The Book of Ardoron - Lovecraftian Apocrypha
The Book of Ardoron - Overview
Unlike some of its predecessors the Book of Ardoron makes no attempt to cement itself as part of the Biblical canon, there was no attempt by the author to piggy-back on the text of the Bible. Some historians believe this is because the text far pre-dates even the Jewish tradition. Conservative dates place the original Book of Ardoron around 10-20 BCE with more wild and theosophic believers giving dates ranging from 600 BCE to 2500 BCE.
It's connection to the Apocrypha was erroneously assumed because the first manuscript fragments were discovered in the crypt of the Cathedral of Trier. While dating of the book as a whole has proved problematic these first fragments, found in the 1700s and preserved by the Vatican in secret until they were released in the late 19th century to be studied, apparently originated in the early 5th century CE
While no complete manuscripts have ever been found there are enough to allow a complete recreation of all 11 chapters.
Strange anomalies abound, such as several manuscript fragments, found in the ancient Roman ruins of Lucentum (Spain) containing elements of the Medieval Spanish language far before it could have existed. Many scholars reject the dating of the Lucentum Fragments, suggesting a later date in the 9th or 10th centuries at least however both the ink and material of the Lucentum Fragments underwent testing numerous times and consistently turned up a range from 40 BCE – 10 CE. Some accept that these fragments are authentic and may shed some light on the development of Spanish as a language others that they were tampered with or altered in some way to add the Spanish portions.
Another strange occurrence is the mention of the book on a much older Babylonian tablet attributed to the Persian Empire and dated 380-350 BCE. This lead some scholars to the conclusion that an older version of the book existed, as the tablet references it as a collection of scrolls said to be housed in the city of Susa. The Tablet of Ardoron, as it is known, is the earliest mention of the so-called Ebon City as attempts to recover the supposed scrolls have failed.
Searches for the city began to periodically sprout up in archeology and adventurer circles starting in 1893 with the publication of the first and only French translation of the text, Ange de la Ville Noire. Ultimately, like with Atlantis, Lemuria and R'lyeh no solid evidence could be found that the city truly existed.
Fragments that exist to make up the whole are written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, and the aforementioned Medieval Spanish. The first English translation was published in 1913 by the in-house publishers at Miskatonic University in Arkham Massachusetts who felt unsatisfied with the French version - only a hundred copies were produced. It was condemned by numerous Bishops and Church leaders at the time as a blasphemous and wholly separate book from the accepted Biblical Apocrypha. Largely the book went unstudied by academia and many dismissed it as a farce, a fraud made up of disparate fragments that in actuality had little to do with each other.
In the mid 1970s it became a subject of some interest among the budding Neo-Pagan and New Age Movements who requested it be put back into print. The University could find no trace of the original translation and had in the years since sold off most of the manuscripts to museums and collectors. Due to this studying the book is seen as a wild goose chase by most historians and archeologists but for those curious a few copies of the English translation did turn up somewhat mysteriously in the Arkham public library sometime in the 1980s.
The following is a copy of that translation, starting with the original three manuscript fragments.
Translation of the Fragments of Trier
Fragment 1: How can any man survive the sight of worlds beyond his own understanding? There is no mercy for the madmen or for the heretic!
Fragment 2: They build beneath our feet even now, tireless machines and minds that do not cease with the death of sleep as we do. And the nature of the gods is that of mind and the flesh of the gods is not like the flesh of men but is of a wholly other type. For if you saw the way their skin was stretched upon their wretched bones you would blot out your eyes.
Fragment 3: The prophets speak of only daylight [but I shall tell of shadow and] of woe and of the black days to come. When their City of ebony stones and the madness of their mouths become our only knowledge. Then the true gods will reign and Ardoron will see her fame return.
Chapter I - Dreamer Unbound
The Book of Ardoron:
Susan Little, Phd
Oren Werner, Phd
Gregor Anworth, Phd
Mistakonic Press, ltd edition first printing
1 How can any man survive the sight of worlds beyond his own understanding? There is no mercy for the madmen or for the heretic! 2 Of the things I have seen and of the things I have heard I have spoken little and [from my words] the sane turn away and the faithful tremble. For their visions are of another kind, of the jovial and joyous, of the pleasure of life and of a faith of their own making and of a paradise beyond. 3 I know of no such time to come and no paradise or at least I shall not live to see it - for there are things which move in the darkness and in the air that no man has seen or that no man should live to see.
