[originally posted here at Castalia House]
Fog of the Forgotten by Basil Wells appeared in the Winter 1946 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org.
As my regular readers might know, Basil Wells’ Raiders of the Second Moon is one of my all-time favorite pulp stories. It seemed so easy to convert into a D&D adventure with just a couple of statblocks, I ended up doing just that!
While Fog of the Forgotten doesn’t quite rise to the sublime heights as Raiders, it’s a solid action adventure with some weird, cool stuff to steal for your game, whether D&D or something more sci-fi flavored game like Star Frontiers or Traveller.
The world of Fog of the Forgotten is a planet that overlaps Earth but in a different dimension. An old superscience disaster stripped the planet of a large portion of its atmosphere. Survivors are forced to inhabit the extremely hot low jungles and valleys, while the high plateaus are too cold for natives. The superscience accident also resulted in a dimensional rift—and it’s through this rift that a spaceship from earth attempting to abort its mission and return passes and crashes on the strange world.
While the humans don’t even rank as co-protagonists here, they are able to provide some useful “power items” to the alien hero, particularly the space suits which act as both armor and insulation.
The hero, Ho Dyak, is a Tharkish four-armed gent. Unlike the Tharks, however, these aliens require near-boiling temperatures for comfort. They are also telepathic. While some of his people believe that technology and experimentation in the pursuit of mechanical knowledge should be forbidden to prevent further disaster, Ho Dyak is one of the renegades who believes that someday his people could reclaim and reinhabit their ancient lost lands. This makes Ho Dyak an enemy of the priests of Lalal, who rule over the common folk with an iron fist.
Ho Dyak has to fight his way through cultists, fight weird reptiles, be betrayed by a wicked dame, succored by a noble dame, and with some help from his earth friends, liberate the renegades.