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The Transition of Abdul Alhazred Transcribed from the
Transcribed from the
by Robert M. Price
It came to pass that in the ninety-eighth year of the Hegira that I betook myself upon the lonely path of the Black Hajj unto thrice-damned Chorazin, that place distinguished by prophecy as the natal site of Dejjat, the Son of Perdition that shall come in the Latter Days before the Trump of Jibreel shall sound to waken those who sleep, when even death shall perish. There I journeyed alone to venerate the last standing shrines and chapels of the interdicted Gods of the Arabs, even Yaghuth, Wad, Sowa, Ya'uq, Gog and Magog, all of them cheated of their due reverence by the Prophet of ill-fame.
Others whom I shall not name did greet me there, some of them pilgrims like myself, others sojourners who passed their days in the holiness of desolation, offering sacrifices of prayer and meditation when they could find naught else to render up. But the Gods who teeter upon the very brink of oblivion do not sneer at whatever shadow of sacrifice they be offered by the few cherishing their once-mighty names. I had in former years made the Pilgrimage more than once, and each time did I mark how the number of the Congregation of the Shadows had waned.
I spent no appreciable time choosing my
humble lodgings, as, even with the sparsity of unfallen shelters, those who dwelt
thereunder were fewer still. I entered upon the obeisances required for the occasion, chanting the
forbidden liturgies of al-Manat and of Eblis, whose sacred words have ceased echoing in
In those days, though I must needs assume the outward cloak of Moslem piety so as to conceal the truth from the prying eyes of those unworthy to know it, I had gained a fair modicum of esteem in certain select circles by reason of my far questing and mine insatiable thirst for ancient secrets by the which I thought, by some means as yet undisclosed, to restore the Old Faith of the days before the Prophet of the jealous usurper Allah, indeed before the days of men.
And it was as mendicant and pilgrim that my co-religionists received me and deferred to me. I had, as can be seen from the preceding tales, learned more of the dangers than of the glories of the strange paths I sought to tread. I had considerable yet to learn, and as yet naught to teach. And it was this path of surceaseless inquiry that had led at length to the Black Hajj of Chorazin in the days of which I now tell.
No sooner had I concluded the anathemas
sacred to our rite than I began to pace my way in silence back to the hovel I
had chosen as my own. Many followed me, perhaps thinking me to be in progress
to some other holy place. We had entered through the tumble-down stones of an
ancient gateway into what had once been a thriving bazaar and still served as
the central place of paltry bartering of bare necessaries between the destitute
wretches who dwelt here. And straightway was I stricken by an unseen blow. As a
circle of wide-eyed faces did commence to form around me, I dropped to the
ground and did flail in much blazing agony. As some now say, methought I contended in vain against the superior might of
an unseen Jinni who shook me like an empty wineskin. I was taken up for dead,
and some took pity, securing my return, supine and oblivious, to the city of
And in truth I did find myself to have quit the confines of this mortal tent. My shade did voyage upon a subterrene ocean of blackness, sure of one thing only: that I was bound for the lowest of the Eleven Scarlet Hells, where the forfeited souls of the damned do serve as morsels for the dread Yamath-Cthugha, Lord of Fire.
But that homecoming was not yet to be mine, as in the fullness of time I came to myself again, new and oddly bodied, for that presently I was much amazed to find myself resident in far stranger housing and on a far stranger pilgrimage than that upon which I had embarked unto fabled Chorazin. The feeble limbs of a man had fallen away, and mine immortal essence indwelt the ungainly form of some great cone from which sprouted twisting, serpentine appendages, like unto those of the cuttlefish. Such images and worse had I beheld ofttimes in dreams and visions under my master's guidance, and in unbidden nightmares even more. What I heard in that unknown realm I may not repeat, and much I confess I remember not, for that some secrets are not good for the fleshy minds of men to know. From some truths the soul recoils, and like oil introduced into water, the twain forever balk at mixing.
