Monsters: An Anthology

Monsters: An Anthology

I’ve been busy behind the scenes but at long last, news!! Firstly, I have a new piece on the Wizards of the Coast site (it’ll be up in a few hours; I’ll update the link when it’s available).

Secondly, I drew the cover to the Couscous Collective anthology MONSTERS (see above image). This was a really fun piece to draw. Lovecraft fans will recognize night-gaunts on the left side of the picture; the whole piece was actually inspired by the Lovecraftian/Dunsanian tabletop RPG I’m working on, DREAMLAND. One of the ideas of the setting is that most animals are just as arcane, deep down, as conventional mythical monsters: the humble cat, bat and bird have secrets and powers as strange as the dragon or the hippogriff. (After all, in “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” cats end up being one of the major forces in the story.) The alliances and intrigues of the beasts is one of the wild cards in the ever-shifting world of Dreamland.

In other news, I’m having a sale on Walkthrough Map Prints: from now until December 5, my collection of 7 D&D classic adventures as walkthrough maps is $25 off! Get a set for your RPG-loving friends and help me clear out my warehouse! I’ve got to make room for more *new* D&D adventure maps, which is actually the very next thing I’ll be drawing right after I make this post…


Discussion (15)¬

  1. Ken Kobori says:

    I did identify the night-gaunt before reading the accompanying post! Beautifully colored, as well.

    The puzzled-looking cat is asking “Now, where were we going to, again?”

  2. Night-Gaunt49 says:

    Snakes but not Nagas. Bats and birds and cats and other animals including a night-gaunt and a gryphon. Interesting mix of beasts. But who is the non-human girl. Is she related to the satyrical Lengites?

    Nagas aren’t snakes because they have eyelids, and can reason and talk and can create material objects and structures. Not related to the Valusians though.

  3. Rob says:

    I’m so psyched about this game, it’s ridiculous. When it is the most successful RPG of all time, might there by a Hyperborea expansion?

  4. Lexible says:

    Hi Jason! I *so* dig your work, thank you! I wonder if you ever published a G3 walk-through?

  5. Jason says:

    @Lexible – Thanks for the kind words! I can’t say more, but keep checking the Wizards website! ;)

    @Rob – As you know I totally love Clark Ashton Smith, so you never know…. ;)

    @Night-Gaunt49 – The humanoid figure is a fairy, which is a category of creatures that are neither Human nor Abhuman… but it’s hard to explain in greater detail…

  6. Night-Gaunt49 says:

    I would be interested in your own thoughts and speculations about fairies some time. I hope we will see more of this person.

  7. William says:

    Love this website! Just found your blog last night. Keep up the excellent work!

  8. Jason says:

    Thanks William!!

  9. Night-Gaunt49 says:

    January 8, 2016 at 11:20 pm
    @Night-Gaunt49 – The humanoid figure is a fairy, which is a category of creatures that are neither Human nor Abhuman… but it’s hard to explain in greater detail…

    What I would call a humanoid non-human.

  10. @Night-Gaunt49 — Spoiler: I took the name “abhumans” from William Hope Hodgson’s “The Night Land.” Although the Latin root “ab” suggests they somehow come *from* humans (presumably descended from them through evolution or mutation, in the case of The Night Land), which actually isn’t the case in Dreamland. But it sounds good, and The Night Land abhumans have the appropriate feeling of threat…

  11. Night-Gaunt49 says:

    Jason Thompson, I had run across that designation, “abhuman” before from other stories though am not sure which I had first read and came across it.

    There are creatures who look modestly human yet are without any human biological contact.

    One example is Zar from the Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea episode 1.20 called “The Invaders” with the great Robert Duvall before he hit it big in the movies. I found the premise so Lovcraftian that I am in the process of novelizing the story and expanding on it. I consider his kind to be made by the Qnx ‘c’ nx or Star-Headed Old Ones of “At The Mountains of Madness” and Zar tells the crew he, and the others, “were manufactured by our scientists…” and is 20 million years old. A look inside his body shows such a radical difference he is in no way human, yet the Old Ones had somehow anticipated the humanoid form to appear later in “another evolutionary cycle” and created this legacy species to inherit the Earth after they went into their “Sunless Sea” last habitat. At a critical time during the Thermal Maximum Zar’s people made two choices. One to go into space and settle on some other world while the remainder when into stasis capsules until the climate was better habitable again. Unfortunately themselves and their mega-city sank. It was the SSRN Seaview noting such seismic instability attracted them to very area they found the submerged city and the silvery capsules full of such non-human humanoids and brought just one of the capsules aboard. That was almost the destruction of them all too. I posit that beyond a certain point as species representative of a single member could cause a lower developed species like Humans a very bad time.l

    As you can see I have had time to work on it and found an easy integration with the Mythos You can see the full episode on the Internet. Duvall gives a fine performance of a being of immense but alien intelligence brought to the future (1972) the episode ran in 1964 and is in black and white. It would have made a good first season Outer Limits very easily. (Duvall appeared in three episodes of OL himself.)

