A society of your typical beings from beyond the veil of reality have recently encountered the bounderies of the realm humans call home. They studied our universe, via their own incomprehensible equivalent to what we call science and eventually learned how to generate a nightmarish portal (fueled by the screams of never born children) between their dimension and ours.

One side of the portal happens to have been tethered to a previously insignificant asteroid located between Mars and Earth. The portal is small and extremely unlikely to be spotted by humans. The eldritch abominations can see us just fine however, and though, even after extensive observation, they still don't really understand our way of life or the way we think and percieve the world, they gradually do start to "understand" that humans are suffering and require help (in the same way that you can "understand" that a bee repeatedly bumping into a window "wants" to go outside).


As they are not malevolent, they try to communicate with us and aid us, but each attempt simply ends up in a cult, a bunch of dead/insane people and the remains of a couple dead shoggoths being studied in some human lab somewhere (before the scientists inexplicably and inevitably go crazy and blow up their entire research facility along with themselves, of course).


The uncanny horrors soon realize that our reality seems to be bound by some sort of framework, some overarching rules that the locals apparently call "logic" and "reason". Unfortunately, by their very nature (and by the very nature of anything else from the nightmare domain), these horrors seem to disrupt, corrupt and utterly destroy any semblance of the notion just by their mere presence. Our reality is simply too fragile. Even the space around the portal they set up is becoming increasingly unstable and is now prone to sporadically erupting with tentacles, 19-sided triangles and angry gramophones.


Accounting for the fact that the literally mind-destroying influence they tend to have on our world is completely unintentional and uncontrollable: what methods could this species use to help (and optionally interact with) humanity in as broad a sense as possible?

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    See also: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/72958/… – CaM Aug 14 '17 at 14:12
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    Have you considered that they are simply too different from humans? How to put this... think of a UN organization trying to introduce democracy to an ant colony. – nzaman Aug 14 '17 at 14:56
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    "Have you considered that they are simply too different from humans?" That's the entire point of eldritch abominations, after all. – bgvaughan Aug 14 '17 at 17:16
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    As a meta-answer: the entire point of calling something an eldritch abomination is that they operate in a way we cannot possibly fathom. What sort of answers do you expect us to come up with? Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! – Cort Ammon Aug 14 '17 at 23:33
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    @CortAmmon, that rather implies that if they did succeed in helping us, we would never know about the source of the help or that we had been helped by such beings, for then we would go insane and die. Which they would avoid. So I think all help they gave would look mundane and be explained away as caused by "luck" or other humans. – Wildcard Aug 15 '17 at 1:58

22 Answers 22

up vote 33 down vote accepted

So, these friendly neighborhood Eldritch Abominations (EA) would like to help the neighbors out? It really depends on what they are capable of, what sort of stuff the are inclined to do. There are a few things the EA need to do before they set out to help us.

Communication

First, they need to find some way to open lines of communication. While cults and crazy aren't exactly a positive thing for humans, they might be worth it if the information the EA's have is good enough. Perhaps a layer of abstraction is needed, to isolate the irrational from everyone else. Perhaps the Vatican or EU could assist in the creation of a more stable cult. In fact, I think it might be possible to fight disorder and irrationality with order and bureaucracy. We'll get the Germans on it.

Framing and Science.

Secondly, in order for us folks to use EA technology or practices, we need to come up with some sort of system through which we contain EA tech (Frames). I think, once we get our cults up and running, we could investigate this further. I suggest looking into promising ideas such as pentagrams and Altars. In order to leverage either EA technology or EA techniques, we need to understand. Depending on how mind-warping this stuff is, we can either understand how it works, or understand how to use it. If we can understand how it works, we can work with it. If we only understand how to use it, then we can only work around it, build on top of it.

Unexploited resources

You know, we humans are really inventive. Think of every description of Hell you have ever read. Now, think of scientific experiments conducted on civilians in WWII, or any other source of unapologetic, shocking cruelty. It is clear which one is worse, yes? It is equally clear which one is more inventive. If the EA's can power a portal using the screams of the unborn, just think of the potential! Now, we ought to restrict use of EA tech to morally defensible actions. The screams of the unborn were previously underutilized. They were, for our purposes, just sitting around, unused. They are already dead, so nothing wrong with leveraging them to the fullest. I think we can find plenty of stuff to exploit without permanently damaging living humans or their immortal souls.

Conclusion

In the end, all you really need is to have the portal discovered by some open-minded bureaucrat with a taste for lovecraft and an obsessive devotion to safety regulations.

