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 Tentacled Past
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Lagwolf
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:41 am
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Haunter of the Dark
Haunter of the Dark


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 419
Location: London, UK

I have been asked to write a brief history of myself for the Wicology Institute's annual lecture which I am honoured to be delivering. This sort of thing rather puts me off normally. Much of “my history” is far to painful and disturbing to be remembered in any great detail. I try to learn lessons from every thing I have done and seen but I try not to remember the details too much as I fear they would drive me mad. In any event this is a brief history.

For all the trials and tribulations of my later life; I had a rather normal childhood not really anything out of the ordinary. Granted I was reading at a very young age and consuming books of dark fantasy and gothic horror from the minute I was able to get my hands on them. There were many times my parents friends and others were shocked, appalled and disbelieving that I could read certain books and that my parents allowed me to do so. I was reading Poe at 9 as well Lord Dunsany and their ilk. My parents lived near Manorbier Castle which is in fact one of the family castles of the Dunsany family.

As I got a bit older and they became easier to come by I read the works of HP Lovecraft, August Derleth and others of the “Lovecraft disciples” various people best known for their other work like the author of the Conan series. Naturally I sought out the works of the books mentioned in the writings of Aleister Crowley, the Marquis de Sade and Machen. Once I got to university, one which was previously a seminary school, I spent many hours in the occult book area consuming the Malus Malificarum, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, De Vermis Mysteriis, Book of Eibon, R’lyeh Text various treatises on the Necronomicon and other dark tomes of sorcery. Even though I was stepped in the occult and the gothic I took a quite sensible history degree with no special accolades.

Despite having been to many a castle, church and mansion that was alleged to be haunted; as well visiting Mayan temples in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico the dark mutterings of the occult tomes never really struck me as real. While I might have dreamed the dark imaginings of the human mind I was never struck with fear and loathing of such things. I looked at them more as a window into the dark mind of humanity rather than manifestations of any foreboding evil either supernatural or ancient.

I left university, bummed around a bit and got myself a job in London rather than remaining in the US where my parents resided. London allowed me to have a decent job, not necessarily using my degree, but also access to various sources to feed my hobby interests. It was in some of my more normal hobbies that I encountered your fine director and founder one Leo Ruickbie. He invited me along to various talks and groupings that were interested in the practical applications and results of man’s interest in magic both dark & white.

It was then and only then that my memory and vast knowledge (if not experience) of the darker side of the human condition got me seen as an amateur expert. As I displayed my knowledge, egged on in a most obvious way by Leo, that I became dragged into the fight against Cthulhu and his minions. I began to notice certain similarities betweens events and things described in the many dark tomes I had read in my past. I found myself keeping a record of possible “Cthulhu” events on a regular basis.

Now you might as well ask me to make the link between keen amateur and close to full time scourge of Cthulhu. I am not quite sure how the path happened but I suspect that Leo and a few others had their hand in my progress. It was few years into my time in London that I was asked to accompany and older friend of Leo’s to examine some odd goings’ on in Wales. It was no active investigation just something that might be off interest. There was small town that completely vanished several hundred years ago near Biddeford. There was no explanation for their leaving suddenly. Some speculated and the local authorities had concluded that they had all gotten on a boat and sodded off to America or points unknown. The fact that they managed this without being seen by anyone outside the town or amongst the fishing community did not seen to bother anyone.

It was Sir Sked that dragged me to my first encounter with the realities of the dark, dank and dangerous. Here is the tale of the town from my notes. I figure you are bored with my just hammering on about my past. This little adventure was my first real encounter with the nasties or rather lack of them.

The town we were headed to was about 45 minutes North of Aber; mostly on rather small over-grown roads North of Borth. As we drove through the sea-side town which had previously sported those ill advised footsteps, I was pleased to see that it had returned to its normal calm exterior. There were no dubious markings and the restaurant still in place..

