Found on the body of an unidentifiable cultist.
4th August 1890
Darkness. It swamps the very core of one’s body; hidden from eye but clearly visible to our soul. Such curious fancies, I have pondered for the longest time in this regard, a martyr to my own mind my rapidly thinning body ought to be warning enough to me, though I am thoroughly engrossed in the utter majesty of these writings. Page after page of forbidden lore, legend and conjecture, the dark arts in all their glory. My fellow students have taken a keen interest too, hours we talk, you would not believe. I am half hopeful for a élite congregation of my own to form, though it would surely have to remain a secret. The eyes of the world rejected this knowledge, this hidden magic. I ache, exhaustion and sheer weakness has claimed me, I will write another time, my dear journal.
7th August 1890
Alas, my friends have agreed, I am filled with incalculable joy. It has been arranged, at midnight tonight we will meet, in the great catacombs of the ‘Hellfire’ caves; an astute name indeed. Despite my, almost, unbearable excitement there lies a palpable anxiety; I cannot word it, though the sense of terrible things and…oh so wonderful things…are to be afoot, I cannot settle my mind. A grand ball takes place, in the core of my soul, amidst the darkness, the hidden power that resides…waiting to be unlocked. I admit I have been quite persistent with my fellow companions, they have thought me quite mad, in a teasing tenor, yet the truth may not be so mock worthy after all. I can wait no longer.
8th August 1890
I am damned, cursed…not of magic, but by the command of recollection; such tainted happenings were never my intention, knowledge and curiosity were my undoing, regrettably the true expense of my curio was distributed on to another, far less blameworthy, being. I will try to recall the exact details of the night, though it pains me to do so.
It was not long passed eleven o’clock, dressed in a mawkish gloom we entered the caves. I carried with me a book containing a collection of summoning spells, as well as séance instructions. I was giddy, proud and anxious to begin our divulgence into the world of obscure idiolect. There were five of us, we estimated a sixth, yet began nonetheless.
“You are all prepared, I hope.” Adopting a newfound confidence; my voice projected dense and well heard. “For once we open these doors, there is no turning back.”
A collected glance at one another assured me that we were ready. I began by placing the book in the center of our circle, the thick leather tome rested and I chanted aloud its content.
“Rhack’she…domotata…”A dark and furtive tongue. “Noma’da…incenté. These are the words, I am the will…and you before me are the flesh; together we are ready to prepare the ritual. As light can blind, darkness can grant the strength to see, unaided. We open to you, our souls entwine we do give ourselves to you, dark one. Take of us what you will, grant us only the knowledge we seek.”
The silence was ominous, our flickering shadows loomed over, and we did not feel we were alone. As we waited, the sound of the wooden doors to the chamber opened; standing was the sixth we had expected, and with him a seventh that we had not. Her eyes were a pearlescent azure, her smile timid yet inquisitive; of her beauty there was no question, but she could not have been much older that sixteen.
“Dear brothers, I bring before you; our offering.” The sixth tittered.
“What on earth do you mean?” I enquired.
“She is the delightful offering… in a spiritual sense, to hustle things along.”
“Where did you find her, how old is she?”
“Now now, there is no need for concern, she came here of her own free will.”
I wish that I had not allowed the girl to take part; of all the cruel and voracious deeds that I have witnessed, I would yearn far beyond anything, to have disallowed that poor girl from sitting next to me. The proceeding drew onward. Noticeably, the other members had become increasingly engrossed in the trance; I spoke the words myself yet found that at a distance I witnessed, some obscure vision I cannot describe.
I dare not divulge climax of the ritual, yet I am unable to burden this guilt any longer. Upon recollection, the sixth addition, held a dark and disconcerting ‘air’, to which I had not considered a relevant apprehension. Though, as I spoke those final words, the woman was thrust forward, into the center of the circle; her dress scantily covering her pale form. Standing over her, the sixth wielding a blackened blade, drove deep into her chest. Her scream…her insufferable scream will haunt me in this life, and next; it echoed so raucously that it felt as though the cave would collapse around us.
“And the blood, my brothers, shall sate the lord of the unholy.” The sixth laughed.
“You’re a madman, what are you doing?” I exclaimed.
“If one seeks darkness, then once must embrace, the sincere nature of darkness.”
As the woman’s screams ceased I was unable to focus, my vision and clarity drained, I fell to my knees. Though the others were unsure, I knew that the girl had perished; I could see the placid hollowness in her eyes, and the air around us drew cold. I was close to madness; a spell of all dramatic sensations rioted and knotted my cognizance. I could not move, nor did I dare to; such chaotic fleeing and panic, ensued by the other worshippers had caused a blurred dizziness that I was unable to fathom.
“Dear god, you are mad!” I cried.
“God has little influence here, my brother.”
To my knowledge that was the last I ever saw of the sixth, his callous and cold-blooded murder would be the end of me. I wonder now, if this was his intention? I cannot be sure. As I write this, I fidget with my father’s old pistol; I will, by all accounts, be dead when you find this note. I have taken to the banks of the Thames to end my being, though my body may wash up elsewhere, I will have pulled the trigger there.