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    I thought Lovecraft was bordering the maximum potential of helplessness, dispair and madness. Then Cthulhu took Management 101. – ksjohn Aug 14 '17 at 15:40
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    Ma'am, I am terribly sorry, but your husband failed to renew his application for continued sanity. There is nothing we can do, other than urge you to submit a request for cessation of survival for your husband, so he may join Cthulhu in eternal undeath. Have a nice day, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. – Dent7777 Aug 14 '17 at 15:53
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    This... would actually explain a lot about EA Games, yes? – Frostfyre Aug 14 '17 at 17:08
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    I can neither confirm nor deny that the CEOs of Electronic Arts are Cthulhu-Worshipping cultists who desire nothing more than to see humanity plunged into chaos and madness. – Dent7777 Aug 14 '17 at 17:30
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    "In the end, all you really need is to have the portal discovered by some open-minded bureaucrat with a taste for lovecraft and an obsessive devotion to safety regulations" - this sounds like a Douglas Adams novel I would own three copies of and reread at least once a decade. – Sean Boddy Aug 14 '17 at 22:24

"You know", Sog-Yogthot (no relations) said to I'g-m'ell over by the Shoggothnut table at the committee meeting for the betterment of the human realm.

"The humans world is really dry, how can they breathe? I'm going to send them water. Does forty days and nights of rain sound roughly enough?"

"Dunno", said I'g-m'ell (who was more of a creature of eternal fire itself) "But they do look a bit like Deep Ones, all bipedal and furless, and they sure didn't like when I set their forest on fire. Can't hurt."


"Ok...", said Xaxhazztrax the Daemon Chairman, "Sog's rain idea was a flop. Clearly the humans aren't Deep Ones. Good thing one of them built a floating box."

It was unclear to the assembly exactly how the human had gotten all the animals into his vessel, but hoary Nodens looked a bit smug. Then again, hoary Nodens always looked smug. Who invited him anyway? Was he even part of their pantheon?

"So what do we do now?", a lesser servitor of Miihyagaa piped, his mistress silently brooding with her seven eyes fixed into the aether as usual. "We've given them fire, that didn't work. We've given them water, that didn't work. My mistress proposes that we call this project quits."

There was a general murmur of agreement.

"No!" Zblu'tras said firmly. "Our mistake was clearly focusing on altering their environment. They seem to have adapted well to it. We need to ennoble their spirits. I shall give them... art."


"My hearts were in the right places," Zblu'tras defended itself. "But who knew they would take the gift of music and pervert it so? This cacaphonous 'pop music' is clearly not what we intended."

"Don't forget that guy who made flesh sculptures out of his neighbors," another servitor of Miihyagaa squealed with delight. "My mistress especially enjoyed that part, even if the neighbors clearly didn't."

Xaxhazztrax the Daemon Chairman sighed. "Oh well, we can't say we didn't try. Who votes we clean the slate with a comet and see what the bugs can come up with instead?"

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    Not exactly an answer, but too good for me to not upvote. +1. – AngelPray Aug 14 '17 at 15:36
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    @AngelPray Sometimes the best way to answer a question is with another question. When it comes to eldritch abominations, sometimes the best way to answer a question is with a story. =) – Cort Ammon Aug 15 '17 at 1:38
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    @AngelPray if fiction is a set of lies telling the truth, then this certainly qualifies as an answer. Basically, by showing what could have happened when the eldritch horrors tried to help. Actually the last paragraph has echoes of a story by Goethe about God observing the Creation and deciding to wipe it clean with a comet when boredom set in. "That was entertaining, We might do it again some other time." – a4android Aug 15 '17 at 4:21
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    @Loupax Sadly I lost the biblical track right after the flood. So I just went for madness and horror. (Also inspired by Dr Gunther von Hagens scribol.com/art-and-design/art/…) – Doomfrost Aug 17 '17 at 7:20
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    @Doomfrost Oh, I thought that was a joke about Ed Gein. 1 for dark humour regardless – Pharap Aug 17 '17 at 11:52

As has been explained in another answer, the eldrich horrors do seem to realize that they have a negative effect on humans, and they want to benefit humans. The logical thing to do then, is identify what other things also have a negative effect on humans, and then systematically expose themselves to these other things.

Since they seem to believe that insanity, cults, and scientists blowing themselves up is not beneficial, I believe they might decide that terrorists blowing themselves up as part of an insane cult is also not beneficial. Logically then, they would seek these people out and either suck them into their own dimension (fun new playthings!) or expose themselves to them in various ways, inevitably destroying their minds in the process.

For whatever reason, they have deemed past efforts to contact humanity not beneficial, so it seems plausible that they would look for activity that follows the pattern of their own interaction with people, engendered by other people, and "connect" with those other people. Is a warlord butchering children? Pay him a visit. Is an insane cult about to feed poisoned kool aid to their own children? Looks like a good candidate. Is a performing artist having a special exhibition involving bodily fluids? Perfect example... oops, maybe that was considered beneficial by humans??? Very strange...

This is similar to the "Dexter" or "Punisher" type anti-hero. They are heroic because they channel their own instinct to kill against the very worst kinds of people. Of course, from the human perspective, there might seem to be this pattern of always finding a connection to the Eldrich Horrors every single time something really awful happens in history. Human demon hunter types might draw a certain conclusion from this... and that is the stuff of good story plots.

