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Literature/ A List Of Aphorisms and Maxims by AnonymousAyo(m) : 9:02 pm On Jul 03


These are the wise words of Baltasar Gracian as
noted in his famous work,
The Art of Worldly Wisdom.



•Everything is at its Acme;

especially the art of making one's way in the world.

There is more required nowadays to make a single wise man than formerly to make Seven Sages, and more is needed nowadays to deal with a single person than was required with a whole people in former times.




•Create a Feeling of Dependence.

Not he that adorns but he that adores makes a divinity.
The wise man would rather see men needing him than thanking him. To keep them on the threshold of hope is diplomatic, to trust to their gratitude boorish; hope has a good memory, gratitude a bad one.

More is to be got from dependence than from courtesy. He that has satisfied his thirst turns his
back on the well, and the orange once sucked falls from the golden platter into the waste-basket.

When dependence disappears, good behaviour goes with it as well as respect. Let it be one of the chief lessons of experience to keep hope alive without entirely satisfying it, by preserving it to make oneself always needed even by a patron on the throne.

But let not silence be carried to excess lest you go wrong, nor let another's failing grow incurable for the sake of your own advantage.




•Avoid Victories over Superiors.

All victories breed hate, and that over your superior is foolish or fatal.
Superiority is always detested.
Caution can gloss over common advantages; for example, good looks may be cloaked by careless attire.

There be some that will grant you precedence in good luck or good temper, but none in good sense, least of all a prince; for good sense is a royal prerogative, any claim to that is a
case of lèse majesté(to do wrong to majesty).

They are princes, and wish to be so in that most
princely of qualities. They will allow a man to help them but not to surpass them, and will have any advice tendered them appear like a
recollection of something they have forgotten rather than as a guide to something they cannot find.

The stars teach us this finesse with happy
tact; though they are his children and brilliant like him, they never rival the brilliancy of the sun.

Literature/ Re: A List Of Aphorisms and Maxims by AnonymousAyo(m) : 9:18 pm On Jul 03


Cultivate those who can teach you.

Let friendly intercourse be a school of knowledge, and culture be taught through conversation:
thus you make your friends your teachers and
mingle the pleasures of conversation with the advantages of instruction.

Sensible persons thus enjoy alternating pleasures: they reap applause for what they say, and gain instruction from what they hear. We are always
attracted to others by our own interest, but in this case it is of a higher kind.

Wise men frequent the houses of great noblemen not because they are temples of vanity, but as theatres of good breeding.

There be gentlemen who have the credit of worldly wisdom, because they are not only themselves oracles of all nobleness by their example and their behaviour, but those who surround them form a well-bred academy of worldly wisdom of the best and noblest kind.



The Thing Itself and the Way it is done.
"Substance" is not enough: "accident" is also required, as the scholastics say.

A bad manner spoils everything, even reason and justice; a good one supplies everything, gilds a No, sweetens truth, and adds a touch of beauty to old age itself.

The how plays a large part in affairs, a good manner steals into the affections.
Fine behaviour is a joy in life, and a pleasant expression helps out of a difficulty in a remarkable way.



Arouse no Exaggerated Expectations on entering.
It is the usual ill-luck of all celebrities not to fulfil afterwards the expectations beforehand formed of them.

The real can never equal the imagined,
for it is easy to form ideals but very difficult
to realise them.

Imagination weds Hope and gives birth to much more than things are in themselves. However great the excellences, they never suffice to fulfil
expectations, and as men find themselves disappointed with their exorbitant expectations they are more ready to be disillusionised than to
admire.

Hope is a great falsifier of truth; let skill guard against this by ensuring that fruition exceeds desire. A few creditable attempts at the
beginning are sufficient to arouse curiosity without pledging one to the final object. It is better that reality should surpass the design and is
better than was thought.




Keep the Imagination under Control;

sometimes correcting, sometimes assisting it. For it is all-important for our happiness, and even sets the reason right.

It can tyrannise, and is not content with looking on, but influences and even often dominates life,
causing it to be happy or burdensome according to the folly to which it leads.

For it makes us either contented or discontented with ourselves.
Before some it continually holds up the penalties of action, and becomes the mortifying lash of these fools.

To others it promises happiness and adventure with blissful delusion.
It can do all this unless the most prudent
self-control keeps it in subjection.




Find out each Man's Thumbscrew.

’Tis the art of setting their wills in action. It needs more skill than resolution.
You must know where to get at any one.
Every volition has a special motive which varies according to taste.

All men are idolaters, some of fame,
others of self-interest, most of pleasure.
Skill consists in knowing these idols in order to bring them into play.

Knowing any man's mainspring of motive you have as it were the key to his will. Have resort
to primary motors, which are not always the highest but more often the lowest part of his nature: there are more dispositions badly organised than well.

First guess a man's ruling passion, appeal to it by a word, set it in motion by temptation, and you will infallibly give checkmate to his
freedom of will.

Literature/ Re: A List Of Aphorisms and Maxims by AnonymousAyo(m) : 9:55 pm On Jul 03

Prize Intensity more than Extent.

Excellence resides in quality not in quantity.
The best is always few and rare:
much lowers value.

Even among men giants are commonly the real
dwarfs. Some reckon books by the thickness, as if they were written to try the brawn more than the brain.

Extent alone never rises above mediocrity:
it is the misfortune of universal geniuses that in attempting to be at home everywhere, are so nowhere.

Intensity gives eminence, and rises to the heroic
in matters sublime.



Common in Nothing.

First, not in taste. O great and wise, to be ill at ease when your deeds please the mob!
The excesses of popular applause never satisfy the sensible. Some there are such chameleons of popularity that they find enjoyment not in the sweet savours of Apollo but in the breath of the
mob.

Secondly, not in intelligence. Take no pleasure in the wonder of the mob, for ignorance never gets beyond wonder.

While vulgar folly wonders, wisdom watches for the trick.



Select the Lucky and avoid the Unlucky.

Ill-luck is generally the penalty of folly, and there is no disease so contagious to those who share in it.

Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other
and greater ones invariably slink in after it.



Know how to Withdraw.

If it is a great lesson in life to know how to deny, it is a still greater to know how to deny oneself as regards both affairs and persons.

There are extraneous occupations which eat away precious time.
To be occupied in what does not concern you is worse than doing nothing. It is not enough
for a careful man not to interfere with others, he must see that they do not interfere with him.

One is not obliged to belong so much to all as not
to belong at all to oneself.
So with friends, their help should not be abused or more demanded from them than they themselves will grant.

All excess is a failing, but above all in personal intercourse. A wise moderation in this best preserves the goodwill and esteem of all, for by
this means that precious boon of courtesy is not gradually worn away.

Thus you preserve your genius free to select the elect, and never sin against the unwritten laws of good taste.



Leave your Luck while Winning.

All the best players do it. A fine retreat is as good as a gallant attack.
Bring your exploits under cover when there are enough, or even when there are many of them. Luck long lasting was ever suspicious;
interrupted seems safer, and is even sweeter
to the taste for a little infusion of bitter-sweet.

The higher the heap of luck, the greater the risk
of a slip, and down comes all. Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favours by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires
of carrying any one long on her shoulders.



Recognise when Things are ripe, and then enjoy them.

The works of nature all reach a certain point of maturity; up to that they improve, after that they degenerate.

Few works of art reach such a point that they cannot be improved. It is an especial privilege of good taste to enjoy everything at its ripest.

Not all can do this, nor do all who can know this. There is a ripening point too for fruits of intellect; it is well to know this both for their value in use and for their value in exchange.




Think with the Few and speak with the Many.

By swimming against the stream it is impossible to remove error, easy to fall into danger; only a Socrates can undertake it.

