Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The Hashish Eater by Clark Ashton Smith

Expand Messages
  • dirtkami
    Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams; I crown me with the million-colored sun Of secret worlds incredible, and take Their trailing skies for vestment when I
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 16, 2010
      Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
      I crown me with the million-colored sun
      Of secret worlds incredible, and take
      Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,
      Throned on the mounting zenith, and illume
      The spaceward-flown horizons infinite.
      Like rampant monsters roaring for their glut,
      The fiery-crested oceans rise and rise,
      By jealous moons maleficently urged
      To follow me for ever; mountains horned
      With peaks of sharpest adamant, and mawed
      With sulphur-lit volcanoes lava-langued,
      Usurp the skies with thunder, but in vain;
      And continents of serpent-shapen trees,
      With slimy trunks that lengthen league by league,
      Pursue my light through ages spurned to fire
      By that supreme ascendance; sorcerers,
      And evil kings, predominanthly armed
      With scrolls of fulvous dragon-skin whereon
      Are worm-like runes of ever-twisting flame,
      Would stay me; and the sirens of the stars,
      With foam-like songs from silver fragrance wrought,
      Would lure me to their crystal reefs; and moons
      Where viper-eyed, senescent devils dwell,
      With antic gnomes abominably wise,
      Heave up their icy horns across my way.
      But naught deters me from the goal ordained
      By suns and eons and immortal wars,
      And sung by moons and motes; the goal whose name
      Is all the secret of forgotten glyphs
      By sinful gods in torrid rubies writ
      For ending of a brazen book; the goal
      Whereat my soaring ecstasy may stand
      In amplest heavens multiplied to hold
      My hordes of thunder-vested avatars,
      And Promethèan armies of my thought,
      That brandish claspèd levins. There I call
      My memories, intolerably clad
      In light the peaks of paradise may wear,
      And lead the Armageddon of my dreams
      Whose instant shout of triumph is become
      Immensity's own music: for their feet
      Are founded on innumerable worlds,
      Remote in alien epochs, and their arms
      Upraised, are columns potent to exalt
      With ease ineffable the countless thrones
      Of all the gods that are or gods to be,
      And bear the seats of Asmodai and Set
      Above the seventh paradise.

      In culminant omniscience manifold,
      And served by senses multitudinous,
      Far-posted on the shifting walls of time,
      With eyes that roam the star-unwinnowed fields
      Of utter night and chaos, I convoke
      The Babel of their visions, and attend
      At once their myriad witness. I behold
      In Ombos, where the fallen Titans dwell,
      With mountain-builded walls, and gulfs for moat,
      The secret cleft that cunning dwarves have dug
      Beneath an alp-like buttress; and I list,
      Too late, the clam of adamantine gongs
      Dinned by their drowsy guardians, whose feet
      Have fell the wasp-like sting of little knives
      Embrued With slobber of the basilisk
      Or the pail Juice of wounded upas. In
      Some red Antarean garden-world, I see
      The sacred flower with lips of purple flesh,
      And silver-Lashed, vermilion-lidded eyes
      Of torpid azure; whom his furtive priests
      At moonless eve in terror seek to slay
      With bubbling grails of sacrificial blood
      That hide a hueless poison. And I read
      Upon the tongue of a forgotten sphinx,
      The annulling word a spiteful demon wrote
      In gall of slain chimeras; and I know
      What pentacles the lunar wizards use,
      That once allured the gulf-returning roc,
      With ten great wings of furlèd storm, to pause
      Midmost an alabaster mount; and there,
      With boulder-weighted webs of dragons' gut
      Uplift by cranes a captive giant built,
      They wound the monstrous, moonquake-throbbing bird,
      And plucked from off his saber-taloned feet
      Uranian sapphires fast in frozen blood,
      And amethysts from Mars. I lean to read
      With slant-lipped mages, in an evil star,
      The monstrous archives of a war that ran
      Through wasted eons, and the prophecy
      Of wars renewed, which shall commemorate
      Some enmity of wivern-headed kings
      Even to the brink of time. I know the blooms
      Of bluish fungus, freaked with mercury,
      That bloat within the creators of the moon,
      And in one still, selenic and fetor; and I know
      What clammy blossoms, blanched and cavern-grown,
      Are proffered to their gods in Uranus
      By mole-eyed peoples; and the livid seed
      Of some black fruit a king in Saturn ate,
      Which, cast upon his tinkling palace-floor,
      Took root between the burnished flags, and now
      Hath mounted and become a hellish tree,
      Whose lithe and hairy branches, lined with mouths,
      Net like a hundred ropes his lurching throne,
      And strain at starting pillars. I behold
      The slowly-thronging corals that usurp
      Some harbour of a million-masted sea,
      And sun them on the league-long wharves of gold—
      Bulks of enormous crimson, kraken-limbed
      And kraken-headed, lifting up as crowns
      The octiremes of perished emperors,
      And galleys fraught with royal gems, that sailed
      From a sea-fled haven.

      Swifter and stranger grow
      The visions: now a mighty city looms,
      Hewn from a hill of purest cinnabar
      To domes and turrets like a sunrise thronged
      With tier on tier of captive moons, half-drowned
      In shifting erubescence. But whose hands
      Were sculptors of its doors, and columns wrought
      To semblance of prodigious blooms of old,
      No eremite hath lingered there to say,
      And no man comes to learn: for long ago
      A prophet came, warning its timid king
      Against the plague of lichens that had crept
      Across subverted empires, and the sand
      Of wastes that cyclopean mountains ward;
      Which, slow and ineluctable, would come
      To take his fiery bastions and his fanes,
      And quench his domes with greenish tetter. Now
      I see a host of naked gents, armed
      With horns of behemoth and unicorn,
      Who wander, blinded by the clinging spells
      O hostile wizardry, and stagger on
      To forests where the very leaves have eyes,
      And ebonies like wrathful dragons roar
      To teaks a-chuckle in the loathly gloom;
      Where coiled lianas lean, with serried fangs,
      From writhing palms with swollen boles that moan;
      Where leeches of a scarlet moss have sucked
      The eyes of some dead monster, and have crawled
      To bask upon his azure-spotted spine;
      Where hydra-throated blossoms hiss and sing,
      Or yawn with mouths that drip a sluggish dew
      Whose touch is death and slow corrosion. Then
      I watch a war of pygmies, met by night,
      With pitter of their drums of parrot's hide,
      On plains with no horizon, where a god
      Might lose his way for centuries; and there,
      In wreathèd light and fulgors all convolved,
      A rout of green, enormous moons ascend,
      With rays that like a shivering venom run
      On inch-long swords of lizard-fang.

      From this my throne, as from a central sun,
      The pageantries of worlds and cycles pass;
      Forgotten splendors, dream by dream, unfold
      Like tapestry, and vanish; violet suns,
      Or suns of changeful iridescence, bring
      Their rays about me like the colored lights
      Imploring priests might lift to glorify
      The face of some averted god; the songs
      Of mystic poets in a purple world
      Ascend to me in music that is made
      From unconceivèd perfumes and the pulse
      Of love ineffable; the lute-players
      Whose lutes are strung with gold of the utmost moon,
      Call forth delicious languors, never known
      Save to their golden kings; the sorcerers
      Of hooded stars inscrutable to God,
      Surrender me their demon-wrested scrolls,
      lnscribed with lore of monstrous alchemies
      And awful transformations.