As an aside, if their portal increases in instability, the thing to do might be to "taint" it with matter/souls/whatever that actually belongs in the human dimension. Hence, they might decide to bring some of their "targets" to the asteroid near Mars and integrate them with the portal in order to stabilize it.

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    "The logical thing to do then, is..." ... of course, you're assuming here that they employ logic. Other than that minor quibble, yeah, good answer. :) – Simba Aug 17 '17 at 9:31
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    Precisely. I do that however based on the original question which implied a logical progression from "bad" interactions to a decision to "help" humankind. The question definitely seemed to presuppose some logical thought process to me. If you remove that entirely, you are left with: "Q; what would the eldrich horrors do? A; purple." – JBiggs Aug 18 '17 at 13:27
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    @JBiggs "Q; what would the eldrich horrors do? A; purple." Makes sense to me. – DoctorDep Aug 19 '17 at 21:55
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    <The uncanny horrors soon realize that our reality seems to be bound by some sort of framework, some overarching rules that the locals apparently call "logic" and "reason". > ~ OP – Jakub Tustanowski Aug 22 '17 at 8:25

It really depends a lot on what they are helping us to do.

When they look down upon humanity, in its struggling, what do they think we need?

As these sorts of stories go, they will probably horribly, oh so horribly, misinterpret the desires of humans in particular and humanity as a whole.

So what is a likely predictions of what humanity needs based on their observations and how would they try to help.

Death

Humans are dying by the billions, literally every human dies, what a horrible waste. This is obviously a terrible situation, abomination never die, they simply fade into obscurity or transform into a new abomination, this death thing must be stopped.

We could...

  • interbreed with the humans to form a new undying master race of human-abomination hybrids!

  • kill all humans thus preventing more from dying, in my eldritch ethics this is totally justifiable.

  • bring them back, the dead must rise! This may look ghastly to the humans, but the undead look like pretty nice people to us, oh look they bite.

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    "kill all humans thus preventing more from dying" I doubt a species that is capable of building portals between worlds would come to that kind of conclusion, ethics or not. It's like saying "Problem: this house might burn one day. Solution: we'll just burn it now." That's not how you solve a problem. – Nolonar Aug 14 '17 at 15:31
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    @Nolonar That's what I thought at first, too, but you need to think about it long term. The problem is that the house might burn someday, but in the future, there might be a city there. Better to burn the house now than the city later - this actually is not an unreasonable way to solve the problem. Killing all humans now prevents generations upon generations of humans from dying in the future. – Nuclear Wang Aug 14 '17 at 15:46
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    If your goal is to reduce human death, the best way is to either immediately kill all humans or begin granting us all immortality in such time that less than the previous total population dies. – Dent7777 Aug 14 '17 at 15:58
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    Let me try again: These are aliens that are capable of creating a portal between dimensions. Before they can get this far, they probably have various problems to solve first. One of those problems might be "the portal collapses immediately after it's opened". If they were the kind to come up with solutions like "let's kill all humans, so their future generations won't have to experience death", then their solution to the portal problem would be: "then let's not open any more portals, problem solved". Problem solved indeed, for us at least. – Nolonar Aug 14 '17 at 16:24
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    @ Nolonar - it's a choice between 7 billion deaths today or trillions of deaths over the next thousands of years. Eldtritch Abominations look at the long game – Scott Aug 15 '17 at 0:11

Scare people to death

Literally, exactly that. With their outworldish sense of morality, they could, after thorough analysis, choose the people who bring most harm to our realm. And then try to communicate with them.

Not only would they help us directly by removing all the bad people, but they would also build some good reputation as scary but just creatures who help us build better world. After some time, people might even overcome the fear and contact them despite the differences.

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    +1, let's hope they are better at figuring out which people are bad than they are at reason and logic. – Henry Taylor Aug 14 '17 at 14:43
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    @Dent7777 Hey! That's not a nice thing to say... They might personify, terror, existentialism and pure insanity but not evil! If they understood the concept of pride, my eldritch abominations would probably be offended by your comment. – AngelPray Aug 14 '17 at 14:50
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    @Dent7777 let's hope you're not in their list of "bad guys" – Vylix Aug 14 '17 at 20:52
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    @Vylix If we are talking about Eldritch Abominations from the screaming void, I shudder to think of what they find evil. If I were to qualify, I wouldn't be sure if it was an honor or a recognition of my potential for evil beyond what Eldritch Abominations deem excessive. – Dent7777 Aug 14 '17 at 21:01
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    @HenryTaylor They understand reason and logic just fine. It's hardly their fault that human brains have a tendency to melt when presented with even moderately complicated reasoning. – Ray Aug 14 '17 at 23:24

Space

We like breathing air and drinking water and not getting burned, frozen or irradiated. It looks like that only works on Earth. If they made a few extra earths for us to play on that might be friendly, so long as they took the care to not add too many tentacles, removed any "made in dungeon dimensions" tags that humans might go insane reading and avoided putting them in collision orbits with anything.