To dissent from others' views is regarded as an insult, because it is their condemnation. Disgust
is doubled on account of the thing blamed and of the person who praised it.

Truth is for the few, error is both common and vulgar. The wise man is not known by what he says on the house-tops, for there he speaks not
with his own voice but with that of common folly, however much his inmost thoughts may gainsay it.

The prudent avoid being contradicted as much as contradicting: though they have their censure ready they are not ready to publish it.

Thought is free, force cannot and should not be used to it. The wise man therefore retires into silence, and if he allows himself to come out of it, he does so in the shade and before few and fit persons.


Slow and Sure.

Early enough if well.
Quickly done can be quickly undone.
To last an eternity requires an eternity of preparation.

Only excellence counts; only achievement endures. Profound intelligence is the only foundation for
immortality. Worth much costs much.
The precious metals are the heaviest.



Finish off well.

In the house of Fortune, if you enter by the gate of pleasure you must leave by that of sorrow and vice versâ.

You ought therefore to think of the finish, and attach more importance to a graceful exit than to
applause on entrance.

’Tis the common lot of the unlucky to have a very
fortunate outset and a very tragic end.

The important point is not the vulgar applause on entrance—that comes to nearly all—but the general
feeling at exit. Few in life are felt to deserve an encore.

Fortune rarely accompanies any one to the door: warmly as she may welcome the coming,
she speeds but coldly the parting guest.



To Excel in what is Excellent.

A great rarity among excellences.
You cannot have a great man without
something pre-eminent.
Mediocrities never win applause.
Eminence in some distinguished post distinguishes one from the vulgar mob and
ranks us with the elect.

To be distinguished in a Small post is to be great
in little: the more comfort, the less glory.
The highest eminence in great affairs has the royal characteristic of exciting admiration and winning
goodwill.




To Be the First of the Kind is an Excellence,
and to be eminent in it as well, a double one
.
To have the first move is a great advantage when the players are equal. Many a man would have
been a veritable Phoenix if he had been the first of the sort.

Those who come first are the heirs of Fame; the others get only a younger brother's
allowance: whatever they do, they cannot persuade the world they are anything more than parrots.

The skill of prodigies may find a new path to
eminence, but prudence accompanies them all the way. By the novelty of their enterprises sages write their names in the golden book of heroes.

Some prefer to be first in things of minor import than second in greater exploits.

Literature/ H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 10:36 pm On Jul 03

Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.
H.P. LOVECRAFT

Cosmic Horror

Lovecraftian horror, sometimes used interchangeably with "cosmic horror", is a subgenre of horror fiction and weird fiction that emphasizes the horror of the unknowable and incomprehensible more than gore or other elements of shock.

Cosmic Horror can be applicably defined Lovecraftian Horror and Cosmicism,
and cosmic horror is heavily influenced by the philosophical notion of existential nihilism and philosophical pessimism, as well as the desolate quality of the natural world, and cosmos in general.

Themes

Cosmic Indifference

Thematically, the primary attribute of the cosmic horror story is the idea that human beings are insignificant and inconsequential in the scope of cosmic reality.

Humanity is at best a nominal footnote in the history of the universe, and at worst deserves no notice whatsoever.

While the stories themselves seem essentially pessimistic, Lovecraft himself believed that the negative connotation of "pessimist" was improper, preferring "indifferentist".


Alienation

The fear of the Other, the alien, and the unknown are central tenets that underscore the terror in the cosmic horror story.

The xenophobia and racist overtones in many of Lovecraft's stories are unarguable, but the underlying fear of what one does not understand remains the pervasive note.

One might argue that the enduring nature of Lovecraft's work is not in spite of his racism, but precisely because his racism allowed him to tap into every reader's deepest irrational terror of the Other.

This alienation further extends to the self. There is often an alien nature to a character's ancestry and personal relationships, with questions of alien or supernatural parentage and sinister personal acquaintances.

Furthermore, the characters are often loners, and isolated people without close personal ties.




Sanity

The characters of cosmic horror stories often skirt the line of rationality and sanity.

Sanity is displayed as a fragile and tenuous thing, with the experience of the horrors of the true nature of reality being enough to drive one to madness.

Source

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 10:44 pm On Jul 03

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature


Attack the story like a radiant suicide, utter the great NO to life without weakness; then you will see a magnificent cathedral, and your senses, vectors of unutterable derangement, will map out an integral delirium that will be lost in the unnameable architecture of time.
Michel Houellebecq, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life


Fear of the unknown and unknowable:

The "fear and awe we feel when confronted by phenomena beyond our comprehension, whose scope extends beyond the narrow field of human affairs and boasts of cosmic significance".

Here horror derives from the realization that human interests, desires, laws and morality have no meaning or significance in the universe-at-large.

Consequently it has been noted that the entities in Lovecraft's books were not evil,
they were far beyond human conceptions of morality.

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 10:59 pm On Jul 03

The Most Powerful Gods and Monsters in
Cosmic Horror.


• Yog-Sothoth

ALIAS:
• The Lurker at the Threshold

• The Key and the Gate

• The Beyond One

• Opener of the Way

• The All-in-One

• The One-in-All

• All-encompassing

• Master of Gates between Worlds

• Yog

• The Not-to-be-named One

• The Watcher

• Iok-Sotot

• The Eater of Souls

• 'Umr at-Tawil

• Aforgomon

• Yok-Zothoth


Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.
Past, present, 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 have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.
H. P. LOVECRAFT

Yog-Sothoth is the secondary antagonist of the Cthulhu Mythos of the late dark fantasy writer H. P. Lovecraft.

He is an unfathomably powerful deity and one of the most powerful of the Outer Gods, a race of ancient deities who wield great power, size and intelligence, equal and possibly even superior to Azathoth himself, as well as the largest and most intelligent—dwarfing the famous Cthulhu in the same scale that Cthulhu dwarfs humanity, and is a truly cosmic menace that is beyond mortal comprehension.

Yog-Sothoth is the embodiment of all of time and space across an essentially infinite number of space-time continuums.

For all intents and purpose, he is connected to the multiverse. He is the grandfather of Cthulhu and the grandson of Azathoth.

Yog-Sothoth is not only an all-knowing, all-seeing, and (supposedly) all-powerful being, but he also, like the fellow Outer God Nyarlathotep, has displayed to possess numerous avatars, such as the Lurker at the Threshold, and has served as the Godly father of Wilbur Whateley and the Dunwich Horror, and the spouse of Shub-Niggurath.

He was born from the Nameless Mist, one of the three offspring of Azathoth alongside the Darkness and Nyarlathotep.


Like many Lovecraftian deities, Yog-Sothoth has a number of avatars and even followers (such as the Chorazos Cult) by which to expand his influence. Although he is classed as "evil", he is technically an amoral character who is simply beyond our understanding of petty morality or sanity.

(Indeed, Lovecraft wrote in a very dark fashion that swayed away from moral absolutes, and saw the universe as being cold and cruel by Yog-Sothoth's very nature.)

According to the mythology of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, Yog-Sothoth is a limitless cosmic horror who is connected with all of space and time, yet is locked away from mainstream reality.

The monstrous deity sees all and knows all, and can impart knowledge to anyone foolish enough to seek his favor, which often required human sacrifice (or worse) and would ultimately bring calamity and ruin to the would-be-follower.


Description

Like many Lovecraftian gods, Yog-Sothoth is thoroughly indescribable and unconcievable, way beyond human comprehension, and those in his presence can only perceive an approximation.

He was described in many different ways throughout the various stories of the mythos, by various authors. However, there seems to be a common agreement that Yog-Sothoth visually manifests as a mass of glowing orbs that continuously merge, regrow and break apart, with eyes or tendrils in some versions.

