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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 #24 – Three Hearts and Three Lions

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #24 Companion HERE!

Holger Carlsen is an American-trained Danish engineer who joins the Danish Resistance to the Nazis. At the shore near Elsinore he is among the group of resistance fighters trying to cover the escape to Sweden of an important scientist (evidently, the nuclear physicist Niels Bohr). With a German force closing in, Carlsen is shot – and suddenly finds himself carried to a parallel universe, a world where Northern European legend concerning Charlemagne (“The Matter of France”) is real. This world is divided between the forces of Chaos inhabiting “Middle World” (which includes Faerie) and forces of Law based in the human world, which is in turn divided between the Holy Roman Empire and the Saracens. He finds the equipment and horse of a medieval knight waiting for him. The shield is emblazoned with three hearts and three lions.

 

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we discuss Poul Anderson’s seminal work Three Hearts and Three Lions as well as Terry Olson’s new adventure Escape from the Shrouded Fen. We like one of these far more than the other…can you guess which?

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Sanctum Secorum #23 – DCC Lankhmar

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #23 Companion HERE!

Lankhmar is a fictional city in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber. It is situated on the world of Nehwon, just west of the Great Salt Marsh and east of the River Hlal, and serves as the home of Leiber’s two antiheroes. It is richly described as a populous, labyrinthine city rife with corruption, decadent and squalid in roughly equal parts and said to be so shrouded by smog that the stars are rarely sighted.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight is our long awaited interview with Michael Curtis as we discuss the even more long awaited DCC Lankhmar kickstarter.

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Sanctum Secorum #22 – Gary Con Special Part 2 – Hiero’s Journey

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #22 Companion HERE!

Per Hiero Desteen is a priest, a telepath — and a highly trained killer. Five thousand years after the holocaust known as The Death destroyed civilization, Hiero explores the mutant-infested wilderness of Canada and North America, riding a mutated, telepathic moose named Klootz. The Abbey has attempted to establish colonies, but the evil Brotherhood of the Unclean was waging all-out war against the few remnants of normal humanity, determined to wipe out all traces of its emerging civilization. Hiero’s task was to bring back a lost secret of the ancients that might save the humans. His eventual allies include Gorm, a telepathic black bear, and Luchare, a princess from the distant kingdom of D’alwah. But his path lay through the very heart of the territory ruled by the Unclean and their hordes of mutated, intelligent, savage beast followers…and the Unclean were waiting for him!

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight is part two of our marathon-long Gary Con special episode! Ernie Gygax rejoins us as we discuss Hiero’s Journey before moving off into the realm of DCC.

As a programming note, the Companion ‘zine for the Gary Con special will release POST Gary Con (likely within 48 hours of this going live).

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Sanctum Secorum #22 – Gary Con Special Part 1 – Appendix N

This month, in honor of Gary Con, the Sanctum Secorum is proud to release a two part special.

In this first installment the Keepers of Mysteries sit down with Ernie Gygax to discuss Appendix N, Gord the Rogue, the early days of gaming and more. Learn of works that weren’t deemed good enough for inclusion in Appendix N, hear tales of Greyhawk and Gord, learn how Jim Ward hoodwinked Ernie! All this and more…

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Sanctum Secorum #21 – The Dying Earth

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #21 Companion HERE!

 “The six stories that make up the the first volume of the Dying Earth are all set in an undefined far future Earth, when the sun is nearing the end of its life. The sky ranges from pink to deep blue, lit by a dim red sun, and many strange plants and animals exist. Much of the story is set within the forested country of Ascolais*, and in the ruined cities that dot the landscape. Seekers of wisdom and beauty include lovely lost women, eccentric wizards and man-eating melancholy deodands. Twk-men ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There are monsters and demons. It is a world where each being is morally ambiguous: the evil are charming, the good are dangerous.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight’s episode takes you across the Dying Earth of Jack Vance, introduces you to the new Keeper of Mysteries, and announces the winners of our Tarzan content contest!

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Sanctum Secorum #20 – Tarzan of the Apes

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #20 Companion HERE!

“Tarzan of the Apes, the story tells of an infant — the son of an aristocratic English couple — abandoned when his parents die in the jungles of Africa. Rescued and reared by apes, he learns to speak their language and imitate their ability to travel swiftly through the treetops. Eventually, his courage, immense strength and exceptional intelligence earn him the respect and admiration not only of the apes, but of all the creatures of the jungle. The ape-man’s story is classic and fast-paced, packed with riveting adventures as Tarzan avenges the killing of Kala, his ape-mother, subdues man-eating beasts of the jungle, meets and falls in love with the beautiful Jane Porter, vanquishes greedy pirate-adventurers, and deals with assorted other threats.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight’s episode takes you into the wilds of the Africa of Edgar Rice Burroughs with Tarzan of the Apes!