      If I will
      I am at once the vision and the seer,
      And mingle with my ever-streaming pomps,
      And still abide their suzerain: I am
      The neophyte who serves a nameless god,
      Within whose fane the fanes of Hecatompylos
      Were arks the Titan worshippers might bear,
      Or flags to pave the threshold; or I am
      The god himself, who calls the fleeing clouds
      Into the nave where suns might congregate
      And veils the darkling mountain of his face
      With fold on solemn fold; for whom the priests
      Amass their monthly hecatomb of gems
      Opals that are a camel-cumbering load,
      And monstrous alabraundines, won from war
      With realms of hostile serpents; which arise,
      Combustible, in vapors many-hued
      And myrrh-excelling perfumes. It is I,
      The king, who holds with scepter-dropping hand
      The helm of some great barge of orichalchum,
      Sailing upon an amethystine sea
      To isles of timeless summer: for the snows
      Of Hyperborean winter, and their winds,
      Sleep in his jewel-builded capital,
      Nor any charm of flame-wrought wizardry,
      Nor conjured suns may rout them; so he fees,
      With captive kings to urge his serried oars,
      Hopeful of dales where amaranthine dawn
      Hath never left the faintly sighing lote
      And lisping moly. Firm of heart, I fare
      Impanoplied with azure diamond,
      As hero of a quest Achernar lights,
      To deserts filled with ever-wandering flames
      That feed upon the sullen marl, and soar
      To wrap the slopes of mountains, and to leap
      With tongues intolerably lengthening
      That lick the blenchèd heavens. But there lives
      (Secure as in a garden walled from wind)
      A lonely flower by a placid well,
      Midmost the flaring tumult of the flames,
      That roar as roars a storm-possessed sea,
      Impacable for ever; and within
      That simple grail the blossom lifts, there lies
      One drop of an incomparable dew
      Which heals the parchèd weariness of kings,
      And cures the wound of wisdom. I am page
      To an emperor who reigns ten thousand years,
      And through his labyrinthine palace-rooms,
      Through courts and colonnades and balconies
      Wherein immensity itself is mazed,
      I seek the golden gorget he hath lost,
      On which, in sapphires fine as orris-seed,
      Are writ the names of his conniving stars
      And friendly planets. Roaming thus, I hear
      Like demon tears incessant, through dark ages,
      The drip of sullen clepsydrae; and once
      In every lustrum, hear the brazen clocks
      Innumerably clang with such a sound
      As brazen hammers make, by devils dinned
      On tombs of all the dead; and nevermore
      I find the gorget, but at length I find
      A sealèd room whose nameless prisoner
      Moans with a nameless torture, and would turn
      To hell's red rack as to a lilied couch
      From that whereon they stretched him; and I find,
      Prostrate upon a lotus-painted floor,
      The loveliest of all beloved slaves
      My emperor hath, and from her pulseless side
      A serpent rises, whiter than the root
      Of some venefic bloom in darkness grown,
      And gazes up with green-lit eyes that seem
      Like drops of cold, congealing poison.

      What word was whispered in a tongue unknown,
      In crypts of some impenetrable world?
      Whose is the dark, dethroning secrecy
      I cannot share, though I am king of suns,
      And king therewith of strong eternity,
      Whose gnomons with their swords of shadow guard
      My gates, and slay the intruder? Silence loads
      The wind of ether, and the worlds are still
      To hear the word that flees mine audience.
      In simultaneous ruin, al my dreams
      Fall like a rack of fuming vapors raised
      To semblance by a necromant, and leave
      Spirit and sense unthinkably alone
      Above a universe of shrouded stars
      And suns that wander, cowled with sullen gloom,
      Like witches to a Sabbath. . . . Fear is born
      In crypts below the nadir, and hath crawled
      Reaching the floor of space, and waits for wings
      To lift it upward like a hellish worm
      Fain for the flesh of cherubim. Red orbs
      And eyes that gleam remotely as the stars,
      But are not eyes of suns or galaxies,
      Gather and throng to the base of darkness; flame
      Behind some black, abysmal curtain burns,
      Implacable, and fanned to whitest wrath
      By raisèd wings that flail the whiffled gloom,
      And make a brief and broken wind that moans
      As one who rides a throbbing rack. There is
      A Thing that crouches, worlds and years remote,
      Whose horns a demon sharpens, rasping forth
      A note to shatter the donjon-keeps of time,
      Or crack the sphere of crystal. All is dark
      For ages, and my toiling heart-suspends
      Its clamor as within the clutch of death
      Tightening with tense, hermetic rigors. Then,
      In one enormous, million-flashing flame,
      The stars unveil, the suns remove their cowls,
      And beam to their responding planets; time
      Is mine once more, and armies of its dreams
      Rally to that insuperable throne
      Firmed on the zenith.