In At the Mountains of Madness, he is portrayed as a huge mass of yellow tendrils and in Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key, he is shown as a large creature with eyes and tendrils.

Whatever the case, Yog-Sothoth is among the most eldritch and incomprehensible of even Lovecraftian deities; far surpassing any and all of the Great Old Ones and even other Outer Gods, only matched in sheer power by fellow supreme Outer Gods like Azathoth.

Powers and Abilities

2nd only to Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth possesses Nigh-Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, and is the guardian of the gate, and if Azathoth is awakened he is erased has well with it.

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 11:31 pm On Jul 03

Shoggoth

It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.
H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Formless protoplasm able to mock and reflect all forms and organs and processes - viscous agglutinations of bubbling cells - rubbery fifteen-foot spheroids infinitely plastic and ductile - slaves of suggestion, builders of cities - more and more sullen, more and more intelligent, more and more amphibious, more and more imitative! Great God! What madness made even those blasphemous Old Ones willing to use and carve such things?

HP Lovecraft

Shoggoths are amorphous, shapeshifting beings. They were genetically engineered by the
Elder Things as a race of servant-tools, but eventually rose up against their masters
and drove them to extinction. Shoggoths
are now found in isolated locales across Earth.

Description

A shoggoth is a sentient blob of self-shaping, gelatinous flesh, something like a giant amoeba.
A shoggoth is some 15 feet in diameter if it shaped itself into a sphere, but larger and smaller versions exist.

A shoggoth is capable of shaping itself into whatever organs or shapes it finds necessary at the moment; however, in its usual state it tends to sport a roiling profusion of eyes, mouths, and pseudopodia.

When encountered at the South Pole, it moved at incredible speed. It was described as like watching a train closing in on someone standing on the tracks. The shoggoth can kill its enemies by enveloping them and generating enough suction-force to decapitate their victims.

That is specifically how they fought the Elder Things during their rebellion. Apparently, they emit a horrible, overpowering stench that's strong enough to completely mask the alienating smell of the Elder Things.

A curious behavior of the shoggoth is their repetitive cry of "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" Demonstrating their mindless mimicry, this is a phrase they copied from the Elder Things.


History

The shoggoths were originally bred as servitor creatures by the Elder Things, who used them for underwater construction.

Their ability to shape their bodies as needed made them ideal living construction machinery. Although created to be mindless, the shoggoths mutated through the aeons and slowly developed consciousness, and even became periodically rebellious.

Eventually, they overthrew the Elder Things and killed them, and built their own cities (HPL: "At the Mountains of Madness") Their architecture mimics the five-pointed symmetry of the Elder Things.



Though rare, some shoggoths have managed to survive into the modern era, most notably in Antarctica and in the deepest parts of the world's oceans.

The race of humanoid amphibious beings known as the Deep Ones are known to ally with or make use of shoggoths, sometimes referred to as "Sea Shoggoths" (EXP: The Burrowers Beneath [ Brian Lumley ]).

The Mi-go also conducted their own Shoggoth experiments, performing "mind-grafts" on the Shoggoths to produce a tamer-breed easy for the Mi-Go to control telepathically.

The resultant Mi-Go and Shoggoth hybrids are called 'ghol' or ghol-things.(EXP:"The Perilous Legacy" [ Walter C. DeBill Jr. ])

One notorious shoggoth is Mr. Shiny (Albert Shiny), who takes the form of a human. (EXP:At Your Door RPG Module)

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 11:45 pm On Jul 03

Dagon

Dagon is a deity who presides over the Deep Ones, an amphibious humanoid race that currently resides in the Earth's oceans. He is first introduced in Lovecraft's short story "Dagon", and is mentioned extensively throughout the mythos. Also known as Father Dagon and the consort of Mother Hydra, although they are worshipped as deities, they are generally considered Great Old Ones.

He is worshipped by the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a secret cult based in Innsmouth.

Size

At a very advanced age, some Deep Ones reach enormous sizes. Such individuals engender the Cult of Dagon, who worship these creatures as deities.

They are, in fact, entirely corporeal beings whose great age contributes to their massive size. There is fossil evidence that the oldest, largest of these beings reached sizes of over 50 feet in height.


Description
Dagon is an enormous specimen of a Deep One that has been mentioned in texts since at least the time of Mesopotamia.

He is worshipped as a deity by a devout cult of both humans and Deep Ones. While apparently immortal, his longevity may be attributable to his fraternization with the Star Spawn, who sometimes select formidable specimens from a given species to protect, nurture, and empower for reasons known only to them.

It may also be that there has been more than one gigantic specimen of Deep Ones who could have been confused with or mistaken for the original Dagon .

All Deep Ones continue to grow slowly after they reach maturity, provided that they have access to enough nourishment.

In fact, there are ancient Dagon-related carvings that display what appear to be several gigantic Deep Ones wrestling with whales, although these may in fact be the creatures known as Silent Ones, a trio of creatures worshipped by the Deep Ones which are known to eat whales .

The biblical Philistines worshipped the god Dagon, mentioned in the old testament in Judges 16:23.

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 12:12 am On Jul 04

Azathoth


Alias:

•The Cold One

• The Blind Idiot God

• The Nuclear Chaos

• The Daemon Sultan

• The Boundless Daemon Sultan

• Master of All Creation and Destruction

• Hideous Name

• The Idiot Demiurge

• The Great Outer God

• The Supreme God

• Chaotic Shadow Twin of God

• Ruler of the Ultimate Void of Chaos

• Lord of All Things

• God's Alter Ego

• One in the Abyss

• The Abyss

• The Inconceivable

• He in the Gulf

• Nethescurial

• Vach-Viraj

• That from Outside



POWERS:

•Omnipotence

•Absolute immortality

•Omnipresence

•Exists beyond all concepts (even other Outer Gods cannot understand it)

•Omni-manifestation (can look like anything and everything)

•Abstract existence

•Nonexistent physiology

•Beyond-dimensional existence

•Avatar creation

•Immortality

•Large size

•Invulnerability

•Telepathy

•Reality warping

•Conceptual manipulation
•Law manipulation

•Chaos manipulation

•Physics manipulation

•Acausality

•Void manipulation

•Sound manipulation

•Life and death manipulation

•Matter manipulation

•Higher-dimentional manipulation

•Space-time manipulation

•Memory manipulation

•Dream manipulation

•Absolute embodiment

•Chaos embodiment

•Cosmic otherness

•Creator deity physiology
•Entity lordship

•Madness aspect manifestation

•Monotheistic deity

•Omniarch

•Space-time lordship

•Reality dreaming

•Biological manipulation


HOBBY:

•Dreaming.

•Listening to horrific music.

•Creating the universe.

•Warping all of reality.

•Ruling the Outer Gods.

•Being served by Nyarlathotep and having it carry out all of his biddings.

•Endlessly expanding and contracting.

•Incomprehensibly plotting (such that not even Outer Gods can understand his plots).



GOALS
•Incomprehensible (as no organisms or even other Outer Gods can understand it).

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 12:25 am On Jul 04

AZATHOTH—hideous name.
H.P. LOVECRAFT ABOUT AZATHOTH AND HIS "HIDEOUS NAME".

Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.
HP Lovecraft

Eventually there had been a hint of vast, leaping shadows, of a monstrous, half-acoustic pulsing, and of the thin, monotonous piping of an unseen flute — but that was all.
Gilman decided he had picked up that last conception from what he had read in the Necronomicon about the mindless entity
Azathoth, which rules all time and space from a curiously environed black throne at the centre of Chaos.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE.



