Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Idea Emporium #10 A Norse Mythos [3/3]

Of the Elder Ones, who died that men might live, we have spoken.

Of Innan, which watches all and moves through all, we have spoken.

Of the devourers, which are bound and will be unbound, we have spoken.

And yet there are others, of we have not spoken.

Those Which Steal the Dead

In death we become food twice-over. The maggots of the corpse, the dwarfs, grow out of our spiritual corpses and feed further. These are the mi-go.

Or so it is said.

It is not that they feed upon the dead, but that they steal away the dead for their purposes. The dead are refitted, born anew as meat-machines to do the will of their re-animators. Through the dead, their puppets, the mi-go act.

The mi-go do not hail from this space. They do not come from this world, nor from any other star which could be reached in this universe. The light of this space is poison to them, and its radiation sows disease in them. In the brightness of the moon they are blinded and made lethargic. Beneath the glory of the sun they fall and cannot move, and die in hours. And even the starlight gnaws at them by inches.

Their artificial skins are clumsy things, not fit for the work which they desire to do in the bowels of the Earth. So they reside in shielded chambers in the hills and on other worlds, and from these places direct their puppet-dead to do their work. The dead are sustained by elixirs drawn out of the body of Yig who is bound beneath the sea, and this is why they have come to this world to do their work.

Here is truth: The mi-go do not waste their tools. The body is one thing, and the mind another. But of what they do to the minds of the dead there is nothing which should be spoken.

The mi-go make pilgrimages to the cities of Hastur and Shub-Niggurath, but these are not their cities. They dwell in labyrinthine complexes of mines and forges far beneath these places, close to the planet’s core. They hear the whisperings of Azathoth who is bound beneath the mountains, and the words of Nyarlathotep who is his master’s will, and they make parley with these powers. Their dealings with such beings have made them wise beyond comparison; the price which they have paid for this is not known.

Their Majesties of Colour

There are things which learned men call Colours. These things come from the place between the stars, and to them they always return, but in the time between they sit in the midst of life and suck it up. Not even Innan knows why it is that they do this, whether it is that their spawning is the purpose or only a byproduct of the process.

But as they sit and sup at the world, they pose the risk of leaving contamination behind them. There are times when this contamination weakens, decays, and is no more. Just as often, these fragments find a place in the life around them, trading predation for parasitism. But they often die, parasite and host together, and it is only very rarely that stability is attained.

In the books of Innan they are called the Ielb. To many sorcerers, they are called ylves, or elves, or aelfen. They are those in whom the Colours have adopted a totally new mode of existence, and even of reproduction. They are beings of sickness and madness, leaving the seeds of death with a touch and driven to madness by the pain and the rotting of their minds. Without the Colours, they would surely die.

They seek to spread. They do so through their children, calling for wives and husbands from among their followers, those who would call upon them for the sake of their powers. The pollution of the Colour continues in their line, weakened but still present. These ones are totally mad, for they have never known anything but the fragments of Colour which are in their bodies.

When one of the Ielb has grown very old, too old for its Colours to sustain it, the death of old age finally comes. When this happens its Colours are still unable to return to the stars, but sits and infests the corpse. The followers of the Ielb take the Colours and divide them, and eat, taking this sacrament into themselves so that their own lives may be extended.

The Wild Hunt

Some say that they are dwarfs as well, or black elves. It is said that they are servants of Innan, or worshipers of Cthulhu. Perhaps they are all these things.

They are feasters on the dead, vulture carrion kings. They scour the world as the mi-go do, but the thoughts which they steal away are destined to serve a less unspeakable purpose: the recovered minds of the dead are a mead of inspiration for the Wild Hunt. The thoughts of the dead are consumed to expand their knowledge and in some unknown manner preserve their bodies.

The chief of the Wild Hunt is one-eyed Onsdag, the child of Ve. Onsdag’s body was left to rot away beneath the ocean’s surface a million years ago. It is the creature’s mind which now survives, and because of the secret of this technique it is Onsdag alone of all the Wild Hunt whose body has no need for the minds of the dead. Onsdag leads them onward for—entertainment? to build an army? to simply do what is necessary to survive from day to day?

One day, the sun will grow cold. The keening of the mi-go will spill out across the face of all the world and Azathoth and his Children will be unbound. And the Wild Hunt will stand against the hosts of Azathoth, until Onsdag is devoured by Cthulhu, and rest have been felled by Yig who taught his secrets to Onsdag and was betrayed.

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