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Life Cycle of the Outer Gods by thomastapir Life Cycle of the Outer Gods by thomastapir
So I've been reading the Malleus Monstrorum, essentially the giant collected "monster manual" for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, and it got me thinking...

I've been reading Lovecraft since I was about 14 and have devoured every pastiche, homage, and satire I can get my hands on related to the "mythos," and I have to say, the way most creators handle Lovecraft's "deities," the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones.....reeeeeaaally bugs me.

My perspective on Lovecraft's cosmology has always been very firmly grounded in the "science fictional" aspects, as elucidated in stories like At the Mountains of Madness or The Shadow Out of Time. I have always interpreted the supposed "magic" and mysticism, the "occult" elements of the mythos, as a veneer of limited human perception projected onto alien physics, geometry, and biology--or at best, a crude attempt to codify and manipulate those factors to human advantage.

If there is any sort of underlying existential or metaphysical philosophy to Lovecraft's fiction, it's that the universe is vast, unknowable, at best uncaring, at worst hostile to us fragile, pitiful little monkeys. There are monsters out there--in outer space, in the cracks between space and time and the dimensions we can't perceive. "Mundane" or "terrene" life emerges from temporary, self-organizing little whirlpools of counter-entropy in a universe governed by randomness and chaos. The "gods" of the mythos are the quasi-physical embodiment of this chaos, and their interaction with us is generally along the lines of our "interaction" with bugs crushed thoughtlessly underfoot.

So here's my take on the life cycle of the Outer Gods, what I see as the "primary" emergent entities/organisms of the Lovecraft cosmology. No genealogies or family trees, no elemental water/fire deities, no warring pantheons of Elder Gods versus hoary Old Ones...Just the life cycle of a mindless trans-spatial organism, often exploitative and parasitic, writhing and squirming at the center of the universe.

It also occurred to me that the faux "pelagic" and "planktonic" qualities of the Outer Gods in their various life cycle phases could account for the aquatic quality of many mythos organisms--water, as a medium, is similar to space.
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:iconzattik:
zattik Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014
Very interesting. And thought-provoking. Plus, your serious attempt at understanding the inescrutable urges me to advise you: don't go fiddling underground neither outside our atmosphere, you're sounding like lovecraftian curious academics.

Your interpretation is specially interesting if we consider that, as some say, Lovecraft was motivated by its time, in which counterintuitive stuff like quantum physics, deep sea exploration, evolution and other incredible scientific advancements were undermining Man's place in the natural order of things, and not even our minds were safe after Freud.

PS: It may interest you.

www.scp-wiki.net/scp-169

www.scp-wiki.net/the-thing-tha…

www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1548
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:icontektalox:
Tektalox Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Regarding eldritch abomination SCP´s, you forgot to recommend him SCP-435, SCP-1512, and SCP-1129.
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:iconzattik:
zattik Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
Actually, I don't remember reading those, thanks for the tip.
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:icondrkaleidoscope:
DrKaleidoscope Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

Well, Yog-Sothoth stays out of this life cycle up until he's summoned to earth for some "tentacle delight"

 

This is really terrific

I've always been fascinated by evolution and how it might work on other dimensions and universes with very different physical laws from us

 

keep up the good work

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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
Thanks very much, I'm happy you like it and I also appreciate your great feedback!
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:icongrazatt:
grazatt Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
So how do the more human like mythos entities (men from Leng,ghouls, voormis) fit into this?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
Hm, you know, that's a good question...I'm not sure they'd fall under the purview of this chart.  If they did, I guess I'd think of it as a "one part per million Outer Gods genetic taint" kinda thing, like they are humans or quasi-humans that have some degree of preternatural ancestry, even in the form of parasitization or contamination.  The Men of Leng, though--I definitely think of them as kind of alt/parallel continuum quasi-humans, being as they are from the Dreamlands.
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:icondrkaleidoscope:
DrKaleidoscope Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Well, I can't say what Lovecraft was thinking when he made the ghouls and the deep ones, but in my Mythos stories at least, they were caused by early humanoids experimenting with occult forces that wound up causing them to mutate into transdimensional beast men
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
VERY cool idea...You know, I was just thinking that they could also be leftover degenerate slave/utility races created by advanced prehistoric human or non-civilizations, as per "The Mound."
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:icondrkaleidoscope:
DrKaleidoscope Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

never read that story, but it sounds interesting

using magic in my stories is a lot like messing with nuclear power, but instead of just making you and your descendants very sick, magic can transform you in a more positive way I e, you develop wings, gills, psychic powers, stuff like that

there are also classic monsters in my stories like dragons and vampires, but they are given a lovecraftian twist in that they are the dinosauroid and human descendants of two Old Ones named Tiamat and Lilith, respectively

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