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The Demon of Madness
And I gaveth my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly...
About this creation
My entry for Nannan's Black Fantasy contest on Classic-Space. Since my LEGO skills are in a far lesser category of awesome than most of the competition, I decided to try to maximize the "level of horror conveyed" as much as possible through background, story, and photo effects. I may have gotten a bit carried away with the story, I know. But anyway, the loss of color in some photos was intentional, and the blurring in others was meant to be either "bokeh" or motion blur. I still hold little hope of doing well in the contest, but I've been needing to build a demon for my LEGO comic ("So You Wanna Be An Adventurer?") anyway, and I enjoyed making it, so I thought I'd try.

(NOTE: The poem quoted near the end is "Alone," by Edgar Allan Poe.)

[What follows is the log of George Lazarus, High Bishop of the Galactic Inquisition, during his investigation of the destruction of Inquisition Colony 04X, on the planet Sophia in the Constantine System]



"And I gaveth my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly:
But I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind.
For in much wisdom is much grief;
And he who increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow."
- Ecclesiastes 1:17-18

Upon arriving on the planet which is called Sophia, in the system of the star called Constantine, my team and I beheld a gruesome sight. The entire colony had verily been leveled and burned to fine grey ash (which hung about the air like a fog), seemingly in the same manner as Sodom and Gomorrah were incinerated into oblivion for their sins. All that lay about were skeletons, surprisingly whole, and strange, hellish creatures, black as pitch... the ravenous beasts of carrion that follow the aftermath of all great cataclysms.



As our eyes swept over the scene of death and decay, they settled at length upon a lone survivor, clothed in rags as were all the residents of Colony 04X, a settlement of poverty-stricken miners. His hair was unkempt, his flesh pallid, and his eyes stared directly ahead. It was the stare of a man who had looked Death in the eye, who had seen Hell, and his only regret was that he yet lived to remember it. We would have thought the man dead were not for his ragged breathing and the twisted black spear that he clutched tightly in a single white-knuckled hand, as if its shaft represented the reality which his mind struggled to keep firmly in hold.



I ordered my troops to secure the perimeter as I approached the lone survivor and touched my staff to the cold skin of his face. His eyes did not meet mine, but his mouth parted, as if to speak. I asked the man to recount what had transpired here. What follows are his words, which were recounted in a hoarse, dull monotone, as recorded by my page:



"I did not see how or from whence it came. I was sitting in my house when suddenly all about us was swept away in a wave of flame, our homes blasted apart, our families charred to the bone. The first to die were the lucky ones, for the survivors... we had to witness the cause of this destruction, the machine of blood and flesh and fire and metal that followed...



At first all we saw were its blade-like feet, at least half a dozen of them, as they trampled our homes and impaled our loved ones. I recall grasping one of these limbs in an attempt to hold it at bay, and onto it I clung in terror as I bore helpless witness to the rest of the beast that towered above. All about its legs snaked a million bony tentacles, feeling the ground, searching for prey. They ran their slimy coils over our faces and hands, and some wrapped around the others' bodies, drawing them in...



Drawing them in to a central core, a black iron cage that hung from the beast's belly, surrounded by clanking chains, and inside which burned wheels of fire, spinning like a hurricane, devouring those who were swept into its dark embrace like insects in a raging furnace.



From the thing's grotesque form dropped thousands of tiny insects and spiders, which made their way over the ground, ignoring the trampling of feet, both the demon's and the villagers'. Looking up to divine their source, I beheld the monster's hide, which verily crawled, teeming with masses black legs and claws, tentacles and wings... beasts of the darkness and of carrion...



...monsters of the deep, creatures of the netherworld, some glowing like cinders, wreathed in flame. Even as they fell, more seemed to grow from the creature's hide, crawling out from beneath others, an endless swarm emerging from some unknown and unknowable source.



About the demon's writhing form was wrapped a ring of arcing flames, an unholy halo, and from its back emerged a thousand devilish wings, outspread and hardly moving, as if more to cast a fiendish shadow upon the land than for any supposed flight.



Whenever one of these terrible leathery wings flapped against the hot and sulfuric air, they sent a blast of wind that cut through the warmth like a knife, stabbing into those who felt it like a blade of solid ice. It was impossible to know whether the unbearable torment of the heat or the sudden stabbing cold was worse, but the sudden change between either was nearly unbearable.



It was then that I noticed the demon's roving eyes, attached to tentacles that protruded in every direction. These orbs, gripped in steel fixtures like claws, cast illumination like a fiery spotlight upon whatever unfortunate soul that they fixed their gaze. The ground flickered with their hellish light... but they were not the worst of it. For it was then that I beheld the demon's face...



