Art Lover
Start your day at the Chattel House in the First Ward, where generations of human cultists have carved the agony of insanity into swirled patterns in the brick. Take an afternoon tour of the R’lyeh Musuem and marvel at the preserved ghouls on display as well as the raiments of Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos (on loan). Finish with a trip to The Gibberer for dinner and enjoy the sort of traditional non-normal matter food that sustained R’lyeh for years.

Health Nut
A jaunt around the exercise pens at the Indenturium is just what you need to quicken the blood; if it works for those who have pledged their souls to the Great Old Ones, it should work for you! Take a walk along the Non-Euclidean Trail on the outskirts of town next, and laugh at the other tourists seeing the sights via double-decker shoggoth. Your dinner will be at Cave to Table, where succulent free-range albino penguins and shoggoth squeezins are always a hit.

History Buff
Squat on the streets of R’lyeh with the cultists opposite the Tomb of Cthulhu where the sunken lord of R’lyeh lies dead and dreaming; the first to die suffer the least! An afternoon tour of the Miskatonic Annex will sate your need to know, filled as it is with artifacts reclaimed for R’lyeh from looters as well as seventeen of the twenty-seven known copies of The Necronomicon. Finally, the Norwegian Freighter Cafe is built into the very hulk of the ship that pierced the breast of Dread Cthulhu during his last rising.

Aspiring gourmets need to sample local watering hole Shoggoth-to-Go, which offers traditional style protoplasm and excretions without any additives. If you’re in town during the Waxing Gibbous Festival, be sure to check out the Culinary Tents, where mad cultists are ground down for grist and the human form is mutilated into every foodstuff imaginable. Dinner at Asenath’s Doorstep Thing is a must, especially on Fridays, when guests are transmigrated into bodies with taste organs that cannot be described by the sane.

The best R’lyeh music is played by the city’s vibrant Elder Thing community; hear locals flapping their radial wings in a mockery of flight at Yog-Sooth’s Juke Joint. Chances are that the R’lyeh Players will still be performing their long-running hit Necronomiconned at the Kadath Theater, which is accessible only in the fever dreams of a madman. Round out the day with a poetry reading at Ponape Scriptorium, and listen to the raw art flow as poets lose their sanity live onstage.

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Have you ever tried chewing without a mouth? I did. Mainly because I don’t have a mouth. Getting the food between my teeth is extremely difficult.

You might ask what point there is in doing so without a mouth. Well, I secrete an extremely potent acid in my throat that liquifies just about everything that isn’t me. It doesn’t do anything to my teeth either, kind of a consolation prize for the whole no-mouth thing. I can squirt the acid between my teeth at you if you get rude or by accident, so be careful.

Naturally, that gives me a bit of a strange look, so I wear my happy mask so people won’t stare. It’s made of solid brass so it won’t corrode, and it’s featureless aside from two holes for my eyes. I think people find it dashing, really.

I take after my father, as they say. I never did find out how Mom met the Dread Faceless Muolih, let alone had a one-night stand with him, but the unholy screech of my birth did paralyze her and drive her insane, so I never really asked.

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I had known my friend Wilfred Barnham since we were youths, and his father came from Puritan stock older than mine, yet a cloud had always hung over him due to his parentage. His mother, as I’d heard my own aunt whisper, had been a debutante from a small town south of the Mason-Dixon line, and she had died not long after Wilfred’s birth, as the couple had been traveling to his father’s estate in Providence. The rumors always seemed to suggest that the elder Barnham had been seduced by a hardscrabble woman of ill repute who intended to drag herself to the upper crust and prosperity using their child as an anchor, but Wilfred maintained–often angrily–that they had truly been in love, that his mother had been a model of Southern hospitality and manners, and her sudden death even now hung over the elder Barnham like a pall.

It was partially in response to those society rumors, and partially the same wanderlust and yearning for answers that takes hold of all young men, that led Wilfred to undertake a journey to his mother’s hometown of Calhoun, Mississppi, in the summer of 1913. It was not long after our final days at school together, and even though the postal service in the backwater bayous of that oft-rebellious state was not the best, Wilfred promised to write me as I undertook my first readings to become a law clerk.

