Of Lomar and Olathoe

Lomar and OlathoeReading one of my favourite H P Lovecraft short-stories, Polaris, I had to wonder whether it was any influence on Ben Lehman’s game of the same name. Has Ben ever mentioned anything about this?

Anyway, it strikes me that there are various similarities. The tormented narrator sitting at his window relates the beginning of the end for the city of Olathoe in the great kingdom of Lomar near the north pole.

(Olathoe is a marble city that lies on the plateau of Sarkia betwixt the peaks Noton and Kadiphonek.)

That night had the news come of Daikos’ fall, and of the advance of the Inutos; squat, hellish yellow fiends who five years ago had appeared out of the unknown west to ravage the confines of our kingdom, and to besiege many of our towns. Having taken the fortified places at the foot of the mountains, their way now lay open to the plateau, unless every citizen could resist with the strength of ten men. For the squat creatures were mighty in the arts of war, and knew not the scruples of honour which held back our tall, grey-eyed men of Lomar from ruthless conquest.

It is apparent from another exerpt that the tall, grave, grey-eyed men of Lomar have been under threat for some time.

Alos, my friend, was commander of all the forces on the plateau, and in him lay the last hope of our country. On this occasion he spoke of the perils to be faced and exhorted the men of Olathoe, bravest of the Lomarians, to sustain the traditions of their ancestors, who when forced to move southward from Zobna before the advance of the great ice sheet (even as our descendents must some day flee from the land of Lomar) valiently and victoriously swept aside the hairly, long-armed, cannibal Gnophkehs that stood in their way.

For them the end is coming. Though doomed they faced their fate defiantly. Now they are gone. Sound familiar?

Though few details can be gleaned from these references, Lomar is mentioned in a number of Lovecraft’s stories: Polaris, Through the Gates of the Silver Key, The Quest of Iranon, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Mound, At the Mountains of Madness, The Horror in the Museum, The Other Gods and The Shadow Out of Time.


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