Azathoth Family Tree
"The Family Tree of Azathoth", or "Genealogy of the Elder Races", AKA "Letter 617"
To James F. Morton dated April 27th 1933, SELECTED LETTERS IV, H. P. Lovecraft
This whimsical family tree purports to show the family relationship of Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, Tsathoggua, and others to each other, and to Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
Apparently, Lovecraft wrote the chart in response to a remark from James F. Morton claiming relationship to Jupiter (perhaps in a humorous signature to Morton's letter?): Lovecraft prefaced the chart with the introduction, "Hail, Offspring of Jove! ...Alas - I have only daemons behind me...." (link)
Azathoth _____________________|_______________________________ | | | | | | Nyarlathotep The Nameless Mist Darkness (The ancient patrician | | gens Viburnia of Haec Yog-Sothoth--------|--------Shub-Niggurath RESPUBLICA.ROMANA) | | |-----------------------------| | Nug Yeb L. Viburnius Marco | | | Cthulhu* Tsathoggua* P. Viburnius Marco | | Legatus of Legio Shaurash-ho Yabou 11., station'd at | | Isca Silurium, in Yogash the Ghoul Nush the Eternal Brittania Secunda | | in A.D. 103 K'baa the Serpent Gilles Grenier, | | Lord of Averoigne | | | Viburnia-------**-----Ghoth the Burrower Hippolyte Le Sorcier, | (one of the Little People) ancestor of Clark Llunwy of Wales Ashton Smith ancestor of Owen Gwynedd and of H.P.L. *First of their respective lines to inhabit this planet. **This union was an hellish and nameless tragedy
The letter mentions:
- Azathoth, parent of:
- Nyarlathotep (The ancient patrician gens Viburnia of Haex Respvblica.Romana), ancestor of:
- L. Viburnius Marco
- P. Viburnius Marco, Legatus of Legio II., station'd at Isca Silurum, in Britannia Secunda in A.D. 103
- ....Viburnia A
- Llunwy of Wales, ancestor of Owen Gwynedd and of H.P. Lovecraft.
- Shub-Niggurath + Yog-Sothoth, ancestors of:
Clark Ashton Smith
Yes, I hope to continue The Book of Eibon. I am returning the "style-sheet" with such details regarding Tsathoggua as I am at present able to furnish. Some of these have required much delving into the Parchments of Pnom (Pnom was the chief Hyperborean genealogist as well as a noted prophet); and I am well aware that certain of my phonetic renderings from the Elder Script are debatable. You raise some interesting points with your questions. Azathoth, the primal nuclear chaos, reproduced of course only by fission; but its progeny, entering various outer systems, often took on attributes of androgynism or bi-sexuality. The andorogynes, curiously, required no coadjutancy in the production of offspring; but their children were commonly, though not always, either male or female. Thus you will note a progressive trend toward biological complexity. Hziulquoigmnzhah, uncle of Tsathoggua, and Ghizghuth, T.'s father, were the male progeny of Cxaxukluth, the androgynous spawn of Azathoth. It is worthy of record, however, that Knygathin Zhaum, the half-breed Voormi, reverted to the most primitive ancestral characteristics following the stress of his numerous decapitations. I have yet to translate the dire and abominable legend telling how a certain doughty denizen of Commoriom (not Athammaus) returned to the city after its public evacuation, and found that it was peopled most execrably and innumerably by the fissional spawn of Knygathin Zhaum, which retained no vestige of anything earthly.
Ech-Pi-Ei, I am sure, can furnish much fuller data concerning the genesis of Tulu. It would seem from the rather oblique references of Pnom, that Tulu was a cousin of Hziulquoigmnzhah but was somewhat closer to the Azathothian archetype than Hz. The latter god, together with Ghisghuth, was born of Cxaxukluth in a dark distant system. Cx. then came en famille to Yuggoth, the family already including Ghisguth's wife, Zstylzhemgni, and the infant Tsathoggua (Cx., I may add, has most mercifully continued to sojourn in the glacial night of Yuggoth). Hz., who found his parent slightly uncongenial owing to its cannibalistic habits, emigrated to Yaksh (Neptune) at an early age; but, wearying of the highly devout Yakshians, went on to Cykranosh, in which he preceded his nephew Tsathoggua. Ts. and his parents lingered in Yuggoth, having penetrated certain deep caverns beyond the incursions of Cxaxukluth; but eventually Ts., leaving his parents behind, followed in the steps of Hz. Hz., a rather philosophic deity, was long worshipped by the quaint peoples of Cykranosh, but grew tired of their ex-votos even as of the Yakshians; and he had permanently retired from active life at the time of his encounter with Eibon as told in "The Door to Saturn". No doubt he still resides in the columned cavern, and still quenches his thirst at the lake of liquid metal. A confirmed bachelor, and sans offspring.
- Clark Ashton Smith, letter to R.H. Barlow dated June 16th 1934
I'll now try to answer your questions, some of which have necessitated research into archives even darker and more obscure than those of the learned Pnom. Chushax, or Zishaik, of whose lineage I can learn only the most meager and dubious details, was the wife of Tsathoggua. Their offspring, Zvilpogglua, was more male than anything else. The Immediate parent of Cthulhu and his race (child of Nug) was Ptmâk. The parent of Yhoundeh or Y'houndeh was the androgyne animal Archetype Zyhumé, which still abides in that cavern of the Archetypes which was visited by the ill- starred Ralibar Vooz on his compulsive itinerations through the Hyperborean underworld. Zyhumé a sort of nebulous and more or less spheroid elk. As to the marriage of Y'houndeh and the flute-player Nyarlathotep, I am inclined to suspect that something of the sort is hinted or adumbrated by Pnom. I quote the reference: "Houndeh in the 3rd cycle of her divinity was covered by that spawn which pipes perennial the dire music of chaos and corruption." If this doesn't refer to the Azathothian flute-player, I'll undertake to drink a straight gallon of the next segur-whiskey that is imported from Mars.
- Clark Ashton Smith, letter to R.H. Barlow on September 10, 1934
Clark Ashton Smith created an alternative family tree (from a letter to R.H. Barlow dated June 16th 1934), mentioning:
- Azathoth (reproduced by fission)
- Cxaxukluth (androgyne), and Ptmâk (Nug and Yeb?)
- Ycnagnnisssz (fissionary being from the dark star Zoth)
(The phrasing of Smith's June 16th letter seems to suggest that Barlow may have previously supplied a "style sheet" for the family tree with a list of questions about it for Smith, and the resulting family tree was the result of Clark Ashton Smith humoring Barlow. For more details on Smith's chart, see: "The Family Tree of the Gods" at eldritchdark.com.)