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The Trail of Cthulhu is a horror novel by August Derleth, long-time friend and correspondent of H.P. Lovecraft. Although published in 1962, the book is actually a collection of interconnected short stories that were originally published in the 40s and 50s.

As the title suggests, the book is set within the Cthulhu Mythos. It tells the story of Laban Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury, a professor at Miskatonik University, vanished one night, only to return to campus 10 years later. Upon his return, his research has turned to the arcane. Specifically, he began looking for a common link among all ancient folklores and cults, a trail as one of his colleagues puts it.

As the book unfolds, it becomes clear that the ultimate goal of this trail is to find the Black Island and kill Cthulhu once and for all. Unfortunately, Shrewsbury finds he can't do it alone and enlists the help of brave, if ill-prepared, would-be heroes

Of course, as this is based on Lovecraft's work, Shrewsbury's meddling doesn't go unnoticed and he and his friends find themselves on the run from some very pissed-off cultists.

Like many of Derleth's Lovecraftian stories, this work is rather controversial due to his reimagining of Lovecraft's Ancient Ones as actually being evil as opposed to being beyond good and evil. Still, it—much like Derleth himself—is certainly not without fans.

Not to be confused with the RPG of the same name.

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