      Once again I seek
      The meads of shining moly I had found
      In some anterior vision, by a stream
      No cloud hath ever tarnished; where the sun,
      A gold Narcissus, loiters evermore
      Above his golden image. But I find
      A corpse the ebbing water will not keep,
      With eyes like sapphires that have lain in hell|
      And felt the hissing coals; and all the flowers
      About me turn to hooded serpents, swayed
      By flutes of devils in lascivious dance
      Meet for the nod of Satan, when he reigns
      Above the raging Sabbath, and is wooed
      By sarabands of witches. But I turn
      To mountains guarding with their horns of snow
      The source of that befoulèd rill, and seek
      A pinnacle where none but eagles climb,
      And they with failing pennons. But in vain
      I flee, for on that pylon of the sky
      Some curse hath turned the unprinted snow to flame—
      Red fires that curl and cluster to my tread,
      Trying the summit's narrow cirque. And now
      I see a silver python far beneath-
      Vast as a river that a fiend hath witched
      And forced to flow reverted in its course
      To mountains whence it issued. Rapidly
      It winds from slope to crumbling slope, and fills
      Ravines and chasmal gorges, till the crags
      Totter with coil on coil incumbent. Soon
      It hath entwined the pinnacle I keep,
      And gapes with a fanged, unfathomable maw
      Wherein Great Typhon and Enceladus
      Were orts of daily glut. But I am gone,
      For at my call a hippogriff hath come,
      And firm between his thunder-beating wings
      I mount the sheer cerulean walls of noon
      And see the earth, a spurnèd pebble, fall—
      Lost in the fields of nether stars—and seek
      A planet where the outwearied wings of time
      Might pause and furl for respite, or the plumes
      Of death be stayed, and loiter in reprieve
      Above some deathless lily: for therein
      Beauty hath found an avatar of flowers-
      Blossoms that clothe it as a colored flame
      From peak to peak, from pole to sullen pole,
      And turn the skies to perfume. There I find
      A lonely castle, calm, and unbeset
      Save by the purple spears of amaranth,
      And leafing iris tender-sworded. Walls
      Of flushèd marble, wonderful with rose,
      And domes like golden bubbles, and minarets
      That take the clouds as coronal-these are mine,
      For voiceless looms the peaceful barbican,
      And the heavy-teethed portcullis hangs aloft
      To grin a welcome. So I leave awhile
      My hippogriff to crop the magic meads,
      And pass into a court the lilies hold,
      And tread them to a fragrance that pursues
      To win the portico, whose columns, carved
      Of lazuli and amber, mock the palms
      Of bright Aidennic forests-capitalled
      With fronds of stone fretted to airy lace,
      Enfolding drupes that seem as tawny clusters
      Of breasts of unknown houris; and convolved
      With vines of shut and shadowy-leavèd flowers
      Like the dropt lids of women that endure
      Some loin-dissolving ecstasy. Through doors
      Enlaid with lilies twined luxuriously,
      I enter, dazed and blinded with the sun,
      And hear, in gloom that changing colors cloud,
      A chuckle sharp as crepitating ice
      Upheaved and cloven by shoulders of the damned
      Who strive in Antenora. When my eyes
      Undazzle, and the cloud of color fades,
      I find me in a monster-guarded room,
      Where marble apes with wings of griffins crowd
      On walls an evil sculptor wrought, and beasts
      Wherein the sloth and vampire-bat unite,
      Pendulous by their toes of tarnished bronze,
      Usurp the shadowy interval of lamps
      That hang from ebon arches. Like a ripple
      Borne by the wind from pool to sluggish pool
      In fields where wide Cocytus flows his bound,
      A crackling smile around that circle runs,
      And all the stone-wrought gibbons stare at me
      With eyes that turn to glowing coals. A fear
      That found no name in Babel, flings me on,
      Breathless and faint with horror, to a hall
      Within whose weary, self-reverting round,
      The languid curtains, heavier than palls,
      Unnumerably depict a weary king
      Who fain would cool his jewel-crusted hands
      In lakes of emerald evening, or the field
      Of dreamless poppies pure with rain. I flee
      Onward, and all the shadowy curtains shake
      With tremors of a silken-sighing mirth,
      And whispers of the innumerable king,
      Breathing a tale of ancient pestilence
      Whose very words are vile contagion. Then
      I reach a room where caryatids,
      Carved in the form of voluptuous Titan women,
      Surround a throne flowering ebony
      Where creeps a vine of crystal. On the throne
      There lolls a wan, enormous Worm, whose bulk,
      Tumid with all the rottenness of kings,
      Overflows its arms with fold on creasèd fold
      Obscenely bloating. Open-mouthed he leans,
      And from his fulvous throat a score of tongues,
      Depending like to wreaths of torpid vipers,
      Drivel with phosphorescent slime, that runs
      Down all his length of soft and monstrous folds,
      And creeping among the flowers of ebony,
      Lends them the life of tiny serpents. Now,
      Ere the Horror ope those red and lashless slits
      Of eyes that draw the gnat and midge, I turn
      And follow down a dusty hall, whose gloom,
      Lined by the statues with their mighty limbs,
      Ends in golden-roofèd balcony
      Sphering the flowered horizon.

