Mythos Tomes – Secret Mysteries of Asia

Location: Madam Lin’s Collection in the House of Quiet Repose, Shanghai

Physical Description: Handwritten in purple ink, bound in cloth-covered board, and embossed with Lin Yenyu’s personal seal

Author: Gottfried Mülder, original author. Translated to Mandarin by an unknown party. 

Mülder, morally and financially bankrupt.

Publication History: A rare text, originally published in Leipzig in 1847 almost three decades after a year-long trek into the heart of China. Contains a painstakingly detailed recollection of conversations and revelations compiled by Mülder, a German occultist, following the violent death of his close friend and eccentric colleague, Friedrich von Junzt. Labeled seditious, blasphemy, nearly all copies were seized and incinerated by King Frederick Augustus II in 1848 shortly before he dissolved parliament.

This version is an uncredited Chinese translation of Mülder’s work. Occult experts debate whether Mülder sought to elevate von Junzt’s experiences or capitalize on his friend’s untimely demise. Some speculate that other translations, commentaries, or copies of the source text, The Ghorl Nigral, exist, including a rumored copy held in a secret collection at Miskatonic University. 


The combination of travel narrative and lengthy excerpts recovered by self-hypnosis and meditative trances, provides a great deal of information about The Book of Night (or The Ghorl Nigral). Mülder’s introduction details his journey with von Junzt in 1818 to the hidden city of Yian-Ho in deep China. After many days of bargaining with the ancient lamas inhabiting the monastery perched high above the city, von Junzt alone was allowed to enter the sacred library. After promising never to share the secrets contained within, the monks allowed von Junzt to view the only known copy of The Ghorl Nigral, which arrived millennia before in the possession of the exiled priests of Mu. With the aid of Yian-Ho’s most ancient master, Von Junzt reviewed a translated version of the aeons-old alien text brought to earth from the far world, Yaddith, by a powerful Nug-Soth sorcerer Zkauba

The contents that follow are a bewildering collection of descriptions about space travel, alien worlds, and titanic worms tunneling beneath the “world of dreams.” The first part of the book concludes with an insane vision about the arrival of the Daemon Sultan. The text hails this boiling cosmic phenomenon as the Lord of All Things and Father of Chaos. The prose rapidly devolves into a cacophonous description of the sounds and sights at the boiling “Immortal Center” of the universe. The narrative abruptly transitions to terse chronicles concerning the lost continent of Mu. 

The mountainside monastery above Yian-Ho.

Spells:  Brew Space Mead, Gate, Create Mist of R’lyeh, Call Azathoth

Connection to the Broader Campaign: 

In MoN, the primary purpose of this precious tome is to convey the recipe for Space Mead. Interestingly, earlier editions of the campaign employed Space Mead for the destruction of Nitocris’ necklace, instead of the girdle, as in the latest edition. Both this tome and M’Dari’s Space Mead were added to the latest edition to facilitate the destruction of the girdle. Sadly, without pointed direction and/or aggressive looting, the task is nigh impossible, especially if investigators arrive in China last. Despite these efforts, the clue trail to this solution still feels relatively vague but holds much promise with some slight modifications. 

Early campaign interventions include adding the book to Roger or Gavigan’s personal collections. If unwilling to relocate the tome, consider inserting references to the Secret Mysteries of Asia in Egypt. Perhaps Ali Kaffour or the nazir at the Mosque of Ibn Tulun discovered the relevance of the text in their search for a means to destroy evil artifacts. Despite learning of this powerful recipe, they have been unable to secure a copy. Alternatively, these Egyptian allies successfully acquired the recipe, but could not gather the far-flung ingredients. If taking this route, consider allowing the Secret Mysteries of Asia to stand in for Al-Azif, thus limiting the campaign encounter with the Necronomicon to China alone. A theft of the museum’s copy of Al-Azif by Stanford or any other cult agent(s) spurs a hunt for the text, which benefits from additional planted clues leading to China, such as signs of the Bloated Woman, a link to the Shanghai museum (p. 567), or ties to Ho Fang’s Import/Export business (p. 553).

