Herber’s Notes, Kults, and Shoggoths

Some sample “Feed the Shoggoth” cards

A few items from the grab bag today:

  • Paul of Cthulhu is selling off some of his CoC manuscript collection to raise money to cover server costs – Trail of Tsathoggua and Goatswood and Less Pleasant Places are both on the block.  I wish I had the spare change to grab the former.
  • Speaking of manuscripts – Paul has also made available to Community Patrons at YSDC a glimpse of the various developmental material Keith gave him, including notes for Arkham Unveiled, Return to Dunwich, and several scenarios.  Really a delight to see it all.
  • The Good Friends of Jackson Elias have released another episode, the second in their series about their favorite non-CoC horror games; this time they talk about Kult.  Fun fact, I played Kult once and only after figured out it was based on Gnosticism.  I thought it was just mopey because it was Swedish.
  • Finally, the Kickstarter for Badger McInnes’ “Feed the Shoggoth” card game is getting closer.  Check out some preview material here on the Facebook page.
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Keith Herber, 4 years on: The Arkham Gazette (Demo)

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the death of Keith Herber and I was hoping to mark it with the release of some new bit of writing (as I did two years back with Notes on the Turner Codex).  Unfortunately I hit a time crunch (why, oh why did so many CoC books come out in February?!) and have not had a chance to finish the project I was working on.  Nevertheless I wanted to take a moment to think about Keith.

What I have been, in fits and starts, working on is a project that Keith and I discussed as he was forming Miskatonic River Press; one of the things he wanted to have was an in-house magazine focusing on Lovecraft Country material.  He thought it would fill a niche that fine publications like the Unspeakable Oath did not cover, be a way to find new writers, and keep up interest in the company between books.  Obviously this did not come to pass; I approached Tom Lynch about this periodical (they dubbed it “the Arkham Gazette” on the MRP page of future products) but he lacked the time and did not want to spread their resources any thinner than they were.

I think the Arkham Gazette (or something similar) remains a good idea.  Using the very rough template I made up for Tom, I decided to finish up a trial issue and see if there was wider interest.  Since it is not quite ready, I thought I might post a short sample just to Tomes in Progress and see if my readers (all dozen of you) had any opinion on the matter.  Consider it a special treat to the people (now from New Caledonia and Mongolia!) who read my blog.

DOWNLOAD THE ARKHAM GAZETTE DEMO

I will make a bigger posting announcement when I finish the issue (which is about 80% complete) but in the mean time, feedback is very welcome.

The Music (and books) of God’s Lost Children

Nearly four years ago I wrote “Notes on the Turner Codex” for Miskatonic River Press as a tribute to Keith Herber (and his scenario “The Evil Stars”).  I recently discovered the article had inspired another blogger, one Craig Stanton, to create art for the various bogus album covers for the band (along with a few sundries).  I’ve dropped him a line… to make sure he corrects some blurring between what Keith created and what I built off of from his fine work (and to politely suggest he link to my original article).  Anyway, I thought I’d share what he created based on my descriptions.

God’s Lost Children (S/T)

God’s Lost Children (S/T) :

The cover depicts the logo of the band, the three letters of its name in silver on a black background, tumbled together forming a strange shape. Viewers making a Cthulhu Mythos roll note the similarities with the dreaded Yellow Sign, though the cover art is completely mundane.

Unspeakable:

Unspeakable

The cover is a triptych of photos of the three band members (Lochnar, Schwartz, and Holland), each bound in a straight jacket. Holland glares at the viewer, his head low. Schwartz has his head turned to the side and is muzzled. Lochnar stares straight ahead, his moutha bloodied mess, two streaks of blood framing his chin. Behind each is a large stone pillar engraved on which are the letters G (Schwartz), L (Lochnar), and C (Holland). Scribbled across the front is the title, as if painted in blood. Careful examination of Lochnar reveals he is wearing an onyx v-shaped earring, set with nine diamonds; anyone familiar with the spell Free Hastur will see a parallel between this shape and the monolith arrangement in the spell. The reverse of the cover shows the band members in full regalia standing behind a bonfire. Lochnar has his hands raised above his head. An Astronomy roll notices his arms frame the constellation Taurus.

Forever Lost: The Best of God’s Lost Children

Forever Lost: The Best of God’s Lost Children

The cover art is the band, photographed from behind, at the conclusion of their final performance in Jacksonville. Lochnar is at center-stage, back lit and casting a long shadow, while Holland holds his bass aloft in one hand and Schwartz pushes his drum-kit off its weird faux-stone riser. The audience is awash in flash bulbs and cigarette lighters held aloft.

All things considered, a pretty impressive job.

Check out the rest (Part 1 and Part 2).