05 January 2010

Curse of the Other World, part twelve

Chapter Five


Extract from Robbins' Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology

Tsoth Nemorrah. Also known as Sothnem, Tothnerra, Tsoth, Nemra, Toosoth and variants thereon.
References to Tsoth Nemorah are many and conflicting. The earliest widely-accepted reference is in John Dee's Treatise on the Ancient Demons of Mesopotamia (believed to be written circa 1277), which describes Tothnerra the Unclean as “...a malevolent cloud-like being which lives outside of the spheres of man, ever watchful...” and claims (wrongly) that the Mesopotamians believed he was the original ruler of Earth, who was cast out by men who came to Earth from the stars.
Followers of Tothnerra are documented in Mustafa Faisal's infamous Wanderings (actual date of writing unknown but the general consensus is that it dates to the early fifteenth century). In Faisal's text, the followers are said to worship “the demon god of lies, who waits in the house without walls”. Tothnerra's followers are said to believe that their god is waiting for “the time when the curse of the other world will be lifted and He will retake his stolen throne”.
When this time will come is not known but Wanderings does go into great detail about the “plague of nightmares” and “unending seas of blood and madness” that will signal Tothnerra's imminent return. To this end, his followers are said to seek to kill, maim and torture all those who come into contact with them, in an attempt to fulfil their prophecy.
It is not known why Tothnerra's followers would seek to bring this monstrous creature to Earth but in The Death Cults of Tsoth Nemorrah, Dr Henry Carter claims to have spoken to several cultists who professed “a desire to die first, and die forever” when Tothnerra returned. Although Dr Carter's claims have never been independently verified, his theory that Tothnerran cults believe in guaranteed resurrection for all non-cultists for the purposes of eternal torture does arguably find some corroboration in both Faisal's Wanderings and Dee's Treatise.
The physical appearance, or potential lack thereof, of Tsoth Nemorrah is as widely disputed as his, or her, apparent gender and general demeanour. Most accounts make no attempt at a description of the creature. Although Wanderings does refer on occasion to a “skin of hardened leather”, it also describes “a hideous, evil cloud”.
Dee's Treatise on the Ancient Demons of Mesopotamia also refers to a cloud-like being but again, descriptions are conflicting as Dee also takes into account John Mercer's translation of the (as yet undated) Arab tale of the Whirling Devil with “teeth as black as night” and “a body festooned with horns, like studs on old leather armour”. Whether the Whirling Devil is a form Tsoth Nemorrah takes or is merely an associated entity is a topic of great debate by scholars to this day.


Peter woke with a stiff neck and an aching back. In his student days, and some of his time pulling long shifts as a trainee doctor, he had slept on many a sofa without ill effect, but it was clear to him that those days were long past. Age had not only finally caught up with him but was threatening to rush past and leave him struggling to keep up.
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and pulled himself into a sitting position; with great difficulty and a lot of grunting. His head ached, his mouth felt like old carpet and he desperately needed a drink.
Oh yes, he thought. Hair of the dog would shift this, no problem.
Even after all he had worked through, his mind still went to drink as the first and best solution to any problem. He hated that; hated himself for making it happen. It was his fault, his bad decisions, his stupidity that had lead to the bottle. There was no denying that.
The creak of the bedroom door opening pulled him out of his thoughts. Sarah staggered out of the bedroom, unsteady on her feet and still dressed in yesterday's clothes. Her skin was pale and waxy, save for dark rings around her eyes, and she held on to the wall like it was the only thing that was holding her up. He started to speak, to ask if she wanted breakfast, but she raised a hand to stop him; then staggered off toward the bathroom.
He filled the kettle to the sound of her vomiting and hoped the previous day's activities had not been too much for her. He was in no fit state this early in the morning to be looking after an ill woman, and certainly not one with Sarah's temperament. Still, perhaps tea would help.

No comments: