By Medical Plagues – Inspired by the Works of Howard Philips Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos
Author’s note: This is the beginning of The Vizier’s cycle.
when Gyr’Draseth – a vile name it is. I have no word that can describe the name of the Pharaoh’s Servant other than inauspicious yet unsullied. I am an archaeologist from Arkham whose love for Ancient Egyptian culture is now a curse. My name is no longer worth telling. Where I found the name Gyr’Draseth is from a place I found and lost, sunken deep in the sands like all the other relics, corpses, and scraps in Egypt’s Sahara.
Every time I hear that name, his very being flashes in my mind. I see a man in a robe of charcoal and tar, the cloak of the Saharan sandstorms. He bore the wings of an ibis, and a mask of the chaotic god, Seth. But behind that mask I picture him as a mass of fleshy clay and sanguine mud, standing on six oxen legs, stretching out four arms like that of bone, and protruding hundreds of flailing tendrils doused in blood. He would stare down at me with an eye of gold, glaring like the glaring sun setting on Egypt itself.
That image keeps me up at night, and the more it surfaces in my mind, the more it remains in my dreams. No dream catcher or medication can suppress this image clouding my mind. The Pharaoh’s Servant calls to me in these dreams – he urges me to return to the sands where I first found his name. I cannot resist lest I be haunted by this horrific angel in black for the rest of my days.
From my home in Arkham to the Western Desert of Egypt, I prepared myself for a return to the sandy ocean. My archaeological expedition team was the same, for they were also plagued by my discovery of the name. Some of them already succumbed to the visions, either committing suicide or developing mental disorders and sent to an asylum. It is I and I alone who is to blame for their fates, and we are reunited and settle their troubles from the name I’ve discovered.
The name came from deep in the Saharan desert in a spot where sandstorms and winds never flow through. When my expedition team and I managed to return to that spot, all we found was a massive reservoir of quicksand. We thought it was all for naught until night came and the sands unveiled the ruins we excavated. The name is still there on a stele of sandstone along some blocks of clay bricks. But then the sand unveiled more than what we excavated, as if an Egyptian god welcomed our return. The city of black sandstone rose with a red shine like that of spilled blood. They had the architecture and carvings like those of Egyptian cities, but the way they are erected made no sense, as if the place was arranged to look upside down. Yet, when we try to look at it that way, it appears even more abstract than how we see it normally. Despite all this, this must be where the name Gyr’Draseth originated.
As we re-entered the city, we decided to set up camp since we are safe from the sandstorms that can come through the desert. When the skies darken, we lit our lanterns and campfires were lit to cook. Some felt like the night would remain night forever. I proceeded to go on and explore the city. I gathered the men and proceeded to explore the interior of the glossy ebony halls of the city’s buildings. Most were empty and filled with piles of bones that don’t add up to a human being. There weren’t any signs of artifacts either. Yet, one building proved to be fruitful: the foundation of a pyramid.
Here, the name is also here, but in a chamber that can equate to the caverns of Mammoth Cave. The walls were black, but the grooves and carvings were broken off to reveal a shade of red-violet. The name was among other scribbles and hieroglyphs that no one had ever seen before. Just a glimpse of the first four signs left everyone screaming. Yet, it is only I that was immune to their effects.
The screaming men kept on until I noticed their jaws elongating to the point of falling off. Even after that, they started to peel into shreds of flesh, bone, and blood. The blood was all black with a consistency of lava. Out of disgust, I made my way out of the structure and back to the outside.
Even here, the screams continued. My own expedition team became plagued!
The men ran about, waving arms, and throwing things at walls in the same condition as those back in that tomb. I couldn’t believe my eyes and just walked past the chaos. When I turned to face the pyramid foundation that now is a block across from me, all I could see was a red light.
I couldn’t remember what happened for the remainder of the night, but I was probably asleep. When I woke up, I found myself on the surface of where the quicksand was. Latticed stains of blood were everywhere sprinkled with guts and flesh. It was the guts and flesh of my expedition team. And like the black sandstone city that was home to the name, they too will become long gone. I now leave them buried in those Saharan Sands. I came all this way to end the nightmare, and I did so—at a price. All that matters to me is that I return home.
After my return to Arkham, the name no longer was a haunting name. Instead, I’m plagued by whispers of the Seth masked god that is named Gyr’Draseth.
His whispers promised me recognition from the Black Pharaoh whom he serves. I am promised a grand prize once “He” arrives. But first, Gry’Draseth has a few tasks laid out for me to awaken viziers servial to this Pharaoh’s Servant. This first place he mentioned is coming back to Egypt.
“He is coming”, Gyr’Draseth assured me.