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Lord Durham

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And so the family is rent asunder. Hopefully Ivar will content himself with Saxons and not seek to offer up his own brothers -- or perhaps he himself will be warped into some inhuman apparition. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, it seems Halfdan has a new kingdom to pacify.
The warping is underway, hence the shield. How far it goes, who knows ;). And yes, Halfdan will have his hands full thanks to the split.

Excellent! The alliance has broken - but where will it go from here? I don't know how active Odin intervenes in the matters of the living, but the Old Ones are fairly hands-on. That makes me doubt that the end of this family feud will simply be "and then they went their separate ways, each laying waste to the British Isles". There must be more confrontations between Halfdan and Ivar to come.

If it wasn't clear yet, I really liked the confrontation between Halfdan and Ivar - and the fact that it remains unresolved: no quick, easy answers here.
Thanks, Stuyvesant. The brothers splitting happened in the game. In fact, it took me a while to realize it. Essentially Ivar and Sigurd dropped out of the coalition and went about doing their own thing. So story-wise it worked perfectly. All parties will meet again, that you can be assured of.

Great update LD.
Thanks, Sematary.

I'm curious, what do the Norse sources say about the breach in the Great Heathen Army? This being Mythos, I'd be very surprised if rubbings of old runestones, or Snorri Sturluson's 1300s version of events, hadn't snuck into that collection.

I hadn't thought about it in CK2 terms specifically, but Ivar's Scottish possessions do seem just like the kind of place you'd find the sorts of people who gather around ancient, nameless stones chanting in tongues never meant for human speech. All sorts of potential there. *Scribbles frantically* Mutter mutter Skara Brae... standing stones... Beowulf's dragon...
I was going to say "Way ahead of you on Scotland, the Picts, nameless eidolons and so on", but I see you've already started your very own Ivar AAR :). Being the huge REH fan that I am, and the fact I've written about Galloway, nameless statues and ancient Scottish peoples already (among other dark, foreboding things), delving into the misty past of Scotland will definitely be on the plate. As for a breach in the Great Heathen Army, good question. I'm still reading Sturluson and some other books for background information. Still, this being a Mythos based game...

Disagreements within the family; The Great Old Ones or Odin? Cracking update, LD. I also very much enjoy the Being the Secret History paragraphs at the start of the updates - some lovely word choices there.

Very much looming forward to seeing what becomes of the brothers.
Thank you, DB. The Being the Secret History segment was a last minute addition when I decided my original idea for detailing the passage of time sucked. Glad you like them.

Odin may not meddle as much, but he doesn't ask for the sort of sacrifices Cthulhu does. So I'm not surprised the Old Ones are more tentacles-on when they get paid more, haha.

I am worried that if the factions fight each other, it's going to be tough for the Wotanites.
I guess the burning question (or not) is, was the timely intervention of rain and thunder coincidence? If Cthulhu is anything, it's tentacles-on.

It's taken me far too long to get around to reading this AAR. Great stuff and I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.
Better late than never, I always say. Thank you for reading, SirkTheMonkey. I hope my updates don't disappoint.

Very interesting, LD! Well done!

I was expecting there to be a split ahead. I suppose it makes sense that it would occur upon Halfdan's victorious campaign. Course, I was also expecting that, on the occasion of such a split, that some brothers might get eaten. Remains to be seen, eh? ;)

That's interesting that Lovecraft's characters aren't trademarked. Was Conan, for instance, trademarked by right of him being in the book titles? Or is there some other process that is required to protect a writer's characters, other than mere copyright?

Rensslaer
What's it with people wanting a brother or two to get eaten? :). For the record, Cthulhu doesn't eat people (or so I've been told by people who know more about this stuff than me). But, I suppose it doesn't stop Dagon or his minions from having a morsel or two.

Around 2002 Paradox Entertainment (at one time associated with Paradox Interactive, but no more) took control of Conan Properties Inc. (along with Robert E. Howard Properties, LLC) and trademarked all of Howard's characters, though his works are now arguably in the Public Domain (depends on how a country views length of copyright). So no one can use Conan, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, etc without going through them. (You may remember that at one time I was the Admin for the official Conan.com forums, so I got this question a lot. I've since retired ;) ) In the case of Lovecraft, his works are also in the PD, though there is some confusion over trademark. Apparently Chaosium, the people behind The Call of Cthulhu game are said to have trademarked some of his characters. However, that hasn't stopped the vast number of stories utilising his creations that are still written to this day.

