MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY is a small, seemingly typical New England college nestled in the bosom of conservative Arkham, Massachusetts. A poor cousin to such hallowed institutions as Harvard, Brown, and Princeton (the term “Ivy League” won’t come into use until 1936), Miskatonic nonetheless offers coveted degrees in a wide variety of subjects and boasts high academic standards.
Devotees of the Cthulhu Mythos and long time players of Call of Cthulhu know the name well, and greet it with a mixture of fondness and dread. A small, quiet institution of higher learning, Miskatonic serves as the home of many of H. P. Lovecraft’s greatest protagonists, or as the staging ground for daring expeditions into the unknown.
As a symbol of reason, learning, and science, the school represents all that is good, true, and pure in modern civilization — the “us” to the insidious, alien “them” of the Cthulhu Mythos. Although Miskatonic is mentioned or figures prominently in most of the stories that form the backbone of the Call of Cthulhu game, the college itself remains as ill-defined as many of beasties lurking in the pages of Lovecraft’s fiction. While monsters that never shamble into view are often scarier than the ones we can see, Miskatonic University and the professors who walk its halls of ivy and alabaster are part of our “normal” waking world, and can therefore stand up to the light of day.
Keepers running Call of Cthulhu games need to bring Miskatonic into sharp focus, whether their campaigns are set entirely on the sleepy campus or only visit it briefly. Who at Miskatonic can investigators count on to believe their outlandish tales? Just what secrets are and aren’t kept in the world famous Orne Library? What might your investigators bump into while finding out? Miskatonic University offers some answers, scrutinizing familiar ground with a scientist’s vision and a librarian’s obsession with detail.