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Sanctum Secorum #19 – Steel Magic

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #19 Companion HERE!

episode-19-covers     “A girl and her two brothers are transported across time to the Avalon of King Arthur, where they must return three magic talismans to their rightful owners or remain trapped forever in the distant past. The adventure begins when Sara Lowry wins a picnic basket at the Firemen’s Strawberry Festival. She and her brothers, Greg and Eric, are staying with their uncle at his Hudson Valley estate while their parents are in Japan. Fascinated by the haunting history of the old manor, they pack a picnic lunch and begin their search for the legendary lost lake. They discover a medieval castle – and suddenly they’re enveloped by a gray mist that transports them back to the time of King Arthur! There, they are given an urgent mission to recover three lost talismans: Arthur’s sword, Excalibur; Merlin’s ring; and the horn of Huon, Warden of the West. Can Sara, Greg, and Eric fulfill their quest and save Avalon – the only place that stands between the Powers of Darkness and the mortal realm – and return to their own time?”

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast…

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Sanctum Secorum #18 – The People of the Pit

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #18 Companion HERE!

episode-18-covers“People of the Pit features a pair of prospectors, Starr Anderson and the narrator, Frank, who are exploring the North, looking for gold. There are hints of a backstory between the two men, painting them as more than mere prospectors and it creates an anticipation for oddness to come. We are then introduced to a secondary narrator. A man who, in classic fashion, crawls (near-dead) into the men’s camp. And the manner of his crawling is horrific in itself. This is no collapsing half-stagger, no dragging himself along the floor, but as the narrator says, ‘it was like a baby crawling upstairs. The forepaws lifted themselves in grotesquely infantile fashion’ . On top of this, he wears a band of gold round his waist, and a chain. Gold, of course, is what has brought the explorers to this place, but when they remove it, ‘it was like no gold I had ever handled. […]  it had an unclean, viscid life of its own. It clung to the file. […] It was – loathsome’ . Something is clearly not right when a man in search of gold actively throws it away.
The story then turns to the tale of the narrator, telling a story of a lost civilisation in the bottom of a ravine. Not any old ravine, however, but ‘Imagine the Grand Canyon five times as wide and with the bottom dropped out’. As one can expect, it gets a lot weirder from there…”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast where even attending a convention cannot disrupt things. While the Keepers of Mysteries attend Gamehole Con I, the Gatekeeper of the Sanctum, bring you the latest episode. Tonight the Keepers discuss a story by Abraham Merritt and bring it to your DCC table!

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Sanctum Secorum #17 – A Night in the Lonesome October

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #17 Companion here!

episode-17-covers“A Night in the Lonesome October is narrated from the point-of-view of Snuff, a dog who is Jack the Ripper‘s companion. The story reveals that once every few decades when the moon is full on the night of Halloween, the fabric of reality thins and doors may be opened between this world and the realm of the Great Old Ones. When these conditions are right, men and women with occult knowledge may gather at a specific ritual site to hold the doors closed, or to help fling them open. Should the Closers win, then the world will remain as it is until the next turning… but should the Openers succeed, then the Great Old Ones will come to Earth, to remake the world in their own image (enslaving or slaughtering the human race in the process). The Openers have never yet won. These meetings are often referred to as “The Game” or “The Great Game” by the participants, who try to keep the goings-on secret from the mundane population.
    Each Player has a familiar – an animal companion with near-human intelligence that helps complete the numerous preparations for the ritual. The majority of the story describes the interactions and discussions of these animals, all from Snuff’s point of view. Throughout the book, the Players slowly take sides, form alliances, make deals, oppose one another, and even kill off their enemies. The plot accelerates until the night of October 31st, when the ritual takes place and the fate of the world is decided.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. No storm can breach the Sanctum Secorum’s walls and once again the doors open to give shelter and to provide enlightenment. In this, special length anniversary episode, we prepare for Halloween with a work by Roger Zelazny. In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your DCC RPG table!

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Sanctum Secorum #16 – Purple Priestess of the Mad Moon

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #16 Companion here!

Episode #16 Covers“Harvey Selden goes down to Mars from an observation ship, and accepts an invitation to visit Firsa Mak’s house by his friend Bentham. He meets a martian woman, Lella, of a type he has not seen before. From there he is shanghaied into observing the Purple Priestess Mad Moon ritual and isn’t able to cope, but survives. The others want him to tell the Bureau, but he runs for Earth instead, into therapy. However, at the end a communique arrives from Lella, saying she is waiting for him at the next ritual.”

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we look at a work by the Queen of the Space Opera, Leigh Brackett. In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your DCC RPG table including a mini-adventure!

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