Category Archives: ArsMythos

Fennmar: Innsmouth Hinterland

So this is the concept drafting for the “Innsmouth Hinterland” in the Fennmar area on my whiteboard, consisting of a web article “Where is H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth” used to generate the Chaosium Escape from Innsmouth supplement “Lovecraft Country” map below, an annotated map of Innsmouth from DeviantArt and sketchings on a blow up section of the Immoren map from the IKRPG Corebook.

innsmouth-in-immoren-working-map

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“Lovecraft Country” (annotated)

Having a look at the various maps, Fennmar seems a logical place to situate Innsmouth and it’s “Lovecraft Country” surrounds (see IKRPG2, page 69 for the following excerpt from the Duchy of Southpoint section): “The Fenn Marsh, one of the largest natural wetlands in Cygnar, surrounds this area, and it is a major barrier to land traffic to the port city of Mercir. All attempts to connect Mercir by road or rail have met with mixed and impermanent results, although local nobles insist ingenuity can overcome these travails. Amid this marsh live a large number of gatormen as well as several prominent trollkin kriels. At present, most who need to travel past this desolate region prefer to do so by ship or to cross the northern interior by road through Highgate.

The area is well within Cygnar, but away from the front lines and the ongoing war and it’s steamjacks and other industrial elements – a perfect backwater to place Mythos elements. The industrial port city of Mercir provides a clear correlate with Arkham or perhaps even elements of Boston, with Clocker’s Cove to the north standing in for Newburyport and the Great Cygnaran Observatory reached by steamboat from the south making a serviceable meta-game substitute for Miskatonic University and a potential repository of greater Mythos related lore and adventure hooks in the form of missions from scholars…

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Return of the Deep Ones?

I’ve just moved into a new place and unpacked one of my older boxes of books and was delighted to discover a trove of Mythos related source material I’ve collected, specifically Innsmouth and Deep One stories:

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Various Anthologies with Deep One source material

The top 3 are the Stephen Jones collated anthologies that include a number of great stories by Neil Gaiman, JohnGlasby, Brian Lumley,  Kim Newman / Jack Yeovil and others. While the first volume was originally published back in 1994 by Del Rey with high hopes, there were apparently issues with continuing as planned and it took almost a decade for the next two planned volumes to appear in 2013 and 2015 respectively (Titan as the publisher). The first collection of the series contains the whole narrative of Lovercraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” from which the titles and concepts are derived, while the later books contain variant discarded drafts of the story and rarities such as Lovecraft’s poem “The Port” and August Derleth’s “Innsmouth Clay” story that builds on some of HP’s abandoned / unfinished writings.

The bottom left two anthologies are the products of Chaosium Books (1998 and 1999) and contain various Innsmouth related stories, arguably of lesser quality, but still containing some potentially useful ideas for Mythos themed scenarios and character concepts.

“Return of the Deep Ones” includes some of Lumley’s other stories as well as the entire novel of the title – behind it is an Encyclopedia of the Cthulu Mythos I must have picked up somewhere in my peripatetic book collecting.

I’ve also collected a number of other Innsmouth related eBooks:

And there are a number of Deep One themed stories in some of my other collections that I’ll have to pull out and look for further details…

Mythos Update – ArM5 Deep One Characters

Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth

So I’ve been thinking more about Deep Ones now I’ve rediscovered my ArM5 books during the recent move, including the latest of the 3 “Shadows Over Innsmouth” anthologies edited by Stephen Jones (the second volume cover is pictured to the right). I’ve managed to look over some of the notes on concepts I scribbled down in response to the Fomorach material in The Contested Isle. 

As mentioned in a previous post,  modelling Deep Ones in Mythic Europe presents certain challenges, but the consensus is that portraying them as a type of Magic Human (and their hybrids as Magic-kin) is the best way to mesh the established Mythos concepts with the default Mythic Europe paradigm. I’m still keen to explore portraying the fish-frogs as Faerie creatures to suit some story concepts but I’ve therefore developed Deep Ones as a form of Magic Human in the following article :

Continue reading Mythos Update – ArM5 Deep One Characters

First ArM5 Mythos Material

The Elder SignI’ve been promising (or perhaps threatening?) this for a while now but I’ve now published the first ArM5 Mythos material here. There’s a lot of fragments and concepts I’d like to explore that link into other sections but for the moment I’ve started in media res with some mechanics for the Elder Sign (see image).

I’ve deliberately  chosen to use cryptic branched line rather than the Derleth influenced pentagram with an eye style symbol.

Follow this link to the relevant article:

I’ll be running a poll soon on the Atlas Games Forums to clarify what other elements may be readily adaptable, but will upload some other related material soon.

 

Daoine Domhain – the Deep Ones of Hibernia?

There’s a story I really like by Peter Tremayne in “Shadows Over Innsmouth“, a collection of Lovecraftian horror stories featuring the icthyic Deep Ones. Titled “Daoine Domhain”, the Gaelic phrase for approximately “the People of the Deep”, it proposes the Deep Ones as analagous to the Fomorians or Fomorach of Irish folklore. The story is set on the island of Inishdriscoll, an isolated community near Baltimore in Cork where a sinister aspect of the Old Ways remains in the form of a ritual sacrifice of an outsider every seven years… but enough spoilers. Read the story for yourself.

So back to Ars Magica. According to The Contested Isle: the Hibernian Tribunal, the Fomorach have long been exiled to the islands off the north coast of Leinster, where they maintain a remnant kingdom ruled by their king.

The ArM5 Fomorach are depicted as a form of misshapen Magic Human linked to the seas, at home in water but suffering when on land, with the more powerful potentially possessing additional magic powers aligned to Aquam (see The Contested Isle, page 119). Their heroes and legendary leaders are portrayed as Aspects of powerful Daimons, further stressing their alignment to the Magic Realm.

Realms of Power: Faerie, page 91 however presents the ancient Abgal variant of mermen, alluding to their underwater cities and tutoring of ancient humans and suggesting that these Faeries may be a response to stories told by sailors about the Atlanteans (Realms of Magic, page 90) or a similar tribe of Magic beings, the apkallu. In private discussion with Timothy, he always intended the Abgal to represent his version of Mythic Europe’s Deep Ones, although they were not specifically presented as such to remain within official paradigm at the time ie. Line Editor: “No you can’t have Cthulu in Ars Magica Timothy” or similar.

Turns out from the sketchy sources that the Abgal are thought linked to the apkallu or “sages”, ancient men-fish from the Erythraean Sea (modern Persian Gulf) detailed in Sumerian myth as teaching mankind the arts of civilisation (and magic). The first of the  apkallu, known as Adapa (or Uanna) was referred to as Oannes and may be synonymous with the Philistine deity Dagon, later equated with the god Marnas of Gaza mentioned in the life of St Porphyry.

Are these opposing depictions compatible?

Continue reading Daoine Domhain – the Deep Ones of Hibernia?