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HDK 101 † HDK Dungeon​-​synth magazine # 2

by V.A.

“We need reinforcements to the garrison on the remote coast of Speralia, you must leave as soon as possible under the command of a platoon of elite soldiers”. The order had come peremptory in the night. You just needed the time to stockpile the supplies and shoe the horses, then you were already on your way towards those regions newly conquered, the last outpost of the empire. The worst news came within hours from the departure: the connections with the outpost were completely interrupted. Jamir the invalid, wizard of Voltanar, had warned you: “My people never violated the sacred border that divides the known lands from the lands of Speralia, washed by the still sea of ​​Groogh!”. Only after arriving at your destination you understood how Jamir was right... Speralia was a stubbornly flat region, barren and dominated by a heavy yellowish sky. Its beaches had something hazy and depressing, in perfect harmony with the sea of ​​Groogh: a boundless pool of dead water, disturbing in its absolute stillness. The sacred border that Jamir was talking about, seemed to you not so much a geographical border, but the border between the world of life and death... The fort appeared on the horizon on the sixth day of travel: part of the fortifications seemed to have crashed under the weight of giant boulders rained down from the sky and a watchtower had completely collapsed. Everything was still. You began to hear the noise a few hundred steps from the fences: a hiss, at first barely perceptible, then increasingly loud until it pervaded the entire acoustic spectrum. You were forced to enter through the hole in the fence because the entrance door was closed from the inside and no one answered your calls. You saw the faces of your experienced soldiers whiten: the interior of the fort was invaded by thousands and thousands of snakes. What happened to the soldiers? What did all this mean? The answer came shortly thereafter accompanied by another sound: a dull and deep rumble, a roar that made the earth tremble under your feet and that - finally - rippled the glassy surface of the dying sea of ​​Groogh ... 00:00 - Orders came in the end of the night 02:32 - Jamir’s Warning 05:50 - Crossing the Sacred Border 07:17 - Still Sea of Groogh 09:29 - Endless Wastelands of Speralia 12:30 - Hiss from a collapsed fort
Kajab-Subur is now a semi-inhabited island: the only ones to bear the humid and cold climate are the half-orc fishermen of the tundra, who live in an outpost on the east coast. None of them dares to venture into the vast hinterland of the island, into its swampy regions, studded with the Bear Teeth, the sudden rocky outcrops in which the Bugbears live. No, it’s not the marshes, nor the humanoid savages that keep the village of the half-orcs well confined to the coast: it is the fungus. The fungus that grows in abundance in the hinterland of Kajab-Subur, and only there. It was once coveted throughout the Kingdom, considered magical and precious, it made people dream, gave happiness, health, enjoyment, beauty ... it gave everything. The fungus once put men in contact with the gods, it was the key to the Great Door of Secrets. The Fungus Seekers settled on Kajab-Subur, faced its unhealthy climate, fought the giant salamanders and the terrible swamp leeches, kept the crazy bugbears of the caves at bay, only and exclusively for the fungus. For years they had drown wealth from it, but for the same number of years they inhaled the magical spores, a coveted drug, in absolute purity. The seekers deluded themselves that they were managing the hallucinogenic effects of the fungus, but they were wrong: over time, they went mad. Many of them settled in the caves with the bugbears and abandoned the outpost on the coast. It was said that the caves were full of a quality of fungus that was hundred times purer and denser with spores than the ones known up to now ... Even in the Kingdom, after so much joy and knowledge, the effects of the fungus began to change: happiness was transformed into perdition, well-being into obsession, knowledge into a frightening vision of the future. Thus the mushroom trade was banned forever. An expedition consisting of agents of the kingdom and elite soldiers was sent to Kajab-Subur to bring the seekers home, to prevent them from continuing to collect and smuggle the mushroom, or more likely to kill them. Your father was among those soldiers: he, like all the others, never returned from Kajab-Subur. No one ever sailed from the coasts of the island: nobody heard anything about that expedition or of the seekers. Kajab-Subur has since then been part of the Forbidden Lands. What obscene mysteries does Kajab-Subur hide? What happened on the island decades ago? Why hasn’t anyone done anything to find out so far? Yet someone knows: you found out by investigating on your father. The time has come to verify with your own eyes whether the information you have collected, even if terrible, corresponds to an even partial truth. Humnur (at least you think that’s his name), the half-orc fisherman you bribed to sail to Kajab-Subur, hasn’t looked at you since you left the mainland. It is a superstitious way of his people to chase away the negativities: not to look at the source. To him you are a madman, an unconscious, a walking dead. As the barren, unhealthy silhouette of the island now stands out in the gray mists, you wonder if he’s right... 00:00 - Fungus eaters of Kajab-Subur 02:48 - The abandoned outpost 06:10 - Lost soldiers of the kingdom 09:48 - The door of secrets 13:10 - The kingdoms magic fades
At the beginning, the cult was young: young were its followers and young were its gods. The cult flourished in the barren regions of Yom-Kaleth, in the squalid merchant cities of Sadath and Morgadan, then spread throughout the khanate until it reached the rich capital, Sal-Barath, the Hundred-rayed Star. From the gods, the adepts of the cult obtained wealth, happiness and clairvoyance. The gods were magnanimous, because in exchange for joy, only a small sacrifice was asked to the faithful: an ounce of blood a day. But soon the benefits increased and in presence of a greater bliss, the gods thirst became greater: the ounces became two, then three and finally four, so the adepts had difficulty to satisfy their will. To overcome this difficulty, the adepts therefore spread the practice of bloodletting among the population: a healthy and invigorating practice, they said. The adepts became priests of the medical art and occupied top positions in the Temples of Healing. Bloodletting became very popular: everyone, from naive commoners to wealthy merchants, underwent the treatment by virtue of the rejuvenation and lengthening of life that it granted. Thus the gods had blood in abundance, every day, for many years. Then the Heresy of the Cult was born: groups of young adepts, corrupted by the worm of pride and presumption, began to question the word of the priests and the practice of the Ritual Bloodletting. In the wild regions on the outskirts of the Khanate, heretical churches were born that approached young people thirsting for Truth, at odds with the church-government of Sal-Barath. The gods did not like all this: so the khanate fell into a fatal period of civil war. Years of war and massacres only led to a stalemate, in which the Church of Sal-Barath lost more and more power. So, at a certain point, the same gods, who until then were sleeping in the recesses of an unknown dimension, decided to come out ... 0:00 - The Citadel of Sal-Barath 1:36 - Thirst of the Blood Cult of Yom-Kaleth 3:39 - A Rejuvenation from the Gods in the Church of the Hundred-Rayed Star 5:47 - The Heresey of the Cult is born 8:46 - Blood Drunk before the Eve of Battle 10:24 - The Unending March of War for the Khanate 13:26 - Opening of the Blood Gate to the Abysmal Dimensions
“Who knows if anyone, before us, has ever dug so deep?” you wonder as you return to the base. In the short journey that separates the mines from your refuge, your gaze travels across those rugged landscapes of naked purple rock, under the pale glow of the three low suns of the Knut Galaxy. You have never known any other everyday life than digging into the hidden bowels of the planet Hut. For a Hut-Kahn, a son of slaves on the planet Hut, there is no alternative. In the morning you get up and go with all your companions to the basement, guarded by the Great Floating Eyes, to work with the machines to extract the precious Purple Coal. Yes, Purple Coal, the most coveted wealth ... During the Great Centuries of the Intergalactic Wars Purple Coal was the most strategic resource. Controlling its extraction and supply meant dominating the entire galaxy. It is mocking to admit that none of you really knows what it is for. But it is certain that all of Knut’s planets require a great deal of it. One day an unusual thing happened. At the end of another working day, your digging machine broke through a hard rock wall, revealing a small underground environment. The Floating Eyes were busy, so you got down of the machine and you chose to explore by yourself the underground room. You knew you were violating the Code of Conduct but curiosity had taken over. In the center of the room you clearly distinguished two fossil bodies, thousands of years old, but still in perfect condition: they were two small bodies with two lower limbs, two upper ones. The faces had pairs of eyes, a nose, a strange mouth ... You only had time to give them a quick look, the bodies dissolved in contact with fresh air and left some objects at their place. You picked up the first thing you noticed, taking care to not be observed, and brought it with you hiding it in your uniform. You, arrived in the solitude of your room, ascertained that it was a book: a diary. It was written in an unknown language but - night after night - browsing the Virtual Library of Intergalactic Knowledge, you managed to decipher a few words. It was written in an archaic alphabet, which belonged to a civilization that lived far in time. However, there were researches on that civilization. It seems they were called “humans”. The diary had belonged to a couple of survivors, the last of a terrible war or something similar, which had caused the extinction of their race. The last pages read: “The greed of us humans was the cause of our end. Human beings behaved like a virus, which destroys the host body and ends up dying themselves. Seen from the current perspective, we have been short-sighted. Our planet, the Earth, has not been able to tolerate our insane mining will. We understood that, but we did not stop. And now all repentance is in vain. Who knows if anyone will ever remember what we have been?”. The next day, the Floating Eyes seized your diary. You have never see anything else from that ancient civilization.


