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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Saithis

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Interesting start, I'll try to keep up when I can.
 

coz1

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Nice to see the FC series make an appearance. :cool:
 

Deaghaidh

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On the AAR forum, Lord Durham is one of the Great Old Ones. It is known.
 

Lord Durham

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Tycat: I have issues with Ivar too, but not quite the same as you. The intro pays homage to my FC series and those people who were involved. I couldn't resist.

DensleyBlair: The Yorks were fictional and used to 'setup' most of the FC Books. It was my way of whetting appetites, so to speak. Carlos is leery of Unaussprechlichen Kulten, which is almost as infamous as another, more well-known book.

crimson_king: I wasn't aware of the other c_k character. I stopped reading King after Pet Cemetary. King Crimson is one of my all-time favourite groups. I must have seen them at least a half dozen times in the 70s and 80s. Their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King, is classic. In fact the tune Epitaph, from that album, may very well sum up this AAR ;). Thanks for the comments on the intro. I'm a fan of the framing device too.

Saithis: Thanks for reading. I hope you do keep up. I'll probably keep my posts down to a manageable level word-count wise. I'm already finding this is taking me away from other obligations. Having too much fun... :)

coz1: I couldn't resist. It was such a major part of these forums at one time.

aldriq: ... come blood, guts, nameless tentacles or shine.... Yeah, I can do that :).

Deaghaidh: Hey, you're not exactly a spring chicken tenure wise either. You joined a month after me. And your writing certainly is nothing to give a Great Old One sneeze at. :)


Thank you all for your comments. I'll have a post ready tomorrow. Expect a bit of blood and things that go bump in the night...
 

crimson_king

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Strangely enough, Epitaph may have been the aforementioned song that came up.

May have been. It's been a few months.
 

Byzan

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Well, in my game, Ivar always helped me and I helped in-return. But, since nearly every single one of his family died off except for one daughter and son whom were regent I had a claim on his Scottish territory.

So, maybe you don't have to fight Ivar. But later down the line, where you have sons and grand sons, and great-grand sons of Ragnarr...they don't need to be "loyal" to their cousins whom have adopted another name. If you get what I'm saying.
 

Syt

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Syt: Cute. Real cute. Guess I left myself open to that one :). However, tenure wise on these forums you are right up there with Estonianzulu, Coz1 and myself (actually, I never realized till now that you joined before me) So, who's the Great Old One now, eh?
Touché. :sleep:

Good introduction. Unaussprechlichen Kulten, eh? That can't be good. Which means this will be good. :)
 

Deaghaidh

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Deaghaidh: Hey, you're not exactly a spring chicken tenure wise either. You joined a month after me. And your writing certainly is nothing to give a Great Old One sneeze at. :)
That's bizarre to me, as I think of you as part of that previous wave of AAR heavyweights like Ariel, and I'm pretty sure your Papal AAR that spawned the Free Company was well underway when I first got here, so you must have established yourself fast. And I appreciate the compliment coming from you.

And for us non-germans who don't know, what does Unaussprechlichen Kulten mean? I presume from the setting Kulten roughly means Cult
 

aldriq

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Well, at last I got around to reading your Case of the Galloway Eidolon (see, your AAR is already having a net positive effect on your readership :)) I thought it was pretty good, it kept the dread-build-up at a very good pace, very much like At the Mountains of Madness. It puts you off visiting Galloway too, though I suspect this AAR will have the same effect with Yorkshire :)
 
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And for us non-germans who don't know, what does Unaussprechlichen Kulten mean? I presume from the setting Kulten roughly means Cult
Generally translated as the Unspeakable Cults, it is one of the fictional books H.P. Lovecraft often mentioned in his stories.

Great start LD, I can't wait to see it continue.
 

Lord Durham

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crimson_king: It's a haunting tune.

Byzan: Thanks for commenting. I haven't played that far ahead yet, though I get your drift. The lack of marriage partners (beyond 8,000 Gydjas and a slew of newborns) is a little frustrating, but we'll manage.

Syt: Touché indeed. Why don't you translate the book name for Deaghaidh? Oh, never mind, I'll do it now... :)

Deaghaidh: I joined the forums with the intent of writing my first AAR, so in a sense I did get right to it. Ariel's classic was a major influence and a big reason I took the plunge. My Papacy AAR went through a lot of style changes, eventually spawning the FC, but that came later. I began the whole interactive thing when I wrote a post in response to an event in Ariel's English AAR, introducing medieval sleuth Father Petronius Falkenberg. That in turn spawned the Who Killed Charles Cromwell interactive AARs. You were involved with those, weren't you? As for Unaussprechlichen Kulten, the English translation is given by Madelyn in the next sentence. But, to save you going back, it translates roughly into Unspeakable Cults, or Nameless Cults. The book was a creation of Robert E. Howard. It was his contribution to the Lovecraft Mythos. Though they never met, they exchanged a crapload of letters. So many that they've been gathered into two hard to get volumes. As an aside, it's probably little known that both authors contributed and referenced each others worlds in their stories.

