Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Why would you want to contact a Yithian?


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#41 ZeroMostel

ZeroMostel

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 29 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

...to be honest, "Four Yithian bodysnatchers get lost/forgotten in 1960's Britain, and decide the best way to create a large enough ripple through time that they're noticed and retrieved (without accidentally messing up history or outing themselves), is to become world-famous musicians, and seed clues to their nature in album art and backmasking in the hopes that another Yithian at some point in the future works it out and comes back for them" sounds like a pretty solid basis to build up from. Possibly fiction or a one-shot over a campaign, but

 

So then Yoko IS a Great old one.

 

Probably Nyarlathotep. Only something that gruesome could sing that bad.




Log in to remove this video.

#42 yronimoswhateley

yronimoswhateley

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,164 posts
  • LocationDunwich, Maryland

Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:11 PM

Now You have me thinking of a "cult" of such people. Maybe even ones who want to escape man's "fate" and be part of the Beetles who inhabit the earth after man.

 

OOOO I gotta run with this 

 

And now you've got me thinking more and more about it....

 

In Lovecraft's atheist's nightmare of a universe, religion is kind of reality, but not quite - there are gods, after a fashion, but they're really only other (alien) people who benefited by starting the game of being alive a little earlier than humans... there is neither heaven or hell, at least not quite, but rather an afterlife, after a fashion, because there is a soul, after a fashion, in the form a disembodied intellect that persists after death, but has nowhere to go and nothing to do without a body; there is no truly divine judgment and intervention in your future, but rather a do-it-yourself quality to making your own afterlife out of whatever nature and chance have randomly provided as building materials.... 

 

The whole thing makes a world in which a 'cult' or 'religion' of people who know these appalling facts in ways that cults and religions in the real world - which depend on mere faith in more idealized versions of such things - never could; a somewhat bizarre and strange and ultimately fatalistic thing, in which those who know the truth must make their own afterlife as best as they can out of whatever they can, free of ordinary reason and morality and ethics in any form that normal people in the real world would understand:  it would be a universe where everyone who understands how it works is doomed to monstrosity because there is no other reasonable choice, a universe where sociopathy is enlightenment and virtue, and the willingness to lie and cheat and steal lives and bodies and exploit ignorance and blindness and manipulate to your ultimately temporary favor anything that can be manipulated for as long as you can manipulate it are the keys to whatever passes for heaven and eternal life....  It is, perhaps, no wonder that anyone who truly understands these cosmic truths would seem "insane" or "evil" to common people.

 

If I were one of these cultists in such a universe, I certainly would jump at a chance to be reborn as a glorified cockroach on a dying world, because it's better than any of the awful and depressing alternatives:  you either keep your body alive as close to forever as possible far into a world increasingly unsuitable to sustain it, or plan and act to repeatedly steal someone or something else's body, or you spend eternity as a homeless spirit drifting aimlessly through a purposeless universe that is even more meaningless for disembodied spirits than it is for those in bodies....

 

In the end, besides a small matter of different experiences, what difference would there be, really, between "Yithians" and "humans", if we're simply disembodied spirits wearing temporary meat suits?  Whether formerly human or formerly rugose cone vegetable-things, we will all merely be future-cockroach-things creeping around a dying Earth eventually, if we're lucky enough to escape the alternative of haunting the dying world as useless ghosts without bodies....

 

From that perspective, these cultists' purpose becomes that of keeping the planet as habitable as possible for the long haul, and keeping the planet populated with enough bodies suited to its environment that you always have a body to jump into after death after death after death after death forever... a population of living bodies in any form (but especially a desirable, comfortable one) become a priceless commodity and investment, one to be carefully managed and protected, not for its own good, but for yours....

 

And then, when it comes to others - other humans, aliens, etc. - they would represent competition for your investment in living bodies, and you would probably want to keep the truth about the "afterlife" secret from them, dooming them all to an eternity as a useless ghosts, because you certainly don't want to give them any competitive advantage when it comes to taking your next body.  Distract them with false religions, hide any tomes that reveal the truth, guide them into the wrong directions after death or during life, trick them into giving up their bodies and never coming back to life:  ideally, the universe is a place where only a handful of chosen spirits know the truth and control everything, while everyone else is doomed to a disembodied existence without hope of ever seeing life or afterlife or presence and purpose again.... 