...or at least what passed for one. For 'twas not a face I saw, but men... ten thousand screaming men, covered in chains of steel as black as their flesh, as though all were being burned alive in boiling pitch or tar, kicking and struggling, clawing at each other... desperate to be free.



Their cries were eerily silent, and could scarcely have been heard over the din of fleeing colonists, except that they seemed to emanate not from the demon but from my own mind. They sounded afar off, as though heard from a great distance, and slow, as if stretched out over all time.



And beneath this horde of tormented souls there lay the creature's maw, surrounded by imbedded men who did not struggle, but remained fixed and rigid. All were armed with deadly blades, weapons of war, instruments of death and torture, which served as the demon's teeth. Inside of these there burned, deep from the beast's throat, a fire like no other..."



At this point one of my companions, an Inquisition naval officer who had accompanied us, interrupted the survivor's tale with a discovery: The marks upon all of the dead seemed to perfectly match the spear that our raving friend so desperately clutched in his skeletal grasp. I thanked the officer for the information, but informed him that this man could not possibly have caused the blaze that destroyed the homes hereabout, and if he were responsible for some of the death's afterward, he would have to answer to the God who had spared him from the initial catastrophe. I then turned back to the survivor and bid him go on. But then his words became even less comprehensible...



"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.



Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,



From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)...



Of a demon in my view."



By this point, my comrades were growing alarmed and anxious. They were convinced that this man had committed these horrible atrocities, either in whole or in part, and that he should be made to answer for his crimes.
"Listen to the man, Sir!" one of them cried, "He speaks of madness!"
At the sound of this, for the first time, the survivor's expression changed. Though his eyes remained as cold and lifeless as before, a smile that was even colder still slowly crept over his lips, so cold it sent a chill up even my own spine.
"Madness..." he said. "Yes... that was its name."



In reply to Nannan Z.: UPDATE: I see you've already found them, but here they are anyway...







Hi-res versions can be found on Flickr.

In reply to Kevin Ayler: Hey, come on, show Poe some respect. He's one of my favorite writers, ever. Poe was disputably the INVENTOR of the horror story. Lovecraft came much later and was heavily influenced by Poe himself. Here's a quote from Lovecraft's Wikipedia article: "All these interests naturally led to his deep affection for the works of Edgar Allan Poe, who heavily influenced his earliest macabre stories and writing style known for its creepy atmosphere and lurking fears." That said, I considered using Lovecraft, but wouldn't he have been rather obvious? Besides, I think "Alone" fits the creation almost perfectly.

In reply to Tren509: You know, I was wondering who would be the first one to apply that quote... :-P



