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lakserk@yahoo.com industriesofinferno.wordpress.com facebook.com/athotep.nyarl All photographs and texts by Athotep Nyarl (Chrysostomos Tsaprailis)


Table of Contents I: DOWN THERE

II: LUNACY

III: TREES COME DOWN

IV: OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

V: OF CURIOSITIES

VI: NUCLEAR PAGANISM

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p.17

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p.45

p.59


I: DOWN


N THERE


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DOWN THERE

During the eve of Samhain, it was customary for the people of Nuremberg to let their shadows wander among the great oak forest that surrounded the town fields. There, beneath the naked trees, their shades lurked, while the people returned home companionless, with a lighter stride. Come sunset, the penumbral entities preyed upon any wanderer fool enough to dare the country paths in this night of all nights. It was only with an offering of blood and a commanding voice that their hunger could be appeased; things not easily found during the All Hallows’ Eve night.


DOWN THERE

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DOWN THERE

Among the villages of Pindos, when a witch’s death approaches, and he is left with less than a day among the living, the village priest approaches his bed with mirror in hand. All lights are extinguished, all windows are covered, dark are the trees’ silhouettes. The priest pleads the witch to depart peacefully, to leave nothing behind, not even his corpse. Presently, a blinding light shines forth from the mirror’s interior, and the witch leans his left hand towards it. As soon as the blaze dissipates, the bed is revealed empty. Thus is the entrance of the witch unto death made complete.


DOWN THERE

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DOWN THERE


DOWN THERE

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The path to the hut appears only during noontide. It snakes around the crops of Old Night, and both animals and wayfarers avoid it. Only persons wandering beneath the summer noon sun might stroll unwittingly upon it. With each step they take upon the path a bit of their color is left behind. Upon reaching the hut they are white as teeth, as is the place around them. People say that this happens because the hut once refused shelter to the Sun, when she was hunted by the West Clouds. The hut laughed at the Sun, and mocked her. Since then, the Lady of Day looks down upon the hut with the full weight of her gaze, washing away all colour from the area.


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DOWN THERE

Of the Forest of Al’bay’s first sapling it is said that it sprouted from the ground at the spot where the only priest of Arazigi commited suicide. After the Earth drunk his blood, his voice kept ululating demented prayers for years, never leaving the area, always seducing travellers to their doom, far beneath the surface. It was centuries later that nomads chanced upon the cursed place. Their shamans ordered one of their number to stay with the people, while the others, piercing their eardrums to be warded against the dessicated corpse’s voice, approached the spot. A year later a young woman dared to visit the place, finding only a spruce sapling. So it was that the Forest of Al’bay was created.


DOWN THERE

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DOWN THERE

Once upon a time Disease, Plague and Famine, wearing old women’s skins, visited an inn in search of meal and tales. However, the people were ill-mannered and laughed at the old women. They served them rotten leaves and told them stories of their deaths to come. The three sisters left the inn, but on the next night they descented upon its premises wearing their true forms, and claimed it for themselves. If one happens to find oneself there, he can trade tales for curses and more.


DOWN THERE

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DOWN THERE


DOWN THERE

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Down There, beneath roots and bones dwell They who visit the farmhouses during winter nights, They who look inside the children’s room. They have vast palaces down There, full of gray halls that never end in sight. They knock the mirrors from the inside, times nine, demanding entrance. They feed on the hanged man’s twitches and drink the suicide’s blood. When They drag Their bulging bags into the village square, wearing the masks of merchants, people apporach Them greedily. Their bags are full of days and months and silent deaths. They trade time for favours; the deaths They give freely. A child once bought a silent death for an enemy of hers. On the next day the enemy drowned in the river, without a sound. The girl also bought two years, in exchange for which she went to the woods, climbed a dead hazel tree, and whispered something in the bark holes that looked like faces. The child grew up and prospered, and holds frequent meetings with Them, visiting Their halls down There.


