Alternate names: Producers, Elder Thing Food, Chemotroph Shoggoths, Pando II/Pando Jr (one specific entity)
Some shoggoths, whether by design or evolution, developed as autotrophs—organisms that produce their own food source using a combination light, water, and/or other chemicals. While the most common autotrophs people are familiar with are plants, which create their food source via photosynthesis, most autotrophic shoggoths rely on chemosynthesis. Living along hydrothermal vents in the darkest depths of the Earth’s oceans, they have no natural predators…luckily, their metabolic process for converting hydrogen sulfides into food is inefficient, which keeps them from growing and/reproducing unchecked.
In their natural habitat, autotroph shoggoths tend to be on the small side for shoggoths, and relatively docile. They get everything they need right where they’re at, be it methane or hydrogen sulfide or some other inorganic food source. It is when outside sources start to meddle in the (un)natural order of shoggoth-life that instability enters their life, and like most living things, they don’t always do well with change.
Alternate names: putrefying caecillians, giant vermiforms of the lake, accidental lake apodas-ghouls
These caecillians first encounters Gla’aki in a freshwater lake in some tropical clime. Coming up from the mud on the lake bottom, and brushing against/being poked by the many spines of the Great Old One. Over time, they mutated and changed, growing semi-dependent on the fluid that sometimes leaked from pointy protusions. Those close to Gla’aki would even be pulled along with it, to other lakes when the Great Old One would reform in another shard. As such, they’ve spread across the globe.
Skoll is the name of the wolf Who follows the shining priest Into the desolate forest, And the other is Hati, Hróðvitnir’s son, Who chases the bright bride of the sky.
—Viking mythological poem, Grímnismál, 1270s CE
Alternate names: St. Brice’s Day Ghost, Viking spirit-queen, Red Riding Hood
According to legend, every November 13, a ghost walks the halls of Christ Church Cathedral, in Oxford, UK. Few have seen it, but those that have say it’s a nun with a blood-red scapular, a white tunic, and two veils, one red like her scapular and the other white. Initial reports of it’s appears led many ghost hunters to believe it was a sister of the Passion or Most Precious Blood, and most research into this paranormal apparition only look back as far as the early 1800s, but the truth of the matter, and the specter itself, is much darker….
Thus Lowyatar named her offspring Colic, Pleurisy, and Fever, Ulcer, Plague, and dread Consumption, Gout, Sterility, and Cancer.
Elias Lönnrot, Kalevala, Rune XLV, 1888
Alternate names: siphonophores of disease, progeny of Syöjätär, malady of the East Wind
Millions of virulent zooids comprise this colonies that form this highly infectious, floating creature. A polyp-like colony forms a large central bud, almost resembling a closed rosebud that quickly blossoms into a gaping maw of teeth when it suddenly decides it’s time to eat something. From this, the yellowy-orange original bud, it asexually produces myriad short, pink-hued fleshy tentacles that act as feelers in tight quarters, and can be used to grab and hold things. Below these are seven trumpet-like appendages, packed with extrasensory organs, allowing the eyeless horror to sense its surroundings out to a few hundred feet. Each one is spotted yellow and orange, and ends in a flower-like aperture that opens or closes depending on what it’s sensing/using. Below comes a cluster of tiny, purply-pink sacs, dangling down beneath the body like its entrails. And floating around the entire siphonopore, nine writhing tentactles that house disease-packed cnidocytes.
“…in the lands of the Arabs, there are men 70 or 80 years old who are willing to give their bodies to save others. Such a one takes no more food or drink, only bathing and eating a little honey, till after a month his excreta are nothing but honey; then death ensues. His compatriots place the body to macerate in a stone coffin full of honey, with an inscription giving the year and month of burial. After a hundred years, the seals are removed and the confection so formed used for the treatment of wounds and fractures of the body and limbs—only a small amount taken internally is needed for the cure.”
