The Octogram Of Seth LaPod



Salutations Sir R-----! I trust that this fine summer weather has you thirsting for a flagon. And perhaps a wager?

Splendid! Come join me at my table!

I propose a game played as a religious observance by the parishioners of the United Reformed Eighth-day Adventist Church of Cthulhu, the eldritch octopus god that lies dead but dreaming in the drowned city of Hampton-on-Sea.
Several years ago, the Empress directed me to pose as a peasant and infiltrate their temple of Fhtagn in the sleepy village of Saint Reatham on the Hill when it was discovered that Bishop Derleth Miskatonic had been directing his congregation to purchase vast tracts of land in the Ukraine and gift them to the church in return for the promise of being spared when Cthulhu finally wakes and devours mankind.
Miskatonic, who had previously run the church's lucrative calamari restaurant franchise, had been in effective control since he had announced that its founder-pope, Seth LaPod, had privately named him as his spiritual successor before suddenly vanishing from the face of the Earth to seek out the ancient races that dwell in the depths of space and learn the secrets of their technology.
Unfortunately, his suspicions that I was not who I claimed to be were aroused shortly after I joined the flock and was found to be in the noble state of spiritual transparency, which should not have been possible for a low born soul without decades of tithing and confessional prayer.
In a quite deranged tirade he hurled spittle-flecked accusations of crimes against humanity at me whilst brandishing a stuffed cuttlefish. Now as you know full well I am, to a fault, a patient and temperate fellow, but there is only so much that I can stand for; I drew my rapier and ran the odious little man through on the spot!

But the tale of my escape from his enraged acolytes shall have to wait for I am keeping us from our wager!

I shall place eight coins upon the table and draw a line from one of them to another with this blue chalk. You shall then do likewise between a different pair of coins using this red chalk and we shall thereafter take turns joining as yet unconnected coins until the one or the other of us has made a triangle out of three of them or until there are no lines left to make. If the game should end with my having fashioned a triangle then I shall have one of your coins as my bounty and if not then you shall have one of mine as yours.

When I spoke of this game to that weak-minded fool of a student, whose company it seems I can never entirely escape, he drifted off into an incomprehensible rant about some coterie of his fellow students that were conspiring to steal his prized pigeon. I don't doubt that you have as little interest as I in his affection for such vermin, so let us put him and his delusions out of our minds whilst you refill your flagon and ruminate upon your appetite for this sport.

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