 

There would be two kinds of beings in such a universe:  those enlightened masters of the universe - human and alien - who are in on the secret of eternal life and have no choice but to abandon all humanity to embrace the awful truth, and those unenlightened ones who are perhaps best left in the dark to be abandoned into oblivion, both as a competitive advantage over them and as a mercy for them.  Which would you want to be, if the terrible "choice" were revealed to you?


Edited by yronimoswhateley, 29 November 2017 - 09:13 PM.

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." - Blaise Pascal


#43 eternalchampion

eternalchampion

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Locationsouth of Kadath

Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:27 PM

Interesting yronimoswhateley but, I must say, not very horrifying!

 

But, if I may add a little bit of something in this line of though, we could say that the four-dimensional creatures in “Interstellar” are Yithians, or that that humans might become Yithians given the… time?



#44 ZeroMostel

ZeroMostel

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:58 PM

Interesting yronimoswhateley but, I must say, not very horrifying!

 

But, if I may add a little bit of something in this line of though, we could say that the four-dimensional creatures in “Interstellar” are Yithians, or that that humans might become Yithians given the… time?

 

If this is the case, then the Yithians are not so much a race as then a society. A group of people escaping the fate of their worlds and jumping en masse to other creatures and being. The cone shaped beings might not have even been intelligent, just handy shapes to inhabit, that of course could hold the mentality of their new owners. 

 

The "magic" used for such could be harnessed by a "cult" Jumping forward in time to escape whatever they needed to do, swapping or co-oping bodies as they went.



#45 eternalchampion

eternalchampion

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Locationsouth of Kadath

Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:16 PM

If this is the case, then the Yithians are not so much a race as then a society. A group of people escaping the fate of their worlds and jumping en masse to other creatures and being. The cone shaped beings might not have even been intelligent, just handy shapes to inhabit, that of course could hold the mentality of their new owners. 

 

The "magic" used for such could be harnessed by a "cult" Jumping forward in time to escape whatever they needed to do, swapping or co-oping bodies as they went.

 

Also Interesting. But then the "Great Race" would not be an actual race, but a society of higher intellects.



#46 ZeroMostel

ZeroMostel

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:19 PM

Also Interesting. But then the "Great Race" would not be an actual race, but a society of higher intellects.

 

Or similar personalities. I have yet to see any intelligent race on earth.



#47 eternalchampion

eternalchampion

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Locationsouth of Kadath

Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:21 PM

Or similar personalities. I have yet to see any intelligent race on earth.

 

Good point.



#48 yronimoswhateley

yronimoswhateley

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,164 posts
  • LocationDunwich, Maryland

Posted 02 December 2017 - 06:16 PM

"Race", perhaps, is only a very narrow human construct.  We might all be the same "Yithian" monster in the end... some more mature and aware and accomplished at surfing from body to body and exploiting meat than others, but, in the end, "humanity" is just a meaningless distinction between wandering madness and another, a distinction with no more important a basis in the ultimate reality than that of which body that it currently inhabits, as if we cease to be "human" the moment we stop standing in one building, and walk across the street to another....

 

As for how horrifying any of it is, it all depends on what logical conclusion you take it all to.

 

For example, as I've hinted elsewhere, a Yithian mind-swap would be effectively indistinguishable from demonic possession, with all of the unsettling horror that can be applied to a demonic possession story, except that it is a demonic possession in a universe where the only "gods" you can turn to for help, protection, or the power of "exorcism" are indifferent alien monsters who do not know or care that you even exist. 

 

To paraphrase one of Orwell's more Lovecraftian expressions, if you want to see a future in a world where Lovecraft's twisted parody of religion exists, imagine the "boot" of a horde of invisible but horrifically real demonic Yithian spirits stamping on human faces forever and ever, until something better to stamp on comes along to replace humans as we go extinct; your only way out of that fate is to join the demons in their eternal face-stomping....


Edited by yronimoswhateley, 02 December 2017 - 06:20 PM.

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." - Blaise Pascal


#49 ZeroMostel

ZeroMostel

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 08 December 2017 - 02:16 AM

"Race", perhaps, is only a very narrow human construct.  We might all be the same "Yithian" monster in the end... some more mature and aware and accomplished at surfing from body to body and exploiting meat than others, but, in the end, "humanity" is just a meaningless distinction between wandering madness and another, a distinction with no more important a basis in the ultimate reality than that of which body that it currently inhabits, as if we cease to be "human" the moment we stop standing in one building, and walk across the street to another....