So I wouldn't worry about you trademarking any of your characters, unless they become wildly successful with the potential of ancillaries like movie and TV deals. And when you start submitting your written work for publication, don't add a Copyright notice to it. It's not necessary and is considered amateurish. Just thought I'd let you know...

Ah, fraternal quarrels... though they may yet reconcile eventually.

I can see the TV ad already – Pound for pound, Cthulhu gives you more :)
Time will tell how the brothers react to the falling out.

"Got debt problems? Cthulhu & Minions is just a phone call away. Guaranteed results!"

Looks like it's about to get bloody pretty soon...
Indeed :)



Thank you everyone for reading and commenting.

My next post will be of the Interlude variety, hopefully some time this week.
 

c0d5579

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Wellll... as it happens, my REALLY AWESOME PLAYTHROUGH wound up with Ivar's heir Siggtrygg being a possessed kinslayer, and things kind of went downhill. Fortunately I'm not so far in that I can't restart. The problem with being a guy who is really good at stabbing people is that when stabbing people blows up in your face, it REALLY blows up in CK2. That was an exciting little roller-coaster for the six months that it took Scotland to self-destruct. So... Plan B!
 

aldriq

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The global copyright maze is very difficult to navigate today with each country having and increasing the length and conditions at will... At least if governments don't do anything to simplify it big corporations will sure try to step in to make it easier to write (and make money, obviously) without hindrance. For example, Amazon has been pursuing lots of deals for its Amazon Worlds fan fiction platform, so any writer can start writing and getting paid for it while the original copyright holders get their cut too.
 

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Really enjoyable read so far. The religious basis to the siblings rivalry suggests this will be a very difficult bridge to mend, I daresay Halfdan and Ivar will find each other a more worthy opponent than the Saxons have proven so far.
 

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Really enjoyable read so far. The religious basis to the siblings rivalry suggests this will be a very difficult bridge to mend, I daresay Halfdan and Ivar will find each other a more worthy opponent than the Saxons have proven so far.
I look forward to Halfdan's battle axe cleaving off tentacled appendages (or whatever grotesque deformities Ivar is hiding under his robes and shield) with abandon. Sadly, in Lovecraft's universe, the best mere mortals can hope for is a transient victory, so I'm doubtful that even Halfdan's prowess with his axe will be enough to stop this unholy madness. Still should be a great ride to watch. From a safe distance. ;)
 

Lord Durham

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Wellll... as it happens, my REALLY AWESOME PLAYTHROUGH wound up with Ivar's heir Siggtrygg being a possessed kinslayer, and things kind of went downhill. Fortunately I'm not so far in that I can't restart. The problem with being a guy who is really good at stabbing people is that when stabbing people blows up in your face, it REALLY blows up in CK2. That was an exciting little roller-coaster for the six months that it took Scotland to self-destruct. So... Plan B!
"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Here's to Plan B, then (I'm assuming that's your current AAR). Just don't switch to numbers, and if you do, stay away from Plan 9. I still want to see what you do with a myth-laden Scotland.

The global copyright maze is very difficult to navigate today with each country having and increasing the length and conditions at will... At least if governments don't do anything to simplify it big corporations will sure try to step in to make it easier to write (and make money, obviously) without hindrance. For example, Amazon has been pursuing lots of deals for its Amazon Worlds fan fiction platform, so any writer can start writing and getting paid for it while the original copyright holders get their cut too.
Copyright maze is right. It's a cat's breakfast out there with little consensus. The only people losing are the writers. Pay rates per word are the same now as they were during the golden age of pulp. You are lucky to get 5 cents a word, more likely 1 to 3 cents. That's a fortune back then, but nothing these days. And with the big publishing houses only accepting clones of what happens to be hot at this point in time, a lot of well known authors are starting to self-publish--something unthinkable just a few years ago. Personally I prefer the small press. This is where you find the good stuff, material that takes bold chances, as opposed to countless Twilight and Harry Potter ripoffs. As for Amazon, they are a boon in some ways and a bane in others. Good luck to them and their fan fiction. It took me years to convince Paradox Entertainment to allow fan fiction using Howard's characters, with the proviso the author loses all rights to material posted there.

