The Last Feast of Harlequin

We’re back and we’re touching up our greasepaint, frolicking with wild abandon and preparing for our unspeakable transformation. This episode is our look at Thomas Ligotti’s weird tale The Last Feast of Harlequin. While Ligotti may arguably have written stronger stories, this established his reputation as one of the finest modern writers of weird fiction. More importantly for the interests of the podcast, it is one of the few explicitly Lovecraftian tales he has written.

Main Topic

Ligotti described The Last Feast of Harlequin as the first of his stories that he didn’t want to throw away, an understatement that should qualify Ligotti as an honorary Briton. While his work has become weirder and more idiosyncratic since this story, The Last Feast of Harlequin is an iconic tale, mixing elements of Lovecraft’s The Festival and The Shadow Over Innsmouth into something original and utterly nightmarish. It is a fine introduction to his writing and to his nihilistic world-view. The latter aspect makes The Last Feast of Harlequin especially rich inspiration for Call of Cthulhu. We dissect it enthusiastically in search of juicy morsels we can steal for our games.

In our discussion, we mention a few useful resources for those interested in learning more about Ligotti and his work.

News

Scott is continuing to run The Two-Headed Serpent for the How We Roll podcast. There is no fixed date for the release yet, but we shall let you know here and on social media when it happens.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, we have a new website design. During the overhaul, we decided to add a new MailChimp mailing list. Its main goal is to let listeners know when we release episodes, but we shall also include updates on new publications, personal appearances, conventions and so on. If you would like to subscribe, please visit our Follow Us page for more details.

Speaking of conventions, all three of us will be at the Continuum 2018 convention in Leicester this summer. We plan to run lots of games, record a live episode and get disgracefully drunk at the bar. If you fancy joining us for any of these activities, we would love to see you there.

Other Stuff

In our regular social media catch-up segment, we mention the recent thread on Google+ about our Folk Horror episode. This was a particularly lively discussion, so please check it out if you want to learn what’s waiting for you in the hedgerow.

Sure, he looks harmless, until the moment he pulls your wet bits out to replace his rotten stuffing.

The secret clowns of Mirocaw practice their hideous rites while hidden safely beneath the earth. We afford no such restraint, screeching our celebrations into microphones and sending them out to a world ill-prepared for such horrors. This episode, we thank two new $5 Patreon backers through the medium of what some might describe as song. We still have a number of people to sing to, so please bear with us if you haven’t heard our eerie childlike chanting yet. It is only a matter of time before our words touch you, reshaping your world, your flesh and your very sense of self.

If you’ve visited our website before, you’ve almost certainly noticed that things have changed. Blasphemoustomes.com now sports a fancy new design, courtesy of our good friend John Ossoway of RAGINGtrifle. We’ve taken the opportunity to…

Mythos Deities: Yog-Sothoth

We’re back, standing atop Sentinel Hill, chill wind whipping under our robes, shrieking until our lungs hurt. Damn, that wind’s cold! This is our discussion of Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-One, the Gate, the Key, the Lurker at the Threshold and any number of other names. You can tell Yog-Sothoth is an important deity: he has almost as many monikers as Nyarlathotep has avatars. And while his personal appearances are mercifully few, his presence in Lovecraftian fiction and gaming is strong enough to warp space and time themselves.

Main Topic

This is our latest dissection of a Lovecraftian deity. We examined Dagon in episode 98 and Shub-Niggurath in 115. Our overview of Lovecraftian gods in episode 67 and of religion in the Mythos in episodes 118 and 119 also relate. Following our usual format, we look at the origins of Yog-Sothoth, how he developed through fiction, how he appears in Call of Cthulhu, and what we might do with him in our games. Well, other than run screaming.

Or adding some tasty meatballs.

News

All three of us will be at the Concrete Cow convention in Milton Keynes on Saturday the 17th of March. We’re running a few Call of Cthulhu games between us, and it would be lovely to find some of you at our tables. Otherwise, please look for us between games –we’d be delighted to have a chat. It’s a small con and we’re slow-moving targets.

The Lovecraft Tapes actual play podcast is currently making their way through Scott’s scenario Hell in Texas, from The Things We Leave Behind. They take a more comedic approach than most Call of Cthulhu actual plays, with quick-fire quips and running gags aplenty. Despite this, they still take the investigation itself seriously, embracing the horror. Add some great characterisation and the result is compelling. Hell in Texas starts at episode 32, although it is well worth starting from the beginning to understand the larger continuity (and also because it’s damn good fun).

Time is running out for the competition we announced in episode 124 to win a copy of Nameless Horrors. It’s not too late to enter, however. If you’d like to do so, simply share any of our social media announcements about the last episode and let us know. We shall perform the draw on the 24th of March and announce the 5 lucky winners shortly afterwards.

Also on the 24th of March, we shall be holding a voice chat with our Patreon backers using our shiny new Discord server. If you are a patron, you should already have access to the backer-only channel there. Please let us know ahead of time if this doesn’t seem to be the case. We shall start the talk at 6 PM GMT (1 PM EST, 10 AM PST, 7 PM CET) and run for about an hour. We shall send out email reminders via Patreon beforehand, along with a link to the server.

And we have been nominated for a Golden Geek Award in the category of Best RPG Podcast. If you would like more details, including how to vote, please see our recent post. We would be ever so grateful if you voted for us!

Other Stuff

As Wilbur Whateley cries his blasphemous praises to the leering stars above, so do we. While his chants are designed to tear reality asunder, bringing about the end of humanity, ours merely praise our new $5 Patreon backers. Any destruction of humanity is purely coincidental. There are two such minor apocalypses in this episode. We still have a few more people to sing to, but those waiting should not grow complacent. Your time shall come soon.