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Happy Cthalloween!

This Halloween, the "Elder Gods" will rise on Twitter!  And YOU ARE THERE.

 

 

Cthalloween's "Twitterthulhu" logo designed by John Kovalic

 

How To Play

Step 1:  Follow the Twitter account @cthalloween

 

Step 2:  Pick one of these four character types to portray on Halloween: The Questing Professor, The Tormented Artist, The Suspicious Citizen, or The Gibbering Cultist. If you're especially ambitious, make up your own character. (Need help choosing? Read the individual character timelines below the F.A.Q.)

 

Step 3:  Throughout the day on Halloween, you will get tweets from @cthalloween with story prompts for each character type. Follow the suggestions that apply to your character, or veer off on your own. Use Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or any online method to describe what you're seeing, what you're doing, and how your life is affected by the rise of the Great Old Ones.

 

Don't forget! Tag all your posts with the hashtag #cthalloween. This allows us to track everybody's contributions. (Hashtag?)

 

 

Tips for Extra Awesomeness

  • Adding your own original photos and video to your story make things especially fun for everyone! Get creative.
  • Search Twitter for #cthalloween for a realtime update of everyone playing along
  • Although you may tremble with fear or gibber with madness, don't be afraid to throw in a Cthulu emoticon where appropriate. Oh, here's one now:  (;:;)
  • Use adjectives like there's no tomorrow!  Lovecraft was famous (or notorious) for his use of adjectives in describing his undescribable horrors.  Here's a grab bag of Lovecraft adjectives to try: eldritch, tenebrous, squamous, non-Euclidan, hyperborean, cyclopean.

 

 

F.A.Q.

Q: What in Hades are you talking about? I understand almost nothing of what you mean.

A: We get that a lot.  Here are the basics:  H.P. Lovecraft was an American author of "weird tales," and one of the progenitors of horror, science fiction and fantasy storytelling.  Many of his stories were tied together by common places, names and rosters of horrible creatures.  This world extended to other stories written by Lovecraft's friends and contemporaries, who traded references with each other.  The entire collection has become known as the "Cthulhu Mythos." io9 has a great intro to to the weird world of H.P. Lovecraft.

 

Q: Ct-wha? Is that even English?

A: No, not remotely. Cthulhu is one of the "Great Old Ones" referenced in the stories. The word "Cthulhu" is meant to be as close an approximation of the creature's name that can be made with human speech organs.  One thing you should know about Great Cthulhu is that the Internets love him.

 

Q: If I've never read anything by Lovecraft, can I still play along?

A: Absolutely!  All you really need to know is this:  something terrible is going to happen, but you're not quite sure how to describe it.  Dread casts a pall over everything, and the closer you get to the horrible event, the more danger you feel that you may lose your grip on sanity.  Or as H.P. Lovecraft says in the opening of The Call of Cthulhu:

 

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

 

Take that and run with it. There is no wrong answer. Have fun!

 

Q: What if I want to read some Lovecraft beforehand? Where should I start?

A: If you can only read one Lovecraft short story, I'd suggest Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, or The Shadow Over Innsmouth.  For a longer read, try At The Mountians of Madness.

 

 

Our Story 

Events take place on October 31st, 2009.  Times given are Eastern/Pacific.  You can also see all four stories laid out in a grid here.

 

Character:  The Questing Professor

 

13:00/10:00 -- Prof: From a trusted colleague, you hear stories of strange phenomena.  Tell us about these unexplained occurrences. #cthalloween

15:00/12:00 -- Prof: Your disbelief gives way to an irrational curiosity you have trouble explaining. Does anyone share your feelings? #cthalloween

17:00/14:00 -- Prof: You decide to investigate why these strange events are happening, and if anything similar has happened before. #cthalloween

18:00/15:00 -- Prof: In old tomes of forgotten lore, you find troubling parallels between the past and recent events. What are you learning? #cthalloween

19:00/16:00 -- Prof: Something you learn in your research convinces you something horrible is about to happen. What do you do about it? #cthalloween

20:00/17:00 -- Prof: You travel to where you think the center of the disturbance is or will be. Where is it? What do you see? #cthalloween

20:30/17:30 -- Prof: You devise a plan to combat the impending doom.  What is your plan? Is there anyone who can help you? #cthalloween

21:00/18:00 -- Prof: The Horror Rises. What do you see? What do you do? #cthalloween

21:15/18:15 -- Prof: Sights of indescribable horror. Describe them. #cthalloween

21:30/18:30 -- Prof: All seems lost. If you have a last-ditch plan to save the world, or at least your sanity, now is your last chance! #cthalloween

21:45/18:45 -- Prof: The Horror subsides - whether due to your actions or some unfathomable purpose. #cthalloween

22:00/19:00 -- Prof: You remain, but changed.  What dark portents do you see for humanity? #cthalloween

 

