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Hastur, also known as the King in Yellow, is one of the many Great Old Ones and Cthulhu Mythos deities, acting as one of the most mysterious of Lovecraftian gods.
First appearing in Ambrose Bierce's Haita the Shepherd, the god has been stated to be Cthulhu's half brother, a fallen angel, the god of shepherds, and the duke of Hell itself. He is also the main villain of Magicka, under the name Assatur, who plotted to destroy Midgård by possessing the powerful magician Grimnír, and trick the orcs into distracting the humans, while he transported incorporeal daemons into Midgård, which were tearing the world apart.
He has also been known to be the spawn of Yog-Sothoth. Hastur's true form shall never be revealed, but there are two main ways that he is constantly imagined. The first one is a shapeless blob of octopi-like appendages, a common trait among Cthulhu related deities (and is also similar to his half-niece Cthylla). The second is a humanoid hidden by a golden cloak with a family of similarly colored tentacles oozing out from under him.
Other than Hastur's debut, he is mentioned in H.P Lovecraft's The Whisperer of Darkness and is used as more of a placeholder name for certain stars in Robert W. Chambers' collection of written stories. Also, in Robert W. Chambers' ghost story The Demoiselle D'Ys, he is treated as the usual supernatural entity, but in The Repairer of Reputations, he is referred to as a location. This could be because a continuity error, a simple coincidence, or they are possibly named after each other. He is also mentioned in August Derleth's The Dweller in Darkness, in which he is stated to have been imprisoned "upon a black Star near Alderban" by the Elder Gods after they defeated the Great Old Ones.
Servants & Followers
Hastur has several followers, both human and extraterrestrial. The most notable are presumably the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and the dragon-like Byakhee. Gramma Bruckner, the main antagonist of Stephen King's story Gramma, is also implied to be one of his worshippers.
Hastur/The King in Yellow has been referenced in countless forms of Media. Some notable are:
- Johannes van der Berg, is a Dutch self-described intellectual who is a possible avatar to Hastur, in the video game The Sinking City.
- Hastur (as the Yellow King) is worshiped by Errol Childress and other members of the Tuttle Cult in True Detective Season 1. His realm of Carcosa is also mentioned.
- Fenric from the Doctor Who story "The Curse of Fenric", who is also known as Hastur the Unspeakable, an Great Old One who opposes the Seventh Doctor.
- Hastur: A feared and sadistic demon holding the rank "Duke of Hell" in Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.
- George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire universe refers to a sorcerer lord, the 69th Yellow Emperor, who rules over the city of Carcosa. The lord claims to be from a dynasty that fell a thousand years before.
- The Hanged King: A powerful cosmic entity from the realm of Alagadda (similar to Carcosa). Can enter the physical world either through the SCP-701-play or through his servant, SCP-2264-4.
- Hastur has a small, but critical role within the web series Carmilla: The Series, in which he is the deceased husband of the series overarching villain, the Summerian goddess Inanna. Hastur himself never appears in the seires, but his death serves as the cataclyst of Inanna's villainy and her goal to bring about Hell on Earth to reunite with him. His exact role and connection isn't revealed until the third season, but in the first season, the Sword of Hastur is a weapon used to try to kill Lopphiformes.
- There is a character named Hasutā in the Japanese manga/anime Haiore! Nyaruko-san. He is a Hasturan, and his foreign nature causes him to be a bit shy. This Hastur is Lawful Good.
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