Hey folks! Last year I was part of a dedicated playgroup that got together roughly once a week for the entire semester to play Eldritch. We decided by the second game that all of our sessions were going to exist in a single shared-universe, the implications of which to be ironed out later on. We ended up playing some thirteen or fourteen games, which I later turned into a 12-part plot summary. A friend of mine is working on art, another is making memes, I'm working with a third to design Legacy-style versions of our characters to keep in the club's copy of Eldritch. The result is this really fun and cool canon that we all derive a lot of joy from, and I thought this might be a nice place to share some of that with other people! If folks on here are interested, I will continue to post summary chapters over time. Either way, I hope you enjoy the experience that we were able to create with the help of this wonderful game!
Note: I am a little protective of this story, since I put a lot of effort into beyond just what happened in-game and may reuse many elements later in actual works (I am a writer) so if you get excited and want to use or base something off this material, please ask first! I'm not arrogant enough to assume that will happen, but I thought I'd add the note just in case.
Additional Note: I (and we) took a number of liberties with world building in constructing this, so many parts of the canon no longer match either the source material (Lovecraft) or the base interpretation (FFG). I know Abhoth isn't technically an Outer God, and I know the Great Old Ones aren't a specific pantheon from another planet, etc. etc. But the changes are all for the sake of the story.
Prologue: Through the Mists of Time
In the beginning, many eons ago when the Earth was young and its newborn gods still walked and played in since-forgotten ways on lush hills, a Great War raged in a distant galaxy. A pantheon of god-beings there had conquered one world after another, slaughtering or enslaving their inhabitants to swell their own power. These arrogant entities then turned their gaze on the Prime Evils, ancient forces of corruption and entropy perhaps as old as the universe itself. The younger deities wished to depose the Prime Evils and take their place. They had no concept of the foolishness of their actions.
Utterly routed, most of their worshippers annihilated, the Great Old Ones (for so this pantheon had come to be called) fled from the vengeance of the Prime Evils, recklessly tearing open portal after portal as they raced through the universe. Finally, when they could flee no more, they came across a young world with sentient life, where they believed they could rebuild and begin their dominion once again. This world was Earth.
But Earth was not fertile ground for a new galactic empire. It already had native deities, the Elder Gods, and they were a mighty pantheon backed by the young but uniquely resourceful human race. A terrible war ensued as the Elder Gods refused to bow down and the Great Old Ones attempted to subjugate the planet, during which time the very fabric of space-time was rent asunder. Ultimately, the Elder Gods overcame the already-weakened Great Old Ones, but in the process they were reduced to bare shadows of their former selves, unable to manifest physically. They knew their power would not be enough if the Old Ones ever reunited. They took advantage of the damage to space-time and split the Earth into six identical copies, each residing in a pocket parallel dimension. On each earth they imprisoned a Great Old One, and for a long time, that was the end of the war.
Chapter 1: It Begins...
Eons pass. It is 1922. The various Earths have evolved at roughly the same pace and with roughly similar historical events. Different versions of some individuals exist across the Earths. Cults of the Great Old Ones exist, and have been channeling power to their dark gods, but as yet to little effect.
All that changes when the stirrings of Manam’qua, the Great Old One imprisoned within the Moon of Earth-VI, the metaphysically-closest Earth to the Outer Court, bring down a terrible judgement on the planet. People and animals begin to mutate into horrific monsters with a taste for needless killing and mindless copulation. Among the individuals trying to figure out what is going on are: Jacqueline, a psychic overwhelmed with visions of the apocalypse; Carolyn, Jacqui’s psychiatrist and a scofflaw with total disdain for conventional authority; Hank, a young farmer whose Pa has gone missing; and Preston, a wealthy man who becomes a monster-fighting vigilante.
In an odyssey across the Americas, Hank encounters a cult known as Tristram’s Knights. Unable to save the innocents they were sacrificing to Manam’qua, and pursued by them out of the country after he attempts to expose a high-ranking political figure as a member, he finds his way to South America, where he meets a scientist studying the nature of reality. The scientist, Kate, uses a special weapon she has designed to un-summon monsters from other dimensions, and together they are able to take on the unholy guardians of a lost South American temple and rescue Hank’s Pa.
While in Rome, Jacqueline and Carolyn seek out the help of a visiting priest named Father Mateo, but his offer of sanctuary sours when a portal opens beneath the cathedral. Jacqui is lost through the portal and killed accidentally by a Flying Polyp, leaving Carolyn the only human on Earth-6 with prior knowledge of the apocalypse. Together, she and Mateo discover the presence of Manam’qua and, far more terrifying, the fact that none of the monsters or cataclysms affecting the planet are due to Manam’qua’s influence at all. The real threat is one of the Prime Evils, Shub-Niggurath, who has somehow been drawn to the planet from the Outer Court. When the Evil manifests an avatar in the heart of Africa, her brood of twisted monsters begin to overrun the world.
Hank and Kate and Hank’s Pa attempt to avert the apocalypse by traveling through a time portal, but it is a harrowing and unsuccessful experience. Hank decides to leave his Pa in the past where he will be safe and able to live out his life before the events of the apocalypse, but he and Kate return to the present to help fight off the monsters. Upon their return a monstrous demigod child of Shub-Niggurath, Nug, kills Kate. Hank goes into a berserk rage and dies attempting to slay the god-thing with a sledgehammer.
Preston gathers a team of capable warriors, with the help of a few dark deals, and fights a path through Africa to confront the monstrous avatar herself. Upon reaching the central swarm of the Thousand Young, however, it is revealed that one of the deals he made to gain powerful protective magic was with a shadowy being connected to the Prime Evil. He and his troops are paralyzed as their charms and weapons disintegrate, leaving them unarmed and immobile before a horde of slavering monsters.
Carolyn and Mateo are separated when monsters attack the cathedral. Carolyn, armed with a tommygun and Jacqui’s prophecies, manages to fight her way through the city and take over a major mafia organization, mobilizing them to evacuate the citizenry. Father Mateo is forced to flee through the portal, finding himself in The Dreamlands. He is captured and treated as a curious pet in a court of feylike beings.
Shub-Niggurath’s Thousand Young sweep across the globe, annihilating civilization throughout Africa, Europe, and Russia. Nug performs similarly in the Americas. Carolyn and her mafia allies fight their way out of Europe, across the North American Wasteland, gathering a steadily-increasing number of survivors. Ultimately, they flee across the ocean, creating the only major remaining bastion of civilization in the mostly-untouched Australia. Manam’qua shatters its bonds (and part of the Moon-VI itself) and attacks the invaders, but is easily obliterated by Shub-Niggurath, after which the Prime Evil abandons the world to its monstrous children and continues on its inscrutable way.
So there it is! Not off to the greatest start for our heroes, but we will see what happens next on the other five Earths! Feel free to ask any questions about our game, characters, players, etc. and I will answer to the best of my ability.
Carolyn (Earth-VI), Grand Arbiter of the Australian Bastion
Changes to Planetary Status
Earth-VI: Overrun by the Thousand Young. Great Old One prisoner, Manam'qua, destroyed. Human survivors located in the Australian Bastion, the only safe continent remaining.
Next Chapter: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/33096503