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1998-05 (genetics)

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 09:33:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Andrew D. Gable"

The discussion about Mythos races going insane brought up an interesting point, one concerning the crossbreeding of certain Mythos races with humanity, particularly Ghouls and deep ones.

Remember that the interbreeding of these races with us suggests that these two races are not wholly alien, but possibly the equivalent of the currently-existing human races. The suggestion is that the genetic makeup of these "aliens" is similar enough to that of humans for compatibility.

Only a very small portion of our genetic code is used. Now, I'm certain geneticists know what this section of code would be used for. However, we're allowed to distort things in CoC: so are we all, at least latently, Ghouls & deep ones?

I don't have a great knowledge of genetics, so there may be some errors in my logic. But we'll leave that up to others on the list to decide.


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 08:19:18 -0500
From: Ricardo J. Menndez

Now, I'm certain geneticists know what this section of code would be used for. However, we're allowed to distort things in CoC: so are we all, at least latently, Ghouls & deep ones?

Interesting. Not necessarily, but if there is really a portion of the genetic code that is either unused or redundant (about which I don't know), we could not latent Ghouls and deep ones, since nothing says that we have the same genes as them (we're only compatible), but could be altered into one.

Then again, as far as I understand this things, the Deep Ones could have a longer or totally different DNA string and still be reproductive-compatible with us. If that's the case, it would be harder to alter a human into a deep one.

Can someone please bring us out of our collective ignorance?


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 10:31:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael S Beck

Well, I don't know that much about genetics but this does bring forth a truly frightening possibility. If we are all latent Ghouls or Deep Ones, it would be possible to use genetic engineering techniques to create a retro-virus that would turn EVERYBODY into a Deep One or a ghoul. And the Human Genome Project is mapping all of our genetic code even as we speak …


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 16:11:28 +0100
From: NICK

I can't bring anyone out of any kind of ignorance on this Subject, as I'm not that well read on the Subject as it is, but perhaps the unused genetic code is something the deep ones and Ghouls exploit, rather than latent instructions for development into them which they somehow activate.

This unused genetic code would make us, as a race, particularly suitable for any kind of genetic transformation, which is why the Ghouls and deep ones target us, rather than say, each other. It would also account for how a single human being would be suitable for both deep one and ghoul breeding stock ( if we assume this is the case of course).

If we are all indeed latent Ghouls or deep ones of course, we'd all better start learning how to fire a shotgun with our toes…


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 10:14:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: "G. Wyckoff"

This has been put forth in a lot of literature written for lay people, and it is misleading in it's meaning.

Only a fraction of the total amount of DNA in our genome actual contains coding regions which are translated to make proteins. BUT, these coding regions are spread throughout the whole genome, so you would be hard pressed to travel too far along a chromosome and not, eventually, find a coding region (a gene). The problem is that a lot of the non-coding portions of the genome are used to control the coding regions. However, it is a fact that a lot of the genome contains neither control regions or coding regions, and is considered by many to be "junk".

Now, I'm certain geneticists know what this section of code would be used for.

The genome is made up of DNA. This DNA is arranged into structures called chromosomes. Along the chromosomes lie genes. Theses genes code for proteins; that's all that genes do. These proteins control pretty much everything that goes on in your body; they are responsible for growth, for controlling your metabolism, etc. They are the units of which your cells are made, they control where different things are deposited in your body, they are used to digest your food. So, here's the thing. If you look at our genome and compare it to a chimps, there is an awful lot of similarity, especially in the coding regions of genes. This is because (and I don't mean to offend anyone's religious sensibilities, feel free to believe whatever you would like) scientists have surmised that humans and chimpanzees have, in the relatively recent (past 4 or 5 million years as an upper estimate) shared a common ancestor. If you go back far enough, _all mammals_ shared a common relative. In fact, it is believed that if you go back _really far_, all life on earth shares a common origin (or at least most life- there is some speculation that some bacteria might have arisen independently- to make my own biases clear, I believe that the evidence which suggests a common origin for all life on Earth is stronger than evidence to the contrary.

What does this mean for CoC?

If you believe that humans and "Deep Ones" share a common ancestor, there might be some homology (shared structure and function) between our genes and a deep one's genes. BUT, and let me make this clear, that _does not_ mean that the "junk" portions of our genome contain all that is necessary to make a human into a Deep One, any more than it means that we could "degenerate" into a chimpanzee. This is why that one Star Trek: TNG where everyone on the ship was "devolving" into different organisms because their introns were activated was so laughable.

My take on the "degeneration" of a human into a Ghoul would be that a virus was actually interfering with our code and making new proteins which transforms the unfortunate victim into a ghoul. Think of it like cancer, in a way; if you change the structure of DNA in a gene, if you mutate it, you get abnormal functioning which could lead to a host of different diseases, including cancer. Picture changing genes in a specific pattern, in a specific way, and you could change a human into a ghoul. that's at least how I would work it in a campaign. We talked about Prions a little in this list, too.

For Deep Ones, however, I don't see that there is any way to explain given our existing knowledge of genetics how a Deep One and Human could hybridise or how a human could transform into a deep one. I guess someone a little more creative might be able to come up with an explanation which doesn't contradict known genetics. I have a few ideas, if anyone really wants to hear my speculation about how to keep it within the realm of possibility, e-mail me.

The above is all a _gross_ oversimplification of genetics, I just don't have the space or time to thoroughly explain it all here. BUT, if anyone is really interested, I recommend that you look for the "Cartoon guide to Genetics" by Larry Gonick. Don't laugh, it is a very well researched book pitched at a level for the average starting college student or maybe even upper level high-school student. It explains a lot of the basic concepts of genetics.

we're allowed to distort things in CoC: so are we all, at least latently, Ghouls & deep ones?

so, just to restate it, I think maybe you could work it that humans and Ghouls and humans and deep ones share a common ancestor in the past. How distant that relationship is, I would leave to the storyteller. But I would suggest making the transformations stay in the realm of the mystical and unexplainable unless you want to do a lot of research or if you don't mind bending science to make it fit your story. After all, it's a game, we should all have fun with it.

there is really a portion of the genetic code that is either unused or redundant

In fact, a lot of the genome is both redundant and unused. Also, genes consist of exons (that code for proteins) and introns (which are spacers between exons of the same gene). And, outside of the exons are the control regions for a gene. And, beyond that is more DNA that is, as far as we know, junk but which may reflect spaces needed between genes or may reflect accumulated junk over evolutionary time or may be genes which have ceased to function and over time accumulated enough mutations to look like junk (and therefore become non-functional).

In order to be a gene, a piece of DNA needs certain pieces ( a start and stop "codon", think of this like the punctuation on a sentence), and it needs to be in frame.

Look at it like this.

You are reading a manuscript. It looks like this.

aWYRIARGIPUQEIJAPIFUVHQ9UEIRGPQIUOEFVIJ<14POINT
TIMES>UIRQII<START>MARY
HAD A LITTLE LAMB<splice>ierieioqealviqiqiaviuqv<splice>ITS FLEECE WAS
WHITE AS SNOW<PERIOD>QWUROQWFOQWFO

In this analogy, the <14POINT TIMES> is the control region, the <START> is a start codon, the readable sentence begins, it is interrupted by some stuff, which in this case breaks the sentence into a logical part (this is not always the case) and than continues until the <PERIOD>, the stop codon. Everything else is just spacers and junk.

Reading the human genome is like reading a manuscript that looks like this, except finding the sentences are harder. Also, DNA consists of only four "parts" or letters, usually represented as A, C, T, or G, called nucleotides. So the above text, which uses a bunch of letters and numbers, is meant only as an analogy.

Then again, as far as I understand this things, the Deep Ones could have a longer or totally different DNA string and still be reproductive-compatible with us. If that's the case, it would be harder to alter a human into a deep one.

Actually, reproductive incompatibility exists between even very closely related species in some cases, and a lot of times hybrids between closely related species are sterile. This is why I said before that Human-Deep Ones hybrids are a big stretch for known genetics.

Can someone please bring us out of our collective ignorance?

Well, like I said, I can't explain it all, but there is a quick primer, and I really suggest reading the "Cartoon Guide to Genetics"

Warning: again, I will say that I am oversimplifying in a very large way, and it is hard to be totally accurate when one is oversimplifying. Genetics is a pretty big Subject. Have fun exploring it. Also, I do not speak for my department or school in this post


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 12:11:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel M Harms

Only a very small portion of our genetic code is used.

It's debatable. I seem to recall that 10% of our DNA is used to code for proteins (exons). 10% does not code for anything (introns). There's another 80% which we're still not sure about.


Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 11:02:38 -0600
From: Eric Brochu

Just to throw in my $0.02, I have a couple of theories of my own on the subject. My apologies if these kinds of ideas have already come up - I only just joined the list.

THEORY 1. The "science-fiction" explanation: Ghouls and deep ones did not evolve naturally. They were created by a technologically advanced race (the mi-go would be an obvious candidate) either by genetically engineering humans or by infecting human candidates with a virus that causes the gross physical change into a ghoul or deep one. The latter I think may be more interesting. The viruses wouldn't cause any genetic change at all — meaning ghouls and deep ones are genetically human, which is why they can crossbreed with us so easily. The "Ghoul virus" might affect anyone, but require prolonged contact with an infectious agent. This also explains why people could become ghouls by reading books (contaminated with the virus) or by hanging out with ghouls. The "Deep One virus" might only affect people with a certain genetic ancestry, but be easily spread. This way, an uninfected person with the "Innsmouth look" could go through life just looking a bit weird (a simple inherited trait), but as soon as they come into contact with a long-lost (and infected) relative, or visit a certain ancestral town, they begin to notice certain … changes, physically and mentally.

