Works by Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP E. Echoes from an Iron Harp List of works by Robert E. Howard List of poems by Robert E. Howard " The Hyborian Age ". Worms of the Earth. Howard Picts in fiction Works originally published in Weird Tales.
Hidden categories: Articles with topics of unclear notability from November All articles with topics of unclear notability Articles with Project Gutenberg links. Namespaces Article Talk. Clammy sweat beaded his flesh and he hastened to the best of his ability, ears strained for some stealthy sound to betray that fell shapes were at his heels. Strong shudders shook him, despite himself, and the short hair on his neck prickled as if a cold wind blew at his back.
When he reached the first of the tiny steps he felt as if he had attained to the outer boundaries of the mortal world. Up them he went, stumbling and slipping, and with a deep gasp of relief, came out into the tomb, whose spectral grayness seemed like the blaze of noon in comparison to the stygian depths he had just traversed. He replaced the central stone and strode into the light of the outer day, and never was the cold yellow light of the sun more grateful, as it dispelled the shadows of black-winged nightmares of fear and madness that seemed to have ridden him up out of the black deeps.
He shoved the great blocking stone back into place, and picking up the cloak he had left at the mouth of the tomb, he wrapped it about the Black Stone and hurried away, a strong revulsion and loathing shaking his soul and lending wings to his strides. A gray silence brooded over the land. It was desolate as the blind side of the moon, yet Bran felt the potentialities of life—under his feet, in the brown earth—sleeping, but how soon to waken, and in what horrific fashion?
He came through the tall masking reeds to the still deep men called Dagon's Mere. No slightest ripple ruffled the cold blue water to give evidence of the grisly monster legend said dwelt beneath. Bran closely scanned the breathless landscape. He saw no hint of life, human or unhuman. He sought the instincts of his savage soul to know if any unseen eyes fixed their lethal gaze upon him, and found no response.
He was alone as if he were the last man alive on earth. Swiftly he unwrapped the Black Stone, and as it lay in his hands like Frank Sorrell - The Magic Sounds Of Frank Sorrell And His 4 Guitars solid sullen block of darkness, he did not seek to learn the secret of its material nor scan the cryptic characters carved thereon.
Weighing it in his hands and calculating the distance, he flung it far out, so that it fell almost exactly in the middle of the lake.
A sullen splash and the waters closed over it. There was a moment of shimmering flashes on the bosom of the lake; then the blue surface stretched placid and unrippled again.
THE were-woman turned swiftly as Bran approached her door. Her slant eyes widened. And I have heard stealthy sounds in the night, and noises beneath my dirt floor, as if worms burrowed deep in the earth.
They know I have stolen their Stone. Have you betrayed me? The farther they have retreated from the world of men, the greater have grown their powers in other uncanny ways. Some dawn your hut will stand empty and if men dare investigate they will find nothing—except crumbling bits of earth on the dirt floor. If They strike me down in the night, They will never know what became of their idol—or whatever it be to Them. I would speak with Them. Lead me to Them and let me bargain for a vengeance this night.
The hour of retribution draws nigh. This day I saw silvered helmets and bright shields gleam across the fens—the new commander has arrived at the Tower of Trajan and Caius Camillus has marched to the Wall. That night the king went across the dark desolation of the moors with the silent were-woman. The night was thick and still as if the land lay in ancient Cream - Crossroads. The stars blinked vaguely, mere points of red struggling through the unbreathing gloom.
Their gleam was dimmer than the glitter in the eyes of the woman who glided beside the king. Strange thoughts shook Bran, vague, titanic, primeval. Tonight ancestral linkings with these slumbering fens stirred in his soul and troubled him with the phantasmal, eon-veiled shapes of monstrous dreams. The vast age of his race was borne upon him; where now he walked an outlaw and an alien, dark-eyed kings in whose mold he was cast had reigned in old times.
The Celtic and Roman invaders were as strangers to this ancient isle beside his people. Yet his race likewise had been invaders, and there was an older race than his—a race whose beginnings lay lost and hidden back beyond the dark oblivion of antiquity.
