if you write a story where monsters embody different types of fear I’m automatically interested
if you write a story where monsters embody different types of fear I’m automatically interested
past me was a coward for not coming up with security procedures for several Fears in my first SCP Foundation knockoff, coming up with creative ways of containing things is half the fun
(”A Decade,” a post for the blog What is the Fear Mythos?)
Today is February 14th, 2021. Today is the birthday of our mythos's primary founder, CuteWithoutThe. On Cute's sixteenth birthday, they began organizing the Fear Mythos, getting into contact with the other two founders, alliterator and LizardBite, and planning some of the first stories. Because of this, it is tradition to consider the anniversary of the Fear Mythos to "begin" on February 14th.
Two weeks later, on the last day of the month, Cute posted a thread on TVTropes officially laying out the plans and inviting participation. While by this point we still were not even called "the Fear Mythos," it is tradition to consider the anniversary of our mythos to "end" on February 28th.
Again, today is February 14th, 2021. Cute's sixteenth birthday was ten years ago.
The Fear Mythos is turning ten years old.
Now, in practice, this might not mean much out of the ordinary. Members of the community generally collaborate for the "Fearniversary" in writing an anniversary tournament blog, and this year that is definitely a thing, this is a nice celebration. Getting to an anniversary at all is a cause worth celebrating.
But ten years, wow. There probably is a lot that can be said, in a sentimental sense. Our mythos has seen a lot of blogs over these ten years. We've seen some vlogs too. And we've even seen some games and musical outputs. There have been physical books, podcasts, communities on various websites; there have been busy years, quiet years, and years in between. People have come and gone, the popular monsters to be used in our stories have changed back and forth, and.. well, ten years have passed and yet this mythos does not die.
I have to acknowledge that not one of our three founders has been active in the mythos for some time. I, DJay, am the "oldest" member still sticking around, and even then I'm not that active, not even in my own stories. For some, this is an appeal of our community: It's quiet, a place to read stories and throw ideas around. I did oversee an overhaul several years ago with the express purpose of "futureproofing" our central concepts, the hope being that, no matter how quiet our community became, the ideas would stick around. For better or for worse, the quiet is something for which we were prepared.
I bring this up because something about a "tenth anniversary" feels like the sort of Big Deal that may bring about a change in activity. It's probably the significance inherent in a double-digit number. That's a very human thing. (Like, seriously, very human. The number 10 is only significant to us because we operate under base-10 assumptions, and those are predicated on the number of fingers we have. But I don't need to tell you any of this, not on the surface of what this post is about.) A group that has persisted for a decade has relative age, and age is associated with experience, experience with knowledge, knowledge with a social fertility that "could go Big with just the right input." All of which is to say: Ten is a very different age for a single human than it is for a group of fiction writers.
We have been quiet. Next, we might try something else. That's a scary idea in and of itself, isn't it? A good creepy story: The Day The Mythos Went Big.
I'm playing around, here. The Fearniversary is a communal event, like a damn two-week festival; this is the most appropriate time to dress ourselves up in masks and pretend to be what we haven't yet been, to turn our thoughts to the stars and dream big, to hit upon emotional changes which take us resolutely into the new year renewed and ready for what it may bring.
The Fear Mythos, you see, is yours. Our monsters, the Fears, are legally considered "Creative Commons Attribution," meaning you can do whatever you want with them so long as there's even an implicit acknowledgement of the greater mythos's existence. This is worth spelling out, even to veterans, because it's a strength that's easy to overlook. We can't always guarantee you an immediate active audience, but we can promise you this: Place. You and your creations have a place here, here where not even a decade has erased us, here where the future can still grow, here at the online intersection between fiction and reality. You are free to take our creations as a model to build your world, experiment, see what becomes.
I know. I'm wordy, and if I have any points I'm trying to make they don't consistently come across. Yet still, this mythos has given me place as well. When I've had nobody else, this mythos has been there for me for ten years. Without it, I wouldn't have published two books, written three rock albums, made dozens of surprisingly close online friends, and been exposed to media that has in tangible ways changed my life. I'm maybe a little too close to this mythos to make a proper grand statement in overview, which would be more appropriate for this celebratory post, but I can speak emotive, I can light a signal to confirm to the world that we're still going. To a degree, I can speak both to and for our community in saying: We have known activity, and we have known rest, and somehow out of the ambiguous murk in between the two we have found our Voice persists.
Those of you who are only now finding us, you've got so much to see. Those of you who are sticking around, you're in for a treat.
Another thing I'm doing here is clumsily segueing into another subject: seven years ago, on our third Fearniversary, LizardBite privately proposed setting up a semi-"official" ARG in celebration. (You know the kind: Codes hidden across the web that, when solved, lead down rabbit holes to even more codes, accompanied by some sort of story.) alliterator and I took up the suggestion and spent some time planning behind the scenes. I sought out the consultation of CuteWithoutThe, as well as mythos veterans The Visitor, Omega, and Squeek, in order to work out a setting of lore and game mechanics which would be both ethically appropriate and compelling. This proved fruitful, and when we launched the ARG our players uncovered novellas, audio logs, myths, and art (contributed by the likes of The Visitor, Logic, Wiratomkinder, and alliterator). The subforum on which their efforts were contained still exists, though you may need an account to see it. The ARG went on hiatus two years later, and it has been dormant ever since.
