Thursday, April 25, 2019

An Amazing Affair on The Danube Part II - In Search of the Unknown - Dungeons & Dragons Module B1 by Mike Carr

"B1: "In Search of the Unknown," by Mike Carr, was originally released in November 1978 with a monochrome yellow cover. At the time, it was probably TSR's eighth adventure. It was also the first TSR adventure by someone other than Gary Gygax." Well this is the official history but let's delve deeper into the  Caverns of Quasqueton.

When you start to delve in deep into the history of WWI then you begin to understand the causes & effects of not only history but the patterns leading up to WWII. The Astro Hungarian Empire  was very ordered &  a joint operation between  the German  Intelligence Bureau & the German Foreign Office, have uncovered ancient documents relating to the two wealthy adventurers, Roghan the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown would be right on the menu . Those ancient adventurers who built a hidden complex known as the Caverns of Quasqueton along the Danube were up to something very questionable indeed. The caverns were still in use by a conspiratorial occult conspiracy which had ties throughout pre WWI & post WWII ( this is a blog entry for another time). The two 'heroic adventurers' beat back a horde of invading barbarians with their mercenary army but stumbled upon the ruins of a temple of Nodens that contained occult ruins & horrors that they made note of.
While of questionable ethical standing, the two drove back a barbarian invasion and gained the support of locals."

The proto Caverns of Quasqueton were born & Roghan the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown were trying to contain the evil that festered below in the caverns. By the time that the adventurers are sent in things have gone very wrong for the German  Intelligence Bureau & the German Foreign Office as well as the Astro Hungarian soldiers. "A variety of monsters wander through the finished upper level of the dungeon including orcstroglodytes, and giant rats. " Those are actually Chaos infected mutations & other worldly monsters.
Roghan the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown were killed. Well local apprentices & acolytes of Zelligar the Unknown were already a part of a local branch of a secret mystery cult dedicated to an Outer God who had been using the guise of Pan for eons.  The cult opened a door to an Earth like world of traditional fantasy races with some of  English author Algernon Blackwood 's The Willows &  "Pan" influence. But's its Arthur Machen's Great God Pan that shows what the cult was really trying to accomplish. 

Arthur Machen's Great God Pan plot goes something like this according to Wiki; "Clarke agrees, somewhat unwillingly, to bear witness to a strange experiment performed by his friend, Dr. Raymond. The ultimate goal of the doctor is to open the mind of someone so that he may experience the spiritual world, an experience he notes the ancients called "seeing the great god Pan". He performs the experiment, which involves minor brain surgery, on a young woman named Mary. She awakens from the operation awed and terrified but quickly becomes "a hopeless idiot".
Years later, Clarke learns of a beautiful but sinister girl named Helen Vaughan, who is reported to have caused a series of mysterious happenings in her town. She spends much of her time in the woods near her house, and takes other children on prolonged twilight rambles in the countryside that disturb the parents of the town. One day, a young boy stumbles across her "playing on the grass with a 'strange naked man,'"; the boy becomes hysterical and later, after seeing a Roman statue of a satyr's head, becomes permanently feeble-minded. Helen also forms an unusually close friendship with a neighbour girl, Rachel, whom she leads several times into the woods. On one occasion Rachel returns home distraught, half-naked and rambling. Shortly after explaining to her mother what happened to her (never revealed in the story), Rachel returns to the woods and disappears forever. Clarke relates these events in a book he is writing entitled Memoirs to Prove the Existence of the Devil.
Years later, Villiers happens across his old friend Herbert, who has become a vagrant since they last met. When asked how he has fallen so low, Herbert replies that he has been "corrupted body and soul" by his wife. After some investigation with Clarke and another character, Austin, it is revealed that Helen was Herbert's wife, and that a well-to-do man killed himself after seeing something that terrified him in Herbert and Helen's home. Herbert is later found dead.
Helen disappears for some time; according to rumor, she spent the time taking part in disturbing orgies somewhere in the Americas. She eventually returns to London under the pseudonym Mrs. Beaumont. Soon after, a group of stable, happy men in London commit suicide; the last person known to have been in the presence of each of them was Mrs. Beaumont, whom they are implied to have slept with. Villiers and Clarke, each learning of Mrs. Beaumont's true identity, band together and confront Helen in her house with a noose. They tell her that she must kill herself, or they will expose her. Helen has a very abnormal death, transforming between human and beast, male and female, and dividing and reuniting, before turning into a jelly-like substance and finally dying."
What happened between   the German  Intelligence Bureau & the German Foreign Office officials as well as the Astro Hungarian soldiers in the lower depths?! Something from a scene from a horror movie or worse! 
A door to the real of chaos & madness exists  within the 
Caverns of Quasqueton & its influence has been spreading across Europe. Because its not the only otherworldly gateway.  
 Farnese Ceiling, Pan and Syrinx By Anibale Carracci

Once events within  
the Caverns of Quasqueton come to the attention of the Astro Hungarian officials they'll send in a demon hunter to deal with the situation. The attention of the cult across Europe & its cabals of  occultists, witches, & the like will go on high alert. This is only the beginning though.  Helen Vaughan appears as a Succubus Siren from the Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters. She checks almost every last box but that's not all. 
Coat of arms Astro Hungarian Empire

The fact is that many of the themes & ideas here could use the Lion & Dragon rpg for the chaos cults, the occult background, & much more but that's another blog entry for another day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.