The R'lyeh Oculus
This relic was found by James Morris one stormy afternoon on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, in 1801. He had recently been appointed to establish the first rescue station on the island. The amount of shipwrecks on its shores had become legendary, and the Governor didn't want to leave the shipwrecked at the mercy of Wreckers.
Morris came across a rickety flotsam shack, half pulled out to sea. The Oculus, and a sodden diary, were found wrapped in oilskins on a fishing net hammock.
The diary recounted the experiences of an anonymous Whaler. The Orb had spilled out of the stomach of a large sperm whale, along with the jewelry adorned corpse of a vaguely human creature from the sea. While the rest of the crew had torn the strange gold and gems from the rotting form, he had secreted away the large, muck covered sphere.
When he would gaze into the Oculus, he would fall into a waking dream. Sometimes he would shoot through the ebon depths of the sea like a fish. Other times he would see spectral lights, and impossible cities under the waves. The excitement and freedom he would feel during these times would always wilt under a dark feeling, though. He would feel watched. The more he used the oculus to dream, the more he would feel like a light in the darkness, drawing something closer. If he used it too much, horrible storms would come. At first he could stop gazing long enough for the ship he labored on to make port, but after a while, he had to leave the whaling trade with a reputation for being unlucky. This pushed him from the Pacific, over to the East coast, where no one recognized him. Like any addiction, his dependence on the Oculus grew, as the vistas it showed him became more maddeningly strange and terrifyingly beautiful.
While entranced in the Orb one evening, he had been shocked to see the silhouette of his own ship come into focus from a great distance. The silhouette grew larger and larger as his mind's eye rocketed towards it like the bow of a ship. He only woke after being shaken by something gigantic crashing through the hull of the ship. All hands scrambled to save the sinking vessel, but it was no use. They all went into the water, and only a handful of them made it to the cold shores of Sable Island. The survivors said that they had hit a shoal, but he had known better. The creature who's mind he had been sharing for months had found him, and wanted its Relic back. He knew, now that it had found him, he would never leave Sable Island with the Oculus alive.
He spent years trying to stop gazing. When he did gaze, the Thing in the sea would become enraged. This would lead to more shipwrecks around the island, and more guilt. The Whaler, in his last entry, wrote that he had seen the sails of a supply ship down the coast and knew it would be delivering materials to build a rescue station for the island. He knew that his weakness was a reason for the station, and for the many lives lost. It hadn't just been the dangerous shoals. The guilt crushed him, and he vowed to leave the island, and the Oculus, with or without his body. He was never seen again.
The fevered and fantastic visions the Whaler described in his diary often spoke of a place called "R'leyh". He referred to the object as The Oculus. It was Morris who penned "The R'leyh Oculus" in an inventory ledger when he sent it, wrapped and locked in a safe, to a family friend in Halifax. It was believed lost after a fire in 1874, but resurfaced amidst piles of disturbing paintings and sculpture in a bank seized storage unit in Great Bend, Kansas in 2003. We purchased it at auction.
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