The first news I heard of him was that August, scarcely a year before the war started, and it was surely not the news I had expected: a terse telegram informing me that Wilfred Barnham had taken his own life, hanging himself in the closet of a hotel in Jackson, Mississippi, not far from the rail line which would have borne him safely home and on which his passage was already booked. It was devastating news, to be sure, but worse was to come. Through my family, I sent inquiries to the elder Barnham about attending a memorial service or perhaps arranging for flowers to be sent in my name should it be too remote. His reply was a tersely handwritten note, informing me that Wilfred had been promptly cremated and his ashes scattered, that I was better off saving any funerary monies for a worthier cause, and that he would speak no more on the subject. This I attributed to what must have been overwhelming grief on the old man’s part, Wilfred being his only child and the only reminder of the lost Southern love he had once cherished.

And there the matter rested, until two weeks later. A letter arrived at my address in Providence and was forwarded to me at my lodgings upstate; as I had feared, the post had delayed Wilfred’s missives so much that the news of his death had arrived before the news of his life.

“WE ARE THE DREAMS OF A DEAD GOD,” the letter declared in a ragged hand recognizably Wilfred’s, “AND OUR CITIES BUILT IN THE BLEACHED BONES OF ITS MAJESTY.”

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Today marks the tenth anniversary of what has become an annual tradition in our community, the Dreadfather’s Day Picnic in Glover Park. For those who have avoided the dreammist fumes and shrieks of the insane that routinely surround the park during the celebration, this Father’s Day event honors the Grand Aged One Ctathul the Dreadfather, foremost of the Eldest Entities who held sway over the world when terrestrial life was mere shapeless protoplasm in the primordial seas.

“Days and dates are meaningless to dead, eternal Ctathul, consort of Rnyugnatlath, master of Holaak-Hliqu, who lays in bitter slumber beyond the ken of mortals and immortals alike,” says Iznarna the Gibbering, a middle-aged Ctathulspawn at today’s gathering. “However, they are useful to mortals and near mortals as reminders of Ctathul’s part in our lineage, his coming return, and the one hundred million years of horror it presages.”

“Father’s Day is of no intrinsic meaning to our Dreadfather, it is true,” says Jaobsob, the Thing in Yellow. A hunchbacked, skeletal figure in a tattered yellow robe wearing a featureless pallid mask to conceal uncountable otherworldly eyes surrounded by writhing tentacles like screaming maggots, he (?) is the most senior representative of Cthathul present at today’s ceremony. “However, by combining our energies, we Ctathulspawn, Ctathultouched, and Ctathulcurious are able to stretch and tear the fabric of space and sanity in a way that the Dreadfather would surely approve of,” Jaobsob adds in a voice that is as the sound of distant children screaming in fear.

Today’s schedule of Father’s Day festivities includes a three-legged race, a blood sacrifice led by High Acolyte M’Drevre, a potluck of casserole and freshly-spilt human intestine, immature Riw-Jawj rides for the children, a mass moulting ceremony for Ctathulspawn ready to join their community as full horors, and speeches by noted pro Ctathul radio personalities V’Manean & Z’Qerier from KTHU’s Gibbering Gibbous Mornings.

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There are some things frat boys are not meant to know.

That had always been the excuse given by the sisters of Lambda Qoppa Delta for the strict prohibition on guests, boyfriends, and photography at their annual Spring Fling. They went to an undisclosed location in the wilderness outside of town for a weekend, carrying enough supplies for a grand feast, and returned woozy on Monday.

To Wesley McCall of Phi Qoppa Beta, the isolation and supplies meant only one thing: the Lamb Qops must have been engaging in a salacious, girls-only free-for-all. As such, one year he followed them into the woods.

It was easy enough; he loaned his car to his Lamb Qop girlfriend and it had GPS tracking software installed. With a borrowed Land Rover, not to be confused with the Land Rover he had loaned out, Wes tracked her to a location deep inside Lauryn Ghantt State Forest. The dirt road was blocked off with a chain bearing a stern-looking park ranger warning; Wes cut the lock with bolt cutters and opened it himself. He hadn’t gone to all that trouble to go home without laying eyes (and camera lens) on ribald frolicking Lamb Qops.

