Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


In this violating the Bounds of Time, Space and June so as to please
Atomweaver Edition .....
FICTION: Soviet Power and An Audience with Tsathoggua, respectively the
sixth and seventh [and last!] chapters of the Horror in the Ice, a tale
loosely-based on the latest lot of Call of Cthulhu d20 goings-on from
Legbiter Hall.
APPENDIX: Fiction acknowledgements, including a plug for British
DECK: Enkidu Trophy by Norman Brown

CHAPTER 6. Soviet Power

A rocky path wound up from the edge of the jungle to a cleft in the
rock, and the little party followed it, the Voormis leading the way.
Suddenly there was a deafening "Kok-ok-ok-AAAAAAAWWWWWW!!!!!" sound
from the jungle below, accompanied by much waving and thrashing of
vegetation. Out from the edge of the jungle came three humans. One of
them called out to the others and they all three stopped, levelling
firearms at their pursuer. And then it appeared, running with great
earth-shaking strides, one, two, three, a burst of machine gun fire and
then SNAP!!! The remaining two Germans screamed, and fled up the path
as the huge creature gulped down the still-twitching corpse of their

"Shall we shoot them?"

"No, cover them! Try for the eyes!"

"No, don't shoot at anything! That's a priceless prehistoric relic and
furthermore I don't think it's wise to draw its attention to us!"

The Germans had reached the Soviet explorers by now. Karlotta
recognised them as two of the aviators from the base. Bailkov turned to
the pilot.

"Are these ....?"

"Himmelstav is the one with the coal-scuttle helmet and the MP1918. The
fat guy with the pistol is Goring."

Hearing their names the two men seemed to become aware for the first
time of the Russians. Himmelstav clicked his heels and saluted,
addressing them in their own language.

"You know our names, I see! But the courtesies must wait, I think. That
beast is not alone, and I think we had better get further into the
mountain so as to be safe from them."

They all agreed, and passed upwards into the cleft, which became a dark
winding tunnel, descending to another lit space. Bailkov jogged

"Do you notice how it is light and warm in here, up in the high arctic
though we are?"

"Well, yes of course. Only the urgent priority of staying alive could
have distracted me from brooding upon those notable facts."

"My point is, this is what Comrade Stalin wants, isn't it? Soviet
Power, the melting of the Arctic, a brave new world for brave new men.
Think of the power that must underlie all of this!"

"So if I help The Party figure out how this place is powered, do you
think I could get off being shot?"

"Possibly. Even if not, I could probably arrange for it to be quick."

Karlotta shook her head, smiling wryly.

"Nothing like a good old Capitalist Incentive to get a girl to do her
Proletarian Duty. Look, Himmelstav is talking to Carpet-bloke!"

And so he was, in fluent Hyperborean.

"You have the most magnifient occipital region. May I take its


"I suspect you may be of an unusually pure racial type, unsullied by
the seed of Semitic and Negroid Degenerates. Measuring your occipitum
might confirm this hypothesis. I mean to present a paper on the subject
at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute when I return to Germany."

"Hmmm, sorry to hear about the old Negroids and Semites degenerating.
Sparky lot, they were. Drove us right out of all the decent bits of the
planet, round about 40 000 years ago, if memory serves. They let us
keep Thule, though."


"Yeah, it means Trash-Heap in one of them old languages. Or maybe
something worse. The Yithians used to come to Thule for their annual
ceremonial defecation. Over the millennia it kinda built up until you
could live on it. So we did. Anyway, these degenerate Negroids, do
their women still do that thing with their legs?"

Before Himmelstav could admit that he had no idea of the answer to this
question, they became aware that the tunnel had opened out into another
space, this time much larger, and flat. Immediately before them lay a
great oily pool or lake, and on the other side a black lawn rose gently
towards a flint-stuccoed house set in magnificent grounds. A raft was
conveniently tied up at the lake's edge, and towards this they bent
their steps. They saw a steering oar, and a metal box beside it.
Bailkov opened the box. And out sprang Jack.

"Hvasetheleel'sa? Hvasetheleel'sa?" it cried, a hideous muffled
bubbling from rotting vocal cords, swinging right and left with a
gigantic Renaissance Zweihander. It struck one of the Voormis on his
massive arm, where the matted fur turned the blow. All of the
companions struck at the ghastly thing, fired at it, but nothing seemd
to work except the repeated heavy club-blows of the Voormis guides.
Eventually all that was left was a wriggling pool of maggots and its
arms and armour, which Karlotta judged to be of Sixteenth century
pattern. Badly shaken, they flopped down on and around the raft to
rest. Karlotta tended to their injuries, miraculously slight. Bailkov
saw something glittering in the box, and gingerly he reached for it - a
tiny gold pendant, looking like a miniature coat-hanger. He put it in
his breast-pocket.

