The Gods of Pegana (tome)
The Gods of Pegana, AKA The Gods of Pegāna
A small book, written and illustrated in a feverish, dream-like manner, in almost Biblical style, with prose that was almost poetry, purporting to describe a fictional myth-cycle of strange gods from an place called "Pegana", with a scope ranging from the creation of the world in the dreams of "Mana-Yood-Sushai", to the End, when the dreamer awakens, filled throughout with the hints of unearthly history, peoples, cultures, and traditions ranging from Earth, to Pegana, to "beyond the Rim", past moons, stars, and other worlds, to the very heap of remnants from the building of worlds, where a "Thing that is Neither God Nor Beast" turns the pages of day and night from the beginning, to the doom of the world. Written by Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, and illustrated in a distinctive, exotic style by Sidney Sime.
First Edition (1905, London)
Physical Description: First edition. Octavo, original quarter-linen and decorated gray boards, front and spine panels stamped in black, all edges untrimmed. Roughly 300 pages of short prose-poem vignettes written in an almost Biblical style of prose, including a number of full-page monochrome plate illustrations in a heavily shaded and intricate chiaroscuro style.
General Content: A collection of short vignettes, fables, or myths describing a myth-cycle of the creation of an exotic pantheon of little gods and the strange, human-inhabited dream-world which the gods subsequently create. Includes extensive allegorical allusions to such topics as alien gods and worlds, the creation and end of reality, the nature of dreams and dreaming as windows into another world, etc. Countless strange gods, dream lands, alien myths, and peculiar legends and customs are described in surreal, phantasmal detail.
- Spells: spells involving Dreaming might be implied
- Sanity Loss: minor
- Mythos Knowledge: minor
Before there stood gods upon Olympus, or ever Allah was Allah, had wrought and rested Mana-Yood-Sushai. There are in Pegana Mung and Sish and Kib, and the maker of all small gods, who is Mana-Yood-Sushai. Moreover, we have a faith in Roon and Slid. And it has been said of old that all things that have been were wrought by the small gods, excepting only Mana-Yood-Sushai, who made the gods and hath thereafter rested. And none may pray to Mana-Yood-Sushai but only the gods whom he hath made. But at the Last will Mana-Yood-Sushai forget to rest, and will make again new gods and other worlds, and will destroy the gods whom he hath made. And the gods and the worlds shall depart, and there shall be only Mana-Yood-Sushai.
- Lord Dunsany, "The Gods of Pegana"
- The Gods of Pegana (fiction)
- Time and the Gods (fiction)
- Idle Days on the Yann (fiction)
- A Shop in Go-By Street (fiction)
- The Avenger of Perdondaris (fiction)
Associated Mythos Content
- setting: Dreamlands
- location: River Yann
- race: Gods of Pegana (compare to Elder Gods)
- race: Human Cultists
- see also: Dreaming
Heresies and Controversies
- This real-life book of fantasy fiction is treated here like a Mythos Tome.
- This tome might be treated as a sort of primer on Dreaming for characters who are investigating scenarios relating to the Dreamlands.
- This book, along with the author's other fiction, sparked the imaginations of many of the 20th Century's most famous fantasy and Weird writers, including H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Manly Wade Wellman, Arthur C. Clarke, C.L. Moore, Ursula K. Le Guin etc.; Le Guin has famously commented: "No one can imitate Dunsany, and probably everyone who's ever read him has tried." Fictionally, this tome might be treated in a similar (though perhaps more benign) manner to The King in Yellow (tome), as a sort of "mythos infection" that spreads among the pulp writers it is exposed to, opening up the realm of the Dreamlands to those who are receptive to the work's influence.