The Lighthouse as a location and mystery in Vaesen

The lighthouse is a fixture in several Cthulhu scenarios as well as various horror fiction. The strange building, its isolation on a small island far from the coast, and its position in the middle of the ocean creates a liminal space ideal for horror tales – and thus I wanted to add a lighthouse to Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying Game.

Where most Cthulhuid roleplaying takes place around the 1920s, Vaesen takes place in a mythic 19th century Scandinavia, and this resulted in some curious challenges, when trying to ground the mysteries in a bit of history. Most lighthouses are built in the later half of the 19th century, and many in early 20th century. The first challenge was to choose a site, that was constructed early enough to be available in mythic 19th century, and also old enough to have a bit of backstory.

The choice fell on Hanstholm lighthouse, which lies on the coast of Western Jutland facing the North Sea. It is that exists today, and though it was constructed near a small fishing village, things changed fast in 20th century with the construction of a harbor, and during the 2nd World War the Nazis constructed a series of bunkers to better control the North Sea. This has changed the area considerably and anyone visiting the site today will almost be unable to recognize the place, where the Vaesen game plays out.

Vaesen now has a new location it can use as a headquarter (just as with Ravnholm). You can download the Hanstholm Lighthouse HQ on DrivethruRPG. It adds new upgrades, contacts, personnel, and threats. It is at pay wantyou want. It is a location that is haunted by Strandvarsler (Coastal Revenants).

With the location follows a mystery. The adventure The King and The Lighthouse is a mystery, that introduces the location and sets the Society up against a powerful Vaesen, whose actions actually can change the maps of Denmark, if the Society fails to stop it. It is a tale of mysteries, madness and murder.

The mystery references some of the local folklore – the Maid of the Sea and her Lost Glove – but it is as with much folklore rather strange and not quite making sense. One has the feeling that there is a lost tale or lost tales out there, that was never saved by folklorists. This folkloric myth was added to the mystery, but instead of constructing a mystery about the myth I simply left it in there as something puzzling, just as it is puzzling to us modern readers. Until I find more tales shedding a light on The Maid of the Sea and her Lost Glove I will leave it at that.

It is also an introduction to parts of the Society’s lost history. The King and The Lighthouse is also up on DriveThruRPG.

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