The Gate of Dhu al-Qarnayn

Oh, children of dust and dreams, within the fragile borders of your feeble understanding, in the shadows cast by the feeble light of your knowledge, lies a tale whispered only in hushed voices, a tale of a time when man’s dominion was but a candle in the wind, when the world teetered on the edge of the abyss, threatened by forces too terrible to name. Shudder ye who dare to read, for the tale that follows is one of unutterable horror, of ancient sorceries and beings from beyond the veil, and of the ironclad will of the one called Dhu al-Qarnayn, he whom the Greeks call Alexander, he who would stand against the tide of darkness and wrest the world back from the brink of despair, he who, by the malevolent grace of Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, was bestowed with twisted horns, which endowed him with strength beyond the realm of mortal comprehension.

In the days of yore, beyond the distant Hyrcanian Ocean, there was a gathering of ill intent, a conclave of vile sorcerers, who in their foul hearts sought to pierce the veil that separates our world from the realms of nightmare. To the mountainous caves north of Derbent, they came, the darkest of practitioners, their souls blackened by unspeakable pacts made with beings that dwell in the outer darkness. In the hidden recesses of the earth, these fiends gathered, and there they performed their dark rituals, chanting in discordant harmony the blasphemous incantations that would rip asunder the fabric of reality and usher in an age of terror and despair. By the dread hand of fate, the veil was torn, and from that abyssal wound, the ungodly minions of the demon princes Ya’juj and Ma’juj poured forth, an unstoppable tide of darkness and corruption. These loathsome creatures, spawned in the depths of chaos, wasted no time in spreading their taint across the land, rivers running red with the blood of their countless victims, and the air thick with the anguished cries of the doomed.

And yet, in humanity’s darkest hour, a beacon of hope emerged, in the form of the mighty Dhu al-Qarnayn, a ruler of unparalleled wisdom and power. He strode forth, the vanguard of the greatest army the world had ever seen, a sea of steel and iron that stretched as far as the eye could see. Accompanying him were the 7000 magicians from Egypt, masters of the arcane arts, their minds filled with the secrets of the ancient world, their souls bound by the unbreakable chains of loyalty. As Dhu al-Qarnayn’s forces reached the site of the vile incursion, a battle of titanic proportions ensued, the likes of which had never been seen before or since. Clashing steel, sorcerous fire, and the agonized wails of the dying filled the air, as the two armies fought with a ferocity that would not be extinguished. And as the tide of battle shifted in favor of Dhu al-Qarnayn, the magicians began their work. As the enemy was pushed back, they wove a spell of unimaginable power and complexity, their voices raised in a chorus that reverberated through the very bones of the earth. However, the magicians, in their wisdom, knew that the strength of their magic alone would not suffice to hold back the forces of Ya’juj and Ma’juj, and so they turned to the earth and its bounty.

And so, a great undertaking began, as mountains of iron and brass were amassed, the fruits of human labor and ingenuity, a testament to mankind’s indomitable spirit. The magicians, their hands stained with the sweat of their brow, worked tirelessly, forging and shaping the great masses of metal into a gate of such magnitude that the very earth itself seemed to tremble in its presence. Every strike of the hammer was a clarion call, a declaration of defiance against the darkness that sought to consume all. And as the iron and brass took form, the magicians imbued the gate with their arcane power, enscribing symbols that hummed with eldritch energy, a barrier to hold back the forces of the abyss. With the great gate completed, the magicians, their bodies wracked with exhaustion but their spirits unbowed, once more raised their voices in a chant that echoed through the ages, a song of defiance and hope that would not be silenced.

As the ritual reached its crescendo, the  very fabric of reality seemed to shudder, as if recoiling from the tremendous forces at play. The magicians, their eyes aflame with determination, called upon the energies that coursed through the earth and the air, weaving them into a tapestry of arcane might that would hold back the night. And with a final, resounding chord, the spell was complete, the gate of iron and brass slammed shut, and the dread forces of Ya’juj and Ma’juj were confined to the darkness from whence they came, the veil restored and the world saved from their depredations. But beware, oh reader, for even in the light of this great victory, shadows still lurk in the forgotten corners of the world. Savage cults, the remnants of those who first sought to unleash the horrors of the abyss, skulk in the mountains north of Derbent, their minds twisted by their dark masters, their hearts filled with a burning desire to see the iron gate of Dhu al-Qarnayn sundered, and the world plunged once more into the maw of chaos.

