Sunday, April 9, 2023

OSR Ship Wretched Commentary - Wretched Époque rpg, The Mysterious Island (1874) By Jules Verne, & H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Shadow Over Innesmouth

 So today Easter Sunday & the Red Room has been on my mind all night. And I've been speeding through Jules Verne's Mysterious Island. Why?!" Because your all washed up on a deserted island " is all the campaign preparation you need! Seriously when it comes to the Wretchedverse especially Wretched Époque rpg the Verne book isn't even mentioned. 

Who gives a crap about a book published in 1875? Well there's a bit more going on here according to the Mysterious Island Wiki entry; "The chronology of The Mysterious Island is incompatible with that of the original Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, whose plot begins in 1866, while The Mysterious Island begins during the American Civil War, yet is supposed to happen 16 years after Twenty Thousand Leagues." And this leads to some incredibly cool ideas here. 
The island of the Mysterious Island is far more then it seems as the  island is revealed to be Captain Nemo's hideout, and home port of the Nautilus. Eventually Nemo identity is revealed to be; "Captain Nemo reveals his true identity as the lost Indian Prince Dakkar, son of a raja of the then-independent territory of Bundelkund and a nephew of the Indian hero Tippu-Sahib. After taking part in the failed Indian Rebellion of 1857, Prince Dakkar escaped to a desert island with twenty of his compatriots and commenced the building of the Nautilus and adopted the new name of "Captain Nemo". Before he dies, Nemo gives them a box of diamonds and pearls as a keepsake. Nemo's final words are "God and my country!" ("Independence!", in Verne's original manuscript). The Nautilus is scuttled and serves as Captain Nemo's tomb." 
And this is where a Wretched Époque rpg campaign could begin. Nemo has terrorized the sea for ages and his legend still casts a long shadows across the world in 1872. And perhaps Lincoln Island wasn't the only base of Nemo's. Who cares right?! Plenty of people and governments are going to care. The innovations of Nemo's are not well known in the world of 1872. So a group of rag tag adventurers & criminals could theoritically be on the hunt of Nemo's trail. And one of this notorious criminal's bases are going to be bobby trapped. 
And what happens if another 'Nemo' takes over the identity of the infamous villain & war criminal. The Nautilus plans might have circulated in certain criminal circles and among pirates. So this leads to a bunch of pirates and governments acclerating thier submarine programs. It might also lead to an explosion of underwater exploration. And these events could explode the agencies of piracy leading the world further down the path towards World War I. Within the world of the Parisian underworld the Deep Ones of Lovecraft fame could become very much a problem as the exploitation of the sea brings them to light. 

The bringing into the light of the Deep Ones could be one of the things that Nemo feared. And this could lead to an all out war between the two powers for the fate of the Earth. Wretched Epoque is well equipped to deal with such a campaign. 
Using Lovecraft's 'The Shadow Over Innesmouth'  as the campaign plan there's more then enough  rpg fodder there to create multiple sea side Deep One land based satilite colonies. Ultimately Nemo's departure could create a wide variety of sea based adventures with 
Wretched Époque rpg 

There's yet another gonzo option in the form of The Islands of P
urple Haunted Putrescene by Venger Satanis. 
The islands could well be a Sword & Sorcery option that allows Wretched Epoque characters to venture deeply into a Sword & Sorcery campaign quite easily. 

The Purple Islands having a portal or three into the Beyond is a given. The islands are some of the most lethal Beyond locations that PC's could encounter. There's a ton of adventure foddder within  The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescene to pull from. Surviving a visit there is an entire other matter. 

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