Once they had got their breath back they all climbed on the raft and
began to row towards the far bank. The oily lake was still, but
disturbing ripples, not caused by the raft, could be seen in the near
distance. They were glad when they reached the far bank, not having
seen whatever it was that caused them. Jumping out onto the black grass
they pulled the raft a few feet away from the lake's edge and gazed
around them. A feeling of cold horror settled on all their hearts, and
somehow they knew that the source and focus of this horror was the
house. Karlotta's pendant grew hot on her breast.

"HE is here. Go to him."

Mechanically, Karlotta began to walk towards the house. Mechanically,
the others followed.

CHAPTER 7. An Audience with Tsathoggua.

As they reached the door of the house it opened. Inside was a butler's
uniform. Inside the uniform was a flowing blackness which approximated,
as best it could, humanoid configurations. To be truthful its best was
not very good, perhaps of lowish 2.ii standard, but they all understood
that the butler-thing wanted them to come in and to proceed down the
oak-panelled hallway. A second door opened, and aromatic smoke emerged.

"Welcome, indeed! So good of you to come. Do you care for tea?"

Wreathed in the smoke from a gigantic hookah, the speaker was a huge
fat hairy toad-like creature, with sleepy golden eyes and a wide and
toothy mouth, from which a surprisingly sweet and high voice emerged.
It rose, or rather shuffled forwards.

"I see you have dear Eibon's pendant. SOOO hard to get good help these
eons, don't you find? But Eibon is an absolute TREASURE. Let's take our
tea in the summer house. My other guest is there already, and I expect
a bit impatient by now. Did you have trouble finding the place?"

Tsathoggua lumbered or wriggled with surprising speed out of the French
windows at the back of the room and into a region of the grounds which
rose up gently past a painting studio towards a pergola, festooned with
black Wisteria and green Clematis. At one end of the pergola lay a
sunken garden. At the other, beside a trim bowling green, was the
summer house, octagonal, with a table set for tea. And something else.

Except for the pilot they all had the instinctive sense not to look at
the something else. The pilot looked. His jaw dropped, and a long
stream of drool emerged. He began to laugh and nod, rapidly throwing
off his clothes. And then he turned, and began to run, run, RUN down to
the lake, singing as he did so.

"Gaily bedight, a gallant knight
In sunshine and in shadow
Had journeyed long
Singing a song
In search, in search, of Eldorado!"

He plunged into the lake. The ripples converged on his form, and the
song ended with a ghastly bubbling shriek.

"Oh dear. Erm, Jenkins isn't it? One less place setting for tea, I
think. And, perhaps in the circumstances we won't do the usual
introductions, what? I mean naming is so, well, let's just go straight
on with the game, shall we?"

Preparation for the game appeared to involve Tsathoggua and his
unnameable guest choosing the companions one by one for their teams.
Bailkov and Karlotta found themselves on Tsathoggua's side. The game
began. Tsathoggua and The Other gestured and spoke, and things happened
which could not happen. Space and time turned out to be as permebale as
a sponge and as wobbly as a cardboard stage set. At one point Karlotta
found herself walking down a freezing lane carrying a parcel. At the
end of the lane was a pillar-box and she knew she had to put the parcel
into the box. But the lane was getting narrower and narrower and
something was groping at the other side of the wooden fence to her
right. At last it was too narrow and she could not move. The groping
thing was breaking through the fence. With her last strength she threw
the parcel at the pillar box, which writhed with uncanny athleticity
and caught it. There was a hideous shriek, the pavement gave way and
she fell through a pool of pink flowers to land at Tsathoggua's feet.
He was grinning more hugely than ever.

"Hahaha, that was fun, well done! Makes up for our hairy chap being set
on fire a bit, what? Why don't you rest there by the lake for a while,
look over some of the sculptures if you like?"

Karlotta tottered over to the sculptures, etiolated abstract images of
Venetian or Spanish eighteenth century nobles. Bailkov was already
there, his ashen face buried in his hands. He raised his head as she

"It was a trick."

"Just so. Tsathoggua's trouble turns out to have been not having enough
pieces for his sick game. That old bastard Eibon!"