Really enjoyable read so far. The religious basis to the siblings rivalry suggests this will be a very difficult bridge to mend, I daresay Halfdan and Ivar will find each other a more worthy opponent than the Saxons have proven so far.
Thanks for dropping around Seelmeister. Religious difference or not, they are still brothers. However, that's a situation I won't have to visit for a few posts yet. As for being worthy opponents... Hmmm...

I look forward to Halfdan's battle axe cleaving off tentacled appendages (or whatever grotesque deformities Ivar is hiding under his robes and shield) with abandon. Sadly, in Lovecraft's universe, the best mere mortals can hope for is a transient victory, so I'm doubtful that even Halfdan's prowess with his axe will be enough to stop this unholy madness. Still should be a great ride to watch. From a safe distance. ;)
In all accounts of the Great Old Ones being on the verge of breaking through to our world, something always happens to them that buggers things up. Will it happen this time? Good question ;)


My next post will be up in a few minutes. Note: I had to adjust the Interlude years to 1932. It had to do with the year I used for my last Free Company book (1930). This takes place after that. No big thing, but I want to be consistent :).
 
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Lord Durham

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Interlude


June 4, 1932 - Florence - Afternoon


"Well, that doesn't bode well for the brothers," Madelyn mumbled. Reaching for her tea, she took a sip and made a face. "Yechh. It's gone cold." Looking up, she saw Carlos still sitting opposite, his features pensive. "Oh relax, will you?" Carefully she set down the book and patted the open page. "Granted, this is some weird shit, but it's not like something's going to jump out of the box and bite my neck. Right?"

Carlos squirmed and cast about the room.

Madelyn grinned at his discomfort. "Is there something wrong with the chair?"

"No, Miss York. The chair is fine."

"Then be a dear and get me another cup of tea. And pour yourself a stiff drink. You look like you need one."

Pushing himself out of the posh seat, Carlos took Madelyn's tea cup and went to the kitchen.

Over the sound of running water Madelyn said, "Tell me about this Nameless Cults book. Why do you fear it so much?" Picking it up, she felt a cold shiver crawl inexplicably along her spine. Quickly she set the tome down and regarded it, long and hard.

Carlos voice was loud. "Like I said, it is evil."

Madelyn jumped and turned in her chair, looking over the high back. Carlos stood behind her. "Jesus Christ. That's twice you've done that. Nearly gave me a heart attack."

Face passive, he said, "Perhaps Miss York would prefer a stiff drink to tea?"

"Touché." Sitting back, she said, "That's actually a good idea. Get us both one. And turn off the tap."

Minutes later Carlos sat down with two glasses of scotch, sliding one to Madelyn, careful to avoid the book. He took a hard mouthful from his glass and said, "Nameless Cults was written by Friedrich Wilhelm von Juntz in 1839. There is some argument over the literal translation of the German title, suggesting it should be Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten, but that's for academics to squabble over. Suffice to say this is an original edition, and not one of the error ridden English translations that have surfaced over the years."

"English translations? I didn't realize it was so popular. How come I've never heard about this?"

"Few have, and only a handful of these editions are known to exist. Like the Necronomicon, it's something best kept out of the hands of people like you and me."

"The Necronomicon? I've heard of that. In fact, Uncle has a copy on the bookshelf." She pointed at an upright book close to the fireplace, the title boldly displayed.




"... Uncle has a copy on the bookshelf."


"That is a poorly translated copy based on work by John Dee. Quite harmless, fortunately. The original was penned in Arabic sometime during the eighth century. Subsequent translations into Greek and Latin diluted the text. But make no mistake, it is said to read certain passages from those more ancient copies will bring about madness and unleash things best left alone."

"Charming. And how about Cults here? Does the same ominous message apply?"

Carlos downed the remainder of his drink and nodded. "Yes, but to a lesser degree. Still, there are things in that book that should never be read, and I implore you not to, Miss York."

Madelyn regarded the young man for long moments over the lip of her glass. She noted just how old his eyes appeared. Funny she hadn't observed that before now. Sighing, she set the glass down and picked up the Halfdan tome. Turning the page, her brow knit as she said, "Hmmph."

