Thursday 26 April 2018

Sanctum Secorum Episode #01 Companion: The Shadow People

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #01 Companion: The Shadow People was written by Jen Brinkman, David Baity, and Bob Brinkman. Art is by Hitforsa and Pacomtois. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 1: The Shadow People, by Margaret St. Clair. This book is also discussed on Episode 21 of the Appendix N Book Club. The featured adventure was Sailors on the Starless Sea, by Harley Stroh.

Within you will find:


Atter-corn #1: There is a substance in The Shadow People that is produced by elves, and which is a highly addictive hallucinogen. David Baity gives the first of three Dungeon Crawl Classics statistics for this substance. Meargmelu in Stars in the Darkness is also inspired by the atter-corn of The Shadow People.

Atter-corn #2: Another version, by Bob Brinkman.

Atter-corn #3: And a final version, by Jen Brinkman.

Magic Items

Elfshot: "Being a projectile the size of a grain of rice, elfshot looks harmless. It is, however, a potent magical ammunition and is greatly feared (rightfully so) by the elves of Underearth." Written by Bob Brinkman. Elfshot also has a long history in folklore, and was used to describe several medical conditions in ancient times. It seems very likely that these were the sources Margaret St. Clair used to describe elf-shot in The Shadow People.

The Glain: Coming from a word of Welsh origin, meaning "jewel", within The Shadow People, this is a protective gem given its powers by Merlin. Write-up by Bob Brinkman.

Spirit Drum: "The origin of the Spirit Drum are unknown. Legend has it that an ancient elf of Underearth created the artifact in hopes to prolong his life for eternity. The drum is roughly the size of a small keg, constructed of a black lacquered wood traced with ornate veins of silver. The head is fashioned from elven skin, with elven scalps sewn into the bottom area."

With her interest in Wicca, Margaret St. Clair was probably conflating European and Native American or African traditions here. Written by David Baity.

Sword of Merlin: Bob Brinkman writes up this artifact, "Forged from the crystallized will of Merlin".


Elves, Underearth #1: The elves of The Shadow People are a dark and sinister lot. The first write-up for them is by David Baity.

Elves, Underearth #2: Another write-up, by Bob Brinkman. Having multiple conversions of materials from novel to game is actually useful. There is no "right" way to do it, and there is no "wrong" way. These multiple write-ups for things like atter-corn and the underearth elves (the Shadow People of the novel's title) is useful to showcase this.


Merlin: Bob Brinkman provides a partial patron write-up for Merlin, including invoke patron results and patron taint. It is noted that "Merlin cannot be bothered to teach spells to all who beseech him for aid. There are no spells unique to Merlin."


Elven Club: Statistics provided by Bob Brinkman.

Noose: Statistics provided by Bob Brinkman.

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