4 Frightful I awoke one night to hear them on the rooftops. But it was what they impressed upon me later, as I dreamt, that brought me to my knees. 5 First I saw the stones and moved about them, although my feet did not touch the ground I stood nonetheless. Unbound of time I sat at the table of the gods at a time of feasting. 6 And when I felt them move the air would shudder. And when I heard them speak the Earth would tremble and the stars dim. 7 The first one said to me 'Child, be unafraid for your world is ending and your flesh is dying. For you have been blind and your world unadorned by the glory we shall bring you in the ages hence.'
8 [The speaker] was unseen and his voice was like a thousand voices each of them more hungry and insistent than the last. Like waves of the ocean they came upon me, each shouting out. 9 Of the living there is not one among them but of gods they told me much before my eyes awoke.
Chapter 2 - The Ebon City
1 The stones were shimmering like glass or the polish of marble and upon their ancient surface some liquid or tar was visible. The moss upon the stones was like none I'd ever seen, shades of color unreal and fantastic. 2 When I touched it I felt a taste of the eons in which the City had stood. 3 And all around me the elder things gathered, taking me over hill and valley with fair red sand beneath my feet and the sky a darker red.
4 And the voices said to me, 'Time is false man of Earth, man of Tiamat. The rising of the sullen star is coming and we long for the burning of Red Skies. The coldness of those nights will ever be known, from the Black Gate to the throne of the Ebon city.'
5 I saw then a throne, ten thousand miles high that shook the foundations of the Earth. And there in the chaos was the sound of flutes and a multitude of voices. Praises sung to the nameless eon of death. 6 I was shown the meaning of the song but I shall not recite it - for even the words spoken by the gods are too much for the mind of man. 7 They sang of the great City. Ardoron, as much a goddess as the rest [of them], formless in the dark.
8And those around me were like men without faces and so they could not cry out for salvation or in protest. They toiled with Cyclopean stones and brick by brick built the City. Without mouths they could not join in the song. 9 I moved silently among them, their backs hunched and their brows furrowed and bones weak. 10 And the Elder Ones lifted their song into the heavens and the blackness answered back its cold approval to the enslavement of the faceless and unnamed. 11 All shall sing the praises of that City and be gathered on that day, as it was so long ago. And all the rising and falling will be forgotten. 12 For theirs is an Empire that will endure forever and ever. They are what will be when men are no more and all memory of us is forsaken.
Chapter 3 - Treachery and Fools
1 The fools who read this will ignore it's warnings when they should despair that man is no longer occupying his place amidst creation. 2 The things above and the things without and the things below are as eternal as the death and night from which they descended. In the essence of them there is nothing alive and yet they live. 3 The Elder Ones are here even now, slumbering in their beds beneath the sea waiting for the Red Skies to return. They are things that were and shall be again.
4 Across incalculable gulfs of night there are whispers of their return. Men of Earth shall fall as the Men of Ios of old. 5 For they showed me the folly of Mars and of Orellyn. Of the deceivers; Of Parrallax and Unimal and of Tumarh and of Thade and Wertu'ion who spat in the face of Dagon. 6 On the day of the opening all men shall bow.
Chapter Four - The Dark Parliament
1 They build beneath our feet even now, tireless machines and minds that do not cease with the death of sleep as we do. 2 And the nature of the gods is that of mind and the flesh of the gods is not like the flesh of men but is of a wholly other type. If you saw the way their skin was stretched upon their wretched bones you would blot out your eyes.
3 The prophets speak of only daylight [but I shall tell of shadow and] of woe and of the black days to come. When their City of ebony stones and the madness of their mouths become our only knowledge. 4 Then the true gods will reign and Ardoron will see her fame return. The time of bile and bone when all men are slaves to their will and every knee shall bow. 5 For there is no freedom they cannot steal from you and no fate that can be worse than that of the faceless hordes. There they sit, beyond Yoggoth, the lightless living stone of Org'Mal.
