Long before ivy grew on the walls of Miskatonic University or the Deep Ones first came to Innsmouth, centuries before the mad Arab penned the dreaded Necronomicon, the malevolent powers of the Cthulhu Mythos plagued mankind. During the Age of the Antonines (96 AD–192 AD), when the Roman Empire was at the peak of its power, dark and unknowable forces were at work. Ancient wizards sought ways to cheat death, explorers stumbled on the remnants of alien civilizations, foul cults practiced unholy rites, and inhuman creatures sought to mix their blood with ours.
Across Rome's vast empire, a few brave men and women rose up to meet these threats for the greater good of mankind. They carried light into the darkness, dispelling a poisonous taint which grows best in the shadows. With steel and spell and burning torch, these heroic investigators of the ancient world defended their civilization from the fearsome powers of the Cthulhu Mythos. Golden Goblin Press is proud to offer up six of their adventures.
Welcome to De Horrore Cosmico.
De Horrore Cosmico (On Cosmic Horror) is a collection of six original scenarios for the Cthulhu Invictus setting for the popular Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. It portrays mankind’s investigations of the Cthulhu Mythos during the Roman Empire. We've assembled an amazing team of authors for this project, starting with the two biggest names in Cthulhu Invictus: Chad Bowser (co-creator of Cthulhu Invictus) and Oscar Rios (The Legacy of Arrius Lurco). We have scenarios from veteran authors Stuart Boon (Shadows over Scotland) and Jeffrey Moeller (Lost in the Lights). We’re excited to introduce our fans to a talented new author, Phredd Groves. Last but not least, we are deeply honored to offer a scenario by the Call of Cthulhu Golden-Age writing/editing team of Penelope Love and Mark Morrison (Horror on the Orient Express). Lisa Padol is co-editing the book with Oscar Rios.
For our art team, Golden Goblin Press is happy to have reunited three people who worked on The Legacy of Arrius Lurco for Miskatonic River Press. Badger McInnes is handling layout, Steffon Worthington is our team cartographer, and Alberto Guerra is doing the cover and interior illustrations.
What is De Horrore Cosmico? Each scenario in this collection explores a classic theme of Cosmic Horror during the age of the Antonines. They are inspired by one or more stories written by H. P. Lovecraft. These scenarios take investigators from the streets of Rome to the windswept mountains of Caledonia, and visit several provinces in between. Our cover depicts a brief glimpse into each of the book's scenarios.
Doom, by Chad Bowser: A mysterious hooded foreigner skulks about the city of Rome, bringing vengeance and devastation as horrific nightmares suddenly become real. Can the investigators stop him in time?
Kith and Kine, by Phredd Groves: The investigators travel into the wilds of Britannia in an attempt to settle a tribal dispute. However, blasphemous accusations, sinister cults, voices whispering from the darkness, and deformed abominations complicate the matter.
The Devil’s Mouth, by Stuart Boon: The investigators travel beyond the borders of the Empire to the farthest edge of the known world. There in the highlands of Caledonia (current day Scotland), they face savage Picts and a cold, alien intelligence. Dark adventure, malevolent plots, and ruins older than mankind await.
The Vetting of Marius Asina, by Jeffrey Moeller: Investigators travel to the city of Massalia in the province of Gallia Narbonensis (known today as the south of France) to probe into the background of Marius Asina, a mysterious man who rose from lowly origins to fabulous wealth and senatorial rank. He seeks even further elevation, but before granting their support (or imposing their opposition), powerful people wish to know more about him, especially the troubling rumors regarding his children.
Murmillo, by Oscar Rios: When the son of a wealthy patrician defies his father to follow his dream of becoming a gladiator, the investigators are hired to bring him home. His actions, if made public, would bring much shame to his family. Finding young Surus won’t be easy, for his trail leads to Ludus Murmius, a mysterious gladiator training school known for producing the finest Murmillo (or “Fish Men”) gladiators in the Empire. Ludus Murmius values its privacy, as they have many secrets to protect.
The Case of Tillius Orestes Sempronius, by Penelope Love and Mark Morrison: The investigators are called to check on a wealthy patrician’s son as he convalesces at the family's country estate. The young man hasn't been well for some time and has suffered a fit which robbed much of his memory. Rumors of madness, murder, and dark magic abound.
