Who are the Xaggoth?
In book 3 of Shadyia Ascendant, you were introduced to the Matriarch. She is a timeless entity who exists in a sunken city below the Agathe Sea. She is Xaggoth. But what are the Xaggoth?
What are the Xaggoth?
Luun, the Vaskar and Shadyia’s foremother, described the Xaggoth as parasites. Most mortals who look upon a Xaggoth are driven insane. The Xaggoth are a name given to a space-dwelling race of beings that travel from world to word and destroy all life until that world is barren. They then leave their spawn on the barren world. The spawn eventually mature, become travellers themselves and seek worlds of their own to absorb.
In the Shadyia Ascendant series, the Xaggoth came to the world when the races of Vaskar and Ashkhan were mortal. At first, these races were nearly exterminated. The Xaggoth were (and still are) timeless beings of immense power, some so large they could devour the sun. Some are not necessarily evil—they are like blue whales feeding on krill—but others have a malevolent nature. They pervert and corrupt ‘lesser’ races for a sinister purpose. For this reason, there was a resistance to the Xaggoth from an unnamed ancient race who created the Valenji.
The Valenji Resistance
The Valenji are celestial warriors that travel to the worlds being (or about to be) ravished by the Xaggoth, and teach the natives how to fight and defeat them. This happened on the world where the Shadyia Ascendant series takes place, ages before humans came to live there. (How we ended up on that world will be covered in another blog. It’s a fascinating story.)
Under the guidance of the Valenji, The Vaskar and Ashkhan not only defeated the Xaggoth, but became immortal beings themselves in the process. They even destroyed the mate of the Matriarch with a weapon created by the Xaggoth. That weapon, a dagger, was then cast into Abysm (the eternal void between dimensions) as it was viewed as too terrible a temptation for even the Vaskar and Ashkhan to possess. In book 3, Sundered Journey, the Ashkhans Mareli and Sindavash recover the dagger. They intend to use it to slay Shadyia, as they believe she possesses some supernatural power that kills Ashkhan (she doesn’t, really.)
Little do the Vaskar and Ashkhan realize, the Xaggoth they defeated were not destroyed, but driven deep into the earth. As the eons passed and humanity came to live on the world, the Xaggoth were all but forgotten. Until now. They are on the rise again, but this time there are no Ashkhan or Vaskar in any significant amounts to oppose them. There may, however, be a Valenji. In book four, Shadyia is asked by Gaia (the spirit of all life you met in book 3) to find this celestial warrior. Unfortunately, Shadyia is distracted with problems of her own.
As any who love the heroic fantasy genre will point out, I am greatly influenced by the immortal Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890–March 15, 1937). I stand in the shadow of Him Who is Often Named with many writers, both known and unknown. Lovecraft’s genius, which is so hard to duplicate, was to create cosmic horrors that mankind had as much chance to comprehend (let alone defeat) as krill have against a blue whale. The temptation of writers that followed HP Lovecraft was to make his eternal entities into monsters that could be understood and destroyed. The wiser of these Lovecraftian descendants used corrupted humans to be the antagonists, but kept the Great Old Ones indifferent and aloof.
By introducing the Valenji, I realize that I run the risk of reducing my Xaggoth to a level in the same league as us mere mortals. In my universe, there is a cosmic balance—an anti-virus—that keeps the domination of the Xaggoth in check. I am willing to risk the loss of total helplessness and despair (which are awesome literary tools) that mankind has no chance against the extraterrestrial terrors, for the existence of a lone warrior that can stand against them. I find that fascinating. Will Shadyia find the Valenji before the Xaggoth return and consume the world? Even if she does, how will such a warrior defeat these eternal entities?
Read on to find out!