The first supplement for World War Cthulhu, Europe Ablaze, will be available for pre-order this week, so we thought we’d delve a little deeper into the six scenarios included in the book.
On the 16th July, 1940, Winston Churchill told Hugh Dalton, the newly appointed head of the Special Operations Executive, to “set Europe ablaze”. With this simple instruction Churchill set in motion some of the most dangerous and brilliant actions of the Second World War. The men and women of SOE performed acts of sabotage, subversion and espionage so extraordinary that if they were portrayed as fiction, they would beggar belief. These agents pushed bravery and human endurance past limits that most of us can only imagine.
Europe Ablaze presents six missions demanding such resourcefulness and determination, all set in the European theatre of operations. Some are inspired by SOE missions or historical events, while others take a more imaginative view of the conflict, but all are rooted in the all-too-real horrors that the Second World War brought about. All of them also add that special twist that being part of N’s network demands, and the dangers of the Mythos will prove at least as deadly as a bullet from the Gestapo.
Sleeper Agents – Nick Robinson presents the machinations of a small network of occultists in northern France who have had their minds touched by a lost Mythos deity. N has dispatched a team to contain the situation at all costs. Keeping the true nature of this mission hidden is the tricky part, and the investigators will soon be drawn into a large-scale programme of assassinations.
The Play is the Thing – Walt Ciechanowski takes us to Italy, where a troupe of players prepares to perform a radio adaptation of a supposedly harmless derivation of The King in Yellow. Of course nothing relating to the Mythos is ever harmless, and the agents will have to avoid the watchful gaze of the Italian authorities as they try to stop the creation of a permanent gateway to Carcosa.
We Will Remember Them – Paul Fricker presents a mission to sabotage a power plant in Norway, inspired by the real SOE Operation Musketoon. This is only the beginning, as the team is diverted to investigate a Norwegian scientist's unwholesome experiments with alien technology, and what the agents discover will leave them changed forever.
Lift Not Thy Hands – Andy Nicholson sends the investigators into occupied Belgium, ostensibly to help the Belgian resistance wiretap a telephone exchange and learn the plans of the local Gestapo. Being part of N’s network, things are not so simple, and they also need to recover a lost Mythos artefact. This would be hard enough, had said artefact not resurrected a long-dead evil in the Wallonian countryside.
The Angel of the Abyss – Matthew Sanderson takes inspiration from the real Operation Harling, when SOE united disparate factions of the Greek Resistance, ahead of the assault on the Gorgopotamus Bridge. In this version of events, the mission is complicated by the resurgence of a forgotten death cult and their inhuman allies.
Stowaways – Scott Dorward offers a spin on the first exchange of Allied and Axis prisoners in neutral Spain. The Intelligence Corps in Alexandria believe that they have uncovered a plan to sabotage the British vessel repatriating German POWs, and N has had reports that there may be a hitherto-unknown alien parasite on board. The investigators need to find a way of containing both threats without creating a diplomatic incident.
Europe Ablaze for World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour is available to pre-order this week. Cover by Jon Hodgson, interior art by Scott Purdy.