The Black Stone

Charlie Tower seeks refuge from the horrors of the Great War in Berlin's most notorious nightclubs. There he is reunited with an old friend and a chain of events is set in motion that will lead him across Europe to investigate the mysterious Black Stone. Is it merely a creation of superstitious peasants, or is it a nexus for hideous gods of the ancient world to set foot into ours?

We are very excited to give this classic Robert E. Howard story a Dark Adventure adaptation, with the biggest, most international cast ever!

CONTENT WARNING: This episode features a bit more sex and violence than is typical of Dark Adventure, including one scene of unusual horror. Probably not for younger kids.

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Props

To enhance your listening pleasure, the HPLHS has packed the binder sleeve for The Black Stone with carefully created props from the story. You'll get:

  • a postcard from a notorious Berlin night spot
  • a half page from the Chicago Examiner with the story of a poetical career cut short
  • a photograph of an ancient relic and a revealing manuscript
  • an annotated map of war-torn Eastern Europe
  • for pre-order customers only: Charlie Tower's U.S. passport from 1919
  • Track Listing

    1. Opening 2:33
    2. Berlin 18:57
    3. Vienna 10:25
    4. Temesvar 12:36
    5. Stregoicavar 23:28
    6. Budapest 9:11
    7. Closing 1:17
    Total Runtime 78:30

    Cast and Crew

    Amir Abdullah...Selim Bahadur
    Yeni Alvarez...Uschi
    Rick Batalla...Farkas
    Sean Branney...Charlie Tower
    Kacey Camp...Claudine Ladeau, Cult Victim
    Ken Clement...Lester Mayhew
    Dan Conroy...Captain Kovács
    Mike Dalager...Border Guard, Wolf Priest
    Larissa Gallagher...Antanasia
    Andrew Leman...Kasimir Bartok
    Barry Lynch...Zoltan Bartok
    Szabolcs Parragh...Bars
    Kevin Stidham...Felix, Ugor
    László Szegedi...Gyula Hudak
    Josh Thoemke...Announcer
    Guido Werner...Grumpy Patron, Guido
    Julie Wiesenberg...Marlene Dietrich
    Eddy Will...Jörg
    Time Winters...Herr Frenzel, Dr. Brunswick

    Based on the story by Robert E. Howard
    Written by Sean Branney & Andrew Leman
    Original Music by Troy Sterling Nies
    "Raus mit den Männern" by Friedrich Hollaender, performed by Sigrid Grajek
    German language assistance by Lena and Felix Salinger
    Hungarian language assistance by Flóra Kovács and Zsolt Matyusz
    Cover illustration by Darrell Tutchton
    Prop Inserts by Andrew Leman & Sean Branney
    Ottoman Turkish Calligraphy by Josh Berer
    Tower penmanship by David Feldmann
    Special thanks to Mark DeCarlo, Jason McKittrick, Thomas Negovan and Dan Pratt

    Produced by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman
    in cooperation with Robert E. Howard Properties LLC

    Script, Liner Notes & More

    Black StoneWe asked beloved DART ensemble member Amir Abdullah to read a draft of the script and give us some feedback on the representation of Muslims in the story, and he made us aware that there is a very real ancient relic called the Black Stone in Mecca. We don't know if Robert E. Howard knew about the real Black Stone when he wrote this story, as it is very different from his fictional Hungarian monolith, but we were amazed to learn more about it.

    We thought you might like to hear the entire song from the Heaven & Hell Club scene. The song was actually written in 1926, so it is a little anachronistic to include it, but we thought it was worth the slight cheat. It is by Friedrich Hollaender, and was originally recorded by Claire Waldoff. Hollaender went on to write the hit songs for the film that made Marlene Dietrich a star, The Blue Angel. Our thanks to Sigrid Grajek for giving us permission to use the audio of her performance of the song.

    MarleneMarlene Dietrich was, of course, a very real person, and we were delighted to realize that she really did play the violin in cabarets in Berlin when she was 17 years old. We couldn't resist the idea that it was she who not only introduced Charlie to his preferred alcoholic beverage, but got him started on his ability to order drinks in every language on Earth.

    duthymAlthough his name sounds entirely fanciful, Alexis Vincent Charles Berbiquier de Terre-Neuve du Thym was also a real person, and he really did believe himself to be tormented by strange supernatural creatures, as he described in a lengthy book on the subject.

    Der OrchideengartenEven though Kasimir uses the existence of this magazine only as a pretext to get Charlie into Herr Frenzel's book shop, "The Orchid Garden" was a real publication, and the world's very first fantasy magazine. We first became aware of it through friend and HPLHS member Thomas Negovan, who offers collections of some of the best art printed in the magazine through his Century Guild book shop. If, unlike Charlie, you can read German, you can enjoy the first three years' worth of the complete magazines HERE!

    For your enjoyment, we present free PDF downloads of the final recording script and liner notes of "The Black Stone". Note: this script is only for use for reading along with Dark Adventure Radio Theatre; no publication or performance of the script may be made without written consent of the HPLHS.

    The Whisperer in Darkness
    Episode 23
    The Whisperer in Darkness
    The Curse of Yig
    Episode 24
    The Curse of Yig
    The Horror in the Museum
    Episode 25
    The Horror in the Museum
    The Black Stone
    Liner Notes
    The Black Stone