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Dedicated to my fallen feline

Bela 2008 to 2020

Bela, I shall miss you with all of my heart and soul. Sleep well my kitteh

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The sleeper awakes

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The mysterious Superstition Mountains

The Superstition Mountains is a range of mountains in Arizona located to the east of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Mysterious activities

  • The legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine centers around the Superstition Mountains.
  • According to the Apache tribe somewhere in the mountains is a hole that leads to the underworld.
  • Since 1848 the mountains have claimed it’s fair share of lives. The first known was the Peralta massacre A Mexican family was allegedly slain by Apaches after searching the land for gold. The Peralta Family was said to have discovered the famed Dutchman’s gold mine within the cursed Superstition Mountains. In the 1940s, 62-year old James A. Cravey made an attempt to locate the gold mine but was later found deceased in the wilderness of the Superstition Mountains. His headless body was discovered first; it wasn’t until six months later that his skull was found

Lovecraftian possibilities

The superstition mountains make an ideal location for the race known as the sand dwellers and the serpent people.

Adventure seeds

  1. A team of archaeologists from miskatonic go missing while studying some ancient mesoamerican ruins found in the mountain range.
  2. A man dressed as a 16th century jesuit is found wandering around the desert surrounding the mountain range. He speaks a medieval form of Spanish and Latin. He is carrying an onyx crucifix and he will hand the crucifix to one of the PC’s then he will crumple into dust .

Resources

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The Temple is on twitch!!!

Rejoice for the Temple of cthulhu is on twitch and we will be streaming soon.

I will post our schedule soon and here is the list of games we will be playing :

  • 7 days to die
  • Call of cthulhu
  • Sinking city
  • Destroy all humans

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The village in the marsh

The PC’s are retainers for a local lord and they are tasked to travel to the village of east proctor to determine if the rumors of it being plague free are true and if so why.

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Dark ages character sheet

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Character Spotlight : Abraham Setrakian

Abraham Setrakian was born in Armenia but raised in Romania. His bubbeh (grandmother) told him stories of the strigoi, or vampires, specifically Jusef Sardu, a Polish nobleman with gigantism who mysteriously became one of the undead during a hunting trip with family. When Abraham was eighteen (during the second World War), his family was driven from their home by the Germans and sent to their Treblinka extermination camp in Poland. Before being captured, after urging her grandson to run from the Nazis, his beloved grandmother commits suicide after Abraham keeps her from turning herself in.
Incarcerated in the Treblinka camp, Setrakian works as a carpenter (since he was trained as one). While awake late at night, Abraham notices a massive and shadowy figure feeding on the sick and elderly. Because the creature uses a massive cane with a wolf’s head like his grandmother told him about Sardu, he quickly deduces that this is the monster his grandmother warned him about. After weeks of planning, the young man makes a silver-bladed knife (as silver is harmful to vampires) and attempts to draw the monster to him by pricking his finger and drawing blood. The powerful strigoi outwits Abraham and after mocking his Jewish religious beliefs, cripples his hands. After the vampire flees from the rising sun to his lair in the woods, Setrakian is found on the floor and taken to be killed. Luckily, the imprisoned people start an uprising and Setrakian manages to escape with the help of his fellow prisoners. The Master’s Lair Setrakian suspected that the Master was hiding in ancient Roman ruins outside of the camp’s forest, which he had heard about from other prisoners. While attempting to avoid searching German officers, Setrakian locates the lair in which he suspects the Master is hiding. Inside the dark ruins, Setrakian locates the vampire’s massive coffin but the monster was not in sight. A now turned German officer named Dieter Zimmer (described as a “true sadist”) attacks Setrakian but the young vampire Hunter manages to kill him with a wooden stake
When the now elderly and vengeful vampire hunter hears about the “dead” airplane landing at New York City’s (where he runs a pawnshop) JFK airport, Setrakian believes this to be the work of the Master. After looking at the autopsies and confirming this to be a vampire outbreak, Setrakian attempts to get CDC officials Ephraim Goodweather and Nora Martinez to help and tells them to destroy the bodies. Initially, they do not believe him and he is arrested for disturbing the peace. While in jail, Setrakian meets a young Mexican thief named Augustin “Gus” Elizalde and his ill friend Felix. After hearing Gus’s story of how Felix got injured and why they are in jail, Abraham tells him that the man they killed was a vampire and that Felix is infected and must be killed. Before they can talk further, Gus and Felix are moved to another facility. Soon Dr. Goodweather and Dr. Martinez come to the jail to speak to Setrakian and free him, since they have now encountered the strigoi for themselves. Since Abraham has disciples and freedom, he takes them to his pawnshop in order to educate them on the strain that they are dealing with. He shows them his vampire-hunting armory within his basement and tells them about the Ancients, the original seven vampires (The Master being one of them).
STR 39% CON 41% SIZ 65% DEX 34% APP 45%
INT 90% POW 85% EDU 99% LUCK 75%
Hit Points (14)
Move 3 Damage Bonus 0 Build 0
Sanity (85) Magic Pts (17)