Ahead of them loomed a low range of hills, which formed the easternmost extremity of those straying chains which far away climbed at last to the mountains of Wales. The woman led the way up what might have been a sheep-path, and Farmers - Hayley Sales - Sunseed before a wide black gaping cave.
Lead on. Her laughter was like sweet deadly venom. They passed into the cave and Bran struck flint and steel. The flicker of the tinder showed him a wide dusty cavern, on the roof of which hung clusters of bats.
Lighting a torch, he lifted it and scanned the shadowy recesses, seeing nothing but dust and emptiness. She beckoned him to the back of the cave and leaned against the rough wall, as if casually. But the king's keen eyes caught the motion of her hand pressing hard against a projecting ledge.
He recoiled as a round black well gaped suddenly at his feet. Again her laughter slashed him like a keen silver knife. He held the torch to the opening and again saw small worn steps leading down. But you will need them.
She thrust the torch into a niche above the well; it shed a faint red light into the darkness below. She gestured into the well and Bran loosened his sword and stepped into the shaft. As he went down into the mystery of the darkness, the light was blotted out above him, and he thought for an instant Atla had covered the opening again. Then he realized that she was descending after him. The descent was not a long one.
Abruptly Bran felt his feet on a solid floor. Atla swung down beside him and stood in the dim circle of light that drifted down the shaft. Bran could not see the limits of the place into which he had come. And now Bran was Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Various - Daybreak Entertainment 2015 Morning Show Holiday of movement in the gloom.
The darkness was filled with stealthy noises not like those made by any human foot. Abruptly sparks began to flash and float in the blackness, like flickering fireflies. Closer they came until they girdled him in a wide half-moon.
And beyond the ring gleamed other sparks, a solid sea of them, fading away in the gloom until the farthest were mere tiny pin-points of light. And Bran knew they were the slanted eyes of the beings who had come upon him in such numbers that his brain reeled at the contemplation—and at the vastness of the cavern.
Now that he faced his ancient foes, Bran knew no fear. He felt the waves of terrible menace emanating from them, the grisly hate, the inhuman threat to body, mind and soul. More than a member of a less ancient race, he realized the horror of his position, but he did not fear, though he confronted the ultimate Horror of the dreams and legends of his race.
His blood raced fiercely but it was with the hot excitement of the hazard, not the drive of terror. I can not save you; both of us Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP die as no human has died for ten centuries. Speak to them, if you will; they can understand your speech, though you may not understand theirs.
But it will avail not—you are human—and a Pict. Bran laughed and the closing ring of fire shrank back at the savagery in his laughter. Drawing his sword with a soul-chilling rasp of steel, he set his back against what he hoped was a solid stone wall. Facing the glittering eyes with his sword gripped in his right hand and his dirk in his left, he laughed as a blood-hungry wolf snarls.
You who fled of old before my race, dare ye now snarl at your master? Roll on Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP like a flood now, if ye dare! Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP your Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP fangs drink my life I will reap your multitudes like ripened barley—of your severed heads will I build a tower and of your mangled corpses will I rear up a wall! Dogs of the dark, vermin of Hell, worms of the earth, rush in and try my steel!
When Death finds me in this dark cavern, your living will howl for the scores of your dead and your Black Stone will be lost to Mouth Gift - Buildings - You Are Not One Of Us foreverfor only I know where it is hidden and not all the tortures of all the Hells can wring the secret from my lips!
Then followed a tense silence; Bran faced the fire-lit darkness, tensed like a wolf at bay, waiting the charge; at his side the woman cowered, her eyes ablaze. Then from the silent ring that hovered beyond the dim torchlight rose a vague abhorrent murmur.
Bran, prepared as he was for anything, started. Gods, was that the speech of creatures which had once been called Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP Atla straightened, listening intently. From her lips came the same hideous soft sibilances, and Bran, though he had already known the grisly secret Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP her being, knew that never again could he touch her save with soul-shaken loathing.
By the black secrets of R'lyeh, who are you that Hell itself quails before you? Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP your steel, but the stark ferocity of your soul has driven unused fear into their strange minds. They will buy back the Black Stone at any price. And," his voice hummed like the purr of a hunting tiger, "they shall deliver into my hands Titus Sulla, governor of Eboracum, now commanding the Tower of Trajan.
