecessors had once done, so long ago.
These Elder Races would themselves evolve, finally aspiring to realms of enlightenment hitherto accessible only to mysterious and unfathomable beings which they themselves revered as gods. And yet the Z'xulth wait, ever hungry, ever vengeful, ever poised to reclaim their cosmic thrones and once more reign unopposed as true masters of creation.
For the ancient prophecies speak of that dark day when the chaosphere shall be once more ascendant, and the malefic They-Who-Lurk-And-Breed-In-Limbo shall once again stalk the shuddering stars...
8. THE THIRTEEN CRYPTICAL PROPHECIES OF MU
Words gleaned from the Crystal of Memory:
Upon uttering the key Word of Transcendence, X'atham-ry'aa, and the Word of Transferrence, Tha'zai-tonn, the sinistrous Hound of Z'xulth, dread Zurra, invokes four of the Guardians of the Astral Gate, the mighty Ka-Kur-Ra, the ineffable Azor Vol-Thoth, the titanic Zul-Tekh and the pitiless Xuk'ul. The sidereal portal to the Outer Darkness opens, and Zurra finds himself standing before the baleful scrutiny of the sentinels beyond the threshold...
KA-KUR-RA: Zurra... impetuous whelp! Halfbreed of Z'xulth... ambitious and foolhardy stripling! Your quest for the shards of the great Lexicon is not unknown to those of us who observe the intricate weft and warp of the limitless cosmic tapestry from afar.
ZURRA: Then know this! I seek to breach these ageless walls and throw open the gate to the Black Galaxy once and for all! My brethren the Z'xulth shall be free! Do not stand in my way, o' Guardians! The fulfilment of my destiny shall not be thwarted!
AZOR VOL-THOTH: Destiny? What know you of destiny? You who are but a mote of dust in the eye of the universe! The birth cries of worlds and the death throes of galaxies are the dramas which unfold eternally before our gaze... what concern have we for the petty desires which rage and roil within your black heart?
ZURRA: The shards of the Lexicon shall be mine!
ZUL-TEKH: Uttering the forbidden words with an impudent tongue does not qualify you for the elucidatory blessing which you so fervently scrabble for... the true magnitude of that which hides within the Lexicon's crystalline recesses would render even your twisted mind naught but a sundered and ravaged pulp!
ZURRA: Feh! I am ready for the knowledge. I have gazed long into the mirror of eternity and I forsee that I shall soon bear witness to all the glories of the Codex! And with the titans of Z'xulth by my side, I shall rule this universe which has too long suffered the flaccid and arbitrary administration of your masters! The Ersatz Ones unjustly imprisoned my brethren! Balance shall be restored! They must be free!
KA-KUR-RA: Many are they ranged against thee, renegade. We have seen your destiny, and it lies upon a shattered shore, lapped by waves of oblivion from the ocean of night. The legend you shall leave written in the eternal reaches of the macrocosm shall be no more tangible than the vagaries of a solar wind. You are but a pawn in this timeless game, Zurra... a plaything of beings infinitely more powerful than you could ever hope to comprehend.
ZURRA: No! It shall not be so! The universe shall quake with my every footfall... countless worlds shall deify me in obeisance and offer up solemn prayers to my sovereign divinity! I know this to be true! Do not seek to thwart me, for even your power may one day pale before mine!
XUK'UL: Silence, whelp! Just as you were spawned in the genetic vaults of the ersatz Mera, a servitor to a higher form, know that there are forces abroad in this macrocosm to whom even the elder races of creation are naught but transient and random atoms! You are nothing, and will ever remain so! The fact that you stand before us is testimony to your mettle, but your ambitions shall yet outreach your abilities.
AZOR VOL-THOTH: We have long watched your struggles with amusement, Zurra, spawn of Zuranthus... but this audience is now at an end. The Astral Gate shall not be opened! They-Who-Lurk-And-Breed-In-Limbo shall not be free! Now, begone! And heed these words, Zurra... do not again seek to transcend these palisades... do not again seek to invoke the majesty of that which even now you stand trembling before... lest you discover to your eternal cost that our magnanimity is far from limitless...
ZURRA: Feh! Were Kur'oc and Guul-Kor here in your stead, they would surely hearken to me! At any rate, I do not require the blessing of the Guardians to wrest open the Gate To That Which Lies Beyond! The annals of eternity shall soon be illumined by the glorious radiance of my deeds, and the searing fire of my long denied vengeance! Woe unto my dogged nemesis and all those who dare aspire to thwart me... for my final ascendence is nigh!