THEORY 2. The "mystic shit" explanation: Ghouls and deep ones are native to the Dreamlands, not the waking world. DNA and other scientific questions are irrelevant, because the matter of crossbreeding requires only the logic and science of a dream. In this view, ghouls and deep ones are the manifestation of the collective unconscious and human squeamishness about sex and reproduction, death, the oceans, and the unknown. Whether it is that fear that created the ghouls and deep ones, or vice versa, is a kind of "the chicken or the egg" question.

There are big holes in both these theories, of course. If this ever comes up in my own games, I'll probably drop hints about both, without ever resolving it. I'd hate to see my players' hard-earned terror of cemeteries and isolated seaside villages disappear in a puff of science.


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 19:32:27 +0100
From: NICK

As I've always understood it, the deep ones are not native to this planet. that is not to say this was ever made explicit in Lovecraft, or even that they didn't roam the Earth before humankind evolved, but if so, then deep ones and humankind do not share any kind of common ancestor. The fact that deep ones are capable of using humans as breeding stock would suggest there is some kind of facility within the deep ones genetic structure that allows them to take advantage (literally) of other creatures DNA for reproduction purposes. Some kind of highly developed survival mechanism is presumably at work.


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 20:20:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: The Man in Black

1) DeepOnes : The DNA / Anthropological aspects of Human/Deep One relationships relate to Aquatic Ape Theory. AAT basically states that some primates had an Aquatic stage in their evolution, like dolphins, otters etc. The theory goes on to suggest that missing links could be found if paleoanthropologists would do some digging in offshore areas or areas that used to be offshore. I'm not kidding, this theory actually exists (although it's not particularly well supported or credible).

Also, it would seem that Cthulhu and his octopoids (sounds like a punk rock band :) have had something to do with the manipulation of Deep Ones. Thus any scientific filter we view the Deep Ones biology through would distort the reality altering magics used to create them in the first place.

2) GHOULS : DNA, genetics and paltry human science cannot possibly explain the Human Ghoul relationship. Connections with Dreamlands magic, the god Mordiggian and the Charnel realms would go farther to explain Ghouls than any Biological understanding we might pretend to have. This is why Ghouls are so dangerous and should all be flame broiled by the time Countdown is published :)

CONCLUSIONS: If we take magic into account then it may not be possible to distinguish Ghouls and Deep Ones from homo sapiens sapiens with mere DNA testing. It could very well be that the DNA is identical to our own and the source of their differences are beyond the understanding of our science.


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 18:06:12 -0700
From: Neil Laughlin

First off, let me say that Mr. Wyckoff did a _very_ good job on providing a basic overview of genetics. I was trying to work up the enthusiasm to summarise the topic (I'm an ex-Biological Sciences grad student), and was thrilled to come across someone who did it better than I could have.

Now, onto adding the Mythos angle:

My take on humans converting into Deep Ones would be something like this:

Deep Ones and humans can interbreed. Whether this is genetic compatibility, magical compatibility, or something else is your call. Personally, I'd considered Deep Ones to be native to the earth, so I'd go with a bizarre genetic compatibility, perhaps some sort of reproductive parasitism (this is sci-fi, not real biology). The product of a Deep One/human mating is a Deep One from birth, even if it looks human. That resemblance to humanity is a concealment technique. Like chameleons can change their colours, Deep One children can resemble their maternal parent (do we know of any human children of Deep One mothers?). But then, at some point after birth, the Deep One genetic heritage manifests, the disguised Deep One sloughs off the appearance of humanity, and regains its birthright. The above doesn't happen in that exact way in any organism I know of, but is similar to how cuckoos and cowbirds lay eggs in the nests of other bird species. The cuckoo chick dominates the nest, evicting the other hatchlings. The parent birds seem to be unable to tell the difference between the invading chick and their progeny, and take care of the cuckoo chick until it grows up and leaves them. It's a stretch to take this to a Deep One child in a human womb, but not a fantastic stretch.

My take on the "degeneration" of a human into a Ghoul

Larry Niven wrote a book in the Ringworld series that, despite having characters as interested as wet cardboard, explored the possibility that what we know as the "adult human" is the larval stage of an more complex organism. Were I trying to explain the ghoul transformation, I'd follow this idea. Some portion of humanity has the ability to metamorphosis into a ghoul when given certain environmental hints, akin to how a caterpillar turns into a pupae and then a butterfly. If human biochemistry were sufficiently well-understood, scientists might come to understand the "ghoul transformation." Such an understanding might make a good element of a story, actually. For tones of Nazism, those who _can't_ turn into ghouls could be considered racially impure by a ghoul-worshipping group.

Metamorphoses in biology are pretty much fundamental to modern developmental biology. Cell movement in developing C. elegans (a 1-mm worm) is precisely chartable, if not entirely understood. The study of fruit fly development (Drosophila, for those of you that went to better high schools than I and got to play with such things) is pretty interesting. It's a stretch to assign humans the ability to metamorphosize into ghouls, but only because they don't. If someone showed me a book that turned people into ghouls, and I had to try to explain it scientifically, I'd use the explanation I just pitched above, but put most of my work into trying to track down the environmental signal.

I think this sort of thing is interesting enough to discuss on the list, actually. Scientific or quasi-scientific explanations for the Mythos seem to be the cup of tea of certain groups within the setting, and putting together some hypotheses may be a good source of ideas for GMs.


Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 21:36:07 -0500
From: Ricardo_J._Mendez

Quite true. Not only that, but given that Delta Green is set on a highly technological era, it's good to have a tech background for when your players wish to rationalise things. Hell, if they're going against the forces of chaos they might at least have *that*. :)


Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 14:20:55 -0400
From: Graeme Price

For Deep Ones, however, I don't see that there is any way to how a Deep One and Human could hybridise or how a human could transform into a deep one.

Well, that sounded like a challenge to me! So here goes with my bizarre theory:

For a major change from human to Deep One (in my mind ghoulish degeneration is a different thing - possibly due to contagion, possibly not: see the earlier posts on the matter) to occur, multiple genes must be involved. This is logical and based on biological fact: different genes for different things (claws, webbed feet etc) would need to be switched on and off for the "change" to occur.

However, here is where I go slightly more offbeat (but not much). If we assume that various Deep One genes are latent in the human genome (which granted is a big assumption), the main problem (as I see it) is that lots of genes must be switched on and off in the correct order. This could be controlled by a master gene (I will call this gene "X") which acts as the "Deep One Change Activator Gene" or immediate early gene (to steal a phrase from my virology background).

If transcription of X is triggered (by whatever cause: a virus, magic, chemicals or listening to Spice Girls records for example), the X gene product switches on the next step of the change (genes V, W, X, and Z: or early genes).

Now these gene products have their own effects (V switches off host genes A, B and C; W switches on the next stage of Deep One genes P, Q, R, S and T; Y regulates V and W). Then P,Q,R,S and T switch off D,E,F and G and switch on H, I, J, K and L. And so on… leading to temporally (and spatially) regulated gene expression resulting in the Change.

This "cascade effect" is based on known biological mechanisms: it is exactly what happens during Drosophila (Fruit fly) development, and in the development of all higher organisms during gestation and growth (and in much simpler organisms such as bacteria, yeast and some viruses). It also has some interesting implications:

If the Master Gene (X) is the "susceptibility gene" (i.e without this gene you cannot undergo the Change) and all other genes are latent and spread around the chromosomes, interbreeding easily becomes possible.

Secondly, if the X-gene is recessive it allows an "immune carrier state" to exist: that is, unless there are two copies of X (one on each copy of the chromosome: humans and all higher organisms are diploid - they have two copies of each chromosome, one from the mother, one from the father), the X-gene cannot become activated. Consider the situations below where X represents the Master Gene and O represents an inactive version of X:

The genotype XX (called a homozygote) is fully susceptible to the change

The genotype OO (also a homozygote) is fully resistant to the change

The genotypes OX or XO (called heterozygotes) are carriers, so are not susceptible to the change, but can pass the X gene on to their offspring:

Now, depending on the parents, the following things can happen:

Parents Offspring

OO + XX OX, OX, XO, XO : no susceptible, all carriers

XX + XX XX, XX, XX, XX : all susceptible

OO + OO OO, OO, OO, OO : all resistant

OX + OO OO, OO, OX, XO : 2 carriers, 2 resistant

OX + XX XX, XO, OX, XX : 2 carriers, 2 susceptible

XO + OX OO, OX, XO, XX : 1 susceptible, 2 carriers, 1 resistant

Doubtless I have made a simple mistake somewhere above, and will be corrected, but you get the idea. Not everyone is going to be susceptible even on the basis of one gene causing the change… but on the other-hand if you get unlucky and both your parents are carriers, the you have a 25% chance of being susceptible (or resistant… Oh the fickle hand of eukaryotic genetics!).

But it goes further. What if you are deficient in one of the other genes involved in the change? Well, it could block the change completely, or it could have little effect, or it could be lethal (viz. you die in screaming agony in an insane asylum raving about the wonders of the deep!).

