Secrets of Los Angeles, softback supplement for Call of Cthulhu, by Peter Aperlo with Carrick and Michel
“The City of Angels–No burg this side of the pearly gates could live up to such a moniker, and L.A. isn’t even trying. You won’t see many inhabitants of that sprawling boom-town sprouting downy wings or signing up for the celestial choir. Sure, L.A. has more than its share of evangelists, faith-healers, and political do-gooders, but when your economy is built on black gold, land speculation, the Hollywood dream factory, and the sweat of migrant workers, it attracts a lot more than just the saintly. The fresh-faced, scrubbed-clean, Midwest wholesomeness they plaster all over the real estate ads doesn’t even tell a tenth of the story. You can’t have sunshine without casting shadows, and one thing L.A. has in spades is sunshine!
1920s Los Angeles is a fast-growing, fast-moving city encompassing all that is great and all that is rotten in America. A racial, ethnic, and religious melting pot presaging what America would become later in the century, L.A. nonetheless clings to a veneer of White Protestantism more in line with farm-belt states like Iowa. The very-newly-rich build pleasure palaces in hills and on beaches, while recent immigrants and the descendants of the first humans to walk the land huddle in filthy shanty towns reminiscent of the most squalid parts of the undeveloped world. Philanthropists endow the city with impressive monuments and dreams of utopian society, while greedy businessmen and industrialists crush the labor movement spawn scandals that rock the nation. Celebrated movie stars work and play before the eyes of the world, while rum runners and racketeers ply their trade in the shadows, hand-in-hand with crooked cops and two-faced politicians.
Yet underneath it all courses an energy at once vibrant and unwholesome. Los Angeles is a place where anyone can be reinvented, and multitudes do—at a price. It is a place where dark and blasphemous secrets infest every level of society, belying the carefree and envied lifestyle broadcast to the world. Behind the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown primordial, pre-human forces and their twisted minions work to undermine the foundations of sanity.”