"I know now just how insignificant mankind is in the universe... a doomed and simple species thrown up as a side effect of an experiment by the Elder Things"
- Jack Walters, Podium SermonThe Elder Things was a race of highly advanced extraterrestrial beings that settled on Earth around one billion years ago, and are believed to be one of the first sentient being on the planet. They do not appear in the game, yet they are one of the species whose understanding is necessary for the understanding of the Earth's history in the context of the Cthulhu Mythos.
The Elder Things were about six feet tall; they were barrel-like shaped and had appendages similar to starfish. At the top of their bodies were five stalks with an eye on each end (they also had a set of cilia to see without light), along with five eating tubes. In the mid section they had five set of tentacles as well as five retractable wings. At the bottom of their bodies were five tentacles they used for motion.
Interestingly they possessed traits from both animal and plant kingdoms. They also possessed large ability to adjust to their environment; being able to fly as well as they could walk or swim. They preferred however, to live underwater, as they were able to withstand great pressure.
The Elder Things was one of the first if not the first race to colonise the planet. Their origin, as well as their religion, is still unknown. They settled both on land and the sea, building great cities. Possessing great knowledge of genetics, they created first organisms on the planet. Eventually they created beings known as Shoggoths, who were used as slaves for hard labour. The Elder Things spread across the planet, but their dominance was questioned by the arriving alien species. They warred with many races (such as the Flying Polyps who tried to conquer the sea but were driven back by the Elder Things), their greatest conflict however, was with the Star Spawn of Cthulhu.
The brutal war between the two races lasted for millennia, until the continent of R’lyeh sunk along with Cthulhu and his kin. The Elder Things continued their aggressive policy, and fought many wars with the Great Race of Yith and Mi-go. This lead to their eventual decline, and thus a new race took the advantage.
The Shoggoths, who were previously thought to be unintelligent, rebelled against their former oppressors, who were caught off guard. This brutal rebellion was only put down after the Elder Things used powerful atomic weapons against the Shoggoths. After the rebellion, the Elder Things never fully recovered and most of their cities were abandoned. Their last sanctuary was the city on what is now the South Pole.
Despite their advanced technology, they couldn’t control the weather, and when the Ice Age arrived their bodies couldn’t withstand the cold. They entered into a hibernate-like state, and thus their civilisation came to an end.
- The Elder Things are central to the plot of the book “At the Mountains of Madness” by H. P. Lovecraft
- It is possible that the Elder Things are directly or indirectly involved in the creation of humans
- The Elder Things are mentioned in a note found in the Harmonic House