Tsathoggua, created by Clark Ashton Smith, is The Sleeper of N’Kai, a furry toadlike cosmic horror who slumbers deep beneath the earth in a manner not dissimilar to Cthulhu himself. Despite being part of the Hyperborean cycle, Tsathoggua has been readily accepted into the Lovecraftian pantheon, with a similar level of exposure to Lovecraft’s own creations!
So of course, Cthulhu Wars has a Tsathoggua expansion – The Opener of the Way. Now that the sets are readily available at Petersen Games, you can pick up this expansion for $60 – welcome to board game prices! Ahahaha! As a faction, the Sleeper seems to be slow-moving, but builds power and resources fast, and is able to steamroll enemies in longer-term games. So, why don’t we look at the figures, then?
Well, of course the faction has regular cultists, but you can already tell that we aren’t here for them.
Tsathoggua is a massive beast, and although he’s not as tall as some of the Great Old Ones, he’s certainly one of the heaviest, weighing in with ones like Hastur. Tsathoggua is clasically described as shaped like a corpulent toad, but with some batlike featues and covered in a thin coating of fur – he doesn’t look precisely like a toad, but shares a few details, in similar fashion to D&D’s Slaad monsters. He’s got multiple arms, lovingly-detailed ft rolls, and appears to be rising out of the ground.
Tsathoggua’s face is one of the most detailed things in this excellently-sculpted line, filled with an incredible amount of personality and, uh… charm.
The Serpent Men are another holdover from Hyperboria, and omre terrestrial than your average Lovecraftian beast. The sculpting is excellent, and this character certainly wouldn’t look out of place fighting Conan!
The Wizard is honestly a confusing sculpt. Is he mutating? Ripping himself open? I ooked up the concept art, and found that it’s an ordinary wizard riding a winged monstrosity, with the monster’s tail piercing his back As strange as it looks, the detailing is still pretty incredible, and I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it anywhere else.
The Formless Spawn are Tsathoggua’s loyal equivalent to the Shoggoths, as black, tarlike amorphous blob monsters. This one is distinct from the Shoggoth mini, and supplies some nice blobby variety.
Although it’s not as steeped in a single story as The Opener of the Way, The Sleeper expansion has some really great designs, varying from unique to traditional, but with some excellent variety, regardless. And Tsathoggua is truly a sight to behold, a figure heavy enough to bludgeon somebody with! Anyway, my theory is that Tsathoggua isn’t really sleeping, he’s just lying in bed, reliving embarrassing moments from the previous day. Poor guy!