SAILING HORROR

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FORGOTTEN PLACES CYCLE

Sometimes adventures take on an epic scale – in almost every game the heroes go to new places, meet new people, fight new monsters, and get more unique treasures. But it’s good not to overuse it. Over time you realize that more does not mean better. Quick fights and fast-paced events should give a chance to something small, but eventful and dense.
In this cycle, you will find unique detailed locations and stories around it. All you need to do is to come up with your own story for your heroes, using ideas from the cycle adventures and hit the road.

SAILING HORROR ADVENTURE

The world is full of living creatures. Some of them inspire for writing poetry, some are worshipped on moon nights – so beautiful they are. But there are also others. Bloodthirsty, hiding in the shadows, waiting for lost travelers, attacking defenseless farms and entire villages. Surprisingly, poems have also been written and their honor too – so scary they are.
Where do these monsters come from? Are there gods who are so full of hate that they create them? Or is this an unfortunate joke of the forest spirits that have gone too far? Or maybe somewhere is a portal to a horrible and evil world has opened, inviting such monsters?
Few can believe that sometimes such monsters are the creation of just one human, just like themselves.

HOOKS

The adventure takes place on the mysterious Blue Island. This place is hidden from view and is little known. Only occasionally, on the rainiest day of the year, a lonely ship leaves the known trade route and heads into the storm. And only one person on that ship has eyes – the old captain Graylight.

SEARCH FOR THE BLUE ISLAND

1An old map of a vanished civilization describes a piece of land no one has ever heard about
2Tales of local peoples describe a terrible place in deep waters where a fallen deity lives
3Stolen documents of a secret cult mention Blue Island as a source of “living power”
4If there is anyone who can engage in mysterious transportation, it is the creepy and secretive Captain Graylight

CAPTAIN GRAYLIGHT
An old outcast with a very thin, pale face, he is the only captain of a ship carrying a mysterious cargo from and to the Blue Island. On one day of the year, he gathers a crew of blind sailors and sets out to face a sea storm and get to The Master on a mysterious piece of land.
The captain’s services are not for money or even for his own sake – long time ago, he lost his daughter due to a terrible disease that befell the local lands. As a talented navigator and legend of the seas, he set out to spend the rest of his days in distant lands. One day a mysterious man came to him and offered him work for the mysterious Master “until his days are over”. Once he had served his days, his daughter would come back to life.

THE HEROES’ GOAL ON THE BLUE ISLAND

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1An old friend of the group of heroes went to explore a mysterious island and disappeared
2The heroes’ nemesis spends too much time in these lands as if trying to find something
3The mysterious island is the only place where a rare ingredient for a powerful magic spell grows
4The captive heir the heroes are chasing has been sent as a sacrifice to the ancient island

The adventure’s ship is not what are you looking for (even with this many variants)? Hmm, maybe you find yours ship in these items?

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BLUE ISLAND

After passing through the storm, the heroes spot the lighthouse of a lonely island, standing in the midst of the stormy waters. On its elevation, there is a mansion, the windows of which light up as soon as the heroes’ feet touch the ground. A shadow watching the arrival of guests can be seen in the building’s tower. As soon as the heroes notice the mysterious silhouette, it immediately disappears, extinguishing the light behind its back.
Pier. The gloom pier blazes with light from within, luring the ship to it. Inside it, there are numerous crates with rotted grain and barrels of spoiled wine. Through the stench, the heroes meet the high lighthouse, and the bright light of it fades out as if upon command.
The ship sails to the shores of the Blue Island for only a few reasons:

  1. The Master meets with the customer to discuss a new assignment
  2. The Master accepts new material for the mansion and its experiments
  3. The Master sends the finished experiments to its customer

Way to the mansion. The Master’s mansion is located on the hill. This is an old majestic house the glance at which makes the one feel creepy. The way up passes through a large bridge that turns into countless stone steps. As the heroes reach the last step, the gates to the mansion open with a loud creaking sound, inviting the travelers to enter.
Weather. Time moves very slowly on the Blue Island. With daytime sunlight just barely breaking through the blue mist and heavy, overhanging clouds. The nights are always rainy and dark, so that extra candles and lanterns are lit on the mansion.

