So recently I was going over my campaign notes on an old Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg campaign which used quite a bit of H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands as campaign fodder. Now at the time the Dark Albion rpg setting hit the wild. The crossovers that we used between the two OSR products were extensive. The connection was a variant of the usual Summon spell but in this case it was a dreamlands variant.
And this spell was one that dipped into the deepest parts of nightmare & this meant that anything is utterly things of Chaos. But not simply any chaos but deeply rooted into Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos. Why because of the Greco Roman connections to a a fantasy medieval setting which heavily influenced a black powder aesthetic of Europe of my LoFP campaign.
Cults of Chaos, perfectly suits the Chaos influence that the Dreamlands presents upon the waking world especially if there are dream cults that spring up around this campaign lead in & why? Well let's look into Cults of Chaos's intro for a moment;
"There are two main sections in the supplement: the first presents rules on generating a chaos-worshiping cult, usable to create a wide variety of possible secret sects and conspiracies in the service of Chaos through multiple groups and social classes. The emphasis of these sects is on having a degree of ‘medieval authenticity’, presenting the cults with fantasy elements but with direct inspiration from real-world medieval ideas on witch-craft, heresies, priestly corruption, aristocratic hedonism, etc., many derived directly from either real history or medieval folk-beliefs. T he second section presents rules on Chaos mutations: transformations to a character’s mind, body or spirit which come about as a result of some form of exposure to the warping power of raw Chaos. There have been many excellent rules in other products (both OSR and other fantasy games) on corruption or mutation for fantasy games, to say nothing of post-apocalyptic games; but these mutation rules are somewhat distinct on account of their being based, again, on real medieval ideas and folklore about witches, monsters and curses."
"This includes witch-marks, madness-inducing spirits, and rules on familiars which change familiars back from the RPG standard of ‘friendly magic animal companion’ into a powerful but corrupting demon-spawned animal link to the infernal."
So could there be far more lurking in the dreamlands than we think?! Perhaps the alien elven gods of ancient mankind?! I think perhaps that the dreamlands as we know them may be one of the refuges of the ancient elven gods of mankind. And their cults simply wait to take back what's theirs in the waking world;
"I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them upon the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air"
That cycle includes the following:
- "Polaris" (1918)
- "The White Ship" (1919)
- "The Doom That Came to Sarnath" (1919)
- "The Cats of Ulthar" (1920)
- "Celephaïs" (1920)
- "Ex Oblivione" (1920)
- "Nyarlathotep" (1920)
- "The Quest of Iranon" (1921)
- "The Nameless City" (reference only) (1921)
- "The Other Gods" (1921)
- "Azathoth" (1922)
- "The Hound" (reference only) (1922)
- "Hypnos" (1922)
- "What the Moon Brings" (1922)
- The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926)
- "The Outsider" (1926)
- "The Silver Key" (1926)
- "The Strange High House in the Mist" (1926)
- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (reference only) (1927)
- "The Thing in the Moonlight" (Based on a letter written to Donald Wandrei. Written by J. Chapman Miske) (1927. Published 1941)
- At the Mountains of Madness (reference only) (1931)
- "The Dreams in the Witch House" (roughly connected) (1932)
- "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (with E. Hoffmann Price) (1932)