Name Skill Damage Base Range USE
Silver Sword cane of Jusef Sardu Fighting(Sword) 1D6+DB*** Touch 1
*** = Does maximum damage to Strigoi or any creature with a weakness of silver

Appraise (60%)
Art/Craft (Wood Carving) (50%)
History (50%)
Library Use (70 % )
Other Language (Romanian) (99%)
Other Language (English) (99%)
Other Language (Latin) (50%)
Intimidate (60%)
Spot Hidden (69%)
Occult (70%)
Lore (Strigoi) (65%)**
Credit Rating (60%)
Sword (65%)
Pistol (65%)
Medicine (68%)
Dodge (40%)

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Conan and the Cthulhu Mythos

Conan, the black-haired, red-skinned Cimmerian, has become over the last twenty five years a different fellow than the legendary swordsman who walked off the pages of Weird Tales magazine and out of the imagination of Robert E. Howard.  First collections with pastiches by other writers, comic books, then films have changed Conan’s “public image” greatly, making him a veritable house-hold word as it increasing his size, reduced his intelligence and obscured the fantastic back-drop that was a part of all Robert E. Howard’s best works.
 The Hyborian Age, that time between the Fall of Atlantis and the rise of the world as we know it, is a vivid setting for the adventures of the Cimmerian who came down from the North to carve out an empire.  But behind the Hyborian Age, as behind the worlds of Howard’s other characters, like Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn and King Kull rests a macabre shadow, a world vision that is largely inspired by Howard’s correspondent, fellow contributor to the famous Weird Tales, and friend, H. P. Lovecraft.  The influence that Lovecraft had on the younger Howard was much greater than many recognize.
 Recently at a convention I asked L. Sprague de Camp, biographer of both Howard and Lovecraft, if he considered the Conan series to be part of what Derleth called “The Cthulhu Mythos”?.  Mr. de Camp only acknowledged a begrudged family resemble.  Though no one has claimed the Conan stories as part of the Cthulhu Mythos, that group of stories by HPL and his friends centered on Cthulhu and his kin, it does by proxy exist next to them.  One of the King Kull stories, “The Shadow Kingdom” (Weird Tales, August 1929) is a Mythos tale.  Kull lived in the age before Conan, thus, they exist in the same world, though at different times.  But this isn’t enough to place the Hyborian Age into the frame-work of the Mythos.  Howard did write at least six undisputed Cthulhu Mythos stories, “The Worms of the Earth” and “The Black Stone” being two of the best.  These tales name the beings of Lovecraft’s world, tell of new books and monsters, but none  feature the beloved Cimmerian.
 Howard’s concept of the supernatural in his fiction can be best summed up by this dialogue taken from “Shadows in the Moonlight” (Weird Tales, April 1934):  “‘What gods?’ he muttered./‘The nameless, forgotten ones.  Who knows?  They have gone back into the still waters of the lakes, the quiet hearts of the hills, the gulfs beyond the stars.  Gods are no more stable than men.’”
 Here we can see Howard has created a world that was once inhabited by wondrous and terrible creatures but most have fled, leaving only a few remote survivors, much as Lovecraft (or August Derleth) wrote: “All my stories … are based on the fundamental lore or legend that this world was inhabited at one time by another race who, in practicing black magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live on outside ever ready to take possession of this earth again.”  Unlike HPL’s protagonists, Howard’s humans do not quail and go mad, but hurl steel and muscle against the unsettling forces of the supernatural — and one of the mightiest of these combatants is Conan. This key difference is the point of divergence for these two masters of weird fiction.
 In the de Camp edited tale “The Vale of Lost Women” (Magazine of Horror, Spring 1967) Conan shows us this underlying difference as he tells of the minions of the Dark:

