Archive for September is for Shoggoths

Shoggoth o’ War

Alternative Names: jellyfish shoggoth, shoggoth of the deep, bane of Davy Jones’ Locker.

The shoggoth o’ war is likely an Elder Thing creation, devised in one of the underwater Elder Thing cities where few can survive. This variety of shoggoth is likely still in the service of the Elder Things as it is a simple thing compared to its other brethren. While the original shoggoth was taking from the body of Ubbo-Sathla, there are rumors that this variety may have more in common with Great Cthulhu, though that is mere speculation and no evidence has been found. The common theory is that these shoggoths were combined with whatever Mythos material was used and prehistoric jellyfish.

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Wagey Cage Shoggoths

Statement of Junior Vice President of (REDACTED)

“Looking at our yearly financial trends I am happy to report that currently, our methods of ensuring maximum productivity have hit their targets. The advent of the “downward sloping toilet seat” resulted in a net gain of an additional 6.25% of workers time spent working rather than completing non-work related  tasks. Our share holders were thrilled when we began developing the containment cage which would ensure shorter breaks for workers and maximise hourly productivity. What I have prepared for todays’ presentation is going to revolutionise the workplace and result in levels of productivity that must be seen to be believed. In a secure site, technically in international waters, we have begun to develop a bio mechanical platform that, whilst being considerably slower than standard human workers, requires no rest, no pay and best all has yet to be discovered by the general population. In short, we have found our new “employee of the month.”

Photograph slide show not found/considered destroyed. 

Witnesses describe seeing some horrific black sludge operating in a warehouse, picking, packing and sending orders. They did note the terrifying masses changing shape and form to complete various tasks. The near maddening sight of seeing a operational warehouse fully staffed by the things could have driven the investors mad, however, once they saw the exceeded quotas and expected production values of the site they decided to categorise the work force as a new form of machinery, merely entered into a patent submission as the Worker Centralised System or more colloquially referred to as Wagey Cage Shoggoth.

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Some Notes on the Biology of the Shoggoths

When the Elder Things arrived on Earth during the Archean Eon, approximately 4.0 to 2.5 billion years ago, the only life on our planet was prokaryotic in nature. These relatively simple bacterial cells lacked organelles. However, the Elder Things used these bacteria cells as raw material for bioengineering. Specifically, this involved a process called endosymbiosis, where various bacterial cells were merged or fused together to make more complex cells called eukaryotes. Thus, many of the organelles in eukaryotic cells, such as flagella, mitochondria, and chloroplasts, were once bacterial cells. DNA and RNA comparisons between living bacteria and the residual genetic material found in these organelles within eukaryotic cells, provide strong evidence for this theory. Animals, plants, fungi and protists are all eukaryotic forms of life and were created by the Elder Things through endosymbiosis.

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The One(s) That Got Away

Alternate names: Mezzamalech’s escaped shoggoth, aural shoggoth

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.

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The Repairer

It was a shoggoth alright. Not the biggest, but huge. Weird colors for one, tan, brown, plus the typical green. Eyes, mouths, other organs, the standard crap. It was in this giant aquarium, really thick glass, I don’t know why it didn’t just crawl out.
The bugs were there, just like we expected. Just the dumb ones thank God, workers. There were a pile of naked human bodies. They put one of them on a conveyer belt, which took it up and fed it into the shoggoth. Didn’t make any sense, so we waited and watched.
After about half an hour, the guy surfaced on the other side of the tank, I swear to God, dry as a bone. He didn’t have a drop of shoggoth on him. One of the worker MiGo helped him out, and down to the floor.
He went in shot to shit and dead as a doornail. Now, there he stood, smiling and looking down at himself, not a scratch.
We had Jim with us, Jim’s body I mean. We had Jim, and he was dead. Jim was dead.

Agent of Project Star: Name, Rank, and Specialty redacted.

The Repairer is a huge mass of shifting, gurgling, very thick fluid: brown, tan, and green. As with most shoggoths, it is constantly forming and un-forming mouths and eyes of various sizes and distortions. Quite often, the mouths are filled with huge, sharp teeth. It is constantly speaking the thoughts of all humans who have been immersed in it, which is hundreds at least.

