THE CALL OF B'HARNI
by Brian Bull
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh B'harni R'lyons wagn'nagl fhtagn".
("In his house in R'lyons dead B'harni waits dreaming".)
Dedicated to the works of H.P. Lovecraft
In the clamouring, reckless autumn of 1927, my knowledge of the Thing came to be. A novice professor of some repute, I had barely entertained my first full year at Miskatonic University when a curious object was made available to my attention. Following an expedition to the lower coastline of South America, a researcher and student of mine presented me with an object so foul, so obscene, that I can barely place into words the utter loathsomeness it possessed. And following the terrible events that were soon to transpire, this object has only gained a deeper taint of malignancy and evil that upon concluding my manuscript here, I will seek about its utmost destruction.
The object, when deposited into my office by the timid and possibly delirious student, was of a rugged and faded texture; undoubtedly this object had washed in from the sea, the salty brine having corroded much of the object’s surface. Yet, the object reflected such an aura of wanton madness and sheer idiocy, that I marvelled as to what potency it might have carried long before its journey into the ocean.
Of the object, I could conclude it was unique and had never before seen the eyes of learned and rational men. Largely composed of felt and standing about eleven inches tall, I could deduce a vaguely anthroporphic form, but with a saurian-type head with immense dead eyes. Its fuzzy, purplish body bore stumpy yellowed claws on hind and fore feet, sprouting a prehensile tail from behind its corpulent haunches. Its face.....that fiendishly mocking face...was contracted into a wide, moronic grin, which hinted of a malign idiocy only found in the realm of Azathoth, the blind idiot god who reels eternally in the center of the universe, dancing to a shrill, distant piping.
For how long I stared into that ghastly face I do not recall, but I graciously thanked the student for its delivery and excused him while I began to arrange my materials. I had already acquired a copy of Frazier’s Purple Bough some time ago, and had become slave errant to its blasphemous secrets. And indeed, I also harbored a forbidden copy of the unspeakable Wyrmiis Mysteriis, which I also had acquired through disreputable measures whilst a younger man travelling about the world. But to fully understand the complete and ferocious horror of this despised and ominous totem, I knew I would have to venture into the arcane shelves of rare volumes for the dreaded Necrobarneycon.
What terror and agony Abdul Al-Azred endured when he wrote that cursed tome! Gazing long and whistfully into the opaque Moon Lens of ancient Leng, the cursed Arab had only endured a fortnight before going totally insane. Yet, the Necrobarneycon for all of its rumored powers and darkness, was the sole provision for understanding the motives of He Who Chortles Insipidly, great B’harni.
By nightfall I had acquired the damned tome from a concerned and overtly cautious assistant from the rare volumes section. Securing myself inside my book-littered office, I closed the heavy velvet curtains and began studying by the dim, staggering light of a lantern. Prying open the brittle, violet pages of the wretched Necrobarneycon, I saw the rantings of centuries past meet my fragile gaze and I entered the chaotic realm of madness.
Eons ago, well before the arrival of the human race, Earth was dominated by a race of Elder Beings who had come from the Stars. Practicing arcane rituals and dark magic, these Beings were mighty in power and horrifying in their form; through some unrecorded cataclysm, the Elder Beings were banished from this plane of existence, leaving only their servant races and the scant beginnings of Mankind to roam the surface. Only in dreams and visions would the Elder Beings, the Great Old Ones, be able to project their abhorrent will onto those who would seek them.
Great B’harni, whom along with his servitor deities B’habi B’hop and B’hi J’hai, were trapped underneath their ungodly isle realm of R’lyons, which sank beneath the ocean waves during the horrific cataclysm. In time, B’harni sent out his thoughts to the weak-minded and naive, and began assembling a cult of dead-minded people, which then extended world-wide and shared His Image and His Songs. Of the cult activity, the Necrobarneycon shared little; yet, it is spoken that when the stars are right and the planes of our reality are at their weakest, the dead and corrupt isle of R’lyons will rise again from the depths, and B’harni will be unleashed upon the world to stamp asunder and destroy mankind once and forevermore.
Upon reading this final passage, my lantern mysteriously extinguished itself. Feeling a cold, sickly-smelling draft upon my neck, I turned and saw only the tightly drawn curtains to my office study. But for one distubring moment, I had glimpsed the B’harni figurine from the corner of my eye, squatting profusely on the corner of my desk, and imagined that I saw the horrid demon actually wink and smile mischieviously. I anxiously relit my lantern with quivering fingers and closed the Necrobarneycon.squarely back upon itself.
That night, my sleep was brutally disturbed by nightmares of a most unusual and malevolent design. I dreamed that I was floating helplessly among the littered realm of R’lyons, Cyclopean pillars and stairwells careening by me precariously. I seemed to be drifting above some nameless and immense schoolyard, undoubtedly the dreaded domain of It. The angles, the lines that composed this hellish landscape, all appeared to be of a distinctly non-Euclidean nature, for they seemed ludicrously arranged and what may have appeared concave one instant appeared convex the next.
As I studied the mysterious and unsettling contours, I then became aware of a sinister chanting from an unseen chorus, that permeated the landscape. The chanting repeated continuously in the same leering, childlike, and patronizing tone and I began to sense a queasiness in my stomach. As if purposely desiring to worsen my condition, the chanting increased in volume and pace, and I became aware of the unusally human quality of the voices. As I helplessly listened, I recalled a similar chant that I had only studied a few short hours before within the tormented scribblings of the Mad Arab:
I’luv’yu, yu’luv’mi, we’era h’api f’am’ili!
W’etha gr’t b’gkis ‘nd h’ug f’romi tuyu
W’ontyu s’ayu luv’mi tu?
Before I could fight myself back to consciousness, I suddenly felt myself pulled into a yawning, omnious chasm. Opening like an immense mouth of some titanic leviathan, the chasm burst forth in the most sickening and evil shade of color I had ever encountered. Plunging faster and deeper into the purple abyss, I saw myself being pulled in closer and closer towards a pair of round, dead eyes, and a wide moronic grin that gaped broadly. An ancient, bestial voice then bellowed into my tortured ears, snapping me to a shaken and desperate consciousness:
Click here to continue on to Chapter Two of the Call of B'harni.