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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 "Lovecraft Circle" Myth Cycles, and while guided by HPL are not based on his work alone. This subject contains information from the Derleth Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. 𝓦𝐓 "The Keeper of the Key, being the Statement of Nayland Colum" is a short Cthulhu Mythos story by the late American author August Derleth. It forms the fourth part of his series The Trail of Cthulhu.


Professor Laban Shrewsbury, continuing his crusade against the Great Old Ones, recruits successful author Nayland Colum and the two embark on a trip to Yemen in search of something to aid them in the war. Searching the desert, they locate the Nameless City and the remains of Abdul Alhazred whose spirit directs them to the original, though fragmentary, copy of the Necronomicon. On the sea voyage home, they are attacked by an unknown entity, and the two escape by summoning Byakhee birds, although the rest of the world believes them dead.


  • Nayland Colum, a successful horror writer whose latest effort deals with the supposedly-fictional world of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Professor Laban Shrewsbury, a man with certain magical abilities and a desire to wage war against the entities which threaten the world from the shadows.

Publication History

"The Keeper of the Key" was first published in the May 1951 edition of Weird Tales. It has since been included in numerous other publications, and has been translated into German, French and Italian.


  • Despite extensive name-dropping of Mythos entities, locations and books, ultimately the majority of these are irrelevant to the actual story.