Comments

 I like it 
  January 5, 2012
Well you have given me isparation to make a Bionicle Moc of this.
 I like it 
  November 30, 2011
I am presenting a seminar on mental illness, would it be alright for me to use a picture of this guy? I will of course give y'all credit.
 I like it 
  September 24, 2011
Crazy monster.
 I like it 
  April 1, 2011
aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!
  May 5, 2010
Yes, it looks like a degenerate neuron, which can be associated to madness :)
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
Holy Crap-and-a-half!!!!!
  October 10, 2009
One thing jedi are scared of. look at scared fig . Look familiar:)?
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
none hath know what thy has created being can do.....
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
whoa! this is impressive, and your photos are top notch
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
This totally deserves the MOTD! Great job!
  October 10, 2009
Very creepy!
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a MOC that made me want to throw up in horror! Children's toys used for pure unmitigated evil. Well done, sir, well done.
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
So cool !!
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
nihilism.
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
It's awesome Scorp, happy MOC of the day! it looks so complex, but it's actually just a big lego ball with lots of stuff on it making it not seem like it was that, it's awesome!
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
awesome and I like the flashback effect on your pictures
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
Awesome demon !
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
H.P Lovecraft would be proud. Creepy stuff and great story telling...
 I like it 
  October 10, 2009
Wow this kicks a**! It's so freaky in an awsome way! I don't even have a clue to how you built the demons interior! 5/5!
 I like it 
  August 7, 2009
This...Is...Madness! I am utterly horrorfied amd amazed at the same time. I am speechless.
 I like it 
  August 6, 2009
This is incredible. Excellent job!
 I like it 
  July 10, 2009
....Wow.... ...that's scary... ...But I love it!
 I like it 
  April 10, 2009
that is a scary monster that i hope doesn't came to reality...
 I like it 
  April 6, 2009
wow its great
 I like it 
  April 6, 2009
<:O
  January 29, 2009
This is from 2008? I only noticed it today, huh. Well, long time since I rated something of yours, Scorp. I never heard about or read this poem from Poe, and I know quite a bit about him and read his stories, but it's very good. This is a very well done creation, very imaginative, I just need to make some kind of art inspired by this! it looks very lovecraftian obvously with it fitting the image of (badly spelt from my part probably) Cuthulhu, even if it's Poe, but as the article said, he was an influence to lovecraft. The way it's built is very Organic, I mean, it's supposed to be that way but what I mean is that it just flows, it could be a plastic toy from McFarlane or something like that, I have the same to say about the void crawlers. So yes, very well done and, well, classy jeje, I think it's my new favorite creation by you!. TTYL man. Edit: Huh? WUT, this thing says I rated it a one when I really put up a five smiley rating, I'll see if I can do something about it.
 I like it 
  January 3, 2009
i have no idea what black fantasy is im guessing a book or something but thats cool i dont really know how to say how cool that is looks really evil like it should
 I like it 
  September 1, 2008
Nice job! It's better(waaay bettey) than I could do!P.S. how do you get more than 7 images? if possible, please try to comment on one of my things to answer.
 I like it 
  August 8, 2008
the creepiest and coolest MOC i have ever seen! you dont give yourself enough credit! id give you a 10 out of 5!!!!!!
 I like it 
  August 4, 2008
Epic. Other than that, I am creeped out and have nothing to say, really. That....thing just kinda speaks for itself. Wish I could make that
 I like it 
  June 17, 2008
crazy sick...can it stand by itself, r does it need extra support?
 I like it 
  June 7, 2008
I see that the story was of Edgar Poe's and your horrorfying creature. I wonder what kind of mood you were in when you made this thing.
 I like it 
  May 18, 2008
Wow......... The build is gorgeous, and the story is disturbing. Very well done, and congrats on the win.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2008
i go on web sight every day so cool
 I like it 
  March 25, 2008
I had to see this before bed time, now I'll have nightmares. Just Kidding, it's pretty cool!
 I like it 
  March 4, 2008
Great monster you got there.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2008
Black fantasy's big, huh? Even scorp does it! Of course nobody will ever be better than Nannan Z.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2008
What I like about this 'Black Fantasy' "thing" is that it's not nice and tidy like a lot of the others in Nanny's contest. It's chaotic, which means it would better qualified to take a job in the 'chaos and bringer of mayhem departement'. It looks like it has been through many battles [chains, so rugged looking]. This is what the contest is all about, and it should probably be one of the favorites to win.
 I like it 
  February 29, 2008
I liked it. Same feel NANNAN's work gave me...it also has a slight Dawn of War feel to it...
 I like it 
  February 29, 2008
This is great, I love the look of the team, meieval armour in the future, it has a cool feel to it, oh and great creature.
 I like it 
  February 29, 2008
Really Really really Nice. I have a question though how come you can put so many pics on here for one moc and mine only lets me do 5. Please leave a review on one of my mocs.
 I like it 
  February 23, 2008
it is beutifully created and executed. good job.
 I like it 
  February 19, 2008
You clearly spent a lot of time here... this is awesome. The complexity and chaotic organization really make this model. Neat!
 I like it 
  February 19, 2008
have i told you that most stuff U make is more awesome then i or almost anyone else could ever make?
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
im really impressed. your did a good job with the lego a great job with the story and a exepctionl job with the pictures. if i could i would give you a 200000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 out of 5
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Congradulations, Justin. You've done a great job of creeping me out. (Nice building, by the way.)
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Mmm, nothing like the smell of creepy in the mornin'! The monster looks heavy, how does it manage to stand on those wimpy legs?
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Awesome,it will do well,seems like Nannan Z's type of thing.
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Very well done, and very creepy. Best of luck with the contest. Lee.
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Very nice, but I have something to say... Edgar Allen Poe? Really? Not even close to H.P. Lovecraft. "That which is not dead, which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die." -Call of Cthulhu If you did Cthulhu, then you would truly be the greatest in my mind. But seriously, H.P. Lovecraft>Edgar Allen Poe
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
Now this is an AWESOME creation you have there Justin. I've thought that the other entries in many cases look too neat and tidy but your behemoth is truly ghastly in it's detail and appearance. Highly original! I take my hat off sir. Good luck with the comp!
 I like it 
  February 18, 2008
I saw your creation a few days earlier on brickshelf. You definitely have the spirit captured well and the backstory is classic and eerie, definitely adding to the horror of the creature. Despite your lack of confidence the your building skills, it played to your advantage when constructing this creature of chaos. What I would like to see in order to place you as a winner are some quality photos of the creature in a white background. Good work!
 
By Justin Saber-Scorpion Stebbins
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