Podcast news

The transcripts for April - June 2021 are up. The second after I uploaded it I noticed I'd mucked up the cover, but the link will be the same once I've fixed it.

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I really enjoyed your episode on Pendule! I always really enjoy the episodes that get into the potential magical descent of characters in the order.

I was wondering if you could recommend any books for getting into the philosophy of Plotinus?

There's a modern bio just called "Plotinus". There's also a basic bio by one of his students. Porphyr?

Anyhow, the one I mean is https://www.routledge.com/Plotinus/Emilsson/p/book/9780415333498

If I can get it in Australia, I presume your libraries can get it too.


Thank you, I really appreciate it!

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So, the state of play on the podcast

I've been feeling a bit burned out at work, in the real world so I've taken a week of long service leave. I know that my doctor's left me a "call me" message about a blood panel I took yesterday, so maybe I'll get some answers there. That's why you've had so many Pentamerone episodes in a row - I had them in the can, set to one per month, and just moved them forward as deadlines hit. The state of play may be a bit choppy ahead depending on what the health issue actually is, but here's where we are.

  • I've made no progress at all on the backlog of monsters: it's gotten worse actually. Still, I hope to catch up a bit in the next few days.
  • The Venetian material is not quite working how I'd like, so I need time to research new stuff for it. I've pulled all of the Venice episodes from the schedule until I work it out.
  • We have finished The King of Elfland's Daughter and all the associated Dunsania. Next year I may do something similar with Lud-in-the-Mist, because it will be in the public domain, but if you have a public domain book to suggest, I'd be happy to look at it.
  • I've finished the writing, but not the recording, on a Pentamerone episode not listed below. After that's done, there are only three or four Pentamerone episodes left. I say "Three or four" because two of the stories ("The Buddy" and "The Padlock") have been set aside as too boring for words, and so unless I find a new angle on them, they won't move forward.

The upcoming episodes look a bit like this. Bold items are already loaded on timers.
S23 - The Lamia by Keats. You've been told about this monster and the ancient mage who kills her twice in the core line, but Keats has a new wrinkle on it. It's the longest poem we've shared on GFF, and you have her stats already in RoP:F (she's a ghula with cosmetic changes ot make her more snake-like).
S30 - Cordiphagii - Two poems, which are about monsters that eat hearts. One's a reskin of the Miser's Pot from Realms of Power : Infernal. The other's a more powerful ghoul.
The ones following I won't give hard dates for, because I don't know when Venice will come back into the rotation, or if I'm going to have a Magonomia Week each month.
The other recorded episodes are
Bibliophilic poltergeist from Bone to his bone by EG Swain (monster)
"Eyes" from Weird Tales 1924 (monster)
Wondersmith Mannikins (two or even three monsters, but one may be the same I use in "Eyes".
Pentamerone - The Garlic Patch / Rosella
The Bottle Volcanic (a poem about an ink bottle that opens regiones)
False but Beautiful yet another avatar of the Infernal Saint of Pain.

If I do have a Magonomia week, the first will be about al-Mansur and the Anglo-Moroccan Alliance. If that were being done in a commercial book I would not be the guy to write it, but I can make up some fun-but-terribly-inaccurate stuff about it for web purposes. Basically I'm seeing what comes up, and if I can get a run of articles together, I might put a monthly thing in.


Thanks - and do remember to call your doctor :wink:

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Thanks Tellus. The news was medium bad, but I can work with it.

The new quarterly transcript is at https://timothyferguson.wordpress.com/2021/10/09/collated-transcripts-for-july-september-2021/

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There's been a hiccup in the production this week, so that Thursday's episode and an episode originally planned for next March both went live on the weekend. I'll add a bonus on Thursday to get the pattern running again. It'll just be a short poem. Probably Hardy's "When I set out For Lyonesse".

The following episodes are in the can
N11 "Eyes" from Strange Tales.
D2 Pentamerone - Sapia Liccardia
J6 Pentamerone - The Garlic Patch and Rosella
J13 An apology for the bottle volcanic
F3 Pentamerone - Three Faeries : Four Brothers (last Pentamerone episode)
F10 False But Beautiful

My plans for November, thus far, are "Eyes", a review of "The Lavender Dragon" by Eden Phillpots as a covenant setting, and a Magonomia article about Elizabethan clothing.

I need to work out which direction to go next for a steady column, now that Pentamerone is ending. So far my main options are

  • Galateo, which is an Elizabethan courtesy book.
  • Stories from Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Spanish folklorist, short stories)
  • Infernaliana by Charles Nodier (French folklorist, short stories).
  • Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mireless (English novel, a bit like "Stardust")
  • Short poetry from Alfred Noyes (You know his work. He did "The Highwayman")

Preferences gladly received.

The Venetian stuff will make a comeback eventually. 8)

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I really like the sound of Lud-in-the-mist.

Infernaliana should get some attention when fitting for your selection.

But I just made this account just now to thank and send my appreciation to you and the podcast. It has introduced me to some amazing material and I have fallen in love with Lord Dunsany.

I am running a troupe saga AM5 game series now in Egypt and it’s been so fun adapting material to introduce to the group.

Thank you again, new supporter and huge fan of Timothy’s work.


Well it absolutely made my day to read this. Thank you so much.

Infernaliana is wonderful, but I can't see a copyright clear translation, so I need to work on it a bit. The one I read is from the 1960s. There must be an earlier one, but I've not looked for it properly

I think the book for next year will be Lud-in-the-Mist, which clears copyright on January 1. If you liked Dunsany, I think you'll like this.

I'm also really enjoying the Autobiography of Benevenuto Cellini at the moment. He's a -perfect- Verditus magus. I was reading his book on goldsmithing and I've found two plot hooks already. In his own book he freely admits to necromancy and murder, but it's the other, pointless little boasts that are wonderful. If the person who wrote the pride flaw into the Verditus didn't know about him it's just the most fascinating of coincidences.

So, I expect I'll be doing a lot of his stuff next year, too


Hi all,

As a little change of pace, during Christmas Week I'll be putting out a series of short episodes. They are much in the vein of the "Stories I have Tried To Write" episode from a few years ago, where I use up poems and single plot hooks which have been jangling about in my note books for a while, I I hope setting them on the page will send them out into the community, so they return as something aged and strange. So, that changes the run sheet like this:

Items in bold have been already loaded to the server on timers. Note that dates are Australian time.

D20 "An Apology For The Bottle Volcanic"
D21 "Ines De Las Sierras"
D22 Cellini and the hailstorm
D23 Pentamerone - Three Faeries (this is a full length episode)
D24 "False but Beautiful"
D25 "Two Old Bachelors" by Edward Lear
D26 Cellini and the unicorn horn from Dunsany
D30 Magonomia - Elizabethan clothing (full length)
J6 Pentamerone - Garlic Patch (full length) This concludes our Pentamerone episodes.
J20 Cellini - the murder, the familiar and the flood (full length)
After that things get a little less focused, but the titles for the episodes already partially written are are:
The Covenant of the Lavender Dragon
Magonomia - The Anglo-Moroccan Alliance
Magonomia - The Laidly Worm of Spidleston Heugh
Cellini - The mistress, the necromancer and the assassin. (This is still rather too long, but I think its manageable now that two hooks have been pulled out of it and turned into Christmas shorts.)
Cellini meets the Angel of Death
Cellini shoots the Prince of Orange in the face
Cellini goes to jail, is poisoned and meets his guardian angel
Cellini kills random bandits
Cellini claims he has women trouble (This is perhaps too long and may be split in two.)
Cellini and the explosive birth of Perseus
Cellini and the oddities of Renaissance medicine (This will end our Cellini series. At one a month I presume it will end in August unless "...women trouble" splits.)

In Magonomia news, I'm pulling the episode about solving the Tudor inheritance problem. Basically it's gone from a single idea ("What if Queen Elizabeth ate the sea dragon heart in the Pentamerone?") to being more than an hour long. I want to work on it properly. It will be replaced by the Laidly Worm, which reuses stats from the core book (Lambton Worm), but in a novel way.

The backlog of monsters continues to grow, for which I can only apologise.

At this point the text for the episodes to the end of the year is complete, so I can start laying out the quarterly and yearly pdfs.

Thank you all for another fascinating year. On the mechanics side, the Patreons continue to provide enough money to do 50 minutes a month, with occasional spurts up into the next level up (which is technically 250 minutes a month, but things get smoothed out using publication timers.) Facebook has started streaming podcasts directly through their app, so I may need to work up a FB page for Games From Folktales. I've avoided it in the past because I prefer to keep the community in one place (here) but it seems to be part and parcel of their model.


The collated transcripts for the last quarter of 2021 are at Games From Folktales
(well, you need to click through one page so I can see download stats, to see if people are finding them useful.)

In terms of it being bigger and better next year, no art again. The monster backlog is still growing. December 30 (Elizabethan clothing) isn't in it. The 2021 annual will be out sometime soon. It'll be very barebone - just the four quarters clicked together.

I'm sorry it's not as polished as I'd like. I'm trying to find ways to do my work more efficiently so some of these things can be added back in.


Thanks! Was there a transcript for April to August?

Yes indeed!

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If you follow the podcast, you might just have accidentally received episode 402 which was meant to go live in October. Hence the big jump in episode numbers. Sorry about that. Libsyn has the publishing date and expiry date next to each other, and I filled in the wrong field.

Basically I'm trying, this month while the libraries (my day job) are quiet (because of the...well...situation) to get ahead a bit so I have more time and energy to do things like monster of the month writeups. I've done that by already completing a series of extracts from the biography of a guy who is clearly a Verditus magus analogue, the Florentine goldsmith Benevenuto Cellini. The extract that went up, which has him take over a castle in the middle of Paris, shows a look at his workshop, and then has him beat up some muggers, isn't the best example of why I think he's fantastic as a Verditus or Jerbiton model.

The titles of the episodes I've recorded and uploaded, but not yet done the transcriptions for, are:

J20 Cellini - murder, familiar and flood.
F3 The Invisible Monster (this isn't Cellini - It's by Green, who went on to marry Lovecraft. It's the monster of the month.)
F17 Cellini - The mistress, necromancer and assasin
M24 Cellini meets the Angel of Death
A21 Cellini shoots the Prince of Orange in the face
M19 Cellini breaks out of the papal jail
J16 Cellini swears he didn't shoot at the Cardinal.
J21 Cellini's wounds are tended by the angelic host
A18 Cellini gets poisoned like a prince
S22 Cellini accidentally murders a guy on the way to Paris

After that the rest are just planned ones
O20 This is the one which went live early. The replacement is probably a short one called "Cellini swears his colossal statue of Mars is not haunted".
The remaining ones, which I've not worked up are
Cellini angers the king's official mistress. This is so short I may pair it with Mars, above.
Cellini and his model Caterina*
Cellini and the Birth of Perseus
Cellini faces Renaissance medicine.

The one with Caterina may need to be pulled. Their relationship is mutually destructive and extremely violent. I need a better way of explaining it before I put it up, otherwise it just seems gratuitous.

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Hi gang!

Transcripts collated for the year: 2021 Annual available – Games From Folktales and click the word "Link". (I know clickthroughs are bad, but its the only way I can tell if people are using this, so its worth the time to do.)

The layout sucks this year - there's no art , it's just flat transcripts for the four quarters glued together. Sorry, that's the way the year has been. 8)

See the previous post for future plans.

Quick note - I'm able to look at my stats this month* and in 2021, GFF had 12 990 downloads. So, that's basically 249 downloads a week. Imagine getting 249 of us together each week! This is brilliant. I mean, technically a couple of those Apple and Google's bots and one of them is me but...that's awesome. Thanks gang!

  • I can only check stats on months when I upgrade my plan for the month. I went big this month to put all of those extra Cellini episodes in, so I can see my stats.
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Odd note. I've sent this to the Patreons, but I'll post it here because this is where most of us get our Ars news.

There's something odd in my podcast host files. Generally I pay $5 a month for about 50 minutes of storage, and when I step up I pay $15 a month for about 250 minutes. I'd used 240 minutes for January and went in tonight to put in a couple of little files to use up the final 10. Libsyn has rolled over to their new version (Libsyn Five) and tonight it tells me that I've used 75% of 324 MB, and that the basic plan when I roll back is $5 for 150 minutes. I'm not sure if that's a "sorry we've mucked you about" rate to launch Libsyn 5, or if they really have shifted their price permanently downward. I thought I should mention it though, because my oversimplified, basic pitch on Patreon has always been "You are paying USD7 a month so I can do 50 minutes a month". and at least this month that doesn't seem to be true.

Off to find another 75 minutes to put in before February 1...