Factions of the Secret War

By John Houlihan
Art by Carlos Cabrera


The world of Achtung! Cthulhu’s Secret War is populated by six main different factions, the Allies’ Section M and Majestic, the Axis’ Black Sun and Nachtwölfe, plus the Mythos factions of the Deep Ones and Mi-Go. Some are allies, some are deadly rivals, but all work towards the pursuit of knowledge, power and battlefield advantage. 

It’s the interplay between them that is often one of the most interesting aspects of Achtung! Cthulhu’s thrilling word of pulp adventure. Mostly the battle lines are clearly drawn, but sometimes temporary truces and strange alliances are formed as each faction battles to maintain supremacy and even the greatest allies sometimes find themselves at odds. If you’re new to the Secret War, here’s a breakdown of the main protagonists and antagonists, study it closely, this information it contains is not only top secret but could save your agent’s life one day!

Section M

Britain’s top secret occult agency has been fighting the good fight since before the war began. Its main mission is to oppose Black Sun and Nachtwölfe and serve as Britain’s front line occult force. Initially it’s always playing catch up, as it was not officially formed until 1939, but ‘better late than never’, say Section M’s operatives, that’s just the nature of war. 

Despite a hair-raising start, where it was hanging on by the skin of its teeth, Section M survives and eventually thrives relying on a talent for improvisation and making do. Its success is due to a combination of indomitability and luck plus the ability to make a superb cup of tea and it leans on traditional magic wielders and the cosmopolitan diversity of the empire to fill in any gaps. By war’s end it has matured into a formidable fighting force.

The strength of Section M lies in its unorthodoxy, its faintly amateur ethos and its adaptability. It’s based in Clemens Park, the country seat of its chief, Sir Alec Towton, who is a brave and indefatigable leader, adept at spotting an array of talent and harnessing it for Section M’s exacting needs. Its most notable operatives include Corporal Akhee “the Eye” Singh, Captain “Badger” Harris and Major “Mad” Jack McMasters.


Majestic, the United States’ special eldritch force, may be late to the party, but it combines overwhelming firepower and technology with American courage and tenacity to create a flexible fighting force which serves with distinction. Although certain agents actively assist their British counterparts prior to the United States’ entry into the war, it is not until late 1942 that “the Office of Mumbo- Jumbo”, as J Edgar Hoover disparagingly terms it, comes into its own. 

Majestic often finds itself as the tip of the spear, going toe-to-toe with Axis and Mythos foes and strong-arming them into submission, albeit at a high cost in lives and material. Majestic runs a huge variety of missions, ranging from small team reconnaissance to battalion-sized airborne combat drops. Given the loose and distributed nature of its network, agents in the field often find themselves improvising to address the unexpected. Its heroes include the genius Professor Richard Deadman and Sgt Brandon Carter who operate under the leadership of the formidable Sally Armitage. 

Black Sun

Through Hyperborean magic and dark pacts with the ancient gods of the Mythos, the cult of the Black Sun practices foul sorcery and summons evil creatures from other dimensions to rule the battlefields of men. Even though their warrior-sorcerers, trooper foot soldiers and captive horrors become a terror to the Allies, warfare is not its true aim. 

In the strange, alien place between wakefulness and sleep, one finds the Dreamlands, a realm beyond the veil of consciousness. There, on the fabled Plateau of Leng under the inky, sombre gaze of its dark star, lies the valley of the black sun. Knowledge, power, and madness abound here, where the Hyperboreans imprisoned an aspect of the Outer God Yog-Sothoth in an unnatural solar orb aeons ago. 

Based at the sinister forbidden fortress at Wewelsburg castle and driven by its ruthless leader, Reinhardt Weissler and his four Priors, the Order of the Black Sun works inexorably toward its primary goal, acquiring the magic and artefacts necessary to free Yog-Sothoth from its solar prison and unleash it upon this dimension. There it will shine its unholy light on Earth and rain madness and death on humanity for all eternity.


The Night Wolves were originally part of Black Sun, until Mina Wolff’s great betrayal when she split from Exarch Reinhardt Weissler, splintering off to form her own occult organisation. Nachtwölfe’s primary focuses are science, technology, biological enhancements and wonder weapons (wunderwaffen) It scours the world for rare Atlantean technology looking to learn its secrets while harvesting the rare Blauer Kristall (blue crystal). 

Nachtwölfe specialists stalk the battlefield and are instantly recognisable by the eerie blue glow of their advanced weaponry, fabricated by the scientists who pursue Mina Wolff’s vision of an advanced Germany. Nonetheless, their methods are without conscience and Nachtwölfe creates many horrors of its own. The Cerberus-Gruppe actively encourage their staff to push the limits of science using highly questionable methods. “The ends justify the means” is their warped thinking in creating this new order. Senior staff include Gerd Schmidt, commander of the elite Wolf Guard and Krafft Heimburg, head of the scientific division.

The Deep Ones

Cthulhu’s children have lived under the oceans for countless millennia and await the return of their master who lies asleep and dreaming in the forgotten tomb-city of R’yleh. Inhabiting a series of shining undersea cities in the oceans, the Deep Ones sometimes interact with isolated coast communities offering gold and strange jewellery to create hybrids who play a part in their mysterious breeding cycle. During the Secret War, the Deep Ones are cast in the unusual role of environmental guardians, protecting the world from the worst depravations of humanity. While they will ally with anyone who serves their ends outside of the hated Mi-Go, the Deep Ones cannot be trusted and always work toward the enslavement of humanity for their dread master’s return. 


The Mi-Go are a bizarre alien race who hail from beyond the far reaches of the solar system and have come to Earth to pursue a dark agenda all of their own. A strange mix of crustacean and fungus with a strict hierarchical insect-like organisation, they live in vast alien hive cities in the remoter parts of the world and only venture forth in pursuit of the prized Blauer Kristall or when they feel it necessary to interfere with the affairs of men. Relentless scientists and bio-experimenters, the Mi-Go actively despise the Deep Ones but can also impersonate humans. They often penetrate deep into the corridors of power to pursue their own unguessable agendas.


Find out more about Achtung! Cthulhu’s amazing world of pulp adventure and the characters your create with it in the Achtung! Cthulhu Starter Set. This contains Basic Rules, an explosive three act campaign Among the Wolves, quick reference sheets, six pre-generated characters, six full colour maps, over 120 tokens, and an exclusive Elder Sign dice set! 


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