Voormis

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The Voormis are a fictional race of cave-dwelling humanoids who worship Tsathoggua.

Description[edit]

The Voormis are the primary focus of a "posthumous collaboration"[1] short story by Lin Carter after Clark Ashton Smith's death, The Scroll of Morloc (First published in 1976, The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 2, and again in 1980 in Lost Worlds).[2] They are referred to as the Voormi (plural: Voormis) in the fictional manuscript The Pnakotic Fragments.[citation needed] The Voormis considered themselves the chosen minions of Tsathoggua and his direct descendants.

...for it was commonly believed that their supreme pontiff and common ancestor had been fathered by none other than Tsathoggua himself during a transient liaison with a minor female divinity who rejoiced in the name of Shathak
— Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith, "The Scroll of Morloc"

Now the Voormis had, from their remotest origins, considered themselves the chosen minions of Tsathoggua, the sole deity whose worship they celebrated. And Tsathoggua was an earth elemental ranged in perpetual and unrelenting enmity against the Rhan-Tegoth and all his kind, who were commonly accounted elementals of the air and were objects of contempt to those of the Old Ones, like Tsathoggua, who abominated the airy emptiness above the world and by preference wallowed in darksome and subterranean lairs.
— Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith, "The Scroll of Morloc"

The Voormis are described as three-toed, umber-colored, fur-covered humanoids[3] though they are carefully differentiated from their traditional enemies (the shaggier-haired but superficially similar Gnophkehs who worshiped the Great Old One Rhan-Tegoth). Both of them are further differentiated from true humans. The Voormis communicate by dog-like howls.

They reside in a continent in Hyperborea which will be known in the future as Mhu Thulan. Specifically in cave systems under the four-coned extinct volcano named after them - Mount Voormithadreth, the tallest peak in the Eiglophian mountains. Their ancestors (as described by Carter's narrative) were originally thralls of the Serpent-people who escaped after the continent of the latter sank to the sea. They are shamanistic and apparently begun dwelling underground in an effort to imitate their deity, Tsathoggua, under the leadership of the eponymous Voorm.

By dwelling subterraneously, it should perhaps be noted here, the Voormis were but imitating the grotesque divinity they worshipped with rites we might deem excessively sanguinary and revolting. As it was an article of the Voormish faith that this deity, whom they knew as Tsathoggua, made his abode in lightless caverns situated far beneath the earth, their adoption of a troglodytic mode of existence was to some extent primarily symbolic. Their eponymous ancestor of their race, Voorm the arch-ancient, had quite early in their history promulgated a doctrine which asserted that their assumption of a wholly subterranean habit would place them in a special relationship of mystical propinquity with their god, who himself preferred to wallow in the gulf of N'kai beneath a mountain to the south considered sacred by the Voormis.
— Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith, "The Scroll of Morloc"

The Voormis established a thriving culture in the surface Hyperborea before the coming of humans;[4] establishing citadels in the island of Ta-Shon[5] and adding to the arcane knowledge of the Pnakotic Manuscripts.[6] Their civilization eventually fell into demise.[7] With constant warfare with their archenemies, the Gnophkeh, they grew smaller and smaller in number until the remnants retreated to the highest slopes of the Eiglophian mountains. They were hunted for sport by later human settlers.

Notable Voormis[edit]

Voorm[edit]

The eponymous ancestor of the Voormis who founded the Voormis civilization after the fall of the Serpent-people.[2]

Knygathin Zhaum[edit]

Knygathin Zhaum is the child of Sfatlicllp and a Voormi.

He repopulated Hyperborea after humans deserted the city of Commoriom, building Uzuldaroum in its stead. Athammaus, the last executioner of Commoriom, tried to execute him by beheading, for his inhuman crimes, but because of his preternatural heritage, such attempts proved unsuccessful and only served to aggravate him. As a descendant of Cxaxukluth, Knygathin Zhaum reproduced by fission and thus created an Azathothian strain among the Hyperborean Voormi.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Carter, Lin; Clark Ashton Smith (1976). The Year's Best Fantasy Stories 2. United States: DAW Books. ISBN 978-4-511-24812-0.