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Cthylla (the Secret Daughter of Cthulhu) is a fictional character in the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft. Cthylla was created by Brian Lumley, who originally mentioned her in his Titus Crow novel The Transition Of Titus Crow (1975), though he never actually described her. Tina L. Jens, however, depicted Cthylla as a gigantic winged-octopus in her short story "In His Daughter's Darkling Womb" (1997).
Cthylla's name may be a reference to Scylla, a sea monster from Greek mythology.
Cthylla in the mythos
Cthylla is a Great Old One, and is the youngest progeny of Cthulhu and his androgynous mate Idh-yaa. She came from the star Xoth, but now dwells on Earth in Yhe, where she is guarded by Cthulhu's minions. Cthylla is destined to give birth to Great Cthulhu again after he is destroyed in the distant future. She is considered essential for Cthulhu's plans, and is thus vigilantly guarded by countless Yuggya and Deep Ones. In the epilogue of The Transition of Titus Crow, Project X is used in an attempt to kill Cthylla with a subterranean atomic bomb. She is wounded and escapes, but Cthulhu's wrath is a vastly magnified repeat of the events in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu".
Cthylla was not physically described by Lumley, but was featured in Tina L. Jens's short story "In His Daughter's Darkling Womb". Cthylla has the appearance of a gigantic, red-bodied, black-ringed, and six-eyed octopus with small wings. Like her father, she is able to alter her body-proportions at will, such as by enlarging her wings to enable her to fly. While she normally has eight arms like any octopus, she can extrude or retract additional ones at will (she has been known to sport as many as twelve arms). Each arm is equipped with dozens of razor-sharp claws, each about five inches in length.
Jens's short story narrates the capture of Cthylla by researchers who mistakenly believe her to be a rare specimen of a previously undiscovered octopus species. For the sake of preserving and studying the species, they then attempt to impregnate her through artificial self-insemination.
- Harms, Daniel. "Cthylla" in The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana (2nd ed.), pp. 67–8. Chaosium, Inc., 1998. ISBN 1-56882-119-0.
- Jens, Tina L. "In His Daughter's Darkling Womb" in Singers of Strange Songs: A Celebration of Brian Lumley, Scott David Aniolowski (ed.), Chaosium, Inc., 1997. ISBN 1-56882-104-2
- Lumley, Brian. The Transition of Titus Crow (1975), W. Paul Ganley Pub., 1992. ISBN 0-932445-45-4.
- Rawlik, Peter, "In the Hall of the Yellow King" in "Future Lovecraft". Innsmouth Free Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9866864-7-4.
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