Tuesday, January 22, 2019

True Detective: The Forests of Leng

If you have been here for a while you will know that I am a fan of the murder mystery show "True Detective".  Of course, I loved the first season and really disliked the second season (hate is too strong of a word).   Well the third Season started last week, we got three episodes so far and I am completely hooked.

I am not going to give out too much of the story but it revolves around Detective Wayne Hays, played by the amazing Mahershala Ali and the kidnapping and murder of two children (so far).  While investigating the room of 10-year-old Will (one of the missing children) we get to see this:

Yup. That's an AD&D book "The Forests of Leng".  A book we all know does not exist.

There are a few problems of course.  This book uses the trade dress of the 2nd printing of the AD&D 1st ed books featuring covers by Jeff Easley, but this scene takes place on November 7-8, 1980.

We can't see the cover very well, but there appears to be a tentacled monster on it.

Film Goblin does a fantastic break down of the cover and the Leng-Carcosa connections in both Season 1 and Season 3 of True Detective.  Go there for the Lovecraft and G.R.R. Martin connections as well.

I will not retread that ground here.
I do however want to speculate what a Forests of Leng book might be.

So we know that in 1980 the idea of a mega-module, ala T1-4 was still some ways off.  But I look at this and think that this would be a good mega-module...but that is not really enough is it.

No the closest thing I think this could be is a campaign world book like Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms or World of Greyhawk books.

It should have new classes, spells, monsters and of course locales include the titular Forests of Leng and the dread city of Carcosa.

Back when TD Season 1 was out I thought how fun it would be to run a Southern Gothic adventure with Ghosts of Albion.  I even called Ghosts of Albion: Carcosa.

I should come up with something.


These mockups appeared on Juan Moore's Instagram accountHe designed these props for the True Detective show.


TheShadowKnows said...

"This book uses the trade dress of the 2nd printing of the AD&D 1st ed books featuring covers by Jeff Easley, but this scene takes place on November 7-8, 1980."

I've noticed this is a common issue when non-gamers inject D&D into a TV show or movie. For example, in a second season episode of Stranger Things, one of the characters talks about mind flayers while holding the 1st edition Monster Manual with original cover. But his description of them as extradimensional Nazis is like nothing in the book he's holding; it sounds like 2nd edition (Planescape?) garbage that, in any case, wasn't published until several years after the episode was supposed to take place.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I can excuse such things really. It's nice to see the D&D books and when they are wrong it gives me something to blog about.

Venger Satanis said...

We all have to remember that when real world stuff intersects with fiction (not just novels but TV, film, etc), there is no firm, objective reality. I'm sure aesthetics may have been more important to the production team than historical accuracy.

Having said that, I wish True Detective will go much further into both the Cthulhu mythos and D&D lore!

Zach Henderson said...

Fantastic Easter Egg! This is a book that never existed in our timeline, so we're obviously looking at a reality one or two shades removed from our own. This makes the anachronistic trade dress immanently plausible.

Dave Morris said...

I'm glad to hear True Detective is back on form. Like you, I loved season 1 but after season 2 I'd pretty much lost enthusiasm for any more.