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DARK CRUSADES

MYTHOS IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY


A MONOGRAPH FOR CALL OF CTHULHU DARK AGES

By:
Derik P.S. Dunning
Playtesting:
Ryan Chaddick, Darrell Dunning,
Aaron Hunt, Robert New, Bill Smith
Editing:
Erin Lockert
Special Thanks:
Ryan Chaddick and Erin Lockert
Layout by:
Nick Nacario

*All Images are public domain.


DARK CRUSADES is published by Chaosium Inc.
DARK CRUSADES 2013 Chaosium Inc. as a whole; all rights reserved.
Text for DARK CRUSADES is 2013 by Derik P.S. Dunning. Chaosium Inc. and Call of Cthulhu and Cthulhu
Dark Ages are registered trademarks of Chaosium Inc. Similarities between characters in DARK CRUSADES and
persons living or dead are strictly coincidental.
Address questions and comments by mail to
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Chaosium publication 0414
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2
Contents
Introduction 4
Glossary of Terms 4
Transliteration and Terminology 5
Investigators in the Holy Land 5
Motivations of the Crusaders 5
Franks, Saracens, and Outremer 5
Gender Roles 6
Occupations 6
New Skills and Expanded Skills 10
Role of Religion 11
Life in Outremer 12
Running Dark Crusades 13
New Weapons and Armor 17
Weapons and Armor 17
Equipment 19
Gazetteer of Outremer and its Islamic Neighbors 21
Creatures of the Mythos 32
Mythos Cults 40
Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts 47
Personalities of Outremer 55
Bibliography 59
4 Dark Crusades
Introduction Atabeg: A Turkish regent ruling in the stead of
This book is a sourcebook written as an expan- a young prince.
sion for Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages and will re- Ahl al-kitab: Terms means People of the
quire a copy of that book to make full use of Book referring to Christians, Jews and Zoro-
the rules herein. There may be a few references astrians.
to the Call of Cthulhu core rulebook in differ- Ayyubid: A royal dynasty in Egypt and Syria
ent sections of this work, but possession of this founded by Saladin.
book is not required to use Dark Crusades.
Some entries and material from Call of Cthulhu Bezant: A gold coin from the Byzantine Empire
core rules may be reprinted or modified for use also used throughout the Levant and Outremer.
in Dark Crusades, in any cases were there exists Caliph: The successor of the prophet Moham-
a different version of a Mythos entity the Dark med, title of the ruler of an Islamic state.
Crusades version supersedes the one out of the Dinar: A gold coin used throughout the Levant
core rulebook. and Outremer.
All efforts have been made by the author to
make this manuscript as historically accurate as Emir: A Turkish title for local governor or field
possible. With that said certain liberties have commander in an army.
been taken with historical events and personal- Frank: Term used to refer to all Western Euro-
ities of the Crusades to make for more provoca- peans by the Muslim world.
tive game play and horrific atmosphere. Given
Hajj: A religious pilgrimage to Mecca practiced
the religious nature of this sourcebook it must
by all Muslims.
be clearly stated that the author does not intend
to favor one religious tradition over the other Hospitallers: Religious order of knights tasked
or to show one to be more correct. Religion is a with protecting pilgrims and helping the sick.
very real motivating force during this time pe- Imam: A Shiite Muslim religious leader.
riod, which is one the author has decided not
Jihad: Muslim holy war or religious struggle.
omit, its inclusion despite it being a politically
sensitive topic. Dark Crusades includes many Jizya: A tribute paid by the Alh al-kitab (see
degenerate and misguided cultists who perhaps above) to their Muslim rules for protection.
at one time where pious Christians, Jews or Mamluke: A slave soldier usually Turkish fight-
Muslims but now are deranged by the madness ing in a Muslim army.
of the Mythos. These cults and cultists are pos-
Outremer: French term for the Kingdom of Je-
sess twisted reflections of these other more no-
rusalem and the Crusader states.
ble traditions and should not be confused with
their non-Mythos counterparts. Qadi: A judge in the Muslim world.
Finally, to those historians or hobbyists who Saracen: A term used by the Franks and Byzan-
are well versed in this time period, all errors tines to refer to all Muslims in the Levant.
and omissions in this manuscript are humbly
Saahir: A scholar sorcerer in the Muslim world
the responsibility of its author. The author of
often accomplished in alchemy.
this work is not a scholar or expert in the Cru-
sades and undoubtedly has made a few mis- Seljuk Turk: Nomadic warriors from the Cen-
takes in which he humbly apologizes for. tral Asian steppe, who proceed to conquer
much of the Muslim Levant.
Glossary of Terms
Sufi: An ascetic mystic from the Shiite Islamic
Assassins: A pseudo-religious secret order of sect.
Muslim terrorists and killers also called Nizaris.
Sunni: The majority orthodox Muslim sect.
Dark Crusades 5
Templars: A religious military order of knights
tasked protecting pilgrims on the road to Jeru- Transliteration and Terminology
salem. Given the numerous sources and transla-
Turcopole: Someone who is of both Frankish tions during this period, some words will
and Saracen blood. have multiple ways to spell them (for ex-
ample the word jinn which is also spelled
Investigators in the Holy Land djinn further more it is anglicized as ge-
nie. For our purposes in this sourcebook
If anyone seizes a bishop let him be treated as an the author has chosen to use one spelling
outlaw. If anyone seizes or robs, monks, or cler- and no diacritical marks for pronuncia-
gymen, or nuns, or their servants, or pilgrims or tion. The reasons are twofold; first the au-
merchants, let him be anathema. thor is not native speaker of Arabic, French
-Pope Urban II, excerpt from speech at the or Latin and last but not least those who
Council of Clermont 1095 C.E. are more qualified in these areas probably
know were these marks go or need to be
Motivations of the Crusaders added anyways.
During the Council of Clermont on November
27, 1095 Pope Urban II explained that partici-
non-professional soldiers regardless of status
pating in the first crusade would be a peniten-
marched together by choice for one goal.
tial act absolving the participant of all their sins
present and previous. Medieval society did not Franks, Saracens and Outremer
have the strong secular separation of state as After the conquest of Jerusalem during the First
modern society has. Religion was a key motiva- Crusade the Kingdom of Jerusalem was referred
tor in many of the lives of the men and women to as Outremer- a French word meaning the
of medieval Europe. land overseas, including counties or crusader
Not all reasons for the Crusades were purely states of Edessa, Tripoli, and Antioch.
religious in foundation. Many of the crusading The term Saracen was adapted by the crusad-
knights were second or third sons or petty no- ers from the Byzantines using the original Ar-
bles who owned very little land and decided to abic word Sharkeyn eastern peoples. Its use
seek out plunder in the holy land. One of the denoted all Muslims; similarly, the Saracens use
motivations of the church was to get many of the term Franj or Frank to denote all crusaders.
the feuding knights out of Europe, to stop the Not all crusaders were of French or Frankish
sacking and assaults on clergymen which was descent; initially the Franks were the majori-
not uncommon in Europe. ty in the First Crusade. Many other ethnic na-
Additional legal incentives were passed by tionalities from Europe participated including,
the church for crusaders. Debts were forgiven but not limited to the Byzantines, Italians, Ger-
or deferred, legal judgments expedited, fief ser- mans French and English. The Muslims were
vice delayed and exemptions from excommu- comprised of Armenians, Syrians and Turks re-
nications and finally the honor of being one of spectively.
the Ferosolimitanus or pilgrim who had gone to The last population in the multi-cultural in-
Jerusalem. The title of Ferosolimitanus brought terchange is the Eastern Christians, Jews and
great honor and prestige to their families upon Zoroastrians referred to as Alh al-kitab , Peo-
return to Europe. ple of the Book. The native non-Muslim in-
The Crusades brought people from all seg- habitants had to pay a special tax when under
ments of life from the peasant to the noble lord Muslim rule.
of the realm. It was one of the few occasions
that an army composed of professional and
6 Dark Crusades
When creating an investigator who is one of der biases prevalent in society and under Sharia
the People of the Book, count their occupation (Islamic law), many of the occupations were
choices as Saracen. These natives have adapt- strictly domestic and related to the household
ed to the lifestyles and customs of their rulers they grew up in. A small percentage of wom-
for the most part. Please note that small cos- en were educated if they grew up in scholarly
metic changes may need to be made for some families and some of them numbered among
occupations. For example: A Jewish investigator the wandering mentors or teachers along the
selects the Sufi (hermit) occupation which can be pilgrimage caravans to Mecca. Women did not
called a Cabbalist instead and his/her magic is attend the madrasa (university) but they could
derived from mysticism and numerology. attend public recitations of the Koran and lec-
tures.
Gender Roles Females in medieval Islamic society had to
It is recommended that a player seeking to cre- cover up to preserve modesty, usually fully
ate a Frankish or Saracen female investigator robed and veiled when in public. These restric-
consult the keeper before proceeding, because tions did not apply when around their house-
more thought and preparation will be required hold members; husband, male relatives, fe-
when running a historical game during this males, children, aunts and uncles.
time period. One of the few exceptions as far as power and
flexibility are concerned widows and meno-
Frankish Female Investigators
pausal women who had considerably more
As mentioned in the Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages freedom of movement and temporal power.
main rule book, the medieval world is largely They did not possess the same sexual tempta-
patriarchal, limiting the roles that female inves- tions to men, which other females did possess.
tigators can play. Females oftentimes did join The historical primary source material is
the Crusades accompanying family members scarce when it comes to discussions about
and their husbands (most famous example El- women and what they were allowed to wear.
eanor of Aquitaine). Many of the roles they Unfortunately, the authors of these sources are
played historically have to do with tending the male and cultural discussions about womens
sick, building fortifications and a variety of roles and private lives were viewed as shameful
support roles. There are a few rare historical to write about.
accounts from Muslim of observers of women The following occupations are recommended
dressed in armor and participating in some for Muslim female investigators: Beggar, Farm-
battles. er, Hakima, Juggler/Minstrel (Belly Dancer)
In the spirit of an entertaining scenario or Scholar. It should be noted as per the earlier
story the keeper can choose to relax some of discussion with Frankish female investigators
the historical restrictions on gender. It is rec- that the final decision about which occupations
ommended that restrictions on Bedouin War- are available to female investigators is up to the
rior, Knights of a Religious Order, any clerics or keeper.
priest for Franks remain in place. But as always
the Keeper has the final say. Occupations
The following occupations are well suited for There are a variety of trades and professions
female investigators: Beggar, Craftsman/Shop practiced within Outremer. This section will
keeper, Peasant, Farmer, and Nun. discuss a variety of new occupations for Saracen
and Frank investigators as well as new options
Saracen Female Investigators
or roles for the occupations detailed in the Call
The roles of women in the medieval Islamic of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook. All crusaders
world are considerably restricted based on gen- living in Outremer will start out with language
Dark Crusades 7
Arabic for free which can be bought with oc- Banker (Frank)
cupation points or specialty points. This only You are a banker who writes loans make com-
applies to periods of time when the Crusader mercial investments as well as hold on to depos-
States exist; during the First Crusade the Franks its from various nobles, merchants and lords.
would not have occupied the holy land long Your institution is relatively new at this time,
enough to pick up Arabic. The native tongue being practiced primarily in Venice and Genoa;
of the Franks is French, which is predominately also practiced in Outremer by the knightly or-
based on the northern dialect. der of the Templars. Not all those who worked
Currency: During this time period the cur- for the Templars were knights or soldiers; oth-
rency and coinage of medieval Europe as well ers were bankers.
as the Middle East was not standardized. That Skills: Accounting, Bargain, Other Kingdom,
will be dealt with in similar fashion to the cur- Own Kingdom, Persuade, Write Language. This
rency in the Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rule- occupation can select one other skill of person-
book. For the ease of game play and simplicity al specialty.
it is recommended that the silver deniers are
worth the same amount as the silver dirhams Money: 1d4+4x100 dirhams plus 1000 dirhams
used in the Arab world. One gold bezant or in assets or outstanding loans.
gold dinar will be worth 15 dirhams or deniers. Yearly Income: 10,000 dirhams.
The lowest domination is fals which are copper
coins that about 10 to one dirham. Bedouin Warrior (Saracen)
You are a desert or steppe warrior devoted to
Alchemist (Saracen) tribal and martial traditions. One example
You are seeking through transmutation of base would be a Bedouin from the desert or a Selquk
metals into the perfect metal of gold. Using Turk from the steppe of Central Asia.
incantations and consulting planetary align-
Skills: Natural World, Navigate, Own King-
ments you hunger to discover the secrets of na-
dom, Ride, Status, Track, one weapon skill and
ture and God. This field of study will not ex-
one other personal specialty.
ist in European for about a few hundred more
years. You possess mastery of arcane and eso- Money: 1d6 x 30 dirhams and a camel or horse,
teric powers (sihr). You may be apprentice to cuirboulli armor, spear or scimitar.
an alchemist or perhaps encounter some magi- Yearly Income: 600 dirhams
cal tome in your wanderings, enabling you to
learn these powers. Knight of a Religious Order (Frank)
Skills: Greek, Occult, Own Kingdom, Library You are a Knight devoted to one of the religious
Use, Potions, Status, Write Greek and Science orders like the Templars or Hospitallars. As
(alchemy). Two other skills are personal spe- part of one of these orders you possess an in-
cialties (spells are allowed). credible amount of independence in the medi-
eval world. You only answer to the grandmaster
Money: 1d3 x 100 dirhams plus writing mate- of your religious order. All knights have taken
rials and books of philosophy and history. In vows of poverty, chastity and abstainism (from
addition to items listed above you possess vari- amusement like falconry, games etc).
ous chemicals, burners, calipers and flasks.
Skills: Grapple, Occult, Other language (Latin)
Yearly Income: 1500 dirhams. Own Kingdom, Ride, Status, One weapon skill
and (two skills based on your knightly order see
below)
Templar: Accounting and Bargain.
8 Dark Crusades
Muhtasib (Saracen)
You are a market inspector in charge of making
sure that all merchants are trading fairly; your
responsibilities include making sure that scales
used in transactions are accurate. You are both
feared and respected. Your duty also includes
keeping order in the market and authority to
administer lashes to law breakers.
Skills: Accounting, Insight, Listen, Own King-
dom, Status, Write Language, one other per-
sonal specialty.
Money: 1d4 x 100 dirhams plus 600 in bribes
Yearly Income: 7000 dirhams
Pardoner (Frank)
You are a devious charlatan preying on the
generosity of religious pilgrims by selling them
false relics (saints fingernails, pieces of the true
cross, etc.). You know just enough of the scrip-
The Hospitaller Knights by Dominique-Louis Papety tures to delude the masses, but not enough to
challenge religious authority like a priest.
Hospitallar: First Aid and Medicine
Skills: Bargain, Conceal, Fast Talk, Hide, In-
Both orders can pick one personal specialty.
sight, Listen, Other Kingdom, Own Kingdom,
Money: None (vow of poverty), 3 horses, shield Persuade and two specialties of choice.
bearer, longsword and chainmail.
Money: 1d8 dirhams
Yearly Income: None.
Year Income: 240 dirhams
Mamluke (Saracen) Tabeeb (Saracen)
You are made a slave and raised as a warrior ed-
You are a doctor learned in the most advanced
ucated in the Islamic traditions of your coun-
medicines and sciences of the time. In the Is-
try. Some Mamlukes gained the status of ad-
lamic world knowledge of the sciences ad-
visors and atabegs like Zengi. As a Mamluke it
vanced to levels far beyond the Europeans of
is possible through exceptional service to win
the west the Saracens had developed algebra
your freedom. In later years Mamlukes would
and estimated the circumference of the earth.
gain enough power to rule a caliphate in Egypt.
Skills: First Aid, Insight, Library Use, Medicine,
Skills: Insight, Grapple, Own Kingdom, Ride,
Natural World, Occult, Science (choose one),
Status, Track, one weapon skill and other skill
Write language: Greek. One other skill is a spe-
as personal specialty.
cialty.
Money: None, horse, scimitar, bow, daraq,
Money: 1d3 x 100 dirhams, plus Surgeons tools
leather and scales armor.
and writing materials.
Yearly Income: None.
Yearly Income: 1500 dirhams
Dark Crusades 9
Notes on Occupations from CoC Dark Ages weapon was the fakirs horns (see Weapons and
Most of the occupations in the Call of Cthulhu Armor section p 18-20.)
Dark Ages rulebook function perfectly well for The dervishes are wandering holy men who
Saracen investigators with little or no modi- beg for alms and perform trance-like dances.
fication necessary. The Occupations, Cleric Their mystical traditions stem from their own
and Scholar replace Latin with Greek. The oc- unique sect of Islam. Those who are possessed
cupation Monk/Nun does not have a Saracen by malicious Jinn (Old Ones) can be brought to
equivalent. The occupations: Cleric, Monk/ them to perform the Zar ceremony which is an
Nun, Priest and Scholar all gain the skill science exorcism of the possessing spirit.
(theology) (Christianity if Frank or Islam if a Askar: These comprise the local militia raised
Saracen) The Household Officer occupation to guard cities and towns in the Islamic world.
has been replaced with the Mamluke one for They could bear arms in Islamic lands, unlike
Saracens. The final addition is the Command the Peoples of the Book.
skill for the Sergeant/Mayor occupation. Below The remainder of the Occupations in the Call
is a table with equivalent occupations and their of Cthulhu: Dark Ages book can be used un-
Saracen names. changed by Saracen characters.

Dark Ages Name Saracen Name


Turcopoles and Poulains
Cleric/Priest Mullah/Imam
A turcopole is a person of mixed Frank and
Healer Hakima Saracen descent. Some of the sergeants
Hermit Sufi/Dervish and lower born noble families would in-
termarry with the local populations in-
Guard/Warrior Askar
cluding the Saracens. It was incredibly
rare for more noble born Frank families to
intermarry with the Saracens. Poulains are
Mullah/Imam: This term is used for Islamic
a product of marriages with Eastern Chris-
priests. The Mullah denotes a priest from the
tians. Investigators of these backgrounds
Sunni sect of Islam. The Imam is a priest from
can take both Saracen and Frank occupa-
the Shiite sect. In addition to the usual occu-
tions except the Knight of Religious Order
pational skills of the priest; add the additions
occupation. Turcopoles and poulains both
of two science skills (canonical law) or sharia
start out with a -15 penalty to their Status
(theology).
during character generation, due to their
Hakima: They are wise women versed mystical second class citizen position in Outremer
powers and potions. This role was prominent society.
in the collection of stories The Arabian Nights.
Council of Nablus: In 1120 C.E. the Coun-
The occupation is appropriate for a mythically
cil of Nablus determined it was against
bent career and less historical game and should
the law to have sexual intercourse with a
be used only with the keepers permission.
Muslim woman and any Frankish man
Sufi/Dervish: A group of ascetic mystics from found guilty would be castrated and have
the Shiite sect of Islam. They lived in their own his nose cut off. Despite this law it is esti-
communities throughout Outremer and the mated that 5,000 turcopole sergeants and
Islamic world. Many would be under sacred mercenaries made up the men at arms of
vows restricting even the types of weapons one the Outremer.
could use for protection. One such permissible
10 Dark Crusades
New Skills and Expanded Old Skills Alchemy can be used to determine the chemi-
In Dark Crusades one additional new skill cal makeup of powders and mixtures. There is
Command has been added to some of the oc- some occult-like crossover in the various incan-
cupations and is available to investigators using tations used in some of the alchemical recipes
this sourcebook. The science skill has been ex- and secret ciphers used to protect their works
panded to include alchemy. A further descrip- from rivals. Despite the practice and belief in
tion of the use of science (theology) has been alchemy, there were still many some skeptics as
expounded on because of the importance of pointed out by Chaucer in Canterbury Tales a
religion during this particular period. few hundred years later.

Command (05%) Science (Theology)

This skill reflects the investigators ability to This skill entails the scholastic study of reli-
lead groups of people effectively. Many a bat- gion through reading and studying of texts and
tle has been lost because of poor leadership. scriptures. The knowledge is well beyond what
Those who have high command skill can in- is commonly available to the masses. Each time
spire groups of people to greatness and boost the skill is taken it must be with a specific reli-
the morale of troops under their command. gious tradition, for example Theology (Chris-
tianity).
Falconry (05%)
Falconry or the ability to use falcons in hunt-
ing for sport was very popular among both Religious Fervor: An Option
Saracen and Frank nobles in Outremer. With The fanaticism and religious hys-
the use of the skill the investigator can train teria of this period strengthened
or use trained falcon to hunt for game or keep the resolve of many Muslims and
watch. The amount of time it takes to train the Christians. Religious Fervor can be
falcon is determined by the keeper. This skill inspired in a group by a successful
can also be utilized to identify the behavior of Persuade or Command check made
these birds, to notice signs that perhaps a falcon at a -20 penalty to the roll. The other
is wounded or sick. At the keepers discretion way it can be inspired is in the pres-
a successful use of the falconry skill can add a ence of a holy relic. This effect lasts
+10% status bonus when dealing with Frank or 12 hours and when the investigators
Saracen nobles. or characters are required to make an
Science (Alchemy) Idea roll to fight temporary insanity
they gain -10 bonuses to their Idea
This additional field within the science skill was rolls, making it easier to protect the
developed predominantly in the Islamic world mind from trauma of insanity check.
and spread throughout Europe in the later
Middle Ages. Alchemical theory presupposes
For Example: John is under the effect
that there is a perfect form that other materials
of Religious Fervor, he has failed his
and substances are morphing into in a continu-
San check, he will lose 5 points San
ous cycle. It was postulated that gold was the
and he may get temporary insanity
perfect metal and that if the right process could
unless he fails his Idea roll. His Idea
be discovered base metals could be transmuted
roll is 50, with religious fervor it is
into gold.
now at 40. He rolled a 45, he failed his
This skill imparts to the investigator the basic
Idea roll and does not go temporarily
principles of working with chemicals like sul-
insane.
furs, alloys and other alchemical interactions.
Dark Crusades 11
Role of Religion The act of almsgiving or Zakat is also an im-
portant duty for devote Muslim to have charity
[I] saw the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn to the poor. It is estimated at amount 10% of
Abi Talib (may God be pleased with him) in a during should be dedicated to this task.
dream Then when I woke up, and the tumour Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan
had been tossed to one side and my ailment was is required by all Muslims during the daylight
gone. hours.
-Usama ibn Munqidh Finally, a pilgrimage to Mecca is required at
Book of Contemplation least once in the lifetime of a Muslim. These
rules are guidelines that are followed by Mus-
During the time of the Crusades religion is a lims to varying degrees, the ritual prayer being
powerful moving force in the lives of both Sara- one of the most important practices followed
cens and Franks. Numerous visions and mir- daily. Sometimes the practice of Jihad or holy
acles were reported on both sides during and war is termed as a sixth pillar.
in between major battles. According to some
accounts the dead were seen fighting with the Practices of Islam
living and angels were witnessed. All Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol and
It is important for both the keeper and Inves- eat pork. The religion dictates how to live, laws
tigators to understand that religions role was of society and rules for a persons profession.
vastly different then in modern times. Atheism The three holiest cities in Islam in descend-
and Agnosticism were not as predominant or at ing order are; Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
the philosophical forefront like they are today. Idolatry is also prohibited and illustrated in the
It would be exceedingly rare to find a publical- smashing of the idols during the birth of Is-
ly exclaiming Atheist or an Agnostic in Out- lam.
remer. Anyone who claimed such beliefs would
be looked down upon or mistrusted. Main Sects of Islam
These are two different sects of Islam, Sunni
The Five Pillars of Islam
and Shiites. The sects split off during a debate
To be a Muslim is the belief that one submits over the next Caliph or successor of Moham-
to God. The five pillars of Islam or al-arkan med. The Shiites believe that the caliph should
al-khamsa are the basic tents and practices of a have been Ali, the nephew of Mohammed; not
Muslim as follows: (1) Shahada- statement of Abu Bakr. The majority of the Islamic world
belief, (2) Salat- ritual prayer, (3) Zakat- alms is composed of Sunni Muslims; the only pre-
giving, (4) Sawm - fasting during the daylight dominately Shiite area is Egypt. Philosophi-
during Ramadan (holy month) and finally (5) cally speaking the Shiites believe that the caliph
Hajj- pilgrimage to Mecca. According to some or what they refer to more often as the Imam,
Jihad, or holy war, is the sixth pillar. is to be a descendent of Mohammeds lineage.
It is claimed that Salat is the most important, The Sunni believe that the Caliph is the po-
being the ritual prayer that is performed five litical leader of the umma (Islamic commu-
times a day facing the direction of only Mecca. nity), which differs from the Shiites who be-
These are all performed during set times of day lief that the Caliph is spiritual religious leader
starting early in the morning along with adula- as well as one that is political. These two reli-
tions during the call to prayer. gious sects are not the only Islamic sects in ex-
The profession of faith the Shahada, is a ba- istence at this time, the Nazaris (the sect the As-
sic principle intrinsic to becoming a Muslim sassins are members of) and Kharijis to name a
which states, There is no God, but God and few. Given the limited space in this work, only a
Mohammed is his messenger. cursory overview has been given on the Islamic
12 Dark Crusades
faith, it is highly recommended by the authors Christians (for more information see Turco-
for those interested to read a copy of the Koran. poles and Poulains sidebar p. 9).
At any one given time it has been estimated
Millennialism that there were never more than 1,000 knights
The belief in the end times or the final apoca- inside the Kingdom of Jerusalem, counties of
lyptic battle between good and evil was made Edessa, Tripoli or Antioch. The Frankish pop-
popular again during the twelfth century by Eu- ulation started eating local foods and adopting
ropean Christians. Many of the letters beseech- local customs like making use of the bathhous-
ing people to join the crusades were steeped in es in their new home.
apocalyptic language and terminology. Many In later Crusades and ventures into Outremer
of the Christian crusaders believed that they the Venetians and Pisans branched out into the
were fighting the final battles in the holy land. mercantile trade in many of the major cities
One Mythos cult that has taken this belief to a throughout the holy land. The Venetians and
twisted and sycophantic extreme is the Pilgrims the Pisans did not assimilate as readily as the
of Oblivion (for more information see Mythos Frankish population did.
Cults p. 40)
The belief in Millennialism was not unique to Slaves and Mamlukes
Christianity, it is also believed that there will be Slavery is a big part of the medieval Islamic
a final battle fought between good and evil by world. Essentially all of those people living out-
Muslims as well; the forces of good will be led side the abode of Islam or non-Muslims were
by the Mahdi (savior at the end times) to final fair game for slavery. Possessing house servants
victory over the wicked. One key difference is or house slaves was common.
that the Muslims did not believe that the end Certain ethnic groups were more desirable
times and final battles were being fought at this for slaves; Turkish slaves were the most prized
time. followed by Sub-Saharan Africans and Europe-
ans were the least desirable. A Turkish slave girl
Life in Outremer could fetch as much as 3000 dinars! The Turk-
ish were known for their beauty as well as their
The Franks (may God confound them) have none
martial prowess and superior horsemanship.
of the human virtues except for courage They
Mamlukes had a unique position in Medi-
have neither precedence nor high rank except that
eval Islamic society; they were acquired at the
of the knights, and have no man worthy of the
age of 10 to 12. These children were always
name except the knights
males, which hailed from Turkish stock, Arme-
-Usama ibn Munqidh
nians and some other ethnicities. The Turkish
Excerpt from the Book of Contemplation
nomads were preferred for their martial prow-
During and after the First Crusade the vast ess. There are many instances where Mamlukes
majority of inhabitants of Outremer were of served as atabegs (advisors to young emirs or
French descendent. Society functioned under kings). Mamlukes could win their freedom
their stewardship much like a feudal kingdom through exemplary service to their master. The
in Europe. bonds of loyalty are so strong that many times
The Frankish inhabitants of the Latin King- even after a Mamluke was released from slav-
dom of Jerusalem started assimilating many of ery their former masters would claim them as
the local customs and traditions of the native heir to their legacies. A hundred years later the
inhabitants. For the most part the upper ech- Mamlukes would rise to positions of incredible
elons of society could not intermarry with the power in Egypt.
Armenians, Jews, Muslims, Egyptians, Eastern
Dark Crusades 13
Playing Slave Investigators? tinuity and not risking changes or alterations in
Besides playing Mamluke investigators, play- the events of the period.
ing a slave investigator should be strongly cau- The second approach is to allow or create
tioned against. Household slaves, body guards encounters and interactions with key histori-
and concubines, to name a few slave roles, had cal events and figures of the period. In this ap-
very little freedom outside the commands of proach the ability to alter and change history
their master which could make it difficult for does add some unique considerations on the
the investigator to explore and fight the mythos. part of the keeper. The keeper will need to do
This being said, it is not impossible but does re- additional planning in considering what would
quire careful consideration from both the keep- happen as a result of the meddling investiga-
er and the player interested in playing slave in- tors. If this approach is followed it is advised
vestigator. For example if a keeper ties into the that keepers strongly caution the players of the
scenario a reason the slaves master needs the investigators to act according to the motiva-
mystery solved, perhaps if successful the slave tions of their investigators and not themselves.
could win its freedom. The keeper will have to scrutinize whether or
By contrast the Mamluke slave option has not a player is using metagame knowledge or
considerably more freedom than most tradi- knowledge their investigator would not be en-
tional slaves. Mamlukes could inherit proper- titled to, when trying to alter history. For exam-
ty or be designated heirs to the master. They ple: Joes investigator John wants to stop crusaders
served as advisors and prominent officials with of the Second Crusade from attacking Damascus,
a much greater freedom and power than non- because he knows that they will fail and create
Mamluke slaves. For a further discussion about more enemies for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The
Mamlukes see above section Mamlukes and keeper reminds Joe that he might know this, but
Slavery. John his investigator does not.
Both approaches have pros and cons; it is rec-
Running Dark Crusades ommended that the keeper discuss this with the
players in the gaming group to find out what is
Historical Figures and Investigators important to their particular play style.
The keeper should address the possibility of
what might occur if the investigators encoun-
ter historical figures or take part in historical
events. For example, what if the Frankish inves-
tigators decide to kill Saladin? Or alternatively
the Saracen investigators decided to burn down
Jerusalem and summon star vampires into the
crusading host? Both of these questions and is-
sues are very important for the keeper to con-
sider when running a historical game like a
Dark Crusades scenario.
There are a few approaches a keeper can use
to handle the following situations. The first
approach would be used to avoid interactions
between historical figures and critical events
when running Dark Crusades scenarios. The
benefit to this approach is keeping historic con-
King Richard I, The Lionheart
14 Dark Crusades
Running Mixed Saracen and Frank Games occasions should be considered by the keeper.
Among the Franks there are some who have be- For example if during this mythos encounter it
come acclimatized and frequent the company of was learned that a cult or perhaps an alliance
Muslims. They are much better than those re- of cults are connected to this event. This deep-
cently arrived from their lands, but they are the er conspiracy could add much more longevi-
exception and should not be considered represen- ty and incentive for the mixed investigators to
tative. stick together.
It must also be understood that the incredible
-Usama Ibn Munqih, bigotry of the early crusaders was not as strong
an excerpt in the Book of Contemplation in the Frankish populations that grew up in
Outremer after the First Crusade. Another in-
When running a game with investigators of
teresting historical note is that the Templars
both Frankish and Saracen descent it is advis-
made use of turcopole sergeants and Saracen
able that the players rolling up the characters
spies during their time in Outremer. The Tem-
discuss their motivations and backgrounds
plars and Hospitaller religious knightly orders
with each other and the keeper. Given the long
have their own interesting problems. Many
history of conflict and prejudices it will take
of Saladins generals and commanders fought
some careful consideration and planning on
for the right to personally execute them- it was
both sides. The following are some suggestions
considered a great honor. Saladin is noted his-
and advice which may help smooth things out.
torically for his mercy and generosity towards
When running a mixed game, if the time pe-
prisoners, except the Templar who he hated and
riod is not important to the scenario the keeper
always executed.
should consider setting the game during one of
Another approach to running a mixed Frank
the many truces or alliances between the Franks
and Saracen game might be to have the Frank/
and with the Saracens. For example: when the
Saracen party of investigators meet at a castle
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was briefly allied
or fortress and ransom the prisoners (opposite
with Damascus out of fear of Nur ed-Din. An-
of ethnicity; for Frank party Saracen prisoners
other time period is the four year truce with
etc.) for a certain amount of gold dinars. Dur-
Saladin (for more details see Gazetteer of Out-
ing the negotiations the guards at the castle are
remer and its Islamic Neighbors chapter p. 21)
killed by a horrid mythos creatures or mythos
The going native of Franks did occur histori-
related phenomena. This creates a situation
cally, but rarely and occurring only after the es-
where the help of the prisoners is needed for
tablishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. If a
survival against the mythos threat.
player chooses to play an investigator of Frank-
The easiest approach is to run a party that
ish descent who has gone native, the keeper is
consists of mostly Franks or Saracens. Either
encouraged to relax the restriction on equip-
party can be filled out with turcopoles or pou-
ment and potentially occupations as well.
lains, native Christians or Jews to add variety.
Another method for plausible story cooper-
For a predominantly Frankish party, the turco-
ation between the two different ethnic groups
pole or the poulain can add more variety giving
would be if both had experienced a mythos en-
the investigators access to Saracen careers and
counter together and decided to ally out of ne-
equipment. The Franks may look down upon
cessity. The horror of the unnatural can create
them a little for not being of full European de-
a sense of urgency that can surpass the typical
scent, but these issues tend to be more minor.
bigotry between Saracens and Franks. To use
When running a predominately Saracen party
an old adage The enemy of my enemy is my
the same options appear, except with the fur-
friend. This explanation can help with coop-
ther option of having a Frank serve as a slave.
eration during the short term, but long term
This option should not be exercised lightly! It
Dark Crusades 15
is recommended that only experienced mature
gaming groups should consider playing charac-
ters of such a restricted role. Perhaps the play-
er could play a Mamluke, traditionally Turkish
stock was favored and treated well by their mas-
ters, but other peoples were employed as Mam-
lukes as well. In latter centuries the Ottoman
Empire would create the soldier class called
Janissary composed of Christians raised to be
slave soilders.
Transportation to and from the Holy Land
Godfrey of Boullion
The cities were not linked by paved roads like
the ancient Roman cities of Italy. Instead there combats must be addressed. This can be ad-
were numerous unpaved paths and wilder- dressed using either of the following methods:
ness between cities and trade routes. The main (1) Abstract Method and (2) Cinematic Meth-
modes of transportation were riding a mule, od. Both have their strengths and weaknesses
donkey or camels; or travelling on boats. and depend on the play style of the keeper and
Travelling together in groups was safest be- the investigators.
cause of the brigands and pirates that would The Abstract method puts the investigators
routinely prey on travelers. A common Ara- in the roles of the sergeants and command of
bic saying is the companion is more impor- the army, the outcome is largely determined by
tant than the route taken, meaning that hav- a series of Command rolls verses the Command
ing protection and a good conversationalist was rolls of the opposing force. The difficulties of
deemed important to travelers. the challenges are modified by different factors
There were numerous way
stations and funduqs (inns).
These funduqs functioned as Army or Force Situation Command Roll Modifier
places for lodging and pur- Advantageous Position +10
chasing food as well as brothels
Better Trained or
in some places. Many funduqs
have a mosque or churches at- Disciplined Force +10
tached to them or are located Larger Force +5 to +20, Keepers discretion
nearby one. These establish-
based on size.
ments charged high prices to
travelers because they were set Surprised or Ambushed +10
up by the government as an Poor Morale -10
additional revenue source.
Lead by Legend +10
Warfare and Mass Combat Behind Fortification or
The Crusades are unique and Stronghold +5 to +15 depending on
incredibly dangerous milieu
for investigators to participate quality of fortification.
in. Given the number of large Note: This table is by no means exhaustive it is very rough
battles, sieges and raids con- guideline to help the keeper determine relative success of the
ducted in and around Out- engagement.
remer, the issue of larger scale
16 Dark Crusades
ing played. Possible prices of failure include the
investigators being taken captive or enslaved.
The second mass combat rules mechanic is
the Cinematic Method. This method assumes
that the investigators are not actively in com-
mand of the forces. It plays like a movie in the
fact that investigators can play pivotal turning
points in the battle or flash points that could
make or break the battle. The strengths of this
method include allowing the keeper to leave
less to the chance of dice rolls when it comes to
the battle, allowing investigators to have more
Battle of Ager Sanguinis of an impact on its outcome and lastly generat-
ing quick and dirty results fast.
like the size of the enemy forces, how advanta- Flash points can take a number of forms from
geous the position of the opposing force, etc. A the arrival of reinforcements to the engagement
table is listed below with modifiers for different of the enemy leader and his retinue. These out-
situations. comes can be suitably dramatic in the cinemat-
The Abstract Method works in the following ic sense.
way: both commanders (pick one of the inves- Alternatively, the keeper may feel that is not
tigators) roll their Command skills and com- an aspect of his or her game that they want
pare which one made the roll by the greatest played out. This alternative is perfectly accept-
amount compared to the other. For Example: ed, given the fact that investigating macabre
John has Command Skill of 80 and Mohammed horror is the main premise of all Call of Cthul-
has a Command Skill of 70. Mohammed has an hu games.
advantageous position on a cliff where his archers
can fire down with good cover. This makes Mo- Wilderness Survival and Heat Exposure
hammeds Command Skill effectively 80 based in Metal Armor
on the situation. Both John and Mohammed roll Any investigators wearing mail armors (Chain-
opposed Command skills, John rolls 60 and Mo- mail, Paires de cuiraces, Plate armor) suffer an
hammed rolls 50. Mohammed beats John by a additional penalty -2 hit point loss due to ex-
difference of 10 points. treme heat when using the Wilderness Survival
It is recommended that when using this rules for starvation and water loss (for more de-
method for the keeper to require at least 3 tails see Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages p. 30). His-
Command skill rolls in opposition to the ene- torically, some battles were won not because the
my, and the one with the most success wins the heavily armored Frank was killed by the Sara-
battle. More than 3 Command skill rolls can be cen, but because the armored Frank collapsed
called for depending on the needs of the keep- from heat exhaustion. It should be noted by
er. These rolls can be used as inspiration for the keeper that most of the conditions around
the keeper to describe the failures and success- the Levant are easily in extremes of above 70o
es of the different armies, and add flavor and plus degrees easily during daylight hours.
richness to the game. It is important to keep If a character in mail armor is wearing a sur-
in mind that Call of Cthulhu in all of its forms coat then ignore -2 hit point penalty for wear-
is not intended to be a tactical war game but a ing mail armor during extreme heat for the first
role playing narrative style game. occurrence or check for exhaustion.
Whether the investigators succeed or fail will
add much depth and interest to the scenario be-
Dark Crusades 17
Weapon Descriptions lows for more force behind the shot of the ar-
rows. This variety of bow was used by the Sara-
Ankus cens more often than the Franks because of the
The Ankus or elephant goad is a short wooden lack of wood around the Levant. It is theorized
shaft with a hook used to control the elephant that the glued materials would not survive as
by Mahout. The usually wooden shaft is 5ft in well in the European climate.
length. This tool can also be used as a weapon Fakirs Horns
as well.
This unusual weapon is a combination of two
Bow, Composite curved horn shaped metal pieces joined at the
These bows are made of sinew and bone glued base facing opposite directions. This weapon is
together. The composite bow is hardier and al- primary used by Sufi mystics and other ascetics

New Saracen Weapons


Melee Weapons
Base % Damage 1H/2H HP Length Impale Parry* Knockout STR/DEX Cost**
Ankus 20 1d4+1 1H 15 Long Yes No No 7/8 40
Falkirs Horns 15 1d4 2H 10 Short Yes No No 4/4 ?
Great Scimitar 15 1d8+1 2H 20 Long Yes Yes Yes 8/7 ?
Katar 20 1d6+1 1H 12 Short Yes Yes No 4/4 15
Tiger Claws 25 1d6 1H 10 Short Yes Yes No 4/4 13

*As per parry rules in Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook.


** Weapons marked with a ? are rare items. Availability and costs will vary.

Damascus Steel Weapons: Weapons made from this unique metal working technique were legendary for their
sharpness and metal strength. To this day much like the mysteries of Greek Fire, no modern metallurgical pro-
cess is able to replicate the technique. All weapons made from Damascene steel count as rare and gives it +1 to
damage. Add 20 dirhams to price of a weapon made with Damascene steel.

Missile Weapons
Base% Damage Base Range Attacks per Round HP Impale STR/DEX Cost Effect
Bow,
Composite 10 1d8 80 1 10 Yes 10/10 80 n/a
Naphtha Throw 1d8 20 1 5 No 4/4 30 fire

New Armor Types for Franks and Saracens


Damage Defl. Burden Fits other SIZ Rounds to put On Cost Culture
Paires de
Cuiraces** 8 Moderate +/-2 6 1100(rare) Franks
Plate Armor# 9 Moderate +/-2 8 1350(rare) Franks
Shields - - - - - -
Daraq See Below - - - 40 Saracens

* -1 if not wearing a helmet.


