Cave World

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Cave World (AKA "The Caves", "Subatlan", "Pan", and sometimes "Lemuria" or "Mu") first appeared in Richard Sharpe Shaver's "I Remember Lemuria (fiction)".

In the Mythos

A 19th Century expedition into the Cave World...

We made our way into the tunnel nearby. It led down steeply, and was a very ancient thing once we had gotten beyond the area constructed by the deros. It led soon into vast caverns housing long-abandoned cities. These ancient ruins in the lost caverns were impressively eerie things. They had been built, I knew, in the early days of Mu.... From what they had left behind I became more and more convinced that Mu's youth was too much in the past to have any more future. The planet should have been abandoned long ago. Just the contemplation of these mighty, long-gone glories in comparison with the lesser marvels of the most modern Atlantean city was enough to tell the story to even the most thoughtless of Atlans. Our lights played over the deserted, awful, death-like glory of the ancient mansions and even the hue of them gave off melancholy.... What weapons lay unused in these tremendous fortresses from Mu's wild youth, only the oldest of Elders could guess. Gray dust rose in a cloud over the bowl city as we swarmed into that huge old city-center building; and the horror that we found inside cured me forever of all sun lit planets. These devilish deros had a meat market in the lower floors, filled with human flesh; and a pile of choice cuts I saw was composed mainly of Atlan girl breasts! These dero-things were cannibals and lived off immortal Atlan flesh! So much for our illusion of benevolent government! How long had it been composed of hidden, grinning cannibals, the whole of our race unaware of its ultimate fate? Because of a degenerating sun, all our apparent tremendous scientific advance had been set at naught by a few madmen... with these dero creatures eager to do anything the madmen said in return for a little fresh human meat! I saw now the fatal weakness in centralized government: one silent grab at that neck of power had resulted in death for the whole cream of the Atlan race.
Richard Sharpe Shaver, "I Remember Lemuria (fiction)"

"The Caves", "Subatlan", or "Cave World" is a network of caves that extended from beneath lost Lemuria in the Thurian Age, into which the Deros retreated for shelter when Earth's sun grew deadly toxic to these prototypical human creatures, taking their Stim Ray and other technology with them into the darkness of the Hollow Earth, where the Deros, addicted to the rays, used them on themselves until the rays, too, began breaking down in much the same way the Sun had, slowly driving the Deros mad and causing a physical deterioration into twisted, cannibal, immortal, lunatic, albino dwarves.

The cities of Cave World rapidly fell into neglect: vast cities of the Deros' grim mansions standing rank upon rank in the darkness among the rusting antiques of their forgotten technology which would be turned only toward the purposes of murder, destruction, cannibalism, and torture by the madmen of the inner Earth, as the only pleasures left to the deteriorating Dero race.

The tunnels of the Cave World, bored out with heat rays that vaporize and compact stone into a dense, unbreakable, glass-like material, branch out beneath all the great cities of the surface world, with labyrinthine side-passages into the laboratories, theaters, playgrounds, abbatoirs, pleasure domes, feasting-halls, and torture-chambers of the Deros and the corrupt Human Cultists, secret police, soldiers, scientists, and gangsters with whom the Deros cooperate in exchange for a steady stream of fresh flesh from the surface world.

Men in Black haunting the Cave World

The Deros and their collaborators abduct tens of thousands of surface-worlders every year to drag down into the Cave World for medical experiments, torture, and other entertainments for the Deros and their guests from the surface world, from outer space, and from elsewhere in the Hollow Earth, often dressing in bizarre costumes for the purpose; the halls of Cave World often shuffle with costumed Deros dressed in black hooded cloaks, or goat or devil masks, or as fairy-tale or cartoon characters (teddy bears are popular characters for the Deros, and since the 1930s, they seem to delight in masquerading as a certain famous cartoon mouse); the Deros are often also accompanied in these abductions by Grey Aliens, Reptilian Aliens, Men in Black, various primitive humanoids, and Human Cultists in disguises - these cultists very often include well-respected members of government, popular entertainers, church officials, wealthy businessmen, and influential socialites, sworn to silence by secret societies as they indulge in nameless horrors in Cave World by night, while pretending respectability on the surface world by day.

These abductions, facilitated by Dero ray technology with effects ranging from paralysis, to psychic projection of voices into the victim's head, to levitation, to wiped memories, to artificially induced psychotic delusions and hallucinations, account for many, if not most, reports of alien abductions, sleep paralysis, demonic attacks, satanic ritual abuse, and similar phenomena; asylums are filled with perfectly sane victims of the Deros, and may of those asylums are connected to the Cave World by elevators and steep stone staircases, as corrupt members of the hospital work with the Deros to deliver victims repeatedly into the hands of the very tormentors responsible for their hospitalizations!

The Cave World is also home to a bewildering variety of less human entities, including hellish barns and pens stocked with wild and domesticated animals of the Hollow Earth, ghastly mutants bred with the help of the corrupted Tamper Ray technology of the Deros, and assorted alien entities including Mythos monsters of every conceivable variety: the mind-shattering effects of interactions between these guests and the Deros' victims are intensely amusing to the Deros, and the alien guests of the Deros trade many peculiar things with the Deros for the opportunity to experiment on human victims in the relative peace and quiet of the Cave World.

Besides the obligatory cannibalism of the Deros and Ghouls found in their company, Cave World is fed by fisheries filled with blind cave fish and strange aquatic fungi fed on the debris of the Cave world, hydroponic gardens grown under steadily decaying lamps in special farming caverns, and on monstrous insects and other creatures hunted in the tunnels and caverns of the Hollow Earth. But - in part because of the failing hydroponic technology - the denizens of the Cave World are increasingly dependent on food gathered from the surface world, dragged down in vast quantities looted by governments from their citizens under cover of darkness, and fed to the Deros and their victims: many of the surface world's famines and holocausts and wars have been conducted by the Deros' collaborators entirely for the purpose of keeping the Cave World fed.

Associated Mythos Elements