  12. Jason Bradley Thompson says:

    @Night-Gaunt49 Hi NightGaunt! I’m so sorry, I was going through these old posts from two years ago and I realized I never responded to your magnificent post about abhumans…

    In “Dreamland” I have to confess I simply used the word “abhumans” because of the echoes of the malevolent totally offscreen entities in William Hope Hodgson’s “The Night Land.” I did later think of a backwards explanation for the name, based on its Latin root, but I was just going for injokes at first. ^_^;;

    The abhumans in “Dreamland” are creatures which have roughly human forms, of a variety of shapes and types, but are united by one thing: an unrelenting hate and fear of humans. Their appearances vary, but all of them are innately hostile to humanity. This is despite their being as intelligent as humans (by and large), capable of tool use, city-building, etc. They are sentient aspects of a particular dark side of the universe of Dreamland, who forever war with humanity, fundamentally incapable of accepting any truce or settlement even if doing so were to their own benefit.

    The Men from Leng, in “Dream-Quest”, are abhumans. Other types exist but that I’ve left to the RPG to reveal… ;)

    I hope you’re well! Did you finish your novel?

  13. Night-Gaunt49 says:

    Still working on it. Been busy with several projects. So glad to hear from you! I was just thinking about you just a day or two ago.

    For me there are at least two types of “Men of Leng” the satyr like ones with too wide of mouths. You might call them natives. The others live in the multidimensional megapolitan complex of Yian-Ho. The “deathless Chinamen” that de Castro spoke of in “Call of Cthulhu”.

    I call them Kutullû-humans. Just like the Xinàîáns they were created by scouts sent by the Cthulhu Empire to prepare Earth to become another node on the growing constellation of the Kutullû Empire. Though Chula-Varuna (Cthulhu) was imprisoned in the ocean waters by other rival super-beings he is still waiting to be released and to seek vengeance or to leave this forsaken rock. His spy eyes are like the stars watching all things. The “black static” can awaken those dormant genes in those humans who carry enough of them. The most you will find outside of the Dreamlands and K’n-yan are Aryans. Hitler was right for the wrong reason. The swastika was the original design that kept the lesser beings quiescent or away.

    Early on the Kutullû-humans look like dark skinned Asians with spider thin fingers. Reports of MIBs are them. Only later do they start changing form. Skin becomes yellowish and some green. They start to look like some of the racist caricatures we see in the 1890’s. Their blood is green. One of their oldest is the “Yellow Emperor” or also called “Yellow Lama” with 4-eyes and unknown morphology under neath. He is gigantic.

    I equate them with the “Maker of Moons” story too. They had originally set up shop in Sarkomand but abruptly vacated it for unexplained reasons and moved to the grey plateau of Leng, also called of cones. They are spread throughout the cold dusty area. The Lengites make domiciles just like those cones.

    The Tcho-Tchos are nothing less than genetically engineered beings. The Bio-wizards of Leng are wise and old. The Tcho-Tchos are not human but can have human in them. They have the ability to absorb DNA and use it to change their form or even use several at once! (A new mutation.) They are the “White Tigers” (Bái Hǔ) and have been active in our dimensional plane for hundreds of years first in Asia then the USA after Vietnam. They must have been sent in as under cover agents. It is unknown how close they are to the Yian-Ho. Probably very close considering how the MIB get around. The latest intelligence suggests they are sleepers that at some appointed time or signal they will be set in motion. Maybe they have already for years doing things on single country can fathom.

    Thanx for contacting me! I am still writing. Glad to hear from you again. Take care.

  14. Lestat Roberts says:

    HI Jason, My name is Lestat (actually, really, by birth even – Mother was a fan).

    I have a question that’s as innocuous-seeming as it is significant. When you depict Randolph Carter, Richard Pickman, and WIlliam Trevor on page 44 of DreamQuest, is William Trevor meant to be Kuranes?

    Also, though of lesser urgency – is there any intended reference to the William Trevor of real life?
    Bonus Question? Who is Sofia Gray (credited as photographer).

    I’m a tremendous fan and appreciate you reading this if you get it!

    Many thanks, – a fan who has your art tattooed on his neck

  15. Jason says:

    @Lestat — Thanks for the comment and the kind words! In answer to your questions….

    (1) Yes, Trevor is Kuranes. Kuranes’ real name isn’t given in “Celephais,” but his home estate is called Trevor Towers, so I assumed Trevor was his last name. I just chose “William” randomly though, it isn’t a reference to the real William Trevor, who I didn’t know about at the time.

    (2) Sofia Gray, the offscreen photographer, is a thinly-disguised/fictional version of Lovecraft’s fiancée Sonia Greene. She also appears in the comic.

    I’m super honored that you got a tattoo based on my art! I’d love to know what it’s of!!

    Many thanks — Jason

    P.S. My latest Lovecraftian project is