6 They speak through the voice of the parliament beyond and their intent is the end of our age. It is fast coming. 7 Their bone wrapped lips and maws unending told of the end that is to befall the race of men. And the Children of Orion hold no more sway beneath the web that holds them firm. 8 Angels are but dust in the eyes of gods who have not flesh like our flesh, or blood like our blood, or hunger like our hunger. 9 The Elder Ones shall reign forever for their lust does not end and their power does not fail. We are not alone.
Chapter Five - Rituals of Ardoron and R'lyeh
1 [Of no King] have I spoken but of a throne. For Ardoron herself will rise from the sea and punish Mars for his wicked tricks. 2 There will be no remorse in her voice, I have seen her face lying beneath the waters and her mind that stretches into forever. 3 And her brother R'lyeh will follow after her and their rule shall be as timeless as the stars.
4 Behold I saw the end and no man pass away but by their edict. For the gods hold in high curiosity all that is alive. And the men I saw in that city were not permitted to die.
5 Then three beings came among the throng of faceless servitors and though I was afraid I could not flee or look away. 6 Their faces were adorned with ghastly grins, their phantasmal bodies gaunt and skin hugged tight around angry angular bones. 7 With whispers and suggestions they spoke and from the fetid inky black soil beneath they lifted a relic high. With a shrilling cry they hoisted the totem and ushered me into a black circle.
8 With spinning stones suspended in the air I watched the wraiths dance around a black altar singing with a low hum, a rumbling insect song of desperately wicked intent. 9 They told me of a prayer I shall not recite. Of an evil I shall not raise. Of a part I shall not play if I can retain my will!
Chapter Six - The Angel of Black Sun
1 The disquiet grows and my soul is weakening the more time I spend in the tunnels and amidst the oozing stones. 2 I was instructed to write by an angel no sane mind could fathom. He called himself TZEL UL'MANI, the Angel of Black Sun, with four black Stygian wings. He had no mouth yet possessed a voice like thunder. 3 But words fail me. Words cannot describe the miasma of the air of that frightful city or the horror it will bring upon the world of men.
4 The chaos from which they come is unlike any man has ever known. From the dustless empty reaches they breathed the air that was not air in the dim void. 5 When nothing was they were and as something cascaded across their path it met with an irresistible fate, subjugation. 6 Unto that end they showed me those first days that are beyond where light reaches; beyond which no stars shine that our eyes can see; [beyond which] no god of man has any power.
7 In the swirling and churning of nothing, in the essence they basked taking at their leisure the power of the Cosmos. They had come to power in a time before that endless primordial nothingness. 8 The sight of their history bends and breaks the mortal mind, imperceptible eons and eras where time was halted or where its very conception becomes as incomprehensible as a square circle. 9 From them no truth is hidden and from them nothing is denied.
Chapter Seven - Unnatural Hungers
1 We exist only to please the Elder Things that cannot meet death or demise or feel remorse or worry. We exist to feed the gods. 2 Endless adoration. Like ghouls that hunger for the blood and flesh of the living they seek what we possess, life. 3 But they cannot have it, not as we have it, and they cannot understand its desires, its progressions, its slow and plodding forms that change and bend with the linear passage of time. 4 To them time is as malleable as the wind and were it in their will they would awaken now and for all time across ages to sate their lust in one foul breath. 5 Oblivion's maw is open, the dark-scaled serpent's jaw unhinges and waits to swallow up the fragile egg.
6 Our superstitions, our hunger after eternity, are maddening gifts seeping from those elder realms. Hungers spawned from the blackest reaches beyond what our mind can fully comprehend. 7 From infinite beings we get our desire for infinity and in the worship of our gods, in the sprinkled blood of altars and the incantations of dark tomes they draw power, inspiration. We fuel our own demise by crying out to stars that hide a hopeless truth behind their enchanting visage.
8 We are property. Captives in an oasis fast drying of what holds us firm, fast approaching Ardoron's waking grasp. 9 Who among us wishes to see the end and taste of that other death, that firmer death that is an eternity of worship? Not I.
Chapter Eight - Revelries of Slavery
1 The dance is never over. They stage it day and night here in Ardoron. 2 And of the gods they are ever singing, ever grateful, ever waiting, ever groveling. 3 It is not ignorance or fear or madness that drives their adulation or that has beset the minds of the grotesque and wicked denizens of this place... it is something far more insidious; consumption. 4 That choir of unliving voices echoing in the timeless void, in that place forgotten, sealed by the will of Orellyn in ages long ago.
