Monday, March 25, 2013

Call of Cthulhu: The Musical

Interesting little project.  You may want to visit!

Here is the website link.  Click!

Call of Cthulhu - The Musical Act 2 1/7/2013

At some point during the round of self-congratulations for finishing the first act of this particular webcomic, it occurred to me that I was not quite a quarter of the way through the entire story and it had taken me about 6 months to get there. I had originally intended Call of Cthulhu - The Musical to be a short, precursor project before getting into the substantially longer science fiction story from which I take the name of the web site.

But, honestly, once I began writing the story, I began to feel a real empathy for my interpretation of Randolph Carter. I got excited about portraying the conflicts and interactions with Ward, West, Wilbur Whately, and the Waites (One thing that becomes apparent through reading Lovecraft's work is his love of the letter "W"). My short little half-baked idea spiraled into a sprawling epic that would make the late Robert Jordan say "Dude, no one has time to read all that!"

But, honestly, I don't mind. This has been a really thrilling and engaging project for me. My intention is not to rush through this story to get to the "real" project. I instead want to do the best work that I can with my limited time and even more limited brain.

I hope you enjoy what I have in store for Act 2. I should say that despite my affection for these characters, horrible, horrible things will happen to them. So, look forward to jokes in poor taste, the outright mangling of a number of popular songs, and a sense of impending doom...kind of like American Idol with tentacles.

Brian Hendrickson Station Manager

Littlest Lovecraft Children's Book

This is called a Kickstarter program.  You may want to check out the details here.

A collaborative full color illustrated children's book style adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu.

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Strange Death of Sokullu Mehmed Pasha

This blog is reblogged by permission from journalist and writer Matthew W. Quinn:

The Strange Death of Sokullu Mehmed Pasha

From A New Look at Sokullu Mehmed Pasha, published at Miskatonic University.

The consensus of historians on the assassination of Grand VizierSokullu Mehmed Pasha on October 11, 1579 AD (or 20 Sha'ban 987 AH in the Islamic reckoning) is fairly well-known in our field. The Ottoman Sultan Murad III, alienated from the vizier who had served his father and grandfather so long and ably by his mother Narbanu Sultan and Venetian-born wife Safiye Sultan, took steps to reduce the vizier's influence on government. The vizier's allies were sent to faraway positions or assassinated. Ultimately, a mentally-unstable dervish talked his way into the vizier's office and stabbed him. This kind of intrigue was fairly common in the Ottoman Empire, especially during the period known as the Sultanate of Women.

However, some recent discoveries by Miskatonic University researchers of documents thought lost forever during the civil unrest that wracked Constantinople when the Janissaries were suppressed has shed new light on the circumstances of the vizier's assassination and an incident that took place in 1571.

These documents paint a far more sinister picture of the vizier. They include accusations of dealings with agents of Safavid Persia, with whom the vizier had counseled peace as opposed to the usual border wars, and even black magic. The documents accuse the vizier of, under the influence of an agent of Persian Shah Tahmasp I, acquiring a book of black magic from an Armenian merchant who had visited the long-vacant shrine of a corrupted Sufi order that had been destroyed by Turkish nomads not long before. The use of this book resulted in an incident in Constantinople that killed dozens of Ottoman soldiers, destroyed one war galley and forced the scuttling of a second, and caused significant damage to the Bayezit II mosque.

These accusations against Sokullu are not new, but have been long dismissed as the slanders from his political enemies. However, the mosque was damaged somehow, necessitating repairs by the famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1573 and 1574. Furthermore, it is often said that converts make the best zealots. Safiye Sultan was a Catholic before she became a Muslim, while the most recent evidence suggests Narbanu was an Orthodox Greek from Corfu before her conversion. If Sokullu was involved in the dark arts, or was widely believed so, this could have provoked the ire of the Imperial women. They would not wish one so tainted to continue virtually ruling the Ottoman Empire in place of their son and husband. And the dervish orders might be willing to provide an assassin to dispose of the vizier, especially given his (tangential) connection to a Sufi order that had become warped by dark forces.

Of course, this is all just speculation. The documents describe how the soldiers killed in the incident were buried in a mass grave outside Constantinople that was given special attention by Muslim imams, Orthodox Christian priests, and even a Jewish rabbi, while the materials used by Sokullu in the incident were confiscated, burned, and abandoned in Persia. Should this mass grave or the dumping site be found, it would lend credence to the incident described in the documents.

So just why was the Grand Vizier assassinated, and is the author's theory about dark powers manifesting in Constantinople actually true? Read "The Beast of the Bosporus" on or on Smashwordsto find out!


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