aldriq: I appreciate you taking the time to read, and enjoy, The Case of the Galloway Eidolon. It was my first crack at a Lovecraft/Holmes crossover and I had a blast writing it. Having a recognized Lovecraft scholar like Wilum Pugmire sing its praises didn't hurt, either. What made the story extra special was the fact it was by invitation. There were two of us. The other author is very well known for his horror and Holmes material. I chose Galloway for a couple of reasons. One was the large deposits of flint and traces of neolithic settlements, and the other was the fact the area roughly tied into one of my favourite Robert E. Howard stories. For that reason there's a rather large REH Easter Egg in it, something I couldn't resist adding. It's pretty blatant if you are a fan and know the tale, but not so much if you don't :). And thanks for the comparison with At the Mountains of Madness, my favourite HPL tale. I hope Del Toro decides to make a movie of it after all.

Sematary: Thank Crom for Preview Post. I see you answered Deaghaidh, too. I'll leave my long-winded answer alone, though :). Thanks for commenting. Next post coming in a few minutes...
 

Lord Durham

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January 867 - Jorvik - By the River Ouse




It was the dead of night and a high-pitched scream ripped through the bitter Winter air before trailing off into the silence of death.

His face cast in flickering shadow under dancing torchlight, Ivar Ragnarsson leaned back from the ancient altar and watched impassively as a pair of thralls dragged a blood-soaked body from the weathered stone, tossing it on the mist-shrouded riverbank where it joined another half dozen sacrificial victims with a wet slap. He nodded sharply at two men standing beside a prison wagon. "One more."

A Saxon was quickly secured and brought forth, struggling wildly. One guard grabbed his legs, the other took him under the armpits. Together they lifted the man onto the cold granite, holding him in place with an iron grip.





Beside Ivar a priest raised an ornamental dagger, its bloody blade inscribed with markings older than memory. Clad in heavy robes concealing an ill-formed body, face hidden by a voluminous cowl, the priest chanted in a hollow, sonorous voice, "Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" The foreign, guttural words rolled easily from his tongue, while his Norse was heavily accented. "Hear us, Great One. Accept these offerings and grant my lords victory in their upcoming struggle." The dagger flashed down, plunging into the prisoner's chest. Blood spurted in a great arc as the Saxon sagged lifeless.

Halfdan Ragnarsson shivered, uncertain if it was from the cold. Frowning, he spared a quick glance with brothers Bjorn, Sigurd and half-brother Ubbe. Leaning to Bjorn he whispered, "I wonder what Odin thinks of this?"

Bjorn, King of Svipjod and older than Halfdan by four years, merely grunted. Ubbe returned his look, his eyes betraying agreement. Young Sigurd, however, snarled and said harshly, "Odin does not hear our voice. Great Cthulhu does." He thrust his jaw toward Ivar. "Do you not trust our brother, Halfdan?"

Halfdan said nothing. Ivar was the eldest, and well renowned as a great leader. All this despite, or as a result of, his deformity, a condition forever hidden beneath an oversized kjalta. It was said the Great Old Ones had a part in this, a price demanded for his success. Be that as it may, Halfdan had no interest in the rumours, nor any desire to prove them true or false. It was disturbing enough to gaze into Sigurd's yellow, slitted eyes.

Taking silence as acceptance, Sigurd announced, "Watch now."

All eyes returned to the grisly altar and the man and priest behind it. The Saxon's body had been added to the pile, and silence reigned as the priest turned to the river and raised his arms. The robes slipped, revealing thin, pasty appendages with wide hands and long, hooked fingers. His skin under the torchlight appeared waxy and mottled.




Again the priest spoke in a guttural voice, words that Halfdan could never reproduce nor understand. The incantation ended, and the priest lowered his arms. There came a long period of silence, and then the waters churned and bubbled. Halfdan felt a chill deeper than the Winter cold crawl down his spine.

Several figures arose from the dark river, their crooked bodies silhouetted in the swirling mist. Each took a body and dragged it into the Ouse. Soon the riverbank was empty, save for the stain of dark blood.




Ivar and the priest conferred quietly for several moments after, before four thralls rushed over to raise the massive shield that Ivar used for transport, his lower body hidden by the substantial garment. Like some Sultan curled on a divan, they carried him toward his tent, the priest and entourage following.

Without a word Sigurd left to join them, leaving Halfdan, Bjorn and Ubbe to exchange looks, each lost in their own thoughts.

