Author(s): Gary Sumpter
Appears in: Terrors from Beyond
Perched on a bleak and inhospitable rock off the coast of Scotland, the Hallowsay Light has guided sailors for over seventy years. Now its beacon has gone inexplicably dark, imperiling the ships that ply the waters of the North Atlantic. The news has reached the lighthouse tender Helios, already steaming toward the island of Hallowsay for its fortnightly relief of the station. A search party, made up of three volunteers from the crew of the Helios and a relief keeper, is sent to investigate. What awaits them are horrors from beyond!
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Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
Off the coast of Scotland, the light of the Hallowsay Light lighthouse has suddenly gone out. The relief keeper and a few sailors sail hurriedly over to put matters right before any shipwrecks occur.
An assistant lighthouse keeper, Dr Fordyce, whiled away the long lonely hours by reading widely and pondering deeply. Unfortunately, his reading led him across references to other worlds. In the hope of alleviating his boredom, he pursued this research and eventually tried to open a way through. Inevitably, he attracted the attention of a hideous ny'ghan grii, which hunted down all four of the lighthouse crew and used their life-energies to summon more of its kind.
The Investigators are trapped on the lighthouse by heavy weather, and have little chance of killing the tough creatures. Their only realistic hope is to repeat Fordyce's experiment, make contact with knowledgeable elder entities, and use this knowledge to banish the ny'ghan grii.
- Letter warning Fordyce not to use the drugs without proper precautions
- Letter chiding Fordyce for intent to use the drugs
- Letter to Fordyce enclosing instructions for use of the drugs
Locations: Hallowsay Light in the Orkney Islands
Creatures: Ny'ghan grii
Tomes and Artifacts: De Vermis Mysteriis
- map of Hallowsay
- diagram of lighthouse tower
- map of Orkey Islands
- new spell, Cleansing Flame of Vorvadoss
- image of someone being killed by ny'ghan grii
- some notes on lighthouse routines and maintenance
- three pregen sailors and a lighthouse keeper
The scenario is laid out oddly, so information isn't always easy to find. The handouts are numbered not in the order players are most likely to encounter them, but in the order the scenario background mentions them. The description of where they are is also not very clear. Handouts #1 and #2 are both in the mailbag carried by the Investigators, while handout #3 is tucked inside a book in Fordyce's quarters.
For the scenario to make any sense, and particularly for any Investigators to survive, it's almost essential that they find these handouts. The Keeper may need to find a way to direct players towards them, since they are not particularly prominent. Players coming across signs of an alien incursion may look towards different tropes, and not realise that previous correspondence might give useful clues.
The ny'ghan grii are extremely dangerous, with an instant-kill attack and a nasty multiple-target attack. Use of the shotgun might turn things around, depending partly on how the group handles shotguns versus armour.
The main selling-point of this scenario is atmosphere: being stranded in a deeply lonely place in the middle of a hostile sea. The emptiness of the lighthouse with its keepers gone only adds to the tension. Try to really play that up to create the right mood. It's autumn in the far north of Scotland; sunset is about 7.30pm and sunrise 6.30am (the scenario says it "begins to get dark at 4pm", which may be misleading).
This scenario allows the Investigators plenty of time to explore, but it's extremely linear at heart: there is one very specific route to survival, and it's not at all obvious. It relies on the Investigators realising that Fordyce was responsible, guessing that he might have corresponded about occult matters, thinking to search his mail, and then grasping the clues in handout #1 that point them towards using the drugs. In addition, they need to correctly use the occult precautions, otherwise they simply summon more ny'ghan grii.
It's also worth noting that the spell, so difficult to obtain, still requires a roll against the ny'ghan grii's POW. If one or two characters have already died, it has a reasonable chance of failing. How much information the Keeper chooses to provide may radically alter this: if the players know it's a MP-vs-POW roll to banish all the creatures they can dump most of their MP into one guaranteed casting. If they believe it might only target one creature, they're more likely to be conservative and risk abject failure.