      Ere my heart
      Hath hushed the panic tumult of its pulses,
      I listen, from beyond the horizon's rim,
      A mutter faint as when the far simoom,
      Mounting from unknown deserts, opens forth,
      Wide as the waste, those wings of torrid night
      That shake the doom of cities from their folds,
      And musters in its van a thousand winds
      That, with disrooted palms for besoms, rise,
      And sweep the sands to fury. As the storm,
      Approaching, mounts and loudens to the ears
      Of them that toil in fields of sesame,
      So grows the mutter, and a shadow creeps
      Above the gold horizon like a dawn
      Of darkness climbing zenith-ward. They come,
      The Sabaoth of retribution, drawn
      From all dread spheres that knew my trespassing,
      And led by vengeful fiends and dire alastors
      That owned my sway aforetime! Cockatrice,
      Chimera, martichoras, behemoth,
      Geryon, and sphinx, and hydra, on my ken
      Arise as might some Afrit-builded city
      Consummate in the lifting of a lash
      With thunderous domes and sounding obelisks
      And towers of night and fire alternate! Wings
      Of white-hot stone along the hissing wind
      Bear up the huge and furnace-hearted beasts
      Of hells beyond Rutilicus; and things
      Whose lightless length would mete the gyre of moons—
      Born from the caverns of a dying sun
      Uncoil to the very zenith, half-disclosed
      From gulfs below the horizon; octopi
      Like blazing moons with countless arms of fire,
      Climb from the seas of ever-surging flame
      That roll and roar through planets unconsumed,
      Beating on coasts of unknown metals; beasts
      That range the mighty worlds of Alioth rise,
      Afforesting the heavens with mulitudinous horns
      Amid whose maze the winds are lost; and borne
      On cliff-like brows of plunging scolopendras,
      The shell-wrought towers of ocean-witches loom;
      And griffin-mounted gods, and demons throned
      On-sable dragons, and the cockodrills
      That bear the spleenful pygmies on their backs;
      And blue-faced wizards from the worlds of Saiph,
      On whom Titanic scorpions fawn; and armies
      That move with fronts reverted from the foe,
      And strike athwart their shoulders at the shapes
      The shields reflect in crystal; and eidola
      Fashioned within unfathomable caves
      By hands of eyeless peoples; and the blind
      Worm-shapen monsters of a sunless world,
      With krakens from the ultimate abyss,
      And Demogorgons of the outer dark,
      Arising, shout with dire multisonous clamors,
      And threatening me with dooms ineffable
      In words whereat the heavens leap to flame,
      Advance upon the enchanted palace. Falling
      For league on league before, their shadows light
      And eat like fire the arnaranthine meads,
      Leaving an ashen desert. In the palace
      I hear the apes of marble shriek and howl,
      And all the women-shapen columns moan,
      Babbling with terror. In my tenfold fear,
      A monstrous dread unnamed in any hall,
      I rise, and flee with the fleeing wind for wings,
      And in a trice the wizard palace reefs,
      And spring to a single tower of flame,
      Goes out, and leaves nor shard nor ember! Flown
      Beyond the world upon that fleeing wind
      I reach the gulf's irrespirable verge,
      Where fads the strongest storm for breath, and fall,
      Supportless, through the nadir-plungèd gloom,
      Beyond the scope and vision of the sun,
      To other skies and systems.

      In a world
      Deep-wooded with the multi-colored fungi
      That soar to semblance of fantastic palms,
      I fall as falls the meteor-stone, and break
      A score of trunks to atom powder. Unharmed
      I rise, and through the illimitable woods,
      Among the trees of flimsy opal, roam,
      And see their tops that clamber hour by hour
      To touch the suns of iris. Things unseen,
      Whose charnel breath informs the tideless air
      With spreading pools of fetor, follow me,
      Elusive past the ever-changing palms;
      And pittering moths with wide and ashen wings
      Flit on before, and insects ember-hued,
      Descending, hurtle through the gorgeous gloom
      And quench themselves in crumbling thickets. Heard
      Far off, the gong-like roar of beasts unknown
      Resounds at measured intervals of time,
      Shaking the riper trees to dust, that falls
      In clouds of acrid perfume, stifling me
      Beneath an irised pall.