 

As for how horrifying any of it is, it all depends on what logical conclusion you take it all to.

 

For example, as I've hinted elsewhere, a Yithian mind-swap would be effectively indistinguishable from demonic possession, with all of the unsettling horror that can be applied to a demonic possession story, except that it is a demonic possession in a universe where the only "gods" you can turn to for help, protection, or the power of "exorcism" are indifferent alien monsters who do not know or care that you even exist. 

 

To paraphrase one of Orwell's more Lovecraftian expressions, if you want to see a future in a world where Lovecraft's twisted parody of religion exists, imagine the "boot" of a horde of invisible but horrifically real demonic Yithian spirits stamping on human faces forever and ever, until something better to stamp on comes along to replace humans as we go extinct; your only way out of that fate is to join the demons in their eternal face-stomping....

 

I would say that the mind swap would be the closest thing to demonic possession in this world, however from what I understand, being "possessed" is more that your body is taken over and you are no longer in the driver's seat. You can see everything that is going on, but cannot do anything about it. A mind swap is literally that, you are in another body and controlling that one. They can wipe your mind before you go, so you end up with a load of unaccounted for time, but you at least didn't have the horror of being out of control.



#50 yronimoswhateley

yronimoswhateley

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,164 posts
  • LocationDunwich, Maryland

Posted 08 December 2017 - 05:20 PM

Why not include the horror of being out of control in your story about Yithian mind-swapping, if that's what scares you and your audience? 

 

Spoiler

 

Again, though, it's how use use the material that makes it scary.  A trip to the grocery store or going to sleep at night don't sound very scary as-is, either, but the only thing stopping someone from turning something even as mundane, dull, and every-day as that into a cosmic horror story is a little willing suspension of disbelief and the vision to inject something a little cosmic, and something a little horrible into the event, and tap into that frame of mind where climbing into or out of bed in a dark, quiet room really is a frightening experience....

 

And, to bring it back around to the original topic of the thread, of course there all sorts of reasons to contact a Yithian, even foolish reasons, and the only thing stopping someone from turning that event into a cosmic horror story is the process of tapping into that frame of mind where lighting up a candle in the dark and using a ouija board or saying "Bloody Mary" three times while looking at a mirror both seems like a great idea, and at the same time really is a very unsettling experience whether something actually happens or not.  (Of course, in the world of dark fantasy and horror, if calling out to Yithian body-snatchers in the dark doesn't seem like a good - or at least harmless - idea at the time, isn't as eerie and atmospheric an experience as you make it as a writer or storyteller, AND fails to result in something awful happening, then it's not the subject matter that's a problem - after all, those basic components have worked together as horror story-telling devices for a very, very long time, perhaps dating far back into pre-human history when making too much noise in your cave or burrow in the dark and silent night would attract the attention, fangs, and claws of unseen, unknown, and unfriendly monsters from the darkness of the dawn of time!)


Edited by yronimoswhateley, 08 December 2017 - 05:22 PM.

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." - Blaise Pascal


#51 eternalchampion

eternalchampion

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Locationsouth of Kadath

Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:23 PM

Again, though, it's how use use the material that makes it scary.  A trip to the grocery store or going to sleep at night don't sound very scary as-is, either, but the only thing stopping someone from turning something even as mundane, dull, and every-day as that into a cosmic horror story is a little willing suspension of disbelief and the vision to inject something a little cosmic, and something a little horrible into the event, and tap into that frame of mind where climbing into or out of bed in a dark, quiet room really is a frightening experience....

 

You are right on that Yronimoswhateley, and I agree of course. My previous post about your take on Yithians-humans as spiritual entities not being that scary, was because although I find it interesting it sounded somewhat academic to me. One could invest on the idea, but it would need more development of course. If it is that our spirit will exist forever that would sound more of a relief than curse. And if my best choice would be to become a bug in a dying world after billions of years, I would say no, better drift among the stars.



#52 ZeroMostel

ZeroMostel

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:37 PM

You are right on that Yronimoswhateley, and I agree of course. My previous post about your take on Yithians-humans as spiritual entities not being that scary, was because although I find it interesting it sounded somewhat academic to me. One could invest on the idea, but it would need more development of course. If it is that our spirit will exist forever that would sound more of a relief than curse. And if my best choice would be to become a bug in a dying world after billions of years, I would say no, better drift among the stars.

