Nug and Yeb
Nug and Yeb, Sometimes referred to collectively as "Nagoob" and "The Twin Blasphemies".
Very little is known about Nug and Yeb beyond some brief mentions in Lovecraft's letters and briefer mentions in revision stories. In a letter from September 1936 Lovecraft described Nug and Yeb as being twins, each one being spherical or oval in shape with a diameter of approximately 10 feet, with a mythology or cult having a "Tartar or Thibetan flavour". Other than that, HPL described Nug and Yeb as being "a bit destructive sometimes" and having the ability to dissolve matter. Lovecraft coined the throw-away term "The Black Litany of Nug and Yeb" in one of his letter closings, and referred to Nug and Yeb off-hand in a couple revision stories, suggesting that rites dedicated to the beings are particularly repulsive and that subterranean shrines to them can be found beneath Irem. There is no evidence in Lovecraft's stories that Nug and Yeb themselves have ever been on Earth.
From "Out of the Aeons (fiction)": In ancient Mu, T'yog believed that Nug and Yeb were among of the gods friendly to man, ready to side with man against Ghatanothoa. T'yog hoped that Shub-Niggurath and her sons would side with him; from the context, it is possible that these sons include Nug and Yeb (further confirmed by Lovecraft's "family tree" of such beings). From "The Mound (fiction)", the Old Ones of K'n-yan had temples to Nug and Yeb, where the subtle and orgiastic rites sickened Zamacona. From "The Last Test (fiction)", there are underground shrines to Nug and Yeb, possibly in the region of the Crimson desert of Arabia.
Nug and Yeb: "...The Spaniard watched the subtle orgiastic rites with fascination and repulsion. The ceremonies of Nug and Yeb sickened him especially - so much, indeed, that he refrained from describing them in his manuscript...."
— H.P. Lovecraft and Zelia Bishop, "The Mound (fiction)"
Nug and Yeb may have been worshiped occasionally by humans under other names (such as, by some accounts, the Egyptian Nut and Geb), but seem to have had no significant human cult in the modern world, though remnants of the old cult, perhaps inherited from a prehistoric age from the Lemurians, have sometimes been observed in strange, far-flung corners of the world, where baffled observers have described the cult as strangely "Tibetan" or "Tartar" in character as the closest ethnological comparison, though marked by abominable traditions and celebrations.
Nug may be worshiped as a god by one or more cults among the Ghouls, and a cult of alien monsters known as "The Unclean Ones" is led by Yeb in worship of Abhoth. Subterranean shrines to Nug and Yeb might also be found among the Serpent People; no known detailed descriptions of the rites and ceremonies dedicated to these Twin Blasphemies have been identified, but they are alleged to be notably sickening even among descriptions of the rites of Ghouls and other cthonic races.
Blasphemies and Heresies
- Azathoth is the asexual grandfather of Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, who together spawned Nug and Yeb; Nug ("Nagoob") asexually spawned Cthulhu (an ancestor of H.P. Lovecraft), and Yeb asexually spawned Tsathoggua (an ancestor of Clark Ashton Smith)... (H.P. Lovecraft's whimsical family tree)
- Nug and Yeb are described as dragons of black and red, respectively, and are identified as preparing the way for their "Father" (Yog-Sothoth?). (Joseph H. Pulver, "The Black Litany of Nug and Yeb")
- Nug and Yeb are actually twin worlds or stars (or perhaps the same world in alternate dimensions/time-lines/universes), upon which the alien civilizations or races of Cthulhu and Tsathoggua arose and flourished in parallel vigintillions of years ago, before falling and fading into obscurity; the barbaric remnants of these civilizations now wait in frigid darkness around dead stars for their "stars to come around right again" to spark their rebirth and thaw their return to former glory. (Y.Whateley)
- Nug and Yeb were in some way linked to the Egyptian deities Nut (goddess of the air/night sky/space) and her brother/husband Geb (god of the earth/underworld). (Fan speculation, perhaps originally suggested by Robert M. Price?)
- Nug and Yeb might thus be powerful twin elementals aligned with air and earth, respectively. (Derleth's Elemental Theory)
- Nug and Yeb might in some way be described in secret analogy by Yin and Yang, "the black truth veiled by the immemorial allegory of Tao" in "The Whisperer in Darkness (fiction)". (Fan speculation)
- "Nug is a god among ghouls, while Yeb is the leader of Abhoth's alien cult." (The cult is known as "The Unclean Ones"?) (source unknown, Encyclopedia Cthulhiana?)
- Nug and Yeb are (after a fashion) twin self-aware machines, constructed from antimatter and matter, void and substance, which will "terraform" our reality in some unearthly way to prepare the way for the arrival/awakening of the Old Ones (Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, Azathoth). The arrival of Nug and Yeb in our universe, in equal portions when the stars are right, will result in the instant annihilation of our world, and the dawn of a new cycle of reality generated by the newly-awakened forces of cosmic destruction, creation, and order. (Lovecraftian Science Blog]
- Nug and Yeb lived with Lovecraft as raucous neighbors or housemates, and gave him difficulty sleeping at night (from a fan's vague memory of one of Lovecraft's letters)
- Nug and Yeb are related in some way to Lloigor and Zhar. (YSDC Forums)
- "The ceremonies of Nug and Yeb sickened him especially—so much, indeed, that he refrained from describing them in his manuscript." - H.P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop, The Mound
- "I talked in Yemen with an old man who had come back alive from the Crimson Desert—he had seen Irem, the City of Pillars, and had worshipped at the underground shrines of Nug and Yeb—Iä! Shub-Niggurath!" - H.P. Lovecraft & Adolphe de Castro, The Last Test
- Fiction: "Black Fire (fiction)" by Will Murray (in Chaosium's The Cthulhu Cycle)
- Fiction: "To Clear The Earth (fiction)" by Will Murray (in Chaosium's The Shub-Niggurath Cycle)
- Fiction: "The Black Litany of Nug and Yeb (fiction)" by Joe Pulver (in Chaosium's The Book of Eibon)
- Fiction: "The Last Test (fiction)" by H.P. Lovecraft & Adolphe de Castro
- Fiction: "The Mound (fiction)" by H.P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop
- Fiction: "Out of the Aeons (fiction)" by H.P. Lovecraft & Hazel Heald
- Fiction: "Behind the Mask (fiction)" by Lin Carter
- Fiction: "The Thing in the Pit (fiction)" by Lin Carter
- Fiction: "The Descent into the Abyss (fiction)" by Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith
- Fiction: "The Strange Doom of Enos Harker (fiction)" by Lin Carter and Robert M. Price
- Fiction: "The Jest of Yig (fiction)" by Don Webb