Compendium Launch Date!

Ms. Roden’s Compendium of the Fantastical and Mythological will be launched on Monday 10th June to coincide with the opening of the BIAD Degree show – and for the first week will be available at the special exhibition price of £4.99 (Usual price £6.99)


To pre-order your signed copy for collection or delivery please visit or click on the picture. With a glossy green cover, cream paper and entries including Nonny Warn, the Monsters Wager and many more not yet online, the Compendium is a mulch of obscure mythology!

The Hkoogarlarrr

The Hkoogarlarrr

AKA: The Breathers of the Divine Breath, The Humming Tribe, The People of the Sorrowful Lament.

A Hkoogarlarrr scribe at work

A Hkoogarlarrr scribe at work

An ancient culture marked by constant song yet with little oral language. The practice of Hkooism involves devotion to expression through creation of art, with verbal communication being generally dedicated to poetry.

Vague reports of The Hkoogarlarrr have occured since the seventeenth century, but their ability to seemingly evaporate into their surroundings has made any serious anthropological study impossible. Making contact with the Hkoogarlarrr was one of the reasons for the funding of the Opogo-Bunyip expedition, but it was sadly lost before it could fulfil its mission.

One of the few to actually observe the Hkoogarlarr was renowned anthropologist and historian of alternative culture Snufkin Graney Esq, whose method of transcendant anthropology enabled him to at least begin to observe this people who were shrouded in mystery and swaddled in enigma. “(I try to connect with)…the figures and peoples and therefore cultures within these worlds. I spend my time trying to live in their skin and environment, see through their eyes, hear what they hear whilst also carrying out the hum drum and monotonous duties everyday life brings”. This approach had give Graney exeptional results in the past, and using these methods he spent a year searching for and six months observing the Hkoogarlarrr.

The Hkoogarlarrr in procession.

The Hkoogarlarrr in procession.

When he returned to England to present his findings, however, he mysteriously dissapeared from his hotel room the night before his appointment with the Broadwoodwidger Research Institute. There was no sign of a struggle, and the door and windows were locked and bolted from the inside with the anthropologist not being seen since.

Since then few further studies have been attempted, but the footage and notes Graney managed to acquire still form part of the Museums collection.

See Also: Snufkin Graney, The Opogo-Bunyip Expedition

The Queen’s Looking Glass

The Queen’s Looking Glass

A.K.A: The Magic Mirror, The Dirty Mirror

The Lament of The Queen's Looking Glass

The Lament of The Queen’s Looking Glass

In 1812 The Brothers Grimm published their first collection of folk tales, including Snow White. The Mirror consulted by the queen in that story became an overnight celebrity, in huge demand at society parties, lecture tours and cabinet meetinsg for the next few decades. At it’s most popular it was polished hourly by a team of virgins with dusters of swans feathers and cloths of silk, using rare extracts from various marine mammals. Fame, however, is fickle, and the mirror was ‘obtained’ by P.T. Barnum and subsequently ‘liberated’ by Capt. Erasmus Haniver for his eternally travelling sideshow ‘Haniver & Son’.

The creation of the mirror is allegedly an Old World Soul spell involving a closed portal which traps the victim. The soul in the mirror was allegedly that of the cleverest man alive who was offered eternal life by a Necromancer in the late seventeenth century. Unfortunately the man’s hopes of an eternity of study and vast contemplation were dashed when he was spellbound to the glass and packed off to Bavaria as a Royal Wedding present. As the mirror would later lament; “If someone offers to make you immortal, make sure you ask HOW before you say YES!”

The last appearance of the Glass in public showed it as being, (rather than the benign dispenser of truth portrayed in the tale) coarse and foul mouthed, a girl who asked how to be rich was advised to ‘Get into whoring but stay out of crack’ and it spent a good deal of the night screaming at Haniver’s Son for it’s fix of Windowline. Since then The Queens Looking Glass has been apparently been acquired by Nonny Warn, as the Captain now refuses to be seen with it in public.

