|“||...and there... sat a lumpish figure robed in yellow silk with red and having a yellow silken mask over its face. To this being the slant-eyed man made certain signs with his hands, and the lurker in the dark replied by raising a disgustingly carven flute of ivory in silk covered paws and blowing certain loathsome sounds from beneath its flowing silken mask.||„|
|~ H.P. Lovecraft , The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath|
The High Priest Not to Be Described is a minor character in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft. Little is known about the priest as it is encountered only once in the story, and the protagonist, Randolph Carter, fearful of the potential dangers, flees soon after meeting the creature.
Randolph Carter is captured and taken by shantak-bird over the feared Plateau of Leng. Far past there deep inside a labyrinthine tunnel system, he is forced into an audience with the High Priest Not to Be Described. Sensing how truly dangerous this thing is and gripped with a wild fear, Carter knocks one of his captors into a well-like aperture in the cave floor and flees with no plan of escape. This is the last thing we see of the High Priest Not to Be Described. (HPL: The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath)
Kuranes, on one occation, barely managed to escape from the High Priest Not to Be Described, who dwells in a prehistoric stone monastery on the plateau of Leng and is said to wear a yellow mask of silk. (HPL: "Celephaïs")
It is also described as praying to "the Other Gods and their crawling chaos Nyarlathotep."
Behind the Mythos[edit | edit source]
When Robert Bloch asked Lovecraft to kill a a fictional version of him in "The Shambler from the Stars" (1935), Lovecraft answered favorably in a letter he "attested" by writers from the Mythos: Abdul Alhazred, Gespard du Nord, Friedrich von Junzt, and the Tcho-Tcho Lama of Leng; the latter possibly being the High Priest not to Be Described. (He also jokingly stated in the same letter that Bloch was the "reincarnation of Meinheer Ludvig Prinn, author of De Vermis Mysteriis.")
Very little is known about this creature: we know it is clad in a yellow robe and dwells deep in Earth's Dreamlands, served by the moon beasts, shantak birds, and the Men of Leng. Identity possibilities include: a moon-beast, an avatar of Nyarlathotep, or the King in Yellow, Hastur.
The yellow could suggest connections to Hastur, the unspeakable, but since August Derleth is credited with the connection between the King in Yellow and Hastur after this story was written, it is likely a coincidence.
More probable is that this is some aspect of Nyarlathotep meant to deal with dangerous dreamers but it could be noted, however, that Nyarlathotep does appear elsewhere in the story in its pharaoh form.