Lin Carter deities
Aphoom-Zhah (the Cold Flame) debuted in Lin Carter's short story "The Acolyte of the Flame" (1985)—although the being was first mentioned in an earlier tale by Carter, "The Horror in the Gallery" (1976). Aphoom-Zhah is also mentioned in Carter's "The Light from the Pole" (1980), a story Carter wrote from an early draft by Clark Ashton Smith. Smith later developed this draft into "The Coming of the White Worm" (1941).
Aphoom-Zhah is the progeny of Cthugha and is worshipped as the Lord of the Pole because he dwells, like Ithaqua, above the Arctic Circle. Aphoom-Zhah frequently visited Hyperborea during the last ice age. His legend is chronicled in the Pnakotic Manuscripts.
Aphoom-Zhah appears as a vast, cold, grey flame that freezes whatever it touches. The being came to Earth from the star Fomalhaut, briefly visiting the planet Yaksh (Neptune) before taking up residence in Mount Yarak, a legendary mountain atop the North Pole. When the Elder Gods tried to imprison him beneath the pole, Aphoom-Zhah erupted with such fury that he froze the lands around him. Aphoom-Zhah is believed to be responsible for the glaciation that eventually overwhelmed Hyperborea, Zobna, and Lomar.
Aphoom-Zhah likely spawned Gnoph-Keh, Rhan-Tegoth, and Voorm. Though no human cult worships this being, Aphoom-Zhah is revered by the Gnophkeh, the Voormi, and his own race of minions; the spectral Ylidheem.
The Worm that Gnaws in the Night
The Worm that Gnaws in the Night (the Doom of Shaggai) appears in Lin Carter's short story "Shaggai" (1971). The being is portrayed as an enormous, worm-like entity. It was first observed by the wizard Eibon, who chanced upon it on a journey to the planet of Shaggai. To his amazement, Eibon discovered that the massive worm was the "Dweller in the Pyramid" mentioned by the demon Pharol, when questioned by Eibon (about a cryptic passage in the Pnakotic Manuscripts), and that once the Shan of Shaggai made the mistake of summoning it, they could not control or even send it back. Even the Elder Gods could not deal with it. The worm, to Eibon's horror, was slowly eating away at the vitals of Shaggai and he subsequently made a hasty return to Earth. It appears to be similar in size and description to the Graboids from the popular movie series Tremors. Shaggai, however, eventually suffered a different fate from something that crawled over the edge of the universe, as related in Campbell's The Insects from Shaggai.
- Price, "About The Acolyte of the Flame", The Book of Eibon, p. 357.
- Price, "About The Light from the Pole", The Book of Eibon, p. 115.
- Harms, "Aphoom-Zhah", Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, p. 9.
- Price, "About The Acolyte of the Flame", The Book of Eibon, p. 362.