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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 #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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Sanctum Secorum #31 – Jack of Shadows

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #31 Companion HERE!

In a world half of light, half of darkness, where science and magic strive for dominance, there dwells a magical being who is friendly with neither side. Powerful magical entities live on the night side of the planet, and for the most part the entities’ magical powers emanate from distinct loci. Jack of Shadows (also known as Shadowjack), is unique among the magical beings in that he draws his power not from a physical location but from shadow itself. He is nearly incapacitated in complete light or complete darkness, but given access to even a small area of shadow, his potency is unmatched. Jack is a thief who finds himself betrayed and unjustly punished. So he embarks on a vendetta. He wanders through strange realms, encountering witches, vampires, and, finally, his worst enemy: the Lord of Bats. He consults his friend Morningstar, a great dark angel. He is pursued by a monstrous creature called the Borshin. He journeys from nightside to dayside, casting aside his soul in his quest for vengeance – and possibly redemption.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight start our year off  with a work by Roger Zelazny coupled with Harley Stroh’s The Jeweler Who Dealt in Stardust.

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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 #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 #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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