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Nyarlathotep Is an ancient deity that has gone by many names; The black pharoah, the crawling chaos, etc. He seeks to bring himself into this world, but cannot due to an ancient barrier that prevents gods from crossing over. For his plan to work, Narly must be born as a child, who would serve as his avatar. This avatar would serve as a Dark Messiah, one who would bring ruin and chaos to the world. The person selected must be a virgin who is also infertile, unable to have children naturally.

In ancient religious texts, virginity was highly prized as a symbol of purity. Mary was free of original sin, and the only candidate for the mother of Jesus. This is also a running theme in other works of folklore, with purity being linked to individuals worthy of note. Virginity meant being untainted or spoilt by the ways of man, which provides the resultant being with a certain specialness within a culture.

However, Narly is a being of chaos and instability, associated with physical and mental corruption. Looking upon it's true form would bring about insanity and mutation. A being such as this would have little relation to concepts such as "purity" for its very essence causes chaos and disunity. It shouldn't matter if the individual was a saintly mother Teresa or Kim Kardashian like figure.

How can I link this thrope to an Eldritch being in a way that makes "purity" a requirement for him to cross over?

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    $\begingroup$ Just want to point out that the virgin birth of Mary was because Isaiah labelled it as an impossible/miraculous sign "a virgin giving birth" identifying the child as special, not because of any kind-of notion of purity superpowers. $\endgroup$ Dec 29 '19 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ Also pointing out that most Christian denominations do not accept the notion that Mary was free of “original sin.” $\endgroup$
    – WGroleau
    Dec 30 '19 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ Also pointing out that the concept of "virgin birth" isn't biblical. It was a trope in ancient times and is basically the equivalent to the modern superhero whose parents were murdered. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Dec 30 '19 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ @PaulDraper The term "Immaculate Conception" does not actually refer to Jesus' conception. It's a Catholic doctrine (which other denominations may have accepted to some extent, and as WGroleau points out, is not by any means a universal tenet of Christianity) that Mary's conception was exempted from transmitting Original Sin to the offspring. $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @PaulDraper Wrong: "In Roman Catholic Christian theology, the Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son Jesus. The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her "immaculate". Other Christian denominations have a range of views on the matter." [...] "The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Mary being conceived free from original sin) is not to be confused with the virginal conception of her son Jesus." $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 22:31
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Purity is needed to trick the barrier

an ancient barrier that prevents gods from crossing over

The barrier somehow detects intrusions from gods. Whatever the method for this is, it retaliates if foreign essence is detected in the world. So, a fast entry will be detected but a slow and steady one can bypass the barrier.

Purity is needed because the more "pure" a person is, the more "of this world" they seem. A godly essence that taints somebody already corrupted will be detected immediately, but a god infesting a pure mortal can hide from the protection.

However, purity is just the first step. A god is still overwhelmingly foreign for the realm and eventually would be detected by the barrier. Hence why the second part - a child being born as an avatar. Since the outer god doesn't immediately transfer all of its essence over in the world, it can take a foothold in the world and slowly increase its presence. For years, the god could act with diminished power in order to attune its essence to the world. I can forsee at least few different end goals here:

  • Eventually, the barrier will not think it a foreign power and would thus not retaliate. The god will be able to manifest into the world and take over, no other god will be able to interfere, as the barrier will still be in place.
  • Or perhaps having an avatar into the world will allow the god to more directly see to the dismantling or changing of the barrier.
  • The barrier might be a bit "dumb" and only detect what's the current "average normal" of the world within. If the god starts pouring more and more of its essence into the world, corrupting the other people in the process, eventually the god and its ways will become new "normal" and the barrier will start rejecting anything other than this god. Which will allow for a full manifestation and perhaps even the god merging its own world with the protected one.
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    $\begingroup$ I'm Narly, and I support this answer $\endgroup$
    – thanby
    Dec 30 '19 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ @thanby-reinstateMonica I'm not sure whether I should be flattered that Nyarlathotep endorses me or I should run away in terror. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Dec 30 '19 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ @thanby-reinstateMonica - IÄ! IÄ! PH'NGLUI MGLW'NAFH CTHULHU R'LYEH WGAH'NAGL FHTAGN!!!!!!!! So there. $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ - it matters little. Your mind has doubtless already shattered into a million tiny shards of terror, each flying away from the other in mindless agony as your consciousness vanishes in the onslaught of hideous evil. Or, something like that... $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 21:23
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Virginity and sterility are required to circumvent the barrier.