A great air of meticulous content washes over me, I am at peace; though the fiery hereafter awaits me, I will take comfort in the fact that I will pay my dues for the innocent’s death. My time has drawn, I shall forever regret the death of the girl, but I will soon see the slaughterer endure in ceaseless damnation, by my side, evermore.
Taken from the missionary reports by Alfonso Chavarria
I placed the water-damaged diary on to the evidence table, a tale of dark and unwarranted malice, though no discernable connection to William or the creature.
“Is this all that you were unable to recover?” I enquired.
“Yes sir, the water had blotched the rest of the ink to oblivion.” The police sergeant sighed. “We were unable to identify the body, though we are endeavoring to search local schools and universities for missing students.”
“You will send word to my lodgings if you uncover anything, will you not?”
“Of course sir.” The officer pulled a small leather binder from his desk and pushed it toward me. “We searched all of the harbor records and there is no vessel heading, nor has headed for Turkey.”
“You’re quite sure?”
“Oh yes, even the unregistered vessels keep logs and staff in the harbor, we found nothing of this ‘William’ suspect.” Pouring a glass of amber whisky. “It appears you’ve received a false tip.”
“My source was…unreliable, yet I saw the sincerity in his eyes. Perhaps William is still in London, and if so, how would one track such a man?”
“Well, it would start with police records, however with out a surname, we cannot fix upon a single suspect.”
“I am grateful for your cooperation sergeant, I will be on my way.”
“Not at all Mr. Chavarria, anything we can use to help find the culprit for these murders is much appreciated.”
With a shake of the hand, and a tipping of his cap I wandered my way through the busy streets, pondering in great depth; a connection was all that I would require to continue, though my luck was far from just. It was during my wonderings that I felt an overwhelming sense of downheartedness; I had been in the steam engine of London for far too long and provided too little evidence; where I to bring my fellow priest, and all those who have fallen victim to this butcher, then I would need to find this elusive ‘William’. A surname would alleviate the frustrations of my search, a point of reference, or even former lodging could allow the process to come full circle resolution and righteousness; my purpose complete.
Strange and meticulous affairs are afoot, my pursuit of which is proving more and more futile. A culprit, mortal or not, will be apprehended and brought to eternal justice. I fumble at the strands of clues in my mind, an unwelcome ire boils, and I grow tired, impatient. Lord give me strength and resilience, I do not have the mind to continue with the present lack of results; grant me a extemporaneous serendipity, a moment of clarity amongst the thick smog of London’s surreptitious conceal. I am but a man, confronting a confluence with no ciphers or signal. I am a victim in my own right.
I was approached, in a surprising manner, by a gentleman adorned in a long black coat, and a hat that covered the intricate details of his appearance, his hand placed on my shoulder he whispered but a sentence and departed.
“In the sanctum lie the answers.” A dark and unnerving tone.
“Who are, you?” I spluttered. “What do you mean?”
I turned to confront the informant, but his shadowy figure had dissipated into seeming emptiness. His words as cryptic as his manifestation, I froze in a ponder, a thousands possibilities floated and darted, until a logical ejaculation caused me to jolt in shock.
“The sanctum? The chamber under the old factory.”
I had heard tell of an old abandoned chamber that lay under the old meat processing factory, the rumors claimed that it had been used for sacrificial rituals in the early part of the century; this was my answer, my prayer heeded, the almighty god does sendeth his blessing.
I descended, far into the factory’s workings, one night after the city had begun to sleep, I watched as the patrolling officers passed the entrance and made my way. Foremost, I am not a fearful man; god has watched me since my journey began, but the depths of this factory, lit only by the dwindling light of my lantern, invoked a dark fear, a morbid sense of the unknown. Twas almost as if I could hear the screaming’s of those slaughtered animals, the churning of the gears and the buzzing of the blades. I felt bilious in my very gut, the smells lingered, an age-old rot, perforating my unaccustomed sense of smell. I continued into the depths, not knowing rightly where I was heading; dark, and darker still the passage constant. I trembled as I delved deeper, until alas, a light from an open door caught me. Edging slowly to the door I breathed heavy, perhaps more then would be advised. Pounding my heart, every step agonizing anticipation.
“Be still, be still.” I whispered.
How long the corridor became, stretching like the inside of a mirror maze, forever growing and shifting. Nameless horror in the obscurity I reached the frame of the door. My moment arrived, I brought myself to face the inside of the room where a man sat, scribbling on an old decaying desk.
“Can I help you?” The, somewhat, elderly man spoke.
“I do not mean to intrude, but what are you doing down here?”
Placing his wooden pen on the desk. “I am working through the books of this factory.”
“But the factory is not in operation.”
“God has blessed you with the gift of conspicuousness.” He turned in his chair to face me. “In am trying to sort the finances, acquire funding and restore this plant, is that not clear?”
