Martense Kin

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The Martense Kin are fictional creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft in his story The Lurking Fear. They are a family of degenerated humans who have resorted to cannibalism. They live under Tempest Mountain near Lefferts Corners, a nearby village.

The Martense Mansion

The Martense family oringally settled in the Catskills mountains atop Tempest Mountain in 1670. A mansion was built there by Gerrit Martense who wished to escape the changes being wrought on New Amsterdam by the British.

While selecting the location, the mountain was plagued by thunderstorms. Gerrit Martense assumed it was a phenomena of the season, but the storms continued on and off year round. Due to this Gerrit Martense constructed a large cellar where he could retreat from the storms.

Outside contact with the family declined steadily after the construction of the mansion. After the supposed murder of Jan Martense in 1760 many legends arose among the nearby squatters, about the house. In 1816 it was found completely empty. Evidence showed that the family, now in severe decline had upped and left. Stories continued to circulate about gruesome killings, ghosts, and daemons of all kinds until 1921 when workers dynamited the house and several near by hillocks.

The Family

Not much is known about the family besides its founder Gerrit Martense and Jan Martense. The family has one prominent attribute, startling different colored eyes, one brown and one blue. By the 1920s the Martense family had degenerated to a nearly non-human level. Having retreated from the thunderstorms to a network of underground caves the Martense family resorted to inbreeding, cannibalism, and preying on the local squatters.

Notable family members are:

Gerrit Martense

A Dutch merchant who lived in New Amsterdam. He decided to move into the remote Catskills mountains in 1670. Liking the solitude and unusual scenery he constructed a large mansion. Disliking the continued British ruling of the colonies Gerrit and his family permanently moved into the mansion. Little more is known about Gerrit after this as he severed all connections with the outside world. He trained his children to dislike outsiders as well.

Jan Martense

In 1754 Jan Martense left Tempest Mountain to join the colonial army. Jan campaigned for six years and returned to the Martense Mansion in 1760. During this period he was corresponding with his friend Jonathan Gifford from Albany. Jan wrote that the family mistrusted him and treated him as an outsider. In the autumn of 1763 his correspondence ended and Jonathan Gifford became worried.

Gifford visited the mansion in spring and the Martense family claimed that Jan had been struck by lightning. Jonathan Gifford dug up his grave and discovered, as he had suspected, that Jan had been murdered by his family. While lacking legal evidence Gifford's accusations caused the Martense family to be shunned completely.


By 1810 lights were no longer seen from the Martense mansion. In 1816 locals were interested enough to investigate. The house was found deserted. No evidence of death could be found, so it was assumed the family had left.

After several killings in 1920 and 1921 an investigator discovered that the family had not left at all, but driven by scandal and the constant thunderstorms had fled underground. Snake like mounds and hilly areas hid a network of tunnels where the family lived. Nearly a century underground caused the family to degenerate into bestial cannibalistic things.

Only keeping the characteristic blue and brown eyes the Martense Kin are no longer human. They feed on each other, travel underground, and kill and maim anything in their way. They are no longer intelligent, simply driven into berserk rage by the constant storms around Tempest Hill.


Several brutal killings prompted the press and several independents to investigate the Martense Mansion. Several more deaths followed including those of George Bennett, William Tobey, and reporter Arthur Munroe. This led another investigator, who later wrote about the experience, to discover the underground caves, and later to dynamite the mansion and many of the surrounding mounds.

It is unsure weather the dynamite destroyed any of the Martense Kin.

See Also

  • The Martense Kin are similar to ghouls in description. Ghouls however are mostly intelligent, and prefer already dead meals to living prey.
  • The moral and physical degeneracy of the Martense Kin is comparable to the Deep one Hybrids and the degenerated Whately clan.