Dear dungeoncrawlers, light your torches and sharpen your swords...once again!

The success of the first volume of HDK DSM was... dazzling! And so here we are with this SECOND ISSUE and we hope you will enjoy it like the previous one (or maybe more!). The dungeon-synth is a wonderful and unpredictable music made to give free rein to creativity and to the desire of telling weird and astonishing stories.

The four musicians involved in this release will not disappoint your thirst of gloomy and evocative music:

Glog from Serbia

13th Scale from UK

Alkilith from the USA

Nekmunnit from Spain

Each of them will tell you, through music, four little adventures full of magic and mystery. Each of them interprets the dungeon-synth style in his own way, but they all hit the goal: to catapult you into another dimension which is beyond the magical opening on the cover of this cassette, painted with the usual skill by our beloved Eugene Jaworski.

Enjoy the listening and be ready because the third issue of HDK DSM is almost completed... see you soon! Excelsior!



released April 30, 2021

ⒽⒹⓀ dungeon-synth magazine vol. 2
Published in April 2021
by Heimat der Katastrophe, Milano, Italy

Cassette cover art by Eugene JAWORSKI

Mini-book art by Paolo PETRUCCI

Additional art by Alan HUNTER
Courtesy of Mike Kenward, Proteus Magazine, UK 1984




Heimat Der Katastrophe Milan, Italy

DIY label focused on ambient punk, minimal-synth, dungeon-drone, wartime music and post-nuclear wave. Managed by a creative punx collective from Milano city.

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