Notes on the Outsiders

"For anyone seeking to study the lore of the Outer Gods, it is important to realize that the old truism, knowledge is power, is turned upon its head. The Outsiders are of Outside. They cannot exist in this world, because they are not of it, not even in a understandable way. This is the strongest defense we enjoy against them, and was once a perfect shield. But even though the Outsiders cannot exist here, we can exist in them...

"For their habitation is one with our guarded threshold, and the guardians upon our walls are their vanguard. By knowing of them, we form a vessel, like a jelly mold forms a shape for jelly. Into this they can come, for we thus give them an acceptable shape with which to move in the world. Do you think that Yig was always a snake, or that Great Cthulhu ever slept beneath the waves? It was not so. We provided them their forms and functions of old, back when the Bore first breached the universe. What form they wear, what they want, how they think and the things they embody... these are all a mask, a hideous carnival mummery molded by our own hands. For to enter our world they must, while the Logrus and Pattern stand, mold themselves into a form the world can understand, that we can understand.

"The more we know of them, the easier it is for them to pour themselves through, because by our knowledge we make them part of our reality-system. When we identify a particular creature as a Deep One, we are acknowledging that there is a thing called a Deep One, which looks like so, and serves thus-and-thus, and acts like this. And by doing this, we inform the universe that it is a part of our reality. If nobody knew of Deep Ones, there would be no Deep Ones, for the universe could not encompass their existance. The Outsiders could not have entered our universe without the fools who first went Outside, bringing knowledge of them back in.

"So one who would study the ways of the Outsiders is making a deadly gamble: that the student will be enough of a scourge against them to offset the indirect power these studies give them.

"But what exists in macrocosm also exists in micro. The more the universe learns of the Outsiders, the more easily the Outsiders can enter it. And the more YOU learn of the Outsiders, the more easily the Outsiders can enter YOU, in ways both subtle and spectacular. Every piece of information you acquire on your enemy shall lurk within your mind, an agent awaiting the chance to turn upon you. I know more than most, and I can tell you that there is a black pit within me that echoes with their praises...

"One cannot safely learn anything about them. And yet, sometimes one must do the unsafe. In the event that you decide to study your foe, as some in our family must if we are to survive, I can only offer the following suggestions that I have found helpful.

"Study the lore of the Elder Gods, and become strong in either Pattern or Logrus. Delving deeply into the power of the universal poles will help keep at bay the alien lore in your mind, and the power of the Elder Gods has ever been a potent remedy for their evil. Do not think that this alone will keep you safe... it did not save Annadil. But it is a help. There are some who suggest that the study of Trump and Sorcery may actually have the opposite effect, but I have seen no direct evidence of this myself.

"Keep your family about you, and be mindful of your gods. When you lock yourself in a dank study, or wander strange paths alone, the Outsiders will clamor ever louder in your brain. Let your companions in this life remind you that you live in THIS world, not the one Outside, and let your gods reaffirm your course.

"Be ever skeptical of anything the Outsiders might claim, for their very nature is perversion, and so it is with their dealings with truth. They will take what is in your mind and twist it, so that it is their own word. This applies not just to the words of their cultists, but also to their prophecies and tomes.

"The final and most important caution I can give you is this, and I cannot repeat it enough. Under no circumstances must you let knowledge become deed. Many of the tools the Outsiders offer can be used against them; some even seem designed for such a purpose. Do not use them. Once you cross the bridge that spans Knowing and Doing, you may not return. Only by rejecting all aid, no matter how small or harmless, may you stay anything approximating safe. This is a frustrating dictum, especially for one who knows they can send back a servitor or Great Old One with a simple chant or rite from one of their own folios. But it is the only way. If you try to fight fire with fire, you will become as a blazing house, and eventually all that will be left is cold ash.

"And there are even some knowledges which are, in the brain, as action, and so the first thing you should study are the signs of what NOT to study, and how one may perceive those abysses of mental putrification which masquerade as books. Experience will not grant you immunity, but it will teach you prudence and caution.

"Do not give up hope. For all that what I have told you is alarming and discouraging, it all rests on a simple and two-edged fact -- the Outsiders are Wrong. They do not belong here. They have no place in this universe and no right to participate in this story. We must have faith that the natural order of this world will out and things shall, in the end, work out right... and then we must back that faith with action, vigilance, and unswerving opposition."

-- Chloe of Rebma, collected writings.