—Li Shizhen, Bencao Gangmu, 1596
In ancient times, people nearing the end of their life, wishing to provide for their families and community, would begin the process to become a mellified man. They would foreswear all food but honey, and begin to ritually purify their mind and body. Oftentimes aided by others, cists were prepared for their body, and upon death, they’d be laid to rest within the stone coffin, which was then filled with honey and sealed. The month and year of the death would be chiseled into one side.
The Book of Eibon tells us of a wizard, Zon Mezzamalech of Mhu Thulan. It tells us of his scrying orb that “could behold many visions of the terrene past, even to the Earth’s beginning, and of how “potent gods visited the nascent Earth and left tablets of their lore in the primordial mire….” And it tells of how he and the crystal vanished one day, completely from all of time as we are able to perceive it. What it does not tell is how Zon Mezzamalech, aware of the dangers of slipping into the millrace of backward-flowing time that was visible within the cloudy depths of the crystal, first sent his psyche throughout time, to link up with as many different minds as possible, creating as many bubbles within space-time as possible. For if even one succeeded, the powers of the Elder Gods would be his.
Throughout history, beings have gone missing without a trace. Of these, roughly one in each generation is due to Mezzamalech’s sorcery…his mind and theirs, melding, and them being undeniably drawn to a mysterious crystal they stumble upon. Mezzamalech’s spell wasn’t targeted, and he psychically exists in all times coterminously. This led to an unexpected side effect—the various entities’ oftentimes incompatible minds meeting, melding, splintering off in whole or in part, meeting and melding again, in an endless loop, with almost all rushing headlong to an inevitable end—melding minds with formless efts that slough off Ubbo-Sathla and becoming part of the primordial ooze that existed on Earth before the Elder Things arrived.
One such mind to escape that pre-ordained fate was that of a shoggoth servitor of the Elder Things. When the many minds of Mezzalech’s magic encountered the Old Ones’ beast of burden, its resulting behavior was deemed an aberrant and it was put down. Its mind though, lived on simultaneously in the cacophony of pscyhes that were entangled by the spell. After untold mega-anna, the shoggoth’s mind escaped the spell and found both itself and Antarctica greatly changed.
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, low, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
The first recorded instance of sepulchral shoggoths dates back to 593-570 BCE, with the visions of the prophet Ezekiel. It wasn’t until two millennia later (1586) that this particular method of raising the dead was detailed, in John Dee’s English translation of a Greek copy of the Necronomicon. It is one of the few spells Dee recorded solely in Enochian. Studious scholars of the Mythos have noted that the Greek copy Dee translated into English doesn’t contain the spell….
Like most terrestrial creatures, shoggoths are affected by prolonged exposure to micro-gravity. The cell wall structure of the protoplasmic beings weaken, and in zero-G environments (such as the constant state of freefall that the International Space Station is in as it orbits planet Earth) the shoggoth rapidly collapses in on itself and bursts. Tiny black iridescent shoggoth-globules float outwards in all directions, telepathically linked to one another, and looking for organisms to eat in an attempt to make it whole once more.
This schisming of self often results in the shoggoth’s intelligence diminishing over time, and it shifts into a more mindless state, focus on its all-consuming desire to be whole again. Zero-G shoggoths are insatiably hungry, with the individual globules attempting to embed themselves in whatever meaty organisms they can find, whereupon they act like a miniature spacetime singularity (imagine a tiny black hole popping up just inside a person’s bellybutton).
HBO Subscribers: Welcome to Lovecraft. FYI, those things in the woods weren’t shoggoths. They were something else. Even before watching the first episode of Love
Trollboy, August 17, 2021
Before seeing the first episode of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” based upon the book of the same name by Matt Ruff, I was seeing posts about it on Facebook. I was surprised at how quickly supernatural monsters turned up in the show (granted, it was the end of the first episode, but it was still the first episode!) I read the posts and comments, wondering what could actually be so confusing, and then HBO Max released episode one on Youtube.