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Byatis, the serpent-bearded, the god of forgetfulness, came with the Great Old Ones from the stars, called by obeisances made to his image, which was brought by the Deep Ones to Earth. He may be called by the touching of his image by a living being. His gaze brings darkness on the mind; and it is said that those who look upon his eye will be forced to walk into his clutches. He feasts upon those who stray to him, and from those upon whom he feasts he draws a part of their vitality.
~ The De Vermis Mysteriis about Byatis

Byatis, also known as the Berkeley Toad, is a toad-like Great Old One.

Overview

According to the story "The Room in the Castle" by Ramsey Campbell, Byatis is a horrific creature with one eye and a trunk-like nose. He resembles a cross between a spider and a crab, being in possession of two huge crab claws and a mass of growths beneath his face "in the Fashion of some Sea Monster". According to an eighteenth-century document, Byatis is "somewhat like a Spider, somewhat like a Crab, and somewhat like a Horror in Dreams." He is said to have hypnotic powers, and anyone who looks into his eye will become his slave. He can be summoned by any living creature touching an image of him.

Byatis was summoned to Earth by the Deep Ones when they arrived here, bringing their images of him with them. He was imprisoned in a stone chamber beneath the earth by the Elder Gods, only to later be freed by the Romans, who worshipped the creature as a god, and go on a rampage across Britain, killing hundreds of people before becoming dormant. The Normans later invaded and built a castle on top of the spot where Byatis slumbered.

In the 1700s, an evil wizard named Sir Gilbert Morley discovered Byatis in the stone chamber and decided to use the creature for his own ends. He used the cosmic strength of Byatis to make himself more powerful in return for letting Byatis out every night to feed on the local townsfolk. However, the more Byatis ate, the larger he became, eventually becoming too large to escape the chamber, remaining imprisoned for two hundred and fifty years until the twentieth century, when a man named Parry accidently opened the chamber. Terrified, Parry ran away and returned with a can of petrol, which he used to burn Byatis alive. Although the Old One's physical form was destroyed, Parry saw a great greenish cloud of eldritch mist emerge from the flames and become a toad-like winged creature before flying away.

Trivia

  • Many believe that Byatis and the Shambler from the Stars are one and the same creature, but this is unconfirmed.
  • Byatis bears a passing resemblance to the Evil Monster from Adventure Time, and may have provided the visual inspiration.
  • Byatis has been associated with Yig.
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Abdul Alhazred | Brown Jenkin | Colour Out of Space | De la Poer Family | Dunwich Horror | Ephraim Waite | Herbert West | High Priest Not To Be Described | Joseph Curwen | Karl Heinrich | Keziah Mason | Ludwig Prinn | Master of the Monolith | Nephren-Ka | Obed Marsh | Old Whateley | Player from Beyond the Void | Shambler from the Stars | Terrible Old Man | Toad God | Walakea | Wilbur Whateley

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