 “A god,” she whispered.  “The Black people spoke of it — a god from far away and long ago!”
 “A devil from the Outer Dark,” he grunted.  “Oh, they’re nothing uncommon.  They lurk as thick as fleas outside the belt of light which surrounds this world.  I’ve heard the wise men of Zamora talk of them.  Some find their way to Earth, but when they do they have to take on some earthly form and flesh of some sort.  A man like myself, with a sword, is a match for any amount of fangs and talons, infernal or terrestrial…”

 How are such creatures to compare with: “   The thing can not be described — there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order.” (“The Call of Cthulhu” 1926) Robert E. Howard wrote at a furious pace, making his living by knowing what editors of action-adventure magazines like Oriental Tales and Top-Notch wanted, often revising little or not at all.  He cannibalized names without much regard for past stories, knowing his audience cared little for such details.  The very first Conan story, not truly a tale of the Hyborian Age, was called “People of the Dark” (Strange Tales, June 1932) featuring a reincarnate Briton named ‘Conan of the reavers.’  Later, Howard would revise his unsold Kull story “By This Axe I Rule” featuring Conan the Cimmerian, beginning a series of seventeen stories to appear in Weird Tales between 1932 and 1936.  That Howard sold so many stories to the legendary pulp can only be attributed to the color with which he depicted the monster-haunted worlds of his imagination.  Few of the Conan tales lack some ‘squamous’ beast’ or ‘unearthly horror’, and those few that do feature other sorceries.
 In his revised tale, “Phoenix on the Sword” (Weird Tales, December 1932) Conan, while lost in dream, sees a strange unearthly place. “He shuddered to see the vast shadowy outlines of the Nameless Old Ones, and he knew somehow that mortal feet had not traversed the corridor for centuries.”  The similarity to the Great Old Ones, the Old Ones or Ancient Old Ones, of Lovecraft stories such as “At the Mountains of Madness”(1931) and “The Dreams in the Witch-House”(1932), which Howard may have seen in rough form, is obvious. Conan’s protector, Epemitrius the Sage, warns: “It is not against men I must shield you.  There are dark worlds barely guessed by man, wherein formless monsters stalk — fiends which may be drawn from the Outer Voids to take material shape and rend and devour at the bidding of evil magicians…”  Again a description that could as easily apply to HPL’s “The Call of Cthulhu”.
