Malleus Monstrorum, Volume II (2021)

Volume II of Malleus Monstrorum is concerned with the sundry deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. This one is a touch more interesting than volume one, on a philosophical level.

As I said yesterday, there is something about a book like this that usually dispels mystery. That said, this isn’t nearly as exhaustive as it could be. The Encylopedia Cthulhiana is much more detailed and destructive to mystery. But Malleus functions a bit like the Encylcopedia, pulling out the most play-oriented bits of the mythos and establishing how they work in a kind of meta that pulls from both fiction and previous usage in the Call of Cthulhu game. Which is instructive! It is nice to have a bunch of material that not only illustrates how to use it, but how all the various bits interconnect as well. It isn’t a metaplot in the way Delta Green is, but it is a big, flexible fictional framework for you to use.

And you get to have your cake and eat it to, because the stuff detailed in here is by definition unknowable, allowing you to throw all of this material out if you don’t want it. And even if that is the case, having an example of all these horrors being loosely arranged into something usable is instructional, even if you don’t use it.

Really enjoy the approach to the depictions of these entities in the art, all of which is by Loic Muzy. Everything feels big and fractal and hard to really grasp in terms of scale. I also think it was an interesting choice to make both covers so clearly yonic, something that seems implicit in a lot of mythos creatures but seldom rendered so plainly.

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