Spirits in the Muck

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a green-leather-bound vellum book
  • Look:
This thin book's pages are of vellum, and green leather cover bears a title etched in gold leaf. It is open to page three of three. You estimate its value at about two hundred sixty-six gold.

It looks about a quarter of a dimin long, one and seventeen twentieths dimins wide, and two and nine twentieths dimins tall. It weighs about one hundred eighty-three two-hundredths of a dekan.

  • Info:
The commands 'open <item>', 'close <item>', and 'turn page [in <item>] [to <number>]' may be used with it. The green-leather-bound vellum book was created by Chaos, who wishes to credit Robert Anton Wilson and Kerry Thornley as inspiring this work; the source code was last updated Fri Dec 28 17:26:25 2012. The material leather was created by Lost Souls; the source code was last updated Sun Jul 12 19:30:01 2009. The material vellum was created by Lost Souls; the source code was last updated Sun Jul 12 19:30:01 2009.
Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.

Spirits in the Muck

The Eschatological and Epistemological
Implications of the Shoggoth

Professor Vigilius Amorequis
University of Altri

University of Altri Press
Urbs Altri
A.A. 227

    Though many find the disturbing physical mutability and cold appetite
of the shoggoth its most horrifying features, I who have made a study of
their strange and obscure nature have discerned matters of far more grave
and subtle import about which to be concerned and dismayed.  Having employed
spells diverse and potent to probe and investigate shoggothim both in the
wild and ever-so-precariously captive, I have made determinations with the
most far-reaching and serious of implications.

    My first observation is this: there appears to be no upper limit on the
growth of a shoggoth, provided only that it keeps itself fed.  Their foul,
inchoate mass simply adds material to itself without structural or
complexity limitations.

    My second observation: as my colleagues Augustus and Fuscus have
hypothesized, the shoggoth is no mindless thing, but possesses a cold and
alien intelligence that is capable of as much thought and imagination as
any man's.

    My third observation: as a shoggoth grows, it can create an increasing
number of specialized organs from its illimitable mass, some of which have
a dramatically enhancing effect upon the creature's cognition.  It appears
able to effortlessly integrate the activity of many instances of these
organs, displaying steadily increasing intelligence despite that intellect
being distributed through its form.

    So, what do we make of this?  The first observation, upon contemplation,
presents more than enough horror for most -- implying, as it does, that the
most natural final state for world to achieve is that of utter assimilation
to the bodily mass of one inconceivably enormous shoggoth.  The idea that
it may be simply the natural progression of affairs for all that we see and
know to fall within this crawling chaos -- this, which we may call my first
conclusion, is enough to turn many thinkers away in fear for their sanity.

    That is to say, of course, only those thinkers made of less stern stuff
than myself.  For when one meditates upon my second and third observations,
one realizes that a shoggoth of world-spanning scope could achieve simply
unimaginable mental complexity -- and that a natural occupation for such a
mind, deprived of an external world to act upon, to fall into would be the 
*imagining* of a world, a detailed envisioning populated with places and
people perhaps derived from those it remembers from long ago, but changed
and revised according to its whims and fancy.  We may call this my second

    What is the horror in that, you ask?  Well, that lies in my third
conclusion: that, given the nature of epistemology as we have determined
it, there is no way in which we can conclusively demonstrate that this has
not all happened already.  That you, I, and the book before you may be no
more than glimmerings of imagination in the mind of a cosmic monstrosity.
That we may be no more than spirits in the muck.


You feel that reading this material has broadened your perspective and increased your knowledge of elder lore and philosophy.

End of spoiler information.
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