It also means that treatment (gene therapy?) may not be possible once the change has started (for example X could be switched off by Z to keep the process regulated correctly - otherwise V, W, Y and Z would be expressed all the time - which would be bad!), but might be possible before the process begins (keeping X switched off all the time would prevent the Change). It also makes X very hard to find (you suspect there is an activator that does something, but by the time the "symptoms" of the change are observable, X is no longer expressed!)

And don't look to the human genome project to solve it either. As all the genes would show up as perfectly normal (as most people would have at least some of them) then there is no way to identify them (which is the major flaw of the HGP: whose genome are they sequencing to define as normal: current estimates suggest that each of us has 6-9 mutated genes). Also if carriers are otherwise perfectly normal human beings (apart from having one copy of the X gene) what can you do about them? This should provide food for thought for the kill-'em-all school who would wipe out all traces of the Deep Ones or ghouls… they may actually be committing genocide on normal humans if they use presence of X as a diagnostic tool for who gets a bullet in the brain (Mandatory d20 SAN loss when they finally pass an Idea Roll, Keepers).

Anyway, I could go on but I think I've said enough. Doubtless there are some flaws in my thinking, but I'm an infectious disease specialist not a molecular biologist! Hope it is of some interest to someone though


Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 14:57:10 -0700
From: Phil A Posehn

How about some place …say near Chernobyl, where both humans and ghouls leave their mutated offspring exposed to die, Sometimes an exchange of sorts is made.


Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 14:43:57 -0500
From: Ricardo J. Mendez

…(which is the major flaw of the HGP: whose genome are they sequencing to define as normal

Those of 10 original Karotechia members, of course. Who did you think was running it? :)


Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 00:40:27 +0900
From: Jay and Mikiko Noyes

However, here is where I go slightly more offbeat (but not much). If we assume that various Deep One genes are latent in the human genome (which granted is a big assumption)

This is not such a large gap, if you take some mythos stories which assert that humanity was created as a slave race. Wouldn't it be more economical for our creators to use handy genetic material, rather than build us from scratch?


Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 11:51:32 -0500 (CDT)
From: "G. Wyckoff"

First off, I wanted to say that I'm glad people liked my quick genetics explanation, and thanks for the feedback. I do just enough TA'ing that it's nice to know when my analogies work (and when they don't).

I have thought about the Deep Ones "problem" a lot. As far as I can see, the ghoul issue could be solved by an infectious agent, though other nefarious agents are also possible and I don't want to spoil a Keeper's fun. But the Deep Ones/Human hybridisation had me puzzling. I like the explanations and discussion that have been going on: lots of good ideas here.

For my own amusement, I was trying to figure out how hybridisation could take place without invoking either an infectious agent (as such: you'll see I had to fudge a bit) or the idea of "latent" genes _already present_ in the human genome being activated. Let me preface the following by saying that it is all fiction: while I will use known genetics and biology, I am going to depart from reality pretty severely at points and I will attempt to let you know when I do that.

So, let's say that you start out with a community of "normal" human beings. They live near water, fish, etc. Unfortunately, one of the population decides (for whatever reason) to contact the Deep Ones in the area, and use them to gain power in the town (or for whatever reason: use your imagination <grin>).

The Deep Ones say "Okay, sounds great, but we need new breeding stock. So, We're going to sleep with your women."

Now, normally, when a human male and human female mate, each contributes exactly half of the nuclear genetic material for the new human being. BUT, Human males do not contribute any to the cellular environment of the new being; sperm are pretty tightly packaged and they contain (in the portion of the sperm that invades the ovum) only DNA and some expendable binding proteins (I study the evolution of a couple of those proteins; let me tell you, using the phrase "expendable" hurts a little). But, the ovum is a large cell, and contains cytoplasm (the fluid in a cell) and contains among other things, a number of a specific type of organelle called a mitochrondria. These mitochondria actually have their own genetic material. You can see where this is going; mitochondria are inherited only from your Mom, your Dad has nothing to do with it. There was quite a paper on this a couple of years ago out of Penn State; they tried to date when the last common ancestor of all mitochondria in existence today in humans existed. Interesting work and widely misinterpreted by the lay press. At any rate, without going into too much more detai, what if the Deep One males actually contributed extra-nuclear genetic material to the new ovum.

Not a mitochondria, but a little bundle that contains all of the genes necessary to make a human a deep one. This is a stretch, but has some basis in reality; some species do have male extra-nuclear contribution to the next generation. Now, the following is a _huge_ stretch. In the _initial_ generation when the Deep Ones mate with females, the next generation are going to be humans with latent, extra-nuclear Deep One DNA waiting to be activated.

But, there is a problem; it doesn't explain how the Deep One nuclear genes were compatible with the humans to start with; the Deep ones might have a very different genome structure, so how can the first human/deep one hybrids survive? Maybe, the Deep Ones don't contribute _any_ nuclear material at all; perhaps there is a gene which causes the mother's ovum's DNA to replicate but not reduce in copy number (equivalent to a first round meiosis for those biologists out there). So, the hybrid is, in fact, derived from a recombined haploid maternal genome, doubled to give a normal human chromosome complement, with this extra "Deep One" DNA floating around, waiting to be activated. the interesting thing about this is that it would uncover all sorts of genetic defects present in the host population (trust me on this, the details are a little complicated to explain here, though I certainly will if people want).

The other thing is that all of the first generation hybrids are going to be female (no male Y chromosome contribution). In the next generation, Male humans might mate with these females, and the Deep One DNA is still floating around. So, in another generation, you have a mixed population of Males and females with this extra-nuclear "Deep One" DNA floating around in the cell. This DNA might than "activate" under specific signals (there is no biological problem with this) and convert the human into a Deep One (or, at least, a pretty fair approximation of a Deep One; the human now becomes fully reproductively compatible with the Deep Ones, acquires Deep One physiological characteristics, and such. So, basically, within 2 or 3 generations, the entire population can be subsumed into Deep One breeding stock, without any proclivity to degenerate into Deep Ones pre-existing in the population, and without invoking any "latent" Deep One genes in the Human genome. The Deep One "organelle" DNA basically hijacks the human cells at some point due to some environmental, magical, or age-related signal. Viola.

Now, here's where I fudged: the Deep One organelle might be considered by some to be a parasite: in fact, the ultimate parasite, only wishing to reproduce itself. Selfish DNA, as it were. It also gives us some idea of the _possible_ origins of the Deep Ones; maybe, through some accident, this parasite existed benignly in some other organism but managed to get introduced into humans. Eventually, it existed in enough of the population in a specific area to cause that population to "become" Deep Ones. The other possibility is almost too horrific to contemplate. Some human cultures, some Deep One populations, might have spawned human, land-based populations who had lost the "Deep One" organelle. These groups might have stories about being descended from "people of the sea" or some such. They might be correct. Or maybe the organelle was introduced into a population of primitive ape-like creatures by the Old Ones in order to create a usable undersea slave race. That race became the deep ones, and the unaltered ape-like creature might have been an early ancestor of man, like Austrolopithecus or such.

So, there's my explanation. Pretty weird, I know, but I have used at least parts of it before in campaigns, and I have usually had the players roll to check for SAN loss in their characters when some parts of this are revealed. Also, I think that it adequately explains a lot of the phenomena associated with the Deep Ones in Lovecraft's work and in the more modern work inspired by it. For example, people in the "deep one" infested towns will tend to look the same, they will tend to have some similar deformities and such. It explains how a totally normal population with no occult history could become Deep One breeding stock, it explains Lovecraft's more wild stories about populations with "ancestors" in the sea, it puts forth a hypothesis about the "original" relationship between deep ones and humans, about the creation fo the deep ones in the first place, and about why they would be tempted to breed with humans at all.

There you go. YMMV. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER

NOTE: The above is a work of speculative fiction, and in no way reflects my beliefs about alien life, the existence of elder gods, or the origin of any human population. I speak only for myself in this fictional work and do not represent my school or department. Please do not take any piece of this out of context as representing my own real views towards genetics.


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 22:02:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Andrew D. Gable"

Funny thing this just popped up now, but on tonite's episode of Millennium they discussed all of the above. In reference, of course, to an apocalyptic prophecy… thought it was neat.


Date: 11 May 98 08:54 GMT
From: FRANK M ADAMS

I just wanted to interject something to this excellent and very interesting discussion. (Sorry to be posting late, but I don't get to check mail as often as I'd like.)

Warning: I know nothing of genetics and very little of biology. End Warning.

Rather than actually breeding with humans what if (I think there are some species that do this) the Deep Ones are hermaphrodites(sp? usage?) and have both male and female characteristics and some have the ability to produce an already fertilised egg.

The Deep One then "mates" with a human female and injects the fertilised egg (and a bunch of cellular material if necessary) into her and it finds it's way to her womb displacing whatever egg might be there. The female then becomes the host for the Deep One progeny.

Maybe the Deep Ones can't have children on their own and have to use other races to carry their children, perhaps even impregnating sharks, dolphins, small whales, apes, etc.

