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Essential Saltes Challenge

CARCOSA COLLECTION
CHALLENGE IV


Noth’g butt ye liveliest Awfulness:

Raising the Dead with

The Essential Saltes Challenge


“The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated.”
BORELLUS

 

In keeping with the coming of spring and the theme of rebirth and resurrection… it would appear that a challenge invoking the unfortuante Case of Charles Dexter Ward is finally in order.


So, if you have not read the novel by H P Lovecraft… DO SO NOW.

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/cdw.asp

If you haven’t seen the film “The Haunted Palace”… DO SO NOW.

If you haven’t seen the film “The Resurrected”… THAT IS OK – there is a clip below!

Please also visit our Lovecraft display in the permanent exhibits of the Carcosa Collection galleries.

 

“I have told no one. This is no common case—it is a madness out of time and a horror from beyond the spheres which no police or lawyers or courts or alienists could ever fathom or grapple with….” – Dr. Willet

 

THE CHALLENGE


 “I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. Ask of the Lesser, lest the Greater shall not wish to Answer, and shall commande more than you.”

 

The challenge is this: create a routine that is a tribute to the dark ethos of the nefarious necromantic machinations and the ghoulish sorcerers from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.  The Carcosa Collection has obtained the contents of dread sorcerer Joseph Curwen’s alchemical laboratory.

 

“But Marinus Bicknell Willett was sorry that he looked again; for surgeon and veteran of the dissecting-room though he was, he has not been the same since. It is hard to explain just how a single sight of a tangible object with measureable dimensions could so shake and change a man; and we may only say that there is about certain outlines and entities a power of symbolism and suggestion which acts frightfully on a sensitive thinker’s perspective and whispers terrible hints of obscure cosmic relationships and unnamable realities behind the protective illusions of common vision. In that second look Willett saw such an outline or entity, for during the next few instants he was undoubtedly as stark mad as any inmate of Dr. Waite’s private hospital. He dropped the electric torch from a hand drained of muscular power or nervous coördination, nor heeded the sound of crunching teeth which told of its fate at the bottom of the pit. He screamed and screamed and screamed in a voice whose falsetto panic no acquaintance of his would ever have recognised; and though he could not rise to his feet he crawled and rolled desperately away over the damp pavement where dozens of Tartarean wells poured forth their exhausted whining and yelping to answer his own insane cries. He tore his hands on the rough, loose stones, and many times bruised his head against the frequent pillars, but still he kept on. Then at last he slowly came to himself in the utter blackness and stench, and stopped his ears against the droning wail into which the burst of yelping had subsided. He was drenched with perspiration and without means of producing a light; stricken and unnerved in the abysmal blackness and horror, and crushed with a memory he never could efface. Beneath him dozens of those things still lived, and from one of the shafts the cover was removed. He knew that what he had seen could never climb up the slippery walls, yet shuddered at the thought that some obscure foot-hold might exist.

What the thing was, he would never tell. It was like some of the carvings on the hellish altar, but it was alive. Nature had never made it in this form, for it was too palpably unfinished. The deficiencies were of the most surprising sort, and the abnormalities of proportion could not be described. Willett consents only to say that this type of thing must have represented entities which Ward called up from imperfect salts, and which he kept for servile or ritualistic purposes. If it had not had a certain significance, its image would not have been carved on that damnable stone. It was not the worst thing depicted on that stone—but Willett never opened the other pits. At the time, the first connected idea in his mind was an idle paragraph from some of the old Curwen data he had digested long before; a phrase used by Simon or Jedediah Orne in that portentous confiscated letter to the bygone sorcerer: “Certainely, there was Noth’g butt ye liveliest Awfulness:”

  Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

The setting does not have to be in a dark secret dungeon.  You can have various artifacts and chemicals in a small portable case.  You can resurrect ye Liveliest Awfulness in as small or large scale as you wish.  The raising of the dead can be linked with other routines as you see fit… but the essence of the Saltes and their horrible implications is what should be sought.

