#RPGaDay2015 11: Favorite RPG Writer

RPG-a-day-2015Kenneth Hite is the clear winner here. He writes gold, and would be the first to admit he’s just sourcing really good inspirational material before hitting “puree.” Suppressed Transmission, The Day After Ragnarok, The Madness Dossier, Night’s Black Agents, Bookhounds of London . . . the list goes on. Hite’s got the knack for that edge of “is this lunacy, or is this inspired?” that gets the brain burning.

The Occult Nature of Urban Renewal

Public domain image hosted by Wikipedia.

That is John Evelyn’s proposed plan for rebuilding London after the Great Fire of 1666. See anything familiar about it? It leapt right out at me, possibly thanks to the context in which it was referenced at Yog-Sothoth.com. Consider now this image, rotated to aid comparison:

Graphic by Eliyak, made public domain.

That’s right, Evelyn based his street layout on the kabbalah’s Tree of Life. My innate knowledge of London is sufficiently weak that I can’t line up locations with any confidence beyond St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is kindly marked on the details for Evelyn’s plan as location 8, meaning it corresponds with the sephiroth of Yesod, associated with Foundation, the moon and “the role of collecting and balancing the different and opposing energies of Hod and Netzach, and also from Tiphereth above it, storing and distributing it throughout the world. It is likened to the ‘engine-room’ of creation.”[1]

As Wren’s St. Paul’s was to be the centerpiece of the new London, perhaps St. Paul’s was to become the threshold between realms, as well as an “engine-room” receiving energy from the other places of power in Evelyn’s plan. To power what? Otherworldly portals? Memetic stabilizers to help London keep its conceptual shape and power?

In our history, Evelyn’s proposed layout for London never came to fruition. The rebuilt streets followed much the same lines as their predecessors and the general configuration survives today. Christopher Wren still had a hand in redesigning many other churches around London, in addition to St. Paul’s and infused them with plenty of mystic symbolism.[2]

[1] From Wikipedia’s article on Yesod.

[2] Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell contains a chapter which is, essentially, a tour of Wren’s churches that dissects the Masonic elements of his designs and — I think — some of the significance of their locations around London.

Bookhounds of London Ephemera Game

There’s a pretty awesome thread happening over at Yog-Sothoth.com as owners of the limited edition of Bookhounds of London[1] “correlate the contents” of the bits and bobs that shipped with their books.

I didn’t realize the mysterious death of Augustus Darcy would turn out to be a collaborative alternate reality game. I think that might have motivated me to pick up the limited edition, if I realized it would involve owners comparing unique bits of evidence. Coinage, books, receipts and more; those satchels are full!

There is an as yet unsolved cipher, lots of mutilated street maps with keys of Dee’s Aethyr scrawled on them, metal badges resembling the original elder sign Lovecraft devised and one very interesting bit that could be the kabbalistic Tree of Life as a network of Underground stations.

Needless to say, I am following the forum thread with great interest.

[1] Why yes, I do mean to write about Bookhounds of London. At some point.