21 Jun Handbook for the Study of the Unknown
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Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
Handbook for the Study of the Unknown, By Professor V. I. Hayworth
Chapter One – Beginning Precautions
There is an eternal problem that plagues those of us drawn to the study of the darkness. It is our innate humanity. For to the creatures of the darkness, human is synonymous with prey. For the average citizen this is no trouble, because of a defense mechanism which has stood us in good stead over the thousands of years, and no doubt it is the reason that
humans exist anymore at all. It is our ability to block from our consciousness all those things which are out of the ordinary. For all of these supernatural threats are far from ordinary, and to a one, they can only sense what senses them first. It is awareness which tempts and attracts them like the motion of a mouse’s tail attracts a cat.
These facts make the study of these creatures all the more perilous for those of us who take up the cause. Due to the rarity of humans who notice them, much less seek them out, we glow to them like beacons in the night. While there is no way to block the light of our awareness, there is a way to disguise our human natures and thus be able to continue our studies in relative safety.
Before you begin your learning in earnest, it is vital that you perform this ritual to keep yourself safe on your journeys. It will also grant you certain powers which you will find invaluable as you continue forward.
First, you must summon one of them. It is imperative that you select something small and weak, so that it does not overwhelm you. I recommend minor shades if there are no children in your household, as they are simple to control and summon, requiring only a small creature such as a mouse to distract them from attacking you. However, if a child is
present in the home they will ignore all other living beings and attack them exclusively. For this reason, despite the relatively higher risk they pose, full shades are preferable in such households. It will require a sacrifice of your blood to keep them from attacking, but it is well worth it. I have included the summoning rites for both at the end of the main ritual. Simply use the one appropriate to your situation.
Before you summon your shade, you will need to take a bath containing the following:
One cup of sea salt, preferably Dead Sea salt if you can get it.
Three drops oil of myrrh
One spoonful dragons blood powder (actually a resin product)
One handful of leaves or needles from the tree most common in the place you were born, preferably red gathered from around your childhood home.
Soak in this for at least a half hour, then towel off with a clean, new towel and put on clean new black clothing that has never been worn before, even to try it on. Go to a place where you will not be disturbed, and make precautions such as locking doors and closing windows to preclude intrusion or escape.
Take a stick of white chalk and inscribe on the floor a circle large enough for you to lay down in with your arms and legs stretched out. Draw within this first circle the summoning sigils for the shade you decided apon. Scribe another circle around this, about six inches larger, and fill it with various protective runes, and another circle around this, which should be large enough for you to stand comfortably in. This you should leave blank. Douse all light save for a single candle placed on a shelf or table to the north of your circles. Place the blood or mouse at the southernmost part of the inner circle. Also be sure to place a broom in the circle.
Stand in the outermost ring of your circle. At no point during the summoning part of this ritual should you leave this ring. You should especially not cross the protective ring till you are sure you wish to complete the ritual. At this point you should proceed with summoning your shade. Once it manifests and is preoccupied with the mouse or blood, observe it for a bit, it’s motions and attributes.
You must decide now weather or not you wish to continue. If you do, step across the protective ring into the center with the shade. If you do not, step out and turn on the lights, banishing he shade. Beware, however, if you shoes to back out now, for this shade now knows you, and is likely to lurk in the shadows of your home and will pose a danger if you are unwary.
If you have decided to continue, stand at the north point of your circle, between the shade and the candle, to cast your shadow over the shade. Chant the following:
“Umbra, phasma, ater, animus, phasmatis, atra, atrum, univorsus! “
Continue to chant it repeatedly. Notice that the shade and your shadow are now starting to combine, the delineation between them softening, the shapes shifting. At this point the shade may begin to struggle. Pay no heed and keep going. If it breaks away now, it will devour you. Keep chanting until it struggles no more and your shadow has settled back into its normal shape, though it will seem darker now. You will feel a desire now to go finish eating the mouse or drinking the blood. Do so, as it will further cement the bonding.
You will find that you can no longer cross the protective symbols. Use the broom to sweep enough of them away to open the circle, and go blow out the candle. The darkness will no longer keep you from seeing.
From now on the creatures of the shadow will see you, but they will not notice your humanity. You will be able to see in the darkness, but the light will burn your eyes if you do not protect them. You will be able to go unnoticed in crowds, especially at night.
However, there are a few cautions. If you summoned a minor shade, you should avoid prolonged time spent in the company of children, lest the hunger of your phantasmal partner overwhelm you. If you summoned a full shade, it is advisable to avoid blood when in polite company, because you will have an overwhelming desire to drink it. In either case, the only food that will tempt your appetite anymore will be meat; raw, and fresh, preferably still living. I have found keeping mice and rats to be a satisfactory method of keeping myself sated, and highly recommend the same.
To summon a minor shade:
You will need: 1 mouse in a small cage.
Draw lines radiating from the center of the inner circle, thirteen in all, alternating between capping them with a circle and an arrow head till you get to the last one, which should point to the mouse. This you should cap with a box and place the mouse cage within it.
Pick up the candle and put your hand between it and the inner circle, casting a shadow on the floor in the middle of the summoning sigils. Walk clockwise three times around the circle, attempting to keep the shadow in about the same spot. Chant the following as you circle:
aliquantulus umbra adesdum
You should see as you circle, a small shape coming out of your cast shadow. Complete the full three circles, then stop and hold absolutely still till the creature has fully emerges and flows up the line to the mouse. Continue the ritual as outlined above.
To summon a full shade:
You will need: 1 empty bowl, 1 knife sharp enough to cut you.
Draw a rough shape of a human being on the floor within the inner circle. Mark the head with a circle, the hands with triangles, the feet with rectangles, and the center with a nine pointed starburst. Place the empty bowl within the circle at the head.
Pick up the candle in your left hand , standing with your right hand towards the circle.This should cast your shadow on the floor in the middle of the summoning sigils. Walk clockwise three times around the circle, beginning and ending before the bowl. Chant the following repeatedly as you walk:
grandis umbra adesdum
You should see as you circle, a large shape coming out of your cast shadow. Complete the full three circles, then stop and hold absolutely still till the creature has fully emerges and flows up the line to the empty bowl. It will then rise till it stands as tall as you. Do not speak to it. If it speaks, do not respond. Look deeply into the spot where it’s eyes glow red, and cut your hand, holding it into the circle just enough for the blood to drip into the bowl. Once the creature bends to drink, proceed with the ritual as outlined above.
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