Mythos Tomes – Pnakotic Manuscripts

Location: Roger Carlyle’s Library. Professor Cowles may be able to point them to another copy in a nearby location, particularly if they fail to recover this tome. 

Physical Description: Massive single volume with red leather binding. The translation date of 1485 does not correspond to the more recent binding material (Library Use). No title on the cover, but the title page reveals the name with the subtitle “Translation and remarks from ancient Pnakotik Scrolls.” Marginal pencil notes in Carlyle’s hand visible at the beginning of the text. Several pages have had sections carefully removed, presumably illustrations.

Author: Unknown author and translator.

Publication History: A translation of the Pnakotica, originally written in classical Greek. Five bound manuscript versions of this work can be located across Europe and America, including copies at Miskatonic University and New York Public Library. 

Initial Reading:

Written in a cumbersome Middle English dialect (optional Language – English roll), this work translates a copy of The Pnakotic Scrolls (or Pnakotika)  that arrived with an unidentified refugee arriving from the collapsing Byzantine Empire. The translator, reportedly working with a second collaborator, offers scattered commentary and reference quotes from additional sources. The translation contains decorative headings for sections on Hyperborea, Atlantis, and Jupiter.

Scribbled marginal notes mention “City of the Great Race?” alongside a lengthy passage, as well as “A means to reach the mind of the Observer!” The speculative note marks a passage detailing the history of the source material, which was created from fragments uncovered in a pre-historic alien library found in the “City of Pnakotus.” 

Contemporary readers may regard the content contained within as a Medieval rendering of modern science fiction, including descriptions of alien races populating the earth, strange cosmic deities, and legendary heroes. 

Spells: 

  • Contact Winged One (Elder Thing) – Requires thorough reading, which reveals that the book may trace its true origins to an advanced race that seeded life on earth. A dedicated study of the passage denoted to be “Elder script” can imbue a meditative connection that can function as the spell. 
  • Contact Mind of the Observer (Yithian) – Can be found by Investigator on the page marked by Carlyle’s excited marginal note. 

Connection to the Broader Campaign:

This text will be of interest to Professors Anthony Cowles or David Dodge, who may be able to draw some connections from Australian rumors culled from eccentric academics. The Investigators could find clues in the tome guiding them to discoveries in Australia.

In addition, Erica Carlyle glanced at the Pnakotic Manuscripts, and may specifically recall some disturbing passage about contacting alien creatures, which can serve to direct the Investigators to either spell listed above. This may be used to intentionally or inadvertently contact Kakakatak, who can direct Investigators to the Great City or provide useful information. 

If a player has studied the manuscripts, you may reveal information related to the Great City without requiring a Mythos roll (pp. 488 & 491). If they have spent substantial time reviewing the text, you may allow Language (Read Yitihian) skill increases or permit reading attempts during the Australia chapter (p. 491 & 499).

They may also recognize the lightning gun by its appearance or function, perhaps awarding a bonus die on their INT roll (p.494-495). You may choose to hint at the effectiveness of the lightning gun against flying polyps. It’s also possible that some of the strange mechanical items found on the Ivory Wind or at Henson Manufacturing may match descriptions within the manuscripts. 

Finally, you may use the text below to indicate the significance of the Purple Dome Temple as a source of power for the great ritual, particularly if Australia follows both Shanghai and/or Kenya in your campaign (p. 620). 

Full Study or Focused Reading:

History of Pnakotic Manuscripts:

Careful reading will reveal that some additional material has been added since the original translation date with subtle changes in style or language. A Hard Library Use roll will reveal that the binding likely corresponds to techniques from the late 18th century, which coincides with the publication of a 3 volume updated translation printed in London in 1768 and incorporates some reworked updates from that edition. A successful Cthulhu Mythos roll may reveal that the information contained within a large volume still represents only a small fraction of the many Pnakotic fragments passed amongst scholars, cultists, and collectors.

