Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6 part 3.2

Posted by harmony0stars on October 27, 2010

It seemed once the Great Old Ones were certain that the Elder Gods would not soon return, they scattered to the winds. Most fell to warring with one another for territory. Some looked to the stars and abandoned the Earth as too small to fight over, shifting from a terrestrial form to that of their progenitors with little more than a thought. Her unknown storyteller saw no need to keep the details of the transformation from her, and it amazed her that the process could after all… be so simple…

Eventually the Great Old Ones had offspring intelligent enough to rebel just as they had, and it was then that things came to a head. Unlike the Elder Gods, the Great Old Ones were not tolerant of what amounted to an act of self defense. A few had been curious enough about their own progeny to allow a small number to survive, most notably the first creature to rebel against the Elder Gods; her unknown storyteller gave her the whistled name (Kul*whistle*t*whistle*l*whistle*), Cthulhu. He seemed only to encourage his offspring in order to keep his cousins cowed, claiming the largest areas of the Earth, the oceans, for himself and those who accepted his dominion. By and large though, the Great Old Ones had no more thought for their children than they did for the simpler life forms or each other. It was the competition they didn‘t want.

Few of the youngsters escaped the xenophobic purge which followed the first time one of them raised a hand to their parents. Though this new generation lacked the elasticity of their forbearers, Glory watched as a very few rediscovered the primordial form of their forbearers and escaped the Earth as their elders had before them. Some intuitive leap allowed her to recognize her father as he escaped the planet. (B*ya*cough-whistle*na), the storyteller inserted. B’yagoona? It was hard to translate the entity’s names into comparable human sounds.

Though some of the Great Old Ones defended their children for whatever reason, most of them fell upon even the least offensive creatures like divine wrath, slaughtering anything that could not flee, determined that nothing should challenge their supremacy. Like their parents before them, some of the second generation of terrestrial gods did make an attempt to stand together, for all the good it did them. Though they were obviously still maturing, they lacked the innate elasticity that their parents shared with the Elder Gods. Very few figured out how to transform as easily as those who fled the Earth.

This was finally what caused the Elder Gods to return from their self imposed exile.

Apparently the mass of protoplasm was not one entity after all, and as they withdrew from their quorum, they were in strong disagreement with one another. Some of them led by (A*zzzt**static hiss**zzzt*) and (Yo*gutteral burble*So*zzzt**static hiss**zzzt*), Azathoth and Yog Sothoth, immediately left for the stars, to find those who had escaped or simply abandoning the experiment. Her story teller did not give their motivations, only showing Glory the events as they unfolded. Others jumped into the fray in defense of their grandchildren, while a repulsive few preyed upon anything that moved Great Old Ones, the contentious grandchildren, and their own kind alike with such savagery that they put the Great Old Ones to shame. Chief among these was (*Whistle**pop*o *Static hiss*la)… Ubbo Sathla. Lovely, she thought, no wonder those children sent to Y’qaa never returned.

The war raged on in terms that could only be measured by geology and star-death; it extended to the stars, drawing in other non-Earthly Elder Gods, new Great Old Ones from their worlds, and other Things which had evolved elsewhere. Eventually even some of the children who had escaped the purge returned, older and wiser and ready to enter the fray. There were horrific acts on both sides of the war, things that humanity would certainly have been considered war crimes. Minds and bodies were shattered and scattered, bits and pieces exiled to obscure dimensions… sometimes for as little as a difference of opinion.

Glory shuddered, spluttering and choking in the steaming lake as she realized she was soaking in the mind of one such shattered Elder God. Shhhhhhhh*pop* N’g’*crackle-whir*thh, the entity whispered its name, a static hiss in her mind. For a moment, it gave a diorama of its disparate parts, many of them mindless or nearly so, in woodlands and crevices throughout the Dreamlands, Earth, and elsewhere. Its crime… that despite its cohorts decision to withdraw for good at the end of the war, it had remained on Earth. It… She had taken on a female aspect and proceeded to breed with anything and everything, determined to continue studying the life forms of this universe by becoming their mother. If She noticed Glory’s unease with this revelation, She was indifferent. Her consciousness, such as it was, finally fell away from Glory, content in having told Her story, or perhaps Her consciousness consisted entirely of the story and little else.