“I’m afraid, I am a little startled is all sir.”
“Of course, one should ask, what are you doing here?”
I debating telling the truth, and decided that any potential lie would most likely be sniffed out.
“I’m looking for the abandoned sanctum, perhaps you could show me the way?”
Cackling breathlessly. “I could indeed, but such a place, does not exist.”
“Are you sure?”
“Dear boy, I have worked here since I was younger than you, I know this facility better than my own home. I would not trifle with such nonsense.”
Stepping forward I placed the lantern on the table.
“I am a man of god, I have it on good authority that the sanctum does exist.”
“Then, you are sadly mistaken, clergyman.” Standing and glaring maniacally. “Leave here, and allow me to work as I was.”
I sighed and returned the lantern to my grip, I did not fancy leaving without so much as a single shred of evidence.
“I am looking for a man named William.”
The elderly figure froze, his eyes widened.
“Elbridge…is not here, nor shall he ever be!”
The man became angered and reached into his desk draw, revealing a glimmering pistol. Panicking I swung the lantern into the disgruntled elderly’s head, the oil and flame caught, scolding the man’s face and hands. He screamed, and let off a shot that landed off into the hall. I dived onto the seared man and drove me fist into his face, forcing him to drop the pistol and lie, for all intents and purposes, dead on the cold damp stone. I breathed a heavy sigh and examined the scene; the papers on his desk were blank, save only for a few frantic scribbling’s. I searched the draw to find only a collection of ammunition; I pocketed what I could and stuffed the pistol into my pocket. I was frightened, but I knew that the old man was covering…something; I could not assume that it was the sanctum itself, but perhaps another unexpected furtive element.
Continuing to venture, I found no unexplained chamber, nor any suspicious characters, I wondered whether the man was telling the truth. That is, until, I fell amid the darkness against a flimsy cabinet, giving way to an even duskier path. Pausing for a moment to collect my courage, I entered. The smell all the more putrid, I gathered that I was approaching the font of the profane ether. And so it was that I set foot on the soft, dirt that lay in the passage, until at last I beheld a large stone door, the markings of which were unlike anything I had seen before. With another regretful step, I landed my foot into a puddle of thick, black mucus; an unnatural composition.
“Dear god.” I groaned.
Pushing on the substantial doors sanctioned a wave of stale, repellent air to caress my face. It was most…repugnant to say the least. Inside, the workings, of what I can only describe as, a torture chamber revealed, the various racks, machines, and restraints all stained in a mixture of black and red. My mouth agape, I wondered in further, copious jars of yellow liquid, and shreds of human flesh, littered the chamber. I have never before seen such a saturnine display of blades and tools, the horror that they inflict, only the devil himself, could devise. It was alien to me, the lore and books that lay speckled about the chamber, the images however, were all too clear; bodies strung up and dissected, organs removed and myriad items replaced.
The crushing of dirt underfoot caused to turn in fright, I saw before me a being of shadowy complexion, it remained still; before cackling feverishly.
“Who are you?” I trembled.
“You have such a talent Mr. Chavarria.” The figure stepped forward once more. “Such a keen eye, and the persistence of the lord himself. I admire that.”
“It’s you, the unspeakable horror that has tormented so many!”
“I am flattered, but it is only a overture to the inevitable.” The figure stepped forward once more. “I am an instrument, as are you. Our intentions are mutual, our…benefactors dissimilar. Yet I cannot help but feel you wish to end this marvelous display of human behavior?”
“You are of the devil, his spawn and corrupt entities that seek only destruction.” I mumbled.
“On the contrary, I have created so much; these seemingly normal sinners have been granted a new purpose, a chance to serve the collective good. I am not what you think I am.”
“I know exactly what you are; demon spawn.” I reached for the pistol in my pocket, slowly and surreptitiously.
“Fool, fool! You are no more intelligent then those who have regarded these acts of…grand perfection as ‘murder’; these sinners are not dead, I have not killed my newly adopted children, and instead I have repurposed their feeble forms with the blood of true sovereignty. They do not know it, but a vast and superior good will come of their suffering.”
“You will not claim me, uncouth terror!”
I removed the revolver and let fire into the presence; his steadfast movement skirted the projectile. With an unfathomable haste, the creature bounded forward and positioned a vile against my forehead, before smashing the glass and allowing the liquid to cover my face. It burnt, seeping into my eyes, rendering me unable to see. I fired off as many rounds as I might before the chamber was empty; the demoralizing clack confirmed my exposure. Scrambling to clear the liquid from my eyes, I soon realized that a great deal had entered my mouth, a bitter taste followed, and I began to feel uncontrollably dizzy.
“Calm, and breath easy holy man; time will claim you.”
Fight as I may, the dominating drowsiness forced me to my knees. I felt around the dirt for some indication of direction, I found nothing. The world around me seemed to slow; the echoing sounds of the stone doors closing and the cackling of the creature were all I managed to hear before the obscureness claimed me. I fell unconscious, my body at the whim of the beast.