"The two men, apart from their misfortunes, shared an illimitable curiosity concerning all things Martian. Their thirst for the exotic, their proclivity for wandering into places usually avoided by terrestrials, had drawn them together in spite of obvious differences of temperament and had made them fast friends.
Trying to forget their worries, they had spent the past day in the queerly piled and huddled maze of old Ignarh, called by the Martians Ignar-Vath, on the eastern side of the great Yahan Canal. Returning at the sunset hour, and following the estrade of purple marble beside the water, they had nearly reached the mile-long bridge that would take them back to the modern city, Ignar-Luth, in which were the terrestrial consulates and shipping-offices and hotels."
There are relics & traditions on Mars older then life on Earth steeped in forbidden rites & horrid magicks of a bygone age. One such relic is the Vulth' russ or its translated title 'the black tongue of knowledge'. Writ in the blood of Cru' & translated from the deep Southern sea bottoms dwelling place of the renegade Aihai. The copper cored book is more of an instrument then it is a conventional book this device none the less contains some of the most dangerous spells & forbidden alien knowledge of the Aihai. The book contains horrid knowledge of the dying world. Its gods, the spells of knowledge, the lore of the lost gods, the demons of the red sands & how to summon them, secrets of the dead sea bottoms, terrible life forms gone dorment but not extinct, & forbidden rites that the Aihai refuse to speak about.
"I, who speak, am the entity known as Vulthoom," said the voice "Be not surprised, or frightened: it is my desire to befriend you in return for a consideration which, I hope, you will not find impossible. First of all, however, I must explain certain matters that perplex you
"No doubt you have heard the popular legends concerning me, and have dismissed them as mere superstitions. Like all myths, they are partly true and partly false. I am neither god nor demon, but a being who came to Mars from another universe in former cycles. Though I am not immortal, my span of life is far longer than that of any creature evolved by the worlds of your solar system. I am governed by alien biologic laws, with periods of alternate slumber and wakefulness that involve centuries. It is virtually true, as the Aihais believe, that I sleep for a thousand years and remain conscious continually for another thousand.
"At a time when your ancestors were still the blood-brothers of the ape, I fled from my own world to this intercosmic exile, banished by implacable foes. The Martians say that I fell from heaven like a fiery meteor; and the myth interprets the descent of my ether-ship. I found a matured civilization, immensely inferior, however, to that from which I came.
"The kings and hierarchs of the planet would have driven me away; but I gathered a few adherents, arming them with weapons superior to those of Martian science; and after a great war, I established myself firmly and gained other followers. I did not care to conquer Mars, but withdrew to this cavern-world in which I have dwelt ever since with my adherents. On these, for their faithfulness, I conferred a longevity that is almost equal to my own. To ensure this longevity, I have also given them the gift of a slumber corresponding to mine. They sleep and wake with me.
"We have maintained this order of existence for many ages. Seldom have I meddled in the doings of the surface-dwellers. They, however, have converted me into an evil god or spirit; though evil, to me, is a word without meaning.
"I am the possessor of many senses and faculties unknown to you or to the Martians. My perceptions, at will, can be extended over large areas of space, or even time. Thus I learned your predicament; and I have called you here with the hope of obtaining your consent to a certain plan. To be brief, I have grown weary of Mars, a senile world that draws near to death; and I wish to establish myself in a younger planet. The Earth would serve my purpose well. Even now, my followers are building the new ether-ship in which I propose to make the voyage." Vulthoom By Clark Ashton Smith
Recently 'Unit 13' obtained a copy of the 'Vulth' russ' and had the book translated into common intergalactic. The translator went mad with some of the revelations of what really dwells under the red sands of Mars. The book contains ten levels of black magick spells & forbidden truths including the summoning spell from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. The book also contains a variation of summon monster for the underworld of Mars. It also contains the spells for awakening the Great Old One Vulthoom, and the forbidden secrets of the Therns. The book is a political lightning rod to certain radical factions of Red Martians & sought out by the anti royal black magicians who meet in certain forbidden space in the Martian underworld.
A few of the forbidden secrets from the pages of the 'Vulth' russ' include the following:
- The rite of preparation for the mnemoka
- The true & horrid nature of the inhabitants of the Vaults of Yoh-Vombis
- That which is the Dweller in the Gulf and the spells pertaining to it.
- Summoning rituals for the Martian Essence or living shadow (B/X D&D shadow of high intelligence)
- How to animate & control the Martian zombies of the tombs near the long dried canals by the ice poles.
- Several rites for summoning the servants of Vulthoom
- The forbidden technologies & true purpose of the Sarmak invaders
The Vulth' russ is almost always guarded by ancient interstellar guardian robotoids of a most heinous nature. These robotoids will destroy anyone who invades the inner sanctums of the temples where this work is kept. Prices for a good copy of the
Vulth' russ range between 10,000 to 40,-000 gold pieces for a good copy of this forbidden tome.