Lovecraftian Randomness: Myths and Legends

As the second post in this series, I wanted to come up with a way of creating some of the myths and legends behind a place, people, or other thing that offers some sort of Lovecraftian ideal. He wrote about the otherworldliness of the creatures in his stories and how they either didn’t care about the impact they had on our world or simply wanted it back. The madness suffered by the characters within was due to that alien approach more than any other thing I think… (I’m sure others would disagree, but it’s my interpretation anyway.)

So how do you go about randomly inspiring a myth or legend? Three more tables…

Core Idea (d10)

  1. Cities
  2. Storms
  3. Gods
  4. Temples
  5. People
  6. Creatures
  7. Cults
  8. Outsiders
  9. Ideas
  10. Dimensions

Morals (d6)

  1. Family
  2. Health
  3. Respect
  4. Honor
  5. Law
  6. Resources

Secondary Idea (d30)

  1. Lost
  2. Revenge
  3. Dreaming
  4. Asleep
  5. Disconnected
  6. Found
  7. Altered
  8. Awake
  9. Wandering
  10. Buried
  11. Drowned
  12. Children
  13. Ancestors
  14. Technology
  15. Magic
  16. Riches
  17. Wounded
  18. Dead
  19. Hidden
  20. Distant
  21. Enslaved
  22. Flood
  23. Jailed
  24. Escaped
  25. Blinded
  26. Killed
  27. Victimized
  28. Deafened
  29. Stolen
  30. Abused
Cool images from Dybiz

Some Examples

  • (Cities/Family/Lost) Deep in the icy recesses of Nolhan, north of the Arctic Circle, the family Igoa started their city dedicated to B’gnu-Thun. The storms raged outside, but still their followers came (some never made it) and for a time the city grew in those cold spaces beneath the world we know. Palaces of the ice itself were built and somehow they became immune to the cold after only a generation… That was until the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, thousands of miles away, rocked the canyons and caused the cave-in that destroyed all their hard work. A new expedition launched recently after correspondence surfaced between Arkham University staff and the Nolhan leadership from the end of the 19th century. That correspondence revealed enough clues they were able to determine a location to dig, though no word has come from the research team in several weeks…
  • (Gods/Resources/Riches) Tales of the undersea riches of Zogor-goth, a temple sent to the bottom of the ocean when the Oki-bo volcano split the island of Yabbo, continue to cause treasure hunters to drool in the southern hemisphere. Mentions of Zogor-goth, dedicated to a cache left behind by the old one Krang, have been found as far north as Mongolia even though historians believe the island may have existed between present day New Zealand and Antarctica. The cause of a rogue wave that crashed into the southern coast only days ago causing widespread destruction to the Kiwis was pinpointed to be in the middle of nowhere, though satellite imagery has revealed nothing. A drone was sent and disappeared under mysterious circumstances, so a live fly-by has been scheduled…
  • (Creatures/Health/Blinded) Near Arkham there are tales told to children of the Dweller who stares into their souls with blind eyes and sees the malevolence in their hearts. If you are truly evil, you will lose your sight as well. In recent years, a mysterious blindness has claimed the sight of many children in one of the poorer parts of town. Doctors have yet to find the cause, but the oldest residents of the area are saying that the Dweller has judged their grandchildren to be the evil people they truly are…

(Resources used included the Lovecraftian Name Generator from Seventh Sanctum.)

Afterthoughts

Though I have thrown a few names in from actual Lovecraft stories (courtesy of the Cthulhu Mythos deities Wikipedia page), again I’m going more for the strange world that feels Lovecraftian more than anything else. There is so much mythology to pull from, with a little bit of creativity you could run all sorts of fun Call of Cthulhu campaigns or simply pull in some interesting weirdness into whatever world you are playing in. All of these could easily be moved from a modern world to a fantasy, western, or even science fiction realm with very little trouble.

The Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts can be helpful in these situations as well as anything openly Lovecraftian. You may need to detail some of these places so when your PCs arrive you’re ready to throw some creatively creepy ideas at them. So be sure to check it out!

Stay tuned this week for more random madness to explore and check out yesterday’s post.

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