I learned much from Nattal Yathru in his letters over the course of the next few weeks. I became so enthralled by what he termed the 'Nyarthlutath Mythos' that everything else became neglected and dissapeared behind the dark curtain such studies drew over my life.
I learned how history had been corrupted by her dark minions, how her cruel gestures touched all from the simple beggar to the highest king. Nattal even suggested the recent earthquake in Southern England was caused by her.
Most interesting was indeed the Heart of Darkness. Nattal had told me that it was an artifact bound to the dark goddess, a thing that threatened the sanity of all who came into contact with it. It was her heart, external to her but also her source of existance. Nattal's exitement over it seemed a little unhealthy, for even if I sent an email deliberatly avoiding the subject he would always return to it. It was that fatal moment two weeks ago when his last letter came, it was short and seemed hurried. It read thusly:
Dear my friend and colleague Henry
I think I have finally found it, all my studies and all my life for this one moment. The key to the heart of darkness. Possibly the heart itself is within my grasp, just think of the power a man can wield with such a thing. Of course such an undertaking would be purely academic but we will likely see our bank balances swell in size! Such a discovery also has another important meaning, Nyarthlutath is no myth. She is a real thing, I can barely contain my excitement Lansend. I invite you to my apartment in York, please come as quickly as you are able. I have held off any further exploration until you arrive.
I will admit the excitement that had taken him also found a grip on my emotion. The dread I felt was as strong, the kind of dread you feel when stood on the edge of a dark room in a place unfamiliar. Dismissing this, what I thought, silly foreboding I packed what I would need for three days and set about getting some rest.
I had a strange dream that night, one I had dismissed then. Now however it has a new meaning. I was walking alone through a dark corridor, wind howled through it with a terrible frenzy. As it passed it muffled what I thought to be a chorus of whispers. There was a dim light at the end of the corridor, illuminating a large portion of the corridor. I stared at the light, daring not to face the darkness behind.
The wind stopped abruptly, leaving what would have been an empty, blissful silence if it wasn't for thed whispers that insisted on continuing. I couldn't make out a word from the whispers, this made me less at ease with every step I took. Suddenly I stopped, frozen in terror. The light had dissapeared, replaced by a shadow. There was a roar, a monstrous, ravenous noise that sounded as if the hounds of hell congregated in the corridor. I turned and ran in blind terror but my body was stiff. I moved slowly and panic grew as the roar continued to menace me. I heard the pattering of feet moving closer and closer, quicker and quicker. I screamed as the thing roared again. Then I awoke, drapped in sweat and shaking. I slept no more.