TOURISM IN SHINY HAPPY LOVECRAFT WORLD: A COUPLE DRABBLES
THE FORTRESS OF THE BLACK STONE
(Taken from Baedekers Guide to Antehuman Ruins and Archeological Sites of Europe, Eight Edition, Puffin Press, London 2011)
Location: 2 miles east of the village of Stregoicvar, County of Csik, autonomous region of Transylvania, Hungary.
Transportation: Regular bus from Ditro, shuttle from the village square to the site for the physically disabled: there is also an outdoor lift driven by a dedicated diesel engine is available for those who wish to see the Black Stone and do not wish or are unable to make the climb.
Background Information: the Fortress of the Black Stone is a pre-human construction whose foundations date back to at least twenty million years to the era of Pseudo-Lacertilia  dominance on what at the time was a large island arising from a shallow sea, but which underwent considerable reconstruction over the last ten million years from both Cercopitheninae-derived nocturnal humanoids and Pseudo-hominids of the Muvian Diasporah, possibly at some stages with the assistance of non-protoplasmic Cthonics. It last seems to have seen regular habitation during the Hyborian Era, over the last hundred thousand years having become almost completely grown over with vegetation and crumbled stone and earth from the adjacent mountain slopes, so by the most recent historical era it was largely unrecognizable as an artificial structure. As recently as the 1500s, the Fortress was a center of cultic worship by servants of one of the lesser Cthonic psychevores, who were destroyed along with their master by a determined Ottoman Turkish effort…
…the exact origin of the “Black Stone” itself is obscure, but it is generally believed to be Muvian in origin, judging from the similarity of its inscriptions to still untranslated inscriptions found at depths of over 10,000 feet off of Tuvalu, and on the similarity of the stone to various forms of artificial rock used in fourth-era Muvian architecture. It certainly post-dates the Pseudo-Lacertilians, whose cult objects were quite different (judging from the few that have survived) and who would in event be directed towards the worship of Yig or Cthulhoo. Indeed, some suspect that the psychevore was a late arrival, opportunistically feeding off the worship of a degenerate and most reduced population which had largely “dropped off the radar” of more important cult-entities; that the psychevore was a minor one is strongly supported by the fact of its destruction by a few dozen Janissaries armed with spears, guns, flaming pitch and torches, Pir-blessed swords, and the spells of an antiquated Holy Man and a Turko-Persian scholar with a shaky memory of some bits of the Al-Azif.
Sights: the interior is now well-lit by LED lights, and the visitor can explore up to several dozen miles of passageways by following the various tours offered. Some areas are still unreachable due to collapsed passages too unstable to dig though, or geological incursions, while other long-neglected chambers are still in the process of being dug up. The construction is mostly black basalts in the lower levels, granite further up, with occasional artificial stone reinforcements or tunnels running great distances into the living rock of the mountains. There are many chambers of uncertain use, ornamented with largely time-erased carvings and eroded stone cultic or possibly cultural artifacts which may engage the puzzled attention of the visitor. There is the vaguely lizard-shaped Great Monolith in the lowest intact chamber, which is believed by some archeologists to be an eroded image of Bokrug the Water-Lizard, although this has been disputed. Then there is the Great Ossuary on the fiftieth level, which is believed to date to the Cercopitheninaeid era: attempting to climb over the bone piles is strongly discouraged by the guides, due to the risks of injury…
…the Maze is generally believed to be a joke or folly of the builder, since not only is it very hard to get out of once entered (visitors are strongly urged to retain a grip on the guide rope), but the only thing at the heart of the maze is a pit soundings have shown to be over three thousand feet deep…
…the Black Fane or Temple of the Toad-God, as it has popularly become known, is believed to have been where the Pyschevore which was the last non-human sapient inhabiting the Fortress ceased its existence on this plane: the large stain in the center of the floor and its psychoactive effects on anyone who stands there are strongly indicative , as are the broken pots of formerly flaming pitch and fragments of weapons and armor. (It is however quite unclear whether the Psychevore was actually ever worshipped there, or even if it was a frequent place of residence for its physical incarnation). Formerly the fenced-off hole in the floor used to hold one of the more gruesome bits of evidence for the final battle, but in 1985 the Turkish government cut out the remains of the Janissary which had been fused with the rock, returning them to Turkey for burial. The room contains some interesting carving of the Muvian period, an Islamic shrine to those fell fighting the forces of ‘Seytan’, and a gift shop.
…excavations have uncovered fourteen feet of the Black Stone previously covered by sediments, bringing it to its full height of thirty feet, and exposing many inscriptions unworn by acts of vandalism. Although only nineteen inches in thickness, it is quite stable, being fused to the underlying rock as firmly as if it were an extrusion of the same. The visitor will note the pillar is surrounded by concrete blocks holding steel lock-boxes: these contain Aetheric Nulls (the modern equivalent of the primordial “Elder Sign”) which protect people in the vicinity from the psychic residuum which made sleeping in the vicinity of the Stone so dangerous. Theft of one of these is a federal crime under Hungarian law and the site is monitored by armed guards during the daytime and closed-circuit television at night, and they are only removed for strictly organized scientific research. Those coming on mid-summer’s eve hoping to witness the psychic echo of the dreadful cult ceremonies are bound to be disappointed, although the village now puts on a relatively tame “reconstruction”, complete with plastic stone and inflatable psychevore…
…visitors seeking to explore the deeper caverns under the mountain will find a variety of interesting natural phenomena, although generally less impressive than, say, Mammoth Caves in the United States. Due to the loss of several exploratory teams, some of the deeper tunnels have been sealed off for visitor protection with the standard fifty feet of concrete reinforced with steel grids.