 The Nameless Old Ones may be the same Old Ones mentioned in “The Queen of the Black Coast” (Weird Tales, May 1934)  “This was the temple of the old ones,” she said, “Look  — you can see the channels for the blood along the sides of the altar, and the rains of ten thousand years have not washed the dark stains from them.  The walls have all fallen away, but this stone block defies time and the elements.” “But who were these old ones?” demanded Conan. She spread her slim hands helplessly.  “not even in legendary is this city mentioned.”   The monsters in Howard’s Conan stories are often very Lovecraftian in their repulsiveness.  Here in “The Slithering Shadow” (Weird Tales, September 1933) a horror stalks a city of opium dreamers.  She saw a giant toad-like face, the features of which were dim and unstable as those of a specter seen in a mirror of nightmare.  Great pools of light that might have been eyes blinked at her, and she shook at the cosmic lust reflected there … Only the blinking toad-like face stood out with any distinctness.  The thing was a blur in to the sight, a black blot of shadow that normal radiance would neither dissipate nor illuminate… It towered above him like a clinging black cloud.  It seemed to flow about him.  His madly slashing saber sheared through it again and again, his ripping poinard tore and rent it; he was deluged with a slimy liquid that must have been its sluggish blood.  Yet its fury was no wise abated.  What these descriptions show is that though it is never named as either a frog-like Servitor of the Outer Gods or a shoggoth (“The nightmare, plastic column of fetid, black iridescence oozed tightly onward … — a shapeless congerie of protoplasmic bubbles …”) it does bear a striking familiarity to both, difficult to see clearly, amorphous and black. These kinds of similarities can be found elsewhere. In “The Vale of Lost Women” Livia witnesses a decidedly Cthulhuian relative. … It hovered over her in the stars, dropping plummet-like earthward, its great wings spread over her; she lay in its shadow …Its wings were bat-like; but its body and the dim face that gazed down upon her were like nothing of sea or earth or air; she knew she looked upon ultimate horror, upon black, cosmic foulness born in the night-black gulfs beyond the reach of a mad-man’s wildest dreams.  Yag Kosha, the imprisoned elephant being from “The Tower of the Elephant” (Weird Tales, January 1933) describes his people as travelling through space: “ …We swept through space on mighty wings that drove us through the cosmos quicker than light… But we could never return , for on earth our wings withered from our shoulders …”  A description that might apply equally to HPL’s Mi-Go in the “Whisperer in the Dark”(1930).  “The things come from another planet, being able to live in interstellar space and fly through it on clumsy, powerful wings which have a way of resisting the aether but which are too poor at steering to be of much use in helping them about on earth …” The beastly servants of Bit-Yakin in Howard’s “The Jewels of Gwahlur”(Weird Tales, March 1935) are faintly reminiscent of the Martenses in HPL’s “The Lurking Fear”(1922)