"What is it, Miss York?"

"This next section has to do with Halfdan's son Gudfrid. It appears he led a raiding expedition into France." Motioning toward her empty glass, she said, "Another round, Carlos. And make it a double."

As he walked over to the bar, Madelyn said lightly, "Does Uncle have a copy of this original Necronomicon?"

Carlos looked away and swallowed.




"Another round, Carlos. And make it a double."
 
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DensleyBlair

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The Necronomicon? Well, this'll turn out interestingly, I'm sure. Hopefully Miss York won't be being bitten by anything any time soon ;)

As ever, very nicely done - the dual narrative is working really well here.
 

Seelmeister

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Another enjoyable update, the modern setting helps break up the brutal windows into Viking England, and I am enjoying the suspense that is building. It strikes me that there is a lot to learn about Carlos's past.
 
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Stuyvesant

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On the one hand, Madelyn is showing signs of common sense (or perhaps it's more like a primordial instinct, genetic memories of unspeakable horrors from eons past?). On the other hand, she's now looking for the Necronomicon... I'm getting mixed signals regarding her intelligence. :) At the rate she's going, she's doing her level best to disprove Lovecraft's dictum that 'ignorance is bliss'. Well, she might have a fleeting moment of realization between the end of her ignorance and the end of herself. ;) I just hope that someone or something reins in her curiosity before the things that go bump in the night come crawling out of the woodwork.

Very atmospheric update. I think Carlos needs to be a little more direct in his warnings before Madelyn will take heed, though.
 
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I have a feeling that Miss. York will not heed the warnings until she sees why the warnings exist. Though in true Lovecraft style Carlos would be more likely to die first.
 

c0d5579

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"Oh, the Necronomicon? That old thing? Uncle just kept it to bookend the section on gardening. He's got a Shakespeare in folio holding up the automotive section."

I think Madelyn might have seen one too many Plucky Girl Adventure serials, or read one too many of the equivalent books. She's likely to travel the whole gamut from Plucky Girl Adventurer to Damsel in Distress to Gibbering Hag in the space of about a week. I suppose it doesn't help that von Juntz's original title was "Iä! Iä! Ftaghn! Cthulhu Ftaghn!" and the German publisher looked at it and said "I can't pronounce that!"

And yes, Ivar's Sons is the current playthrough, which for once I've been screen-shotting like mad (450 or so and counting, and I just now crowned the first Ivar of Britain and Scandinavia, not to be confused with King Ivar). I really am sorry to disappoint, but it's going to be history-book, as far as medieval propaganda poetry is history. Thank you, incidentally, for the linkthroughs. I hope to have something more up this weekend.
 

J. Passepartout

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Reaching for her tea, she took a sip and made a face.
Few things worse than cold tea, among which I include the time I found a fly in my tea, and, generally, being driven mad by evil books. I'd be highly amused if the books she's reading end up merely bing as horrific as a Stephen King novel or something, rather than the sort of diabolical evil that Carlos says they are, but 10 to 1 that they will be more like the latter than the former. Hopefully the scotch will help them.
 

SirkTheMonkey

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I hope this time Carlos doesn't give the location of the horrid tome away by looking at it. Hopefully the French raid goes well and he brings back plenty of gold and none of his uncle's craziness.
 

Specialist290

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I'm a bit confused by all this "cold tea = horrible" business. Where I live, drinking your tea cold -- with ice in it, no less -- is the norm.

Now, I can understand if it's less "chilled" and more "lukewarm," since there's truly nothing worse than room-temperature tea.

...But I digress. I'm liking the interlude scenes myself -- they help set up the idea of the cruel inevitability of the events to come.
 

Rensslaer

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An interesting piece. I've been wondering, along with Stuyvesant, about Madelyn's wisdom, but I get the impression she's merely taking her own sweet time waking up to a real danger.

Funny that some parts of the translated Necronomicon can cause madness, but Carlos is barely concerned about that. Only heightens the impression of how dangerous the other one is, eh? :)

Rensslaer
 

Estonianzulu

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When you come across an evil book with a name like "Necronomicon" you'd really think you might just let well enough alone. Curiosity and its cat killing
 
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