Criteria for the judging are as follows:
-Innovation
-Ethos matches the HPL themes of the tale (summoning the dead to find out the secrets of the past, and that imperfect summonings result in nothing but hideous monstrous results)…
-Serious > Comedy
-Practicality
-Use of the items listed below
-Suggested new items not listed below
-Balanced restraint and taste within the context of these issues
 

 

THE PRIZE:
Joseph Curwen’s Alchemical Kit

 

A sinister box, with the smell of the dead – can also be used to shove in secret billets
* Vintage glass mortar and pestle
* Various ampules, bottles, and the like
* Alchemist Log book
* A small Canopic jar with ancient simulated Egyptian Saltes (Nephren-Ka? Abdul Al-Hazred? Imhotep?)
* The Sign of Koth (shudder)
* Some old letters from Curwen’s colleagues
* Essential Saltes (RED HERRING)*
* The Secret of the Essential Saltes * (The TRUE SALTES)
* Certain simulated body parts to have materialize in the bloody fleshy goop / ooze that will come forth from the summoning…

 

… Maybe more… who knows for sure?

Runner ups: Depended on the entries….

The Carcosian Tribunal will determine if anything is worth some recognition and rewards.

NOTE: Any entry that is accepted to be compiled into the Court Manuscript at the end of this process, the authors shall receive physical samples of the Essential Saltes at a minimum fior your sharing atttitude. 

* What has the Carcosian Artisans “cooked” up?
Imagine a formula / powder that is not really visible if placed on paper… and that with the addition of water, bubbles up, grows, sizzles, turns bloody…. A real mess….


A BASIC ROUTINE USED BY THE KEEPER

The secret formula is part of Dissolvo paper.  The dissolve paper has a mystic sign on it.   It is on a bowl that can allow water to run into it…  one can have water already in the bowl that one pushed the paper down onto when ready, or can just add it as part of the ritual.
Using dark ashes/coloured powder to use as misdirection, this coloured powder is placed in the mystic circle (ala the Story)… as its only partial dust, expect only partial results.  One can give the fake powder away as a memento if you like, since it won’t react with water… or with a spell... since its only a red herring.


When ready to summon the dead, the water is introduced covert or overt, and the real powder reacts to create a bloody awful mess…. A real horrible mess!  Donning surgical gloves and then palming an eyeball, your friendly mystery worker pokes and the mess and starts rolling it a bit to knead out the eyeball!

The eyeball can then be used for divination purposes, such as popping it into a watery jar and using it as an Eye of Alhazred ala Stephen Minch’s routine in LOVECRAFTIAN CEREMONIES.


Note: The scene can get very messy, and the red can get all over the place… so be careful in constructing your routines.
Using the powder in Dissolvo paper, one can also create paper sculptures and the like and have water melt it into a bloody grue…


Isn’t this fun?


Please use your imaginations to go beyond the basic theme.  With the entire realm of the dead to summon…  who knows what nightmarish routines can be conjured???

 

SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT JUNE 5th 2011

PLEASE SEND SUBMISSIONS TO

 

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SOME LETTERS FOR YOUR INSPIRATION:


“I delight that you continue in ye Gett’g at Olde Matters in your Way, and doe not think better was done at Mr. Hutchinson’s in Salem-Village. Certainely, there was Noth’g butt ye liveliest Awfulness in that which H. rais’d upp from What he cou’d gather onlie a part of. What you sente, did not Worke, whether because of Any Thing miss’g, or because ye Wordes were not Righte from my Speak’g or yr Copy’g. I alone am at a Loss. I have not ye Chymicall art to followe Borellus, and owne my Self confounded by ye VII. Booke of ye Necronomicon that you recommende. But I wou’d have you Observe what was tolde to us aboute tak’g Care whom to calle up, for you are Sensible what Mr. Mather writ in ye Magnalia of ——, and can judge how truely that Horrendous thing is reported. I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. Ask of the Lesser, lest the Greater shall not wish to Answer, and shall commande more than you. I was frighted when I read of your know’g what Ben Zariatnatmik hadde in his ebony Boxe, for I was conscious who must have tolde you. And againe I ask that you shalle write me as Jedediah and not Simon. In this Community a Man may not live too long, and you knowe my Plan by which I came back as my Son. I am desirous you will Acquaint me with what ye Blacke Man learnt from Sylvanus Cocidius in ye Vault, under ye Roman Wall, and will be oblig’d for ye Lend’g of ye MS. you speak of.”

