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Peradactyl

[Spoilers] Cthulu and You. A Discussion of Lovecraftian Connections in Zombies "O5" Lore and Specifically SoE via the Theme of Atlantis

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Peradactyl    0

Hey, CoDz. Perry here.

 

I haven't posted very much in the 2+ years I've been a member here, but I posted this to the Zombies subreddit earlier tonight and a fellow member suggested I drop it here as well. I have no doubt many of you participate on the subreddit as well, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to drop it over here as well.

 

There was a post earlier today titled "Shadows of Evil 'Sinking Morg City' Easter Egg"[1] on Reddit which brought some conversation to the idea that Morg City == Atlantis. 

Some in the comments deemed this concept outlandish and foolish and could see no link between the two. A member of the comment brigade, /u/Deathbringerzen [2] brought up the idea that I've seen tossed around in this sub before and is evident to anyone who has read Lovecraft/been exposed to Cthulic imagery: that this map (SoE) was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft - this is an idea that many in the Zombie community as well as others have cited as a large influence for Zombies Lore and for Modern Horror, on the whole - and as a fan of Lovecraft's and familiar with his short stories in particular, I began to rack my brain for stories I remember with links to Atlantis.

What I found resonated more soundly than I expected it to. I realize I'm way drunk on the kool-aid here; I'm off the edge; My chain has been cut; I'm in the deep end. I'm drowning in this.

 

 

Here goes.

 

 

The first story of his that dealt with an underwater city lost in the depths of time (read: Atlantis) that I remembered was "The Temple"[3] .

Spoiler

Long and short of this one: German Submarine U-29 under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Altberg, around WWI era (1917). Altberg and his crew sink a British freighter and, surfacing, they find a dead Brit gripping the side of their sub - "and found in his coat pocket a very odd bit of ivory carved to represent a youth’s head crowned with laurel." They keep the ivory - Altberg's Lieut Klenze holds onto it for safekeeping. Story goes on. Ship starts malfunctioning left and right. People going mad. Ivory still on board. They see the dead, swimming instead of sinking. Ship gets worse and worse, no nav systems; they can only submerge or surface. Forced to submerge. Ballast blows and they can't rise. Crew mutanies, Altberg and Klenze kill all except themselves. Klenze still has ivory. Klenze starts hearing voices: "he's calling! he's calling!" he goes insane. Klenze dead. Altberg only. His sub drifts silently through the dark, until it found rest on the ocean floor. Looking out the porthole, he sees the city: Atlantis. He sees the marbled columns of the glorious city untouched by the dregs of time; with no hope in the sub, he grabs a diving light and dons a diving suit, and steps out to investigate the glorious city, finding a temple with a statue matching the ivory figure in his pocket.

 

 

So this gives us the first instance of Atlantis in Lovecraftian Lore, to my knowledge. It involves an object (the ivory trinket) that, after acquiring it, leads to the ship malfunctioning, men hearing voices ("He's Calling!"), and the dead swimming (zombie-zombies, eh?)

 

Here's a blurb from the lovecraft.wiki/atlantis[4] on a character that exists in Lovecraftian mythos. This is just something to chew on and get your mind ready to associate the real meat of my post:

Klarkash-Ton was an Atlantean priest of the Great Old One Tsathoggua.

Seems obvious that the naming for WW and the upgrades therein are ripped from this naming convention.

 

Author's Note: Ok, so what follows from here is where I started to lose myself, make sure those tinfoily gold helmets are super tight.

 

So in researching this I just stumbled upon a Lovecraft short-story that I hadn't read, that made mention of Atlantis. The story is called "The Haunter of the Dark"[5] and in reading it I came across a couple interesting things that, in my mind, are an uncannily synchronous with what we know of the "Original 5" Zombie Lore and, more directly, Shadows of Evil.

 

You guys should read it. It rules. Think of all the Zombies lore you know while you read it, you'll be all like: "Oh, woah, Perry, what just happened to my brain, dude? That can't just be random..." And I'll be all like: "I know man, I know."

 

When I first got the the story, I did a quick search for "Atlantis" and found it once in the story. In reading the paragraph (to follow presently) there were a few key things that basically shouted at me to be looked into more:

Of the Shining Trapezohedron he speaks often, calling it a window on all time and space, and tracing its history from the days it was fashioned on dark Yuggoth, before ever the Old Ones brought it to earth. It was treasured and placed in its curious box by the crinoid things of Antarctica, salvaged from their ruins by the serpent-men of Valusia, and peered at aeons later in Lemuria by the first human beings. It crossed strange lands and stranger seas, and sank with *Atlantis* before a Minoan fisher meshed it in his net and sold it to swarthy merchants from nighted Khem. The Pharaoh Nephren-Ka built around it a temple with a windowless crypt, and did that which caused his name to be stricken from all monuments and records. Then it slept in the ruins of that evil fane which the priests and the new Pharaoh destroyed, till the delver’s spade once more brought it forth to curse mankind.

