Excluded from the early releases of Masks of Nyarlathotep, the Australia chapter finally saw publication in 1996, and, in many respects, still feels slightly perfunctory and out of place. For one, it lacks the geographic constraints imposed in the other chapters and spans an entire vast continent. While the scale of the search adds to the global flavor of the campaign and helps create late-game pressure by adding in lots of travel time, it also dilutes some of the excitement. The cursory detail provided in the relatively brief descriptions of each location lacks the flavor and drama present in other chapters. The chapter’s true heart lies beneath the parched earth of the sparsely populated Australian
Location: Huston’s Headquarters (Australia) Huston’s Castle (Dreamlands) Physical Description: Hand-written, unbound manuscript organized neatly into six 100-page stacks (Australia). Glittering platinum bound tome with jewels (Dreamlands). Author: Robert E. Huston, MD Publication History: Written during his Australian excavation, he intends to have it etched onto platinum panels to line his throne room when he ascends to his rightful position as Grand Emperor of the Earth. Skim: This tome reads as a quasi-religious manifesto in which Huston outlines the nature of the universe and humanity’s relationship as distilled through his psychospiritual dissection of the human mind. The very first page reveals the doctor’s limitless ego, as he extols his wisdom as greater than any of the world’s
Location: Mortimer Wycroft’s shop (beneath his bed) Physical Description: Bound in faded red leather, some water damage and well-thumbed. Faded writing within cover reveals the book is property of the University of Sydney. Author: James Woodville, a successful merchant and later itinerant Puritan preacher, who lived in England during and after the English Civil War. Publication History: English, 17th century. Very few copies of this blasphemous text exist. Skim: An ill-organized, maniacal but highly detailed religious text recounting the visions, dreams, prophecies, and teachings of Woodville, as well as graphic justification for his unusual sexual practices. Poor quality woodcuts accompany the disturbing text, and include depictions of strange conical “angels”, which represent a physical manifestation
In the first part of our discussion, we deepened Huston’s backstory and explored his role in the Carlyle Expedition. Here we incorporate Huston’s personal expertise into the Great Plot, which allows you to widen the scope of your campaign beyond the confines of Australia. Huston and the Great Plot Eventually, the doctor arrives in Australia in 1920 at least four months following the expedition’s “disappearance” in Kenya. No doubt Nyarlathotep imparted some knowledge about the Great City in Western Australia, but how has he found it, and where did Huston establish his relationship with the Haunter in the Dark? We feel the answer lies in Dr. Huston’s expertise in psychoanalysis, dreams, and the collective unconscious.
While complete at the publication of the first edition, DiTillio’s Australia Chapter remained excluded from the MoN campaign until the 3rd edition in 1996. From the initial release of the adventure, Sir Aubrey Penhew has hammed it up on the center stage as the campaign’s feature villain enjoying a luxury yacht, a volcano lair, and a diabolical nom de plume. We strongly believe that Dr. Robert Ellington Huston deserves a more sophisticated and dramatic role commensurate with his expertise and charisma. Here we discuss Huston, his valuable skills, and options for an expanded role in your MoN campaign. An Expanded Backstory The young Robert Huston grew up in the shadow of his two older brothers