Ghroth discussion (archive)
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From: The Man in Black
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2000 4:04 AM

On Sat, 22 Jul 2000, Jason R. Armstrong wrote:

They don't make much practical sense. But, fuckamoley, are they scary. I wonder if Ghroth worries about "catching Dholes"?

You just gave Eibon the Black an excellent idea for another part of his Great Shattering.


From: Andrew John Farrow
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2000 6:10 AM

One idea I like to turn over is that the Dholes are sort of like really huge "planet viruses".

how about the whacky idea that groth is the carrier of the dholes , like a seed pod full of dhole eggs bringing destruction to wherever he is summoned

I know this dont conform to to std mythos thinking , but I cant find any ref. to how groth destroys planets so this theory links - groth , the destuction of shaggi and the role of dholes

yours - andy .


From: Steven Kaye
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2000 8:33 AM

At 12:09 PM +0100 7/23/00, Andrew John Farrow wrote:

I know this dont conform to to std mythos thinking , but I cant find any ref. to how groth destroys planets so this theory links - groth , the destuction of shaggi and the role of dholes

Read the story which introduces Ghroth, Ramsey Campbell's "The Tugging." It brings planets into the proper alignment so 'the stars are right,' waking up the various GOOs.

Steven


From: Daniel Harms
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2000 5:38 PM

At 09:32 AM 7/23/2000 -0400, Steven Kaye wrote:

Read the story which introduces Ghroth, Ramsey Campbell's "The Tugging." It brings planets into the proper alignment so 'the stars are right,' waking up the various GOOs.

However, there does seem to be a reference (in "The Insects of Shaggai" by the same author) that suggests that Ghroth has destroyed worlds in the past. The method seems to involve strange red beams of light, rather than dholes, however.

Yrs.,

Daniel Harms


From: Michael Layne
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 3:05 PM

On 23 July, 2000 AD, Steven Kaye said, regarding the planet Ghroth:

Read the story which introduces Ghroth, Ramsey Campbell's "The Tugging." It brings planets into the proper alignment so 'the stars are right,' waking up the various GOOs.

A plausible mechanism, though rather roundabout…

I had gotten the impression that the destruction was due to tidal forces — much like the initial pass of the Bronson planets (probably not a coincidence in names):) in "When Worlds Collide"!

(In the novel, they were a gas-giant and an Earthlike world — named Bronson Alpha and Beta, after the astronomer who first sighted them. In the movie, the gas giant had become a star, and the two objects were Bellus and Zyra. Perhaps, in the alternate timeline of WWC, the larger of the pair was actually Ghroth?)

Michael Layne
DGGF#688


From: Andy Robertson
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 3:08 PM

Michael Layne wrote:

I had gotten the impression that the destruction was due to tidal forces — much like the initial pass of the Bronson planets (probably not a coincidence in names):) in "When Worlds Collide"!

This goes back to the horror of sheer size.

In Campbell's story Ghroth is a single Eye. (No, I don't mean it has vast sensory regions embedded in it: it's an actual, planet sized, eyeball.)

The horror of this feeds off its impossibility, so a scientific "rationale" for a planet sized eyeball is inappropriate and bathetic.

— --

But, if we are forced, we could perhaps say that the original vision of Ghroth is a telepathic illusion:

Suppose, then, that the planet does not really open an Eye.

Suppose, instead, it is a center of perception and consciousness, so powerfully so that the feeble minds of observers are forced to "see" it as a giant version of their primary sense organs?

So we see it as a giant Eyeball. A sonar-sensing animal might perhaps "hear" Ghroth as a haunting and overpowering Song; an insectoid might "feel" it as a complex of enormous antennae and feelers: and so on.

"Making the stars come right" then takes on a new meaning: not the rather naff idea that astrology somehow works and has been physically "fixed" by a planet wandering into the right bit of the sky, but the more profound one that Ghroth has changed the conditions of reality through its vast concentration of perception & consciouness.

Hows about that?

((I think no investigators ever physically land on to Ghroth in any of the published DG scenarios - so it should be possible to make this fit with "Machinations of the Mi-Go" and the like. But I bow to correction. And of course this idea does not rule out gravitational and tidal effects as well))

The Glove Cleaner


From: Steve Kaye
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 5:03 PM

I had gotten the impression that the destruction was due to tidal forces

Which would make sense, but apparently Ghroth pops into view without inducing massive tidal waves, seismic activity, or even hot hail(cue cheesy disco music).

Suppose, instead, it is a center of perception and consciousness, so powerfully so that the feeble minds of observers are forced to "see" it as a giant version of their primary sense organs?

Wasn't there also a Dick story, "The Eye in the Sky," which involved something similar?

Fits rather nicely with the DG theme of humanity assisting in its own destruction - when humanity becomes like the Great Old Ones, it bears witness to itself.

Steven


From: Andy Robertson
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 4:42 PM

- Original Message -
From: Steve Kaye

Wasn't there also a Dick story, which involved something similar?

Hell, *every* Dick story involves something similar …

Fits rather nicely with the DG theme of humanity assisting in its own destruction - when humanity becomes like the Great Old Ones, it bears witness to itself.

I guess so. I have problems accepting that "when the stars are right" involves nothing but an actual movement of physical, planetary, bodies … It's too obvious. Ghroth needs to have a bit more of a numinous haze round it.

Another question for the "simple" attitude that Ghroth is a planet is …
how is it supposed to move about? Rockets? Space Warp? Nah.

Whatever Ghroth really is, it only looks like a "planet". Maybe it's a single great GOO, a nexus of organised other-Domain material with just enough terrene (or "Briahtic") matter trapped in its gravity well to give it the illusion of being a conventional planet. Maybe it's some sort of pit in space.

Maybe it was once a planet like Earth, before its own EndTimes. But it has now been transformed & it's coming to share the New Life with us.

The Glove Cleaner


From: Michael Layne
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 6:08 PM

On 23 July, 2000 AD, Daniel Harms had this to say about Ghroth:

However, there does seem to be a reference (in "The Insects of Shaggai" by the same author) that suggests that Ghroth has destroyed worlds in the past. The method seems to involve strange red beams of light, rather than dholes, however.

So the Big G has other weapons besides gravitational pull…

For an account of a Ghroth-like mobile planet causing problems on Earth with gravity and tides, and with a few ravening beams of actinic destruction thrown in, check Fritz Lieber's novel "The Wanderer" — written over 30 years ago, yet still surprisingly current…

Michael Layne
DGGF#688


From: Greg Muir
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 12:47 AM

So the Big G has other weapons besides gravitational pull…

For an account of a Ghroth-like mobile planet causing problems on Earth with gravity and tides, and with a few ravening beams of actinic destruction thrown in, check Fritz Lieber's novel "The Wanderer" — written over 30 years ago, yet still surprisingly current…

Also check out the novel Central Heat. A huge alien disk enters the solar system and uses some superscience we can't fathom to selectively block out the sun's gravity. The survivor's of humanity have lived for generations in decaying subterranian cities, leftovers from a cold war that progressed a bit further than in our reality. According to the authorities the disk caused Earth to drift out into deep space. Earth is nothing more than a ball of rock with a thin layer of collapsed atmosphere dusting the top. But some citizens in these bomb shelters feel that the deep space scenario isn't really what happened. The disk was directed by an intelligent force and what lies beyond the sealed doors of the shelters is something far beyond frozen water and air.


From: Mark Macfadden
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 5:29 PM

In a message dated 00-07-24 18:06:54 EDT, you write:

Wasn't there also a Dick story, "The Eye in the Sky," which involved something similar?

Nah. At one point some characters take an umbrella ride into the sky and confront the massive, cyclopean Eye of God, but it was a massive cyclopean Eye of God.
"Eye In The Sky" was one of Dick's meditations on reality.

A group of people have an accident while touring a cyclotron. In the accident, they fall into the beam.
After they come out of the hospital, the world is not the way they remember it. Magic works, as do curses and hexes and charms. Vending machines make candy bars out of nothing, like a Grail. Engineers get answers from angels, and the best engineers are the most devout. Casual profanity is punished by a rain of insects.
With some experimentation and a quick head count they realize that they are not actually living after the accident, but are experiencing an alternate reality *during* the accident, and the worlkd is conforming to the 'reality' of an old old man with some peculiar religious views. Hence God's all-seeing eye in the sky.

In the course of the story they manage to get out of that reality, but keep popping into another member's perceived reality. An empty headed socialite with a tenuous grasp of science. A Communist mole. My favorite was when they were apparently home, only to discover that this was the world inhabited by a paranoid schizophrenic in their group.

Sorry to spill some plot points, but I have to use some examples to convey the gist of it.

Well worth a read. Should inspire a lot of scenes if not a whole scenario.

Mark McFadden


From: Jason R. Armstrong
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 9:34 AM

I have to chime in for a PKD spot, of course.

"Eye In the Sky" is One of his earlier, seemingly clumsier efforts….

STUFF YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ IF YOU WISH TO GET THIS BOOK, OR IF YOU ALREADY HATE AND DESPISE PKD STUFF, OR IF YOU RATHER NOT READ ABOUT BOOKS RIGHT NOW

……in comparison with his VALIS/Transmigration/Flow My Tears/Albemuth stuff, which is so shockingly good you can't help but think you merely imagined it. It was one of the works he wrote in the (50's?), so it seems a lot more naively-done, in terms of dialogue and pacing. My guess is, this had to do with the assumed "demands of the market" in that day. Whatever.

The greatest, most Cthuloid part of this story is the paranoid- skitz part. It starts out slow, and builds up to an ugly, identity-destroying finale. Said finale blows the established characterization out of the water, it blows the POV of the narrator out of the water, it blows the question of "who's really crazy here?"…straaaaight outta the water. And there's some tentacular-buggy-wuggy action, too.

Unfortunatly, it's all rather easily wrapped up in time for the next chapter. Again, I'm guessing the editor made a fuss about the "demands of the market". <>But goddamn, the implications are creepy as all get-out.
Read the story, and determine the use as a one-off (or as an intrusion of OG/GOO Mind Vibe into the campaign?) to taste. It will not disappoint, at least not THAT part.
Whaddya think, sirs?

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