Hmm.. Reading this made me curious to learn more of "the Shining Trapezohedron"[6] . The Shining Trapezohedron is mentioned 7 times in this short story. Here's are the first 2 instances:

“Prof. Enoch Bowen home from Egypt May 1844—buys old Free-Will Church in July—his archaeological work & studies in occult well known.”

     “Dr. Drowne of 4th Baptist warns against Starry Wisdom in sermon Dec. 29, 1844.”

     “Congregation 97 by end of ’45.”

     “1846—3 disappearances—first mention of Shining Trapezohedron.”

     “7 disappearances 1848—stories of blood sacrifice begin.”

     “Investigation 1853 comes to nothing—stories of sounds.”

     “Fr. O’Malley tells of devil-worship with box found in great Egyptian ruins—says they call up something that can’t exist in light. Flees a little light, and banished by strong light. Then has to be summoned again. Probably got this from deathbed confession of Francis X. Feeney, who had joined Starry Wisdom in ’49. These people say the Shining Trapezohedron shews them heaven & other worlds, & that the Haunter of the Dark tells them secrets in some way."

So, there's this thing called the Shining Trapezohedron. Alright. Stories of Blood Sacrifices begin after... Check. Devil Worship revolving around a box and Egyptian ruins.. Double check. The Shining Trapezohedron shows them heaven & other worlds and the Haunter of the Dark tells them secrets, in some way. Cool. Is any of this sounding familiar? Hm. Oh and if Lovecraft's glorious description doesn't get you going, check out what it looks like, according to Google Image: Shining Tr4p3z0h3dr0n

 

This brings us to the next instance of the Shining Trapezohedron in the Haunter of the Dark:

It was then, in the gathering twilight, that he thought he saw a faint trace of luminosity in the crazily angled stone. He had tried to look away from it, but some obscure compulsion drew his eyes back. Was there a subtle phosphorescence of radio-activity about the thing? What was it that the dead man’s notes had said concerning a Shining Trapezohedron? What, anyway, was this abandoned lair of cosmic evil? What had been done here, and what might still be lurking in the bird-shunned shadows? It seemed now as if an elusive touch of foetor had arisen somewhere close by, though its source was not apparent. Blake seized the cover of the long-open box and snapped it down. It moved easily on its alien hinges, and closed completely over the unmistakably glowing stone.

Shining Trapezohedron is a crazily angled stone with a subtle phosphorescence of radioactivity about it. Check. The note, quoted previously, says that it shows heavens and other worlds, and that shortly after surfacing, blood sacrifices were reported. Ok, got it.

 

Now, mind you, I'm not making a point, simply showcasing that in jumping into this rabbit hole, we're now dealing with boxes, shadows, and aliens. Ringing any bells? Let's move on. Next instance of the Trapezohedron in the work: 

  It was in June that Blake’s diary told of his victory over the cryptogram. The text was, he found, in the dark Aklo language used by certain cults of evil antiquity[7] , and known to him in a halting way through previous researches. The diary is strangely reticent about what Blake deciphered, but he was patently awed and disconcerted by his results. There are references to a Haunter of the Dark awaked by gazing into the Shining Trapezohedron, and insane conjectures about the black gulfs of chaos from which it was called. The being is spoken of as holding all knowledge, and demanding monstrous sacrifices. Some of Blake’s entries shew fear lest the thing, which he seemed to regard as summoned, stalk abroad; though he adds that the street-lights form a bulwark which cannot be crossed.

Alright, now things are getting weird. 1st thing: Aklo language. Have we tried deciphering any of the words being said in these EE videos about the swords and WW upgrades with translations in Aklo? I'm out of the loop there. Pls report, anyone.

 

2nd thing: What Blake deciphered: The Haunter of the Dark is awaked by gazing into the Shining Trapezohedron. Check. Insane talk about black gulfs of chaos from which the Haunter is called. Check. Being is demanding monstrous sacrifices. Check. Summoning. Check. Streetlights forming a bulwark not to be crossed? Idk about this one.

 

Anyway, moving along: If you looked at the Aklo language link I included above, check this shit out:

MHHG’GTHAA - Dimension of the Elder Gods

UGTHAA  = Dimension of our Realm

What sounds like those........ oh yeah! AGARTHA. Sick, right?

 

That was an aside. Back to the next Shining Trapezohedron mention in the Haunter of the Dark, which was the quote that I grabbed your attention with first:

Of the Shining Trapezohedron he speaks often, calling it a window on all time and space, and tracing its history from the days it was fashioned on dark Yuggoth, before ever the Old Ones brought it to earth. It was treasured and placed in its curious box by the crinoid things of Antarctica, salvaged from their ruins by the serpent-men of Valusia, and peered at aeons later in Lemuria by the first human beings. It crossed strange lands and stranger seas, and sank with Atlantis before a Minoan fisher meshed it in his net and sold it to swarthy merchants from nighted Khem. The Pharaoh Nephren-Ka built around it a temple with a windowless crypt, and did that which caused his name to be stricken from all monuments and records. Then it slept in the ruins of that evil fane which the priests and the new Pharaoh destroyed, till the delver’s spade once more brought it forth to curse mankind.