Also, the eggs could be highly sophisticated. The Deep One's DNA can "read" host DNA and mimic it's characteristics to insure survival in the birth environment and that the offspring would resemble the mother and she would care for it like one her own (eliminating the Deep One's need to raise the offspring). This would allow the Deep One to be born human (or whatever), but the DNA is only a really good copy of human DNA. Later on, when it's time to go home (determined by a variety of triggers or even a type of racial summons), the Deep One DNA kicks into high gear and changes the being (morphing/mutating/transforming/whatever) into it's true Deep One form. Since the Deep Ones are a mythos race and beyond regular laws of genetics this would offer a more plausible explanation (well at least it sounds good to me and my players) for the breeding stock rationalisations. Plus it gives the Deep Ones a unique perspective on the lifestyles, habits and capabilities of other races they deal with regularly (a sort of Deep Cover Spy so to speak). It also lends a greater level of horrific alien-ness to this already creepy mythos race. One more reason to fear'em, hate'em and respect'em

This is the explanation I've taken for my campaigns and it works great. The characters always freak out when they find a hidden ocean-side breeding den of kidnapped host women - all crippled and mute so that they can't escape and swollen with Deep One offspring. Kept alive in hideous isolation babbling and disfigured for the Deep One's terrible purposes. Shudders and groans all around the table every time. What to do? Put them out of their misery or try to help however they can. Not to mention the player reactions in adventures when the occasional beached whale or dolphin gives birth to something "not meant for this earth". I've based whole adventures around Greenpeace-type help expeditions gone awry.

I'd love to go into more details, but I've limited time and I'm sure you all get the idea. Let me know what you think (especially you brilliant geneticists out there). I'd welcome any input that help my theories gain validity (or at least sound more scientific).

May you never see what finally eats you,


Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 22:23:09 -0400
From: "Kaminari"

Are there any articles reasonably suited to a reasonably well-read generalist that would lay out the current state of the research?

The series NOVA had an episode called "The Brain Eater" (even the title sounds Lovecraftian). Seems to sum up all the current research regarding prions. The site : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/madcow/ .

P.S. I think the Prions with DNA/RNA on Millennium are preposterous. Then again, they STILL don't know what this bleeding plague is & it might be something else entirely. Seems to always follow in the wake of dead birds however…

1999-04 (Shoggoth puppets, biotechnology, Dogon)

This was part of an interconnected discussion; see shoggoth and serpent people.

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 07:11:26 EDT
From: Mark McFadden

Deep Ones are starting to bug me. Seriously.

These beings were the first officially noticed Mythos activity and are responsible for the founding of Delta Green, and we don't know diddly about them.

Lessee, they come from the ocean, I guess. They have cities, I suppose, because we dropped explosives on where we thought one was. Which implies a technology of sorts.

So they allegedly have a city off the New England coast, off the British Isles and among the Philippines. There aren't many fish with that sort of range. I infer that this was all built with a technology without the benefit of fire.

And their life cycle? Let's see; they can apparently interbreed with human beings. Say what? Or maybe they don't anymore but some did awhile back. And babies are born looking human, but they eventually get that Innsmouth look until their relatives have to keep them upstairs until they can breathe water. Or not.

They apparently to want to breed with us, since that seems to be the object of every interaction we've had with them.

Some people bred with them of their own free will, so those slimy buggers must have something to offer. Probably power.

But, what kind of power? Earthly power? Innsmouth didn't appear very prosperous, and it's influence ended at the city line.

Why would any community, or anyone for that matter, want to get inextricably, intimately linked with these creatures? What's the payoff?

What's the appeal? What's the point?

The few details of their culture that we apparently got from DO/humans that wrote down what they heard from Deeper Ones are a smörgåsbord of anomalies and anachronisms. Father Dagon? Mother Hydra? Puhleeeze.

Is that like the Merovingian Dagon, the one that shows up in the Tarot? Or the Robert E. Howard Dagon, that shows up behind Conan? And is that the Greek Hydra or the damned-if-I-know Hydra? Or was the Greek Hydra a faulty description of the magnificence of Mother Hydra, and if so what the hell does a multi-headed serpent have to do with Deep Ones? Don't tell me, another city…off of Troy I suppose.

I'm not buying it. I try to make it all fit, but things fall apart. The center will not hold.

Their whole existence outside of interacting with human beings is suspect.

The details offered are incongruous and inconsistent. They ring false. They seem….contrived. Artificial.

You know, like some big-eyed buggers we've heard of.

So who's pulling the hypothetical strings? And why?

Well, I doubt they puppetmasters are fun guys. Or, to be more precise, I don't think they should be fun guys because I want to see some more key players in the Game.

The reptilian theme makes Serpent Men candidates, at least at first blush. But everything I've ever seen about Serpent Men paints them to be powerful, sorcerous sociopaths without organization or alliances. Creating a race of amphibians to interbreed with humans for reasons too subtle to fathom just doesn't seem like something one of them would do.

Okay, so let me ask a leading question. Which Mythos creatures are intimately familiar with the idea of creating a servant race? And further, which Mythos creatures are also intimately familiar with the dangers inherent in giving your creations too much intelligence and free will?

But, you are thinking, they've got a rep for sociopathy, too. Yep. The ones we've seen so far sure seem to be loners without social skills. But what if that's not the whole story?

The stock example for presenting the wondrous mystery of everyday life is to ask if anyone has ever seen a baby pigeon. Wow, they scratch their heads in wonder; I mean, they've got to exist because where else do pigeons come from? Well, I've got some news for ya sport. Every pigeon you've ever seen is a baby pigeon. What you've never seen is an ADULT pigeon. They've got 24 foot wingspans and are covered in soft camouflage down like some stealth owl. They've got nocturnal vision and they swoop down at night to snatch stray animals and smaller runaways.

Okay, maybe not. But it's my metaphor and I'm sticking to it.

I figure some shoggoths avoided some of the wars over the surface by moving to the bottom of the ocean. Why not? They don't have a skeletal structure unless they choose to, and they can sprout whatever organ or metabolism they might need.

Maybe the cryogenic cold and hyperpressure gave them metabolic abilities unattainable at sea level. Maybe they just kept growing, like most creatures without imposed limits.

Can you see them? Glowing phosphorescently in the utter dark of the deeps, spread out to cover hundreds of acres of ocean bottom, passively absorbing the rich nutrients raining from the surface, and playing unfathomable games with the surface through their homunculus race.

I imagine the Deep One/Shoggoth life cycle runs something like this: Drone Deep Ones rise out of the ocean like Humanoids From The Deep because they want our women! And they boink some and babies destined to stare unblinkingly are born. Maybe that's how it started, maybe the girls described their ravishers as Triton or Zeus getting cute. Maybe they didn't talk about it at all. Maybe the overwhelming majority of babies born of these unions were left out in the elements or on a temple doorstep. Maybe the midwives took matters in their own hands.

And maybe some survived.

Maybe the original Deep One was a virus. A sort of biological nanotechnology that sculpts human DNA. Hell, you could catch it from eating sushi or oysters.

So the next question is: why? How about….human beings turn Deep, they metamorphose and go to sea. They keep going down until they get to their shoggoth, then they hop in to get their RNA read. Or they float blissfully in telepathic communion, being debriefed before taking permanent residence in one of the cities near the surface. And that's how shoggoths keep tabs on surface activity. Biological reconnaissance, instinctual as salmon mating.

And Deep Ones, addled by the turns their lives have taken, grasp at anything they can think of to explain it all.

And as for the written records of their faith and cosmology, well, they were written by people who were in the process of turning into fish. Rational thinking in those circumstances would be more anomalous than stark staring psychosis.

There are hints and allegations that we are related to them. Maybe the original Deep Ones were buds from a shoggoth that could scout the surface. Most came back with reports, but some went whacky under the UV, or from the "fallout" of some conflict or other and stayed on the surface and had mutants that played Darwin games and the ones best adapted to surface conditions kept jamming on that theme until Moonwatcher realized that that bone could kill a tapir dead, and he could eat like a leopard. And I don't see why we have to share a waterhole when we've got weapons and they don't.

Oh, there's more. I'm not done.

But right now I'm tired. talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: what about Cthulhu and this scenario? Ally, enemy or indifferent? How tainted by the GOOs are shoggoths? Do we have more in common with them than with the entities with designs for the Endtimes? Could they become allies? Should they?


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 15:28:09 +0200
From: Davide Mana <ti.loi|eed.rotcod#ti.loi|eed.rotcod>

Deep Ones are starting to bug me. Seriously.

You tell me. Ever since our last discussion about the guys and their hybridation mechanisms, each time I feel like a tuna sandwich I go to the bathroom mirror and check for gills first!
Innsmouth look my foot!

These beings were the first officially noticed Mythos activity and are responsible for the founding of Delta Green, and we don't know diddly about them.

Not exactly.

Please refer to the Ice Cave for details about our first discussion on our gilled counterparts.

Lessee, they come from the ocean, I guess. They have cities, I suppose, because we dropped explosives on where we thought one was. Which implies a technology of sorts.

The matter of technology was once touched upon, briefly, by the sorely missed MiB.

Our black clad friend pointed out that the DO society seemed to be magic-oriented.

We were discussing missing nuclear submarines at the time, and the MiB used this argument to defuse the idea (fully supported by yours thruly) that the DOs are stashing away nuclear fuel to surprise us with a big bang.

All in all, from the few artifacts that we know, I'd place the DOs somewhere in the bronze-age (they use strange alloys and stuff), and on a divergent line as far as technological development is concerned (meaning, they are going in the same direction we are, but following a different track).

The point might benefit from further discussion.