II: LUN


NACY


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LUNACY


LUNACY

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It is said that once, long ago, there was neither a Moon, nor stars in the skies. One evening, a man who lived with his father saw the neigbour dragging a large box outside her house, carrying it towards the nearby hill. Swiftly did Curiosity flew at the man’s ear and told him to look inside the box. He climbed to the hill, but there was no light in which to see. Curiosity then led him to a closed door, and told him to look inside the keyhole, for light was coming through. So he did, and immediately saw the hill from far above, and also his house, very small and far below, all of them lighted as if a pale flame was reflected upon them. He looked at (cont’d)


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LUNACY

his neighbour’s box, and saw himself inside, pale as a corpse, missing one eye. He tried to lift his gaze from the keyhole, but was unable. He could only open and close his eye, which since then has been fixed upon the Skies, to light the night, to watch all that happens beneath his gaze. For that was Curiosity’s gift: to be able to discover all nocturnal secrets, to see all things hidden. When a person greets Curiosity with a smile and his eyes prey upon keyholes’ privacy with a delighted frequency, it is not uncommon for him to turn into a star, so as to be able to spy upon the world for eternity.


LUNACY

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LUNACY


LUNACY

The Hedge (and the extraction of a Desired Secret) When facing the Hedge, the initiate must carry the crooked staff in the left hand. The Moon should be positioned on her back, so that her shadow will be cast ahead, towards the intertwining branches, yet without touching them. The initiate must then procure a clean black cloth, with which shall be clothed a straw effigy of her. Once clothed, the simulacrum shall be placed upon the earth, and baptized with nine drops of subterranean water. Then it shall turn towards the initiate, and ask for instruction. With steady voice, the initiate will command the effigy to enter the Hedge, seek out the eye of the star whose name will be already divined, and extract from it the desired secret.

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III: TREES CO


OME DOWN


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TREES COME DOWN

Every year, at the sunrise of the 16th of November, a host of tiny men climb upon two particular trees of the Al’bay forest, completely hiding the bark beneath their slithering mass. They greet the Sun with skyward tongues and then disappear among the tree roots. The person who will sleep beneath either of these trees during the following night will be granted a word which can awake the dead for a full moon cycle.


TREES COME DOWN

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TREES COME DOWN


TREES COME DOWN

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TREES COME DOWN


TREES COME DOWN

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-They moved. Sure, slowly, but they did move, crawling out of the ground, like worms. -As if they were searching for something? -As if they dreamt of something, and were steering in their sleep looking for it. They turned towards the Giant Yew, the one that has been dead for almost a decade, and I could swear that the skeletal branches also twitched towards the roots. -It was there that you found the body of your son? -Indeed, inside the dead trunk of the yew.


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TREES COME DOWN


TREES COME DOWN

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IV: OUR SKIES ARE


E FOREVER BLACK


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OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK


OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

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OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

“It was a glorious day when the heavenly Host passed above our town. All golden chariots drawn by beasts too vast for the eye of man to conceive, silver hounds that bayed at the northern wind, wheels with eyes and fiery plumage. And above all the sound of the archangels’ steps, like righteous thunder playing upon the firmament. The Host was after the Wild Hunt, which had trampled our skies the night before, howling like a demented blizzard, scattering our roof tiles along with the sanity of our first-borns. Our eldest sons and daughters, they climbed out of the town wells and followed the Hunt rending with tooth and nail any who dared stand on their path.” In the summer of 890 the lands around Kiev teemed with the risen dead, while in the ancient necropolis beneath the city several century-old graves were found opened from the inside, several of their roof tiles scattered. The cited testimony was found inscribed on the inside wall of a family mausoleum, from where the body of the elder son missing..


OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

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OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK


OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

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OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK


OUR SKIES ARE FOREVER BLACK

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V: OF CUR


RIOSITIES


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OF CURIOSITIES


OF CURIOSITIES The month ending this night was an abnormal one, spanning 56 days. And it was then, after 56 strange dusks, as the last clouds of autumn died beyond the horizon, that the stairs resounded with dreaded, heavy steps. He shut his eyes, clenched tight his jaw, and tried to be as still as a cathedral spire during midsummer heat. Yet the steps drew closer, metal scraping on stone, a clinical iron smell invading his nostrils. He looked towards the window, wherein lay, always-in-motion/never-moving, the trapped rays of the sun. Eight they were, each one harnessed during the length of a whole week. He whispered to them with pleading words, offering them sweet freedom in exchange for his bones’ integrity. No answer came from the light, as any sane man would had already deduced while bathing in despair. The steps drew closer still, and it was now evident that they belonged to no human being. He who has bathed in sweat under the tyrannical summer sun’s gaze, nailing planks with sharp nails on harsh stone, he knows what approaches. He who has fought the Stone Immutable with the civility of metal, that higher medium of culture, he knows too. The woman who has been taunted with the sharpest steel, as her bones are torn apart, the man who has devilishly crawled in abandoned nocturnal mines, seeking the purest, shiniest vein, they both know. Begone unkind herald of civilisation, thou harshest child of Earth! For stone is a kind and patient friend, an honourable entity, as crude a burden to the mortal, as is fit to deter the accumulation of itself. Foul iron! For 56 days his eyes did not shut, never yielding to the moon’s lullaby, nor to the sun’s arrows. The youth of his, forever trampled under this inhuman toil, a voluntary burden nonetheless. Now was at last the time of shutting eyes, and thus did darkness become his bride.

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OF CURIOSITIES


OF CURIOSITIES

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OF CURIOSITIES

All children know to avoid the windows that look upon the abandoned manor when it gets dark. After sunset, only two kinds of people look through them: the village witches and those whose left sleeve is always dripping with salt water. The manor dreams every night, its foundations steeped in perpetual nightmares. One can see its surroundings alter each night, paralleling each nightmare of its.


OF CURIOSITIES

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OF CURIOSITIES

Beneath the cell of a nameless Russian town pass the waters of the local river. The river water is drinkable up to that point. But once it reappears, having crossed the little tunnel, its waters have turned black and stink of death. The tunnel has been searched time and again, but nothing has been discovered inside it. A century ago a woman spent the night in that cell. Her shoulders were stooped and her gaze was vacant, because Misery herself rode upon her, without the woman knowing it. On the following morning she went to the river to drink water, and upon kneeling she saw the reflection of the hag perched upon her. Whereupon she grappled with the spirit and managed to slay it, its blood spilling in the water, poisoning it from that point onwards.


OF CURIOSITIES

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OF CURIOSITIES

While at the park, waiting for the arrival of a friendly acquaintance who is quite delayed, there may appear at the edge of your vision a little grove of gnarled trees which wasn’t there a moment ago. Among the trees a narrow but quite dark chasm will become apparent, emitting almost invisible fumes which render the atmosphere hazy. Behind the little grove, in a distance of maybe two hundred meters, there seems to be a building. One of the building’s doors may open then, as you will perceive through hearing, not vision. Avoid the hand that will stretch from that door towards the grove, its arm seemingly of monstrous length. Eventually it will crawl inside the chasm and be gone. At this precise moment your acquaintance will arrive, tapping you on the shoulder. Upon turning back to the scene before you, after greeting the person, both grove and building will be gone and will never trouble you again.


OF CURIOSITIES

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While at the park, waiting for the arrival of a despicable acquaintance who is quite delayed, there may appear at the edge of your vision a little grove of gnarled trees which wasn’t there a moment ago. Among the trees a narrow but quite dark chasm will become apparent, emitting almost invisible fumes which render the atmosphere hazy. Behind the little grove, in a distance of maybe two hundred meters, there seems to be a building. One of the building’s doors may open then, as you will perceive through hearing, not vision. Greet the hand that will stretch from that door towards the grove, its arm seemingly of monstrous length. It will invite you inside the chasm, presenting you with steps of sturdy make. And though the puzzled cries of your late acquaintance will be audible behind you, never look back as you descend. Eventually you will participate in a grand feast, whose host will only require a button of you shirt. Never again will you be troubled by the despicable acquaintance.


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OF CURIOSITIES


OF CURIOSITIES

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VI: NUCLEAR


R PAGANISM


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NUCLEAR PAGANISM


NUCLEAR PAGANISM

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NUCLEAR PAGANISM


NUCLEAR PAGANISM

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NUCLEAR PAGANISM


NUCLEAR PAGANISM

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NUCLEAR PAGANISM


NUCLEAR PAGANISM

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Industries of Inferno Photography Compendium I  

Original Folklore, rituals, and tales from Eurasian locales. Accompanied by selected photographic material.