Deep One

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Creation Story

… And so it was that when it was Dagon’s turn to throw his stone to determine where his race would live, his stone hit the ocean. The other gods mocked him for this. Upon leaving the festivities he went to work, settling into a trench to begin creating his new people. First, he took the blackest mud from the sea floor and shaped it to his liking. He then filleted a whale and placed the bones of the great beast inside the mud. Next, he skinned a shark and fitted the skin to the mud. Finally, he took his creation to his trench and in the deepest part of the sea, above the hottest hydro-thermal geyser, he used the power of the sea to give life to the first Deep One. He repeated this process six times, placing each of his seven creations in one of the seven seas. He then said to them, “Mate with the creatures of the sea to bring forth more kin in my name.” And so they did. As their populations grew, Dagon grew more and more pleased with their progress. He called to the seven original Deep Ones once more and said, “The land is our adversary, and the cur which walk the land are our enemies. The strongest among you, my children, may make a pilgrimage to my trench to receive my blessing. This blessing will allow you to breathe the air of the land, so that you may wage war upon those who walk it!” The seven Deep Ones, now collectively called the Esoteres, returned to their homes and preached the word of Dagon. And thus The Order of Dagon was formed.


Deep Ones are fish people that live in the depths of the sea. These creatures are blue, scaly, and malevolent. They are usually of a medium frame and range from 5’ tall to 6’ tall, however exceptions exist. They have both lungs and gills. Due to their gills being on their necks Deep Ones cover their necks with scarves and neck covers when on land to help hide and protect them. In the sea Deep Ones swim effortlessly and swiftly through the water deftly maneuvering their environment. Due to the lower resistance of air, on land, Deep Ones often seem uncoordinated. As such most prefer the sea. However, many Deep Ones are known to come into the shallows or stay near the ocean’s surface to raid ships and villages. Deep Ones shun most land creatures, particularly mammals and are by all accounts feared and hated by pinkies. While Deep Ones are agreeable enough with other monsters they have a particular disdain for Bugbears and Dwarves. Despite this Deep Ones will cooperate with Bugbears if the situation calls for it.

Life Cycle

Deep Ones reproduce asexually through a process called polyping. In this process a fully grown Deep One bites another organism with a secondary xenomorphic mouth that implants a parasite into the bit organism. For some reason polyps will not form on a Deep One if itself or another Deep One attempts to polyp them. The parasite then slowly steals some of the genetic information of the host organism providing characteristics to growing Deep One parasite. After three days and in the presence of water the larva will burst from its host. Because of this Deep Ones refer to hosts as burst parents and celebrate burst days. As a larva Deep Ones are the size of a clownfish and only have gills. In this phase they are extremely vulnerable and can easily be killed. Over three months they grow into an adolescent Deep One which is about the 3rd of the size of an adult Deep One. The adolescent Deep One then grows to adult size over the course of 16 years. Deep Ones do not age like other organisms and have regenerative abilities similar to a troll. However when a Deep Ones reaches ‘old age’ at bout 100 years old they begin to petrify into coral like masses. During this time Deep Ones record all their knowledge and memories onto scrolls. Upon the finishing of the storing of this knowledge the Deep One completely petrifies into what is called a petrafore. In this petrified state the Deep One goes into a deep trance. Petrified deep ones are extremely vulnerable and if they are broken during this state they die. The petrification falls away after some unknown time and the Deep One awakens with a new body and minimal memories.

Traders and Raiders

Deep Ones are the traders and raiders of the monsters. On the path to becoming traders Deep Ones bred whales to be larger and larger to carry more goods. To navigate the seas the Deep Ones use the great currents to help propel their whale ships through the seas at high speeds. The goods they peddle are mostly stolen from unwary ships at sea. These goods are stolen via Deep One raiding parties. These parties include several whales which are used to sink ships and gather goods. As such Deep Ones have bred different types of whales, some with large noses and eyes far from the front of their head to mount ramming devices and others to catch and carry the sinking goods.

Caste System

Deep Ones have a hierarchal society based on their Spawn-host/burst parent. At the top of the hierarchy are the cephalapodic Deep Ones. Cephalapodic Deep Ones are usually the most intelligent Deep Ones being of a more intuitive Spawn-host. Shark spawned Deep Ones are a step below the Cephalapodic Deep Ones. The shark spawn are the war minds, highly aggressive and strong leaders. The fish spawned Deep Ones are the most numerous and are the middle caste. Due to their wide range of variations and abilities the fish spawned are the ‘workforce’. They do most/many jobs in the Deep One society fulfilling most roles needed for the society to continue. The Crustacean spawn Deep Ones are next on the hierarchy. These Deep Ones are very blunt and not very intuitive. They do much of the building in the society as well as the defending of places in military settings. The Amphibian and Reptile spawned Deep Ones are held as a lower caste due to their not entirely aquatic genetic pre-dispositions. This being said the Amphibian/Reptile spawn are looked to as navigators and hold a high esteem amongst Deep One traders. Finally the Mammal spawn Deep Ones are societal outcasts due to their disconnection from the sea. Mammal spawn are inventors and scientists who try to break away from the natural order creating items of compensation as opposed to working with nature.

The Grand Library

The Great City of Y'ha-nthlei is the Capital city and really only major city of the Deep Ones. Located next to the Marianas Trench, the seat of Dagon’s power, Y'ha-nthlei is home to the grand library of the ancients. This library is more than just a library but also somewhat a statuary due to the nature of the Deep One life-cycle. Many Deep Ones try to make a pilgrimage to Y'ha-nthlei as they near their petrification so as to be protected in the grand library as they slumber. The library itself is the most fortified and armed building in the sea protecting the accumulated knowledge of the Deep Ones. This library also helps maintain the peace between the castes being a place all may enter as an equal. The library does not have shelves and shelves of scrolls, rather it is filled with altars. There are three parts to an altar: the petrifor or statue of the Deep One the altar honors, the banco on which there are offerings to petrifor, and finally the cubbies that hold the tzncroms written by the petrifor. Deep Ones who wish to attain knowledge from a petrifor must bring an offering to leave at the altar as a show of respect for the knowledge they are about to attain.

