THIS IS MATERIAL FROM THE ICE CAVE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMATTED.
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 09:59:47 +1200 (NZST)
From: Svend Andersen
Okay, given that both humans and Deep Ones are slumming shoggoth-matter, what about Serpent Men? Are they also part of the accidental shogoth-slops that the Elder Things left lying around? And does that affect the Serpent Men/Mi-go relationship?
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 21:31:25 -0400
From: Steven Kaye
Okay, given that both humans and Deep Ones are slumming shoggoth-matter,
Depends where you derive your serpent men from - if you go with Smith's cold-blooded scientists, they ultimately go back to Ubbo-Sathla (and men are descended from serpent men, somehow). I haven't read Howard's "The Shadow Kingdom," so I can't tell you where his serpent men originate. You could go pure Lovecraft and claim they're a variant of the reptile people from "The Nameless City." Hell, you could go with Machen and say whatever they were, they can breed with humans now ("The Novel of the Black Seal").
Well, either Campbell or Carter did call the Mi-Go "lizard-crustaceans," for no particular reason as far as I can tell. But I tend to keep my inhuman scientist races separate in origin - by all accounts, serpent men tend to shun humanity (unless they're in Chaosium modules at the time), whereas Mi-Go run around Vermont popping brains like they were candy.
From: Andrew D. Gable
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 23:29:24 -0400
As do Shoggoths, according to somewhere…I forget where I read that. The dreaded Crinoid Boyz gang, otherwise known as the Elder Things, bred Shoggoths from some of Ubbo-Sathla's spawn, I think. All of which begs the question of what the hell the Karotechia were trying to do at Point 103. Make their own Shoggoths? I'm reminded of a comic-book depiction of a failed Ubermenschen experiment…damned if it wasn't pretty much like a Shoggoth.
I have read it, and can tell you it doesn't explain it. In fact, I don't believe Howard ever really explained where the Serpent Men came from.
On another Howard (well, Hyborian Age anyway)-Serpent Man note, one of the later Conan books talked about the S'tarra. Some kind of reptilian race, always associated with Serpent Men, thought to be a slave race or a degenerate branch (according to GURPS Conan). The latter theory is interesting, especially as they seem not to be the same as the "common" Degenerate Serpent Man. Products of Serpent Man seizure of Crinoid tech?
Machen's stories are excellent, perfect for someone like me who likes to exploit the Mythos side of faerie lore. Well, he was a member of the Golden Dawn, maybe he saw a few things…
That was in Campbell's "Mine on Yuggoth." Always liked Devil's Steps from that story…hell, the landmark even pops up in a scenario or two of mine. But the impression I always got was that Campbell got the FunGuys mixed up with the Yaddith ("Through the Gates of the Silver Key").
In conclusion: so, where are we? Evidently after the Crinoid Boyz petered out, their tech was free game for whatever Mythos race got there. And there's some Crinoids left here on Earth, right? And out wherever they came from in the first place? Seems to me that they might be a mite P.O.'d…
In reference to the Shoggoth Rebellion being started by Cthulhu-spawn…was that before or after the sinking of R'lyeh? My theory had always been that the Crinoid Boyz had something to do with that. Maybe the Shoggoth Rebellion was a form of vengeance?
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 00:23:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Snidely Whiplash
Depends where you derive your serpent men from - if you go with Smith's
cold-blooded scientists, they ultimately go back to Ubbo-Sathla (and men
are descended from serpent men, somehow). I haven't read Howard's "The
Shadow Kingdom," so I can't tell you where his serpent men originate. You
could go pure Lovecraft and claim they're a variant of the reptile people
from "The Nameless City." Hell, you could go with Machen and say whatever
they were, they can breed with humans now ("The Novel of the Black Seal").