… He ate the food the priests brought as an offering to Yelaya, and his servants ate other things — I’ve always known there was a subterranean river flowing away from the lake where the people of the Puntish highlands throw their dead.  That river runs under this palace.  They have ladders hung over the water where they can hang and fish for the corpses that come floating through … At first they seemed like gray stone statues, those motionless shapes, hairy, man-like, yet hideously human; but their eyes were alive, cold sparks of gray icy fire. The fact that Howard mentions the eyes strongly suggests that “The Lurking Fear” may have been of influence, since it is the eyes in Lovecraft’s story that give it its final, terrifying clincher.   What I saw in the glow of flashlight after I shot the unspeakable straggling object was so simple that almost a minute elapsed before I understood and went delirious.  The object was nauseous; a filthy whitish gorilla thing with sharp yellow fangs and matted fur.  It was the ultimate product of mammalian degeneration; the frightful outcome of isolated spawning, multiplication, and cannibal nutrition above and below the ground; the embodiment of all the snarling  and chaos  and grinning fear that lurk behind life.  It had looked at me as it died, and its eyes had the same odd quality that marked those other eyes which had stared at me underground and excited cloudy recollections.  One eye was blue, the other brown.  They were the dissimilar Martense eyes of the old legends, and I knew in one inundating cataclysm of voiceless horror what had become of that vanished family; the terrible and thunder-crazed house of Martense.  With so many extraterrestrial beings invading Conan’s world, it is only fair to assume some scholarly mage has created the Hyborian Age’s equivalent of the dread Necronomicon.  The Book of Skelos is mentioned in “The Pool of the Black One” (Weird Tales, October 1933): “…He desired to learn if this island were indeed that mentioned in the mysterious Book of Skelos, wherein, nameless sagas —, strange monsters guard crypts filled with hieroglyphs — carved in gold.”  And in “The Devil in Iron” (Weird Tales, August 1934)  “…Conan had seen rude images of them, in miniature, among the idol-huts of the Yuetshi, and there was a description of them in the Book of Skelos , which drew on prehistoric sources.” One of most fascinating of Howard’s villain is Khosatral Khel from “The Devil In Iron”, a super-being with an Achilles’ Heel, which Conan discovers only in the nick of time. … he was seeing the transmutation of the being men called Khosatral Khel which crawled up from Night and the Abyss ages ago to clothe itself in the substance of the material universe … He became a blasphemy against all nature, for he had never known the pulse and stir of animate being … Strange and grisly were his servants, called from the dark corners of the planet where grim survivals of forgotten ages yet lurked.  His house in Dagon was connected with every other house by tunnels through which his shaven-headed priests bore victims for sacrifice.  Here Howard clearly labels Khosatrel Khel as a terrible survival from another age, quite possibly one of Lovecraft’s other ages.  The use of the name ‘Dagon’ seems to be another allusion to Lovecraft’s 1917 story of the same name. Though the references are never overt, the Conan stories are filled with Lovecraftian atmosphere.  The best example is the strange inhabitants of Xuchotl in “Red Nails” (Weird Tales, July-October 1936). Though not stated, the story has a weird quality reminiscent of HPL, as does the insidious “crawler”, the giant devil-worm equated to Zogthuu in “Black Abyss”(a Kull story), and the Worm in Howard’s Mythos tale, “The Valley of the Worm” by Karl Edward Wagner in his excellent pastiche The Legion from the Shadows (1976). Conan was Howard’s last and greatest character.  The strong Lovecraftian elements shown in his early work had begun to fade with these final stories.  Perhaps with “Beyond the Black River”, his last completed Hyborian tale, Howard leaves Lovecraft behind for good, substituting his own Texas locale and American history into the background.  Ultimately this change had to occur with the divergent ideas in the Howard’s and Lovecraft’s fictional goals.  The world of Conan is a world of magic and muscle in conflict, a place where Lovecraft never dwelt.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
   Carter, Lin.  Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos.  New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1972.
   Howard, Robert E.  Conan. New York, NY: ACE Books, 1967   —————— Conan the Adventurer.  New York, NY: ACE Books, 1966.   —————— Conan the Cimmerian.  New York, NY: ACE Books, 1969.   —————— Conan the Freebooter.  New York, NY: ACE Books, 1968.   —————— Conan the Usurper.  New York, NY: ACE Books, 1967.   —————— The Dark Man and Others.  New York, NY: Lancer Books, 1963.   —————— King Kull.  New York, NY: Lancer Books, 1967.   —————— People of the Black Circle.  New York, NY: Putnam, 1977   —————— Red Nails.  New York, NY: Putnam, 1977.
   Lovecraft, Howard Phillips. The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1963.   ————————— The Lurking Fear and Other Stories.  New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1971. 
   ————————— At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror.  New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1971.
This article originally appears here

