[As TUO4 was coming together, so was Call of Cthulhu, fifth edition. I worked on the book to critique & comment the manuscript, and at one point Kevin Ross compiled lengthy notes on all the Mythos tomes that have appeared in the rulebook and in the fiction. These notes were to have appeared in CoC5 -- hence the following note. Instead, they were trimmed greatly, but the recent Keeper's Compendium has rectified that omission. At this point, "Mysterious Manuscripts" became a column of newly-created Mythos tomes, a move which I think has opened the door to some very interesting work. — John Scott Tynes, 1994]
For reasons that will become apparent before too long, this column will no longer address Mythos tomes listed in the CoC rulebook. Instead, we will concentrate on presenting new books or books from Mythos fiction that do not appear in the basic game rules.
©1991 Thomas M. Stratman
record of holy man’s journeys
(Quechua-Incan pictoglyphs, +10 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D10 Sanity, x3 Spell Multiplier, study time: 75 hours)
publishing history: original textile bolt prior to AD 1400 fragmentary translation into Latin AD 1600
Spells: Brew Space Mead, Invisibility, Journey To The Other Side, Levitate, Summon Byakhee, Bind Byakhee (double these stats for the unique original)
“…then with a copper bowl formed on the twenty-ninth day of high waters. Chant Calling of Bui-a’kei then Supplicate of Bui-a’kei. The Chichu formed induces rest on the journey to Celaeno … Obsidian walls shot with veins of Jade and Gold. The Bui-a’kei watch but the seal of Sun stays their talons … here is recorded the knowledge to tame and reflow the water spirits. The actual words I found could not be taken from Celaeno for the Lake would reflect the action.”
The only copy of this text to survive into modern times was discovered in 1533 AD when the Jesuit priest Lucas de la Casca S.J. removed it from a pile of discarded textiles left by Pizzaro’s men after the destruction of the Incan city of Chimu. The hundred and thirty yard hand-woven tapestry intrigued Father Lucas. Unfortunately, his attempts to learn the meanings of the picto-glyphs’ contents were met with irrational fear by natives. They told the Jesuit missionary that the writings were sacred and could not be viewed by one not of the holy ruling class. Lucas de la Casca sent the heavy cloth to Rome where it was placed in the Vatican library for deciphering. The last historical mention of the Celaeno Telalibro was the presentation of several translated fragments to Pope Leo XI in May of 1605 AD.
©1991 Thomas M. Stratman
by: unnamed Roman Catholic Priest
(English, +6 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D6 Sanity, x2 Spell Multiplier, study time: 26 hours)
Publishing history: Brichester University Press 1873 AD
Sophical Publishing House 1913 AD
Lifetime Books (Interpreted) 1983 AD
Spells: Brew Space Mead, Levitate, Summon Byakhee, Bind Byakhee. (no useful stats for the Lifetime Edition printing)
(from Lifetime Books edition)
“…the royal holy man would then drink the Coca-laden Chicha variant and travel to the Incan temple of Celano, to dream visions which gave him insight into problems which plagued the Incan civilization.
The Incas held the Sun as a protective power against unwanted temptation and the waters as an opponent to their endeavors.”
Both the Brichester and Sophical editions profess to be original unedited English translations ofthe original Latin fragments. Their claim is supported by the fact that the two editions differ only in minor instances of interpretation. The Lifetime Edition, however, only presents a few choice quotes with numerous summaries and a great deal of interpretive artwork.
The Lifetime edition is functionally useless to investigators, except to perhaps lead them to the other editions. At the Keeper’s discretion, one of the full page artworks could bear an uncanny resemblence to the actual black-walled Calaeno library (although investigators will not know this unless they have been there or seen it somehow).
Invisibility: This incantation costs three points and requires five rounds to intone. The caster warps the spectrum of light around him or herself so that the caster is invisible to normal sight. This does not hide sound or smell, nor does it protect from any damage. But, the invisibile person is -40 to be hit in combat. A successful critical Spot Hidden roll allows the investigator to see a slight disturbance in the air and only take a -20 penalty. Range is touch, and the invisibility lasts for POW minutes. The slight disorientation of not being able to see their own body may cost the caster a point of Sanity loss if a Sanity check fails, as well as perhaps a temporary point or two loss to Dexterity. No physical action will cancel this spell, but violent motion of any sort will disrupt the warping effect and make that immediate area (hand, foot, elbow) visible for that round only. Should the caster begin running, watchers may make normal Spot Hidden rolls to see them for as long as they run.
