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On Exham Priory: Work Notes for an Elizabethan CoC Supplement


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#21 WinstonP

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 04:51 PM

I should mention that Dan Harms, of Encyclopedia of the Mythos fame, has more than a passing interest in Cornish folklore:

https://danharms.wor...rnish-folklore/
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#22 JeffErwin

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 06:14 PM

I should mention that Dan Harms, of Encyclopedia of the Mythos fame, has more than a passing interest in Cornish folklore:

https://danharms.wor...rnish-folklore/

 

 

Thank you. Cornwall really deserves a supplement of its own...



#23 WinstonP

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:36 PM

Thank you. Cornwall really deserves a supplement of its own...


Cubicle 7 have, in fits and starts, been workings toward greater coverage of the U.K., county by county (or Kingdom by Kingdom if you include their expansive Scotland book)

They've already covered Somerset and London and have said they're working on Nottingham, Liverpool, and Cambridgeshire books.

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#24 JeffErwin

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:12 PM

Cubicle 7 have, in fits and starts, been workings toward greater coverage of the U.K., county by county (or Kingdom by Kingdom if you include their expansive Scotland book)

They've already covered Somerset and London and have said they're working on Nottingham, Liverpool, and Cambridgeshire books.

http://www.yog-sotho...asedSupplements

 

 

Interesting. There's a bit on Cornwall in their Folklore book. Cornwall seems to have - with Devon - a personal connection to Lovecraft, since his father's family came from those counties. Bloch also references it a bit, and Lumley placed Deep Ones nearby. That said, I'm pretty sure if I did - once my London book is done - one on Elizabethan Cornwall I'd still leave plenty for the 1920s or modern day to work with.

 

I actually wrote, as a student, a huge book for Pendragon on Cornwall. It didn't get published, and I'd do it very differently now. But Cornish history and legend is a pretty consistent interest of mine. 



#25 Necrothesp

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 02:16 PM

 Huh. That's interesting. It is... potentially, a spelling of Trevear, "big farm". It does little damage to my theories, however. I have some notes on Cornwall begun and I'll have to identify Trevear/Trevor (there's more than one). There's a Trethewy of Trevear family in the Visitation of Cornwall - which I'm related to.

 

Anyway, the spelling "Trevor" is unknown in Cornwall in the Middle Ages/Renaissance, when it would have been spelt Trevear.

 

However, "Trevor Towers" is no doubt the same place in Lovecraft's universe, and suggests a small castle. Given the meaning of the word, it could be found anywhere west of the Tamar, but presumably is on the coast.

 

Yes, it's definitely on the coast. I'm more inclined to see it as a manor house, though. Although Trevor Towers is not the sort of name I'd expect to see for an historic house in Britain at all, let alone in Cornwall (which is, incidentally, where I grew up). It sounds rather too modern - the sort of name you'd give to a tower block!


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#26 JeffErwin

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 02:28 PM

Yes, it's definitely on the coast. I'm more inclined to see it as a manor house, though. Although Trevor Towers is not the sort of name I'd expect to see for an historic house in Britain at all, let alone in Cornwall (which is, incidentally, where I grew up). It sounds rather too modern - the sort of name you'd give to a tower block!

 

 

I agree. Perhaps the name is influenced by Tretower in Brecon.



#27 JeffErwin

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:32 PM

I agree. Perhaps the name is influenced by Tretower in Brecon.

 

Well I reread "Celephais" very carefully. The "Trevor Towers" name corresponds to the 20th century, when a millionaire brewer has a house called that; there's no evidence that it was known as anything so pompous in earlier centuries. Moreover... the village overlooked by this house is none other than the original Innsmouth in Cornwall. In terms of game canon, the name in Massachusetts must come from a Cornish family, most likely the Eliots (the others being the Marshes, Hoggs, and the Martin families), given that Eliot is a West Country surname. "Innsmouth" in Cornwall is on the Channel and near some precipitous cliffs. It is more likely to the east rather than the west given its Anglo-Saxon name. It's rather odd that no-one has picked up on this. There are several stories that connect Deep Ones with Cornwall, but none use the name Innsmouth. I'll have to develop this further.



#28 Taavi

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 03:30 AM

There's a Trethewy of Trevear family in the Visitation of Cornwall - which I'm related to.

 

Now the truth comes out :-)


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#29 JeffErwin

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 05:50 AM

Now the truth comes out :-)

 

That I'm part Cornish?

 

Random factoid: the Celtic tribe of the Dumnonii which resided in the southwestern peninsula in the Roman era literally translates as "Deep Ones", from a Celtic room Dubn-, meaning "the world, depths, chthonic". So in some sense, I am a deep one.