5 What chorus does Uria Parl spread among the streets of Ardoron? One of praise! One of raising up the city! One that the faceless, vestiges of ages past, reflection of our future fate, revel in but cannot hear. 6 For those who enslave themselves find great joy in it do they not! Slumbering under the illusion that their devotion will shield them from what is to come.
Chapter Nine - Praises and Adulation to the Old Ones
1 'Come and feed the old ones, gather for the feast.
Come and grovel before them, every ghost and beast
Dance 'round the black altar, bow before the stones
When they come upon the world, we will be reborn!
2 Find your flesh restored my child, find favor in her sight!
Ardoron, the Ebon Throne, Rises again tonight!
With bones bent tight in reverence, to the old ones we pray
When they come upon the world, we will be remade!'
3 Other worlds are not free from the clarion call, the siren song that cuts through the very ether above the sea of stars. It stretches on and summons those mad enough, weak enough or those chosen like myself. 4 It is a terrible joy I feel now, a terrific weight I harbor beneath my flesh, to know of what is to come but to be incapable of speaking so much of it. 5 This world will pass away, a plague of our own making and as our frail world fails there's will slowly rise.
6 Already the ruins are uncovered, the bones of Ardoron and her brother R'lyeh are revealed. Their hunger knows no limits. There are no borders they cannot reach clear of and no obstacle save the Children of Orion. 7 Against Ares' Web they tell me victory will come, gradual, overwhelming, as it always must be. The entropy of our world has no power over them for they are not of our world or from our world. 8 It is man who is dust, man is a worm built brick by brick of older stuff, relics of extinct races coursing through the blood that gives us life.
9 We are weakness incarnate. Fit until the changing of the waters or the warming of the sun take our lives. 10 They assure me that some men will see their rising day and be there to rejoice on the fields of a new age of debauchery. 11 A time is coming when sin and sinner will last forever in the shadow of the old ones and those who bent their knees in worship will happily watch the labor of those who fled and those who sought the arms of death. 12 They will say, 'It was we who were righteous, for we served the ones who do not die and forsook humanity to bathe in the elder-blood.'
Chapter Ten - The City of Bones
1 Then TZEL UL'MANI showed me the City of Bones, Malgotha, beneath the sands of another world and told of Mars and his beloved and of the treachery of that world. 2 Before Ios, when the red world was awake inside the mist, it looked upon the face of Jupiter and rejoiced at her beauty. Mars basked beneath her light and did all he could to bring life to the mind of that dazzling world. 3 For Jupiter her first breath was her last for upon her came cataclysm that tore apart the sun, that scattered the newborn world into dust.
4 The soul of Mars and his beloved scattered into many worlds but the heart of Mars was burdened now with terrible remorse and loss for kindling a flame so completely smothered. 5 The Angel of Black Sun showed me the devastation Mars had wreaked even before the first of the lesser [Old] Ones had set upon the cities of that world or had come beneath the banner of Red Skies. 6 His heart was so broken that built this monument to the life he had created, Malgotha, a city of crimson bricks made of burnt bones stained blood-red.
7 Those creatures that rose from the dust and dirt that were his bones and skin found themselves at the mercy of a new god, a war god and as he fostered their anger and built their bodies up he made for himself a war-like people. 8 From his throne atop the Mound of Malgotha he observed the changing stars and ushered in the great Empires. In his loneliness he sought the solace of other minds. 9 Unwitting Mars was the first to let them in. And Ios after him called upon the gods by name. 10 Those gods without names were next, already swollen and somnambulent amongst the turbulence of darkened galaxies. Lethargic wanderers who spent eons devouring the debris of newborn suns leaving behind little besides stillborn stars and dust.
11 And so the fate of the worlds was sealed and the minds of Ios fractured but Mars, ever unruly, spat upon the will of the Elder Things and with the help of Orellyn he set the web to protect the shards of Jupiter set spinning around Saturn, and to defend the jewel herself hanging lifeless but ever radiant. 12 TZEL UL'MANI showed me that souls still wandered Malgotha, maligning Mars and seeking his punishment.
