Rorschach tests hide more horrendous secrets than the darkest thoughts of their research subjects. Mr. Matchinski, a journalist of the Chicago Tribune hurries home to Arkham after he received a peculiar letter from his brother. Time, in his childhood town, seems to have stopped; he even has the feeling that it flows backwards. The journalist learns that his brother is being treated in the mental ward of the hospital where he used to work as a doctor. While Mr. Matchinski tries to unravel the events of the past weeks, he comes to realise that the Rorschach tests his brother had been studying not only allow a glimpse into the psychological state of patients, but they also open a gate to another world.
Mr. Matchinski appears in Cultistorm as an investigator, while the short story provides players with a background to one of the expansions.
On 11th December 1922 Alice Townsend escaped Arkham Sanitarium. To this day, we do not know how.
We have little information about Townsend. The woman worked as a schoolteacher in Salem. She was slim, with bright red hair. She was being treated in the institute for a variety of ailments, that were categorized by her doctors as ‘derangement’.
These factors make it unimaginable that Townsend could have escaped alone. The police suspect that she had accomplices, whose identities remain a mystery and are to be considered dangerous.
None of the local newspapers have mentioned the most horrifying details of the incident, in an attempt, I assume, to avoid mass panic. The remnants of doctors and nurses, mutilated beyond all recognition in a blood-curdling nocturnal massacre were only seen by institute employees and police officers. The heavy gates of the asylum were broken open with huge force and the corridor leading to Alice Townsend’s first floor room was lined with corpses of asylum employees, their face frozen into rictus shapes of unearthly horror.
The only footprints found were those of small female feet which lead right to the gate.
The case of Alice Townsend was shocking. She wasn’t known to have sudden outbursts of anger or hysterical fits, before her admission to Arkham. Those close to her described her as a calm, quiet woman.
The story of Alice Townsend will appear in the Storm of Cultists expansion, where the players will have a chance to stop the raging of madness that has consumed her.
It was his uncle’s death that brought Arthur Lockhard Blackwood to Salem. His hometown still bore the cursed heritage of ancient witch cults.
The late James T. Blackwood took his own life and was most probably chased to his death by the unspeakable secrets he encountered during his mystical travels, that brought him to this dreadful place. Perhaps it was the relic of unknown origin found during the excavations in Yemen, or the dark power of ragged figures gathering in the Salem nights that summoned Shub-Niggurath on that stormy night?
It is of course also conceivable that it was a mad nightmare that appeared tangibly real, but when the boundaries between reality and dreams irrevocably collapse, Arthur is trapped in the Blackwood house and hears his dead uncle’s shuffling footsteps.
Shub-Niggurath is a Great Old One summoned by the cultists of the Salem witch cult, the story allows the players to glimpse the consequences of the meeting.
The Broken Amulet
Two childhood friends, who used to share a strange amulet, meet again many years later in the forgotten, ancient graveyard of Kingsport. The fates of a folklorist and a mathematician are connected again by that indescribable dark secret reaching for them from the past of the city. The peculiar shards upset space and time and the friends escape through older and older layers of the city’s past, running from the living nightmare burning up their sanity.
This story is about the history and power of amulets. It helps us understand this “weapon” with the help of which we can fight the cultists.
An expert in symbols tries to use the science of geometry to figure out the secret of the dark glyphs that have been spreading since the appearance of cultists. In the beginning he is fueled by his own professional ambition, but soon his work is noticed by the investigating authority and they ask for his help in the search for mysterious sects and unexplainable phenomena.
Our expert sets out to discover the truth, surrounded by investigators and with his assistant by his side. In the meantime, the shapes of the symbols start to distort his personality. He tries to make an amulet work in the grey town of Innsmouth, in a derelict house infested by unnatural fungi. He doesn’t succeed.
Then, a nameless mist descends upon the surroundings of Arkham and changes the laws of nature. People begin to disappear, others go mad and are locked up in Arkham Asylum, mumbling about their nightmares. Whole family’s lives are distorted, as they slip into despair.
Secrets stay secret because some things are better left undisturbed.
In Krisztina’s short story we get to know one of the investigators, a Great Old One appears and we catch a glimpse into the supernatural power of the symbols used in the fight against the cultists.
Days of Madness
It was Robert S. Kleiman who opened the gate towards the distant, ancient worlds, which were at the same time insanely attractive and torturous. Thus it was that he unleashed the storm of cultists on Arkham.
Kleiman wrote his painful memoir before stepping through the window into infinity from which he never returned. This is his story from a different angle: it is told by Mrs. Emma Howkins, the elderly landlady who lost her husband as a result of similarly unexplainable events when she was young. She couldn’t resist the temptation to venture through the gate that opened in the room of her lodger and went to a place that would change the fate of humanity.
Once every ten years, from the 17th century to the present day, eyewitnesses speak of of a black cloaked figure who wears a silver pin appearing in Salem to unleash terror upon the populace.