From the current report they got from the postie, there was little they had to worry about. The need for speed was more so the postie could keep events and even the location of the village shielded from prying eyes.

Incidentally it was in Borth where we collected the postman. Gareth would show them the way north.

Gareth led the expedition on following ever smaller roads, then lanes, toward their destination. He explained the situation as he had seen it. “Well, you see, they insisted I deliver all their mail together in a bundle to one single address. I always delivered them first as it was the easiest of my run and the farthest North.”

“Bet you weren’t too keen to drive this road after dark either,” Dr Sked grunted. I got no response.

“So what was the village like” I queried.

“Er, I only really met one member of the town lived when I delivered the post. I didn’t really see anyone else. I am not quite sure how many people lived there as there was never that much post. “ He continued: “I think the bloke told me they were a commune or something made up of a few families. One thing was odd though; I never heard any kids or saw any playing. “

The vehicle ground to a halt in front of a mid-sized bungalow at the end of the small row. There was no obvious road around it. As they got out of the Land Rover there was not a sound save their own footfalls.

“I think there is a side-gate on the left side that was normally locked,” said Gareth.

“No problem,” said Dr Sked, who was already holding a rather large set of bolt cutters and heading towards the gate.

I could see that Dr Sked was very un-eased by the vibes of the place.

Dr Sked’s tools cut through the gate fastenings. They walked tentatively into the hamlet. The first house they were next formed the end of a long causeway of sorts which let towards the sea. The other end was marked by a large beach completely unhindered. There was no dock or attempt to keep the sea at bay. The houses were unusual for this part of the world as they were on stilts, at the edge of the Florida Everglades. Their orientation towards the sea was unmistakable.

“ Dr Sked was already searching the houses with Gareth tagging along un-requested. In hindsight, not such a good idea.

What was most striking was the complete lack of anything but buildings. There were no animals, not a scrap, not a tool, or any sign of human habitation.

“I can’t believe they managed to cover their tracks so well…”

“Whomever or whatever was here last came by sea and there is no sign of it. No footprints or boat marks on the shore.”

“It’s as if everything had been washed clean.”

“Exactly Dr Sked…I know when they left. I am wondering why.”

“By they, you mean?”

I interrupted him,“ Yes, exactly.” I have a few ideas on why they might have left but was as yet unwilling to share. His efforts in Borth might have had something to do with it or maybe they had planned to leave for other reasons. Perhaps they would never know which.

After checking all the houses and the surrounding area, Dr Sked joined me. He was carrying something over his shoulder. and there was no one following him.

“I bet there is a shelf out there somewhere…”

“Oh so what are you doing about it then?” I asked.

“Nothing really…well besides leaving a few surprises around to prevent any resettling from the sea.”

“Yes,” I paused, “but, are we going to tell anyone? Or rather, what are we going to tell them?”

“I will tell the proper people as it becomes appropriate. I think calling the minimum attention to this place is best. I am sure they know we will have been here and are probably not planning on coming back. However, this particular part of the coast being forgotten for a while might not be a bad thing. “

“Quite…”

Dr Sked placed the bundle on the ground next to the Sage.

“What happened to him,” asked the Sage, knowing full well why Gareth was out cold.

“He banged his head on one of those low Welsh ceilings…wasn’t watching wear he was going…too busy chatting, asking me questions,” replied Dr Sked in his matter of fact way.

“Yes. Unfortunate. Will he be in need of some medical care then?”

“I expect so. We can have them meet us in Aber in a few hours. He will be fine in about a week and eager to get back to his relatives in Pems. I am sure his uncle will be pleased to have his help back on the farm.”

“Yes, an extra set of hands is always useful.”

“Why don’t you take him back to the Land Rover and give our friends a call? I will finish up here.”

With that, we set about finishing what needed to be done. Naturally I was considering what exactly he would tell those who needed to know about this place. “I was thinking of suggesting we leave a name tag on this place and file some documents.”