 

“I will observe what you say respecting the sending of Accounts only by yr Vessels, but can not always be certain when to expect them. In the Matter spoke of, I require onlie one more thing; but wish to be sure I apprehend you exactly. You inform me, that no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are to be had, but you can not but know how hard it is to be sure. It seems a great Hazard and Burthen to take away the whole Box, and in Town (i.e. St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, St. Mary’s, or Christ Church) it can scarce be done at all. But I know what Imperfections were in the one I rais’d up October last, and how many live Specimens you were forc’d to imploy before you hit upon the right Mode in the year 1766; so will be guided by you in all Matters. I am impatient for yr Brig, and inquire daily at Mr. Biddle’s Wharf.”

 


Prouidence, I. May (Ut. vulgo)
Brother:—
My honour’d Antient ffriende, due Respects and earnest Wishes to Him whom we serve for yr eternall Power. I am just come upon That which you ought to knowe, concern’g the Matter of the Laste Extremitie and what to doe regard’g yt. I am not dispos’d to followe you in go’g Away on acct. of my Yeares, for Prouidence hath not ye Sharpeness of ye Bay in hunt’g oute uncommon Things and bringinge to Tryall. I am ty’d up in Shippes and Goodes, and cou’d not doe as you did, besides the Whiche my ffarme at Patuxet hath under it What you Knowe, that wou’d not waite for my com’g Backe as an Other.
      But I am not unreadie for harde ffortunes, as I haue tolde you, and haue longe work’d upon ye Way of get’g Backe after ye Laste. I laste Night strucke on ye Wordes that bringe up YOGGE-SOTHOTHE, and sawe for ye firste Time that fface spoke of by Ibn Schacabao in ye ——. And IT said, that ye III Psalme in ye Liber-Damnatus holdes ye Clauicle. With Sunne in V House, Saturne in Trine, drawe ye Pentagram of Fire, and saye ye ninth Uerse thrice. This Uerse repeate eache Roodemas and Hallow’s Eue; and ye Thing will breede in ye Outside Spheres.
      And of ye Seede of Olde shal One be borne who shal looke Backe, tho’ know’g not what he seekes.
      Yett will this availe Nothing if there be no Heir, and if the Saltes, or the Way to make the Saltes, bee not Readie for his Hande; and here I will owne, I have not taken needed Stepps nor founde Much. Ye Process is plaguy harde to come neare; and it uses up such a Store of Specimens, I am harde putte to it to get Enough, notwithstand’g the Sailors I have from ye Indies. Ye People aboute are become curious, but I can stande them off. Y
e Gentry are worse than the Populace, be’g more Circumstantiall in their Accts. and more believ’d in what they tell. That Parson and Mr. Merritt have talk’d some, I am fearfull, but no Thing soe far is Dangerous. Ye Chymical substances are easie of get’g, there be’g II. goode Chymists in Towne, Dr. Bowen and Sam: Carew. I am foll’g oute what Borellus saith, and haue Helpe in Abdool Al-Hazred his VII. Booke. Whatever I gette, you shal haue. And in ye meane while, do not neglect to make use of ye Wordes I haue here giuen. I haue them Righte, but if you Desire to see HIM, imploy the Writings on ye Piece of —— that I am putt’g in this Packet. Saye ye Uerses every Roodmas and Hallow’s Eue; and if yr Line runn out not, one shall bee in yeares to come that shal looke backe and use what Saltes or Stuff for Saltes you shal leaue him. Job XIV. XIV.
      I rejoice you are again at Salem, and hope I may see you not longe hence. I have a goode Stallion, and am think’g of get’g a Coach, there be’g one (Mr. Merritt’s) in Prouidence already, tho’ ye Roades are bad. If you are dispos’d to Travel, doe not pass me bye. From Boston take ye Post Rd. thro’ Dedham, Wrentham, and Attleborough, goode Taverns be’g at all these Townes. Stop at Mr. Bolcom’s in Wrentham, where ye Beddes are finer than Mr. Hatch’s, but eate at ye other House for their Cooke is better. Turne into Prou. by Patucket ffalls, and ye Rd. past Mr. Sayles’s Tavern. My House opp. Mr. Epenetus Olney’s Tavern off ye Towne Street, Ist on ye N. side of Olney’s Court. Distance from Boston Stone abt. XLIV Miles.
      Sir, I am yr olde and true ffriend and Servt. in Almousin-Metraton.
Josephus C.
To Mr. Simon Orne,
William’s-Lane, in Salem.

