Cthulhu for Christmas

   Today, for a scary little Christmas, we have a few mythos tomes – put one in the stocking of someone you love to hate today!

   Rites Of The Mongolian Savages (Chinese, Approx 200 BC) was written by Ho Shen, a scholar of the Chinese classics who traveled extensively outside of China when the Ch’in dynasty attempted to wipe out the scholars and classic literature of china. At that time, Ho Shen – a scholar famed for his eidetic memory – proved his wisdom by departing for a trip to someplace very far away shortly before the persecutions started. From some of the implications of his book, he may have later wished that he’d opted to stay at home.

   During his travels he associated extensively with the shaman and magi of Mongolia and Tibet, recording their beliefs, rites, and practices. Since the actual practitioners had no written language, his is the only through source predating the introduction of Buddhism, which superseded the native beliefs, leaving only distorted remnants. The volume is nearly as horrific as the Necronomicon – and it’s user’s have met with similar troubles.

   +15 to Cthulhu Mythos, Spell Multiplier x5, 2D8 sanity cost, Known to contain Winds of Ithaqua, Warding Sphere, Summon/Bind Hunting Horror, Contact Ithaqua, Call/Dismiss Ithaqua, Contact Yog-Sothoth, and Steal Enchantment.

   Shadows in the Twilight, Walking (1943, Alaric Vandor). This disturbing and visionary play revolves around the folk of a single isolated farmhouse, seemingly perched on the edge of the world. The house and surroundings are simultaneously populated by vast shadowy figures and the normal characters. Despite the fact that the shadow figures have no dialogue and their actions are incomprehensible, it is impossible to escape the impression that their activities are the true focus of the play, while the oblivious mortal characters are merely background. The play is in three acts with a closing scene in which no mortals appear at all. The mortal characters are lost in an existentialist portrayal of an aging couple waiting for a visit from their son. Whether the two are haunted by their past, or by something far more terrible which they cannot see, or perhaps are unwilling to see, is left as an open question.

(Marian, warming herself by the fire) “It is cold here”.

(Johannus, standing by the window, looking out into a storm) “He will come to visit soon”.

A towering shadow passes on the horizon. Johannus turns away from the window with a slight frown.

(Johannus) “The roof leaks in the nursery again”.

(Marian) “No one uses that room anyway.”

A door slams, although neither seems to hear it.

  • Scene One: Nightfall, Two persons waiting.
  • Scene Two: Reminiscences of yesterday. The Shadow figures appear in the house in this scene only, along with the couples son as a child.
  • Scene Three: Night, with storm. The Shadow figures appear as huge entities, the house seems busy offstage but empty as far as the humans are concerned.
  • Appendum: Huge shadowy figures move about a darkened stage, the house seems suspended in space, sitting on a small section of ground.

   If properly performed, the play occasionally opens the minds of some of it’s viewers to eldritch horrors from beyond. The viewers typically lose a bit of sanity. A few will lose a good deal of sanity and acquire some apparently-random spell – which they will usually then use to cause chaos. Tracing such outbreaks of madness back to the performance of the play is rarely easy…

   The T’seron Workbook was part of an “Exchange Program” across a dimensional bridge which linked Earth and Glorantha for a time. T’seron Korin prepared it as his part of the exchange of magical knowledge – the reason he opened the rift to begin with. No one is quite sure why it’s in Latin, although the gate showed a tendency to adapt the things that crossed over it to suit their new environment. This volume would not add to Cthulhu Mythos at all, and would only cause a 1D2 point sanity loss, if not for the marginal notes appended by the Heimdallr Society itself, noting the effect of the spells on various mythos beings. As it is, it causes a 1d4 sanity loss, has a x6 spell multiplier, and increases Cthulhu Mythos by 1%.

   It contains the Runequest Battle Magic spells: Befuddle, Bladesharp (4), Detect Enemies, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic (8), Disruption (2), Extinguish, Healing (6), Invisibility, Light, Mindspeech, Multimissile (4), and Speedart.

   It also contains the sorcery spells: Open Dimensional Rift, Sanctuary, and Plane Shift.

   Note that:

  • Weapons affected by the Bladesharp spell count as enchanted weapons while the spell lasts.
  • The Disruption spell is a variant that costs two magic points as a base, but allows the user to increase the damage by up to six points by adding one magic point per additional point of damage.
  • Extinguish does 2D6 damage to fire vampires or fiery beings.
  • Speedart causes the missile it affects to count as a magic weapon. It can be cast while firing a gun but delays the shot until Dex-3.

   Given that Runequest Battle Magic generally causes little or no sanity loss, the T’seron Workbook is quite a treasure forany group that manages to acquire it – and so is widely sought.