Dark Lore by Nictzin Dyalhis
The Eternal Conflict between good and evil, and the fates of people in different incarnations are explored in these stories.
Dark Lore – The Eternal Conflict between good and evil, and the fates of people in different incarnations are explored in these stories.
For Wounding — Retaliation (1922) – The Border— Inez, the Pima squaw uses strategy.
He Refused To Stay Dead (1927) – Are innocent babes born into the world, imbued with the spirit of some restless ghoul come back to earth to fulfill its destiny? Eric Marston thought so, when—
The Eternal Conflict (1925) – Complete Novelette of Cosmic Spaces—of Heaven and Hell
The Red Witch (1932) – A tale of atavism, a thrill-story which links the past and present—a fascinating weird tale about a red-headed woman
The Dark Lore (1927) – A tale of the outer spaces and the lurid hells through which the soul of Lura Veyle was hurled
Nictzin Dyalhis (1873-1942) was an intensely private man. He worked as a chemist and only published fifteen stories, eight of which were published in Weird Tales. Despite, or perhaps because of his paucity of output in an era of prolific writers, Dyalhis was regarded as something of a celebrity among his fans. He was erroneously thought to possess unusual abilities and an exotic history as an adventurer and world traveler.
Dark Lore has 17 illustrations.
Excerpt: The Eternal Conflict
I AM a member of a great and secret Occult Order, despite the fact that I am—or was—a businessman dwelling in New York City, and living in the midst of this practical Twentieth Century.
We hold, as do many, that the universe is ruled by a Supreme Power whose name no man knows, and whose attributes can be but dimly surmised.
We hold that the Presence is served by many beings throughout the universe—Archangels; Angels; Planetary Rulers; a Celestial Host.
We hold that, among these, and not the least, is One, feminine rather than masculine in appearance and attributes, whom we consider to be the goddess of Love, Beauty, Light, and Truth.
To her is our Temple dedicated; and to her we give reverence. We are not idolators in any sense of that word, for we know that she is but one of those who serve the Presence.
After all, is the idea so outré?
This universe is a “going concern”, as we would say of a huge industrial plant. Such a plant has its general manager; assistant managers; superintendents; foremen, etc. Why not the universe, which is the greatest plant of all?
We hold that our Order is but incorporated into her department— that is all. So, if in the following narration of the stupendous events and adventures through which I have just recently passed (and which would never have been written without her permission) I refer to her as a goddess, it is not that I seek to impose my views upon anyone. I do but ask from others that privilege I myself am overjoyed to extend—tolerance of viewpoint and respect for divergent opinions.
One statement more I would like to add. It is useless for anyone to search for our address in any directory. We publish no periodical. We seek no converts nor members. I say this lest anyone should think this story is put forth as a new and subtle form of propaganda—for it is not so intended.
Likewise, where I have spoken plainly of the powers and forces of nature; the vibrations of the ether; the transmuting of latent energy into active dynamism; and of the multiplicity of the realms, regions, and planes of greater space; believe as much, or as little, as you please. It matters not.
Yet bear this in mind: The mystery of today is the common experience of tomorrow—as the mystery of yesterday is the common knowledge of today. Science advances by degrees, nor is there any limit placed upon its progress.
So, to my tale.
I ENTERED the outer hall of the Temple, went direct to one of the little dressing rooms, undressed, bathed, and donned the robes of my rank. Thence I went on into the great room of the Temple proper; and made my way direct to the Black Shrine. So long as I was outside its walls, there were faint, dim lights shining all about; sufficient at least to see my way.
But once inside the Shrine, not even a cat could have seen—anything; for the place was so arranged as to exclude all reflected and latent light. Also, it was constructed entirely of black marble, unpolished, so that no reflections could by any possibility occur.
But I know the mystic chants, for I am a high initiate—so, raising my arms, in a whisper I intoned the mighty words.
Slowly the blackness lessened, and I ceased. I knew what was coming, and waited. There grew a faint, dim, all-pervading luminosity too vague to be styled “light”; but this gradually strengthened until it became clearly perceptible, although it was more of a glow than genuine light.
Suddenly as though ripped apart, it divided, brightened, formed into four columns in the four quarters of the Shrine—to north, east, south and west. That to the north assumed a white hue; the eastern one turned as blue as the noonday skies; that to the south glowed ruby red; and that to the west became a soft, warm yellow.
Yet in the center of the Shrine was still only blackness absolute. But it was a blackness wherein one could see—although all that could be seen was the square, black stone altar; bare of everything, not ornamented or carven in any manner.
The altar was nine feet high, and before it at foot of the eastern face stood the “couch of dreams”, which was a stone slab seven feet long and a fraction over three feet in width. This was raised above the floor about two feet by small, square blocks of black stone placed under the four corners.
Crouched on the floor before the altar was one of the “Doves” of the Temple—a girl of surpassing loveliness. She had fallen asleep, and, as I stood above her, looking down, the intensity of my gaze penetrated to her dormant mind.
Her eyes opened. Hastily yet gracefully she rose to her feet, her perfect form reflecting shimmeringly through her sheer draperies the lights of the Shrine. Crossing her hands on her breast, she bent her head in acknowledgment of my rank and status; then raised her eyes to mine, half timid and half bold.
“Fortunate me!” she murmured. “It is but seldom that you come alone to the empty shrine. Never before has it been my lot to be here on such an occasion. I have seen you when the full chapter was convened—”
“Nor did I come here now to be with you,” I reproved quietly. “Keep your allurements for those of lesser status. You know your task—perform that!”
Excerpt From: Nictzin Dyalhis. “Dark Lore.”
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