MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

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Keeper Dan
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MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Keeper Dan » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:57 pm

Image
In this episode, all four Keepers are back together to talk about a certain "unfathomable" Hyperborian wizard, postcards, Attract Fish, and the occasional Lemming. We also delve into an invaluable well of ideas from Lovecraft's own brainstorming journal.This episode was recorded on March 8, 2015.


Campus Crier
We recorded two weekends in a row to reset our schedule so we all can be together more frequently. We're now back on a fortnightly schedule with episode 75 on March 22. Keepers Jon and Dan received some mysterious postcards from Edinburgh, Scotland. Make of them what you will!

Cryptocurium Spotlight
Masks-friendly items to go with the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion.
Both the Crawling Chaos Amulet and the Nyarlathotep Idol are useful props for the campaign.

The Wizard's Tower
In a new Side Topic, we'll be selecting the occasional wizard to discuss. Be they a potential ally, Big Bad, or something more akin to a force of nature.
Our first trip to the tower brings us to discuss everybody’s favorite Hyperborian conman: Eibon.

“. . . The Book of Eibon, that strangest and rarest of occult forgotten volumes ... is said to have come down through a series of manifold translations from a prehistoric original written in the lost language ofHyperborea.”

—Clark Ashton Smith, "Ubbo-Sathla"

Some of the main source stories for Eibon are Clark Ashton Smith's The Door to Saturn, and the Coming of the White Worm.

He's also in Incubus of Atlantis, by Robert M. Price -- and many, many other stories by Lin Carter, Laurence Cornford and others.

Check out this great overal resource for all things Eibon from Chaosium: The Book of Eibon

Listen to some great Klarkashtonian episodes about Eibon from The Double Shadow
Episode 8- The Beast of Averoigne
Episode 22- The Door to Saturn Part 1
Episode 23- The Door to Saturn Part 2
Episode 32- The Coming of the White Worm


Main Topic
Our task this week was to pick an item (or three) out of HP Lovecraft's Commonplace Book and spin some ideas out of it.

Choose a number from Commonplace Book and riff on it.


Jon #195
Pane of peculiar-looking glass from a ruined monastery reputed to have harboured devil-worship set up in modern house at edge of wild country. Landscape looks vaguely and unplaceably wrong through it. It has some unknown time-distorting quality, and comes from a primal, lost civilisation. Finally, hideous things in other world seen through it.

Murf #198
Distant tower visible from hillside window. Bats cluster thickly around it at night. Observer fascinated. One night wakes to find self on unknown black circular staircase. In tower? Hideous goal.

Chad #44/#77/#51
44 Castle by pool or river—reflection fixed thro’ centuries—castle destroyed, reflection lives to avenge destroyers weirdly.

51 Enchanted garden where moon casts shadow of object or ghost invisible to the human eye.

77 Unspeakable dance of the gargoyles—in morning several gargoyles on old cathedral found transposed.

Dan #141
Footnote by Haggard or Lang in “The World’s Desire”

“Probably the mysterious and indecipherable ancient books, which were occasionally excavated in old Egypt, were written in this dead language of a more ancient and now forgotten people. Such was the book discovered at Coptos, in the ancient sanctuary there, by a priest of the Goddess. ‘The whole earth was dark, but the moon shone all about the Book.’ A scribe of the period of the Ramessids mentions another in indecipherable ancient writing. ‘Thou tellest me thou understandest no word of it, good or bad. There is, as it were, a wall about it that none may climb. Thou art instructed, yet thou knowest it not; this makes me afraid.’

“Birch Zeitschrift 1871 pp. 61–64 Papyrus Anastasi I pl. X, l.8, pl. X l.4. Maspero, Hist. Anc. pp. 66–67.”
Here's a link to The World's Desire

Sidebar

Lemmings don't really commit mass suicide. That was invented by Disney.
Keeper Dan of the Miskatonic University Podcast


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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Nvision » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:19 pm

Commonplace Book scenario contest, perchance? Collecting the best into a PDF compendium, under the MU Podcast Press auspices? With accompanying illustrations for the selected scenarios, provided by MU Alumni?

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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Dr. Gerard » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:22 pm

Nvision wrote:Commonplace Book scenario contest, perchance? Collecting the best into a PDF compendium, under the MU Podcast Press auspices? With accompanying illustrations for the selected scenarios, provided by MU Alumni?
Your suggestion is both exciting and ambitious, Mr. Nvision.

It's a great idea -- though I think we're going to completely fulfill our IndieGoGo promises before we move on to other projects.

Progress is being made behind the scenes on that, by the way.

Bookmark this idea for later, though. I love it!
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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Keeper Jon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:03 pm

We are nearly done with the Indie-Go-Go stuff, I think. So, I'd love to get back to this soon.

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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Blightedmarsh » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:01 pm

My thought about Saturn would be that they are in our Saturn but they are in something big floating under the clouds... possibly something alive. Some dormant thing the size of a small moon feeding off of the gas giant, something so vast that the parasitic being infesting it think it a whole world in and of itself.

Its beast may not be the only one. Jupiter and Neptune both have vast permanent storms; mayhaps there is some thing under there acting as the focal point of these planet size storms.

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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by WinstonP » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:32 pm

Several of Lovecraft's entries in the Commonplace book ended up either becoming one of his stories-
#151-
Man forced to take shelter in strange house. Host has thick beard and dark glasses. Retires. In night guest rises and sees host’s clothes about—also mask which was the apparent face of whatever the host was. Flight.
(which was the climax of 'The Whisperer in Darkness')

Or were used by August Derleth in his "collaborations":
http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/derleth.aspx
For example #195-
195 Pane of peculiar-looking glass from a ruined monastery reputed to have harboured devil-worship set up in modern house at edge of wild country. Landscape looks vaguely and unplaceably wrong through it. It has some unknown time-distorting quality, and comes from a primal, lost civilisation. Finally, hideous things in other world seen through it.
Is either "The Gable Window" or "The Lurker at the Threshold" (I suddenly cannot recall which)

See also "The Rose Window" fragment of Lovecraft's:
http://crypt-of-cthulhu.com/fragmentsthreshold.htm

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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Nvision » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:08 pm

WinstonP wrote:Several of Lovecraft's entries in the Commonplace book ended up either becoming one of his stories-
#151-
Man forced to take shelter in strange house. Host has thick beard and dark glasses. Retires. In night guest rises and sees host’s clothes about—also mask which was the apparent face of whatever the host was. Flight.
(which was the climax of 'The Whisperer in Darkness')
Also has direct parallels to "The Picture in the House." Now I want to comb through these and see what stories eventually grew out of them! :)

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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by Dr. Gerard » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:54 pm

I think the copy we linked has annotations to suggest what stories those ideas sparked, but it's not exhaustive and only covers HPL's works.
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Re: MU Podcast 074 - Uncommonly Commonplace

Post by KeeperAntUK » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:03 pm

The words 'Shawn of Spazathoth' have just caused me to laugh out loud so hard, whilst out running, that I dropped my water bottle, stumbled across the path and nearly ran headfirst into an old lady out walking her dog! Incidentally nearly scaring her into a cardiac 'incident' in the process.

Well played Gentlemen, well played.

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