MASTER’S WORK
The Master is the owner of the mansion, who has lived for several hundred centuries. Details of its past can tell the heroes its weakness, be a clue to some mystery of the mansion, or point to the main secret of the Master’s craft. Its workplace is hidden in the depths of the house – the laboratory, where it produces not only its servants but also warriors for the customers.

THE MASTER’S PAST

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1The Master turns out to be one of the disciples of the elder Master who once lived in this world. He learned a great secret and decided to teach it to others. The tutor’s teaching was supposed to bring good to a cruel world, but his best disciple had other plans. He killed all his rivals, witnesses to the secret, and then murdered the Master himself, taking his place.
2The Master is an ordinary man who happened to find a map of the secret island with a mysterious item granting divine powers. This item grants only a curse, imprisoning him on this piece of land.
3The Master is a half-divine being, the bastard of an evil god. He sent his unwanted child to do the dirty work for his minions in this world.
4The Master is a man who saw only misery and mockery in life because of his unusual appearance. By day he performed at circus shows as a jester for commoners, but at night he studied mysterious texts that were once given to him by an unknown follower of an ancient cult. Having accumulated his strength, he dealt with all those who had ever laughed at him and locked himself on the old island, continuing to master the forbidden arts.

Special craft. The Master’s art is known only to those who need its services. Day and night, it works on orders, creating more and more monsters, giving them the necessary appearance, and endowing them with the required abilities. Despite centuries of practice, it often makes mistakes in his quest to achieve excellence, and that is why it needs new material. And most of this material sits locked in cages of the mansion’s dungeon, waiting for its turn.
Exemplary servants. The Master creates monsters not only for others but also for itself. Many of them are almost useless and do its small orders, while the others help it to create. But there are some that are particularly beloved by it. These are the creatures that it has spent years of failed attempts to create.
Its Assistants. These weak-willed creatures are loyal to the Master and will do anything it says. And even they are not perfect – each of them has a flaw, learning about which will help the heroes to deal with them.

MASTER’S ASSISTANTS

1A huge knight, barely squeezing through the doorways of the mansion. He senses the presence of strangers and is ready to pursue them until they are dead. He cannot be killed by conventional means, but can only be retained or stopped for a while.
2Fast dogs, creeping into the most secluded corners of the mansion where only rats could get through. Attacking from ambush, they steal heroes’ items, knock them down, and don’t let them relax for a second.
3Bony bodies crawling on the ceiling and walls, changing colors to match their surroundings. Usually, they only observe the Master’s meetings with customers and the work of servants, punishing the latter for missteps. However, if necessary, they can become true warriors, moving swiftly through space and suddenly attacking the uninvited guests.
4One-armed sisters – a pair of beings with a common consciousness. A long arm dangling behind their body can grab an enemy, immobilizing or pulling a victim closer to them. Killing one of the sisters is not enough – the other should be killed within minutes too; otherwise, the first one will rise from the dead. The sisters know absolutely everything about what is happening to each of them. If one is in mortal danger, the other will try to hide for a while so that they do not die forever.

MANSION SECRETS
The Blue Island and the building on its land are special. There is something here that helps the Master attain perfection in its craft. And perhaps the heroes set out on such a dangerous journey to get it.

THE MYSTERY OF THE BLUE ISLAND

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1Blue Island is out of time – the creatures on it do not age. As payment for such a favor, the island takes the minds of its visitors, driving them crazy.
2An outcast who lived here thousands of years ago revealed the mystery of one of creation’s secrets. Realizing its possible negative influence, he put his records in a chest and threw it into the stormy waters. The Master creates more and more servants to search for these records.
3The seeds of a unique plant that can exist only here grow in the territory of the Blue Island. This plant allows taking and bringing back the life in other creatures.
4As a result of thousand-year wars of gods, the heart of the defeated god has fallen to these lands. Not only does it keep the island hidden from the outsiders, but it also gives the Master the power to practice his craft.