Naturally, these stories are just the ignorant phantasmagoria of superstitious people. But to Linnea Arc, a young folklorist, on the trail of an ancient witch cult, they might be something else.
As Linnea’s investigation continues, she finds she is less and less able to resist the calling of Gallows Hill. Her childhood scar starts to burn her arm, cattle die in the fields and Salem’s inhabitants suspect that the one wearing a silver pin walks among them once more…
This story is linked to one of the Terror cards; if it’s activated, spiraling pain and madness is unleashed on the investigators.
The Gate of Kingsport
An abandoned, church stands in Kingsport. An ancient, mysterious cave is contained within its vaults. The cave leads to a gate that opens to another world.
The gate wanted him dead.
The scaly ones that smell of fish wanted him dead.
The gate is beautiful. The gate is calling. The gate is swallowing you. You must serve the thing beyond the gate. The one who crosses through the gate will be unstoppable. One wants to cross it, even at the cost of his life. The other one wants to close it, even at the cost of his life. Both of them will pay the price.
The players have to close the dimension gates opening in Kingsport if they want to keep the world from being swallowed by horrors. This story is about a hero who also tried to do it, but didn’t succeed.
The late John Pearlson and his loyal partner served in the New England Police Department for thirty years. Now, one of them is dead and the other will never be the man he once was. The tiled mosaic they find on the floor of a ruined house in the outskirts of the city seals the fate of the two policemen forever. They are forbidden to continue their investigation, yet they cannot rest until they discover the secret strange pattern.
Following the members of an unknown sect, the two investigators find a strange lake hiding in the middle of the Kingsport forest, but they cannot overcome what they meet there.
Stephen Dawson is one of the investigators in Cultistorm and this is his story.
The Children of Dunwich
Years have gone by since the famed 1928 Dunwich horror. A geography professor of Miskatonic University arrives in town to find answers to the terrible questions tormenting his soul. His research yields an unexpected result: he realises that in three years the whole population of Dunwich has changed. The descendants of the founding families have either moved away or died in mysterious circumstances. New inhabitants have arrived and laid claim to the deserted houses and streets.
The horror creeps out from the walls, fear saturates you and takes you under. The children of Dunwich become a distorted version of themselves as they writhe in an ecstasy that opens endless seas of stars, until the day of enlightenment and rebirth.
The children of Dunwich is a special cultist cast belonging to the base game of Cultistorm; the players will need to face them sooner or later.
This was the last mission of Jane Carternek, a young and ambitious investigator. Since then, she left the agency, changed her name and started a new life. Although she was used to dealing with the unexplainable and the horror, but she couldn’t cope when it happened to her.
During her research in the library of the Miskatonic University, Jane finds a strange partner. He was very helpful at first, directing Jane towards discovering the key to the tormenting secrets, however when the strange signs started appearing on Jane’s body, the man disappeared without a trace, leaving only agonizing fits and nightmare-ridden, empty days in his wake.
There was also the strange note Jane found among the pages of an ancient tome in the library, giving instructions to the creation of a strange artefact.
While her fellow investigators tried to round up the members of a strange cult, the maniac scientists of the Agency built the horrible machine described in the notes for the greater good. Jane, however, couldn’t take it anymore, because there are means that can’t be justified even by the most noble of ends.
Jane Carter is one of the investigators working for the agency in the game. This story is the memento of her last mission.
Police Lieutenant Tony Russo sets out to find his lost brother who worked as a detective on the Innsmouth investigation. The younger Russo got caught up in some serious trouble; according to the charges, he helped several highly dangerous criminals escape and then disappeared.
However, it is not only Tony and the police who are hunting for missing people. looking for the leader of the Innsmouth underworld: the members of a hitherto unknown cult as well. The trigger of events is human greed, the final aim is the promise of immortality, the long road between the two that leads to horrifying realisations is haunted by finned and scaled figures bearing the lingering smell of fish.
Tony Russo is one of the investigators in the game – this is his story.
The mysterious client of Bobby Morten
Bobby Morten was a real adventurer, brave and daring. For a long time, he and his girlfriend earned their living with scams, swindling and smuggling alcohol. One day their luck left them, they had to flee and leave their old home behind. That’s how they ended up in Arkham, Massachusetts.
Their new life started out full of hope, but they soon got bored of the drab and mundane. Drink and a jaded outlook began to jeopardize their bright future.
After six months, Bobby was only a shadow of his old self, until the day someone came into his life with a mysterious mission and plenty of cash. Suddenly, he changed, sobered up and became dedicated and a workaholic. However, he kept the reasons for his feverish nocturnal activities his most guarded secret.
As days and weeks went by, Bobby Morten’s personality changed completely, so much so that the woman who once loved him with all her heart got nothing in return.
This is the back story of Serena Higgins who came to face the existence of the horror beyond human existence when she lost the love of her life. The members of the Agency freed her from the clutches of an unknown sect after months of captivity. She joins the investigators, not giving up hope that by hunting down the cults of madness, she would find her Bobby again.