Sunday, September 18, 2011

Apep, the Tricksters, and the Great Old Ones

Apep is the big villain in my story. He is based on the Egyptian god of the same name, and is also known as Apophis by the Greeks. Apep's claim to fame was that he was always trying to kill Ra, the Egyptian god that represents the sun. In Lightbringer, Apep is a very old Watcher, which is a race of god-like alien beings. Let me explain how old. The Watchers were present at the time the dinosaurs went extinct. My explanation of the extinction event is a little different than the commonly accepted asteroid hitting the earth story. This is where I pull the mythology of H.P. Lovecraft into my world.

The dinosaurs were wiped out by the Great Old Ones, a horrifyingly destructive extraterrestrial race, led by their Great Priest, Cthulhu. At the time, the Divine Council, the governing body of the Watchers, are monitoring the earth, as well as many other living planets. For those of you out there who are Lovecraft-inclined, the Watchers would be the Elder gods. Unfortunately for the dinosaurs, the Watchers had a strict policy of non-interference. At a meeting of the Divine Council, Apep, then young and idealistic, spoke out against this policy as the Great Old Ones decimated life on planet earth. Apep wanted the Divine Council to stop the Great Old Ones and save the dinosaurs. In a heated meeting of the Divine Council, with many dissenting opinions, the non-interference policy is enforced.

Many of the Watchers look on in horror as the vicious race of Great Old Ones perform planetary extermination. A group of Watchers, calling themselves the Tricksters and led by Apep, decide to act against the will of the Divine Council. The Tricksters build an enormous and terrible city in the middle of the ocean. This is a city of terror and insanity, the perfect tribute to the Great Old Ones. This is the city of R'lyeh. Cthulhu, the mightiest of the Great Old Ones, discovers what the Tricksters have created and assumes it was built to honor him. At the center of this city is a labyrinth of madness. Cthulhu believes a great treasure must lie at the heart of the labyrinth, for the Watchers to have gone to such great length to hide it.

The Tricksters have indeed hidden a great treasure at the heart of the labyrinth. They have taken a massive crystal of tremendous power from the Orion Nebula and placed it at center of the maze. Cthulhu solves the maze and finds the crystal. When he touches the crystal, it releases a burst of energy strong enough to kill the leader of the Great Old Ones. The Tricksters understand that death is not permanent for the Great Old Ones and that they must act quickly. The tricksters spring into action and "Quickly they set to binding the nasty old beast to the Nebula Crystal with chains of cosmic ether." That's how I put it in the book anyway. Then they sink the city down to the bottom of the ocean, trapping Cthulhu forever, or at least until "the stars are right" for him to awaken again.

With Cthulhu out of the way, the Tricksters hunt down the rest of the Great Old Ones, trapping and killing them. Remember of course, that death is not permanent for the race of the Great Old Ones. Apep assumes a reptilian appearance in honor of the fallen dinosaurs.

Those were the good old days.

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