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"Oh, thou who burn'st in heart for those who burn
In Hell, whose fires thyself shall feed in turn;
How long be crying—'Mercy on them.' God!
Why, who art thou to teach and He to learn?"

From "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam", the 1859 translation by Edward FitzGerald from Persian to English of poetry attributed to the Persian "astronomer-poet" Omar Khayyam (1048-1131).

----

This story is very clearly set in Paris, yet there is no Church of St. Barnabé in Paris that I could identify. Perhaps there used to be a hundred years ago and it is gone now?

I am always extremely annoyed when an author feels the need to blank out a name, be it of a place or a person. Why? It's fiction! Just come up with whatever name to plug in there. "Monseigneur C--" indeed. What are us narrators supposed to do with that? What bullocks!

atelier = private workshop or studio of a professional artist in the fine or decorative arts or an architect.

The pictures used is of Église de la Sainte-Trinité de Paris, first published by the Detroit Publishing Company's Catalogue J, foreign section, in Detroit, Mich. 1905.

In the absence of an actual Church of St. Barnabé in Paris, I just used another Parisian Church as a substitute.

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#IN_THE_COURT_OF_THE_DRAGON

This is just all the chapters put together into one upload. If you've been following along the whole time, there is nothing new to hear here.

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----

Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

The King in Yellow, Act I, Scene 2.

----

0:00:00 Chapter 1
0:10:01 Chapter 2
0:17:27 Chapter 3
0:34:23 Chapter 4

----

Look at that - the book I'm reading from has footnotes for things the reader may not be familiar with. For example:

Mahl stick: A stick with a padded tip, used to support a painter's hand holding a paintbrush.

For the bit about the "Sanctus in Gounod's Mass", there is a footnote:

Charles Gounod, the French composer, wrote "St. Cecilia Mass" in 1855. The "Sanctus" is the fourth movement.

Boris Yvain is mentioned in passing in "The Repairer of Reputations", the first story in "The King in Yellow".

The bit about fossilization is also covered in Lovecraft's story "The Man of Stone".

Spinet = a small harpsichord with the strings set obliquely to the keyboard, popular in the 18th century

Jack's role in chapter 4 feels a bit ham-fisted to me. His role in prior chapters didn't feel entirely natural to begin with, and it was probably because he was inserted into the story only for this rather lame attempt at foreshadowing in chapter 4. But they can't just have him appear in chapter 4 out of nowhere, so he was forced into the story early on to be available for this use at the end of the story. Bleh.

And given how callous Boris was about turning living things to stone, it's just as well what happened to him in chapter 3 :-P

The pictures used are:

Chapter 1: a photo of a lilium longiflorum, commonly known as an Easter Lily taken by Matt H. Wade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MattWade and https://twitter.com/thatmattwade) used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).

Chapter 2: "Lanhydrock, Cornwall (NT) - The Smoking Room" by CharmaineZoe's Marvelous Melange, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

Chapter 3: photo "Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium." by Jim Linwood, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

Chapter 4: an old pic of Constantinople.

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_MASK

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Jack's role in this chapter feels a bit ham-fisted to me.

Spinet = a small harpsichord with the strings set obliquely to the keyboard, popular in the 18th century

The pictures used is an old pic of Constantinople.

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_MASK

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

Given how callous Boris was about turning living things to stone, it's just as well what happened to him :-P

The pictures used is the photo "Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium." by Jim Linwood, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_MASK

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

Spinet = a small harpsichord with the strings set obliquely to the keyboard, popular in the 18th century

The pictures used is "Lanhydrock, Cornwall (NT) - The Smoking Room" by CharmaineZoe's Marvelous Melange, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_MASK

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

The King in Yellow, Act I, Scene 2.

----

Look at that - the book I'm reading from has footnotes for things the reader may not be familiar with. For example:

Mahl stick: A stick with a padded tip, used to support a painter's hand holding a paintbrush.

For the bit about the "Sanctus in Gounod's Mass", there is a footnote:

Charles Gounod, the French composer, wrote "St. Cecilia Mass" in 1855. The "Sanctus" is the fourth movement.

