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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Smuggler's Cove

An investigator, an author of weird supernatural tales, is approached by a shifty and suspicious looking man wearing a heavy overcoat and a fur hat. He has a mass of tangled beard and the voice which booms through it is deep and powerful, and Russian.

His English is good but tainted with accent. He explains his predicament - he is a stowaway and a communist. He is also a vampire hunter. Since the revolution his group have found it difficult to pursue their quarry outside of Russian territory due to the attitude of neighbouring countries.

His group had been tracing a vampire, an ex-smuggler, but had lost him across the Baltic. Two of his men had been sent to Wismar in Germany, the known destination of the vampire. There has been no contact with them in over a month.

Now he is a stranger in a strange land, devoid of friends and allies. He has tracked down this author of strange tales to implore him to go to Wismar and find his men, if he can. He backs his plea with a small down payment in Czarist gold, with the hint of more to follow.

The house is now in a state of great neglect. It is structurally unsafe and has been threatening to fall down for many years now. The combination of the legend and its isolated location has prevented anyone from developing the site further. At the bottom of the cliff are several caves which were used for smuggling. A quite extensive cave network runs through the rock including one passage which leads up to the house.


1 Von Mannheim was, and still is, an active vampire. He now lives in a boat, shuttered from the harsh sunlight during the day and free to prey at night. The tunnel from the house is blocked off so that the only access to the caverns is by sea.

Von Mannheim returns periodically and the caves are filled with all manner of stolen items from his victims. Von Mannheim is alone except for a normal human aide - the captain of the boat. The captain is not a servant or slave, he is von Mannheim’s friend.

The two vampire hunters had come too close for comfort. Since his earlier discovery von Mannheim has become much more cautious, wary of the strength of his prey.

2 Von Mannheim worshipped Dagon and sacrificed trespassers to a colony of Deep Ones who live in the deepest part of the Baltic Sea. In return for the sacrifices the Deep Ones protected his ship and sometimes destroyed his competitors.

Deep in the cave network, in a cavern with direct access to the sea via submerged tunnels he erected a statue of his ancient god. Here he held his sacrifices and worshipped Dagon with the Deep Ones.

Von Mannheim is now a Deep One himself and now only rarely returns to Smuggler’s Cove. The two vampire hunters stumbled in on a ceremony. They found their cloves of garlic a most inadequate protection!

3 The legend has been used as a cover by White Russians in the years since the revolution. Russian nobility are smuggled through Estonia, Latavia and Lithuania and then to Wismar across the Baltic. The house on Vampyre Cove is a safe house and armoury for weaponry smuggled back up the route.

The Bolsheviks have narrowed their search to Wismar and their agents, the two so-called vampire hunters, tracked the White Russians to Vampyre Cove. Unfortunately for them they were caught and added to the Cove’s victims, as will anyone else discovering their secret.

© Garrie Hall

Short Story

The advert should catch the eye of any aspiring author wishing to make a name for himself in the world of strange fiction. It is entirely possible that past events have gifted the young writer with several ideas for some peculiar tales involving gods, cultists, monsters and magic.

The magazine is genuine. At least, there is a small group of people trying to put one together. However, it is destined for failure and will not survive beyond the first issue.


1 The magazine is being used by cultists trying to gain more mythos knowledge. This is not a very secretive way of going about it, but it may work if ‘investigators’ decide to relate their experiences to the magazine.

2 One of the authors printed in the first issue evidently knows quite a bit about the mythos, and writes a gruesome story featuring some of the gods. If contacted, he will be a useful ally in their battle against the dark forces.

3 An author, writing about a location well known to him, accidentally reveals a possible mythos presence in the locality. The story is a mix of fiction and fact, but there are certain clues and references to things which indicate that things may not be what they seem.

© Steve Hatherley

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Grim Justice

Little is known about Grim Justice. He (it?) seems to be a creature of the supernatural, not least in physical aspect. A thing with no face, just a skull and the ability to appear and disappear into the night.

Grim Justice exhibits an uncanny ability to find his victims wherever they choose to hide. To date no less than ten known gangsters and countless lesser felons have fallen to his ‘tommy gun’.


1 Grim Justice is the ghost of Jim Malone, a cop investigating high level corruption and murdered by gangsters in cold blood in front of his family. His tortured soul has risen from the grave and stalks the city, avenging Malone. He is killing those that he believes set him up, from the hoods that pulled the trigger to his boss, Police Chief Nathan Jordan.

