Horror in the Highlands – A Miskatonic Repository Review [Call of Cthulhu]

Horror in the Highlands

Author: David Wright, A2ndChapter
Publisher: The Miskatonic Repository
Page Count: 58
Available Formats: PDF
PDF(DTRPG) – $4.99

Following the success of his first Miskatonic Respoistory scenario, The Oxford Articles, David Wright returns with Horror in the Highlands, his second Miskatonic Repository scenario for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. This time David takes investigators to his native Scotland, a place and culture he is more intimately familiar with, and a way to further explore his own nation’s mysteries.

Set in February 1923 on the banks of the idyllic Loch Moy, investigators have been invited to stay at the home of the current Lord Mackintosh while attending the local celebration honoring the late Lord Donald Malcolm Mackintosh and the bottling of new local whiskey named in his honor. The current Lord Mackintosh and other clans folk have no idea that 200 years ago their ancestors committed murder when they arrived on the shores of Loch Moy. That atrocity catches up with the clan from time to time, it just so happens to be that time again.

Arriving in Moy on the 22nd of February, investigators assemble along with several other guests and dignitaries for a convivial dinner party hosted by Lord Mackintosh. Dinner is interrupted early on by a distressing situation that may tip off investigators that something is not right in Moy. Later in the evening, Reverend Fraser, also a dinner guest, speaks openly about some of the distressing things happening as of late. The evening ends with more questions than answers.

The following day is the big day, and it begins early for some. Guests and dignitaries assemble at the Moy’s train station, one of its busiest days since its opening in 1897. As the train pulls into the station, Lord Mackintosh begins to give his prepared, perfunctory speech to those assembled. His speech is abruptly cut short by several screams from a nearby signal box. This is where the scenario begins to kick into high gear. The investigation seemingly leads from one bad situation to a seemingly worsening one for those caught in the middle. Perhaps that which the Reverend spoke of the evening before was more than just nervous ramblings.

So, what is going on? Two hundred years earlier, the Mackintosh clan committed a murder most foul. In its wake, they created a spirit of sorts that seeks revenge for the death of its clans folk. The how and why is for you to learn through playing this scenario. However, what I can tell you is that Horror in the Highlands does a fantastic job of incorporating the Scottish lore surrounding the Bodach Glas, or “Dark Grey Man,” who is believed to be an omen or harbinger of impending death.

This is not your traditional Call of Cthulhu scenario. There is no cosmic horror, but perhaps some existential horror as the mystery unfolds, but there is very little Sanity loss for investigators. However, it is refreshing to see a scenario not rooted in abstract cosmic horror but rather firmly connected to local folklore. Overall, the scenario is well thought out, even if it is linear by design.

The scenario itself is only 15 pages in length, with the rest of the page count taken up by a small number of library books relevant to the investigation, charms and spells, and copious amounts of handouts and maps. Each library book is also presented as a handout for the player with all the pertinent details revealed. With your purchase, you also received several compressed files containing additional resources that are not often found with Miskatonic Repository scenarios. These include:

  • Pregenerated investigators with stand-alone images and tokens for virtual tabletops
  • Handouts in both PDF and image formats.
  • Investigator and Keeper facing maps
  • NPC images and tokens for virtual tabletops

The inclusion of the additional resources is a nice touch and sets David’s scenario apart from many others.

If you’re looking for a Call of Cthulhu scenario that is not your run-of-the-mill mythos-infused sanity draining mystery but rather something a little more plausible, take a look at Horror in the Highlands. This would make for an interesting starting point for an extended Scottish campaign or could easily serve as the nexus for creating an investigative service looking into the strange and improbable.

~ Modoc

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