- The Text
- The Necrocomicon
- Further Study
- GM’s Comments
The Necronomicon, or Book of Death, was found inside the Microscosm cavern in the buried ancient city of Sarnath on the island of Perbendarahaan. Within the microcosmic cavern, the book was inside a stone gazebo on the Natural World’s analogous island (along with a stone inscribed with the name “N’kai”). It appears to be and eldritch book written in Deepspeech. This book holds vital clues to the whereabouts of its opposite number, the Zoënomicon or Book of Life, the object of the PCs’ overarching quest.
Information gleaned form the NECRONOMICON of Abdul al-Hazred
In the time before time, both the Astral Sea and the Elementsal Chaos lay lifeless and uninhabited until beings of great power—the Great Old Ones—came from Yuggoth, the most distant and alien part of the Far Realm, to revel across the material realm. The Old Ones seeded the material world with their own animus—without intention some say, though others style it a bold experiment and others a malign jest. From the effulgence of the Old Ones’ power, the various forms of this-wordly life developed along unpredictable and chaotic pathways. Across untold aeons, life continued to develop, grow and advance in the material world, even as the Old Ones looked on, fascinated by what they had (unintentionally?) wrought. As some forms of life—humanoids—began to achieve intelligence, the Old Ones revealed themselves and were worshiped as gods.
Yet in the course of time, the Old Ones’ fortunes began to wane. Though powerful, they were not all-powerful, and their transit from the Far Realm was constrained by the alignments of the stars. Inexorably, the stars began to change, and many of the Old Ones withdrew to the Far Realm until the stars should realign and herald their return. Some of the Old Ones remained behind, however, so that they might prepare the way for their companions’ return at the next turning of the stars. Yet in truth, these relished the worship they received from humans, dwarves, elves, dragons, and the rest, and were loth to surrender their deity.
Although the Old Ones inhabited the material world, such was their power that it “leaked,” as it were, into the Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea as well. Here, the effulgence of the Old Ones’ animus gave rise to beings who, owing to the eldritch properties of these planes, quickly—over millenia instead of aeons, that is—evolved into the elemental primordials and the astral gods. Taking an interest in the material world which their realms mutually bordered, the primordials and the gods began to envy the Old Ones’ power and status, and they conspired together to displace the Old Ones who still remained in the world. The gods of the Astral Sea devised a powerful ritual capable of binding and subduing even an Elder God of the Far Realm, but the ritual required the focus and power of the Godslayer Shard, a powerful talisman crafted by the primordials from a fusion of air, earth, fire, water, shadow, and aether.
Thus armed with the Ritual of Repulsion, inscribed upon a scroll they call the Zoënomicon, and the Godslayer Shard, the gods and the primordials waged war on the Old Ones, weakened and cut off from their fellows due to new patterns in the stars. Perhaps half of the remaining Old Ones died in the war, but the greatest of them, sensing their danger, opted for retreat or subterfuge. While the Old Ones made their final stand at R’lyeh, with the great Cthulhu leading their servitors from both this world and the Far Realm, the crafty Nyarlahotep infiltrated enemy ranks and stole both the Godslayer Shard and the Zoënomicon.
Such was the might of the gods—inherited, of course, from the Old Ones themselves—and such the weakness wrought on the Old Ones by the changing of the stars that Nyarlahotep could not actually destroy these weapons. Yet through his own skill at artifice, he dismantled the Godslayer Shard into its six component parts, paces that could only be reunited at the forge used by the primordial Haemnathuun himself at the bottom of the Keening Delve. The shards themselves Nyarlahotep hid in various locations around the world, but for the sake of his comrades in aeons to come, he constructed a map of their whereabouts in the now-buried city of Sarnath, As for the Zoënomicon, this Nyarlahotep secreted in the place where the Old Ones’ power still remains strongest, in the vaults of unknown Kadath.
Although forced to retreat into the sleep of death, Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones still lie beneath sea or sand or stone, dreaming great and terrible dreams as they await the day that the stars shall realign and allow their comrades from the Far Realm unfettered access once again to this world. So powerful are the Great Old Ones’ dreams that they were able even to rewrite the memories of the gods and the primordials, so that the unenlightened masses, both mortal and immortal, now believe that the ancient war was fought between primordials and gods, rather than by both against a common foe. And ever have the Great Old Ones’ dreams touched the minds of sensitive mortals and immortals, drawing them into their service, creating a network of cults and the servitors who even now prepare the way.
For although for the present, in his house in R’lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming, in days to come her shall awaken, and the world will know the fury and grandeur of the Great Old Ones once again. That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.
Additional Information Gleaned From Further Study
Nor is it to be thought that elves, dwarves, men, and the other races are either the oldest or the last of the world’s masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and gaurdian of the gate. Past, present, and future—all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod the world’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as they tread. By Their smell we can sometimes know Them near, but of Tehir semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on this world’s races; and of those there are many sorts, differing in likeness from mankind’s truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste has known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of the Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraved, but who has seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he [sic] spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness you will know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet you see Them not; and their habitation is is [sic] even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. We rule know [sic] where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where we rule now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.
- The PCs’ initial understanding of the Necronomicon
- Additional information gleaned from further study
First, thanks to Jason for starting this page! For any visitors who are familiar with the works of H. P. Lovecraft, you’ll recognize that the Necronomicon is adapted from Lovecraft’s work, though the campaign version doesn’t slavishly imitate the original. In the campaign, the Necronomicon contains a kind of alternate chronicle of world history, written in an archaic form of Deep Speech. To date, I’ve given the players two excerpts as handouts, and you can get them here (part 1; part 2, featuring a slightly-altered quotation from The Dunwich Horror).