Black Seal Announces “Vietnam Special: Cthulhu by Arclight”

Art by Dennis DetwillerNearly seven years ago the Black Seal crew decided it would be a good idea to write an issue which would concentrate on the wars in Vietnam. Now after a somewhat lengthy hibernation the Black Seal intends to fulfil on that promise: the Vietnam Special is coming.

We have 150,000 words worth of material which is significantly more than the wordcount for a typical Black Seal issue. There is so much material, that we simply can't fit it into one issue, even if the issue is a special, so rather than discard it we are going to split it into two volumes.

The first volume will be titled Cthulhu by Arclight, and it will be larger than a typical Black Seal but we're not entirely sure how much larger. It will be available in both dead tree and PDF format.

The second volume will be titled Missing in Action, it will include everything fit to print which we couldn't squeeze into Cthulhu by ArclightMissing in Action will be available as PDF only.

The current plan is to get both volumes complete and ready to print and then to hold a fundraiser to cover printing costs. Once the the ransom has reached its goal those who contributed will receive a PDF of both Cthulhu by Arclight and Missing in Action as a single limited edition PDF; they will also be top of the list for receiving the Cthulhu by Arclight hardcopy.

As an additional bonus to the ransomers, the PDFs for both Cthulhu by Arclight and Missing in Action will not be released to the buying public until a week to a fortnight after the hardcopy version is published.

Oh, and one other thing Cthulhu by Arclight is not  The Black Seal #4, that is now an entirely different magazine."

A prospective content list will be up soon.

Comments (7) Trackbacks (1)
  1. What pleasant news! Where do I sign up for the ransom? I also applaud
    your PDF plans, and I hope you will work to release previous TBS as PDFs.

  2. Excellent stuff. Are you going to double stat this for use with TOC? That would be cool (as well as opeing up a new revenue stream lol ) Any ETA on this

    • We have a TOC article by the estimable Steve Dempsey, but we don’t have plans for a full-scale TOC conversion – we aren’t TOC players so we are not completely up to speed with the system. And did we mention that this beast is *big*? We would have to release the TOC conversions as PDFs if we were to do such a thing.

  3. Hey I know this is a little late but I wanted to mention a few things that my father related to me about when he was serving with the Australian Army in Vietnam. I hope that people find these things add some colour to their game.

    Some of the South Vietnamese military police – Quan Canh, (nicknamed the ‘White Mice’ I tihnk because their uniform shirts were white) were apparently quite a paranoid lot. My father was taking photos near some ARVN military base and then tried to take photos of the White Mice guarding the place. They pointed rifles at him and told him to stop taking photos and back off or else they’d shoot him. They were not intimidated by the fact that he was a 1st Lieutentant in the Aussie Army.

    My father was leading a platoon on a clearing patrol around part of Nui Dat early one morning when he heard noises from the undergrowth ahead of him. He was certain it was some Viet Cong infiltrators trying to get close to the Australian base and he flicked the selector on his M16A1 (which he had “bought”from an American soldier for a carton of Aussie beer!) to full-auto.
    He waited for the ‘bad guys’ to poke their heads out of the shrubbery until the culprit appeared – a very angry rooster! Because it had not uttered a sound the incident was named the ‘Phantom Bantam’ incident.

    He also mentioned that there was a species of lizard in Vietnam that made a vocalization that sounded very much like “f**k you”. Allegedly this spooked more than a few new arrivals to the jungles of Vietnam. Unsurprisingly, the lizards were called ‘f**k you lizards’ by the Aussies and Americans.

    And as for something from the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong side although dating from 1969, there is a location called the Forest/Jungle of Screaming Souls in the Ia Drang/Chu Pong area. I first read about it in the book “The Sorrow of War” by Bao Ninh some years ago, there’s a good coverage on the following pdf

    This also leads into the concept of the ‘wandering soul’ and its belief by the Vietnamese. A long article on this can be found here in regards to PsyOps inj Vietnam (and it specifically mentions the Jungle of Screaming Souls).

    • Hi Kevin,

      Everything I’ve read so far leads me to believe your fathers experience with the White Mice was not at all unussual, they were (in)famous for being brutal and corrupt. Rather than be intimidated by your father’s rank and nationality they probably thought he was a tempting target, someone from whom they could try and extort larger bribes than from the locals.

      A sardonic saying favored by the Saigon police was: “If they
      are innocent beat them until they become guilty.”

      By the way their nickname came from their uniform white helmets and gloves.


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