Azathoth, also known as The Blind Idiot God, The Daemon Sultan, and The Nuclear Chaos, is the overarching antagonist of the Cthulhu Mythos, created by the late horror-fantasy writer H. P. Lovecraft.

He is a cosmic and boundless deity of colossal proportion and the great and all-powerful ruler of the Outer Gods and creator of all of existence.

He is omnipotent beyond the power of the Great Old Ones, such as Cthulhu, and even his fellow Outer Gods, including Yog-Sothoth and Yibb-Tstll, and all other beings — and is the sole most powerful being in the entire mythos.

According to Lovecraft, all of reality is merely a part of Azathoth's dream, unknowingly created by itself.

When, not if Azathoth awakens, all things will end, once and for all, and all will once again be Azathoth.

However, August Derleth portrayed Azathoth as being similar to Lucifer from Christian theology, warring against the Elder Gods and being rendered blind and witless by them before being banished from creation by their magic.

At some point in the future after the second coming of Nyarlathotep, Azathoth and his armies will return and all of the entire creation will be destroyed.

According to Lovecraftian mythology, Azathoth is the omnipotent "Blind Idiot God" or "Nuclear Chaos".

It is said to be stuck in endless slumber and is served upon by countless lesser deities that play a maddening tune on innumerable drums and flutes to keep Azathoth from awakening, for if the great "Daemon Sultan" should awaken, even for a few moments, all of existence is said to be doomed as it will signal the ultimate destruction of existence as we know it.

As well as its innumerable drummers, Azathoth is tended upon by horrendous dancers and is said to float in the very center of the universe in the center of chaos itself (and hence "nuclear" may actually refer to its dwelling at the nucleus of the universe).

No mortal has yet entered this realm and survived, and judging by the visions spoken of by H.P. Lovecraft and later writers, it is doubtful that any who did would wish to continue living, as Azathoth held the same insanity-inducing aura as the other Lovecraftian horrors, despite it being deep in slumber.


Appearance

Azathoth's precise appearance is only hinted at throughout the Mythos, and indeed may be unknowable by mortal beings.

It is described as occupying a position outside of the universe, where it is attended by a cohort of alien servants who continually bathe it with the sounds of pipes and drums.

Though it is the ruler and creator of all existence, it is described as "a blind idiot god", oblivious to the universe and the beings within it.


Powers and Abilities

Azathoth is technically "God", and additionally the "Blind Idiot God" who is absolutely mindless and unconscious but is omnipotent and the most powerful being of all.

He created all of existence as part of his dream and is not even aware of it. Should he awaken, all of existence would be no more, and all would once again be Azathoth.

He cannot be destroyed as the concept of destruction is merely his dream, and he exists beyond the concept of speed, strength, mortals, and the Outer Gods, as they are all merely part of his dream.

Despite being mindless, Azathoth does have a will of his own and commands his messenger and avatar, Nyarlathotep.

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 12:51 am On Jul 04

Cthulhu

ALIAS
•High Priest of the Great Old Ones
•The Sleeper of R'lyeh
•The Great Dreamer
•The Slumbering One
•The Great Old One
•Great Cthulhu
•Great Tulu
•Kthulhut

OCCUPATION

•High Priest of the Great Old Ones
•Leader of the Star Spawn of Cthulhu
•Ruler of Earth (formerly)

POWERS / SKILLS

•Immortality

•Immense size

•Vast strength

•Nigh-invulnerability

•Nigh-omniscience

•Flight

•Tentacle extension

•Apocalypse inducement

•Oneirokinesis/dream manipulation

•Telepathy

•Mental manipulation

•Hydrokinesis

•Embodiment of madness

•Madness inducement

•Plasma manipulation

•Ability to create and command the Star Spawn

•Shapeshifting

•Essokinesis/reality warping

•Dimensiokinesis

HOBBY

•Dreaming.

•Being worshipped.


GOALS

•Awaken from his slumber.

•Retake his world and resume his rule.

•Rule the universe alongside the Great Old Ones forever.

CRIMES

•Malefic
•Madness inducement
•Terrorism
•Mass murder
•Destruction of stars
•Attempted universal hegemony


TYPE OF VILLAIN

•Cataclysmic Dark Messiah

Literature/ Re: H.P Lovecraft and The Invention of Cosmic Horror by AnonymousAyo(m) : 1:07 am On Jul 04

Cthulhu is the titular antagonist of the Cthulhu Mythos by the late famed horror author H. P. Lovecraft, first appearing as the titular main antagonist of the 1928 story The Call of Cthulhu​.



He is one of the Great Old Ones, an old race of deities that are comparable to cosmic beings and archdemons in other works of fantasy. Cthulhu is infamously known for his grotesque appearance and gigantic size, as well as his ability to drive any human that gazes upon his form to insanity.



While he is not the most powerful of Lovecraft's creations (dwarfed by Outer Gods like Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, and Azathoth), he is easily the most famous, and his name has become associated with evil and Lovecraftian horror ever since the creature was first brought to public attention in the 1920s.


Background

Cthulhu was born on the planet Vhoorl, located in the 23rd nebula. He traveled to the star Zoth where he spawned his offspring. Along with his children and the Star Spawn of Cthulhu, Cthulhu travelled to Saturn and then to Earth.

They landed on a continent in the Pacific Ocean and built the city R'lyeh. Cthulhu received resistance from the Elder Things who also lived on the planet.

They waged war for the planet Earth until a truce was made. Cthulhu then went into a deep hibernation within R'lyeh. Humanity then evolved on Earth and Cthulhu communicated with several through dreams, resulting in the Cult of Cthulhu.
Disaster then struck R'lyeh, sinking it into the ocean.

R'lyeh has risen from the ocean for brief amounts of time. However, it is fated that R'lyeh will rise from the ocean permanently and Cthulhu will retake the world.


He Waits Dreaming…

In most of the stories, Cthulhu lays dormant deep under the ocean within the sunken city of R'lyeh, but can still influence the world via many telepathic powers and, of course, his many cults and otherworldly minions.

It is said that once Cthulhu is fully awakened, he shall rise from the depths and end the world; thankfully for humanity, Cthulhu has yet to do so.

However, he came close in the 1920s when a group of sailors came across his sunken city of R'lyeh, which had been brought to the surface by the alignment of the stars.

They opened up one of the strange buildings, only for Cthulhu to exit it and attack them. The creature only halted its attack when the sailors used their ship to cut him in half.

As they sailed away, they could see Cthulhu reforming into a whole being again. The world would have ended then but for the fact that R'lyeh suddenly sunk as the stars moved out of position.
The resulting powerful current not only dragged Cthulhu into the building he had been trapped in, but also closed the door behind him, thus trapping him yet again.



Appearance

The Great Old Ones are cosmic entities that are too abstract to be accurately described by human perception. And as a Great Old One, Cthulhu's true form also remains indescribable and indefinitely controversial.

In canon, all of his most popular and remotely consistent appearances have been merely what little his witnesses have been able to comprehend before going insane at the sight of something beyond human comprehension.

Most known descriptions of him stem from statuettes found in the possession of cult members; they are usually around a foot high and depict Cthulhu in a crouching position.

In fiction and popular media, Cthulhu's appearance can change from story to story, but he is most often portrayed as a monster of vaguely humanoid shape with a squid-like face and wings. He is also considered terrifyingly large and apocalyptic, being the size of a mountain (or bigger in some accounts).

Following

Cthulhu is said to have a worldwide doomsday cult centered in Arabia, with followers stretching everywhere in the entire world.

The supposedly immortal leaders of Cthulhu's cult are said to reside in the mountains of China.