 

 
The “Journall and Notes of Jos: Curwen, Gent., of Providence-Plantations, Late of Salem.”
: “To Him Who Shal Come After, & How He May Gett Beyonde Time & ye Spheres.” Another was in a cipher; the same, Ward hoped, as the Hutchinson cipher which had hitherto baffled him. A third, and here the searcher rejoiced, seemed to be a key to the cipher; whilst the fourth and fifth were addressed respectively to “Edw: Hutchinson, Armiger” and “Jedediah Orne, Esq.”, ‘or Their Heir or Heirs, or Those Represent’g Them’. The sixth and last was inscribed: “Joseph Curwen his Life and Travells Bet’n ye yeares 1678 and 1687: Of Whither He Voyag’d, Where He Stay’d, Whom He Sawe, and What He Learnt.”
 

 

“100 Prospect St.            
Providence, R.I.,      
February 8, 1928.
“Dear Dr. Willett:—
      “I feel that at last the time has come for me to make the disclosures which I have so long promised you, and for which you have pressed me so often. The patience you have shewn in waiting, and the confidence you have shewn in my mind and integrity, are things I shall never cease to appreciate.
      “And now that I am ready to speak, I must own with humiliation that no triumph such as I dreamed of can ever be mine. Instead of triumph I have found terror, and my talk with you will not be a boast of victory but a plea for help and advice in saving both myself and the world from a horror beyond all human conception or calculation. You recall what those Fenner letters said of the old raiding party at Pawtuxet. That must all be done again, and quickly. Upon us depends more than can be put into words—all civilisation, all natural law, perhaps even the fate of the solar system and the universe. I have brought to light a monstrous abnormality, but I did it for the sake of knowledge. Now for the sake of all life and Nature you must help me thrust it back into the dark again.
      “I have left that Pawtuxet place forever, and we must extirpate everything existing there, alive or dead. I shall not go there again, and you must not believe it if you ever hear that I am there. I will tell you why I say this when I see you. I have come home for good, and wish you would call on me at the very first moment that you can spare five or six hours continuously to hear what I have to say. It will take that long—and believe me when I tell you that you never had a more genuine professional duty than this. My life and reason are the very least things which hang in the balance.
      “I dare not tell my father, for he could not grasp the whole thing. But I have told him of my danger, and he has four men from a detective agency watching the house. I don’t know how much good they can do, for they have against them forces which even you could scarcely envisage or acknowledge. So come quickly if you wish to see me alive and hear how you may help to save the cosmos from stark hell.
      “Any time will do—I shall not be out of the house. Don’t telephone ahead, for there is no telling who or what may try to intercept you. And let us pray to whatever gods there be that nothing may prevent this meeting.
      “In utmost gravity and desperation,
“Charles Dexter Ward.”      
“P.S. Shoot Dr. Allen on sight and dissolve his body in acid. Don’t burn it.”
      


