THE DOCTOR AND CTHUHLU

The Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice Summerfield accidentally faced Cthuhlu in 1915 when trying to visit Ernest Hemingway in nearby Key West, Florida. Once there, they met Francois Lacombe, a native of the Alsace region of France. While there, they prevented Mait Lemaitre from summoning Cthulhu.

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Cthulhu, like a number of other Great Old Ones, had been on Earth at some point following the Silurians going into hibernation. Centuries of warfare had damaged the planet and Cthulhu’s only recourse was to entomb itself in a stone crypt deep within the planet in the caverns underneath Hispaniola. Its separated consciousness travelled along the time winds while its sleeping body retained its subconscious mind. The two could not be merged until an alignment of the stars as they had been when Cthulhu was whole. Due to the universe’s constant expansion and evolution, perfect alignment would be impossible and Cthulhu needed others to perform rituals that would give the subconscious additional focus in drawing the consciousness from the Time Vortex.

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When the correct alignment occurred in 1915, Cthulhu’s body was able to dream for several days and this created a pervasive psychic background at .338 microbars of pressure. Gilles Lemaitre, using the vodoun ritual of Wete Mo Nan Dlo, attempted to restore Cthulhu. Cthulhu, in turn, helped Mait in his plans to create an army of zombies and a device to control them. Before Mait could awaken Cthulhu, the Doctor managed to set explosives in the tomb which killed Mait and resealed the Great Old One’s tomb.

The Great Old One in Haiti wasn’t identified until the novel All-Consuming Fire in which the Doctor associates a number of past enemies with specific Great Old Ones. A brief speech by the Seventh Doctor defines who the Great Old Ones are.  This ties together several creatures encountered in Doctor Who, and binds them in a common group with other mythologies, such as the H. P. Lovecraft Cthulhu stories.  He says that the following are “Great Old Ones”: Cthulhu, Gods of Ragnarok, Nyarlathotep, Dagon, Fenric (otherwise known as Hastur the Unspeakable), Yog-Sothoth (better known as the Great Intelligence), and Lloigor.

Yes, my friends … Doctor Who can easily be popped into a session of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

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Shub-Niggurath

Shub-Niggurath by Stefano Marinetti

Ever Their praises, and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods.

Iä! Shub-Niggurath!Iä! Shub-Niggurath!

The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!

Shub-Niggurath, also known as The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, is a “fictional” deity in the “Cthulhu Mythos” of H. P. Lovecraft. The being first appeared in Lovecraft’s revision story “The Last Test”; however, in Lovecraft’s fiction, she is never actually described, but is frequently mentioned or called upon in incantations. Shub-Niggurath also appears in the works of other mythos authors, including August Derleth, Lin Carter, and Brian Lumley.

The Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath are horrifying, pitch-black monstrosities, seemingly made of ropy tentacles. They stand as tall as a tree (perhaps between twelve and twenty feet tall) on a pair of stumpy, hoofed legs. A mass of tentacles protrudes from their trunks where a head would normally be, and puckered maws, dripping green goo, cover their flanks. The monsters roughly resemble trees in silhouette — the trunks being the short legs and the tops of the trees represented by the ropy, branching bodies. The whole mass of these things smells like an open grave. They usually dwell in woodlands wherever Shub-Niggurath’s cult is active.

The Dark Young are usually called upon to preside over cult ceremonies. One means for summoning them is found in the Book of Eibon and requires a blood offering. The ritual may only be performed in the deep of the woodlands at the darkest of the moon, and the victim must be sacrificed over a stone altar. Dark young act as proxies for Shub-Niggurath in the accepting of sacrifices and the worship of cultists, in the devouring of non-cultists, and in the spreading of their mother’s faith across the world.

Both Stephen King and Terry Pratchett have referenced Shub-Niggurath in their works. Terry Pratchett parodies Lovecraftian gods, referring to them as the things from the “Dungeon Dimensions”. For example, in Pratchett’s Moving Pictures, the being “Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with A Million Young” kills its victims by showing them pictures of its children until their brains implode. Some of the Doctor Who spin-off novels have identified the Nestene Consciousness (the being which animates the Autons) as one of the offspring of Shub-Niggurath. The connection was first drawn in Millennial Rites by Craig Hinton, and has been followed up in other appearances of the Consciousness in the novels.