So they allegedly have a city off the New England coast, off the British

Fishy, if I may say so.

And you forgot hints about DOs in the Mediterranean (see Fatal Experiments), incidentally.

The way I see it, the Deep Ones might as well be a Tethysean species (genre?), suffering from a passive range dislocation.

[What's this guy talking about? I explain….]

<geologist>

The Tethys ocean was an east-west oriented basin (or complex of basins) entering the Pangea supercontinent and separating Laurasia from Gondwanaland (picture Pangea as a fat horseshoe shaped landmass, with the opening on the right side).

Tethys covered an area rioughly corresponding to today's Southern Europe, Mediterranean, North Africa, Iranian and Himalayan region, further extending towards Burma and south-eastern asia, there connecting with the proto-Pacific.

The Tethys ocean was broken up by the events leading to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean and the Alpine orogeny.

I won't go into details here.

Anyway, as a result, you today still find some bradithelic species (and the descendants of some straight species, too) living in such different (and apparently unrelated) places like the Carribean, the Gulf de Leon, Mediterranean, and Indian Ocean. Some have colonized both coasts of the Atlantic, and natural scientists argued interminably for a century and a half to explain how the darned critters had managed to cross the ocean, and in which direction did they travel.

Agassiz, IIRC, was one of the ones more bugged by the fact (and by many others, but that's another story).

A lot of weird migration paths were designed to explain the routes followed by unlikely critters like sessile mollusca in their diffusion, till the day (in the late '50s), when the breakup of the continents - and of the Tethys basin - was finally recognized, providing an alternative explanation. Whole basins had moved, the inhabitants moving with them, and later spreading to the newly-formed areas around.

In other words, the apparent "range" of the species is the result of the passive transport of broken pieces of the actual range the species occupied at the start.

</geologist>

Now consider that available data seem to indicate that DOs are extremely long lived (when Delta Green is not around - yeah!). Put together the long lived species and the generally stable submarine environment, and what you get is probably a culture that can take even a geological process like the birth of the Atlantic in its stride, adapting progressively and suffering no cultural shock worth mentioning.

[JFTFOI: think about the-areas-formerly-known-as-Tethys, in connection with fish-men, Dagon, etc. A hint: the Iranian area was once Mesopotamia. Interesting, isn't it?]

Research Project Waiting Funds: research and mapping in Alpine orogenic belts (the Alps, Carpatians, Turkestan, the Himalayas) for traces of abandoned Deep One cities. Considering the tectonic regime, the Himalayas are more likely to preserve recognizable, if highly metamorphosed, remains. The circum-Mediterranean area had a much more violent history,

Maybe not fire but electricity.

You can develop working charges by cathaforesys (sp?) - using pressure, that is.

Is there a phisicist in the house?

And they can get metals from black smokers on the ocean floor - gold, manganese, zinc, iron.

They have the basics to build a pretty alien but technologically advanced society (this was my first point of disagreement with the MiB back then). Add magical manipulation to the mix, too, and you get some pretty dangerous results.

And here I stop, snipping the rest, but not out of disrespect.

The Shoggoth-DO connection is not so far fetched.

After all, had the Elder Things cleaned properly the shoggoth pits, we would not be here discussing the deep ones.

A common shoggoth origin might help explaining the evident biological compatibility.

The fact that somebody manipulated willingly the shoggoth genetic (?) makeup to produce DOs can be developed further.

Now the big question is: are we really accidental?

Enough.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 10:33:28 -0400
From: Steven Kaye

I figure some shoggoths avoided some of the wars over the surface by moving to the bottom of the ocean. Why not? They don't have a skeletal structure unless they choose to, and they can sprout whatever organ or metabolism they might need.

There's certainly precedent in "At the Mountains of Madness," along with Lumley's "The Burrowers Beneath" and at least one Chaosium module, for sea-shoggoths.

So the next question is: why? How about….human beings turn Deep, they metamorphose and go to sea. They keep going down until they get to their shoggoth, then they hop in to get their RNA read. Or they float blissfully in telepathic communion, being debriefed before taking permanent residence in one of the cities near the surface. And that's how shoggoths keep tabs on surface activity. Biological reconnaissance, instinctual as salmon mating.

I'd just like to say that this is an incredibly cool idea - Deep Ones as recon drones. See also "Where Yidhra Walks" by Walter C. DeBill (DISCIPLES OF CTHULHU) for possible advantages of absorbing other life forms - why evolve when you can let other creatures do all the hard work? For another take on the origin of human life, I recommend Gerald Kersh's "Men Without Bones."

There are hints and allegations that we are related to them. Maybe the original Deep Ones were buds from a shoggoth that could scout the surface. Most came back with reports, but some went whacky under the UV, or from the "fallout" of some conflict or other and stayed on the surface and had mutants that played Darwin games and the ones best adapted to surface conditions kept jamming on that theme until Moonwatcher realized that that bone could kill a tapir dead, and he could eat like a leopard. And I don't see why we have to share a waterhole when we've got weapons and they don't.

An earlier draft of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" had humans devolving into Deep Ones as a sort of atavism, similar to ghouls. I definitely like the common ancestry idea - what if the importance, such as it is, of humanity to the Mythos is our genetic malleability. "Say, doesn't that Byakhee look an awful lot like Uncle Bill?" The existence of proto-shoggoths plays into your scenario nicely as well.

But right now I'm tired. talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: what about Cthulhu and this scenario? Ally, enemy or indifferent?

I tend to think that the shoggoth rebellion wasn't accidental at all - we know the spawn of Cthulhu and the Great Race had fought wars in the past, as well as the Mi-Go and the Great Race. Prior to your post, my theory was that men had come down from the stars with Cthulhu, and that his telepathic influence had caused some of them to become Deep Ones when R'lyeh sank. Either that or his will caused nearby fish to evolve into Deep Ones.

How tainted by the GOOs are shoggoths? Do we have more in common with them than with the entities with designs for the Endtimes? Could they become allies? Should they?

Never trusted ones, IMHO. Can you imagine a race more suited to being taught new ways to revel and kill and shout? I see shoggoths as at worst the ultimate hedonists, always seeking new pleasures and new forms. At best, the vast majority are only concerned with survival and continued growth.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:25:10 +0100 (BST)
From: Stephen Joseph Ellis

I like this new Deep One idea, but as I read LizardRoi's post i was struck by two televisual images with regard to the giant shoggoths on the sea-floor.

Firstly, remember the frequent scene from the Prisoner with the underwater Rover growing instantly from its pit on the sea floor and bouncing up through the water to explode onto the surface and scrag some escaping Villager. Yes I know its white and ridiculous, but it does have some shoggoth like properties. Could the Village be a Shoggoth Titans secret little way of capturing and interrogating those pesky land dwellers most secret and important agents?

Secondly, has anyone seen 'Phantasms' with the shoggoth like 'Ancient Enemy' who can detach parts of itself and form them into exact likenesses of its victims, often with a great deal of their knowledge and cunning? I quite like using the idea of the film as scenario for another Elder Shoggoths psychological experiment.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 13:04:19 -0400
From: Graeme Price

Mark "Comes from the Shallow end of the gene pool" McFadden wrote:

Deep Ones are starting to bug me. Seriously.
These beings were the first officially noticed Mythos activity and are responsible for the founding of Delta Green, and we don't know diddly about them.

One must bear in mind that many of DG's files on the subject suffered a fiery grave when Daniel Fries went bonkers. Also the specimens that still exist in YY-II are off limits due to MJ-12's presence next door.

And their life cycle? Let's see; they can apparently interbreed with human beings. Say what? Or maybe they don't anymore but some did awhile back. And babies are born looking human, but they eventually get that Innsmouth look until their relatives have to keep them upstairs until they can breathe water. Or not.
They apparently to want to breed with us, since that seems to be the object of every interaction we've had with them.

My sources indicate that DG's intelligence on certain of the biological aspects of Deep Ones will be covered in COUNTDOWN. Can't say any more as Alphonse would be forced to send Reg… er, Andrea out to shut me up. You could check out the previous discussions in the ICE CAVE, as Davide suggested (note to self: that was probably almost exactly a year ago… it's cyclical history again!).

Some people bred with them of their own free will, so those slimy buggers must have something to offer. Probably power.
But, what kind of power? Earthly power? Innsmouth didn't appear very prosperous, and it's influence ended at the city line.
Why would any community, or anyone for that matter, want to get inextricably, intimately linked with these creatures? What's the payoff? What's the appeal? What's the point?

Unless they don't know what they are letting themselves in for. Remember also the jewelry provided by the DO's… and the less tangible benefits of trading with them ("Ribbit. You have a competitor? Ribbit. Perhaps you would like his ship to meet with a little "accident"? Ribbit. That's a pretty daughter you have. Rrrrribbitt").

The few details of their culture that we apparently got from DO/humans that wrote down what they heard from Deeper Ones are a smörgåsbord's of anomalies and anachronisms. Father Dagon? Mother Hydra? Puhleeeze.

Or a humanized face for the cult. If the DO's gods are too alien to be pronounced, why not dig up a babylonian name for them and create your own mythology. The gods may not care what you call them, so long as the necessary observances are made.

Their whole existence outside of interacting with human beings is suspect. The details offered are incongruous and inconsistent. They ring false. They seem….contrived. Artificial.

See above. If it's alien, put a human face on it.