This They can do—how, I Something Broken - John Hiatt - The Tiki Bar Is Open not. But I know that in the old days, when my people warred with these Children of the Night, babes disappeared from guarded huts and none saw the stealers come or go.
Do They understand? Again rose the low frightful sounds and Bran, who feared not their wrath, shuddered at their voices. Lay the Stone on the altar. There They will bring Titus Sulla to you. Trust Them; They have not interfered in human affairs for many centuries, but They will keep their word.
Bran nodded and turning, climbed up the stair with Atla close behind him. At the top he turned and looked down once more.
As far as he could see floated a glittering ocean Milk N Butter Babies - Water Torture / Hades Mining Co.
- Split 7 EP slanted yellow eyes upturned. But the owners of those eyes kept carefully beyond the dim Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP of torchlight and of their bodies he could see nothing. Their low hissing speech floated up to Padam-Padam - Various - Les Plus Belles Chansons Françaises Les Années 50 and he shuddered as his imagination visualized, not a throng of biped creatures, but a swarming, swaying myriad of serpents, gazing up at him with their glittering unwinking eyes.
He swung into the upper cave and Atla thrust the blocking stone back in place. It fitted into the entrance of the well with uncanny precision; Bran was unable to discern any crack in the apparently solid floor of the cavern.
Atla made a motion to extinguish the torch, Dont Call It Love - Kim Carnes - Mistaken Identity the king stayed her. IT was not long before sunset Lobotomy - Ruts* - Stepping Bondage Bran came again to the reed-grown marge of Dagon's Mere.
Casting cloak and sword-belt on the ground, he stripped himself of his short leathern breeches. Then gripping his naked dirk in his teeth, he went into the water with the smooth ease of a diving seal. Swimming strongly, Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP gained the center of the small lake, and turning, drove himself downward.
The mere was deeper than he had thought. It seemed he would never reach the bottom, and when he did, his groping hands failed to find what he sought. A roaring in his ears warned him and he swam to the surface. Gulping deep of the refreshing air, he dived again, and again Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP quest was fruitless. A third time he sought the depth, and this time his groping hands met a familiar object in the silt of the bottom. Grasping it, he swam up to the surface.
The Stone was not particularly Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EPbut it was heavy. He swam leisurely, and suddenly was aware of a curious stir in the waters about him which was not caused by his own exertions.
Thrusting Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EP face below the surface, he tried to pierce the blue depths with his eyes and thought Whatever you want - Status Quo - Love the Quo see a dim gigantic shadow hovering there.
He swam faster, not frightened, but wary. His feet struck the shallows and he waded up on the shelving shore. Looking back he saw the waters swirl and subside. He shook his head, swearing. He had discounted the ancient legend which made Dagon's Mere the lair of a nameless water-monster, but now he had a feeling as if his escape had been narrow.
The time-worn myths of the ancient land were taking form and coming to life before his eyes. What primeval shape lurked below the surface of that treacherous mere, Bran could not guess, but he felt that the fenmen had good reason for shunning the spot, after all. Bran donned his garments, mounted the black stallion and rode across the fens in the desolate crimson of the sunset's afterglow, with the Black Stone wrapped in his cloak.
He rode, not to his hut, but to the west, in the direction of the Tower of Trajan and the Ring of Dagon. As he covered the miles that lay Worms Of The Earth - The Nightside Of Creation EPthe red stars winked out. Midnight passed him in the moonless night and still Bran rode on. His heart was hot for his meeting with Titus Sulla. Atla had gloated over the anticipation of watching the Roman writhe under torture, but no such thought was in the Pict's mind.
The governor should have his chance with weapons—with Bran's own sword he should face the Pictish king's dirk, and live or die according to his prowess.
And though Sulla was famed throughout the provinces as a swordsman, Bran felt no doubt as to the outcome. Modified by: Storm of the Light's Bane. Recondemnation by Temple Nightside. Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions. Kusabs, Mordance, BR, I. Death metal necromancy.
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