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Tales from the Sanctum

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The Sanctum Secorum podcast plumbs the depths of Appendix N as it applies to DCC RPG. Each show reviews one piece of Appendix N media — be it literature or film — and then discusses how to bring aspects of it to the table for your DCC game. We explore how the selected piece might already easily fit into particular modules and DCC settings, and we highlight one specific DCC module that really ties into the Appendix N material.

Enter the Sanctum Secorum… and be inspired.

Sanctum Secorum #32 – Attack from Atlantis

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #32 Companion HERE!

At age seventeen Don Miller is already an accomplished electronics technician, helping his uncle, Dr. Edward Simpson, with the testing of a new kind of submarine, the Triton I. Accompanied everywhere by his dog Shep, he is aboard the boat for its sea trials. The test run is successful, in spite of some problems with the control systems and stress on certain crew members that has made them believe that they have seen, on the television screens that give a view of the outside of the submarine, men encased in form-fitting bubbles.

For the full test run the Triton will descend into the Milwaukee Deep, north of Puerto Rico. As they descend they find that they are losing control of the boat and, further, that they are being rammed by a whale. Unable to maneuver, they come down on an undersea plateau, twelve hundred fathoms (7200 feet) below the surface.

When the bubble-men attack openly in full force, cementing rocks to Triton’s hull, they drive her down to the bottom.

Three miles below the surface they come to a town of about 20,000 people that they call Atlantis. Lying under a larger version of the bubbles that enclose the people surrounding the submarine. The Atlanteans take the crew captive. Can they free themselves and save the surface world?

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at a work by Lester Del Rey, Attack from Atlantis and match it up with Michael Curtis’ classic adventure, The Sea Queen Escapes.

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Sanctum Secorum #30 – Sign of the Labrys

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #30 Companion HERE!

Like others who withstood the pandemic, Sam Sewell lives in a subterranean shelter. The vast catacombs were built before the military’s biological weapon leaked out, killing nine out of ten people and leaving the survivors so traumatized that they can barely tolerate each other’s company. So it’s quite peculiar that some government agents seem to think that Sam lives with a woman, Despoina, who’s suspected of conducting germ warfare. Pressured by the agents to locate Despoina, Sam must literally go underground to discover the truth about a hidden world of witchcraft and secret rituals.

This Wiccan-themed science fiction novel was cited by Gary Gygax as an inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons. Sharp-eyed gamers will certainly see similarities between St. Clair’s world and Gygax’s Castle Greyhawk with its labyrinthine setting of multiple levels connected by secret passages.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we return to the works of Margaret St. Clair with her novel Sign of the Labrys and talk about the forthcoming DCC compatible work from the Hydra Collective, Operation Unfathomable.

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Sanctum Secorum #28 – The Raven (1963)

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #28 Companion HERE!

The magician Dr. Erasmus Craven, who does not belong to the brotherhood of magicians, grieves the loss of his beloved wife Lenore and lives in a castle with his daughter Estelle. One day, a raven knocks on his window and Dr. Craven learns that the bird is actually the magician Dr. Adolphus Bedlo that was turned into a raven after challenging the powerful magician Dr. Scarabus that was an enemy of his father. Dr. Craven makes a potion to turn Dr. Bedlo back to his human form and Dr. Bedlo tells that he has seen Lenore in the castle of Dr. Scarabus. Dr. Craven decides to go in his coach with Dr. Bedlo to visit Dr. Scarabus and Estella and Dr. Bedlo’s son Rexford decide to go with them. They find an amicable Dr. Scarabus that invite them to stay for the night. Was Dr. Craven’s father wrong about Dr. Scarabus?

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight is movie night and we discuss Roger Corman’s adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven as well as Harley Stroh’s newest adventure Enter the Dagon.

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Sanctum Secorum #27 – The King of Elfland’s Daughter

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #27 Companion HERE!

The lord of Erl is told by the parliament of his people that they want to be ruled by a magic lord. Obeying the immemorial custom, the lord sends his son Alveric to fetch the King of Elfland’s daughter, Lirazel, to be his bride. He makes his way to Elfland, where time passes at a rate far slower than the real world, and wins her. They return to Erl and have a son, but in the manner of fairy brides of folklore, she fits uneasily with his people. She returns to the waiting arms of her father in Elfland, and her lovesick husband goes searching for her, abandoning the kingdom of Erl and wandering in a now-hopeless quest. However, Lirazel becomes lonesome for her mortal husband and son. Seeing that she is unhappy, the King of Elfland uses a powerful magic to engulf the land of Erl. Erl is transformed into a part of Elfland, and Lirazel and her loved ones are reunited forever in an eternal, enchanted world.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss Lord Dunsany’s novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter as well as Daniel J. Bishop’s adventure Through the Dragonwall.

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Sanctum Secorum #26 – Changeling Earth

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #26 Companion HERE!

The planet was Earth. The time was fifty thousand years from now. Magic and witchcraft worked and the Old Science didn’t. Why this was so, nobody knew – it had always been that way during the long tyranny of the Empire of the East. During that same period there had always been little bands of rebels using fragments of white magic against the demonic armies. Rolf was the latest of these rebels – and he had on his side the mysterious power known as Ardneh.
When Rolf finally finds Ardneh, he learns of the Change through which Ardneh forced technology to be replaced by magic in this alternate Earth of a far distant future. The discovery of Ardneh’s origin, the climactic showdown of fifty millennia of cosmic contention, and Rolf’s part in it, combine to make a thrilling adventure that concludes the struggle between the Old Technology and the New Demonology.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss Fred Saberhagen’s novel Changeling Earth (aka Ardneh’s World) as well as Daniel J. Bishop’s adventure Silent Nightfall.

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Sanctum Secorum #25 – The Fallible Fiend

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #25 Companion HERE!

He looked like a cross between a dragon and a catfish, and he could bend iron bars into pretzels with a flick of his hand. But what Zdim the mild-mannered demon really was, was a scholar of logic and philosophy. That’s why when Zdim was drafted for a year’s servitude on the mortal plane, he felt that a monumental administrative error had been made. And even though Zdim resolved to be absolutely obedient and to do exactly what he was told, the wizard who employed him (Dr. Maldivius) soon agreed…

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss L Sprague de Camp’s satirical fantasy novel The Fallible Fiend as well as Terry Olson’s adventure Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box.

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