THE ANNOTATED UNSPEAKABLE OATH Issue Two (view this document in a monospaced font, preferably 10pt. Monaco)

    Introduction to The Annotated Unspeakable Oath (C)1993 John Tynes

    This is a series of freely-distributable text files that presents the textual contents of early issues of THE UNSPEAKABLE OATH, the world's premiere digest for Chaosium's CALL OF CTHULHU (tm) role-playing game. Each file contains the nearly-complete text from a given issue. Anything missing is described briefly with the file, and is missing either due to copyright problems or because the information has been or will be reprinted in a commercial product. Everything in this file is copyrighted by the original authors, and each section carries that copyright. This file may be freely distributed provided that no money is charged whatsoever for its distribution. This file may only be distributed if it is intact, whole, and unchanged. All copyright notices must be retained. Modified versions may not be distributed -- the contents belong to the creators, so *please* respect their work. Abusing my position as editor and instigator of the magazine and this project, I have taken the liberty of adding comments to some of the contents where I thought I had something interesting or historically worth preserving to say. Yeah, right!

John Tynes editor-in-chief Pagan Publishing

 

    Introduction to TUO2 (C)1994 John Tynes

    TUO2 appeared in the late spring/early summer of 1991, after weeks of delays. The path of TUO1 from photocopied-for-fun to a nationally (and

internationally) distributed publication was quick and confusing. By TUO2, we'd found a business printer in Memphis who could print and collate the magazine at a good price. We were on our third printing of TUO1, and were very excited. TUO2 saw the debut of one of our most successful projects, the modern-day scenario "Grace Under Pressure." I had wanted to include some

sort of gimmicky thing in each issue -- a cut-out, a poster, whatever. This dates back to a childhood of magazines like Jack & Jill and World, which had all kinds of little remove-and-cut-apart craft projects, posters, and, to use a phrase learned from TUO writer Kevin Ross, "goo-gaws." Artist Jeff Barber had approached me when we were still working on TUO1 with the desire to do an adventure that included removable floor plans and cardstock miniatures in 25mm scale. He had some

ideas about an adventure that took place on the sea floor, but didn't know the Mythos or CoC very well. We collaborated on the project, an "Grace Under Pressure" was born, complete with removable maps, cardstock

miniatures, and the like. It was the first of several such unusual inserts we did in the first couple years of the magazine's life - when the print runs were small enough to still do weird stuff like that and hand-collate it together.

    TUO2's printing quality was better than TUO1, thanks to the place where we had it printed. But all was not rosy - our new printer shorted us by more than 200 copies from our print run of 1,000, and we couldn't prove it had happened. This was very demoralizing and hurt us economically as well. Worse, we had to keep on using the same printer. No one else could come close to their rates (they were desperate for business) and as long as we counted every single copy before we left the store, all was well.

    TUO2 also found us looking to the summer where GenCon loomed on the horizon. I ended up working at the Chaosium booth with a little section of my own to sell Pagan Publishing stuff, and I was accompanied at the con by Jeff and C. Raymond Lewis, whose fiction appears in this issue. In preparation for the con we had t-shirts made with the cover art from the first issue on them, and also produced the first in an annual tradition: our GenCon limited-edition release. 1991's was STARK RAVING MAD!, a 56-page book commemorating the 10th anniversary of Call of Cthulhu. More on that in The Annotated TUO3.

    As TUO2 was coming together, I had the privlege to spend a weekend in Iowa at the home of Chaosium and TUO writer Kevin A. Ross, along with Chaosium and TUO writer Scott David Aniolowski. The three of us dubbed the event the Great Midwestern Cthulhu Conference, and the weekend was interrupted several times by friendly calls from other Chaosium writers - no doubt they appreciated the economy of talking to all three of us with a single call! It was the beginning, in some ways, of what Keith Herber dubbed "the new Lovecraft circle," an amorphous group of CoC creators who became colleagues and friends over the next couple of years, drawn together by a common interest in HPL, CoC, and the creative process.

    TUO2 was the first appearance of a regular column by one of these creators. "The Case Of Mark Edward Morrison" debuted in this issue, and Mark has provided a regular dose of insight and humor ever since.

    This file contains the complete contents of TUO2, lacking artwork and two articles. The first, "Automatic Weapons in Call of Cthulhu" by John H. Crowe, III, has been superceded by John's massive reference work THE WEAPONS COMPENDIUM, available through Pagan Publishing's mail order catalog. The second, "Grace Under Pressure," is a scenario by Jeff Barber and myself (John Tynes) that re-appeared in revised form in THE RESURRECTED * VOLUME ONE in mid-1993. Also missing for obvious reasons is the initial 8-page installment in Blair Reynold' graphic novel "Remnant."

    All annotations by me are enclosed in brackets, and are (C)1994 John Tynes.

 

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The Dread Page Of Azathoth (C)1991 John Tynes

[This was a real landmark, in retrospect. Below you'll find the infamous

story of the decapitated dog, which led to the even more infamous story of the severed dog's head (covered in TUO4). No, the decapitated dog and

the severed dog's head were not from the same dog. Don't ask questions, just read!]

    Have you ever gone box hunting? You know, checking all the liquor stores and dumpsters in your neighborhood (assuming that there are liquor

stores and dumpsters in your neighborhood) for empty cardboard boxes? It's one of those rituals that accompany moving from one place to another. Somehow, you've got to compress all the detrius of your life into a U-Haul trailer and move. First, you have to pack. Blair Reynolds, whose artwork graces this issue's cover as well as the inside, moved to Fairbanks, Alaska late last fall. So, he performed the ritual of getting up at dawn for a couple mornings and beating the garbagemen to the dumpsters around campus. There aren't a lot of people out at that time, with the exception of a few zombified joggers, so running into someone else is a little unexpected. Blair was walking towards a dumpster next to the Biology building when a white truck pulled up ahead. A man climbed out and went around to

the back, then leaned in. When he stepped back, he was holding a large, heavy bundle wrapped in plastic garbage bags. The object was about four to five feet long and from the way the man held it, was very heavy. He stumbled over to the dumpster and dropped it in, making a loud crash as whatever it was landed on the trash inside. By this time, Blair was almost at the dumpster. The man gave him a funny look, so Blair kept on walking. He saw the guy enter the building nearby. After a minute or so Blair came back to the dumpster, watching the building as he did. He saw a light go on in one room. Looking into the dumpster, Blair could see the wrapped bundle, partially sunk into the trash. He looked up at the building again, then shrugged his shoulders and began to lift one end of the thing up, propping it against the wall of the dumpster. Once this was done, he began to peel back some of the plastic wrapping. At this point, Blair says he thought it might be some sort of art object that the guy's wife was making him throw out. But as he got a little of the bag away, he found something else. Cold fur. Glancing at the building again, Blair pulled away more of the bags until two paws were exposed. He realized that the object was a large dog,