If investigators arrive early in China, consider employing Madam Lin as the Space Mead quest giver. With a band of international travelers at her disposal, she enlists them to collect the ingredients as part of a negotiation. Does she allow them to take her prized tome or allow them a brief period of study? Does she disclose what she intends to do with it? Will the investigators later learn the liquid’s destructive qualities in a later chapter, as suggested above? 

With respect to the creation of Space Mead, the ingredients are available at very specific locations, and without a shopping list in hand, investigators will likely overlook these opportunities. Acquiring the spell ingredients is a very fun activity that spans several chapters, and keeps investigators engaged in a scavenger hunt. In addition to the list of campaign-directed locations provided below, consider adding these components to cult caches, shipments, and lairs of any campaign villain, especially if they’ve overlooked or bypassed an earlier opportunity. 

Space Mead Components:

  • Dragon (Byakhee) bones: Special Storeroom in Ho Fang’s Warehouse (p. 555)
  • Essence of blue lotus: Inner Court of Ho Fang’s Mansion (p.560)
  • Fermented cave bat (p. 497 under Weekly Rituals)
  • Last breath of a dying man: all about the campaign trail, but a labeled jar in one of Gavigan’s workspaces is quite fitting
  • Dried skin of a Dark Young: Screw top jar in Taan Kaur’s Cellar (p. 412)
  • Root ginger (one large lump): a mundane item, readily available anywhere in China, Taan Kaur’s shop, and Empire Spices

Since Space Mead allows investigators to travel through space, it stands to reason the concoction should allow them to survive for extended periods underwater, as well. 

One final question concerning Space Mead: what was M’Dari using it for? Did he intend to send an agent to Egypt to disrupt al-Shakti’s plans by destroying the girdle? Was he traveling into the void? Was this his escape plan? Or did he simply enjoy a nice heady brew? Regardless of any of these answers, Keepers must contemplate a means to convey the importance of the beverage. A note from M’Weru? A mysterious label? Or storage in a container that points the investigators to a useful or dangerous NPC? 

More broadly, there is a great deal to unpack from this book in terms of its Mythos connections. For example, consider allowing investigators who have read the Book of Eibon, or one of its variations, to recognize the name Zkauba, and shorten their study time. Perhaps, their familiarity with his work allows them to learn an additional spell or select the spell they wish to learn. 

Thorough Reading: 

“According to the lost continent’s clerics, the venerable wizard from Yaddith, Zkauba, returned to his decimated homeworld. There, he ventured into the darkest tunnels created by the monstrous, white worms in search of his order’s lost secrets. Cloaked in the mists of Cthulhu, he dared to disturb the world eaters as he delved deeper. There, in the bone-encrusted pits, he found long-lost formulae, perfected by his people. They had traversed the void and stepped in between planes. With his discoveries, he refined his own practiced methods. Blessed be The Ghorl Nigral!”

“Von Junzt told me of his dreams to fashion the Elixir of Astral Journeys. With this potion, he claimed one may easily traverse the stars and draw sweet breath. What’s more, skilled Yaddithian mage-craftsmen would use it to render the most potent artifacts to their base components and extract the corrupt, arcane elements. Apothecaries of Mu revised the alien formula for use in our earthly domain. Friedrich’s eyes would glaze as he recalled the ingredients: blue lotus flowers (most rare and native to China), bark shorn from the child of Shub-Niggurath, pulverized bones of Hastur’s steed (some sort of dragon, a bakhi?), fermented Pnakotic bat, and the last breath of a dying man (any would do).”

“The pilgrimage to the abyss is long and requires many draughts of the sacred elixir. The great hierophants step directly through a portal of their making to reach the Hungry Sultan. Only the initiated in the Ghorl Nigral know the sacred mechanism to open the way. We must study the secrets!”

“His eyes rolled back as he growled in guttural tones: ‘From the breach, they gaze directly into the spinning, burning blackness. The flutes call to them, as they call to all. Hear them, listen to them…see the Hungry Dark, he waits to consume us all, hear his servitors…that thin, sweet whine calls, beckons, hear the dance…call to Him. Beseech Him. Offer blood, offer innocents, the promise of a million wailing corpses and black smoke, so that he may come to rid us of this terrible pestilence, to bring nothingness to this desolation. Most revered and thoughtless Emptiness. Lift your doomed praise to the Daemon Sultan!’”