Setting clarification - sorcery, magic, Gods etc & Lovecraft

I’m just wondering if the ‘gods’ of the hyborean age are the Old ones created by HP Lovecraft. I know that Howard and HP were pen pals. I have read, read and reread the 3 Lovecraft Omnibuses and currently reading the CCoC again during lockdown, played CoC countless times and various iterations of D&D.

So just to have some ‘consistency’ in a make believe world, is it our world before the Old Ones discovered it so demons/devils are from hell, heroes come back from the dead to aid their fellows and the gods are either good (wanting to aid the planet ) or evil ( wanting it to descend into madness like the Choas gods of Moorcock)?.. and then those gods left due to the power of the Old Ones?

OR are the gods etc Old Ones playing a fast one on humanity? I’d just like some other thoughts on it. The more I read of Howard and HP i see similarities but not so many Mythos links in Conan etc. You could say that Set is Yig in disguise, but I was going to chuck in a Cult of Osiris…

My thoughts will be that the lower plains exist and the gods are a bit aloof about the affairs of man, so the Lords of the Pit raise their heads occasionally and send their minions to reek havoc… No Old Ones, all Mythosesque entities are the result of demonology, necromancy and such.

I was even thinking of throwing in Elemental and Beast Lords from Moorcock’s Elric setting, unless they’re already mentioned on Book of Skelos which I haven’t bought yet…(pending on my shopping list :smiley: )

… I’m also waiting for Kull: Exile of Atlantis to be delivered

EDIT: Actually… I just remembered Mongoose Games wrote a d20 gods/deities book… Ignore me, I had a blond moment!!!

Nameless cults has a lot of this info. Zernobog the Hyperborean god is supposedly Tsathoggua and Set is even rumored to be something from the Outer Dark.

Seems Mitra is ok and other gods as well.

Crom is the only god you’ll ever need though.

And if you need him, you’re not worthy of him…

Set is a placeholder for Yig and viceversa.

Check Nameless Cults for complete Hyborian Age cosmology.

In short, yes. But I’m no scholar of Howard and/or of Lovecraft. Still, I believe that Lovecraft’s “gods”—some even by name—receive a reference, once in awhile, in Conan yarns, probably more often in Kull.

But you don’t seem too terribly concerned with canon, and I don’t think you should be, either. Hyboria is a telescoping of (most) real-Earth histories and cultures, the stage for many colorful adventures. It contains anything you want. I believe that most of Howard’s religions were what most moderns consider to be “real” religions, i.e., so much “superstition.” Others have something to them, as various as those qualities might be. Others are vast, cosmic terrors, sometimes masquerading as gods.

In my own game, I frequently yank something out of history or prehistory, as Howard himself did—a god named Talmuz, for example, or Enlil, or anything out of Babylon or Mesopotamia. I don’t bother myself too much with “canon”—though the Cult and Horror books are plenty useful!

Thanks I could not remember. Not at my books right now. Also having the trouble and frustration of getting Elder gods names and even Crom through autocorrect on mobile.

This is very true :slight_smile:

Cheers guys… I was just seeking some clarity really, TBH I’ll have a serious thinky-time… Nameless Cults is on my list after the ‘Conan the (current Career Choice)’ sourcebooks

There are several non Hyborian REH stories (some featuring Dr Kirowan) that delve further into REHs mythos, a prime example being the unbelievably scary «The Black Stone».

Also, a few of REHs most notable non Hyborian yarns are connected, if ever so slightly, to his Hyborian or even Valusian sagas.

I’d be wary of going too far downthe elder gods rabbit hole, anyhow. Howard didn’t write them inthat much. They were more a kind of fun link-in with his buddy Lovecraft. Who reciprocated to a limited degree. They both liked each other’s work already before that point and for good reasons. Hyborea is like a microcosm of the bits of h(pre) history Howard loved, so if you go down that route, you’ll keep a lot of the flavour of his stories.
And, of course, it all depends on what your players enjoy.
But make 'em work for it. Let them connect the dots.

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