What can be said to truly convey the horrors that are known as the Hounds of Cantaaris?
For the minds of mortals, the simplest way to describe the hounds is as ghosts or spirits; demon dogs from a hidden realm. In reality, they are much more than that.
The Hounds exist independently upon two realms of reality simultaneously, the physical plane and the spiritual plane; this innate ability coupled with a ruthless ferocity that does not have words strong enough to describe makes them the perfect scouting force for the Cults of C’thu.
The tentacle filled maws that act as the mouths of the Hounds lash out at their prey. Tangling and twisting them makes it easier for the flesh of their prey to be stripped from the bones. Any resistance or struggle will only serve to make the bonds tighter which in turn will restrict the airflow of the hapless victim; the merits of a quick death as opposed to a tedious struggle are a matter I do not care to debate any further here.
The origin of the hounds begins way back when the Gods still roamed the earth. Inside the ancient city of Cantaaris C’thus brother Slae bred the hounds from an ancient breed of wild dog. Domesticating them was an easy process for the experienced hunter and in no time at all he had trained them to be highly effective guard dogs to protect the Cantaarians against any would-be invaders. After the events of the Great Collapse unfolded there was little left for the hounds to guard and without their master to control them the hounds rapidly digressed into a more savage, primal state.
Many years would pass before C’thu discovered that the Hounds still existed; corrupting them into the devilish forms that they are today was a final opportunity to mock his deceased brother; one that proved to be too irresistible for the dark lord to pass up on.
The Hounds of Cantaaris are a bastardized version of the creatures that they once were, one that is aesthetically more pleasing to C’thu. In battle, they scout ahead of the main horde, spreading the madness as they go and sniffing out any significant threats to ensure that the arrival of the cult will be met with little to no resistance.
After the enemies of C’thu have been defeated by the writhing hordes, the deathly howls of the hounds can be heard echoing long into the night. The spine tingling cacophonic tones serve two purposes, the first is a tribute to the majesty of the dark lord and his minions while the second is a warning to other creatures stationed within earshot that C’thu is coming for them.
I myself would advise that upon hearing the howls, all notions of bravery should be instantly dismissed and plans to flee need to be executed without hesitation, unless of course one is seeking a glorious death or worse still, an unnatural desire to join the ranks of the dreaded cult.