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The BLUE HADES civilisation is several million years older than humans. They are – or, to be more precise, the observed members of their civilisation are – aquatic humanoids, resembling shambling frogs. BLUE HADES (traditionally known as Deep Ones) claim the oceans as their domain and they are supremely well adapted for this environment. They can breathe at any depth, and are apparently immune to the ill effects of pressure and cold. Their scaly skin gives them limited protection against conventional weapons, although living at the bottom of the ocean makes the use of such weapons against BLUE HADES improbable at best. On the surface, they are more vulnerable and there have been incidents where humans have inflicted casualties on BLUE HADES shore parties.
The classification BLUE HADES covers multiple related species of creature. Some are known to be cross-breeds or engineered constructs; there are likely other forms of BLUE HADES in the deep ocean. Given their mastery of creating new life forms for particular tasks, it is possible that all BLUE HADES encountered up until now are servitor creatures and we have yet to encounter the true form of the species.
Type I BLUE HADES (‘Deep Ones’) are amphibious humanoids, standing approximately 1.5 metres tall. They have bulbous yellow eyes with nictitating membranes, webbed hands and feet and stubby but powerful tails. Their gills are located on the neck and are easily visible (and quite vulnerable to precision attacks). Despite possessing advanced technology, many BLUE HADES attacks have involved the use of claws and teeth. Internal organs include two respiratory systems, a circulatory system that appears to use capillary action instead of a pump, a highly adaptive digestive system and several unidentified organs. Their closest living relative is the crocodile. They can speak, but their vocalisations are intended for use underwater. A few BLUE HADES know English but most produce only untranslatable whoops and bellows. Diplomatic relations are carried out through Type II or III interpreters.
Type I BLUE HADES are capable of mating with humans. Only a subset of the Type I's have appropriate genitalia (either their anatomy alters in response to some biochemical signal or they are capable of producing and grafting suitable implants). In several places around the world, BLUE HADES made contact with isolated coastal communities and coerced or persuaded them into mating with the sea-creatures to produce Type II (‘Hybrid’) creatures. It was previously theorised that BLUE HADES share a common ancestor with humanity, due to their ability to crossbreed with our species (see INNSMOUTH, WITCHES' HOLE and HADES EXPEDITION); subsequent analysis of BLUE HADES samples and genetic material has disproved this theory. BLUE HADES ancestors diverged from our own approximately 200 million years ago.
Type II BLUE HADES or Hybrids are the offspring of a Type I and a normal human (or two hybrids or a human and a hybrid – the BLUE HADES genetics are dominant, but can lie dormant until activated). Hybrids appear comparatively normal in early life but, if the BLUE HADES genes are activated, the hybrid becomes more and more like a Type I until it undergoes a metamorphosis into an aquatic being. Typical hybrids are bald, with pale or scaly skin and bulging eyes, similar to an advanced case of Grave's Disease. The precise activating conditions for BLUE HADES transformation are unknown, but common triggers for transformation include:
• Long-term residence in a coastal location.
• Drowning or extreme stress in close proximity to water.
• Exposure to thaumic fields.
• Exposure to BLUE HADES individuals or artefacts.
Type III BLUE HADES are silvery humanoids, with a physiology similar to Type Is but with much more human proportions. Type III BLUE HADES are fully amphibious, unlike Type IIs who have only a limited aquatic reach and Type Is who prefer to remain in the deep ocean. Type IIIs were created as ambassadors and interpreters for use during the second and subsequent Benthic Treaty negotiations.
Employee Note: If you test positive for BLUE HADES residual genetic code during a standard medical evaluation, consult with Human Resources. Activation of BLUE HADES genetics can be controlled with medication and simple precautions.
