Location: Taan Kaur’s Tea-Shop Cellar in Nairobi
Physical Description: Bound in black calfskin with a broken iron clasp
Author: Alsophocus, a wizard and necromancer from the lost and ancient land of Erongill. The text arrives in the 16th century through unknown means.
Publication History: Originally discovered on the shelves of a monastery in 1517, written in a dark and unknown language. A disturbed monk translated the work into Latin before disappearing. Subsequently copied and disseminated amongst the scattered cults of Nyarlathotep. A priest in the Cult of Small Crawler translated a worm-ridden copy of the Black Tome into Hindi over a century ago. The illustrations feature a mixture of hand-traced originals and blasphemous Vedic-style art.
Skim: A series of confessions and revelations concerning experimentation and application of dark sorcery, which create a guide to opening gateways and hidden spaces beyond the bounds of reality. Intermittently contains numerous named rituals and spells with accompanying explanations of applications and effects. Confusing historical chronology and terrible illustrations unsettle the mind.
Connection to the Broader Campaign: Contains handout (Carlyle Papers Kenya #3), which indicates the date for the upcoming 1926 eclipse, as written in a separate hand with relatively fresh ink. See Thorough Reading for additional suggestions.
Spells: Chant of Thoth, Contact Ghoul, Contact Nyarlathotep, Create Zombie, Curse, Death Spell, Journey to the Other Side
Death is nothing. Death is everything. I have unbound the locks and unleashed the fetters. The forms speak to me. They follow my commands. I unmake the ignorant and render them powerless against my control.
The eager chattering and gibbering of the ravenous beasts calms my active mind as I rend limbs and flesh. My faithful dogs serve me well when I feed them the putrid and rotten leavings. It is an agreeable symbiosis. Tonight I travel to the palace of Nephren-Ka to honor my god.
“Nyarlathotep rules in Sharnoth, beyond space and time in his gigantic ebony palace he awaits his second coming, served by his minions he broods and festers in blackest night. Let none meddle with spells and enchantments concerning him, for he is quick to trap the unwary. Let the ignorant beware, heed the Black Tome, for terrible indeed is the wrath of Nyarlathotep.”
Investigators studying the Black Tome discover a description of Nyarlathotep’s Bent Pyramid Sanctum, which potentially exists in both Sharnoth and Egypt. The Journey to the Other Side spell transports foolhardy investigators back to Nyarlathotep’s Sanctum for additional audiences. Alternatively, the casting investigator may travel through space and time to witness Nyarlathotep’s audience with the Carlyle Principals.
Mythos Origin: Basis for this tome may be found in Lovecraft’s unfinished story “The Book” written in late 1933, and initially published after Lovecraft’s death. Posthumously completed by Martin S. Warnes as “The Black Tome of Alsophocus,” which was quoted above and adapted into a neat short film in 2019.