I Commenced My Descent

I Commenced My Descent

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thomasiota By thomasiota Completed

This is a significantly altered version of H. P. Lovecraft's horror story "The Alchemist." The original was written in 1908, and so is, as of 2020, well within the public domain. The text was taken in 2020 from this URL:  https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Alchemist_(Lovecraft) and modified by Wil Wroge (another pseudonym of Thomas Iota) as a response to a writing challenge issued by claytemplemedia.com

I always enjoyed "The Alchemist" but did not consider it critically until Clay Temple Media made it the focus of one of their episodes of The Elder Sign podcast. Among other valid criticisms, the hosts suggested that Antoine, the protagonist, lacked agency, the supporting character Pierre was unsympathetic and illogical, and the antagonist was too easily overcome. 

So, I accepted this as a writing challenge. I've replaced Pierre with Agace (whom I hope is more sympathetic), given Antoine a much broader character arc, and made the antagonist, setting, and overall tone noticeably darker. 

I kept as much of the original text as possible, but I altered many sequences and added content freely in hopes of expanding the original enough to give the characters  more interaction. I did my best to mimic the density of Lovecraft's diction and style in plot and setting revelations, but attempted also to add some of my own action and suspense into the climax. 

A warning to parents: there is significantly more violence in this story than in Lovecraft's original.

The cover is an image from the public domain, taken from the book "Old and New London" by Walter Thornbury published circa 1887.