**deflects 4 damage from thrusting weapons (spears, crossbows, bow), and 3 from crushing weapons
(Fist/Punch, Head Butt, Kick, Club, Flail, Staff, Rock, Sling).
# deflects 4 damage from thrusting weapons (see above), and 5 from crushing weapons (see above for listing).
18 Dark Crusades
who have sacred laws and prohibitions about
violence. Historical Note on Barding or Horse Armor
Great Scimitar
During the First Crusade the Franks
This oversized curved sword is the cousin of the were shocked to find that the Saracens
more common scimitar. It was rarely used on made use of armored horses. The Horses
the battlefield; it was favored by executioners are Europe were much smaller (closer
for beheading criminals and used as a ceremo- to the size of the modern day pony) and
nial implement for royal guardsmen. so initially they were not armored like
Katar their Saracen counterparts. The European
Also called a punching dagger, it like other horses were too small to carry the addi-
short blades can be easily carried and hidden tional weight of the armor. Later in 1187
away. It has a bar and hand guard which allows during the time of the Third Crusade the
the wielder to thrust the dagger in punching Franks made use of barding armor, hav-
motion. ing bred more hardy steeds at this time.
If using barding armor all of the statistics
Naphtha are the same as the Armor tables in Dark
These small ceramic pots are filled with flam- Crusades and Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages,
mable liquid substances (usually Greek fire) except the price is tripled. Only Saracens
and are thrown at fortifications or men during have access to barding, in any scenarios
sieges. Naphtha used as an infantry grenade for run before the Third Crusade. Barding is
the Saracens. rare for Franks to acquire even during the
Tiger Claws Third Crusade.
These weapons also go by the name bagh nakh,
and consist of metal worn over the knuckles laume le Breton as thrice-woven hauberk.
with bar covered in spikes. These can be easily This is the heaviest armor of the period.
concealed and provide quick protection from Armor Additions
street toughs.
Daraq
Armor Descriptions This small target shield functions like the buck-
Paires de cuiraces ler used in Europe during later periods. The
Daraq is worn on the arm of Saracen cavalry
This type of armor consists of shaped leather
and is used to catch arrows from enemy ar-
plates tied to the front and back of chainmail
chers. This shield provides a +1 to the amount
hauberk. Several variations of this design exist
of damage deflected by the armor worn by its
having longer or shorter chain sleeves that cover
wielder.
the legs and arms, but from a rules standpoint
they offer the same amount of protection. This Surcoat
armor is a precursor to plate armor. This padded garment was worn over mail ar-
Plate Armor mor to protect the Franks from the merciless
heat of the sun. The surcoat was originally ad-
This armor is incredibly rare and just started
opted from the Saracens and has found use with
being worn by wealthy lords during the twelfth
both Franks and Saracens. When wearing the
century. Examples include Richard the Lion-
surcoat the armor ignore the first 2 hit points of
heart and William of Barres. In some histori-
damage from dehydration (for more details see
cal accounts it is referred to as triple mail or
Running Dark Crusades: Wilderness Survival
double mail and by some authors like Guil-
and Heat Exposure in Metal Armor).
Dark Crusades 19
Equipment List Elephant.....10 dinars
FOOD Peacock.8 dinars
2 pounds of bread...................1 dirham Horse....25+ dinars
2 pounds of cheese..................1 dirham Warhorse.....60 dinars
Food and Lodging per day....................1 dirham SLAVES
Horse or Camel feed...............3-6 dirhams Courtesan....30 dinars
Sherbet drink..........................3 fals Entertainer...5 dinars
Camel or Goat milk.................1 dirham Eunuch.5 dinars
Fruits......................5 fals House Servant....1 dinar
CLOTHING Guard....8 dinars
Aba..............1 dirham Mamluke....50-80 dinars
Chaftan.....................15 fals (Turkish Descent, multiply x2 to slave price).
Chador...................8 fals TRANSPORT
Dishdashah.....................8 fals Barijah.....3 dinar
Dolman...............1 dirham Barge...155 dirhams
Canoe......120 dirhams
Fez........................13 fals
Pony or Mule drawn cart.............8 dinars
Jellaba.............5 dirhams
Dromond...100 dinars
Keffiyeh......................3 fals Galley......300 dinars
Turban wrap..................3 fals Sedan Chair..........1 dinar
TOOLS Wheeled Wagon.15 dinar
Bucket MISCELLEANOUS
Awl, Hammer, Saw, Shears Torch, Lamp or Candle.1 dirham
Sickle, Hand ax, Pickax, Spade Rope 30feet length.......2 dirhams
Tent 6 person.......360 dirhams
Swing Plow
Travelers Pack: (see below)......240 dirhams
Iron Plow and Colter
Paper per sheet.....1 dinar
ANIMALS Papyrus per sheet..5 dirham
Farm Dog.....12 dirhams Ink and Quill....1 dinar
Sheep..12-15 dirhams Water clock..100 dinar
Cow..24 dirhams Sun dial.30 dirhams
Mule.....36 dirhams EXPANDED ARMS AND ARMOR
Ostrich.25 dirhams This list includes Arms and Armor from the
Monkey....13 dirhams Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages for ease of character
creation and purchase. A note about which cul-
Falcon...8 dinars ture commonly uses the item is also included.
Goat.20 dirhams Melee Cost Culture
Camel..80 dirhams Ankus 40 Saracen
20 Dark Crusades
Ax 80 Both Soft Leather 50 Both
Ax, Frankish 100 Frank Cuirbouilli 100 Both
Ax, Great 100 Frank Leather and
Club - Both Rings 400 Frank
Fakirs Horns - Saracen Leather and
Flail ? Frank Scales 375 Both
Katar 15 Saracen Chainmail 1000 Frank
Knife, Small 10 Both Armor Cost Culture
Knife, Large 15 Both Paires de
Melee Cost Culture Cuiraces ? Frank
Lance 80 Frank Plate Armor ? Frank
Mace 60 Both Surcoat 50 Both
Scimitar 180 Saracen
Scimitar, Great ? Saracen Shields Cost Culture
Spear, Short 40 Both Small 40 Both
Spear, Long 50 Both Medium 60 Both
Staff - Both Large 80 Frank
Sword, Short 150 Frank Daraq 40 Saracen
Sword, Long 210 Frank
Sword, Frankish ? Frank Note: The cultural usage information on the
tables is not intended to restrict investigators
in their use of items, but it is intended to giv-
Missile Cost Culture en historical background and allow for usual
Ax 80 Both weapons use with the keepers permission. In-
Ax, Frankish 100 Frank vestigators of the turcopole or poulain back-
grounds to not have any restrictions on weap-
Ax, Great 100 Frank ons based on culture (for more information on
Bow 60 Both turcopoles and poulains see Investigators in the
Holy Land p. 5).
Bow,
Composite 90 Saracen Clothing Descriptions
Crossbow ? Frank Aba
Knife, Small 10 Both This is a desert robe that is usually fashioned
in one solid color: black, brown or white. It is
Naphtha 30 Saracen
worn with a sash and has open sleeves; it is usu-
Rock, Thrown - Both ally worn with the traditional head covering,
Sling 5 Both the keffiyeh. It can have rich embroidery to de-
note higher status or for formal occasions. The
Spear, Short 40 Both Jellaba is a heavier aba worn during the winter-
Spear, Long 50 Both
Dark Crusades 21
Gazetteer of Outremer and
its Islamic Neighbors
Crusader States
Outremer or the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
is divided into the holy land, Antioch, Tripoli
and Edessa. These states were split up into the
fiefs of: the County of Jaffa, the principality of
Galilee, the Seigneurie of Outrejourdain (Tran-
sjordan), and finally, Seigneurie of Sidon. All
of these vassals of the king of Jerusalem would
be required to pay tribute. Incorporated in the
king of Jerusalems personal holdings are the
Isle of Graia
cities of Jerusalem, Nablus, Acre and Dacron.
time usually made from felt or wool. It can be The crusader states are always changing
worn over the aba. based on the victories or losses of Franks and
their enemies. One of the smallest periods of
Caftan
the Kingdom of Jerusalem was after the battle
Long flowing over garment tied at the waist of Hattin in 1187 A.D. When Jerusalem fell to
with a stash. Usually made of cotton, it de- Saladin many of the states were taken over. The
scends down to the ankles. It is embroidered rulers of the states were constantly changing as
to make it more formal or if the wearer is of a well; for example Antioch is originally ruled by
higher status. Bohemond after the First Crusade and changed
Chador hands based on deaths or political uprisings.
Before the Third Crusade, Raymond the rul-
This is a complete robe covering for women, er of Antioch died and his window Constance
which includes a hood and face covering. This married Reynold de Chatillon. In this example
traditional dress is used to preserve the modes- succession is not based purely on noble blood-
ty of women and not tempt men (for more in- lines and hand-selected marriages. Reynold
formation see Female Saracen Investigators). de Chatillon, was married out of love, not his
Dishdashah power or political connections.
The Dishdashah is a tunic worn by poor farm- Major Cities
ers and merchants. It is usually worn with a
belt. Asacalon
Dolman This Egyptian city was strategically important
to both the Franks and the Fatimid Caliph-
Long robe with no sleeves, appears much like
ate. Asacalon is located on the border between
an aba, but is worn in cities and other urban
Egypt and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This
areas.
city was ringed by a series of Frankish castles
Fez to guard this potential beachhead for invasion.
The fez is a felt hat that is conical in shape with The Franks did successfully take the city after
a tassel, usually red with black tassel. the launch of the disastrous Second Crusade
during the reign of Baldwin III. They were
temporarily allied with the Egyptians, forming
a protectorate which was dissolved when Amal-
ric decided to conquer all of Egypt.
22 Dark Crusades
Baghdad Damascus
The country of Iraq is the power base of the Ab- This city located in Syria is the capital of the
basid dynasty, the city was built on the ancient Umayyad Caliphate. The city gets its name
village site of Baghdad. This city was built by from the textile damask and its quality metal
Al-Mansur and according to the Arab histori- the legendary Damascene steel. Damascus
an al-Tabari, Al-Mansur consulted a Christian was also known for its splendid gardens and
monk nearby and asked if this construction was aesthetic beauty along with the famous great
in any of his predictions. The monk replied Umayyad Mosque. The Arab historian Ibn
that there was a prediction that the person who Jubayr describes it in the following words;
built on this site would be named Miqlas; in re- She is the paradise of the Orient, the place where
sponse Al-Mansur told him that was his nick- dawned her gracious and radiant beauty,She is
name. Astrologers were also consulted, they garnished with the flowers of sweet-scented herbs,
said that the construction was auspicious and and bedecked in the brocaded vestments of gar-
the city would be wealthy, a center of civiliza- dens.
tion and that no Caliph would ever die there. The emir of Damascus was allied with cru-
This round-walled medieval city is fortunate saders during the rise to power of Nur ed-Din
to benefit from the bountiful harvests of the up until the call of the Second Crusade. The
two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. It is di- crusaders determined that if they took over Da-
vided into two regions: Upper and Lower Mes- mascus, that their borders would be more de-
opotamia. The territory between the two rivers fensible against Nur ed-Din. The Second Cru-
is referred to as Jazira or the Island. The goods sade ended in disastrous defeat.
Baghdad is most famous for are cloth, silks, Damascus is renowned has being one of the
mats, fine apparel, shawls and turbans. scholarly centers of the world. It was also the
Cairo home of the infamous mad Arab Abdul Al-
This capital is an important center for learning, Hazrad author of the Necronomicon (Kitab
having numerous madrasas (universities) and a Al-Azif) who died in 738 A.D. Later Damascus
great center of trade. This city was considered was incorporated into Saladins area of control
a great prize by the crusaders whom attempted following Egypt.
to conquer Egypt multiple times, starting with Jerusalem
the First Crusade. The city of Alexandria is the
the city is laid out most beautifully, and cannot
headquarters of the influential cult the Sons of
be criticized for too great length or as being dis-
Solomon.
proportionately narrow. On the west is the tower
Constantinople of David, which is flanked on both sides by the
Constantinople is the capital city of the Byzan- broad wall of the city.
tine Empire and also the gateway into Anatolia. -Fulcher of Chartres describes the city
Passage to the Levant could be blocked to the of Jerusalem in 1098 A.D.
crusaders by the will of the Byzantine emper-
This holy city is the focus of the crusades and
ors. The relationship of the Byzantines called
the conflicts of the Crusades. It is the holiest
Romans by many, including the Saracens was
city in Christendom and it is the third holiest
tumultuous. Treaties and alliances were made
city in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. It is on
and broken by the Byzantines with the crusad-
the Dome of the Rock that the prophet Mo-
ers. The empire also made alliances with the
hammed ascended to heaven. It is walled forti-
Turks at the borders, sometimes betraying the
fied located near a hill that was called Mount
crusaders to their Turkish enemies.
Pilgrim by the crusaders. Its citadel, the Tower
of David, is one of the most prominent fea-
Dark Crusades 23
tures, besides the sacred Temple of Solo-
mon which served as the headquarters of
the Templar gifted to them by the king of
Jerusalem.
Messina
This southern Italian port city served as
the disembarkation point to many naval
fleets heading to the holy land. It became
one of the major ports used by the crusad-
ers and Italian merchants. This ported was
used by the famous King Richard I.
Tripoli
Tripoli is a strategically important port city
serving as a buffer for the Latin Kingdom
of Jerusalem. Its conquest importance was
of seminal important to the crusaders of
Jerusalem. One of the most famous per-
sonages from this city was Raymond of
Tripoli who was the ruling regent of Jeru-
salem during the reign of Baldwin IV, the
Council of Clermont
Leper King.
of the Muslim rulers and help Alexius with the
Historical Overview of the Turks at his borders. His speech is followed by
First Three Crusades yelling of Deus volt! (God wills it).
All who die, by the way, whether by land or by sea, The Peoples Crusade
or in battle against the pagans, shall have imme- The extraordinary preacher Peter the Hermit
diate remission of sins. This I grant them through starts proselytizing all over Europe raising a
the power of God with which I am invested. O massive army from the lower classes to fight in
what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, the First Crusade, called the Peoples Crusade.
which worships demons, should conquer a people This motley mob of crusades leaves in a hurry
which has the faith of God in advance of the official launch date of August
-Pope Urban II, speech at the 15th.
Council of Clermont 1095 A.D. Another smaller crusade was lead by a French
lord Walter Sansavoir consisting of a large band
Council of Clermont of minor knights and numerous peasants, earli-
Pope Urban II calls together knights, clergy and er than Peter. Walter agreed to rendezvous with
nobles in 1095 at the Council of Clermont. Ur- Peter in Constantinople. Both of these undis-
ban II is motivated by the request of the Byz- ciplined and mob-type armies wrought much
antine emperor Alexius I Comenus to help him violence and rioting along the way through Eu-
fight the Turks who are invading his borders. rope. The majority of both armies could not
Urban II uses this opportunity to stop the nu- afford to buy food and basic good and basic
merous feuding knights in Europe from bur- goods.
glarizing clergymen and peasants alike.
Pope Urban II calls the First Crusade to lib-
erate the holy city of Jerusalem from the hands
24 Dark Crusades
Emperor Alexius I ordered both Peter and
Other Worldly Motivations for the Crusades Walter to keep their armies outside the walls of
Pope Urban II has been covertly manipu- Constantinople until the main force of crusad-
lated by an avatar of Nyarlathotep called ers could join them and so he could properly
the Dark Legate (for more details see organize provisions for the forces and logisti-
Creatures of the Mythos p.32) The Dark cal accommodations could be made. Both Pe-
Legate seeks to use the crusaders to find ter and Walter urged patience with their hosts,
the buried Black Ark and free the Outer but were unable to keep them in line, looting
God Demogorgon, causing much insan- and pillaging occurred throughout the suburbs
ity in his wake. Secondarily to his master of Constantinople. Finally, the Emperor agreed
plan the Dark Legate seeks to destroy the to send them on their way into Turkish lands.
Holy Sons of Solomon as revenge for the The armies started disintegrating into small-
smashing of the idols during the birth er raiding bands looting nearby towns and vil-
of Islam. With the help of the crusad- lages. Infighting divided up ethnic lines (like
ers the Dark Legate hopes to accomplish Germans, Italians and French for example) and
both goals. At this time he has taken the led to a general disorder of the mobs. Eventual-
identity and the form of Adhemar of Le ly both armies were overcome and defeated by
Puy papal legate to Pope Urban II; he also the Turks; the members were given the choice
accompanies the main body of crusaders to renounce Christ or be killed. Those that re-
to Jerusalem. How and when the oc- nounced Christ were sent to the East. Peter es-
curred no one can say. In the future and caped the massacre because he was at Constan-
beyond the purview of the sourcebook tinople at the time.
the Templars are brought to trial and
their grandmaster Malory is executed The Launch of the Main Crusading Host
1309 by a scheme hatched by the Dark The main wave of crusader forces assembled
Legate. and departed around mid-August 1096. These
forces were lead by Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke
of Lorraine along with his brother Baldwin of
The Disintegration of the Peoples Crusade
Boulogne; providing a large retinue of knights.
These two undisciplined masses further fraction The brother of the king of France Hugh of
into smaller crusades when traveling through Vermandois arrived first to Constantinople and
Europe to get to Constantinople. These cru- was entertained and asked to swear an oath, that
sades were anti-Jewish in nature, the greed entailed return of lands conquered to the Byz-
and avarice of the crusaders plundering Jew- antine Empire and an oath of personal loyalty.
ish wealth. The most notorious of these anti- Hugh stalled and eventually complied with the
Jewish crusades was lead by Count Emicho of emperors demands, when the emperor refused
Leiningen. The terror and horror of Emichos to ferry his troops across the Bosporus.
crusaders assaulting the palace of a bishop in Godfrey arrived after Hugh and learned of the
Mainz, described in the words of Albert of Aix, oaths that Alexius I wanted him to swear. God-
They killed the women, also, and with their ten- frey refused to swear the oaths; the emperor de-
der children of whatever age and sex. The Jews, cided to cut provisions to Godfreys war host as
seeing that their Christian enemies were attack- well as refused to transport his army across the
ing them and their children, and that they were Bosporus. In retaliation Godfreys army started
sparing no age, likewise fell upon one another, looting and pillaging the outskirts of Constan-
brother, children, wives, and sisters, and thus they tinople to secure food and provisions. He laid
perished at each others hands. siege to the massive walled city, even though
he was greatly underprepared for the endeav-
Dark Crusades 25
or. He siege was easily, quelled and he finally frey and Raymond. Both armies departed on
relented to the emperors demands and was al- June 26th journeying to Antioch.
lowed to cross the Bosporus in January of 1097. The first army lead by Bohemond was by Kilij
Shorty after the ferrying across of Godfreys Arslan, mistakenly believing that he was attack-
host was the arrival of Bohemond of Taranto, a ing the whole crusading army. Bohemonds
Norman lord whose fortunes did not fare well host was able to hold off Arslan for about a day
after the allied forces of the Byzantines and the and send a message to Godfrey and Raymonds
Venetians took back many of the lands owned army which joined the battle and routed the
by the Normans. Of all the European lords mo- sultans army.
tivations, Bohemond was using the First Cru- During the advance on Nicaea, Baldwin of
sade as way to gain more land and power from Boulogne and Tancred, cousin of Bohemond
his dwindling lands in Southern Italy. Despite split off from the main force. First they head-
the hostilities and bad blood between himself ed toward Cilicia and shortly after Baldwin left
and the Byzantines, Bohemond readily accept- for the city of Edessa was proclaimed heir to
ed the oaths the other great lords were reluc- Toros. A brief time after Baldwin was declared
tant to take. heir, Toros was removed by a coup and Bald-
The lord with the most massive army was win made ruler which created the first crusader
Raymond, Count of Toulouse. He owned land, state of Edessa.
wealth and power that spread out over thirteen The Siege of Antioch
countries. His army was bigger than that of
the king of France; he was favored by Pope Ur-
ban II, who sent Adhemar bishop of Le Puy as
his papal legate attached to Raymonds forces.
Raymond refused, like the other lords to take
the oaths- he said that he would serve the em-
peror if he led the crusading army as a com-
promise. The emperor mentioned that he had
duties in Constantinople that kept him there.
He did swear an oath of loyalty, but not for the
lands acquired in the crusade like his fellow
lords.
The First Successes of the Crusade
The first city they took was Nicaea, the capital
of the Turkish sultanate. The battle for this city
was short lived and an overwhelming victory
for the massive crusading host. It was believed
in error that the small disorganized host of the
Peoples Crusade was the army at their door-
step. Sultan Kilij Arslan did not take the host
seriously; remembering the massacre of Peter
the Hermits forces earlier, after the battle on
May 21, the sultan fled.
After the taking of Nicaea, the crusading host
divided into two armies; the first lead by Bohe-
mond and few lords, the second lead by God-
26 Dark Crusades
and the Byzantines, the latter viewed as cow-
Peter the Hermits Discovery ards.
During the long extended siege of An- The Turkish horde that left northbound
tioch, Peter had learned a dreadful secret. headed toward Antioch to lay siege to the city.
Among the crusaders ranks were vile In this time of desperation Peter Bartholomew
cultists called Pilgrims of Oblivion who received a vision of St. Andrew telling him that
served the Outer God Demogorgon. He the holy lance that pierced Christ was buried
learned about the Mythos and how some in Antioch. Later a meteor hit the camp of the
of the vile cultists were encouraging the Turks outside the walls of Antioch. Peter led
cannibalism of the dead in worship of Raymond to the Cathedral of St. Peter where
their dark gods. Peter fled in horror, but the lance was supposed to be buried. After
he was found by the crusaders and forced hours of digging a spear point was found and
to serve the Dark Legate by Pilgrims of proclaimed the holy relic.
Oblivion. The Turkish horde laid siege to Antioch; it
was fortuitous for the crusaders that the Turk-
ish army was riddled with internal factions and
The Walls of Antioch
divisions stemming from various rival emirs.
The crusading army marches through Anatolia After seeing the size of the crusading host, they
for four months, battling starvation and thirst. offered terms to negotiate for the city; the fren-
When the warhost finally arrives on October zied crusaders offered no terms. At the realiza-
21st 1097 at the city of Antioch, they are re- tion by many of the emirs that this would be a
duced to eating horses and in some cases can- hard fought and bloody battle many of them
nibalizing the dead Turkish forces. The siege is deserted. After an astounding victory Bohe-
protracted and leading to further despair upon mond was given Antioch to rule, formerly the
the crusaders was news that the Egyptians had second crusader state.
conquered Jerusalem and thus displaced Turk-
From Antioch to Jerusalem
ish armies heading north to reinforce Antioch.
This terrible news led to mass desertions, in- Indeed, if you had been there you would have
cluding Peter the Hermit. Later Peter was dis- seen our feet colored to our ankles with the blood
covered by the crusaders and brought back, he of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of
begged for their forgiveness and received it. them were left alive; neither women nor children
Though all seemed lost, in the midst of this were spared.
situation Bohemond was working on bribing -Fulcher of Chartres, on the capture of
the captain of the guard in Antioch to open the Jerusalem in 1098 A.D.
gates and let the crusaders in. He succeeded
and the city of Antioch was taken in short or- In the summer of 1098 a plague swept through
der, experiencing the heaviest resistance in the the city of Antioch, killing the papal legate Ad-
citadel. hemar of Le Puy.
The Byzantine emperor Alexius marched his After months of petty squabbling and intense
troops down to aid the crusaders at Antioch, negotiations between Bohemond and Ray-
but was stopped by news from Stephen of Blois mond about ownership of Antioch, the cru-
who told the emperor about the hopeless situ- saders were finally underway in January. The
ation in Antioch and the Turkish armys inevi- crusading army had little problem traveling in
table victory. Alexius turned his army around Syria as numerous petty emirs allowed the cru-
and returned home to Constantinople. This saders to pass by suing for peace. These small-
soured the relationship between the crusaders er emirs were Fatimids from Egypt of the Shiia
sect, while the more powerful lords of Damas-
Dark Crusades 27
cus were Sunni Turks who would not aid the
Egyptians. The Egyptians were seeking to make Secret History of the Legates Death
an alliance with the crusaders to fight the Turks, Peter the Hermit was able to make con-
which was ignored because their true objective tact with the Holy Sons of Solomon (for
was Jerusalem, which the Egyptians were un- details see Mythos Cults p. 40) With their
aware of. aid Peter conducted a powerful spell
On June 3, news reached the crusading host which banished the Adhemar of Le Puy
that the Egyptian army was moving to defend (Dark Legate avatar) back to Limbo un-
Jerusalem. The summer heat and exhaustion able to retake that shape for 101 years.
would add further difficulty if the army hoped Unfortunately, during the ceremonial
to take Jerusalem which was heavily fortified banishment the Dark Legate cursed the
and walled. On June 6th in the evening a lunar city with a plague killing many residents
eclipse which swallowed the crescent moon was before his avatar was banished. Official
viewed as a sign that God willed the crusaders sources and Peter maintain that the poor
to conquer Jerusalem. The crusaders launched papal legate was killed in the plague.
an attack which was easily repelled by the well
fortified defenders. But once again when all
seemed lost six English and Genoese vessels neutralizing their forces. After this astounding
appeared at Jaffa, providing materials to build victory the vast majority of the crusaders left
siege towers and engines to take the city. on vessels bound for Europe.
Once again foul news of a massive Egyptian Besides Godfrey the only other remaining
army heading towards Jerusalem only a month leader of the First Crusade was Tancred, cous-
out caused despair and panic. A vision of the in of Bohemond. The remaining forces num-
spirit of Adhemar Le Puy appeared scolding the bered three hundred knights and about two
crusaders for their despair and telling them to thousand foot soldiers, responsible for the pro-
focus Jerusalem. Peter the Hermit preached tection of Jerusalem securing the surrounding
an inspiring sermon, and the whole crusading lands. Tancred fought and conquered close by
army fasted for almost a month, in which time Tiberias, which he ruled as fief of Jerusalem.
all their engines and siege towers were built. Fi- The arrival of Daimbert the archbishop of Pisa,
nally, city was taken before the massive Egyp- complicated matters further with his belief that
tian army could reach them. the church should rule Jerusalem. He eventual-
ly became patriarch of Jerusalem. Godfrey died
OUTREMER AND THE SECOND CRUSADE in July of 18th 1100 C.E. Daimbert believed the
A monarch or ruler needed to be established for throne was his for the taking, but the friends
Jerusalem. It was assumed by many that either and allies of Godfrey had other plans, they sent
the papal legate Adhemar or the Greek patri- for his brother Baldwin of Edessa. When Bald-
arch would rule Jerusalem. Adhemar was dead win arrived he was crowned Baldwin I (1100-
and the Greek orthodox patriarch was in exile. 18), the first king of Jerusalem.
It was decided after internal struggles for lead- Crusades of 1100-1101
ership that Godfrey of Bouillon accepted the
title of Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri or Protector At this time the Venetians and Pisans who had
of the Holy Sepulcher, but refused the crown. taken four years to build up fleets of ships large
The Egyptian army was expecting the cru- enough to help the crusaders were ready to
saders to stay behind the safe walls of Jerusalem launch their ships. Originally the plan was for
and wait out a siege. Instead the crusader army the naval support take the port of Acre, but the
left the walls of Jerusalem and attacked the en- death of Godfrey had complicated this, instead
camped Egyptian army by surprise, completely
28 Dark Crusades
Haifa was conquered by Venetians and then forces in Outremer that would stay behind in
they returned to Venice. the holy land after a crusade was over with.
After the success of the First Crusade, many
deserters and potential crusaders who did not
The Ascension of Zengi
finish the long journey were invigorated by Zengi was the atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo; his
the tales of victory and proceeded to take the power was on the rise. He actively preached ji-
land route through Byzantine lands. One of the had against all Christians. For the time being he
largest concentrations was from Lombardy in was actively engaged in other battles and could
Northern Italy. They were eager to rescue Bo- not attempt to conquer Damascus. The Franks
hemond of Antioch, who was captured by the feared an attack from Damascene border of
Turks recently. Despite the advice of Raymond the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, so King Fulk
of Toulouse and others the Lombards marched (1143-44) formed an alliance with the emir of
straight into Anatolia and were destroyed by a Damascus to help prevent Zengi from captur-
large army of Turks in battle. Only a handful ing the city. They succeed in stopping Zengi
of survivors escaped the massacre by the Turks. from taking control.
This crusade was rather short-lived and dis- To the south was the Egyptian threat posed
couraged support for the crusaders for awhile. by the border city of Ascalon, it served as base
of operations for futures invasions from the
Alexius comes for Antioch south. In response King Fulk ringed the city
Bohemond never made a move to fulfill his with series of castles and forts to prevent this
oath to Byzantine emperor Alexius I to restore threat from materializing. One such castle
his former lands back to the empire. Alexius was the famous Krak des Chevaliers which he
sent troops to take back his former lands and awarded to the Hospitllars.
he took Cilcia, but that was as far as the Byz- In 1144 C.E. Zengi besieged Edessa and con-
antine got. Bohemond sailed to Italy in 1107 quered the city, effectively breaching the north-
C.E. gathering his Norman troops to invade the ern border of the Latin Kingdom. Edessa was
Byzantine Empire, failed and was defeated by the First Crusader state to fall in the tenuous
a joint Byzantine and Venetian venture. Bohe- existence of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Zengis
mond never turned to the holy land. Tancred power extended over the northern territories
ruled Antioch in his place. and unfortunately during its highest point he
Tripoli was captured by the crusaders in 1109 was murdered by an angry slave in 1146 C.E.
C.E. and held as a fief from Jerusalem by Ber- fragmenting his empire.
tard son of Raymond of Toulouse. This was the
last crusader state to be formed, but was a stra-
The Second Crusade
tegically important port for the kingdom of Je- The fall of Edessa to Zengi sent an alarming
rusalem. message that the crusader states were in danger
and needed aid. Pope Eugenius III (1145-53)
The Formation of Knightly Orders issued papal bull Quantum praedecessores be-
At the time of King Baldwin II (1118-31) the seeching the aid of the Kingdom of Jerusalem,
knightly orders of the Templars (for more in- promising the forgiveness of debts and sins if
formation see Mythos Cults) was followed by the crusade was joined. The crusade was called
the Hospitallars. The Hospitallars order start- by Pope Eugenius III, but the real spirit of the
ed out as a hospital for poor and sick pilgrims crusade was its key promoter the charismatic
making their way to the holy land. This order preacher Bernard of Clairvaux spreading the
mandate started changing to a more active in- sermons all across Europe.
dependent order in 1113 C.E. The Hospitallars Bernard convinced King Louis VII, his wife
and the Templars were one of the few military Eleanor of Aquantine and the German em-
Dark Crusades 29
peror Conrad III to join the Second Crusade. the conflicts involving Nur ed-Din and his wid-
The Byzantine emperorer Manuel I Connenus ow Constance chose to marry the adventurous
(1143-80) made deals with the Muslims in Ana- rogue Reynold de Chatillon out of love instead
tolia, which created more distrust between the of the usual arranged marriages. This choice
Byzantines and the crusaders from Europe. proved to be disastrous politically for the King-
The crusaders after Zengis death made an dom of Jerusalem (for more details see Person-
attempt to capture Edessa from Nur ed-Din. alities of Outremer).
They failed to take the city back in 1148 C.E. In 1163 Baldwin died; without heirs, he chose
and Nur ed-Din ordered all the Christians in his brother Amalric (1163-74) as his successor.
the city to be killed. Amalric was married to Agnes of Courtenay,
On June 24th 1148 C.E. all council of the daughter of Joscelin II of Edessa. The patriarch
leaders of the crusaders states and Baldwin III of Jerusalem did not condone the marriage be-
to decide about what to do about the threat of cause of how closely they were blood related.
Nur ed-Din. He had just married the daughter So when Amalric took the throne in 1163 he
of the atabeg of Damascus; the Franks believed had the marriage annulled on the conditions
that soon he would capture the city, threaten- that his two children Baldwin and Sybylla were
ing Jerusalem. They decided to break their alli- declared legitimate.
ance with Damascus and laid siege on the city, It seemed when Amalric took the throne that
in hopes of protecting their border. Egypt was primed for invasion by the Franks,
During the siege with the largest army of cru- it was plagued by political in-fighting between
saders ever, they blundered tactically and so its viziers. Nur ed-Din sent his Kurdish general
were soundly defeated and humiliated. This Shirkuh to struggles and restore order. He grew
spelled the disastrous end of the Second Cru- to become a rival and enemy of the vizier Sha-
sade, causing Conrad to return home. war who sent to Amalric for aid. Amalric laid