The translator reveals that portions of the original work have been reordered for clarity, as well as expresses introductory concerns about the effect of recurrent translations from the source material, which allegedly pre-date humankind.

Relationship to Elder Things:

Though it contains no examples of a separately described “Elder script”, the translator indicates that references will be provided to attribute material, which material originated in this distinct arcane language. When the reader encounters these passages, you may consider expressing a sense of strong but distant connection to a strange creature. Continued attention to these passages may slowly form a vivid image of a barrel-shaped winged creature in the reader’s mind, and will eventually allow the reader to perform the “Contact Winged One” spell. 

Terra Australis:

After lengthy and exhaustive descriptions of various races, their inter-species and internecine conflicts, featuring extensive references to flying pow-lips, as well as the arrival and influence of their extraterrestrial gods. The reader will discover a passage referring to great cities hidden in a place described as both “Suprantarctic Domain” or “Terra Australis.” 

The Purple Dome Temple:

You may wish to provide text discussing the significance of the Purple Dome, as written in Middle English:

“Ynogh pouer resides byneath the chaumbred purpel rof yn Pnakotus. A biholdere speken of a flesh servitour seekyng to release the might by wey of straunge rites. Unless they preunte,  great domb shall happen.”

Modern English:

“Great power resides beneath the domed purple roof in Pnakotus. An observer spoke of a flesh servitor seeking to release energy by way of strange rituals. Unless prevented, great doom shall occur. “

Hyperborean History:

Deeper in the book, pencils notes, and underlining from Carlyle disappear from the text, as the content begins to describe the events of ancient human history with detailed clarity, which seems advanced far beyond the understanding of contemporary historians. However, there are confusing references to the Old Tribes of Lomah, which originated in an Arctic continent. The text references a continent rising to Earth’s surface during the Miocene Epoch. A Science roll will reveal that the geologic time scale had not been introduced until 1913.

This violent tribe reportedly warred with a three-toed, fur-bearing race of intelligent cave-dwelling primates, which are referred to alternatively as the Voorii or Voormi. These howling subterranean creatures debased themselves by worshipping their somnolent lord, Tsathoggua, who required regular sacrifices.

In seeking to wipe out Tsathoggua’s minions, the tribal warband of Lomah pursued fleeing Voormi into the southern regions of Lower Lomar and Hyperborea, where they founded Olathoë and Commoriom, respectively. The remaining Voormi perished through continued tribal in-fighting, conflicts with the cannibalistic worshippers of Rhan-Tegoth, as well as consumption by an increasingly displeased Tsathoggua. Both Rhan-Tegoth and Tsathoggua apparently required a seemingly endless supply of sacrifices.

Rhan-Tegoth by Orm-Z-Gor.

Additional passages in the text describe the arrival of Rhan-Tegoth, the Feasting One, from an extra-terrestrial place described as Yuggof. This monstrous creature resembles a strange insect-crab hybrid with a bulbous fleshy body and an elongated proboscis. Its worshippers consisted of Voormi, as well as some other strange six-limbed bipeds referred to as gnof-keh. With the fall of Hyperborea and the decimation of its feeding stock, Rhan-Tegoth descended into perpetual dormancy. Based on the manuscripts, this insatiable entity still rests somewhere,  lost in barren, frozen wastes.

Yithians and Weird Science:

A wide range of strange mathematical formulas, which include unusual and alien symbols, which do not correspond to contemporary mathematics. These formulas apply unconventional rules to geometry and time. Investigators may spend extra time with this portion of the text to potentially gain Language (Read Yithian) skill. Additional Science or Mathematics rolls will reveal Einstein’s theory of relativity buried within one of the many equations. 

Amongst descriptions of various interspecies conflicts, readers may find a description of a strange weapon wielded by the fungi of Yuggoth, which features strange nodules and wires on its surface and emits a powerful bolt of blue electricity (p. 272 in Keeper Rulebook).

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