But I may say that, during my visionary journey, I found myself, even as I had in mundane Chorazin, amid a group of fellow pilgrims, minds like mine own, who had been seized up from their own times and climes and borne away hither, both to teach and to learn. For it was made plain to us that we were the guests of the men of Yith who, like us, had made their temporary abode in the snail-like bodies of the cone-things, supplanting whatever intelligences might at first have inhabited them. These they sent back to their own dying world, beyond the rim of the outermost sphere. They fain would not abide here amid the crude forms of the cone-beings forever, this mode of existence being most vexing to them, but meantime their task was to amass a great library of knowledge of all the eras of their adopted planet, for that they were able to voyage through Time as well as through Space, and would one day choose some future aeon in which to live. To this end did they barter minds and bodies with chosen men from many ages.
While we lingered in their underground city somewhere in the unknown antipodes, transcribing the extent of our wisdoms, the Yithites in our own accustomed forms would learn of our age and leave behind selected bits of their own advanced knowledge in exchange, all the more to their own considerable advantage, since in this manner they might influence the course of future ages in directions more amenable to themselves, preparing the way for their own advent in the future world.
I hesitated not at all to share mine own deposit of esoteric learning with these fellow-seekers in the path of knowledge, though at length I came to suspect that what I inscribed in curious inks upon thin metal-leaved codices told the Yithites little if anything they did not already know or surmise from their own delvings done aforetime, albeit my knowledge, given Yakthoob's death, was perhaps the greatest among mortal men. Doubtless the volume of my record yet remains buried in that unknown city of the cone-race.
Though they likely had naught to learn from me, much did I learn, not from them, but from my fellow sojourners. Though most was forgotten during the harrowing journey back to this body of familiar flesh, as one's dreams, though vivid, flee before the morning, well do I recall certain soul-blasting secrets reaped from the captive minds of sages, savants, and shamans of divers ages and lands. Of these I did esteem most highly the acquaintances of the minds of one Vonjuns from among the German kafirs of whom Tacitus telleth, and one Prinn, disciple and slave of mine own Saracenic brethren in time to come, yea, and of the fabled mage Eibon from polar Hyperborea, whom I confess I had half-believed to be mere legend.
One day, amid a great tumult of unaccountable whistling and crashing, neither a sound easily made by the ungainly forms of the cone-shaped entities, my sojourn came to an abrupt end, my blasted consciousness finding itself hurled dizzyingly, sickeningly back into its characteristic habitation. What the looking glass showed did most fully corroborate the tidings of the Damascenes, among whom my body had abided these eight long years! Only, as I soon was made to understand, my form had not been supine, nor my absence noticed. All alike swore that I had been feverishly engaged at a scriptorium, which they hastened to shew to me, at work on what they took up in shaking hands, a great codex, written within and without in a great number of iridescent inks. This tome I took from the hands that held it out to me, as they believed I had received it from the hands of the Old Gods Themselves while in a mantic trance. I retired to my hut, and by the light of a lamp I began to read.
The scribal hand was doubtless mine own, albeit with some unaccountable touch of unfamiliarity. And what I there did read has filled my head with clashing shrieks which do never cease to ring among the empty caverns of my soul even to this hour. Here were the unbearable truths of elder, outer entity, of the Black Aeons before the dream of sanity was first made the retreat of cringing mortals. There were many hundreds of tightly-written pages, and no correction or error that I could find anywhere among them. It was a revelation indeed, and by no means least unto myself. Here I learned of the Doom that must come at last upon all men, and here I learned equally to rejoice in it.
It must be that some of the men of Chorazin, who had not abandoned me, had heard and read these Oracles from the Pit as that entity dwelling behind my visage promulgated them. For when after many days I again arrived in that ruined city of abominations, the multitude, which I now did see had grown appreciably during the time of my visionary journey, awaited my word and hailed me with one mighty voice as Dejjat himself, the Mahdi of Yog-Sothoth.
Here is even the truth of the matter, and what follows is that portion of the revelations I have deemed fit to share. I make to reveal my mysteries to those who are worthy of my mysteries. Count the cost, I admonish thee, before that thou delvest, and mark well these lessons I have sought earnestly to teach unto thy profit in the foregoing narratives.
Robert M Price
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