THIS IS MATERIAL FROM THE ICE CAVE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMATTED.
From: (Eckhard Huelshoff)
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 23:00:37 +0200
After finishing a brief series of scenarios set in Hungary during the rise against communist domination, I am thinking of writing another 'historical' DG-campaign set in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.
I know that according to Delta Green [ p. 50 ] there were no large-scale operations of P-Division in the years 1933-1942, but I am pretty fascinated by this era and especially the International Brigades.
And I do think that the Spanish Civil War might not only be a pretty good prologue for ODH, but that Spain has many sites and historic events that could be mythos related: The inquisition, Bull Fighting, Sangrila….
And concerning the Civil War: Hemmingway was in Spain fighting the fascists. And in my campaigns I always considered Hemmingway as an enemy of the mythos.
I am in the moment in the phase of brainstorming for this project. If anybody has anything to offer, I am looking forward.
If you think "Hey, that Eckhard-Guy is polling", ignore me or contact me off-list.
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 16:32:04 -0700 (PDT)
And concerning the Civil War: Hemmingway was in Spain fighting the fascists. And
in my campaigns I always considered Hemmingway as an enemy of the mythos.
Wasn't that Orwell chap there, too, or am I getting my wars mixed up? (You Europeans have so *many* of them!)
There was a very fun manga by the guy who did *Crying Freeman*, set in an alternate history in the days leading up to WW2. Main character was a handsome son of an anti-fascist samurai/business family. He gets caught up in trying to stop Japanese militarist plot to give the "Grass Cutter" sword (one of the 3 holy treasures of Japan) to Hitler in exchange for an alliance. Along the way, he picks up a motley crew of companions, including Ernest Hemingway, who is the best two-fisted, hard-drinking sidekick one could hope for.
OTOH, if you base Hemingway on the main character of *For Whom the Bell Tolls*, he's going to be rather more serious and depressing.
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 16:44:34 -0700
Eckhard reported in from the battlefields and announced that Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead:
If you want an interesting fictional character, I'll point out that Rick "CASABLANCA" Blaine was there. He was running guns to the loyalists. (Maybe the reason he had to leave New York was MYTHOS trouble?) I THINK some of the pulp heroes had ties to the Spanish Civil War as well.
Though I could be wrong.
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 19:14:07 -0700
From: Gil Trevizo
At 11:00 PM 9/19/2000 +0200, Eckhard Huelshoff wrote:
Nothing stopping you there. P Div was still a part of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and considering how small the office was, I doubt there were more than a couple of officers permanently assigned to P Div duties (and maybe not even that). Everyone else with experience of Innsmouth, Piedra Negro, or Agua Verde would have probably found themselves assigned to regular intelligence duties during this period.
ONI was involved in Spain, but as usual it was not anything large-scale. The war was seen as a crucible for new military technology (the Nazis worked a lot of the kinks out their blitzkrieg strategy there through the Condor Legion), and naval attaches in Spain were tasked to find out all they could about how the modern weapons were faring. Of course, it wasn't much of a naval war, but there was still plenty for naval intelligence to find out.
The Karotechia may or may not have existed during this period (the main sourcebook has Olaf Bitterich joining the Karotechia in 1936, but then lists the Karotechia starting in 1939… I dunno). Sonderkommando H had existed since at least 1933 though, so they could've been in that area digging up medieval sorcerors and trying to ressurect them. Remember that in the early Middle Ages, this area was one of the big hotbeds for medieval sciences transmitted from Arab scholars through Jewish scribes to Latin learners…. plenty of room for Al-Azif, kabbalism, and whatnot.
The Russkies were likewise involved in the war, though they didn't make the best allies. The various anti-Franco factions spent a lot of time killing each other, often manipulated by orders from the Soviet Union. These were also dark days for GRU SV-8, as this is the period when the whole unit is almost wiped out to a man by Stalin's purges. The NKVD occult bureau might have been on the scene.
