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finarvyn

Robert E. Howard's mythos

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deuce

Letters to J. Vernon Shea, Carl F. Strauch, and Lee McBride White is the latest volume from Hippocampus Press.

Letters to Lee McBride White - First published in the Lovecraft Annual.


p.374 - A brief memorial recap on the death of Robert E. Howard and its aftermath:
 

This has been a bad year for fantasy in general as well as for certain of its devotees [...] Most tragic of all from the standpoint of our little circle is the suicide of Robert E. Howard--who shot himself on June 11 [...]  Weird fiction's loss is irreparable--for no other popular magazine fantaisiste's work had half the zest & power & spontaneity of his. Poor old Two-Gun Bob! -- HPL

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deuce

Arkham

 

Drowsy and dull with age the houses blink

On aimless streets the rat-gnawed years forget-
But what inhuman figures leer and slink
Down the old alleys when the moon has set?
 
~ REH ~
 
02_bookofreh_01_1976_jones_pigeonsfromhe

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Zarono

Artifacts of unknown origin, perhaps associated with the primal cult of Gol-Goroth :shock:

Idol%20of%20Goroth%201_zpsn0wvokhu.jpg

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deuce

Artifacts of unknown origin, perhaps associated with the primal cult of Gol-Goroth :shock:

Idol%20of%20Goroth%201_zpsn0wvokhu.jpg

 

Cool. That figurine especially looks like how I've always envisioned Gol-goroth.  B)

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Zarono

Cool. That figurine especially looks like how I've always envisioned Gol-goroth. B)

 

He has touched your mind, time to put on a mantle of parrot feathers and grab a sacrificial dagger :-D

 

They lumber through the night

With their elephantine tread;

I shudder in affright

As I cower in my bed.

They lift colossal wings

On the high gable roofs

Which tremble to the trample

Of their mastodonic hoofs.

—Justin Geoffrey: Out of the Old Land

Robert E. Howard, The Thing on the Roof

 

Thing%20on%20the%20Roof_zpsa2p1yakv.jpg

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Zarono

Howard inspired occult artifact; the skull of Tsotha-Lanti.

The sorcerer Tsotha-Lanti was the main bad guy in the Conan story "The Scarlet Citadel",  at the end of the tale the cimmerian loops his head off and an eagle (rival sorcerer Pelias's familiar) swoops in to carry off the severed head with Tsotha's stumbling headless body giving chase (sorry for the spoiler, still a great story so read it  :-P )

Tsotha-Lanti was the hybrid son of some nameless demon lurking in pre-human ruins and also a powerful sorcerer so it's reasonable to assume some part of his intellect still survives in that severed head and perhaps became an occult artifact treasured by many sorcerers and cults over the millennia. It would be a good way to bring information about the Hyborian Age into a modern era game.

Necronomicon_House%20of%20the%20Necroman

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OttoHarkaman

Howard inspired occult artifact; the skull of Tsotha-Lanti.

 

Great idea! Love it!

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Nick Storm

Bryan, more hard props please! Love yer scrolls an books but those skulls and boxes...wow. Must get...more.

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Zarono

Thanks for the kind words! Here's some Black Lotus for you :-D

BLACK%20LOTUS%20SKULL_zpsbsaxyelj.jpg

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Zarono

Howard's Gods of Bal Sagoth was mentioned in the troll thread so I thought I would post this as a howardian adventure seed :-D

This is the only known photo from the 1939 nazi expedition to the island of Bal Sagoth, the few references to the expedition refer to several men men dying at the hands of "abominations" dwelling in the catacombs beneath the ruins of the fabled city. 

bal_sagoth_expedition_by_mrzarono_zpsorm

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Beyond17

I've always liked RE Howard, but his view of the Mythos was less hopeless than Lovecrafts. His hero's always win! Same with Lyn Carter and the Thongor series. I always thought the 'Druids,' with their techno dark sorcery, were brilliant antagonists, except they always got killed off, not always in the most believable manners. 