You know, I was thinking that these "reptiles" and their nameless city could be a Deep One ghost-town (pardon the pun): either temporally displaced, or the remnants of a geologically short-lived species of land deep ones left stranded when Tethys dried up… I mean, if people can mistake dolphins for fish because they live in water, would it be that far a stretch of the imagination for a panicked narrator to think Deep Ones are reptilian because they were in the desert? And heck, while I'm at it, I don't want to be a negative nelly, but all this fun talk about Deep One cities being made of coral? The problem is that, while coral can be found down to about 20000 ft, the kind that builds reefs don't grow less than 150 feet down. These reef-building species are symbiotic with algae, and need the high amounts of sunlight you get at the higher depths - they also need a temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Farenheit (that's 20 to 28 C for our European friends). I doubt it gets that warm down where the Deep Ones dwell, nor does the sludgy, aeons old muck at the bottom of the sea bode well for a rocky substrate for coral building.
So, either Deep One cities are made of something else, or we need to posit a bioengineering capability that may not rival Mi-Go or Elder Things, but certainly humbles anything men can do…
A mite uppity for his first post,
From: Mark McFadden
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 02:44:50 EDT
« And heck, while I'm at it, I don't want to be a negative nelly, but all this fun talk about Deep One cities being made of coral? The problem is that, while coral can be found down to about 20000 ft, the kind that builds reefs don't grow less than 150 feet down. These reef-building species are symbiotic with algae, and need the high amounts of sunlight you get at the higher depths - they also need a temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Farenheit (that's 20 to 28 C for our European friends). I doubt it gets that warm down where the Deep Ones dwell, nor does the sludgy, aeons old muck at the bottom of the sea bode well for a rocky substrate for coral building. »
You see, while you're bioengineering warm water light dependent coral to build cities, you engineer them to like deep water. Or you take the deep water coral with no ambition and make them love to build cities. Make another species that likes to make pilings in muck. That's the beauty of tap dancing across DNA: you get to take a shopping list. Chihuahuas started as wolves.
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 14:47:18 +0200
From: Davide Mana
If all life goes back to that fateful lab wastes spill at the time of the ETs, and the Snakes are the product of legit evolution (do not come from space/other dimensions/etc), then they are related to DOs, Humans and shoggoths.
But that's not so bad, you see.
In real life all living critters on this planer are related to each other through common ancestors. It's just a matter of distant relationship.
If they were first sighted in Permian, on the other hand, "legit evolution" is probably not the name of the game. Some say they did come from Venus…
Sounds like the kind of apocriphal stuff Decamp and Carter used to dream up in the '60s. They did more to kill the Conan character than any other out there.
ET tech is becoming a much sought after commodity all of a sudden, eh?
But it figures.
Date: 13 Apr 99 16:28:41 +0100
From: Peter Devlin
According to the official Chaosium output via Shannon Appel writing in 'Starry Wisdom' #3, Summer 1997:
I'm not too keen on the idea of the creation of a majority of races other than mankind and shoggoths being laid at the feet (tentacles) of the ETs and their experiments with Ubbo Sathla matter.
The next Chaosium release 'Beyond The Mountains of Madness' features the ETs in the Antarctic. Yes, there are a few of the highly-developed ETs left but they're kinda busy, trust me. (Ever wonder why most Mythos entities avoid Antarctica? They remember getting seriously humped by the ETs first time around! Antarctica is a Mythos no-go area for a good reason.) There are also a fair number of degenerate ETs in a small city beneath the Weddell Sea, they've forgotten about 99.9% of their science and substituted bad attitude. Lastly, there are supposed to be highly-developed ETs somewhere amongst the stars but they never appear in stories. Hasn't DG got enough spacefaring races already?
(For more info on above see forthcoming RPGnet review.)
Back on the Deep One topic, I love the idea of using bryozoans as tech. Good post Davide! Gets past those obvious coral problems. The Tethysean idea looks good too, can you recommend any textbooks appropriate for a simpleton like me?
Regards DO fertility, it occurs to me that Deep Ones may not be overly keen on mating with humans. Perhaps Dagon / Hydra / Cthulhu have commanded it of their followers. Maybe DOs think of such as ritual bestiality, the equivalent of man mating with a chimp. It adds a new twist to the idea of missionaries spreading the word of (their) God, converting unbelievers to the faith. Also explains why hybrid offspring are readily welcomed into the fold and humans are largely ignored.
