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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 #41 – Gone with the Gods

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #41 Companion HERE!

The main character of “Gone with the Gods” would seem to be a thinly disguised Offutt, a writer who turns out a prodigious number of novels at the back and call of his editor, writing in whatever genre is hot at the moment to fulfill the needs of an insatiable audience. When his editor calls him to look into the possibility that a former fraternity brother of the editor’s has invented a time machine, and asks him to check out the possibility that the device is real so the editor can invest in it, the authors finds himself looking into the far-fetched claim. Of course the time machine, disguised as a VW microbus, eventually works and Harvey Moss, the author, Mark Ventnor, the publisher, and Ben Corrick, the inventor, all take their turns traveling in the bus, only to learn its limitations. It can only go one day into the future, but anywhen in the past. Although it remains tied to Earth, so they don’t have to worry about showing up in outer space, they do figure out how to take it to different places on Earth. Eventually, in order to make some money, Moss travels back in time to spur human development and plant evidence that he can use to write a best selling book that Ventnor can publish and sell.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look to the past while we discuss Andrew J. Offutt’s tongue in cheek time travel story, Gone with the Gods.

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Sanctum Secorum #40 – A Martian Odyssey

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #40 Companion HERE!

Early in the 21st century, nearly twenty years after the invention of atomic power and ten years after the first lunar landing, the four-man crew of the Ares has landed on Mars in the Mare Cimmerium. A week after the landing, Dick Jarvis, the ship’s American chemist, sets out south in an auxiliary rocket to photograph the landscape. Eight hundred miles out, the engine on Jarvis’ rocket gives out, and he crash-lands into one of the Thyle regions. Rather than sit and wait for rescue, Jarvis decides to walk back north to the Ares.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we turn our gaze to the red planet, Mars, while we discuss Stanley A. Weinbaum’s, A Martian Odyssey.

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Sanctum Secorum #39b – Halloween 2018

Get the free Sanctum Secorum Appendix N(ightmares) HERE!

It has been far too long since the Sanctum Secorum unleashed a special, holiday episode. So, just in time for Halloween, the Keepers of Mysteries present a trio of sinister stories pulled from the pages of Tales from the Magician’s Skull. Each macabre story is paired with its own adventure, to help you cause even the boldest player to shudder.

Issue #0, “The Way of Serpents” by Howard Andrew Jones.
The story begins with the hero, Hanuvar, as a captive of a kingdom of islanders. A great raid is coming and Hanuvar is offered his freedom if he will travel to the lair of the great winged serpent and ask it to recall an ancient bargain to protect the kingdom.

Issue #1, “There Was an Old Fat Spider” by C. L. Werner.
Karl, a penniless trapper, comes across the ultimate trap. He befriends it to do his bidding, studying its feeding cycles and leading those who’ve bullied him the most straight into its lair. Losing livestock was bothersome, but when people start going missing, Rudolph, Beastcatcher Royal, is sent to the hamlet to investigate.

Issue #2, “Stolen Witness” by James Enge.
When a pair of thains of the sorcerous order of the Graith of Guardians are discovered dead and the powerful relic they were set watch over known as the Witness Stone goes missing, Morlock Ambrosius, a low ranking member with a blemished past, is tasked to help with the investigation into the very highest members of the order itself. The task is not an easy one – the stone can be used by powerful seers to compel those who have touched it into acting on their behalf, even wiping the memories of those under its sway. And little does Morlock suspect that the Defender brought in by the order to solve the crime, Naevros syr Tol, hopes to use him as bait to lure the various suspects into revealing the true thief…

In addition to a special show with a special format, the Sanctum Secorum’s library is pleased to unleash Appendix N(ightmares), a compilation PDF of every new monster presented within the pages of the Sanctum Secorum Companion ‘zine. This FREE PDF volume places more than 150 monsters at your fingertips, to terrify, befuddle, and perhaps even TPK your party.

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Sanctum Secorum #38 – Nine Princes in Amber

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #38 Companion HERE!

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. He suspects he is being over-medicated, so he overpowers the nurse and doctor and escapes his room. He finds the manager of the clinic, and learns that he was recovering from a car accident in a private clinic, paid for by his sister, Evelyn Flaumel.

