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THE ZANTHU TABLETS

The Oath of the Black Gods of R'lyeh


by ALLEN MACKEY

NOTE: The fragment which we call "The Oath of the Black Gods of
R'lyeh" had its origin, it is said, in The Zanthu Tablets. The text
below had been translated by researcher Adam Qade. Where
possible, I have tried to confirm his translation from Hieratical
Naacal into English, but his linguistic notes are sparse. For the most
part, I have to let his work stand without verification. But I trust
Qade; he had translated dozens of secret documents now in my
possession, and I have been able to confirm the accuracy of his
translations of the Aklo Letters. (His R'lyehian linguistic studies is
quite another matter--! I cannot make heads or tails of that Elder
Language!)

Qade's notes did identify the source of this fragment. A charcoal


rubbing of one of the Zanthu Tablets stored at the Sanborne Institute
of Pacific Studies in Santiago, California. There, at the top of the
sheet of rice paper, is written softly in charcoal, "The text is from
Tablet V, Side 2, Lines 48-55." (Who actually made the rubbing is a
mystery. Was it Qade, or someone else, I wonder?)

Here is the full text of this brief passage.

The Zanthu Tablets:

Tablet V, Side 2, Lines 48-55


"The Oath of the Black Gods of R'lyeh"

The origin of this saced oath has been lost to the dim angles of the
blackest night; more likely to the dark depths of the Primordial
Water; indeed, it is even possible the custom had its origin on some
far distant world. I, Zanthu, have heard it said from the wisest of the
elder priests when I was but a young apprentice to Master Guh-Ok'h,
that the Black Gods of R'lyeh had come down to this newly-formed
world as a seepage from the star known to the forgotten astronomers
and sorcerers of the prehuman world as Xoth. Wisely did H'uk'uk the
Stygian proclaim that Xoth is the very same star as the stellar orb
commonly known as Sothis to those of the Osirian Empire, that which
is Sirius, for the ways of the void beyond the Earth are indeed the
ways of untold power, awaiting only the bravery of men to reach up
and out. This knowledge is the key to an untold power of the
benighted abyss, which has been known to lurk beneath the surface
waiting to ensnare any who come too close to the black water. Listen
to the Ylarns as they howl through the sea, as a strangely bubbling
murmur can one hear them coming from afar. A wise priest had once
told me of the ancient and secret oath of the Black Gods of R'lyeh.
This working is the simplest of matters, for it is merely spoken when
needed, and it calls upon certain dark powers. Say the words: "Black
Gods of R'lyeh!" And they may serve you as they have served me, as a
powerful oath to be used at any time. For I am Zanthu, and I shall tell
you of such wonders--

COMMENT: I have had confirmation of Qade's translation since


writing the introductory text above. One of the other Elder Archivists
has sent me a copy of the 32-page English translation of The Zanthu
Tablets: A Conjectural Translation by Professor Harold Hadley
Copeland and published in limited numbers in 1916.

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