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Solan

Background Information on Ghatanothoa

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Since he is the most popular Ancient One in the game, I figured my fellow players, especially those who appreciate theme and mood, might enjoy reading a bit about Ghatanothoa.  From Wikipedia: 

"Ghatanothoa is a Great Old One and the first born of Cthulhu. It is a huge, amorphous monstrostity which is so hideous, that anyone who gazes upon it (or even a perfect replica) is petrified into a living mummy. The victim is permanently immobilized—the body taking on the consistency of leather and the internal organs and brain preserved indefinitely—yet remains fully aware. Only the destruction of the subject's brain can free it from its hellish prison, though the unfortunate is likely to be incurably insane long before the welcomed release.[1]

 

Ghatanothoa is currently trapped underneath Mount Yaddith-Gho in sunken Mu. He was brought to Earth from the planet Yuggoth (Pluto in Lovecraft's fiction) by an ancient, alien race, possibly the Mi-go[2], who built a colossal fortress atop Yaddith-Gho and sealed Ghatanothoa inside the mountain beneath a large trapdoor. Ghatanothoa was worshipped by the ancient Muvians, who both feared and respected him because of his ability to turn any humans that beheld him into living, thinking mummies.

Many attempted in vain to defeat Ghatanothoa; most notably T'yog, the High Priest of Shub-Niggurath, whose story is recounted in Friedrich von Junzt's grimoire Unaussprechlichen Kulten or Nameless Cults (Robert E. Howard's answer to Lovecraft's Necronomicon). T'yog created a scroll that was supposed to protect him from the petrifying effect of gazing upon Ghatanothoa. But T'yog was defeated after Ghatanothoa's priests stole the scroll and replaced it with a fake one (however, this was not done out of praise for Ghatanothoa, but rather to protect the populace from its wrath had T'Yog failed). This occurred in the Year of the Red Moon, which is 173,148 B.C. according to von Juntz.[3]"

Speculation on his Stirring in Slumber ability: Since a perfect reproduction of Ghatanothoa will also petrify a victim, I believe that his Mi-Go and Lloigor worshippers have been carving his visage in various places in Akrham and the surrounding towns as an act of reverence and in celebration of his coming.  When you seek out information about the Mythos, you naturally run the risk of encountering one of these reproductions of Ghatanothoa's visage.  It's easy to envision his face carved on a wall in the Black Cave, on a tree in the Woods or Unvisited Isle, or even as a three-dimensional representation cut into the text of the King in Yellow or Old Journal. 

Incidentally, the Lloigor are NOT simple reptiles by any means.  From Wikipedia:

"August Derleth and Mark Schorer originally created a being called Lloigor as one of the Twin Obscenities in their short story "The Lair of the Star-Spawn" (1932). Lloigor and its brother Zhar were typical pseudo-Lovecraftian tentacled monstrosities, two more additions to the fiendish fictional menagerie known as the Great Old Ones. Derleth referred to Lloigor in several other writings, "The Sandwin Compact" (1940) in particular. It was apparently a wind elemental and possessed the ability to somehow draw its sacrificial victims to it, perhaps through teleportation.

 

Colin Wilson borrowed the name for "The Return of the Lloigor" (1969), but his creatures are very different from Derleth's creation. The Lloigor[1] take the form of invisible vortices of psychic energy, though they may sometimes manifest themselves as great reptilian beasts, akin to the legendary dragons. In the distant past, the Lloigor came from the Andromeda Galaxy to the continent of Mu and used human slaves as their labor force. When their power dwindled, the Lloigor retreated below ground and left their former slaves to their own devices. Eventually, these early humans migrated from Mu and populated the earth.

In modern times, the Lloigor are too weakened to pose any real threat to humanity. Nonetheless, they can draw psychic energy from sleeping humans in nearby towns or villages—the victims so affected awaken feeling drained or ill, yet regain all lost vitality by nightfall— with which they can perform strange, preternatural feats, such as causing mysterious explosions or altering the flow of time.

Most other authors use the Wilson entities rather than the Derleth and Schorer conception[citation needed]. In Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus trilogy, the term appears to be synonymous with Great Old One—for example, H. P. Lovecraft's creation Yog-Sothoth is called a lloigor.

Scottish comics writer Grant Morrison used the Lloigor as the primary villains (possessing the bodies and minds of various superhumans on various parallel earths) in his Zenith series for 2000 A.D.. However, once again these Lloigor are a departure from what went before. They are referred to as many-angled ones (possibly the first use of this moniker) and appear to be entities from a reality with more dimensions than our own, so that disconnected bits of them (tentacles, eyes) appear to 'float' around the scene. The many-angled ones have appeared in other works since, most notably Charles Stross's The Atrocity Archives, but it's not clear if these many-angled ones are considered to be related to the original Cthulhu Lloigor.

