"A Portion of the
Relating to the Great G'marr,
Jordan S. Bassior
[From the commentary to the Book of Eibon called the Biblos Eissnos, believed to have been first penned in Atlantis and brought over to Hyborea, and referring to events in the even more ancient land of Hyperborea] (1)
After the victory of the adherents of Zoth-Aqua (2) those Old Voormis who had turned to the worship of Adukwu (3) were cast out into the frozen mountains of northwestern Hyperborea (4), many of them drifting southwest into northern Brasilos (5) or perhaps even further around the world into Farthest Khitai (6), and thence even into the mountains around Kadath in the Cold Waste (7). There, the worshippers of Adukwu grew savage, great and hairy, and became increasingly bestial.
In contrast, the worshippers of Zoth-Aqua continued to dwell in cities in the fertile plains, and they rose higher and higher, and hence are known to history as the High Voormis. In ancient Hyperborea, long before the coming of the first Eldren (8), they learned the arts of writing and mathematics, of construction and metallurgy, of astronomy and navigation. Far from being mere half-beasts, as Eibon claimed (9), they had before too long developed a civilization of almost our own capabilities (10).
The High Voormis spread to many lands and formed many realms. The greatest of these realms was G'marr, which lay in the southern and easterly parts of Hyperborea itself. G'marr had once been a kingdom, but over time the aristocratic and mercantile interests dominated, and eventually the Kings and Queens of G'marr came to heed well to their own High Council. The laws were fair, and justly enforced, and the wealth and power of G'marr grew greater than those of all other kingdoms, until in the fulness of time G'marr ruled directly or directly all the High Voormis, and became known as "Great" G'marr (11).
During all this time the G'marr had faithfully worshipped Zoth-Aqua. But as the G'marr grew Great, they chafed at the restrictions placed upon them by the Priesthood of that somnolent deity, for the Church demanded its tithes and furthermore fettered free philosophical inquiry. A sentiment grew of atheism. In the end there came a civil war. Though the Faithful prayed mightily to their god, Zoth-Aqua did not awake to aid them, which is one reason he is reputed to be sleepy (12).
In consequence, the Faithful were shorn of their tithes and their powers, and fled into the wilderness. There they were unable to maintain the high civlization of G'marr, which they rejected in any case as impious. The faithful however retained metalworking and farming, and hence were greatly superior to the surviving Low Voormis, whose lands the Faithful G'marr now coveted. The Low Voormis had lost the use even of copper, and degenerated to the use only of stone, wood and bone weapons. Hence it was that though no-god had been favored over Zoth-Aqua by Destiny, Zoth-Aqua was favored over Adukwu by that same cosmic force, and the Low Voormis now lost any lands good enough for even subsistence farming, and were reduced to hunting and gathering in the wastelands (13).
Free of the Faithful, the Great G'marr progressed still more rapidly. They developed great machines (14), some powered by water, some by steam, and some by the Earth-currents (15). They learned to reduce friction, locally reverse entropy and even twist time itself (16). Thus the G'marr machines used their energies with great efficiency, could sometimes even employ […?…] to achieve perpetual motion (17). With these arts the G’marr built great ships which bent the winds to serve them (18), and other ships which sailed the air using gasses of an efficiency greater than that of the lightest occurring in nature (19). The cities of the Great G’marr were lighted through perfect-conversion photo-alchemicals; water and power derived from hydro-mechanical systems of supernal design and reliability; and travel between them made easy by means of nearly-frictionless tunnels through which the G’marr rode with rapidity in cars equipped with regenerative gravitic braking systems (20).
But the proudest achievements of the Great G'marr lay in biomancy. They learned the twisting ladders of life's most fundamental matter, and then the time-linked and spirit-linked webwork that bound them to the generations before and after, and explored the workings of Destiny bound into that life (21). And, not content with learning these secrets, they used them to change the nature of life forms, rendering them more useful to G'marr purposes. They made crops that could not be blighted, and yielded in abundance even in time of frost or drought, or were fruitful with substances of great alchemical virtue (22).
