Weird Book entries

The Weird Book, Chapter 29: The Garden City of Wrotha

As many people know, the City of Wrotha was discovered in 2010 by a farmer in Greenland.  However, after a lengthy legal battle regarding the ownership of the ruins, the ancient city eventually came under the ownership of the Denmark government.  As such, a research team was sent in to investigate the site’s historical significance.  However, in late January of 2015 the impossible happened: the half mile long city disappeared, along with the research team that was in it.  Upon investigation of the site, the journal of a one Dr. Timothy Fisker, the lead Archeologist of the research team, was found buried near the site. The following is the content of that journal:

Journal Entry: November 2, 2015

As an archaeologist, I’ve been privy to some of the world’s most impressive architectural feats—the pyramids of Egypt; ancient Incan ruins in Peru; buried cities in Sudan—but as I sit here, surrounded by the peculiar statuary of a mysterious and bygone people, I find myself taken aback in ways that I’ve never experienced.  Most places tell their stories using the same old lexicon, speaking in buried bones, excavated rock and motes of coughed up dust.  Things are different here, though. There is an aura, a conflagrant sense of something ancient, but still very much present.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, not yet.

They call this place the “Garden City of Wrotha.”  How it got that name is almost as peculiar as the name itself, as the owner of the land it was discovered upon claimed to have heard it in a dream.  A day later he discovered the city (you can see why a story like that might stick).  Of course, the legal battle between Mr. Bystrom (the owner of the land) and the local government regarding the ownership of the ruins was decidedly less garish.  But much to Mr. Bystrom’s chagrin, “the man” won and he was forced to relocate for only a pittance of what his property was actually worth.  And while I believe that such a unique landmark deserves governmental protection, I can’t help but feel bad for Mr. Bystrom.  At least the name remained (that’s something, I suppose).

Anyway, I can’t wait to dig deeper into this place.  At the risk of being too presumptuous, I believe we might be looking at one of the most important archaeological finds since the end of the Great Darkness.

Journal Entry: November 7, 2015

This place is bigger than we thought.  Phillip, our team geologist, says it goes all the way down into the ice shelf.  How it got down there is a matter of speculation.  We’re also not sure how it managed to migrate so close to the surface that a farmer was able to see it simply by turning over the soil.  According to Phil, this place actually rose up from the glacial shelf and settled into the local sediment, instead of being unearthed gradually through the process of erosion (as is usually the case in these instances).  Phil postulates warming arctic waters may have caused large ice sheets to shift, effectively pushing other sheets towards the surface (it couldn’t have just risen up by itself, after all).

In addition to the bizarre circumstances surrounding its discovery, the place itself is quite strange.  For one, the statues and monuments punctuating its labyrinthine hallways and giant rooms are clearly inhuman (yet somehow display some influence of humanity, however miniscule).  These beings, for lack of a more specific designation, seem to be paragons of a sort—large, majestic creatures, muscular in build, with strange elongated skulls, which sometimes displays marking not unlike tattoos or brands.  And the craftsmanship is spectacular, unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  Strangely, which is a word that is all to frequently uttered in this place, we haven’t been able to discover how they were made.  The substance, whatever it is (Phil has yet to identify it), does not seem particularly malleable, and there is no evidence of chiseling or stonecutting of any sort.  It’s as if these statues were not hewn, but instead were naturally occurring (this is clearly an impossibility, and it is only a matter of time, I suspect, before we determine the specific manner through which these effigies were made). 
This place never ceases to amaze me.

Journal Entry: November 17, 2015

Phil is missing and several members of the team have become…paranoid.  Nancy Lindholm, an archeologist of some repute, keeps raving about hearing voices in the deeper areas of the structure (I’m inclined to believe they’re coming from inside her head, rather than the spacious chambers lining these ruins).  Others swear that the hallways are somehow shifting, re-configuring themselves so as to (seemingly) prohibit travel into certain areas.  While I certainly don’t believe the building is metamorphosing (I’m not a lunatic), I do know that this place is huge and can, as a result, easily lead to someone getting lost within its complicated corridors.  That is why, no doubt, Phil is missing.

Still, with all of the superstitious ramblings, and Ms. Lindholm’s ludicrous claims of ancient denizens lurking in the bowels of these ruins, I can’t help but feel a bit shaken-up myself.  I just need some sleep.

