The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

"Crom, count the dead." Discuss the Conan campaign setting (based on the Hyborian Age Conan the Barbarian, created by Robert E. Howard) as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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Big Mac
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The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:50 pm

I just noticed something, called "The Outer Dark" on page 5 of Conan: The Roleplaying Game (from Mongoose):
Conan: The Roleplaying Game, page 5 wrote:...The demons of the Outer Dark, called up by sorcery or trapped on Earth by bad luck can be quite another matter.
That last bit sounded a bit like Planescape to me, but this next quote, also on page 5, sounds more like something from Spelljammer:
Conan: The Roleplaying Game, page 5 wrote:The sorcerers speak of other realms beyond the Earth of the Hyborian Age. The Outer Dark, home to demons; hell itself, home to more diabolic creatures and to lost souls. Beyond the Outer Dark are more planets, often cold and accursed, the source of many a weird monster travelling through the void under its own power or blown as spores by cosmic forces.
I looked in the Index, at the back of the book, but it does not include The Outer Dark, so I had a skim through and found a Cosmology sction on page 293:
Conan: The Roleplaying Game, page 293 wrote:Cosmology

There are other planets than the Earth of the Hyborians. The planet Earth is surrounded by a belt of light, but beyond that is the Outer Dark, home to many a strange demon.

Beyond the Outer Dark, deep within the emptiness of the void. lie several strange planets. The most notable one, which seems to have the closest connection to the Earth, is Yag. It is described variously as a green planet and an accursed planet; presumably because it is covered with weird plant life that is inimically hostile to the life of Earth. At some point thousands of years ago, a great civil war shook Yak, which is when the god Yogath (see p. 289) first came to Earth as an exile. More recently the seeds of the vampiric plant Yothga drifted down to Earth, though they could grow nowhere, but in Hell. Some scholars speculate that Yothga was sent in search of Yogah by the kings of Yag, but it seems equally likely that this cosmic plant reproduces by casting its seeds far into the void.

More information about Yag and the creatures from it can be found in the mysterious tome known as the Book of Skelos.
Off I went to page 289:
Conan: The Roleplaying Game, page 289 wrote:Yogah: Yogah is the strange, elephant-headed star-being from the story The Tower of the Elephant. His memory is worshipped still as a god in Khitai. Probably he is a god of magic and sorcerous knowledge.
I did a Google search for the Book of Skelos. It seems to be an in-character book, rather than an out-of-character book, that Mongoose published. But it does also look like Modiphius have used that name for one of their books.

Does anyone know if Robert E. Howard wrote more details on how the Outer Dark, the void, Yag and the other planets work? Have any of the various publishers done anything with this space stuff?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:13 am

There's an earlier thread on Yag and "The Tower of the Elephant" here. Yag seems to definitely be a planet, not another plane of existence, though I suppose you could choose to interpret it otherwise. Yogah is, by his own testimony, neither a god nor a demon, but instead just a member of an alien race.

Yogah of Yag from "The Tower of the Elephant" somewhat resembles the Yaddithians from H.P. Lovecraft's story "Through the Gates Of the Silver Key."

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Re: The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

Post by hyrieus » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:45 am

Howard did contribute to the Cthuhlu Mythos so you should certainly consider the possibility of planets such as Yuggoth/Pluto try here to start looking ... -e-howard/

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Re: The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

Post by thorr-kan » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:40 pm

_The Scrolls of Skelos_ is the Conan first edition sorcery source book. _Secrets of Skelos_ is the second edition version.

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Re: The Outer Dark, the void and Yag

Post by JamesMishler » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:52 am

The Outer Dark is Outer Space.

The "Belt of Light" is the light that falls on Earth from the Sun.

This is most prominently mentioned in Howard's works in "The Vale of Lost Women."

"A devil from the Outer Dark,' he grunted. 'Oh, they're nothing uncommon. They lurk as thick as fleas outside the belt of light which surrounds this world. I've heard the wise men of Zamora talk of them. Some find their way to Earth, but when they do, they have to take on earthly form and flesh of some sort."

Essentially, the same kind of innumerable horrors of Outer Space as found in the Lovecraft mythos.

Note how by this point in his career, Conan is blasé about the whole encounter. "Seen one cosmic horror, you've seen them all," he essentially is saying...

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