A staircase out to space sounds nice, but working out how to make one without destroying the crust or using materials that cause monsters or madness to consume humanity is trickier than it sounds.

Resources

We seem to do a lot of work to purify some elements out of the crust only to mix them back up. Maybe a mountain or two of a gold, titanium or steel alloy would be well received again being careful not to squash, cronenberg, or contact any humans.

Lots of uranium sounds valuable, and there seems to be lots of concern about who gets the limited amounts available, but every time you start getting enough together to call it interesting some of it turns into something else and the rest gets really hot.

Not killing us

It turns out it's really easy to kill humans (and we don't seem to like it when they are brought back) so maybe diverting some of the problems they see wiping us all out would be acceptable. If there are some asteroids coming our way in the next few centuries it might be neighborly to see to it they miss. Big solar flares and random large x-ray bursts also are some concern.

It may seem like a good idea to remove the weapons we have for killing all of us off, but we are pretty good at killing each other with all sorts of things, and would probably try on a pretty large scale if all our bombs disappeared or turned into unmentionable horrors.

Similarly we seem to be getting ready to do ourselves in by killing off all other life with poison and heat, and maybe taking a few hundred billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or some of the more toxic pollutants we've added to the ocean wouldn't be a problem, but they would need to be extra careful to avoid disrupting the balance more than we are.

And again I can't stress enough how much I enjoy not being turned into or eaten by a monster.

So if I understand this correctly:

  • The eldritch creatures believe humanity is suffering and want to help
  • They don't know how humanity is suffering
  • They do not understand the concept of reason
  • They do understand that trying to communicate with us results in death and/or insanity

Uh-oh.

This reminds me of the classic example of a "benevolent" AI that's been programmed to minimize human suffering. The AI decides that the best way to end the suffering of humanity... is to end humanity. No-one can suffer if there's no-one left to suffer.

If the eldritch creatures think the same thing, then they can easily open up another gateway on Earth and stream through, driving anyone who sees them to madness and death. Humanity will be wiped off the face of the planet, and as the last humans succumb, the eldritch abominations will climb back through the portal thinking, "Job well done."

  • (I'll see if I can Zalgo-fy part of this when I get the chance, because I feel like it could really use it.) – F1Krazy Aug 14 '17 at 14:41
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    Well, there's always the ' break their mind properly, and they won't realise they're suffering'. – Sobrique Aug 14 '17 at 16:38
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    The way these things go, I could see a race determining from observation that humans want death, and we all eventually attain it. Some of us sooner than others due to their over developed stupidity trait. Some "lucky" rare ones even managed to obtain a disease. We just have a problem admitting to ourselves that this is our end goal. Madness liberates us from those preconceived restrictions to obtaining our ultimate happiness in the next life. Bonus points for reincarnation... – Jammin4CO Aug 14 '17 at 16:53

Start a campaign to find the most balanced person on the planet.
You do this by starting an ARG on social media, trying to mimic human logic as closely as possible, but with a tiny bit of EA logic thrown in. Gradually, over weeks and months, ramp up the EA logic, until you find an individual that has a mind strong enough that they wont break.

Once you find this individual you can contact them more directly, though maybe still in the context of the game, and tell them of your desire to help humanity, taking their suggestions on the best ways to do that into account.

Give them the means to generate funds by sharing eldritch technologies to be patented and developed.

Things like portals that use tunnels through eldritch space of zero length to bring cities closer together, streamline transportation, remove the need for fossil fuels. It's likely that at zero length the tentacles probably won't be able to squeeze through, and probably no one will stay in the portal mouth long enough to really go mad... I mean, I don't think it's cumulative.
Likewise, the energy potential of the eldritch realm is something that could be harnessed to remove the need for coal power plants. Tormented souls are a renewable resource.

With the funds from these and other breakthroughs, you can pay for media that will slowly educate the masses on the eldritch logic and concepts, as well as introducing the idea that eldritch horrors might not actually be evil. Things like books, games, movies, etc. can be used as channels to introduce the wider populace to the ideas, and hopefully, slowly, over time, people will get used to the idea so that when the great old ones finally come through, the loss of life will be minimal. If all goes well, we can keep casualties below 50%.

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    I thought we'd been seeing an usual amount of cosmic horror themed games, books and similar recently..... – David Aug 15 '17 at 13:02
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    @David Lovecraft was the first ambassador, he kind of "opened the doorway" as it where, and it's been progressing from there. Rejoice! The rise of the elder gods is nigh! – AndyD273 Aug 15 '17 at 16:36

The Eldritch Abominations 715 Pi th illogicians conference was called to disorder.

