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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 #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 #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 #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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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 #12 – Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman

Get the Sanctum Secorum #12 Companion here!

Episode #12 CoversFrom the world beyond–or past–time Kothar comes. From out of the deepest, most violent recesses of mankind’s collective memory, Kothar the gigantic barbarian strides, the enchanted sword Frostfire glittering in his mighty hand. Lusty, hot-blooded, masterful, unafraid of things real or unreal, Kothar dominates the misty, bloody world before recorded time. Yet, though Kothar’s world existed in another age–perhaps another dimension–it springs vividly to life. Mapped, charted, chronicled, Kothar’s fantastic world suddenly becomes real–the sorcerers, dragons, witches, evil potions, unspeakable monsters. And Kothar, an epic hero for any age, overshadows everything.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. In this episode we look at the world of Gardner F Fox’s Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman.

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 #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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