This cult is nihilistic in nature and seeks to awaken the Old Ones and bring about an apocalyptic age of darkness in which, according to some stories, men would be reduced to shouting and killing each other in fits of madness.

Cthulhu is also worshiped by the horrific Deep Ones and the Mi-go, other alien beings in Lovecraft's world.

Cthulhu also has numerous "star-spawn" (Xothians) at his disposal; these creatures seem to share his general appearance but are much smaller and less powerful, though the nature of the "star-spawn" and their relationship with Cthulhu is widely unknown.



Powers and Abilities

While not as powerful as many other Great Old Ones and being dwarfed in scale by the Outer Gods that he serves, Cthulhu is still a very powerful entity.

Being near godlike to humans, Cthulhu is immortal and has great strength and can endure great amounts of damage and can only be killed by a near-omnipotent power. Using his wings, he is capable of true flight.

He possesses vast intelligence and awareness, as he knows all that is occurring in the universe at once and he has great psychic abilities as he can communicate telepathically.

Arguably, Cthulhu's most notable trait is the fact that he, alongside the rest of his kin, cannot be comprehended by humans; when a human so much as looks at Cthulhu, they will almost certainly be driven mad by his visage.
Cthulhu was also able to create a city out of nowhere.



Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity.
H. P. LOVECRAFT.




Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse.
H. P. LOVECRAFT.




The Thing cannot be described—there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions
of all matter, force, and cosmic order.

A mountain walked or stumbled. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing.

A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, THE CALL OF CTHULHU.

Literature/ Re: A List Of Aphorisms and Maxims by AnonymousAyo(m) : 1:56 am On Jul 04

Elevated Taste.

You can train it like the intellect. Full knowledge whets desire and increases enjoyment.

You may know a noble spirit by the elevation of his
taste: it must be a great thing that can satisfy a great mind.

Big bites for
big mouths, lofty things for lofty spirits.

Before their judgment the bravest tremble, the most perfect lose confidence. Things of the first
importance are few; let appreciation be rare.
Taste can be imparted by intercourse: great good luck to associate with the highest taste. But do
not affect to be dissatisfied with everything: ’tis the extreme of folly, and
more odious if from affectation than if from Quixotry. Some would have
God create another world and other ideals to satisfy their fantastic
imagination.


See that Things end well.

Some regard more the rigour of the game than
the winning of it, but to the world the discredit of the final failure does away with any recognition
of the previous care. The victor need not explain.
The world does not notice the details of the measures employed; but only the good or ill
result. You lose nothing if you gain your end.

A good end gilds everything, however unsatisfactory the means. Thus at times it is part of the art of life to transgress the rules of the art,
if you cannot end well otherwise.



Know how to Refuse.
One ought not to give way in everything nor to everybody. To know how to refuse is therefore as important as to know how to consent.

This is especially the case with men of position.
All depends on the how. Some men's No is thought more of than the Yes of others: for a gilded No is
more satisfactory than a dry Yes.

There are some who always have No on their lips, whereby they make everything distasteful.

No always comes first with them, and when sometimes they give way after all, it does them
no good on account of the unpleasing herald. Your refusal need not be point-blank: let the disappointment come by degrees. Nor let the refusal be final; that would be to destroy dependence; let some spice of hope
remain to soften the rejection.

Let politeness compensate and fine words
supply the place of deeds.
Yes and No are soon said, but give much to think over.


Be all Things to all Men

—a discreet Proteus, learned with the learned, saintly with the sainted. It is the great art to gain every one's suffrages; their goodwill gains general
agreement.

Notice men's moods and adapt yourself to each, genial or serious as the case may be.
Follow their lead, glossing over the changes
as cunningly as possible. This is an indispensable art for dependent persons. But this savoir faire calls for great cleverness.

He only will find no difficulty who has a universal genius in his knowledge and universal
ingenuity in his wit.


Take care to get Information.

We live by information, not by sight. We exist by faith in others. The ear is the area-gate of truth but the front-door of lies.

The truth is generally seen, rarely heard;
seldom she comes in elemental purity, especially from afar; there is always some admixture of the moods of those through whom she has passed.

The passions tinge her with their colours
wherever they touch her, sometimes favourably, sometimes the reverse.

She always brings out the disposition, therefore receive her with caution from him that praises,
with more caution from him that blames.

Pay attention to the intention of the speaker;
you should know beforehand on what footing he comes.
Let reflection assay falsity and exaggeration.


Drain Nothing to the Dregs, neither Good nor Ill.

A sage once reduced all virtue to the golden mean. Push right to the extreme and it becomes wrong: press all the juice from an orange and it
becomes bitter.

Even in enjoyment never go to extremes.
Thought too subtle is dull.
If you milk a cow too much you draw blood, not milk.


Make use of your Enemies.

You should learn to seize things not by the blade, which cuts, but by the handle, which saves you from harm: especially is this the rule with the
doings of your enemies.

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than
a f00l from his friends. Their ill-will often levels mountains of difficulties which one would otherwise not face. Many have had their greatness
made for them by their enemies.

Flattery is more dangerous than hatred,
because it covers the stains which the other causes to be wiped out.
The wise will turn ill-will into a mirror more faithful than that of kindness and remove or improve the faults referred to.

Caution thrives well when rivalry and ill-will are next-door neighbours.


Know Yourself

—in talents and capacity, in judgment and inclination. You cannot master yourself unless you know yourself.

There are mirrors for the face
but none for the mind.
Let careful thought about yourself serve as a
substitute.

When the outer image is forgotten, keep the inner one to improve and perfect.
Learn the force of your intellect and capacity for
affairs, test the force of your courage in order to apply it, and keep your foundations secure and your head clear for everything.

The Secret of Long Life

Lead a good life. Two things bring life speedily to an end: folly and immorality.

Some lose their life because they have not the intelligence to keep it, others because they have not the will.

Just as virtue is its own reward, so is vice its own punishment. He who lives a fast life runs
through life in a double sense.

A virtuous life never dies. The firmness of the soul is communicated to the body, and a good life is long not only in intention but also in extension.



Keep the extent of your Abilities unknown.

The wise man does not allow his knowledge and abilities to be sounded to the bottom, if he desires to be honoured by all.

He allows you to know them but not to comprehend them. No one must know the extent of his abilities, lest he be disappointed.

No one ever has an opportunity of fathoming him entirely.
For guesses and doubts about the extent of his
talents arouse more veneration than accurate knowledge of them, be they ever so great.





Keep Expectation alive.

Keep stirring it up.
Let much promise more, and great deeds herald
greater.

Do not rest your whole fortune on a single cast of the die. It requires great skill to moderate your forces so as to keep expectation from being dissipated.


Reality and Appearance.

Things pass for what they seem, not for what they are. Few see inside; many take to the outside.
It is not enough to be right, if right seem false
and ill.



[b]One half of the World laughs at the other, and Fools are they all.[b]

Everything is good or everything is bad according to the votes they gain.
What one pursues another persecutes.
He is an in-sufferable f00l that would regulate everything according to his ideas.

Excellences do not depend on a single man's pleasure. So many men, so many tastes, all
different.

There is no defect which is not affected by some, nor need we lose heart if things please not some, for others will appreciate them.
Nor need their applause turn our head, for there will surely be others to condemn.

The real test of praise is the approbation of famous men and of experts in the matter.

You should aim to be independent of any one vote,
of any one fashion, of any one century.

Literature/ Re: A List Of Aphorisms and Maxims by AnonymousAyo(m) : 2:36 am On Jul 04


Be not Censorious.

There are men of gloomy character who regard everything as faulty, not from any evil motive but because it is their nature to.

They condemn all: these for what they have done, those for what they will do.
This indicates a nature worse than cruel, vile Indeed.

