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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

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