Boris Yvain is mentioned in passing in "The Repairer of Reputations", the first story in "The King in Yellow".

The bit about fossilization is also covered in Lovecraft's story "The Man of Stone".

The pictures used is a photo of a lilium longiflorum, commonly known as an Easter Lily taken by Matt H. Wade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MattWade and https://twitter.com/thatmattwade) used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_MASK

This is just all the chapters put together into one upload. If you've been following along the whole time, there is nothing new to hear here.

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

"Ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la nôtre.... Voila toute la différence."

0:00:00 Chapter 1
0:22:06 Chapter 2
0:49:35 Chapter 3

Time for a little bit of alt-history. Exactly where the timeline for this story diverges from the historical one is not particularly obvious, but it tells us a lot about the author's attitudes on race and society! The book was first published in 1895, so the divergence occurs well before WW1, but still correctly anticipates a war with Germany, interestingly enough. But gives Germany too much success...

I've never encountered the surname of Castaigne before. Castiglione, yes, but Castaigne, no. It appears to be French in origin? But since this story takes place in the USA, I didn't concern myself with trying to give it a proper French pronunciation. It's well known that English-speakers don't do foreign :-P

Traducer: one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel.

The pictures used are:

Chapter 1: Hildred Castaigne reading The King in Yellow, by Tucker Sherry (a.k.a. AmazingMoondog), used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en).

Chapter 2: Photo of the statue of Garibaldi in Washington Square, taken Dec 29, 1936. In the alternate history timeline of this story, this statue of Garibaldi was replaced with a statue of Peter Stuyvesant. Obviously no such picture exists, so this is what you get instead.

Chapter 3: The King in Yellow by Propnomicon, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_REPAIRER_OF_REPUTATIONS

There's a sentence in chapter 3 there "As he advanced his, eyebrows contracted, and his lips seemed to form the word 'rubbish.' That's how it is phrased, I didn't read it wrong. I checked multiple sources, they all have that wording. I'm guessing there is a missing word 'eyes' - "As he advanced his eyes...", but I couldn't be 100% sure, so I left it as written, even though it is obviously wrong.

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If you didn't figure it out before, and it wasn't necessarily obvious in either of the first two chapters, hopefully after this one you realize this story was told from the perspective of an unreliable narrator :)

The picture used is The King in Yellow by Propnomicon, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_REPAIRER_OF_REPUTATIONS

There's a sentence in there "As he advanced his, eyebrows contracted, and his lips seemed to form the word 'rubbish.' That's how it is phrased, I didn't read it wrong. I checked multiple sources, they all have that wording. I'm guessing there is a missing word 'eyes' - "As he advanced his eyes...", but I couldn't be 100% sure, so I left it as written, even though it is obviously wrong.

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

The picture used is of the statue of Garibaldi in Washington Square, taken Dec 29, 1936. In the alternate history timeline of this story, this statue of Garibaldi was replaced with a statue of Peter Stuyvesant. Obviously no such picture exists, so this is what you get instead.

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_REPAIRER_OF_REPUTATIONS

"Ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la nôtre.... Voila toute la différence."

You can support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/sststr

Time for a little bit of alt-history. Exactly where the timeline for this story diverges from the historical one is not particularly obvious, but it tells us a lot about the author's attitudes on race and society! The book was first published in 1895, so the divergence occurs well before WW1, but still correctly anticipates a war with Germany, interestingly enough. But gives Germany too much success...

I've never encountered the surname of Castaigne before. Castiglione, yes, but Castaigne, no. It appears to be French in origin? But since this story takes place in the USA, I didn't concern myself with trying to give it a proper French pronunciation. It's well known that English-speakers don't do foreign :-P

Traducer: one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel.

The picture used is of Hildred Castaigne reading The King in Yellow, by Tucker Sherry (a.k.a. AmazingMoondog), used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en).

