We’re back and we’re still boring. That is to say, we’re drilling down through layers of ancient rock in search of even more ancient secrets. And it’s pretty dull. We’re sure there’s not going to be anything down there that challenges our notions of history and the nature of humanity. Probably just fossils. Yup. Everything’s going to be fine…

Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness part 2

This is the second part of our expedition through Lovecraft’s short novel, At the Mountains of Madness. Our Antarctic journey is going to be a long one. Now that we’ve actually recorded all the episodes, we can safely reveal that there are going to be five installments in total. This will take us up to the end of November, when the weather in the Northern Hemisphere should start becoming inspirational. Brrrr.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 5

We have started work on issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. Once again, this issue will feature a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, written by our own Matt Sanderson, along with plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork. If you have any short pieces of prose (no more than 500 words) or black-and-white art you would to submit, please send it our way!

Concrete Cow 19 1/2

Paul and Matt recently attended the Concrete Cow convention in Milton Keynes and share some of their experiences in this episode. If you missed the convention this time, you can always come along to Concrete Cow 20 on the 14th of March 2020.

Other Stuff

Songs

How the dogs at Lake’s camp howled when they caught the scent of the ancient and not-quite-dead horrors their master had unearthed. In contrast, we howl with pure joy at our two new $5 Patreon backers. We do mention that one of them, Amber Reeves, turns nightmares into exquisite jewellery. Unfortunately, we have since learnt that she has shut down her shop front. If she reopens it, we shall be sure to tell you.

The pendant we mentioned.
And here’s a little snippet of how we recorded it. No news on how the vacuum cleaner is faring now.

Reviews

Once again, we have a lovely new review to share, this time from Dalex D Diddlesticks in Australia. If you feel inspired to write a review of your own — whether on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you might find podcasts — we would be delighted!

We’re back and we’re putting on our thermal underwear, ready for a long journey south. Sure, we’ve timed our trip for the summer, but it still gets a little nippy down there. We’re not inured to the cold like all those rugged New Englanders. Still, we’re looking forward to our little trip of the Mountains of Madness. We’re just hoping the locals will be as friendly as we’ve heard.

Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness is one of Lovecraft’s longest works and one of the most important to the development of the Mythos. It tells an epic tale of an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic and their encounter with forgotten horrors from the distant past. Plus penguins. Lots of penguins.

Just one of the flightless harbingers of terror that await our heroes

As ever, we drill deep into the story in search of inspiration for our Call of Cthulhu games. This is surprisingly tricky in the early parts of the story, as Lovecraft is more concerned with explaining the technicalities of the expedition than developing the story. Still, this can be good inspiration for some games, especially if they involve detailed explorations of geology. That’s what horror is all about!

The Roerich painting that inspired all this madness

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Pemmican: the true horror lurking at the heart of this story

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 5

We have started work on issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. Once again, this issue will feature a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, along with plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork. If you have any short pieces of prose (no more than 500 words) or black-and-white art you would to submit, please send it our way!

Covers of Tomes gone by

Necronomicon 2019

This was the first episode we recorded since returning from Necronomicon 2019, so we offer a short overview of what we got up to there. Roll on 2021!

Other Stuff

Songs

The winds that blow through those frozen Antarctic peaks are filled with strange, piping sounds that inspire unease. Our songs are filled with gratitude to new $5 Patreon backers. They still inspire unease, however.

Reviews

Once again, we have a lovely new review to share, this time from JR Wilkinson in Australia. If you feel inspired to write a review of your own — whether on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you might find podcasts — we would be delighted!

I first encountered Matthew M Bartlett‘s work at Necronomicon 2017. While I didn’t have the funds to buy any of his books at the time, I added them to my list. When I finally picked up Gateways to Abomination earlier this year, I knew I had to track Bartlett down at the next Necronomicon and ask him what the hell I had just read.

Bartlett’s work is tricky to describe, bridging a gap between traditional Gothic and weird fiction. His world is grubby, filled with strange horrors and mutations of the flesh. Happily, Bartlett offers such explanations as he can for what it is he does and opens up his world of Leeds, MA, a little more.

We also talk about Necronomicon and how his work relates to gaming. This includes Bartlett’s collaborations with Yves Tourigny, a game designer whose work you should definitely check out.

We’re back and we’re coming to you live from Necronomicon 2019. OK, we’re not actually live. This was recorded a few weeks ago, but it was a live event at the time, so we’re standing by this. Time is an illusion.

As we did in 2017, we met up with our good friends from the Miskatonic University Podcast for a live episode. While Keeper Dan was unable to make it this time, we did finally get to meet Jon Hook. As impressive a puppet as he made before, it was even better to have him there in the flesh.

Left to right: Matt, Scott, Paul, Keeper Chad, Keeper Jon and Keeper Murph

This time, we followed a sort of debate format. Both podcasts had polled our listeners about possible topics and we picked several of our favourites to hash out. As you might be able to tell, not all of us were in the debate club at school!

We have a few more recordings from Necronomicon 2019 coming your way soon. Watch your feeds!

Episode 164: Occult Horror

We’re back and we’re trying to keep all this blood from staining our carpets. Worse still, we can’t get the smell out goat out of our best robes. Everything will be ruined at this rate. When we decided to do an episode about occult horror, we didn’t think the real horror was going to be the cleaning bills. The sacrifices we make!

Main Topic: Occult Horror

After spending a couple of episodes discussing how Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu relate to real occultism, we thought we’d get a little more lurid. This is our look at the genre of occult horror, which is something quite different than occultism. It is the blood-drenched, Satan-worshipping, virgin-sacrificing insanity that you would encounter in more disreputable sources, such as tabloids or Dennis Wheatley novels.

OK, still more believable than the Daily Mail.

We begin by trying to define the genre and mentioning some of its more famous proponents, at least in twentieth-century literature. Our terms established, we then break occult horror down into its main tropes and discuss how we might use these in our games. Call of Cthulhu may not precisely be an occult horror game, but it is suffused with the genre’s sulphurous influence.

Links

Some of the things we mention in this episode include:

News

Concrete Cow

Concrete Cow 19 1/2 is approaching faster than anything made out of concrete should be able to. This is the one-day RPG convention held twice per year in Milton Keynes. Full details can be found on the Concrete Cow website. At least some of us will be there, so please come along and say hi if you’re in the area.

Other Stuff

Songs

Writers of occult horror would have you believe that blood-fuelled, orgiastic rites take place behind innocuous doors in suburbia. Nothing about this episode’s songs would change their minds. Our frenzied celebrations of two new $5 Patreon backers must have summoned a demon or two.