To Wes’s surprise, after a time the dirt road turned to well-maintained asphalt, and he came across a parking lot that wouldn’t have been out of place in the suburbs, cunningly laid in and around the lofty pines so as to be all but invisible from the air. He slid his vehicle into an empty space, distinguished from the other Beemers and Land Rovers only by its lack of Lamb Qop bumper stickers. Keeping to the trees, and dressed in neutral tones, Wes continued on foot.

Streams of Lamb Qops dressed in bright colors and bearing coolers were flowing along brick-paved paths to a pine-hemmed hollow. Wes recognized the figure on a raised dais therein as Beryl Sawyer, the Lamb Qop housemother, but he did not recognize the ornate robes she wore or the midnight-black stone from which the dais had been hewn. Unlike the robes that the brothers of Phi Qoppa Beta wore during imitation (and hazing), Sawyer’s robe glistened with an unearthly sheen that gave Wes a headache.

“Sisters of Lambda Qoppa Delta!” cried Sawyer. “We have come together in the spirit of sisterhood to make our offerings in the abode of our patron. Let all among you who would call yourself Lamb Qops display your true colors proudly!”

Wes was delighted to see that the assembled girls immediately began removing their colorful sorority shirts (which formed a uniform so strict and standardized that even the Prussian Imperial Guard would have been envious). But there was something underneath – different shirts, bearing different slogans, in a script so fiendishly twisted that it blurred the edges of Wes’s vision just to behold it. And the colors! They were no hues that existed or could exist in nature, brighter and more pastel while at the same time luminous and ruinous, like holes torn in the fabric of a sane universe.

If the script made Wes’s vision blur, the colors threatened to draw the very breath from his lungs and lay him flat upon the pine needles.

“And with your true colors displayed, bring forth your offerings to our patron, the dread lord Rnyugnatlath! Can you feel it, sisters? Star-Spawn of the Infinite Void, the Creeping Conundrum, It Whom Human Tongues Fail, come forth at the call of your faithful on this spot where our offerings to you have lain since the time before time, the world before the world!”

When the first appendage of dread Rnyugnatlath emerged from the howling void on the dais, the ceremony was interrupted by the soul-shattering screams of an interloper in the woods. Wes was found a week later, raving in gibberish, his hair a white shock and his body sunburnt across his face and the palms of his hands. What little remained of his life was spent in the Granath Nulty Asylum.

There are somethings frat boys are not meant to know.

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“Uh, Ted?”

Theodore Crumb, Hopewell District Library circulation supervisor and sworn enemy to delinquent patrons and overdue books everywhere, walked over, his silvery hair spilling over his customary tweed blazer. “Yes, Mr. Burwell?” he said, his unusual, precise diction and habit of calling even his closest friends by their last names in full evidence.

“Well, someone returned a book with a HDN card in it, but it doesn’t have a barcode or a catalog record. Bound in some kind of strange leather, really old looking, with the cancelled stamp of a Massachusetts university.”

Ted pursed his lips. “Well, who was the volume in question checked out to?”

“Koening, Willy. Willy Koening.”

“Ah, Mr. Koening. I am surprised he was able to check it out at all, considering his propensity for taking our rarest publicly accessible volumes and holding onto them until we practically have to beat his door down to confiscate them back. Did the student at the desk ask him what he meant by returning a book we do not own? Was it intended to be some manner of atonement on Mr. Koening’s part?”

“Well, ah, it was Calvert,” said Burwell, his voice crackling with nervousness.

“And did Mr. Calvert share anything with you?”

“He, ah, said that the person who returned it wasn’t Koening.”

“Then who was it, Mr. Burwell?”

Burwell squirmed. “Calvert said that it was a hunchbacked, skeletal figure in a tattered yellow robe wearing a featureless pallid mask. When he asked for its library card, it removed the mask and Calvert said that beneath it was ‘uncountable, otherworldly, eyes surrounded by writhing tentacles like screaming maggots, and that its voice was as the sound of distant children screaming in fear.” He paused. “Calvert’s taking a mental health day.”

