The Nameless City by Pneuv (www.deivantart.com)
While there is no formally recognized connection between “The Nameless City” and the Dreamlands, similar to the Lake of Ib, in “The Doom that Came to Sarnath,” the Nameless City may be a portal or bridge to a parallel universe. As described by Hawking and Mlodinow in The Grand Design (2010), according to the mathematics of M-theory there may exist 10500 different universes. M-theory is actually a family of theories that are interconnected but each one tends to be more appropriate under a specific set of physical conditions. Simply put, M-theory states that multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law (Hawking and Mlodinow, 2010).
With such a large number of potential universes, it is more than likely that the natural forces and physical laws of each universe will vary from ours, with the majority of them being unsuitable for life or life as we understand it. For example, in the absence of gravity sub-atomic could not be formed into matter and eventually into galaxies, planets and life. In contrast, without the electromagnetic force stable atoms may never form and there would be no light. However, smaller “tweaks” to the natural forces may result in a somewhat stable space-time filled with matter but in a slightly different state (in the article “Looking for Life in the Multiverse” by Alejandro Jenkins and Gilad Perez originally published in Scientific American 302(1), 43-49, January 2010). For example, if the “weak force” (which among other things allows for reactions that turn neutrons into protons and vice versa) was weaker or “weakless” matter could be formed in alternative pathways resulting in a universe that may possess space-time, matter and life but may be very different than our own in other conditions. Is it possible that the Dreamlands is one of these multiverses? If so are there points in our universe that are linked or connected to other universes? Such inter-universal points of connection may be the Lake of Ib or deep in the subterranean caverns of the Nameless City.
Conceptional illustration of the creation of the multiverse (www.nationalgeographic.com)
The Deep Ones as encountered in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” give us the impression of being part of our universe or world. In contrast, encounters with the strange reptilian race in “The Nameless City” feel like something that just does not belong in our reality. As mentioned in a previous article, it is actually difficult to describe the specific morphology of race of the Nameless City since they do not seem to part of our world. So maybe they are aliens like the star-headed Elder Things in At the Mountains of Madness but I would say no. While truly alien, the Elder Things still appear to be the product of some type of evolution, Darwinian or otherwise, that is still made of the same matter we are. Thus, I submit that the race of the Nameless City may in fact be visitors of our reality and originate from another universe, possibly one where the Dreamlands are located.
In addition to the extra-universal biology, the protagonist in “The Nameless City” cited a number of times strange experiences / sensations he had as he approached the city and entered the subterranean caverns. Examples of some of these experiences include:
“…in my fevered state I fancied that from some remote depth there came a crash of musical metal…”
The “proportion and dimensions in the ruins” were unusual.
“…my ears ringing as from some metallic peal.”
An icy wind pouring from a temple doorway and after this wind died down, the protagonist felt a spectral presence. When he “glanced at the moon it seemed to quiver as though mirrored in unquiet waters.”
Down in the caverns the protagonist experienced “some unknown subterranean phosphorescence.”
Entity from The Nameless City by Rushelle Kucala
Many of these strange instances may be linked to the Nameless City being a connecting point to another universe; hence the strange experiences are difficult to explain. As the protagonist explorers further down into the depths he finds a gate, which appears to be the source of all of the illuminating phosphorescence. Further down a flight of stairs he comes upon another gate again awash with phosphorescence. The night wind from the surface appears to rush into the gate and from the “luminous aether of the abyss” the protagonist sees a horde of the half transparent creatures rushing to toward him. Previously it was mentioned that the half-transparent appearance of the Nameless City creatures may be an evolutionary adaptation to living in an underground ecosystem. However, an alternative hypothesis is that maybe the half-transparency was an indication that the creatures were entering our universe from theirs. Thus, once completely in our reality they would not be half-transparent but fully realized.
Reptilian Inhabitant of the Nameless City by King Ovrats (www.deviantart.com)
Unfortunately we don’t know if the half-transparency was due to a crossing of universes or an evolutionary adaptation since the protagonist was plunged into darkness. The great brazen door that may be a threshold to another universe was “clanged shut with a deafening peal of metallic music…” Thus, we are left to wonder, is the Nameless City another means of entering the Dreamlands, or another universe? Or, is it some lost, ancient civilization largely unknown to humanity? We many never know unless the City is re-discovered and serious archeological expedition is funded and implemented.
Next time we will talk about Abdul Alhazred, first mentioned in “The Nameless City,” and how he may have been one of the earliest medieval Arab scientists. Thank you – Fred.