In Episode 480 of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, we used the essential elements of Mythos deities to create a new dread entity, Qotha-Nhur’rin, the Destruction at the Heart of Creation.
Here she is, in Trail of Cthulhu Mythos god format.
“Everything was horribly damp and bedewed, and I thought I saw an owl flitting somewhere in the shadows. Then a clicking sounded in the telephone receiver.”
— Letter to Gallomo
Qotha-Nhur’rin manifests in physical form only after growing in the thoughts of those who should not have learned about her and are now desperately trying not to think about her. She arrives as a rumor, typically in a community of scholars or seekers of truth, whether that be a newspaper office, a circle of decadent poets, or a university faculty. As indications of her existence spread like a virus, the infected become physically sick with influenza-like symptoms. They see her swimming as a disturbance in the liquid of their eyes, a wriggling spirochete. When they start to speak of her amongst themselves, they hear and then see owls in the periphery of their vision, or in dreams. Incidents of synchronicity follow, as those cursed with her knowledge see trilobites: in news stories, as an illustration in a neighbor child’s science text. Why is there suddenly a fossil paperweight on everyone’s desk? Only when she comes in her incarnation as doom do her victims see her as a vibrating, emetic combination of all three: spirochete, owl, trilobite.
Qotha-Nhur’rin is the initial creation of universe, an event that took place in order that she might also be its destruction. In the 1930s, no one uses the term “big bang” or thinks about the universe as anything but an eternal steady state. Only feverish astronomers primed by squalid mutterings of the viral owl look into their telescopes and see into the past, when she stretches into being as the universe itself, and the far future, when she furls all, including herself and the other Mythos gods, back into nothingness.
The mi-go of Yuggoth view Qotha-Nhur’rin as an idea disease, one that can spread into their innocent thoughts of decapitation and subjugation to induce depression and lassitude. They combat her by flying their craft through the galaxy, seeking out those who have her imprint in their sub-vocalizations. To stop her spread they must be captured and rendered back into primordial goo. Against all of one’s instincts for discovery, no experimentation upon these subjects may occur!
An experiment at the Bronx Park Zoo in a reality adjacent to our own granted sapience to owls. With full intelligence they acquired the evolutionary instinct to invent deities to worship. The owl colony gained a sense of community and a willingness to obey their leaders. They escaped their creators and escaped into an adjacent dimension. This they found worse than their own, especially when they realized that interplanar travel had birthed an evil version of their god, Qotha-Nhur’rin.
Qotha-Nhur’rin was a vague notion of destruction and panic hurtled across the cosmos at its instant of inception. It resisted definition and mythology until it passed through the mortal form of pulp writer Randolph Carter, at a time when he was struggling with a horror story about an owl-eyed arthropod god that was at once a rumor, a disease, and a paradox. Qotha-Nhur’rin helped him to finish the story. Having failed to apotheosize Carter by blasting him to oblivion, she now hunts anyone resembling her inadvertent creator.
Qotha-Nhur’rin is the Forbidden Thought. To say anything more is to invite her in.
Trail of Cthulhu is an award-winning 1930s horror roleplaying game by Kenneth Hite, produced under license from Chaosium. Whether you’re playing in two-fisted Pulp mode or sanity-shredding Purist mode, its GUMSHOE system enables taut, thrilling investigative adventures where the challenge is in interpreting clues, not finding them. Purchase Trail of Cthulhu and its many supplements and adventures in the Pelgrane Shop.