Mordiggian, also known as "The Great Ghoul", "The Charnel God", and "The Worm that Doth Corrupt", is a fictional character in the Cthulhu Mythos. "He" is the creation of Clark Ashton Smith and appears in his short story "The Charnel God".
Mordiggian in the mythos
... [A] colossal shadow [appeared] that was not wrought by anything in the room. It filled the portals from side to side, it towered above the lintel – and then, swiftly, it became more than a shadow: it was a bulk of darkness, black and opaque, that somehow blinded the eyes with a strange dazzlement. It seemed to suck the flame from the red urns and fill the chamber with a chill of utter death and voidness. Its form was that of a worm-shapen column, huge as a dragon, its further coils still issuing from the gloom of the corridor; but it changed from moment to moment, swirling and spinning as if alive with the vortical energies of dark aeons. Briefly it took the semblance of some demoniac giant with eyeless head and limbless body; and then, leaping and spreading like smoky fire, it swept into the chamber.
—Clark Ashton Smith, "The Charnel God"
Mordiggian is a Great Old One and is worshipped by ghouls. When he appears, all fire and heat is sucked into his swirling, void-like body, instantly lowering the temperature by many degrees, and filling the area with a deathly cold and still air. All within the presence of the Great Ghoul are blinded by the weird changing and dazzling form of the necromantic god.
Mordiggian attacks by engulfing victims, sucking away their life force, and dissolving their bodies. Nothing remains of the Charnel God's prey, and they are never seen again in the waking world or in the Dreamlands. However, Mordiggian does not appear to be especially malevolent ("Mordiggian...was a benign deity in the eyes of the inhabitants of Zul-Bha-Sair"), and has been known to spare those who have not personally offended him or his followers (the ghouls).
Mordiggian's cult (see Cult of Mordiggian) consists almost exclusively of ghouls and vampires, though other races may offer up their dead to the Charnel God, but only as appeasement and not as actual worship.
The ghoul priests of Mordiggian cover themselves in long hooded robes of funeral-purple and silver skull-like masks. A tome known as the Ghoul's Manuscript deals with Mordiggian and his cult, and Mordiggian is also more or less vaguely described in Cultes des Goules.
Although Mordiggian dwells within the Dreamlands, it is assumed that he may also enter the waking world, using the same grave-tunnels and tombs as his ghoul followers, and there are some hints that an avatar of Mordiggian may have appeared beneath the towns of Jerusalem's Lot and Kingsport, and elsewhere in waking Earth. Proof of the long reach of the cult into the waking world is demonstrated by his worship even in the city of Zul-Bha-Sair on the continent of Zothique in the distant future. There he is the only god since "from years that are lost to man's memory", and all who die in the city are offered to him as provender.
Associated Mythos Elements
- cult: Cult of Mordiggian
- cult: Cult of The Worm
- tome: Cultes des Goules
- tome: Ghoul's Manuscript
- tome: De Vermis Mysteriis
- race: Ghouls
- race: Vampires
- location: city of Zul-Bha-Sair on the continent of Zothique
- location: an avatar of Mordiggian may lurk beneath the town of Jerusalem's Lot
- location: the "Ghoul Paradise" of Midian
Heresies and Controversies, Keeper Notes
- Moriggian might be equated with "The Worm That Doth Corrupt" referenced in Stephen King's stories about Vampires in the town of Jerusalem's Lot (fan theory)
- Smith, Clark Ashton. "The Charnel God" (1934).
- as "The Worm That Doth Corrupt":
- Stephen King, "Salem's Lot"
- Stephen King, "Jerusalem's Lot"
Original Wiki source: Wikipedia