Shining Trapezohedron = Window between time and space. Check. Treasured and placed in a box. Check. Sank with the city of Atlantis. Check. Pharoah built temple around in, no windows, did something horribly evil to be erased from history. Check.... Hidden and forgotten until the delver's spade once more brought it forth in to curse man kind (someone dug this shit up and now we're all screwed 'cuz here's the curse again! what was going on in Origins, again? oh yeah... we were digging at the excavation site and shit and getting ourselves Cursed - You Bear the Mark... huh.) Check.

 

Next mention in the Haunter of the Dark: 

 

In writing of these things in his diary, Blake expresses a curious kind of remorse, and talks of the duty of burying the Shining Trapezohedron and of banishing what he had evoked by letting daylight into the hideous jutting spire. At the same time, however, he displays the dangerous extent of his fascination, and admits a morbid longing—pervading even his dreams—to visit the accursed tower and gaze again into the cosmic secrets of the glowing stone.

 

Final mention of the S Trap:

“Lights still out—must be five minutes now. Everything depends on lightning. Yaddith grant it will keep up! . . . Some influence seems beating through it. . . . Rain and thunder and wind deafen. . . . The thing is taking hold of my mind. . . .
     “Trouble with memory. I see things I never knew before. Other worlds and other galaxies . . . Dark . . . The lightning seems dark and the darkness seems light. . . .
     “It cannot be the real hill and church that I see in the pitch-darkness. Must be retinal impression left by flashes. Heaven grant the Italians are out with their candles if the lightning stops!
     “What am I afraid of? Is it not an avatar of Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem even took the form of man? I remember Yuggoth, and more distant Shaggai, and the ultimate void of the black planets. . . .
     “The long, winging flight through the void . . . cannot cross the universe of light . . . re-created by the thoughts caught in the Shining Trapezohedron . . . send it through the horrible abysses of radiance. . . .
     “My name is Blake—Robert Harrison Blake of 620 East Knapp Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. . . . I am on this planet. . . .
     “Azathoth have mercy!—the lightning no longer flashes—horrible—I can see everything with a monstrous sense that is not sight—light is dark and dark is light . . . those people on the hill . . . guard . . . candles and charms . . . their priests. . . .
     “Sense of distance gone—far is near and near is far. No light—no glass—see that steeple—that tower—window—can hear—Roderick Usher—am mad or going mad—the thing is stirring and fumbling in the tower—I am it and it is I—I want to get out . . . must get out and unify the forces. . . . It knows where I am. . . .
     “I am Robert Blake, but I see the tower in the dark. There is a monstrous odour . . . senses transfigured . . . boarding at that tower window cracking and giving way. . . . Iä . . . ngai . . . ygg. . . .
     “I see it—coming here—hell-wind—titan blur—black wings—Yog-Sothoth save me—the three-lobed burning eye. . . .”

Everything depends on Lightning? Electricity... Keeping on the power.... Spinning through time and space.........

 

Oh, two more things:

 

1. Someone in the comments earlier pointed out the name for the Upgraded 48 Dreg is the Trapezohedron Shard. That's awesome.

 

2. The final paragraph to the Haunter of the Dark[1] Lovecraft Wiki Entry is super interesting. As we see at the end of Lovecraft's story,

After the death of Robert Blake, who came to grief after discovering the Shining Trapezohedron and deciphering texts about it from ancient evil cults, the artifact was removed from the black windowless temple where it was found by a Dr. Dexter and thrown into the deepest channel of Narragansett Bay. It was expected to remain there, under the eternal light of the stars, forever; yet[...]

You're probably saying: But, Perry, you've told us this already in your super long-winded exposition just a second ago.. We know this. Well, it gets so much better for Zombie Lore with the second half of the entry:

Robert Bloch's sequel, The Shadow from the Steeple, proved that Nyarlathotep had cheated Dexter, forcing him to peer into the stone and actually throw the stone into the bay, where the eternal darkness of the depths gave the Haunter the power to remain perpetually free; it used this power to merge with Dr. Dexter and make him one of the world's leading nuclear sc1ent1st5 in charge of atomic investigation for warfare.

/dropsthemic

 

I'll leave you guys with that.

 

Cool. Hope you or anyone else finds this and the implicit links to things we've seen all throughout Zombies, in particular the stuff about digging up the stone and the link to Summoner's Stone, Excavations, Blood Sacrifices, interacting with Other-Worldly beings telling us secrets, and traveling through time and space, power, monsters and general insanity, interesting at all.

 

Looking forward to hearing what y'all think.

 

If you made it to the end, thanks very much for reading and taking the time to check out my first real post. 

 

-Perry

Edited by Peradactyl

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