probably a German shepherd. It was quite dead. It was also frozen solid. Really puzzled now, Blair pulled away more of the wrapping. Something wasn't right about the shape of the dog in the bags. Finally, he saw what it was. The dog had no head. Blair says that it had been neatly and cleanly sawn off, obviously after the dog had been frozen. He took an involuntary step backwards; the

severed stump of a dog's neck isn't something you see everyday. He then spent a few moments digging through the trash around the dog, trying to find the head. He was sure that the man had only had the one bundle, but

he wanted to be certain. The search turned up nothing; the man had thrown away a frozen headless dog. Blair took another glance at the building and then hurried back to his apartment. There he called the police, telling them what had happened

and that he really didn't know if he should be calling them, but... The whole time, Blair's paranoia was kicking in. He says he started mumbling to himself about Cthulhu cultists using dog's heads in rituals.

A couple of minutes after he called the police, the phone rang. He answered it, and the caller hung up. That was all the proof Blair needed. Nearly convinced that at any moment a raving lunatic with a pranga was going to come in, he locked the

door and loaded a clip into his AR-15 (a semi-automatic rifle). He says that his cats kept giving him funny looks, but he wasn't about to admit the surrealness of his actions. Finally, the phone rang again. This time it was the police. They had checked out the dog and talked to the guy in the building. Apparently, the man was a faculty member, and the dog was left over from some project. The police suggested that a public dumpster might not be the best place to dispose of lab animals, but didn't ask why he was doing so

shortly after dawn. They were satisfied. Blair unloaded the rifle and calmed down - although "Blair" and "calm" are considered by many to be mutually exclusive terms. Needless to say, the headless dog is still a source of speculation around here. What kind of experiment needs a dog's head but not the body?

I've read that a patent has been granted for a process by which a head may be kept alive after decapitation (though "alive" may not be the best

term). I have this image in my mind now, of the large sleek head of a German shepherd in a vat of fluid, hooked up to wires and apparatus. In my mind, the eyes stare out, then blink. The mouth opens slightly and then closes again, since barking is no longer an option. One of the modern ailments often reported to trendy suburban therapists these days is a feeling of disconnection from society. Caught

up in work and success and achieving, people say they feel cut off from what matters most. In my mind, the eyes of the dog catch those of the viewer and regard them sadly. Disconnected? Indeed. Jon Cooke, publisher of the Lovecraft Centennial Conference Guidebook mentioned here last issue, has been busy again. The result is Tekeli-li! Journal of Terror, a great little magazine that Jon's Montilla

Publications has just begun. The first issue features writer Les Daniels,

with a profile and several articles as well as an excerpt from his new novel. There's quite a bit more as well: fiction, reviews, movie news, and articles on a variety of subjects relating to the field of terror. Tekeli-li! is well written, well edited, well produced and - well, enjoyable! It's available for $5.50 postpaid by mail from Jon B. Cooke; 106 Hanover Avenue; Pawtucket, R.I. 02861. Subscriptions to The Unspeakable Oath are now available. $16 will get you four issues shipped to your door by first class mail; overseas subscriptions are $24 via air mail. Check or money order in U.S. funds only, please, payable to Pagan Publishing - see the address on the inside

back cover. I'm sorry, Peter, we still don't do Visa! But maybe someday...

 

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A Tale Of Terror (C)1991 Steve Hatherley

[This was the second appearance of a Tale of Terror in TUO, and once again the redoubtable Steve Hatherley was responsible. These have always

been favorites of mine.]

    Grim Portrait Dexter Cauldrose is a mildly talented artist, his technique often crude and composition amateur. Despite this, his portraits are sought after by the fashionable rich. The waiting list it several months long and as a result, Cauldrose has a richer lifestyle than many other, far finer, artists. He is a success because of his novelty value. Cauldrose specializes in gruesome portraits, revealing the subject in death. Sometimes he portrays his subjects lying in state, but often has them disemboweled and

brutally mutilated. In some circles, the more brutal the death, the better. Then, they begin to die. Cauldrose is the first to go. His self-portrait showed his body chopped to pieces in a barren room (it was the reaction to this painting

that led him to identify his market). His body is found in a barren room,

chopped up and looking exactly as he painted. At first it is taken to be

a very sick joke, but then others begin to die. Possibilities: 1. Cauldrose's paintings are not so much predicting the future as creating it. Cauldrose himself was killed by an escaped lunatic. Others will become accident victims, suicides, or be mauled by wild animals. Each death is unconnected, except by the extraordinary artwork of Dexter

Cauldrose. The deaths occur at the same rate as the portraits were painted. As the pattern is discerned, worried subjects will be able to determine the

time of their demise. There is no way out, except for the destruction of

these violent works of art. 2. Before each killing, the subject is approached by a tall black man, elegantly dressed in black. He offers a bargain, a contract. In return for signing a single sheet of paper, covered in indecipherable typescript, the subject will be spared. At first, the subjects ignore him, only to pay the price. Then, when the first escapes the seemingly inexorable murders, the contract is brought to light. Written in an unknown language, the subject has unwittingly signed away his soul to Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos. But why does the Outer God want their souls? And when will he collect? 3. The real painter is Cauldrose's insane brother, working from crude sketches and photographs provided by Dexter. Locked in the attic, he lived for nothing but to paint. Then, his condition worsened, and he turned on his brother, dressing the body to look like his art. Now he is

wandering the streets, hunting for other subjects.

 

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A Chip Off The Old Blob (C)1991 Scott David Aniolowski

[Scott has always had a fetish for monster stats! He made his TUO debut with this article, the first of a couple he did along these lines. Lately

he's turned this fetish into a Chaosium project, a two-volume compilation

of Mythos deities and creatures adapted from Mythos fiction, slated for publication sometime in 1994 I believe.]

    According to Mythos references (some all-too vague), it would appear that the alien gods of the Cthulhu pantheon are most capable of, and interested in, creating or spawning certain specific beings or races. Whether this is strictly for purposes of being served and worshipped, or

to carry on some specific genetic traits, is unknown to the finite minds

of humans. This article attempts to discuss, in game terms, a few of these "children" of the gods of the Cthulhu Mythos. Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn (Greater Servitor Race) Description: The Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn appear as lesser forms of the Great Old One - bloated elephantine horrors with skeletal heads endowed with webbed ears and a trunk that ends in a great, flaring disk.