Karlotta plucked the pendant from her chest and cast it far out into
the lake.

"We have to get out of here."

Bailkov gestured with his chin. Discreetly placed around the environs
of the summer house were more of the animated blacknesses. These were
not pretending to be human.

"I didn't say it would be easy!"

At that moment they heard an aeroplane engine, and looking up they saw
a flight of I-1's wheeling over the dark lake, strafing something which
lashed back at them futilely with gigantic black tentacles. A
steam-barge was chuffing into the shore, and as it hit down came a
ramp. With a deep throated Ooorah!!! Siberian riflemen poured out of
the barge, followed by an Austin-Putilov armoured half track. Grenades
and machine guns cracked and rattled, and there was the sudden oily
Whoosh! of a flamethrower, as the Soviet infantry engaged Tsathoggua's
minions. More aircraft were coming over, bombers this time, and
Karlotta and Bailkov saw their chance. Running with heads low into a
maze of hedges, they reached the wall of the estate. It was
translucent, stretching right up as far as they could see, and cool to
the touch.

"Stand back."

Bailkov took out the artefact he had procured from the Voormis, and
pressed a queer-shaped brass-coloured protrusion on it. A white-hot
blade sprang out, and he cut into the wall, which dissolved with a hiss
into steam. Through the hole they could see an endless drop onto the
ice below.

"My turn."

Karlotta's artefact appeared to be a plasticated sleeping bag. Into
this she climbed, teetering on the edge of the hole, and at her urgent
insistence Bailkov followed. From the shrieks and cries behind he
guessed that the battle was not going the way of the Proletariat, so
there was little choice. Once they were both inside Karlotta closed off
a peculiar valve and the bag seemed to swell into a ball. And then down
they went, off the edge and over and over, thundering down the mountain
and cushioned by the strange fabric of the Voormis escape pod.


Fully-healed and in human form, Colum was at that moment bowing and
expressing all sorts of gratitude and goodwill to Nanook and Sekatu,
both in animal form, who as promised had taken him to the nearest
settlement. This turned out to be the temporary camp which the Utiuk
had moved to so as to avoid any unpleasantness with the mountain.
Heavily-pregnant and in human form, Nanooka was leaning on the doorpost
of her hut watching all the politeness with a benign smile. Sekatu was
avoiding eye contact with her which was another cause for amusement to
the Shamaness. In fact Sekatu was beginning to get seriously worried at
Nanooka's obvious mirth. Did I put my skin on inside out or something?
Maybe she is thinking up a transformation for me. O shit o shit please
let's get this over and get back to the mountain. For want of anywhere
else to look she cast her eye back to the said mountain and then gave a
low exclamation. The others turned to look. High up they could see
flashes and then they heard the distant sound of explosions. A tiny
silvery ball toppled out of a hole and began to roll down, bouncing and
gathering speed as it went. An aircraft, missing one wing, followed it,
spiralling down to destruction.

"It's coming this way."

And so it was. The ball rolled onto the flat, losing speed but not so
quickly as to prevent it rolling up beside the Utiuk camp. Dazed,
Karlotta and Bailkov climbed out and lay on their backs, retching.
Colum strolled over.

"Hullo, Charles.", he said in English.

"Hullo, Colum", replied Bailkov, in the same language. "You're looking
pretty good, all things considered. Neat pets, too". Then, turning to
Karlotta, he said in Russian:

"There's something I've been meaning to tell you. I'm a British agent."

"Thought you might be. Does that mean I don't get shot?"

"If you come with us, sure. There's a submarine waiting for us down by
the shore."

"I'll come."


A few weeks later, the young Cheka officer was shaking with fear in the
anteroom of Stalin's suite in the Kremlin. A stony-faced guard opened
the door.

"Comrade Stalin is ready for you now."

Inside the Great Helmsman was sitting at his desk filling his pipe with
crushed-up cigarettes. He looked at the Cheka officer with hooded eyes.

"Any survivors?"

"N-n-no, Comrade Stalin. Some of the men did get out but they were all
quite mad, and they killed themselves."

"What about the British agent?"

"Missing, Comrade Stalin."

Another voice, female, familiar. With a shock, the Cheka officer
recognised Karlotta's roommate, Eliska Mrazkova.

"What about the woman, Dangerfeld? What about Bailkov?"

"It-it appears that Bailkov was also a British agent, comrade. A
transmitting device was found. Anyway they are both missing. We think
they all three escaped in a- a submarine. We think - we think one of
the Germans escaped too, the flier, Goring. Please, Comrade Stalin, I
have a wife and children ... please ..."