THE DECAY OF THE LATIN Bernard of Clairvaux


KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM
AND THE THIRD CRUSADE
The Temptation of Egypt
After a brief power struggle between Baldwin
III (1143-63) and his mother, the co-ruler at the
time, he finally won power and decided to pour
all of his military might into conquering Asa-
calon. Asacalon held out for numerous sieges,
but eventually fell to the might of Baldwin III.
Baldwin IIIs conquest of Asacalon left Da-
mascus vulnerable for invasion by Nur ed-Din
and despite Damascuss renewed relations with
Jerusalem, the king of Jerusalem did not have
the resources to come to the aid of the atabeg
of Damascus.
King Baldwin III wanted to foster good rela-
tions with Byzantine Emperor Manuel I, so his
planned attack on Egypt would be supported.
Count Raymond of Antioch was killed during
30 Dark Crusades
siege to Shirkuhs camp and a truce was signed Egypt and Syria for himself. To legitimize his
between Nur ed-Din and Amalric on the condi- claim he married Nur ed-Dins widow, and fi-
tions that Shirkuh left Egypt. nally the Islamic world was unified. Saladin
In 1166 Nur ed-Din made his move by in- continued the jihad propaganda started by
vading Egypt and placing Alexandria under the Zengi and Nur ed-Din, his goal being to drive
control of Shirkuh. Again Shawar appealed to the crusaders back to Europe.
Amalric for help and the Franks expelled Nu
red-Dins forces from Egypt receiving 100,000
4-year Truce with Saladin
gold dinar tributes annually and establishing a In 1176 C.E. the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor
Christian protectorate over Egypt. utterly annihilated the imperial armies of the
Amalric was eager to fully seize Egypt for Byzantine Empire during the battle of Myrio-
himself; initially he was willing to wait for the cephalum. This caused an end of Byzantine
aid promised from Constantinople for this in- support in the Levant. No help was coming
vasion. He was persuaded by the religious of from Europe because of the war the Pope and
order knights the Hospitallars to make the raid Lombard League was conducting with north-
without the aid of the Byzantines. The Tem- ern Italy.
plars argued against this, stating that it would Saladin was busy consolidating his power in
another disaster like Damascus, and refused to the Islamic world, made alliances with Seljuk
help. Turk Sultan Kilij Arslan II in 1185 C.E. and lat-
In 1168 when Shawar learned of his betrayal er captured Aleppo and made an alliance with
by the Franks he turned to Nur ed-Din for aid Mosul of the Zengid dynasty. Saladin also made
promising him one third of Egypt, so Nur ed- a 4-year truce with the Franks. During this time
Din sent Shirkuh again turning back the tide of he made a friendly alliance with the Byzantine
Frankish forces. Amalrics forces were soundly Emperor, who did not have much choice given
defeated, once again losing them another ally. his difficult situation with the Turks. The Truce
allowed Saladin to further increase his power in
The Rise of Saladin Syria.
A few days after the defeat of the Christians,
Shirkuh killed Shawar and than two months
Intrigues of the Leper Kings Court
later he died. His nephew Saladin became the Baldwin IV the king of Jerusalem had con-
vizier and in 1171 C.E. eliminated all the Shiites tracted leprosy from an early age and would be
ruling Egypt, replacing the dynasty with Sunni unable to sire offspring. Many of the nobles
Abbasid Dynasty ruling from Baghdad. believed that his reign would be short. His king-
A series of failed attacks on Egypt by the al- dom was effectively run by his regent Raymond
lied crusaders and Byzantines ensued because of Tripoli. Because of the physical condition of
of lack of coordination and trust between the the king his direct interaction with people was
forces. Finally in 1174 C.E. Roger II of Sicily led fairly limited so the court had split of into two
his Normans allied with Amalric to invade Al- competing factions for power of Jerusalem.
exandria when the king died of dysentery and The first faction composed of Raymond of
effectively the siege fell apart. Tripoli and the archbishop William of Tyre,
On May 14, 1174 C.E. Nur ed-Din passed while the other faction included Agnes of
away, creating chaos and inter conflict based Courtenay (Kings mother), Reynold de Chatil-
on succession in Syria and Damascus. Sala- lon, Joseclin III of Courtenay, titular count of
din capitalized on this strife, by seizing Damas- Edessa and finally Guy of Lusignan.
cus and naming himself the rightful heir. He Sibylla the Kings sister, was enchanted by the
compromised by giving Mosul and Aleppo to young dasher noble Guy and asked for consent
the Zengid dynasty and taking control of both in marrying him, which she received. He be-
Dark Crusades 31
came guardian of the royal heir Baldwin V, and Saladin attempted to provoke the army twen-
when leprosy claimed Baldwin IVs sight he be- ty thousand men and twelve thousand armored
came the regent. knights to meet his army of thirty thousand
In 1183 C.E. Saladins army crossed the Jor- half of which consisted of light cavalry troops.
dan looking to provoke a fight with his large As per four years ago Saladin could not offer to
army. Guy summoned the crusaders together field his army for long, so he hoped to make the
to meet Saladin and kept the army out of reach crusaders come to him. Originally Guy wanted
of Saladin, knowing full well that his enemys to wait them out, Raymond of Tripoli was in
force could not sustain themselves indefinite- agreement despite Saladins forces laying siege
ly and could be waited out. After a few weeks to his fief of Tiberias. But, as fate would have
Saladin left, not being able to sustain the army it Gerard of Ridfort (grandmaster of the Tem-
long enough to wait for Guy. When Guy re- plars) convinced him that Raymond was not to
turned King Baldwin IV was enraged that Guy be trusted and that the crusaders would win the
did not engage Saladin, calling him a coward battle for sure.
and traitor. His regent status was stripped and Guy decided to march towards Saladins forc-
the King tried to annul Guys marriage to his es in the dead of summer heat in July, with few
sister which failed. water holes between his and Saladins forces.
In 1185 C.E. Baldwin IV died from his leprosy They met at the Horns of Hattin or hills lo-
and a year later his heir Baldwin V succumbed cated in the region. The crusaders were sur-
as well. A feud started between Joseclin III and rounded and exhausted from the travel; this led
Raymond of Tripoli that almost lead to open to their massacre.
warfare between the crusader lords. Raymond After the battle Guy was captured as well as
in his rage makes a formal alliance with Saladin. many Templars, Hospitallars, Gerard and Reyn-
Sibylla agrees to annul her marriage to Guy, if old de Chatillon. All the Templars and Hospi-
preparations are made to set him and his needs tallars were executed save Gerard. Reynold de
up for life. After these negotiations and the le- Chatillon had his head personally cut off by
gitimizing of her heirs, the nobles agree to let Saladin himself. The rest were ransomed and
her pick her new husband, in which she picks those that could not offer the ransom were sold
Guy and crowns him herself. into slavery. In his victory Saladin paraded the
Christian relic, the true cross, upside-down in
Battle of Hattin the streets of Damascus.
Reynold de Chatillon in 1187 C.E. began raid- Jerusalem was later conquered by Saladins
ing trade routes from Egypt and Syria, involv- forces. The Christians and Jews were allowed
ing merchants loyal to both King Guy of Lusig- to leave the city unharmed because of Balian of
nan and Saladin. The relationship between Guy Ibelins threat to burn the city and kill the Mus-
and Jerusalem deteriorated to the point where lims in it. The Christians and Jews fled as the
Reynold declared his fief of Transjordan inde- city was taken out of their hands.
pendent of laws and treaties of Jerusalem.
These incidents resulted in such seriousness The Third Crusade
that Guy demanded that Reynold pay restitu- After the fall of Jerusalem to the forces of Sala-
tion to Saladin. Reynold refused; this marked din, the newly risen Pope Gregory VIII issued
the beginning of the end for Jerusalem. This an Audita tremendi (crusading papal bull) to
provided the excuse Saladin needed to meet the launch another crusade to save Jerusalem from
crusaders in open battle and finish off the cru- the Saracens. He equated the failure to hold Je-
saders for good. Raymond of Tripoli realized rusalem with spiritual sin.
that the Franks were divided and so he decided Many influential kings and lords answered
to join them in their fight against Saladin. the call to crusade starting with Roger II of Sici-
32 Dark Crusades
ly and his bands of Normans who rescued Trip- had the right circumstances to make the siege.
oli from being captured after which Roger died, On June 7, 1192 Richards forces did capture
effectively taking the Normans out of the fight- Ascalon, putting them in a key position to take
ing. Jerusalem but they would never have the force
Frederick Barbarossa joined the crusade in of arms to hold it permanently. Richard was
April of 1189 C.E. entering through Byzan- bitterly forced to leave because of the treachery
tine lands, his progress and attempts for pas- of Phillip Augustus coming after his land.
sage were stymied by a secret deal between Despite Richards failure to retake Jerusalem,
Isaac II and Saladin. This provoked attacks his numerous victories helped reclaim many of
and repercussions from Frederick, eventual- the lost cities and territories after the dreaded
ly the Germans made it to Anatolia. On June battle of Hattin. The Third Crusade was suc-
10 the crusaders entered Christian Armenia, cessful in keeping the crusader states in a per-
where Frederick drowned on horseback trying manent presence for a while longer.
to cross the river Saleph.
Future Crusades
Feud of Guy of Lusignan and This sourcebook only covers the first three cru-
Conrad of Montferrat sades, but this is by no means the only time pe-
After the release of Guy and many of the cru- riods that are playable in Dark Crusades. Be-
sader lords in 1188 C.E., Conrad of Monferrat yond these crusades are the Childrens Crusade,
proceeded to try and take over kingship of the the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of Con-
crusader states for himself. Guy and his forces stantinople by the crusaders. Perhaps in future
marched to Tyre; he was locked out of the city expansions these additional crusades will be
by Conrad refusing to acknowledge him as king covered in more detail.
of Jerusalem.
Guy left to try and take Acre against hope- Creatures of the Mythos
less odds with a crusading fleet out of Pisa in
In this section are detailed notes and activities
1189 C.E. This ended up being a rallying call for
for mythos creatures located in or near Out-
other crusaders, and seeing this Conrad, whom
remer. These notes are intended to be a guide
was hunkered down in Tyre, was forced to join
to inspire the keepers use of these beings when
the fight in 1190 C.E. and acknowledge Guy as
running or creating his/her scenarios for Dark
king of Jerusalem. Misfortune struck that Fall
Crusades.
as Sibylla and her two daughters died, destroy-
Some of these creatures of the mythos are
ing Guys linkage to the throne. Conrad took
new; while the roles of others are being defined
the opportunity to marry Sibyllas sister Isabella
further to enrich the setting. In some cases, as
against her will to take the throne of Jerusalem.
noted some of the creature entries may be al-
Richard I (the Lionheart) King of England
tered from the Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rule-
and Phillip Augustus left for the crusade on July
book. All entries that are altered will be noted
4th, 1190 C.E. Through numerous conflicts
in the entry.
in Sicily and feuds over land acquired and the
It is always important to keep in mind that
dowry of Richards sister Joan, both kings were
these are just guidelines and suggestions, the
at odds with each other from the start.
keeper should always feel free to alter or omit
Richard overshadowed Phillip at every turn;
these entries to better suit his/her scenarios.
he became a legendary general and warrior
during the Third Crusade. He defeated Saladin Byakhee, Lesser Servitor Race
in one engagement and was never able to face There flapped rhythmically a horde of tame,
Saladin again. Richardss forces came within trained, hybrid winged thingsnot altogether
twelve miles of the walls of Jerusalem, but never
Dark Crusades 33
crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor de- seal,In size they approximated a small man,
composed human beings, but something I cannot and their fore legs bore delicate and evidently
and must not recall. flexible feet curiously like human hands and fin-
-H.P. Lovecraft The Festival. gers[They possessed] horns and the noseless-
ness and the alligator-like jaw
They oftentimes serve Hastur or in Outremer
his avatar the Veiled Mahdi. These entities do -H.P. Lovecraft, The Nameless City.
not dwell on Earth, but must be summoned by The reptile-like horned humanoids only known
sorcerers or mad mystics. They are interstellar as the Denizens of the Nameless had a powerful
mounts that can be ridden by cultists or sor- antediluvian empire that stretched across all of
cerers into space. These serve as the favored Arabia and Africa. They were masters of highly
mounts of Silats (hags) of the desert wilderness. advanced techno-sorcery beyond the limits of
mankind. Their one great fear was death. What
Dagon & Hydra, Rulers of the Deep Ones eventually led to their downfall was the discov-
In that day the Lord with his hard and great and ery of the Elixir of Immortality (See Holy Rel-
strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing ics and Mythos Artifacts: Alien Devices for
serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he more details on p. 47) this elixir has devolved
will slay the dragon that is in the sea. both their minds and bodies. The elixir has a
-The Bible, Isaiah 27:1 strong additive property to the Denizens, which
may or may not affect other species.
Deep Ones By the time the adverse side effects of the Elix-
legends have clustered for generations about ir of Immortality were discovered the majority
crumbling, half-deserted Innsmouth and its peo- of the Denizens were already under its control.
ple. There are tales of horrible bargains and Because of the potency of the Elixir many of
strange element not quite human in the ancient the Denizens under its influence have projected
families of the run-down fishing port their minds into Limbo and the Ultimate Gate,
flooding the ether with images of the Elixir
-H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep.
and the Nameless City. This has caused many
Deep Ones have a presence throughout the wa- Christian and Muslim mystics to receive visions
ters of the Mediterranean Sea, dwelling primar- of the Nameless City and the Elixir.
ily in underwater caves where their terrestrial
cults dedicate shrines to them. Throughout the DENIZENS OF THE NAMELESS CITY,
crusades periods there are numerous pirates Mad Prisoners of Immortality
and sea reavers whom pay homage to Dagon, Char. rolls averages
Mother Hydra and great Cthulhu. Some of STR 3D6 10-11
these pirates and descended from foul inter-
CON 3D6 10-11
breeding of Deep Ones and humans.
SIZ 4D6+6 18-19
Some of the various unexplored islands are
INT 2D6+6 13
homes to cannibalistic Tcho-Tcho or debased
POW 3D6+6 16
Tcho-Tcho deep one hybrids. There are a num-
DEX 3D6 10-11
ber of disturbing stories in the Thousand and
One Arabian Nights about the hostile island Move: 7 HP: 15
dwellers. Av. Damage Bonus: +0
Denizens of the Nameless City Weapons: Claws 45%, 1D6+grapple
They were of the reptile kind, with body lines sug- Bite 50%, 1D8
gesting sometimes the crocodile, sometimes the
34 Dark Crusades
Armor: Natural scaly hide gives it a value of 5. the Ishtar Gate (See Children of Ishtar: Mythos
Due to the natural physiology of these creatures Cults section for details p.40).
attacks that would impale only do normal dam- Some of the Mi-go outposts in the major cit-
age. ies like Antioch, Cairo and Damascus, to name
Spells: Each Denizen has chance INT x2 per- a few, have taken to manipulating practicing
centage chance to know a 1D4 spells. Alchemists into searching for the philoso-
phers stone. This rare alchemical material is
Sanity Loss: 0/1D6 Sanity points for anyone believed by them to possess the properties of
seeing a Denizen of the Nameless City. transmuting lead into gold. The true reason
Ghouls, Lesser Servitor Race for the quest is quite different. The Mi-go are
looking for a rare mineral from the lost conti-
I was struck with astonishment and horror to nent of Mu. Through alchemical divinations
see my wife with this ghoul. They dug up a dead and sorcery the lost secrets of Mu will be re-
body which had been buried that day, and the vealed along with the elusive mineral. Once
ghoul cut off pieces of the flesh, which they ate this alchemical breakthrough is made the un-
together by the grave-sidethe remembrance of fortunate alchemists brain will be removed and
which still makes me shudder. placed, still living, into a metal tube. In this de-
-The Story of Syed Naomaun from Arabian Nights. vice it will reveal the location of this lost min-
Throughout Outremer and the Levant the oc- eral and the means of finding it.
currence of Ghouls at grave sites and as car- Old Ones
rion eaters after great battles is not uncom-
mon. Deeply hidden underground there exists When the smoke was all out of the vessel, it re-
a city of ghouls called Ghulistan. Deep within united and became a solid body, of which was
a hidden vault in the city rests the infamous formed a genie twice as high as the greatest of gi-
Mythos artifact the Black Ark. These ghouls ants.
are rumored not to serve any of the Mythos -Tale of Fisherman from Thousand
gods, but instead they are allied with the ghoul and One Arabian Nights.
king which some believe is the mysterious Gil- These ancient beings manifest as the Jinn of the
gamesh. Koran and the folklore of the Arabian Nights.
Mi-Go, the fungi from Yuggoth The Jinn have been imprisoned inside differ-
ent vessels and containers by Solomon for their
But though that voice is always in my ears, I have disobedience to him by a group known as the
not even yet been able to analyse it well enough Shayatin lead by Iblis.
for a graphic description. It was like the drone Many of these vessels have been long buried
of some loathsome, gigantic insect ponderously in the sands or in the sea waiting for countless
shaped into the articulate speech of an alien spe- years to be found. Some of these beings have
cies been known to help their rescuers by granting
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness. them a boon of three wishes. It must be noted
For many hundreds of years the blasphemous that these wishes often take the forms of pow-
Children of Ishtar cult dedicated to the goddess erful delusions and illusions that can lead to the
Ishtar (an avatar of Shub-Niggurath) has been misfortune of mortals.
working loosely with a Mi-go outpost under- Another form of the Old Ones commonly
neath the Dead Sea. The Children enslave peo- encountered in Outremer and the surround-
ple to mine precious ores for the Mi-go. In ex- ing regions is that of an angel. Many Old Ones
change the Mi-go assists the cultists in opening will take this form during fierce battles guiding
or deluding the witnesses with celestial visions.
Dark Crusades 35
The motivations and arcane designs of the Old Spells: those of INT 14 or more know 1D3
Ones varied depending on the form they decid- spells of the keepers choice; those who knew
ed to adopt. For detailed statistical information spells in life retain that knowledge as rat-things.
see Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook. Skills: Dodge 95%, Hide 80%, Sneak 65%
Rat-Thing, Lesser Servitor Race Sanity Loss: 0/1D6 sanity points to see a rat-
On departing [the Devil] delivers to her [the thing; if the rat-thing was known to the observ-
witch] an imp or familiar. The familiar, in shape er in life, however, it costs 1/1D8 Sanity points
of a cat, a mole, miller-fly, or some other insect or to see it.
animal Shedu, Bulls of Heaven
-Groses Antiquities in Brands Popular
Greater Independent Servitor Race
Antiquities of Great Britain.
When they reached the gates of Uruk the Bull
Despite the name of rat-thing, these twisted
went to the river; with his first snort cracks
familiars can take the forms of various ani-
opened in the earth and a hundred young men
mal-like shapes like cats, rats, moles, flies and
fell down to death.
frogs. No matter the base form, these hideous
creatures have malevolent features of distorted -The Epic of Gilgamesh, excerpt from
human faces and paws or feelers replaced with an encounter with the Bull of Heaven.
human fingers. The stellar race of Shedu originally hailed from
These unnatural creatures are created by the the star of Aldebaran. They were but banished
black sorcery of a witch or necromancer per- by the usurpers of the Veiled Mahdi (Hastur)
formed on a cultist or follower. In some cases and legion of traitor Jinn called Shayatin lead
those that were transformed are unwilling sub- by Iblis. They fought valiantly with the two
jects or desecrated dead bodies. arch-sorcerers Gilgamesh and Solomon who
These fiends usually attack from the ceiling led their own army of Jinn.
or some hiding place, making a biting attack The Veiled Madhi and his army of traitorous
and clinging on to their victims. Tearing one off Jinn and Byakhee overthrew the Shedu and the
causes 1d3 hit points of damage. existing monarch of Aldebaran. Hidden with-
in the maddening play The King in Yellow is the
RAT-THINGS, Scuttling Spies and Mockers story of how the Shedu were defeated by the
Char. rolls averages spirit of truth. This hidden truth is a seminal
STR 1D3 2 part of the doctrine of many a Sufi mystic and
CON 2D6 7 dervish.
SIZ 1 1 The Shedu are exiled from their homeworld
INT 3D6 10-11 and now dwell on Earth. After their defeat they
POW 2D6 7 were tasked by Solomon and Gilgamesh to
DEX 4D6+4 20
guard the prisons of many of the fallen Shaya-
tin captured during the revolt. Various vessels
Move: 9 HP 4
are buried throughout the Levant. These ves-
Av. Damage Bonus: -1D6 sels have been sealed with the Elder Sign (Sol-
Weapon: Bite 35%, damage 1d3 omons Seal) to prevent the escape of the Jinn
whom dwell within.
Armor: none, but subtract 40 percentiles from
Exile has been difficult on the Shedu; many
the chance to hit a running rat-thing, and sub-
have shunned and eschewed contact with hu-
tract 20 percentiles from the chance to one at-
mans for thousands of years. These silent stoic
tached to somebody.
guardians continue to guard the Jinn and other
36 Dark Crusades
forbidden treasures inside the ruins of ancient remote isles mentioned by Sinbad in Arabian
Mesopotamia. Nights.
During the conquests of the Selquk Turks,
Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, Satraps of the Sleeper there where attempts made by the now civi-
lized rulers to eliminate the savage practices
The various myths about dragons have evolved
of the nomads. This censure of their macabre
from sights of these horrid minions of great
ways forced the Tcho-Tcho in more urban ar-
Cthulhu. Some of the most infamous dragons
eas to practice underground.
from Sumerian legend were Star-Spawn; Tia-
mat and Azi Dahaka of Zoroastrian myth. The Statistics:
tale of Saint George slaying the dragon stems Use the same statistics for humans, except that
back to an episode when an enlightened war- the adults have 0 Sanity points, the children
rior with knowledge of the mythos slew a star- have half the normal amount and a Tcho-Tcho
spawn and dispersed a massive cult of Cthulhu cultist has a chance to known a 1D3 spells at
located in the Levant hundreds of years ago. 2x INT score. Usually the Curse of Chaugnar
During the many battles of the Crusades, there Faugn is one of the spells, other can be chosen
are periodic sightings of St. George fighting at the keepers discretion.
alongside the Franks.
It is rumored that deep within the Indian Gods of the Mythos
Ocean lies Rlyeth and that the biblical monster In Outremer and around the Levant many of
Leviathan is none other than Great Old One the gods of the Mythos have taken different
Cthulhu. Some cultists believe that Leviathan forms with various avatars. Some of the gods
is not Cthulhu, but rather a monstrous minion in the Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook have
of Cthulhu trapped inside Rlyeth waiting to be different avatars in the setting or in some cases
freed. have more than one avatar functioning at one
Tcho-Tchos time in the case of outer god Nyarlathotep. He
has the avatars of Loki in Europe, the Black
The Banu Ubayy are an Arab clan from the Pharaoh in Egypt and the Dark Legate with the
tribe of Tayy. They only eat carrion crusaders in Outremer. Most of the other dei-
-Usama ibn Munqidh his reflection ties only possess one avatar functioning at any
upon meeting one particular Bedouin tribe. An one time.
excerpt from the Book of Contemplation 1188
Tawil atUmr
C.E.
They were surprised to see me, but more so at
This foul and degenerate species of human hails
hearing the particulars of my adventures. You
originally from the Tsang Plateau around Tibet.
fell, said they, into the hands of the old man of
The Tcho-Tcho peoples have migrated and in-
the sea, and are the first who ever escaped stran-
termingled with various fierce peoples of the
gling
steppe of central Asia. Many of the disturbed
degenerate nomads had already taken to the -The Fifth Voyage of Sinbad from
worship the Great Old One Chaugnar Faugn. Arabian Nights.
Some of these corrupted nomadic tribes In the Levant this avatar is sometimes known
merged and migrated with the Selquk Turks as The Old Man of the Sea as mentioned by
invading the Byzantine Empire. This led to Sinbad in one of his voyages. His presence here
the genesis of the Brotherhood of Blood. Dur- guarding the portal of the Ultimate Gate is be-
ing this mass Diaspora from central Asia, the lieved by some worshippers to be the Ishtar
Tcho-Tcho began spreading into Anatolia, Syr- Gate. If this proves true, a conflict with the
ia and into surrounding wilderness, even some Children of Ishtar cult could be coming.
Dark Crusades 37
Another guise that is taken by Tawil at Umr
is that of the mythical Prestor John. He resides The Role of the Elder Gods?
deep within a mythical land of dragons and Detailed information and statistics for
mystical beasts. There have been letters from these beings can be found in the Call of
the Crusaders to John. Prestor John has re- Cthulhu core rule book. Some keepers do
sponded to these inquiries as well. What maca- not find these more benevolent deities
bre motivations this avatar of Yog-Sothoth has appropriate for their personal games and
in mind is anybodys guess. have decided to omit them. If keepers are
interested in including them, the goddess
Dark Legate Bast would be well suited for games based
AVATAR OF NYARLATHOTEP in or around Egypt.
Some demons, in fact, intend only to play pranks,
while others have mind in mind acts of cruelty zier dressed in silks. Physically his face is pale
that usually lead to injury. and his skin is drawn tightly drawn across his
skull with deep set black eyes. Whenever mor-
-Monodoies and On the Relics of Saints
tals look upon him they only see a command-
by Guibert of Nogent (French monk who lived
ing beguiling visage of their own race (Frank or
during the Crusades).
Saracen) staring back at them.
The Dark Legate is a manipulative Machiavel-
CULT: The Dark Legate has a false church of
lian schemer avatar of Nyarlathotep. He is one
duped clergymen based in France that have led
of the principal architects of the various cru-
and engineered the Crusades. These deceived
sades into Jerusalem. The Dark Legate seeks
clergymen have convinced Pope Urban II to call
vengeance against Holy Sons of Solomon and
the First Crusade at Clermont. Many of these
the secret societies responsible for destroying
clergymen whom serve the Dark Legate have
the Mythos shrines in the Kaba during the
taken on leadership positions in other cults, like
smashing of the idols at the birth of Islam.
the Pilgrims of Oblivion to help lead the cru-
Along with his vengeance at the mortals, the
saders into following the mad schemes of the
Dark Legate seeks to free Demogorgon from
Dark Legate.
his prison in the Black Ark hidden deep in the
holy land. If Demogorgon is freed thousands ATTACKS & SPECIAL EFFECTS: The Dark
of mortals will go mad, adding to the perverse Legate avatar seeks to manipulate and corrupt
joy of Nyarlathotep. humanity through deception and trickery. The
The chaos and slaughter of the various cru- Dark Legate will only use supernatural pow-
sades have enhanced and prepped the way for ers or spells when necessary to accomplish its
the bending of reality and the entrance of the schemes which usually serve to bring about
Outer Gods and their servants into the realm of mass madness to humanity.
Earth. Numerous agents of the Dark Legate are Communal Visions: If the Dark Legate spends
scattered throughout both Saracen and Frank up to 15 POW, he can induce a mass communal
camps causing political turmoil and madness vision in a group of people up to 5,000 in num-
within the ranks of both cultural groups. ber. All those subject to the mass vision must
Some rumors persist that the Dark Legate make opposed POW roll vs. POW 100 on the
was responsible for the leprosy of Baldwin IV. resistance table or experience a horrific vision
The multiple scheming factions of the Leper of the Legates choosing. This causes a SAN loss
kings court add some credence to this theory. of 1D10 if the resistance POW roll is failed. Be-
When encountered the Legate appears cause of the Legates master plan regarding the
dressed either as a regally dressed papal leg- crusades most visions tend to be religious in
ate with gold chain of office or a Saracen vi- nature foretelling the guiding of saints and an-
38 Dark Crusades
gels or eventual apocalypse if a certain course like and covered with blasphemous names and
of action is not followed. runes from the outer gulfs of space. This hor-
rific entity is presently bound in the Black Ark
NYARLATHOTEP, the Dark Legate hidden away in the underground city of ghouls
Char. Score called Ghulistan.
STR 12 This Black Ark is being looked for by mul-
CON 19
tiple cults for different designs and purposes.
SIZ 11
The Holy Sons of Solomon seek to find it and
keep it safe and away from any who would seek
INT 86
to free Demogorgon. The Pilgrims of Oblivion
POW 100
seek to release their master Demogorgon. The
DEX 19
Templars members of the inner circle seek to
APP 18
find the ark and destroy it along with the Outer
HP 15
God who dwells within.
Move 12
Db +0
CULT: The Pilgrims of Oblivion is the biggest
cult dedicated to Demogorgon in and around
Weapons: Any Weapons 100%, damage as per the Outremer. Numerous cults have emerged
weapon. and they vanished serving Demogorgon
Armor: None, but if brought to 0 hit points, throughout the ages as early as the millenarian
he collapses on the ground spasms into a mon- prophecies of Daniel a patriarch of the Old Tes-
strous tentacle filled flailing mass and disinte- tament.
grates causing a SAN 1/1D6. CHARACTERISTICS: The mere presence of
Spells: The Dark Legate knows all Mythos Demogorgon on the mortal plane causes earth-
spells in Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook, quakes, plagues and natural disasters of bibli-
as well this one and other sourcebooks. He can cal proportions. Mass hysteria and floods will
summon any Mythos creature at the cost of 1 ensure the longer Demogorgon is present on
magic point per his POW score. Earth.
Sanity Loss: No San loss for seeing the form ATTACKS & SPECIAL EFFECTS: Obstacles
of the Dark Legate, but if witnessing any of his and physical barriers of any kind cannot pre-
other forms 1D10/1D100. vent Demogorgon from attacking his prey, at
best with the keepers discretion some large ob-
Demogorgon, The Beast_______________ jects like buildings might slow him down.
OUTER GOD
DEMOGORGON, The Beast of Revelation
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten
horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its STR 220 CON 180 SIZ 77 INT 18
horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And POW 70 DEX 21 Move 18 Hp 185
the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet
were like a bears, and its mouth was like a lions Weapons: Claws and Bite 100%, These attacks
mouthand the whole earth marveled as they cause a 1D100+db for each attack for up to
followed the beast. three attacks.
-Book of Revelation 13:1-3 Armor: The tough otherworldly hide provides
a Armor value of 10. Due to the unnatural
Demogorgon or The Beast of Revelation ap-
power of Demogorgon he cannot be hurt by
pears as a horrid seven-headed amalgamation
natural weapons. Only enchanted or magical
of multiple animals including a leopard and
weapons can harm Demogorgon.
possessing feet like a bear. His mouths are lion-
Dark Crusades 39
Some of the vocal and exuberant dervishes
Spells: Demogorgon does not prefer to use offer to perform the mystical play The King in
spells, but can make use of the Riders of Apoca- Yellow to audiences who care to watch. These
lypse spell at will. The Beast prefers physical troupes believe that they are sharing existential
confrontations; it knows 10 other spells at the knowledge to those ignorant of the divine mys-
keepers discretion. teries.
The Veiled Mahdi seeks to corrupt and sub-
Sanity Loss: 1D10/1D100 Sanity Loss to see vert the spiritual, temporal and existential or-
Demogorgon. der of things. Through cacophonous music
Ishtar and ecstatic trance states, the Madhi leads his
throngs of mad mystics.
AVATAR OF SHUB-NIGGURATH Currently this Hasturian avatar seeks to reach
And this, I learned, was the never ending flight of a more diverse audience for its dirges of despair.
those who sinned in the flesh, the carnal and lusty It is believed by some that a troupe of dervishes
who betrayed reason to their appetite. of the Yellow Sign have infiltrated some of the
Canto V stanza 37-39, Dantes Inferno royal courts in Outremer. If this is the case it is
only a matter of time before the Franks witness
This malignant avatar manifests as gigantic the truth about their existence.
whirlwind composed of an intermingled amal- The physical manifestation of this avatar ap-
gamation of various grotesque people em- pears as a seven foot tall slender humanoid in
bracing carnally. Ishtar emits a cacophony of a heavily jeweled embroidered dark robe. All
misplaced and lusting voices and echoes from of the dervishs features are concealed by an or-
within the wind column. nate black patterned veil except for two glowing
At the epicenter of this etheric whirlwind is green eyes. The mystical dancer is perpetual-
spinning mass of the most infamous betray- ly shrouded by intoxicating and hallucinogenic
ers who fell prey to their animal lusts. For full multi colored fumes.
game statistics see Call of Cthulhu core rule- If anyone viewing the Veiled Madhi sees un-
book. If any investigator is unlucky to encoun- derneath his robes, they behold true terror. Be-
ter this avatar they need to seriously rethink neath these robes hides a rubbery green-gray
their investigation. collection of twisted and mutated fetuses gnaw-
Veiled Mahdi ing at each other in the shape of a torso. For a
head it has a mass of tentacles, two of which
AVATAR OF HASTUR have a ghastly glowing green orb at their end.
Hallaj met Junayd one day, and said to him, I In place of two legs it has ethereal vapor start-
am the Truth. No, Junayd answered him, it is ing at the torso. Where its arms should be are
by means of the Truth that you are! What gibbet two crustacean-like pincers.
will you stain with your blood! CULT: Many of the Veiled Madhis cults con-
-Al-Hallajs famous declaration of being God sist of degenerate outcast Sufi mystics and der-
by the Sufi mystic. He was later executed in vishes. These ascetics can be found in the more
Baghdad in 922 C.E. for heresy. populous cities throughout Outremer as well
Hasturs avatar the Veiled Mahdi is a great de- as wilderness areas. The most successful of the
ceiver and thespian of madness. Many dervishes numerous small cults is the Dervishes of the
and heterodox Sufi mystics venerate the Veiled Yellow Sign.
Mahdi. The Mahdi promises spiritual secrets CHARACTERISTICS: The manifestation of
and esoteric wisdom about the nature of reality. the Veiled Mahdi leads to a myriad of visions
experienced by soothsayers and oracles. The
40 Dark Crusades
Madhi is not an aggressive and destruction en- Grand Priors, Political Emissaries, Associates
tity, it prefers to manipulate and use the masses in Training, Law Brothers and finally the Com-
for its own incomprehensible ends. mon Peoples.
ATTACKS & SPECIAL EFFECTS: The Veiled Estimated Membership: Perhaps thousands;
Mahdi can entrance anyone who watches in it is unknown but their sphere of influence was
mystical otherworldly whirling dance. The ca- very wide.
cophonous melodies and discordant music is Holdings and Interests: Their headquarters
soul shattering and hypnotic at the same time. are located in a mountain fortress called Al-
The viewer witness the thin veil of reality being amut Eagles Nest near Aleppo established
rent apart revealing the Outer Spheres and the in 1090 C.E. Alamut is not the only holding,
Dreamlands. This event puts the viewers in a there-are numerous fortress and castles located
trance-like state unless than can resist the Mad- throughout Syria.
his POW of 112 vs. POW on the resistance table
if they fail they are in trance for 1D10 rounds. Known History: The Assassins were found-
After which they must make a SAN 3/3D6 roll. ed by Hasan Saba of Khorasan. He went to
school with the famous poet Omar Khayyam
HASTUR, THE VEILED MAHDI and Nizam ul Mulk (who became Grand Vi-
For additional game statistics please see Call of zier of the Seljuk Sultan). Hasan was politically
Cthulhu core rulebook. It is felt that additional powerful and well educated, he got into politi-
statistics would not be necessary, given the dan- cal trouble about his heterodoxical beliefs and
gers posed by encountering a god. eventually fled Cairo and made mountain for-
tress Alamut his home.
Mythos Cults Hasan, called The Old Man of the Moun-
tain recruited peoples from all over the Levant
This section details the various cults and secret to join his new quasi-religious order called the
societies throughout Outremer and the Levant. Nazaris. The Assassins are known to be on rel-
All of these organizations have knowledge of or atively good terms with the Templars and do
dealings with the Mythos. not have any political allegiance with either the
ASSASSINS (NAZARIS) Saracen or Frankish rulers. There are numer-
ous attempts on Saladins life as well as assassi-
When the Ismailis made an attempt on the cita- nations of Frankish nobles conducted by them.
del of Shayzar, one of our comrades called Ham-
mam the Pilgrim encountered one of the Ismailis Indoctrination: Initiates were brought to Al-
in a porticoThe Ismailis had a knife in his amut, drugged then they would proceed into
hand and Hammam had a swordHammam a beautiful garden with maidens and told that
struck him He cut through the top of his skull they were in paradise. They would be told that
and his brains fell out. this awaited them if they obeyed the instruc-
tions of the grand master, then the initiates
-Usama Ibn Munqih, excerpt from the Book of would be returned to their chambers when the
Contemplation. Occurred in 1114 A.D. drugs wore off. The process inspires fanatical
Aliases: Hashishim (users of hashish), Ismailis, loyalty in the new initiates.
Nazaris, Twelvers Doctrine/Dogma: The vast majority of this
Organization Type: A quasi-religious cult of cult believes that they are serving the divine will
killers contracted out by the grand master. Nu- of Allah. All members of the upper echelon of
merous spies and cultists make up the ranks power realize the truth of the secret doctrine.
of the organization. The ranks starting from Nothing is true and all is allowed, meaning
the top down are: Old Man of the Mountain, that the religious dogma is a tool used to con-
Dark Crusades 41
trol their followers. Many of the highest mem- minated by ghastly pale moon light was a throng
bers are atheists and nihilists seeking secular of men and women robed in blood drenched hides
power. of their fellow men. Even the shock of beholding
Unconfirmed Rumors: this diabolic ceremony could not steel me from the
abject horror of the chanting. It was a vile choir
The Assassins seek the fabled Letter of Heav- of inhuman tones and sounds that harkened back
en carried by Peter the Hermit to allow them to a primordial darkness before the dawn of man.
to build an empire.
-Excerpt from the Journal of Jean Carter
The order has been employed by Pilgrims of circa 1145 C.E.
Oblivion to kill off the grandmaster of the Holy
Sons of Solomon. Aliases: Blood drinkers, Slayers of the Elephant
Demon.
SECRET HISTORY Organization Type: Loose cluster of Tribes
During the founding of the Assassins by Hasan, from the Steppe. The majority of the cult is
he was hunted and persecuted by his use of composed of Seljuk Turks, a very small percent-
forbidden sorcery and Mythos magic. The age of its members are East Indians from In-
Holy Sons of Solomon revealed this to the reli- dia. Many of the powerful Seljuk dynasties are
gious authorities in Cairo, who tried to execute members of or serve this cult.
Hasan and his followers. Hasan and his follow-
Estimated Membership: It is believed to be
ers fled, lead by Nyarlathoteps avatar, the Black
about 600 members strong, but the numbers
Pharaoh. Hasan is deeply indebted to the Black
of new initiates among the Bedouin is on the
Pharaoh for saving his life, but still seeks em-
rise. The rest of the cult consists of numerous
ployment with whoever will pay him the most,
degenerate Tcho-Tcho followers of Chaugnar
unless the employers plans directly counter the
faugn.
schemes of the Black Pharaoh.
Hasan has recently broken a truce with the Holdings and Interests: The Brotherhood is
cult of the Knights Templar; he suspects their primarily based in Anatolia near the Byzantine
true knowledge of the Mythos and their moti- Empire. The cities of Mosul and Aleppo have
vations to fight it. Hasan has taken great pains some highly placed members of this cult locat-
to hide his associations with the Mythos and ed to the south. Many of the holdings are forts
continues to play a dangerous game of duplic- or mobile camps that can move at a moments
ity and feigned ignorance. notice.
Tomes in the Possession of the Assassins: Known History: Much of the Brotherhood of
Hieron Aigypton, Rasul al-Albarin. Bloods history is not well known. It is believed
that the cult migrated with the initial invasions
Current Goals and Projects: The Assassins
of the Seljuk Turks out of the Eurasian Steppe.
seek to eliminate their main rival the Holy Sons
Many scholars believe that this cult originated
of Solomon. Hasan has not forgotten being
in the Steppe. It is an aggressive martial cult
expelled for his heterodoxy from Cairo and he
associated with extreme bloodletting and sac-
seeks vengeance against the religious leaders re-
rifice. During the establishment of the Seljuk
sponsible. Hasan also seeks to see the influence
dynasties there were attempts by the Sultans
of the his secret master the Black Pharaoh grow
themselves to curb the more barbaric and un-
throughout the Levant and Outremer.
Islamic practices that many of their followers
Brotherhood of Blood (Daem Al Ukhuwwa) still practiced. This forced the cult to be prac-
ticed in secret societies based on warrior lodges.
Upon a blasted cairn of a hill, I beheld a profane
blasphemous ritual of unimaginable horror. Illu-
42 Dark Crusades
Indoctrination: A warrior is selected by one the Byzantine Empire. By the time of the reign
of the Blood Chiefs (leaders of the lodges) and of Alexius I anti-counter Mythos pogroms were
he or she is taken to a secret location and par- in effect throughout the Empire. It made it im-
ticipates in a ritual sacrifice to Chaugnar faugn possible for the Holy Sons of Solomon to find
and some of his/her blood is drained by the out about the Brotherhood of Blood until the
Great Old One. Seljuk invasions.
Doctrine/Dogma: The Brotherhood of Blood Tomes in the Possession of the Brotherhood:
believes the world was made to be dominated Scriptures Al-Daem, Pnakotica.
by warriors and should not be ruled by the Current Goals and Projects: The Brother-
martially weak. They believe with arrival of the hood seeks to replace all of the Sultans and rul-
white acolyte that Chaugnar faugn will rule ers throughout Outremer and the Levant with
all of the Levant and Outremer. The way to ex- members of the Brotherhood. Many members
pedite eventual kingship of this Great Old One of their order are in high positions of power
is to make mass sacrifices to Chaugnar faugn. and are well placed to make a move when the
Unconfirmed Rumors moment is right.
The Brotherhood believes that Saladin is the Children of Ishtar (Atfaal Al Ishtar)
White Acolyte that they seek and they are Which of your lovers did you ever love forever ? ...
gathering an army for him to take the Kingdom There was Tammuz , the lover of youth, for him
of Jerusalem. you decried wailing, year after year. You loved
The Brotherhood has awakened all the Broth- the many coloured-roller, but still struck him and
ers of Chaugnar faugn and seeks one final sac- broke his wing he sits and cries
rifice to summon Chaugnar faugn to the mor- -Gilgamesh telling the goddess Ishtar the fates
tal realm. They need to find the tusks of the of her previous lovers. The Epic of Gilgamesh
albino elephant. circa 3000 B.C.E.
SECRET HISTORY Aliases: Whores of Babylon, Temple Prostitutes.
This blasphemous bloodthirsty cult actually Organization Type: Priesthood based on the
originates from the Tsang Plateau in Central worship of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar (an
Asia. The nomads of this region migrated to avatar of Shub Niggerauth).
India and invaded the northwestern portion of
Estimated Membership: 500 to 1000 members
India by Mohammed of Ghazi in the 11th cen-
living in ruined temples or ancient hill tops or
tury A.D. It spread into Anatolia and the Levant.
caves in the desert.
The Brotherhood of Blood took quickly to the
martial pride of the warriors of the Eurasian Holdings and Interests: One of the largest
Steppe; it spread like a plague among many of concentrations of the Children of Ishtar is lo-
the tribes. cated in Tel al Ghul (a mound near Baghdad).
The weakening of the Byzantine Empire This was the ancient city of Babylon. Other key
helped with the further expansion of the cult. locations near the Dead Sea.
The few individuals with knowledge of the Known History: The origin of the Children of
Mythos within the empire were treacherously Ishtar is shrouded in antiquity, perhaps as early
killed off by the Dark Legate (avatar of Nyar- as Neolithic settlements in the Fertile Cres-
lothotep) and the last remnants eliminated in cent. The rise of the priesthood of Ishtar can
the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 A.D. The Dark be traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern day
Legate through political acumen and manipu- Iraq).
lations groomed pro-Mythos sentiment with
Dark Crusades 43
During the fall of the Babylonian empire it gamesh (some whispers say that he is descend-
was thought that the priestesses of Ishtar were ed from a Great Old One).
all hunted down and destroyed. After the rise Gilgamesh went on to found the cabal of sor-
of Islam many holy places were destroyed in- cerers known as the Holy Sons of Solomon and
cluding a sacred shrine located inside the Kaba nominated Solomon as their leader. To this day
in Mecca during the destroying of the idols the Children of Ishtar and Holy Sons of Solo-
which marked the birth of Islam. mon are bitter enemies who will never cooper-
Many of the Children of Ishtar have gone into ate or work with each other under any circum-
hiding in ruins of old Babylonian city-states or stances.
small hidden shrines within Baghdad, Damas- Tomes in the Children of Ishtars Possession:
cus and some have penetrated into Jerusalem. Gate of Ishtar, Sapientia Maglorum, The Black
Indoctrination: Many of the cultists are born Tome, Tupsimati.
into families of priestesses whom have been Current Goals and Projects: The main goal of
practicing its tradition of many generations. the Children is to open the Gate of Ishtar again.
Some members of the cult are kidnapped and They are hoping to manipulate the rulers of the
brainwashed into joining the cult as well. Muslim world and or Outremer to do it.
Doctrine/Dogma: The Children believe in
performing debaucheries and obscene rituals Holy Sons of Solomon
in order to open the Ishtar Gate and let in their (AL GHAZI IBN SULEIMAN)
sensual goddess, who will heighten their earthly To Solomon We subdued the wind, travelling a
pleasures and take them to her realm. Members months journey morning and evening. We gave
of the Children do not care who they harm or him a spring flowing with molten brass, and jinn
what lives they destroy in pursuit of their goals. who served him by leave of his Lord.
Unconfirmed Rumors -Koran 34:12
The Children have captured many of the lead- Aliases: Magus of Armageddon, Cabal of the
ers from the Holy Sons of Solomon cult. They Elder Sign.
have taken their brains and put them in Mi-go Organization Type: Cabal or conclave of sor-
brain jars. Soon they will have the formula to cerers. Ranks based on esoteric practices and
unlock the Ishtar Gate and free their goddess. lineage of Solomon.
The Children of Ishtar have the ear of the King Estimated Membership: Membership ranges
of Jerusalem and wield much political power in in the thousands, sorcerers populated higher
the Latin kingdom levels in hierarchy. Members come from all re-
ligious backgrounds and ethnicities, including
SECRET HISTORY
Franks and Saracens.
During the founding of the cult in ancient
Holdings and Interests: Currently they are
Babylon a powerful priestess named Eshkamira
based in Egypt. The Holy Sons have various
allowed Sub Niggerauth (Ishtar) to possess her
holdings and madreshas scattered throughout
giving her the power to open a permanent gate
the Levant.
into the realm of the daemon-sultan Azathoth.
During the turmoil and pandemonium a sect Known History: It is commonly believed that
of sorcerers dedicated to Gilgamesh performed King Solomon of the ancient Israelites was the
a magical ritual to seal the gate permanently. founder of this cabalistic order. Under the lead-
This ritual was so taxing that it took the sacri- ership of Solomon the orders seat of power was
fice of all forty sorcerers, save their leader Gil- in Jerusalem located in the Temple of Solomon.
44 Dark Crusades
SECRET HISTORY
What Happened to Gilgamesh?
This order was founded by King Gilgamesh of
After picking Solomon as his successor
Uruk. He gathered a cabal of sorcerers to seal
and revealing the magical ritual which
the troublesome Gate of Ishtar that was opened
would destroy the Ishtar Gate, Gilgamesh
by the priesthood of Ishtar. During the sealing
disappeared. He was on the verge of pure
of the gate all of the sorcerers were sacrificed
madness, his mind was nearly shattered
except Gilgamesh.
by the various realms he visited between
It is rumored that Gilgamesh is a descendant
the spaces of reality. Where is Gilgamesh?
of one of the Great Old Ones, possessing two-
Nobody knows for certain, given his
thirds of their blood in his veins. Gilgamesh
damaged state of mind and his power
feared that the Ishtar Gate would not remain
as a legendary sorcerer descendant of
permanently sealed so he travelled into the
the Great Old Ones; most hope he never
Dreamlands and the outer gulfs of space look-
comes back.
ing for a solution.
When he returned to the world over a thou-
During the rise of Islam, Jerusalem fell out of sand years had passed. Gilgamesh possessed
Christian hands and was seized by the Muslims. many terrible and vile esoteric bits of lore. His
Solomons order was expelled out of the Tem- other worldly mind was being to fragment and
ple and fled to Egypt, making their new home drift; in desperation Gilgamesh sought out a
in the city of Alexandria. It is believed by some worthy successor to share his solution with.
that an internal quarrel lead to expelling of the Finally, after many long years of searching he
Sons from the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. found Solomon, the wise king of the Hebrews.
Indoctrination: Many of the highest ranking Solomon possessed an uncanny mastery over
members of the cabal are related to the blood- occult and metaphysical arts. Solomon decid-
line of Solomon. These are descendents of Sol- ed to found a cabal of sorcerers to fight the
omon and the Queen of Sheba. Membership Children of Ishtar and the many other degen-
inside the cabal does not require relationship to erate followers of the Mythos. Once this ca-
Solomon; in fact this organization is multi-cul- bal was founded he gathered a conclave around
tural in its makeup, including many Muslims, the Gate of Ishtar seeking to use arcane ritual
Christians and Jews. The goal of fighting the taught to him by Gilgamesh.
Mythos transcends cultural bigotry. Before the ritual could be completed the con-
clave was ambushed by their archenemies, the
Dogma/Doctrine: The Holy Sons seek to use Children of Ishtar. Unfortunately, Solomon
Mythos artifacts to prevent the opening of the was killed in the struggle. The Sorcerer Absa-
Ishtar Gate and to defeat the followers the Great lom Payens struck off the head of Solomon so
Old Ones. (This oftentimes puts them at odd that his brain could not removed by the Chil-
with the Templars who seek to destroy Mythos drens Mi-go allies; thus not compromising the
artifacts). enchantments holding the gate closed. Hun-
Unconfirmed Rumors: dreds of years later Hugh de Payens would find
The head of the order seeks out a silver key a box with the Mummified Head of Solomon
possessed by a crusader with the family name (see Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts p. 47
of Carter. for details) and instructions on how to use it to
fight the Mythos.
There is a feud between the Templars and the
Holy Sons over the Mummified Head of Solo- Tomes in the Possession of the Holy Sons: Al-
mon. Azif, Black Rites, Book of Black Kabalah, Cabal
of Saboth, Key of Solomon, Tupsimati.
Dark Crusades 45
Current Goals and Projects: They are seeking Magnus, the cult went through a transforma-
out potential allies in their struggle against the tion.
Children. A tertiary albeit an important goal is Its members changed their dogma and creed
to find out where Gilgamesh has disappeared to further bring about the end times written in
to and determine whether or not he needs to be the Book of Revelation. They have a reputation
destroyed. for being unruly agitators filled with fanatical
zeal and brutal violence; it is said that the Peas-
ants Crusade led by Peter the Hermit degene
Pilgrims of Oblivion ated and fell apart because of the Pilgrims of
[Answering the call for crusade] raised up also Oblivion.
false prophets and mixed false brethren and de- Indoctrination: All members are secretly sworn
graded women among the Lords host under the in by making blood oaths to the Outer God De-
appearance of religion. mogorgon by forsaking their former religion.
-Fulk of Chatres, A commentary on the First The vast majority of recruits are Franks who
Crusade. were former Christians. A few former Muslims
and Eastern Christians have joined their ranks
Aliases: Flagellants of the Beast and Harbingers over the years.
of Doom.
Doctrine/Dogma: These fanatics seek to bring
Organization Type: A priest organized as a about the Apocalypse. They belief if enough
dark analog of the Catholic Church. The hier- bloodletting and sacrifice is made to Demogor-
archy contains various titles for priests, preach- gon that he will be released from the Pit and the
ers and saints. Apocalypse will begin.
Estimated Membership: About 300 scattered Unconfirmed Rumors
throughout the masses of pilgrims who took up
the cross and throughout Outremer. The Pilgrims seek the Black Ark a mythos
artifact that will bring about the Apocalypse.
Holdings and Interests: Their two primary
bases of power are located in the city of Edessa The Pilgrims have cursed King Baldwin IV
and Jerusalem. In Jerusalem their headquarters with leprosy and are seeking to take control of
is an old ruined Zoroastrian temple burnt down the kingdom supporting one of the political
by the crusaders during the First Crusade. factions.
Known History: This religious cult was found- SECRET HISTORY
ed by a flagellant named Magnus, who received During the mass sacrifice of 1000 C.E. Magnus
horrid visions of the Apocalypse. He was a for- himself was also killed in this orgy of blood-
mer Benedictine monk who turned to flagella- letting. The mysterious patron of Magnus vi-
tion to further ward off his sins and better com- sions, the Outer God Demogorgon did not let
mune with God. Magnus remain dead. He was instead animated
The cult was formed in a monastery near Par- as a vampire sorcerer to continue leading the
is circa 999 C.E. During the hysteria of nearing cult.
the end of millennium many pilgrims and fla- Magnus is a truly tortured being who has de-
gellants flooded the ranks of this cult. When luded himself to the point where he actually
the fateful year of 1000 C.E. came the reli- believes he is receiving visions from angels, de-
gious zealots sacrificed themselves to the bibli- spite the despicable and horrific behavior of his
cal Beast to distract it during the final battle to brethren. Magnus believes that acts of horror
allow Christ to kill it. After the mass sacrifice and terror his cult is performing are visions of
of many of its members, including the death of what will happen if he fails to do penance for
46 Dark Crusades
his sins. He believes the Beast (Demogorgon) support helped with its initial founding. King
is an agent of redemption. Baldwin I of Jerusalem donated the temple of
Magnus is a long time descendant of the an- Solomon for use by the order.
cient sorcerers of Mu. Given his ancient blood- Originally their primary mission was to guard
line he makes the perfect vessel for possession the perilous road from the port of Jaffa to Jeru-
by Demogorgon. During his possession epi- salem and taking care of the sick. After their
sodes he imparts instructions to the Pilgrims initial deployment into the Kingdom of Jerusa-
about their goals and targets for bloodletting. lem the Templars focused more on their mili-
Tomes in the Pilgrims Possession: Chaat tary might and less on almsgiving, the sick, and
Aquadingen, Daemonlorum, Liber Ivonis, Rev- guarding the road to Jerusalem.
elations of Magnus. As the power of the Templars grew they start-
ed dealing in banking and lending to various
Current Goals and Projects: The Pilgrims seek nobles and lords throughout the holy land. Be-
to defile all the genuine holy relics in Outremer cause of their permanent military presence in
in an unholy ritual which will should them the the kingdom of Jerusalem their influence over
location of the Black Ark and the prison of the the politics of the crusader states grew.
Outer God Demogorgon. The Templars grew to be the most feared
Templars Frankish force in Outremer. Followers of the
order have a reputation of fighting to the death
Again I say, consider the Almightys goodness and and never backing down. The Saracens that did
pay heed to his plans of mercy. He puts himself battle with them considered it a great honor
under obligation to you that he can help you to to personally execute one of them. Despite the
satisfy your obligations toward himself. reputed benevolence and prisoner leniency of
-Bernard of Clairvaux speech after call Saladin, he never spared the life of a captured
for the Second Crusade 1145 C.E. Templar.
Aliases: Knights of the Temple of Solomon, Indoctrination: Many landless knights and
Brothers of the Temple. disenfranchised nobles joined the ranks of the
Organization Type: Monastery. Hierarchical Templars. The clerics and sergeants are com-
and feudal structure based on the Benedictine posed of more commonly born in Outremer.
order. All members are required to take vows of chas-
tity, poverty and obedience.
Estimated Membership: Possibly 500 knights
and the remainder of the order is divided into Doctrine/Dogma: Vast majority of the or-
sergeants, clerics and numerous Saracen and der believe in reclaiming and or protecting
turcopole spies. The spy network is one of the the kingdom of Jerusalem for Christ and the
best informed in all of Outremer. Loosely asso- church. There is a secretive inner circle com-
ciated with Holy Sons of Solomon and receives pagnons du mestre (masters companions) who
tribute from the Assassins. know the truth about the Mythos influences
and threats in the holy land.
Holdings and Interests: Headquarters in the
Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Numerous Unconfirmed Rumors:
castles located on borders of Outremer. Vari- They have discovered a holy relic or mythos
ous nobles and lords used banking services. artifact in an excavation under the Temple of
Known History: The order was founded about Solomon.
1118 A.D. by a small group of knights led by The Templars speak with a commune with
Hugh de Payens. Through extensive ties from disembodied head of John the Baptist.
the Cistern and Benedictian orders funding and
Dark Crusades 47
SECRET HISTORY
Are Holy Artifacts Real?
One of the formative events in the life of Hugh
de Payens was an encounter with cult of Sub It should be noted as mentioned earlier it
Niggurath in the forests of France. After this is not the goal of the authors to promote
horrific encounter and the death of his wife one religion over another. With this said
who was a cult member he resolved with his the power of holy relics inspire people
friend Bernard of Clairvaux to found an order to greatness and deeds, without having
of holy knights to fight the Cthulthu Mythos. game effects such as a boost to morale
or surge of religious zeal. Many of these
The compagnons du mestre have in their pos- relics are based on real historical accounts
session Mythos artifact Mummified Head of Sol- during the period and have been lovingly
omon (Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts p. 47 altered or changed to create exciting or
for details). The council uses their occult magi- horrific game play. The Mythos arti-
cal techniques to speak to the head for divina- facts differ in this regard because of their
tions about the Mythos and its cults. technology and its mysteries.
During the Third Crusade the fortunes of the
Templars took a turn for the worst. In the tu-
multuous years 1184 through 1185 the elec- -Guibert of Nogent, excerpt from religious
tion of grand master Gerard de Ridefort oc- treatise On the Relics of Saints
curred. This election was expedited because In the Medieval world at the time of the Cru-
of precarious ongoing fighting with the Sara- sades both Muslims and Christians held the
cens and gradual death of Baldwin IV the Leper belief in the power of holy relics. These were
King. Under normal circumstances this elec- items used by the saints and apostles of the re-
tion would have never occurred, due to numer- spective religious traditions. They can also take
ous scandals rumored to be connected to Ride- the form of physical body parts from these sa-
fort. His military acumen made him a prime cred individuals ranging from the beard hair
candidate given the current political climate. of Mohammed to the tooth of Jesus and many
The dark truth about Ridefort is that he was variations inbetween. These sacred items were
handpicked by leader of the Brotherhood of venerated and attributed mystical powers.
Blood to infiltrate the Templars. Ridefort serves Given the theme of macabre horror and des-
the Old One Chaugnar Faugn. perate hopeless struggle as an integral part of
Tomes in the Templars Possession: Black many Call of Cthulhu games it is recommend-
Rites, Cabal of Saboth, Confessions of the Mad ed to the keeper to carefully consider the effects
Monk Clithanus. a relic might have on their game. The relics
presented here are examples of mythos related
Current Goals and Projects: The Inner circle false relics and genuine articles that will in-
and the Master of the Temple seek to destroy spire dramatic quests and interesting scenarios.
all traces of the Mythos and find the Black Ark At the keepers discretion the holy relics could
(Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts p. for details) inspire Religious Fervor (see pg under Skills for
ending the threat of Outer God Demogorgon details) if the optional rule is being used.
who dwells within the ark.
Black Ark
Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts Currently this alien artifact is safely being
We ought to revere and honor the relics, both be- guarded in the secret underground city of
cause of the saints examples and the protection ghouls called Ghulistan. The location of Ghu-
they provide, but we must have truly sound evi- listan has remained a secret from many who
dence as to the authenticity of these relics seek the Black Ark, like the Pilgrims of Obliv-
48 Dark Crusades
ion and the Dark Legate to name a few. It is All who see the unholy transmuting Black
located in a deep vault guarded by forty to fifty Ark must make SAN roll or lose 1/1D6 for see-
ghouls at any given time. It is rumored that ing this unnatural alien construction. This ar-
these ghouls do not serve any Mythos gods but tifact cannot easily be opened; it requires the
serve a different master, a ghoul king. Some casting of a complex ritual involving at a min-
Mythos scholars believe Gilgamesh to be the imum the sacrifice of 200 individuals and the
mysterious half-mad descendant of the Great permanent expenditure of 200 magic points of
Old Ones. a group of 20 sorcerers or cultists. Even when
This blasphemous facsimile of the Ark of the these conditions are met, seven magical seals
Covenant was created by the arch god-sorcerer must be magically broken by overcoming the
Gilgamesh as a prison for the Outer God De- POW of the artifact for each seal which is POW
mogorgon. During Gilgameshs quest for im- of 70. Only after all of these conditions are met
mortality he learned by the threat posed by the will Demogorgon be released causing death
Outer God Demogorgon or, in Biblical Revela- and destruction at Biblical levels.
tion, the Beast. During his travels in-between
the spheres and the Dreamlands, Gilgamesh Holy Lance of Antioch
foresaw mass devastation and destruction The Holy Lance of Antioch is believed to be the
caused by Demogorgon in the mortal realm. spear head of the weapon Longinus used to kill
Gilgamesh made a pact with various gods and Christ. During the battle of Antioch at the time
alien intelligences from beyond reality to forge of the First Crusade, Bartholomew had a vi-
this prison, exacting a cost that must be paid by sion of St. Andrew showing him where the holy
him to the entities. What this price was is far lance lay. During the night a comet struck the
beyond the imaginations or corporeal compre- camp of the Turks camped near the city; this
hension of mortal minds. Suffice it to say only showed further proof of divine providence to
a being of direct descent or partial of Great Old the crusaders.
One lineage could even hope to understand. Bartholomew scrambled with his fellow
The Ark is thirty feet in length, 10 feet wide Franks to unearth the holy relic from where he