Long intertwined crystalline tusks sprout from the mouths of these creatures. The bodies of the Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn are human-like, although mottled and stained. These creatures dwell within caves in the Pyrenees mountains of Spain. Notes: Like their sire, the Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn appear at first to be statues, totally motionless until driven to gorge upon blood

or attacked. Once active, they are not nearly as powerful as their master, although they do possess some of Chaugnar-Faugn's psychic attacking capabilities - these Brothers of the Great Old One can cause a

victim to experience horrible nightmares about themselves and their sire,

and may entice their victims to come to them, where the monstrosities brutally murder and feed upon the hapless human (see Summons of the Sleeper, below). Characteristics Average STR 4D6+30 44 CON 3D6x5 52-53 SIZ 4D6+10 24 INT 3D6+6 16-17 POW 5D6 17-18 DEX 3D6+6 16-17 Hit Points 38-39 Move 20 Weapon Attk% Damage Grapple 50% holds immobile for bite Bite auto 1D6 CON drain

    Note: In combat these creatures attempt to grasp victims and then hold them tightly as the Brother's weird trunk mauls the face of the victim, draining him of blood. This blood drain costs the victim 1D6 CON

each round; these points can not be recovered. A Brother can not attack others while it is holding and draining a victim. A successful STR vs. STR confrontation by several people against the trunk could release the unfortunate captive. Armor: None, however only magic or enchanted weapons may harm a Brother of Chaugnar-Faugn. Spells: All Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn know at least 1D10 spells, in addition to Summons of the Sleeper, below. SAN: 1D4/1D10 when animated - 0/1D6 when in "statue" form. Summons of the Sleeper: This ability is utilized by the Brothers of Chaugnar-Faugn to attract victims. To use it requires the expenditure of

Long intertwined crystal5 magic points; success occurs only if the victim fails a POW vs. POW resistance roll. If the Summons works, the victim suffers terrible dreams

about Chaugnar-Faugn and its brothers; each night that the dreams occur,

the victim loses 1D3/1D6 SAN and will attempt to travel to wherever the Brother is. The hapless victim will not know the location or distance, but will always know the direction and will make every effort to travel towards the call of the creature. Each day of travel allows the victim an

additional POW resistance roll to break free of the terrible summons. If at any point the victim succeeds in one of the resistance rolls, the casting Brother may not try to Summon the same victim again for a number of days equal to the victim's POW. This dream-pull may be used only on those who have had some contact with Chaugnar-Faugn or one of his "Brothers". Children of Yog-Sothoth (Greater Servitor Race) There are actually two types of this being: "Monstrous" and "Human". Each is listed in a separate entry. Monstrous Children Description: "Bigger'n a barn... all made o' squirmin' ropes... hull thing sort o' shaped like a hen's egg bigger'n anything, with dozen's o'

legs like hogsheads that half shut up when they step... nothin' solid about it - all like jelly, an' made o' sep'rit wrigglin' ropes pushed clost together... great bulgin' eyes all over it... ten or twenty maouth

or trunks a-stickin' aout all along the sides, big as stovepipes, an' all

a-tossin' an' opening' an' shuttin'... all grey, with kinder blue or purple rings... an' Gawd in heaven - that haff face on top!" (H.P. Lovecraft, "The Dunwich Horror") Notes: The Monstrous Children of Yog-Sothoth are formed when the Outer God somehow mates with a human, creating a hybrid creature. Because

of the variable genetics of these creatures, no two are exactly alike. Those that resemble their "father" are of the Monstrous variety (as described above). They have the ability to become invisible at will. These half-breed children of the All in One grow rapidly, and require great quantities of fresh, raw flesh to feed on. These creatures

have an insatiable hunger for knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos and are often educated by both the humans who care for them and their sire, Yog-Sothoth, eagerly learning spells and researching ways in which It may

be brought into the world of men. Because of their brute strength, high intellect, and their ability to become invisible, the Monstrous Children of Yog-Sothoth are a powerful

and deadly race. Characteristics Average STR 2D6x10 70 CON 2D6x5 35 SIZ 4D6+30 44 INT 6D6 21 POW 6D6 21 DEX 3D6+6 16-17 APP N/A Hit Points 39-40 Move 8 Weapon Attk% Damage Claw 80% 1D6+6D6 Human Children Description: "He was, however, exceedingly ugly despite his appearance of brilliancy; there being something almost goatish or animalistic about his thick lips, large-pored, yellowish skin, coarse crinkly hair, and oddly elongated ears...gossips were mildly interested in the fact that [he] had commenced to talk, and at the age of only eleven months." (H.P. Lovecraft, "The Dunwich Horror") Notes: The Human Children of Yog-Sothoth are formed in the same way as the Monstrous ones are, but they appear human to an observer; they are

most definitely not, however. Human Children of Yog-Sothoth grow much faster than normal humans; by age eight they may appear to be fifteen or

sixteen years old. The Human Children tend to be exceptionally strong and

sturdy from an early age. With more freedom than their Monstrous siblings, the Human Children are free to improve their knowledge through

travel and research of their own, although they work towards the same end. Human Children do not remain human, however; as they grow older, they begin to mutate in strange ways. Their legs grow furry and their feet become goat hooves; their torso begins to bulge and exude slime as appendages emerge from the flesh. This maturing process, once begun in earnest, runs its course over a matter of weeks, and soon the Human Children are unable to pass for human any more. These creatures eat as humans do, drawing sustenance from ordinary food, but they develop cravings for raw flesh, and quickly learn to catch

and eat small animals or even humans. Human Children may also become invisible at will, but this requires an expenditure of one magic point for every two rounds of invisibility. While they are as rare as the Monstrous Children, the Human Children may

present a greater threat; the longer they spend in the world of men, the

more cunning they grow. Characteristics Average STR 3D6+12 22-23 CON 2D6x5 35 SIZ 2D6+6 13 INT 6D6 21 POW 6D6 21 DEX 3D6 10-11 APP 3D6 10-11 Hit Points 24 Move 8 Weapon Attk% Damage any varies as per Armor: None. However, an investigator's chance of hitting either type of the Children of Yog-Sothoth while one is invisible is equal to his Listen skill divided in half. Spells: All Children of Yog-Sothoth will eventually know a number of spells equal to the creature's INT. SAN: There is no SAN loss for seeing a human-looking Child of Yog-Sothoth until it begins to mutate. SAN losses then will vary by how far the mutation has spread (perhaps 1D3-1D8). The SAN loss for one of the Monstrous Children is 1D6/1D20.

