Cement Surroundings short story by Brian Lumley
The Burrowers Beneath (1974 by Brian Lumley
Chthonians (/ˈθoʊniənz/ from Greek: chthon, “earth”) are fictional creatures in the Cthulhu Mythos. Chthonians as name of the species is the creation of English horror-fiction writer Brian Lumley and was first featured in his short story “Cement Surroundings” (1969)—though the creature never made a direct appearance. The chthonians had a more prominent role in Lumley’s novel The Burrowers Beneath (1974), whose title was taken from one of the stories said to have been written by Robert Blake in Lovecraft’s “The Haunter of the Dark.”
Chthonians are described as resembling immense squids, with elongated worm-like bodies coated with slime. Despite their squid-like appearance, chthonians are actually land-dwellers and are even harmed by water. Chthonians are powerful burrowers which can live for more than a thousand years, and are protective of their young. It is said that a chanting sound accompanies every chthonian, and that by such they can be detected while underground and unseen.
The most important individual chthonian is the gigantic Shudde M’ell, which is worshiped by the rest, the largest and most malignant of this dread race. It is featured prominently in the aforementioned novel.