Example of a Mark of Dagon

The Mark of Dagon

Deep Ones while able to breathe air, rarely venture forth onto land for several reasons. First, Deep Ones have trouble walking on land due to the lack of resistance while moving. Secondly Deep Ones don’t particularly care for the land seeing it as a lesser place as it only makes up 29% of the world. Finally very few Deep Ones may walk upon the land because they must have the Mark of Dagon in order to walk upon the land. Now Deep Ones without the mark can venture onto islands into ports and onto beaches without trouble but moving farther inland is impossible, no Deep One knows what happens or why it’s impossible and none wish to find out. In addition to this for every one hundred Deep Ones that try to attain the Mark of Dagon only one survives. As such it’s a risk many Deep Ones do not wish to take. Attaining the Mark of Dagon is a great honor that marks not only the physical form but also the spirit. If a Deep One with the mark dies Dagon pulls the soul from the great nothing and puts it into a new body preserving these great Deep Ones.


Deep Ones are highly religious and reverent of nature. Worshiping Dagon exclusively, Deep Ones gather to worship Dagon around the hydrothermal heat vents that line the ocean floor. Deep Ones from Caribbean region have cultivated a strain of seaweed similar to the marijuana plant found on land. They smoke it as part of their religious ceremonies although how they smoke it underwater is a mystery lost to the ages. Deep Ones believe that when they die they become one with Dagon and the greater life force of the sea. In times of great distress and in the testing of the Deep Ones Dagon brings back the most powerful souls as great sea monsters! Deep One souls unlike other creatures do not have their own river that leads to the great nothingness. Rather, a Deep One soul is a combination of other creatures souls put together blessed by Dagon to give sentience and then placed into the organics of a parasitic Deep One.


Esoteres form the Order of Dagon. Esoteres are the teachers, healers, and religious leaders of the Deep Ones. Esoteres are responsible for blessing fish and butchering it in a way similar to kosher Jewish meat and halal Muslim meat. The reverence to sea creatures goes so far as to make sure that every part of the animal is used and nothing goes to waste. This coincides with the fact that Deep Ones also recycle everything. In order to protect their ocean home they use everything that other races would consider trash to make clothing, weapons, armor, buildings, furniture, and baubles. Esoteres as part of their second soul marking receive a small bit of magic from Dagon allowing them to do minor soul manipulation.


Mother Hydra Symbol

Dagon is the main god of the Deep Ones. He cannot create life, instead he pulls souls from the great emptyness and modifies them into Deep One souls. He then throws them into a polyp, and the larva bursts forth. Esoteres are given a slight amount of this gift and can minorly edit the souls of themselves and other living things.

Deep Ones also worship the Hydra, the mother. Deep Ones refer to her as Mother Hydra. She is essentially the Deep One goddess of fertility. As Deep Ones are asexual they refer to her instead as the goddess of genetics. She influences what types of Deep Ones are spawned based on need. Her worshipers are known for their magics and abilities in editing the genetics of living organisms changing them to fit different needs, wants, and desires.

Cthulhu is the forbidden god of the Deep Ones. He was an Esotere corrupted by maddness. His worshipers are the Deep Ones that have gone insane and wish to destroy all knowledge and advancement.


Deep Ones are incredibly prone to insanity. With the Rise of Cthulhu Deep Ones all became corrupted with the spark of insanity. This spark is fanned by the land and by the Illithid. When a deep one goes insane their soul is forever lost to the madness. The madness that takes hold of them makes them want to destroy the most precious things of the deep ones, knowledge. As such any deep one that goes insane is sentenced to death to spare their souls and to preserve knowledge.


Tznacroms are the stories and memories written by Deep Ones and made to pass knowledge to other Deep Ones. Tznacroms are stored in the Grand Library. Only higher caste and magic adept Deep Ones can truly 'write' tznacroms.


Era of the Seven- Dagon creates the first seven Deep Ones. The Esoteric Order of Dagon is founded

Era of the Castes- The Esoteres go into hibernation, the Deep Ones form clans and tribes and begin going to war with each other

Era of the Beasts- Deep Ones have lost their cognition and have reverted to sea monsters

Era of the Twins- Two Esoteres awaken and begin to rebuild the Deep Ones

Era of Dagon- more Esoteres awaken and are ordered by Dagon to create the Esoteric Order of Dagon. This order creates more Esoteres that act as peace keepers amongst the castes.

Era of Construction- the Esoteric Order of Dagon begins gathering the Deep Ones to build Y'ha-nthlei

Era of Cthulhu- rise of insanity destruction of cities knowledge and petrifors

Era of Y'ha-nthlei- current era

Deep One Legends

Orcaluz the Fated -Written and edited by Karps

Known Deep ones

  • Finn -Octopus- (Cephalopod Caste)
  • Xar -Lion Turtle- (Reptile Caste) —Acolyte of the Hydra Sect—
  • Karps -Pacific Viperfish- (Fish Caste)
  • Fen -Hammerhead- (Shark Caste)
  • Nautilus -Cuttlefish- (Cephalopod Caste)
  • Sage -Mimic Octopus- (Cephalopod Caste)
  • Vulcan -Walrus- (Mammal Caste)
  • KYGO -Hawksbill Turtle- (Reptile Caste)
  • Dick -Stingray- (Shark Caste)
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