In 1928 the American horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft published a short story entitled The Call of Cthulhu. As time went on Lovecraft built up an entire world for his characters to populate, the way most great fiction authors usually do. Then he began to encourage others to help with the habitation, asking people to join in on what he called Cthulhuism and Yog-Sothothery, thus adding to the Mythology of Hastur. Soon the shared fictional universe became abuzz with activity as the imaginations of writers totally ran wild.
Then, a contemporary correspondent and protege of H. P. Lovecraft, named August Derleth coined the term Cthulhu Mythos in an effort to try and codify everything differently. That enabled people to identify and understand the different kinds of settings, tropes, and lore that were employed by Lovecraft as well as his literary successors. Long story short, in an effort to add something to the Mythos or even just to the genre of cosmic horror in general, I have put together my own bit of Cthulhuism and Yog-Sothothery.
I. An Outer God Sleeps
Aeons ago Azathoth, the most powerful and feared of the Outer Gods, began to hear a number of different eerie sounds coming at Him from every direction. As a result of all that incessant noise, He fell into a rather deep and foreboding kind of sleep, unlike any mortal has ever known. There in the very center of existence, completely surrounded by the servitors of the Outer Gods, His shapeless chaotic mass was easily subdued by a terrible din as the underlings played accursed flutes and maddening drums to keep Azathoth slumbering. As the blind, mad, idiot who created everything, Azathoth dreams the very world into being. Yet, He knows not the nightmares of which He brings to bear, nonetheless the whole world is but a figment of Azathoth’s imagination. Thus, when He inevitably awakens Azathoth will be left all alone.
Regardless, from Azathoth arose Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath. The former emerged from the Nameless Mist as a bubbling mass of glowing orbs with piercing eyes and greasy, grimy tendrils. The latter came forth as a large cloudy mass, totally covered in writhing black tentacles, with several hoofed goat legs and numerous slime dripping mouths. Then, the two Outer Gods took on even more grotesque and ghastly corporeal forms to give birth to a hideous creature, through their wholly repugnant union, known as Nug. That freakish monstrosity then went on to sire a paramount being through some strange form of parthenogenisis on the planet Vhoorl in the 23rd nebula. The absolutely odious beast that resulted from this was given the name Cthulhu.
Since the Great Old Ones, like Cthulhu, are ultimately descended from the Outer Gods like Azathoth, a person could never fully gaze upon Cthulhu without going completely insane in the process. However, if someone were to ever catch but even a mere glimpse of the unsightly leviathan, what they would inevitably see is a vaguely anthropoid kind of monster with an octopus-like head whose face is a mass of tentacles below six inky ebon eyes set against viridescent flesh. Cthulhu is also quite rubbery-looking and scaly, with prodigious claws on his webbed hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings down his back. Moreover, he is absolutely enormous, standing more than a hundred feet tall, menacingly towering over anything and everything around him.
In time Cthulhu grew into a great and powerful being, so he set out to explore the universe to discover whatever secrets it might hold. Eventually, he arrived in the binary star system of Xoth. There he found a mate named Idh-yaa, and she soon gave birth to four children, one right after the other. They named their offspring Gthanothoa, Ythogtha, Zoth-Ommog and Cthylla. Together they all lived on a planet inhabited by an extraterrestrial race of shapeshifters known as the Star Spawn. However, Cthulhu became very dissatisfied with the living conditions in which he found himself. The Great Old One felt that the world of the Star Spawn had nothing else to offer him, so he and his family left. As a result of this, in not wanting to be without their cherished deity, the Star Spawn diligently followed along behind them.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, Cthulhu and the Star Spawn came to Earth and identified this planet as the most suitable place to establish their new home. Here, they built a great stone city known as R’lyeh, from enormous seafoam green megaliths. However, in no time at all, Cthulhu and his Star Spawn attracted the attention of a race of beings known as the Elder Things, who had already been living on Earth for millennia before they arrived. They were an ancient race of amphibious aliens capable of withstanding the pressures of the deepest ocean, and they could also hibernate for vast epochs of time. The unearthly creatures each stood roughly eight feet tall and had the appearance of a huge, oval-shaped barrel with starfish-like appendages at either end. Their preternatural heads were adorned with five eyes, as well as five eating tubes. Similarly, their bottom appendage was five-limbed and they had five leathery, retractable wings as well as five sets of branching tentacles that sprouted from their torsos. As part of their peculiar radial symmetry, they even had five-lobed brains.
As was to be expected, there was tremendous resistance from the Elder Things against the Star Spawn so a great war ensued. This was a vicious and brutal struggle that left nearly everyone involved utterly lifeless. In the end though, after relentlessly fighting off countless Elder Things for what must have been years on end, Cthulhu was eventually defeated in battle. The Elder Things possessed highly advanced weapons of mass destruction, and the completely senseless devastation they brought forth was so severe that the entire continent on which R’lyeh stood sank beneath the waves, dragging Cthulhu down far beneath the surface of the water with it. From that moment on, the Dreamer in the Deep has been resting at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in a strange state of suspended animation, waiting for the stars to align so that he might occasionally rise up and cause as much destruction as possible, until the day finally comes when he is able to completely destroy the world, once and for all.