And in time they went beyond even this. Duplicating and even surpassing the science of the Serpent Men who had created the Voormis themselves, they took lesser life forms and uplifted them to sapience, making for themselves servitors for divers purposes. This was the origin of many strange creatures known to the Hyperborean bestiaries, such as the ogres and gnoph-keh (23).
Finally, daring still more, the Great G'marr changed themselves. There had always been amongst the Voormis a tendency to become smaller and more compact as they became more civilized, or larger and more bestial as they became less civilized, due both to the effects of selection and destiny. Even before modification the Great G'marr had been smaller than men, though as powerfully-built as apes. After modification the Great G'marr became physically even shorter, averaging about three feet, yet retaining most of their physical strength and acquiring an extreme tenacity upon life, so that they were very hard to slay by violence, and naturally lived for several centuries even without advanced medicaments. Many small animucles swarmed in their blood, protecting and aiding them, thus enabling them to resist most illness and rapidly recover from wounds; and their wyrds were bound to the future so that they were exceedingly fortunate in all things, so they seldom died by accident (24).
(1) - Hyperborea is identified with Late Pliocene to Late Pleistocene Greenland, Hyborea with Late Pleistocene Europe. The Atlantis referred to here is not the Early Holocene Kallistos (aka Thera), but rather a small subcontinent, probably located somewhere on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, created by the vulcanism and submerged by violent rifting in that great fault between oceanic plates.
(2) - Better known as "Tsathoggua," in the writings of Klarkash-Ton of Atlantis and Luvah-Keraph of ancient Khem.
(3) - Now generally called "Ithaqua," the Wind-Walker, as detailed in Cultes des Goules (Comte d'Erlette).
(4) - Around 1.7 MYA, which is to say the early part of the Calabrian, today considered the early part of the Late Pleistocene.
(5) - Renamed "America" in the 16th century CE.
(6) - Modern northeastern Siberia. The Bering land bridge was periodically available, and of course at the beginning the Low Voormis would have been able to build boats.
(7) - Eissnos here refers to the Himalayas and other mountains around Tibet, in Asia, rather than to the Miskatonic Mountains of Antarctica. The Atlanteans who first discovered Antarctica seem to have imagined that it was a continuation of Asia through Lemuria, leading to a mistake analogous to that Columbus made when he confused the Carribean with the Southwestern Pacific, which has led to great confusion regarding the Earthly location of "Leng." It does not help to clarify matters that there is yet a third Leng, in Earth's Dreamlands.
(8) - Eissnos consistently uses a word which I have here translated as "Eldren" or a phrase which literally translates as "the Elder Race of Man" for the species of human which is generally termed "Hyperboreans" in most sources. As future articles may detail, I consider them to be identical to the race which has passed into Western European folklore and even more Western fantasy literature as the "Elves," though the unfortunate connotations of that word has led me to choose "Eldren" instead. They were very much like Homo sapiens, at least in the beginning: they may even have been of our own genus. Eibon himself was one of them.
(9) - For all his broad-mindedness, we must remember that even great Eibon was of the same kind who had displaced the Voormis, and he had learned in his cradle the same myth of Voormis inferiority which the Eldren used to justify their rape of the Voormis lands: that they were but bestial savages and the land thus deserved to be in human hands.
(10) - In other words, by around 1.5 MYA, the Voormis had developed what we would term a Renaissance level of technology, roughly equivalent to that of Europe, Islam or China around the 15th Century A.D. This would have been from a base of the Chalcolithic around 1.7 MYA, roughly equivalent to that of Egypt or Sumer around the 30th century BCE. This means that they took around 200,000 years to make advances which took us around 4,500 years. This was however a lightning rate of progress by the standards of any pre-human race, and said much for High Voormis intelligence and imagination.
(11) - This seems to have happened by 1.4 MYA, and involved further technological progress to around the level of the Europe of the late 18th century. The G'marr thus advanced our equivalent of around 3 centuries in around 1000 centuries, which means that their rate of progress was actually slowing. The reason will become apparent.
