Yog-Sothothery

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The entirety of the stories and/or fictional facts related to the entity Cthulhu or the Old Ones in general. The Mythos is a sort of fake mythology, created by H.P. Lovecraft when he began cross-referencing fictional books, creatures, characters and events in his horror stories, connecting them all to a variety of ancient, space-faring races. The Mythos was and is used by other authors (a trend started by Lovecraft himself, who traded names, stories and ideas with his friends and contemporaries), this gave the mythos an air of authenticity, especially to the mysterious and elusive Necronomicon (also known as Al Azif), an old tome of dark magic, recounting the story of the Old Ones. This spread has increased with Lovecraft's works falling into public domain though, like Conan the Barbarian, that several parts were original to other authors who outlived him (and thus have longer copyright), and the ability to hold a trademark on a public domain character make this more of a minefield than other well known public domain characters.

Now, how does this relate to /tg/? Well, its mainly due to the numerous games based around it, most prominently Call of Cthulhu. The mythos also has a habit of showing up in lots of other games, and is the direct inspiration for most "unfathomable evil things from beyond the stars" in the community. It has had a huge influence on role-playing games, and Wizards of the Coast acknowledged its influence in the creation of the Aboleth monsters, as well as releasing an "Elder Evils" sourcebook. The Eldrazi were designed by someone that was a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos. Even Scion 2e is giving rules to play a demigod offspring of an Outer/Elder God, although the book hasn't been printed yet.

Great Old Ones, Outer Gods, and Elder Gods[edit]

Three different terms are thrown around when dealing with Yog-Sothothery; Great Old One, Outer God, and Elder God. These can get rather confusing, and in fact are a result of the piecemeal development of the Mythos as a whole. Still, a rough consensus has emerged:

  • Great Old One: A god-like entity of the Mythos that lacks full "cosmic" tier power - a demigod, in effect. Many are actually ancient alien witch-kings or sorcerer-priests. This is the category into which Cthulhu himself falls; yes that is right, Cthulhu is not a god, he is only the high-priest of a god who is even scarier than him.
  • Outer God: A "true" god, with a cosmic tier power scale; these entities have some kind of roughly universal dominion or aspect, and as such these are the guys that the Great Old Ones tend to serve or worship.
  • Elder God: A god-like entity that stands opposed to the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods, though this doesn't necessarily make them truly friendly towards humanity. A number of human gods are in fact guises for Elder Gods.

Deities of Yog-Sothothery[edit]

This section details the maddening deities that appeared in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

  • Outer Gods, The Big Four: Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, & Shub-Niggurath
    • Azathoth, the Nuclear Chaos: Currently residing in the center of our galaxy, inside the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A. He slumbers while around him dance a number of bizarre entities, serenading him with maddening music played on celestial flutes and drums to keep him asleep. In the Necronomicon, Azothoth is implied to be the sole survivor of a great war in Heaven that happened long, long ago; he lost and now he is kept a confused prisoner of his own conscience. The entire universe is the dream of Azothoth, and when (not if) he wakes up, everything you know and love will alt-f4. There is nothing that anybody can do to stop this. Used to be a clam-like gigantic entity with cylindrical arms until it made a brain fart and the universe popped to existence. Don't ask.
      • Appearances:The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath;The Insects From Shaggai(the latter is post-Lovecraftian canon)
    • Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-One: For you Marvel fans out there, imagine the Marvel Universes merging together and becoming sentient. Now you have a shred of the idea of the all-encompassing ("literally") power and AWESOME that is the King of Infinite Space, Planetmover, Lord of Dimensions, etc. Yog-Sothoth is the wisest being in the entire Mythos Universe, which considering it is "everything" is very natural. Being spacetime while being excluded from all the fun within occasionally prompts Yog to do something like impregnating mortals. Most benevolent of the Big Four, it will ask whether you wish to proceed before revealing secrets that drive you mad, instead of simply shoving it in your face like Nyarlathotep. He is also the progenitor of Cthulhu and Hastur.
      • Appearances: The Dunwich Horror;Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key
    • Nyarlathotep, the God of a Thousand Forms: The progenitor of Just as Planned, responsible for countless plots, with almost every single one beyond mortal comprehension. Records include trolling the Egyptians for the lulz, disguising himself as an inventor by the name of Nikola Tesla and giving humans the gift of AC, trolling renegade US special agents as a shady crime boss by the name of Stephen Alzis and corrupting an important human corporation to toy with its government, once again for the lulz. Fulfills the garbled demands of its boss Azathoth while secretly resentful of being dominated, making it plot endlessly to bring down the source of creation. The only Outer God to actually enjoy driving people insane instead of crushing them by collateral when embroiled in godly struggles - if we continue the analogy that humans are nothing but ants next to the Outer Gods, then Nyarly is like a cruel child who burns ants for his sick fun.
      • Appearances:Nyarlathotep;The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath; The Dreams in the Witch-House; The Whisperer in the Dark.
    • Shub-Niggurath, "The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young": Shub-Niggurath. Not only can you not say the name around black people, but she is the fertility god of the outer gods, of sorts. She is constantly giving birth of all kinds of revolting creaturs that are either immediately eaten again by their monstrous mother, or they manage to crawl away and plague the universe. Nasty. She's also Yog-Sothoth's wife.
      • Appearances: The Last Test
  • Great Old Ones: Imprisoned on earth, these are the ones you're most likely to run into.
    • Cthulhu: The big C himself, the most well-known of all Lovecraft's deities... despite only showing up in one of his stories. Cthulhu is the high priest of the Old Ones, locked away in R'lyia. Has a vast cult of people infected by dreams he sends them who want to wake him up and let him conquer the world. The one time he was woken up, it wasn't by his cult, but a group of stupid ass sailors who managed to find his island after killing the cult then let him out, at which point he did what all eldritch monsters do and began wrecking shit left, right, and center, ready to march across the earth and devour our souls - then he got hit in the head by a boat and forced back into his prison. While hilarious as all shit, this defeat isn't as humiliating as one thinks, given Cthulhu was already reforming until the stars stopped being right. Now he just has to keep waiting while we all die. After all, with strange aeons even death may die...
      • Appearances: Call of Cthulhu, any piece of media dealing with the Cthulhu Mythos in any way, including a Ghostbuster's episode.
    • Hastur, The Unspeakable: The King in Yellow. Hastur is Cthulhu's half-brother, who often appears as a figure in yellow robes. Has a fairly interesting history, having originated as a god of shepherds in an Ambrose Bierce story, then being mentioned in the King in Yellow, which Lovecraft incorporated into his Mythos, codifying Hastur as a Great Old One. Before hand, even in the King in Yellow, it wasn't exactly clear if Hastur was a god at all. Now, he's the ruler of Lost Carcosa. Will impregnate Cthulhu's daughter with... his half-brother, Cthulhu...

