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:
- Dreamlands Cycle
- Lord Dunsany
- Lucid dreaming
- The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H P Lovecraft
- H P Lovecraft’s Dreamlands
- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H P Lovecraft
- At the Mountains of Madness by H P Lovecraft
- The New Annotated H P Lovecraft – Beyond Arkham edited by Leslie Klinger
- Randolph Carter
- “The Statement of Randolph Carter” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Unnamable” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Silver Key” by H P Lovecraft
- “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” by H P Lovecraft and E Hoffmann Price
- “Out of the Aeons” by H P Lovecraft and Hazel Heald
- “Polaris” by H P Lovecraft
- “The White Ship” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Cats of Ulthar” by H P Lovecraft
- “Celephaïs” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Quest of Iranon” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Other Gods” by H P Lovecraft
- Vathek by William Thomas Beckford
- Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H P Lovecraft
- The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
- Lost Colony of Roanoke
- Pnakotic Manuscripts
- Elder sign
- “The Descendant” by H P Lovecraft
- The sign of the evil eye
- “Witches’ Hollow” by August Derleth
- “The Dunwich Horror” by H P Lovecraft
- “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by H P Lovecraft
- The Giant’s Causeway
- The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers
- “The Charnel God” by Clark Ashton Smith
- Nazca Lines
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.
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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: https://youtu.be/CwQ1A5eB_dY
Jason Bradley Thompson is working on a Dreamland RPG for Petersen Games: https://petersengames.com/introducing-jason-thompson-and-the-dreamlands/
In the design blog for the game, he talks about Zoogs (and illustrates some): https://www.dreamrpg.com/2021/08/24/dreamland-bestiary-zoogs/
Jason also did a Dream Quest graphic novel: https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Quest-Kadath-Other-Stories/dp/0983989303
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: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29635545-the-dream-quest-of-vellitt-boe
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.