Safety Issues: although the lack of active cultic activity within the Fortress in the last three millennia at least means the psychic residuum is less potent than in the vicinity of the Black Stone, the Psychevore's presence has left its own mark, and lining the many miles of passageways with Aetheric Nulls is not economically feasible. It is therefore strongly recommended to avoid sleeping while within the Fortress, and a visitor who feels they may nod off is urged to inform their guide, which will at their discretion either administer a strong stimulant or provide for the visitor to be taken to a location judged safe by the Danubian Regional Board of Psychic Investigators…
Stay close to ones guide and the rest of one’s party. It is easy to get lost in the miles of tunnels and chambers in the Fortress, and the lights sometimes go out for unclear reasons. All guides and visitors are equipped with powerful lights, but those sometimes fail as well in ways that defy probability, especially when travelling alone.
…at least five major cultist groups have expressed interest in occupying parts of the Fortress, of which three are internationally classified as acts of betrayal against humanity by simple existence. The Hungarian government has little tolerance for non-standard religions even of the most harmless sorts, and onsite guards fear the bogey of cultist terrorism, which may lead to trigger-happiness: the shooting of a devotee of Bast in ’97 when she brought out her idol for prayer remains an infamous case. If one customarily prays aloud, it is best to avoid it unless it is in a widely known local language such as Magyar, Romanian, or German, so the locals will be able to tell you are praying to Allah or Jehovah or the Buddha rather than trying to summon one of the spawn of Tsathoggua. As “Idol-worshippers”, Hindus may be looked upon with greater suspicion, and there is a tendency to confuse Ganesha with…
…rumors of cultists having infiltrated the Fortress already and lurking in the darkness are greatly exaggerated when not downright silly…
Other things to see in Transylvania: the region contains a few other interesting sites of pre-Homo Sapiens origin. The Shrine of the Madonna of Night, in spite of its name, is in fact far older than Christianity, and is only a short rail trip from Ditro, and there is also a regional plane route which does require an extra leg by taxi. The experience is not recommended for those with small children or planning to have small children soon, for certain reasons explained on the next page…
 Vulgarly, Snake-Men
 The barbed wire around the spot is for your protection, remember.
From Extreme Tourism; the Mountains of Madness
"...as per the treaty of Zeep-Zeet-G'haarlhane-Tweetle-twee-Tekeli-li AKA Murchinson Base (1987), human visitors are allowed access to the structures of the Radiate city above the original ground level. The sensible tourist will make sure of ones elevation and position within the structure, since ramps will often lead into subterranean regions with no demarcation between upper and lower levels..."
"...there remains some risk of encountering curious, recently budded Shoggoths who have avoided their stem-parent and have traveled into places normally forbidden them. If one encounters a juvenile (usually distinguishable through crudeness of organ generation and a volume of less than 12 cubic meters/ 430 cubic feet), one should remain still and avoid making threatening gestures: remember, the young Shoggoth is likely as scared as you are, and badly frightened juvenile Shoggoths tend to spray digestive acids at what frightens them (see chapter 2, LIFE INSURANCE)."
"Do not attempt to hand-feed the giant albino penguins at the Chelyuskin Nature Center. They are largely blind, have very strong neck muscles, and very sharp beaks. (See chapter 2, PERMANENT MUTILATION INSURANCE)."
"Mountain climbers are warned to stick to posted trails in the Mountains of Madness. Some of the caves connect to the subterranean world, and entry into them is considered a violation of Shoggoth territory. Even if one does not stumble onto a Shoggoth people-watching, other things than Shoggoths crawl up from the abyss, and occasionally emerge during the Antarctic summer. If orange warning signs are posted on the trails, do not attempt any hiking away from a designated safe zone without an RPG team."
"Although the winter visitor need not worry as much about the locals, who usually stay well below and away from the outside air as temperatures drop below -50 Fahrenheit, the extreme cold, darkness, isolation, and frequent long interruptions in travel have been known to cause a certain degree of mental disturbance, especially in combination with the peculiar lights which are sometimes seen playing around the upper speaks of the Impossible Mountains in the winter darkness. Fortunately, the Visitors Lounge has a fully stocked pharmacy, and under UN law, the purchase of Leng-17 "pink" is entirely legal: a couple tabs, and you won't care if Great Cthulhu emerges from the deep."
"Looking directly at the peaks of the Impossible Mountains is strongly discouraged. Although obscured by vapors over 97% of the time, and an altitude of over 20,000 feet apparently necessary for a correct angle of vision, the memetic hazard rating of whatever lies beyond the peak  is rated at level D as a minimum, with permanent insanity occurring in over 30% percent of observations taking place under optimum viewing conditions. For this reason, all passengers windows are kept closed and locked on flights departing Orrendorf Memorial Airport, and upon all incoming flights upon arrival at Dyer Pass, while a special "awning" is deployed over the nose of the plane to protect the pilots from certain angles of view."
"Visitors to the gift shop should avoid purchasing the Compleat Book of Radiate Murals, given that it is no where near complete (it is estimated that the documentation and accurate recording of all the murals in the city will take another 20 years) and most of its contents can be found online or in much cheaper and easier to carry texts (the hardback weighs close to 15 pounds)."
"Visits to a Shoggoth city (we do not know how many there are) are allowed only rarely, and the necessary passes are highly expensive: there is a considerable waiting list. Those who are taken below will travel by human ball , for their own protection: it is not a recommended trip for those who bruise easily, suffer from vertigo, claustrophobia, nyctophobia, phagophobia, tetraphobia...(see chapter 2, INSANITY INSURANCE)."
"...the local authorities are discharged of all legal responsibilities for a visitor that deliberately and without permission separates from their tour group and guide. You have been warned."
More later, perhaps.
 Your government is grateful for your strong desire to remain unenlightened.
 Analogous to hamster ball.