It was a dark and stormy night when the taxi dropped me off at the high iron gates of Miskatonic University, at Arkham, Massachusetts. The driver seemed nervously distracted and sped away quickly into the darkness after unceremoniously hurling my heavy bags to the curb, but not, I noticed, without first grimacing in apparent annoyance at the paucity of the tip I had given him. I am, after all, a struggling studentâ€”now officially soâ€”and as a consequence IÂ must carefully mind my budgetary expenditures.
Looming above me, flanking the entrance, were two great sculptures, Gargantuan and grotesque effigies of some unnamable creatures, their tenebrous wings stretching hideously toward the cosmic vault of the sky. In spite of the lateness of the hour, and the shadows that buried the walkway in darkness, both colossae glimmered eerily with ghastly, eldritch light, the origin of which I could not discern. What lurking, Cyclopean horrors did these unholy graven images purport to represent? I found myself wondering if they were some kind of experimental art created by students, or possibly the gift of some alumnus or other benefactor, now perhaps long dead; or if they dated back to the founding of the university, or perhaps, somehow, even further, to the unimaginably dark and distantÂ years before human history began.
With great effort, I managed to wrestle my bags up the long walk to the imposing main building that sat atop of the rocky hill, brooding in the night. The turgid storm broke again with renewed vengeance, and I did not wait for a response to my hurried knock. Instead, I burst through the imposing arched doorway into a vast and gloomy hall, its domed ceiling receding into heights but dimly lit.
The entryway was dominated by a massive carven desk, surmounted by a conspicuously placed brass bell of the type commonly used to summon assistance. Although I rang the bell with great vigor, and called out and searched extensively, no one came to greet me. Ultimately, exhausted from my travels, I collapsed into deep sleep on a once-luxurious but now musty sofa, my bags gathered close about me. I slept fitfully, my slumbers troubled by morbid dreams.
I awakened early and ill rested, but ready for a new day and new adventures. Apparently it was as yet too early for university staff to be about, as still I found no soul at the front desk. Deciding that my bags would be safe enough in my brief absence, I ventured out into the surrounding gardens to see if I could find someone, perhaps another student or professor, who could give me guidance. To my delight I chanced upon a gardener, whom I immediately accosted and bombarded with my accumulated inquiries. His unwholesome, vaguely piscine features twisted in annoyance at my interruption of his work, but he responded gruffly. No, he could not direct me to the student dormitories; I must wait for the headmaster to arrive at the front desk, presumably within the hour. No, there was no student bookstore; all required texts were available in the library, to be borrowed as needed, but never privately owned. No, there was no catalogue of courses; but there were class schedules posted in an annex off the main hall, which I could peruse while awaiting the headmasterâ€™s arrival. I decided to do so and took my leave of the gardener, thanking him politely for his assistance, although in the end he had not been terribly helpful. As I walked away I heard him mutter something that I took to be a reference to me and my egregious interruption, as the one word I caught distinctly sounded like â€œdog-gone,â€ although his peculiar accent made it sound more like â€œdag-goneâ€ or â€œday-gone.â€ I chose to take the high ground and did not reveal that I had overheard his utterance, which after all was no doubt intended to be private.
I returned to the hall and, checking first to confirm that my bags were still safely ensconced where I had left them, searched out the annex, finding it in short order and without undue difficulty. With increasing fascination I perused the class schedules I found posted there, as promised by the gardener. Apparently there was to be given that very afternoon a lecture on the topic of â€œDe Vermis Mysteriis.â€ What might that be? And what were these mysteriously intriguing â€œNecronomiconic Studies,â€ to be taught over several weeks by some Professor Herbert West, of whom I had never heard? It was all very curious.
My excitement mounted as I took my seat on the dubious sofa to await the arrival of the headmaster. I could not help but wonder what mysterious tomes might await me in the library, and what age-old secrets they might contain. I felt myself to be on the verge of something unnamed but truly momentous, something both great and terrible. What adventure awaited me? What brilliance, what madness? What unimaginable blessing, what nameless curse?
I knew without doubt that, soon enough, I would find out.
= | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | = | =| = | = Â | = | = | = | = | = | = | =
Cthulhoodies by Pushbutton Skolnick. Unisex; eldritch enough for a man, but made for a woman!Â Jacket-layer garment plus prim hood with flexi ties.Â Three zipper styles are included: regular, lowered zipper, and unzipped. You get two colors (Eldritch and Tentacle, as shown) for L$250 at Pushbutton Industries (Bricolage 129, 66, 22).
Predator and Sub Zero cargo shorts by Donovan Brennan. These are new, or at least newish, and still conveniently displayed right at the front of the shop.Â Pants-layer shorts plus resize-scripted sculpted-prim cuffs/side pockets with flexi ties. Also included: free black and white GearShift boxer briefs that are as nice as briefs I’ve paid for. L$250 each at GearShift (Varado 85, 163, 31).
J’s WorkBoots by JB Gazov. Sculpted-prim leather uppers with primtastic chunky soles, shiny metal eyelets and long flexi laces. Available in Black (as shown), Brown and Red; four sizes are included. L$300 at J’s (TSUKISHIMA 207, 232, 22).
Mao Messenger Bag, Simple Casual Belt, and Black Plate collar and wristbands, all by Broder Kubrick. Beautiful prim accessories from a master. All come in Brown and Black, as shown here. The amazingly detailed messenger bags come in a set that includes bags in both colors, in larger and smaller sizes, for L$200. Belts come in a set that includes both colors for L$140. Wristbands and collar come in separate Brown or Black sets for L$160 each. All available at BroGear (Harajukubox 200, 144, 22).