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This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. This subject contains information from the Expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. "The Black Recalled"  is a Cthulhu Mythos story by Brian Lumley, first published in World Fantasy Convention 1983: Sixty Years of Weird Tales (Weird Tales, 1983). The story is a sequel to Lumley's "The Caller of the Black" (1971), which featured the occult investigator Titus Crow. Though Crow does not appear directly in this tale, it's still considered to be a part of the Titus Crow series.

The story is set eight years after the destruction of Blowne House and the disappearance of Crow--events depicted in Lumley's novel The Burrowers Beneath as occurring in 1968.

Synopsis[]

Two occult gangsters meet up at the ruins of Blowne House to reminisce about their mentor James Gedney and his downfall at the hands of Titus Crow--and to attempt to use against each other the same eldritch force that Crow turned against Gedney: the animate blood of Yibb-Tstll, known as The Black.

Characters[]

Geoffrey Arnold: He had been one of the "senior members of Gedney’s cult or coven"; after Gedney's destruction, Arnold "picked up the reins from Gedney—became ‘chairman’ of the society, so to speak, ‘donned the Robes of Office’"; it's said that he is "far more powerful now than Gedney ever was." Physically, Arnold is described as "small, thin-faced, his pale skin paper-thin," with "ears large and flat to his head. He seemed made of candle wax, but his eyes were bright with an unearthly mischief, a malicious evil."

Ben Gifford: Another of Gedney's leading disciples, Gifford left England after his leader's death for America, where "there are survivals even now in old New England...if a man knows where to seek them out. Cults and covens beyond even my belief when I first went there," he tells Arnold, "all of them integrated now—under me!" ("Loosely as yet," he hastened to add.) Gifford is called "huge...tall and overweight; his heavy jowls were pock-marked in a face lined, roughened and made coarse by a life of unnatural excesses." (His bulk turns out to be the result of a symbiotic relationship he's formed with The Black.)

James D. Gedney: Though long dead at the time of the story's action, Gedney is discussed at length by his former acolytes. He "had been no mere dabbler; his studies had taken him to all the world’s strange places, from which he rarely returned empty-handed.... [H]is occult library had been second to none," and he had the power, thanks to his "masterly erudition in matters of linguistics and cryptography," "to penetrate even the blackest veils of myth and mysticism," to turn the "merest fragments of time-lost lore" into "working spells and enchantments." He viewed magic as "simply the inconceivable science of alien abysses, the knowledge of dark dimensions beyond the powers of men even to perceive."

Titus Crow: Though Crow has also been long absent by the time of the story, he looms large over its events. Described as a "white wizard," Arnold and Gifford describe him as "our mutual enemy," but credit him as "probably one of the world’s finest headsmen." But Gifford notes that Crow "was one of their worst enemies, too"--referring to the "Cthulhu Cycle Deities"--and that "when they take you…well, you stay taken.”

Publication History[]

After its initial appearance in World Fantasy Convention 1983, "The Black Recalled" was reprinted in Lumley's collections The Compleat Crow (W. Paul Ganley, 1987) and Haggopian and Other Stories (Subterranean Press, 2008).[1]

References[]

  1. Internet Speculative Fiction Database, "Title: The Black Recalled."
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