The Ghoul’s Manuscript
©1991 Scott David Aniolowski
text of worship to the charnel-god
(English (sub-literate), +5 Cthulhu Mythos, -1D10 sanity, x1 spell multiplier, study time: 52 hours)
Publishing History: unknown
Spells: Call Mordiggian, Contact Ghoul, and 1D3 others of the Keeper’s choice
There exists a tome, called The Ghoul’s Manuscript, that is said to be the chief work of a corpse-eating sect of ghouls in service to Mordiggian, the Charnel God [see "Dark Denizens of Dreams and Beyond," in this issue]. This volume, usually found only in the Dreamlands, is bound with a cover of leathery human fresh, and hinged with shards of human bone. Each copy (and only a few exist) has been laboriously and poorly scrawled by hand, bordering on illegible. This work is the greatest source of information on ghouls and their necromantic worship of the Great Ghoul, Mordiggian. It is also cursed.
Anyone reading this tome becomes cursed to the life of a corpse-eater; within 1D4 days after reading The Ghoul’s Manuscript, the dreamer/investigator is beset by the disturbing hunger for dead flesh. To resist this unholy craving, the dreamer/investigator must roll his POWx5 or less on 1D100; if successful then he/she has resisted, but must then attempt a POWx4 roll the next day, POWx3 roll the next, POWx2 roll the next, and, finally, a POWx1 roll. The POW rolls must be continued (never below POWx1, however) until one is failed — at that time the dreamer/investigator succumbs to his or her blasphemous urges and seeks out and devours dead flesh; when this occurs a loss of 1D10 SAN is incurred. Over the next 1D6 days the investigator/dreamer completes the transition from human to ghoul, losing 1D10 SAN every day until the change is complete.
Dreamers or investigators transformed into ghouls may still function as player characters so long as they have not gone permanently insane (in this case the dreamer/investigator goes off to join other ghouls in a graveyard, or the Underworld, never to be seen again), although they must feed upon corpses, perahaps making their company undesirable to their companions! Dreamers cursed in this way are normal humans in the waking world (minus any SAN loss), however, they are forever ghouls in the Dreamlands. Any cursed investigator physically in the Dreamlands via a gate, or cursed in the waking world, ceases to be human altogether, and forever becomes a ghoul in both the waking world and the Dreamlands. If the cursed individual ever goes permanently insane, he or she goes off to join other ghouls, and is never seen again by his or her companions.
The origin and author of The Ghoul’s Manuscript is unknown.
Call Mordiggian: This spell functions as any other Call Deity spell, however, it may only be cast in the dark, near ghoul tunnels, or in a graveyard at least 200 years old.
A Selection of Period Occult Texts
©1991 Brian Bevel
Continued from last issue, the following table shows real occult texts that investigators could expect to find in any bloodthirsty, power-mad, possessed, insane cultist wizard-priest, or, more likely, in their own bookshelves or on the nightstand, next to the Mauser. Those listed date from 1700 to 1940, all A.D. Earlier books can be found in TUO3; an article on books dating to the present is not presently contemplated due to the ease with which Keepers can get such information (check the New Age/Spiritual section of virtually any bookstore, which will include everything from Edgar Cayce to Seth to silly Necronomicon ripoffs).
It should be noted that with some of the texts listed below, the author and/or date of publication is not given, or is followed by a question mark. This denotes that the information could not be found, and rough guesses had to be made according to other works and/or birth and death dates. Some of this information is extremely difficult to get, and any help, corrections, or further information would be greatly appreciated. Write to Brian Bevel, c/o Pagan Publishing.
