The modern age began with Enlightenment, and Enlightenment exposed the darkness.
The time is the 18th century, and the place is Britain – a land just discovering new sciences and creating new technologies. But these new sciences discover mind-shattering truths; the age of the Earth, the impermanence of living species, the sheer scale of the universe. And beyond these truths, of course, is the Mythos.
“The greater is the circle of light, the greater is the boundary of the darkness by which it is confined.”
– Joseph Priestley, Lunar Society member
But when the new sciences of the age unsettle the minds of the nation and unleash dark forces, the governing classes may not handle it well. They are wedded to old ways and old lies. Investigators seeking to deal with terrible new discoveries and ancient insanities need a different sort of sponsor.
Meet the Lunar Society, a dining club of natural philosophers, industrialists, and radical intellectuals, the embodiment of the Enlightenment. They have wealth, knowledge, and principles. Simultaneously, members of the Bluestockings Society, a group largely composed of women, who meet to discuss art, literature, and politics, have—in their most secret meetings—formed Friends of Blue, a private organisation set up to protect the world from the devastating knowledge of the Mythos. When either group or their friends stumble across evils needing to be contained, who better to organise a response?
Boundary of the Darkness is an 18th century campaign frame for Trail of Cthulhu by Phil Masters and Sarah Saltiel, and includes:
- An introduction to 18th century Britain, and the many revolutions, dark secrets, and conflicts of the age.
- Biographical notes on Lunar and Bluestockings Society members and other useful GMCs, including some of Britain’s greatest doctors, natural philosophers, and engineers.
- Character creation notes, including new and revised Occupations and Abilities.
- Period equipment and weapons.
- An introduction to troupe play in Trail of Cthulhu.
- Notes on how to use a wide variety of Mythos monsters in play, and also ideas for non-Mythos adventures in service to the Lunar and Bluestockings Societys.
- Two introductory scenarios – “A Spirit Out of Time”, in which the PCs receive just a hint of what the Age of Discovery might uncover, and “Southwark”, in which the PCs must determine how a public disturbance in Mayfair is infecting Southwark residents with memory loss.
So buckle on a brace of pistols, and make ready to carry Enlightenment to the very boundary of the darkness!