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The Dark Eidolon

By SergiyKrykun
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my illustration to "The Dark Eidolon" by Clark Ashton Smith

"In the wide interspaces of the columns, his palace-inmates, the chamberlains, the eunuchs, the courtiers and odalisques and all the others, lay trussed with thongs on the floor, like so many fowls of glorious plumage. Above them, in time to a music made by the lyrists and flutists of the necromancer, a troupe of skeletons pirouetted with light clickings of their toe-bones; and a rout of mummies bowed stiffly; and others of Namirrha's creatures moved with mysterious caperings. To and fro they leapt on the bodies of the emperor's people, in the paces of an evil saraband. At every step they grew taller and heavier, till the saltant mummies were as the mummies of Anakim, and the skeletons were boned as colossi; and louder the music rose, drowning the faint cries of Zotulla's people. And huger still became the dancers, towering far into vaulted shadow among the vast columns, with thudding feet that wrought thunder in the room; and those whereon they danced were as grapes trampled for a vintage in autumn; and the floor ran deep with a sanguine must."

Look closer at what the mummy's holding.

моя иллюстрация к рассказу Кларка Эштона Смита "Черный идол"

"В широких проемах между колоннами на полу лежали, связанные ремнями, его придворные, евнухи, вельможи, наложницы и все остальные, словно попавшие в сета птицы с великолепным оперением. Над ними под музыку лир и флейт танцевали скелеты, слегка прищелкивая костями, тяжело подпрыгивали мумии, и остальные приближенные Намирры скакали и ужасающе дергались всеми своими членами. Они носились по телам людей императора в ритме дьявольской сарабанды, с каждым шагом становясь выше и тяжелее, пока мумии не стали похожи на мумии Анакима, а скелеты не превратились в колоссов. И все громче звучала музыка, заглушая слабые крики людей. И все громаднее становились танцоры, головы которых уже достигали капителей огромных колонн, шатавшихся от их топота. А лежавшие у них под ногами люди, которых давили, как виноград для получения вина, стонали и кричали, и пол весь был забрызган их кровью, будто кровавым суслом."

Присмотритесь к тому, что в руках у мумии.

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© 2014 - 2021 SergiyKrykun
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EmmetEarwax's avatar

The title hardly prepares you for what may well be the deepest,most satisfying tale of Zothique.

All of the cast are evil.

EmmetEarwax's avatar
There are NO good people in THE DARK EIDOLON, only levels of evil.

There are small verminous critters among the cerements of the badly preserved mummies. 

Lin Carter warned readers that this tale is the most gruesome one of the Zothique cycle, BUT it is about my favorite.
single-leg's avatar
Nice work! This story is maybe the ultimate CAS story, the visuals and the chills plus the twist at the end. He is so underrated but not to those in the know.
EmmetEarwax's avatar
Well, Thaisadon DID warn Namirrha that what the latter planned would far from benefit Thaisadon, that Namirrha's revenge was ill-advised. 
Also the reason for Namirrha's revenge should have waited to near the end.
Still, DARK EIDOLON despite Lin Carter's cave emptor in one book, is my favorite Zothique story. WEAVER IN THE VAULT is a secibd]x

Exxcuse any errors: this is a new laptop and the keyboard is smaller, thus my touch-typing a bit askew. Just one of a few problems.
SergiyKrykun's avatar
Thank you! I agree -- it's definitely one of his very best stories. I had a hard time deciding what to draw + I wish the human skeleton in the mummy's hand was more pronounced.
Cosmic--Chaos's avatar
Excellent and chilling; I love the details, and the scene you chose makes it even scarier.

Smith is an old favorite, and thanks for posting the link; I'll be re-reading a lot of his stories :thumbsup:
SergiyKrykun's avatar
Thanks! This drawing is one of 18 I made for the Zothique cycle. They were intended for publication in a Russian edition of CAS stories, but it's been over 2 years already and they still haven't managed.
Cosmic--Chaos's avatar
It sounds like a great illustration spread, though it's unfortunate that the collection was never published.
SergiyKrykun's avatar
It still may come out (the process gives a twitch once in a while), but I heavily doubt it.
VengatorBlaze's avatar
bhanson's avatar
Nice inkwork. I need to check that story out.
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