In the 1975 The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the lloigor are mentioned as the gods of the aboriginal natives of the People's Republic of Fernando Poo, as well as the original gods of Atlantis.

Lloigor are also mentioned in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier as inhabiting Yuggoth and being in conflict with the Blazing World. Nyarlathotep is sent by the Lloigor to negotiate a truce at the end of the comic."

 

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Thanks, that was very interesting stuff. It's good to know that without looking for it, as Victimizer did once too for us. During the Ancient One selection, when someone draws Ghatanothoa, my woman is always like "ooooh, that one looks really scary..."... EVERY TIME !

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Solan said:

 From Wikipedia: 

"[...]

T'yog created a scroll that was supposed to protect him from the petrifying effect of gazing upon Ghatanothoa. But T'yog was defeated after Ghatanothoa's priests stole the scroll and replaced it with a fake one (however, this was not done out of praise for Ghatanothoa, but rather to protect the populace from its wrath had T'Yog failed)."

 That's not quite how I had the story (Out of Aeons) in mind: The priests were the ones who "protected" the populace from Ghatanothoas wrath by taking care of the sacrifices, and in return they were given power and wealth. If T'yog would've been  successful, they'd lost their power, so that's why they foiled his plan, and not "for the greater good".

(please correct me if I misunderstood something)

 Solan said:

 Speculation on his Stirring in Slumber ability: Since a perfect reproduction of Ghatanothoa will also petrify a victim, I believe that his Mi-Go and Lloigor worshippers have been carving his visage in various places in Akrham and the surrounding towns as an act of reverence and in celebration of his coming.  When you seek out information about the Mythos, you naturally run the risk of encountering one of these reproductions of Ghatanothoa's visage.  It's easy to envision his face carved on a wall in the Black Cave, on a tree in the Woods or Unvisited Isle, or even as a three-dimensional representation cut into the text of the King in Yellow or Old Journal.

Well, at least the investigators run the risk of finding something with Ghatanothoas visage on it, if they're researching too much, whatever that may be. In Out of Aeons, seeing Ghatanothoa not only caused petrification, but afterwards its visage was visible on the retina of the victim's eyes, which is enough to petrify other people, if they look into them.

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HëllRÆZØR said:

 That's not quite how I had the story (Out of Aeons) in mind: The priests were the ones who "protected" the populace from Ghatanothoas wrath by taking care of the sacrifices, and in return they were given power and wealth. If T'yog would've been  successful, they'd lost their power, so that's why they foiled his plan, and not "for the greater good".

(please correct me if I misunderstood something)

I was merely quoting the Wikipedia entry; I haven't read the story myself.  Since you have read the story, though, perhaps you would be so kind as to answer a question: Even if T'yog has been able to neutralize Ghatanothoa's petrification ability, what on Earth made him think he could destroy the Great Old One?!?!  How exactly did he intend to accomplish that amazing feat? 

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Derleth's  "The Lair of the Star-Spawn" is an appaling piece of lowest common denominator hack work.  Some of Dereleth's LOvecraftian fiction is a pleasnat enough read (whilst not exactly setting the heather on fire) but this is drivel.  even worse than "the Dweller in DArkness" from "Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos"

 

There, that's me got that of me chest gui%C3%B1o.gif - Mariana the ex-nun cultist

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Solan said:

 

I was merely quoting the Wikipedia entry; I haven't read the story myself.  Since you have read the story, though, perhaps you would be so kind as to answer a question: Even if T'yog has been able to neutralize Ghatanothoa's petrification ability, what on Earth made him think he could destroy the Great Old One?!?!  How exactly did he intend to accomplish that amazing feat?

 

Here's the story: www.psy-q.ch/lovecraft/html/aeons.htm ( from www.psy-q.ch/lovecraft/html/ ).

The following quote should answer your question:

"It was in the Year of the Red Moon (estimated as B.C. 173,148 by von Junzt) that a human being first dared to breathe defiance against Ghatanothoa and its nameless menace. This bold heretic was T'yog, High-Priest of Shub-Niggurath and guardian of the copper temple of the Goat with a Thousand Young. T'yog had thought long on the powers of the various gods, and had had strange dreams and revelations touching the life of this and earlier worlds. In the end he felt sure that the gods friendly to man could be arrayed against the hostile gods, and believed that Shub-Niggurath, Nug, and Yeb, as well as Yig the Serpent-god, were ready to take sides with man against the tyranny and presumption of Ghatanothoa.