      Now the palmettoes
      Grow far apart, and lessen momently
      To shrubs a dwarf might topple. Over them
      I see an empty desert, all ablaze
      With ametrysts and rubies, and the dust
      Of garnets or carnelians. On I roam,
      Treading the gorgeous grit, that dazzles me
      With leaping waves of endless rutilance,
      Whereby the air is turned to a crimson gloom
      Through which I wander blind as any Kobold;
      Till underfoot the grinding sands give place
      To stone or metal, with a massive ring
      More welcome to mine ears than golden bells
      Or tinkle of silver fountains. When the gloom
      Of crimson lifts, I stand upon the edge
      Of a broad black plain of adamant that reaches,
      Level as windless water, to the verge
      Of all the world; and through the sable plain
      A hundred streams of shattered marble run,
      And streams of broken steel, and streams of bronze,
      Like to the ruin of all the wars of time,
      To plunge with clangor of timeless cataracts
      Adown the gulfs eternal.

      So I follow
      Between a river of steel and a river of bronze,
      With ripples loud and tuneless as the clash
      Of a million lutes; and come to the precipice
      From which they fall, and make the mighty sound
      Of a million swords that meet a million shields,
      Or din of spears and armour in the wars
      Of half the worlds and eons. Far beneath
      They fall, through gulfs and cycles of the void,
      And vanish like a stream of broken stars
      into the nether darkness; nor the gods
      Of any sun, nor demons of the gulf,
      Will dare to know what everlasting sea
      Is fed thereby, and mounts forevermore
      In one unebbing tide.

      What nimbus-cloud
      Or night of sudden and supreme eclipse,
      Is on the suns opal? At my side
      The rivers run with a wan and ghostly gleam
      Through darkness falling as the night that falls
      From spheres extinguished. Turning, I behold
      Betwixt the sable desert and the suns,
      The poisèd wings of all the dragon-rout,
      Far-flown in black occlusion thousand-fold
      Through stars, and deeps, and devastated worlds,
      Upon my trail of terror! Griffins, rocs,
      And sluggish, dark chimeras, heavy-winged
      After the ravin of dispeopled lands,
      And harpies, and the vulture-birds of hell,
      Hot from abominable feasts, and fain
      To cool their beaks and talons in my blood—
      All, all have gathered, and the wingless rear,
      With rank on rank of foul, colossal Worms,
      Makes horrent now the horizon. From the wan
      I hear the shriek of wyvers, loud and shrill
      As tempests in a broken fane, and roar
      Of sphinxes, like relentless toll of bells
      From towers infernal. Cloud on hellish cloud
      They arch the zenith, and a dreadful wind
      Falls from them like the wind before the storm,
      And in the wind my riven garment streams
      And flutters in the face of all the void,
      Even as flows a flaffing spirit, lost
      On the pit s undying tempest. Louder grows
      The thunder of the streams of stone and bronze—
      Redoubled with the roar of torrent wings
      Inseparable mingled. Scarce I keep
      My footing in the gulfward winds of fear,
      And mighty thunders beating to the void
      In sea-like waves incessant; and would flee
      With them, and prove the nadir-founded night
      Where fall the streams of ruin. But when I reach
      The verge, and seek through sun-defeating gloom
      To measure with my gaze the dread descent,
      I see a tiny star within the depths-
      A light that stays me while the wings of doom
      Convene their thickening thousands: for the star
      increases, taking to its hueless orb,
      With all the speed of horror-changèd dreams,
      The light as of a million million moons;
      And floating up through gulfs and glooms eclipsed
      It grows and grows, a huge white eyeless Face
      That fills the void and fills the universe,
      And bloats against the limits of the world
      With lips of flame that open . . .
    • Donnie
      An awesome poem that is very full of evocative imagery. Never heard of him myself but given that his books were barely available in when they were published
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 20, 2010
        An awesome poem that is very full of evocative imagery. Never heard of him myself but given that his books were barely available in when they were published and no one ever tried to popularize them I am unsurprised at my ignorance.