Anyway, enough from me for the time being. I ought to get some work done and the catch up on the England-Wales scores.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 10:25:38 -0700
From: Richard Pace

Hmm, the fictional Deep One background I have always used was from Karl Edward Wagner's BLOODSTONE.

In the book he describes a race, The Rylliti, who were actually devolved from a smarter amphibian race that arrived on the earth aeons ago.

The real cool revelation was that the Rylliti were actually a servitor race to an intelligent entity called the Bloodstone. The entity and the Rylliti lost a war amongst the Old Ones millennia ago and haven't recovered from it. The entity needs a specific architecture completed in it's city to remain "charged" and able to communicate with its star spanning brethren — if the architecture is damaged and the servant race is unable to repair it in time the entity goes dormant and is unable to control its slaves.

The whole magic aspect of the Rylliti is genetic memory of how the entity controlled them and the plastic DNA thing was designed by the entity to make it easily to eliminate other lesser races and cheaply reproduce more Deep Ones.

Since the defeat of the entity, the Deep Ones have regressed mentally and physically and perform many of their old tasks (reproducing and guarding their damaged cities) without understanding why.

While dormant the entity still sends out a short range telepathic signal, giving the DOs a sense of community and affecting any humans who live within its radius, making them exretemly compliant to deep one breeding.

One point, though, KEW's Rylliti didn't breed with humans, though they were obviously inspired by Lovecraft, as was much of his work.

I like the idea that the DOs are remnants of a long lost defeated Greater Race that you could completely surprise savvy CoC stats cognizant players.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 13:37:28 -0400
From: "Andrew D. Gable"

[JFTFOI: think about the-areas-formerly-known-as-Tethys, in connection with fish-men, Dagon, etc. A hint: the Iranian area was once Mesopotamia. Interesting, isn't it?]

Yes - very interesting. Let's see…there's Oannes (the fish-man who, according to myth, supplied lots o' aid to the Babylonians), there's Lotan (probably the basis for the Biblical Leviathan, BTW) and all manner of other nasties lurking in the ocean, and of course there's the primal beings of Babylonian myth (Tiamat and two others), who were associated with the sea. Given this connection of Tiamat to the Deep Ones (or possibly, to Dagon or Hydra), I'm sure this list could come up with some interesting analysis of the myth of Marduk's triumph over Tiamat.

belts (the Alps, Carpatians, Turkestan, the Himalayas) for traces of abandoned Deep One cities. Considering the tectonic regime, the Himalayas are more likely to preserve recognizable, if highly metamorphosed, remains.

And the Mi-go have lots of operations, and possibly their earthly base, in the Himalayas. Coincidence? I think not.

Like the destruction of Santorini. I mean Atlantis…


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 20:34:09 +0200
From: Heiko Aulbach

Why not mix some stuff from the last weeks?

<barman mode>

Lets just throw in Humans and Deep Ones as descendants of surviving Shoggoths.

Then a shot of the "God lives in the dreamlands and Humans took a part of his spirit to make the jump from Shoggoth to Human" thing. At last insert a little bit of "Deep Ones are that poor Shoggoths that took a part of Big C's spirit", and voila: You got the explanation for them I'm gonna use from now on.

<barman mode off>


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 15:27:24 -0400
From: Daniel Harms

Unless they don't know what they are letting themselves in for. Remember also the jewelry provided by the DO's… and the less tangiable benefits of trading with them ("Ribbit. You have a competitor? Ribbit. Perhaps you would like his ship to meet with a little "accident"? Ribbit. That's a pretty daughter you have. Rrrrribbitt").

Add on the large number of fish the Deep Ones seemed to bring to the region, and you've got a pretty good deal for a town with a failing economy. I'd compare the deal to Magic: the Gathering - you get some really pretty stuff for practically nothing at first. Then, you make the leap, and you're throwing away hundreds of dollars so you can have the Deck to End All Decks.

Or a humanised face for the cult. If the DO's gods are too alien to be pronounced, why not dig up a babylonian name for them and create your own mythology. The gods may not care what you call them, so long as the necessary observances are made.

Frankly, I like Robert M. Price's idea that what we have in the EOD is a syncretism blending elements of Old Testament theology, Middle Eastern myth, and genuine Deep One religion. That would account for familiar figures such as Dagon and Hydra, and my guess as an anthropologist is that Deep One religion wouldn't go over on land without being integrated into the radically-different human culture.


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:32:26 EDT
From: Mark McFadden

In other words, the apparent "range" of the species is the result of the passive transport of broken pieces of the actual range the species occupied at the start.

Oh, how conveeeeenient.

OK, be that way. Come up with a mundane explanation. See if it stops me. I bite my thumb at your facts, for I wield the endless power of ignorance. Ha! I win. You have to go through all the trouble of studying and marshaling your facts, I am content to smile smarmily and say "So? Big deal. If you're so smart, how come your not rich? Neener neener."

[JFTFOI: think about the-areas-formerly-known-as-Tethys, in connection with fish-men, Dagon, etc. A hint: the Iranian area was once Mesopotamia. Interesting, isn't it?]

That's my favorite part of these Chattaquas; the way the facts we know start pointing to verification of a theory about….fictional beings.

They have the basics to build a pretty alien but technologically advanced society (this was my first point of disagreement with the MiB back then).

I think it would be more interesting to try to design a technology that doesn't utilize our foundations; and would certainly be more fun than compiling stats for spells. The biotechnology in Harry Harrison's "West of Eden" series seems viable, even inevitable, if given my speculations on their origin.

All the surface ways of discovering or utilizing electricity are hard to reconcile with their environment. Lightning is a remote, foreign phenomenon and static electricity would have a hard time appearing in the natural state. No shuffling your feet across the carpet in a Deep One house. Immersed in salt water is no place to experiment with electricity. And then I remember electric eels. Imagine coral polyps designed to strain out specific metals from mineral-rich smoker waters and build reefs of pure metal. Or breed them to grow into cities.

There was a factoid on the Discovery Channel once that hasn't left me alone. They casually mentioned that many many many animals never stop growing. That the largest example of a species would also be the oldest. This was in connection to elephants (and rhinos?), but I immediately zeroed in on sharks and squid.

Giant squids are almost as good as baby pigeons. We know they are there, we find pieces, but we've never found a complete sample. And let us not forget that all the samples we did find are LOSERS. We know sperm whales eat them, cuz the squids leave sucker shaped scars. Big ones. If the sperm whale population is going down down down, how come we're not up to our tushes in squid? No population pressure is pushing them to the surface, apparently. What's taking up the slack for the vanishing sperm whales?

Ancient Typhoon-class sharks, that's what. Blind leviathans, cruising the depths were the pressure and cold make the surface of the Earth an alien landscape as strange as Yuggoth. Damn, that one doesn't require a Mythos connection.

I'm starting to like Deep Ones again.

ObDG: No MJ-12 treaty with shoggoths or Deep Ones.

If we start losing too many subs, or something gets radically pissed at having spent fuel rods dumped in it's trench, would they demand Deep One/shoggoth info as part of the Report? Would they be pissed because they had to ask? Would they be suspicious because it wasn't included in the first place?

Would it put a strain on the relationship?


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:32:29 EDT
From: Mark McFadden

One must bear in mind that many of DG's files on the subject suffered a fiery grave when Daniel Fries went bonkers.

Bear in mind? I'm counting on it. That's why I feel free to speculate wildly, there are so few references in the Canon to reconcile. And remember, most of the intel came from interviews with people who were in the process of turning into a fish. Johnny Cochran would have a field day with that chain of evidence.


From: "David Farnell"

Mark "da Lizard" McFadden wrote TONS of idea-sparkin goodness, including the following:

I infer that this was all built with a technology without the benefit of fire.

Right, I'll focus down on this, as there's way too much to tackle it all at once. How about the basis of their tech being biological? This could spring from their magic investigations, their relations with shoggoths (whether they're direct shoggoth-spawns or not, they MUST have contact with the Blobs), etc. Their cities are made of manipulated coral, living and dead (skeletons)—perhaps forming a communal intelligence so that their cities are sapient entities with which they commune. (And yes, I've been reading all the Peter Hamilton I can find lately.) These coral cites incorporate agriculture (aquaculture), waste management (the coral eats the DO doo-doo), defenses (poisonous tentaclets, for example), housing (including pumped-out air chambers, which might be needed sometimes), and even schooling /information tech (see below).

And could this be the basis of the "Father Dagon / Mother Hydra" stuff? Could the DOs be worshiping their own city-entities? Or not really worshiping, but communing, which is mistaken for worship by hybrids (not the most reliable of witnesses, as Mark pointed out) and shipwrecked people trying to interpret strange sculptings. Or, returning to Hamilton, it could be ancestor worship / communing—dead DOs could transfer their psyches (to avoid the loaded word "souls") to the city-minds, creating a "heaven" in each city.

This multiple-psyche intelligence would be the ultimate information storage-and-access system, which could always be contacted whenever anyone wanted to upload and download knowledge. Combine this with the shoggoth ideas…Blob / DO group mind? A gigantic Blob in the middle of every DO city? Perverted DO / Blob tentacle sex? Anyway, it could be a more beneficial relationship—rewards both ways, instead of the DO being slaves of the Blobs.

The stock example for presenting the wondrous mystery of everyday life is to ask if anyone has ever seen a baby pigeon.

