Unaussprechlichen Kulten

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"Unaussprechlichen Kulten", illustration by Barry Chambers

This article is about the fictional book. For the miniatures game, see Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten.

The Unaussprechlichen Kulten (also known as the Nameless Cults) is the title of a fictional book created by Robert E. Howard.


The Unaussprechlichen Kulten was written in 1839 by Friedrich von Junzt and first published later that year in Dusseldorf. The book contains descriptions of the magical and religious practices employed by certain secret cults allong with descriptions of their monsterous deities. Large sections of the book are dedicated to anthropology and maverick theories regarding the history of the earth.


The original edition over one thousand pages and composed of twenty chapters. The book is split into two sections; one dealing with more well known cults such as the Thuggs and another dealing with what Von Junzt called The Cults of the Elder World.

Foreword: Contains an introduction and Von Junzt's own views on his discoveries

Chapter One: Talks about Cyaegha and its unknowing thralls.

Chapter Two: Concerning a fertility cult in southern France and their worship under the Sign of the Three Headed Goat.

Chapter Three: A section dedicated to pagan worship in England

Chapter Four: Regarding a cannibal sect living in the Parisian Deeps

Chapter Five: Von Junzt's account of a trip to Asia were he met the Tcho-Tcho people.

Chapter Six: An account of an lone ancient Siberian who worships a sky deity.

Chapter Seven: Tells of a certain isolated monastery in Tibet where the monks perform rituals to the great free spirits of the air.

Chapter Eight: Discusses several Deep One colonies in around the Eastern Mediterranean coast.

Chapter Nine: Concerning a cult of death worship active in southern Spain.

Chapter Ten: Describes a small coven in Transylvania who serve a shadowy creature dwelling in a pit.

Chapter Eleven: Tells of an ancient and extinct Hungarian tribe that worshiped a toad-like entity atop a monolith.

Chapter Twelve: Deals with the secret society know as The Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and their secret battles with "the creatures from the stars"

Chapter Thirteen: Tells of the Brotherhood of the Beast who await the second coming of the dark pharaoh Nophru Ka whom they believe shall lead humanity forward.

Chapter Fourteen: Contains information regarding a worldwide order who maintain guard over an ancient Muvian Demon.

Chapters Fifteen to Twenty: These Chapters are miscellanies containing information dealing with the nature and rituals of various smaller cults and societies.

Histories of the Ancient World: Roughly ninety pages long, this section details the true histories of the earth as pieced together by Von Junzt from various discoveries he made on the matter through out his journeys. Also contains extracts from an obscure text know as the Papyrus of Dark Wisdom.

Dusseldorf Edition (1839)

Very few volumes of the original 1839 Dusseldorf edition remain after a series of murders in Vienna and the author's own grisly death caused the majority of people to burn their copies. This edition was printed as black leather bound folio complete with a number of frightful but brilliant illustrations by the little known artist Gunther Hasse.

Cultes Innommables (1843)

"Nameless Cults, Bridewell Edition", illustration by Barry Chambers

In 1843 a Jesuit priest named Pierre Sansrire translated the Unaussprechlichen Kulten into French. His translation was published later that year in St Malo. No copies of this edition remain and it is unlikely very many were actually printed.

Bridewell Edition (1845)

In 1845 Bridewell Press of London released a pirate english edition of the Unaussprechlichen Kulten entitled The Nameless Cults. This edition is rife with inaccuracies and mis-translations. Many of the original Gunther Hasse illustrations were removed and replaced with cheap woodcuts.

Golden Goblin Edition (1909)

"Nameless Cults, Golden Goblin Edition", illustration by Roger Raupp

In 1909 another English translation of The Nameless Cults was published by Golden Goblin Press; a small New York based publishing firm. This edition was mostly comprised of an expurged translation of the Bridewell version. Subject to heavy censorship, this edition was roughly two thirds the size of the original. Due to this most of the details regarding the rituals and spells were removed. Production of this book proved costly so relatively few volumes of this edition were printed. Even so Golden Goblin version Nameless Cults still turn up in bookshops ocasionaly.

Role Playing Game Stats

Dusseldorf edition  
Sanity Loss 1D8/2D8; Cthulhu Mythos + 15 Percent. Average 56 weeks to study and comprehend/104 hours to skim.
Bridewell Edition 
Sanity Loss 1D8/2D8; Cthulhu Mythos + 12 Percent. Average 48 weeks to study and comprehend/96 hours to skim.
Golden Goblin Edition 
Sanity Loss 1D8/2D8; Cthulhu Mythos + 9 Percent. Average 30 weeks to study and comprehend/60 hours to skim.

A player who sucessfuly studies any edition of the Nameless Cults gains skill checks in Anthropology, History, Ocult, Archaeology and Astronomy. An aditional INT X 5 gives the player 20+1D10% in Aklo, Muvian Naacal or Hyperborean Tsath-Yo.


  • An account from Junzt’s visit to Russia regarding an incident where an Orthodox Bishop, who collected reliquaries, mysteriously disappeared from his study one evening: "The hermit spoke of hearing a rumor that the man had been sold the original Pandora’s Box and that it had accounted for him as it had so many others since its creation in ancient times. He had wished the device for himself to summon his foul god rather than use the Aklo scripts, despite his acknowledgment that the box seldom delivered what the opener desired. When I inquired as to the fate of the bishop and the box, the hermit said the bishop had been consumed by the box and that the box had been sold to a Turk." - Pandora's Box (scenario by Glyn White)