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Submissions Wanted: Arkham Gazette #7 – Dunwich

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August 5, 2019 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

l_9788494033636defaultI like to have more than one issue in development, in case submissions for one issue take off so we might redirect our efforts, as well as to offer authors a least some variety in topical we’re most actively interested in.  Earlier this week I put out a call for submissions to issue #6 of the Arkham Gazette; today I’d like to talk a bit about our proposed issue #7, the theme of which will be Dunwich.

Dunwich, as Chaosium presents it, first appeared* in 1991’s Return to Dunwich (later rereleased as H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich (in 2003); the content difference is minimal – the 2003 version included a few short items cut from the original for space, added a short scenario, and replaced the cover.  The 2003 version is still available from Chaosium, among other places.

death_in_dunwichSo far the Arkham Gazette has not had too much Dunwich-related content, though we did post a Keeper’s guide to sources and ideas for Dunwich that remains of use to potential authors today.

(*Technically a scenario set near Dunwich was released the year before in Arkham Unveiled, but the information about the town was minimal.  There was also a T.O.M.E. release called Death in Dunwich in 1983, but that publication’s Dunwich was very much unlike the town Lovecraft described.)

What we are looking for:

Articles somehow related to Lovecraft’s Dunwich (or possibly north-central Massachusetts more generally) – types of articles we’re looking for are covered on our submissions page, and include “new people, places and items”, “curios” (odd or occult artifacts connected to some element of New England’s history, the Cthulhu Mythos, etc.), historical articles about real-world place and events that could inform or inspire the Keeepr, tome (especially those with some connection to Dunwich), short encounters, prop documents, and scenarios.

What follows is a list of articles ideas I’ve had for issue #7 as well as a few items I’ve been working on, on and off, in preparation for this issue  You are not constrained to these topics, of course, and we especially welcome ideas that are unexpected or uniquely inventive.

Please email article ideas or proposals the ArkhamGazetteMagazine@gmail.com.

Suggested article topics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemical_symbol#/media/File:Alchemy-Digby-RareSecrets.pngAlchemists of New England

This was an article cut from Arkham Gazette 3 due to space and fits just as well in Dunwich, considering that several early settlers were apparently involved in alchemy.  Some of the material was used on the SHP blog, but there is still a lot left to go.

ClayPerryPortraitNew Person – Clay Perry, New England spelunker

Perry was a real person (and author), who coined the term ‘spelunking’.  He lived much of his life in New England and explored many of the caves therein.  I think he’d make an interesting NPC expert that investigators seeking to probe the dark recesses beneath Dunwich might reach out to.

karst-clipart-8Caves and caverns of New England

A general survey of New England’s major caves, hopefully with a map and maybe some general notes on the history of when they were discovered and opened to visitors.  Unlike elsewhere in the U.S., there aren’t many large natural caves, due to the geology of the region.  This is likely a good companion to the Clay Perry article mentioned above.

326Dunwich Curios

What’s good for Arkham and Innsmouth (and Kingsport… and elsewhere) is good for Dunwich. What eerie artifacts are cluttering attics and long-abandoned farmhouses in Dunwich?  These could be some archaitc remant of prehuman civilization, a geegaw from the Colonial era, or even something of relative modernity, but reflecting some dark secret of the dread village.

altar-at-heathNew England’s “megaliths” and Chambers

This seems like an obvious topic to explore for this particular issue.  Ideally we could have a map of various sites, real and alleged, as well as perhaps a few sample maps of chamber interiors.  I’ve also got a book about “altar stones (aka colonial cider presses) we can use to really dig into those… we named our company after them, so to speak.

attachment-image-9ae31ced-b765-4060-a614-0009d70f2fbeThe Moodus Noises

Lovecraft was inspired by the weird sounds (and legends) of the Moodus noises; an overview of the mystery and related theories seems in order.  Potentially other sites associated with unusual noises in New England could be added, such as Nashoba Hill or

nh29The Millerites

An apocalyptic cult expecting the Second Coming in 1844, they could serve as a model for something weird in Dunwich, given they liked to climb hills to be closer to God, among other things… Speaking of Nashoba Hill, the Millerites encamped there awaiting their predicted apocalypse in 1844 and heard strange noises from the hill.  Perhaps Dunwich found its own sect or sects?