#30 Taavi

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 06:51 AM

No, that you're related by marriage (through Margaret Trevor of Cornwell) to the de la Poers.


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#31 Necrothesp

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 03:48 PM

Well I reread "Celephais" very carefully. The "Trevor Towers" name corresponds to the 20th century, when a millionaire brewer has a house called that; there's no evidence that it was known as anything so pompous in earlier centuries.

 

"Kuranes came very suddenly upon his old world of childhood. He had been dreaming of the house where he was born; the great stone house covered with ivy, where thirteen generations of his ancestors had lived, and where he had hoped to dieIt was moonlight, and he had stolen out into the fragrant summer night, through the gardens, down the terraces, past the great oaks of the park, and along the long white road to the village. The village seemed very old, eaten away at the edge like the moon which had commenced to wane, and Kuranes wondered whether the peaked roofs of the small houses hid sleep or death. In the streets were spears of long grass, and the window-panes on either side were either broken or filmily staring. Kuranes had not lingered, but had plodded on as though summoned toward some goal. He dared not disobey the summons for fear it might prove an illusion like the urges and aspirations of waking life, which do not lead to any goal. Then he had been drawn down a lane that led off from the village street toward the channel cliffs, and had come to the end of things—to the precipice and the abyss where all the village and all the world fell abruptly into the unechoing emptiness of infinity..."

 

"...below the cliffs at Innsmouth the channel tides played mockingly with the body of a tramp who had stumbled through the half-deserted village at dawn; played mockingly, and cast it upon the rocks by ivy-covered Trevor Towers, where a notably fat and especially offensive millionaire brewer enjoys the purchased atmosphere of extinct nobility."

 

Quite clearly, this is the house in which Kuranes was born. The nouveau-riche 'millionaire brewer' has bought the house which previously belonged to an aristocratic family. Whether it was known as Trevor Towers previously or not is not stated, but it is extremely rare for new money purchasers to change the names of historic houses, since one of the reasons they buy them is indeed to enjoy "the purchased atmosphere of extinct nobility". If they changed the name they'd lose some of that cachet.


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#32 JeffErwin

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 05:19 AM

As an aside I have been gradually accumulating ideas for a Exham Priory campaign (set between 1589 and 1618). I'm identified a second source of ideas, which is Woodchester Mansion, which is very close to Nympsfield - a place that in our world occupies the approximate location of Goatswood (and which is pretty close to Beverstone as well) - and of course that unfinished pile (albeit Victorian Gothic) has a great deal of useful "feel" for Exham Priory.

 

For now the rough idea is that a theatrical troupe goes missing en route one winter from Bristol to Kenilworth, and what ensues in Goatswood and at Exham. 



#33 JeffErwin

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 07:08 PM

An update on the Trevor family and Innsmouth in Cornwall:

 

Lovecraft wrote to Fritz Leiber:

 

“All told, I believe that Cornwall must form the most picturesque & fascinating spot in England, with its plenteous reliques of the past, its bold topography, its ancient villages, its tenacious folkways, its suggestions of subtropical vegetation (this in the latitude of northern Newfoundland so potent are the subtler elements of climate- formation!), & its legends of dim yesterdays & of the sunken land of Lyonesse. I have several ancestral lines which remotely extend back to Cornwall — Carew, Edgecome, Treftisis — hence feel that it is no alien soil. It is in ancient Damnonia, [Devon] however, that Lovecrafts are chiefly scattered largely in the valley of the Teign near Newton-Abbot. Historically, Cornwall & Devon are pretty much a unit.” 

 

Now Lovecraft's Treftisis is almost certainly a misreading (probably by the editor) of Trefusis, a family located at Mylor, a manor some five miles north of Falmouth in Cornwall. This family's proximity to Fal-mouth (a settlement founded, however, in 1613) and the similarity of the syllables Tref and Trev- - both meaning "farm, village" in Brythonic languages - suggests to me that the Cornish Innsmouth is meant to be Falmouth. Therefore, fictively, I'd place it in the estuary of the Fal, perhaps on a stream called the Inns-; in Cornish, Inys or Enys means "island", though in Welsh and Cornish the word was used sometimes for a monastic or ecclesiastical precinct.

 

The founders of Falmouth were the piratical Killigrews. Though I flirted in my notes with placing Innsmouth near Saltash because of Lovecraft's Edgcombe ancestors and the Elliots being named among the founders of Inssmouth in the CoC sourcebook, I believe that the short story where the Cornish town appears clearly indicates a part of western Cornwall - at the 'edge of the world'.