The BLUE HADES’ reasons for creating Type II crossbreeds is unknown, but the widespread nature of the phenomenon suggests it is of great importance to their civilisation. Theories include:
• The Benkett Hypothesis: BLUE HADES are biologically long-lived, perhaps even immortal. They therefore must reproduce exceedingly slowly to avoid over-expansion. The few hybrids produced every year are the only offspring produced in the entire BLUE HADES civilisation. Critics of this theory argue that BLUE HADES predates humanity’s evolution by millions of years; how did the species reproduce before that? The appearance of Type III creatures also suggests that BLUE HADES are capable of reproducing without human incubators.
• The Crick-Omstead Hypothesis: BLUE HADES are engaged in a long-term genetic engineering process. The ‘taint’ remains dormant in all carriers; some estimates suggest that up to 40% of the population are carriers for BLUE HADES genetic material. This project might be intended to merge homo sapiens into BLUE HADES or to avert CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN or some other cosmological threat. The Benthic Treaty forbids using humans as test subjects.
• The Allen Hypothesis: The primary purpose of the BLUE HADES interactions with coastal communities is to gather intelligence about events on the surface. The Type IIs are effectively spies for the undersea civilisation; when the change brings them into the oceans, they carry the information they have learned down with them.
Most of what is known about BLUE HADES culture comes from the few interactions involving coastal communities and the Deep Ones; these accounts are necessarily coloured by the beliefs of either the BLUE HADES hybrids or, more commonly, the beliefs of neighbouring communities who feared and mistrusted the hybrids. BLUE HADES worship or serve ancestor-deities called Dagon and Hydra (who may be elder Deep Ones). In several cases, adopting Dagon worship was part of the bargain struck by BLUE HADES with coastal communities (see also BABYLON FILE).
BLUE HADES are urbanised, with most of their population living in cities on the ocean floor. Most of these cities are on the abyssal plains but there are smaller settlements in shallower waters. These shallow-water settlements are usually close to hybridised communities (cf Innsmouth in Massachusetts and DEVIL'S REEF, Dunwich and DANTE EAST). Whether the BLUE HADES settlements were built to monitor the surface operations or if the Deep Ones simply made contact with the closest humans to their settlements is a mystery.
Without the ability to use fire and work metals, BLUE HADES have followed a radically different technology path to that of humanity. They use servitor creatures (including shoggoths) instead of vehicles and much of their technology involves biological engineering, sorcery or psychic effects. They also manipulate condensed matter states using abstruse physics; one side effect of this technology is high levels of neutrino emissions, which have allowed us to partially map BLUE HADES colonies. BLUE HADES’ offensive capabilities against the surface are surprisingly extensive. In previous encounters, they have demonstrated the ability to sink ships by creating bubbles of methane underneath the keel, removing the vessel’s buoyancy. A larger methane release could massively accelerate climate change, rendering the surface virtually uninhabitable within a comparatively short time (clathrate gun hypothesis). They are also capable of producing earthquakes and tsunami on demand. Their use of biological agents suggests a capacity of biowarfare beyond our capacity to contain. Furthermore, BLUE HADES is virtually immune to counter-attack – we currently have no effective weapons that could target their cities, as even a nuclear depth charge would be severely limited by the pressure at the ocean floor.
Up until 1957, encounters with BLUE HADES were extremely limited and usually hostile. During the 20th Century, the advent of mass communication and transport made it harder for isolated coastal communities to conceal BLUE HADES presence. After several incidents (Dunwich, England in 1889, Innsmouth, MA in 1927/8, Port Pegasus, New Zealand in 1938) where human authorities intervened to prevent further contact and multiple retaliatory strikes by BLUE HADES (Witches’ Hole, Bermuda Triangle), the decision was taken in 1943 to attempt peaceful contact
with the sea-dwellers. Using formulae derived from Order of Dagon scriptures and the Chain Home Low radio stations at RAF Dunwich, SOE managed to call up BLUE HADES emissaries. Initially, BLUE HADES assumed that SOE desired the standard bargain (gold and eventual immortality in exchange for mating rights), but diplomacy prevailed. In retrospect, it is likely that the discovery of
the Turing Theorem proved a decisive factor – now that humanity had the capacity to accidentally wipe out all life on Earth, the BLUE HADES civilisation had to take notice of us.