Character:  The Tormented Artist

13:00/10:00 -- Art: You are troubled by last-night's dreams, tormenting visions of horror. Try to describe the things you saw. #cthalloween

15:00/12:00 -- Art: You are possessed by a fever to create work that reflects the things you saw in your dreams. What are you creating? #cthalloween

17:00/14:00 -- Art: You pile horrible creation upon horrible creation, refining your translation of the unspeakable. #cthalloween

18:00/15:00 -- Art: People who see your work think you mad. But a few have had similar visions? What do you learn from each other? #cthalloween

19:00/16:00 -- Art: You find yourself possessed with a compulsion to find the source of the visions. Where do you go? #cthalloween

20:00/17:00 -- Art: You travel to where your intuition tells you the disturbance is or will be. Where is it? What do you see? #cthalloween

20:30/17:30 -- Art: You devise a plan to combat the impending doom.  What is your plan? Do you have allies? #cthalloween

21:00/18:00 -- Art: The Horror Rises. What do you see? What do you do? #cthalloween

21:15/18:15 -- Art: Sights of indescribable horror. Describe them. #cthalloween

21:30/18:30 -- Art: All seems lost. If you have a last-ditch plan to save the world, or at least your sanity, now is your last chance! #cthalloween

21:45/18:45 -- Art: The Horror subsides - whether due to your actions or some unfathomable purpose. #cthalloween

22:00/19:00 -- Art: You remain, but changed.  What dark portents do you see for humanity? #cthalloween

 

Character:  The Suspicious Citizen

 

13:00/10:00 -- Cit: Your town has always seemed strange, and today more than usual. Describe your increasing dread and uneasiness. #cthalloween

15:00/12:00 -- Cit: What strange signs and portents are you seeing that reinforce your nervousness about what this night could bring? #cthalloween

17:00/14:00 -- Cit: You notice your fellow townspeople behaving strangely. Do they talk about it, or act like nothing is happening? #cthalloween

18:00/15:00 -- Cit: You feel compelled to rally your fellow citizens to action, but how? Do they think you're crazy? Do any agree? #cthalloween

19:00/16:00 -- Cit: You are possessed with a compulsion to find the source of the day's strangeness. Where do you go? Do you go alone? #cthalloween

20:00/17:00 -- Cit: You travel to where your intuition tells you the disturbance is or will be. Where is it? What do you see? #cthalloween

20:30/17:30 -- Cit: You devise a plan to combat the impending doom.  What is your plan? Do you have allies? #cthalloween

21:00/18:00 -- Cit: The Horror Rises. What do you see? What do you do? #cthalloween

21:15/18:15 -- Cit: Sights of indescribable horror. Describe them. #cthalloween

21:30/18:30 -- Cit: All seems lost. If you have a last-ditch effort to save to world, or at least your sanity, now is your last chance. #cthalloween

21:45/18:45 -- Cit: The Horror subsides - whether due to your actions or some unfathomable purpose. #cthalloween

22:00/19:00 -- Cit: You remain, but changed.  What dark portents do you see for humanity? #cthalloween

 

Character:  The Gibbering Cultist

 

13:00/10:00 -- Cult: You are giddy. The purpose you’ve worked your whole life for, that your ancestors have worked for, is almost at hand. #cthalloween

15:00/12:00 -- Cult: Today is a busy day, many last minute preparations to me made. Describe the final tasks you must do. #cthalloween

17:00/14:00 -- Cult: Your pretense of normality slips as you anticipate the arrival of the Elder Gods. Does anyone notice your odd behavior? #cthalloween

18:00/15:00 -- Cult: People are noticing strange things are afoot. Does anybody interfere with your tasks? What do you do about it? #cthalloween

19:00/16:00 -- Cult: It’s near impossible to keep from gibbering and chattering. Can you stay sane and finish your duties? #cthalloween

20:00/17:00 -- Cult: You and your cult begin The Ritual. Onlookers are drawn to the spot. Do they try to stop you?  What do you do? #cthalloween

20:30/17:30 -- Cult: Thanks to your faithful ministrations, your Gods are about to enter the world. Describe your elation. Ia! Ia! #cthalloween

21:00/18:00 -- Cult: You Master Rises. What do you see? What do you do? #cthalloween

21:15/18:15 -- Cult: Delightful sights of indescribable horror. Describe them. #cthalloween

21:30/18:30 -- Cult: Triumph is at hand.  What final tasks can you do to ensure victory? #cthalloween

21:45/18:45 -- Cult: The Elder Gods vanish. Did you fail them? Did someone interfere? Or are your masters driven by unfathomable purposes? #cthalloween

22:00/19:00 -- Cult: Do you survive or sacrifice yourself? Will the cult go on? What dark portents do you see for the future? #cthalloween

 

 

Cthalloween Logos 

  

Twitterthulhu logo designed by John Kovalic

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