The Hypnos Connection

Hypnos StatueOne of the more curious subplots in The Borellus Connection involves an Agent attracting the attention of the god Hypnos (p. 035 of the massive tome). We call out several places where Hypnos (or “Samuel Loveman”) might intercede, but if you wish to delve into the perilous regions of slumber, here are some added options:

Dreams of the Enemy

Use Hypnos to foreshadow key antagonists, like Orne’s lieutenants, by having the chosen of Hypnos share in their dreams. If you foreshadow an scenario or two in advance, you get the weirdness and horror without making the connection too obvious. For example:

  • On the night before flying out on Operation JADE PHOENIX, the chosen shares the weird saurian dreams of Jean-Francois Charriere, swimming through the swamps near the Lagalisse Plantation (p. 116).
  • While napping over the Pacific in HORUS HOURS, the chosen dreams of Lothar de Kleist, unleashing zombies on the Eastern Front.
  • Before encountering Barnabas Wheeler in Marseille, the investigator might dream of hastily stealing corpses from the basement of the Church Home and Hospital in the Baltimore of 1807 (see also p. 374.)

My Brother’s Kingdom

Hypnos was the brother of Thanatos; any recently deceased character could show up in the company of the Old Friend. Likely candidates are Charles Whiteman (before he’s resurrected), Moritz Garver (p. 242) – or any fallen Agent. Bonus points if the Agent’s about to be resurrected (p. 031).

Eyes of Endymion

In some versions of the Endymion myth, Hypnos falls in love with a handsome shepherd, and makes him fall asleep with his eyes open so Hypnos can gaze upon them. Here, the blessing of Hypnos means that the agent finds themselves needing less and and less sleep – or that sleep is becoming indistinguishable from the waking world.

Poe Bibliomancy

The whole campaign is cut with Poe. The chosen of Hypnos might gain unnatural insight into future events by performing bibliomancy (divination through opening a book at a random page and pointing at a line) on a collection of Poe’s short stories. The Old Friend might suggest bibliomancy as a jest.

Some suggestions:

  • HORUS HOURS: But, my dear fellow, you are joking then,” said I, “this is a very passable skull –indeed, I may say that it is a very excellent skull, according to the vulgar notions about such specimens of physiology –and your scarabaeus must be the queerest scarabaeus in the world if it resembles it. Why, we may get up a very thrilling bit of superstition upon this hint.” – The Gold-Bug. Notice: One of Tang’s tattoos reminds the Agent of an insect – or a skull.
  • DE PROFUNDIS: “The keepers and kept were soon made to exchange places. Not that exactly either — for the madmen had been free, but the keepers were shut up in cells forthwith, and treated, I am sorry to say, in a very cavalier manner.” – The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. The tale describes a lunatic tricking the narrator by masquerading as the keeper of the asylum – foreshadowing the Whiteman/Gilbert deception.
  • SECOND LOOK: -“And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.” – Ligeia. Honestly, the whole of this short story, with its intimations of necromancy, resurrection through drugs, opium dreams and general weirdness applies to the whole campaign, and you can readily draw parallels between Ligeia and Menkara, the mummy that’s the centre of the drug deal. The quote above gives insight into the philosophy of Almousin-Metatron and the overall goal of Orne.
  • PURITAN: “At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth side the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior crypt or recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.” The Cask of Amontillado. Either echo this description in the cellar of the Prague House (p. 278), or hang an Architecture/Art History/Notice clue off it if the Munich lab has been bricked up (p. 265)
  • MISTRAL: “When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within.” – The Masque of the Red Death. Architecture might make the investigator recall a castellated abbey with gates of iron when looking at the clubhouse pavilion (p. 299) or Orne’s House (p. 311).
  • NEPENTHE: But the good champion Ethelred, now entering within the door, was sore enraged and amazed to perceive no signal of the maliceful hermit; but, in the stead thereof, a dragon of a scaly and prodigious demeanour, and of a fiery tongue, which sate in guard before a palace of gold, with a floor of silver” – The Fall of the House of Usher. One of the key twists of this adventure is that Orne’s escaped into the past. Describe a perilous location (like the Shooting Gallery, p. 361, or The Jonestown House, p. 371) as having yellow walls with reflective silver puddles (stagnant water or spilled mercury as appropriate.)

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