These cultists, their souls consumed by the black flame of their ambition, seek the secrets of the great spell that sealed the gate, that they might undo the work of Dhu al-Qarnayn and his magicians, and fling wide the door to the realms of nightmare. In their madness, they search for that which should never be found, they whisper incantations that should never be uttered, and they delve into mysteries that should never be known. Yet, for all their dark machinations, these cults have thus far failed in their quest, their efforts thwarted by the lasting power of the gate, and the indomitable spirit of mankind. But do not take solace in this, oh reader, for it has been prophecied that one day, the dread Yog-Sothoth, he who is the key and the gate, will cast his baleful gaze upon the iron and  brass barrier, and in that moment, all shall be lost. For when the terrible day comes, and the gate is sundered, the armies of Ya’juj and Ma’juj will once more surge forth, a tide of darkness that will sweep all before it. No mortal force will stand against them, no bastion of human might will withstand their onslaught, and the world will be plunged into an age of suffering and despair that will make the horrors of the past seem as naught but a fleeting dream.

So, dear reader, heed these words, whispered from the darkest corners of the mind, a warning that the night is ever watchful, and that the forces of chaos lie in wait, biding their time until the day when they will break free from their chains and descend upon the world in all their terrible splendor. Be ever vigilant, for the price of ignorance is the doom of all. Dark as the abyss that yawns beneath the heavens, devoid of the celestial fire that illuminates the firmament, lies the night, an impenetrable cloak of shadows. Desolate and forlorn is the land, bereft of the tillers who once nurtured its fecund soil, and merciless stands the gate, its once mighty metal corroded and decayed.

Oh, children of dust and dreams, in a time long past, by the merest thread of fate did mankind evade the jaws of oblivion. Can there yet arise another Dhu al-Qarnayn, a beacon of hope amidst the encroaching darkness of despair? To entertain such yearning is to court the very madness that dwells in the spaces between the stars, for we are as naught but insignificant insects, crawling upon the carcass of a world beset by titanic horrors. Certainty lies in the embrace of the void alone, that which would consume all in its insatiable hunger. Blessed, indeed, are those whose sight remains unclouded by the truth, whose vision is not attuned to the inconceivable enormities that defy the feeble constructs of reason and understanding.

O filii pulueris et somniorum, infra fragiles terminos infirmae intelligentiae ves-trae, in umbris quae ex parvo lumine scientiae vestrae oriuntur, fabula submissis vocibus susurrata est, fabula temporis cum hominum dominium velut flamma in vento erat, cum mundus in abysso pendebat, terribilibus nominibus non dictis minatus. Horrescite, qui audetis legere, nam fabula sequens est horrore ineffabilis, vetustis maleficiis et entibus ultra velamen, et ferrea voluntate unius nomine Dhu al-Qarnayn, qui a Graecis Alexander vocatur, qui adversus tenebras contenderet et mundum e desperationis margine retraheret, qui, per malevolam gratiam Nyarlathotep, Chaos Serpentis, tortis cornibus donatus est, quae eum robore ultra finem mortalium comprehensionis ditavit.

Olim, ultra remotum Oceanum Hyrcanium, conventus malae voluntatis erat, conclave turpium magorum, qui in pectoribus suis foedissimis velamen inter mundum nostrum et regna incuborum penetrare quaerebant. Ad cavernas montium ad septentrionem Derbent veniebant, tenebrosissimi artifices, animae eorum pactorum ineffabilium cum entibus in tenebris exterioribus habitantibus nigrae. In occultis recessibus terrae, isti maligni congregabantur, et ibi ritus obscuros agebant, incantationes blasphemias in harmonia discordante cantantes, quae realitatis texturam scindere et terrorem ac desperationem aetatis introducere possent. Manu horribili fati, velamen diruptum est, et ex illa plaga abyssali daemonum principum Ya’juj et Ma’juj ministri impii effluxerunt, tenebrarum et corruptionis unda ineluctabilis. Isti creaturae abominabiles, in chaos profundo natae, nihil morabantur ut labe terras inficerent, flumina sanguine innumerae victimae rubra, et aëre clamoribus angustiis repletis.

Tamen, in hora obscurissima humanitatis, spes fulgor ortus est, in forma magni Dhu al-Qarnayn, principis sapientiae et potentiae incomparabilium. Progrediebatur, prae exercitu maximo quod mundus umquam vidisset, chalybe et aereo mari quod oculi pertingere non poterant. Cum eo erant 7000 magi ex Aegypto, arcanae artis magistri, mentes eorum vetustis mundi secretis repletas, animae eorum catenis fidelitatis infrangibilibus vinctae. Cum copiae Dhu al-Qarnayn locum infandae irruptionis attigissent, pugna gigantea inita est, qualis numquam antea aut postea visa est. Ferrum collidens, ignis magicus et morientium gemitus aëre implebantur, dum duo exercitus ferocia quae extingui nequit pugnabant. Et cum pugnae aestus in favorem Dhu al-Qarnayn commutaretur, magi laborem incohabant. Cum hostes repulsi essent, incantamentum potestatis et complexitatis inimaginabilium texebant, voces eorum in choro resonantes, quae per ossa terrae reverberabant. Tamen, magi, sapientia eorum, sciebant solam suam magicam potentiam non sufficere ad vim Ya’juj et Ma’juj cohibendam, et sic ad terram et eius ubertatem se convertebant.

