Chthonian (Cthulhu Mythos)
Chthonians (pron.: //; from Greek: chthon, "earth") are fictional creatures in the Cthulhu Mythos. The species is the creation of Brian Lumley and was first featured in his short story "Cement Surroundings" (1969)—though the creature never made a direct appearance. The chthonians had a more prominent role in Lumley's novel The Burrowers Beneath (1974), whose title was taken from one of the stories said to have been written by Robert Blake in Lovecraft's The Haunter of the Dark.
Flowing tentacles and pulpy gray-black, elongated sack of a body...no distinguishing features at all other than the reaching, groping tentacles. Or was there—yes—a lump in the upper body of the thing...a container of sorts for the brain, basal ganglia, or whichever diseased organ governed this horror's loathsome life!
—Brian Lumley, The Burrowers Beneath
Chthonians are described as immense squids, with elongated worm-like bodies coated with slime. Despite their squid-like appearance, chthonians are land-dwellers and are even harmed by water. Chthonians are powerful burrowers, live for more than a thousand years, and are protective of their young. It is said that a chanting sound accompanies every chthonian, and that by such they can be detected while underground and unseen.
The most important individual chthonian is the gigantic Shudde M'ell, which is worshiped by the rest.
- In the original Alone in the Dark, a Chthonian is encountered when first entering the underground area. It is mentioned by name in a book that can be discovered shortly thereafter, verifying it is indeed a Chthonian. It is mentioned in it that he is the only creature that resists the evil master of Derceto.
- In Charles Stross' novel The Jennifer Morgue, Chthonians (code-named "DEEP SEVEN" by British Intelligence) are locked in a Cold War-type struggle against the Deep Ones. K-129 is stated as having been sunk when attempting to make contact with a Chthonian, and the Glomar Explorer is used in an attempt to retrieve a Chthonian weapon.
- In Season 6, episode 21 of the TV show Supernatural, there are multiple references to both Chthonian and Cthulhu Mythos.
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