Lin Carter’s Great Old Ones – Part One Aphoom-Zhah

Aphoom-Zhah (The Cold Flame) debuted in Lin Carter’s short story “The Acolyte of the Flame” (1985)—although the being was first mentioned in an earlier tale by Carter, “The Horror in the Gallery” (1976). Aphoom-Zhah is also mentioned in Carter’s “The Light from the Pole” (1980), a story Carter wrote from an early draft by Clark Ashton Smith. Smith later developed this draft into “The Coming of the White Worm” (1941).
Aphoom-Zhah is the progeny of Cthugha and is worshipped as the Lord of the Pole because he dwells, like Ithaqua, above the Arctic Circle. Aphoom-Zhah frequently visited Hyperborea during the last ice age. His legend is chronicled in the Pnakotic Manuscripts.
Aphoom-Zhah appears as a vast, cold, grey flame that freezes whatever it touches. The being came to Earth from the star Fomalhaut, briefly visiting the planet Yaksh (Neptune) before taking up residence in Mount Yarak, a legendary mountain atop the North Pole. When the Elder Gods tried to imprison him beneath the pole, Aphoom-Zhah erupted with such fury that he froze the lands around him. Aphoom-Zhah is believed to be responsible for the glaciation that eventually overwhelmed Hyperborea, Zobna, and Lomar.
Aphoom-Zhah likely spawned Gnoph-Keh, Rhan-Tegoth, and Voorm. Though no human cult worships this being, Aphoom-Zhah is revered by the Gnoph-Keh, the Voormi, and his own race of minions; the spectral Ylidheem