and twenty feet high. It is carved of jet black believed it was buried. He found the holy spear
stone outlined in ghastly purple-green slime. head, to the amazement of many and incredu-
The arks stone is carved and proportioned in lity of some. Some of the nobles who lead the
unimaginable unnatural angles which will un- First Crusade believed that he had planted the
nerve the observer. The longer it is observed spear head to lend support for laying siege to
the more the geometry morphs and changes Antioch.
slightly. The stony surface is covered in eldritch For the Keeper: The Pilgrims of Oblivion, us-
symbols and glyphs from ancient Valusia and ing sorcery sent Bartholomew this false vision
Mu. If examined closer the observer will notice so that he could unearth their dark relic. This
that the ark is not made of stone, but a metallic- spear head is known to them as The Fang of
like substance of extraplanar origin. the Beast.Its dark influence will slowly cor-
For the Keeper: First a word of caution. This rupt and possess its user to serve the dark de-
mythos artifact is a major story changing arti- signs of Demogorgon and the Pilgrims.
fact any only should not be used with proper All who carry the spearhead on their person
planning. It is the prison of an Outer God and must make a POWx4 each day to resist being
should not be randomly placed in a scenario possessed by the spirit that dwells within the
without prior planning. It is one of the key mo- spearhead (See Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages rule-
tivations of the Dark Legate, when he manipu- book for rules on Spirit Possession). Each week
lated Pope Urban II in calling the First Crusade that the lance is in the possession of an investi-
(Gazetteer of Outremer p. 21 for details). gator, he or she must make SAN roll at 1/1D10
Dark Crusades 49
loss from the horrific apocalyptic visions they only to be recaptured. He helped in the taking
receive from the Outer God Demogorgon. The of Jerusalem, and only after its miraculous cap-
spearhead can be affixed onto a spear or a lance. ture did he come to suspect the dark powers of
It is unbreakable and adds a +2d6 damage bo- the letter. After the capture of Jerusalem he left
nus to the base weapon. with the letter and founded a monastery in Bel-
gium. It is believed that Peter tried to destroy
Letter of Heaven the Letter of Heaven with the aid of Hugh de
This sacred holy relic is a letter reputedly sent Payens, before the knightly founder of the Tem-
from Heaven beseeching the Christians of Eu- plars left for the holy land. Whether this is true,
rope to retake Jerusalem for the Lord. It is di- or if they were successful is not known.
vinely sent according to legend. This celestial
letter is possessed by Peter the Hermit. Mummified Head of Solomon
Nobody has read the letter, save Peter but it This relic is the disembodied head of the leg-
has been claimed by many mendicant, saint or endary wise sorcerer-king Solomon. Solomon
clergymen to be authentic and of divine origin. was a precocious student of the enigmatic and
This is one of the myriad of signs and guide powerful Gilgamesh of king of Uruk. Solomon
posts that have enhanced the recruitment of founded his own cabal of sorcerers dedicated to
crusaders during Peters building of the Peo- fighting the mythos in all its forms, especially
ples Crusade. The letter is always kept on Pe- the cult, The Children of Ishtar.
ters person in a sealed scroll case embroidered Gilgamesh, Solomons mentor, had left and
with angelic script and glyphs. Peter acquired sojourned into the Dreamlands, Limbo and
the letter during a vision of Enoch showing other planes of existence seeking a way to per-
him marching armies into the holy land and manently seal the Ishtar Gate; preventing the
the rebuilding of the temple which triggers the entrance of Shub-Niggerauth. Upon the semi-
Final Battle and the Apocalypse. deific Gilgameshs return after centuries of
For the Keeper: The Letter of Heaven was searching in otherworldly time he had become
penned and imbued by the mystical powers half mad with horrid revelations. He imparted
of Dark Legate, a conniving avatar of Nyarla- a secret ritual to his student Solomon to perma-
thotep. This potent mythos artifact has ampli- nently seal the Ishtar Gate. After this he myste-
fied the sermons of Peter and dominated and riously disappeared with a grave warning not to
destroyed the will of the masses. It corrupts go seeking him.
and warps the minds of large groups of people Solomon after studying the mythos ritual
during the sermons. consulted with Absalom de Payens his second
All Persuade rolls count as 100% when con- in command, ordering him to not allow him-
ducting a sermon or trying to persuade some- self to be taken alive by the Children of Ishtar.
one to join the crusades, when the letter is in Solomon told de Payens, about the foul Mi-go
the speakers possession. All of those who can technology to hold a beings brain in a cylinder,
hear the speaker and have listened to the whole thus compiling them to reveal all of their se-
sermon must make SAN rolls at a -20 penalty crets. Solomon feared that the secrets of the rit-
or lose 5/3D10 points of sanity. If only part of ual would be revealed and that a counter mea-
the sermon is heard then a regular SAN roll is sure or loophole could be exploited by the cult
required at no penalty and loss of 1/1D6 SAN. if his brain was captured.
Later during the dark days of besieging An- During the gathering of sorcerers from the
tioch did poor Peter learn about the Mythos cabal all final preparations were made for the
involvement and infiltration of Pilgrims of sealing of the gate ritual. In the midst of the
Obilvion into the ranks of the crusading host performing of the ritual, the cabal was am-
of Godfrey de Boullion. Peter fled the horror bushed by the Children of Ishtar and their Mi-
50 Dark Crusades
go allies; Absalom turned and cut off the head poses that is optional. All divinations should
of Solomon preventing his brain from being be spoken from the point of view of a deranged
captured by putting it in an ornate box. As the half insane undead sorcerer!
combat ensued Absalom fled the scene with the Given the dangers of consulting the Mummi-
head in the box. fied Head of Solomon, it is only ritually awak-
Many of the sorcerers in the cabal felt be- ened during dire circumstances. The insane
trayed by Absalom, because he slew their lead- ramblings and ranting of the head can provide
er and left with his head. The survivors of the invaluable insight on the mythos when it is un-
cabal fled and were reorganized into the Holy derstood.
Sons of Solomon. Meanwhile Absalom fled and
wrote a letter with specific instructions on the Skiff of the Black Pharaoh
use of the box and arcane rituals for speaking The Black Pharaoh (Nyarlathoteps avatar) pe-
to the head of the sorcerer king. His letter was riodically blesses his cults in Cairo with his oth-
left for his descendents with instructions about erworldly vessel Mesektet. It is said that every
the plight of the Ishtar Gate in Mesopotamia night the Black Pharaoh rides his skiff Mesektet
(Modern day Iraq). His descendant Hugh de ferrying the souls of the dead to cross the wa-
Payens founded the religious knightly order of ters into the underworld (Limbo). It has been
the Templars to destroy the Ishtar Gate. mistakenly reported by scholars and Egyptians
The Mummified Head of Solomon is now that the ancient deity Ra rides his vessel Man-
closely guarded by the inner circle of the Tem- jet during the day and it changes into Mesektet
plars. This relic is a half insane oracle that can during the night. This lie was perpetuated by
be consulted by spell caster who invokes the a propaganda campaign of the Black Pharaohs
right rituals to awaken it. The head speaks in cultists since the days of the Pharaoh Djoser
mad riddles and cryptic phrases foretelling fu- and his architect the legendary Imohotep dur-
ture events and mythos secrets, which the order ing the 3rd millennium B.C.E. Many believe
uses to guide its struggles against the Mythos. that the myths of Ra are pure and untainted by
For the Keeper: For the purposes of using the the insidious influences of the Black Pharaoh.
Mummified Head of Solomon, its POW score is This skiff appears as a funeral skiff 20 meters
45, hence making it practically requires a group across and 8 meters wide from end to end. It is
use of Ritual Magic (for more details see p. 81- jet black composed of luminescent black stone
82 Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages). Failure to use that bends in unnatural and impossible an-
the artifact does not drain the usual 3D6 magic gles. The black stony material shines an irides-
points, instead it drains 5D6 magic points and cent green at its angles and appears distorted
causes 1/1D10 Sanity loss and the artifact can and shifts, slightly unnerving the viewer. When
never be mastered. moving the vessel is capable of flight, which is
The messages received from Solomons Head always accompanied by whistling and moaning
are vague and cryptic. It makes predictions into sounds emanating from the hull of the skiff.
possible futures and outcomes based on what is For the Keeper: This malignant vessel can be
likely to occur. The keeper is advised to use this used to automatically open a doorway into the
artifact as a plot device to further the story, but realm of Limbo, following all of the rules of the
not to use it as a mystery spoiler or clue find- Create Limbo Gate spell (detailed in the Call
er. The head can be a useful aid for keeping the of Cthulhu Dark Ages rulebook p. 84), with
investigators on track if they are getting hope- the exception of the POW requirement. When
lessly lost or derailed. It is recommended that the vessel is being used to travel through Limbo
only one or two divinations can be performed it causes a SAN loss of 0/1D4. In addition to
by the head at one time. If the keeper feels the having the power to travel through Limbo the
need to change this to better suit his/her pur-
Dark Crusades 51
vessel harbors the myriad of deceased spirits of tures, but non-god level creatures (Great Old
dead cultists and madmen. Ones, Elder Gods, Outer Gods respectively).
Once a night the pilot of Mesektet can release Ethereal lenses are crafted by the priest class
the horde of dead spirits into the mortal realm. of the Denizens of the Nameless City. They are
When this occurs multiple spirits attack or pos- used as an aid in finding and ultimately con-
sess or haunt the area. It is up to the keeper to tacting extraplanar beings for different tasks
determine how long this occurs and how many and the imparting of information. These lens-
of the spirits possess or harm people before es have been discovered by human sorcerers or
vanishing. It is recommended that this dread- witches and surgically implanted in their heads
ful event would require a SAN 1/10 loss. for use in their black arts. The knowledge of
The Black Pharaohs awful vessel is some- medicine and the occult lore required to do this
times bestowed on a particularly favored cult; procedure is fortunately rare.
other times it appears seemingly randomly at For the Keeper: Use of this device does increase
different locations throughout the Levant. Ac- percentage of success by +30% for Contact or
cording to some cultic sources the sultan Sala- Summoning spells involving Servitor Crea-
din has recently discovered the location of this tures, Ancient Ones and Old Ones. All who
dreaded vessel and is serving as an unwilling employ the lens must make a SAN check at -20
pawn in the Black Pharaohs latest scheme. to the roll or lose 1/2D6 SAN in addition to any
Alien Devices SAN cost incurred by the casting of the Contact
or Summoning spell it can used to enhance.
These mythos devices and technologies are used The second use of this device is to find crea-
primarily by creatures of the mythos. All of the tures that are using spells to hide in Limbo or
entries in this area are new, except the Mi-Go spirits that are nearby, which can be detected
Brain Cylinder which is reproduced from the within a 60 ft radius with a successful Spot Hid-
Call of Cthulhu core rulebook, in the interest of den roll at a +10 bonus. This device cannot be
making it usable to keepers who do not have worn or used by humans without the proper
access to this book. surgery and cultic rites which animates the lens
grafting permanently into the flesh of the hu-
Ethereal Lens of the Nameless City man wearer. To perform the surgery it requires
This otherworldly device is created and em- a successful roll on the Medicine skill -10 (-20
ployed by the Denizens of the Nameless City for Frankish physicians), as well as a successful
(See Creatures of the Mythos section of Dark roll on the Occult skill or Cthulhu Mythos skill,
Crusades p. 32 for details.) to gaze into the oth- whichever is higher. If either of these rolls are
er realms of Limbo, space and the Dreamlands. failed the surgery is unsuccessful and the pa-
The lens is roughly 3 inches in diameter and tient suffers a loss of 1D6 hit points and 1/1D6
formed of prismatic rainbow hued crystalline SAN loss. If the surgery is successful the patient
material. Encircling the lens is a scaly symbiotic and the doctor must roll SAN 0/1D4 due to the
frame that attaches to the Denizen that is using horrific nature of the ritual surgery.
the device.
Mi-Go Brain Cylinder
The device allows the user to see into Lim-
bo and it will reveal the location of spirits and These shiny cylinders are used to preserve ex-
otherworldly entities in the area of a 60ft ra- tracted brains. Lovecraft described them as a
dius. The lens can be attuned to gaze into the foot high and somewhat less in diameter, with
Dreamlands as well as allowed the wearer to curious sockets set in an isosceles triangle over
stare into different realms of the Dreamlands, the convex surface. Each cylinder is filled with
and locate specific entities like servitor crea- a nutrient solution which sustains the brain
within, and the inner surface of each cylinder is
52 Dark Crusades
out the generations many of the Denizens lost
Science Fiction Themed Devices in a their ability to continue to function and build
Medieval Setting? their magnificent cities of old.
Using devices that have computer parts This fabled elixir has been prophesied and
and sensor arrays like the brain cylinder seen in visions by a myriad of diviners and
seem counter to the theme and mood of soothsayers across the globe. The esoteric and
Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages game. The occult arts of alchemy seek to unveil the secrets
keeper should consider use of words and of eternal life. Chinese Taoists, Arabic Alche-
terms more appropriate to the Medieval mists and later Europeans all have a long his-
mindset. Consider the following example tory of seeking immortality. It is rumored that
when describing the Mi-Go Brain Cyl- during an earlier mythic period in China, the
inder: The cylindrical apparatus housed fabled Eight Immortals had found the secrets
a human brain submerged in a briny of this elixir.
alchemical fluid. Affixed to the arcane For the Keeper: The elixir requires the imbibing
phylactery were mystical pipes that trans- of a full vial for its effects to manifest. It must
mitted the disembodied spiritual speech of be consumed once every 15 years and warmed
the brain. in the fire under moonlight to extend the im-
bibers life by 1D100 years. Unfortunately for
lined with a complex array of sensory filaments the imbibers its side effects are severe.
which detect electrical activity within the cap- Once the potion is fully consumed the imbib-
tive brain, interpret it, and channel neural im- er is plagued with visions of spaces in-between
pulses to a complex microcomputer behind the spheres and the Ultimate Gate. This door-
the sockets into the connected machines, or way into Limbo is too much for many minds
funnels input from those machines back to the to fully comprehend and causes a SAN loss of
brain via a network of electrodes which directly 1D6/1D20 sanity points. In addition to this as-
stimulate the neurons in specific centers of the sault on the imbibers psyche his/her body starts
brain. regressing and devolving into a more primitive
The cylinder is hooked up to a machine that and degenerate form. The degeneration can
generates a monotonal voice from the brain. be fought off with a CONx3 test. If the test is
When it is switched off the brain goes into a failed, the following characteristics are reduced
maddeningly deep semi-sleep. Every game by 2D4; INT, EDU and POW.
month a human in a brain cylinder must match
INT vs. POW. If INT wins, the character loses Additional Spells for the
a 1D3 SAN. Old Grimoire
Elixir of Immortality Communal Visions
This potent opaque white brew was developed Range: 1 mile per 40 Mp Duration: Special
by the antediluvian Denizens of the Nameless
Cost: Min 40 Mp and 40 POW
city. The untold eons and the glory of their ad-
vanced achievements could not stave off their Sanity: 5/1D20 per 6 hours
inborn racial fear of death. The greatest minds Resistance Table: Yes
of the priest class devised a way to life forever,
The caster of this spell creates a massive chain
creating this elixir of immortality. One of the
of mystical visions experienced by crowds of
unforeseen side effects of this elixir was caus-
people. The use of this spell requires a group of
ing the populations that partook of it to go mad
people of similar faiths and beliefs and the use
and physically it degeneration them. Through-
of religious relics or icons as a focus. Only the
Dark Crusades 53
most power sorcerers possess the training and Dust of Suleiman
acumen to perform this horrid rite; it is only Range: Throw Duration: 1 round
known to be used by the Dark Legate avatar of
Nyarlathotep.[] Cost: Dust of 2000 year old Egyptian mummy.
Sanity: None Resistance Table: No
Curse of Chaugnar Faugn
It is believed that this ancient spell was creat-
Range: Unlimited Duration: Special
ed by the fabled magician king Solomon. This
Cost: 1 Mp per hour of chanting. powder requires dust of an Egyptian mummy
Sanity: 1D3 per 12 hours of chanting of at least 2000 years. Each mummy produces
up to 3 doses or uses. The final ingredients are
Resistance Table: No.
frankincense, sulfur and salt pepper.
The casting of this spell requires a tiny frag- If sprinkled on an outer-planar being it causes
ment of flesh from the victim as a focus for the 1D20 hit points of damage. It takes one round
spell. It also requires 12 hours of chanting per to apply one dose. It affects creatures that can
week. The caster must be a sworn worshiper of be Summon/Bind or Call spells like byakhee, or
Chaugner Faugn. The target is affected by the Sub-Niggerauth, but is useless against Cthulhu
spell regardless of distance and success is auto- or deep ones.
matic.
The night of and many nights after the spell Summon Horsemen of the Apocalypse
is cast the victims dreams are disturbed by vi- Range: Special Duration: Permanent
sions of Chaugner Faugn. The target is affected Cost: 3 Mp per 10% and 10 POW
by trance-like states where the target is making
physical attempts to reach the Great Old One Sanity: 3/3D10 Resistance Table: No
and become a sacrifice. The interval between The forbidden knowledge of this spell is closely
trance states is determined by using POWx2 guarded by the cult the Pilgrims of Oblivion.
or, for strong willed individuals POWx3 at the It can only be cast once special conditions are
keepers discretion. Eventually the target will be met; it requires 3 authentic relics (Christian,
devoured and the flesh fragment will rot show- Muslim, Jewish etc.) as well as the Mummified
ing that the spell is complete. Head of Solomon (see Holy Relics and Mythos
Artifacts for details p. 47). When the ritual is
Curse of the Rat-Thing
started it takes months worth of nightly chant-
Range: Touch Duration: Permanent ing and ritual defiling of all relics except the
Cost: 20 Mp and 1 POW Mummified Head of Solomon. At the start of
the ritual the initial SAN cost listed above is
Sanity: 1D10 Resistance Table: No
paid and during its climax the same SAN cost
This curse must be cast on a corpse dead within is paid again.
24 hours, it causes the deceased spiritual essence For every 3 Magic points that are sacrificed in
to enter the newly formed being of a rat-thing. the ritual there is 10% chance to summon a Rid-
Keep in mind as per the section Creatures of er of the Apocalypse (An Ancient One mount-
the Mythos [on p. 32] there are many different ed on a steed, see Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages for
types of things :cat-things, fly-things, frog- details). During this profane ghastly ritual, ani-
things, etc. The corpse transforms into the mals are howling, lightning strikes and natural
body of a rat-thing and its face becomes a twist- disasters like earthquakes occur in the region.
ed grotesque version of its former self. This de- Depending and which horseman arrives (War,
spicable rite is usually performed by the most Plague, Famine or Death); these calamities fol-
vile sorcerers and witches, never performed on low the appearance of the dreaded rider. The
friends.
54 Dark Crusades
details and natures of these natural disasters are SCRIPTURES AL DAEM-in Turkish, author is
left up to the keepers discretion. Maroof al Faris, 935 A.D. It is believed that this
According to legend if all Horsemen of the collection of manuscripts originated in north-
Apocalypse are released than the Ultimate Gate ern India and after the invasion of Moham-
will be opened and the Beast (Demogorgon) mad of Ghazi a hundred years later travelled
will be released on earth. back to Anatolia making its way to the Seljuk
Note of Caution: Given the power and scenario Turks. The incomplete translation suffers from
or campaign destabilizing potential it is recom- extensive damage and passages that are almost
mended that this spell only be used as the basis unreadable. There are about fifty copies in cir-
of a campaign or plot, not something randomly culation all based on the badly damaged origi-
stumbled on. nal. Sanity loss: 1D4/1D8 Cthulhu Mythos +7
percentiles: average about 15 weeks to study
Mythos Tomes in Outremer and comprehend it. Spells: Augur, Call/Dismiss
Brother of Chaugnar Faugn, Curse of Chaug-
These tomes describe the forbidden lore of the nar Faugn, Levitate, Poison Blood.
Mythos through its various authors from vari-
BOOK OF BLACK KABBALAH-in Hebrew
ous lands in the Levant. The following tomes
author is Herod of Canaan, c. 500 B.C. This
will include spells taken from the Call of Cthul-
tome was created by heretical sect of Jewish
hu Dark Ages core rulebook as well as a few ad-
cabalists dedicated to the spiritual worship of
ditional spells out of Dark Crusades.
the dark tree of dreams a path to a union with
AL-KITAB DAEM the Veiled Mahdi (avatar of Hastur). The sect
was persecuted by Jews, Muslims and Chris-
(two versions follow)
tians alike, believed by many to be destroyed.
Hidden Veda-in Sanskrit, author unknown, It is not known how many copies of this blas-
c. 1000 B.C. this ritualistic text was first dis- phemous text survive. Sanity Loss: 1D4/1D8:
covered inside the ruins of an old Neolithic Cthulhu Mythos +10 percentiles. Average about
settlement in Pakistan, originally bound in 17 weeks to study and comprehend. Spells: Be-
preserved elephant hide and stitched together come Spectral, Call/Dismiss Byakhee, Compel
with muscle sinew. The text soon spread among Byakhee, Contact Veiled Mahdi, Create Limbo
the corrupted Brahmins perpetuating the foul Gate, Demon Hearing, Demon Sight, Dust of
knowledge of Chaugnar Faugn. Later the text Suleiman, Scrying Window, Soul Singing.
would be burned by more mainstream Hindus
KEY OF SOLOMON-in Hebrew written by
and viewed as heretical blasphemy against their
King Solomon. This mythical grimoire con-
elephant headed deity Ganesh. It is believed
tains extensive lore about the Jinn, Shedu and
that only about twenty copies of this book ex-
cryptic hints about the fabled underground
ist. Sanity loss: 1D6/2D6: Cthulhu Mythos +12
ghoul city, Ghulistan. Only a handful of cop-
percentiles; average 38 weeks to study and
ies of this text are rumored to exist. One copy
comprehend. Spells: Augur, Become Spectral,
buried in hidden vault in Alexandria guard-
Bind Soul, Call/Dismiss Old One, Call/Dis-
ed by the Holy Sons of Solomon. Sanity loss:
miss Brother of Chaugnar Faugn, Call/Dismiss
1D6/2D6: Cthulhu Mythos +12 percentiles;
Ghoul, Call/Dismiss Dimensional Shambler,
average 40 weeks to study and comprehend.
Contact Chaugnar Faugn, Curse of Chaugnar
Spells: Augur, Bless Blade, Bind Soul, Cast Out
Faugn, Create Limbo Gate, Dust of Suleiman,
the Devil, Call/Dismiss Old One, Call/Dismiss
Fury, Gray Binding, Levitate, Poison Blood,
Shedu, Cloud Memory, Compel Old One, Con-
Scrying Window, Shrivelling.
tact Old One, Contact Shedu, Create Limbo
Gate, Dismiss Old One, Dust of Suleiman, En-
Dark Crusades 55
thrall, Flesh Ward, Heal, Nyhargo Dirge, Power Jean Carter
Source, Return Follower of Mad Cthulhu, Scry- He spoke of the flame-eyed Crusader who learnt
ing Window, Seal of Nephren-Ka wild secrets of the Saracens that held him cap-
GATE OF ISHTAR-in Sumerian and Babylo- tive
nian both versions are inscribed on clay tablets -H.P. Lovecraft, The Silver Key.
in cuneiform letters, the author is unknown, c.
1300 B.C. Horrid rites to Ishtar and ceremo- Jean Carter is the great ancestor of Randolph
nies are littered throughout the collection of Carter who is a main character in many of Love-
clay tablets. The Children Ishtar are some of crafts tales involving the Dreamlands. Carter
the only ones who possess they tablets, one began as an ordinary Templar knight guarding
rumor claims an incomplete collection of the pilgrims road to Jerusalem. Jean Carter was
them are in library in Damascus. Sanity loss: captured during the failed attempt to capture
1D4/1D8 Cthulhu Mythos +9 percentiles: about Damascus during the Second Crusade. He was
20 weeks of study to comprehend its contents. plagued by numerous visions during his cap-
Spells: Body Warping, Blindness, Call/Dismiss tivity with the Sheikh, a sorcerer and latent
Ghoul, Call/Dismiss Mi-go Curse of the Rat- dreamer of incredible power.
thing, Fear, Find (Iron), Power Drain, Shrivel- In time Jean Carters religious fervor softened
ling, Winds of Desolation. as his eyes were opened to the esoteric myster-
ies of the Dreamlands by his captor/mentor
REVELATIONS OF MAGNUS-in Latin writ- the Sheikh. After many lost years of imprison-
ten by Magnus c. 999 A.D. After his rebirth ment in the dungeons of Damascus, Jean made
to serve the Outer God Demogorgon. This is his escape and killed the Sheikh and stole his
the seminal scripture of Pilgrims of Oblivion Mythos artifact, the silver key. The silver key
cult. This ritualistic text is littered with horrific would become a family heirloom passed down
apocalyptic prophesies and descriptions of the through generations and eventually discovered
Beasts return. Thankfully a full version of this by Randolph Carter.
text is incredibly rare; only few are known to
exist. Many of the cult cells possess partial cop- Jean Carter
ies and in some cases are poorly transcribed.
Sanity loss: 1D8/2D8; Cthulhu Mythos +13 per- STR 15 CON 15 SIZ 14 INT 14 POW 16
centiles. It takes an average of 55 weeks to study DEX 10 APP 12 EDU 11 SAN 20 HP 15
and fully comprehend. Spells: Bind Soul, Bless Weapons: Spear Long 75% damage 1D10,
Blade, Body Warping, Call/Dismiss: Denizen of Scimitar 55% 1D8, Knife Long 35% 1D6
the Nameless City, Call/Dismiss: Old One, Call/ Armor: Paires de Cuiraces, surcoat and small
Dismiss Ghast, Call/Dismiss Hound of Tin- shield
dalos, Contact Demogorgon, Curse of the Rat-
Thing, Enthrall, Fear, Power Drain, Summon Spells: Become Spectral, Bind Soul, Cloud
Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Memory, Contact (Tawil atUmr) Create Limbo
Gate, Curse of the rat-thing*, Disembodiment,
Personalities of Outremer Dust of Suleiman*, Power Drain, Return Fol-
lower of Mad Cthulhu.
This section details important historical figures
and non-player characters the investigators Skills: Accounting 40%, Bargain 55%, Cthulhu
may encounter during play in Outremer and Mythos 60% Dodge 68%, Occult 45%, Other
the Muslim world. Language 45% (Arabic) Other Language 45%
(Latin), Other Language 40% (Ghoul), Own
Kingdom 35%, Own Language 55% (French)
56 Dark Crusades
Ride 60%, Science (theology) 23%, Write Lan- the main force heading to Antioch. Through-
guage 65% out the hard winter many deserted the crusade,
including Peter. Many of the deserters left be-
Peter the Hermit cause of the starvation and the news of an im-
He wore a wool shirt, and over it a mantle reach- pending army joining the forces of Antioch.
ing to his ankles; his arms and feet were bare. He Peter left because of his discovery of the Pil-
lived on wine and fish; he hardly ever, never, ate grims of Oblivion cult that had infiltrated the
bread. crusader army. Upon fleeing he was captured
-Guibert, Guiberts Account of Peter the Hermit. by the crusaders and forgiven for his desertion.
Peter redeemed himself by becoming an en-
Peter the Hermit, proselytized and persuaded voy to the Muslim army and finally during the
many to join the First Crusade. He rode on his siege of Jerusalem his preaching and moral sup-
donkey from town to town; miracles followed port aided the crusaders in capturing the city
in his wake; demons were exorcized, the sick in 1099. After the capture of Jerusalem he re-
were healed and sinners turned to the Lord. turned to Europe creating a monastery in Bel-
Masses of peasants, nobles, men and women gium.
together jointed the crusade. Peters reputation
was so legendary that people would sometimes Peter the Hermit
join if they heard he was in their town or city.
Some say in possessed the Letter of Heaven (see STR 9 CON 10 SIZ 10 INT 15 POW 18
Holy Relics and Mythos Artifacts p. 47) DEX 10 APP 8 EDU 16 SAN 65 HP 10
The majority of the masses that joined Peters Damage Bonus: +0
crusade were composed of peasants and non- Weapons: Staff 50% damage 1D6,
nobles leading to the term Peoples Crusade,
which left much earlier than the official depar- Knife small 35% 1D4.
ture of August 15th. Armor: None
After the ambush and decimation of the
Skills: Command 30%, Cthulhu Mythos 15%,
Peoples Crusade by the Turks, Peter joined
Dodge 35%, Hide 30%, Insight 65%, Library
Use 52%, Listen 40%, Natural World 50%, Oc-
Peter the Hermit cult 65%, Persuade 85%, Status 65%, Theology
70%.
Spells: Augur, Bless Blade, Bless, Cast out the
Devil, Dismiss Spirit, Enthrall, Fury, Heal,
Shield
Magnus, the Mad
The moment is upon us brothers and sisters, when
the unbelievers will be cleansed by the power and
majesty of our lord Demogorgon!
-Magnus speech during start of 1st Millenium A.D.
Magnus, is the maniacal founder of the Pil-
grims of Oblivion he considers himself the
voice of the Beast (Demogorgon). He is no
longer living after his participation in the mad
millenarian mass sacrifices during the turn-
ing of millennium. He is an acutely intelligent
Dark Crusades 57
vampire gifted with malignant mythos spells. that nobody paid the ransom to free him, so he
He seeks to free Demogorgon from the prison was held in prison for sixteen years.
of the Black Ark, and he believes by enacting a Later after the Battle of Hattin in 1187 C.E.
powerful mythos ritual of summoning all four Saladin captures Reynold and follows through
Horsemen of Apocalypse he will succeed. with his vow to personally kill Reynold. Saladin
cuts his head off with one clean blow.
Magnus, The Mad
King Richard I, The Lionheart
STR 17 CON - SIZ 14 INT 18 POW 20
DEX 8 APP 4 EDU 18 SAN 0 HP 25
It is easy to understand to what anger we were
aroused to punish such villainy. Supported by
Damage Bonus: +0 divine aid, we engaged this enemy in battle and
Weapons: Claws and Fangs 50% 1D6. won a quick victory.
Armor: His undead body takes have damage -Richard the Lionheart, 1191
from all non-magical attacks.
King Richard I, The Lionheart
Skills: Command 85%, Cthulhu Mythos 75%,
Dodge 55%, Insight 65%, Occult 90%, Own STR 17 CON 16 SIZ 16 INT 13 POW 11
Kingdom 40%, Other Kingdom 10%, Other DEX 14 APP 11 EDU 12 SAN 55 HP 16
Language Latin 70%, Own Language 80%, Damage Bonus: +1d6
Persuade 77%, Potions 55%, Science Alchemy
60%, Theology (Christianity) 75%, Write Lan- Weapons: Long Sword 85%, damage 1D8 +db
guage 50%. Crossbow 50%, damage 2D6
Spells: Become Spectral, Body Warp, Contact Knife large 60% damge 1D6,
Demogorgon, Contact Old One, Contact Great Fist/Punch 70% 1D3 +db King Richard I
Old One, Call/Dismiss Ghoul, Call/Dismiss Di-
mensional Shambler, Fear, Gray Binding, Sum-
mon Riders of the Apocalypse.
Reynold, Chatillon de.
Fire is not daunted by quantity of wood to burn.
-Reynold de Chatillon, 1187
This roguish bandit knight is married to the
widow of Prince Raymond of Antioch, Con-
stance. Reynold has been part of numerous
raids on Muslim caravans during peace trea-
ties with Saladin; Reynolds lust for rapine and
plunder was not only confided to Muslims, he
attacked Christian lands like Byzantine Cyprus
despite Baldwin IIIs attempts at making peace
with the emperor.
The Byzantine emperor Manuel I captured
Antioch and released Reynold, making him a
vassal of the empire. In 1159 C.E. Manuel I and
Nur ed-Din signed a truce; which was broken
by zealous Reynold. Reynold was so unpopular
58 Dark Crusades
Grapple 40% 1D3 +db
Headbutt 20% 1D3 +db
Armor: Plate Armor, Shield Medium, Surcoat.
Skills: Art Poetry 25% Cthulhu Mythos 05%,
Command 80%, Dodge 68%, Insight 25%, Li-
brary Use 45%, Own Kingdom 75%, Own Lan-
guage 65%, Persuade 35%, Ride 45%, Status
85%, Tactics 75%, Write Language 21%
Saladin
our lord the Victorious King, Salah al-Dunya
wal-Din, Sultan of Islam and the Muslimin!
Unifier of the creed of faith by his light, subjuga-
tor of the worshippers of the Cross by his might,
raiser of the banner of justice and right.
-Usama Ibn Munqidh, Book of Contemplation