In The Fionavar Tapestry, the Universe is a tapestry, and each being - as well as their actions - are threads in the tapestry.

The evil one in that series, Rakoth Maugrim, gathers many of his powers from being outside the tapestry, to the extent that

having a human son temporarily binds him to the tapestry, thereby making him killable.

A similar concept exists in Life-Line, by Heinlein, where all humans are considered four-dimensional threads having a beginning and an end, whose length can be measured by technological means. Threads appear from their mother threads shortly after them crossing their fathers' threads (this also can be found in Scott Card's Alvin saga).

The "barrier" could therefore be something akin to a selvedge or finishing layer -- something preventing the tapestry from being unraveled, which does so by examining/interacting with the individual threads.

It follows that someone who has "never known man", and is sterile to boot, would be somewhat like a thread that extends outside the tapestry: it has no twaining in its future, and it never crossed other threads in its past. It is a point where the tapestry is vulnerable, and a new "thread" can be spliced in; or anyway, where the thread itself is vulnerable.

The action of Nyarlatothep would then be similar to a retwaining of that thread within the tapestry, which would be allowed. The thread, no longer technically sterile, would then give birth to the avatar from already inside the tapestry, and this too would be allowed.

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Narly is a being of chaos and corruption. So it stands to reason that a vessel to contain his "seed" should be as close to incorruptible as possible.

An "impure" person or fifty might have been tried in the past by the Cult of Narly. But these worshippers quickly succumbed to the immense corrupting influence of the tiny sliver of Nyarlathotep needed to spawn the required dark avatar, subsequently exploding into swarms of locusts with human faces.

Only through repeated and gory trial and error did the cultists discover the traits that would allow one to carry the Son-Father of the Crawling Chaos to term.

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Slag

You are a blacksmith, would you rather work with pure metals, or something which has been contaminated with some random guy it met at a party during first year of college?

It is known that when humans interact intimately with each other that their hearts meld temporarily and are never the same again. This can happen with a real person, or a theoretical one.

A person who is infertile has had the idea of sharing their heart with a theoretical future baby stripped from them. So they don't even have that attachment.

Once this pure material has been identified work can begin. She will discover herself pregnant, which will be odd to her considering her lack of a love life and the previous sterile diagnosis, but eventually that will leave her mind as she adapts to the reality that she will be a mother.

Any joy she may have had about that fact is short lived. It is not a pleasant pregnancy.

The doctor's have no explanation for her suffering, and most of them believe she's making it up. Along with the immaculate conception story she tells. They offer little to no support.

What she does not know is that she is on the anvil of chaos. Her soul is being twisted. Shaped to the will of Narly. You see, his offspring does not have a soul, coming from non-human siring, it would be an empty vessel.

The closest material to fill this vessel with is the soul of the mother bearing this living corpse.

Like the mother spider eaten from the inside out by her spawn, this woman will endure having her self torn to pieces and reassembled into something akin to a puppet.

As the months draw on she will appear less lifelike, less vibrant, more worn down and disconnected from the world around her.

The birth will be painful, and there will be blood.

By time the vessel is filled she has already lost any semblance of a social life. Her apartment, once colorful and filled with memories, now dark and filled with piled up bills and unwashed dishes. If anyone had been there to support her during this dark time they would see a borderline comatose woman twitching, convulsing and gurgling at the mouth with foaming bile. The crowing baby would seem to hardly be noticed by her.

The person who finds her would say that they had some instinct to check on her. They would have no idea that the instinct came from an otherworldly source. They would be sad that they hadn't come soon enough to save her, but glad they could save the baby and make sure it went to a good home. Not the one it was born in, clearly by a drug addicted mother!

The new parents are good people, a bit weird sure, worshiping some weird religion you'd never hear of, with a God with a funny name...Something starting with N maybe? Anyway, it's just good to know that baby will be taken care of. So weird it never cried, and it's eyes...

