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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 #41 – Gone with the Gods

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #41 Companion HERE!

The main character of “Gone with the Gods” would seem to be a thinly disguised Offutt, a writer who turns out a prodigious number of novels at the back and call of his editor, writing in whatever genre is hot at the moment to fulfill the needs of an insatiable audience. When his editor calls him to look into the possibility that a former fraternity brother of the editor’s has invented a time machine, and asks him to check out the possibility that the device is real so the editor can invest in it, the authors finds himself looking into the far-fetched claim. Of course the time machine, disguised as a VW microbus, eventually works and Harvey Moss, the author, Mark Ventnor, the publisher, and Ben Corrick, the inventor, all take their turns traveling in the bus, only to learn its limitations. It can only go one day into the future, but anywhen in the past. Although it remains tied to Earth, so they don’t have to worry about showing up in outer space, they do figure out how to take it to different places on Earth. Eventually, in order to make some money, Moss travels back in time to spur human development and plant evidence that he can use to write a best selling book that Ventnor can publish and sell.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we look to the past while we discuss Andrew J. Offutt’s tongue in cheek time travel story, Gone with the Gods.

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Sanctum Secorum #40 – A Martian Odyssey

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #40 Companion HERE!

Early in the 21st century, nearly twenty years after the invention of atomic power and ten years after the first lunar landing, the four-man crew of the Ares has landed on Mars in the Mare Cimmerium. A week after the landing, Dick Jarvis, the ship’s American chemist, sets out south in an auxiliary rocket to photograph the landscape. Eight hundred miles out, the engine on Jarvis’ rocket gives out, and he crash-lands into one of the Thyle regions. Rather than sit and wait for rescue, Jarvis decides to walk back north to the Ares.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Tonight we turn our gaze to the red planet, Mars, while we discuss Stanley A. Weinbaum’s, A Martian Odyssey.

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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 #38 – Nine Princes in Amber

Get the free Sanctum Secorum #38 Companion HERE!

Carl Corey wakes in a medical clinic, with little to no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. He suspects he is being over-medicated, so he overpowers the nurse and doctor and escapes his room. He finds the manager of the clinic, and learns that he was recovering from a car accident in a private clinic, paid for by his sister, Evelyn Flaumel.

He flees and heads to her house. She addresses him as Corwin and calls herself Flora. Hiding his lack of memory, he convinces her to let him stay. In Flora’s library he locates a set of customized Tarot cards— the Trumps—whose Major Arcana are replaced with images which he recognizes as his family. As he looks over the cards he remembers all his brothers: sneaky Random, Julian the hunter, well-built Gérard, arrogant Eric, himself, Benedict the master tactician and swordsman, sinister Caine, scheming Bleys, and the mysterious Brand. He also views his four sisters: Flora who offered him sanctuary, Deirdre who was dear to him, reserved Llewella, and Fiona, whom Corwin hated. Carl Corey investigates, discovering the truth, piece by piece: he is really Prince Corwin, of Amber, the one true world of which our Earth is just a shadow. He is one of nine men who might rule Amber, if he can fight his way past the armies of his older brother Eric.

Welcome to the Sanctum Secorum podcast. Returning from our Gen Con Hiatus, tonight we discuss Nine Princes in Amber, the first book of Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles and we match it up with the noir goodness that it Nowhere City Nights.

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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 #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

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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 #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!

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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)

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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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