"If the plain signs of surviving elder horrors in what I disclose be not enough to keep others from meddling with the inner antarctic - or at least from prying too deeply beneath the surface of that ultimate waste of forbidden secrets and inhuman, aeon-cursed desolation - the responsibility for unnamable and perhaps immeasurable evils will not be mine." - H. P. Lovecraft

The Elder Things are a sapient alien species whose civilization colonized Earth in prehistoric times.

Physical Characteristics Edit

"The toughness of the things was almost incredible. Even the terrific pressure of the deepest sea bottoms appeared powerless to harm them. Very few seemed to die at all except for violence, and their burial places were very limited."
―H.P. Lovecraft

Elder Things are sapient, radially symmetrical, and nearly invincible. They are incredibly strange creatures, sharing characteristics of animals and vegetables alike. They are able to enter a peculiar state of preservation that allows them to survive extreme temperature fluctuations, vacuum, and without any need to eat or breathe. These beings have five of everything; eyes, mouths, wings, etc.

Their metabolism is based on carbon dioxide instead of oxygen; their blood is dark green in color. The nervous system of the Elder Things is quite complex, with five-lobed brains and many ganglial centers. The prismatic cilia on top of the creatures' head suggest that they have senses other than sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Elder Things reproduce through spores. They can derive nourishment from inorganic substances, but prefer to feed on organic life.

History on Earth Edit

Arriving on Earth over a billion years ago, the Elder Thing civilization prospered for millions of years. In ancient times their civilization was spread all over the Earth, but now is limited to the deepest parts of the ocean. These beings are actually responsible for the development of all life on Earth, which they bred primarily for food.

The culture of the Elder Things was highly developed. Their art is best manifested in their bas-reliefs, which depicted their history and lives in stunning detail. Their architecture often imitated their five-pointed anatomy, and this same pattern can be found in their writing and currency. They appear to be atheistic as a species, although they revere the DNA helix as the source of all life.

During their "Golden Age" on Earth, they fought wars with many species, including Mi-Go, the Spawn of Cthulhu, and the Great Race of Yith. They also experienced a violent rebellion of their shoggoth servants, which they brutally put down. Though they often triumphed, these conflicts often had heavy casualties; eventually, they abandoned most of their cities, although their art remained.

Theories Edit

There is some evidence that suggests the Elder Things created humanity for their psychic potential, which will be harvested in the near future. In Peter Rawlik's Lovecraftian pastiche The Weird Company, the Elder Things are identified as the Q'Hrell or the Progenitors, and it is suggested that they are synonymous with the extinct Krell from Forbidden Planet. Rawlik further suggests that the Great Race of Yith originated as a splinter group of the Elder Things that have discovered the secret of psychic time travel.

Behind the scenes Edit

  • Elder Things are also called "Primordial Ones" and "Old Ones". These names are less commonly used outside of the original novella in order to avoid confusion with Lovecraft's "Great Old Ones".

Appearances Edit

  • At the Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft (First Appearance)
  • The Dreams in the Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft
  • In the Vaults Beneath, by Brian Lumley
  • Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, by Wayne Douglas Barlowe and Ian Summers
  • S. Peterson's Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters, by Sandy Peterson
  • Hive, by Tim Curran
  • The Weird Company, by Peter Rawlik

Sources Edit

  • The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia, 3rd. Ed., by Daniel Harms
  • S. Peterson's Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters, by Sandy Peterson
  • Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, by Wayne Barlowe and Ian Summers

Gallery Edit

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