Saladin
STR 11 CON 13 SIZ 13 INT 16 POW 17
DEX 13 APP 16 EDU 18 SAN 55 HP 12 Saladin
Damage Bonus: +0
This list of personalities is by no means exhaus-
Weapons: Scimitar 75%, damage 1D8, tive; it is only a brief starting point for keep-
Bow 80%, damage 1D8, ers to expand upon based on the needs of their
games.
Knife, Large 55%, damage 1D6.
Armor: Leather and Scales, Daraq, Surcoat,
Horse Barding; Leather and Scales.
Skills: Command 90%, Cthulhu Mythos 45%,
Dodge 55%, Insight 55%, Occult 65%, Own
Kingdom 60%, Other Kingdom 40%, Other
Language Greek 40%, Own Language 90%,
Persuade 60%, Potions 41%, Ride 55%, Status
90%, Science Alchemy 50%, Theology 40%,
Write Language 53%.
Spells: Auger, Bless Blade, Bless, Cast Out the
Devil, Cloud Memory, Contact Old One, Dust
of Suleiman* Dismiss (spirit), Exaltation, Fear,
Return Follower of Mad Cthulhu, Scrying Win-
dow, Seal of Nephren-ka.
*Originally from Call of Cthulhu core rulebook,
reproduced in Additional Spells for the Old
Grimoire section in Dark Crusades.
Dark Crusades 59
Bibliography Pattison, M. M., Muir. The Story of Alchemy and
the Beginnings of Chemistry. London: Hodder
Alighieri, Dante. Signet Classic: The and Stoughton, 1913 http://www.pgdp.net
Inferno. Translated by Ciardi, John. Williams, Howard. The Superstitions of Witch-
Signet Classic, 1982 craft. Spottiswoode and Co London, 1865
Cantor, Norman F. The Pimlico Encyclopedia of Role Playing Game Inspirations
the Middle Ages. Random House, 1999 Grubb, Jeff and Hayday, Andria. Advanced
Dawood, N.J Penguin Classics: The Koran. Pen- Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition: Al-Qadim
guin Books, 1993 Arabian Adventures. TSR Inc, 1992
Frale, Barbara. The Templars: The Secret His- Kurtz, Steve. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
tory Revealed. Translated by Conti, Gregory. Ar- 2nd Edition Historical Reference: The Crusades
cade Publishing New York, 2004 Campaign Sourcebook. TSR Inc, 1994
Lindsay, James E. Daily Life in the Medieval Is-
lamic World. Greenwood Press, 2005
Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History
of the Crusades: Student Edition. Rowman and
Littlefield Publishers, 2006
Sandars, N.K. Penguin Classics: The Epic of Gil-
gamesh. Penguin Books, 1972
Sowell, Kirk H. The Arab World: An Illustrated
History. Hippocrene Books Inc, 2004
Stalcup, Brenda. Turning Points in World His-
tory: The Crusades. Greenhaven Press Inc, 2000
Electronic Documents
(Many are Kindle versions of printed materials)
Chartres, Fulcher. The First Crusade: Primary
Accounts. Translated by Munro, Dana. www.
charlesrivereditors.com
France, John. Western Warfare in the Age of the
Crusades 1000-1300. UCL Press, 1999
Gabrieli, Francesco. Routledge Revivals: Arab
Historians of the Crusades. Translated by Costel-
lo, J.,E Taylor and Francis, 2009
Munqidh, Usama ibn. Penguin Classics: The
Book of Contemplation. Translated by Cobb,
Paul, M. Penguin Books, 2008
Nogent, Guibert. Penguin Classics: Monodies
and On the Relics of Saints. Translated by Mc-
alhany, Joseph and Rubenstien, Jay. Penguin
Books, 2011
Selected Chaosium Titles continue to search out stories which reflect his con-
tribution to the field of fantasy. . . . [The tales in this
which graced the Welsh village of Llantristant for a
time. Four more tales and the poetical Ornaments