II. A Great Old One Wakes
Throughout the ages, R’lyeh has risen time and time again to unleash Cthulhu from the watery depths out into the world to do his bidding, but never for very long. Almost as soon as it raises, Cthulhu is pulled back down into the black abyss below. In spite of this, as humanity evolved to greater complexity the Slumbering One was eventually able to start communicating with people telepathically through their dreams and other altered states of consciousness. This allowed the Great Old One to slowly form the Cult of Cthulhu, which has been meeting in secret for thousands of years to chant for the day that R’lyeh might rise up permanently out of the cold, vast depths of the Pacific.
One of the times that the sunken continent rose and fell, Cthulhu had a chance to mate with something. It’s unclear as to whether it was something from this planet, or that of another. Either way, what came of that unnatural amalgamation was two repugnant creatures known as Dagon and Hydra. Having come from a Great Old One, they became the God and Goddess of the Deep. The two devilish beasts then came to realize that they couldn’t produce any offspring of their own, so in an act of perverse desperation Dagon used his telepathic abilities to have his way with a human female. The sexual acts that went on between them were so perverse they dare not be mentioned. Several months later the poor unfortunate woman gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Algernon, or “Algy” for short.
At first everything seemed perfectly fine for Algy and his mother, but as he aged it became more and more apparent that something was very different about him. In his youth Algernon became obsessed with swimming and quickly grew to love everything about the ocean. Then, he began to change in very peculiar ways. His mind started to spiral in on itself as his head became unusually bulbous with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. Along with this, Algernon’s shiny skin became quite scaly and turned greyish-green, all except his bright white belly. His hands and feet turned into long webbed paws, on which he would hop around irregularly. Algy even developed palpitating gills in the process of the unnameable transformation. At that point the blasphemous fish-frog of a man began to live under water all year round, although he would occasionally come onto land for extended periods of time, to be amongst humans for one horrible reason or another.
Algy came to worship his grandfather Cthulhu in every sense of the word, as well as his father Dagon and his mother Hydra. Then, after several centuries had passed, Algernon decided that he wanted a child of his own. However, with no other Deep Ones around save for his parents, Algy soon realized what he must do to procreate. Like his father before him, he came to understand the unspeakable kinds of things he would have to do to make that happen. So, Algernon somewhat begrudgingly made a pact with a small band of coastal dwelling men and women. He cleverly agreed to provide the desperate townspeople with a steady supply of fresh fish if they would be willing to let him impregnate one of their daughters. In this way, the Deep Ones slowly began to flourish, one disturbingly abnormal generation after another, eventually establishing the city of Y’ha-nthlei deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
In the 20th century, the Esoteric Order of Dagon which they had created gave rise to the primary religion of the town of Innsmouth, not far from Arkham, in the state of Massachusetts. Its members were primarily Deep One hybrid offspring who were completely dedicated to the worship of Father Dagon, Mother Hydra, and the great and mighty Cthulhu himself. Since Algernon became biologically immortal like every other Deep One, he served as the head of the order for hundreds of years. As a rather powerful demi-god, Algy also became a very influential high priest in the Cult of Cthulhu. As part of this, he worked tirelessly to achieve the goals of the Great Old Ones, such as the final rise of R’lyeh. He even came to serve the will of the Outer God Azathoth, wanting nothing more than to fully awaken his irredeemably insane slumbering masters.
As the years went by, Algernon and the other lunatic cultists waited for the stars to align perfectly in conjunction with a gibbous moon. Then, late in the 28th century, when the time was finally right, the Deep Ones all gathered together at a sacred site where the Esoteric Order of Dagon met up with the Cult of Cthulhu to bring R’lyeh to the surface for the last time. The undulating mass of highly devout disciples had all come to release the Great Old One Cthulhu from his death-like trance in that underwater tomb. As they danced around in a strange kind of orgiastic fervor sacrificing ever manner of beast, the cultists suddenly began to chant all at once in perfect unison — “Ia! Ia!! Cthulhu fhtagn!!! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.” Together as one, they repeated this indecipherable incantation over and over again, getting faster and faster with each guttural utterance of the altogether otherworldly words they spoke.
Then, the sunken city began to rise up and Cthulhu opened his pitch black blood-thirsty eyes as he emerged from the furthest depths of the ocean atop a cyclopean structure of impossible geometry that absolutely oozed with eldritch putrescence. He was accompanied by his unimaginably grotesque crossbred children Dagon and Hydra, who had come to aid their father in the usherance of an intergalactic apocalypse. They were rising up not only to conquer this world, but every other world as well. Being almost entirely unable to contain their overwhelming excitement, the Deep Ones and all the other cultists were more than willing to do whatever it would take to see to it that Cthulhu’s every macabre whim were satisfied. Having festered at the bottom of the ocean for millennia on end, the Great Old One was more than ready to do his terrible bidding and plunge headlong into total catastrophic annihilation. In this way, that series of incredibly disastrous events marked the beginning of the end of everything…