They accuse with such exaggeration that they make out of motes beams wherewith to force out
the eyes.

They are always taskmasters who could turn a paradise into a prison; when angry, they drive matters to the extreme.

A noble nature, on the contrary, always knows how to find an excuse for failings, if not in the intention, at least from oversight.


Do not wait till you are a Sinking Sun.

’Tis a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them.

One should be able to snatch a triumph at the end, just as the Sun even at its brightest often retires behind a cloud so as not to be seen sinking, and to
leave in doubt whether he has sunk or no.

Wisely withdraw from the chance of mishaps, lest you have to do so from the reality.
Do not wait till they turn you the cold shoulder and carry you to the grave, alive in feeling but dead in esteem.

Wise trainers put racers to grass before they
arouse derision by falling on the course.

A beauty should break her mirror early, lest she do so later with open eyes.



In Prosperity prepare for Adversity.

It is both wiser and easier to collect winter stores in summer. In prosperity favours are cheap and friends are many.

’Tis well therefore to keep them for more unlucky days, for adversity costs dear and has no
helpers.

Retain a store of friendly and obliged persons; the day may come when their price will go up.

Low minds never have friends; in luck they will not recognise them: in misfortune they will not be recognised by them.



Never Compete.

Every competition damages the credit: our rivals seize occasion to obscure us so as to out-shine us. Few wage honourable war.
Rivalry discloses faults which courtesy would hide. Many have lived in good repute while they had no rivals. The heat of conflict gives life, or even
new life, to dead scandals, and digs up long-buried skeletons.


Never talk of Yourself.

You must either praise yourself, which is vain, or blame yourself, which is little-minded:
it ill beseems him that speaks, and ill pleases him that hears.

And if you should avoid this in ordinary conversation, how much more in official matters, and above all, in public speaking, where every
appearance of unwisdom really is unwise.

The same want of tact lies in speaking of a man in his presence, owing to the danger of going to one of two extremes: flattery or censure.



Acquire the Reputation of Courtesy;

for it is enough to make you liked.
Politeness is the main ingredient of culture,—a kind of witchery that wins the regard of all as surely as
discourtesy gains their disfavour and opposition; if this latter springs from pride, it is abominable; if from bad breeding, it is despicable.

Better too much courtesy than too little, provided it be not the same for all, which degenerates into injustice. Between opponents it is especially due
as a proof of valour.

It costs little and helps much: every one is honoured who gives honour.
Politeness and honour have this advantage, that they remain with him who displays them to others.



Live Practically.

Even knowledge has to be in the fashion, and where it is not it is wise to affect ignorance. Thought and taste change with the times.
Do not be old-fashioned in your ways of thinking, and let your taste be in the modern style.

In everything the taste of the many carries the votes; for the time being one must follow it in the hope of leading it to higher things.

In the adornment of the body as of the mind adapt yourself to the present, even though the past appear better. But this rule does not apply
to kindness, for goodness is for all time.

If you are wise, live as you can, if you cannot live as you would.
Think more highly of what fate has given you than of what it has denied.



Do not make a Business of what is no Business.

As some make gossip out of everything, so others business. They always talk big, take everything in earnest, and turn it into a dispute or a secret.
Troublesome things must not be taken too seriously if they can be avoided.

It is preposterous to take to heart that which you should throw over your shoulders.
Much that would be something has become nothing by being left alone, and what was nothing has become of consequence by being made much of.

At the outset things can be easily settled, but not afterwards. Often the remedy causes the disease. ’Tis by no means the
least of life's rules: to let things alone.


Folly consists not in committing Folly, but in not hiding it when committed.

You should keep your desires sealed up, still more your defects. All go wrong sometimes, but the wise try to hide the errors, but fools boast of them.

Reputation depends more on what is hidden than on what is done;
if a man does not live chastely, he must live cautiously.

The errors of great men are like the eclipses of the greater lights. Even in friendship it is rare to expose one's failings to one's friend.

Nay, one should conceal them from oneself if one can. But here one can help with that other great
rule of life: learn to forget.



Do and be seen Doing.

Things do not pass for what they are but for what they seem. To be of use and to know how to show yourself of use, is to be twice as useful.

What is not seen is as if it was not. Even the Right does not receive proper consideration if it does not seem right. The observant are far fewer in
number than those who are deceived by appearances. Deceit rules the roast, and things are judged by their jackets, and many things are other
than they seem.

A good exterior is the best recommendation of the inner perfection.




The Truth, but not the whole Truth.

Nothing demands more caution than the truth: ’tis the lancet of the heart. It requires as much to tell the truth as to conceal it.

A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity. The deceit is regarded as treason and the deceiver as a traitor, which is worse.

Yet not all truths can be spoken: some for our own sake, others for the sake of others.



Do pleasant Things Yourself, unpleasant Things through Others.

By the one course you gain goodwill, by the other you avoid hatred. A great man takes more pleasure in doing a favour than in receiving one: it is the privilege of his generous nature.

One cannot easily cause pain to another
without suffering pain either from sympathy or from remorse.

In high place one can only work by means of rewards and punishment, so grant the first yourself, inflict the other through others.

Have some one against whom the weapons of discontent, hatred, and slander may be
directed.

For the rage of the mob is like that of a dog: missing the cause of its pain it turns to bite the whip itself, and though this is not the real
culprit, it has to pay the penalty.

Jokes/ People Dying Inside (Videos and Funny Gifs) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 5:55 am On Jul 04

Video Compilations of Some of the Cringiest
Moments ever recorded.













Literature/ Arabian Nights Entertainment (One Thousand and one Nights) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 4:40 am On Jul 05

One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic : ﺃَﻟْﻒُ ﻟَﻴْﻠَﺔٍ ﻭَﻟَﻴْﻠَﺔٌ , ʾAlf Laylah wa-Laylah ) is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age . It is often known in English as the
Arabian Nights , from the first English-language edition (c. 1706–1721), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.

The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central and South Asia, and North Africa.

Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval
Arabic , Egyptian , Indian , Persian, and
Mesopotamian folklore and literature.

In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Abbasid and Mamluk eras, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān (Persian: ﻫﺰﺍﺭ ﺍﻓﺴﺎﻥ
, lit. A Thousand Tales ), which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.




The main frame story concerns Shahryār
whom the narrator calls a "Sasanian king" ruling in "India and China." Shahryār is shocked to learn that his brother's wife is unfaithful.
Discovering that his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed. In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same.
Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him.

Eventually the Vizier (Wazir), whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins.

Scheherazade (Persian: ﺷﻬْﺮﺯﺍﺩ , Shahrazād,
the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees.
On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it.

The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins another one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of that tale as well, postpones her execution once again.

This goes on for one thousand and one nights, hence the name.


Literature/ Re: Arabian Nights Entertainment (One Thousand and one Nights) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 4:44 am On Jul 05

Numerous stories depict jinn , ghouls ,apes, sorcerers , magicians , and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally.

Common protagonists include the historical Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid , his Grand Vizier, Jafar al-Barmaki , and the famous poet Abu Nuwas , despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire, in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set.

Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.

Different versions differ, at least in detail, as to final endings (in some Scheherazade asks for a pardon, in some the king sees their children and decides not to execute his wife, in some other things happen that make the king distracted) but they all end with the king giving his wife a pardon and sparing her life.








Literature/ Re: Arabian Nights Entertainment (One Thousand and one Nights) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 5:10 am On Jul 05

The Adventures Of Haroun-al-raschid, Caliph Of Bagdad



The Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid sat in his palace, wondering if there was anything left in the world that could possibly give him a few hours’ amusement, when Giafar the grand-vizir, his old and tried friend, suddenly appeared before him. Bowing low, he waited, as was his duty, till his master spoke, but Haroun-al-Raschid merely turned his head and looked at him, and sank back into his former weary posture.


