- "There must be a great deposit of crystals within a thousand miles, though I suppose those damnable man-lizards always watch and guard it. Possibly they think we are just as foolish for coming to Venus to hunt the stuff as we think they are for groveling in the mud whenever they see a piece of it, or for keeping that great mass on a pedestal in their temple. I wish they'd get a new religion, for they have no use for the crystals except to pray to."
- ―Kenton J. Stanfield
The Venusians are an intelligent, although seemingly primitive, reptilianoid species which inhabits the planet Venus. Vaguely humanoid in their bipedal posture, they build strange cities, towers and temples and religiously worship a type of crystal which the Human colonists on the planet use to obtain energy, resulting in conflict between the two species.
Biology[edit | edit source]
The average Venusian is about seven feet tall, although some are known to reach eight. They have slimy green skin, feet shaped like suction discs, and a tapir-like snout. Their eyesight is not very good at night. They have no easily identified vocal language, leading some to conclude that they're not sapient at all, and that their cities are the equivalent of "ant hills or beaver dams", despite the fact that they do possess some forms of technology, including swords and poison darts. Others have speculated that the complex movement of the four tentacles located on the creatures' chests function as a form of communication. It is also believed that they have some biological ability to detect the presence of their precious crystals nearby, for they have never attacked a Human who didn't possess them, and never failed to attack one who did.
Culture and society[edit | edit source]
They were eventually discovered to be a far more technologically capable species than previously thought. At some point in the past, they've managed to create a perfectly invisible solid material, with not the least bit of reflective or refractive properties; and used it to build a deadly invisible maze in the Plateau of Eryx, within which any Human being who enters is extremely unlikely to ever find the exit with no visual reference of the walls and passages.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- In the Walls of Eryx, by H. P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling (1939)
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In The Shadow Out of Time (written before In the Walls of Eryx), Lovecraft makes brief mention of a Venusian among the species being "studied" by the Yithians (i.e. temporarily swapping minds with them for this purpose). Nothing is revealed about it except that its mind had come from the distant future, "incalculable epochs to come". It is possible that the Venusian in question can be interpreted as, if not the same species, a more civilized descendant from the reptilian barbarians seen in In the Walls of Eryx. Of course, considering how Earth itself has been home to such a varied succession of intelligences in the Cthulhu Mythos, it is equally possible that the same is true for Venus, and so the Venusian mind mentioned in that story could belong to a different species entirely. The Venusians from Clark Ashton Smith's "The Metamorphosis of Earth" are another possible candidate, for example.