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Zarono

REH's mythos was still pretty bleak;

Friedrich Von Junzt dies mysteriously, Justin Geoffrey dies screaming in a madhouse, the guy in "The Thing on the Roof"  got his skull crushed, the narrator in "The Black Stone" survives but with the unsettling knowledge that monsters are real, John Grymlan in "Dig Me No Grave" lives 250 years but in the end gets his body and soul carried off to some kind of hell, the monster in "The Fire of Ashurbanipal" rips apart anyone who touches a gem.

Some heroes do fare quite a bit better though; Niord kills the monster in "The Valley of the Worm" but gets killed in the process, in "Xuthal of the Dusk" Conan defeats Thog but he would have died from his wounds if not for some restorative golden wine, but I would say Solomon Kane is the luckiest of the bunch in "The Footfalls Within" he flat out kills a mythos monster with a ju-ju staff and doesn't seem to suffer any serious wounds in the encounter. :-D

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golfsale

I like Savage Foes but wasn't overly impressed with what I saw of Traveler's Tales.

I managed to buy a copy of Traveler's Tales yesterday and consider myself lucky to get a copy. But they definitely made a mess of the maps/handouts. Any idea when they're going to bring out some more supplements?

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finarvyn

I've always liked RE Howard, but his view of the Mythos was less hopeless than Lovecrafts. His hero's always win!  

 

Maybe that is what I like about REH better than HPL. I guess I like the notion that in the end the heroes have a chance, and Lovecraft's protagonists always come with that feeling of total despair. Howard's heroes at least are willing to pick up a gun or a pointy stick and take a poke and the baddun before getting wiped out. :-)

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HomoLupusDomesticus

I managed to buy a copy of Traveler's Tales yesterday and consider myself lucky to get a copy. But they definitely made a mess of the maps/handouts. Any idea when they're going to bring out some more supplements?

 

AFAIK they aren't.

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Beyond17

AFAIK they aren't.

 

Why not use google maps to zoom in on the areas of the world you want maps for, and use the snipping tool, to get some close up topographical png's.

Then you can add the names etc, you want as an overlay, reformat it in a graphics programme, and print it out!

Voila !

Maps!

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HomoLupusDomesticus

I was responding to the question about more supplements to the Solomon Kane game being published. AFAIK the game line is finished; there are no other supplements in the works.

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deuce

Babel

 

Now in the gloom the pulsing drums repeat,
And all the night is filled with evil sound;
I hear the throbbing on inhuman feet
On marble stairs that silence locks around.

 

I see black temples loom against the night,
With tentacles like serpents writhed afar,
And waving in a dusky dragon light
Great moths whose wings unholy tapers char.
Red memory on memory, tier on tier,
Builds up a tower, time and space to span;
Through world on world I rise, and sphere on sphere,
To star-shot gulfs of lunacy and fear—
Black screaming ages never dreamed by man.

 

Was this your plan, foul spawn of cosmic mire,
To freeze my soul to stone and icy fire,
To carve me in the moon that all mankind
May know its race is futile, weak and blind—
A horror-blasted statue in the sky,
That does not live and nevermore can die?

 

~ REH ~

 

nightlesserredoubt.jpg

 

I've been unable to find anywhere whether REH's Casonetto's Last Song is the first weird tale to use the recording of an invocation to accomplish a summoning as a plot point. The story was written between 1930 and 1932. I haven't been able to locate any tale by another author previous to that date.

 

Greg Staples' excellent illo from The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.

 

18340494784_1c8b4d570d_b.jpg

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deuce

It is Robert E. Howard's birthday. Here is the poem he wrote about the day of his birth.

 

 

I Praise My Nativity

 

Oh, evil the day that I was born, like a tale that a witch has told;
I came to birth on a bitter morn, when the sky was dim and cold.
The god that girds the loins of Fate and sends the nighttime rain,
He diced my game on an iron plate with dice carved out of pain.
"This for the shadow of hope," laughed he, as the numbers glinted up,
"This for a spell and this for hell, and this for the bitter cup."

