The subterranean blue-litten world of K’n-yan is at least as old as Atlantis, Mu, and Lemuria, since ancient K’n-yanian records refer to the destruction of all of these lost worlds. The humans of K’n-yan have long kept themselves separated from the rest of the world, rarely venturing above ground and forbidding any strangers to leave who somehow stumble into their realm. So well have they kept their existence a secret that few texts refer to them, and even the authoritative Friedrich Wilhelm von Junzt deems them a myth.
The size of this underground world is unknown but thought to be great, perhaps as large as the entire North American continent under which it lies. One entrance to K’n-yan is located in Caddo County, Oklahoma, but others undoubtedly exist. Despite their many adaptations the K’n-yanians still require fresh supplies of oxygen. K’n-yan is lit by a blue glow, a form of radiation that permeates this underground world.
The people of K’n-yan believe that those living on the Earth’s surface are in some way corrupted or polluted by outside forces. Legends of the surface-dwellers’ dealings with “space devils” are probably a mythic interpretation of the mi-go’s long-term tampering with human development. The K’n-yanians believe themselves untainted by the mi-go, and their legends even state that they were spawned on another planet, separate from the human race, and brought here by their octopus-headed god, Tulu. Nevertheless, they are indeed as human as we, and their ancient legends are little more than racist propaganda. The K’n-yanians are untainted by the mi-go, which may go some way to explain their ability to develop natural human talents unknown or only guessed at by surface dwellers.
Although most of their history is one of an underground race, they occasionally build cities upon the surface, usually during inter-glacial periods. An especially notable one is said to have stood on the slopes of Mount Kadath.
The K’n-yanians were once a great people, building cities decorated with silver and gold that possibly gave rise to the legends of lost golden cities that so intrigued the first Spanish explorers of North America. K’n-yan scientists discovered the secrets of atomic power and explored the art of genetic engineering, creating a strange species of semi-intelligent creatures they still use as mounts.
The people of K’n-yan were also able to develop their latent mental powers, learning how to communicate telepathically and how to dematerialize themselves and other objects. Dematerialized or semi-dematerialized humans from K’n-yan visiting the outer world have occasionally given rise to stories of spirits or ghosts haunting certain areas. Some few have even developed the ability to enter their own dreams, making a near-material connection with ghosts and memories of the past. Most importantly, the people of K’n-yan have learned the secret of immortality. Most of them are ancient; consequently, reproduction among them has stopped, or almost so. The only deaths are due to accidents or suicides.
Immortality has resulted in decadence: boredom so profound that the K’n-yanians seek relief by means of intoxication, gastronomic and sexual orgy, and the creative torture of other human beings, usually their slaves. Despite these diversions, many of the otherwise immortal citizens eventually opt for voluntary death. As their numbers have declined, the people have gathered in the centrally located city of Tsath, leaving much of the underground world deserted, its cities falling to ruin. Slaves and machinery do all the work, and the valuable Tulu-metal that serves as currency is distributed to individual citizens in quantities sufficient to keep the ruling class from want and need.
Slaves are without rights and kept in line by hypnotic suggestion, rendering them zombies without will. Many slaves have spent time in the amphitheater undergoing public torture and are badly mutilated, yet advanced K’n-yan science and magic keep them alive and functional. Even dead and headless corpses perform chores, animated by a combination of atomic power and hypnotic suggestion; these undead slaves are called y’m-bhi. Slaves are also used to feed the K’n-yanians’ carnivorous mounts, the horned gyaa-yothn.
The people of K’n-yan revere the names Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and Shub-Niggurath, but in particular they worship the anthropomorphic serpent-god Yig and the octopus-headed god Tulu (Cthulhu). An alien material they call Tulu-metal forms the basis of their economy, and is believed to have been brought to this planet by Tulu himself. There seems to be a nearly inexhaustible supply of this strangely self-magnetic metal hidden away somewhere in the form of ancient cyclopean idols of alien manufacture.
K’n-yan writing is a form of hieroglyphics unknown to modern linguists, but most resembling the mysterious Rongo Rongo Tablets found on Easter Island. This script is actually based on R’lyehian glyphs, the language supposedly brought to this world by Cthulhu and his spawn and occasionally used by the deep ones.
Yoth and N’kai
Beneath K’n-yan lie yet deeper worlds. Red-litten Yoth was explored eons ago by the pre-decadent K’n-yanians. Here they found the ruins of an ancient pre-human civilization, including abandoned buildings and strange roving animals. The former inhabitants of this world were quadrupeds and believed to be reptilian. Some of the roaming wild creatures were captured and, once crossbred with mammalian stock from K’n-yan, yielded the broad-faced, single-horned, flesh-eating gyaa-yothn—now used by the K’n-yanians like surface humans use horses. It is unclear if these animals were degenerate members of the once-ruling race of Yoth or merely one of the many synthetic life forms the Yothians are believed to have been capable of producing.
Miniatures of the toad-god Tsathoggua were also discovered in Yoth. Yothic manuscripts, once deciphered, described the black onyx temples that housed these statues, as well as the existence of a deeper world, N’kai, which lay beneath Yoth. N’kai was once inhabited by strange-sensed beings that lived without light and worshipped Tsathoggua, among other gods. It is from black-litten N’kai that the toad-god statues were supposed to have originated. When the K’n-yanians brought these statues back to their world they erected temples devoted to Tsathoggua that soon rivaled those of Yig and Tulu. It is said that one branch of the cult eventually carried the worship of Tsathoggua to the surface, making a gift of one of the statues to the people of Lomar, who likewise built an appropriate temple in its honor.
The men of K’n-yan later explored the black gulf of N’kai, but once they saw the black things slithering through stone troughs there, Tsathoggua’s cult was abolished and his stone images were destroyed with disintegrating rays. The only trace left of the toad-god is the name of the great city of Tsath, originally named for the god. Subsequent visits to Yoth failed to reveal the entrance to N’kai, and many in K’n-yan now argue that its existence is a myth.