Sunday, May 9, 2021

Appendix N Commentary - Robert E. Howard's Rattle of Bones - A Tale of Solomon Kane


"Fool that I was to trust a Frenchman!"
Rattle of Bones Robert E. Howard 1929 

Its been a long while since the cracked spine of Robert E.Howard's Solomon Kane graced my hands. Last night after a rather long day on the road it was time to settle in with a bit of drink & Kane. Appendix N reading is interesting. The volume in question The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane Paperback - June 29, 2004 you can find it here. The story Rattle of Bones  (1929)  by Robert E. Howard & what a great little supernatural venenace tale it is. Lots of food for adventure here.  The puritan adventurer stops at the Cleft Skull in the Black Forrest  & mayhem ensues. Supernatural mayhem to be exact. If your reading this blog then I don't need to explain who Solomon Kane is or why the Robert E.Howard stories of Kane are so essential to reading for Dungeons & Dragons or their retroclones. Solomon Kane is a character  of focus, commitment, and . . . sheer will. And also faith. Kane in my view is the perfect paladin who doesn't wear armor. Kane has worked as a bounty hunter, instrument of vengence, adventurer, and wanderer. Timothy Truman's artwork of the puritan adventurer captures the essence of the character. Joe Murray is the artwork's owner & I have to say that I'm insanely jealous. 

There's something about Solomon Kane that echoes in my mind. He's far more human then many other Howard characters. And the supernatural happens both around & too him. There's a challenge about him that speaks volumes in both his morality & violence that seems worlds away from Conan. If there's one character that speaks volumes for Lamentations of the Flame Princess  rpg to me its the works of Solomon Kane. Everything in the Kane tales is on point when it comes to Weird Tales feel & tone of Kane's world. And this is a world of grim adventurers, nasty Weird Tales occultism, & the promise of nasty adventures. 

Solomon Kane is the kind of adventurer that you want handling your back. But he is definitely not the guy that you want on your trail. The relentless and dangerous violence that follows in his wake is paramount but in this tale he's both causal witness & almost victim. Rattle of Bones  (1929)  is a mini primer on Solomon Kane in one small package. 

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