Cthulhu Mythos Deities[edit]

This section is about the deities which appear in HPL's contemporaries and successors, except those that Lovecraft have incorporated into his own works. Due to catagorization, Cthulhu will not appear in this section.

  • Y'golonac the Defiler: Created by Ramsey Campbell. Y'golonac is a Great Old One and one of the sickest bastards in the entire Mythos. God of perversion, depravity, and everything in between, with a particular fondness for rape. And eating kids. And... look, if you can think of it, Y'golonac did it first, refined it, did it again, and figured out how to make it even worse. He appears as a headless, grotesquely obese guy with a mouth in the palms of his hands, and even reading his name summons him and results in WAIT NO OH GOD HE’S HERE- Anyway, the Defiler is considered so disgusting that even the deranged cultists of other Mythos entities tread very lightly around him and show more care about not summoning him than the last poor bastard.
    • May or may not have an alternate feminine form, Y'girlonac, who has vaginas in her hands instead of mouths, and is more tsundere than rapey, and a possible classmate and/or romantic rival of Nyaruko-chan.
  • Ithaqua, the Wind Walker: Created by August Derleth. Ithaqua is a Great Old One in the form of an ice giant from another planet which abducts people and takes them back to his home planet. Source of the cannibalistic wendigos. Has fathered many children on unwilling human women.
  • Cthugha, the Burning One: Created by August Derleth. Cthugha is a Great Old One who takes the form of a giant, sentient ball of flame. He is a fire deity and he probably spawned the Fire Vampires. In the short story "The Dweller in Darkness", Cthugha is summoned by the protagonists to act as a bigger fish to an avatar of Nyarlathotep dwelling in the woods of Wisconsin.
  • Cthylla, the Secret One: First named by Brian Lumley and first described by Tina L. Jens. Cthylla is daddy Cthulhu's little girl, his youngest progeny and every bit as nasty. Jens' short story is about a bunch of dumbfuck researchers who capture her thinking she is a rare specimen of some undiscovered octopus species and attempts to artificially impregnate her, which goes about as well as you might expect. She escapes and they realise what exactly she is and try to destroy her with an atomic bomb, which results in Cthulhu himself going utterly apeshit and rampaging around taking names until he is put away again.
  • Gla'aki: Created by Ramsey Campbell. Gla'aki is a Great Old One who came to Earth in a crystal meteor many years ago, that crashed in a lake in the Severn Valley in England. However he has also been spotted in other lakes across the world. He takes the appearance of a giant monstrous slug with three eyes and a body covered in razor-sharp metallic spines. Anyone who gets injected with the spine undergoes a painful transformation into a zombie puppet that will do anything their grotesque new master commands but be harmed by exposure to sunlight.
  • Tsathoggua: Created by Clark Ashton Smith. One of the nicer Old Ones, which really isn't saying much. Takes the form of a monstrous, pot-bellied toad and thrives on human war and instability. He tends to be asleep, waking only to eat whatever sacrifices his cult brings him.
  • Eihort: Created by Ramsey Campbell. Eihort inhabits a gigantic maze, and if you somehow get inside it, Heaven help you- actually, no, Heaven can't help you. Eihort will find you, he will capture you, and offer you one of two choices: let him rape you and lay eggs inside your body which will hatch and devour you, or he'll smash you against the wall and call it a day.
  • Yidhra, the Witch Queen: Created by Walter C. Debill, Jr. Yidhra is an Outer God who is basically a female Nyarlathotep. She goes about in her avatars absorbing other creatures, human or animal, and engaging in all manner of debauchery. She's functionally immortal and has a policy of seducing men, fucking them, eating them, giving birth to their deformed brats, then absorbing those same brats. Oddly popular despite being fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, even in this Mythos.

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