Monday, 8 April 2013

The Statement of Randolph Carter

"The Statement of Randolph Carter" is Randolph's testimony about the disappearance of his companion, Harley Warren. In the statement he tells of a mysterious tome in an unknown language that leads the two of them deep into the swamps in search of a stairway down into the earth that, presumably, goes to another time and place.

We already know about the existence of mythos tomes; they are the cornerstone of many of the tales and lead to some serious sanity loss in most Call of Cthulhu games. If you're ever short of a way to send people to their doom... use a book. They are generally written in arabic by some madman who lived in a cave in the desert and contain lots of indecipherable script unless you've got lots of Knowledge (Mythos).

The location covered in this story will still be in existence, but likely hard to find without the original books or a lot of luck (mostly bad). We don't actually know where the stairs go, other than down and that they are inhabited by some evil that killed Warren. It could be a tomb of some sorts, a gateway through to the Dreamlands or even the nest of some nasty creature. This one is an easy location to transplant anywhere in the world  and could be accidentally uncovered while fleeing from a German search party if you need a one-shot adventure.

Carter, the survivor of the tale, later appears in other Lovecraft stories and has gained power in the Dreamlands as well as the waking world. Whether these stairs and this event have increased his awareness and power over this realm are unknown, but it does introduce the theory that there is some connection here...

The events in "The Statement of Randolph Carter" are also key elements of Cosa Nosferatu, a fantasy/crime/horror novel featuring Eliot Ness and Al Capone, set in a 1930 era Chicago beset with Lovecraft-style Undead. I've not read this one yet, but it could also provide some interesting ideas for an investigation in America. I'll hopefully come back to this later when I find a copy.


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