340px-solid_unicursal_hexagram.svg_The Believers

The main cult group in Dunwich definitely merits a detailed profile, though we would have to clear any article of this type with Chaosium, as it may overlap too much with the discussion of the group in Return to Dunwich.  Nevertheless, as I mentioned in Arkham Gazette #3, despite not being actively hostile, like a certain other witch-cult I won’t mention, the Believers are not necessarily your allies!  The relationship the investigators have with them (knowingly or unknowingly) effects their experiences in Dunwich in profound ways.

hyperboreaThe Hyperboreans

Who were they?  What was their culture like?  What could investigators learn if they attempted to search the historical record for this fictional civilization?  I wonder if we might link the “Papar” of Iceland to them, or have some hints survive in the legends of various Paleo-Eskimo peoples (as is suggested by the Cthulhu cultists encountered by Prof. Webb).  Legends of Norumbega could be tied in as well.  Obvously I want to avoid anything that would be demeaning of insulting to the actual Native American nations who inhabited the area since the last Ice Age; it seems pretty clear from the text that the Hyperboreans were extinct well before the arrival of Native Americans.  Speaking of which…

1024px-newport-tower-ri-1894Pre-Columbian contact / Viking settlement theorists

Dunwich’s history, as put forth in Return to Dunwich is actually rooted in some bogus (and at at root racist) historical theories about prr-Columbian European settlement of North America.  While the Hyperborean city of Krannoria isn’t quite the same as William Goodwin’s “Great Ireland” theories about Culdee monks or earlier fantasies of Viking Cape Cod (just to name two), Keepers ought to realize some of the myths we’re employing have some very troubling roots.  An overview of various European contact theories, including not just up to the 20s but beyond to more contemporary cranks like Berry Fell would give the Keeper plenty of ideas for contemporary NPCs unwilling to believe that Native Americans could stack up one stone on another.

(Jason Colativo’s discussion of America Unearthed and its revitalization of various roundly debunked 19th century pseudo-historical theories is as good a place as any to start dissecting these odious falsehoods.)

RevAngierTome – Sermons of Abijah Hoadley

I would need to investigate more but while I don’t think individual sermons were published, but I don’t see any reason why a posthumous collection of Rev. Hoadley’s sermons wouldn’t be created after his disappearance by some admirers outside of Dunwich, which would explain why it was Lovecraft notes the preservation of his sermon of 1747 in which he preached about hearing “the voices of Azazel and Buzrael, Beelzebub and Belial” , was “printed in Springfield”.

8732Real World “Dunwich” Geology

While Dunwich isn’t real, there are a number of places around New England that either inspired Lovecraft in creating the village (the Bear’s Den, Wilbraham and Monson MA, Athol MA) or could serve to inspire Keepers (Purgatory Chasm, Rattlesnake Gutter, Mt. Tom in Haddam CT{see the Moodus Noises above}, Monument Mountain, etc.).

covered20bridge2c20connecticut20river2c20completed20in20summer2018702c20brattleboro2c20vermontCovered bridges

Dunwich has at least one, crossing the upper Miskatonic.  It seems likely that in a place with so much ancient architecture, there would be more.  And so, perhaps an overview of these unusual bit of architecture or maybe even a floor plan or two…

depositphotos_6728983-stock-illustration-cougar-or-puma-or-pantherThe Flora and Fauna of Dunwich

Not a comprehensive list, of course, just a basic overview of common plants and animals one might encounter, including a few large and more dangerous ones (bears, mountain lions), hazards like poison ivy, edible plants, etc.

4991_112166496018August Derleth’s Dunwich

While Lovecraft only wrote a single albeit memorable story set in Dunwich, August Derleth wrote several tales set in his not-quite HPL accurate version; see here, here, and here.  While Keith Herber didn’t incorporate much of what Derleth wrote, it might be of interest to Keepers to have an overview of Derleth’s take on the village.  Fun fact – he included a bank!  What part of “the broken-steepled church now houses the one slovenly mercantile establishment of the hamlet” do you not get Auggie?

Rev. Teeples and His Flock

Keith Herber created this NPC, a Revivalist preacher with a growing flock in parts of Dunwich, and I think he’s a rather interesting option for Keepers, as a problematic ally, a sometimes sympathetic foe, an echo of Abijah Hoadley, or just local color.

New Person – ‘the Antique hunter

Dunwich is full of very old buildings.  What if there are a lot of very old things as well and someone from Boston or Arkham employs an agent (or two – rivals?) out to the hills of Dunwich looking for antiques.

Wilbur Whateley’s cipher

Lovecraft described both the script used (“a general resemblance to the heavily shaded Arabic used in Mesopotamia”) and the cipher system, which sounds like some form of Vigenère code. It might be a fun task to reproduce a version of it for Keepers looking to make some Dunwich prop documents.

Scenario

I’ve got an idea for a scenario, but I am currently wide-open to suggestions and proposals if you’ve got the perfect idea for this decayed and shunned village.

Annotated scenario list for Dunwich

You keep writing scenarios in Dunwich, and we’ll keep listing them.

 

One thought on “Submissions Wanted: Arkham Gazette #7 – Dunwich

  1. […] Arkham Gazette #7 – Dunwich invites submissions. The call is dated 5th August 2019. […]

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