Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Further Meditations on 'The Whipserer In The Darkness' The Miskatonic Project Graphic Novel By Mark Ellis For Your Old School Horror Campaign

You can Download And Purchase this right over HERE 

So in honor of HPL's Birthday I've done a really extensive dig into  'The Whisperer In The Darkness' The Miskatonic Project Graphic Novel By Mark Ellis. The first part of my musings can be found right HERE

The Miskatonic Project was a small group of paranormal investigators from the special documents wing of the Miskatonic University library in Arkham. Well they're each investigators whose lives were touched by the Mythos. These brushes with the Great Old Ones in the past have had some very nasty effects on these folks. That's not say that they are victims.
This is actually where the differences between the approach that HPL presents and Mark Ellis.
The idea that the characters or PC's are central to the story line or adventure. Whisperer follows the old pulp tradition of putting the investigators into harms way right out of the gate.  
H. P. Lovecraft's The Miskatonic Project...from left to right, Fleur Averoigne, Randolph Carter and Detective Malone.

Each and every one of the investigators of the Miskatonic Project have had life and limb scarred up. They're minds, sanity, and souls touched as well as consumed to some extent by the Mythos. They've seen behind the curtain of reality and they can never look away.
The Project never swirves away from the Mythos or Lovecraft's stories. These tales especially Whisperer dive head long and weave their mysteries around the events of the various Lovecraft tales. A take that Chaosium would later borrow by providing stats for various Mythos NPCs.

This is a group that is willing to do anything to stop the world wide conspiracy that is the network of the Great Old Ones. Even if it means their sanity or lives.  The trouble for the investigators and adventurers of this series is not like  something not out of the sanity shattering fiction of HPL but a pulp roller coaster ride. Robert Howard's Mythos writings have this sort of two fisted pulp sensibilities about them. And so do the characters of these stories. These are flawed heroes dealing with the fallout of their lives touched by forces from beyond their pale. They've had to suck it up and fight outwards. 

The Kingsport Archive And The Miskatonic Project

Several differences between The Miskatonic Project's version of the various cults of the Old Ones and others is that these cults are very well funded. They've got the best equipment. Headquarters are stellar and they've got access to the very best Mythos tomes that money can smuggle.
They form a world spanning network of like minded cultists willing to do anything for their various dark masters and their alien servants the Mi Go.

The Kingsport Archive was formed by 'Top Men' after the Fall of Innsmouth and this group operated more like a spy cell then a group of academics. They were more then willing to get their hands dirty with wet work. They seemed to always be running afoul of Lord Justin Sabbath.This happened to be over a certain nasty piece of Mi Go technology that they had recovered. 
It took the attentions of both folklorist Professor Albert N. Wilmarth and Inspector Lagrasse's intervention to stave off bloodshed and legal action. 
The Archive began the task of recovering the various Mythos artifacts and dealt with the sanity shattering effects of said artifacts keeping them under lock and key. 

The Archive's collection was taken away and was later incorporated into the stacks of a certain warehouse. The PC's went their separate ways after The Red Hook Affair took the life of one of their number. 
The 'Archives' often seemed to take up the slack in New England when the Project was off in some other part of the world.  My advice would be to use the project sparingly if at all.
 The Archive was much more New England or backyard oriented while the Project seemed to be a more world spanning organization. The players actually seemed to care more when the game took place on their home Lovecraftian turf. 


The Different Aspects of the Mi Go

'The Whisperer In The Darkness' has some other marked differences from other takes on the Mi Go. The author uses the Mi Go as scouts for the returning 'Old Ones' and they are laying the foundation for the return of great Cthhlu and his ilk. 

Why do the Mi Go appear different from other adaptations of the story? This might easily be explained by the fact that there are different aspects of this insidious insectoids. Things that scuttle through the cracks of the universe and undermine the fabric of the cosmos for the 'Old Ones' return. 
There is a sense with these Mi Go that their disposable in the long run in the agenda of the Old Ones. Simply another biological tool or weapon in the arsenal of the Mythos. Mankind is heroic but it matters little in the scope of the agenda of the cycle in the Mythos. 

The Mi Go make an excellent pulptastic antagonist race against a party. 
'The Whipserer In The Darkness' The Miskatonic Project Graphic Novel By Mark Ellis is a really nice take on the Mythos instead of the usual turn of events. As always your mileage may vary. 

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