Friday, June 5, 2020

Weird Revisited: Akakor

The original version of this post appeared in 2011...

Following up on the weird South American jungle map I presented earlier, today we'll veer off the map entirely into the wilds of crazy von Däniken land and visit a “lost” city--one that got famous enough to appear under a weak pseudonym in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I refer of course to Akakor.

Von Däniken started talking about underground city complexes beneath Ecuador in 1974’s The Gold of the Gods, but one of his sources, German journalist Karl Brugger, got to tell his version in 1977 with The Chronicle of Akakor. Both accounts start with the same basic story: In 1972, Brugger met a Native Amazonian (who spoke excellent German) named Tatunca Nara, who claimed to be a member of a hidden tribe that kept a great secret.  This secret involved ancient astronauts from a solar system named Schwerta, and a network of underground cities these space travellers built beneath South America. The most important of these cities was known as Akakor.

It all sounds fairly unbelievable, true--and it becomes even more so with the revelation that ol’ Tatunca Nara was really Günther Hauck, an alimony-dodging German ex-patriot. But the important thing from a gaming perspective is that these guys gave maps.

One of these is the upper (above ground) Akakor, and the other is the lower subterranean portion. Different websites disagree on which is which, so take your pick--"entertainment purposes only," and all that:

Here’s a nifty cross-section showing the underground portion, and one of the Star Trek-esque hallways:

Read more about it here, and find these maps (and more) here. Add some bullywugs, maybe some yuan-ti--or Nazis if your tastes run to pulp--and you’re ready to roll.  Crystal skulls strictly optional.

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