(12) - Eissnos, despite his fascination with the work of Eibon, was not a worshipper of Tsathoggua, whom he considered a dark inhuman abomination. The Atlanteans were instead worshippers of the gods of Earth, who in their day had greater influence there. These gods of Earth were themselves descended from the main stream of Eldren civilization, and we must remember that Eibon was a heretic in the eyes of his fellow Eldren.
(13) - This is so profoundly cynical a statement, as are others Eissnos makes in other part of his book, that one wonders if Eissnos' professed devotion to the Gods of Atlantis was merely made for the sake of apparent decency. In other words, Eissnos may have also been an atheist in our meaning of the word.
(14) - An industrial civilzation, and they seem to have made the jump which took us 50 years in 500, which is a remarkable increase in pace over either the High Voormis or the Little G'marrean eras. Evidently the restraints imposed by the Faithful had indeed constriced G'marrean culture.
(15) - Water and steam are easy to understand, but what are the "Earth-currents?" Geomagnetism, ley lines, or something less comprehensible? Is this the same force said to be tapped in the possible future Great Redoubt, the last city of Man on Earth? From this point on, the technology of the Great G'marr progresses along paths our own science has not yet taken, while never taking some we found long ago, and comprehension of their achievements becomes more difficult.
(16) - The first sounds like nanotechnologically tailored surfaces, the second and third are achievements far enough beyond our own that I cannot say with certainity just what forces the G'marr had discovered.
(17) – The Atlantean phrase, a translation of a Hyperborean translation of a G’marrean scientific concept, is incomprehensible in our terms, something about “applying inter-Azathoth constant through temporal consumption.” I have absolutely no idea what this means, even in terms of the Mythos.
(18) – The Atlanteans were perfectly familiar with multi-masted square and lateen rigs, keels, centerboards, and both wearing and tacking. Eissnos is thus here talking about something very different, possibly the psychic control of the Aristotlean element of air, perhaps something even stranger.
(19) – Did the Great G’marr have the Fleach Formula, or something of that sort? The very chemistry which makes Fleach Gas even possible has only been explained within the last decade, and the harmonic interaction it employs between the electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces is still but obscurely understood. There may be a whole family of Fleach Gas like compounds still awaiting discovery, which were known to the Great G’marr.
(20) – The legendary “quick-tunnels,” referred to in the better-known works of Eisnoss, are here explained. The translation "regenerative gravitic braking systems" is highly-conjectural, and involves an Atlantean speculation as to just how the system worked. Based on other evidence, the quick-tunnels seem to have operated at speeds from around 30 to 240 mph: slower than our own intercity aircraft, but much more inexpensive to the users.
(21) - The first accomplishment was of course to understand the structure of DNA; the second and third things which our own study of genetics have not yet discovered.
(22) - In other words, Genetic Modification. This explains the statement in some primal Hyperborean legends that there was a sort of fruit of peculiar alchemical virtues called a G'marr-berry, from which through complex formulas could be distilled various juices with beneficial magical properties. According to the legend, the bushes which bore these berries were rare, and tended to grow on sites which had been sacred to the Voormis.
(23) - The horned bestial gnoph-keh, rather than the later tribe of human cannibals, usually termed "gnophkeh" (without the hyphen) who adopted that animal as a totem. Though it's certainly possible that the Great G'marr might have been responsible for both, especially in light of the reference to ogres.
(24) - To state in simpler terms, the Great G'marr modified themselves to be shorter while retaining most of their strength, with thick bones and other tissues enabling them to resist physical injury, and some sort of nano-technological symbiotes which acted as phagocytes and damage control machines. The mysterious part is again the reference to "wyrd," which is another term for "destiny." Eissnos here takes for granted that the Great G'marr could scientifically alter an individual or even lineage so that the effects of probability upon it were altered, which is a concept utterly-alien to our own understanding of quantum mechanics -- especially at the macroscopic level! This is something which the Atlanteans believed, but which was considerably beyond their own power -- but apparently not beyond that of the Great G'marr.