He hung motionless in a black, forbidding sky and at first thought he was suspended somewhere in the intrasolar deeps much closer to the Sun than on Earth. But then he realized that the dully gleaming orb which floated before his dreaming vision was not the Sun. Ugly dark blotches mottled the dull orange surface and great columns of spinning flame arced around the rim.... [He watched] the titan sunspots drift slowly across the hideous disc, at times growing larger and merging into great gaping chasms in the fiery atmosphere, while at others dwindling almost to nothingness.... Something was stirring deep within that fiery atmosphere; something monstrous that roared an insatiable anger against the chains of the Elder Gods which had bound it there for an eternity.... Unable to resist, utterly powerless to control his movements, he was diving headlong towards that ravening chaos, that age-old intelligence which was Cthugha.
~ John Glasby , "The Dark Mirror"


This subject contains information from the Derleth Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. Cthugha, The Living Flame is an Great Old One created by August Derleth. Its main appearance occurs in the story The Dweller in Darkness.

Name[edit | edit source]

In essence, it is the same as the name of Cthulhu, of which just a consonant ("l" for "g") and a vowel ("u" for "a") change.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Cthugha's appearance is generally a fireball. However, it is capable of changing shape at will, since it does not have a defined physical structure as it is only a mass of heat endowed with consciousness.

Conceptual information and role[edit | edit source]

Cthugha gives off heat in its purest form and is capable of causing desertification and killing humans due to lack of water. The only function of this being is to reduce everything to ashes, a purpose for which it uses its subjects, the Fire Vampires.

It should also be noted that Cthugha has an old enmity with the Outer God Nyarlathotep and, like Nodens, does everything possible to make him uncomfortable in one way or another. This is why some speculated in his day that Cthugha could actually be an Elder God, although only this attitude was promoted by rivalry and not compassion towards humanity.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

First chronological appearance of this deity, who is conjured together with a horde of fire vampires to drive Nyarlathotep away. (AWD: "The Dweller in Darkness")

Cthugha's appearance is related to the Ur-Nansha lithographs. If summoned, he uses telepathy to reveal to those who summoned him the folly of his actions. He then destroys them with fire vampires, fiery pseudopods, and vomiting flames. In any case, it will incinerate everything around it. (EXP: Call of Cthulhu "Secrets of Morocco" expansion)

Curiosities[edit | edit source]

  • Derleth created Cthugha in order to give rise to an Great Old One of the fire element, since until then there were none. It was much later that this element was also associated with Azathoth and Aphoom-Zhah.
  • According to the essay The Cthulhu Mythos in Mesoamerican Religion by Richard L. Tierney, the Aztecs could have worshiped Cthugha in the form of the fire god Huehueteotl.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

  • There is a computer program named after him.
  • One of the protagonists of the manga Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is a Cthughian who goes by the name of Kuuko. Also Cthughian are his cousin Kuune and agent Clark Ashton Smith, who is in turn a clear reference to the writer of the same name
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! there is a card based on Cthugha, called "Old Entity Chthugua". There is also one in the expansion "The Millennia of Ages" of the card game "Force of Will", called "Cthugha, the Living Flame".
  • Cthugha appears as one of the demons from the video game Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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