Saturday, 14 February 2015

More Surprises from Stoke Hall: Signatures, Sickness and a Leatherbound Slaves to Darkness?

Attention hardcore collectors and completists! How about this then...? Its a photograph of Bryan's leatherbound copy of Realm of Chaos which has just been uncovered from storage in Stoke Hall, Newark. 

But what does it actually contain? 

I suspect that it contains the text from Slaves to Darkness, but that is just an educated guess. We now know that the history of this seminal tome had a long (and rather arduous) gestational period and was rather a breaker of games designers. But there were other unpublished versions and perhaps this is one of those. Time will no doubt tell on the detail, but I strongly suspect its a ultimate edition of the 1987 release.

I believe this to be taken from inside the book. Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt spot the four chaos symbols in the four corners. We can infer from the 'Merry Chaosmas' that this lovely book was a Christmas gift to Mr Ansell from the Design Studio and it is suitably sprinkled with the signatures of staff who worked there ate the time. How many scribbles can you spot?

Now, what happens to you when you are off poorly from work? 

Inside the leatherbound book, Bryan found this rather ancient 'get well soon' card sent to him during the 1980s by the Design Studio staff. Anyone recognise the self-portrait hidden in the guise of the doting doctor?

Its Tony Ackland! Who is also said to have been the artist behind this amusing cartoon. I love the Rolls Royce radiator on the end of the bed!

In typical 1980s Citadel humour, a list of questions was attached to the reverse of the card to help keep the managing director in the loop of the goings on in the office. I wonder what a Molly was?

Autograph fans can once again rejoice as they are spoiled with a second set of scribblings from inside the card. Who can you spot this time? 

Big THANKS to Bryan and Diane for taking the time to send these out to us. It seems that even after fifteen years of living in their Big Old House there are still boxes to sort through and little gems like these to discover. 


  1. That's pretty cool. Very nice of them to share with you. And you for sharing with us. ;)

  2. Love the nurgle symbol bottom left! ;-)

  3. I think I'm going to start signing get well soon cards in the style of John Blanche. Wonderful post, love seeing stuff like this.