Quachil Uttaus

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Quachil Uttaus, AKA "Demon of Ultimate Corruption", "Treader in the Dust", "Keeper of the Dust" (Ka-Rath), etc.

Origin: Clark Ashton Smith, "The Treader of the Dust" (1935)

In the Mythos

It was a figure no larger than a young child, but sere and shriveled as some millennial mummy. Its hairless head, its unfeatured face, borne on a neck of skeleton thinness, were lined with a thousand reticulated wrinkles. The body was like that of some monstrous, withered abortion that had never drawn breath. The pipy arms, ending in bony claws were outthrust as if ankylosed in the posture of an eternal dreadful groping. The legs, with feet like those of a pigmy Death, were drawn tightly together as though confined by the swathings of the tomb; nor was there any movement or striding or pacing. Upright and rigid, the horror floated swiftly down the wan, deathly gray beam toward Sebastian....
— Clark Ashton Smith, "The Treader of the Dust (fiction)"

The Great Old One Quachil Uttaus is rarely encountered, and apparently referenced only in one tome of the Mythos, the Testament of Carnamagos. He takes the form of a diminutive mummy with outstretched claws. He is the concentrated essence of corruption and decay; everything in his vicinity suffers the ravages of time, and when he is about to appear, objects begin to age inexplicably. Those who are visited by Quachil Uttaus are reduced instantly to dust, as though by the passage of long ages, and the Great Old One commonly leaves his paired footprints in the dust of his victims. This is the source of his usual title, "The Treader of the Dust."

An incantation in the Testament of Carnamagos can be used to summon Quachil Uttaus. It is dangerous even to read this incantation, though, because if the reader has even the slightest longing for death, the Great Old One may suddenly appear and annihilate him.

Quachil Uttaus accelerates entropy around it while it is materialized upon this plane. Not infrequently, Quachil Uttaus ages the wizard beyond life, leaving behind a heap of the dust of the grave in place of the wizard's body; the name "the Treader in the Dust" refers to the traces of the being's tiny footprints upon the dust of its summoner, as if Quachil Uttaus has danced upon the ashes before returning to whatever dark limbo of unsphered time and space from which the being was summoned.

Heresies and Controversies

Keeper Notes


  • Quachil Uttaus does not appear to have ever had an organized cult on Earth; wizards might be tempted to summon Quachil Uttaus for the purpose of taking advantage of the entity's power to manipulate time and space, perhaps for the purpose of suspending or reversing the aging process, or traveling through time and space, though wizards who have summoned the entity are seldom rewarded in quite the way they expect. Those wizards who have summoned Quachil Uttaus to do their bidding may be readily recognized by those who have been warned of what to look for (such as by reading excerpts from Testament of Carnamagos): those who perform the summoning are aged rapidly in the presence of Quachil Uttaus, their clothes rapidly disintegrating and choked with dust, and the place of summoning - frequently the wizard's home - is likewise rapidly aged, and filled with dust.

Associated Mythos Elements


...The olden wizards knew him, and named him Quachil Uttaus. Seldom is he revealed: for he dwelleth beyond the outermost circle, in the dark limbo of unsphered time and space. Dreadful is the word that calleth him, though the word be unspoken save in thought: For Quachil Uttaus is the ultimate corruption; and the instant of his coming is like the passage of many ages; and neither flesh nor stone may abide his treading, but all things crumble beneath-it atom from atom. And for this, some have called him The Treader of the Dust.... Though Quachil Uttaus cometh but rarely, it had been well attested that his advent is not always in response to the spoken rune and the drawn pentacle. Few wizards, indeed, would call upon a spirit so baleful. But let it be understood that he who readeth to himself in the silence of his chamber, the formula given hereunder, must incur a grave risk if in his heart there abide openly or hidden the least desire of death and annihilation. For it may be that Quachil Uttaus will come to him, bringing that doom which toucheth the body to eternal dust, and maketh the soul as a vapor for evermore dissolved. And the advent of Quachill Uttaus is foreknowable by certain tokens; for in the person of the evocator, and even perchance in those about him, will appear the signs of sudden age; and his house, and those belongings which he hath touched, will assume the marks of untimely decay and antiquity...
— Clark Ashton Smith, "The Treader of the Dust (fiction)"