From the Journal of Harrison T. Winchester III, excerpts selected based on relevance to the Carter Expedition of 1898 and SCP-2292:
The Fourteenth of October, 1898
Having rendezvoused at Matadi, we have since begun our search along the Kongo's length for evidence of Mr. Dark's mysterious quarry. The Phlegyas is an impressive steamer, custom built to the specificities of Mr. Dark. A gentleman by the name of Mr. Carter is to oversee the expedition, acting as Mr. Dark's will.
Accompanying the inscrutable Mr. Carter is his manservant, a taciturn and imposing Turk by the name of Burak. My companions include the brothers Jack and Ned Moon, two ruthless bushrangers from New South Wales who somehow escaped the noose; mercenaries ranging from American scalp-hunters to former Free State enforcers; there is Petrov, a Russian big game trapper who speaks not a lick of English; and Bleddyn, a Welsh surgeon even more unintelligible than the Russian; Lucius Ambrose, an English occultist (possibly Golden Dawn; maybe Theosophic) who babbles aimlessly of "Odic Forces" and dead gods; and, finally, a handful of Kongolese - laborers, interpreters, and guides.
The Twenty-ninth of October, 1898
Violence is the only language the savage understands. Through duress and intimidation, we have gleaned information pertinent to Mr. Dark's quarry - a "na nsi ya ntotila" or "under kingdom"; a place where nothing ever truly dies.
Superstitions of the primitive, heathen mind. I know not what Mr. Carter sees in their babbling but it has him convinced that we must travel east by land.
The Second of November, 1898
Disaster struck on the First of November when we were attacked by a bull elephant, maddened by some degenerative disease - its body succumbing to decay, bone and sinew visible to the naked eye, while it remained very much alive. All but two of our Negroes were trampled to death and the beast brutally gored three of our men before the Moon brothers blew it up with a stick of dynamite.
I swear by God that, in utter defiance of nature, the charred and scattered carcass still moved long after death.
The Eighth of November, 1898
We have discovered a tribe of pygmies, untouched by the civilizing influence of Christendom. They were subjugated with ease and after making an example of their chief, the rest readily bent to our will.
At the center of the village was a heathen altar, something Mr. Carter took a special interest in. It is crafted from an unusual stone, smooth as if shaped by a modern machine, and covered with strange markings inlaid with gold. No doubt evidence of the treasure that awaits us.
The Sixteenth of November, 1898
We have stumbled upon the ruins of an unknown civilization. The occultist believes that it must be a long lost colony of Atlantis. While I cannot say that I agree with his assertion, it is clear to me that only those of the superior race could be responsible for its creation.
Ned, one of the Moon brothers, is a surprisingly talented artist despite his utter lack of education. I've allowed him use of this journal to create a few etchings; evidence of the marvels we have seen this day.
The Nineteenth of November, 1898
The sun has been gone for days, the ruins leading us deep into the bowels of the earth. The land is swamp and marsh, which leads me to ask: how was this city built? Perhaps they built canals and dams as the Dutchmen do. Certainly, such must have been within the technological grasp of this ancient race.
The pygmies are gone, having fled in fear. We were able to shoot a few of the cowards but in the end most escaped. Good riddance, I say. They were no longer necessary.
There are towering statues with faces erased by time. The walls are engraved with symbols, inlaid with gold much like the pygmy altar. I've begun to jot down each unique glyph, more evidence to return to London. If I could gather an archaeological team, gain the support of the Crown, and return - claim this place as my own - than I shall be a very wealthy man, perhaps even deemed worthy of knighthood. I mustn't squander this opportunity; fame and fortune awaits me.
The Twentieth of November, 1898
The walls depict men and women, animals and monsters - chimerical beasts with the heads of crocodiles, the tusks of elephants, and the bodies of hippopotami.
The men of the walls are never shown with weapons - as if war itself had been eradicated under their rule. The artistry is beautiful and rivals that of the Greeks and Egyptians of old.
Those depicted are of a disconcertingly dark complexion with negroid features. Servants, no doubt - phrenology has scientifically proven that they could not have possibly been the architects of such a grand civilization.
This sprawling labyrinth goes on, without sign of end. Mr. Carter's pallid face carries an intense demeanor. The Turk is unreadable but the others appear anxious. I see shadows move as if with purpose and design. I hear whispers when none are there to speak them.
Perhaps it is this persistent lack of sunlight that plays tricks on my mind. Yes. That simply must be it.
We are safe for now. Much has occurred since my last entry. Our troubles manifested shortly after our arrival at what could have only been the court of an ancient king. The throne itself was colossal in size and held aloft by two stone gorillas, reminiscent of the mythical Atlas as he carried the burden of the sky.
Seated upon the throne was a mummified corpse adorned with golden jewelry (including a magnificent crown unlike any I had ever seen) and tattered fabrics as fine as silk and dyed an azure shade of blue. Its skeletal hands still clutched an ornate staff and I glanced Mr. Carter smiling as he eyed the relic up and down. Was this what he came for? I suspect so, for he tore the staff from the mummy's grip without hesitation.
And that is when we heard the howling. In retrospect, Mr. Carter appeared indifferent - as if this ordeal was quite expected.
Animals, even men, crawled out from the shadows. All afflicted by a disease like that of the elephant. The rot, dear God, the rot; they should have been dead. Bones protruded from their flesh, like walking corpses. They crawled and crawled, utterly relentless. So damaged that I could not discern what most of them were; almost like chimera, pieced together from various beasts. I fired my rifle, destroying the skull of a monkey.
And yet, it moved. It still moved. We destroyed those we could; retreated and fortified ourselves, dynamiting the ruins to slow their advance. We still hear the scratching of bone and claw upon stone. The monstrous creatures made no other sound, the howling No. The roaring, did not come from the afflicted. It was close yet distant, as if observing us from some hidden perch.
I had heard the sound before, during previous expeditions to the dark continent. It was the cry of a silverback.
The occultist is dead. Torn apart by the afflicted horde. Slowly, methodically, we move - as if for reasons that I've yet to be made aware of. The silverback has shown itself on several occasions, only to shrug off our attacks and again escape into the darkness. Still, we do not retreat. Are we luring the beast? I demanded answers from Mr. Carter but he dismissed me.
Regardless, it was the glare of the Turk that stilled my tongue.
The pages after the last entry are missing, evidently torn from the journal with purpose.