Dagon and Hydra
Father Dagon and Mother Hydra (see also [[Cthulhu] and the Deep Ones]); may also be referred by by the names of sea gods, titans, and monsters like "Poseiden", "Polyphemus", et.al.
Origin: H.P. Lovecraft, originally referenced in the title to the story "Dagon" (based on a dream of Lovecraft's), and expanded on slightly for "The Shadow Over Innsmouth (fiction)". Father Dagon (and to a lesser extent Mother Hydra) would be treated as distinct Mythos entities in Call of Cthulhu (RPG) and media inspired by the game.
In the Mythos
"Yield up enough sacrifices and savage knick-knacks and harbourage in the town when they wanted it, and they'd let well enough alone, wouldn't bother no strangers who might bear tales outside, and the children should never die, but go back to Mother Hydra and Father Dagon that we all come from once...."
— H.P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth (fiction)"
In The Shadow Over Innsmouth (fiction), "Father Dagon and Mother Hydra" are central figures for the Esoteric Order of Dagon cult, which appears to be a thinly-veiled Cthulhu Cult adapted by its founder Obed Marsh to fit into polite Innsmouth society. The cult seems to regard these entities, if they actually exist, as "family", ancestors of humanity which still dwell immortally under the sea, waiting to welcome humanity back into their arms when the stars are right and the Deep Ones have inherited the Earth.
One interpretation of the cult's beliefs might be that "Dagon" is simply a "Christianized" Biblical name for Cthulhu adopted by Marsh, and Dagon and Hydra thus do not exist in fact, but only as an alternative name for Cthulhu and the Deep Ones.
For the purposes of the Call of Cthulhu (RPG), these entities are treated as gigantic and terribly old Deep Ones worshiped as gods by younger Deep Ones and their human cultists in the Esoteric Order of Dagon, drawing inspiration from the earlier Lovecraft story, "Dagon", where the names Dagon and Hydra are not actually used in the story itself, and the titanic Deep Ones mentioned in the story appears simply to have been an freakishly large (and presumably ancient) specimen of the Deep One species. (In this sense, Dagon and Hydra might correspond loosely to the Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, but are treated as a different creature entirely. One might also assume that entities like Ythogtha and Zoth-Ommog, as "children" of Cthulhu, are of the same species as Dagon and Hydra, though they, too, are treated as different species of creature....)
Heresies and Controversies
Cult - see: Esoteric Order of Dagon
Associated Mythos Elements
- race: Deep Ones (who seem to be younger members of Dagon's kind
- race: Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, Lemurians, and others who might be taken as alternatives to Deep Ones at templates for Dagon and Hydra
- race: Star-Spawn of Cthulhu
- cult: Cthulhu Cult
- cult: Esoteric Order of Dagon
- deities: Cthulhu (the high-priest of the old ones who might or might not correspond directly with Dagon), Ythogtha, Zoth-Ommog, Gloon (who, along with Dagon and Hydra, might be assumed to be lesser beings of Cthulhu's kind, dependent on whether Dagon is, indeed, another name for Cthulhu....)
- H.P. Lovecraft, "Dagon" (only the title, but later elaborations from the RPG, and material inspired by it, draw from this story for descriptive material and concepts for Dagon as a giant Deep One)
- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth (fiction)" (here, "Dagon" appears to be a Biblical name given to the Innsmouth folk for Cthulhu, to make the cult more palatable for outsiders)