Itaque magnum opus inceptum est, cum ferri et aeris montes congregarentur, fructus laboris humanae ingeniositatis, testes indomiti animi humani. Magi,  manibus sudore tinctis, indefessi laborabant, formentes et fingentes grandia metalla portae magnitudinis tantae, ut ipsa terra in praesentia eius tremere videretur. Omnis ictus mallei erat tuba sonans, tenebras vorantis adversus declaratio. Et cum ferrum et aes formam assumerent, magi portam potestate arcana imbuebant, symbola in ea inscribentes quae energia antiqua sonabant, barriera ut vim abysso teneant. Cum magna porta perfecta esset, magi, corporibus exhaustione frustis sed spiritibus non fractis, iterum voces eorum in cantu resonabant, quod per saecula resonaret, cantus defiance et spei quae silere non poterat.

Cum ritus ad culmen pervenisset, ipsa realitatis textura concussa videbatur, quasi a tremendis viribus repugnans. Magi, oculis intentione ardentibus, vires terrae et aeris invocabant, eas in telam potentiae arcanae texentes, quae noctem cohiberent. Cum ultimum, sonans chorda, incantamentum completum esset, porta ferri et aeris clausa est, et terribiles vires Ya’juj et Ma’juj ad tenebras unde venerant redactae sunt, velamen reparatum et mundus ab eorum vastationibus servatus. Cave tamen, o lector, etiam in huius magnae victoriae luce, umbras adhuc in orbis terrae angulis oblivionis delitescentes. Ferales cultus, qui horrores abyssi evocare primum quaesiverunt, in montibus ad septentrionem Derbent delitescunt, mentes eorum a dominis tenebrosis distortae, corda eorum incendio desiderii ferri portae Dhu al-Qarnayn disrumpendae et mundum in chaos rursus praecipitatum implentia.

Hi cultores, animis flamma nigra ambitionis consumptis, arcanum magni sigilli quaerunt, quod portam clausit, ut opus Dhu al-Qarnayn et magorum suorum dissolvant et ianuam ad regna terrorum aperiant. In dementia sua, quaerunt quod numquam inveniri debet, susurrant incantationes numquam effari debentes, et in mysteria nefanda  penetrant. Verumtamen, pro omnibus tenebrosis machinationibus, hucusque in quaestione sua sectae istae defecerunt, eorum conatus portae duratura potentia et indomito humano animo obstaculatus. Sed in hoc noli acquiescere, o lector, quia praedictum est quod aliquando, terribilis Yog-Sothoth, qui est clavis et porta, in ferrei et aenei obstaculum suum sinistrum intuitum iactabit, et in illo momento, omnia peribunt. Etenim cum dies terribilis venerit, et porta disrupta fuerit, exercitus Ya’juj et Ma’juj rursus erumpent, tenebrarum unda quae omnia coram se everret. Nulla mortalium vis eis resistet, nullum humanum robur eorum impetum sustinebit, et mundus in aetatem doloris ac desperationis mergitur, quae horrores praeteritos ut fugaces somnia parum aestimandos faciet.

Ergo, carissime lector, his verbis attende, ex animi tenebrosis angulis susurratis, monitus quod nox semper vigilat, et chaos vires exspectant, tempus suum expectantes donec catenis liberentur et in omni terribili sua maiestate in mundum descendant. Semper vigilans esto, nam ignorantiae pretium est omnium exitium. Obscura ut abyssus quae sub caelis hiare videtur, absque caelesti igne qui firmamentum illuminat, nox iacet, umbrae impenetrabilis velum. Desolata et solitaria terra est, carens agricolis qui olim fecundum solum nutriebant, et sine misericordia porta stat, olim potens metallum corrosa et putrefacta.

O, filii pulveris et somniorum, tempore iam elapso, tenui filo fati genus humanum oblitio fauces evasit. Num alius Dhu al-Qarnayn exsurgere potest, spes inter desperationis crescentis tenebras? Talibus desideriis indulgere est insaniam ipsam inter stellas existentem provocare, nam nos non sumus nisi inutiles insecta, in cadavere mundi titanicis horroribus obsessi reptantia. Certitudo sola inanitatis complexu invenitur, quae omnia insatiabili fame devorare vult. Beati quidem sunt, quorum visus veritate non turbatur, quorum visio inconcebibiles immanitates, quae infirma rationis et intelligentiae structura spernunt, non percipit.

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