1921 The Quest of Iranon

Weird Tales 1939.03, Virgil Finlay.
Written 1921.02, published in The Galleon 1935.07-08, Weird Tales 1939.03.

Opening Statement:
     ...So the youth answered: "I am Iranon, and come from Aira, a far city that I recall only dimly but seek to find again. I am a singer of songs that I learned in the far city, and my calling is to make beauty with the things remembered of childhood...."
What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
     An exiled Prince searches for his lost kingdom, but after giving up a possible substitute, he learns that his memory may have been faulty.
     In the city of Teloth, Iranon, an exiled prince of the marbled city of Aira, sings songs about his quest and lost city. A small boy, Romnod, joins him on his quest and somehow grows older than Iranos over the years. They eventually settle in Oonai, although Iranon still pines for lost Aira. After Romnod dies, Iranon leaves Oonai. He eventually encounters an old man who reveals that he knew of an Iranon as a young boy, and that this Iranon's memory of Aira was just an illusory fairy tale. Iranon, suddenly old and tattered, walks into quicksand.  
Essential Saltes:
     "O stranger, I have indeed heard the name of Aira, and the other names thou hast spoken, but they come to me from afar down the waste of long years. I heard them in my youth from the lips of a playmate, a beggar's boy given to strange dreams, who would weave long tales about the moon and the flowers and the west wind. We used to laugh at him, for we knew him from his birth though he thought himself a King's son. He was comely, even as thou, but full of folly and strangeness; and he ran away when small to find those who would listen gladly to his songs and dreams. How often hath he sung to me of lands that never were, and things that never can be! Of Aira did he speak much; of Aira and the river Nithra, and the falls of the tiny Kra. There would he ever say he once dwelt as a Prince, though here we knew him from his birth. Nor was there ever a marble city of Aira, or those who could delight in strange songs, save in the dreams of mine old playmate Iranon who is gone."
From Dr. Armitage's Notes:
  • Mentions Sarnath, Olathoe, Lomar, Bnazic Desert.
  • Dunsanian.
  • Could be considered a form of "genealogy horror".
  • Don't kiss a gift-Shoggoth in the mouth.

The Horrible Conclusion:
     And in the twilight, as the stars came out one by one and the moon cast on the marsh a radiance like that which a child sees quivering on the floor as he is rocked to sleep at evening, there walked into the lethal quicksands a very old man in tattered purple, crowned with whithered vine-leaves and gazing ahead as if upon the golden domes of a fair city where dreams are understood. That night something of youth and beauty died in the elder world.
Read it here.

Follow'd by "The Moon-Bog"