Alone in the Dark

Terra Incognita

Unfinished chapter of Terra Incognita
by Jacob Van Ostadte.

A hitherto unpublished fragment of the manuscript, unearthed following indications furnished in the Vatican library’s Expurgatory Index.

In those icy and unwelcoming lands, the rites of wizards and healers are deeply rooted in ancient legend. Mysterious and cruel beings are thought to have ruled over the Arctic plains in times past. A cursed city, enclosed by massive walls, is believed to stand to this day. It contains fabulous treasures and is inhabited by the degenerate descendants of those who instilled centuries of terror in the hearts of the people.

These people, naturally placid, are seized with rage and horror at the very mention of the “Prisoners of the Ice”. Were these dreadful captives to be freed from their frozen cells, they would reap a horrifying tribute of human flesh. These blood-curdling beings may be invoked by certain ritual words. They can even be controlled, albeit with the greatest of difficulty.

I admit to being impressed by these tales, repeated to me on many occasions ''and in a number of different places during my travels in the region. I have also seen troubling cult objects, sculpted in a material unknown to me. Another remarkable fact is that local Eskimos experience great distaste in pronouncing certain words and invariably avoid saying them.

Here is a living example of the power that words contain. As it is said in the Bible: In the beginning was the word.

   

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Alone in the Dark

In 1924, Jeremy Hartwood, a noted artist and owner of the Louisiana mansion Derceto (named after the Syrian deity), has committed suicide by hanging himself. His death appears suspicious yet seems to surprise nobody, for Derceto is widely reputed to be haunted by an evil power. The case is quickly dealt with by the police and soon forgotten by the public. The player assumes the role of either Edward Carnby—a private investigator who is sent to find a piano in the loft for an antique dealer—or Emily Hartwood, Jeremy's niece, who is also interested in finding the piano because she believes a secret drawer in it has a note in which Jeremy explains his suicide. Whether Carnby or Hartwood, the character goes to the mansion to investigate.

Launch Year: 1992
Alone in the Dark Cover

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