At the Mountains of Madness — A Lovecraftian Tale


A land of forgotten secrets. A lurking terrible truth. Inconceivable and ancient architecture. An expedition to the Antarctic. A psych-breaking bone-shattering truth of the possible origins of humankind. This journey to the cold and desolated continent is one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most well known works with references to his other materials.

The Expedition

The Terror (2018) by AMC

The expedition consisted of members of graduates and students from the Miskatonic University. This included archaeologists, engineers, paleontologists, aviation experts and pilots. Among them were senior members Dyre, Danforth and Robert. There were also sledge dogs alongside a couple of planes to allow scouting of the vast and abandoned landscape. With the appropriate equipment and experience, the campaign was well planned.

Ancient Slates

The Temple of Ghoul

The first discovery of the campaign were slates located within the ice. According to the scientific experts, these artifacts were dated back to a time which predates the beginning of humanity. Way before when dinosaurs were around, way before the time of any intelligent source. According to professional analysis, it was estimated these artifacts were anywhere between 500 million to 1 billion years old.

Enlightening Discovery


One part of the expedition team, headed by Blake, decided to split and travel ahead on their own without any agreement with the rest of the group. Pardoning this mutiny, they reported back via a wireless transmission to the university to disclose an incredible discovery. Mountains, really tall mountains which completely dwarf Mount Everest. A 35,000 feet mountain range, equivalent to over 10,000 meters. The formations appear to be stratified.

Whole thing marvellous in red-gold light of low sun. Like land of mystery in a dream or gateway to forbidden world of untrodden wonder.

The Diverse Cave


There were also reports of mists in certain caves around the area, probably a sign of volcanic activity. Blake decided to continue the inspection and keep them informed. They investigated a hollow cave and came upon more interesting finds. A cave rich with fossilized organisms of a wide bio-diverse range. Countless upon countless different types of species were identified. Additionally, certain organisms appear to predate the earliest hypothesized life forms.

Nameless Specimen

John Pacer

One of the more interesting finds were a type of organisms which appeared to be of a non-identifiable nature. It was unclear whether these frozen fossils were a plant or animal. It appeared to have vegetative state, but also what appears to be tentacles at their hand-area with a flowery-like face. There were around 14 of this specimen discovered. However, 6 of them appear to have been damaged, whereas the remaining 8 appear to have been very well preserved. The team reported they were going to dissect and examine these ancient life form. And also, for some reason, the dogs appear to be growling at these dead specimen and would most likely attack them if they were close-by to them. It was decided to place the dogs at the corner for the time being.

Radio Silence

Radio Operator, Cpl. John Robbins of Louisville, Nebraska, 41st Signal, 41st Inf. U.S. ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY (1943) by Harold Newman

After a while, Blake’s team had stop corresponding with Dyre and Danforth. The wind was the largest suspect, those roaring and ferocious winds. They are the most likely culprit, knocking out the communication equipment and ceasing their ability of communication. It was beneficial to wait for a bit. They would be in their camps, waiting for the harsh weather to pass. Perhaps transmission will arise later.

The Search

Unknown Source

Enough time had passed and there was zero communication from Blake’s team. None, whatsoever. There should have been something, anything, but nothing. It was decided to launch a search for his team. Using the plane, the most likely area of Blake’s encampment was followed up and later identified. The journey then proceeded by foot upon a gruesome discovery.


Soviet Authorities (1959)

Consequently, it was discovered that everyone in the area had been massacred. Every single man, including the dogs had been brutalised. One of the most creepiest aspects of the discovery was the appearance of the dead bodies of the humans. There arose to be lacerations visible and upon closer inspection, some of the organs appear to be missing. In other words, it looks like they, the human bodies, had been dissected. Contributing to the strangeness, one person and one dog also appear to be missing.

Lost Specimens

Dyatlov by Soviet Tours

At the sight of the massacre, another intriguing find was made. It turns out, some of the odd specimen which Blake discovered were missing. The six which were damaged were still there, but none of the well-preserved ones. Upon remembering the description and inspection of the fossils, a suddenly realisation was made.


Necromancer’s Tome by Zachary Suchlicki

Dyer remembered the Necronomicon. The blasted Necronomicon. The book, written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, about the elder races of being who preceded the arrival of humanity. Beings who lived in the vast vacuum of space and in different areas of the Earth. The superior beings. The book contains detailed description and images of The Old Ones and of their origin from the great beyond.

The Ascent

Anna Butova

Despite the hideous warnings, Dyer and Danforth decided to investigate the supposed mountain ranges located close-by. The pilots and everybody else stayed behind with a backup plane, in case the journey went awry. Indeed, it was as big as they said. Ascending up to 8000 feet, 10000 feet, 120000 feet, 28,000 feet and beyond. Aerial footage was taken during the flight. An opening was discovered between two mountain sides and the plane entered.

Ancient Discovery

Stephan McLeroy

As Dyer and Danforth past the mountain range, they were beyond shocked. They discovered that these mountains were in fact an outer stone wall of a massive, city. A very ancient city. With a great enigmatic and inconceivable architecture, beyond anything every imaginable, nothing like the previously discovered civillisations of the distant past. A sign of a master craftsmen of ancient times.

Sophisticated Engineering

Ivan Laliashvili

Dyer and Danforth headed towards the interior of these buildings. They consisted of long and wide corridors, sometimes cramped. It turns out there are entire underground levels to this city with a odd geometrical touch. If the engineer was here, perhaps he could have explained the marvel of the construction. It was decided to head downstairs to unravel the mysteries of this enigmatic place.

