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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. 𝓦𝐓 "The Opener of the Way" is a short story by Robert Bloch that appeared in the October 1936 issue of Weird Tales. It served as the title story of Bloch's first Arkham House collection, The Opener of the Way (1945). It is included in the third edition of his collection of Mythos fiction, Mysteries of the Worm (Chaosium, 2009).

Synopsis[]

An embittered archeologist, Sir Ronald Barton, along with his son and assistant Peter Barton, finds a hidden tomb in Egypt. He is guided by a pilfered parchment written in Chaldean, which describes how to evade the tomb's elaborate curse. The last step involves projecting oneself into a strange statue of Anubis--which Sir Ronald is able to do, but he fails to heed the warning that this process will be deadly for nonbelievers.

Characters[]

Sir Ronald Barton: A British archeologist who thirsts after power and wealth, he resents being a "poor man" after spending 20 years in Egypt toiling on other explorers' expeditions. Described as "a tall, thin man with a face as wrinkled as the papyrus parchment he clutched.... His white hair, sunken eyes and yellowed skin gave him the aspect of an old man." He had "dabbled in sorcery, a bit."

Peter Barton: A "younger replica" of his father, though his "voice was not nearly as loud or as firm". He "really loved his father," but is "more than a little afraid of Sir Ronald".

Behind the Mythos[]

"The Opener of the Way" was not included in the first two editions of Mysteries of the Worm, reflecting its subtle connection to the Cthulhu Mythos. Referring to Sir Ronald's parchment and the Egyptian priest who wrote it, the story states:

The enchanter who had written it alluded to gods far older than those he worshipped. There was mention of the 'Demon Messenger' and the 'Black Temple', coupled with the secret myth and legend-cycles of pre-Adamite days.


While in the parchment, the "names of these accursed ones were set forth", they are not specified in the story. The "Demon Messenger", however, is cited as a epithet of Nyarlathotep in Bloch's story "The Faceless God". (In "The Opener of the Way", Peter Barton recalls the "terrible rumors concerning the end of that unsavory adventurer, Doctor Carnoti"; "Carnoti" was the name of the protagonist in early versions of "The Faceless God", later changed to "Stugatche".)[1]

There is one more explicit Mythos tie-in in the story, when Sir Ronald declares, "Now I know what Prinn must have meant in his chapter on the Saracenic rituals; the part where he spoke of the 'symbols on the gate'."

References[]

  1. The Lovecraft eZine, "The Lost Tales of Robert Bloch", by Mike Davis, July 25, 2017.
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