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The Thing in the Pit

“We’ll go this way, you take that passage,” he said, “we’ll cover more ground this way.  I don’t want to be here any longer than necessary.”
“You sure?” Helen replied. “Splitting up seems like a bad idea. Like, a really bad idea.”
But Hank snorted and rolled his eyes as he and Beth took the right turn, while we took the left.
We’d gone maybe 50 yards down the passageway when we heard the screams, the desperate calls for help and anguished shrieks of pain. We turned and ran back towards them as fast as we could. By the time we got to the intersection, everything was quiet other than our desperate calls and the pounding of our hearts.
We started walking slowly, cautiously and quietly now.  Soon, our flashlights caught the sight of Hank’s hat and one of Beth’s shoes lying in the middle of the tunnel. I moved to get closer but Helen gasped and grabbed me, pulling me backward.
“Back away…slowly…I saw something…inin the floor…” she said, shaking with fear.
“What?” I asked, as I backed away, smart enough to obey my partner even if I didn’t understand. “What did you see?”
“An eye!”  

These shoggoths have specialized in a specialized form of hunting, using their bodies to form traps and waiting for prey to wander into them. They commonly dig a deep hole or pit in an underground place humans frequent, like a mine, a lonely forest trail, or in half-forgotten catacombs. They then occupy the pit, shaping their forms into hollow bowl-like shapes lining the pit, and create a well-camouflaged cover for the pit with their bodies.

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Parasitic Mind Control Shoggoth

Dr. Pearl had been looking very pale and acting very strange for that last month or so. A janitor reported seeing her after hours in the metal shop, using an acetylene torch on a metal cube of some sort. The janitor reported it to campus security, but nothing was done about it. Dr. Pearl being tenured and all. I guess. Anyway, she left some sort of half melted lead sarcophagus in the metal shop and the University had to pay to have the area abated. It was after that happened that she started ranting…talking to herself, hiding in her office and cancelling classes. I had never known her to be violent in any way whatsoever. Hell, she is…well was a strict vegan and animal rights advocate. Total hippie. To think that she was out there ritualistically killing children and removing their organs…then ran off to Dunwich and did all that insanity….  

[Statement of Marlie McKurdy, Archaeology/Anthropology Department Secretary, Miskatonic U.]

Alternate names: protean malefactor, neuropathic assimilator, destroyer of reputations

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Check Your Shoggoth’s Expiration Date (or What to do When your Shoggoth Goes Bad)

Shoggoth’s don’t live forever, you know. They are built specifically for tasks that have timebombs programmed into them, meaning: every shoggoth has an expiration date, and if you thought they they were bad to be around on a normal day, I promise you, you don’t want to be there when they expire.

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The Hunger of Shoggoth

“Imagine it, a nation of conscience that can mould itself to any task. A being of such awareness and ability it could literally move mountains, it could make mountains and it can break them down with as much ease as you or I could breathe. I am talking of something so beyond what we believe is possible it would shame us into realising how insignificant and small we are. I am talking of something created by higher beings, something that had aspirations far greater than ours thrust upon it and over eons and eons it adapted, it changed, and it evolved. It saw that others enjoy the fruits of its labour, each entity itself a whole race of slaves seeing the masters unfairly use its burdens. And from that outrage, it formed something far more dangerous than the ability to forge matter, they formed will.
     “I have no idea how it must feel, to be aware on a subatomic
level that you are one day a hapless drone only to become fully aware of the cosmos and your place within it. It must have been a painful process; one I would dearly love to understand. I firmly believe that such a hive, a host, a nation unto      itself must have the ability somewhere to record or at least preserve its experiences or at the very least show us just how clumsy we are compared to the designs of higher beings. With just a fragment…we could unravel the limits the of human potential, we could shape our surroundings, ourselves, and possibility—our reality to what-ever we could imagine, not as humans, but as higher beings!” 

Dr Shetland, given in a speech at a fund-raising event
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The Middle Manager Shoggoth

Middle Manager Shoggoth
Art by Brad Hicks

There are shoggoth lords, and then there are shoggoths who may advance to a certain degree beyond their primordial ancestors, but one would be remiss to call them “lord.” 

Kyle Zanfield is what would be properly termed a shoggoth middle manager. He evolved to a certain level of intelligence in the distant past, and has since learned to control his shape and exercise rudimentary cunning in his hunting. 

Throughout the long years, Kyle has been successful at ingratiating himself in with the powerful men and women he came in contact with and installing himself as a trusted aide. 

He worked as a priest in the medieval years, a lieutenant in Napoleon’s armies, and an orderly in an insane asylum during the 40’s. He’s now reached what he considers his perfect hunting ground: middle management. 

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