Something I’ve come across a lot in the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” is the tendency to make every single thing in it evil and bent toward human destruction when nothing could be farther from the truth. Being a GM of Call of Cthulhu I have tried my best to change that to some degree. Not always and not too much, but some.
Let’s look at the Elder Things, or the Old Ones if you’re a purest. While they did kill the entire party of explorers, the didn’t do it out of malice or hate. Lovecraft himself said it in the story. They woke up confused, alone, and in a now frozen environment. They had no food, no clothing and were surrounded by hairless apes shouting gibberish and hairy quadrupeds barking and trying to attack them. What they did was no different than what the british did in extreme situations out in the wilds in the days of exploration. They were frightened and trying to get home. And on top of that, they were scientists. As the narrator, William Dyer said, “THEY WERE MEN!”
Then there’s the Great Race of Yith. Are they guilty of kidnapping? Yes. Did they ever miss treat the people they held in the past as mental “guests? No. They gave them a degree of freedom during the time they were with them in Pnakotis. They only wanted to learn. Honestly, who wouldn’t do the same if they had the chance to experience ancient Egypt or before? Who wouldn’t want to know the truth of human origins? Did they ever do anything particularly evil while in mankind’s era? Nope. Just research.
I always try to play the Yith and the Elder Things as alien races that, given the right circumstances, would have at least co-existed on some level with humanity if given the chance.
Not the Mi-Go though. Screw those guys and their brain canisters. . .