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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 #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 #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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News: April Contest Winners

Our April contest theme was “Gonzo”, an anything goes sort of category. We were wholly unprepared for the amount of submissions that we would receive. Seriously, we will have content from the April entries popping up for a long time because…Wow! Several folks certainly wanted to be sure of a win and avalanche of content was the result (we should have contests more often). After being up all night, the drawing is finally done and soon I will enter the Prize Closet of Mysterytm to select our runner up’s prize.

As rolled at random, our winners are

1st Place – Daniel J Bishop’s The Altar of Woeful Consumption
* 1 copy of Super No. 1 Food Tower
* 1 sheet of pregen characters

2nd Place – Ian Shears’ Patron spell, Infernal Voice
* To be determined by the Prize Closet of Mysterytm

Look for these fantastic entries in upcoming Sanctum Secorum Companions!

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 #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 #29 – Creep, Shadow!

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #29 Companion HERE!

Had the last King and Princess of wicked Ys, returned after three thousand years? Why were they creating an exact replica of Stonehenge on their New Jersey estate? What was the Mael Bennique, the Breaker of Chests? And what was the dread Gatherer in the Cairn? And can men and women really be turned into shadows and made the helpless slaves of the one who transformed them? Ethnologist Dr. Alan Caranac (who may just be the reincarnation of the Alain de Carnac who brought about the destruction of sinful Ys and its evil rulers) has to find out the answer, for one of his best friends has been killed, and perhaps transformed into a shadow, while his fiancee Helen, her brother, Bill, and the famed Dr. Lowell have already been marked for death or worse! But first Alan will have to enter the tower of the Demoiselle Dahut de Ys in New York and journey through it thousands of years into the past to her tower in the legendary city from which she draws her name. And then return, if he can!

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we return to the printed page as we discuss A Merritt’s Creep, Shadow! while pairing it up with a Harley Stroh classic, The Bride of the Black Manse.

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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 #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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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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