Another familiar voice, amused. Too numb by now for shock, the Cheka
man recognised the librarian.

"And you'll be back having tea with them this very evening, I would
imagine. Off you go, now!"

Expecting a bullet in the back of the head at every moment, the Cheka
man shuffled out, but in fact he was not shot, had tea with his family
and much later became a minor portraitist in Tomsk.

Back in Stalin's suite the guards were sent out and Eliska, Stalin and
the librarian toasted each other in crystal-clear vodka.

"They will probably be back in London by now. O this is so delicious!"

"Yes, the Terrible Sign, the Artefacts and all the Evil Books safely
delivered to British Intelligence by their very best and truest agents,
and so not a possibility of doubt as to their utility and desirability!
They'll be poisoning their best brains with all that ghastly stuff for
years to come! Quite the most masterly coup ever achieved by Russian


And so it was, not that it mattered much to any of our friends.
Karlotta made a new life for herself in England. Colum and Charles
Bailey continued with their careers in Military Intelligence, much
caressed for their daring exploits in the Soviet Arctic, and Colum
himself, thanks to Nanook and Sekatu's tutelage, now hardly at all
troubled by the approach of the full moon. Tsathoggua and The Other
finished their game though it is not recorded who won, or even if
winning was the object. Once they had done so, the mountain disappeared
again. Eibon went back to his bean-row. Nanooka gave birth to twin
girls who became notable Swedish film stars during the 1950s, from
which it obviously follows that Nanook did not catch that particular
litter. Indeed it is not known what happened to Nanook and Sekatu
except that it was nothing much. If you are visiting the Russian High
Arctic and you see them, perhaps you could ask for yourself. And that
was the End of the Horror in the Ice.

APPENDIX: Just want to say a few words of thanks about the fiction
section. Apart from the obviously very important contribution of the
people who actually run the player characters in our Call of Cthulhu
campaign [taking bows here are Lady Legbiter as Karlotta "Always fails
her Speak Hyperborean check" Dangerfeld, Jack Drever as Colum O'Keeth
the Ludicrously Surviveable, and Anklebiter as Charles Bailey aka
Comrade Commissaar Bailkov], a most important source of inspiration for
these stories comes from the miniature manufacturers Mark Copplestone
and the Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company, both based in Birmingham,
England. If you are anything at all into 1870-1930ish deeds of
derring-do, at all events if you want to role-play and or skirmish
around these stirring times, then you need to check out their
absolutely wonderful products.
DECK: Enkidu Trophy by Norman Brown.

[Editor's note: Here is the deck I MEANT to feature in the June
newsletter, but for some reason couldn't find. A repost, as is the way
of this newsletter, of the author's own words.]

Deck Name : Enkidu Trophy
Author : Norman S. Brown Jr
Description :
 My first attempt to turn Enkidu into a Trophy bearer.

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 5 max: 11 average: 8
------------------------------ ------------------------------

5x Enkidu, The Noah       11 ANI CEL OBF POT PRO for
2x Mustafa, The Heir      6  FOR PRE cel dom          prince
2x Pug Jackson            6  CEL POT for pre          primogen Brujah:3

2x Shawnda Dorrit         6  CEL obt pot pre          priscus
1x Dr. Julius Sutphen     5  POT dom obt              bishop

Library [90 cards]
------------------------------ ------------------------------

Action [8]
  8x Red List

Action Modifier [6]
  3x Forced March
  3x Freak Drive

Combat [45]
  5x Blur
  6x Bone Spur
  9x Carrion Crows
  6x Form of Mist
  5x Pulled Fangs
  6x Skin of Steel
  8x Taste of Vitae

Master [19]
  4x Blood Doll
  2x Dreams of the Sphinx
  2x Dummy Corporation
  1x Fortitude
  1x Information Highway
  1x Rack, The
  2x Trophy: Domain
  2x Trophy: Hunting Ground
  1x Trophy: Retainers
  3x Zillah's Valley

Political Action [2]
  2x Rumors of Gehenna

Reaction [3]
  3x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Retainer [7]
  1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
  1x Jackie Therman
  3x Raven Spy
  1x Robert Carter
  1x Tasha Morgan


And that's it for July! Now, REALLY back to marking, and I can slay
fish on the first of July without feeling guilty about not having
written my newsletter. See you all in August!

Address for correspondence: Chopsalotapepl"at"swiftian word meaning