A Shadow came out of the gloom of night and covered me with his cowl
That carried the curse of The Truer Sight and the blindness of the owl.
Oh, evil the day that I was born, triply I curse the day,
And I would to God I had died that morn and passed like the ocean spray.
 

~REH~

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satakuua

Good stuff in this thread!

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golfsale

This review on YouTube about sums it up:

 

 

I finally got The Savage Foes of Solomon Kane and it is a very good supplement: not just a list of monsters, but some of the best "scenarios" for the game; and some nice ideas, such as the Liber Vorago.

 

By the way, my character is a witchfinder on the model of Matthew Hopkins. The rulebook claims that all witches have genuine magical powers. I find this hard to believe; instead I have compiled this:

 

WITCHFINDER'S WITCH TABLE

 

1d6 potential witches per settlement (this d6 can ace). Payment of £1 per witch processed.

 

Roll d6 for nature of witch:

 

1: Witch has real magical powers.

2: Witch has familiar.

3: Accused sinks when "swum" (no payment).

4: Not a real witch. False confession after 2d6 hours (dice can ace).

5: Not a real witch. False confession after 1d6 hours (die can ace).

6: Immediate false confession!

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deuce

I've never actually played the Solomon Kane RPG. From what I gather, it does its job pretty well as far as providing pulpy dark fantasy thrills.

 

What exactly are the time-period parameters in the game? The logical era would be about 1570 to 1610, which is the rough timeframe of SK's adulthood.

 

There seems to be an impression amongst many that Solomon was some sort of "witch-hunter". That's just not the case. No female "witch" of any kind ever appears in the SK tales. REH himself said that SK had "more than a touch of the pagan" in him. In the first Kane story ever, SK develops an alliance with a sub-Saharan shaman/"witch-doctor", N'Longa. That alliance later blooms into a full friendship where N'Longa is almost SK's mentor. 

 

What we see is not some manic ideologue seeking out heretics and unbelievers, but a man who has a relentless need to wipe out what he sees as "evil" and to right wrongs. Perhaps it is a fine line, but it's there nonetheless.

 

The Elizabethan era was not the time of "witch-finders". That came later. Even if it had been, Solomon Kane would not have followed that dark path.

 

An excellent write-up on witchcraft and society in Elizabethan England:

 

http://www.tudorgroup.co.uk/Articles/Witchcraft.html

 

"To sum up, English Elizabethan witchcraft is a special case- no professional witchfinders, no clerical involvement in the legal process and probably much less than a thousand death sentences in the whole period. Magic itself is widespread and common, resorted to by many, maybe even most people, at some time or other. Many practitioners consider themselves to be doing white or good magic and can count on a fair bit of goodwill in their community which by and large keeps them out of trouble. Witchcraft prosecutions come in clusters where you get officials who believe in it and are zealous in persecuting any reported instances. Some localities are very prone to accusations of witchcraft whether because of high levels of community tensions or because it became a self-perpetuating circle of revenge and guilt. Magic was used for a huge range of purposes, by a huge range of people and was reacted to in a variety of ways, from turning a blind eye to using the full weight of the law in procedures which allowed little chance of escape."

 

kane_feu.gif

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yronimoswhateley

....There seems to be an impression amongst many that Solomon was some sort of "witch-hunter". That's just not the case. No female "witch" of any kind ever appears in the SK tales. REH himself said that SK had "more than a touch of the pagan" in him....

 

I think that sounds a LOT like something Howard would say, too. 

 

Seems like Howard rather admired the pagan, the wild, the savage and untamed, and had a rather dimmer view on civilization and its mild gods, its ailments, and its self-imposed weaknesses...

 

I've not had a chance to read the Solomon Kane stories yet, but what I've seen of Howard's other stories, the priests and princes of decadent, effete civilized peoples are more likely to be explicit villains in his stories than witches as a general group.  Seems like the witches I remember from Howard's stories tend to be far more ambiguous characters than villains:  perhaps helpful or perhaps destructive, but only in the way that fire or the weather are helpful or destructive:  strange, dangerous, and unpredictable, but useful, and always to be respected and treated with care....

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