Testimony of Praxeum agent Altarus on Temporal Flow breach #77689902:
When Zurra returned from his confrontation with the Guardians, we witnessed him utilize the power of the Darklight Portal to transcend the boundaries of the Temporal Flow, travelling back in time many millennia to the ancient land of Mu. One of the shards of the Lexicon had been hidden there shortly before Zurra's incarceration upon the penal asteroid Victis IV, hence his interest in the antediluvian realm. The Prime Voyager was alerted to these activities, and promptly followed Zurra through the temporal vortex to a long fated rendezvous upon Mu's ziggurat and monad studded shores...
Zurra: And now, I gaze once more upon the orb azure! A crystalline fragment of the Lexicon awaits me here in this primitive land... this realm of Mu.
The High Priest of Mu:He is here! The one spoken of in prophecy! The death of all there is! The Children of the Telluric Nexus shall safeguard the shard of illumination. They shall transport the shard to a plane of existence where it shall outspan even the Z'xulth Hound’s lengthy reach! Hearken Zurra! You shall not have the shard, o’ acolyte of ruin! Begone! There is naught for thee here in Mu!
Zurra:How dare you aspire to thwart me! I am the god Zurra! I have given proud Atlantis to the sea, shattered ancient Lemuria beneath my fist, and razed the arrogant spires of Ys to gleaming rubble! This is the end of your world! I shall remake all creation in my image!
The Chief Cultist of Zurra:You have come, master, as it was foretold in the Thirteen Prophecies! We, your loyal servitors have waited a thousand years for you to bless us with your divinity! What is thy bidding, o’ mighty and omniscient Zurra?
Zurra:You dare address me? You humans are but perverse experiments cobbled together in the laboratories of the Ersatz Ones from fragments of proselyte cells and the DNA of primates! I was ancient when your ancestors were naught but protoplasmic slime! You wish to serve me? Then you may die in my name!
The Chief Cultist of Zurra:In the sweltering swathe of Zurra’s sword! Kill, kill, kill!
‘Fore the matchless might of Zurra’s wrath! Die!
The High Priest of Mu: The storm comes. On the katabatic winds rides ravening doom. Yasa-mega... Yasa-giga... Yasa-tera! May Klatrymadon preserve us!
The Keeper of The Thirteen Cryptical Prophecies Of Mu:And be it known to the Children of the Telluric Nexus, that the day of the Great Purification is at hand... as it was written long ago, in the Thirteen Cryptical Prophecies. Become one with the shard, progeny of the Nexus... embrace its power... embrace the glory of immolation!
Zurra:The shard denied me! O’ but my vengeance here shall be legendary even in the bloodied and pitiless annals of untrammelled carnage! Mankind, how ignorant thou art. Yes, death glides silently on gossamer soft wings, but her touch is harsh!
Mu is forfeit! I shall return it to the elements from which it came!
The Prime Voyager:Your folly ends here, Zurra! The Empyreal Lexicon’s power is lost to you forever! The Ersatz Ones have placed the remaining shards beyond your reach forever, but your treachery must not go unpunished! Submit to our judgement or face eternity in the confines of the Black Galaxy, the eternal limbo of your cursed kind, the vile Z’xulth!
Zurra:Rather an eternity in torment thatn incline my proud head to your baseless authority! You and your sublimely arrogant ilk, who strode the primordial surface of Pangaea and watched with disdain as life evolved in the boiling oceans... You have won nothing! My power is born of the Z’xulth... it sustains me and courses blackly through my ersatz veins! Now face the true potency of the power you seek to destroy, and behold in awe the true nature of the universe!
The High Priest of Mu:Ascent to ecliptic! Mu and Poseidonis!
The Chief Cultist of Zurra:The Emperor commands... Uroboros to rise!
The High Priest of Mu: Ascent to ecliptic! Mu and Poseidonis!
The Chief Cultist of Zurra: The Emperor commands... Uroboros to rise!
The Chief Cultist of Zurra: In the sweltering swathe of Zurra’s sword... kill, kill, kill!
‘Fore the matchless might of Zurra’s wrath... die!
In the sweltering swathe of Zurra’s sword... die, die, die!