Not to be a spoilsport (loved the analogy), but I did see two last spring. But have you ever seen a baby parrot? Scale one of those up and you'll have the scariest monster ever—brrr!

Maybe the original Deep One was a virus. A sort of biological nanotechnology that sculpts human DNA. Hell, you could catch it from eating sushi or oysters.

D'oh!

And Davide wrote some great geologist-stuff which opens up LOTS of possibilities with other undersea denizens, not just DOs, but the thing that got me really thinking was:

[JFTFOI: think about the-areas-formerly-known-as-Tethys, in connection with fish-men, Dagon, etc. A hint: the Iranian area was once Mesopotamia. Interesting, isn't it?]

Hmm. Dead DO cities on dry land. I don't remember ever coming across that before, but you know, it's inevitable that there'd be some. Falling apart, sure, but maybe a well-preserved one somewhere. Without the coral-brain architecture, the DO psyches would die (or go elsewhere), or maybe not. DO ancestor ghosts? And, of course, DOs as the originators of human civilization? Certainly a good answer to the question of what benefit the DOs can offer. Agriculture—which leads to a population explosion, which leads to more advances, which leads to more population, which leads to … Blob feeding frenzy at the Endtimes!

One last thought: Could Scooby-Doo's battle-cry (which was not made to be pronounced by Great Dane throats, obviously, as it came out "Rooby-roo!") have meant something "deeper"? Was it supposed to be…"Scooby-DO!"?


Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 22:31:20 -0400
From: Mark McFadden

I just recalled that the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has an entry dealing with the Mapulo, which seems to be some sort of bio-technical (I derive this from a passage indicating that the Mapulo sometimes turned on the DO — although in all fairness this could've meant the Shoggoth) device used to control Shoggoths! E.C. was the first I heard of it, but if I recall correctly, it was from a Chaosium scenario, I believe part of "Masks of Nyarlathotep."

So, we were right in two regards — the quasi-biological nature of DO technology, and their dealings with the Shoggoth.

BTW, looking through some of my Shadowrun books, I noted a passage in the California book about a Matrix program called Shoggoth. Just a little bit o' serendipity, there.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 01:32:50 -0400
From: Daniel Harms

I just recalled that the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has an entry dealing with the Mapulo, which seems to be some sort of bio-technical (I derive this from a passage indicating that the Mapulo sometimes turned on the DO — although in all fairness this could've meant the Shoggoth) device used to control Shoggoths! E.C. was the first I heard of it, but if I recall correctly, it was from a Chaosium scenario, I believe part of "Masks of Nyarlathotep."

Yep, that's what it's from. Those who aren't Keepers should really go away…

The mapulo are derived from shoggoth tissue, and are placed in the hands of the controller, or shoggoth-twshas. The mapulo bind the twsha to a particular shoggoth and allow them to command the protoplasmic beast through mental impulses. The twsha goes into a trance, and evidently remain in one for the rest of their lives, as the mapulo process the lactic acid and other poisons building up in their bodies so they never need to sleep. The controller has to make a low check once a week or lose control of the mapulo as they slowly devour the person's body. They can be cut off or burnt, but seeing as there will be a ravening shoggoth nearby, who's going to take the time?

One final note that must be considered in connection with deep ones is their apparent lack of hand-to-hand weaponry. Most of them only use tridents and spears, and the nastiest weapon we have are the strange magical spears in "Escape from Innsmouth", as best I recall. This might mean that their use of tools is less than humans, which means great consideration must be put into how they work. Food for thought.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 04:49:50 -0400
From: Steven Kaye

How about the basis of their tech being biological? This could spring from their magic investigations, their relations with shoggoths (whether they're direct shoggoth-spawns or not, they MUST have contact with the Blobs), etc.

In "Shadow Over Innsmouth," the Deep Ones have brought at least one shoggoth into Innsmouth, for purposes never explaned.

This multiple-psyche intelligence would be the ultimate information storage-and-access system, which could always be contacted whenever anyone wanted to upload and download knowledge. Combine this with the shoggoth ideas…Blob / DO group mind? A gigantic Blob in the middle of every DO city? Perverted DO / Blob tentacle sex? Anyway, it could be a more beneficial relationship—rewards both ways, instead of the DO being slaves of the Blobs.

CONSPIRACY X's NEMESIS: GREY SOURCEBOOK had technology based on coral, but they cheated and invented coral that amplified psychic abilities and whatnot.

Also, to answer Andrew's question about what Yidhra is exactly, it's not just a big shoggoth. Among other fun abilities of Yidhra, it can:

- Split its consciousness between several bodies hundreds, even thousands of miles apart

- Absorb creatures' DNA, gaining some of their abilities while making the creatures resemble it more closely (or being able to change the creatures' form, as used to horrific effect in "Where Yidhra Walks")

- Use some form of telepathy to create illusions in viewers' eyes, making it look however it wants to appear

I recommend checking out the story, along with most of the other stories in DISCIPLES OF CTHULHU.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 11:22:50 GMT0BST
From: Robert Thomas

Hey all,

Steve wrote and another light went off in my head:

Also, to answer Andrew's question about what Yidhra is exactly, it's not just a big shoggoth. Among other fun abilities of Yidhra, it can:
- Split its consciousness between several bodies hundreds, even thousands of miles apart

I remember mentioning or someone mentioning quite a while back on the list the discovery of that Fungus in the USA which is spread over thousands of acres. Now there was an Unspeakable Oath article about this as a possible biological computer for the Mi-Go. Large city based shoggoths performing the same function for the deep ones? Gives new meaning to the term Wide Area Network. The smaller independant shoggoths could be biological emotes or drones from the central processing units. Now why do they go out of control sometimes like any computer network bits stop talking for no good reason and you have to restart the server to restablish the link / control of the independant unit which has been busy being random.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 21:05:23 +0900
From: "David Farnell" <pj.en.tta.awi|fad#pj.en.tta.awi|fad>

Mark wrote:

Imagine coral polyps designed to strain out specific metals from mineral-rich smoker waters and build reefs of pure metal. Or breed them to grow into cities.

D'OH! I didn't hit "send" fast enough! If this telepathy thing keeps up, I'm gonna start seeing the fnords every time I open the newspaper!


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 19:07:54 +0200
From: Davide Mana

Right, I'll focus down on this, as there's way too much to tackle it all at once. How about the basis of their tech being biological?

Is it me, or we are all barking up the same tree?

Their cities are made of manipulated coral

Good point.

A bit ConX-like, but heck…

I just wonder why they all go on about corals when there's so many bryozoans around just waiting to be put to good use.

<palaeontologist - and yes, before you ask, I'm enjoying this>

Bryozoa or bryozoans (aka Polyzoa or Ectoprocta) are colonial organisms building coral-like structures by secreting calcareous material through their skin.

They are in the general shape of a flaccid sac, lack a vascular system, and have a mouth surrounded by a ring of tentacles. Our kind of stuff, in other words.

They are hermaphorodites and their eggs are laid to mature in "ovicells" within the colony's structure. The nice bits about bryozoans are

. they are found in a wider range of water depth, temperature, chemistry etc. than corals

. they can form colonies in which each individual has its own role - feeding, defense, water circulation and filtration and so on. A true shared-responsibility community.

And bryozoans are not just another palaeonytology anorak factoid - with 4000 Recent species and something like 16000 fossil species, there's a hell of a lot of the critters around, and they've been around ever since the late Cambrian/early Ordovician.

They are actively studied at the moment, as for a few decades the knowledge on the phylum has been "highly disorganized" (= palaeontologist used to punch each other in the face when the subject was raised about what the things are and what's their place in the history of life).

</palaeontologist>

The pluricellular critters colony with definite roles for individuals is a strong suspect for the highly rehiterated "hive-mind" idea. If an underwater colonial critter is going to evolve a collective mind, that's bryozoans.

The city Dave described could well be a huge runaway bryozoan colony, possibly with some external manipulation.

About the DOs uploading their psyches in the city's mind-banks when it's time to go, I like the idea. Effectively, the city's "intelligence" (as opposed to "conscience"), might be a measure of the number and "quality" of the knowledges that have been uploaded.

Cities might even be rated by the age and variety of their collective knowledge database.

This multiple-psyche intelligence would be the ultimate information storage-and-access system, which could always be contacted whenever anyone wanted to upload and download knowledge.

There's a down side - that's easily sidestepped, fortunately. Such a wide database of past experiences, immediately accessible to citizens, is a net surfer's dream but would leave us with the problem of explaining why the DOs are so apparently backwards when technology and advancement are concerned.

Possible explanations are
. minimum need for change due to highly stable environment
. slow growth of the database due to the well known great lifespan of the DOs

There's also another side to the matter, that might as well be addressed here. I imagine that the download-upload function is not instantaneous. It takes some time, to stuff all the experiences from one life (plus the structure of the individual personality and all the rest) inside a new container.

So what about the Deep Ones that die suddenly, due to violent circumstances?

Do Deep One warriors partecipate to a collective meditation ritual that will make the transfer faster and smoother should they buy it at the hands of our trusty Navy Seals?

Or does their consciousness simply flicker and die just as the harpoon nails the bastards?

And should the latter instance prove true (as I hope it does), what damage has our active interference (as Delta Green) caused to the knowledge/experience base of the remaining Deep One cities? Is that why they are so pissed about us?

