F-side Games

Shadows over Scotland: Cthulhu Britannica for Call of Cthulhu

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Mysterious, wild and beautiful, Scotland in the 1920s is home to horrors modern and ancient, man-made and star-born. From the rolling pastoral Lowlands to the snow-capped peaks of the Highlands and the seaweed-choked Western Isles, creatures and cultures have taken root in Scotland whose maddening, corrupting influence can be felt far and wide. Fiendish things haunt the hive-like alleys and wynds of old Edinburgh, while Glasgow’s streets whisper with rumours of dark terrors in the shipyard shadows on the snaking, poisonous Clyde. And in the isles, murmurs on fishing boats and ferries speak of far older things, of sites of power and standing stones, awakenings and stirrings in forgotten places. Something terrifying lurks in the night, casting dark shadows over Scotland.

Shadows over Scotland is a massive new hardback sourcebook for Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game covering Scotland in the 1920s. It features:

  • three comprehensive sections detailing the Lowlands, Highlands and Islands
  • individual sections on history, folklore, language and life in 1920s Scotland
  • a complete mythos timeline
  • detailed coverage of nine cities and their various inhabitants
  • six sinister adventures complete with extensive handouts

Shadows Over Scotland - in depth. 

In addition to 6 scenarios (see below), Shadows Over Scotland is very much intended to be a resource for Keepers. There is a wealth of information for creating Scottish scenarios here, including:

  • An introduction to Scotland in the 1920s, setting the scene as it were
  • A brief history of Scotland: prehistory through to the 1920s including Mythos events and potential scenario seeds
  • A Mythos timeline from 350 million years ago to the 1920s, intertwining human and Mythos history (and more scenario seeds)
  • Information on notable figures of 1920s Scotland, getting around, currency and the lingo (from Alba to Zoomer)
  • New eldritch spells, vile tomes, useful/dangerous items and unique Mythos entities
  • References for further reading

Shadows Over Scotland breaks the country down into three regions: Lowlands, Highlands, Islands. Each of these includes detailed information on:

  • Geography & travel
  • Culture & people, including Mythos cults
  • Flora & fauna
  • Climate & weather
  • Full and detailed Mythos descriptions, focusing on intrigues, introductions, investigations and revelations

As well as discussions of known Mythos cultures and creatures, the book introduces a large number of unique Mythos entities, such as:

  • ‘Old Maggie’, the Crone of Appin Hill
  • The Thing in the Clyde
  • Sawney Bean
  • The Blue Men of the Minch
  • Bishop Warlock
  • The Floating Horror of Glen Affric
  • ... and others too horrible to mention!

For each region, three 'Cities in Detail' are provided with further discussion of locations, personalities, and Mythos elements. These are:

  • Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews for the Lowlands;
  • Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William for the Highlands;
  • Kirkwall, Portree, and Stornoway for the Islands

Finally, the seven scenarios in the book are:

Death and Horror Incorporated

A string of nightmarish incidents in Glasgow’s East End leads investigators to Glasgow Cathedral, HM Duke Street Prison, the Royal Infirmary, and the Necropolis—all situated within a mile of each other—to uncover a dark nexus of evil.

The Hand of Abyzou

When an old friend ends up in an Edinburgh asylum raving about witchcraft and the end of the world, investigators must uncover the mystery of the ‘Sleepers’ and venture into Edinburgh’s catacombs to face an ancient terror that must never wake.

Uisge Beatha (“The Water of Life”)

A new young laird from America gets more than he bargained for when he visits the ancient whiskey distillery on his land. The investigators receive a frosty reception from the locals, and discover there truly is ‘something in the water.’

Heed The Kraken’s Call

Determined to plumb the depths of Loch Ness, Norway’s celebrated naval explorer Erik Øland arrives in Inverness bound for the world’s deepest loch. But when his purpose-built ship, The Kraken, is set alight in the Moray Firth that same evening and Øland is found murdered in his hotel room, investigators are called in to look into the mystery.

The Forbidden Isle

With plans of turning the island into a luxurious playground for Britain’s rich and famous, Sir George Bullough invites the investigators to the Western Isle of Rúm to discover why neighbouring islanders refuse to set foot on ‘The Forbidden Isle’ and what nameless horror has claimed the island for its home.

Star Seed

Archaeologist John McNamara invites the investigators to Skara Brae to confer on a strange artefact he’s discovered. If he’s right, there might have been a very, very good reason why the settlement was abandoned so suddenly millennia ago. Worse than that, it would appear the stars are aligning once more and that the same ‘reason’ might well be returning from the depths of timeless space.

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