Ted raised an eyebrow, unfazed. “And what does Calvert claim that this patron said in such a voice?”

“That Koening wouldn’t have need of the book, or any book, or his library card any longer, as he had been placed on permanent reserve by the Great Old Readers.”

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PetStation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GesteCo, is pleased to announce the latest edition to our lineup of in-store pet purchases! Look for these exciting and always ethically sourced new companions in select PetStation locations beginning this spring:

Elvee-Fortoosixxian Huggfacer
These adorable and spunky creatures take your love of tarantulas, hermit crabs, and other quasi-arthropods to the next level! Able to move at 20 mph, jump 15 feet, and with a tensile strength in their eight legs and tail sufficient to crush a hippopotamus skull, the Elvee Fortoosixxian Huggfacer is sold with its own bulletproof lucite terrarium. All huggfacers sold by PetStation have been hatched from eggs laid by a queen on a special high-alkaline diet to minimize the corrosive effect of the atomic acid that serves them as blood. A PetStation huggfacer has had its proboscis surgically removed, minimizing the chance of any unplanned impregmentation. Best of all, these pets require no food or water! Due to the settlement agreement between GesteCo and Mankind for Ethical Animal Treatment, all huggfacers sold in the state of California have their proboscis intact.

Fancy Procompsognathus

The fancy compy is available in a wide variety of colors, from classic green to white to the ever-popular Clown Compy with polka dots. These turkey-sized creatures are an energetic delight, especially in groups, and will surely be some of the most popular lizardine pets in the diverse PetStation stable. Like snakes, fancy compys require live or frozen feeder species, exclusively available from PetStation (WARNING: non-PetStation live food will cause immediate death from septic shock and anaphylaxis). The fancy compy is a very affectionate creature, well-known for its love bites; its saliva contains a mild sedative that causes drowsiness, torpor, and sluggishness. Due to supply-chain economics, fancy compys are only available to purchase in groups or ten or more.

Kaadathan Zog
The small and highly intelligent zogs are celebrated as pets in their native home of Ull-Thar, City of Felines, as well as the eternal realm of Celefa├»s. While regarded as treacherous by some like the googs, ghaasts, and nacht-gaunts, PetStation is confident that you will be able to navigate the zogs’ labyrinthine language and treacherous culture to find these sapient rodents of the dreaming nightscape beyond sight invaluable companions. They are endorsed as pets (and as a delicacy) by such experienced travelers as Rudolph Crater, Bertram Axeman, and Nyanyahotep (the Chaos that Crawls beyond the veil of insanity and ordered space). Please note that, due to circumstances beyond the control of PetStation and its parent company GesteCo, zogs are only available between the hours of 9pm and 6am, and are not available to residents of Rhode Island or students, faculty, and trustees of Muskatronic University.

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My lines won’t remain apart
Even if extended to infinity
They keep curving back to the start
And sowing insanity

I’ve got the non-Euclidean blues
Playing them up the R’lyeh streets
Gonna have to pay my dues
As the gibbering horrors bleat

Oh, I’ve got the non-Euclidean blues
And my mind is starting to crack
It can’t process the maddening views
Of Cthulhu’s scaly back

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“And so we release you, mighty Holaak-Hliqu, that you might rain fire and destruction upon our world!”

“Why is it that these faux-Lovecraftian elder gods always have such loyal cultist minions?” Lia asked. “It doesn’t seem to me that they have a very good benefits package.”

“They get eaten first, and spared the insane ravages of That Which Man Was Not Meant To See,” Jim replied. “Lesser of two evils.”

“But the Elder Gods are always released due to the cultists’ actions,” Lia said. “Why not just leave them sealed in the dark cave of Un’Pro-Noun’Cible? The ersatz Great Old Ones in the movies are never going to return on their own like in the real Lovecraft.”

“Maybe that part got left on the cutting room floor.”

“Or maybe they needed a lot of extras for the rock-jawed hero to blow up real good before the final confrontation. I tell you, it just doesn’t add up.”

Jim shrugged. “Well, the next time we come up against a murderous cult of insanity-worshippers, I’ll point out the contradiction.”