See Also: The Necromancer, Erasmus Haniver

The Frozen Mole

The Frozen Mole

A.K.A: Barty,

A small, grey, mole emerging from a clear surface.

The frozen mole was one of Shelley Smith Industries early experiments with metaphysical engineering. After finding some obscure texts on portals and their uses, Mr Shelley Smith did a variety of experiments involving creating small portals and using them to transmit messages and images between each other. He then moved on to sending small objects through.

The Frozen Mole continues his Eternal Emergance

The Frozen Mole continues his Eternal Emergance

He discovered that dropping objects onto the portal led to them simply sitting on the surface, but actually pushing an item through the aperture pushed it out of the corresponding portal. Encouraged by this, he decided to do his first experiments with live subjects. The nearest critter he had to hand was his pet mole, Bartrum. He considered the Mole, with it’s digging claws and sleek fur, to be the best creature to pull itself through the portal and arrive safely on the other side.

Barty’s entry went exactly as expected, but his return to reality was far from smooth. He appeared to be frozen, half in and half out, and seemed dead apart from his attitude and the warmth of his fur. Over the past hundred years approximately half of Barty’s remainder has emerged, leading to speculation as to why the phenomenon occurred  The most popular theory is that the portal was miscast, and the temporal loop that usually protects the user from trans-dimensional shear was amplified, slowing Barty’s movements to the point of inertia. This was certainly Shelley-Smith’s theory, and his heartbreak at the loss of his favourite pet led to his abandonment of the Portal Project.

Is has been suggested that Shelley Smith’s notes have since been sent to Aperture Science, but that is currently speculative.

See Also: Shelley Smith Industries

Sixth Viscount of Broadwoodwidger

The Sixth Viscount of Broadwoodwidger

A.K.A: Charlton Amhurst

“Haude Scientia Est Inconcessus” (No Knowledge is Forbidden)

Broadwoodwidger Family Motto

Charlton Amhurst, the sixth Viscount of Broadwoodwidger was a renowned collector of curiosities, Fellow of the Miskatonic University and bachelor. He founded the museum which still bears his name in the early part of the nineteenth century when he sought to ensure the preservation of his collection and continuation of his research when he went to fight in the later part of the Napoleonic Wars.

He did this by establishing the ‘Broadwoodwidger Museum of Cryptozoology and Mythology’ at his town lodgings in Liskeard and bestowing a healthy endowment to fund its ongoing maintenance. Over the next few years the institution attracted visitors and researchers from across the country, and upon his return he was so impressed by the reputation the museum had gained that he established it as a more permanent centre for the research of the mythological and public display of unusual and inexplicable objects.

Amhurst was considered something of an eccentric, firstly when he refused to follow the family tradition of a place at Cambridge and went to the United States. Not to visit, or look at the Native Americans, or even sow his wild oats, but to study at the recently founded Miskatonic at Arkham, Massachusets. His choice of an American institution reportedly caused great consternation in society, but not to his family, unlike his alleged relationship with Vivian Casper-Jemm who was barely sixteen.

The other area of Amhurst’s eccentricity focussed on his areas of research – particularly those he was engaged in during his military career. All notes from this period are simply marked as ‘Lost’ on the museums ledgers, but it’s believed that the work he carried out between 1811 and 1820 was the beginnings of M.O.D.A.D.

The Amhurst family continue to remain the custodians of the Broadwoodwidger Museum, which recently celebrated in Bi-Centenary.


The Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory

A small, dessicated arm including hand and shoulder.

Traditionally a hand of glory is a magical object, a five-tapered candle made from the arm of a hanged man, variously cut down or prepared at midnight, or under a full moon, or a new one. When lit this bestowed invisibility on the holder while ensuring all sleeping in the building remained asleep making it a metaphysical must for burglars hand house breakers.

