The Nameless City by H. P. Lovecraft is a short horror story written by American writer H. P. Lovecraft in January 1921 and first published in the November 1921 issue of the amateur press journal The Wolverine. It is often considered the first story set in the Cthulhu Mythos world.In the story, the protagonist travels to the middle of the Arabian Desert to explore an ancient underground city.
Though Lovecraft himself was quite fond of the story, it was roundly rejected by a variety of magazines.
The unnamed narrator of the story goes into the middle of the Arabian Peninsula to seek out and enter a lost city. After hearing a clanging seemingly coming from deep inside the earth, the narrator inspects mysterious carvings and ruins until nightfall. The next day, the narrator discovers a cliff riddled with low-ceilinged buildings, unfit for human use. While he attends to his suddenly nervous camel, the narrator discovers a somewhat larger temple, with altars, painted murals, and a small staircase going down. After he descends, his torch dies, and he crawls on his hands and knees until he enters a hallway with small wooden coffins containing bizarre reptiles inside of them lining the walls.
The narrator notices a large amount of light coming from an unknown source. After crawling to it on his hands and knees, he sees a large brass door with a descent into a misty portal. He then hears moaning coming from the coffin passage, and feels a strong wind coming from the passage, trying to pull him down. Against all odds, he resists, and sees what appear to be reptiles with a body shaped like a cross between a crocodile and a seal with a strange head common to neither of them, involving a protruding forehead, horns, lack of a nose, and an alligator-like jaw crawling behind the lit portal. The wind dies down after the last of it flows down into the light, when suddenly the door closes behind the narrator, leaving him in the dark.[