Saturday Seed – 9 (Call of Cthulhu)

The seed this week is a dark and curious one, for Call of Cthulhu:

A reclusive, and reportedly cruel magnate of the steel industry has passed away at the age of 99.

There are minor problems with the will, in particular the curious instructions left for the dispensation of a variety of rare and presumably valuable items which the deceased had spent enormous time and effort collecting, and storing in a large, private vault beneath his country manor.

Various factions within the family have filed suits to contest the will, and at least one motion has been put forth to claim that the deceased was not of sound mind for a significant period of time prior to his death and his law firm was in collusion with his madness as the firm itself is one of the primary beneficiaries, standing to gain several millions in assets for ‘services rendered unfailingly.’

For existing groups, one or more of the Investigators is hired by one of the factions to catalog, appraise, and present a report to that faction on the contents of the collection.

For one-shot, or newly begun groups, the Investigators could be hired by different factions to catalog and appraise the collection, and of course, present their research to the faction that hired them. That this research and investigation takes place at the same time, and that those who investigate come to find things in common with their competitors and less in common with their employers is only natural and good.

I leave the contents of the collection to you, but it is best that it be scraps of things which lead to greater clues later in your campaign. Fragments of pottery, bits of small, or broken iconography, incomplete or damaged manuscripts, diaries of madmen, letters from exotic and unknown locales, and almost all of it relating in one way or another to cultures or persons who have had contact with or knowledge of, the Mythos.

The will states that the items are to be scattered to the four winds, many to private collectors known to horde items away from the eyes of men, some to institutions with similar reputations. Some few – primarily manuscripts and small statues are to be destroyed and the pieces scattered separately in all the oceans of the world.

How things play out will depend on your intent. Will something need to come to a head, or not?

If yes, then one of the factions in the family will be as aware of the Mythos as the Investigators, and will want a specific item to facilitate a foul plot. I am partial to a grand summoning, aren’t you? That will require known components to be gathered, cultists to be assembled, a suitable site to be prepared, and an astronomical time-table to be observed to the precise moment. The Investigators will have many opportunities to catch wind of the preparations and get involved.

If no, a better opportunity awaits you for storytelling. The players should be allowed to realize that this collection provides two things. First, a chance to build a great arsenal of knowledge to resist the forces of the Mythos you intend to unleash in your campaign. Second, a great source of power for those very forces. What will they do? How will they deal with the misguided greed of the various family factions? How will they deal with the collection? How will they decide?

The play’s the thing!

Speak your piece~

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