The last of the wet tar mixture pooled in the corner of the window sill as the gaunt old man moved toward the center of the room. A single, lonely candle illuminated the center of a circle inscribed upon the floor with a mixture of salt and powdered bone. The old man, Dr. Horace VanMeter, then situated himself in a lotus position before the candle, preparing as he had so many times before to call upon powers and entities in worlds outside our own. Peering through the faint candle light, he fixed his attention on the second circle drawn upon the floor, smaller than the one in which he sat but drawn from the same salt and bone mixture. Inside the second circle were various arcane symbols, and lining the outside at even intervals were five specifically placed instances of the star-shaped "Elder Sign". On the floor beside him sat to one side a knife and on the other a large caliber pistol. The knife was a vital part of the coming ritual and the gun a safety measure, albeit a crude one, that Dr. VanMeter had adopted early on in his exploits, finding that esoteric problems did not necessarily have to have esoteric solutions and that sometimes the pain of a well placed .45 round would go a long way toward subduing some new and alien creature. Such base physical methods were wasted on the beings of purely psychic form, but on this occasion, he was confident that the pistol might well be the right tool for the job, should things get out of hand.
Horace relaxed himself through a series of deep breaths, hands placed palms up on his knees, letting his mind slip into darkness as his eyes focused on the candle. It was a tightrope he had walked before: relaxing the body and mind to the point where it was nearing slumber, yet maintaining just enough presence of mind to continue with the task at hand.
A pinprick of light came into view after what seemed like an eternity of the deepest sleep. The light began to move, leaving a trail behind it in a thin, white, illuminated line. Dr. Horace VanMeter could see the light, now moving to trace the very pattern he had drawn on the floor before him, but his view now was not from the position at the key of the design, but rather from high in the air, close the ceiling of the room looking down at it! He could see his own limp, thin body now, only barely illuminated by the growing lines of light in the floor. The original dot of light now moved to illuminate the entire pattern and as it did, each subsequent, spiraling chamber became recessed into the floor. "A stairway!" The thought came screaming into his disembodied consciousness. "The design! I never recognized it, but it was a spiral stairway! This is it! The stairway to the lair of the Nylloghast!"