Ghostly light and shimmering golden skin, this apparition of a human male form could be mistaken for an Angel or the seductive beauty of the creature, Lucifer.
Romanian born fashion photographer Kristian Schuller has crafted this shot with a more sombre hand, angling away from his usual flare for vibrant colours and dramatic form. It’s a stunningly simple effect. A male face, in thoughtful repose or slumbering. But the concept leaps towards the super-human… or non-human in a bipedal, mammalian guise.
The Cthulhu Mythos is riddled with non-human species that have adopted the human form. British science fiction and dark fantasy author, David J Rodger has added to this pantheon with several of his own creations. Things that walk shoulder to shoulder alongside the creaking, arthritic, nefarious and polymorphic creations of H.P.Lovecraft.
Most hideous of these new additions are the Grom crabs. Parasites, a little smaller than a human fist, they resemble a translucent grey crab, with horribly long spider-like legs, a segmented carapace with hard black chitinous pincers. They wield a Nerve Sting attack, effected by a set of “semi-visible” tendrils that can lash out up to 6 metres; made of an alien matter that can slice through flesh, bone, clothing and armour to reach into the nervous system of any living thing and deliver a crippling, paralysing attack. Any living organism can be affected. And the effects are instant; the target becomes paralysed, all muscles cease to function. The primary use of this attack is to allow the Grom crab to crawl into any cavity near the brain (usually the mouth), and burrow into a suitable resting place, from which to occupy and control the host. Highly intelligent, the Grom roam different worlds, taking control of hosts – including human victims – and building empires.
Upon arriving in a suitable location, they construct hive-like temples, dedicated to their god, Murg, incorporating the flakes of crystal they excrete through their appendage from time to time (Resonators). Grom themselves are
rarely encountered outside of a larger “host” creature; they are often accompanied and served by mutated-beings known as Groth.
In the post-apocalyptic “Mythos fiction” novel, Dog Eat Dog, the Grom are encountered by the main protagonists. The encounter, sinister, brutal, and shocking in its climax reveals the silent incursion of alien horrors into the abandoned spaces of an Earth left ravaged by the event known as Yellow Dawn.
The photo by Kristian Schuller is more akin to the sublime and mysterious creatures known by erudite scholars as the “The Great Magi”. Formidable sorcerers from a time on Earth predating the evolution of Modern Man. They are anthropomorphic, walking upright, with a humanoid head that resembles a cross between a chimpanzee and a cheetah. However, they are renowned for their use of potent illusionary magick to walk amongst humans as if one of them. Often mesmerizing with the physical beauty and charm.
Skeletons of The Greta Magi have occasionally been discovered by scientists and mistaken as the “missing link”, these people are normally silenced and the evidence removed (by the Order of the Amber Eye) before the truth ever comes close to the surface. The Great Magi came to Earth after the Elder Things had retreated beneath the oceans and for a while came to dominate the proto-human savages that had evolved from the Elder Thing experiments. In their ancient culture they wore ceremonial robes and carried weapons (typically daggers). The Great Magi warred heavily with the far older race of Serpent People. Because of this war, only a few remain in existence at this time on Earth. The Order of the Amber Eye is based in a sandstone city on a remote planet, a temple held up by vast ape-like statues, surrounded by alien jungle; any Great Magi will have access to this place via a magical gateway.
Kristian Schuller has an incredible portfolio of imagery from his career in photography and fashion. You should certainly take a peek at his work on his website:
- Kristian Schuller website
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
- More creations for the RPG Yellow Dawn in a free download called Monsters of the Mythos
- The Ninth Gate: occult and tarot-like symbolism in the engravings by Aristide Torchia and Lucifer, plus wider meanings of the movie
“Atmospheric and creepy” – The Guardian
THE BLACK LAKE: The Earth has been ravaged by an event known as Yellow Dawn. Ten years later, survivors are putting lives back together and probing the frontiers of a new Wilderness; whilst overhead the orbital colonies slide across the sky, removed and unaffected. Five men leave the fortress island of Malta on an expedition to the sub-Arctic waters above Scotland. They intend to undertake scientific observations of an alien meteorological phenomenon that has followed the apocalyptic event. What they find is a cosmic horror that seethes amongst the shadows of a shattered Earth. It is a story of escape and wonder, of madness and terror. David J Rodger’s trademark unforgiving rendering of harsh reality, and relentless narrative pace, are here in palm-sweating abundance, delivered in a novel that tears open a rent in the boundary of reality, providing a nerve-jarring glimpse of the Outer Chaos and the horrors that lurk just beyond the threshold of our fragile, human existence.
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