Jordan has guessed the force behind Grim Justice and will covertly hire investigators to ‘exorcise’ this menace.

2 Grim Justice is a highly organised and dedicated group of vigilantes. They have agents placed in all walks of life, from the ganglands to the courts, and can trace just about anyone anywhere.

However, the organisation has fascist tendencies and is inclined to target non-WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) individuals. Attempts to breach their security will be met with violent resistance.

3 Grim Justice is a classic case of paranoid schizophrenia. By day he is plain old Harry Brown, librarian and something of an expert in the occult. By night he is Grim Justice.

Brown was driven insane by the sight of his parents gunned down in cold blood by a lone robber. He has remained stable until recently when he witnessed another killing, pushing him over the edge.

As Grim Justice, he uses his considerable occult knowledge to magic his way to his victims. By night Harry Brown is a powerful sorcerer indiscriminately murdering criminals and gangsters.

© Garrie Hall

Saturday, 10 June 2017


This one happens while the investigators are in their car, somewhere out in the country. They are speeding along a shady road, anxious to get from point A to point B to further their researches. Suddenly a man steps out from the trees at the side of the road, directly in front of their oncoming vehicle. There is nothing they can do. The car slams into him.

When they get out to check on the victim’s injuries, a terrible smell assails their nostrils. From the decayed and liquescent human debris smeared across the road it is apparent that the man had been dead for a while before they hit him.


1 The wandering dead man was an experiment on the hoof. A Dr Frankenstein-type has a laboratory in the area, where he is conducting his studies in reanimation in relative seclusion. This one, however, got away. The doctor or his assistants may be in pursuit. The cadaver may have been a one-off, or the first in a series of escapees abroad in the countryside.

2 As the investigator who was driving surveys the splattered corpse, the horror causes them to swoon. As they lift their head, they see the road rushing by, their white knuckles gripping the steering wheel - the whole scene with the undead pedestrian was a hallucination, an REM. dream as they nodded off at the wheel. They snap awake just as the car starts to drift off the road, heading at full speed straight for a large tree.

3 The man they have just run down was a lot older than he seemed. His life had been extended by magick (see Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward) or surgery (as per Cool Air). When he was accidentally killed, his body immediately reverted to its correct state of decay. The players may never learn his old secret.

© Mark Morrison

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Old Quarry

The rusting corrugated metal shed sits in a fenced off section of an old quarry, now used as a car park in dismal Northumberland seaside village. Stone was last extracted from the quarry in 1955, and the fenced off land is overgrown with brambles and bindweed. It radiates neglect.

The corrugated metal shed was originally part of the mine workings, but is currently used as storage by the council.


1 The shed houses BANDED GROUSE, one of seven government occult installations located around Britain’s coastline. BANDED GROUSE and similar facilities are the UK’s frontline defence in an ongoing secret magic war. The shed conceals a deep underground bunker, constructed after the government bought the quarry in 1957.

Within the bunker, a small team of intelligence officers serve the three government sorcerers responsible for maintaining the magical wards and barriers that protect the country against her enemies.

2 The quarry never turned a profit. The owners, Neptune Facilities Ltd, invested several million pounds into the project, before closing the quarry down and renting the land to the council in 1955. The council uses the old quarry shed to store highway maintenance equipment.

At the back of a shed is a small office, and beyond that is another space, with no doors. (The council has no record of this space.) In the floor of this space is an old trapdoor, which hasn’t been opened in decades.

The trapdoor reveals a rusty metal ladder which descends 20 metres to a cold, damp chamber. A short tunnel leads to a larger, ornately carved chamber that is filled with what appear to be 36 stone coffins, each sealed with wax. The stone coffins contain the true owners of Neptune Facilities, their families and key advisors. Disturbing them before their allotted waking time is unlikely to be wise.

3 Nobody visits the old quarry after dark, as it is haunted by the ghosts of three workers killed in a quarrying accident. The workers had fallen into a deep shaft that had been opened by the quarrying, and it proved impossible to recover the bodies. The accident was investigated but the true cause (neglected machinery and a callous disregard for life and limb) was ignored.

The quarry owners escaped justice, but a run of bad luck following the accident resulted in the quarry being closed in 1955. Until the owners (or their descendants) atone for their crime, the dead workers’ souls will continue to haunt the quarry.

© Steve Hatherley