We should be wondering tonight, "Is there a world?" But I could go and talk on 5, 10, 20 minutes about is there a world, because there is really no world, cause sometimes I'm walkin' on the ground and I see right through the ground. And there is no world. And you'll find out.
"Is There A Beat Generation?" forum at Hunter College, New York, New York (8 November 1958)
Someplace along the lines yesterday or the day before the wilderness started getting to me. This blog post picks right back up after this blog post here.
The underground & the wilderness surrounds us even in the urban landscape we're not even aware of it 99.9 of the time in my experience. The wilderness & underworld intrudes big time on our universe in ways that we don't expect. And that's the key here. The wildness & the underworld don't wait because they as well as their inhabitants are mythic. There's something deeply mythological in the nature of the wildness & dungeon enviroments. The fear of the unknown & inhuman that as the older one gets that one can feel deep down.
Eric Haddox A composite image of the 2007 Guatemala city sinkhole
The dungeon doesn't wait for you it comes for you, your family, & everything else. Mythic landscapes of the invasive dungeon are as instinctive as our fear of the alien, the other, & the unknown. These fears & point of fact our fears feed these realms.Is there a weird wilderness planar realm that bleeds into our world on occassion taking humans as food, slaves, or worse?! Blobs of planar weirdness that Karl Edgar Wagner's Kane alludes to & Michael Moorcock's Elric slid into on occassion that PC's might find themselves in becomes a possibility.
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.Stanza 5
Edgar Allan Poe's the Raven. "
Wizard warlords are not going to wait around for the wilderness & the underworld to expand themselves. Instead their going to use the natural buffering of worlds & planes to impose the alien invasive landscape onto our natural reality. And this is something that we see time & again in Sword & Sorcery. When you least expect it then you're suddenly going to find yourself an adventurer regardless of circumstance or more likely because of it. So time & again we see treasure being liberated by parties of adventurers & they sell it there's never any repercussions of this from a wizard, lich, etc.. But their most likely dead or destroyed?! Really?! No doubt it. Most likely that was double or the party ran away or were they let go?!Think about it, the 'treasure' might in point of fact be spreading the alien landscape & dungeon's influence as it passes from hand to hand. The PC's doing the tyrant's work spreading the plane's alieness as it goes.
Suddenly an entire neighborhood find itself engulfed in the alien chaos of the Fey's world. The familiar finds itself face to face with the unknown & the horror of it quickly escalates.
"The Cave of Spleen", illustration by Aubrey Beardsley for The Rape of the Lock (1896) by Alexander Pope
Suddenly a neighborhood convience store is engulfed in chaos only to be swept away by monsters & demons from some Hell of the unknown. The central idea that the Bakshi & Bourroughs realms are off over there someplace runs counter productive to the ideas put forth in the original Dungeons & Dragons games in a way. Let me bring this back to Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars & Age of Conan both by Jason Vey.
The PC's are at the edges of reality dealing with these incursions of the reality of the forces of the unknown. Perhaps the million spheres are actually aspects of this unreality that occasionally allows horrors into this Earth. Time & again we keep coming back around to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg. Not so much because of the adventures or the rpg itself but the adventure design philosphy of James R. Raggy the third within the game. Monsters being unique, the dungeon as incredibly dangerous weirdness waiting to spring upon the PC's, and more. These philosphies are as important to me about LoFP as the actual rpg is itself.
Would the mythic underground realms actually wait for the PC's to find them like a predator waiting to strike its prey. Or would the dungeon or wilderness barrel into the PC's because of its own machinations?!
Why does Jack Kerouac keep getting qouted?! Because there was an HP Lovecraft Beat generation pastche that was written by Nick Matmas called 'Move Underground'. And while it was solidly done the ideas put forth in the book really hit home for use with the Wilderness & Unworld OD&D book.
And I'd read it when LoFP's Carcosa came out. This became the basis for a very long running campaign which is where the High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure label comes from. And one where Venger Satanis's Cha'alt books have played havoc with colliding campaign realities.
For what's going on in this campaign setting, LoFP's No Salvation for Witches By Rafael Chandler demon generators might be on tap.
The idea of the wilderness & the underworld isn't simply the sum of its parts. Its a dangerous predator waiting to spring on the party of adventurers.