The Dark Lares: Lares are guardian spirits who watch over and protect a family, a location, or a specific event. They are small statues of gods, heroic ancestors, or, in our case, The Outer Gods. Golden Goblin Press is very proud to announce we have teamed up once again with the talented Jason McKittrick of Cryptocurium to offer a very special item for this Kickstarter Campaign. These four Lares are representations of the four most powerful Outer Gods—Azathoth, Shub-Niggurauth, Nyarlathotep, and Yog-Sothoth. It’s rumored that the originals were unearthed in the ruins of Pompeii during an excavation in 1987, and that those who handled these artifacts all died mysteriously within a year. Just how Jason McKitterick came into possession of them, and lived, remains a mystery.
These items (which each measure 4 inches tall atop of 1.75 inch base) are included as part of the following Backer Levels (check backer description for specifics): Noricum, Dacia, Aquitania, Thracia, Aegyptus, Germania Superior, Italia, and Nerva Caesar Augustus. Dark Lares can also be included as an add-on item(s) to any backer level ($75 each or $250 for a complete set of four).
DISCLAIMER: Golden Goblin Press is NOT responsible for what happens should anyone make an offering to any of the Dark Lares!
The Death Mask of Magnus Murma: Romans honored their dead by having a wax mask of the recently departed made before their burial or cremation. A very unusual mask was found recently in Sicily, depicting one of the most famous gladiators of the age. His name was Magnus Murma, a Murmillo gladiator who was never seen in public without his full helmet on. He founded a school and passed on the mantle of his name like a title, so that there would always be a Magnus Murma performing, an eternal warriors upon the sands of countless arenas. Upon the death of the original Magnus Murma, his helmet was removed for the casting of his death mask, and his dark secret finally revealed.
Golden Goblin Press is thrilled to announce that we have once again teamed up with Joe Broers to offer replicas of the Death Mask of Magnus Murma. They are included as part of the following Backer Levels: Panonia, Thracia, Aegyptus, Germania Superior, Italia, and Nerva Caesar Augustus. They are also available as an add-on item for $100.
Stretch Goals I-III Official Golden Goblin Press Roman Coins: Do you know the difference between a Sestertius, a Denarius, and an Aureus? Well, your Cthulhu Invictus investigator sure does, and soon, you will too! Our first three stretch goals (see below) will be the creation of three official Golden Goblin Press Roman Coins (designed by Adam Vandenberg), made especially for this Kickstarter by our good friends at Campaign Coins.
Stretch Goal I ($16,500 UNLOCKED!), Golden Goblin Press Sestertius: Should we reach this stretch goal, every backer at or above the Britannia Level will receive an official Golden Goblin Press Sestertius. This would probably cover your expenses for a day or two. Its inscription "Pvnctim et Caesim" translates to "With Point and Edge", basically Stabbing and Slashing. A modern version of this would be "With Tooth and Nail".
Stretch Goal II ($18,000 UNLOCKED!!), Golden Goblin Press Denarius: Should we reach this stretch goal, every backer at or above the Britannia Level will receive an official Golden Goblin Press Denarius. This would probably cover your expenses for a month or two. Its inscription "Ex Audacia Victoriam" translates to "Out of Audacity We Achieve Victory"
Stretch Goal III ($19,500 UNLOCKED!!!), Golden Goblin Press Aureus: Should we reach this stretch goal every backer, at or above the Britannia Level will receive an official Golden Goblin Press Aureus. This would probably cover your expenses for nearly a year (if you were careful, or a really wonderful night if you were not). Its inscription of Persectati Somnium Dementis translates to "Chasing a Madman's Dream".
Stretch Goal IV ($23,000 UNLOCKED!!!!), Tales of Cthulhu Invictus (Fiction Anthology) : Should we reach this stretch goal, every backer at or above the Moesia Superior Level will receive a digital download of Tales of Cthulhu Invictus. This will be Golden Goblin Press’ very first fiction collection, featuring nine short stories set in the world of Cthulhu Invictus, edited by Brian Sammons.
Tales of Cthulhu Invictus
Vulcan's Forge, by William Meikle
To the Fertility of the Empress, by Christine Morgan
A Plague of Wounds, by Konstantine Paradias
Time Devours All, by Pete Rawlik
The Unrepeatables, by Edward M. Erdelac
Signs of the Black Stars, by Penelope Love
Lines in the Sand, by Tom Lynch
The Temple of Iald-T’quthoth, by Lee Clark Zumpe
The Seven Thunders, by Robert M. Price
Would you like to add a physical copy of Tales of Cthulhu Invictus to your backer rewards? You can! See the Dead Tree Add-On.
