terça-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2017

The pact of Giovanni Bragolin

Giovanni Bragolin was in fact called Bruno Amadio and was an Italian painter who became famous in the 1970s and 1980s for his paintings of children crying. Oh, you must have seen one, if not many of this paintings, until not so innovative in techniques but in boldness, which triggered the imagination of many people around the globe.

What makes his life story strange is that his paintings are famous and are scattered around the world in important places. And even so, it's very, very difficult to even get some bibliographic information from him. It is popular knowledge that he was born in Venice in 1911 and died in 1981. He studied art at a local school and devoted himself to the classical style. Other than that the rest of his history are accounts of his controversial career and linked to Satanism (with great portions of sensationalism).

The paintings named Gypsy Boys featured a wide variety of children crying, looking at the viewer, or even at the artist, with melancholy expressions and a face covered with tears. Apparently there are no Bradolin connections to these children. The paintings come up walking the world because Giovani used to paint and sell them to tourists in Venice.

In total there were twenty-seven paintings that were scattered all over the place, many of them having been imitated and reproduced all over the world. The original ones are scattered in museums in Europe, and a few in the hands of the lucky ones who understood the fortune they had in hand and kept it safe as their own lives.

The Myth

There is a myth that the painter made so much success (some say even sudden) because Bragolin having made a pact with the Devil, because for such he did not have the talent to leverage so much his sales. It was during this time that he began to use the pseudonym of Giovanni Bragolin and began to portray in his paintings the sad children that so many became fans. He stopped painting happiness.

It was how he portrayed his moments, in melancholy paintings, which he begged to the buyers to destroy it for believing that it would bring disgrace upon their possessors and their families. He confesses at this point that indeed the children were dead when they posed to the artist, and that was why the their pupils were dilated. Children who had disappeared, kidnapped from their families to be handed over to the Devil himself.

Another report tells of children in a Spanish orphanage, which would have been portrayed after the war, when Giovanni had fled to there. The orphanage was burned down. He used them only as inspiration, and perhaps he did not even have direct contact with them. But the origin of the fire is unknown.

A tabloid newspaper of the 1970s in England would have spread the rumor responsible for the severity of the terrifying legends that began to spread among admirers (and superstitious) of art. The Sun had confirmed in one of its editions what it was just the report of a local fireman. Apparently he removed intact a picture from inside the wreckage of a burning building. The newspaper, of course, confirmed the story. In fact it did more. It claimed that the paintings were inspired by Satan and that Giovanni had made a pact to have prosperity, and that the paintings now belonged to the Devil himself, and so did not burn.

This was the trigger to unleash collective hysteria. In the same week the same newspaper received several letters with reports of people who owned the painting and claimed to have suffered the most strange and unexpected tragedies after having acquired the painting. Groups of people gathered to burn the paintings in the hope that evil would disappear. Of course everything is just rumor and sensationalism (this includes this myth!).

The pictures themselves never scared me, but I really am intrigued by the idea that he had painted so many of the same subject and no one knows a little about what motivated him to do so. It was also somewhat disheartening (but inspiring) that it was very difficult to find references about the painter. Even so, the fire at the orphanage gave me a great hook for an adventure.

Perhaps a creature is imprisoning the spirit of children in paintings, so that it can feed of them later. It's a good theme for games like World of Darkness, Chronicles of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu, Little Fears, etc.

What do you think of Giovanni Bragolin's paintings?

domingo, 19 de fevereiro de 2017

Logbook: sighting report of sea monsters (HMS Daedalus)

The sea keeps secrets. Terrible and inexhaustible secrets. Sea monsters are legends as old as the first vessels, when men began to enter the sea and explore the oceans. For years there have been several reports of sightings at sea. These reports were filled with words of awe and fascination, often exaggerated, creating legends.

Several countries keep the logbooks of ship crews and busters, although they do not have official records on the subject. But no officer or other member was forbidden to report the things he had seen.

The United Kingdom released several of these logbooks so that people could consult, as a result of the Freedom of Information Act (2000), approved by the Defense Department. Many of these diaries are really old, with incredible stories.

With this, many historians, biologists and oceanographers had the opportunity to get their hands on valuable information. Some of them already do deep research on the subject, conducting studies on sea monsters and giant and unusual animals.

HMS Daedalus

The frigate HMS Deadalus circled the Cape of Good Hope in the South Pacific in August 1834. When they returned to Ingland, Captain Peter M'Quhae sent the details of the trip to The Times about the things he had seen at sea.

In this report the captain talks about a sea serpent about 18 meters long that appeared for about 20 minutes. He also says that the creature circled the ship and issued a sound similar to the cry of a child, before approaching the boat, which the officers fired at the animal without success. Anyway, the creature sank and did not return anymore.

