Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Some Random Thoughts On Dungeon Ecology & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Second Edition

Everyone was excited & congrats to the authors for  modules for the AS&SH™ game: The Anthropophagi of Xambaala™ and The Beasts of Kraggoth Manor™. Congrats to  Corey R. Walden on The Anthropophagi of Xambaala  an adventure in HYPERBOREA designed for from four to six characters of 1st through 3rd level. The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition rpg system needs another beginning level adventure to help sell the setting to players. Bask in Sword & Sorcery comic book cover the red bloated sun goodness. 

Meanwhile I'm still battling the family form of Flu that's been kicking my family's ass for three weeks. But then I noticed the author its Tim Callahan of Crawljammer fame whose done numerous OSR titles over the years. "The Beasts of Kraggoth Manor, by Tim Callahan, is an adventure in HYPERBOREA designed for from four to six characters of 3rd through 5th level."

This second adventure is far closer to my wheel house.  Two beast men stirring a pot on top of some rampart under the uncaring sky of Hyperborea. For last couple of weeks on & off I've seen this image. At the moment I've been reading both Clark Ashton Smith's "A Voyage to Sfanomoë H.G. Wells 'When The Sleeper Wakes'.
CAS borrows very heavily from the imagery & ideas of Wells quite often & his flourish for the English language is an exercise in decadence that as I get older I've come to appreciate. But
Clark Ashton Smith's "A Voyage to Sfanomoë  has another world building tidbit that comes through in spades how artificial his remnant of Atlantis is. This is something that we'd see far more of CAS during the Zothique cycle.
We would see far more this artificial selection & monster ecological engineering in CAS's wizard character  of the all powerful sorcerer Maal Dweb in both The Flower-Women  (1935) & The Maze of Maal Dweb, (1938).

Numerous people, beasts, etc. have all been artificially engineered. This is something that we'd see a lot more of in the year 2100 from H.G. Wells 'When The Sleeper Wakes'. The various underground peoples are already evolving into 'The Morlocks'.
There is a fine line between the needs of a future society & the decedent dreams of a black wizard who thinks of himself as a god. Mega dungeons don't evolve so much as their creations of sick minds who maintain their own little sick zoos some of which seem to continue on long after their creators are dispatched it seems. This is something that we'd see much later on in William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's Logan's Run.

Food for thought is the artificial nature of dungeons is because someone is maintaining them. This makes me wonder about the long disused buildings & works of the Hyperboreans & the evolution of the various works of ruins  left behind. Are there ancient wizards & a boatload of  liches maintaining private dungeons for a variety of alien purposes long after the Green Death has killed an elite that are no longer using these facilities? On Old Earth there are numerous hidden valleys, deep sea facilities, & a boat load of lost places where a variety of 'wizards' are still maintaining the statute  of these dungeons. If their are not real dungeons then we as the Hyperboreans would create & maintain them.

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