"We need to help these humans, what can be done?!" Pronounced the chair (a note to the reader, this is a literal chair, not an abomination that is chairing the conference. People were listening to the chair though, because it made good points).

A well feared and respected Abomination walked up to the podium to speak (a note to the reader, the actual direction the Abomination walked was Charmwards, but up will suffice).

"It's simple. Abominations do not have logic, and we are happy. Humans have logic and are unhappy. Correlation may not imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and waggle (a note to the reader, this is definitely not plagurised). Logic makes people unhappy and we should destroy it to help them.

Another Abomination spoke up, this one a freshfaced youngster of only 19 cycles of expansion and contraction of the universe. "But too little logic is bad for them. The humans seemed upset last time.

The Abominations quickly agreed that logic should exist only in moderation.

A plan was devised. The Abominations would visit the human's logicians conference, that was going on simultaneously (for certain definitions of simultaneous). They would reveal themselves to the logicians, the humans likely to be most resistant to the Abominations effects. Then, the logicians could spread this message to the rest of the population, but sugar coating it a bit.

That way, logic would be partially destroyed, the general population would be happy, and maybe the logicians would go insane after doing their job for the greater good.

So they turned up to the logicians conference, did their usual abominationey thing, and then left, eager to spy on the results of their genius from afar.

The logicians finished up their conference, and went to various pubs nearby. One started talking to two the patrons. The Abominations hearts waited with bated breath - it's starting, soon humanity will see that they would be happier if they mostly rejected logic. The two in the pub turned to each other and said "did you understand any of that?", then shrugged and return to their beer.

The Abominations were puzzled. Their messengers weren't having an effect.

One undergrad abomination piped up "Maybe beer is the problem"

Super Powers

We could help humans by giving them super powers! They use "their own incomprehensible equivalent to what we call science" to give powers (or change their body, etc.) We don't know what powers they would like or wouldn't, so we'll give a random one to each human, and let evolution figure it out.

The Eldritch may have in idea of what "a terrible" super power is, but it might give a smaller amount of humans that power just in case it is actually beneficial to them, because the Eldritch probably realize they think very differently from humans.

Tech/Magic

Eldritch: Let's give humans some technology
Humans: Oh, hey the Eldritch gave us magical items

So magic wands rained from the sky one day. (The Eldritch called them a multi tool, because it conveniently had lots of features packed into it; If we gave the Eldritch a Sonic screwdriver, they would call that a magic wand.) It is powered by ______(It could be a essentially free power source like "power from the Eldritch dimension" (or more accurately "our science researchers can't figure it out"), or "magic" batteries regularly delivered to Earth by the Eldritch, or something from Earth — depending on your world and what limitations you want to impose on the magic wand.) The Eldritch has given more specialized "technology" (amulets, orb, etc). They don't exactly know what the humans want, so they gave them a variety. All these tools sync (imprint) with the human, and the human can just think to use it (or it has a passive effect). The tech can also use the human's "view on the world" in the sense that an amulet of anti-hurting will use that human's sense of the word hurting.

Artificially Intelligent Proxies

The Eldritch scientists figured out how to make things Intelligent! (Humans call the Eldritch version of AI "animating objects" or "bringing objects to life") They then create creatures based on human art (video games, movies, fan art) and the humans wake up one day to find there is a dragon/giant wolf/pokemon/spirit animal/etc imprinted to them, waiting for orders. Our AIs have gone from knowing nothing about how the world works to imitating our speech and mastering our videogames. And our human babies have gone from knowing little about the world to being Intelligent, so it is possible for these "creatures" to do the same. Especially if they can imprint on us, and (semi-)read our minds(at least know how it's owner thinks and understands the world)

Also, since the creatures are of Eldritch origin, the Eldritch can talk to the creatures, who can talk to/think to their owners and vice versa. Then the humans can give the Eldritch some our humanities' magic.

Eldritch:

  • This little ball can explode w/out using children screams! Now it is undetectable by children screams detectors!
  • This box heats stuff up at a very exact temperature! (Compared to their traditional way by blasting it with Eldritch fireballs.)
  • Holds what we call a phone This is useless. All it does is light up.
  • Holds tech that somehow is detrimental to the Eldritch Oh no! ________. This is the worst! Why would the humans give us this?
  • Holds tech that hurts an Eldritch Ow. Humans are mean. Let's go to war with them.

The monologs above should also help you think of thinks from their not-understanding perspective on why the Eldritch might give us a particular piece of their "Technology".

Summary

These three ideas are some templates on which you could not only solve this particular problem, but explain a few things like magic, super powers, and exotic creatures; and some of their caveats (why does the wand doesn't/does do x? Cuz the Eldritch didn't understand us so the didn't put that feature in/ threw that feature in just in case it is helpful/ put that feature in because the Eldritch use that feature and figured we might to). (Basically it makes hand waving easier as well.)

Humans are 'killing the planet' as they see it, so let's help them get to a new one. We can't move them ourselves because they keep turning into armchairs and such, and no one's had much luck turning them back yet.

According to my research into human-human understanding, if you give a man a fish, he'll basically starve to death which is an 'undesirable' outcome, but if you teach him to fish, he'll take slightly longer to die which is apparently 'desirable'.

So here's the plan:

We'll start by changing the properties of some of their 'base elements'. Off the top of my head, we could adjust 'uranium' so that they can use it for a reliable energy source, then - just as an example mind you - we could alter, say, 'silicon' so that the humans could do more of that 'logic' stuff with it (none of them have to know HOW it works, just THAT it works). Then, once they'd figured that stuff out (hopefully without blowing themselves up) we'd just gradually increase the speed of light until they figure out how to help themselves to move to one of the habitable planets in their 'universe'!

  • Increasing the speed of light would have many, many bad outcomes. For (the extreme) example, if the speed of light were infinite there would be no time - everything would happen instantly and then nothing would happen. – wizzwizz4 Aug 16 '17 at 13:49

The only way is going with small and careful touch in order to bring change without destroying our fragile reality, like a neurosurgeon operating a brain.

Thus, each operation must be as light as possible and spread on the largest time frame.

The thirst thing to do would be to strengthen the human mind, even just to a small amount of people, in order to be able to withstand the cosmic horror. Next, this group of "chosen one" could establish a contact with the eldritch abominations and try to uses theirs power to change improve humanity, always with small and slow touch.

  • "Correlation may not imply causation" That's not very Eldritchic. – ksjohn Aug 17 '17 at 15:24

A Breeeding Program

Interbreeding couldn't hurt, we would enjoy it, they certainly would enjoy it, and sanity/longevity is clearly irrelevant to the process.

As ties to our dimension strengthened, unnatural selection would complete the humans' uplift.

In a few hundred years, we could have some adorable pets!

Here's the root problem with this scenario as well as all the answers here:

Contradiction: These beings do not follow "logic or reason", all life as we know it follows some degree of logic, even animals.

The closest relation one could draw to these beings are demons. So this post is more akin to how to justify demonic intentions as good from their point of view.

Based on the information provided you could say that demon being X realizes that his technology is powered by "the screams of unborn children" (brilliant lol), so to help power humanity they trigger events that result in the slaughter of pregnant women. (would be some fun political parallels that could be drawn with that) The problem with that is, that follows a logical realization that because you can get power from that source so too can the humans.

Contradiction: Even the beings desire to "help" the humans is a logical process. To help requires you to see a problem and use your knowledge to resolve it. The only way to fix this scenario is to change the notion of "help" to interact with, having the beings perceive humans as just different beings.

Based on that analysis: The only thing that these beings can be able to comprehend is perhaps illogical things like raw emotion without the logical understanding of the cause and effect that led to that emotion.

The hard part here becomes: how do you influence human emotion without relying on logical cause and effect. So you cant say money makes human A happy so we make money rain from the skies.

It could be that these beings can read emotion telepathically and could communicate emotion back. So the beings language is emotion.

Plausible Scenario A: Human A feels lusty and services himself then feels relief. (minor logic) Being A associates feeling 'lusty' with relief and then broadcasts intense 'lusty' feelings in Human B causing him to relieve himself publically or go on a forced loving spree. (can replicate this with other behaviors like eating, masochism, sadism, etc. to terrible effect)

Plausible Scenario B: Being B perceives the emotions of 'happy','proactiveness', 'depression', and 'lazyness' something like 'hi','how','are','you' and upon greeting each human sends them into a bipolar spiral.

Cool the World

In "as broad a sense as possible," the planet where these humans live is getting warmer, which is leading directly and indirectly to a great deal of suffering. This global change can be influenced in locations where there are few, if any, humans: the upper atmosphere, for instance, or the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Or the polar ice caps.

The Mountains of Gladness

Arctic/Antarctic eldritch horror stories are a grand part of the Lovecraftian tradition. Ocean levels are rising because those places are melting, and there aren't many humans there to harm. Beings-from-beyond can introduce antithermal reality warps or just pipe the entropy of the heat there into space. Sure, the scientists there will go mad, but going mad at the poles is actually pretty normal. This is akin to seeing that your ant farm is baking, and pulling the window shades, or just turning off the nearest heater.

If the humans PERSIST in warming their planet, or in trudging up to the poles and losing their minds, stronger measures may be taken. Wall off Antarctica with a ring of ice mountains fifty miles high! Don't let those ants go where they're going to hurt themselves! Alternatively, use some extradimensional leaps of intuition to just go back and start cooling off the poles two hundred thousand years ago. Far fewer humans around to bother, and if they stumble through on their way across a land bridge, the carvings and shrines they leave behind as their minds collapse will just be buried in ice forever. Right?

