By Portrait 10 Comments
This being the first part in the final saga of the Gray family.
Act I, Part I: In which a tale is begun, and history is recounted.
To understand the present, we must look at what has come before. Don’t fidget now, I promise I’ll make it interesting for you. This is your legacy after all…now then, where was I? Yes, yes of course: I was going to tell you the tale of the return of Dorian Gray. It started slowly, but quickly spiraled out of control, like a snowball rolled down a hill by a small child. We twelve…we are only one of the results, and…Cory, will you please turn off that light? It’s ruining the ambiance. I’ll just light this gas lamp and…there, that’s better. Let us begin.
Anyone who’s anyone knows the tale of Dorian Gray: The man who sold his soul for eternal youth…but who fell into corruption and madness. No surprise that this vile man had bastard offspring. The first to emerge into the public eye was Persephone Gray, Portrait. She was controlled by the Great Old Ones, demon-gods from another world, perhaps another universe. They wanted to sink their rot into the Earth, and the Gray family was engineered to be their agents. The Old Ones didn’t count on Persephone’s strong will though. When she broke free of their control and struck out on her own, they concocted a diabolical scheme to get her back. One of the verminous children of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young, posed as a third Gray child…yes, I said third, I’ll get to that shortly. Well, this faux-Gray was stuck in infancy, and Persephone believed that she had been that way for hundreds of years. When she turned to her gods and got no response, there was only one solution…to free her pseudo-sister, Persephone plunged a knife into the infant’s soul-painting, ending her life. Then, disillusioned by the cruelness of life, she gave in and returned to the Great Old Ones. Shortly after this, the second of the true children of Dorian Gray surfaced…Gavroche Gray, Counterfeit. Gavroche wanted to take the full power of the Gray family for himself. He attempted to consume both his sister and the Great Old Ones themselves…which proved a mistake. Weakened by Persephone, Gavroche could not keep the Old Ones in check. They broke away, and killed Gavroche, bringing him back as a mindless shell with the kiss of Bug-Shash. So Gavroche is out of the picture for now. Oh, I just realized I forgot something, very, very important; the child of Shub-Niggurath was phase two of the plan to get Persephone back. The first step actually involved impersonating Dorian Gray in Hell. Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, took Dorian’s soul, and locked it away in Kadath. It then pretended to be Dorian, playing on all of Portrait’s fears, ripping away the foundation she had built her life upon. It was only after that that he revealed the secret about the ‘third Gray child’, and I’ve already told the rest of that.
Yes, I know, you want me to get to the REAL story. The one I promised you. Please be patient, I’m almost there. I swear. We’re talking about the history of a family that crosses hundreds of years. This is as condensed a version as I can put together for you. Here, I’ll skip the KOV and when Persephone became a tour guide for the Painted World. You wanted to hear that Howie? Well, too bad, you should have been paying attention earlier. No, don’t pout, I’ll write it down for you later. May I continue? Yes? Okay:
So while all that fascinating stuff I skipped was going on, Gavroche was discovered by Pan, god of madness. His mind was returned to him, though Gavroche was more dangerously unbalanced than ever. Then he just…vanished. And NOW our story begins in earnest…so let’s turn back to Dorian Gray, trapped in the dreamland of Kadath…
As the storyteller found his rhythm, his powers kicked in and the listeners could swear they were present at the events he told. The glow of the gas lamp faded away, replaced by walls of smooth obsidian, bent at angles inconceivable to the human eye. Shadows broke free and danced at the corners of vision, faceless terrors…