Kleinstrasse 11,            
Altstadt, Prague,      
11th Feby. 1928.
Brother in Almousin-Metraton:—
      I this day receiv’d yr mention of what came up from the Salts I sent you. It was wrong, and meanes clearly that ye Headstones had been chang’d when Barnabas gott me the Specimen. It is often so, as you must be sensible of from the Thing you gott from ye Kings Chapell ground in 1769 and what H. gott from Olde Bury’g Point in 1690, that was like to ende him. I gott such a Thing in Aegypt 75 yeares gone, from the which came that Scar ye Boy saw on me here in 1924. As I told you longe ago, do not calle up That which you can not put downe; either from dead Saltes or out of ye Spheres beyond. Have ye Wordes for laying at all times readie, and stopp not to be sure when there is any Doubte of Whom you have. Stones are all chang’d now in Nine groundes out of 10. You are never sure till you question. I this day heard from H., who has had Trouble with the Soldiers. He is like to be sorry Transylvania is pass’d from Hungary to Roumania, and wou’d change his Seat if the Castel weren’t so fulle of What we Knowe. But of this he hath doubtless writ you. In my next Send’g there will be Somewhat from a Hill tomb from ye East that will delight you greatly. Meanwhile forget not I am desirous of B. F. if you can possibly get him for me. You know G. in Philada. better than I. Have him up firste if you will, but doe not use him soe hard he will be Difficult, for I must speake to him in ye End.
Yogg-Sothoth Neblod Zin
Simon

 

To Mr. J. C. in
Providence.
 

Castle Ferenczy      
7 March 1928.
Dear C.:—Hadd a Squad of 20 Militia up to talk about what the Country Folk say. Must digg deeper and have less Hearde. These Roumanians plague me damnably, being officious and particular where you cou’d buy a Magyar off with a Drinke and ffood. Last monthe M. got me ye Sarcophagus of ye Five Sphinxes from ye Acropolis where He whome I call’d up say’d it wou’d be, and I have hadde 3 Talkes with What was therein inhum’d. It will go to S. O. in Prague directly, and thence to you. It is stubborn but you know ye Way with Such. You shew Wisdom in having lesse about than Before; for there was no Neede to keep the Guards in Shape and eat’g off their Heads, and it made Much to be founde in Case of Trouble, as you too welle knowe. You can now move and worke elsewhere with no Kill’g Trouble if needful, tho’ I hope no Thing will soon force you to so Bothersome a Course. I rejoice that you traffick not so much with Those Outside; for there was ever a Mortall Peril in it, and you are sensible what it did when you ask’d Protection of One not dispos’d to give it. You excel me in gett’g ye fformulae so another may saye them with Success, but Borellus fancy’d it wou’d be so if just ye right Wordes were hadd. Does ye Boy use ’em often? I regret that he growes squeamish, as I fear’d he wou’d when I hadde him here nigh 15 Monthes, but am sensible you knowe how to deal with him. You can’t saye him down with ye fformula, for that will Worke only upon such as ye other fformula hath call’d up from Saltes; but you still have strong Handes and Knife and Pistol, and Graves are not harde to digg, nor Acids loth to burne. O. sayes you have promis’d him B. F. I must have him after. B. goes to you soone, and may he give you what you wishe of that Darke Thing belowe Memphis. Imploy care in what you calle up, and beware of ye Boy. It will be ripe in a yeare’s time to have up ye Legions from Underneath, and then there are no Boundes to what shal be oures. Have Confidence in what I saye, for you knowe O. and I have hadd these 150 yeares more than you to consulte these Matters in.
Nephren-Ka nai Hadoth
Edw: H.
For J. Curwen, Esq.
Providence.