It is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated invasion of the antarctic—with its vast fossil-hunt and its wholesale boring and melting of the ancient ice-cap—and I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain...

[Scene: A vast non-space comprised of unholy materials and reified despair. The Cthulhoid horror status meeting begins]

Nyarlathotep: Okay, Project Help the Humans is way behind schedule. Any updates?

Azathoth: I reached out to one of their Mathematicians to teach him some proper non-Euclidean geometry. He just snorted and said he'd already invented it. His name was Gauss-something. The creatures simply refuse to put more than 180 degrees into their triangles.

Shub-Niggurath: I tried to teach them the joys of mating with squamous abominations.

Nyarlathotep: How did that work out? Surely that would cheer them up!

Shub-Niggurath: Bah. It didn't really catch on. Well, outside of 4chan.

Cthulhu: Look, we're going about this the wrong way. We know that they don't mix well with strangers, right? After all, whenever we interact with them they explode or go mad.

Azathoth: Except for Gauss. He just told me to go away, he was busy.

Cthulhu: Okay, okay, except for Gauss, humans need their privacy. Therefore I move that we extirpate all life in this universe, outside the Earth.

Nyarlathotep: Won't they wonder why the Galactic Federation of Peace never contacts them?

Shub-Niggurath: No, they have this whole equation telling them that there is no other life. They won't miss it. Plus it means that we get to go on a hellish crusade, and it is creeping up on lunchtime...

Nyarlathotep: Sold. Let's bounce.

"Accounting for the fact that the literally mind-destroying influence they tend to have on our world is completely unintentional and uncontrollable: what methods could this species use to help (and optionally interact with) humanity in as broad a sense as possible?"

They should leave. If their presence is unintentionally bad for humans and they realize it, they just should consider leaving mankind in its actual state and retire far away from them. Maybe some of them would want to leave an actual trace of their passage until the time humanity has evolved enough to accept their presence without turning crazy, but if their ultimate goal is to help humans and their presence is harmful, they have to rethink twice if staying here sending nightmarish thoughts is really a great idea.

Why would aliens want to help us anyway?

Make us like them

They can't understand us : an easy step for collaboration could be altering us slightly with the objective to correct that. If we're transformed enough to obey the same of rules than them, then they could maybe help us.

How can they transform us ?

It depends a lot of their abilities. there is common tropes about this. "Elevation" or "Illumination" for example, where we could learn about them and slowly become insane and detached from our mortal grounds (like a funnier version of Buddhism.)

Or they could eat us. This would make us "them", sort of. As dumb as this look, this the king of concept you can find in various religions here on earth.

The mean is your choice and depends of what can these edlricht buddies do. But the goal should be to drive us to their level.

And even then, how can they make us happy ?

Once we're all eldricht things, this question doesn't make sense anymore four our mortal souls.

Problems

I guess the process would kill and drive a lot people to insanity, but that's the price of progress. Is death even a problem, I can't say.

Experiment

If you're trying to help out an unfamiliar species, it's very, very hard to get it right the first time. The best plan is to create trial scenarios to test out different possible solutions and see what works best.

To do this, you will want to ensure the human's situation is as close to their natural state as possible. You're going to need to make a bunch of Earth-like planets, and isolate them from each other so that none of them are aware that they are not the original. Maybe store them in pocket dimensions. Small ones will suffice; just simulate a universe for them and they won't know the difference!

Populate these imitation Earths with life scraped off the original. Now you can run all kinds of tests to see what set of circumstances produces the happiest people. Once you've figured it out, just take compatible people from all of the imitation Earths to this ideal planet (or copies of it) and burn the rest.

They could help by being a defense against an invading alien race. For example, here's how a potential alien invasion might go in such a situation:

Stage One: Rapacious Hunger.

Our assault fleet approaches the human solar system. They have limited space-based technology, and while they may put up a fight, their planet and its resources will inevitably be ours.

Stage Two: Curiosity

Morlak the Dissector's human specimen attacked and severely injured her, which is strange since Morlak had previously removed the human's internal organs. Other researchers have reported seeing transparent human children floating near the sites of nuclear explosions, but our cameras did not detect anything. Additional study is required.

Stage Three: Concern

The majority of the fourth infantry division became infected by an unknown parasite which caused hallucinations and erratic behaviour. They have defected and attacked the second and third divisions. Strike force two was ambushed by a human army two days after that same army was destroyed by sustained bombing. The initial origin of the human army is unknown, and may involve a temporal paradox. The eighth colonization ship was struck by a mountain that occluded it in the foreground of a reconnaisance image. The mountain was over 300 kilometers away from the actual location of said ship.

Stage 4: Panic

All of our colonization ships have been destroyed, which does not explain my continued presence in ship 5. I believe ship 5 may only exist on the inside. As evidence, the door in my office leads to the control room, but does not lead back. I have removed Morlak's internal organs for future consumption. I can see humans in the walls, but the scanners do not detect them. I no longer trust the scanners or computers, so I have plotted a return course to our solar system using my own blood as ink.