Stretch Goal V ($25,000 UNLOCKED!!!!!), Patrone, mi Patrone! (meaning “Patron, my Patron!”): Once we achieve this stretch goal, a new section will be added to De Horrore Cosmico. Our authors will create six unique and fully detailed NPC patrons whom Keepers can use in their home campaign. These powerful and wealthy individuals support the investigators in return for retaining their services. When the investigators' patron calls upon them for assistance, it’s not a request they can refuse. Obeying a patron's requests can serve as the perfect hook for almost any Cthulhu Invictus scenario. "Patrone, mi Patrone!" should enlarge De Horrore Cosmico by at least 12,000 words.
Stretch Goal VI ($27,500), Terror on the Borderlands, Volume One: Unlocking this stretch goal grants every backer at or above the Moesia Superior level a very special PDF, Terror on the Borderlands. Investigators are sent on a tour of military posts across the Eastern Empire, solving various crises and shoring up regional stability during the Third Jewish War. Our first volume features two scenarios for Cthulhu Invictus.
Foundation of Power (Egypt), by Oscar Rios: Investigators are sent deep into Lower Egypt to inspect the garrison at Palmulae Piscinam, where relations between the Romans and the Berber tribes are uneasy at best. The investigators face corruption, insurrection, night terrors, and a plague of deadly serpents. Egypt is an ancient place, where an eons old war between mankind and the mythos has just been restarted. Can peace be restored. or will this be a war of total annihilation?
A Whisper of Crones (Syria), by Charles Gerard: While the investigators are passing through Syria, they become embroiled in a very dangerous political scandal. The crisis involves the son of a Roman Legate, the daughter of an Emesani priest-king, and a sinister Eastern mystery cult behind it all. Magic, mystery, deception, and betrayal abound as the investigators learn that love is not only blind, but deaf as well.
Stretch Goal VII ($30,000), Terror on the Borderlands, Volume Two: Unlocking this stretch goal expands the Terror on the Borderlands PDF, which is granted to every backer at or above the Moesia Superior level, by two additional scenarios. The investigators continue their tour of military posts, this time stopping in the war torn province of Judea and the politically unstable province of Armenia. Horror awaits them in both.
Son of a Star (Judea), by Andy Nicholson: The province of Judea is in revolt. Under the religious leader Simon Ben Kokhba, rebels fight a bitter and bloody war against the might of the Roman legions Welcome to Judea. When a captured Jewish spymaster goes missing both the Romans and the Jewish rebels want him found. Unfortunately he has fallen into the hands of dangerous third party, one which cares little about politics but a great deal about bringing about total devastation to the region. Sometimes to build something new you have to burn down everything and start fresh.
A Balance of Blood (Armenia), by Matthew Puccio: Armenia rests on dangerous ground, with the Roman Empire to its west and the Parthian Empire to its east. The land has been ruled by Rome, Parthia, and has sometimes ruled itself as a semi-independent client kingdom to either empire. When the investigators meet with the nobility of Armenia in advance of a political summit they are drawn into a deadly plot. Magic, murder, curses, and deception abound. Worse, when such political missions in Armenia fail war often follows close behind.
We have many more stretch goals planned, including limited edition autographed hardcover copies of De Horrore Cosmico, a video diary of the production of a batch of Golden Goblin Press garum, and our first ever published Cathulhu Invictus scenario (yes, you play as Cats, Proud Roman Cats, in Ancient Rome!)
The Dark Lares: These items are available as an add-on item(s) to any backer level. Backers can increase their pledge by $75 for each Dark Lares or $250 for a complete set of four.
The Death Mask of Magnus Murma: This item is available as an add-on item to any backer level. Backers should increase their pledge by $100.
Additional Copies of De Horrore Cosmico: You may add-on additional copies of De Horrore Cosmico to any backer level. Domestic backers should add $40 per additional copy ($35+$5 shipping and handling). International backers should add $42 ($35+$8 shipping and handling).
Traveling Expenses Add-on: Backers can add-on this item to receive a small felt bag with three of each coin (two additional coins of each type plus the felt bag) by increasing their pledge by $15.
Dead Trees – A physical copy of Tales of Cthulhu Invictus, Golden Goblin Press’ very first fiction collection, is added onto your backer rewards for an additional $10.
More items will be added to this list as the campaign progresses.
Risks and challenges
We face many of the same risks and challenges most Kickstarters do. We're working hard to minimize most of these risks before we launch the campaign. To deal with the unforeseen challenges, we intend to be versatile and pro-active. We learned a lot from our previous kickstarters, Island of Ignorance-The Third Cthulhu Companion, and Tales of the Crescent City-Adventures in Jazz Era New Orleans. While happy with how successful those project turned out we continue to try to improve our products and services.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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