        Thanks man.
      • dirtkami
        D20 Clark Ashton Smith http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/articles/criticism/zothique-d20v1.pdf
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 17, 2010
          D20 Clark Ashton Smith

          --- In Maps_Gods_Stories iknowset wrote:
          > An awesome poem that is very full of evocative imagery. Never heard of him myself but given that his books were barely available in when they were published and no one ever tried to popularize them I am unsurprised at my ignorance.
          > Thanks man.
        • plunkscott@comcast.net
          Wow, that was a pretty cool read..... and I didn t even read near all of it (yet). ... From: dirtkami To: Maps Gods Stories
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 18, 2010
            Wow, that was a pretty cool read..... and I didn't even read near all of it (yet).

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "dirtkami" <I_ATE_BREAKFAST@...>
            To: "Maps Gods Stories" <Maps_Gods_Stories@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 2:05:14 PM
            Subject: [Maps_Gods_Stories] Re: The Hashish Eater by Clark Ashton Smith


            D20 Clark Ashton Smith

            --- In Maps_Gods_Stories iknowset wrote:
            > An awesome poem that is very full of evocative imagery. Never heard of him myself but given that his books were barely available in when they were published and no one ever tried to popularize them I am unsurprised at my ignorance.
            > Thanks man.

          • i_ate_breakfast
            GURPS Infinite Worlds Mountain Anti Soviet Socialist Autonomous Central Republic Empire (MASSACRE) Current Affairs: Capital city of Betlemi have advanced
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 23, 2015
              GURPS Infinite Worlds

              Mountain Anti Soviet Socialist Autonomous Central Republic Empire (MASSACRE)
              Current Affairs: Capital city of Betlemi have advanced airships. The other three settlements granted total autonomy.
              Divergence Point: 1920, Soviets discover a Periodic Portal to an uninhabited world. 
              Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus (MRNC) January 1920. When completely defeated by the advancing Red Army all the villages at first greeted them with red flags, but the promises of autonomous rule and guaranteed cultural and religious freedoms made by the Bolsheviks went unrealized. 

              By December 1920 Soviet authorities, in addition to arrests and executions, resettled entire villages in mass deportations, impossibly far from family homes, into an uninhabited timeline during an ice age without providing them with the conditions for survival. The resulting initial high mortality left a tough population with a strong will to survive. 

              Heavily mined for 20 years then abandoned due to constant rebellion. After that it was occasionally used by rich big game hunters until the world of origin became a Hell World in the 1950s, burnt to a crisp in nuclear fire at the onset of World War III. The last group of mammoth hunters that came through the conveyor in 1952 were unable to return.

              World Data
              Ice Age, current year 2005, population 99,060
              Great Powers
              Betlemi (oligarchy, CR3 (Punishment Severity 5), population 84,000), Larderello (plutocracy, CR5, population 5,120), Leyte (technocracy, CR3, population 4,080), Cerro Prieto (oligarchy, CR 3, population 3,800), Wairakei (anarchy, CR0, population 560)
              TL: 6 (TL5 transportation and medicine, TL7 geothermal power and hydroponics) 
              Mana Level: none
              Languages: Balkar · Chechen · Dagestani · Ingush · Kabardian · Ossetic · Russian

              Travel between settlements is by airship, most people live underground near the geothermic power plants. A tiny fraction of the population live outside the five settlements (1,500). Russian is spoken by everyone. 

              Betlemi: The frozen surface appeals to very few and the punishment for violent or career criminals and political rivals is banishment during the summer solstice. These small groups typically don't make it too far before preying on each other and falling to the cold or getting eaten by hungry mega fauna. Betlemi has TL5+1 steam dirigibles.

              Larderello: Criminals, debtors and fired servants are given the "Vacation Package" and deported to Wairakei.

              Leyete: TL5+1 steam submarines shaped like fish are used to explore and lobster shaped subs are used to farm and harvest undersea resources.

              Cerro Prieto: Domesticated mammoths are used for hunting and food.

              Wairakei: Location of the Wairakei Power Station and Casino. Domesticated moa provide meat and eggs.

            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.