Hagenland Photo Reminds Me of Evocative Artwork by
SOMEWHERE IN NORWAY – 2014: My friend and partner in (game breaking) crime, Hagenland, snapped this image whilst back home. When he fired it through to me I was stunned by the dramatic mood of the image, but also by how closely it resembles some of the artwork by one of my favourite creatives: Blair Reynolds. Specifically, this image takes me to the classic Call of Cthulhu campaign book launched by Pagan publishing in 1994 – Walkers in the Wastes. Apart from turning me on to Reynolds’ creative genius (Dennis Detwiller too), the campaign WitW also helped forge a bond with a bunch of new players in my world that still lasts to this day…
It was 1998 and the first time I was getting to use the new RPG systems I had built up around the consistent universe of my books. Something I just called GAME. Later to be broken by the chap who took this photograph – and hence his moniker GBH.
That fateful day in 2005 was what allowed the whole concept of a Mythos-Apocalypse to take shape inside my skull, and led to me creating and writing Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur. The RPG we’ve now been playing religiously since 2007.
Walkers in the Wastes features the NPC Reinhold Blair, one of the most insidious bad guys in role-playing history – almost as depraved and evil as the Great Old One Y’golonac. I actually took the members of the game group to Prague (in reality) for the concluding scene of the campaign, the ultimate showdown with this human monster, Reinhold Blair. We took rooms in an old renaissance-looking burgher house in Malá Strana called Dům u velké boty (House at the Big Boot) which dates from before 1669! The proprietor allowed us to use the recently refurbished sub-cellar, a vaulted chamber two floors below ground with a banqueting table for us to play on. It was an incredible experience. A far cry from the frozen wastes where the campaign began many months (of real-time) earlier.
The arctic chapters are a real treat. Laced with atmosphere and a chilling story. If you love the story Mountains of Madness, or the sublime campaign Beyond The Mountains of Madness, then WitW will give your characters exposure to many frozen fears. Likewise, this photo by Hagenland which really captures the beauty and terrifying isolation of the arctic landscape.
If you’ve never played it, Walkers in the Wastes is an incredible work of Cthulhu Mythos horror, investigation and drama at it’s very best. You can purchase it via Amazon here.
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