    Spawn of Hastur (Greater Servitor Race) Description: Like their sire, the Spawn of Hastur are never clearly described, except that they appear octopoidal and have unspeakably hideous faces. Some references wrongly suggest that the Spawn of Hastur are identical to those of Cthulhu; while perhaps similar in their octopoidal nature, they are most likely not identical races. Notes: The Spawn of Hastur appear to be aquatic, or at least amphibious, as they are only ever mentioned as appearing with the Unspeakable one in the foul and murky Lake of Hali, although it may be assumed that they are capable of flight, like their progenitor, as well as short excursions over land. The Spawn attack with fluid tentacles which they use to crush victims, or grasp and draw them into their rubbery sack-like bodies where

they are swallowed whole. Like their Master, these creatures may be summoned to Earth only when Aldebaran is above the horizon. Characteristics Average STR 6D6+20 41 CON 3D6+10 20-21 SIZ 6D6+10 31 INT 3D6+3 13-14 POW 5D6 17-18 DEX 3D6 10-11 Hit Points 51-52 Move 6 on land/ 8 in water/ 20 flying Weapon Attk% Damage Tentacle 75% 1D6+3D6 or hold to Engulf Engulf automatic death (must be held first by Tentacle attack) Armor: Thick rubbery flesh and scales worth 10 points. Spells: All Spawn of Hastur know at least 2D6 spells. SAN: 1D3/1D20.

 

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The Case Of Mark Edward Morrison (C)1991 Mark Morrison

[This is the debut of the afore-mentioned column by the mad Mark Morrison

of Australia. Mark's wit and wile are legendary, dating back to his many

appearances in Dagon magazine.]

    Welcome to The Case Of Mark Edward Morrison. In future issues I hope to bring you advice and inspiration for disturbing your Call of Cthulhu players. This time, however, let me acquaint you with the peculiar circumstance of how I acquired my guiding inspiration: the case. In August 1990 I made the pilgrimage to Providence, R.I. The city had given Lovecraft life in 1890, and had given his bones a bed since 1937. His centennial year seemed like an important time for me to be there. What I hadn't allowed for was the treasure trove that awaited me in the bookshops of Providence. I had high expectations, true; I even hoped

that in this city of Lovecraft's wanderings I would be able to acquire a

volume which had eluded me for some time, Dr. L. Shrewsbury's inadvisable

Cthulhu in the Necronomicon. In between the lectures at the Centennial Conference I discovered the Brown University bookshop, an outre place known as Other Worlds, the aptly-titled Cellar Stories Books, the potentially perilous Murder By The Book, and numerous antiquarian booksellers. Although I could not find the Shrewsbury volume, these establishments had much to offer, and my spending quickly out-stripped my

available carrying space. It was apparent that I would need a second suitcase. I hardly required designer luggage, so the best bet seemed to be to nip into a pawn shop and pick up something cheap and sturdy; it only needed to survive the trip back to Australia. On my way back towards College Hill through one of the more depressed retail areas of Providence, I spied a dusty window containing a dented typewriter, a guitar with no strings, a silent television, and a pile of ragged paperbacks. It looked to be just the place. Inside was more dust, and further forgotten and timeworn objects. I was the only customer, indeed the only person in the place at all. I browsed, expecting the merchant would be along to help me shortly. I sorted through faded lampshades and sagging bookshelves, through bent bicycles and ancient stereo equipment, through non-descript portraits and

unsprung sofas; through junk both old and useless. It seemed I was not in

luck, and was about to leave when a thump from behind me attracted my attention. The thump originated from the counter, and had been made by a tall, sallow man as he placed a worn leather case upon it. I was slightly startled, for I had not seen him enter from the back of the shop; surely

he had not been crouched behind the desk the whole time? His shadowed eyes surveyed me as slowly his hands smoothed dust from the ancient portmanteau. I was about to wish him good afternoon, but as I opened my mouth to speak he coughed mildly, pushed the case across the desk at me,

and spoke in a soft voice, "Ten dollars, sir. I think it is just what you

were after." I was so astonished that without thinking I fished out a ten dollar note, placed it in his dry hand, seized the proffered handle, and left the shop with my sudden purchase swinging under my arm. Behind me I heard

the quiet click as he closed up for the day, and I turned to regard him one last time as his face melted into the deeper shadows of his curious establishment. The last of the sun died and, oddly disturbed, I hastened

back towards my room on campus, and the company of my fellow scholars. Once there I was able to inspect the item. It was old, but sound; the leather was frayed, but not cracked. After a quick cleaning, it looked fine, even respectable. I packed my excess books into it, pausing

thoughtfully to regard the gentleman depicted on the back cover of my newly acquired Arkham House volume Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. A peculiar thought strayed through my mind, but I quickly banished it. I shut the lid and hurried to join my companions for some welcome dinner and normal human conversation. This should have been the end of the affair. One month after that weekend in Providence I returned home to Australia, and after a sleep heavy with jet-lag and oddly disturbed by dreams of cracked and yellowed

pages, I unpacked my things. When I picked up the old leather case I was

alarmed to find it far lighter than I had expected; had some international airline thief made off with all of my new books? Angrily I

flung the thing open and instantly fell back, retching, as a noxious mist

billowed out of it. Weak with dizziness and nausea, I surveyed the poisonous miasma from a safe distance as it drifted out of the hideous suitcase and dissipated. When all seemed clear I leaned across to see what had happened to the things I had so carefully packed there. Where once I had placed twenty or thirty books, now there was only one. I picked the slim black volume up and read the title off the spine. It was Dr. Laban Shrewbury's Cthulhu in the Necronomicon.

 

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Yeah, But What Does It Look Like? (C)1991 Chris Klepac

[This very amusing piece was the first TUO contribution of Chris Klepac.

At the time, Chris was 13 or 14 years old; TUO3 contains his scenario "The Travesty" which is one of the best-received works we've published. Always years ahead of his age in talent and maturity, Chris continues to

write and be weird and presently works as our office manager.]

    The Keeper's eyes narrowed over the top of the GM screen. "Before you

stands a massive iron door, meticulously inlaid with blasphemous carvings. The door is sealed with lead, and three iron shafts have been placed across it, each imbedded in the walls nearby. Glowing runes and sigils appear to have been hastily but expertly scrawled across the portal's surface. There is no knob or handle of any kind. A scribbled message written in a madman's hand warns `Death Lies Within'." James spoke up first. "We open it." Uh oh. You're the Keeper and you're in trouble. You made a note to yourself that if your players were stupid enough to enter a certain place, they deserved to be eaten by a Cthulhuoid monster. Well, they did,

and you don't happen to have an appropriate monster on you. Sure, you can

roll up bogus stats, but description is the soul of the game. So here is

a simple chart for when you're in a tight spot, or just need some inspiration. Roll D% as many times as you like, or until you roll a capitalized item (those are nouns rather than adjectives). That tells you

to stop rolling. Have a blast.