  • What? I don't understand in what way this is related to my question... Did you accidentally post an answer intended for another query on this one by any chance? – AngelPray Dec 16 '17 at 21:02
  • Well, you asked how eldritch abominations might help humanity. Their primary strength is sowing death and madness, which I think is really mainly useful as a military solution. Except that you need an enemy to use that chaotic power against... hence the defense against aliens idea. Too much of a stretch? I edited the answer a bit to make what I'm thinking clearer. – Ebonair Dec 16 '17 at 21:48
  • Oh, I see. It's not too much of a stretch at all, on the contrary it's actually a rather good idea. I think I was just confused by the point of view being that of the invading aliens. My mistake! – AngelPray Dec 16 '17 at 22:45

They could bring the Earth (and our entire solar system) into their realm so that humans can begin learning to enjoy the benefits of transcending the incomprehensible limits of "logic" and "reason" (whatever they are...doesn't matter, life will have to be better for humans without them).

Necroposting!

So, a little differently from other answers, I'd assume that eldritch abominations (EA, I like this abbreviation!) are:

  • genuinely willing good to humanity,
  • can reason logically, it's just humans fail to understand their logic,
  • cannot do direct communication, as humans' heads explode if they do so.

This is a classical social Sci-Fi premise of "willing to do good" on lesser civilisations. The determinative questions now are:

  • How advanced over humanity are EA?

    What can they do, humanity cannot?

  • In how bad shape is humanity in the opinion of EA?

    How much sympathy and condolence does the view of humanity arise in EA?


There are multiple takes to answer these questions, the resulting options vary. I'll pick a single most interesting one.

A classical Russian Sci-Fi (ha, thought, I'd miss that?) "Hard to Be a God" takes somewhat a twist on that. Humans (advanced, space-faring, and communist) meet humans (in Dark Aged, bloodthirsty, bad) and try to help them. There is a classic dialogue, that I would like to translate and recite with insignificant cuts. It's the space guy, willing to help, speaking with a local scientist of Dark Ages, who thinks all the hope for local humanity is lost.

"If you could give god an advice, what would you do? What should an allmighty do such that you could say afterwards: now the world is good and well?"

"Well. I'd tell him: I don't know your plans, maybe you did not indent people to be kind and happy. Wish for this! It's so easy. Give them enough food, enough clothes and shelter. Let famine and poverty disappear, and also all what separates people."

"That's it?"

"You think it is not enough?"

"The god answers that this would not help and would not be good to the people. The strong ones of your kind would take what I gave to the weak ones, and weak ones would still be poor."

"I'd ask the god to protect the weak, to influence the harsh rulers."

"Cruelty is power. The non-cruel rulers loose the power and other cruel ones take their place."

"Punish the cruel ones. Make it offending to the strong to tyrant the weak."

"Human is born weak. A strong one emerges when no one around is stronger than he. When cruel of the strong are punished, their place would be assumed by strongest of the weak. And they'd be also cruel. Everyone would be punished, I do not desire this."

"You know better, oh allmighty. Do so that people obtain everything and do not take from each other your gifts."

"This would not do good. When they receive everything for free from me, they'll take it for granted. They will forget how to work, they'd loose the interest for living and turn into my pets that I would need to feed and clothe forever."

"Don't give then all at once. Give them slowly a little."

"Slowly people would also take themselves all they might need."

"I see it's not that easy. I did not think about such things previously. But... The is a way. Make people love work and knowledge most, to make work and research their single life goal!"

"I could do this, too. But should I strip the humanity of its history? Should I fake one humanity with another? Would it not be the same as to eradicate all humans from the planet and recreate new ones instead?"

"The, oh god, erase us from the earth and recreate us more complete... Or even better: let us alone and let us pave our own ways."

"My heart is full of pity. I cannot do this."

I am not sure my translation was good enough, but this is one of the most powerful dialogues I ever read in Sci-Fi.


Back to EA! So, assume they are like 1k years of progress more advanced than we are. Also assume they think our current state of affairs is miserable (partially for a reason). Here also goes the initial assumption that they have a heart. They are good-willing for us. (Goodwilling in the way they think good themselves – we might not agree with them!)

Then they will feel the urge to to something to help us. They just cannot leave us alone, even if we ask them to. Because, precisely, their heart is full of pity towards us.

Of course that's one possibility of many.


Oh and about exploding heads? With technology advanced enough, they would be able to do whatever they want anyway without talking one-to-one. And it's the latter thing that causes all the insanity business, isn't it?

If any of their tech or indirect influences makes us go crazy, they might seriously consider to leave us alone. Because, even if they mean good and are willing to help, in this concrete setting they really cannot. So they just move on with a frail heart.

protected by Community Aug 21 '17 at 12:12

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