In Walsall, UK, it refers to a local legend attributed to a severed arm found in a local pub. In the late nineteenth century an arm and an English Civil War sword were found together in the attic of the White Hart pub, and while the sword became lost to the annals of history the arm was kept. The tale goes that a group of thieves were meeting in the White Hart’s attic, planning their next misadventure. They were apparantly overheard by one of the kitchen girls, who crept up to the attic to spy on them. She was discovered and murdered by the panicking brigands, who were then caught trying to move her body in several pieces from the pub. She is still said to haunt the building, but no sign of her has ever occurred on several ghost hunts, and the building has since been converted into flats with none of the tenants complaining about unwarranted bumps in the night.

The Hand of Glory has since been on continuous display at the Walsall Museum, originally in a glass case but now in a far more disappointingly child friendly format.

Blade of the Red Valley

The Blade of the Red Valley

A.K.A: The Dreamstealer, The Elf-Blade, Tell-Tales-Ruin

A ruby, approximately the size of a bean, cut to an edge and set into a silver ring.


The Blade of the Red Valley

The Blade of the Red Valley

The ‘Blade of the Red Valley’ was originally considered to be little more than an ancestral jewel of the Roden family. It was said that back in less civilised times  a warring family attempted to sack the Roden homestead and the youngest daughter defended herself against her attackers by slashing at them with the broken edge of a glass gem, mortally wounding two and surviving until help came. Her father had a ruby cut in the same manner and set in silver to commemorate the event, with the gem being passed to the youngest daughter in the family on the owners death.

The ring was lost in the late 1940’s when Victoria Roden bet it on black at Monte Carlo. Nonny Warn bet red.

The colourful names attributed to the item relate to several stories which have two common elements – a ring used a blade, or to in some way pierce or cut the victim, and the subsequent removal of the victims soul, spirit, or in some examples their imaginations. One such example is child’s rhyme the ‘Tell-Tales-Ruin’:

Little boys race and little girls run
For if you tell tales then Nonny may come

She hunts down the stories and tables the words
And carefully notes down each name that occurs

She finds the tale-teller and pierces their head
Slits through the mind with the bright blade of red

Pulls out the fables and winds in the yarns
Then shuts the mind tight using one of her charms

And once all the fancies are stripped from the brain
They’ll never tell tall tales or stories again

The Tell-Tales-Ruin, c.1910

In such stories the ruby often changes hue, from a ‘pale and watery crimson’ to a such a dark red that ‘…only the hypnotising red flashes told as to its true colour.’ Usually the narrative is a warning to tellers of both tall and tawdry tales – ‘if you make such humdrum use of your imagination then you shan’t be allowed to keep it’ – but the central character  has also been represented as acting kindly towards those suffering nightmares by taking their ability to dream away.

See Also: Nonny Warn

Sanctum Micro Communities

Sanctum Micro Communities

A.K.A: Mothers Burrow

Part of Sanctum's slick advertising campaign

Part of Sanctum’s slick advertising campaign

Sanctum Micro Communities is an organisation offering ‘whole life management’, where inhabitants enter into a facility which provides for all their needs.

“In a Sanctum Micro Community, you need never feel alone or afraid again”

Extract from SMC Advertising

Sanctum is a rather sinister organisation, offering everything a person needs to exist within a bunker shielded against biological, nuclear and natural disasters. These facilities are run entirely automatically by a Monitoring and Organisational Twin Heuristic Responder system, known as ‘Mother’. This has a visual and verbal interface based on socialite, factory girl and crack-shot Kiki Casper-Jemm, although it has never been clear whether she was ever aware of her image being used in this way.

Poster featuring M.O.T.H.E.R

Poster featuring M.O.T.H.E.R

Entry to one of these communities is usually via a Pre Acceptance and Personality Assessment Application form completed at one of the companies recruitment drives. This then leads to the signing of a contract laying out the terms of residence in one of these establishments.

The terms of these contracts are rather troubling, revealing that the company will essentially own the inhabitants, including all corporeal or non corporeal elements, that the inhabitants are required to do all suitable work assigned to them and that they will undergo any require medical examination or treatment by the. The contact also specifies that it is Sanctum who decides what is suitable.