What is incredible about this account is Captain M'Quhae's fame. He is knowed as a man of integrity, wisdom, and had a impeccable curriculum. He was a man of confidence and never lied. The story was sent accompanied by drawings that one of the sailors who was talented.

Supposed drawings made by sailor

Despite the efforts, at the same time and place, there were no more reports of such creatures that could be trusted. The Times received a large number of other reports from then on, but many were obviously fabricated, which took credit from other letters that were sent to the newspaper.

The sea awakens fascination and fear, and it is quite probable that its mysteries will never be revealed. What do you thing about it? Inspirational for our RPG? Would that give a good story of literature or comics?

sexta-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2017

The 5 Most Terrible Mythos Spells

Something really tenebrous are Mythos' spells. They are capable of terrifying even the most feared investigator. The Cthulhu Mythos is filled with horrible spells, which cultists learn from ancient books, unconquerable arcane wisdom, immortal mentors, or communion with profane entities. I chose 5 spells that I think are the most terrible within Lovecraft's universe.

Mind Tranfer

This spell is used by evil sorcerers intent on getting a new body. The sorcerer takes possession of the body of the victim while the mind of the victim is transferred to the body of the sorcerer, who is usually in a state of pity.

It is a blasphemous form of power because it allows the exchange of identities, and even eternal youth, by condemning people to a body that is not theirs; A weak and sick body. Many can not cope with the abrupt change that takes place in their lives and this often results in madness or death.

Unspeakable Promise

This promise is very similar to what people call a pact with the Devil. A sorcerer can break the laws of nature by using this promise. The sorcerer connects with Hastur himself, who is not to be named, and acquire profane knowledge, unlimited power, or even eternal life... at a high cost.

But by signing this promise, Hastur will demand a future payment that may be to turn the sorcerer into one of his creatures, making her his servant for eternity. This removes the humanity from a individual and his body is transformed in something terrible through a painful process. This is irreversible.

Steal Life

Life for eternity is an anciente desire. Stealing Steal Life is a powerful magic described in blasphemous tomes like the Necronomicon. Through this magic the sorcerer can enjoy eternal life by draning the life of another person. At the same time as the magician becomes young, his victim ages, becoming dry and sick.

The horror of going through such a process is indescribable. People who go through this process simply go crazy, because their lives and their whole perspective of existence are dreadful from one moment to another.

Consume Likeness

This spell was developed by the Serpent Men, an ancient race, who wanted to disguise its appearance. This spell allows the sorcerer to transform into any person.

For this to happen it is necessary to murder the person in a hideous way (usually cutting off the person's throat) and eating portions of his flesh. Some sorcerers retain flesh and organs for future consumption. Some books even teach how to conserve and prepare human flesh.

A bizarre detail is that, the shadow of the sorcerer accompanies him. So even when it takes on its new appearance, the shadow of the original appearance remains.

Death Spell

This is, for me, the most terrible magic of Mythos. It burns the person inside out, causing immense pain and agony. Some people say the effect is compared to being thrown into a volcano and burning slowly. Some may think that death is quick, but the person is conscious until the last moment.

Now the most sinister detail is that after the victim dies she can not be resurrected. There is nothing left of her. The person simply ceases to exist, in the physical and spiritual plane. The fire burns even the remembrance that the person existed, and the people who knew her begin to forget her little by little. In time, nothing remains, not even a memory.

And so, for you, what are the most sinister spells you've ever seen on any RPG?

quarta-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2017

As I was persecuted by religious for playing Call of Cthulhu

My wife and I are religiou people and attend a Christian church. She does not like scary things simply because she's afraid, but the fundation of our relationship is respect and trust. I play, read and watch terror things without any problem for her. I say that because she is the most importante person, more than anyone else who has ever been a parte, of my life.

Brazil has a very great religious diversity. Bahá'í, Buddhism, Christianity (which can be divided into Catholicism, Protestantism, Adventism, Mormonism, Orthodox Church, Jehovah's Witnesses), Spiritism, Islam, Judaism, Neopaganism, Afro-Brazilian and Indian Religions (like Candomblé, Umbanda, Xambá, Pajelança, Catimbó, Jurema, Tambor-de-Mina and Terecô), Hinduism and Hoasqueiras Religions.

I want a preacher like this
We are a people that is happy with diversity. We think this diversity is beautiful. Is there religious prejudice? Of course. But in many places this behavior is an exception, not a rule. However, most of the behavior of prejudice and hatred comes from Christian religions. I repeat, I am part of a Christian religion, but I think like those people who find it all beautiful, culturally enriching. I have friends in many of these religions listed above, and we even play RPG together, eat together and have fun together! So, what's the problem?

The problem began when a person of my religion came into my profile from a social network and saw photos of me with my friends (friends who belong to other non-Christian religions) playing RPG. No, playing such a Call of Cthulhu.

