Wednesday, February 3, 2016

14th-Century Illuminations for Dante’s Divine Comedy As Monster Fodder For Your Lamentations Of The Flame Princess Campaigns & Old School Adventures

I haven't returned to Lamentations of the Flame for awhile but I came across this"14th-Century Illuminations for Dante’s Divine Comedy" which according to the website were " dated to between 1444 and 1450, the illuminations vary in style due to the fact that two separate artists worked on them, with the first two sections of Inferno and Purgatorio being drawn by the lesser known Priamo della Quercia (active 1426-1467), while the Paradiso section was illustrated by Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (ca. 1403-1482) who contributed 61 illuminations in all. The work has belonged to Alfonso V, king of Aragon, Naples, and Sicily (1396 – 1458) and his great grandson Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria (1488 – 1550), who donated the manuscript to the convent of San Miguel in Valencia in 1538. It was later bought in 1901 by Henry Yates Thompson, a collector of illuminated manuscripts, and was donated to the British Museum in 1941." I saw these many years back in a book in a library down in Hartford Ct. They remain as strange & slightly odd when I saw them way back when.

These illustrations reminded me of some of the monsters from No Salvation For Witches for the  Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg system. It reminds me that the demons and devils of Dante are alien at worst and entirely dangerous at best to the unforgiving lives of PC's.  More over the tone and weirdness of the artwork is right within line of the thought process behind this adventure. The random demonic  generators at the back of No Salvation are perfectly pitched to create countless dark demonic foul things.

PC's messing with the LoFP summoning spell might be in for far more dangerous hi jinks then they intended for and this artwork from the period bares this out. The scenes are horrifying, dark and simply weird; making these perfect fodder and inspiration for an old school game. Penis and breast monsters are nothing new apparently and this bares thinking about for using these as source material for your next Lamentations game.

Many of the scenes are laced with a sense of the weird and plug right into that LoFP charm, certainly some of them bring to mind the horrors of the Lusus Naturae book and have a certain cosmic horror to them. Mankind isn't the central point in these, his immortal soul is simply another commodity to be exploited by the demons, monsters, and horrors of Hell. Even the powers of 'good' are dangerous and more then a bit unsettling.

These might also be of use to anyone running a Dark Albion game that needs some weird inspiration for demons and powers of chaos as well as dark sources for the powers of good in the games setting. These certainly fit my view of some of the dark and dangerous elements for both of these pseudo historic OSR  horror games. I could even see taking these and warping them into contemporaries of the horrors of the
Teratic Tome

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