On Deep One weaponry, disregarding the dreaded mapulo. (BTW is it just me who has continued to use mapulo in an ongoing campaign? Remote control shoggoth has to be the scariest weapon ever!) Just because DOs only seem to pack spears doesn't mean to say they don't have other weapons. I'd say that Deep Ones don't have to tool up for skirmish combat as they rarely face enemies who can't be sunk via Wave of Oblivion, clawed to shreds, or crushed via Grasp of Cthulhu.
Anyway, when swimming weapons become an encumbrance. DO talons are handy for HTH combat, corrosion-resistant crossbow equivalents might make sense for short range above and below water. Another obvious one would be stingray tails (originally used by Chinese / Phillipine slavers) for herding those pesky humans.
Given biotech you could posit many weird weapons such as:
(1) Telepathically sensitive fish engineered to respond to mental commands. Imagine sharks, scorpionfish, electric eels or similar which inititate a feeding frenzy on mental comand! Bye bye SEALs.
(2) A heavily engineered bladderfish / lungfish combo that uses compressed air to shoot poisonous spines when squeezed by its owner. Could survive out of water for a period. "Put down that fish or I'll fill you full of lead!" "CROAK! Die ape-man" FFFIT "Uuuh, he got me…"
(3) An unusual Deep One ability may be the capacity to use whale-like sonar. Scale that up with bioengineering and you have a Deep One who could rupture eardrums and shatter glass if really pushed.
Me, I'm a fan of the attack shoggoth. All Deep One families really should get their own little shoggoth as a pet :-)
THIS IS MATERIAL FROM THE ICE CAVE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMATTED.
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 19:19:57 +0200
From: Davide Mana
Right - in fact Permian marks the first appearance of reptiles on land. And the erect posture left them with their forelimbs free and the wonderful world of manuality and manipulation to explore.
25 m.y. require a pretty stiff evolutionary speed for a group to go from first appearance on land all the way to sapiens status. Today we postulate that _possibly_ some of the smaller Cretaceous saurians might have developed the intelligence and the manipulation ability of a chimp. But that's about 150 million years.
If really the serpent people made it so fast, most likely, Father Yig gave them quite a kick-start.
He had to earn that "father" title somehow, right?
And yet, if all living organisms native of the planet share a common ancestor, they must all go back to Ubbo-Sathla. The idea is the Ets did not actually create all of the groups, but simply created the premises for the groups to evolve.
On the other hand, there's no reason why at the very beginning, life started in a few places at the same time, following different patterns. A number of pocket creations, in other words.
This is not such an heretical viewpoint, after all - you just have to fiddle a bit with probability.
[Mountains of Madness stuff snipped - I'll wait till I see the supplement]
Geology: a science made by simpletons for simpletons.
There's a lot of overspecialistic stuff about Tethys out there that I'm staying clear of myself (and my final graduation paper is about a chunk of Tethys!)
Anyway, a suggested reading and a fine general supplement for the library of people dealing on a first-name basis with Permian snake-men is
. Edwin H. Colbert - Wandering Lands and Animals - The story of Continental Drift and Animal Populations - 1985, Dover Books (ISBN 0-486-24918-2)
Not the state of the art (the original edition is 1973) but a definitive introduction to tectonic and its effects on palaeontology, doing without all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Reasonably cheap.
From: "Andrew D. Gable"
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 15:28:49 -0400
Like Stenonychosaurus? That little critter was supposed to be quite smart. And there was that Canadian scientist who made a model of what a living Stenonychosaurus could look like today…
I think some other people (maybe on this list) have proposed that the Valusian Serpent Men aren't really serpents, as such, just large, intelligent reptiles whose appearance was probably more along the lines of Dromaeosaurids (which, BTW, was what Stenonychosaurus was…). They were just called serpents figuratively.
I don't have a history of the Valusians handy - what was going on with them about the time that the Dromaeosaurids (Jurassic Park's Velociraptors…and allow me space to vent my anger—those things in the movie were Deinonychus, NOT Velociraptor!) evolved? And does the theory that Dromaeosaurids evolved into birds cast new light on the fate of the Valusians?
Do some digging around, and I'm sure you can draw lots & lots of parallels between the Valusians (the term I rather prefer) and the "saurian" aliens of UFO conspiracy lore.