01-02 horrible 03-04 shambling 05-06 tentacled 07-08 evil 09-10 Monstrosity 11-12 horrendous 13-14 mind-blasting 15-16 undying 17-18 unthinkable 19-20 Beast With A Thousand Eyes 21-22 terrifying Whe23-24 dark 25-26 leprous 27-28 hairy 29-30 Spawn Of (appropriate Great Old One) 31-32 cold-blooded 33-34 screaming 35-36 gibbering 37-38 rotting 39-40 Mass Of Flesh 41-42 kill-crazy 43-44 insane (probably redundant) 45-46 hellacious 47-48 fanged 49-50 Creature From The Stars 51-52 disgusting 53-54 slimy 55-56 writhing 57-58 insect-plagued 59-60 Travesty Of Nature 61-62 vile 63-64 gigantic 65-66 slavering 67-68 unnameable 69-70 Horror 71-72 ancient 73-74 shunned 75-76 dripping 77-78 multi-limbed 79-80 Nightmare Beyond Comprehension 81-82 scaly 83-84 hate-filled 85-86 laughing 87-88 man-eating 89-90 Avatar Of The Void 91-92 bloodlusting 93-94 demonic 95-96 idiotic 97-98 flesh-eating 99-100 Vision Of Death

[A postscript: the "James" referred to in the article was a player in our

group during MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP. He was, quite possibly, the unluckiest player I've ever known. His crowning glory came during a midnight break-in at the Penhew building in London. Attempting to Sneak through a darkened hallway with a fully-loaded handgun, he fumbled his Sneak roll and tripped, drawing the notice of a nearby guard. A subsequent Luck roll was also fumbled, and his gun went off. Finally, a "to hit" roll for the gunshot was impaled - and he shot himself.]

 

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From Ponape To The Stars: the Mythos fiction of Lin Carter (C)1991 Kevin A. Ross

[Kevin has always had a real interest in the scholarly side of the Mythos, and has written several articles along the lines of this one. At

the time of this writing (January, 1994) he is planning to leave gaming and launch a small press magazine devoted to quality horror fiction and articles, among other endeavors.]

    The late Lin Carter was an amazing fantasist. In the late 60's and early 70's he single-handedly rediscovered for an entire generation the works of people such as Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith,

and many other horror and fantasy authors whose works had been unavailable for decades. This was the popular Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series, and another of the authors "rediscovered" by Carter for the paperback market was H.P. Lovecraft. Carter was so taken with Lovecraft that he wrote a study of the man and his creations, entitled Lovecraft: A

Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos. Though scorned by some scholars for skimping on biographical details of Lovecraft's life, this book is more useful when taken as a historical account of the development of the Mythos itself. From Lovecraft's stories, to his revision work, to tales by literary friends Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard, to reminiscences by his young correspondents August Derleth and Robert Bloch, and further still to Derleth's own disciples: Brian Lumley, Ramsey

Campbell, Gary Myers - and Lin Carter. Taken in this light, Carter's book

is a fascinating compendium of facts and anecdotes about the Mythos and its development. Which brings us to the purpose of this article. Among Carter's numerous Mythos stories were several tales purporting to be chapters from

the various Mythos tomes (e.g. "The Doom of Yakthoob" from the Necronomicon, "Shaggai" from the Book of Eibon, "The Acolyte of the Flame" from the Pnakotic Manuscripts, etc.). Unfortunately these tales are hopelessly formulaic, usually consisting of wizards depositing themselves and their assistants in various sticky situations with Mythos

entities. And invariably, the wizards' assistants then meet sticky ends. But some of Carter's other Mythos works were more "traditional", positing a 1920's California setting to match the haunted New England of

Lovecraft. These works have been termed "The Xothic Cycle" by Carter afficianados. Two of the shorter tales in this series are purported "chapters" from the Zanthu Tablets, but the other four chronicle the obligatory doomed scholars as they delve into a new branch of Carter's Mythos creations. The two Zanthu chapters are "The Thing in the Pit" and "The Offering". They are stories of the lost South Pacific continent of Mu, which had previously been used in Mythos stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald ("Out of the Eons") and Colin Wilson ("The Return of the Lloigor" and "The Philosopher's Stone"). In Carter's tales we observe the

warring priesthoods of the Muvian temples of Shub-Niggurath, Ythogtha, and Ghatanothoa, and we learn that Cthulhu's home was a greenish double sun called Xoth - hence the name of the series. We also learn that Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha, and Zoth-Ommog (the latter two invented by Carter)

are in some way Cthulhu's sons. "The Offering" is an uninspired tale of a

mummy's revenge against those who come to rob his tomb (including the wizard Zanthu). "The Thing in the Pit" climaxes with a summoning of Ythogtha, who appears as several titanic faceless, neckless cylindrical bodies with beaked "heads" rising above a mountain. Moments later, with the Elder Gods literally raining down on Ythogtha in pillars of fire, we

learn that those beaked bodies were actually just Ythogtha's clawed fingertips rising up above the hills. In footnotes and afterwords to these two tales we learned that they were translated by one Professor Harold Hadley Copeland, an archeologist

who died in a madhouse in San Francisco in 1926. In "The Dweller in the Tomb" we actually meet Copeland, circa 1913. In the story, he leads an expedition into the mountains of Central Asia, and after many deaths, hardships, and bizarre encounters he discovers within a lost prehuman city the tomb of the wizard Zanthu. Opening the tomb he finds that the mummy of Zanthu bears his own face, and Copeland realizes that he is the

reincarnation of Zanthu! He makes it back to civilization alive, miraculously holding onto the tablets found in the tomb. His translation

of them is published in a pamphlet in 1916 - and the Mythos has a new nefarious tome, the Zanthu Tablets. After Copeland's death the action picks up in "Out of the Ages", with the late professor's papers being administered to by the fictional Sanbourne Institute of Pacific Antiquities in Santiago, California. In this tale we meet Dr. H. Stephenson Blaine, another doomed scholar, who in going through Copeland's belongings comes upon an idol of Zoth-Ommog -

and falls under its malign influence. Experiencing horrible dreams of the

worm-like creatures (Yuggs, seen in TUO1) who serve Zoth-Ommog, Blaine eventually finds himself sleepwalking and unwittingly performing nocturnal seaside rituals. Ultimately he sees a real live Yugg during one

of these rituals, and is promptly hauled off to a madhouse. Beginning to

see a pattern here? The next tale in the Xothic Cycle is "Zoth-Ommog", and the idol from the previous tale again plays a major role. Dr. Blaine's successor at the

Sanbourne Institute, Arthur Wilcox Hodgkins, is told by the demented prof

to destroy the idol. Hodgkins travels to Miskatonic University in Arkham,

Massachusetts to find out how to do this, only to learn that the idol is

going on public display back in California. Hurrying back, he finds a truly fishy intruder making obeisances to the idol. Flinging an Elder Sign (given to him by the good guys from Miskatonic U) at the idol, an explosion occurs, destroying idol and cultist. Unfortunately, the body of

the worshipper disappears, leaving the unhinged Hodgkins to take the blame for the nightwatchman murdered to gain entrance to the museum. And

so Hodgkins is hauled off to a madhouse... "The Winfield Inheritance", the final Xothic tale, is only slightly connected to the earlier stories. This time the protagonist is Winfield Phillips, who had fought alongside Dr. Seneca Lapham in confronting the Lurker at the Threshold in August Derleth's novel of that name. Phillips

and Lapham had been among those consulted by Hodgkins in the previous tale, and Lapham had now sent Phillips to look into the other man's fate.