To follow along: https://gutenberg.org/files/8492/8492-h/8492-h.htm#THE_REPAIRER_OF_REPUTATIONS

This story was written by Lovecraft when he was 12 years old! Four years on and he is still having trouble spelling the word 'excite' for some reason ;-)

Funny that on this one he decided to attribute it to anonymous.

It appears someone must have read and helped Lovecraft with this longer version of the story, as not only is the story itself a bit expanded and some new vocabulary introduced, but the grammar and spelling and punctuation are much improved as well (not perfect, but much, much better). Although in the concluding chapter, there is some missing text. I grabbed some obvious missing bits from the short version of the story, but it is possible more was missing than just that. Ah well, there's nothing I can do about it.

Interesting that so many of just childhood tales are maritime in nature. I wonder if that is his Anglophilia appearing at so young an age, since the UK was still the dominant naval power at the time, or if something else is going on with that.

By 1902, very many attempts had been made at reaching the North Pole, but success (or at least claims of success) at getting there was still a few years away.

Newgate prison was closed in 1902. But there were executions right up the way through 1902, the last one being on May 6 of that year. Of course, if the story was written in 1902, we can assume it was set at some point at least a few years prior, so a hanging at that prison in this story does actually fit with the history of the place.

David Farragut was promoted to the rank of commander in 1841, and the rank of captain in 1855. Unless the story is referencing some other Farragut besides this most famous one, that would give us a pre-Civil War time frame for the story, well within the scope of Newgate prison's operational life time.

Now while the Constitution is technically still in commission, it hasn't seen active combat duty since I believe the 1820s, although it did continue to sail in training and ceremonial duties up until the 1920s. Although it appears she did actually capture a slaver ship off of Africa in 1854 or 55? Even now, she still sails periodically just for demonstration purposes. Pretty amazing that such an old ship is still able to operate at all! Anyways, it appears at no point in its history was anybody named Farragut ever in charge of the Constitution. So our budding young author just picked a couple of names out of history and put them together randomly. No luck for him though, that the pairing doesn't match the historical record. Would have been fun if it had.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mys.aspx

This story was written by Lovecraft when he was 12 years old! Four years on and he is still having trouble spelling the word 'excite' for some reason ;-)

Interesting that so many of just childhood tales are maritime in nature. I wonder if that is his Anglophilia appearing at so young an age, since the UK was still the dominant naval power at the time, or if something else is going on with that.

By 1902, very many attempts had been made at reaching the North Pole, but success (or at least claims of success) at getting there was still a few years away.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mys.aspx

This story was written by Lovecraft when he was only 8 years old! Adjust your expectations accordingly...

While I was pretty terrible at punctuation at that age myself, still the entire lack of it in many places made this surprisingly difficult to read.

And no, Lovecraft did not have a sister, younger or otherwise. He was an only child.

The pictures used: The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Cave in Palawan, Philippines is about 24 km long. The cave includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers.

By Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com and used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en).

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/sc.aspx

This story was written by Lovecraft when he was only 8 years old! Adjust your expectations accordingly...

Hackman is a coachman for a horse-drawn coach or carriage.

Apparently he kept using 'exited' instead of 'excited'. I have made the correction in my narration.

The pictures used is "Inside the tomb chamber" by Varun Shiv Kapur, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mg.aspx

This story was written by Lovecraft when he was only 8 years old! Adjust your expectations accordingly...

If you go look at the link provided, you will see it is transcribed as Lovecraft must have written it, with mostly missing punctuation and all. Punctuation wasn't exactly a strong point for me either at that age ;-)

The pictures used is the chart as included in the story, presumably drawn by young Lovecraft himself.

While there's no compass on the map, if that's supposed to be the Indian Ocean, then the bit of Australia shown should be the western coast. So it looks like the top of the map is south? Hmmm.... Or maybe geography was taught a bit differently 1898.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/lgb.aspx

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This story was written by Lovecraft when he was 14 years old, but was published only much later. Not bad for a 14-year old!

prognathous: having a projecting lower jaw or chin.

freshet: the flood of a river from heavy rain or melted snow.

