Dark Fantasy: Nogoloth – The Drakemorton Hole

In which I continue to pen some seriously Lovecraft-inspired dark fantasy.

On the outer fringes of the city of Oustminnish stands the decayed and crumbling Drakemorton estate. Once a grand and bustling manor built by Captain Dominic Drakemorton more than a century ago, the estate has fallen further and further into disrepair – and disrepute – as the old Captain’s heirs have grown decadent and squandered the fortunate Dominic amassed throughout his storied career. Bereft of its army of servants and caretakers, the family’s holdings rest now in the distracted hands of the last surviving Drakemorton scions: the mad Benicia and her unsettling twin brother Felix.

Behind the manor house itself there are several outbuildings including a mausoleum and disused crematorium. Within the weathered marble burial chamber there is a strange, heavy slab – cemented in place for three generations – that has recently been chiseled free and cast aside as through by an unearthly powerful hand. Where the slab once lay there is now a large hexagonal hole down which well-secured iron rungs descend at slightly more than comfortable intervals. The hole itself is smooth and regular, as though bored by some impossibly gigantic machine of a sort that has never been seen in Nogoloth.

The Drakemorton Hole cuts deep into the earth, an eerie and stygian blackness closing quickly about any who attempt to plumb its depths. Whether the shaft itself is truly as extensive as it seems or the way down only feels excruciatingly long due to the preternatural gloom and dampness that attend its descent is impossible to say without further detailed, scientific exploration. What the urchins of Oustminnish – who have endeavored to seek the bottom of the cavity at my own request – have reported is that a growing sense of doom began to wash over them after little more than ten minutes’ descent, resulting in a retreat to the relative comfort of the surface.

These same somewhat unreliable sources further claim that dropping a stone down the shaft produces no sound of impact even after several long minutes of waiting. It is most unfortunate that young Jabben Scarth, the boldest of the children, does not appear to have returned from his excursion to the Drakemorton Hole. As an orphan with none to mourn him, his disappearance has gone largely unreported. For my own part, I feel some small sense of guilt at seeming to have sent the child to an unfortunate fate. But there are none for me to recompense, so I content myself with having lit a candle to the boy at the altar of Ste. Rixende.

Of the Drakemorton clan, little more than rumor an innuendo is readily available to the casual inquirer. It is said, though, that Benicia is quite insane due to her never-ending quest for arcane knowledge and the blasphemies she has surely read in the accursed tomes that line her library walls. Felix, though he is more immediately accessible and outwardly sane, is known to have begun showing the first hints of the Oustminnish Look within the past few years and is no longer seen at the society functions he used to attend with the regularity of an aging gentleman of reduced means. Neither Drakemorton heir has ever married and neither has produced issue – a small mercy for which the more sanguine people of Oustminnish remain thankful.

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