One benefit of being married to someone who works in the court system is that they are guarded by constables, who know all sorts of interesting things. This is how I learned about some cardboard boxes being auctioned off as part of the stuff taken in a drug bust by federal marshals. Due to whatever strange bureaucratic procedures and jurisdictions these things follow, the boxes apparently made their way from somewhere in California over to the auction block in Texas. They were lumped in with some other junk (lava lamps and beanbag chairs, or something, judging from the overall nature of the things being auctioned). Anyway, I cut a deal with the scrap dealer who was buying the non-paper part of the lot,and got the boxes, because one of them contained a boxed set of OD&D, which was worth the $50 I traded off for the boxes.
As I looked through the other papers in the box, though, I realized that what I had here is a historical artifact of considerable interest. Along with what I really hope is not the mummified tail of a cat wrapped with pukka beads, there are several sheafs of yellowing paper entitled "1974 Freaky Fantasy Gamer Guild." All manner of maps, and what appears to be a mimeographed newsletter-zine. The date on the first of these is actually 1975, so I guess the "1974" in the group's name is the date they were founded.
There is a wide variety of stuff here -- this is the authentic voice of early gaming, like Encounter Critical and other such rediscovered gems from the 1970s.
The first issue of the actual zine is entitled "Zooooom, The City of the Yjhakfdghn." Lots of pot dealers and a Cthulhoid monster that streaks naked through the city at night, causing possible insanity for anyone carrying a lantern or other light source. It's ... unusual.
I will report more in coming weeks, as I have a chance to decipher some really bad handwriting and blurry mimeographs. I am really trying to figure out if the name on one of these things is what it appears to be, because it really looks like it could be "Steve Colbert." But ... it couldn't be.
Cold Iron: Forgery and Reality
3 hours ago