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Archaeologists in Poland made a startling discovery: a group of vampire graves

Archaeologists in Poland believe they’ve made a startling discovery: a group of vampire graves.The graves were discovered during the construction of a roadway near the Polish town of Gliwice, where archaeologists are more accustomed to finding the remains of World War II soldiers, according to The Telegraph.But instead of soldiers, the graves contained skeletons whose heads had been severed and placed on their legs. This indicated to the archaeologists that the bodies had been subject to a ritualized execution designed to ensure the dead stayed dead, The Telegraph reports. By keeping the head separated from the body, according to ancient superstition, the “undead” wouldn’t be able to rise from the grave to terrorize the living. Decapitation was one way of achieving that; another way was hanging the person by a rope attached to the neck until, over time, the decaying body simply separated from the head.There were other, equally bizarre ways of dealing with vampire burials, according to research published by forensic anthropologist Matteo Borrini. He cites the case of a woman who died during a 16th-century plague in Venice, Italy. The woman was apparently buried with a brick wedged tightly in her open mouth, a popular medieval method of keeping suspected vampires from returning to feed on the blood of the living. The woman’s grave might be the earliest known vampire burial ever found.Hers was a typical case of an accusation of vampirism following some calamity, such as a plague or a devastating crop failure. Accusing an individual of being a vampire was a not-uncommon way of finding a scapegoat for an otherwise unexplained disaster.In other cases, the body of a suspected vampire might be staked to the ground, pinning the corpse into place with a stake made of metal or wood. In 2012, archaeologists in Bulgaria found two skeletons with iron rods piercing their chests, indicating they may have been considered vampires.The practice of decapitating the bodies of suspected vampires before burial was common in Slavic countries during the early Christian era, when pagan beliefs were still widespread.In fact, their belief in vampires stemmed from both superstition about death and lack of knowledge about decomposition. Most vampire stories of history tend to follow a certain pattern where an individual or family dies of some unfortunate event or disease; before science could explain such deaths, the people chose to blame them on “vampires.”Villagers have also mistaken ordinary decomposition processes for the supernatural. “For example, though laypeople might assume that a body would decompose immediately, if the coffin is well sealed and buried in winter, putrefaction might be delayed by weeks or months; intestinal decomposition creates bloating which can force blood up into the mouth, making it look like a dead body has recently sucked blood,” writes LiveScience’s Bad Science columnist Benjamin Radford. “These processes are well understood by modern doctors and morticians, but in medieval Europe were taken as unmistakable signs that vampires were real and existed among them.”There’s no consensus yet on when the bodies found in Poland were buried. According to Jacek Pierzak, one of the archaeologists on the site, the skeletons were found with no jewelry, belt buckles, buttons or any other artifacts that might assist in providing a burial date.

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Brother Kevin Goss

Father Kevin Goss, born and raised on Long Island joined the seminary at the age of 17 and was ordained into the Catholic Church at age 24. Transferred from his parish in queens to the federal hill parish in Arkham. Became aware of the mythos when he discovered that his church was once used as a meeting hall for the church of starry wisdom. Father Kevin Goss then reached out to professor Armitage in miskatonic to see if they had any information on the cult, what he found out surprised him, a journalist named Robert Blake once did a story on the church of starry wisdom but died before his story was published. Before his death he was able to send the professor a copy of his story with photos. Armed with new knowledge Father Kevin contacted the Roman Catholic diocese and asked if he can perform a cleansing ritual of the old church. Focusing on his faith, Father Kevin surrounded by his congregation walked into the old church and started the ritual. Many witnesses from that event said the very foundation of the church shook and an unearthly sound can be heard coming from the steeple of the church as a massive shadow leapt from the steeple and flew off in the evening sky dancing over the cobblestone roofs of Arkham. Inside the church, they found Father Kevin Goss – his hair now white as the fresh fallen snow of his old hometown Bethpage New York. He turned to the congregation and smiled weakly and said “My father’s home is now clean” then passed out. When he awoke days later, he resumed his duties at the church on Federal Street.  He is known to go out of his way to help anyone in or out of his flock and he is good friends with Prof.Armitage at Miskatonic University. 

Father Kevin Goss
Sex: Male, Age: 35
Occupation: Clergy Member
STR 65 CON 55 SIZ 40 DEX 60 INT 85
APP 60 POW 70 EDU 75 SAN 70 HP 9
Luck 80 Magic 14 DB None Build 0 Move 9
Unarmed 25% (12/5): Skill: 25%; Damage: 1D3+DB; Range: Touch;
Hands: 1
Skills: Accounting 45% (22/9), Charm 55% (27/11), Credit Rating
35% (17/7), First Aid 65% (32/13), History 55% (27/11),
Language (Latin) 60% (30/12), Language (Own): English 75%
(37/15), Library Use 40% (20/8), Listen 20% (10/4), Psychology
31% (15/6), Archaeology 51% (25/10), Drive Auto 45% (22/9),
Medicine 45% (22/9), Occult 45% (22/9), Dodge 41% (20/8)

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