Still choking on the water, if it was water, Glory managed to open her eyes and swim for the wavering light of the oil lamp in the distance. She stumbled onto the rocky shore and wrapped a towel around her shoulders. Having shared its story, the Elder God seemed to have no more interest in her. Who knew how many others it had shared the story with over the years.

Someone coughed in the dark, and she froze in a half crouch. When Glory did not move, the Innkeepers’ whore finally stepped into the light, naked as the day she was born and equally unconcerned about it. “Did the Mother share her story with you?” she croaked.

“Y-yes?” Glory said, standing in the shifting lamplight.

“This was her temple before Bokrug came to Ilarnek,” the girl rasped in her rough voice. “I am her only priestess as my mother was before me and hers before her.” Glory’s brow wrinkled as she heard what sounded like distant shouting from the inn above. “Will you stay and be my sister? Shub Niggurath will protect us in her womb while Bokrug’s priests take those upstairs. They will never find you here, nor can they do more harm to Her than has already been done.”

“I…? No, I’m sorry. I have to help my friends.” Glory cast the towel away and quickly retrieved her clothes. If the girl was bothered by Glory’s decision, she didn’t show it. Without a further word, she stepped past Glory and into the water, wading out into the misty lake until she was lost in the darkness.

to Book 6, part 3, page 3

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9 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6 part 3.2”

  1. Raven said

    Whoa, so this was the Gospel according to Shub-Niggurath ! And I must say, the most sensitive, sympathetic, and beautiful portrayal of Her… might very well win over a few worshipers among your readers….

    • lol Thanks 🙂 I don’t know that I’d want to be one of her followers. Things don’t seem so rosy for her only priestess. Though on the other hand, it’s been a couple millennia since prostitutes had any respect or operated under divine protection within the temples.

      And of course, we only have Shub Niggurath’s word that this is how things went down. Not that she’d really be lying from her point of view, but other entities might have a different version of things. Obviously though, if the Elder Gods decide something by majority, you do NOT cross them lightly!

  2. Raven said

    Well, I think of our world’s historical analog, Aphrodite, whose priestesses, the Melissai (honeybees), likewise gave of Her great sweetness at Her temples. Theirs is not so socially respected a role now; but who curses the Goddess of Love?

    • … Republicans?

      You know the whole honeybee epidemic takes on ominous portents when looked at from that point of view. Just saying. o.O Thanks for reminding me about the Melissai. I had forgotten them. There’s some evidence that the Vestal Virgins weren’t so much virgins as very exclusive temple prostitutes as well.

      Personally and off topic, were I a politician, I’d legalize prostitution and drugs. Prostitutes need protection and health care under the law, and while I, personally, have never so much as touched the legal drugs (beyond caffeine), let alone the illegal ones, it’s quite obvious that the war on drugs is a losing one. At least if they were legalized, there’d be more control over their manufacture and price. And really, the government would get a whole boatload of cash taxing these currently illegal activities.

      • Raven said

        What can I say but to agree with you completely? Look at Nevada, where health inspections are mandatory and frequent, because one chief concern is the public health issue of STDs — which in a black-market trade has no safeguards at all. Or Denmark and Holland, likewise; there the emphasis is on treatment of addiction, not punishment.

        As to the honeybee epidemic, it seems the Fungi from Yuggoth were to blame. Well, fungi and viruses, anyway.

        And H. P. Lovecraft wrote to C. L. Moore in 1936:

        As for the Republicans, how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles…. Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

  3. Raven said

    While we’re on the topic of HPL’s interactions with literary women, did you know of his conversation with Alice Liddell?

    See Alice at R’lyeh.

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