FICTION
book] represent a lifelong homage to HPL . . . I hope in Jade are all finely told. This is the second of
youll accept them for what they were and are a three Machen volumes edited by S. T. Joshi and
labor of love. Robert Bloch published by Chaosium; the first volume is The
Three Impostors. 312 pages.
Robert Bloch has become one with his fictional
Eldritch Evolutions

CALL OF CTHULHU RPG


counterpart Ludvig Prinn: future generations of
#6048 ISBN 1-56882-349-5 $15.95 readers will know him as an eldritch name hover-
ELDRITCH EVOLUTIONS is the first collection of ing over a body of nightmare texts. To know them
short stories by Lois H. Gresh, one of the most tal- will be to know him. And thus we have decided to
ented writers working these days in the realms of release a new and expanded third edition of
imagination. Robert Blochs Mysteries of the Worm. This collec- CALL OF CTHULHU is a horror roleplaying game
These tales of weird fiction blend elements tion contains four more Mythos tales The set in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos, as
wrung from science fiction, dark fantasy, and hor- Opener of the Way, The Eyes of the Mummy, described by H. P. Lovecraft, the father of modern
ror. Some stories are bent toward bizarre science, Black Bargain, and Philtre Tip not included horror.
others are Lovecraftian Mythos tales, and yet oth- in the first two editions.
ers are just twisted. They all share an underlying
darkness, pushing Lovecraftian science and
Call of Cthulhu, sixth ed.
themes in new directions. While H.P. Lovecraft
The Yellow Sign & Other Stories #23106 ISBN 0-56882-181-6 $34.95
#6023 ISBN 1-56882-126-3 $19.95 CORE PRODUCT The Great Old Ones ruled the
incorporated the astronomy and physics ideas of
his day (e.g., cosmos-within-cosmos and other This massive collection brings together the entire earth aeons before the rise of humankind.
dimensions), these stories speculate about mod- body of Robert W. Chambers' weird fiction works Originally they came from the gulfs of space and
ern science: quantum optics, particle physics, including material unprinted since the 1890's. were cast down by even greater beings. Remains of
chaos theory, string theory, and so forth. Full of Chambers is considered a landmark author in the their cyclopean cities and forbidden knowledge
unique ideas, bizarre plot twists, and fascinating field of horror literature for his King in Yellow col- can still be found on remote islands in the Pacific,
characters, these tales show a feel for pacing and lection, which itself represents but a small portion buried amid the shifting sands of vast deserts, and
structure, and a wild sense of humor. They always of his weird fiction work. These stories are inti- in the frigid recesses of the polar extremes. Now
surprise and delight. mately connected with the Cthulhu Mythos intro- they sleep some deep within the enveloping
ducing Hali, Carcosa, and Hastur. earth and others beneath the eternal sea, in the
This book contains all the immortal tales of drowned city of R'lyeh, preserved in the waters by
The Yith Cycle Robert W. Chambers, including "The Repairer of the spells of mighty Cthulhu. When the stars are
#6047 ISBN 1-56882-327-4 $16.95 Reputations", "The Yellow Sign", and "The Mask". right they will rise, and once again walk this Earth.
The planet Yith is the home of the Great Race, a These titles are often found in survey anthologies. Call of Cthulhu is Chaosiums classic roleplay-
place inspiring H.P. Lovecraft and other authors to In addition to the six stories reprinted from The ing game of Lovecraftian horror in which ordinary
pen classic tales of travel through time and space. Yellow Sign (1895), this book also offers more than people are confronted by the terrifying and alien
In The Shadow Out of Time there is implicit a two dozen other stories and episodes, about 650 forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Call of Cthulhu uses
very different view of Homo Sapiens origins, pages in all. These narratives rarely have appeared Chaosiums Basic Roleplaying system, easy to learn
derived directly from the modern mythology of in print. Some have not been published in nearly a and quick to play. This bestseller has won dozens
the Theosophical Society. Lovecraft often men- century. of game-industry awards and is a member of the
tioned Theosophy as a kind of foil and precedent A Chambers novel, The Slayer of Souls Academy of Adventure Game Design Hall of Fame.
for his own Mythos in his stories. This collection (1920), is not included in this short story collec- In 2011 Call of Cthulhu celebrated its 30th anniver-
includes tales of Yith both famous and obscure, tion. sary. In 2003 Call of Cthulhu was voted the #1
replete with time travel, mind-exchange, and Gothic/Horror RPG of all time by the Gaming
thrilling vistas of primordial history set in context Report.com community. Call of Cthulhu is well-
that enables new readers and long-time The White People supported by an ever-growing line of high quality
Lovecraftian fans alike to enjoy them. game supplements.
& Other Tales This is a softcover 6th edition of this classic
Includes short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, #6035 ISBN 1-56882-147-6 $14.95
August W. Derleth, Richard L. Tierney and many horror game, completely compatible with all of
others. T H E B E S T W E I R D TA L E S O F A RT H U R previous editions and supplements for Call of
MACHEN, VOL 2. Born in Wales in 1863, Cthulhu. This is a complete roleplaying game in
Machen was a London journalist for much of his one volume. All you need to play is this book, some
Mysteries of the Worm life. Among his fiction, he may be best known for dice, imagination, and your friends.
#6037 ISBN 1-56882-176-X $15.95 the allusive, haunting title story of this book, The
White People, which H. P. Lovecraft thought to be
H.P. Lovecraft like his creation, Cthulhu
never truly died. He and his influence live on, in the
the second greatest horror story ever written (after Call of Cthulhu
Blackwoods The Willows). This wide ranging
work of so many of us who were his friends and collection also includes the crystalline novelette A Keepers Screen
acolytes. Today we have reason for rejoycing in Fragment of Life, the Angel of Mons (a story so #23120 ISBN 1-56882-345-2
the widespread revival of his canon. . . . If a vol- coolly reported that it was imagined true by mil- $15.95
ume such as this has any justification for its lions in the grim initial days of the Great War), and A 3-Panel Keeper's Screen mounted on thick
existence, its because Lovecrafts readers The Great Return, telling of the stately visions hardcover stock that folds out to
33 inches wide. One side, intended to face the H.P. Lovecrafts Dunwich begins with The
players, portrays an investigative scene. The Dunwich Horror, Lovecrafts masterful tale of life

Basic Roleplaying
other side collects and summarizes important in the town and its surrounds. It expands upon the
rules and statistics, to help ease the Keeper's task. story with extensive information about the town:
The package includes a 22x34 Mythos Vade pertinent buildings, useful people, and important
Mecum poster by the mad french artists Christian locations are described in detail. A 17x22 map
Grussi and El Tho, postulating relationships depicts the area for miles around, and two scenar- Welcome to Chaosiums Basic Roleplaying system,
between the deities and minions of the Cthulhu ios are included. All statistics and gameplay notes a book that collects in one place rules and options
Mythos. for d20 Cthulhu are also provided. for one of the original and most influential role
playing game systems in the world.

H. P. Lovecrafts Arkham Keepers Companion II


#8803 ISBN 1-56882-165-4 $28.95 #2395 ISBN 1-56882-186-7 $23.95 Basic Roleplaying
Behind everything crouched the brooding, festering A CORE BOOK FOR KEEPERS, VOL. 2New to #2026 ISBN 1-56882-347-9 $44.95
horror of the ancient town . . . the changeless, leg- Call of Cthulhu? A battle-scarred veteran of many A CORE HARDCOVER BOOKThis book
end-haunted city of Arkham, with its clustering campaigns? Here are essential background articles comprises a roleplaying game system, a frame-
gambrel roofs that sway and sag over attics where useful to most keepers. work of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a
witches hid from the King's men in the dark, olden sort of improvisational radio theateronly with-
The History Behind Prohibition A
days of the Province. out microphonesand with dice determining
lengthy article bringing anti-alcohol advocates,
It was always a very bad time in Arkham . . . . law enforcement, gangsters, rum-runners, and whether the characters succeed or fail at what they
H. P. Lovecraft consumers into focus. Lots of good stories. attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player
Arkham is a small town along the Massachusetts The Keepers Master List of Call of Cthulhu takes on the role of the gamemaster (GM), while
coast-the setting favored by author Howard Scenarios Lists are alphabetical by the follow- the other player(s) assume the roles of player char-
Phillips Lovecraft in his tales of monstrous horror. ing topics: scenario era; creature / maniacs / great acters (PCs) in the game. The gamemaster also
All in all a quiet place, Arkham is best-known as old ones; legendary heroes and villains; cults / acts out the roles of characters who arent being
the home of Miskatonic University, an excellent sects / secret societies; Mythos tomes; fictitious guided by players: these are called non-player
school becoming known for its esoteric and dis- locations; and Mythos books from publishers characters (NPCs).
turbing volumes residing in its library's Restricted other than Chaosium. From its origin, Basic Roleplaying was
Collection. These tomes form the foundation of all Iron: a Survey of Civilian Small Arms Used designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character
current efforts to thwart the dire desires of the in the 1890s, 1920s, and the Present. attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Basic
Mythos legion. Practicalities of firearms; common malfunctions; Roleplaying mechanics are even simpler. Virtually
H. P. Lovecraft's Arkham contains extensive new skills Handloading and Gunsmithing. all rolls determining success or failure of a task are
background information about this haunted New Firearms considered are likely to be encountered determined via the roll of percentile dice. This
England town written to be used by serious or thought specially useful by investigators. means that theres less fiddling with dice of differ-
investigators as a base from which to further Insightful discussions of nine specific rifles, five ent types, and the concept of a percentile chance of
explore the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos. shotguns, ten handguns, a sniper rifle, and the success is extremely easy for beginners and expe-
Pertinent buildings, useful people, and important Thompson submachine gun. Hot load damage val- rienced players to grasp. There arent many easier
locations are described in depth. A 17x22" players ues for most weapons, along with comparative rat- ways to say a character has a 70% chance of suc-
map of Arkham is bound into the back, and four ings for noise, maintenance, powder, reloading per ceeding at an activity.
thrilling adventures complete the package. round, more, plus standard stats. The system is remarkably friendly to new-
Includes the H.P. Lovecraft short story The Medical Examiners Report discusses the comers. It is easy to describe the basics of the
Dreams in the Witch-house (1933). unusual corpse recovered by the Essex County game system, and the percentile mechanics, to
Sheriff s Department, as does Dr. Lippincots non-gamers.
Diary from another point of view. Also a short Players of other game systems often find
H. P. Lovecrafts Dunwich article on deep one / human reproduction. Basic Roleplaying to be much less mechanistic and
#8802 ISBN 1-56882-164-6 $25.95 Brian Sammons Mythos Collector submits less of a barrier to the actual act of roleplaying.
Dunwich is a small village located along the write-ups for the Book of Iod, Chronike von Nath, Less time spent on game systems usually equals
Miskatonic, upriver from Arkham. Until 1806, Confessions of the Mad Monk Clinthanus, Letters of more time available for roleplaying and thinking
Dunwich was a thriving community, boasting Nestar, The Nyhargo Codex, Soul of Chaos, in character.
many mills and the powerful Whateley family. Testament of Carnamago, The Tunneler Below, Characters tend to evolve based on practicing
Those among the Whateleys came to know Visions From Yaddith, Von denen Verdammten, as the skills they use the most. They do not arbitrari-
dark secrets about the world, and they fell into the well as for more than a dozen new spells. ly gain experience in skills and qualities based on
worship of unwholesome creatures from other And More: Mythos ex Machina gathers ephemeral elements such as levels or experience
times and places. Retreating to the hills and forests about forty examples of alien technology from ranks.
surrounding the town, they betrayed their uncor- Cthulhu supplements. Gordon Olmstead-Dean Combat can be very quick and deadly, and
rupted kin. outlines the odd connections between H. P. often the deciding blow in a conflict is the one to
Prosperity fled, and a dark despair seized the Lovecraft and the Satanists HPL never knew, in land first.
people. What remains is a skeleton town, mills LaVey, Satanism, and the Big Squid. Indexed. Basic Roleplaying is remarkably modular: levels
closed, its citizens without hope or future. of complexity can be added or removed as needed,
However, secrets of the Mythos survive, to be dis- and the core system works equally well with con-
covered by brave and enterprising investigators. siderable detail as it does with a minimal amount
of rules.

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