But Phillips' main reason for going to California was to see the estate of his recently deceased uncle. Of course it turns out that the late uncle had sold ancient (read: Mythos) artifacts to Professor Copeland. And of course there's more to the estate than meets the eye. While searching for their uncle's fortune, Phillips inadvertently delivers his

cousin into the hands (uh, you know what I mean) of Ubb, the "leader" of

the worm-like Yuggs, the aforementioned servants of Zoth-Ommog. And in the end he too begins to succumb to the influence of the Mythos. Like Carter's purported fictional chapters from the Mythos tomes, these tales also frequently fall into formulaic ruts, as can be determined by the above synopses. And the tales also have an annoying tendency to catalog pages and pages of Mythos references: genealogies and

hierarchies for the gods and their servants, quote after quote from the Mythos tomes, synopses of other Mythos tales, and so forth. "Zoth-Ommog"

is perhaps the worst offender in these respects. Despite these drawbacks there are flashes of interest in Carter's Xothic series. His detailing of the Zoth-Ommog lore, including Ubb and the Yuggs, is uniquely Carter's, and at times quite unsettling. And for readers not familiar with the Mythos, Carter's catalogs of lore serve well as a primer to what has gone before (though not without frequent spurious improvisation). For those with such a bent, Carter's Sanbourne Institute of Pacific Antiquities has never really been developed outside

of the late editor/author's works, and seems ripe for such treatment. And

of course, Carter has added several new books to the Mythos shelf, including those of Copeland and several Mythos-inspired poets and authors

mentioned in passing in "The Winfield Inheritance". Bibliography "The Thing in the Pit", by Lin Carter. Found in Lost Worlds, DAW books 1980, paperback, out of print. "The Dweller in the Tomb", by Lin Carter. Found in Dark Things, edited by August Derleth, Arkham House 1971, hardcover, out of print. "Out of the Ages", by Lin Carter. Found in Nameless Places, edited by Gerald W. Page, Arkham House 1971, hardcover, out of print. "Zoth-Ommog", by Lin Carter. Found in Disciples of Cthulhu, edited by Edward P. Berglund, DAW Books 1976, paperback, out of print. "The Winfield Inheritance", by Lin Carter. Found in Weird Tales #3, edited by Lin Carter, Zebra Books 1981, paperback, out of print. "The Offering", by Lin Carter. Found in Crypt of Cthulhu #7, edited by Robert M. Price, Cryptic Publications 1982, fanzine, out of print.

 

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Fischbuchs: various titles from Mythos literature relating to marine myths (C)1991 Kevin A. Ross

[This article is one of several ("The Ponape Predators" of TUO1 was one;

"The Beast in the Abbey" of TUO5 was another) that Kevin scavenged from a

never-published campaign he wrote dealing with the aquatic portions of the Mythos - Cthulhu, Dagon, etc. It was also the first article in TUO devoted to presenting Mythos tomes, and prefigures "Mysterious Manuscripts" which debuted in TUO3 and continues today.]

    These books are derived from stories by Brian Lumley, August Derleth, Carl Jacobi, Lin Carter, etc. They are listed by rank, from least powerful to most. Some of them contain new spells; those spells are

described at the end of this article. Format: title, author, date, language(s), + to Cthulhu Mythos skill, SAN cost, spell multiplier. Fischbuch, Konrad von Gerner, 1598, German, +1 Cthulhu Mythos, -1 SAN, no spells. von Gerner's book is basically a study of marine biology,

but it rather alarmingly hints of man's relatively close relationship with the creatures of the deep. He testifies that he believes there is a

race of "mer-people", and that fossils and relics found in the New World,

the Orient, and elsewhere support this theory. He goes on to mention certain South Sea islanders' beliefs in a race of gods with which they mate, gods known as "the deep ones". Polynesian Mythology, with a Note on the Cthulhu Legend Cycle, Professor Harold Hadley Copeland, 1906, English, +1 Cthulhu Mythos, -1 SAN, no spells. Next to nothing of import to Mythos scholars, except for

an explanation of the human to Deep One to Dagon to Cthulhu hierarchy of

worship. The author's first book. An investigation into the Myth-Patterns of Latter-Day Primitives, with Especial Reference to the R'lyeh Text, Dr. Laban Shrewsbury, 1913, English, +2 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D3 SAN, no spells. Very briefly discusses the native cults of the Deep Ones in the South Seas, with references to the Philistine fish-god they worship - Dagon. Shrewsbury then glosses over the rest of the "R'lyehian pantheon" as described in the R'lyeh Text

(i.e. Cthulhu, His Spawn, Dagon, Hydra, etc.). The author's first book, published by Miskatonic University Press. Hydrophinnae, ? Gantley, date unknown, Latin and English versions, +2 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D4 SAN, no spells. A nightmarishly illustrated encyclopedia of marine life, both real and imagined, this book contains a

very brief description (and artist's rendition) of the Deep Ones - "humanoid creatures rumored to exist in the deepest of ocean trenches". There is also a reference to a species of giant sea-slug living in the depths of the Southern Pacific Ocean, again with a shuddersome illustration. Gantley classifies them as "heretofore unknown gastropods";

these "nameless" creatures are the yuggs, servants of Zoth-Ommog (see TUO1). Most of the SAN loss for this volume is due to the frightening pictures accompanying the text. Dwellers in the Depths, Gaston le Fe, date unknown, French and English versions, +3 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D3 SAN, no spells. Again, the race

of the Deep Ones is discussed, though they aren't placed in any specific

geographic location. A cryptic statement within also hints at a related race of creatures either worshipped or served by the Deep Ones. Though not named as such, these are the Spawn of Cthulhu. The Prehistoric Pacific in the Light of the Ponape Scripture, Professor Harold Hadley Copeland, 1911, English, +3 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D3

