CAS

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Clark Ashton Smith - Some Ideas and Descriptions from his Stories 3

Clark Ashton Smith - Some Ideas and Descriptions from his Stories

SPOILER WARNING!

If you have not read this story TURN BACK NOW! or risk losing forever the unspoiled appreciation of Clark Ashton Smith's prose.

Inspired by the rules and setting of the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyberborea boxed set and the discussion of the same on the OD&D Forum I have started sifting through my collection of Clark Ashton Smith for ideas.


3). The Last Incantation
(Written Sept 23 1929, Published in Weird Tales June 1930)

Malygris (Mage) - NPC
Meros Valley - [PLC]
Nylissa - [NPC]
Poseidonous - [PLC]
Susran (capital of Poseidonos) - [TWN]
Zemander (stream) - [RVR]

Malygris
Poseidonous
Susran

"Malygris the magician sat in the topmost room of his tower that was builded on a conical hill above the heart of Susran, capital of Poseidonis. Wrought of a dark stone mined from deep in the earth, perdurable and hard as the fabled adamant, this tower loomed above all others, and flung its shadow far on the roofs and domes of the city, even as the sinister power of Malygris had thrown its darkness on the minds of men.

Now Malygris was old, and all the baleful might of his enchantments, all the dreadful or curious demons under his control, all the fear that he had wrought in the hearts of kings and prelates,were no longer enough to assuage the black ennui of his days. In his chair that was fashioned from the ivory of mastodons, inset with terrible cryptic runes of red tourmalines and azure crystals, he stared moodily though the one lozenge-shaped window of fulvous glass. His white eyebrows were contracted to a single line on the umber parchment of his face, and beneath them his eyes were cold and green as the ice of ancient floes; his beard, half white, half of a black with glaucous gleams, fell nearly to his knees and hid many of the writhing serpentine characters inscribed in woven silver athwart the bosom of his violet robe. About him were scattered all the appurtenances of his art; the skulls of men and monsters; phials filled with black or amber liquids, whose sacrilegious use was known to none but himself; little drums of vulture-skin, and crotali made from the bones and teeth of the cockodrill, used as an accompaniment to certain incantations. The mosaic floor was partly covered with the skins of enormous black and silver apes; and above the door there hung the head of a unicorn in which dwelt the familiar demon Malygris, in the form of a coral viper with pale green belly and ashen mottlings. Books were piled everywhere; ancient volumes bound in serpent-skin, with verdigris-eaten clasps, that held the frightful lore of Atlantis, the pentacles that have power upon the demons of the earth and the moon, the spells that transmute or disintegrate the elements; and runes from a lost language of Hyperborea, which, when uttered aloud, were more deadly than poison or more potent than any philtre."

Nylissa

"...the girl Nylissa whom he had loved.


ADVENTURE IDEAS:

Rather than an adventure about Malygris I see this grim mage as a source for many adventures. In my Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign I will have him as one of the most powerful magicians in Hyperborea. He will be a font of knowledge esoteric, sorcerous and nefarious with many agents across the land to assist him. The players can become his paid agents, or cross paths with them, or act as hired adventurers sent to find some rare item or component while Malygris sits in his tower and dreams dark dreams.

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