Press [Chaosium] Vale Kelly Grant (1964 - 2023)

Michael O'Brien

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On Saturday January 7th Australian Call of Cthulhu writer Kelly Grant passed away from cancer at the age of 58.

Multi-talented, passionate, cerebral and caring, Kelly still had much to offer creatively, and we will miss her terribly. In her memory, later this week we'll be releasing her work 'Women of the French Revolution', a free 11 page downloadable resource to use with Call of Cthulhu's historical supplement Reign of Terror.

Kelly first began writing Call of Cthulhu scenarios for Australian RPG conventions in the 1990s, and later was part of a small team writing, producing and coding the popular MMORPG DragonRealms. She took a lengthy break from game writing while completing a PhD in Art History (including field work in Pompeii!) and raising a family, but returned to writing for Call of Cthulhu in recent years with a flourish.

There are three Call of Cthulhu projects Kelly worked on for Chaosium that will leave a legacy of creativity and inspiration:

Kelly’s scenario 'The Singular Serum of Dr Contarini' will feature in the next volume in the Mansions of Madness series of adventures; its setting shows off her deep love of and rich knowledge about the city of Venice and its history.

Kelly was also writing 'The Relic': a mini campaign that begins in the trenches of World War One and, with a nod to Foucault's Pendulum, initiates a quest for Templar treasure. Unfortunately, before her illness took hold, Kelly was only able to fully complete the first scenario in this imaginative and erudite campaign which would have led the investigators to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and thence to the Dreamlands. But we will see what is possible with this exceptional though sadly unfinished project.

'A Poisoned Garden' is Kelly’s scenario for Love Eterne, a second volume in the works for our Reign of Terror French Revolution setting. Recognising that the original Reign of Terror did not offer many opportunities for female investigators, Kelly helped rectify that by writing 'Women of the French Revolution' for Love Eterne. We'll be featuring it as a tribute to her later this week.

Members of Chaosium’s Australian team enjoyed tabletop gaming with Kelly over many years, going all the way back to those early gaming conventions. The great times are too many to recount, but some examples in recent years include Andrew playing in her long-running Horror on the Orient Express campaign; Allan and I playtesting the next part of 'The Relic'; Kelly throwing herself wholeheartedly into Mark and James C.'s experimental 40 player Shadow of the Demonlord campaign; and the regular Pathfinder 2 campaign Susan played in with Kelly, and Kelly’s husband and youngest daughter.

Kelly was also a highly talented potter and ceramicist, and taught art and art history at the university level. Her tentacled mugs – examples of which you can see illustrating the Women in Tabletop Gaming Interview we did with her in 2018 – are a much sought-after specialty for Australian Mythos fans.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Kelly’s husband Martin and their girls Adele and Grace, and their family and friends.

Michael O’Brien
8th January 2023
 
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