Shudde-M'ell (also known as the Prime Burrower or the Burrower Beneath) is an entity which features in the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired Cthulhu Mythos, particularly the Titus Crow series by Brian Lumley.


The King Regent of the Cthonians, very little is known of the actual appearance of Shudde-M'ell, but what has been gleaned from his actions is truly terrifying: a creature which measures over a mile in length, is capable of generating such intense heat that granite melts like butter under the touch of a blowtorch and has the mental might to strip a telepath of his powers with a mere touching of the mind. 


Millennia ago, when humanity as we know it was a thing still to come, the Elder Gods imprisoned Shudde-M'ell and his worshipers in the great city of G'harne, now located in modern Ethiopia. The Elder Gods sealed these creatures in with their star-stones, items which are anathema to their enemies.

Over the aeons, humans evolved to their present condition, and sprung from the valleys of Africa. With time, tribes of humans reached Ethiopia, and with them came curiosity. The masters of the tribe, those known as shamans, began to excavate the unusual outcroppings that surrounded them, and eventually came across strange artefacts which they chose to wear as badges of office. As time went on, the shamans dug up further artefacts, and the number of these charms worn became a sign of seniority amongst others. Little did these men know how the taking of the star-stones would affect the world around them . . .

As the star-stones were slowly removed, so were their confining properties, and soon the Cthonians were free. With this, Shudde-M'ell and his kind were free to roam the earth, and so they did for the next few millennia, excavating their lairs across the globe and eventually infesting nearly every part of the planet.

Come the 1960's, a group of humans known as the Wilmarth Foundation became aware of these creatures and began to plot ways to rid the planet of their foul taint. In conjunction with noted occultists Titus Crow and Henri-Laurent de Marigny, they launched simultaneous campaigns known as the Great Britain Project and the American Project which were ultimately successful in driving the bulk of the Cthonians from their respective domains.

Heady from the successes of the Projects, the Foundation attempted to lure in and destroy Shudde-M'ell itself with the most lethally radioactive of materials. Sending an expedition to Africa, the Foundation discovered that they had underestimated the power of their enemy, and whilst Shudde-M'ell was grievously injured by the assault, it fled, burrowing deep into the planet, and escaping through the molten magma beneath the Earths' crust. The Foundation, in return, lost all of its' equipment, and every member of the expedition bar one, a telepath who only lived long enough to tell of his groups demise.

This event caused the Wilmarth Foundation to reconsider whether it was actually possible to kill entities such as Shudde-M'ell; if it was, they reasoned, then why would the Elder Gods, beings of unimaginable power, option to imprison and not simply annihilate them?

Powers and Abilities


  • Shudde-M'ell is a telepath of enormous potential, capable of communicating with any of his species instantaneously wherever they may be. He can also remove any psionic traits a human possesses by simply making direct mind-to-mind contact with them.

Heat Resistance

  • The King Cthonian is resistant to heat in any of its forms, as shown when it swam though the molten mantle which forms a part of the Earth's core.

Heat Projection

  • As it travels through the planets' strata, Shudde-M'ell doesn't so much burrow as melt its way through; it's skin projects such an intense heat that the rock literally flows around it and cools as a tunnel in its wake. This can also be used as a weapon against those who stray too close, as the mere proximity of the Burrower Beneath can incinerate an unwary opponent.

Immense Durability

  • Not only is the creature resistant to heat, it was also shown to be capable of resisting the worst effects of the most dangerous radiation that the technology of the 1960's could bring to bear against it.

Unnatural Speed

  • Although it travels through earth, gravel and solid rock, Shudde-M'ell is capable of moving at speeds which exceed the capabilities of most surface vehicles of the 1960's.