The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

We’re back and we’re descending the seventy steps of light slumber. At least we can take a breather in the cavern of flame before we have to trot down the seven hundred steps to the Gate of Deeper Slumber. Schlepping down all these stairs is knackering. We’re going to need a good night’s sleep before we wade through any more of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Maybe we’ll have some interesting dreams while we do so.

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

This is the first part of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s first novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. While Lovecraft had been writing stories set in the Dreamlands for several years beforehand, this is the book that tied everything together. As well as consolidating the Dreamlands as a setting, it also fleshes out several aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos, offering insights into ghouls, Nyarlathotep, and the Court of Azathoth.

As ever, we begin by discussing the background and context of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. We then move on to the story itself. Our synopsis is peppered with side discussions about how we would use elements of the story in our games. More than any other Lovecraft story, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is filled with inspirational hints and snippets.

This episode also features the return of Matt! He has largely recovered from COVID, although his voice is still croaky. Patreon backers can enjoy the full range of Matt’s coughs and sputters in the unedited episode.


Things we mention in this episode include:


Delay to The Blasphemous Tome issue 8

Matt’s recent bout of COVID has knocked back our production schedule by a few weeks. The Christmas cards have gone out and most seem to have arrived. The Blasphemous Tome will follow in early January. Thank you for your patience in what has been a rough month.

Dragonmeet special episodes

Paul attended the Dragonmeet convention in London last month. While there, he took part in a few panels and recorded them. Eagle-eyed listeners will already have spotted the Call of Cthulhu 40th Anniversary seminar and the panel on the new Rivers of London RPG in our podcast feed. Paul also joined Baz and Gaz from What Would the Smart Party Do and Matt Hart from Steamforged Games for a discussion about writing RPGs for publication.

Call of Cthulhu 40th at Dragonmeet 2021

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2 comments on “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 1

  1. aaronjv Jan 6, 2022

    Not sure if my comment made it to the last one, apologies if I repeat:
    Ronnie James Dio introduced the “goat horns” to heavy metal, and it was indeed to ward off the evil eye:

    Jason Bradley Thompson is working on a Dreamland RPG for Petersen Games:
    In the design blog for the game, he talks about Zoogs (and illustrates some):

    Jason also did a Dream Quest graphic novel:

    Full disclosure: I did some writing for the game. I love it, I have run some scenarios, and I can’t wait until it comes out.

    Lastly, this World Fantasy Award winning story (2017) by Kij Johnson is a response to TDQOUK, and HIGHLY recommended:
    The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe:

  2. CthulhuBob Jan 26, 2022

    There is actually a mechanic in the Dreamlands supplement for the Investigators to lose all memory of their Dreamlands experiences. I seem to recall it’s toward the front of the book. I ignore it, as it completely moots all the role play the players just did and the storytelling the Keeper has done.

    The one way I would use the concept would be as a narrative prelude to a campaign involving the Dreamlands. As they find themselves in this strange new (old?) world, they can be surprised as vague memories grow familiar, people know them, etc.

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