The Pnakotic Fragments

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“And after man was born he walked upon the face of earth dumb and naked. The Winged Ones from the sky brought us the knowledge we required, that which we did not know.” — English manuscript, 15th century.

The most enigmatic of Mythos documents are those shards and fragmentary writings found in museums and libraries around the world and known collectively as the Pnakotic Fragments. The bound tome titled the Pnakotic Manuscripts, although lending its name, is only a part of the whole.

The original, English language Pnakotic Manuscripts was written in the 15th century by an unknown scholar who claimed to have copied it from a Greek papyrus scroll called the Pnakotica. A rambling collection of prehuman history, myths, and legends, this work is apparently only a part of a much larger body of work. This manuscript was long given little regard, but in the late 18th century, when traces of the strange script found in the Pnakotic Manuscripts began turning up in other corners of the world, a few scholars began to take note. Since then similar figures and glyphs have cropped up all over the world. Many papers and monographs have been published on the subject but none have drawn a clear conclusion. Identification of different fragments has so far been accomplished through similarity of titles or by the consistent use of the strange, unknown symbols and designs common to all.

Many trace the Pnakotic Manuscripts back to ancient Lomar. It is said that the Lomarians were the first “men’’ and that they learned their secrets from the “Great Winged Ones” who visited them and helped them. It has long been argued whether these winged ones were mi-go or elder things, but the symbols identified are surely those hieroglyphs used long ago by the prehuman crinoids who gave birth to all earthly life. The legend of these beings coming to help mankind is probably no more than that, possibly provoked by ancestral memories of the elder things as the original creators of life.

The Scrolls

The oldest surviving Pnakotic Manuscript, originally written or translated into elder thing glyphs, is kept at the Temple of the Elder Gods in Ulthar.

Spells

The Yithian Translation

In their quests through time in search of knowledge, the great race of Yith secured a copy of this book for their archives. It was kept at the archive-city of Pnakotus, from which the manuscript derived its name.

Spells

  • Contact Winged One (Contact Elder Thing)
  • Contact Yithian.

The Hyperborean Translation

An unnamed Hyperborean priest translated the Pnakotic Fragments. A cult, supposedly connected with that which preserved the Book of Eibon, kept the Hyperborean text of the Book of Eibon safe when their homeland was destroyed.

Spells

  • Contact Winged One (Contact Elder Thing)
  • Contact Walker in the Waste (Contact Gnoph-keh)

The Pnakotica

Although known only by reputation, this Greek version on papyrus scrolls is supposed to be as nearly informative as the Necronomicon. This manuscript was most likely translated from the Yithian.

  • "Greek copy, transcribed from the words of a Voormi sage, largely deals with Hyperborean history and contains the spell Enjoin Pnakotic Pentagram (see description in Miskatonic University (Supplement)). This specific fragment, for those who can read it, takes 32 weeks of study to gain +5 Cthulhu Mythos with 1D3/1D6 resulting loss of Sanity. (Scenario Fear in a Bottle)

Spell

  • Contact Winged One (Contact Elder Thing)
  • Enjoin Pnakotic Pentagram (Scenario Fear in a Bottle)

English Translation

Written on Miskatonic Hotel stationary. (Scenario Fear in a Bottle)

  • "And lo, it came to pass in the Year of the Crimson Serpent that Eibon the Unfathomable did seek out she who had birthed Knygathin Zhaum. Great were the solitary hardships that he endured in the Eiglophians, ancestral home to the Voormis. And thus did he trespass under the holy peaks of Voormithadreth. Verily, he did chance upon Sfatlicllp, our beloved Mother-Sister, as she slept in her chambers. Wielding his runed flask, Eibon wove a mighty enchantment and banished her to the outer darkness. Her formless progeny can only speak to the Fallen Wisdom in dreams, while they await the time of her eventual return from the void."
  • English translation: 1 point of Cthulhu Mythos at the cost of 1D2 Sanity

The Pnakotic Manuscripts

The original work bearing the title, five different copies are known, held by major libraries in Europe and America, including Miskatonic University. Written in archaic English, it contains mythic yarns of lost Hyperborea and Atlantis, a partial tale of life on the planet Jupiter, and the legend of the lost continent of Real-Yea. In the foreword the author explains that the manuscript is a translation from a fragmentary Greek scroll titled the Pnakotica.

Spell

  • Contact Winged One (Contact Elder Thing)

Other Identified Fragments

The following suspected Pnakotic symbols are located all around the world, some in museums, others on site. All have been tentatively linked to the Pnakotic writings by researchers:

Greek Potsherds

This broken, partially reconstructed vase is in the University of Athens, Greece. Of black-figure style tentatively dated 600 B.C., the symbols are used only as a decorative device. Truly untranslatable, they contain no information.

Egyptian Stela

Found in the eastern necropolis on the plateau of Gizeh, Egypt, this stela stands outside a Middle Kingdom tomb. Elder thing symbols are mixed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. Discovered in the late 19th century, it is translated by W. J. Gerhardt in 1968 and published in Berlin as Ubersetzung der Pnakotic Texten von Agypten.
Spell: Contact Sand Dweller.

Ancient Hebrew Scrolls

These fragmentary scrolls possibly date from the 1st century A.D. and were found in a cave in Palestine by a shepherd boy. Smuggled out of the country, they are now in the hands of a British Hebrew scholar, Malcolm Howell, who has yet to release any of the partial translation he claims to have made.
Spell: Contact Yithian.

Australian Aboriginal Petroglyphs

Discovered at several sites around the continent, the best examples are found on a cliff face several miles southwest of Alice Springs. Although elder thing symbols are identifiable, they are used in decorative form and impart no knowledge.

South American Earth Inscriptions

Several characters similar to symbols found in the Pnakotic Fragments have been discovered among the myriad forms carved into the vast Nazca plain of Peru. Interspersed among geometrical forms and representations of animals, the symbols are apparently decorative.

North American Rock Carving

A single glyph several feet high and wide, identified as a Pnakotic symbol, is deeply carved into a cliff face just northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Charred Codex

This book, nearly completely destroyed, is in the collection of the Widener Library at Harvard. Written in Latin and dating from the 12th century, the few remaining fragments identify it as part of the Pnakotic whole. A portion of the Contact Winged One spell can be identified, but it is damaged and incomplete.