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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 #39 – Greyfax Grimwald

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #39 Companion HERE!

Drawn together by an enchanted summons, three loyal friends — Bear, Dwarf, and Otter — bid farewell to their fair home in the kingdom of Lorini and embark on a magical journey to the fabled World Beyond Time. A place where glows the ageless Circle of Light.

Along the way they meet many marvelous friends, including the mighty wizard Greyfax Grimwald. But little does the trio realize the dangers that await them: the gloomy border of the Northerland … the green fires of the Palace of Darkness…evil spells and dark enchantments … the dread city of Humans and — most fearsome of all — the evil Dark Queen.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we take a walk on the wild side with a special-length episode where we discuss Greyfax Grimwald, the first of the Circle of Light series and pair it with Primal Tales.

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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 #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 #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 #14 – Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur

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Episode #14 CoversConan, following legends of this treasure, has travelled to Keshan and offered his services to train and lead Keshan’s army against their neighbour, Punt. However, Thutmekri, a Stygian rogue with similar intentions, and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba, also arrive in the country with an offer of a military alliance with another of Punt’s neighbours, Zembabwei, with some of the Teeth to seal their pact. The high priest of Keshan, Gorulga, announces that a decision on the matter can only be made after consulting Yelaya, the mummified oracle of Alkmeenon. This is all the treasure hunters require. Zargheba joins Gorulga in his expedition while Conan travels ahead of them.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we delve into the character for whom Sword & Sorcery is named, that mightiest of barbarians, Conan!

 

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game. How about a new adventure from David Baity?! That and more…after the jump!

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Sanctum Secorum #13 – Down to a Sunless Sea

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Episode #13 Covers     Brant’s life had been hard after the courts had sent him to the penal colony on Trivium Charontis on Mars. Since working his way to freedom, he had run guns to the High Clan princes, sold them liquor and forbidden tobacco, and peddled narcotics to the soft, timid Earthsider clerks. He had stolen, he had cheated at cards, he had killed a man more than once…
     Now, fleeing from justice across the ancient dust oceans of Mars he had no way of knowing that he was running toward the most fantastic adventure and man had ever lived – toward refuge more absolute that any man had ever dreamed of – by the banks of secret rivers, in caverns yet unmeasured by man, on the shore of a sea the sun had never seen!

 

 

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we cast our gaze skyward to the Mars of Lin Carter’s Down to a Sunless Sea and to Harley Stroh’s Peril on the Purple Planet.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: items, monsters, and so much more…after the jump.

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Episode #11 – Another Fine Myth

Get the Sanctum Secorum #11 Companion here!

Episode #11 CoversSkeeve, a magician‘s apprentice and wannabe thief from the dimension Klah, tries to learn the basics of magic from Master Magician Garkin for several months but to no avail. Skeeve can do little more than float a feather or light a candle using magic. Wanting to convince Skeeve that being a thief is not as good as being a magician, Garkin summons a demon. During the summoning an assassin barges into the hut, and Garkin and the assassin kill each other. Skeeve is left alone with the demon. To Skeeve’s surprise the demon politely introduces himself as Aahz. Aahz explains that demon is slang for Dimension Traveler. He further explains that there are thousands of dimensions with different races in them, and that he is from the dimension of Perv, making Aahz a Pervect, while Skeeve is a Klahd. Aahz is a master magician like Garkin but loses his magical powers during the summoning ritual (due to a practical joke played on him by Garkin) and becomes stranded in Klah. Aahz volunteers to take Skeeve on as his apprentice and teach him magic. The pair then embark on a series of misadventures.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode, in honor of April 1st, we’ll take the opportunity to look at the lighter side of fantasy with Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth!

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: classes, magic items and so much more…after the jump.

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Episode #09 – H. P. Lovecraft

Get the Sanctum Secorum #09 Companion on DrivethruRPG.

Episode #09 CoversH. P. Lovecraft was a master of pulp horror and, love him or hate him, his influence on modern culture cannot be ignored. Name-dropped by such authors as Stephen King and Robert Bloch; referenced on such television programs as The Night Gallery, The Venture Brothers, and Supernatural; and influential in comics such as Bat-Man (yes, Arkham Asylum really was a nod to Lovecraft) Lovecraft’s reach is long indeed. His communication and collaboration with other greats such as Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and the rest of the “Lovecraft Circle” have shaped fantasy and horror for generations.

Tonight we merely skim the surface, discussing two of Lovecraft’s works, delving into the squamous side of things we discuss Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

 

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we examine two of the works by Appendix N author, and literary legend, H. P. Lovecraft and match them up with The Portsmouth Mermaid from Daniel J. Bishop and Purple Duck Games.

In addition, we have bonus content to bring to your game: magic items, weapons, and so much more…after the jump.

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