Inspired by the Mother Goddess, T'yog wrote down a strange formula in the hieratic Naacal of his order, which he believed would keep the possessor immune from the Dark God's petrifying power. With this protection, he reflected, it might be possible for a bold man to climb the dreaded basalt cliffs and - first of all human beings - enter the Cyclopean fortress beneath which Ghatanothoa reputedly brooded. Face to face with the god, and with the power of Shub-Niggurath and her sons on his side, T'yog believed that he might be able to bring it to terms and at last deliver mankind from its brooding menace."

If you prefer reading a book, you can get "The Horror in the Museum", which includes this story, "The Curse of Yig", "The Horror in the Museum" (-> Rhan-Tegoth), "The Mound", "Medusa's Coil" and other collaborations / revisions.

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HëllRÆZØR said:

Solan said:

 

I was merely quoting the Wikipedia entry; I haven't read the story myself.  Since you have read the story, though, perhaps you would be so kind as to answer a question: Even if T'yog has been able to neutralize Ghatanothoa's petrification ability, what on Earth made him think he could destroy the Great Old One?!?!  How exactly did he intend to accomplish that amazing feat?

 

Here's the story: www.psy-q.ch/lovecraft/html/aeons.htm ( from www.psy-q.ch/lovecraft/html/ ).

The following quote should answer your question:

"It was in the Year of the Red Moon (estimated as B.C. 173,148 by von Junzt) that a human being first dared to breathe defiance against Ghatanothoa and its nameless menace. This bold heretic was T'yog, High-Priest of Shub-Niggurath and guardian of the copper temple of the Goat with a Thousand Young. T'yog had thought long on the powers of the various gods, and had had strange dreams and revelations touching the life of this and earlier worlds. In the end he felt sure that the gods friendly to man could be arrayed against the hostile gods, and believed that Shub-Niggurath, Nug, and Yeb, as well as Yig the Serpent-god, were ready to take sides with man against the tyranny and presumption of Ghatanothoa.

Inspired by the Mother Goddess, T'yog wrote down a strange formula in the hieratic Naacal of his order, which he believed would keep the possessor immune from the Dark God's petrifying power. With this protection, he reflected, it might be possible for a bold man to climb the dreaded basalt cliffs and - first of all human beings - enter the Cyclopean fortress beneath which Ghatanothoa reputedly brooded. Face to face with the god, and with the power of Shub-Niggurath and her sons on his side, T'yog believed that he might be able to bring it to terms and at last deliver mankind from its brooding menace."

If you prefer reading a book, you can get "The Horror in the Museum", which includes this story, "The Curse of Yig", "The Horror in the Museum" (-> Rhan-Tegoth), "The Mound", "Medusa's Coil" and other collaborations / revisions.

Many thanks for both the explanatory quote and the link to the story!

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For those like myself who are just starting to get into the literary aspect of the Mythos, I'd like to make a suggestion:

When reading Lovecraft himself (as opposed to, say, Brian Lumley), you might find his writing style beautifully descriptive but somewhat ponderous, especially given his apparent distaste for actual character development. As such, his writing style actually lends itself  exceedingly well to audio format and a fair few of his stories can be found in this format on youtube. Additionally, if you can get the Cd's or tapes, it's good stuff to listen to while nodding off to sleep. I dropped off last night while getting through part 5 of The Dunwich Horror and my dreams were curiously tainted. I'm sure the man (as much of a berk as he was) would appreciate that, given half his stories were based on his own nightmares.

Just a thought...

Peace...

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Mylo said:

For those like myself who are just starting to get into the literary aspect of the Mythos, I'd like to make a suggestion:

When reading Lovecraft himself (as opposed to, say, Brian Lumley), you might find his writing style beautifully descriptive but somewhat ponderous, especially given his apparent distaste for actual character development. As such, his writing style actually lends itself  exceedingly well to audio format and a fair few of his stories can be found in this format on youtube. Additionally, if you can get the Cd's or tapes, it's good stuff to listen to while nodding off to sleep. I dropped off last night while getting through part 5 of The Dunwich Horror and my dreams were curiously tainted. I'm sure the man (as much of a berk as he was) would appreciate that, given half his stories were based on his own nightmares.

Just a thought...

Peace...

 

There are a few of HPL's stories available from librivox, a website that offers free audio readings of out of print works.

Most, if not all, are read by MorganScorpion, a friend from another newsgroup. Links to her readings can be found on the following website:

http://unfilmable.blogspot.com/2009/06/lovecraft-audio-recordings.html

Looks like there might be other fun stuff on that website, but I haven't taken the time to explore it. Of the stories that Morgan reads Pickman's Model, the Dreams in the Witchhouse and the Festival are probably the most AH relevant with the last two being set in Arkhma and Kingsport respectively.

 

Cheers - Mariana the ex-nun cultist

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....I hate audio books... sorry to play the killjoy lengua.gif

I devoured (!!) Dunwich Horror novel like crazy ; one of my best ones of HPL. Even more than CoC.

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