PISCES is as much a ragtag outfit as P Div, but the Brits were more likely to be involved in Spain than the Americans. So might the French, but then we know jack about the French. The Japanese might've had a few attaches there doing the same kind of snooping around as ONI, and some of them might've been Black Dragon… but that's stretching.
Can't speak much about the other units, but the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was not served well upon returning to the States. Assholes like J Edgar Hoover considered them to be "premature anti-Fascists" and dogged them for being Communists (most were, some weren't, or at least not the Soviet kind of socialist). Their experience in Spain made them the best men for the kind of jobs that organizations like the OSS and SOE needed done when the war went global, but the "Red" label caused many of them to get turned down for enlistment in those outfits… it also didn't help that a lot of them were Jews (big-time WASP anti-Semitism active in both ONI and the OSS during that period). Things got really bad for them after the war when McCarthy went on his crusade.
From: Nick Brownlow
Yeah; it was during the Spanish Civil war that Orwell began to become seriously discontented with Communism (he saw how Stalinism was 'infecting' the Socialist faction). Also, Arthur Koestler (*very* interesting character from a mythos perspective) was knocking about the place, and even managed to get himself thrown in prison by the facists (I think 'Darkness at Noon' is based on this experience).
Aha- 'Homage to Catalonia' is what you're after;- basically it's Orwell's story of his time with a militia group during the war, and the dissapointment and disillusionment many English socialists felt with the cause upon their arrival.
It was also filmed- kind of- by Ken Loach as 'Land and Freedom', which is actually quite a good film (IMHO).
I mentioned Arthur Koestler in my last post- forgot to mention that many people felt he was acting as a spy for British intelligence when he was imprisoned (after all, why were the British foreign office so interested in getting a foreign national off the hook, especially with him being such a raving leftie and all).
Given his later creation of 'the Koestler Foundation' to study psychic phenomena, could it have been PISCES pulling strings for him?
Note also Spain's proximity to the Languedoc; the Cathars were supposed to have ran there after the Albigensian crusade, the Count of Barcelona (?) was fairly leniant on the Templar knights stationed in the city after the Order was disbanded, and the holy grail is supposedly housed in the Pyrenees.
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 18:45:09 +1000
From: Rob Shankly
Hi Eck, others:
Here follows a ramble about Spanish history. You have been warned.
Early Spanish history suggests some options. Spain was an important Roman/Carthaginian province- the second Punic War was mostly fought there and there followed a long period of Roman civilization: all sorts of influences might have been introduced from the rest of the Empire.
There were no dramatic "lost" Eagles (stumbled into S.N cults) but you could invent one. During this period there was a great deal of fighting, particularly in the north west (Augustus). This might have been motivated by more than a desire for conqueror's laurels (what about an ancient Roman DG?).
Roman civilization in Spain was destroyed by Vandal invaders- the Vandals came from an area somewhere near modern Bavaria. Could you have Special-K operatives searching for their artifacts? Maybe digging up burial mounds (NB: I have no idea what Vandals did with their dead).
The Vandals eventually left and were replaced by the Visigoths. These were romanised barbarians and set about creating a government of sorts: elective monarchy. I can't think of much interesting about the Visigoths except they were in charge in the mid 700s when the Berbers invaded (date?).
The Berbers (Arabs) invaded and whipped the Visigoths. They also ended persecution of Spanish Jews for a while. Large numbers happily converted to Islam. There should be quite a bit you can do with this period: tales of Djinns, tomes of Arab lore, Islamic scholars, jihad against cultists etc. The Berbers were in charge for about four centuries.
Starting in the mid 800s there was an increasing Christian resistance movement, centered around the Kingdom of the Asturias. This was a mountain stronghold in Galicia. In 830 the Tomb of St John at Compostela was "discovered" and became an important point of pilgrimage and a focal point for Iberian Christians. The St.John myth itself should provide some material, as might tales of lost pilgrim bands, Moorish raiders, undiscovered battlefields…
Spanish history during this period is really complicated- some Christian Kingdoms (Leon, Navarre etc) of various longevity appeared, and there was a lot of fighting. Crusaders, mercenaries and men-of-fortune from all over were involved. Eventually the Moors were driven out, leaving many influences.