Oh.

Brief aside about pigeons…

Not to be a spoilsport (loved the analogy), but I did see two last spring.

Me too.

Sorry, Mark, but they nested out of my bathroom window, much to the chagrin of my cat.

And finally, about the possibility of finding some Tethysean deep-one relic on dry land…

Hmm. Dead DO cities on dry land. I don't remember ever coming across that before, but you know, it's inevitable that there'd be some. Falling apart, sure, but maybe a well-preserved one somewhere.

As I said, the Himalayas are a good starting point to search for traces. Or even better the Tibetan plateau. South-eastern Asia (the Indocine peninsula and such) might also be worth the check. Which does not mean that the supposed "city", should we find it, has not been subjected to a few thousand bars of pressure for about a few hundred thousand years at least, and translated a few hundred kilometers in the meantime.

Finding pinup posters still tumb-thacked on the walls and the table set for breakfast might be a little unlikely. But you never know.

I like the idea of the afterimage of the city's consciousness haunting the area in the centuries to follow, causing all manners of legends andd things, and maybe even implanting somebasic ideas in the primates around there.

And as I am at it, Daniel Harms wrote

One final note that must be considered in connection with deep ones is their apparent lack of hand-to-hand weaponry.

No close-range combat capabilities?

But they do have some nasty-looking talons, after all.

Why use precious resources to create knives or swords, when you have a free supply of sharp nails?

And those talons are designed to be used without impairing the swimming activity - while grabbing a hilt would cause some loss in speed and direction, possibly.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:27:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Daniel M Harms

No close-range combat capabilities?

Argh. Sorry - late night post. I meant "long-range weapons". After all, even we humans who don't dwell in the water have our spear- guns. Admittedly, range would be limited underwater, but if you're facing a shark or a SCUBA-diving Marine, that could come in handy. Yet we see no signs of them…


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:27:20 -0500
From: "Ricardo J. Mendez"

Some rants on the topic from a computer programmer (as the message will surely show).

The pluricellular critters colony with definite roles for individuals is a strong suspect for the highly rehiterated "hive-mind" idea.

[talons ripped through this section]

About the DOs uploading their psyches in the city's mind-banks when it's time to go, I like the idea. Effectively, the city's "intelligence" (as opposed to "conscience"), might be a measure of the number and "quality" of the knowledges that have been uploaded. Cities might even be rated by the age and variety of their collective knowledge database.

The city could have two ways to accomodate new knowledge, which would have a serious bearing on its later development:

.- City expansion and discrete information. The simpler and most traditional way where a new polyp stores a limited ammount of discrete information. When more space for information is needed, you just generate some new containers. Given what Davide has pointed out about corals being independent, they could be easily used for this setup. It has the serious disadvantage that a hive mind won't emerge easily from it, since it only stores information on individual entities. Also, if you lose a coral section from the bank then you lose whatever information was stored on it. However it would be easily to move, since the DOs would just need to dismantle whatever sections of the knowledge-coral-base they need and move it to a new locataion.

.- Storing information through relationships. If the above approach is like having separate coral files for storing knowledge, this approach instead suggests using something akin to neural networks where the information of just one neuron ISN'T relevant. Instead, the relevant information appears when you relate the information on the neuron with the information on those neurons that relate to it, and traveling through them with different inputs can get you a radically different output. Davide's description of Bryozoa screams underwater neuron, with each independent Bryozoa adapting to any new knowledge that the city needs to acommodate to. This approach can store more information in less bryozoa than the coral approach and is quite more resilient to damages, since if a small percentage of bryozoa is lost close to no knowledge overall is lost (due to the information not being discretely stored). And we don't have to worry about the fact if a hive mind will emerge or not, since the bryozoa/neural nets ARE already a hive mind. However, the bryozoa city won't grow as easily as a coral-based one, due to the fact that new bryozoa need to accomodate themselves to the knowledge stores in the old ones.

Nevertheless we could have a small combination of both, were immutable information (like the properties of a 1990s harpoon and the pressure resistance of an average human being) is stored in coral banks and hives of bryozoa are used to relate this information in meaningful ways to the rest of the hive. To help avoid the expansion problems mentioned in having large bryozoa communities accomodating new brozoa the city could organize itself in banks of bryozoa information divided by the coral banks that they will need to analize.

In this way, the layout of a Deep One City emerges from its functional knowledge needs.

There's a down side - that's easily sidestepped, fortunately. Such a wide database of past experiences, immediately accessible to citizens, is a net surfer's dream but would leave us with the problem of explaining why the DOs are so apparently backwards when technology and advancement are concerned.

As on the internet, there is the dangerous possibility of the database becoming too cluttered, so that each new knowledge uploaded not only doesn't add anything new but also serves to confuse the city. Also, DOs learning their knowledge from the city would have to accomodate their limited brain storage space to a small selection the whole lot of information stored on the city, AND they never know what may be relevant.

[claws rip agin]

I like the idea of the afterimage of the city's consciousness haunting the area in the centuries to follow, causing all manners of legends andd things, and maybe even implanting somebasic ideas in the primates around there.

As a matter of fact, both risen and sunken Deep One cities could serve as the broadcast stations that allow Great Cthulhu's dreams to reach all over the world. If Cthulhu's and the Deep One's make up is anything similar, they it is likely that DO Cities have the side effect of being attuned to the big C too.

Enough for now. I must somehow believe that I have more spare time for messages than I really do. Cheers,


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 19:23:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: POOH

This is all very interesting, as I have postulated that Dimensional Shamblers are actually cells of living cities, torn apart by Mi-Go… I should develop this some more, but keep in mind that not everything has to make our sort of scientific sense.

Remember the aspects of Lovecraft… angles that eat people, the permutations of geometry on the mind.

A city could live without being biological…


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 14:14:09 +0200
From: Davide Mana

Ricardo looked at the mess that natural systems are and applied his knowledge to the problem, postulating

[great stuff snipped for brevity]

They already have to face that problem, in real life, as each new individual has to choose the role it will take in the community. Note that different role means different position in the colony building and different morphology of the critter.

Quite a feat for the little buggers, but this means that the ability to adapt to the hive is already written in their genes.

And later he wrote…

I like the idea of the afterimage of the city's consciousness haunting the area in the centuries to follow, causing all manners of legends andd things, and maybe even implanting somebasic ideas in the primates around there.

Maybe through dreams?

If they do possess a consciousness and a form of intelligence, do the Deep One cities also have the capability to dream? And do they have a counterpart in the Dreamlands?

Could single individuals in the Dreamlands be the dream-expression of whole Deep One communities?

I love this discussion.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 19:00:33 +0100
From: "Mary Henry"

Peter Devlin wrote:

In this case a single Deep One (or other) ancestor could leave a serious genetic timebomb in all offspring, and there may be hundreds of thousands of humans with tainted DNA. All it may take to start transformation would be exposure to the magical emanations and radiations of Mythos artefacts, the aura of Mythos beings etc. Any of this sound familiar? Basically the Mythos races such as Deep Ones could then use humanity as genetic breeding stock and have us ethnically and genetically cleansed at the same time!

I have used this idea as the basis for a campaign. I assumed that some sporadic hybridisation with other races had been going on for as long as there was humanity. Statistics would then dictate that while some people would become Deep Ones or whatever, if they lived long enough, most would only have a taint. Depending on how the person inherited the taint it may or may not be expressed. The initial scenario lead to the PC's being exposed to a virus, which had been engineered to activate any dormant Mythos genes that the victim had. So the PCs had the fun of trying to find a cure while trying not to spread the virus or to evolve/devolve too much. Currently they're trying to find out who and why….

As for Deep Ones and technology, perhaps the best use that I have come across was in a scenario set on a North Sea Oil Rig. The Keeper kindly equipped the Deep Ones with salvaged armour plate from sunken ships. This stopped the PCs dealing with the Heavy Metal Deep Ones with their usual firearms overkill. After that it got up close and personal and very, very messy…


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:18:57 GMT
From: "Mary Henry"

Being new to this debate I'll apologise upfront if someone has alread yasked this question but does anyone know how Deep a Deep One will dive to?

From reading all the stuff about Deep Ones I would think that the word Deep is a definate misnomer. If anything they seem to be a shallow race, diving to a maximum of less than 200 metres or so. I back this claim up with evidence from sonar depth soundings of the areas mentioned in all the Deep One stories I've read.

I suppose there is good reason for not going any deeper since they'd probably have to take some heat from the still active Great Race cities on the sea bottom.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 17:45:01 GMT0BST
From: Robert Thomas

Philip posed the following question:

Being new to this debate I'll apologise upfront if someone has already asked this question but does anyone know how Deep a Deep One will dive to?

Summary Bibliography: Gerald Kersh

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  • Author: Gerald Kersh Author Record # 1060
  • Legal Name: Kersh, Gerald
  • Birthplace: Teddington, Middlesex, England, UK
  • Birthdate: 26 August 1911
  • Deathdate: 5 November 1968
  • Language: English
  • Webpages:harlanellison.com, IMDB, SFE3, Wikipedia-EN
  • Used These Alternate Names:P. J. Gahagan, G. J. Herbert, Waldo Kellar, Джеральд Керш?, Džerald Kerš
  • Author Tags:fantasy (1), first person (1), contemporary (1), Amazon River (1), Indians (1), con man (1), horror (1)
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