“The Hoard of the Gibbelins” by Lord Dunsany

Walpurgisnacht:
Have a happy night.
-The Voice before the Void

“The Hoard of the Gibbelins”

Lord Dunsany

The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge. Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again. Continue reading

“The Hoard of The Wizarrd-Beast” by H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow

H.P. Lovecraft’s Birthday Special:
A decidedly Dunsanian fantasy adventure.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Hoard of The Wizarrd-Beast”

H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow

There had happened in the teeming and many-towered city of Zeth one of those incidents which are prone to take place in all capitals of all worlds. Nor, simply because Zeth lies on a planet of strange beasts and stranger vegetation, did this incident differ greatly from what might have occurred in London or Paris or any of the great governing towns we know. Through the cleverly concealed dishonesty of an aged but shrewd official, the treasury was exhausted. No shining phrulder, as of old, lay stacked about the strong-room; and over empty coffers the sardonic spider wove webs of mocking design. When, at last, the giphath Yalden entered that obscure vault and discovered the thefts, there were left only some phlegmatic rats which peered sharply at him as at an alien intruder.

There had been no accountings since Kishan the old keeper had died many moon-turns before, and great was Yalden’s dismay to find this emptiness instead of the expected wealth. The indifference of the small creatures in the cracks between the flagstones could not spread itself to him. This was a very grave matter, and would have to be met in a very prompt and serious way. Clearly, there was nothing to do but consult Oorn, and Oorn was a highly portentous being. Continue reading

“The Slaying of the Monster” by H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow

Dragons are for the benighted.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Slaying of the Monster”

H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow

Great was the clamour in Laen; for smoke had been spied in the Hills of the Dragon. That surely meant the Stirrings of the Monster—the Monster who spat lava and shook the earth as he writhed in its depths. And when the men of Laen spoke together they swore to slay the Monster and keep his fiery breath from searing their minaret-studded city and toppling their alabaster domes.

So it was that by torch-light gathered fully a hundred of the little people, prepared to battle the Evil One in his hidden fast-hold. With the coming of night they began marching in ragged columns into the foot-hills beneath the Continue reading

“The Black River” by The Voice before the Void

“The Black River”

The Voice before the Void

flows out of a black sun
and through a land of ash and obsidian.
Ambition
drowns in the river,
filling its lungs with black water
and floating its corpse onward.
Creatures creep on the plain
cut by the river,
lit by nothing,
killing occasionally,
dying inevitably.
The corpses draw carrion-feeders
from black mountains, Continue reading

“Of How Imbaun Met Zodrak” by Lord Dunsany

Among the finest of the stand-alone pieces from Dunsany’s The Gods of Pegāna.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Of How Imbaun Met Zodrak”

from The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

The prophet of the gods lay resting by the river to watch the stream run by.

And as he lay he pondered on the Scheme of Things and the works of all the gods. And it seemed to the prophet of the gods as he watched the stream run by that the Scheme was a right scheme and the gods benignant gods; yet there was sorrow in the Worlds. It seemed that Kib was bountiful, that Mung calmed all who suffer, that Sish dealt not too harshly with the hours, and that all the gods were good; yet there was sorrow in the Worlds.

Then said the prophet of the gods as he watched the stream run by: “There is some other god of whom naught is writ.” And suddenly the prophet was aware of an old man who bemoaned beside the river, crying: “Alas! alas!” Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 6

Of prophets and kings, the search for truth, and THE END.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 6

THE SAYINGS OF IMBAUN

The Prophet of the gods said: “Yonder beside the road there sitteth a false prophet; and to all who seek to know the hidden days he saith: ‘Upon the morrow the King shall speak to thee as his chariot goeth by.’

“Moreover, all the people bring him gifts, and the false prophet hath more to listen to his words than hath the Prophet of the gods.” Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 5

Dunsany’s fantastical mythologizing swells into as much profundity as any holy book.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 5

OF HOW IMBAUN BECAME HIGH PROPHET IN ARADEC OF ALL THE GODS SAVE ONE

Imbaun was to be made High Prophet in Aradec, of All the Gods save One.

From Ardra, Rhoodra, and the lands beyond came all High Prophets of the Earth to the Temple in Aradec of All the gods save One.

And then they told Imbaun how The Secret of Things was upon the summit of the dome of the Hall of Night, but faintly writ, and in an unknown tongue.

Midway in the night, between the setting and the rising sun, they led Imbaun into the Hall of Night, Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 4

The follies of prophets and propheteering.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 4

YONATH THE PROPHET

Yonath was the first among prophets who uttered unto men.

These are the words of Yonath, the first among all prophets:

There be gods upon Pegana.

Upon a night I slept. And in my sleep Pegana came very near. And Pegana was full of gods.

I saw the gods beside me as one might see wonted things.

Only I saw not MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI.

And in that hour, in the hour of my sleep, I knew. Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 3

Gods contest with gods for the supremacy of the earth; also, the great mystery of “the eye in the waste.”
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 3

THE REVOLT OF THE HOME GODS

There be three broad rivers of the plain, born before memory or fable, whose mothers are three grey peaks and whose father was the storm. There names be Eimës, Zänës, and Segástrion.

And Eimës is the joy of lowing herds; and Zänës hath bowed his neck to the yoke of man, and carries the timber from the forest far up below the mountain; and Segástrion sings old songs to shepherd boys, singing of his childhood in a lone ravine and of how he once sprang down the mountain sides and far away into the plain to see the world, and of how one day at last he will find the sea. These be the rivers of the plain, wherein the plain rejoices. But old men tell, whose fathers heard it from the ancients, how once the lords of the three rivers of the plain rebelled against the law of the Worlds, Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 2

In the second part, we learn of the Lord of all Deaths, of the God of Going, and of the Thousand Home Gods.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 2

THE DEEDS OF MUNG

(Lord of all Deaths between Pegana and the Rim)

Once, as Mung went his way athwart the Earth and up and down its cities and across its plains, Mung came upon a man who was afraid when Mung said: “I am Mung!” Continue reading

The Gods of Pegana by Lord Dunsany, part 1

This first part of Dunsany’s popular and influential first book describes the creation of the worlds and introduces the game of the gods.
⁓The Voice before the Void

The Gods of Pegāna

Lord Dunsany

part 1

Preface

In the mists before THE BEGINNING, Fate and Chance cast lots to decide whose the Game should be; and he that won strode through the mists to MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI and said: “Now make gods for Me, for I have won the cast and the Game is to be Mine.” Who it was that won the cast, and whether it was Fate or whether Chance that went through the mists before THE BEGINNING to MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI—none knoweth. Continue reading

“The Other Gods” by H.P. Lovecraft

Taut, atmospheric, suspenseful, and dramatic, the success of “The Other Gods” as a story is yet further enhanced by its philosophical suggestions: Is the nature of the universe not meant to be understood by humans? Is the universe actively hostile to being studied by humans? Is human curiosity – rather than a noble trait – nothing but a dangerous flaw of character?
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Other Gods”

H.P. Lovecraft

Atop the tallest of earth’s peaks dwell the gods of earth, and suffer not man to tell that he hath looked upon them. Lesser peaks they once inhabited; but ever the men from the plains would scale the slopes of rock and snow, driving the gods to higher and higher mountains till now only the last remains. When they left their old peaks they took with them all signs of themselves, save once, Continue reading