A couple of more modern options:
1- there was a large and important Spanish art movement (Dali, Picasso et al). Not all the artists were present in Spain, but they might make interesting NPCs. Dali in particular would be worrying to investigators with some Mythos experience. And who knows, maybe surrealism owes itself to Cthulhu rising in his sleep, troubling the minds of artists?
2- there was a news story (early this year?) about unknown thieves stealing the skull of a medieval "anti-pope" from somewhere in Spain (details, anyone?). I'm sure you can use that idea!
Good luck anyway.
From: Carlos Marti Tortes
Ok, given that I am Spanish, I am truly interested in both collaborate and the final result. If you are searching for a good place to put a scenario, I suggest Guernica. For those who do not know about Spanish Civil war, Guernica is a city in the Vasque region that at the time was the center of Vasque regional institutions. It was the "spiritual center" of the Vasque support to the Republic. And it was also the first city to suffer a saturation bombardment by the air forces, specifically, the Condor Legion that Hitler sent to help Franco. Well, the place was heavily destroyed, and the whole town was in fire for three days. The strange part of it is that militar targets were undamaged (I think that there was an armament factory there) and also the most simbolic part of the city, the holy tree of Guernica.
The responsability for the bombardment was not clear. Franco denied that he gave the order, and accused the Republic to put the place on fire on their retreat. Some say that it was an order from Goering to test the power of the Luftwaffe, and others even say that the initiative was from the Condor Legion, enraged by the slow advancement of the Nationalists.Well, whatever the true is not known, but everything smells mythos.
Another note: It was after this bombardment that Picasso take an active political role to support the Republic, and produced the famous Guernica mural, that IMHO is very near what I imagine as "mythos artists" works.
Well, that's all for now. Whatever you want, do not hesitate to ask.
A few items that might be of interest:
- A review from H-WAR (historian mailing list)of a 1996 book on the Spanish Civil War, which notes that the book is suitable for undergrads and gives some useful background on the war:
- A good overview article from britannica.com:
- Film listings and reviews, academic links, the Basque struggle, Canadian participation in the war, et. al.
I'd forgotten just how many artists and journalists were involved in the struggle, in one way or another: Luis Bunuel, Frederico Garcia Lorca (murdered in 1936), George Orwell (joined up in 1936) Pablo Neruda, Howard Fast…
Anyway, hope this helps
From: ed.enilno-t|ffohsleuHE#ed.enilno-t|ffohsleuHE (Eckhard Huelshoff)
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 20:13:11 +0200
First of all special thanks to Rob for his summary of Spanish history. I'm sure it will help.
Nick Brownlow schrieb:
Note also Spain's proximity to the Languedoc; the Cathars were supposed to
have ran there after the Albigensian crusade, the Count of Barcelona (?) was
fairly leniant on the Templar knights stationed in the city after the Order
was disbanded, and the holy grail is supposedly housed in the Pyrenees.
I am in fact playing with the idea of using the grail. And I am as well playing with the idea of using the great concept concerning the Grail from Pagan's "The Golden Dawn".
And I love to use our most-favourite fertility goddess for the following reason: I always thought of Bull-Fighting as a ceremony where the bull is sacrificed to Shub Niggurath.
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 14:42:07 EDT
« Note also Spain's proximity to the Languedoc; the Cathars were supposed to have ran there after the Albigensian crusade, the Count of Barcelona (?) was fairly leniant on the Templar knights stationed in the city after the Order has disbanded, and the holy grail is supposedly housed in the Pyrenees. »
Hehe. DON'T forget the Cagot, those shunned suspect people the locals refuse to mix with. The earlobe-challenged midnight-wilding forest-dwelling folk that the locals despise and outsiders just don't understand.
Also IIRC, according to the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, Chaugner Faughn (sp?, I'm at work) took a local amphibian race of the Pyrenees called the Miri Nigri and turned them into the Tcho-Tcho. That's *one* of the origins of the Moes.
