Cathuria

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Cathuria (AKA "The Paradise of Cathuria", "The Land of Hope", "The Abode of the Gods", "The Wonders Beyond the Basalt Pillars of the West") first appeared in H.P. Lovecraft's "The White Ship (fiction)".

In Lovecraft's Mythos

"Cathuria is the abode of gods and the land of unnumbered cities of gold. Its forests are of aloe and sandalwood, even as the fragrant groves of Camorin, and among the trees flutter gay birds sweet with song. On the green and flowery mountains of Cathuria stand temples of pink marble, rich with carven and painted glories, and having in their courtyards cool fountains of silver, where purl with ravishing music the scented waters that come from the grotto-born river Narg. And the cities of Cathuria are cinctured with golden walls, and their pavements also are of gold. In the gardens of these cities are strange orchids, and perfumed lakes whose beds are of coral and amber. At night the streets and the gardens are lit with gay lanthorns fashioned from the three-coloured shell of the tortoise, and here resound the soft notes of the singer and the lutanist. And the houses of the cities of Cathuria are all palaces, each built over a fragrant canal bearing the waters of the sacred Narg. Of marble and porphyry are the houses, and roofed with glittering gold that reflects the rays of the sun and enhances the splendour of the cities as blissful gods view them from the distant peaks. Fairest of all is the palace of the great monarch Dorieb, whom some say to be a demigod and others a god. High is the palace of Dorieb, and many are the turrets of marble upon its walls. In its wide halls many multitudes assemble, and here hang the trophies of the ages. And the roof is of pure gold, set upon tall pillars of ruby and azure, and having such carven figures of gods and heroes that he who looks up to those heights seems to gaze upon the living Olympus. And the floor of the palace is of glass, under which flow the cunningly lighted waters of the Narg, gay with gaudy fish not known beyond the bounds of lovely Cathuria."
H.P. Lovecraft, "The White Ship (fiction)"

Cathuria is an unearthly Dreamland reputed by simple folk to be a wondrous paradise which lay somewhere beyond the Basalt Pillars of the West, those vast columns of raw stone that reach above the clouds of the Dreamlands into the heavens themselves, and serve as the ultimate gates between the known Dreamlands, and the unknown far West beyond. But wise dreamers well know that the Pillars are not the gates to the paradise of Cathuria, but instead the gates of a monstrous daemon-haunted cataract wherein the oceans of earth's dreamland drop wholly to abysmal nothingness and shoot through the empty spaces toward other worlds and other stars and the awful voids outside the ordered universe, where the daemon-sultan Azathoth gnaws hungrily in chaos amid pounding and piping and the hellish dancing of the Other Gods, blind, voiceless, tenebrous, and mindless, with their soul and messenger Nyarlathotep.

Heresies and Controversies

Chaosium's Cathuria

Cathuria is not for humankind. Long ago, the gods removed Cathuria from the world so that people would have something to strive for. This is the Land of Hope, the land of all that is best in humanity. As human culture has grown older and less innocent it have become less and less worthy of Cathuria. Once it was that people might have attained this land and remained there for all time, but now the gods will only allow short visits to the splendid place, and the Basalt Pillars that serve as the outermost gates of this realm are guarded by terrible monsters.

Basalt Pillars of the West

One route, known only to a few, leads through the Basalt Pillars of the West to the gateway to Cathuria. If a ship should follow this route there will appear in the air above the cataract a hole in space from which emanates a brilliant white light which will reach forth, seize the ship, and guide it through the hole to Cathuria, the Land of Hope. Vessels which are guided here find themselves afloat upon a calm sea of deep azure at the mouth of the sacred River Narg, River of the Ages.

River Narg

The River Narg, River of the Ages, is a sacred grotto-born river of scented water, flows through Cathuria. The Narg has magical properties and will transport those who drink from it back to an age of innocence.

Paradise of Cathuria

Cathuria is a land more splendid than Sona-Nyl, filled with music more beautiful than any to be heard in Ennon. It is a land filled with fragrant forests of aloe and sandalwood, green and verdant pastures, and wondrous cities. The buildings of these cities are topped with crystalline spires which reflect the sun’s light in prismatic color schemes not of the known world. The streets and walls of the cities are of gold, and reflect the light so strongly that it stings the naked eye.


Associated Mythos Elements


References