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Shantaks (AKA "Shantak Birds") are from H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction) (1926).

The Fishers from Outside (AKA "Shantaks") are similar creatures from Lin Carter's "The Fishers from Outside (fiction)".


They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth or in dreamland, for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. Carter knew that they must be the shantak-birds of ill rumour, and wondered no more what evil guardians and nameless sentinels made men avoid the boreal rock desert.

—H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)

A shantak is a huge, scaly, birdlike creature with a horselike head, batlike wings, slimy skin, and two strong talons. Shantaks lives in the Cold Waste of Earth's Dreamlands, serving Nyarlathotep. Shantaks are sometimes summoned to serve as steeds. They are hunted by the Elder God Nodens and greatly fear Nightgaunts.

Fishers from Outside

Then the moon was hidden by black, flapping shapes that circled and swooped like enormous fishing-birds, darting down to the altars to pluck and tear at the wriggling bodies bound there... and one of the huge, queerly deformed-looking bird-things emerged into the moonlight, and I stared with unbelieving horror at its hulking, horribly quasi-avian form, clothed with scales not feathers... one glimpse of the repulsive thing with its one leg and glaring Cyclopean eye and hideous, hooked, fang-lined beak... and [the creature] hovered on scaly, translucent wings.
Lin Carter "The Fishers from Outside (fiction)"

Fishers from Outside are also known as "Shantaks", having much the same description as large, scaly, alien bird-creatures, but are sometimes treated as separate species. The Fishers brood on the moon of the Dreamlands and are said to serve a bird-like Great Old One called Groth-golka, and a moon-deity called Mnomquah, for whom the Fishers collect sacrifices and prayers, and return to the cultists with messages from beyond, and strange gifts.

Associated Mythos Elements