J.N. Colwell

"lä! lä! h'ashal h'ashal Pg 'glyphy nox
k'eehol phknos lä! lä! h'ashal h'ashal!"
-- Boken av Djävolen
by Jöns Fagerström

By the blear light of dismal night in the wee hours of morn',
I soberly pored o'er the Mystic Analectica, by use, well-worn;
Pensively I pondered o'er and o'er the by gone days of yore,

Consulting many ancient tomes of half-forgotten lore.
Silently brooding o'er the ancient annals of hoary history,
'Till there came at las -- an understanding of the mystery!
In the olden days when the wild world still lay unspoil'd,
'Twas a luxuriant wilderness of vast virgin forest richly soil'd;
Widely diffus'd with the splendor of nature's manifold faces.
In this antediluvian Eden there were also other sorts of places,
Forlorn quagmires of marshland, swampy bog and slough;
Sterile tracts of immense expanse, foreboding to foray into.
Peculiar environs of howling desolation and blasted waste,
Where ancient relics of the past remain from memory erased.
Grossly aberrant areas where nature appeared out of control,
Inordinately nourished in a way that sparked fear in the soul.


There was such a place situated deep in remote isolation,
An awful and terrible landscape of bizarre aberration;
There a dark, cloudcap'd summit obscured the azure sky.
Around the base of that fell, as if all approach to defy,
Grew a grotesque woodland of unnaturally exotic yield --
Even now I only whisper of that vile, abominable weald!
Gloomhurst was the name this bedarkened forest assum'd,
And o'er it's murky shadows the eldritch mountain loom'd.
The sylvan was filled with Oak, Black Walnut, Ash and Elm,
As well as numerous other hardwoods native to the realm;
A variety of aged Conifers and Pines could readily be seen,
But o'er the whole place there reigned an unearthy mien.
The melody of Songbirds from that wood was wholly gone,
Even the incessant hum of insects was oddly withdrawn.
The monstrous trees themselves are a curious tale to be told,
Distorted and contorted in queer ways frightening to behold;
Gnarled, twisted and malformed in repulsive, freakish ways,
While the patches of lichen on the boles antiquity convey'd.
The overly moss-covered rocks and ivy strangled trees,
Vine-entangled boughs, stifling air and stagnant breeze,
Convey'd by the morbid scene a foreboding sense of doom--
For what malignant power could so curse nature's womb?

~The Lonely Citadel~

The vertical face of Sheerfell Bluff extends up above the clouds,
Rising out of Gloomhurst, it's foothills the bluff's shadow shrouds;
There an archaic citadel stands in oppressive silence like a tomb,
The olde tower rising high o'er the dismal forest's murky gloom.
Above the arched doorway a strange symbol is carved like a sign,
Around it's frame a bas-relief of something hard t' define;
Bizarre shapes of fantastic creatures and alien landscapes unknown,
What purpose the lonely tower serves to only some has been shown.
Yea, to those who have been delving into the secret olden ways,
Those who seek communion deep with the hid ones of other days.

~The Black Stone of the Thistles~

Legend has it that one Robert Griffen is wholly t'be blamed,
For 'that cursed black stone' was of the ground by him reclaim'd;
But what was commonly known of the stone was ignorant and bedim,
Since all who knew what the stone meant were of the same ilk as him.
For most have ne'er seen or read a book like Ezra Ben Calip's work,
Liber de Profundus Scientia, some of whom after reading it went berserk;
Or Boken av Djävolen by Swede Jöns Fagerström (banned by the Church),
Or Antiquus Erudito, over which I traversed continents in the search;
Nor the incomparable work of mage Carlo Dombretì for which sake,
He was condemned as a vile heretic and was burned at the stake.
His Mystic Analectica is a voluminous compendium of sage epistles,
Containing an entire section on -- The Black Stone of the Thistles.

