"The Outsiders are evil beings of immense power who, ages ago, loaned their lawnmower to the unicorn and the serpent, who never got around to returning it. They've been trying to get it back ever since, tricking people into offering black and decker accessories to the unicorn in exchange."
- --- Dworkin of Gumi-Amber explains the Outsiders to Corrine, A Fistful of Finndos
Motoko folds her hands over the Red Book and stares at them in silence for a while. "Moriya, I've talked to Grandmother before about how the Outsiders work, and to Anthy-san... they were the ones who corrupted her brother, you know. What makes them so potent, so dangerous, is that they work with what's in people's hearts."
Moriya closes his eyes and leans back in his chair. "Yes. Exactly."
Motoko says, "They take the little evils that are in everyone's heart--resentment, bitterness, jealousy--and they turn them into great evils. And they can even take the good things--they can take love--and make it so all-consuming that people will burn worlds in the name of someone they love."
- -- Motoko and Moriya discuss the Outsiders
"Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod Earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as they tread...As a foulness, shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall they reign again."
- --Translated directly from Olaus Wormius' Latin translation of the Necronomicon.
- --Quoted from "The Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft.
The Outsiders. Their names whispered in dark corners, promising power and glory to those in the Real universe, seeking ways In from Outside, to regain what they had lost eons ago when the Logrus and Pattern came to be and brought structure to Shadow?. To study them is to risk falling under their sway, for the more you learn about their ways, the more you risk your sanity... as evidenced by Annadil of Chaos, who exchanged his sanity for Power from the Outsiders in order to attempt to open the Gate of Revolution, to try and remake the known universe to his vision. He was defeated, the Font of Power was sealed, and their power was believed to be broken -- or at least curtailed for the time being.
But during the Herald Crisis, the Outsiders tried to force their way In once more, sponsoring a great competition among their greatest servants to become their Herald.
So far, the following beings of dire power or their servants have been encountered in one fasion or another in Unicorn no Seishi and TaMD?. Read more about them, at your peril:
- The Outer Gods
- Azathoth, the Daemon Sultan, who sits at the heart of the void, burbling derangedly in his madness
- Daoloth, The Render of Veils, a strange being composed of unspeakable geometric forms, frequently metal or plasticlike. Daoloth is the sort of god who thinks three dimensions are far too few for comfortable stretching, and his portfolio tends to be one of how objects extend between different dimensions, including the past and future.
- Ghroth, Who Passeth In Darkness, the Black Moon, the Harbinger, Nemesis. A huge, moonlike god whose appearance in the sky signals doom, rust-colored, with a single red eye which it can close to avoid detection. Ghroth's appearance in orbit has the effect of waking up all sorts of nasty things sleeping in the vicinity, and his presence may well weaken or distort the Walls of Night. He is also tied to music, and sings a siren song sometimes referred to as the 'Music of the Spheres'. (Soon to be) Dead
- Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, Herald of the Outer Gods. His coming presaged theirs, and he was their agent within the universe. However, during the Annadil Crisis, he was defeated and captured, and then imprisoned within a complex trump trap being pounded into nonexistence. He died, leading to the Herald Crisis, in which the Outsiders tried and failed to audition a replacement. Dead
- Shub-Niggurath is fertility incarnate, the essence of the cycle of the life, the great mother who devours her own children, then gives birth to them anew. She is a constantly changing mass of organic matter, constantly growing and consuming arms, legs, breasts, mouths, eyes, teeth, etc. Her normal residence is unknown, but she comes when summoned at night, to both give life and take it. She sometimes gives birth to the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath.
- Yog-Sothoth is the Key and the Gate, the master of Space and Time. He appears as a congerie of spheres and impossible geometric shapes and is capable of moving anywhere at any time, and of granting the same aid to sorcerors who please him. However exactly that works. Especially confusing because sometimes he is mindless, while other times, he can have a pleasant conversation with someone. (See "Beyond the Gate of the Silver Key").
- The Great Old Ones
- Atlach-Nacha, Nightmare-Weaver, The Weaver In Darkness. Atlach-Nacha is a giant spider. He likes, amazingly enough, spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. His blood flows with paralytic poison, and he enjoys sucking his victims dry.
- Baratan, Master of Crabs. Resident in the Blue Crystal Caves.
- Cthugha, the Second Sun, is a huge ball of flame the size of a stadium. He is attended by hordes of Fire Vampires wherever he goes, and is summoned using flame.
- Dread C'thulhu, the Sea King. In his house at Ry'leh, dead Cthulhu lies Dreaming...
- Glaaki, the Dweller in the Lake. Glaaki appeared as a slug covered with many metal-tipped tentacles, which it would jab into people. They would then become Chosen of Glaaki, zombies under his command. Glaaki lived at the bottom of a lake, and enjoyed dark wet places. He was also a noted author, having written the best-selling Revelations of Glaaki. Dead
- Hastur. Hastur. Hastur. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
- The Invisible Hand. Some laugh and mock the incarnation of market forces, while others point to how much subtle power he wields, for in those shadows where he has power, he cannot be easily escaped...
- Ithaqua, Wendigo, the Windwalker. He walks in the cold places, stalking and slaying for his own amusement.
- Kamazotz, Camazotz, The Snatch Bat, The Terror That Flaps In The Night, The Bat-God of the Yucatan. Kamatotz is a big ol' bat. He flies. He is a large and evil flying mouse with wings. He is served by bats, has the dark powers of all bats, and is possessed of batlike might. Did we mention the bats? Kamazotz is supposed to suck the blood of his victims, and his bite can inflict disease.
- Nyogtha, the Dweller in Darkness, who dwells deep within the earth, away from the sun's light, served by nasty children of his who crawl up inside people, eat their brains literally, then drive their bodies around.
- Shudde M'ell, one of the bigger guns of the GOOs. His physical form is that of a gigantic worm a mile long, with tentacles around his mouth. He is the ruler of the chthonians, who are themselves quite potent as a servitor race. Dead
- Spiny Norman, aka Rhan-Tegoth. He sleeps beneath Arden, and periodically wakes to wreak havoc, is slain, and rises again.
- Tsathoggua, the Sleeper of N'kai, the Toad-God, Zhothaqqua, Sadagowah. A big ugly black toad, patron of several servitor races of the Outsiders. Tsathoggua's main claim to fame as a GOO is that he is not Rhan-Tegoth; he is far from being one of their big guns. Possibly Dead
- Y'Golonac, the Violator, the Defiler. Y'Golonac is the patron of corruption and perversion in all things. He appears as a headless giant with mouths in various parts of his body.
- Their Servitors
- The Byhakee. Servants of Hastur
- Deep Ones. The fish-men servitors of Great Cthulhu
- Flautist Frogs. Flute-playing frogs who are often summoned because they are useful in summoning stronger creatures
- The Hunting Horrors, winged serpents compelled to throw pies
- Machin Shin, The Black Wind of Madness. A lesser Outsider, but perhaps more a threat because it more easily breaks through...
- The N'glai. Aka 'Star Spawn of Cthulhu' Sort of like baby Cthulhus.
- T'rzuli. The Crab-men servitors of Baratan
With the fall of Tharkold in 1332, the last of the Herald Candidates was defeated. It is hoped it will be a very long time before they try for another competition to select one...
A list of the major Outsider appearances in the campaigns can be found here.
Chloe of Rebma, a student of Outsider Lore, offers a written caution here.
With Ghroth's capture and eventual destruction, a number of the Outsiders have been severely handicapped due to their reliance on the Stars Being Right (Ghroth's major responsibility) to be able to manifest or gain power.