ARRANGEMENT OF THE MANSION

The mansion has four floors and a tower running through it all. Many of the doors in the building are locked and can only be opened with special keys. These keys can be anywhere – hidden on one of the floors, tinkling on the belt of one of the Assistants, or stored in the Master’s chest.

If you want to make a quest about the Master awaiting heroes in its mansion for some work discussion, use the “GUESTS” version of Mansion and Laboratory maps.

I FLOOR

A luxurious lobby welcomes the visitors who enter the mansion through the front door. They can be greeted even by the Master, who silently looks from its balcony and disappears into the darkness as soon as the heroes notice it.
Servants. To the left of the heroes, there are the servants’ rooms – the pantry, the kitchen, the room of one of the Assistants responsible for the servants’ work, and the side entrance to the mansion. This wing of the building is the darkest – the servants should not disturb the guests and the Master by their fuss.
The servants wear masks and long cloaks – the features of their appearance frighten the guests who do not want to see their flesh and bones glued together. The Master, on the other hand, finds them beautiful.
Library. An old library is in the right wing of the first floor. Here, the guests of the island can wait for the busy Master (when it want to meet them) and pass the time by reading a book. The master has long been unable to understand what ordinary people read, so there are many strange works here – from highly specialized manuals on stone cutting to old children’s fairy tales.
Dining room. This is a splendid room decorated with flowers, with a huge table standing in the center of it. At special times, when the island has invited guests, it is full of various delicacies. At other times, the table is full of rotting leftovers for the Master’s servants – they are not picky in food and the Master also does not care about the quality of its meal.
Tower. Between the library and the dining room, there is a corridor with a large and heavy door. It opens only with the Assistant’s key and takes the heroes into the tower. The tower doors opening access to the dungeon-laboratory and the Master’s private chambers can be opened only with the Master’s key.

II FLOOR

The first floor of the mansion is dedicated to the guests of the island. There are guest bedrooms, a spacious hall for meetings and waiting for the Master, and balconies from which the ground floor can be seen here.
When the Master hosts the guests, this floor looks the most decent. There are plenty of candles here. The awful smell from the servants is disguised by the scents of flowers and fruits, and the bedrooms even have private baths.
At all other times, this place is a mess. Unsuccessful experiments of the Master try to escape from the hands of the Assistants; the servants loaf and wander around the rooms, and the corridors of the floor are littered with rotting food and covered with wine.

III FLOOR

The second floor belongs to the Assistants. Some of them also need rest and a place to eat. Access to this floor is closed at all times and only some of the best servants have keys to reach the floor from the west side or by the tower.

IV FLOOR

The top floor belongs solely to the Master, and even the Assistants are not allowed to enter it alone and are not able to do it – only their Master has the key. It is where it sleeps and thinks about future experiments. 
Secret place. On this level, there is the entrance to the top of the tower. Not only does it offer a superb view of the entire island, but it also holds a special item treasured by the Master.
It’s up to GM to decide what is it – a secret detail of its past, it only vulnerability, or a chest with a secret manuscript that reveals its customers.
Dungeon. Even with a luxurious room, the Master is rarely to be seen there. It has no interest in sleep, expensive food and drinks. It needs only one thing – to create. The Master makes it in his underground laboratory and is the only being who has the key to it.

UNDERGROUND LABORATORY

This is a dungeon where the Master practices his craft. Usually, only the creator and its Assistants are allowed to enter, but on the days of loading/unloading material from the ship, especially obedient servants have the honor to work here.
Cages. A separate part of the dungeon is meant for “living material” – various living creatures, from which the Master creates its masterpieces. The victims usually should be conscious; otherwise, they are of no use.
Abyss of the mistakes. A deep pit, with the splashes of water, heard at it bottom. This is where the Master throws away failed experiments and sometimes also particularly annoying and disobedient servants.
Laboratory. It is a spacious room with a plenty of boiling pots, jars with different liquids, boxes with materials and tools. This is where the Master has been working day and night for centuries and nothing should dare to distract it. This is where it feels safe and comfortable.
This is where it will give curious guests one last fight, just after finishing its last and most terrifying creation.

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