Blast from the Past

Legacy of the Mountains by orcbruto

They continued their descent into this ancient land. During the travel, Dyer and Danforth located hieroglyphics. These appear to show the rise and fall of the civillisation. It talks about the arrival of The Old Ones, as mentioned in the blasted Necronomicon, who arrived around a billion years ago, back before any major life had evolved in the planet.

The Terrible Truth

The Nameless Mist by Flint Chen

They later created the Shoggoth, a race of beings who were genetically-engineered to allow the creation of the marvelous constitution seen before us. They were also created to produce food, since Earth was virtually devoid of life during this period. As a result of this biological expansion, organisms were produced and harvested. Slowly but steadily, animal life was gradually created. In short, from the cellular residue produced from these beings, all life on earth was created. That was the implication.

Rebellion and War

elder thing VS star spawn by Lex Sponge

Around 150 million years ago, the Shoggoth rebelled against The Elder Ones, in which they lost the rebellion and were further subjugated. However, they did gain the ability to traverse both the sea and the land. Later on in the history, during the Jurassic period, an invasion was undertaken by entities described as ‘half-fungous’ and ‘half-crustacean’. These beings appear to originate from the planet of Pluto and are known as The Whisperers of Darkness. The Old Ones attempted to retreat, but they lost their ability of traverse the space-time continuum, thanks to their prolonged stay on the planet. They were slowly being defeated by these invaders, forcing them to escape the northern parts of the planet, hiding in oceans and until eventually arriving back here.

Cthulhu Mythos

Unknown Dimensons by Richard Luong

The hieroglyphics also compared the great Cthulhu and the invaders as distinct from The Elder One who then already resided on Earth. They were made from a distinctive material based on their origin. The Elder Ones turned up from the known space-time continuum, whereas the composition of Cthulhu and the invaders indicate they arrived from way beyond the known observable universe. Hence, this gives Cthulhu and the invaders a regenerative tissue, allowing themselves to heal almost instantaneously. This is what gave them the upper edge against The Old Ones.

Evil Ones


Another interesting discovery Dyre and Danforth noticed are certain chalked parts of the hieroglyphics. It’s visible on some parts, but not on others. It appears to be talking about another mountain range, an even bigger mountain range just beyond this one. A location of which even The Old Ones feared. Whatever lurked was the very definition of evil, the very epitome of malevolence. Whatever entities lurked there, judging by the size of the mountain range, it was derived they were huge. It was also derived to avoid that hideous and ghastly place. At all costs.

Strong Odour

At the Mountain of Madness by Ivan Laliashvili

Dyre and Danforth decided to disembark further into the dark abyss. They have limited torches, but should be enough for careful analysis of the crypts. As they descended, they came across a noticeable odour. They were not sure why this was. Perhaps the older ones still reside deep below? However, there are no signs of life form in this place. It appears to be long abandoned. For now at least…

Camp Remains

Castle Underground by Dmitry Dubinsky

Despite the abandonment of life, there was some discoveries to be made here. Some parts of the camp were discovered here, including old slashed tents as well as various camp supplies, such as canned food and other materials. The implication was there: They were not the first ones. There had been previous explorers, just like them, investigating this place. Blake had beat them to it. Must have been his team. Is this where the missing explorer ended up?

Blind-Albino Penguins

Bob Eggleton (2015)

From the corner of their eyes, Dyre and Danforth came across a life form. Their first life form. A familiar, yet alien life form. Penguins! These penguins appeared to be all white and looked blind. The penguins must have been living here for a long time, of which the lack of sunlight explains the lack of pigmentation and hence albino structure. The eternal darkness of the abyss negates the use of eyes, hence the blindness. The odour became stronger. It didn’t appear to belong to the penguin, their odour smelt different…

Misted Decapitation

Subterranean City Ruins by puellaignava

The odour was getting stronger by the steps. Eventually, Dyre and Danforth came across a room which appears to be covered with a fog. Similar to the ones identified by Blake’s team. As they increased the lighting of their torches, the mist slightly subsided and the horror became ever so visible. There appeared to be 4 of the specimen which Blake’s team discovered, except they appeared to have been decapitated. Beheaded by what, exactly?

Disconfigured Biomass

Shoggoth by Nottsuo

Beyond the decapitated ones, there appeared to be something moving behind. Something big and bubbly-looking. Maybe red or black. There appeared to be a giant biologically-inconceivable being right there. He must have been responsible for the deaths of the other specimen. They ran from that abomination. Ran and ran as fast they could. Conversely, that thing also ran, at a faster and faster speed, with the occasional pause, yelling “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li”. Whatever that means. Dyre and Danforth hid within the sounds of the penguins, hoping it would cover their tracks. It worked and that biomass of an abomination was diverted elsewhere.

To the Plane

Anna Butova

Dyre and Danforth manage to navigate out and reach the plane. Danforth was slightly disorientated upon the trip and so Dyre decided to takeover the pilot duties. As they were flying, Danforth noticed the purpleness of the distant atmosphere, towards where the supposed evil beings live. Then, whatever he saw at the moment, Danforth had his psyche shattered. He became unstable and insane. He was not who he was. It could have been an illusion due to the discoveries made. Maybe it was just fear. Or perhaps, just maybe, he had a glimpse of the beings which reside at the wider mountain range beyond the plateau. Whatever it was, both of us made it out alive and escaped that horrific continent.

All that Danforth has ever hinted is that the final horror was a mirage.


Call of Cthulhu (2008 Video Game)

Danforth will still not talk about what he saw to this day. Somethings, are best left undisturbed. But some things never change. Despite everything, despite the dangers, despite the protests, there were plans for a second expedition to take place. Dyre did whatever he could prevent this, as whatever lurks there is far too terrible to be seen with the greater whole of mankind.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. — H.P. Lovecraft

Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store