He flees and heads to her house. She addresses him as Corwin and calls herself Flora. Hiding his lack of memory, he convinces her to let him stay. In Flora’s library he locates a set of customized Tarot cards— the Trumps—whose Major Arcana are replaced with images which he recognizes as his family. As he looks over the cards he remembers all his brothers: sneaky Random, Julian the hunter, well-built Gérard, arrogant Eric, himself, Benedict the master tactician and swordsman, sinister Caine, scheming Bleys, and the mysterious Brand. He also views his four sisters: Flora who offered him sanctuary, Deirdre who was dear to him, reserved Llewella, and Fiona, whom Corwin hated. Carl Corey investigates, discovering the truth, piece by piece: he is really Prince Corwin, of Amber, the one true world of which our Earth is just a shadow. He is one of nine men who might rule Amber, if he can fight his way past the armies of his older brother Eric.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Returning from our Gen Con Hiatus, tonight we discuss Nine Princes in Amber, the first book of Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles and we match it up with the noir goodness that it Nowhere City Nights.

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Sanctum Secorum #37 – The Maker of Universes

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #37 Companion HERE!

The story follows Robert Wolff, a man disenchanted with his life and his marriage. One day, while looking at a new house, Wolff discovers a strange horn in the basement. Blowing the horn, Wolff is transported to a strange new world, the World of Tiers. Wolff finds himself initially in an edenic paradise known as Okeanos. This region is the first level of the planet, which contains a number of tiers like a wedding cake, separated by vast mountain ranges. The entire planet is ruled over by a cruel and mysterious lord named Jadawin, who created it. Okeanos consists of a beach, an ocean, and a small forest and is populated by nymph-like humans who originated in and near ancient Greece. In this new world, Wolff regains his youth and vigor and falls in love with a local woman named Chryseis who lived in Troy at the time of the Trojan War.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss the Maker of Universes, the first book in Philip José Farmer’s World of Tiers series and pair it up with The Dread God Al-Khazadar.

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Sanctum Secorum #36 – The Book of Three

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #36 Companion HERE!

The youth Taran lives at Caer Dallben with his guardians, the ancient enchanter Dallben and the farmer and retired soldier Coll . He is dissatisfied with his life, and longs to become a great hero like the High Prince Gwydion . Due to the threat posed by a warlord known as the Horned King, Taran is forbidden from leaving the farm and charged with the care of Hen Wen, the oracular white pig. When the pig escapes, Taran follows her into the forbidden forest. After a long, fruitless chase he is attacked by a host of horsemen galloping toward his home, led by the Horned King himself. He manages to escape, but drops, wounded, to the ground. He awakes to find his wound treated by none other than Gwydion, the crown prince in Prydain’s ruling House of Dôn (, who has been traveling to Caer Dallben to consult Hen Wen. Gwydion, determined to find the pig, takes Taran along with him. Guided by Gurgi , a hairy humanoid living in the forest, they reach the Horned King’s camp, and learn that his target will be Caer Dathyl , the home castle of the House of Dôn. Gwydion determines to warn the royal court, but the group is attacked before that can happen…

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss the Book of Three, the first book in Lloyd Alexander’s  Prydain series and pair it up with Beyond the Black Gate!

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Sanctum Secorum #35 – Hundra

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #35 Companion HERE!

Born in a tribe of fierce warrior women, Hundra has been raised to despise the influence of men. An archer, fighter and sword fighter, Hundra is superior to any male. Hundra finds her family slain and takes a vow of revenge until one day she meets her match.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss the 1983 film Hundra and pair it up with The Trolls of Mistwood!

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Sanctum Secorum #34 – The Face in the Frost

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #34 Companion HERE!

  Prospero, a tall, skinny misfit of a wizard, lives in the South Kingdom—a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king. Along with his necromancer friend Roger Bacon, who has been on a quest to find a mysterious book, Prospero must flee his home to escape ominous pursuers. Thus begins an adventure that will lead him to a grove where his old rival, Melichus, is falsely rumored to be buried and to a less-than-hospitable inn in the town of Five Dials—and ultimately into a dangerous battle with origins in a magical glass paperweight.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at a work by John Bellairs, The Face in the Frost and match it up with Michael Curtis’ Emirikol was Framed!

 

 

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Sanctum Secorum #33 – The Powder of Hyperborea

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #33 Companion HERE!

Retired master-thief Satampra, Zerios of Uzuldaroum recounts an adventure from days gone by when he and his two companions (Vixeela and the dubious magician/alchemist Veezi Phenquor) endeavored to rob the temple of the moon god Leniqua, and steal away with the Thirty-Nine girdles of virginity by means of stealth, cunning, and a little bit of hyperborean chemistry. Originally published in the Saturn Science Fiction & Fantasy, it is the last of Clark’s Hyperborea cycle.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look at a work by Clark Ashton Smith, The Powder of Hyperborea and match it up with Edgar Johnson’s delightful Street Kids of Ur-Hadad.

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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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