 

Regarding "Trevor Towers" there is a style of late mediaeval or Elizabethan manor in Cornwall - at Cotehele, Pengersick, and elsewhere - where a fortified tower is attached to the main hall.



#34 JeffErwin

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 07:38 PM

OK, now I've got something really interesting. The Killigrews did business with a pirate named Elliott from Plymouth (spelling varies in every possible way, of course) in the 1590s. He seems to have been the son of an associate of the Hawkins family, so he probably learned the trade from John Hawkins himself. He later (c.1597) defected to Spain and later has a rather remarkable career as a mercenary, triple/quadruple agent, and troublemaker. Now, in the CoC Escape from Innsmouth book, the Elliot family [presumably from Innsmouth, Cornwall] were among the early founders of Innsmouth, which provides me with an interesting basis for an adventure.

 

Keith Taylor associates the Killigrews with the villainous pirate Jonas Hardraker in the Solomon Kane stories here: http://www.rehtwogun...eline-part-one/, though he is unaware that Falmouth didn't yet exist. Of course, perhaps Hardraker and Kane first set eyes on each other in Innsmouth, Cornwall.



#35 CultistfromKent

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 01:09 PM

The Cult
 
Cybele casts rather a larger shadow in the 16th century than one might think, being in regular use as in Renaissance iconography and literature, though there is little evidence that she was worshipped in secret grottoes. Cybele or Magna Mater was identified with Rhea, consort of Saturn or Cronos by the Romans and in the Classicising air of the late Renaissance she was seen as an archetype of the primeval goddess and symbol of widowhood and the lost Golden Age.
 
Catherine de Medicis used the imagery of Cybele as a widow-goddess and Gallic queen-dowager (cf. the pun between Gallus, cock, and gallos, castrated priest of Cybele) in her official propaganda. The Pleiade (Ronsard et al.) explored this theme at length. The Galli were indentified with the Galloi and the Phrygians, the Asiatic descendants of Troy; Catherine’s son Charles was to be understood as Cybele’s divine son. Ronsard in the Franciade (1572) tied Atys and Cybele to the month of April, celebrated immemorially by the Gauls as the spring festival.
 
Significantly, one etymology of ‘de La Poer’ was as ‘puer’, youth, young man, like the Celtic Maponos, son of Matrona.
 
John Donne compared Catholic celibate priests - particularly the Jesuits who venerate the Virgin - to the galloi.
 
Spenser compared the turreted crown of Cybele to the walls and towers of London in the Faerie Queene.
 
Cybele, despite her origin in Asia Minor was an extraordinarily popular deity in the Empire (for an import not directly connected with the state religion), specifically in Gallic and Celtic areas. Interestingly, also, Jewish legend seems to connect the mountains of Asia Minor to Lilith and her sisters, particularly as consort of Azazel/Satan, who is conflated in Hebrew mythology with Saturn; Cybele/Magna Mater was identified with Rhea by the Romans. In other words, Lovecraft's two cults of ‘The Terror at Red Hook’ and ‘The Rats in the Walls’ have a tenuous common thread.
 
Nor should we ignore that the Cybele-Attis legend was, in the 1920s, connected to the Graal legend (which contains, of course, one or more castrated kings), by Jessie Weston in her From Ritual to Romance.

 

The Cybele-Attis Cults practices anyone know what the ceremonies were? 

 

I've found that they male acolytes castrated themselves and wore (Roman) women's clothes and danced around whipping themselves.

 

I think they recreated a bit in 'Rome' Episode 1. Atia sacrifices a bull and is covered in its blood.   http://www.imdb.com/.../?ref_=ttep_ep1



#36 JeffErwin

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 10:25 PM

I've found that they male acolytes castrated themselves and wore (Roman) women's clothes and danced around whipping themselves.

 

The robed "galloi" who whip themselves (i.e., like the castigation of the Jesuits) is why the analogy was made, as well as the Protestant distrust of Marian veneration. The fundamentalist anti-Catholic literature you'll find even today tries to connect the Virgin to Cybele and the Moon goddess (Cybele being conflated with Hecate and Diana). However, Magna Mater was a mystery cult, so there's less known on their ceremonies than more public religions. The taurobolium was imported into her worship around the 2nd century CE. See here for more, if you're interested: https://books.google...obolium&f=false



#37 CultistfromKent

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 08:36 PM

Thank you.

I have Golden Bough and quite a few Roman source books but couldn't find further details. Thought would be good to introduce in a storyline, with more details than Lovecraft used.