‘Fore the matchless might of Zurra’s wrath...
(Bless us with your withering touch, o’ great one... may
the earth tremble at your tread and may your ireful gaze
bring purifying cataclysm to the debauched hives of
Zurra:Ah, the Alpha and the Omega. As all life was created from Chaos... so shall it be DESTROYED!!!!!
Testimony of Praxeum agent Altarus on the destruction of Mu and the aftermath of Zurra’s battle with the Prime Voyager:
I have not witnessed such reckless and untrammelled destruction since the annihilation of splendoured Atlantis. The dark powers wielded by Zurra during his final confrontation with the Prime Voyager were the most fearful corruption of the natural sorceries of the cosmos and the hyper-technology of the elder races as I have ever beheld. The realm of Mu was consumed by a tremendous firestorm,
which ravenously devoured all life on the island, and rendered all the ziggurats and monads, minarets and spires of the civilization naught but dust and rubble. A colossal cloud erupted over the realm, perversely similar in shape to the natural fungi which grow within the verdant forests of the world. I know not where Zurra came by such ruinous power, but its potency was truly terrifying to behold. At length, Zurra and the Prime Voyager battled their way back through the Darklight Portal, and the struggle entered its final phase. Enraged beyond comprehension, dread Zurra was only subdued by the combined might of the Prime Voyager’s Kl'aa cohorts and a Judgement Tetragon sent by the Mera to intercede in the battle, a truly unprecedented act of intervention on their part and testimony to the magnitude of the threat posed by the Hound of Z'xulth. The Empyreal Lexicon itself was again fragmented, its myriad shards scattered once more across the multiverse. If that cosmic codex were to ever fall into the hands of the lackeys of Chaos... the consequences for the universe would be utterly unthinkable. I only hope that the safeguards which fortify the boundaries of the Black Galaxy are potent enough to withstand any subsequent attempts at escape, and that the numerous prophecies which foretell the ultimate liberation of its malign denizens are devoid of veracity.
Reflections at the Praxeum following the annihilation of Mu:
Xerxes: Such devastation, master... A mighty civilization destroyed in the blinking of an eye... decimated by the madness of a rogue demi-god...
Altarus: Demi-god? Some may call him so, but the truth is far less poetic, I fear. Zurra was created deep beneath the Pre-Cambrian sea in the spawning vats of the Ersatz Ones, an experiment gone hideously awry. He was engineered from the genetic template of the mighty Zuranthus, but a fiend of the Z'xulth contained within the gene-vaults somehow escaped and tainted the cloning matrix, resulting in a hybrid possessing the power of Zuranthus coupled with the malign and pitiless nature of the Outer Darkness. Little wonder then that Zurra chose the path he did. After being consigned to the Well of Black Flame for many centuries, Zurra escaped the incarceration of that infernal place and set forth to spread terror and destruction across the cosmos. Destruction such as that which enveloped Mu. Indeed, my young apprentice. Ancient Mu was annihilated utterly... cast to the same shark-haunted grave as would one day embrace Atlantis, Lemuria... and even proud and noble Hyperborea.
Xerxes: And what became of the treacherous one... the Chaos-dog Zurra?
Altarus: He was consumed by his own darksome power, young
Xerxes. His own ability to transcend linear time damned him, in an ironic twist of fate. A splinter of his consciousness was returned to the prison beneath the Mare Imbrium, while another echo of his being was dispersed along the filaments of the space-time matrix to a period before the first battle in the War of the Lexicon was even fought. The primary facet of the black-hearted Zurra was condemned to a blighted corner of the Black Galaxy, a limbo of such unimaginable tortuous magnitude that it made the horrors endured by dread Angsaar himself seem like naught but a lover’s caress in comparison. There he yet seethes and plots with his diabolical ilk, the infernal Z'xulth.
Xerxes: Such power as was wielded by Zurra corrupted his heart, master. His quest for the Lexicon was not a desire born of the eternal search for cosmic enlightenment, but rather of a vain hope that such elucidation would allow him to understand the horrors which blighted his own nigh on immortal soul...
Altarus: You may yet one day understand the intricacies of the sidereal web, young apprentice. Come... the mists once again cloud the great cosmic eye, and the vista darkens for today. But rest assured, my youthful neophyte... there are many more stories in this vast, eternal saga yet to be told...