The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In “The Tale of Satampra Zeiros” (1931), two thieves, unwisely undaunted by the evil reputation of a certain ruined city, attempt to plunder a shrine erected to the dark god Tsathoggua. The protagonist escapes, though badly maimed, after seeing his companion horribly killed.

In “The Door to Saturn” (1932), the priest Morghi pursues the sorcerer Eibon through a doorway to another world. The two adversaries are forced to combine forces in order to survive in a wilderness of wonders until they find a place to settle.

“The Testament of Athammaus” (1932) is the tale of a hapless headsman appointed to execute a demoniac bandit. Every time his head is struck off, the bandit miraculously rises from the dead, becoming gradually more monstrous. In the end, the bandit degenerates to the point that further beheadings become impractical. In “Ubbo-Sathla” (1933), a modern occultist finds a magic lens that unites him with the personality of its wizard owner and allows him to share that owners visionary quest to find the hideously repulsive mass of protoplasm that is parent to all Earthly life.

In “The Seven Geases” (1934), the vainglorious magistrate Ralibar Vooz falls prey, while out hunting, to the wrath of the sorcerer Ezdagor. Ezdagor places Vooz under a geas, which requires him to descend further into the Tartarean realm to present himself as a blood offering to Tsathoggua. Tsathoggua has no need of him and sends him...

(The entire section is 409 words.)