Cykranosh

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Cykranosh
Universe Cthulhu Mythos
Notable races Bhlemphroims, Ydheems
Notable people Tsathoggua, Atlach-Nacha
Creator Clark Ashton Smith
Genre Science fiction horror

Cykranosh is the fictional name for the planet Saturn in the Cthulhu Mythos. Cykranosh is the creation of Clark Ashton Smith and is part of his Hyperborean cycle. It also the setting for his short story "The Door to Saturn" (1932).

Cykranosh in the mythos[edit]

Unlike its namesake, the gas giant planet Saturn, the Cykranosh of Smith's fiction has a material surface, a breathable atmosphere, and a topography similar to Earth with vast plains, deserts, and mountains. It is replete with forests of giant fungi, lakes of a strange mercurial liquid, and fields of a bluish, semi-mineral, cactus-like (and possibly sentient) flora covered with razor-sharp spines and serrated blades. Cykranosh is also inhabited by intelligent bipeds as well, such as the Bhlemphroims and the Ydheems.

Gods of Cykranosh[edit]

He turned to see what manner of creature had flung the shadow. This being, he perceived, was not easy to classify, with its ludicrously short legs, its exceedingly elongated arms, and its round, sleepy-looking head that was pendulous from a spherical body, as if it were turning a somnambulistic somersault. But after he had studied it a while and had noted its furriness and somnolent expression, he began to see a vague though inverted likeness to the god Zhothaqquah. And remembering how Zhothaqquah had said the form assumed by himself on Earth was not altogether that which he had worn in Cykranosh, Eibon now wondered if this entity was one of Zhothaqquah's relatives.
—Clark Aston Smith, "The Door to Saturn"

Cykranosh was once the home of various Great Old Ones such as Atlach-Nacha and Tsathoggua (Zhothaqquah). Tsathoggua's paternal uncle, Hziulquoigmnzhah, still dwells here. Hziulquoigmnzhah looks much like his nephew except he has a round body and a head that swings beneath his torso.

Intelligent races of Cykranosh[edit]

Bhlemphroims[edit]

These beings, though they were bipeds, and were not quite so unheard-of in their anatomic structure as the entity which Eibon had met by the lake, were nevertheless sufficiently unusual; for their head and bodies were apparently combined in one, and their ears, eyes, nostrils, mouths, and certain other organs of doubtful use were all arranged in a somewhat unconventional grouping on their chests and abdomens. They were wholly naked, and were rather dark in color, with no trace of hair on any part of their bodies.
—Clark Aston Smith, "The Door to Saturn"

The Bhlemphroims live in the kingdom of Vhlorrh, and are a benign and somewhat advanced race. They abandoned their religious traditions long ago and now aim toward a more materialistic lifestyle.

The Bhlemphroims have unusual reproductive practices. Though they are of two sexes, they do not reproduce by conventional means. Instead, a single female is chosen to be the Djhenquomh, the singular mother for an entire generation of Bhlemphroims. The Djhenquomh is fed a carefully prepared diet until she grows to elephantine proportions. When she is ready to mate, a committee of Bhlemphroims chooses several males to become her husbands; after performing their requisite duty, the chosen spouses are served to the Djhenquomh as portions of her voluminous meal.

Ydheems[edit]

The Ydheems are similar to the Bhlemphroims, but have rudimentary craniums and a far more primitive society. Unlike the Bhlemphroims, the Ydheems are devoutly pious (though never to the extreme) and worship the Cykranoshian gods, Hziulquoigmnzhah in particular.

References[edit]

  • Harms, Daniel (1998). "Cykranosh". The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana (2nd ed. ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. p. 71. ISBN 1-56882-119-0. 
  • Smith, Clark Ashton (2002) [1932]. "The Door to Saturn". In Robert M. Price (ed.). The Book of Eibon (1st ed. ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. ISBN 1-56882-129-8.