Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Art-Deco Shoggoth

Nearly done with basic geology, moving on to underground life next. The following is just the highlights of my notes so far, to convince people I haven't been dicking around.

"Geology acts as a kind of collective unconscious for the world, a deep control beneath the oceans and continents." (Literalize?
Jungsworld deep below the surface?)

VOG – Acid mist – water on recent lava produces sulphur-enriched fog called VOG.

Sulphur crystals form tiny perfect prisms.

Tears Of Pele – tiny, black, drop shaped stones. (Tears of the goddess, she likes handsome youths, poss swap CHA and STR to gain heat resistance.)

Hair Of Pele – Glass filiments drawn out as the gasses speed from lava. Like spun suger but brittle, almost golden sheen.


the inner earth is green too, but a rich gren such as is seen on the leaves of climbing plants in the rain forest.”


Mad Old ideas about nature of the changing earth surprisingly useful in the context of a fantasy world.

An earth cooling and shrinking
An earth growing from within.
Kirchner – mountains are bones of the earth, a skeleton for the planet.
Beumont – fault lines shaped by pentagons discovered from the connections of great circles.

RADIOLARIANS – glassy silaca spheres or nets, delicate as lace. (huge hyper-adaptive Radiolarians like beautiful art-deco shoggoths, but terrestrial not alien)

We must be humble, we are so easily baffled by appearances
And do not realise that the stones are one with the stars
It makes no difference to them whether they are high or low
Mountain peak or ocean floor, palace or pigsty
There are plenty of ruined building in the world, but no ruined stones.”
-Hugh MacDiarmid 'On a Raised Beach'

Cockroaches can sense rockfalls before they happen and are valued by miners (obvious cockroach god for drow)

"Dark nor light
the region, nor bright nor sombre wholly
A dusky empire and its diadems,
One faint, eternal eventide of gems."
-Keats Endymon

Large, flat prismatic feldspars float in a matrix of finer dark grained basalt. As if bold white brush strokes have been added to the faces of the sculptures”

(theoretical column, 3 kinds of meaning encoded in one artefact, religious relation of elder gods which tells their story, changes in the nature of the carving and the inference of the story tell the changing attitudes of the culture that carved the column over hundreds of years, geological strata tell story of deep time, actually influenced by the elder gods told of in the myth, for instance, in a fantasy world, there will be 'Cthulhu Strata. Each kind of encoded meaning gives clues to the other.)

A lava cavity or air bubble is called a 'Vug'

Granite preserves culture but limits detail in sculpture. Artist must consider essence of form. (Poss views on what 'ancient' art looks like formed more by the materials that carry it than we suppose? Lots of fancy shit we never see because it decayed on weak materials?)

FORTEY: Oh, well Lapworth was a brilliant man who solved the problem of a structure in the northwest highlands of Scotland called the Moine Thrust. Lapworth realized – for very good evidence, because he was a marvelous field man – that the Moine Thrust was a layer where one enormous load of rocks was pushed bodily over another layer of rocks. Older probably over younger. But many, many people disagreed with this; they wanted the rocks, as it were, to be piled up simply in the right order. And Lapworth suffered mentally tremendously as he fought out this controversy, to the extent that he used to dream or have nightmares about being crushed under what he called the great Earth engine. "

"The mantle contains 'blobs' of a different composition on the scale of a few kilometers, which may be the last remains of subducted lithosphere slabs." - remnants of falled continents, solid outposts of the high-pressure silicone beings, at war with the frost giants beneath the earth where they were driven by the gods. Combat zone is inhabitable by hmans but also a post-war-berlin style intelligence nightmare crossed with a titanic battlefield.


  1. cool. Vog sucks. It's not so much acidic as it is a choking sort of natural smog. pele's hair is neat. I have some growing in my front yard. Here is a good resource I use for constructing the lava tube labyrinths in campaign.

    1. Thanks for the tubes. Man, I have a lot to learn about caves.