Not the official people, but sure, them too! Specifically, all you folks who love Lovecraft but also enjoy writing!
Tomorrow kicks off NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This is the magical time of year where we try to write an entire novel in only a month! That’s pretty intense sounding but, in practice, it’s a blast.
That being said, we here at Shoggoth wanted to invite you to travel this weird journey with us. We made a calendar (later in this same post) and we’re going to be checking in with you once per week. We want to hear what you’re writing, how the NaNo is treating you, and words of encouragement. We don’t expect all of us to make it to that mythical 50k this month, but who cares? We just want to support you as horror leaps from your fingertips.
To that effort, go ahead and friend me on NaNoWriMo.org. My username is Spazenport. I won’t be doing my usual horror writings this month, but I most certainly will be supporting your writing, no matter what genre it falls into.
Get ready, get set, and let’s go!
Expect weekly check-ins on Saturday of each week and on the last day of the month in the form of a blog post.
“For almost one hundred years, the residents of the French Hill Neighborhood have seen a terrifying figure wandering through the streets and sometimes even their homes. An evil, ancient hag nursing a giant rat. Even as French Hill becomes a trendy, gentrified, upscaled neighborhood, the old superstitions remain. Everyone knows the name Keziah Mason. And everyone knows not to anger her. …– Marion Elwood, The Ghosts of Old Arkham.
The play The King in Yellow has been introduced to the oddest and most inaccessible of places. One of those was the blood and fecal churned mud in the trenches of the Western Front. As soldiers reached out for any talisman, mascot, or gris-gris that might protect them from the random, impersonal death that haunted the mazes of entrenchments that stretched from Switzerland to the sea, more than one man on leave stumbled upon the Yellow Sign. Some thought them to be a variation of the popular Buddhist swastika that was found in great numbers on either side of No Man’s Land. Others believe them to be a good luck charm of Arabic origin. Whether found in a shop or sent in the mail by worried and superstitious family or friends, the Yellow Sign was not unknown in the trenches. And where the Yellow Sign Goes, the play The King in Yellow is sure to follow. Perhaps the manuscript arrives at the battalion HQ via the post from an anonymous sender. A play that might be performed in order to alleviate the boredom that settles in between the gargantuan efforts to shift the front a mile or two east? Maybe the pages arrive as nothing more than wadded packing around a shipment of preserved food sent from the hole? In any event, the play is here now and Carcosa will soon follow.
Typically native to marshlands and lowland wooded areas the Bonescraw are in fact a single, semi-sentient bryophyte which fell to Earth on an ancient meteorite. Once it has contaminated an area it will spread as a deep, dense network of carnivorous, acidic moss and lichen that blights the land. Any creature unfortunate enough to enter the moss falls prey to the sedative pollen that it releases and is slowly dissolved and digested, leaving only their bones behind.
Although it is rare Deep Ones can, and do, mate with a variety of sea creatures. While dolphins and sharks are the most common partners, a number of other examples exist. One such variety is the Deep One / Eel Hybrid. These are most commonly found in the darkest depths of the ocean, lurking on the outskirts of a Deep One colony, or near a shore side community of Deep One hybrids. While there is a great deal of variation between individuals, depending on the species of eel they are born from or sired by, a few common traits exist. Deep One / Eel Hybrids have a humanoid the upper body similar to common Deep Ones but with much larger and wider mouths and the lower serpentine bodies eels. While they can breathe air they are seldom found on land, as they move slow and clumsily when out of the water.
These strange flying creatures are found in the dark void of space, deep in the earth, and in the nightmare realms of the Dreamlands. They are often found guarding sorceress lairs, blasphemous temples to ancient gods, or roosting in long forgotten ruins. Abyssal Bats can lie dormant for years on end, rousing from their lairs to feed when disturbed. Roosts can contain anywhere between a handful to well over a thousand individuals. Some sorcerers have developed spells to control large flocks to do general tasks (such as guard a location from intruders) or individual Abyssal Bats to do specific behaviors (such as retrieving items or delivering messages).
Imagination can be a funny thing, taken down one road it can be a limitless resource to draw upon when one feels the need for entertainment, support, and even salvation. On the other hand, it can destroy trust, relationships, and even the very fabric of what we believe to be real when we investigate the dark corners of the world. The odd thing is that given its name, imagination, we all agree on what exactly an imagination is when it is working and when it is a fault, how very unimaginative. Imagination is nothing more than rational thought stretched to its very limit, that the things we imagine as just the shadows at the edge of our vision we dare not stare at. We imagine the things that we could never see or comprehend, we imagine that everyone can make believe or invent whatever they wish but then why do we find…
Professor Desmond Fairbroke on the imagination of the collective, at a café in Amsterdam.
These tiny creatures are not of this, or any world. Rather, they dwell in spaces in-between worlds and are attracted to weak points where two dimensions overlap, especially gates created by mythos magic. Here they nibble at the edges of trans-dimensional passages, weakening them, making them less reliable, having them fail or transport the traveler to a random location on a critically failed luck roll. If left unchecked trans-dimensional can destroy a gate by having it collapse in upon itself, a process that takes about a decade of unchecked infestation.
Trans-dimensional mites appear as an large Common Woodlouse, about the size of a tarantula, with a pair of long thin pincers at the front of their bodies, similar to those of a Deathstalker scorpion. Beneath their bodies are a pair of long, spring jointed legs allowing the creatures to jump up to 12 feet with a good degree of accuracy (50%). A small gate can support an infestation of perhaps a dozen individuals, while larger ones could support up to a hundred.
Jack of the Lanterns, Samuel Haynes the Varsity Athlete, the Scarecrow Wanderer, the Lord of Bonfires
“Oh, you’ve walked with him, when the skies turn tombstone gray and the crows cry vain laments for summer’s passing? I’ve walked with him, too. I too know the old ways.”
The Autumn King, Jack of the Lanterns, the Scarecrow Wanderer, the Lord of Bonfires This strange being may be a particularly piquant mask of Nyarlathotep, its own independent being, or perhaps some strange, tulpa-like thoughtform given life from humanity’s collective remembrance of uncounted leafy bonfires, long shadows across front lawns, grinning gourds with candlelit smiles, and distant train whistles. Whoever or whatever the Autumn King is, those who encounter this blazing, wistful spirit are forever changed. The Autumn King has many appearances, from humble to horrifying. Here are but two: