To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Cosmic Horror, THE LOVECRAFT PANTHEON FAMILY!
Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.
In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.
Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:
A primordial god of chaos and entropy, Yogsogog is as unfathomably powerful as it is immensely stupid. This brainless titan of discord is a powerhouse of raw physical and arcane might, but is incapable of any strategy that doesn’t involve throwing its brute force around, and slow moving on top of that.
If given the complete works of Shakespeare to read, Yogsogog can evolve into Yelloking. Far more refined than its predecessor, this elder god may be less of a tank, but trades the immense defenses and raw strength of its predecessor for guile and cunning. Yelloking’s acting skills are great at drawing and misdirecting enemy attention, and it can drive foes to bouts of madness before killing them with its still considerable arcane might.
If given public speaking lessons, Yogsogog can evolve into Trilobeye. A creeping chaos and whisperer in the dark, this incarnation of chaos is smarter than its predecessor, trading physical bulk for speed and maneuverability that makes it a threat from any range.
If asked to assume a less chaotic, more familiar shape, Trilobeye can evolve into Nyarlaman. Taking an almost human form, this elder god’s physical form may be quite frail compared to its peers, but it makes up for these deficiencies with a myriad of arcane abilities – buffs, debuffs, status effects, and raw arcane attacks, it can do them all – and the best leadership skills of any of the Lovecraft Pantheon Family.
If asked to show off more star power, Yogsogog can evolve into Cuddloo. Though not initially planned to be on par with most of its peers in the Lovecraft Pantheon, Cuddloo is by far the most popular creation in the family as a result of its sheer charisma. This sleepy giant works well on a team, buffing allies with its mere presence and drawing fire from them. With high defense stats and a big health pool, Cuddloo can take a lot of damage while its allies devastate its opponents.
If teamed up with the Arky Shallowone, Cuddloo can evolve into Dadagon. A fiendish manipulator of minds, Dadagon can turn enemies against each other with shocking revelations about their true nature, and is a capable brawler, though it lacks ranged attacks.
If teamed up with the Arky Deepestone, Cuddloo can evolve into Mommydra. A ranged attacker, Mommydra spits caustic acid onto its enemies, and can passively recover a little health every turn.
If told to sew more chaos in the world, Yogsogog can evolve into Milfyung. An excellent nurturer, this creature has a soothing presence that helps other Arkies keep their cool, and can heal and buff its allies with the black ichor that drips from its many teats. Though not an offensive powerhouse itself, any damage dealt to Milfyung will drive its allied Arkies into a violent frenzy, raising their attack stats to terrifying levels.