Elder Sign
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Basic Information

In the Cthulhu Mythos, the Elder Sign is a protection against the minions of the Great Old Ones. However, its description varies widely. In "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", the first appearance of the Elder Sign, it is a gesture made to ward off evil. In "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", 'the Old Ones' signs' are symbol-engraved stones, and it is this interpretation that became accepted in the later Mythos (due to Derleth's use). 'Star stones' engraved with the Elder Sign are a common fixture in Mythos stories, especially those drawing heavily on Derleth. In the Derlethian interpretation of the Mythos, the Elder Sign was used as part of the sealing in of the Great Old Ones by the Elder Gods. "Star Stones" also appear in significant parts of Lovecraft's own work - At the Mountains of Madness featuring extensive use of them by the Elder Race.

The creation of the Elder Sign has been ascribed to N'tse-Kaambl.

The Elder Sign should not be confused with the Voorish Sign or the Yellow Sign, which are both very different things.

Sources

Game and Story Use

  • An invaluable tool in Mythos games; while it may not be entirely reliable, characters in such games need all the help they can get!
  • Need to be used with care - it detracts heavily from the "cosmic horror" aspect of the Mythos to have investigators running around waving Elder Signs like a Joss Whedon character with a crucifix.
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