Henry Kuttner deities

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The Henry Kuttner deities are supernatural entities created for the Cthulhu Mythos universe of shared fiction by horror writer Henry Kuttner.

The Hydra[edit]

There are innumerable tales of multi-headed monsters, all springing from the actual entity of whose real existence a few have known through the ages. This creature did not originate on earth, but in the gulfs Outside. It was... a vampiric entity, living not on the blood of its victims but on their heads—their brains... Through the eons this being has ravened in the abyss beyond our dimension, sending out its call to claim victims where it could. For this entity, by absorbing the heads and brains of intelligent creatures both of this world and of other planets, emerges with its powers and vitality greatly augmented.
—Henry Kuttner, "Hydra"

The Hydra dwells in an alternate dimension and appears as a vast sea of gray ooze. A multitude of living heads, some human and some alien, sprout from the ooze, sobbing and grimacing as if in great agony.

The Hydra's worshippers trick others into sending the god sacrifices through a pamphlet known as On the Sending Out of the Soul. The last page contains a magical formula for astral projection. When followed, the formula always works as expected, harmlessly transporting the user in astral form to whatever destination is desired. However, unbeknownst to the user, the ritual also brings the subject into contact with the Hydra, which then merges with the individual's astral self, using it as a host. Anyone present where the astral traveler appears is decapitated, the victim's head taken to become part of the Hydra. Afterwards, the astral traveler is returned safely to his or her original body, suffering no ill effects, except perhaps receiving a terrible shock from the grisly scene so witnessed.[1]

Iod[edit]

Also known as the Shining Hunter, the Hunter of Souls, Trophonius and Vediovis. When this entity is summoned, the invoker must have precautions or he will suffer "swift & terrible doom". Iod will pursue the summoner,across alien dimensions if need be, and, upon catching him will suck out his spirit, leaving the soul trapped in the dead body, unable to move. Iod has been described (The description is from the Hunt) "..it partook hideously of incongruous elements. Strange mineral and crystal formations sent their fierce glow through squamous, semi-transparent flesh... A thin slime dripped from membranous flesh...and as this slime floated down, hideous plantlike appendages writhed blindly in the air, making hungry little sucking noises. "...A great faceted eye watched ...and the ropeless tentacle began to uncoil purposefully...".The victim will feel unendurable cold and pain, and hear a brief whistling, as Iod draws out his spirit.

Nyogtha[edit]

Men knew him as the Dweller in Darkness, that brother of the Old Ones called Nyogtha, the Thing that should not be. He can be summoned to Earth's surface through certain secret caverns and fissures, and sorcerers have seen him in Syria and below the black tower of Leng; from the Thang Grotto of Tartary he has come ravening to bring terror and destruction among the pavilions of the great Khan. Only by the looped cross, by the Vach-Viraj incantation and by the Tikkoun elixir may he be driven back to the nighted caverns of hidden foulness where he dwelleth.
—Henry Kuttner, "The Salem Horror"

Nyogtha (the Thing That Should Not Be) appears in Henry Kuttner's short story "The Salem Horror" (1937). According to the story, the Necronomicon refers to Nyogtha as "the Dweller in Darkness"--an epithet used by August Derleth in the story of the same name to refer to Nyarlathotep; thus, it may be that Nyogtha is yet another of Nyarlathotep's nigh-endless avatars. Nyogtha appears as a shapeless, dark mass.

In his short story "Path of Corruption," Steve Berman has a group of New Orleans-based hustlers worshipping Nyogtha.

In the 1965 horror film Dark Intruder Nyogtha is mentioned towards the end, along with Sumerian Goetic demons such as Astaroth and Asmodeus.

Vorvadoss[edit]

Vorvadoss (The Flaming One, Lord of the Universal Spaces, The Troubler of the Sands, Who Waiteth in the Outer Dark) first appeared in Kuttner's "The Eater of Souls". appears as a cloaked, hooded being, enveloped in green flames, with fiery eyes. He may otherwise appear as a misty, silvery being with an inhuman face. He also appears in Kuttner's "The Invaders".

In the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game Vorvadoss is classified as an Elder God.

Zushakon[edit]

Zushakon (or Zuchequon or Zul-Che-Quon) debuted in Kuttner's short story "Bells of Horror" (1939). The being is the son of Ubbo-Sathla, procreated by binary fission. Other sources, however, consider him the progeny of Shub-Niggurath and Hastur.

Zushakon is the god of death to the Mutsun tribe of California. Zushakon has an intense hatred of light and will slay anyone who exposes one of his sacred artifacts to it. He can be summoned by the ringing of three specially consecrated bells.

His arrival is heralded by the rapid darkening and chilling of the surrounding environment and the sound of flapping, as if produced by very large wings, steadily increasing in volume. Furthermore, all creatures nearby suffer an irritation of the eyes that is so severe, they are compelled to literally gouge them out. Upon his arrival, the surrounding shadows darken, thicken, swirl, and finally clot into his dreadful shape. It is not known whether the clot of darkness that forms is merely a gateway or the actual entity himself.

According to the famed occult detective Doctor Anton Zarnak, who witnessed Zushakon's arrival during an unsuccessful attempt to exorcise him from a client, Zushakon is an earth elemental and can be repelled by bright lights or by summoning the fire god Cthugha. The unfortunate victim, who died during the struggle, had dug up a mound that contained the remains of a Mutsun shaman. Inside, he found an obsidian tablet and a carving of a hooded, possibly winged, humanoid figure surrounded by toad-like beings prostrate in worship before it. Inscribed on the tablet was an ancient, now-extinct script promising death to anyone who exposed the contents of the barrow. It is very likely that the winged figure in the carving is Zushakon himself.

After he departs, Zushakon may return yet again during the first earthquake or solar eclipse following an earlier, successful summoning of him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henry Kuttner, "Hydra", The Azathoth Cycle, pp. 50–63.