Journal Entry: January 18, 2015

It’s all true!  All of it!  I didn’t want to believe it, but then I began to hear voices, just like the ones Dr. Lindholm claimed to hear.  But they weren’t just disembodied whispers, or echoes floating like ghosts down some old cobwebbed hallway; they were coherent, and they were directed at me.  Not through any traditional means, mind you; but through some sort of telepathy.  There’s no other way to explain it! 

A few days ago, Lindholm and I finally decided to go look for Phil, so we made our way down into the deeper recesses of the structure.  After some time, we finally happened upon a sealed room.  It would have never even drawn our attention if it weren’t for the faint emerald glow leaking out from beneath its doors.  We quickly drew out a crowbar and, after much effort, managed to pry the stone entrance open.  We should never have opened that door.

In front of us was a jungle of wires and electronic ligature.  Standing against the far wall, punctuating a thicket of winding coils and tangled circuitry, were large liquid-filled vats. Inside them were floating…things.  Horrific, indescribable things.  Together they stood there, stolid and titanic, like quiet sentinels standing watch over a meek habitat of silicon and beeping machines.  It wasn’t until we got closer that we noticed a capsule of smaller proportions, sitting just below the larger ones.  Phil was in it—unconscious—floating like a fetus in the amniotic ether.  I felt terrible for him.  In that moment, all I could think about was his state of being: was he alive?  Or had he succumbed to the lunacy of it all, and acquiesced to sleep and the paraformaldehyde dreams that would allow him to wash away this world in exchange for another?

The next instant was nothing more than a flash and a scream.  I turned only to see Dr. Lindholm pointing the smoking barrel of a pistol (I didn’t even know she had one) toward something large on the far end of the room.  And although I couldn’t gain a clear look at whatever startled her, I was certainly witness to its terrible capabilities.

Dr. Lindholm was lifted into the air like a fallen leaf in the autumn wind—weightless and whimsical.  But as she floundered, desperate to find some kind of footing, I could sense a pressure mounting, the kind you might feel right before an explosion, or when a jet takes off.  That’s when I heard her bones begin to crack and the wet song of her flesh and organs being forced into one single, tiny space.  As visual creatures, you would think it was the image of watching her body crumple into a small, dripping ball that would disturb me the most.  But it wasn’t.  It was the sounds that she made, the desperate cacophony of screams and wails, and the sound of a culminated life, bold and bright, concluding with a single, unceremonious “thump.”

I closed my eyes and waited for my turn to die.  But it never came.  Instead, my mind became a rarely traveled road into places both unseen and unknown.  Whatever it was that ended Dr. Lindholm’s life decided to reveal to me another.  It saw my thoughts, and as a result, it afforded me a glimpse of its own.  Its mind is another world, the plains of which I have only begun to explore. 
Since the disappearance of Phil, and now Lindholm, the team has become scared. As a result, I’ve had to assuage there fears for the past couple of hours, just until my new friends from below have made sure they can’t leave.  For you see, to gain new knowledge, there are sacrifices that must be made.  I’ll miss my team; they were good people.

Final Entry: December 2, 2015

So much is known to me now!  I’ve seen landscapes made from midnight; seas of roiling fluids brimming with hunting, carnivorous shapes; I’ve even seen peeks and glimpses of the Great Darkness (a sight that, if witnessed, would surely send man back to the padded white corridors he sought so desperately after that un-remembered year). 

Yesterday I saw one of the entities.   They look exactly like their stone depictions, except even more regal…and ferocious.  I know now why the members of my team (God rest their souls) thought the “walls were moving.” For that matter, I also know why the statues embellishing this entire place did not show any evidence of being sculpted or cleaved.  You see, these things are not slaves to reality, they are masters of it. I’m not sure how to explain it, but these creatures cannot just manipulate matter, they can create it (or at least rearrange it in such a way that it takes an alternative form).  They call it “psycho-incarnation.”

But perhaps the most revelatory thing I’ve discovered is what these entities claim to be.  To put it simply: they are the first men.  While they will not allow me the full extent of their history, I know that they are…human.  The original men. 

I have also heard of their maker, a thing beyond even their vast understanding, living somewhere in the hidden heart of the great city. When they speak of this being—their “father,” as they call him—their nearly inscrutable faces appear, if only momentarily, within the visible spectrum of human understanding: fear.

But if this is all true, and they are indeed the first humans, the question remains: what are we?

image
An inhabitant of the Garden City of Wrotha
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A picture from Dr. Fisker's journal. The image is presumably a sketch of the creature he claimed to have seen.

                                                                              

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