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The Abhorrence

Named both as vaguely as is descriptive and as specifically as our knowledge will allow, The Abhorrence brings incomparable death or inconsolable suffering per its whims.


The Abhorrence is one of the oldest phenomena for which we have a name, the oldest thing that no amount of speculation or study - such as is possible - has even begun to create an understanding of. An ancient force, fundamentally an instantiation of the platonic ideal of ‘wrong’, The Abhorrence is everything repulsive and terrible and unforgiveable all snarled up into a gestalt of malice and malign intent, the horror that slopes towards Bethlehem. It is the things our worst nightmares have nightmares about, familiar and alien by turns, depending on whichever is most grotesque. Due to how little we really know, which is more than inversely proportional to the extent of our justified fears, accounts of it are hard to identify and even harder to unravel.

One of the reasons for this difficulty comes from the detail that, from what we can piece together, the nature of The Abhorrence rebuffs scientific inquiry completely; if not deliberately and intentionally. The records and retellings of the most certain instances of our encounters with it are corrupted by the effect it has on its victims.

The human mind has tendencies which act as a defence against direct contact with The Abhorrence or, rather, a survival mechanism in the wake of those encounters; more specifically the mind, to some extent, breaks. Short-lived but acute psychotic episodes, amnesia, fugue states and blackouts are all common, with the triggering incident or experience becoming buried beneath layers of wilful denial.

What anecdotal information can be gleaned from recovered memories, from the nightmares and phobias that leak through the pressure valve of self-preservation, point to an amorphous and incomprehensible cosmological horror of the type which Lovecraft took such pains to not describe. If not truly embodying the appearance and impression of the things which its victims fear most, it can project them over its real body. Many believe that The Abhorrence is able to take on any form it chooses at will, but is not able to completely disguise its nature, an aura of its sickening presence and resolve obscured but not eliminated even when it wears the most beautiful of aspects or the most handsome of faces.

This juxtaposition makes The Abhorrence, if anything, more profane. It is a toxic psychic presence that contorts the very skin of reality and any soul unlucky enough to be within its grasping, murderous reach. It is also motivated by, or at least possessed of, an intelligence which, at the very least, is able to recognise irony. Given that The Abhorrence has never been caught or trapped, and that even first-hand accounts are richer in poetry than they are in detailed analysis, it occupies a niche aspect of study, even in the rarefied schools where it is recognised at all. This academic interest, where objectivity yields to the philosophical fields of ontology and ponerology, was once able to gather enough repute to draw together a small symposium.

The Abhorrence was one of the topics of discussion and, while one person who attended the meeting lived, no-one survived. Despite being held in the middle of a busy university, no-one heard a sound from the room until a cleaner screamed, bringing a small group of concerned passers-by together: The sole survivor was huddled in the corner, mewling and clawing at the walls with bloody and broken fingers and surrounded by the dead. The details of the scene are hard to come by and harder to read, describing a unique and inventive cruelty to each murder, a personal hell that could not possibly have taken place in the silence that those in the area professed to have heard, nor even in the time that passed. The Abhorrence, it seems, dislikes the idea of being studied, leaving the most damaged of its victims a mute witness who soon became catatonic and non-communicative.

Fortunately, even The Abhorrence is not without its limitations. While the only first-hand accounts come from those whose reason has abandoned them, there is some evidence that their shocking appearance is robbed of some of its potency in reflection like the gorgons of myth. Furthermore, and even undertaking a search with the most generous parameters for attacks and incidents which might have the Abhorrence at their centre, what we know seems to strongly indicate that it is a singular presence. It is then a creature bound by at least some of the same laws that limit any one entity’s ability to do harm, even there are accounts which suggest that it can steal into a barred room, commit its infinite horrors and escape without trace...

Still, even if it were the least of all the things assumed about it, if you find yourselves abroad in the fields The Abhorrence stalks, death may be your kindest future. Between its undeniable age and its ability to torture and kill people with fears they were not even cognisant of having, it has been argued that The Abhorrence is the source of every lesser horror that comes slithering or skittering into the world out of the dark recesses of our lizard brains: a comforting theory perhaps, reducing the number of dragons we might have to slay down to a single, albeit unknowably terrible, foe. To those people The Abhorrence is given another title, The Patron Saint of Travesties, to add to its already intimidating list of honorifics and appellations: Iblis, Angra Mainyu and Satan, to give but a few of the more common names that have been ascribed to it throughout history.

The evidence left behind after the fatal attacks that have been attributed to The Abhorrence, along with most of what survivors are able to recall, speaks to a simplicity of motive that is at odds with the impossible complexity of its being. Most of its work is done by its mere presence, a spur to a madness that can destroy sanity and drive ordinary people to acts of extreme self-harm and unspeakable violence. But while the fallout of its intrusions is profound, The Abhorrence can, for itself, only bring to bear a creative, if all-too-ordinary, brutality. Although the grander intentions behind its actions may suggest the outline of some great work, in each separate instance the ultimate expression of evil is shown to be nothing more than a cruel and tawdry killer; outstripped by the industrialisation of banal, everyday suffering.


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