Mythos Tomes – True Magick


  • Stored in Ho Fang’s booby-trapped teak cabinet in the Shrine to the Bloated Woman (China)
  • Alternative Location: On the desk in Carl Stanford’s room (China)

Physical Description:  Bound in fine red Chinese silks depicting various Mythos creatures and symbols

Author:  Theophilus Wenn, 17th-century Hermetic philosopher, produced no additional works believed to be a pseudonym, possibly Arthur Dee (eldest son of John Dee) or Elias Ashmole

Publication History: Only a single copy exists, last recorded in the possession of the early 19th-century bookseller and American wizard John George Hohman. Records reveal it seemed to be a small and crumbling manuscript bound in disintegrating leather. According to scholars, medieval records from the University of Salamanca detail an even earlier version of the manuscript held in a secret crypt beneath the nearby Church of San Cebrian. An incomplete, heavily edited copy published by Oakley Press in 1872 may be found at Miskatonic University Library. Given the nature of this text, a successful Occult roll provides insight into its significance. 

Cursed Tome: If any piece of paper or item is used as a bookmark and the reader keeps the mark in possession they suffer a Penalty die on all Luck rolls until they discard the item.


This exhaustive encyclopedia of Devil’s Lore lists a wide range of enchantments, charms, and curses based in witchcraft and sorcery, as well as discourses on demons, vampirism, lycanthropy, human sacrifice, and apocalyptic rituals. Throughout the text, the author offers their interpretation of white, black, and gray magic. 

Interspersed throughout the text are seven discrete incantations provided as examples of powerful white, black, and gray magic. Three white magic spells create protective charms, while three other spells provide dark means to assail rival sorcerers.  The seventh and final incantation, accompanied by a vile illustration describes the summoning of a hideous demon requiring a bloody sacrifice on an altar dedicated to the ancient demon gods. 

Spells: Summon/Bind Star Vampire, Bind Servitor of the Outer Gods, Summon/Bind Byakhee, Create Charm, Contact Nyogtha.

Full-color illumination of the Star Vampire from True Magick.

Connection to the Broader Campaign: 

First, it seems completely unreasonable for Stanford not to possess a Mythos tome. Moving this text to Stanford’s room provides a clue to investigators regarding the villain’s true nature. Perhaps, they also find accompanying notes on his desk identifying particularly disturbing passages and spells in the tome. 

If you introduced Stanford by adding “The Vanishing Conjurer” to your campaign, this text provides a nice link to his prior schemes in London. If investigators previously interrupted his efforts to summon Star Vampire and/or stole his incomplete translation of The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, it becomes clear he continues to pursue his schemes through the study of True Magick. As part of his mission to serve and summon Cthulhu, he intends to obtain great wealth and power through the use of the seventh incantation, which is described further below. 

The tome also contains a spell to contact another Great Old One, Nyogtha, who has no relevance to this campaign; however, this spell works nicely to further elucidate Stanford’s agenda, if desired. A note marking the spell’s page reveals Stanford’s intent to open communication between his master, Cthulhu, and Nyogtha, possibly Cthulhu’s spawn. The Malleus Monstrorum (p. 165) suggests Nyogtha, also known as the Dweller in the Darkness, may actually be a Mask of Nyarlathotep, and, perhaps, Stanford records his arguments with Ho Fang on the matter. While this addition does not substantively alter the campaign, it introduces a potentially exploitable source of discord between the tenuously allied evil sorcerers. Foolish attempts to contact Nyogtha by the investigators could certainly lead to some very interesting and horrific complications. 

In the campaign text concerning True Magick (p. 648), a reference is made to Deus Ex (p.360), but this reference does not involve byakhee, but rather nightgaunts and Nodens’ involvement in foiling the summoning of Nitocris. Since True Magick touches upon neutral gray magic, changing the Summon/Bind Byakhee spell to Summon/Bind Nightgaunts ties the text to the stereotypically neutral Nodens and his servitors while addressing the confusing reference. If your investigators have an established relationship with Nodens, a stylized illustration of Nodens in the tome accompanying the Summon/Bind Nightgaunt spell will help drive home the connection. 

On the other hand, references to Byakhee appear at several additional points in the campaign (just not Deus Ex). These are typically in the form of art and artifacts, such as Gavigan’s art pieces in his Secret Basement Room, bones in Ho Fang’s warehouse, and Madam Lin’s bronze bells, as well as summoned adversaries at the Misr House encounter. Of note, there are four tomes including a Summon/Bind Byakhee spell in the campaign, but none for nightgaunts.

Wren’s copied illustration of Nyogtha.

Thorough Reading: 

“So I studied the secrets, light, darke, and the ‘tween.   I bent my mind to the science and art. Without feer, I looked upon grimoires ancient and unholy hidden in dim, danke corners. I spoke with Hermetic magi and vulgar witches condemned to burne. In pursuit, I learned much and I payed a steep price. Should thou proceed, caution and gird thyself.”

“Knowledge within I compile. Safely to use as a reference for the timid scholar. Insert’d find also the wordes to invoke the aide of the white, valuable charmes and enchantings—they number three. From the gray shadowes and blackest tomes, I sourc’d three more wrathful incantations to smite adversaries. The seventh and last I wrought forth from the Red Abysse. The most vile daemon may be coaxed forth with ritual bloode.”

“To summon and sacrifice the drinker, one opens the portal to satisfy one owne hunger for mighte and coin. Ready ye the crimson nectar for the spirit thirsts deeply. And yet, it is but a lesser fiend.”

“Heed well. Once brought forth, the Haunter of the Abyss, the Nighte Comer, the Great Old One may not be dismissed without the ritual of Vach-Viraj. With vigour, I sought but did not uncover this potent rite. Without the Elixir of Tikkoun or loopt cross in hand, I dared not speak these words.”

Lovecraftian Connection:

No direct connection to Lovecraft’s writing. This tome was introduced in “The Seventh Incantation,” a short story written by Joseph Payne Brennan and first published in 1963 and more recently published in 2001 in Acolytes of Cthulhu, a Robert M. Price anthology. If looking for another notable inclusive scenario, True Magick also appears in “The Devil’s Children,” one of the first Call of Cthulhu scenarios produced by Pagan Publishing. Sadly, this 52-page classic convention scenario is long out of print.