Wednesday, August 6, 2014

[AFHOTWTTGS] The Terror of Llanberis

For those not in the know, I've recently spent ten days on holiday, in the mist-wreathed mountainous wilderland of North Wales (and it made a lovely change from the sun-baked nightmare-scape that London becomes in the summertime, too). Leaving aside the part where I got engaged to the lovely and infinitely patient Hark (although that happened, and it was terribly cute, even the part where she headbutted me in the chest four times before she could say yes), I've also spent a good week of that time living in a Doctor Who serial - probably a Pertwee-era one, all location filming and quarries and stock footage of gorgeous Welsh scenery.

Don't believe me? Have a dekko at this lot.

At the foot of Mt. Snowdon lies an ominous-looking artificial lake at the bottom of a foreboding slate valley. At the far end, if you squint, you can just about make out a small village; I'd check the name, but Google Maps is being an arse today and I didn't write it down. I know it's not Llanberis, because that's at the end where this photo was taken.

On one side of the reservoir, for such it be, we have the First Hydro power station. Lovely place to work, surrounded by glorious scenery and with the National Slate Museum just up the road. (Tell me you can't hear any companion of the last ever uttering the words "the National Slate Museum? Sounds fascinating" in tones of low dudgeon and great sarcasm. Except Barbara or Evelyn, who would pop inside quite cheerfully for a potter around and a nice cup of tea and doubtless discover a Clue there. If I were a cruel bastard, I might put a plot hook in there just to see if any Who RPG players would take the bullet. Your Call of Cthulhu group would be on that.)

The beaches around the reservoir are honeycombed with these little outflow tunnels, some of which look like nobody's gone near them since they were dug. I wonder what might have burrowed its way into that network, or been inadvertently disturbed? Obviously, I default to Silurians, although Silurians in Wales has been done to frustrating effect by our Mr. Chibnall of contemporary Who fame. I welcome the nerd fight over which Silurians are best, given that either three-eyed heat-rayed weirdos or scaly Neve McIntosh are fine by me.

Overlooking the whole ensemble, you have Castell Dolbadarn, built by Llewelyn the Great in 1220, and final seat of the kingdom of Gwynedd before its conquest by the English (hawk, spit, up the Celtic Nations etc. etc.) Here's where you get your time travel on. Somehow, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, in the last years of Welsh independence, could well be swept up in one of those change-the-course-of-history plots; imagine if the English army had been broken by scaly wossnames from the deep, and the Welsh resistance aligned with its 'demonic' allies...

'liberated' from Dominic Self
Incidentally, the Monk is pulling my GM face. That said, I don't think this is a Monk story. It's more of a Faction Paradox plot... and if it is, I have just the agent for it. Stay tuned.

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