A Beginner's Guide to He Who Lies Dead but Dreaming


That Thing With The Tentacles Everyone Keeps Talking About.

The first thing you'll want to know is how to pronounce this crazy collection of letters, it's easy: kth-ool-oo, or kth-ool-hoo if you want to get pedantic about. Now that you can say it what the hell is it?

Cthulhu is a fictional cosmic god created by HP Lovecraft who first appeared in the short story, The Call of Cthulhu, in 1928. He's a giant octopus like creature from another space-time dimension who's trapped (dead but dreaming) in a stone city deep in the bowels of the ocean. It's foretold that he once ruled the Earth and will do so again, sending humanity into a destructive spiral of chaos and madness.

Though he sleeps (dead but dreaming) in the city of R'lyeh he's able to touch the minds of certain people, drawing them into a web of anxiety, psychosis, and terror. Cthulhu's very existence is incomprehensible to humans so any dealings with the Elder God tend to render people insane or very close to it.

By the way you can find the city of R'lyeh at, S 47° 9', W 126° 43' 47" should you want to visit Ye Olde One of the deeps. Or maybe send him a postcard. Whatever it's your funeral. Perhaps just invite him to your wake to begin with.

It's important to know that Cthulhu isn't the only Elder God, and that's he not even the most powerful, there are lots of other malignant beings that make up The Mythos so when you're reading a Cthulhu story you may not actually be reading about His Great Green Tentacleness. Here's a super helpful list I snagged from a Cthulhu article by Jonathan Strickland.

  • Azathoth - a being of boundless power and size who mindlessly reigns at the center of infinity.
  • Dagon - a god who fathered a race of creatures known as the Deep Ones, who appear to be part man, part fish. Dagon was not a Lovecraftian creation - he was the main deity of the Philistines.
  • Hastur - a malevolent deity, sometimes called "he who must not be named," because he was known to pop up whenever anyone said his name, usually in a really bad mood.
  • Nyarlathotep - aka the Crawling Chaos, the soul and messenger of the Other Gods (beings whose power dwarfs even that of the Great Old Ones), he has infinite shapes and forms and seems to have a malicious sense of humor.
  • Shoggoths - created by the Elder Things to act as slaves, these creatures could assume any shape with their gooey bodies.
  • Yog-Sothoth - the all-in-one god, who envelops all of existence and time, mentioned extensively in the mystical book the "Necronomicon".

HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos has managed to capture the minds of many spawning a plethora of toys, games, stories, and movies. Here's a list of fun Cthulhu stuff to get your started on your dark path of worship.

Dagonbytes - This is an online collection of HP Lovecrat's stories.

Cthulurotica - Where Sex and Madness Meet - A collection of short horror stories featuring flirtations with the Elder Gods.

In the Mouth of Madness - Lovecraftian movie made in 1994 starring Sam Neil. Pretty terrible actually.

Dagon - movie made in 2001 about some people who get shipwrecked on a tiny island of Dagon worshippers. Hilarious B grade horror. Would suggest watching this one over Mouth of Madness.

Munchkin Cthulhu - super cute and simple RPG board game.

Call of Cthulhu LGC - Dueling card game.

Arkham Horror - Complicated but good RPG style board game.

The Necronomicon - Handy dandy esoteric guide to summoning your own Elder Gods.

1 comment:

  1. I hear about chtulu all the time but I have yet to read or watch anything about it(?).


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