The appeal of such an organisation is understandable, and nobody has ever been known to leave the facility, except for those contributing to the communities promotional drives. While it is entirely possible that Sanctum is indeed a benign corporation, the lack of news on previous inhabitants is innately troubling.

See Also: Kiki Casper-Jemm

The Grinning Axeman

The Grinning Axeman

A.K.A: The Happy Killer, The Chipper Chopper, The DreamGuard

A child’s drawing of ‘The Grinning Axeman’

A tall, grinning man who appears only in dreams, carrying a large, bloodied axe.

“As a child I was plagued by nightmares, then another terrifying figure emerged – a tall, broad man with manic hair, staring eyes a fixed grin and a huge axe with blood dripping off it. He scared me so much i’d immediately awake whenever i dreamed about him. But after a few weeks i noticed I was having less nightmares, although those that i did have always ended with the appearance of this grinning monster of a man.

I thought I’d just grown out of the night terrors, until one night i dreamed i was walking down a long red, corridor, and the Axeman was there, but sitting, with his weapon on the ground beside him. further along the corridor i could see the fallen forms of the giant Spiders, evil clowns and other childish things that had been the subjects of my nightmares before. So i walked up to the axeman, who looked at me with that horrible, twisted face, but i’d never before been close enough to him to see his eyes, which seemed so peaceful and brown. I realised that his fearsome appearance was not to frighten me, but to scare the real monsters that had kept me from sleeping for so long. I smiled at him, he patted my head and i woke up”

Extract from a patients account to Dr. Ada Rosemarther,  St. Judes

The Grinning Axeman is essentially a psychological barrier, but while studying sleep disorders and night terrors Dr. Rosemarther discovered several children had dreamed of a character with the same characteristics – a huge man with a fixed grin, armed with a perpetually bloodied axe, who always appeared at the conclusion of a nightmare and never, in a single account, actually acted aggressively toward the dreamer. She collected examples from across the country, and even found the character in dream studies from Germany, the USA and Japan.

The question of how so many children dreamt of the same character, fulfilling the same functions but without an obvious reference in waking life, remains unanswered.

Captain Haniver

Captain Haniver

A.K.A: Capt. Erasmus Haniver, The Dread Captain, The Carny Captain

Haniver and Son Flyer

Haniver and Son Flyer

A staunch man, wild haired and eyed and keeper of ‘Haniver and Son’, a traveling sideshow specialising in esoteric creatures.

In October 2012, a thick fog descended on Birmingham, UK. It remained there for three days, unmoving. And on the third night Haniver & Son displayed a selection of their collection in a small, Victorian pub in the cities Jewelry Quarter.

Haniver displayed several key items, including the only known Coney Mocks in captivity, a variety of mechanical creatures and, two hundred years after it’s first taste of fame, an enchanted looking glass. The crowd was drawn by the Captains young assistant, commonly known as Jenny or Sonny, however it seems that the title of ‘Son’ refers not to the Captains actual offspring (of which there are no records) but of whatever apprentice he has with him at the time.

Photograph of Haniver (And son) from the Broadwoodwidger Archives

Photograph of Haniver (And son) from the Broadwoodwidger Archives

Erasmus Haniver was at one point a real sea captain, with connections to the House of Hanover, and captained the ill fated Opogo-Bunyip expedition. He disappeared shortly after his return after scandalously spending the night with the fiancee of another surviving member  of the crew. It was after this that he first started to appear with his sideshow.

Generally operating along the coasts, Haniver’s visits were always said to be preceded by fog for several days. In their heyday Haniver and Son drew crowds of several hundred visitors a day, and boasted a variety of artifacts and cryptids. This sudden popularity brought him to the attention of various authorities, and he was eventually forced to sail out to sea to escape investigation by M.O.D.A.D and legal action by Shelley Smith Industries.

Since then Haniver & Son have rarely ventured back to land, and it is not entirely clear whether the most recent appearance was that of Erasmus Haniver at all, most likely being his son or other near relative.

See Also: Coney Mocks, Shelley Smith Industries