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Penned decades ago by a young musical prodigy named Zane Enreich, The Necrotic Verses is an encyclopedic musical treatise collecting a great variety of eerie, bizarre, and even perverse performances of every variety. Enrich was a musical polymath, proficient in virtually every instrument known, and able to record in detailed notation forms and rhythms he had heard but once. His brilliantly avant-garde tastes earned him enemies amongst the musical establishment, but his virtuosity could not be denied, nor his ability to outdo the old masters at their own music as well as his own.
His meteoric rise, however, was staggered when he began to notice one young patron who never applauded, never seemed moved by his musical mastery. Performance after performance he would sit stony-faced, driving Zane to distraction. Did this man not know he was in the presence of genius? He finally confronted the callow youth, but browbeating and insulting the lad was no more successful in impressing him than Zane’s performance. Introducing himself as Leopold Pelluer, he told Zane that he saw the spark of talent in him, but that he was not willing to go far enough, to take true risks, to really revolutionize the world of music. Outraged at his impertinence, Zane demanded Leopold show him just one single thing about music that he didn’t already know. Dismissively, Leopold stepped to the organ and played a pair of simple five-note patterns, resolving them into a sublime but disturbing chord. “Begin there,” he said, then turned and left, never to be seen again.
Appalled, Zane at first dismissed Leopold as an armchair critic, but the figure and the chord just would not leave his mind. It gnawed his dreams and sprouted wholly unorthodox tonality, melody, and harmony that he could not resist. As months passed, Zane’s compositions grew progressively stranger, first in their discordant melodies and soon after in their subject matter. In conversation, Zane began to lose his hearing. At first, it was believed his hearing was simply dulled, but some began to suspect that somehow he had begun instead hearing something else, something other, which began to drown out rationality and creative genius with an obsession with radical disturbia. Audiences were aghast at what they witnessed pouring forth from his tormented spirit and performers in shock and horror in the wake of what Enrich demanded of them. In short order, even his most loyal patrons abandoned him and the fallen impresario was consigned to an asylum, where healers at a loss to treat his madness nonetheless dutifully recorded his rhythmic rhymes and ravings. Precisely 13 months after his imprisonment, the asylum and all within were obliterated by a burning star fallen to earth, brought down some say by the eldritch recitations of Zane Enreich as his final act of glory.
The healers’ notes survived, however, in correspondence to visiting scholars who consulted on the curious case. Painstakingly assembled along with copies of Enreich’s most salient works, both infamous and obscure, the text is a disturbing juxtaposition of art taken to its ultimate extreme and the tales of a mind stretched beyond its limits. Several have claimed authorship of The Necrotic Verses, but which is telling the truth is unknown. It may be all are, and that several identical copies of the work exist, each transcribed and compiled by a strange compulsion. The Necrotic Verses have been burned more than once, but the book always resurfaces after a time, either the original somehow repaired or another copy taking its place.