Those who currently frequent the discord community may know that I have been digging the old plans back up, that I intend on bringing the ARG back. It was my intent to bring it back in time for this Fearniversary. I, uh, may still be able to do so in time for the 28th of February, but I am not going to push it, as the content I have under works demands rigorous iteration and testing. I bring this up in this post because it is, by its nature, relevant to celebrations of our mythos, and this news is relevant to this Fearniversary in particular.
So. To conclude.
Happy Fearniversary 2021! We're celebrating a decade of the Fear Mythos!
As soon as it is ready, you will know: Nine is God is coming back. New players will be welcome.
Another of the first monsters ever conceived for the Fear Mythos back in 2011 was the Blind Man. This idea was alliterator’s, an old man with no eyes who nevertheless knows how to take your memories away from you and put them in his book. alliterator gave this monster to the public domain, and for whatever reason this has been one of the most popular Fears to write with, sort of an icon. I certainly write a lot with it.
The art above is also by alliterator and was made for Nine is God. Some bonus Blind Man art:
This, courtesy of Rappu, is how the Blind Man is portrayed in OH GOD THE RAPTURE IS BURNING-- a strange man who has had a long long life and sometimes appears young, sometimes appears old. He has thirteen names, one of which is Tiresias. In this picture he is young Thoth.
..for some reason I can’t upload any more art to this post. Moving on, then!
As I mentioned in my post for the Convocation jam, a fella by the name Bound By The Moon once made a bunch of leitmotifs for our Fears long ago, and I’ve recently been trying to do things with them. The Blind Man’s leitmotif took a lot of work to get written down, working by ear; it’s a tricky rhythm. But it’s also one of my favourites, I love the melody. And in this jam I got to add some nice harmonies to it!!!
Anyway. Please enjoy this little jam.
you like The Magnus Archives? why not try the Fear Mythos? we got
- uncanny-looking malevolent being that masquerades as human
- birds that can generate lightning and carry you into the sky
- hive mind of bugs that inhabit people’s bodies
- smoke monster that drives people to berserker rages by its very presence
- judgmental eye
- shadow people
- disembodied force that manifests by warping reality around it
- puppet who controls YOUR strings
- ice being that targets lonely people
- the afterlife itself (but a monster)
- demon dog that hunts people to the ends of the earth
- fire ghost that manipulates people into destroying their own lives
- techno monster that assimilates both metal and flesh
- force that warps people’s bodies into abominations
and other fun things :)
time to make some gay princess tutu gifs
Because my brain has just been all about this stuff lately: I don’t think the Walrider is actually a god. Or even anything god-like, for that matter. Maybe it was worshipped or seen as one once -- I love the concept of such beings being defined by the level of belief that people have in them, and their power being scaled to their ‘reputation’ -- but it isn’t divine or infernal or anything like that. But its existence and its capabilities might be perceived by some as being godly, and it won’t correct or deny that perception. If anything, that reverence only fuels it.
One of the first monsters to be written in the Fear Mythos back in 2011 was the Convocation. It’s a classic horror idea: The birds are watching you, and they might just be the wrong kind of bird. You swear that flock wasn’t there before the lightning struck, but that can’t be right, can it? A flock of birds can’t just come out of the lightning?
Also back in the day, a fella by the name Bound By The Moon made us a little leitmotif that could represent these birds. It was a lovely little melody, with string sound and arpeggios and some other elements which I forgot to incorporate in this what you hear above. Because, yeah, I decided to take the leitmotif today and make a little jam out of it.
Art is from OH GOD THE RAPTURE IS BURNING; Logic made the picture.
You know, as someone who has not watched The Magnus Archives, it always strikes me as weird that there isn’t more fan crossover with the Fear Mythos, given how form what I can tell TMA’s eldritch horrors and the Fears of the Fear Mythos share the same basic concept.
...Well, except for the fact the Fear Mythos did it first by about a year. Which, I mean, from what I know it’s almost certainly coincidence due to sharing similar influences, but I do find it faintly bemusing how that happened.
diana can’t be friends w people who can’t call her by her name and insist on calling her wonder woman
The second album by mythical prog act Sunsetters has finally been released. The year is 2002. The universe is not quite our own. Back in the universe that is our own, by secluding myself from the world for several years and inhaling the fumes of the gods I was able to catch glimpses of this album, enough to enable me to transcribe it all into midi format. You’ll have to make do; this is the best rock album ever made, in their world and in ours. It’s gonna fuck your shit.
