The crawling chaos, Nyalathothep, has formed a cult on the mortal plane devoted to his cause which worships him as a god. This cult has been operating in secret for thousands of years, sowing destruction and chaos throughout humanity's history. He has sowed his taint into their genetics, providing a fruitful ground for many physical mutations among them. Considered gifts from their god, they have bred amongst themselves for generations, occasionally taking outsiders into their ranks to avoid inbreeding and becoming more corrupted and filled with his power. Now the time is ripe for Nyalathothep to enter the mortal realm, but for this, he needs a suitable host body, a perfect avatar, to contain his essence and allow him to walk the earth. This dark messiah would come to humanity as a living God and lead it to its next stage of evolution.

To be possessed by a god and being made one with him is considered the greatest of honors, one that all followers dream of being chosen as a host body. However, the cult believes that this avatar of Nyalathothep will be a human being lacking his genetic taint and unconnected with the cult. A being with a virgin template whose soul is uncorrupted and able to contain his essence.

"Chosen ones" are usually people who are connected with a religion or its culture in some way (Jesus, Mohammed, etc). For what reason would a religion develop the idea that someone outside themselves who have no real connection or awareness of them will be selected by their god?


closed as off-topic by JBH, Chickens are not cows, Ash, Renan, Frostfyre May 22 at 18:05

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I have the distinct feeling that the only real answer is "because Azathoth decided". $\endgroup$ – Ash May 22 at 15:40
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @JBH I'd go one beyond here - it doesn't require explanation. The entire point of the Lovecraftian horror is that humans don't know the truth about the universe and are not even capable of understanding it. Not without suffering a rather bad fate. Whatever handwavy explanation is supplied for "Why Cthulhu doesn't need a bathing suit?" or pretty much any explanation for any of the cosmic horrors, that would run counter to the premise of the genre. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 22 at 16:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ, that's actually a pretty good point. Mystery has substantial value in story telling. Not providing detail leaves the reader wondering and open to the depths of their own imagination. In other words, asking a question like this is only valuable if the answer is necessary for consistency in the story/world. For its own sake, it's not even desirable. Good insight! $\endgroup$ – JBH May 22 at 16:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Hoyle'sghost I honestly don't find this too interesting a question. It's an interesting premise, I suppose, but just it's self-contained and enough - removing the question is enough to build a story around this without needing an explanation. On a side note, from what I know about Nyarlathotep, this might just be him (it?) trolling people. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 22 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Almost certainly trolling from the Black Pharaoh. $\endgroup$ – Ash May 22 at 17:06

For a magic-based answer...

If you want it to be magic-based, assert that magic of, or exposure to, an elder god corrupts the human body. This weakens the body to further influence of those dark magics, and the entire cult has been thus weakened. They may have gained strength within this world, but they simply cannot survive hosting a god.

To have a chance to survive the initial process (at which point the elder god could presumably sustain the body itself), the body must have never been affected by the god's magic or genetics - anyone who has been thus affected is already too damaged to even survive the ritual. This might not guarantee that the process would work, so use of a healthy individual is recommended.

In other words, the cult's magic and genetics taint the human body and possibly the soul. The ritual to host a god taints the soul in a similar way, but to the very limit of what a healthy, previously untainted human might survive. Anyone already so tainted will not survive.

For an answer more based on pseudo-science

The human body and soul see the affects of this magic and genetic material almost like a pathogen and try to fight it. In anyone who has already been affected, the body and soul develop a sort of immunity or resistance to those affects, or they quickly die.

The ritual to bind a god to a human body is just stable enough to succeed if the host has no way to resist the effects. This makes a host that has the equivalent of a spiritual antibody useless, because the ritual will just fail. Thus, the host must be unexposed to the elder god's magics and genetics, or their body and soul will have had the chance to develop some form of resistance already.


Because Nyalathothep DNA causes also malformations to the human body

Nyalathothep DNA provides its cultist with useful mutations, but at the price of a worse general health. Or maybe a very specific malformation, which doesn't even manifest itself in standard situations (think of slightly less efficient kidneys, or liver).
But since a body trying to contain the spirit of Nyalathothep is submitted to extreme levels of stress, it must be in perfect health.

So the cultists, being all genetically altered in a way that their body is unable to withstand such extreme levels of stress, cannot be possessed by Nyalathothep, and will need to find a suitable human being outside of their cult.


The cultists are flimsy folks.

Trying to contain a god breaks them down, yes. Also, going on a medium-length bike ride breaks them down. Hanging out the laundry breaks them down. Taking out the trash breaks them down. These folks stay broke down most of the time and if you ask them to do something they will say no, because they are still broke down from the last thing they tried to do even though it has been some time. They are worthless and weak, these cultists; in equal parts the inbreeding and bad attitude / dietary habits.

Pretty much all they can do is cackle maliciously, compare their mutant bumps with one another and beg, and they are not very good beggars because of the malicious cackling.

You want to contain a god, you want a steely-eyed vegetarian go-getter. Yoga at dawn on the beach, greens and whole grains for breakfast then hair back and onto her bike to get to the jobsite early. Old Nyarly is in for more than he bargained for.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.