“Ah what exactly were you planning to call it then?” Asked Dr Sked in his best, reverent mocking voice.

“How about Nos wyth Da?”

“A fishing lodge or…?”

“A nice religious retreat would be better…Shall we say an order of monks?” I responded.

“Perfect…I can get to painting it on that blank spot on the house at the end.”

I paused; “Lets get on with it. Gareth is getting a bit heavy.”

The ill feeling of the place began to ebb quite substantially.

“Bugger, we will probably have to drive Gareth to the train Carmarthen I suppose…” I thought to my self,.“ Dr Jeroslav please. It’s Andrew.”

Dr Sked turned to me and said: “I think you are perfect for this sort of work. Nothing seems to bother.”

“Thank you,” I responded. Little did I know what I was saying.

I suspect many of you were hoping that I would have gone into great detail about some extremely dangerous encounter with a deep one. I suspect Leo would not appreciate if half of you called in sick tomorrow because you were up all night with nightmares. No I am sure that many of you believe that you can handle anything. Many of you may be able to do so in future; but it takes a great deal of time to be able to handle what I have seen.

I suspect none of you spent all the time and effort to get here only to burn out in a few months after you graduate with your doctorates or other degrees. You came here to learn something that will be with you for the rest of your life.

I suspect several of you may end up in the same line of work as I am in; one of you may take my position when I pass. However I want to make sure that you get to the point without risking your sanity as many times as I have. In this fight your greatest weapon is your brain and what is in it. That is why Cthulhu and his minions do all they can to drive away your sanity. They fear your brain.

Today we know more about what we face that we ever have. With modern communication we can share information at the speed of electronics. We are better armed with weaponry, magic and knowledge than we ever have been but that does mean we are able to rush in and risk our sanity facing the abominations sent force by the forces of the Great Old Ones. We must treat them with the same respect we have been since the fight began at the advent of humanity.

Oh damn this was supposed to be about me and not about you; Leo’s latest batch. We are all in this fight together those who choose to take it on. I may have a fancy title because of my work in Wales but that does not make me any better or more able than the unsung heroes of the fight against Cthulhu. I would even argue that might high profile makes it harder for me to do things.

After all my robes of the Sage will not protect we against some ancient tentacled menace trying to drag into the depths to my doom now will it?

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JJ Burke
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:19 pm
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Old One


Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 2120
Location: Southern California

i haven't read this yet, but i just wanted to suggest that the site should have one main place where you can look and find all the writers' contributions in the order they were submitted. right now, the 'library' is broken up into 3-4 different places throughout the site, and i'm never sure that i have read all the latest stuff. even worse, when i finally finish my story, i'm afraid it's going to go unread just because people didn't guess the right place to find it.

(i'll be back to read this later)
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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:11 pm
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Joined: 28 Jun 2005
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Location: Ireland (Moon-Bog country)

You mean this site? Maybe Al could rig up a system to put a date on each of the stories for when they were posted, and the ability to sort them by title or date.

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Lagwolf
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:37 am
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Haunter of the Dark
Haunter of the Dark


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 419
Location: London, UK

Agreed...you listening Aleister? :p

_________________
Dodgeblogium: www.andrewiandodge.com
Buy our CD: http://cdbaby.com/cd/growingoldd
Growing Old Disgracefully: www.disgracefulmusic.com
Podcast: Dodging Reality
(http://homepage.mac.com/lagwolf/podcasts/DodgingReality1.xml)
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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:20 pm
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Joined: 28 Jun 2005
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AL!

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TELL ME YOU ORDERED THE FUCKING GOLF SHOES!
Adrian wrote:
I sure love my pudding.
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Aleister
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:53 pm
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Site Admin
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Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 1222
Location: USA

I am listening..

First off, is that supposed to be a fictitious story Andrew? Because most of those Lovecraftian books do not exist Wink

As far as the stories.. it is complicated Smile Right now the site is powered by WordPress, with a few exceptions such as the public archives, which is eFiction.