Now Giafar had something of importance to say to the Caliph, and had no intention of being put off by mere silence, so with another low bow in front of the throne, he began to speak.


"Commander of the Faithful," said he, "I have taken on myself to remind your Highness that you have undertaken secretly to observe for yourself the manner in which justice is done and order is kept throughout the city. This is the day you have set apart to devote to this object, and perhaps in fulfilling this duty you may find some distraction from the melancholy to which, as I see to my sorrow, you are a prey."


"You are right," returned the Caliph, "I had forgotten all about it. Go and change your coat, and I will change mine."


A few moments later they both re-entered the hall, disguised as foreign merchants, and passed through a secret door, out into the open country. Here they turned towards the Euphrates, and crossing the river in a small boat, walked through that part of the town which lay along the further bank, without seeing anything to call for their interference.


Much pleased with the peace and good order of the city, the Caliph and his vizir made their way to a bridge, which led straight back to the palace, and had already crossed it, when they were stopped by an old and blind man, who begged for alms.





The Caliph gave him a piece of money, and was passing on, but the blind man seized his hand, and held him fast.


"Charitable person," he said, "whoever you may be grant me yet another prayer. Strike me, I beg of you, one blow. I have deserved it richly, and even a more severe penalty."


The Caliph, much surprised at this request, replied gently: "My good man, that which you ask is impossible. Of what use would my alms be if I treated you so ill?" And as he spoke he tried to loosen the grasp of the blind beggar.


"My lord," answered the man, "pardon my boldness and my persistence. Take back your money, or give me the blow which I crave. I have sworn a solemn oath that I will receive nothing without receiving chastisement, and if you knew all, you would feel that the punishment is not a tenth part of what I deserve."


Moved by these words, and perhaps still more by the fact that he had other business to attend to, the Caliph yielded, and struck him lightly on the shoulder. Then he continued his road, followed by the blessing of the blind man. When they were out of earshot, he said to the vizir, "There must be something very odd to make that man act so--I should like to find out what is the reason. Go back to him; tell him who I am, and order him to come without fail to the palace to-morrow, after the hour of evening prayer."


So the grand-vizir went back to the bridge; gave the blind beggar first a piece of money and then a blow, delivered the Caliph's message, and rejoined his master.


They passed on towards the palace, but walking through a square, they came upon a crowd watching a young and well-dressed man who was urging a horse at full speed round the open space, using at the same time his spurs and whip so unmercifully that the animal was all covered with foam and blood. The Caliph, astonished at this proceeding, inquired of a passer-by what it all meant, but no one could tell him anything, except that every day at the same hour the same thing took place.



Still wondering, he passed on, and for the moment had to content himself with telling the vizir to command the horseman also to appear before him at the same time as the blind man.


The next day, after evening prayer, the Caliph entered the hall, and was followed by the vizir bringing with him the two men of whom we have spoken, and a third, with whom we have nothing to do. They all bowed themselves low before the throne and then the Caliph bade them rise, and ask the blind man his name.


"Baba-Abdalla, your Highness," said he.


"Baba-Abdalla," returned the Caliph, "your way of asking alms yesterday seemed to me so strange, that I almost commanded you then and there to cease from causing such a public scandal. But I have sent for you to inquire what was your motive in making such a curious vow.


When I know the reason I shall be able to judge whether you can be permitted to continue to practise it, for I cannot help thinking that it sets a very bad example to others. Tell me therefore the whole truth, and conceal nothing."


These words troubled the heart of Baba-Abdalla, who prostrated himself at the feet of the Caliph. Then rising, he answered: "Commander of the Faithful, I crave your pardon humbly, for my persistence in beseeching your Highness to do an action which appears on the face of it to be without any meaning. No doubt, in the eyes of men, it has none; but I look on it as a slight expiation for a fearful sin of which I have been guilty, and if your Highness will deign to listen to my tale, you will see that no punishment could atone for the crime.

Literature/ Re: Arabian Nights Entertainment (One Thousand and one Nights) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 5:48 am On Jul 05

Story Of The Blind Baba-Abdalla

 

I was born, Commander of the Faithful, in Bagdad, and was left an orphan while I was yet a very young man, for my parents died within a few days of each other. I had inherited from them a small fortune, which I worked hard night and day to increase, till at last I found myself the owner of eighty camels. These I hired out to travelling merchants, whom I frequently accompanied on their various journeys, and always returned with large profits.


One day I was coming back from Balsora, whither I had taken a supply of goods, intended for India, and halted at noon in a lonely place, which promised rich pasture for my camels. I was resting in the shade under a tree, when a dervish( Dervish, Darvesh, or Darwīsh in Islam can refer broadly to members of a Sufi fraternity, or more narrowly to a religious mendicant, who chose or accepted material poverty.),



going on foot towards Balsora, sat down by my side, and I inquired whence he had come and to what place he was going. We soon made friends, and after we had asked each other the usual questions, we produced the food we had with us, and satisfied our hunger.


While we were eating, the dervish happened to mention that in a spot only a little way off from where we were sitting, there was hidden a treasure so great that if my eighty camels were loaded till they could carry no more, the hiding place would seem as full as if it had never been touched.



At this news I became almost beside myself with joy and greed, and I flung my arms round the neck of the dervish, exclaiming: "Good dervish, I see plainly that the riches of this world are nothing to you, therefore of what use is the knowledge of this treasure to you? Alone and on foot, you could carry away a mere handful. But tell me where it is, and I will load my eighty camels with it, and give you one of them as a token of my gratitude."


Certainly my offer does not sound very magnificent, but it was great to me, for at his words a wave of covetousness had swept over my heart, and I almost felt as if the seventy-nine camels that were left were nothing in comparison.


The dervish saw quite well what was passing in my mind, but he did not show what he thought of my proposal.


"My brother," he answered quietly, "you know as well as I do, that you are behaving unjustly. It was open to me to keep my secret, and to reserve the treasure for myself. But the fact that I have told you of its existence shows that I had confidence in you, and that I hoped to earn your gratitude for ever, by making your fortune as well as mine.


But before I reveal to you the secret of the treasure, you must swear that, after we have loaded the camels with as much as they can carry, you will give half to me, and let us go our own ways. I think you will see that this is fair, for if you present me with forty camels, I on my side will give you the means of buying a thousand more."


I could not of course deny that what the dervish said was perfectly reasonable, but, in spite of that, the thought that the dervish would be as rich as I was unbearable to me. Still there was no use in discussing the matter, and I had to accept his conditions or bewail to the end of my life the loss of immense wealth. So I collected my camels and we set out together under the guidance of the dervish. After walking some time, we reached what looked like a valley, but with such a narrow entrance that my camels could only pass one by one. The little valley, or open space, was shut up by two mountains, whose sides were formed of straight cliffs, which no human being could climb.


When we were exactly between these mountains the dervish stopped.


"Make your camels lie down in this open space," he said, "so that we can easily load them; then we will go to the treasure."


I did what I was bid, and rejoined the dervish, whom I found trying to kindle a fire out of some dry wood. As soon as it was alight, he threw on it a handful of perfumes, and pronounced a few words that I did not understand, and immediately a thick column of smoke rose high into the air. He separated the smoke into two columns, and then I saw a rock, which stood like a pillar between the two mountains, slowly open, and a splendid palace appear within.


But, Commander of the Faithful, the love of gold had taken such possession of my heart, that I could not even stop to examine the riches, but fell upon the first pile of gold within my reach and began to heap it into a sack that I had brought with me.


