Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Outline Of A Lovecraftian Mega Dungeon - Mysterious Mountains of Death

Over the last couple of days I've been rereading H.P. Lovecraft's the Mound, & thinking about the legends of the Dark Watchers of the Santa Lucia Mountains for my Cha'alt/Godbound rpg campaign. If you don't know the ins & outs of HP Lovecraft's The Mound here's the inner word from the novella's wiki entry;"The Mound is a horror/science fiction novella by American author H. P. Lovecraft, written by him as a ghostwriter from December 1929 to January 1930 after he was hired by Zealia Bishop to create a story about an Indian mound which is haunted by a headless ghost. Lovecraft expanded the story into a tale about a mound that conceals a gateway to a subterranean civilization, the realm of K'n-yan. The story was not published during Lovecraft's lifetime. A heavily abridged version was published in the November 1940 issue of Weird Tales, and the full text was finally published in 1989."

The Dark Watchers's wiki entry goes deeper into their background; "
While sometimes attributed to the Chumash people who historically inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California, nothing analogous to the legend appears to exist in their mythology.[1][2] When Spanish Settlers first moved into the area they were said to have witnessed the Dark Watchers whom they dubbed Los Vigilantes Oscuros.[3][better source needed]

The Dark Watchers are most famously given a brief mention in John Steinbeck's "Flight", included in the 1938 collection of his short stories, The Long Valley:
Pepé looked suspiciously back every minute or so, and his eyes sought the tops of the ridges ahead. Once, on a white barren spur, he saw a black figure for a moment; but he looked quickly away, for it was one of the dark watchers. No one knew who the watchers were, nor where they lived, but it was better to ignore them and never to show interest in them. They did not bother one who stayed on the trail and minded his own business.
Along with this, "watchers" are also referenced by poet Robinson Jeffers in the titular poem of his 1937 collection Such Counsels You Gave to Me & Other Poems:[4][5]
...he thought it might be one of the watchers, who are often seen in this length of coast-range, forms that look human to human eyes, but certainly are not human. They come from behind ridges to watch. But when he approached it he recognized the shabby clothes and pale hair and even the averted forehead and concave line from the eye to the jaw, so that he was not surprised when the figure turning toward him in the quiet twilight showed his own face. Then it melted and merged into the shadows beyond it...
John Steinbeck's son Thomas Steinbeck would grow up to report having seen The Dark Watchers during his childhood and later along with artist Benjamin Brode collaborate on a book titled In Search of the Dark Watchers, where they go into the history of the legend and interview locals who claim to have seen them, such as famed Big Sur resident Billy Post"

I'm reminded of a certain group of monsters from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio by the Dark Watchers. An old favorite monster  of mine to use for adventures  is the Dark Creepers & their leaders the Dark Stalkers.

'The Dark Creepers' are an off shoot of humanity & perfectly line up with the legends of the Dark Watchers. My thought is that these strange human varients have taken over many of the former city remains of  the K'nyanians. I've been inspired by The Black City Project from the Dreams in The Lich house Blog. My real inspiration has been thumbing through Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg & some of the dungeon & city adventure inspiration found there in. 

The idea that there's a vast urban style set of underground mega dungeon ruins running through
 the Santa Lucia Mountains. With the coming of the Cha'alt dimensional & planar wave the stars are coming right. So the activities of the Dark Watchers are becoming more of a hazard to the locals! Some of the ruins might not unknown to the locals & perhaps that there's a swell of gold rush like activity.

Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu has a bunch of resources to add in a good bunch of dungeon generating resources to make all of this work. Dwimmermount might be an option to link up to this style of mega dungeon weirdness in the darkness of the former  K'nyanian's empire. 

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