THIS IS MATERIAL FROM THE ICE CAVE. IT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMATTED.
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 13:47:48 +0200
Nick Brownlow wrote:
At this time, about 1213 the Count of Barcelona was also king of Aragon, Peter the First, father of James the First the Conqueror.
Peter the First was defeated at the battle of Muret against Simon of Monfort, this battle ended with the catalonian kingdom's expansion to the North. The Cathars were nearly annhilitaded after this campaign, and in 1243 after the siege of Montsegur were driven from that land.
Some data useful about the last messages: The berbers arrived in 711 and in 1492 was conquered the last moor kingdom, Granada.
The same year the jews were also driven from the kingdom of Spain.
The saint whose tomb was discovered whose 'Santiago Apostol', although in english is normally accepted to use St.James, more in http://www.xacobeo.es/xacobeo_ing.htm
About the civil war:
Eckhard Huelshoff wrote:
What is Sangrila? Do you mean Sangria?
I'm not sure, Hemingway was in the war like a journalist and although he was friendly with the republicans, he returned to Spain a lot of times when dictator Franco was still alive, and he was not impresoned or threatened.
I remember now that there was a graphic novel of Wolverine where he was also in Spanish Civil War, it was very, very bad.
From: "Andy Robertson"
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 20:26:15 +0100
Also IIRC, according to the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, Chaugner Faughn (sp?,
I'm at work) took a local amphibian race of the Pyrenees called the Miri Nigri
and turned them into the Tcho-Tcho. That's *one* of the origins of the Moes.
Maybe not the Tcho-Tchos, but something similar.
In his letters, HPL recounts a terrific dream, one which covered days of subjective time, wherein his spirit was regressed to the body of a Roman living in Spain about AD 400.
He was a gentleman who advocated the investigation of a tribe of sinister witch-folk, the Miri Nigri (the "Strange Dark Folk" - not asian in appearance - not amphibian - apparently kin to the Basques).
He took a cohort to the mountains near the town of Pamphlona (Pomphelo) to do so … but the cohort, and the gentleman, were destroyed.
And now, suddenly, the sky itself was snuffed out. Stars and Milky Way vanished in an instant, and only the hilltop flames remained - silhouetting, for the first time, the blasphemous shapes of the not quite human things that danced and leaped titanically around them… …
….. Only the aged Scribonius Libo, veteran of the Jugurthine and Mithidatic wars, retained to the last a perfect poise and fortitude. I can yet see his calm Roman face in the fading light of the torch he held - see his face and hear the clear, measured words with which he met his doom like a true patrician and consul of the republic. From the slopes and peaks above us a crackling chorus of demonaic laughter burst, and winds of ice swept down to engulf us all. My spirit could endure the strain no longer, and I awakened - bounding down the centiries to Providence and the present.
But still their ring in my ears those last calm words of the old proconsul - "Malitia vetus - malitia vetus est - venit - tandem venit.… "
It was one of the most vivid dreams I have had in a decade …
This was a genuine dream and *not* something HPL made up.
Frank Belknap Long later transferred HPL's account verbatim to THE HORROR FROM THE HILLS, which is where Chaugnar Faugn comes from. Faugn is a product of Long's imagination, but the Miri Nigri, and their god the Magnum Innominandum, are straight from Lovecraft's dreams.
From: "Steve Connor"
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 18:19:26 -0500
The International Brigades were not the only crusaders in Spain. Eoin O'Duffy (by 1936 leader of the National Corporate Party, the "Greenshirts") sent 670 Irish volunteers to fight for the Nationalist. Franco could have had over 5000 had he not cancelled a number of troop transports. See Robert Stradling, The Irish and the Spanish Civil War and Fearghal McGarry, Irish Politics and the Spanish Civil War. Given that British volunteers for the Int'l Brigades, coming from a "developed" Left,numbered around 2000 in total, the Irish commitment is impressive indeed.
Alpert, Michael. Uncivil War—the Military Struggle. History Today 39:13-19 Mar 1989. / Discusses the military action between Republican and Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.