If we were to have all the written works (featured writers, public archives, selected tales, and mythos studies) all together, I am not sure if there would be any way to distinquish between them. They would all just be stories entered into a public archives style interface.

Now there may be a content management system out there that will not only support the methods for entering in stories, but also the categorization and subsequent splitting of 'sections', but I am not aware of it.

The advantage of a truely dynamic story system would be that the featured writers could add their own stories to their page, but the pages would not work the same way. Plus there would not be an automatic way to make news entries on the main site without constructing a separate system to integrate with the current.

Either way for the sorting and categorization, a new database driven system would be needed.

This is definitly something worth considering, but it would also be something that would require a good amount of planning due to the complexity of the script needed, and the time it would take me to write it from scratch.

If someone wants to help me design with a good system, including the database backend, I will certainly be interested in writing it Smile

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Aleister
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:18 pm
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Joined: 31 May 2004
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One other thing I am concerned about...

If the featured writers and all the other writers are combined into a single system.. they will not really be featured anymore..

I am still looking into options though.

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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:33 pm
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They needn't be ubered together into one section, you could mauybe sort "featured writers", "guests" and "public entries" in the same you you could sort by date or name.

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Adrian wrote:
TELL ME YOU ORDERED THE FUCKING GOLF SHOES!
Adrian wrote:
I sure love my pudding.
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JJ Burke
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:56 pm
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Old One


Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 2120
Location: Southern California

this story seems a little unbalanced to me. you have the guy warning the audience about going crazy in the fight against cthulhu, but then he recounts a rather uneventful cover-up operation in a deserted town. it's not clear that anything particularly horrifying has happened there, or is threatening to recur. i think if you work in some more 'clear and present danger,' it would better support the cautionary tone of the speaker.

Aleister wrote:
This is definitly something worth considering, but it would also be something that would require a good amount of planning due to the complexity of the script needed, and the time it would take me to write it from scratch.

oh, i didn't know how much programming was involved here. anyway the automation isn't really what interests me.. it could be done with a simple html index, updated manually when there's something new. i know that sounds like caveman talk to a codehead.. anyway i can build the page myself, and back-end integration need not be a concern. just thinking out loud..
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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:06 pm
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It sounds like codehead talk to this caveman.

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Adrian wrote:
TELL ME YOU ORDERED THE FUCKING GOLF SHOES!
Adrian wrote:
I sure love my pudding.
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Aleister
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:58 pm
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Joined: 31 May 2004
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Ok, the more I thought about it, I decided that there might be a way to at least have a 'recently updated' page in WordPress.

Using meta tags on the existing pages to separate them by category, I was able to come up with this:

http://www.templeofdagon.com/recently-added/

This is still an early version. And I will perhaps add support for sorting etc.. but the important sorting is by date anyway since it is a list of recently added work.

Check it out and let me know what you think Smile

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Jesus Prime
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:28 pm
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Bravissimo.

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Adrian wrote:
TELL ME YOU ORDERED THE FUCKING GOLF SHOES!
Adrian wrote:
I sure love my pudding.
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JJ Burke
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:46 pm
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Old One


Joined: 21 Dec 2005
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yeah! already i've spotted a few things i hadn't noticed elsewhere. thanks aleister, that's a great start
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Aleister
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:29 pm
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Updated a bit Wink

http://www.templeofdagon.com/recently-added/

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Lagwolf
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:00 am
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Haunter of the Dark
Haunter of the Dark


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 419
Location: London, UK

Its an intro-story for the SoW. There never was one. We are working on turning all of them into radio scripts for the BBC. More news when it happens.

_________________
Dodgeblogium: www.andrewiandodge.com
Buy our CD: http://cdbaby.com/cd/growingoldd
Growing Old Disgracefully: www.disgracefulmusic.com
Podcast: Dodging Reality
(http://homepage.mac.com/lagwolf/podcasts/DodgingReality1.xml)
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