 

 SOME OTHER PASSAGES:

 

   …the meaning of the two signs puzzled him, and he wondered why this battery of chemicals was separated so radically from those in glass jars on the shelves of the laboratory proper. “Custodes”, “Materia”; that was the Latin for “Guards” and “Materials”, respectively—


….; the monstrous fruit of unhallowed rites and deeds, presumably won or cowed to such submission as to help, when called up by some hellish incantation, in the defence of their blasphemous master or the questioning of those who were not so willing? Willett shuddered at the thought of what he had been pouring in and out of his hands, and for a moment felt an impulse to flee in panic from that cavern of hideous shelves with their silent and perhaps watching sentinels. Then he thought of the “Materia”—in the myriad Phaleron jugs on the other side of the room. Salts too—and if not the salts of “guards”, then the salts of what? God! Could it be possible that here lay the mortal relics of half the titan thinkers of all the ages; snatched by supreme ghouls from crypts where the world thought them safe, and subject to the beck and call of madmen who sought to drain their knowledge for some still wilder end whose ultimate effect would concern, as poor Charles had hinted in his frantic note, ‘all civilisation, all natural law, perhaps even the fate of the solar system and the universe’? And Marinus Bicknell Willett had sifted their dust through his hands!

…and just outside the periphery was one of the Phaleron jugs from the shelves in the other room, its tag numbered 118. This was unstoppered, and proved upon inspection to be empty; but the explorer saw with a shiver that the kylix was not. Within its shallow area, and saved from scattering only by the absence of wind in this sequestered cavern, lay a small amount of a dry, dull-greenish efflorescent powder which must have belonged in the jug; and Willett almost reeled at the implications that came sweeping over him as he correlated little by little the several elements and antecedents of the scene. The whips and the instruments of torture, the dust or salts from the jug of “Materia”, the two lekythoi from the “Custodes” shelf, the robes, the formulae on the walls, the notes on the pad, the hints from letters and legends, and the thousand glimpses, doubts, and suppositions which had come to torment the friends and parents of Charles Ward—all these engulfed the doctor in a tidal wave of horror as he looked at that dry greenish powder outspread in the pedestalled leaden kylix on the floor.
 

But what was this cold wind which had sprung into life at the very outset of the chant? The lamps were sputtering woefully, and the gloom grew so dense that the letters on the wall nearly faded from sight. There was smoke, too, and an acrid odour which quite drowned out the stench from the far-away wells; an odour like that he had smelt before, yet infinitely stronger and more pungent. He turned from the inscriptions to face the room with its bizarre contents, and saw that the kylix on the floor, in which the ominous efflorescent powder had lain, was giving forth a cloud of thick, greenish-black vapour of surprising volume and opacity. That powder—Great God! it had come from the shelf of “Materia”—what was it doing now, and what had started it? The formula he had been chanting—the first of the pair—Dragon’s Head, ascending node—Blessed Saviour, could it be. . . .

The doctor reeled, and through his head raced wildly disjointed scraps from all he had seen, heard, and read of the frightful case of Joseph Curwen and Charles Dexter Ward. “I say to you againe, doe not call up Any that you can not put downe. . . . Have ye Wordes for laying at all times readie, and stopp not to be sure when there is any Doubte of Whom you have. . . . Three Talkes with What was therein inhum’d. . . .” Mercy of Heaven, what is that shape behind the parting smoke?

 

Tome Tribute

"They say foul beings of Old Times still lurk in dark forgotten corners of the world, And Gates stll gape to loose, on certain nights, Shapes pent in Hell."

From Unaussprechlichen Kulten

Credits and Copyrights

Carcosa Collection and Website Bruce Ballon © 2010-2015 , Web Design Luke Shield and Bruce Ballon, Art / Graphics / Photos by Steve Lines and Bruce Ballon, music clip by Ennio Morricone

The Book

Thought of the Eon

There is a concept that is the corrupter and destroyer of all others. I speak not of Evil, whose limited empire is that of ethics; I speak of the infinite.

-Jorge Luis Borges