Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

Robert Bloch’s story “Notebook Found in a Deserted House” is one of the all-time great Cthulhu Mythos stories. It’s so creepy, and Bloch’s sparse style is so much better suited for a ‘found manuscript’ style tale than Lovecraft’s excessively florid tales in the same style like “The Diary of Alonzo Typer” (although, now that I think of it, nearly all of Lovecraft’s tales are presented as first-person written manuscripts). Also, I grew up in a house in the woods, and I remember being scared when my parents went away, or exploring the creeks and gulleys alone until sometimes, all of a sudden, I’d grow nervous and prick up my ears, as if listening for… something… coming closer, just beyond the next tree. This story captures that feeling perfectly.

In gaming terms, it’s also notable for being the first story to feature what would become the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath (since Sandy Petersen named them that for the Call of Cthulhu RPG). Actually, in the story, it seems clear that the monster with thousands of hooves and slime-dripping mouthes is supposed to be a shoggoth (maybe a woodsy, Northern Deciduous Forest shoggoth), but it does mutter prayers to Shub-Niggurath, so it works for me. Somewhere during the development of the RPG, though, the body shape of the shoggoth/Dark Young became somewhat formalized and it was decided that they only have three big hoofed feet and a generally tree-like shape… but in the story they don’t say how many hooves it has, so I’ve always pictured it as more like a big horrible rolling blob of no distinct form. And yet, there’s a definite vegetal nature to it all, somehow… the tentacles sprouting out of one another like branches… the mouthes opening like boles in tree trunks…

I had a great time at Sakuracon last weekend and ran a bunch of roleplaying games and met lots of folks, including some readers who’d collected Dream-Quest since it first came out in the ’90s! Over at King of RPGs, a new storyline just started, so go read it! And if you like, check out my commissioned sketches!

Discussion (5)¬

  1. Ken Kobori says:

    Thank you for visualising Bloch’s story! I also have been a fan of it ever since I first read it in the mid-70’s (in the Ballantine Books “strange faces” paperback edition). That’s pretty scary stuff when you’re only 14 years old.

  2. Night-Gaunt says:

    Bloch’s story was excellent! My own analysis considered not a shoggoth, but a member of Shub-Niggurath’s spawn worshiping its creator. But if it is a shoggoth it has been changed over time. Had a feeling of darkness amid the light of the sun, and hushed feeling as if something vast and invisible were just out of sight yet impinged upon my senses as a vast bulk.

    One of my most favorite of post Lovecraft stories. Catching the mood that Lovecraft found so important and that many of his fans cannot duplicate.

  3. […] Bloch also wrote “Notebook Found in a Deserted House”, one of the greatest non-Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos stories to come out of the Lovecraft Circle. It inspired a young Ramsey Campbell, master of the modern horror story, to pick up his pen and give us Gla’aki, the Insects from Shaggai, and Y’golonac, among other nightmares. Campbell did it better than anyone else and still does.  A brilliant visualization of “Notebook” can be found here. […]

  4. Mort the Ghost says:

    Until you notice the boy getting devoured, this could almost be a friendly game of cross-species hide and seek … I approve immensely.

  5. 一つが| 1}盛り合わせリムジン機能を持つことをお勧めのツアーのすべての種類を行うことができます。様々なオファー優れたコースと多数ちょうど約あらゆる乗車のためにあなたのバイクのクライアントを取ることができますより投資銀行地域 、さらにはニューヨークへ休暇に。 ??????? 提案私は私の上で使用します。ブログ思慮深い洞察力とを
    【エントリーでポイント10倍以上可能!】【カードOK!! あす楽18時迄!!】 CN-R500WD1 Panasonic パナソニック カーナビ Strada ストラーダ CN-R500WD1 送料無料:アットマックス@