The dervish likewise set to work, but I soon noticed that he confined himself to collecting precious stones, and I felt I should be wise to follow his example. At length the camels were loaded with as much as they could carry, and nothing remained but to seal up the treasure, and go our ways.


Before, however, this was done, the dervish went up to a great golden vase, beautifully chased, and took from it a small wooden box, which he hid in the bosom of his dress, merely saying that it contained a special kind of ointment. Then he once more kindled the fire, threw on the perfume, and murmured the unknown spell, and the rock closed, and stood whole as before.


The next thing was to divide the camels, and to charge them with the treasure, after which we each took command of our own and marched out of the valley, till we reached the place in the high road where the routes diverge, and then we parted, the dervish going towards Balsora, and I to Bagdad. We embraced each other tenderly, and I poured out my gratitude for the honour he had done me, in singling me out for this great wealth, and having said a hearty farewell we turned our backs, and hastened after our camels.


I had hardly come up with mine when the demon of envy filled my soul. "What does a dervish want with riches like that?" I said to myself. "He alone has the secret of the treasure, and can always get as much as he wants," and I halted my camels by the roadside, and ran back after him.



I was a quick runner, and it did not take me very long to come up with him. "My brother," I exclaimed, as soon as I could speak, "almost at the moment of our leave-taking, a reflection occurred to me, which is perhaps new to you. You are a dervish by profession, and live a very quiet life, only caring to do good, and careless of the things of this world. You do not realise the burden that you lay upon yourself, when you gather into your hands such great wealth, besides the fact that no one, who is not accustomed to camels from his birth, can ever manage the stubborn beasts. If you are wise, you will not encumber yourself with more than thirty, and you will find those trouble enough."


"You are right," replied the dervish, who understood me quite well, but did not wish to fight the matter. "I confess I had not thought about it. Choose any ten you like, and drive them before you."


I selected ten of the best camels, and we proceeded along the road, to rejoin those I had left behind. I had got what I wanted, but I had found the dervish so easy to deal with, that I rather regretted I had not asked for ten more. I looked back. He had only gone a few paces, and I called after him.


"My brother," I said, "I am unwilling to part from you without pointing out what I think you scarcely grasp, that large experience of camel-driving is necessary to anybody who intends to keep together a troop of thirty. In your own interest, I feel sure you would be much happier if you entrusted ten more of them to me, for with my practice it is all one to me if I take two or a hundred."



As before, the dervish made no difficulties, and I drove off my ten camels in triumph, only leaving him with twenty for his share. I had now sixty, and anyone might have imagined that I should be content.


But, Commander of the Faithful, there is a proverb that says, "the more one has, the more one wants." So it was with me. I could not rest as long as one solitary camel remained to the dervish; and returning to him I redoubled my prayers and embraces, and promises of eternal gratitude, till the last twenty were in my hands.


"Make a good use of them, my brother," said the holy man. "Remember riches sometimes have wings if we keep them for ourselves, and the poor are at our gates expressly that we may help them."


My eyes were so blinded by gold, that I paid no heed to his wise counsel, and only looked about for something else to grasp. Suddenly I remembered the little box of ointment that the dervish had hidden, and which most likely contained a treasure more precious than all the rest. Giving him one last embrace, I observed accidentally, "What are you going to do with that little box of ointment? It seems hardly worth taking with you; you might as well let me have it. And really, a dervish who has given up the world has no need of ointment!"

Literature/ Re: Arabian Nights Entertainment (One Thousand and one Nights) by AnonymousAyo(m) : 5:53 am On Jul 05

Oh, if he had only refused my request! But then, supposing he had, I should have got possession of it by force, so great was the madness that had laid hold upon me.


However, far from refusing it, the dervish at once held it out, saying gracefully, "Take it, my friend, and if there is anything else I can do to make you happy you must let me know."


Directly the box was in my hands I wrenched off the cover. "As you are so kind," I said, "tell me, I pray you, what are the virtues of this ointment?"


"They are most curious and interesting," replied the dervish. "If you apply a little of it to your left eye you will behold in an instant all the treasures hidden in the bowels of the earth. But beware lest you touch your right eye with it, or your sight will be destroyed for ever."


His words excited my curiosity to the highest pitch. "Make trial on me, I implore you," I cried, holding out the box to the dervish. "You will know how to do it better than I! I am burning with impatience to test its charms."


The dervish took the box I had extended to him, and, bidding me shut my left eye, touched it gently with the ointment. When I opened it again I saw spread out, as it were before me, treasures of every kind and without number. But as all this time I had been obliged to keep my right eye closed, which was very fatiguing, I begged the dervish to apply the ointment to that eye also.


"If you insist upon it I will do it," answered the dervish, "but you must remember what I told you just now--that if it touches your right eye you will become blind on the spot."


Unluckily, in spite of my having proved the truth of the dervish's words in so many instances, I was firmly convinced that he was now keeping concealed from me some hidden and precious virtue of the ointment. So I turned a deaf ear to all he said.


"My brother," I replied smiling, "I see you are joking. It is not natural that the same ointment should have two such exactly opposite effects."


"It is true all the same," answered the dervish, "and it would be well for you if you believed my word."


But I would not believe, and, dazzled by the greed of avarice, I thought that if one eye could show me riches, the other might teach me how to get possession of them. And I continued to press the dervish to anoint my right eye, but this he resolutely declined to do.


"After having conferred such benefits on you," said he, "I am loth indeed to work you such evil. Think what it is to be blind, and do not force me to do what you will repent as long as you live."


It was of no use. "My brother," I said firmly, "pray say no more, but do what I ask. You have most generously responded to my wishes up to this time, do not spoil my recollection of you for a thing of such little consequence. Let what will happen I take it on my own head, and will never reproach you."


"Since you are determined upon it," he answered with a sigh, "there is no use talking," and taking the ointment he laid some on my right eye, which was tight shut.



When I tried to open it heavy clouds of darkness floated before me. I was as blind as you see me now!


"Miserable dervish!" I shrieked, "so it is true after all! Into what a bottomless pit has my lust after gold plunged me. Ah, now that my eyes are closed they are really opened. I know that all my sufferings are caused by myself alone! But, good brother, you, who are so kind and charitable, and know the secrets of such vast learning, have you nothing that will give me back my sight?"


"Unhappy man," replied the dervish, "it is not my fault that this has befallen you, but it is a just chastisement. The blindness of your heart has wrought the blindness of your body. Yes, I have secrets; that you have seen in the short time that we have known each other. But I have none that will give you back your sight. You have proved yourself unworthy of the riches that were given you. Now they have passed into my hands, whence they will flow into the hands of others less greedy and ungrateful than you."


The dervish said no more and left me, speechless with shame and confusion, and so wretched that I stood rooted to the spot, while he collected the eighty camels and proceeded on his way to Balsora. It was in vain that I entreated him not to leave me, but at least to take me within reach of the first passing caravan.


He was deaf to my prayers and cries, and I should soon have been dead of hunger and misery if some merchants had not come along the track the following day and kindly brought me back to Bagdad.


From a rich man I had in one moment become a beggar; and up to this time I have lived solely on the alms that have been bestowed on me.



But, in order to expiate the sin of avarice, which was my undoing, I oblige each passer-by to give me a blow.


This, Commander of the Faithful, is my story.


When the blind man had ended the Caliph addressed him: "Baba-Abdalla, truly your sin is great, but you have suffered enough. Henceforth repent in private, for I will see that enough money is given you day by day for all your wants."


At these words Baba-Abdalla flung himself at the Caliph's feet, and prayed that honour and happiness might be his portion for ever.

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