This person typed "Cthulhu" into Google and was astonished to see that it is an ancient entity that is cured by crazy people performing macabre sacrificial rituals and that this "Cthulhu" entity communicates with people through dreams and sends their slaves (Who are grotesque creatures) to the earth to carry out ir will and help the cultists.

Cthulhu... is a fictional cosmic entity...
Yes, he saw that it was the fiction work of such a Lovecraft; A writer from the past who had already died. But perhaps he believes that Lovecraft practices spiritism and that all his works are representations of demons or other spiritist entities or something. She accused me of practicing spiritism, which to a member of a Christian religion is unacceptable.

I have explained countless times how everything is just fiction, that such entities do not exist (but now I desire more than anything that it exist and eat all alive) and that we do not practice or learn rituals or something like that. Anyway, that did not help. I was almost "kicked out" of my church. Of course he made to talk to other members about my involvement with this game and how satanic this can be (What the hell is people's problem?).

I confess that this has shaken my faith, though I do not care if you think about me as a fool because I believe in the bible, Christ, and all. What bothered me, is that this whole process took about two weeks of charges, and I realized that he did it out of spite. Trying to hit me. In order to bring no inconvenience to my home and my marriage (my wife still feels hurt by everything we've gone through, just like me) I accepted the "rebuke" and went on with life. Today, I continue to play and buy everything, not only from Lovecraftian games, but from horror games in general.

As I said at the beginning, some people know how to handle the differences, others are stupid in dealing with what they do not know. Is the pursuit going on? Of course, but today I have more caution: only a few real trusted friends know about my games (and play with me), all my social networks are really blockaged for Christian people from my church and people that I do not know and I never post or share anything personal related to my games.

I'm putting together a photo album with all the cool moments that I'm living with my friends and that I can not share, so that one day I might show up at some game convention or personal blog (maybe even here!). But for now, I must keep my discretion, because I am still being hunted.

segunda-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2017

The first experience with Call of Cthulhu RPG

This weekend I started a new group of players in Call of Cthulhu. They are old friends who have moved away from my city a longe time ago (one of them more than 10 years) and live in great distances - like Canada and USA - and we played through the hangout.

It is the first time they play Call of Cthulhu, but they have great experience with World of Darkness. Anyway, it seems like a new game experience for them. At first I thought about using pre-mande characters, but all decided to create their own characters, since they have been playing RPGs for quite a while, it would not be something problematic or dificult to explain.

My printed at home version of the Dead Light Scenario
For they first step in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos I chose a scenario published by Chaosium (Dead Light) because it is short and have the mood of Lovecraftian horror (and by acquaintance, as in the scenario, it was raining in our cities, despite the distance). I will not go into deep details about the scenario to avoid spoilers, since some players may be reading this post but I will describe the mood of tensio and how the players reacted to the scenario.

A rainy night

The players were already tense as I began to describe a devastating storm, which put their lives in danger. I emphasized the isolation and the mountais and pines silhouettes when thunders cut the sky. The sounds were horrible. They drove cautiously when a woman pass through they way.

They were fearful that she was some kind of monster or spirit (one of the characters pointed a gun all the time and I think this was a reflection of playing World of Darkness for so long). At last they decided to help the girl and continued until finding the only gas station, solitary in middle of the isolated mountais rainy.

After scaring people in the coffe place with shouts of help (and again, a pointed gun to everyone - what the hell is worong with my players!? haha) they get the help of the owner of the place, a fat man with a big mustache, named Sam, who comes out the counter with a shotgun, only for guarantee.

Sam takes them to the girl's house after a debate if that was really wise, as she might have been abused and sould be taken to a hospital. Already in the place, they discovered the truth about the icident and that everything it is beyond the knowledge of any man.

There was an intense conflict, with perssuit and the death of two people (Sam and the poor girl, who was neglected by the players). Two of the investigators were seriously injuried and one of them partially insane. Now, they are in recovery from the trauma and want to find out what is really going on.

I have a printed at home version of my Call of Cthulhu 7th

Despite being a online game, I use real dice set to my rolls
What did you think of this episode? This week I will post some handouts that I have prepared for this scenario and the characters sheet for you to check and be able to use as pre-made characters.

sábado, 11 de fevereiro de 2017

Welcome to my thoughts

I'm a simple guy, from Brazil, passionate about tabletop games, like roleplaying games and story games, comics, music and literature. I'm 30 years old, merried, no children, but I love animals. I have an exotic passion for horror, especially for the works of Allan Poe, but I love Lovecraftian games.

This blog is a space where I will vomit my thoughts; My demons. This place is a way I scape from my fears and from my country, from the things that torment me and well, it's a place where I can train my English and make contact with new people around the world.

Said that, I'll see you in the next posts.

Best wishes.