Winter 2024 Update

I have finished posting Chapter 4 of White Leviathan, which unfolds on the Galápagos Islands. The brief Chapter 5 follows in January and February; then comes the substantial Chapter 6, which will take into the summer of 2024. I’m sorry that White Leviathan is taking me so long, but this is an epic campaign with many moving pieces, and my “real life” job is quite time-consuming! Along the way there will be more additions to the Brazen Head and Spermatikos Logos, as well as a partial restoration of the Modern Word’s old Kafka site. At this point, resurrecting the Samuel Beckett site will have to wait until late 2025.

Pinned: Searching for Jeff Nowak
I am currently looking to get in contact with Kafka translator Jeff Nowak. Unfortunately I cannot find his contact information online, and the “contact” link at Kafka.org is dead. Jeff, if you’re out there, drop me a line!

Pinned: White Leviathan Music & Maps!
Visitors who would like high-res images of the “Macy-Tuttle Family Tree” and the “Kingsport Map” may send me an email, and I will add you to a White Leviathan dropbox. You will also receive a bonus MP3 playlist of sea-shanties, handpicked by yours truly from my vast collection!


2024 February 25
White Leviathan: Chapter 5 continues. Encounter 3: The Offshore Grounds leads to an epic battle with a deranged sperm whale in Encounter 4: Raging Bull.


2024 January 14
White Leviathan: The brief Chapter 5 begins with Encounter 1: The Fourth of July. This is followed by the first sighting of the titular White Leviathan—Encounter 2: First Hunt for Mocha Dick.


2023 December 27
White Leviathan: The Galápagos chapter concludes with five final encounters, starting with Encounter 21: The Cloven Pine. This leads to the most horrific scene of Act One, Encounter 22: Contact and Communion, in which a player character is forced into contact with a dying alien. Encounter 23: Turning the Tables offers guidelines for imprisoned characters, while Chapter 4 eases into its denouement with Encounter 24: Return to the Quiddity and Encounter 25: Departing the Enchanted Isles. The Pacific Ocean beckons!

2023 December 2
White Leviathan: The Galápagos chapter nears its climax: Encounter 19: Thal’n’lai and Encounter 20: The Starry Island.


2023 November 25
White Leviathan: At long last! A Kingsport Map and the Macy-Tuttle Family Tree!

2023 November 24
White Leviathan: Deeper into the unknown with Encounter 16: Temple Passage, Encounter 17: Y’ha-n’thal: The Temple of the Deep Ones, and Encounter 18: The Gate.


2023 October 29
White Leviathan: Professor Lowell confronts his past in Encounter 15: Lowell’s Cave. I’ve also added the lengthy but informative player handout, “Lowell’s Testimony.”

2023 October 21
White Leviathan: The Lowell Expedition continues: Encounter 13: Attack of the Calibans and Encounter 14: Approaching Lowell’s Cave.

2023 October 13
The Modern Word: I am delighted to add “Elusive Butterfly: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice” to Spermatikos Logos! This piece by filmmaker Jeffrey A. Brown examines Anderson’s ambitious 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel. As freewheeling as the film itself, Brown’s essay explores the idea of “unfilmable” novels, examines Anderson’s multifaceted career, and places Inherent Vice in the context of “stoned noir.” It also includes a playlist!


2023 August 26
White Leviathan: The Lowell Expedition to Volcán Wolf gets underway: Encounter 9: The Lowell Expedition, Encounter 10: The Lowell Expedition Day 1, Encounter 11: The Lowell Expedition Day 2, and Encounter 12: The Lowell Expedition Day 3.

2023 August 19
White Leviathan: Four more encounters take the Quiddity through a volcanic eruption to the eve of the Lowell Expedition: Encounter 5: Sailing to Albemarle & Narborough, Encounter 6: The Eruption, Encounter 7: Banks Cove, and Encounter 8: Tarnmoor’s Lagoon.

2023 August 18
White Leviathan: A few more outstanding holes have been filled, including adding the R’lyeh Text and the Cthaat Aquadingen to “Books & Grimoires,” and finally posting the Quiddity Damage Tables and the Quiddity Random Tables.

2023 August 15
White Leviathan: Chapter 4 begins with the first four encounters on the Galápagos Islands—Approaching the Galápagos, Hood Island, Charles Island, and a visit to the Ecuadorian penal colony, Asilo de la Paz. The calm before the coming storm, these encounters are filled with turpining, a visit to the whaler’s post office, and a meeting with the Islands’ most colorful figure, the “Creole Dog King.”

2023 August 13
White Leviathan
: Everything you wanted to know about mid-nineteenth century firearms and Call of Cthulhu has been added to “Auxiliary Materials and Systems.” This includes Firearm Rules Modifications, Notes on Period Firearms, and a thoroughly-researched White Leviathan Armory, complete with details, stats, and color photographs. Now when an NPC is described as owning an M1777 Charleville musket or a blunderbuss pistol, you can just look it up in the Armory. Next step: posting all the Encounters for Chapter 4. Things are going to get pretty weird soon! (P.S. Even if you aren’t going to play White Leviathan, the “Armory” may be useful for any Call of Cthulhu game set in the 18th or 19th century.)

2023 August 12
White Leviathan: A page on “New Systems and Mechanics” covers a wide range of gaming systems for resolving various conflicts that may arise in a long Call of Cthulhu campaign. These include guidelines on Seasickness, Swimming Underwater, Interrogation, Shipboard Firefighting, Attacking with a Net, and Using a Torch as a Club. Although most have been designed for nautical scenarios, they may be used in any Call of Cthulhu game from any time period. All are compliant with the 7th Edition rules.

2023 August 11
White Leviathan: A few minor additions have been added to flesh out Chapter 4: the poison Sycorax, the Whittier Revolving Rifle, and the “Volcán Wolf Testimony.”

2023 August 10
White Leviathan: With the addition of the Republic of Caliban (Group) and Salvator R. Tarnmoor, all the NPC profiles for Chapter 4 are complete.

2023 August 3
White Leviathan: Two new NPCs have been profiled. Rafael Castro, the former assistant of Dr. Lowell; and Father Ingo Quiring, the Jesuit geologist who leads the Republic of Caliban. Both play major roles during the Galápagos Islands chapter.


2023 July 30
White Leviathan: A grotesque monster from Patagonian mythology, El invunche has been added to the Call of Cthulhu bestiary.

2023 July 29
White Leviathan: I have finally completed Chapter 4, which takes the Quiddity to the Galápagos Islands—and finally brings the characters face-to-face with the Mythos. This is a major chapter, and will be added piecemeal over August—dozens of new encounters, NPCs, weapons, poisons, eldritch texts, and handouts. We start with the “Chapter 4—Galápagos Keeper’s Background” and the “Chapter 4—Galápagos Encounters” table of contents.


2023 April 20
White Leviathan: You want a real bummer for 4-20? How about this spell, freshly added to Witchcraft—“Ritual for the Creation of a Mancuñ?” Adapted from the Chilote mythology of Chile, it describes how a brujo can fashion a “flying vest” from human skin.


2023 February 4
The Modern Word: With the addition of Sinfonia, the Brazen Head’s Luciano Berio section is now complete! Something of a musical Ulysses, Berio’s Sinfonia is a postmodern masterpiece, framed by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Samuel Beckett.


2023 January 18
The Modern Word: Berio’s surreal opera Outis has been added to the Brazen Head’s Luciano Berio page. Based on the Odysseus myth, Outis unfolds over five “cycles,” each a phantasmagoria of characters and events revolving around marriage, infidelity, war, nostalgia, travel, and consumerism. The libretto borrows from Paul Celan, W.H. Auden, Herman Melville, Sylvia Plath, and James Joyce. Indeed, some of the characters and situations in the opera echo Joyce’s Ulysses.

2023 January 7
The Modern Word: Woo-hoo! The Joyce Audio pages have been completed by three new additions: Drama & Poetry, Biography & Criticism, and Joycean Miscellany. Taking—I dunno—two months longer than I expected, I’m now having a tumbler of whiskey and going to play Destiny 2. See you next week for more Berio!

2023 January 1
The Modern Word: What better way to celebrate the New Year than listening to Finnegans Wake? There are three unabridged versions available, and several fascinating shorter versions and “selected passages.” Load ‘em onto your phone and impress your friends!


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