08/28/2006 Update: Secrets of Kenya is coming along nicely. It looks like a December
SECRETS OF KENYA
Strange Encounters in the African Wilds
A 1920's Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook by David Conyers
The Eastern regions of Africa are largely unexplored by Westerners. Beneath the desert sands,
and lurking within the highlands lie mysteries far older than Western civilization, and indeed
mankind. Long before the arrival of Arab traders or European explorers some of the native
peoples learned to fear and worship great and terrible beings. Here within the heart of Africa,
adventure and horror await those brave or foolhardy enough to seek them out. Secrets of Kenya
details the cultures, geography, and history of Kenya through the 1930's; provides an African
bestiary; details several secret societies; and includes four adventures to jump start your own
explorations of Kenya and the surrounding African wilds.
This is a brief overview of the book highlighting it as potential for a change of pace and scene for
the Call of Cthulhu setting, a wild and relatively unexplored country full of dangerous tribes,
strange cults, overt mythos activity and predatory animals.
“As Above, So Below”
Short story concerning a great white hunter who hopes to kill a lion while on safari.
Chapter 1 – The Making of Kenya
This chapter presents an overview of the colony and a brief introduction to the many African
Cthulhu Mythos sources incorporated into the book. The history of Kenya covers the dawn of
humanity, first tribes, Arab traders, Portuguese explorers, the rise of Zanzibar, the British
conquering the interior and their dealings with the natives, the British East Africa Company, the
Uganda Railway, highlands settlement, inequality and racism, war with the German colonies,
Kenyan uprisings and the establishment of white Kenya bring history to the 1930s. Kenyan
Geography provides an overview on Nairobi and Mombasa, the Swahili Coast, Rift Valley and
Central Highlands, and the Northern Deserts. Climate, the government, laws, the police,
transportation, currency, technology, news services and Credit Rating in Kenya are described.
Templates for King’s African Rifles investigators and new skills are offered, plus an overview of
the Suez Canal, which is the gateway to the Indian Ocean from America and Europe.
Chapter 2 – The African People
This chapter is an overview of the sub-Saharan people of Africa with a particular focus on the
major Kenyan Africans. Rules for local languages including Kiswahili are covered, and twelve
major tribal groups are described in detail and classified for ease of gaming including the
Maasai, Kikuyu, Somali and Swahili people. The African way of life is broken into sections on
tribal villages, home life, food, clothing, religion and beliefs, African justice, witchcraft and evil
sorcery. Statistics and descriptions for sixteen African weapons and shields is offered, as are
rules for generating African investigators with new occupation templates, sample African names,
new skills and an overview of African Tribal Magic.
Chapter 3 – Guide to Nairobi
Nairobi is the major European settlement in East Africa and this chapter is dedicated to
presenting the city as a base for investigators operating in Kenya. Dozens of locations are
described including the railway station, hotels, government buildings, post office, the library and
museum including their mythos collections, trading posts, hospitals, newspapers, mosques and
churches, police station, the Indian Bazaar District, the suppressed African political parties, and
the African and Asian (Indian) quarters. Key locations from Masks of Nyarlathotep are described
and expanded. A new mythos site include a women’s spiritualist group based on Ann K
Schwader’s “The Lost Stars”, while the historical personalities of Lord Delamere, Jomo Kenyatta
and Karen Blixen are provided.
Chapter 4 – The Kenyan Interior
The interior of Kenya is the focus for adventures in East Africa, and wild and relatively
unexplored country. Six major terrain types are described and classified; mountains, savanna,
deserts, coasts, jungles, and lakes and rivers. The Swahili coast provides rules of dhows (African
sailing boats) and overviews of the towns Mombasa and Lamu, the latter of which is presented as
a portal to the Dreamlands. Inland the M’gong Trading Post as described in Lovecraft’s and
Heald’s tale “Winged Death” is included. Central Highlands section describes Mount Kenya and
the Aberdare Forests, and the Mountains of the Black Wind from Masks of Nyarlathotep. The Rift
Valley includes descriptions of Lake Victoria, the Serengeti and the town of Kisumu, and a new
Mythos site of a white farmer with an alien pet kept in a well. Northern Deserts includes a new
mythos site of an oracle child of the Samburu people who secretly gains her wisdom from her
befriended ghoul companion. Rules for safaris and an investigator template for a Big Game
Hunter is provided. The chapter concludes with rules for interior dangers such as dehydration,
altitude sickness, heatstroke, quicksand and tropical diseases.
Chapter 5 – African Bestiary
Africa is a land known for its wild animals, and statistics for 32 African animals are provided.
They include antelope, baboon, bat, buffalo, bush pig, camel, cheetah, chimpanzee, cobra,
colonial spider, crocodile, driver ant, elephant, flamingo, giraffe, gorilla, hippopotamus, hunting
dog, hyena, jackal, leopard, lion, mamba, okapi, ostrich, python, rhinoceros, vulture, wart hog,
wasp and bee swarm, wildebeest and zebra. Some of these animals have previously been
included in the Call of Cthulhu rules book but their descriptions have been expanded here and
Chapter 6 – Secret Societies
Secret societies play an important part in normal African tribal societies and this chapter focuses
on several such organizations that have turned to the worship of the mythos. Several of these
cults operate not just in Kenya, but across the African continent. Specific descriptions are for
African Cthulhu Cults (Africa wide), the Cult of the Blood Tongue (Kenya), the Cult of the
Spiraling Worm (Congo), Ghoul Cults (Africa wide), Sisterhood of the Masked Messenger
(Morocco) and White Apes (Congo), although all of these cults are found in Kenya in one form or
another. African Leopard Men cults (Sub-Saharan Africa) are a real cult of the era and are also
described. Statistics for new mythos monsters such as Masks of Ahtu, Wereleopards, the Masked
Messenger, the Faceless Watchers and White Apes are provided.
Chapter 7 – Madness of the Ancestors (Adventure)
This scenario concerns a Miskatonic University expedition into Kenya to search for the
humanities origins in Africa and is designed as a scenario to draw investigators to Africa.
Chapter 8 – The Cats of Lamu (Adventure)
A dreamlands adventure designed to introduce players to the Swahili Coast.
Chapter 9 – Savage Lands (Adventure)
This scenario introduces players to safaris and the wild African plains of the interior.
Chapter 10 – Wooden Death (Adventure)
A challenging and dangerous scenario with a literary foundation.
Appendix A – Timeline of British East Africa
The first appendix is a history of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika Territory as a series of dates
from 1414 to 1940.
Appendix B – Cthulhu Afrikis
This appendix provides descriptions of all the major Cthulhu Mythos sites in the African
continent drawn from Cthulhu Mythos fiction and the Call of Cthulhu game. These include the
Broken Columns of Geph (Liberia), Cairo (Egypt), Canyons of Ituri-kendi (Belgian Congo), G’harne
(Mali), Grey City (Belgian Congo), Great Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), Jebal Barkal (Sudan), King
Solomon’s Mines (Angola), Kish (Egypt), Mountains of the Black Wind (Kenya), Nyhargo (Belgian
Congo), Pyramids and Catacombs of Giza (Egypt), Sphinx of Giza (Egypt), Temple of the Masked
Messenger (Algeria), Temple of Thebes (Egypt), T’garol (Ghana), Tomb and Well of Nophru-Ka
(Egypt), Valley of the Gods (Belgian Congo), Valley of the Red Flux (Kenya) and Yanyoga (South
Appendix C – Bibliography