Bjorn broke the silence. "Tomorrow I ride with Ivar and Sigurd north to Northumberland in the hopes of confronting that devil Ælla." He paused. "Would that I was riding with you lot."

Halfdan stroked his red beard, his breath misting in the cold air. "I believe we are of the same mind when it comes to that priest, and the hold he has over our brothers. But we cannot deny Ivar's success in the northern islands and across the sea."

"And what of Sigurd? Those eyes. What do they want with him?" Ubbe said.

"He is young and impressionable. He idolises Ivar." Halfdan shrugged. "I wish I knew what the Great Old Ones plan." There was a pregnant silence before he slapped Bjorn on the back. "Would that you were joining us, too. Perhaps you will convince Ivar to let you go after laying waste to Northumberland. You are a King, after all, and subject to no one."

Bjorn grinned. "Save Ivar. And you? You are still off to Durham with Ubbe and that boy of yours, Ragnar?"

"Aye. Durham lies to my immediate north, and cries for my help."

The men laughed. Bjorn said, "All this sacrifice has given me a thirst. A flagon of mead is in the runes. Join me, if you wish." Without waiting on an answer, he strode toward his tent. Moments later Halfdan and Ubbe followed.
 

Deaghaidh

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crimson_king: It's a haunting tune.

Byzan: Thanks for commenting. I haven't played that far ahead yet, though I get your drift. The lack of marriage partners (beyond 8,000 Gydjas and a slew of newborns) is a little frustrating, but we'll manage.

Syt: Touché indeed. Why don't you translate the book name for Deaghaidh? Oh, never mind, I'll do it now... :)

Deaghaidh: I joined the forums with the intent of writing my first AAR, so in a sense I did get right to it. Ariel's classic was a major influence and a big reason I took the plunge. My Papacy AAR went through a lot of style changes, eventually spawning the FC, but that came later. I began the whole interactive thing when I wrote a post in response to an event in Ariel's English AAR, introducing medieval sleuth Father Petronius Falkenberg. That in turn spawned the Who Killed Charles Cromwell interactive AARs. You were involved with those, weren't you? As for Unaussprechlichen Kulten, the English translation is given by Madelyn in the next sentence. But, to save you going back, it translates roughly into Unspeakable Cults, or Nameless Cults. The book was a creation of Robert E. Howard. It was his contribution to the Lovecraft Mythos. Though they never met, they exchanged a crapload of letters. So many that they've been gathered into two hard to get volumes. As an aside, it's probably little known that both authors contributed and referenced each others worlds in their stories..
Yeah, I was at least in on Who Killed Charles Cromwell, and also Ariel's later EU 2 (or was it 3?) War of the Roses era one (I wrote a couple of scenes from the PoV of Henry VI). I had a trio of Irish mercs in one of the Free Company ones, but wasn't able to keep up. Generally I'm not well suited to collaborative works in general, being both ADD and bipolar, I tend to work in frantic bursts, then leave things for months (in one case, nearly a year passed between updates in an AAR I wrote).
 

GulMacet

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Unaussprechlichen Kulten is wrong on two accounts. Unaussprechlichen means unpronouncable, not unspeakable (although given Lovecraftian names, this is forgivable), and the grammar is incorrect. It should be Unaussprechliche Kulte. And yes, I guess it was supposed to mean Unspeakable Cults.
 

Lord Durham

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Unaussprechlichen Kulten is wrong on two accounts. Unaussprechlichen means unpronouncable, not unspeakable (although given Lovecraftian names, this is forgivable), and the grammar is incorrect. It should be Unaussprechliche Kulte. And yes, I guess it was supposed to mean Unspeakable Cults.
.

Agreed, but I have to go with canon. Howard came up with the title Nameless Cults for a couple of his horror stories, which Lovecraft worked into his own tales. It was August Derleth who came up with the translation, namely Unaussprechlichen Kulten. I understand it would make more sense if there was an Of in front of the title.
 

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LD, I never expected to see a CK AAR begin in 1930 Italy! :)

Okay, I've read thus far, and will try to continue reading. Although I confess a nearly complete absence of knowledge about the Lovecraftian universe. Interesting about he and Howard.

So what does the GEICO Gecko's evil twin have to do with all this??? :p

While we're on the subject of Crimson Kings, are you familiar with the S.M. Stirling book In the Courts of the Crimson Kings? It's book two of a series that involves the exploration of Venus and Mars, respectively, and first contact with the inhabitants. It's a fascinating couple of books (never expected to see AK-47s on the surface of Venus!), and Stirling is a fascinating author -- I'd dare say one of my favorites, even though there are things about his writing which I do not like (same as with Jordan and G.R.R. Martin).

Anyway... Looking forward to seeing how this goes!

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