The First Cthulhu Invictus Companion
In suus domus procul R'lyeh
mortuus Cthulhu exspecto somnium
—Graffiti found scrawled throughout Pompeii following an earthquake¸ August 20th¸ 79 AD
The translation of the above graffiti should be well known to most fans of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is "In his house at R'lyeh¸ dead Cthulhu waits dreaming". For a time the Roman Empire stretched across most of the "known world" uniting various peoples under its rule. Cultures met¸ clashed¸ were conquered and changed one another in the processes. Information traveled along Roman roads along with goods and troops¸ spreading knowledge and enlightenment throughout the empire. Rome¸ for some¸ meant civilization¸ order and justice. For others it meant enslavement¸ oppression and occupation. It was the crest of history's tide¸ and when it was gone darkness and chaos reigned for nearly a thousand years. But for now the Roman Empire was a light that kept the dark ages at bay¸ but with every light there are always shadows.
Amid sprawling cities and frontier garrisons¸ from peaceful country villas to newly constructed catacombs the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos lurked¸ and thrived. As the Empire spread across the land the Mythos infected it¸ like an illness¸ using Rome's uniting light to spread its own darkness. Isolated covens and cabals of dozens soon became well-organized cults of hundreds¸ spread across vast stretches of the empire. The accumulated knowledge of the ages was examined¸ connections made and puzzles solved¸ sometimes to humanity's misfortune. The forces of the mythos quickly learned that civilization was as easy to hide in as wastelands but with much more abundant prey.
However¸ in every age there are always a few who learn the truth. A small handful of people always seem to discover that all is not as it seems and slowly pull back the veil of what mankind tells itself is reality. They see¸ they learn¸ and usually they die; but not always. Some take up arms¸ be it blades or arcane magic¸ and choose to stand against these shadows. They become mankind's defenders¸ fighting to protect others from the truth while moving to rid the world of these shadows of evil. In every age there are always a few such people¸ it was no different in the time of the Roman Empire. Here are a few of their stories. Welcome to Malum Umbra¸ Shadows of Evil¸ the first Cthulhu Invictus companion.
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