I became interested in Shoggoth’s after I was killed by one in a board game. Previously I had forgotten that they were even mentioned in the short story, At The Mountains of Madness.
“It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train — a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.”
— H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
Cthulhu Mythos most commonly shows shoggoths as being intelligent beings albeit only in a small way. They deal with problems using their great size and strength. The shoggoth that we see in At the Mountains of Madness crushes numerous giant penguins that are in its way as it chases after the humans in the story.
Shoggoths were initially used like slaves to build the cities of their masters. Though able to understand the Elder Things language, shoggoths had no real consciousness and were controlled through hypnotic suggestion. Some shoggoths mutated, developed independent minds, and rebelled over the millions of years of their existence. The Elder Things succeeded in quelling the insurrection. The Elder Things were dependent on the Shoggoths for labor so they couldn’t just destroy them. Shoggoths developed the ability to survive on land. This happened as the Elder Things retreated to the oceans allowing some Shoggoths to separate from The Elder Things. Shoggoths remained alive in the abandoned Elder Thing city located in Antarctica. Generations would Later imitate their masters’ art and voices, endlessly repeating “Tekeli-li”. “Tekeli-li” being an old saying of their former masters.
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