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(Summary: An excerpt from an entry in the Pnakotic Manuscripts describing the
secret that the Great Race has always longed to plumb.)

The multitudinous questions regarding our original forms have

unsettled us for millennia. Indeed, whether we would take our soul
voyages so boldly or frequently as we have done historically had
the mystery of our origins not gnawed at us incessantly. We recall our
home planets name, but beyond this one vital hint, we have
uncovered no materials toward our true history.
However, recent forays across the ebon gulf and temporal
chasm have revealed secrets heretofore considered likely lost forever.
Our world of Yith has now been glimpsed in what might must surely
be its youth.
Yiths sole landmass known at the time of this writing was a
continent that spanned half the face of one side of the planet. This
broad island enjoyed every known variety of biome; the west boasted
deserts to rival what would become of Mars, and the verdant
temperate forests of the east could fairly soothe a weary traveler with
their mild coolness and gently trickling streams. Saline water, as
expected, blanketed the rest of the worlds surface. In and out of this
waterand in as often as outlived the original Yithians.
Our first bodies resembled neither the beetles of Earths future
nor the reptiles of Venus. Our forebears, in fact, were amphibious,
though they did not duplicate the phenotype of the race known as the
Deep Ones. The original Great Race rejoiced in multitudinous
adaptations for life in the vast salt seagills along the flanks for
respiration, muscular hydrostats to propel them through the water,
tentacles for grabbing small and quick-darting prey--but our
primordial ancestors also resided comfortably on land, where they
could live free from the ever-present threat of the colossal carnivores
that prowled the pelagic regions. Our ancestors soft, translucent
bodies contained chromatophores that allowed them to glow in the

dark and blend in perfectly with the indigo depths, and they exercised
this function even when treading on solid ground to accentuate the
expression of their feelings or, perhaps, to execute whimsy.
To the current extent of our knowledge, the original Great Race
seems to have favored the continents southern region, which boasted
the warmest, wettest climate. Much like the austral territory we thrive
in on the planet we inhabit at the present time, the nethermost
portion of the continent was covered in fertile, blooming jungles, and
much urban activity centered around the tip closest to the broad
purple ocean. The coastal environment seemed to soothe the citizens
and inspire them to explore and analyze the world around them. The
sight of the bright lavender sky falling across the violet sea nearly
causes one to mourn our mass exodus from the world.
At any rate, the southern coast of this continent held what may
be the galaxys, if not the universes, first laboratory. In this immense
spherical building, constructed from the osseous tissue of dead
marine invertebrates (as were the races personal habitations), the
original Great Race conducted inordinate amounts of the research
that not only improved their own living conditions but which brought
us to where we are now. Despite its globular shape, this gray and
porous looking institute of science reared to the sky like one of our
own basalt towers and consisted of multitudinous floors, each
dedicated to a different discipline or function.
The original Great Race reproduced by laying clusters of eggs
sometimes in the water that bordered the island but more often in
heated insulation tubes built into the perimeter of specialized rooms
in their laboratories. In the centers of these rooms lay massive pools
of brackish water where the newly hatched offspring could swim and
gradually develop into their adolescence. Attendants, a squad of
dedicated nursing staff primarily composed of individuals in their
earliest stage of adulthood, supervised the larvae with great diligence
and nurturance. None of the offspring were forgotten; the attendants
fed and cared for all.
Most surprisingly, however, this laboratorys basement held
objects of undetermined purpose. One might expect the basement of a
laboratory to contain outdated equipment no longer in use and
perhaps an assortment of books and janitorial supplies. Instead, the
underground chamber was crammed with paraphernalia intended for
uses as of yet unfathomed.
Specifically, a cluster of tripod-like devices stood in a ring in the

center of the room, each of which was surrounded by smooth stones

of varying colors. Intriguingly, these contraptions may have been the
prototype for our own time-manipulators, given that fixtures of
reflective surfaces like glass and little spinning shells mounted the
tripods. More puzzling are the decorations on the stones. Each stone
bore one of two patterns: two circles attached by an overhanging loop
or its inversion. Future research will decipher their meaning.
And, just beside this odd display, jars of salt and ash lay broken
on the floor. Their specific function remains a mystery, but the
current conjecture is that they served as tools in some sort of fortunetelling ritual. Ironic that the universe's most advanced species would
resort to a primitive pastime, and yet, for all our progress, we must
still yield to the infinite mystery of the cosmos.
"The Shadow Out of the Time," the Great Race of Yith, and the
Pnakotic Manuscripts are the creations of H. P. Lovecraft. All are in
the public domain now.
Rosencrantz, I hope this contribution doesn't disappoint you.