|1711||A History Of The Ridiculous Extravagancies||Abbot Laurent Bordelon||English, French||A|
|1732||Histoire Critique Des…||Pierre Lebrun||French||E|
|1736||A Discourse On Witchcraft…||J. Read||English||D|
|1851||Autobiographical Tracts of Dr. John Dee||Dr. John Dee||English||B|
|1858||Der Aberglaube Des Mittelalters…||Heinrich Bruno Schindler||German||I|
|1870, 1931||Witchcraft, Magic And Alchemy||Emile Angelo Grillot De Givry||French, English|
|1880(?)||Memoirs Of Extraordinary Popular Delusions…||Charles Mackay||English||J|
|1886||Phantasms Of Living||Edmund Gurney, F.W.H. Myers, Frank Podmore||English|
|1891||Gypsy Sorcery And Fortune Telling||Chas. Godfrey Leland||English|
|1891||The Occult Sciences: A Compendium…||Authur Edward Waite||English||H|
|1894||Cock Lane And Common Sense||Andrew Lang||English|
|1894||Why We Oppose The Occult||Emile Cailliet||French|
|1898||Occult Philosophy Or Magic||Henry Cornelius Agrippa||English||C|
|1899, 1901, Others||Egyptian Magic||E.A. Wallis Budge||English|
|1899||Aradia: Or The Gospel Of Witches||Chas. Godfrey Leland||English|
|1902||Modern Spiritualism||Frank Podmore||English|
|1905||Advanced Courses In Yogi Philosophy And Oriental Occultism||Yogi Ramacharaka||English|
|1908||Occult Science In India…||Louis Jacolliot||English, French||K|
|1909, Others||The Book Of The Dead||E.A. Wallis Budge||English|
|1909||The Star Of The West||J.F.C. Fuller||English|
|1909||Mesmerism And Christian Science||Frank Podmore||English|
|1913||The Voices||W.V. Moore||English|
|1913||Three Books Of Occult Philosophy||Henry Cornelius Agrippa||English|
|1914||The Occult Arts: An Examination…||J.W. Frings||English||L|
|1915||The Magic Jewels And Charms||G.F. Kunz||English|
|1915||The Great Book Of Magical Art…||L.W. De Laurence||English||G|
|1916||Spirit Intercourse||J.H. Mackenzie||English|
|1916||A Course Of Advanced Lessons…||Swami Panchadasi||English||M|
|1918||Spiritualism: Its History, Phenomena, And Doctrine||J.A. Hill||English|
|1921||Lists Of Manuscripts Owned||Dr. John Dee||English||B|
|1922||Some New Evidence For Human Survival||C.D. Thomas||English|
|1923||Atlantis And Lemuria||Rudolf Steiner||English|
|1923||Supernormal Faculties In Man||E. Osty||English|
|1924||The Problem Of Atlantis||L. Spence||English|
|1925||Atlantis In America||L. Spence||English|
|1926||The History Of Atlantis||L. Spence||English|
|1928||The Way To Power:Studies In The Occult||Lily Adams Beck||English|
|1931||Why We Oppose The Occult||Emile Cailliet||English|
|1931||A New Model Of The Universe:…||P.D. Ouspensky||English And Russian||F|
|1934||The Invisible Influence: A Story…||Alexander Cannon||English||N|
|1935||The Attitude Of Voltaire To Magic And The Sciences||Margaret Sherwood Libby||English|
|1935||An Outline Of Modern Occultism||Cyril Scott||English|
|1940||The Fifth Dimension And The Future Of Mankind||Vera Stanley Adler||English|
|A||Full Title: A History Of The Ridiculous Extravagancies Of Monsieur Oufle Microform: Occasion’d By His Reading Books Treating Of Magick, The Black Arts, Daemoniacks, Conjurers, Of Elves, Fairies, Of Dreams, The Philosophers Stone, Judicial Astrology, With Notes Containing A Multitude Of Quotations Out Of Those Books, Which Have Either Caused Such Extravagant Imaginations, Or May Serve To Cure Them. Originally In French, And Now Translated In The English.|
|B||His letters, notes and other remnants, as gathered by the Chetham Society.|
|C||This is a translation of vol. 1 of H.C.A.’S “Three Books”|
|D||Full Title: A Discourse On Witchcraft: Occasioned By A Bill Now Depending In Parliment, To Repeal The Statute Made In The First Year Of The Reign Of King James I, Intituled, An Act Against Conjuration, Witchcrafts And Dealing With Evil And Wicked Spirits…|
|E||Full Title: Histoire Critique Des Practiques Superstitieuses: Qui Ont Saeduit Les Peulples, & Embarrassae Les Scavans…Par Le R.P. Pierre Le Brun. 4 Volumes|
|F||Full Title: A New Model Of The Universe: Principles Of The Psychological Method In Its Application To Problems Of Science, Religion, And Art.|
|G||Full Title: The Great Book Of Magical Art: Hindu Magic And East Indian Occultism, Now Combined With The Book Of Secret Hindu, Cerimonial, And Talismanic Magic.|
|H||Full Title: The Occult Sciences: A Compendium Of Transcendental Doctrine And Experiment, Embracing An Account Of Magical Practices; Of Secret Sciences In Connection With Magic; Of The Professors Of Magical Arts; And Of Modern Spiritualism, Mesmerism, And Theosophy.|
|I||Full Title: Der Auberglaube Des Mittelalters. Ein Beitrag Sur Culturgeschichte.|
|J||Full Title: Memoirs Of Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds.|
|K||Full Title: Occult Science In India And Among The Ancients, With An Account Of Their Mystic Initiations, And The History Of Spiritism.|
|L||Full Title: The Occult Arts: An Examination Of The Claims Made For The Existence And Practice Of Supernormal Powers, And As Attempted Justification Of Some Of Them By The Conclusions Of The Researches Of Modern Science.|
|M||Full Title: A Course Of Advanced Lessons In Clairvoyance And Occult Powers.|
|N||Full Title: The Invisible Influence; A Story Of The Mystic Orient, With Great Truths Which Can Never Die.|