Noces lyonnaises

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Noces lyonnaises (Lyonnais Weddings) is a mini-campaign for the 6th edition of L'Appel de Cthulhu from Éditions Sans-Détour.


Author: Thomas Berthier

Setting: 1930s, Lyon, France

Appears in: Les mystères de Lyon

Comments / Trivia


Reviews (in French)

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.


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The background of the mini-campaign concerns a cult to Shub-Niggurath that has existed at the site of Lyon, France, for millennia. Centered on a shrine hidden in the middle of an underground lake within a hill called Fourvière, the goddess has been worshipped in Lyon under the cover of various other mother deities, from the Gallish goddess Lug to the Virgin Mary. Shub-Niggurath's devotees include influential members of the city's religious, industrial, Spiritist, and social sectors, and they have spread her influence over the city. However, rival cults have struggled to gain support in Lyon since Roman times by attempting to weaken the Dark Goat of the Woods, or else to absorb her worship into that of their own dark gods. The campaign begins in the Autumn of 1930, when two of these rival cults, the Ophites (followers of Yig) and the Mopses (followers of Nyarlathotep), are aware that the stars will soon be right achieve these ends. The problem these rival cults face is that the precise date when the stars will align is only recorded in portions of a 15th-century book called l'Elucidaire that have been lost for centuries. However, when an academic named André Morin claims to have found the lost chapters, the cultists take care of him and take the book sections for themselves.

The campaign consists of four scenarios. The first and last scenarios cannot be moved by default, but the second and third scenarios may be played in either order. The first scenario sends the investigators to a conference, where Morin promises to reveal the lost contents of l'Elucidaire. However, the academic instead claims the chapters were never written and disappears himself. Looking into these strange events, the investigators discover that Morin disappeared a week before, so the person at the conference was an imposter. They trace the lost chapters to a rich socialite named Jean Cabrillon, who tells them he loaned them to Morin, but then someone broke in and stole the writings from him. The trail leads to two dark cults looking to profit from the dark knowledge in the books: The Ophites and the Mopses.

In the next two scenarios, the investigators go after these two Lyonnais cults. They discover that the Ophites worship Yig. When a young medium named Pierre Corbin is kidnapped, the investigators trace the crime to the serpent cult. Meanwhile, Jean Cabrillon receives an invitation to a welcoming party for the grandson of a centenarian named Bernard Guivre, an antiquarian dealing in Central American objects who no one knew had any grandchildren. The investigators link Guivre to the Ophites and determine that he plans to sacrifice Corbin to Yig, thereby restoring his own lost youth and re-entering Lyonnais society as his "grandson." In contrast, the Mopses have a public face in the form of extravagant parties. Securing an invitation, the investigators learn that there are higher levels of initiation in the order that perform debauched "Sabbaths" in the woods, sacrificing innocent children to an avatar of Nyarlathotep.

With the Ophites and the Mopses stopped, the investigators return the lost chapters of l'Elucidaire to Cabrillon, who invites them to his daughters extravagant wedding in thanks. However, strange dreams and unusual events near Fourvière hill suggest that something is not right about the rushed timing of the upcoming nuptials. At the ceremony, the investigators learn that Cabrillon and some associates plan to perform a ritual to Shub-Niggurath below Fourvière hill that will require his daughter to sacrifice her new groom, thereby restoring Jean Cabrillon's lost health. The investigators must locate the temple in time to stop the bloody ritual and to prevent the dark goddess from getting an even stronger grip over Lyon.


Keeper Comments

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The campaign provides some guidance for how to proceed if the investigators fail one or more of the individual scenarios, or if they only manage to weaken rather than wipe out the antagonists. Nevertheless, the climax is always supposed to happen in the underground temple to Shub-Niggurath, even if the ceremony there is one of Union (between Shub-Niggurath and either Yig or Nyarlathotep) rather than a simple summoning of the Dark Goat of the Wood.