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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 #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 #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 #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 #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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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 #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 #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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Sanctum Secorum #14 – Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur

Get the Sanctum Secorum #14 Companion here!

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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