SAN, no spells. Basically a historical/anthropological text, this short work very briefly discusses the Cthulhu myth cycle with respect to other

myths of the South Sea islands. Again, the Deep Ones and their sometimes

blasphemous relationships with humanity are mentioned. Unter-Zee Kulten, Graf Grauberg, pre-17th century, German, +3 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D4 SAN, x1 spell multiplier. Briefly mentions the cult

of the Deep Ones in the South Sea islands. This volume also contains a reference to a sinistrally-wound conch which is considered a delicacy by

the Deep Ones. The only spell is Contact Deep Ones. Confessions of the Mad Monk Clithanus, written approximately 400 A.D. in Latin; +3 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D4 SAN, x5 spell multiplier. Clithanus had read much of Alhazred's Necronomicon and used it to his advantage when dealing with certain entities he encountered on the northeastern coast of England. The monk speaks of a series of sea-caves in which he discovered a creature (rather cryptically referred to only as

"a follower of mad Cthulhu"), which he then unwittingly released from imprisonment. The visiting Augustine of Hippo used the "star-stone" which

had originally held the creature down to return it to its prison in the caves. Clithanus speaks mostly in vague scriptures about "the Evil Ones"

and the powers which hold them in check. Cthulhu and R'lyeh are very briefly discussed. The expertly described spells in the Confessions are the Elder Sign and Contact Star-Spawn of Cthulhu (which Clithanus successfully used to summon the aforementioned "follower of mad Cthulhu"). The Zanthu Tablets: A Conjectural Translation, translated by Professor Harold Hadley Copeland, 1916, English, +5 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D6

SAN, no spells (but see below). A slim pamphlet which Copeland claims to

have translated from several stone tablets in the tomb of the "wizard" Zanthu in Indochina. The text is a history of the sorceries performed on

the lost Pacific continent of Mu, chiefly the worship of Ghatanothoa, Shub-Niggurath, and Cthulhu. Also mentioned as being worshipped are Nug and Yeb (two of Shub-Niggurath's spawn), Zoth-Ommog, Yig, Dagon, and Hydra. These passages also hint at the existence of the lloigor and yuggya, servants to the Muvian pantheon of gods. The last work published

by Copeland - adverse critical reaction and the Professor's subsequent nervous breakdown prevented him from finishing his next projects. Note that Copeland's translation deletes the specific magical knowledge contained in the original work. Anyone gaining access to the ten to twelve black stone tablets that make up the original will first have to decipher the "hieratic Naacal" language in which they are written. Those

able to do so will then discover the following spells: Contact Cthulhu, Contact Zoth-Ommog, Contact Ghatanothoa, Contact Lloigor (independent race, not deity), Contact Yuggya, and undoubtedly 3 or 4 other spells of

the Keeper's choosing. Ponape Scripture, exact author unknown, translated from oral transcriptions taken by Captain Abner Ezekiel Hoag on the island of Ponape in 1734, English, +5 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D6 SAN, x2 spell multiplier. Very specifically details the cult of the Deep Ones on the island of Ponape, including the revolting fact that they are able to mate

with humans. Mentions the fact that seafaring folk not native to Ponape have adopted the worship of the Deep Ones upon visiting the island. Contains some sketchy information about Cthulhu and His sons Ghatanothoa

and Zoth-Ommog. Spells are Contact Deep Ones, Contact Father Dagon, Contact Mother Hydra. Cthulhu in the Necronomicon, by Dr. Laban Shrewsbury, dated 1901 (1938 according to the stories), English, +6 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D6 SAN, x1

spell multiplier. Includes a great deal of the lore concerning Cthulhu (taken directly from Alhazred), claiming He is a monster from the stars waiting for the right time to rise up and rule the Earth. Mentions Cthulhu's powers over the dreams of men. Also covers many references to His worship amongst sea-faring folk and also among the Deep Ones. These servants He contacts through dreams, and they delight in offering up human sacrifices in His honor. Apparently Shrewsbury's last book, it is basically only a fragmentary collection of notes. Spells contained: Contact Cthulhu, Contact Deep Ones, Elder Sign. R'lyeh Text, author and date unknown, Chinese (an English version is also rumored to exist - +14 Cthulhu Mythos, x3 spell multiplier, otherwise the same), +15 Cthulhu Mythos, -2D8 SAN, x4 spell multiplier. The definitive volume of lore on the Deep Ones, Father Dagon, Mother Hydra , the Spawn of Cthulhu, Cthulhu's alleged "sons" - Zoth-Ommog and Ghatanothoa, and Great Cthulhu himself. Tells of the sinking of Mu and Rl'yeh, and hints of a time when the latter will rise again. Spells include Contact Deep Ones, Contact Spawn of Cthulhu, Contact Cthulhu, Contact Zoth-Ommog, Contact Father Dagon, Contact Mother Hydra, Wave of Oblivion, Grasp of Cthulhu, Curse of the Stone.

    new spells found in the "fischbuchs" Contact Ghatanothoa: This spell is encountered only very rarely. It resembles the Contact Deity spells in the CoC rulebook as far as casting

procedure is concerned. It requires a mirror, glass, or other reflective

surface in which Ghatanothoa's image will appear. Note that this image is

every bit as potent as the sight of the god Itself for SAN purposes - evidence that only the most desperate and insane person would attempt this spell. Contact Lloigor: (note that this spell refers to the race and not the deity of the same name). This spell costs 4 Magic Points and 1D3 SAN

to cast. It can only be successfully cast in places where the lloigor are

known to have had previous contact with the human race - see the lloigor

race description for those sites. In addition, the lloigor can still be contacted over the site of the sunken continent of Mu. This is a rare and

exceedingly dangerous spell, due to the nature of the entities involved. Contact Yuggya: This spell costs 4 Magic Points and 1D3 SAN to cast, and it can only be performed while standing in the waters of the Pacific