Summer Sucks (written by Jordan “myself” Dooling and @rapturebones)
Tracklist: 1: The Inferno Begins (14:47) 2: Pig Bruiser (20:44) 3: Found the Fountain of Mab (15:30) 4: Tired Anthem (34:26) 5: Clowns Who Set the Sun (8:25) Total runtime: 1:33:52
Click these links: - THE FILES (smooth-sounding mp3 downloads, and commentary booklets) - THE YOUTUBES (fully-functional lyric video playlist, video quality is less than ideal because any higher than that would have destroyed my computer in rendering, I tried)
This is one of those posts I’m gonna have to ask you to share. We’ve been working on this since 2014. The sheet music spans hundreds of pages. We worked pretty damn hard on this, and we’re releasing it for free.
Fragments of Fear (1985) is the second Call of Cthulhu companion book. Chaosium released these for most of the games in their line and they generally consists of a little bit of everything – stats for new monsters, essays, rules supplements, scenarios and the occasional bit of weirdness like poems or jokes (in Fragments of Fear’s case, the weirdest thing is a selection of quotes of historical ritual curses compiled by Sandy Petersen).
This one has a lot of new spells, a page of rules clarifications, a map of Innsmouth, an essay on Cthulhu, two rather straight forward scenarios and some new stats for monsters and animals. Most of this stuff, and stuff in the first companion, would fill out the page count of the core rules when they transitioned from box sets to books.
The best part of Fragments of Fear is the fold out size comparison chart, which displays the relative sizes of most of the monsters and gods in the game. It is silly and arguable the height of early Call of Cthulhu’s (accidental?) effort to catalog and D&D-ify the unknowable mythos, but I love it anyway.
Oh, and Tom Sullivan’s illustrations are, as usual, on point. The summoning of the dark young is one of my all time favorites. I dig the cover, too, even though I’ve never decided what the heck is going on in it. Are those ghouls? Zombies? Servants of Glaaki?
you never realize how much you definitely described the main antagonist of one of your stories as looking exactly like Colonel Sanders until you sit down and draw him. gotta stop doing art forever apparently
either that or it’s actually 100% canon that the current avatar of an immortal god of guilt and judgment is the KFC mascot
one way or another, the point is, don’t give your characters short white hair, all-white formal clothing, and pale skin unless you want them to look like Colonel Sanders
The Mythos Trials, Another Snip: Gwen giving herself a pep talk because what else do you do when you have acrophobia and no other choice but to climb? Gwen also questioning what happens when everything is over, whether she can return to the life she had without Forneus and Phenex by her side.
I've started watching Heirs of the Night and for those interested, so far it's a really enjoyable - late 19th century setting - vampire young adult TV series, involving building friendships, some teen romances (one of which is between two queer girls), and moments with the kids protecting each other.
To lay down the basics. It's about the heirs of multiple vampire clans being brought together aboard The Elisabetha to teach each other their clan powers because they are under threat of extinction and to survive they will have to come together.
And that's because in the past those clans did too good a job at slaughtering each other. So now that both the human vampire hunters are becoming too big a threat and an old enemy has woken up, they're pretty much in a bit of a 'no better alternative' scenario.
The clans in question are the Vamalia from Germany, the Dracas from Norway, the Nosferas from Italy, the Pyras from France and the Vyrad from England. This is not a complete list of all clans, but most other ones are extinct and so either largely irrelevant or a spoiler.
It’s got a decently interesting mythos and though there are some things that are clearly a result of the story being aimed towards the teen audience, it’s also not nearly as cringy as one might have feared.
From a production perspective, what you might like to know is that this is a Dutch/Norwegian/German collaboration-production and though the show is mainly in English, the characters when speaking between themselves also often speak in their native languages (with subtitles).
Now if you’re looking for some kind of cinematography masterpiece with flawless CGI and Game of Thrones levels of adult gore and violence this is not that show. But it’s also not a cheap low level production, they spent quite a bit of money on this thing and it does show (it was filmed in multiple European countries and the costumes and sets are actually pretty beautiful).
And with 2 seasons of 13 episodes each out, I think it’s worth at least checking out to see if it’s something that might interest you.
Banshee!Danny and ghosts paralleling real world supernatural mythos and spirits thought, inspired by @floralflowerpower ‘s banshee post.
A siren, I assumed like Ember and based on her attributes in the show, would have a variety of tones they have specialized to get the specific influence they desire,
and can “exchange” (notice the red music note is switched for a blue fist that later turned green, the green skull had changed places, and blue flame had seemingly disappeared) or change those specialized tones.
And seeing the green fists as well as the more ominous death song above, I wondered about our ghost boy and his more vocal abilities, his ghostly wail.
I thought, what would happen if a banshee, obviously specifically Danny, sang?
Banshees being spirits mostly associated with warning and ominous signs of oncoming death, I wonder if his singing voice, as sirens songs are often emotionally influential given Ember as our example, would put people into mourning or become sorrowful, like how that “in the arms of an angel” animal cruelty commercial made people so upset they couldn’t use that song anymore, in panic and fear to hide away from the focus of song, or a sense of urgency, to act against whatever it is that may be coming. To sing of anguish, dread, and warning.