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Hacking for Deities

Footprint the target

The barrier functions lot like a Software Firewall. Since Gods can project their power in many different forms, the barrier was designed to use SFW like heuristics to detect divine powers just like a SFW detects for computer viruses: By scanning them for qualities associated with known threats.

The issue with SFWs is that legitimate programs often share characteristics with known threats meaning that in the course of maintaining functionality, the firewall must often be configured to whitelist suspicious activities which can be exploited by a hacker who knows what those whitelists are.

By fuzzing the barrier with a wide plethora of powers he determines that the barrier is using the following parameters to keep him out:

  • Gods can not organically reproduce
  • They do not have physical bodies
  • They are made of spiritual energy
  • They are vastly powerful
  • They are bound to the virtues of their domain. For example: A god of war will never show mercy

Find and Exploit a Vulnerability

Because infertile women can not organically reproduce, the barrier looks at their other qualities, and whitelists their faulty reproductive systems. Basically saying yes, you have a divine aspect, but since you are clearly human, that will be ignored going forward, and therein lies the first vulnerability. Gods can not organically reproduce, but they can exploit this blind spot in the barrier's whitelist to non-organically conceive a child in a place that the barrier is already choosing to ignore.

The birthing process itself is another blind spot. For the barrier to allow humans to have souls, it must let in and out small packets of spiritual energy. When a God goes to impregnate his vessel, his power works like a trojan virus. Because its function is to do the same thing that human souls do (create a life and inhabit a body), it will match all the heuristics of a human soul containing just the tiniest little obfuscated parcel of miracle power necessary to trigger parthenogenesis. Since he is just moving some DNA around in a single cell, this power is considered far to small to be divine intervention, and is instead ignored as a normal background anomaly.

Now the Deity has cheated sexual reproduction, made himself a physical body, and limited the power he puts into this world enough to pass for human, but there is just one challenge left: he is still bound to the virtues of his domain. Once pregnant, the woman and child's souls will linked into one body. The will of the god and the vessel will contest for control, and the god needs to pick a human than can win that struggle. If a woman is already prone to giving into desires, then the god's soul will easily influence her to act according to the god's domain alone. This sudden change will be detected by the firewall. But if this woman continues to help others and be loyal to her friends out of the sheer willpower that is behind her virtue, then even if she starts murdering a few homeless people for fun, she will not appear bound to a domain, and thus both her and her child will still pass for human.

Escalate Privileges and Patch Vulnerabilities

When the deity is born, the barrier will need to decide if this thing matches the pattern of a human or a god. This baby was as far as the barrier is concerned born through the processes of sexual reproduction and has a fully human physical body with a soul inside of it; so ... looks a lot more human than anything else. Now the baby just needs to pass as human long enough that its non-human traits can be pass for normal anomalies, just as his mother's infertility did. Once grown up, the deity can use his human form to track down the source of the barrier from the inside and modify it by whitelisting himself; thus, fully allowing the god to push his power into the avatar.

While he is at it, he may also decide to unwhitelist all infertile women casting them out into the abyss just to make good and sure that other gods don't come in the same way and try to ruin all his fun.

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Purity is required as it is the only thing that could mitigate the chaos and corruption of the eldritch spawn for a long enough time to sustain the avatar's development in womb. A mere ordinary mortal would succumb to corruption and madness and destroy itself and/or avatar in process.

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To be at somewhere close to full strength, maybe Nyarlathotep needs someone untouched by mortal means and someone unable to be distracted by mortal behaviors. Being a virgin would mean that the idea of mortal pleasure doesn't suit them [the vessel], and being unable to have children just means that the person is regarded as more suited to not be distracted by mortal pleasure.

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Read purity as "having a feature of a single kind".

A drop of olive oil in water makes the water non pure.

Likewise a drop of water in the olive oil makes the olive oil non pure.

It has nothing to do with the good or bad of the object. It's just being a foreign kind.

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    $\begingroup$ Ketchup is largely made up of water. $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the pedantry $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 30 '19 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelRichardson - well, so is blood - but you don't see that slowing the Elder Gods down, now do you? $\endgroup$ Dec 30 '19 at 21:20

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