BTW, the city of Yanyoga, mentioned in COC, would be now located in South Africa. Interesting, given the Karotechia-South Africa connections we've discussed. Have I answered my own question here, as to why Ssruthaa-Lully was wearing a swastika signet ring in At Your Door? Did the Nazis know about the snaky fellows?
ObDG: A palaeontologist working in South Africa discovers evidences of a new species of Dromaeosaurid. A species of unparalleled intellectual development, even among those intelligent carnivores. A species that possessed sentience. A species that also dates to AFTER the extinctions (IIRC, not too long before the rise of Catal Huyuk). Fun ensues as agents of the Karotechia endeavor to shut him up, and Delta Green endeavors to gain him as a friendly…what the hell, maybe SaucerWatch'll get in there too, since this guy's found the saurians.
From: "Stabernide -"
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 01:39:22 PDT
The term Serpent-people is something of a misomer - if, as the Starry Wisdom article in question is correct, then they're warm blooded like dinosaurs, which, as is now generally accepted, weren't actually reptiles (despite some superficial resembalances; mainly to crocodiles).
In my own Serpent-race rationale, Yig mates with early serpent-men (sorry, 'people'), which accelerates their early evolution, but 'donates' them the alien DNA that eventually leads to their degeneration;- the serpent-race adopts progressively more reptillian features over time, that they initially see as an indication of Yig's favour; re-making them in its own image. Eventually though, hatchlings begin to be born cold-blooded, and start to lose the use of their limbs, prefering to slither close to the ground. The alien DNA is switching off the serpent-race's 'native' genes, and switching on the 'degenerate' ones. They become less intelligent, and without independent heat sources, they die underground, where the serpent-race has always made its home.
Like I always tell my boys;- get it on with a Great Old One and you're just asking for trouble.
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 21:32:42 +0200
I'm working on a history on the nowadays Antartic continent , based partly in "Mountains of Madness" , partly in Glancy's "P-103" , and own paranoid thinkings , using material that comes directly from the source (the dotation of the Biological Investigation Vessel Hesperides , of the Spanish Navy).
Some things that are not mentioned in any Elder Thing's /Shoggoth /Antartica post is the "Operation Highjump". For the unfamiliar , i will say the data :
The max population in antartica , during the summer , never reaches more than 4000 persons nowadays. Normal population are 2700
In 1946, the US Navy began the largest Antarctic expedition ever attempted. Overall command of the operation was placed in the hands of Richard Byrd. The expedition was comprised of 13 ships, 23 aircraft and a total of 4700 men. Task Force 68 was placed under the command of Rear Admiral Richard Cruzen. The expedition was divided into three groups, the Eastern, Western and Central Groups. The Central Group was to penetrate the pack ice and establish a base of operations at the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea. From here they were to make an aerial survey of the interior of the continent while the other two groups sailed in opposite directions around the continent carrying out the same surveying.
Scientific Results : NONE
Official justification : Tests & Training
Suspicious?..i think yes
A conection with P-103 : The sunken a "Pirate" german sub
" In January 1941, German Commander Ernst-Felix KrÃ¼der, aboard the Pinguin, captured a Norwegian whaling fleet (factory ships Ole Wegger and Pelagos, supply ship Solglimt and eleven whale-catchers) in about 59Â°S, 02Â°30'W. The Pinguin was finally sunk off the Persian Gulf by HMS Cornwall on May 8, 1941"
Maybe a supply sub for the Boys in the ice cave….
Another funny things that were in that timeline :
"Also in January , 1947 , famous aviator Eddie Rickenbacker was pushing for American exploration in Antarctica, including the use of atomic bombs for mineral research"
Humm…. A-Bomb's targetting Antarctica in 1947?…sounds familiar };->
Of course , the Brit's don't stand rear…see this :
" The article went on to charge that the British was leading the race by sending a "secret expedition" to occupy Byrd's 1939-41 "East Base" at Marguerite Bay on the Antarctic peninsula."
Yeah! .. Antarctic secret expedition….PISCES was then Shan infected?
ok..let's sit and relax…
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 00:33:29 +0200
In the link below, youÂ´ll find some stuff on german activities in the antarctic around 1940. Hope it will be of use to someone!