Mythos Entities And Religion
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
The most consistent quality among Mythos religions is that they are, at their core, materialistic. Cthulhu is worshiped not for his greatness and glory, but because when he returns to power, his worshipers will be able to kill and take joy as they please. The King in Yellow provides his cultists with wisdom and emotions beyond the ken of normal folk. Nyarlathotep inspires endless indulgence and appeals to cultists’ greed and base desires.

Nowhere is this more obvious than among the aberrations and outsiders who serve the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods. In almost every case, they worship these powerful entities because they were made to or because they receive specific blessings from them.

Almost all Great Old Ones and Outer Gods are crassly materialistic themselves in terms of the rewards they bestow upon worshipers. No heaven or afterlife is offered, but rather treasure, magical power, and wisdom. Perhaps the Great Old Ones envy more conventional gods, who are served with true love and self-sacrificing service. Who can say?

Deep Ones

As genetic constructs of Cthulhu himself, the deep ones are hard-wired to serve the starspawn. They do not “worship” Cthulhu so much as they are part of the cult’s essential infrastructure. The sub-cults of Dagon and Hydra are designed to increase the deep ones’ population and “footprint” on the surface world, thus extending Cthulhu’s reach by proxy.

Mythos Ghouls

Mythos ghouls owe homage to no deity as a matter of course, but they are happy to participate in ceremonies in exchange for services rendered. For example, the Black Goat Cult frequently includes ghouls as participants in its rites, not just because the ghouls have wisdom beyond normal mortals, but also because many ghouls were former Black Goat cultists who carried their lusts and gluttony too far. Ghouls also provide the added convenience of disposing of the evidence when sacrifices need to be carried out.

The Fungi from Yuggoth

The alien mi-go typically serve Shub-Niggurath and foster its worship through cults. As fungus organisms, fertility and growth are obviously central to their existence, and Shub-Niggurath’s fecund nature helps bolster them. The mi-go frequently try to recruit humans to help them on a planetary surface, and a cult structure helps to control the human activities. Though they sometimes serve as priests, the mi-go work with the cult of Shub-Niggurath more out of necessity than out of great loyalty.

The mi-go often cross paths with followers of other Outer Gods and Great Old Ones. To the mi-go, Cthulhu’s entire race is just another deep-space rival. They have fought wars against Cthulhu and his starspawn in the past. Cthulhu’s cults rarely work for the mi-go because of these past conflicts, and the ultimate goal of the Cthulhu cult is at odds with the mi-go’s purposes. The Yellow Sign cult, though occasionally useful, is generally too solipsistic and treacherous. The cult of the Goat is all about taking wisdom, giving in to lusts, and seeking rewards where one can; the mi-go can readily exploit these tendencies.

The Elder Things and the Great Race of Yith

The elder things and other powerful species known within the Mythos framework almost always get by without any kind of religious expression. The yithians are far more likely to treat cults of Nyarlathotep, Cthulhu, and their ilk diplomatically rather than with any religious fervor.

The Moonbeasts

Moonbeasts serve Nyarlathotep explicitly to get the favor of the Outer Gods, whom Nyarlathotep serves. Rather than worshipful desires, they are openly motivated by their mercenary greed.

Other Alien Species

In a few cases, Mythos races are somewhat like humanoids in their emotional/religious attachment. The gnorri and even the gugs are rather like this, for example, though the gugs adhere to the foulest of lords. In other cases, their religious nature is pure lip-service, aimed toward allowing them to control or work with humanoids for their own gain. In yet other cases, they are simply interested in the rewards offered.

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