Prologue

It is a strange and terrible thing to see this world for what it truly is. Mankind likes to fancy itself alone and so we build and build and build, never thinking that perhaps there are things that are better left undisturbed, that perhaps our cities ought not reach so high nor delve so deep.

For the most part we are lucky. The older powers slumber much and stir only rarely. Yet in places where the veil has worn thin, where shadows wander out of time and the stars shimmer in impossible constellations, we are reminded. We are not alone. There are things that watch and there are things that wait and we would do well to remember that.

Every now and then they stir, the Old Powers. And it is always the same. They come to us in our dreams, filling them with visions of death and darkness, of shapes and sounds too terrible for the mortal mind to hold. The lucky ones die after those dreams. The unlucky ones linger, driven mad for what they have seen cannot be unseen, what they have heard cannot unheard.

And then the Old Powers awaken and the earth trembles with ecstasy and terror. Ancient titans stalk the land sowing hatred and discord. Tenebrous leviathans take wing and the skies catch flame. More than once they have brought the world to its knees. More than once they have watched the sons and daughters of men crawl from the wreckage of their delight.

Yet there are things that even the Old Powers fear, things that are older even than them. Only once have the two awakened at the same time, only once has one of the Old Powers come face to face with one of its adversaries. Only once has one of the Old Powers fallen.

No one can be sure just how long ago the battle was. Suffice it to say that the world has never seen has such a battle and never will again. The skies were torn and the stars flung down onto the earth. The rivers ran dry and the seas turned to blood. Deserts became oceans of glass and the forests burned to ash.

When at last the battle ended one of the Old Powers was close to death, yet its adversary was too wounded to kill it, had no choice but slink off, to slumber, to lick its own wounds. And so the Old Power lay where it had fallen, on the edge of death and sleep and all around it the world went on. Rivers flowed. Forests grew. Aeons passed.

And the Old Power slept, and its dreams were dark and filled with cosmic vengeance. Only once were its dreams interrupted. Men had been born, men who could wield the same energy that coursed through the veins of the Old Powers. And so the Old Power called out to these men in their dreams, filled their heads with promises of wealth and power. Petty things. Small things. Human things.

The men came. How could they not, when their dreams had called to them so strongly? They built a city over the bones of the Old Power and in time that city waxed great and prosperous for its sons and daughters were strong and their command over the strange energy that mankind called 'chakra' was great. And beneath it all the Old Power dreamed, and this time its dreams of vengeance were tinged with laughter.

Foolish were the sons and daughters of men who lived above it. They would be its protectors as it slumbered. They would be the instruments of its vengeance. And when the time was right, when the stars had aligned and the world above was ready to be riven with ecstasy and despair, they would be the ones to awaken it. Even the name the humans had chosen was amusing.

They called the city 'Konoha'.

X X X X

Author's Notes

Heh. Well, here's the start, or at least the prologue. I've always felt that Naruto had a very rich atmosphere, one that could easily be given a Lovecraftian twist. With any luck, I'll have the first chapter up soon so that you'll have a chance just to see how different things are.

As always I appreciate your feedback.