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Bolin, Luis. Flight into History. Readers Digest 72:120-125 Jan '58./ The story of General Franco's secret flight to Spanish Morocco, July 1936.
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The 1937 conference at Nyon, Switzerland was held to stop Italian submarine sinking of neutral ships during the Spanish Civil War.
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Discusses the destruction of the "holy city" of the Basques in April 1937.
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From: "Rain Crow Lee"
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 00:35:59 GMT
Rob Shankly said:
and a lot more stuff.
Prior to Roman occupation of the Iberian peninsula, Spain was home to a branch of the Celts, who had spread from the Halstatt civilization in central Europe centuries before. The Halstatts were adept iron workers, and their designs for the sword were further developed in Spain, and became the sword known to us as the Roman Legionnaire's sword.
Before the Celts were, of course, the people we know today as the Basques.
"Archaeological and ethnographic findings indicate that Basque man evolved from Cro-Magnon man in this area over a period dating from 40,000 yers ago until distinct features were acquired approximately 7000 years ago."
As for the language, it is an artifact from pre-Bronze Age Europe. Who knows? It might be what they spoke in Atlantis.
From: "Andy Robertson"
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 20:54:22 +0100
As for the language, it is an artifact from pre-Bronze Age Europe. Who
knows? It might be what they spoke in Atlantis.
I believe that it's not an Indo-European tongue, nor is it related to any other major language family; which seems to indicate that the Basques were a relict population, original inhabitants who were not overwhelmed by various waves of invaders.
I have also heard that the Basques are genetically distinct from the Spanish (not in obvious ways, but it is shown in their blood group frequencies, etc) though many neighbouring "Spanish" people are genetically Basque but have changed their language.
As I mentioned before, the Basques were the unconscious template for Lovecraft's "Miri Nigri" or "Strange Dark Folk", who dwelt in the mountains of Spain & worshipped ill-defined Mythos entities.
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 18:07:18 EDT
«As I mentioned before, the Basques were the unconscious template for Lovecraft's "Miri Nigri" or "Strange Dark Folk", who dwelt in the mountains of Spain & worshipped ill-defined Mythos entities.»
NOT so fast there Binky. If you want some locals who are despised and etc. in the area, peruse:
An Accursed Race
by Elizabeth Gaskell
All about the Cagot. Apparently more French than Spanish judging from the hits on a web search.
At http://www.bibliomania.com/Reference/Webster/data/206.html I found this:
(||Ca`got") n. [F.] One of a race inhabiting the valleys of the Pyrenees, who until 1793 were political and social outcasts (Christian Pariahs). They are supposed to be a remnant of the Visigoths.
Take that Visigoth reference with a large grain of salt.
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 16:25:11 +0200
Sure, the basques were people that lived isolated in a rough terrain, but without any appreciable change in them, the choosed to be isolated, but the cagot were true outcasts, people refused to deal with them, maybe the fact to be few people living together made the body changes Lovecraft loved.
About the nation they came from, please think the old frontiers were not where are today. They were not spanish nor french, their descendants are in the two countries.
From: "John Petherick"
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 22:50:51 -0400
Well, besides Hemingway several other well-known people went to fight in Spain. Either from idealism, political convictions, or adventurism.
The most famous Canadian who went was Dr. Norman Bethune, inventor of mobile blood transfusions and a Communist Chinese saint. Well, the equivalent of a saint for his medical work for the Communist Army during the Long March (where he died from septicemia). A possible tie-in for the BDS or Unit 731, the Bloated Woman or the Tcho-tcho.
The Canadian counterpart to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion. Similar ideation, similar harassment.
Parliament passed a law making it a crime for a Canadian citizen to serve in the military of an un-allied nation engaged in war. Although this was the only conflict that the law was enforced (nothing has ever been done about the Canadians who enlist in the US military, serving in conflicts like Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Gulf, etc.).
IIRC, the Spanish Civil War also attracted people who fought for the Nationalists and some of these people were the nucleus for the various foreign national SS units in WWII.