The pictures used is "Pictures from Mammoth Passage Tour (Mammoth Cave National Park - Kentucky)" by Corey Seeman, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/bc.aspx

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There is no annotations or other meaningful background or information relating to this tale that I can readily find. Which leaves the whole thing massively open to interpretation. So what do *you* think happened to Blake at the end?

I was a bit unsure about the pronunciation of 'Simeon'. And indeed, there seems to be at least two pronunciations in use for the name. I went with what seems to be the more common pronunciation.

The pictures used is of a Belgian soldier injured by a flamethrower in 1914. War really sucks, doesn't it? :(

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/ddb.aspx

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Well this one is pretty gruesome...

The pictures used is "The Ghoul-Gate" by micadew, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/ld.aspx

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This story may be Eddy's work, but it definitely feels like it has a lot of Lovecraftian influence!

As best I can figure, all the locations in this story are made up. Mayfair, Glendale, the Potowisset, the Cataqua. None of it appears to really exist that I can tell. That last one, there is a word 'Chautauqua', but that is the name of an adult education movement in the early 20th century, not a river or other locality. Even today Maine is fairly sparsely populated, and a hundred years ago its population was almost half what it is today, so I can believe it was easier at the time to just make up names than to figure out real places.

Anyways, the only name there that is any trouble is Potowisset, but since that is not a real name, in Maine or anywhere else, I'm not too worried about the pronunciation I used.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/ge.aspx

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You can really tell this one is not a Lovecraft creation. It's not even obvious what his contribution was to this one, but his name is linked to it, so you get to suffer it. And this was written when Eddy was 28 and married; I would have thought it written by a nerdy 18 year old virgin... :-P

For tabourette, apparently it is acceptable (in English) to pronounce the t's, or to not do so (in the French manner).

The pictures used is "Exhibit in the Arppeanum, Helsinki, Finland." by Daderot.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/as.aspx

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It appears this was Sonia's work, with Lovecraft providing the idea for it, and Greene doing the actual writing.

An example of the uncommon short story style that is primarily about mood or atmosphere rather than plot or action. And it does a pretty good job of it, IMO.

'Mould' here is a British word for soft loose earth. Apparently it may have been an American word a hundred years ago? But certainly not any more.

The pictures used is "Temple Hill Graveyard, Cork, Ireland". Taken at night under sodium street light with (somewhat) long exposure by Guliolopez, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).

To follow along: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Four_O%27Clock

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There are a number of different pronunciations possible for Bothon, and no hints in the text or anywhere else that I could find as to how the authors expected us to pronounce it. There are hardly even any other narrations of the story out there, so I don't even have much in the way of what others have fancied it to be. Oh well. Please, you authors out there, PLEASE, give us hints on how you expect the names of your characters to be pronounced! Bothon is not a real name in the real world, and there are too many possibilities for anybody to know what you had in mind when you came up with the name. A footnote, a glossary, and appendix, *something* with a guide to pronunciations, I beg of you!

The Hippodrome in New York City hasn't been a thing since 1939. This story was written in 1946, so clearly the authors are recalling a NYC that no longer existed even at the time they wrote this tale.

And physical print newspapers! This will be terribly confusing to people in the not too distant future! HA!

While it is difficult to find information about this text, I get the feeling this is primarily Whitehead's work, and Lovecraft must have only done some minor edits. Possibly Lovecraft provided some of the themes as well?

The pictures used is by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou, and is of Professor Aronnax and Captain Nemo visiting the remains of Atlantis in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. A bit of a liberty to use it for this story, but not many pictures of the destruction of Atlantis out there, at least that are freely usable.

To follow along: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bothon

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"The Thing in the Moonlight" is based on a letter that Lovecraft wrote to Donald Wandrei on 24 November 1927. The story surrounding Lovecraft's description of his dream was written by J. Chapman Miske and published in the January 1941 issue of Bizarre.

The pictures used is "Trolley Graveyard" by Forsake Fotos, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

Surprisingly good amount of artwork based on this story fragment, but none of it with a copyright status that made it useable by me. Oh well. So you get this abandonded trolley car instead.

To follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/tm.aspx

This is just all the chapters put together into one upload. If you've been following along the whole time, there is nothing new to hear here.

0:00:00 Chapter 1
0:32:02 Chapter 2
0:59:15 Chapter 3
1:39:35 Chapter 4
2:07:03 Chapter 5
2:33:41 Chapter 6
2:58:21 Chapter 7

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You would do well to first read or listen to "The Curse of Yig". Yig is referenced in this story many times, as it is also set in Oklahoma, and it is intimated that the narrator here is the same narrator as in that story. Indeed, a few of the little details here and there are explained at length in that story, like the incessant beating of the tom-toms. Why does that happen? This story doesn't say, but "The Curse of Yig" does.

There is also a nice weaving in of classic Lovecraftian mythology half-way through the story.

The town of Binger in Caddo County is a real place, but there are no mounds in the location described in the story, they are a complete fiction. Burial mounds by Native Americans were real enough throughout the Americas, including in central Oklahoma, just not in the specific location of this story.

Throughout all these stories, even though there is the occasional use of a distinctly British, as opposed to American, term, like 'electric torch' instead of 'flashlight', it never occurred to me to look up 'mould' until this story, despite seeing it in many other stories and kind of scratching my head at what it could have meant in the contexts used. Turns out there is a British usage that we don't really have in the US, at least not that I've ever heard, of 'soft loose earth'. That makes a lot more sense than the furry fungal growth!

But knickerbockers... oh boy! Do the Brits still use that word? I know the New York Knicks are named after that word, and the shortened form of knickers may get occasional use, but I've never heard anybody use the full word outside of historical talk about the NBA team.

You'll have to pardon my Spanish - I never learned the language, so I probably got a fair bit wrong. Also, bear in mind, being in the USA, and growing up in NJ where there were Hispanics enough, whatever Spanish I did hear is New World Spanish. Even though the text given should be spoken in the style of Old World Spanish, that is going to be completely beyond me. To the extent I can muster any Spanish at all, it is unavoidably going to be the New World variety I grew up hearing.

Gll'-Hthaa-Ynn is rather an annoying name. I was hardly consistent in my pronunciation of it, but can you really blame me? :-P

The pictures used are:

Chapter 1: a 1904 photograph of Binger, OK. At the time the population would have been roughly 250 people. The town peaked in population in 1930, with 849. In 1937, they had three whole miles of paved road! And public swimming pool! Amazing. Population today is under 700, and probably closer to 600 (the 2010 census had it at 672, and the 2019 estimate was 632).

Chapter 2: a photo of an Indian burial mound in Saint Paul, taken by Runner1928, and used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en). There are plenty of pics of burial mounds, but few that are overgrown like this. Most of them seem to be pretty well maintained, which I guess is good, but doesn't properly evoke the setting described in this story.

Chapter 3: "Coronado sets out to the north", an oil painting by Frederic Remington. I wonder how much of Coronado's expeditions are covered in schools today? I don't particularly recall getting too much info on the topic, but it certainly was mentioned.

Chapter 4: "Underground City" by tonymtc, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/). It's not obvious from the text, at least up to this point, what the city of the K'na Yan should look like, but this is an underground city bathed in a blue glow, so it vaguely fits the bill.

Chapter 5: "Tsathoggua" by Kaek, used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Chapter 6: an illustration for the story by Harry Ferman used in Weird Tales. It depicts a gyaa-yoth: imagine here it being the one who fled the escape attempt and informed on Zamacona's flight.

Chapter 7: an illustration for the story by Harry Ferman used in Weird Tales. I believe it is meant to be Zamacona on his descent into the nether realm, but here I use it to depict the narrator making his way down.

The follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mo.aspx

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The picture used is an illustration for the story by Harry Ferman used in Weird Tales. I believe it is meant to be Zamacona on his descent into the nether realm, but here I use it to depict the narrator making his way down.

The follow along: https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mo.aspx

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Category Arts & Literature

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