Chapter Eleven - Acceptance of the Sullen Star
1 Ardoron will lash him a thousand eons and R'lyeh a thousand more. For timeless infinity Mars will be beset for his treachery, for the snare he set upon their heads. 2 They showed me this so that my spirit would be truly broken. So that I would know resistance carried with it no chance of escape. 3 Those that resist or refuse to worship will be assuredly punished in the time of Sullen Stars that is to come. The stars are already taking their places, lining up for the homecoming of those who from forever came.
4 Do not run or turn away when their madness finds you, when their fever fills your bones with wicked thoughts. I beg of you do as they say! 5 For I have been rewarded greatly for each word I wrote, and each praise I lifted and each time I feared and blessed their names. 6 I sing now the hymns of that ancient city. I lift now the praises of those older than the stars. 7 Against Ardoron, in those days, many will stand [but the] Ebon Throne is everlasting! And in those days I will not be cursed or forgotten or heaving the stones of their eternal empire. 8 I will be reveling in the madness and chaos of rebirth as the Cosmic un-aging stones open up the worlds beyond Yoggoth.
9 In vistas with horror and pleasure unending I will find my place, one of the Chosen of Ardoron. For they showed me a table with my name on it, TZEL SUUN'KAEL, Lord of the Sullen Star!
I still haven't gotten around to responding to any comments on my last hub and have been struck with writer's block due to various things going on in my real life and my writer's brain (that's me being an elitist and acting like my brain is different from yours) hence my content and activity drying up here on hubpages the last few weeks.
Anyway this is part of an on-going fragmentary series of short-stories, poems and other scraps I've been working on since 2011 that is meant to pay homage to my favorite author HP Lovecraft and the weird eldritch world or horror and science fiction he came up with. As part of this series I have mostly been doing my own thing only here and there name-dropping actual Lovecraftian elements such as the Necronomicon but I hit upon the concept of doing an actual translation of what I called Codex Dementicus, the Latin manuscript of the Necronomicon housed at the Vatican. Such an undertaking would take a lot of research, fact-checking, etc etc to be done respectfully and in a worthwhile way and likely take years to compile... and an actual publisher.
So in the interim I have my own books of Eldritch Lore to play with, including the fake archaeology to back them up and make it sound somewhat grounded in reality. Here is one such tome, eleven chapters of rambling semi-poetic madness with chapter and verse detailing one man's journey to Ardoron, the Ebon City.
I've used this as an attempt to retcon a lot of the lore I've been using, since none of it adds up and makes sense, by burying it in deep time and explaining time as fluid and bizarre and a plaything to the gods AND by explaining that the human mind is unable to actually capture and comprehend the truly tangled and malformed nature of reality. This is in keeping with Lovecraft's idea of Cosmic horror, that the truth is an eternal jigsaw puzzle that a mortal human being cannot put together given our short lives, that all we get are glimpses of the awful indifferent truths behind it all. I like to call this the Misanthropic Principle.
Anyway, enough rambling, hope you enjoyed it!
For those unfamiliar, here is a great Lovecraft story!
Other Hubs in My Growing Mythos
- The Gilded Shadow (Short Story)
The first in a series of attempts to emulate HP Lovecraft and forge my own weird fiction mythos. Centers around ominous machines discovered in deep space.
- The Slumbering King - Lovecraftian Horror
A short horror story in which I attempt to recreate the writing style and atmosphere of legendary author H.P. Lovecraft. The story itself revolves around a slumbering evil, uncovered by the curious prodding of archaeology and the intentional meddling
- The Terror Below (Short Story)
A short horror story in which I attempt to emulate famed author HP Lovecraft. Follows Doctor Samuel Eastman as he unwittingly sets in motion an otherworldly danger to our fragile planet.
- The Graves of Mars (short story)
Another short story in a series that emulates famed author HP Lovecraft as I build my own mythos of Weird Fiction.
- The Thing at the Base of the Stairs (Short Story)
A very short horror story that hopefully intrigues and creeps out the reader in a similar vein to my earlier homages to HP Lovecraft.
- Prayer of the Old Ones - Lovecraftian Hymn
If the foul Elder Religions of Lovecraft's stories wrote a hymn what would it look like?