Bones of the Yopasi

Bones of the Yopasi

Having barely recovered from a profound psychological ordeal, Miskatonic University professor Oliver Grayson looks forward to returning to normal life. Unfortunately for Grayson, however, his trials are only just beginning. After being called to the mist-shrouded town of Kingsport to identify some strange bones, the professor must join an unlikely team of investigators to face a horrifying new threat. But can they conquer their own demons in time to confront their common enemy?


Writer’s Commentary

I’ve been a fan of the Cthulhu mythos since I first started reading Call of Cthulhu scenarios in the pages of White Dwarf magazine many years ago. I had no idea what it was all about, but the sense of mystery and horrible monsters struck a real chord in me, so I hunted out the source material and devoured the three Lovecraft Omnibus books in a few week’s sitting. Bear in mind, I would have been around sixteen or seventeen here, and they blew my mind. I didn’t get a lot of what I was reading back then, but as part of my preparations for the second book of thetrilogy, I went back to the source and read everything again.

I went back into the history of the age again, to get back in the 1920s as opposed to the 41st millennium, and what struck me again was just how similar to our time the 20s were. It was an age of emerging new technologies that were changing the world, an obsession with celebrity and fashion, the rising power of bankers who’d eventually crash the world’s economy and movie stars ruling the earth…

I’dalready sketched out a rough arc for the three books, and where the first book of the trilogy was the ‘running away’ one, the second would be the ‘learning’ one. Here the characters had survived their first brush with the mythos, and knew they were up against something terrible that had to be fought. In Lovecraft, you don’t fight with bolters and chainswords, you fight with knowledge.

Where the plot for Ghouls of the Miskatonic had been about kicking our hero, Oliver Grayson (an anthropologist, a classic Lovecraftian character, only eclipsed by genealogists), into the mythos, the second was a more measured book, with a lot less running away and more investigating. I took this story to Kingsport, and with all the variety and spookiness that place offered, it seemed obvious to introduce an element of the Dreamlands to proceedings. This gave me a chance to use another character from the game, Luke Robinson, and I think the scenes with him and Henry were among my favourites in the novel.

Ghouls could be quite gory in places, but as gore isn’t where the horror comes from in Lovecraft, I used this book to tell a much more personal horror for the characters, with themes of loss and the fear of things slipping away, be it a loved one, sanity or the chance to ever know happiness again. It was also a chance to use more overtly Lovecraftian character like the Terrible Old Man and the custodian of the Strange High House in the Mist.

I put my characters through some tough times in this book, and grew very fond of Oliver and his intrepid band of Investigators. Rex, Minnie, Alexander, George and Henry became very dear to me by the end of the book (well, all but one, perhaps…) and I wondered if that was going to be problem. It’s often hard to do nasty things to your characters if you get too attached to them, and in Lovecraftian fiction there’s generally not many endings you’d call happy.

By the end of Bones of the Yopasi, our characters are in a very bad place. They realise they’ve been betrayed by one of their own and have all but handed their enemy the keys to the world’s end. Their numbers are scattered, things look hopeless and the end of the world is looming on the horizon…

But as well as being Lovecraftian, this is Arkham Horror, and it is possible to fight the darkness. So with the ‘running away’ book and the ‘learning’ book written, it was time to get the ‘fighting back’ book planned out…

If you’re not a gibbering wreck after reading the first book Ghouls of the Miskatonic, then click on the link below to buy bones of the Yopasi…

Arkham Horror: The Dark Waters Book 2 – Bones of the Yopasi (Arkham Horror – the Dark Waters Trilogy)