 

Jumping into a bug a billion years later on earth or maybe even jumping to a new young planet.

 

Imagine some half mad,(or totally insane, but competent) group, call them a cult for now, that has a plan for not being here when the GOO arrive. They have figured out a spell for jumping bodies and now plan on jumping forward in time (Not letting the hounds get wind of them) and transferring whole to a new race and new bodies.

 

If you had players coming across this, you could have the police rushing in just a few minutes AFTER the transference. The cult now is wide eyed and drooling, babaing in some garbled tongue that they seem to understand, but they are all horribly freaked out, staring at their hands and bodies. The ones that have not gone totally insane will still be rounded up and put en mass into the local loony bin, But maybe investigators can come visit to try and find out what happen to them.

 

Could our stalwart heroes find means of reversing the spell? Would they want to or maybe use it themselves when I new island in the pacific rises and all shipping near it goes silent?

 

I am gonna make some more magic circles for this.



#53 eternalchampion

eternalchampion

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Locationsouth of Kadath

Posted 11 December 2017 - 02:40 PM

Well, I am not going to be the one to disturb your circles!

 

The whole affair would call for a moral choise for the PCs. Should they escape to the unknown, or stay behind and fight a desperate situation along with everything they call "their own".



#54 yronimoswhateley

yronimoswhateley

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,164 posts
  • LocationDunwich, Maryland

Posted Today, 08:38 AM

I forgot all about this discussion!

...If it is that our spirit will exist forever that would sound more of a relief than curse. And if my best choice would be to become a bug in a dying world after billions of years, I would say no, better drift among the stars.


You know, H.P. Lovecraft mentioned that it wasn't simply the emotion of fear that he was aiming for, but rather something else, for which fear was something of a shortcut:

My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature. I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best—one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which for ever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis. These stories frequently emphasise the element of horror because fear is our deepest and strongest emotion, and the one which best lends itself to the creation of nature-defying illusions. Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected, so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law or cosmic alienage or “outsideness” without laying stress on the emotion of fear. The reason why time plays a great part in so many of my tales is that this element looms up in my mind as the most profoundly dramatic and grimly terrible thing in the universe. Conflict with time seems to me the most potent and fruitful theme in all human expression.


I think that, whether you meant to or not, you captured the essence of what I think Lovecraft was talking about perfectly, regarding his conflict with time and the strange suspension or violation of its galling limitations - there's as much of Lovecraft's weird tale in your description of a choice to drift among the stars as there is in the better horror-based weird tales, and certainly in the more common horror tale. There's power in that imagery, even if it isn't horror, and I think it, too, has a place in Call of Cthulhu and mythos tales! I might imagine a Randolph Carter saying much the same thing to an offer from Nyarlathotep to learn the full secret of how Yithians gained their immortality, and whatever terrible price they pay every time they use that secret to cling a little longer to life....

Maybe that choice is a distinctly human one - the Yithians, as a "race", appear to have chosen differently. Why would they have made that choice? Do they know something that humans don't? What is i really like to make the human choice, and drift forever among the stars? How long can one's mind drift forever among the stars, and still remain human and sane? I wonder if the Yithians once made the human choice themselves, and, after their time falling forever through the stars, lost a little something along the way, or gained something more than human from the experience, before deciding that they will never again make that choice? The Yithians are older than we are, and have seen and learned and experienced far more than we have, and, after all that, they have decided that it is better to live as sentient vegetables on a prehistoric world filled with enemy god-monsters, or better to creep as roaches over a dying Earth, or better spending every waking hour possible in bodies that never sleep planning and scheming and conspiring over their future escapes back into life to stay always one step ahead of oblivion, than to choose the alternative of remaining human until whatever end may naturally come - what do Yithians know (or believe) about the downside of keeping our humanity when given a choice, that you or I or Randolph Carter don't know? Is the "oblivion" of death not as peaceful, restful, or comforting as humans would like to believe and imagine? If we knew what Yithians know about The End, would we really choose to remain human, after all? If we knew what was really waiting for us after death, would we, too, pay any price for the chance to sell out our humanity and cower instead inside the stolen bodies of insect horrors on a hopeless ruin of a planet, praying that The End won't come too soon for us to find our next hiding place from Death? (I think I've just made a list of things that I might want to contact a Yithian and ask about!)

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." - Blaise Pascal