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Yog-Sothoth

Yog-Sothoth is a cosmic entity in the fictional Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Yog-Sothoth's name was first mentioned in Lovecraft's novella, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (written 1927, first published 1941). The being is said to take the form of a conglomeration of glowing spheres.

Yog-Sothoth is an Outer God and is coterminous with all time and space yet is supposedly locked outside of the universe we inhabit. Its cosmic nature is hinted at in this passage from "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (1934) by Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price:

It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self—not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence's whole unbounded sweep—the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of earth have whispered of as YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable Sign...

Yog-Sothoth knows all and sees all. To "please" this deity could bring knowledge of many things. However, like most beings in the mythos, to see it or learn too much about it is to court disaster. Some authors state that the favor of the god requires a human sacrifice or eternal servitude.

According to the genealogy Lovecraft devised for his characters (later published as "Letter 617" in Selected Letters), Yog-Sothoth is the offspring of the Nameless Mists, which were born of the deity Azathoth. Yog-Sothoth mated with Shub-Niggurath to produce the twin deities Nug and Yeb, while Nug sired Cthulhu through parthenogenesis. In Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror, Yog-Sothoth impregnates a mortal woman, Lavinia Whateley, who then gives birth to twin sons: the humanoid Wilbur Whateley, and his more monstrous unnamed brother.

The in-universe essay In Rerum Supernatura in the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game offers a suggestion: Yog-Sothoth's name may be a transliteration of the Arabic phrase "Yaji Ash-Shuthath," more properly "yajī'u ash-shudhdhādh" يجيء الشذاذ, meaning "The abnormal ones are coming."

In Anders Fager's short story "Grandmothers Journey" a tribe of dog or wolf-like humans (analog to the "ghouls" of the Lovecraftian mythos) is said to have sacrificed to Yog-Sothoth to become "different". In Fager's "Herr Goerings Artifact" Yog-Sothoth is invoked to protect a couple of witches from Father Dagon.

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