Black Stone of Thistles I shudder to tell,
Devil stone of troubles by power of hell.
Dug from the ground in the farmer's field,
After countless long ages again reveal'd.
Polish'd black surface cover'd with runes,
It's secret is known to him that communes
With the hidden ONE of the unknown;
He shall learn the secrets of the stone --
Then cometh the revelation of darkness,
Yea, the desolation of boundless darkness.
Thus begins Carlo Dombretì's esoteric section on the Black Stone,
Indeed, understood by very few and by most completely unknown;
The Analectica reveals that the stone was rediscovered on a fief,
When, while tilling, an unlearned peasant (who was devout in belief)
Uncover'd the stone that was an evil omen of cataclysmic events.
Dombretì says 'its arcane cryptographic markings defied all sense',
Until Robert Griffen, 'bout whom many strange things are said,
Studied the weird runes but wisely left what he learned unsaid.
Many particulars are told of the Black Stone and how it was taken,
To the densely forested foothills of Sheerfell Bluff now forsaken.

~Excerpts from The Mystic Analectica~

(The following is closely based on reported excerpts from the journal of R. G.
Which Dombretì reportedly recorded before it was banned by Papal decree.)

Arrived today to examine the recently discover'd 'Black Stone',
Runes match Fagerström's -- what I read chill'd me to the bone!
Spent a few days poring o'er Boken av Djävolen to refresh my mind,
Fagerström's knowledge on these subjects has been much malign'd;
I now know that what I have been looking at is as I thought,
Fagerström says -- The Black Stone of the Thistles must be brought
To 'The Barren Waste' (circle of blasted earth below Sheerfell Bluff)
And there set in the ground to await the time -- of this 'tis enough.

~The Summoning~

In the hills above the forest, the solitary citadel stands in isolation,
An overgrown footpath leads from the tower to the aberration;
Set in the center of a clearing surrounded with woodland drapes,
Cover'd with cryptographs and monstrous amorphic shapes;
Stands the monolith known as the Black Stone of the Thistles.
Before the column, a wild-eyed Robert Griffen boldly bristles;
Waiting for the pitch-black shadows to envelop him by-and-by.
As the eerie night descends, he circles the stone and emits a cry --
"Tootha day Danu! Dagdah! Bel!" -- as he falls before the stone
And calls on the old gods of the Druid's pillar -- again he intones,
"Tootha day Danu! Dagdah! Bel!" The sound of cracking trees,
And the stench of a putrid, reeking, foul odor on the breeze;
The whole heath is blast'd by an unnatural, otherworldly wind,
Wherein it seem'd that in craven fear and terror the trees bend,
Toward that hideous obelisk of hoary religion their limbs they send;
Then the voice croaking his name, with howling wind did it blend.

~The Reckoning~

Robert Griffen awoke, his pale, trembling body cover'd with sweat,
Traversing the room, He throws back the shutters, his mind in a fret;
Remembering the pillar and the voice made him curse with regret,
Like a nightmare so frightening and real he wished he could forget.
Looking down from the top of the tower into the black night,
Feeling like something is watching and waiting fills him with fright;
Fighting fatigue he finally casts himself on his cot and slips off to sleep.
Now he hears below his unshutter'd widow what makes his flesh creep,
Again, the overwhelming stench of vile, putrid decay makes him leap;
A weird, wildly shrieking wind sweeps in o'er him in the keep,
In an instant the fabric of time and space seems to warp and waver;
Angles converging in impossible ways as solidity and extension quaver.
Madness takes his mind as through the rent pours the unknown beyond,
With frenzied piping of alien music before him blind oblivion yawned,
In the whirling flux of confusion where all possibilities are spawned.


© 2000 Edward P. Berglund
"Poem of the Maddening Stone": © 2000 J.N. Colwell. All rights reserved.
Graphic © 1999 Erebus Graphic Design. All rights reserved. Email to: James V. Kracht.

Created: May 16, 2000; Current Update: August 9, 2004