Ocean. If the Contacter casts this spell near the island of Ponape or at

the site of sunken Mu the yugg or yuggs will appear within a couple of hours. Otherwise, it might take a day or two for them to reach the Contacter. This spell is even rarer than Contact Lloigor. Contact Zoth-Ommog: Another very rare spell; like Contact Ghatanothoa, it also follows the structure of the other Contact Deity spells. Zoth-Ommog will appear to the Contacter in his or her dreams, in

the same manner as Cthulhu and Chaugnar Faugn. Enchant Dream-Focus: This spell (now believed to be lost, and in any case exceedingly rare) was primarily used by ancient sorcerers to make it

easier and less spiritually-taxing (i.e. POW-draining) to regularly Contact some of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is most commonly used for those deities who respond to Contact spells via the caster's dreams: Cthulhu, Chaugnar Faugn, Zoth-Ommog, etc. The spell requires a focus of some kind which will help bring the image of the deity to the Contacter's mind. The focus itself is an item made in the image of the deity, such as a small statue or amulet, though paintings and other images will work just as well. Once the focus has been made the caster imbues it with 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 point of his POW (permanently lost). Once this has been done, however, anyone touching the emPOWered focus has

a chance of Contacting the god of the image equal to their POW times one

half of the POW originally used to enchant the focus. The toucher also loses a number of Magic Points equal to the POW originally placed into the focus. Example: A character with a POW of 11 comes into contact with a focus enchanted with 6 points of POW. The toucher immediately loses 6 Magic Points, and later that night when she goes to sleep she has a 33% chance (POW of 11 times one-half of 6) of Contacting the god in her dreams. Note that anyone handling the focus-object has a chance of Contacting or being Contacted by the god of the image. This can lead to an inadvertent Contacting of the deity (it should also be noted that the

image only leeches Magic Points the first time it is handled on any given

day). Unintentional (or too-frequent) Contactings of one of these malevolent entities will result in the deity's taking one of two courses

of action: It will either send one or more of Its servants after the offenders, or It will place a curse upon them. In the latter case, the curse takes effect 1D6 days after the statue was touched, at which time 1

point of POW and 1D4 SAN are lost automatically. Every 1D6 days thereafter the victim loses another point of POW and 1D4 SAN as the statue drains his vitality and causes him to have dreadful dreams of harassment, pursuit, etc. by the deity in question, or Its servants. The

curse lasts until the victim is completely drained of POW or until the curse is removed. This can be done by bringing an Elder Sign into contact

with the Dream-Focus. When this happens, the Dream-Focus will shatter in

a magical explosion. This burst will do 2D8 points of damage to anyone in

a 10 foot radius. The victim does not regenerate any POW lost to the curse until the curse is removed, at which time the POW returns at the rate of one per week. Literary examples include the wooden statue of Cthulhu from August Derleth's "Something in Wood", the jade figurine of Zoth-Ommog from Lin Carter's "Out of the Ages" and "Zoth-Ommog", and the gold amulet of Cthulhu from Frank Belknap Long's "Dark Awakening".

 

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Message In A Bottle (C)1991 John Tynes

[This feature debuted in TUO1, but due to an oversight The Annotated TUO1

didn't include it. Ah well - I think I'll let sleeping dogs lie and leave

it as one more buried treasure for those who happen upon a copy of the first issue. Anyway, here's the second one. "Message" is possibly the most idiosyncratic item in the magazine, reflecting my tastes in fiction

and writing moreso than the rest of each issue. Each "Message" is a brief

creative work dealing with communication and enlightenment, and the dark

costs of knowledge - textbook Lovecraftian themes.]

    Every night from eleven o'clock to three a.m. my next door neighbor shines a light up out of his house. It's an invisible light, no one can see it but I know it's there. He doesn't know that I know, and I'm not about to let him find out. Today while my neighbor was at work I snuck into his backyard. He leaves his bedroom window slightly open for ventilation, even when he isn't there. It's not a good idea, because people can get in your house and you won't know it. I went to a seminar once that the local police gave and they talked all about people getting into your house and the things they might do there. I didn't do any of those things, though, I just wanted to see what he was doing. The inside of my neighbor's house was kind of dingy. There was a smell like the trash bin behind the chicken restaurant down the street. He had a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink. I looked in his refrigerator

and he had tons of food. Meat from the deli, cool whip, real butter, tobasco sauce... I never saw so much food in one guy's place before in my

life. But that wasn't why I was here. His house is only one floor, but I knew there was an attic because you can see a couple of little dormer window-things up there. So I poked around and in the ceiling of one of the closets there was a trapdoor. He had nailed a make-shift ladder into

the wall so that you could get up there pretty easily. I climbed up and opened the trapdoor, and then went on in. The attic was empty, just floor and dust. The sloping roof meant that there wasn't room to stand, so I just had to kind of crouch while I

looked. In one corner of the attic I saw a bundle, wrapped in a sheet or something. I sort of crab-walked over to it and unfolded the cloth. Inside was a metal cylinder with lots of strange markings on it. I couldn't figure out how to get it open. I figure he had to use some sort

of psychic brain-wave device to make it work. I tried real hard for fifteen minutes, just stared at it and thought "open" over and over, but

it didn't work. Then I heard a noise downstairs, and I realized that my neighbor must have come back for something. I tried to remember if I had left anything to show that I was here. I think I left the closet door open, but I'm not sure. That was four hours ago. I can still hear him down there, making noise every so often so that I know he's there. I think he's going to come up here when it gets dark and do something to me. So I've taken the

cloth and I'm writing this down, and I'm going to tie this to my key chain and throw it out through one of the ventilation ducts if my arm will reach. I hope somebody finds this and calls the police, even though I did get in here against the law. And I know that I haven't been out of the hospital for long but I'm not imagining this, I swear, even when I was on

the medication I didn't do things like this, so if you read this help me.

I finally realized that he wasn't beaming the light into space, he was beaming it into my head so that I wouldn't think straight and would come

over here. Please, let me out.

[That's all for TUO2! This was a fun issue in a lot of ways but still very clumsy as well. I don't think I really became much of an editor until TUO3 or TUO4, when I began to grasp the rudiments of what makes the

disparate parts of a magazine come together into an effective whole. Needless to say, this is something I'm still working on.

I can't commit this to the record without mentioning "Remnant," a wonderful graphic novel begun by Blair Reynolds in TUO2. It ran for all of two installments before he abandoned it, but the artwork was stunning

and the story very intriguing. TUO2 kicked off our interest in graphic fiction in TUO2, which has been sporadic at best - TUO2 & TUO4 carried "Remnant," while TUO8/9 featured "Bitter Bones & Horrors." We hope to do

more with the graphic novel medium in the future.

A final observation: while "Grace Under Pressure" does not appear in this

document due to its publication in THE RESURRECTED, its importance to our

work can not be understated. I believe it was a landmark scenario in gaming, in that it was written from start to finish with the purpose of providing an intense and incredible playing experience, and everything we

did in it was directed towards that goal. We avoided the trap of getting

caught up in the story to the exclusion of playability, and produced an adventure that, I believe, was truly state of the art entertainment and still is. In addition, it became the impetus for us to begin traveling to

conventions, producing multi-media CoC games that push the envelope and successfully straddle the line between normal gaming and live role-playing to the benefit of both. It was our first real creative breakthrough, and set the stage for much of our subsequent efforts.]