This initial hesitant contact was followed in 1953 with the Benthic Treaty of the Azores. There is a large BLUE HADES colony close to the Azores and emissaries from that colony met with representatives of the British Government about HMS Eagle. From this meeting, the groundwork for a treaty between our two species was established. Both sides agreed to meet again six months later. During this intervening period, the British government contacted NATO allies and briefed
them on AZORIAN BLUE HADES. After the second meeting (which was attended by the first Type III BLUE HADES), this briefing was extended to all signatories of the Helsinki Protocol including the USSR and its satellites and a draft treaty was circulated to all parties.
The Benthic Treaty (also known as the Agreement of the Azores) was signed in October of 1954. The treaty covers relations between the Deep Ones and humanity, outlines their respective spheres of influence and establishes limits on the actions of both sides. The penalties for breaking the treaty are severe; they are enforced by geasa on the signatories. (This actually penalises the immortal BLUE HADES signatories more than the human ones, as an individual human representative may be long dead before his side breaks the treaty; this is balanced by the BLUE HADES policy of answering treaty violations with extreme force.) The treaty has also become the cornerstone of post-Helsinki occult diplomacy in the developed world. As no human power wishes to anger the Deep Ones, the Benthic Treaty is the ultimate court of appeal. Subsequent additions to the treaty define communications channels between the various human occult intelligence agencies, allowing them to observe each other and ensure the Benthic Treaty is not being violated. So far, the Benthic Treaty has survived four revisions; the next summit meeting is in 2013, by which time we will be well into CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN and it may all be academic anyway.
1 1 Certain paranoids have suggested that the whole Benthic Treaty is a huge bluff on the part of BLUE HADES and that when the Stars Come Right, the Deep Ones will side with their squid-like masters and eat our brains. According to this theory, Articles 6 and 7 are a nefarious scheme to retard our development of the occult weapons that might stop the cosmic horrors. Supporting evidence for this: pretty much none, although the regular late night poker games in the Azores do show that Deep Ones are really good at bluffing.
The Benthic Treaty for Bluffers!
Article 1: Both species have the right to exist on Earth.
Article 2: Everyone agrees to abide by the terms of this treaty. The treaty can be revised by
subsequent agreements and both sides agree to attend future meetings.
Article 3: Remedies and punishments for treaty violations, which can be summarised as ‘we
reserve the right to sink your country’.
Article 4: Sets the limits of both sides; humanity is limited to one kilometre below mean sea
level and the Deep Ones agree not to encroach upon the land, unless they feel like it. Humanity
is not to bother the Deep Ones; the Deep Ones will consider not swatting our civilisation on a
Article 5: The Deep Ones agree not to take our women without permission; establishes
communications protocols for interactions outside the scope of the treaty and ensures that
Type II hybrids are permitted to exist.
Article 6: Both sides agree not to summon Azathoth or any other cosmic horror that might
eat the planet without written notification.
Article 7: Do not mess with anything in Appendix Two. It is mostly a list of sites on the ocean
floor and Antarctica where Thou Shalt Not Go but also includes several incantations and gate
Article 8: Gives the Deep Ones observer status at the UN (they do not use it) and a legal
standing in international affairs – but the existence of an alien hyper-civilisation is to be kept
secret as much as possible.
Appendix One: Legal and linguistic definitions for both sides, plus the binding geasa.
Appendix Two: The list of things humanity is not meant to meddle with, in case we blow up
Appendix Three: More legal stuff that the Deep Ones could not be bothered reading, so it is
stuffed into this appendix and ignored by everyone except lawyers. The relevant bits cover
relations between Helsinki signatories.
The details above have been taken from the Laundry rulebook for player information only and are not intended as an infringement of copyright.