Saturday Seed ~ 55 (Call of Cthulhu)

This week’s seed is for Call of Cthulhu, but has a low tentacle count – perhaps due to decreased slime production.

The Seed

A man in good quality clothing, with no memory of anything; including language, is found lying in the street near the home of one of the investigators. He has not been robbed, has his ID, and has a folded slip of paper bearing the name and address of the Investigator. There is no trouble finding his nearest relations and getting him to medical attention, should that be desired, but no one, including the investigators know why he would have been looking for them.

Planting the Seed

It matters not if the man is found by the PCs or by others. The notepaper with the name and address will ensure that the police speak to the investigator, if no one else does. Involvement from that point will be partially voluntary, and partially the work of the police tracking down the few leads.

The Details

Medical examiners will find that there are no marks of violence, but inexplicably a hole has been drilled into the back of the man’s head and plugged with a substance that they cannot identify. Lacking information about the plug, they are afraid to remove it as x-ray scans of the man’s skull reveal that it extends to a significant depth into his brain, as well as outward, under the skull, from the hole. Apart from this mysterious thing, unexplained fainting spells that come and go throughout the day, and his missing memory, the man is in good health. However, due to his total memory loss, he needs to be cared for like an infant.

Gaining access to his home or workplace is not hard, and the police are open to the Investigators doing their own legwork in the absence of a crime. Searching his home, the Investigators will be able to find receipts for regular book purchases going back years, on subjects of history, chemistry, the occult, and collections of portraits.

According to his family, the books are stored at his place of work – a clipping service. They may also uncover his diary, but will have to persuade the family to let them have access to it.

His office is neat and well-organized, and the staff will be able to confirm that he left early for an appointment the day before, completely fine. They were expecting him to come in late today as the appointment was due to run late into the night. The family believes he was scheduled to meet a friend. The employees believe he was scheduled to meet a client.

The books make an impressive occult library with a focus on alchemy and prophecy. Going through its unique organization system will take some time, but in conjunction with notations and scrap paper on his desk, will eventually produce a sense that it was often used, was laid out mostly according to size and frequency of use, and is heavily bookmarked for ease of access with familiar-looking, little strips of folded paper. The book closest to his desk is a book of prophecies with depictions of woodcut portraits. He has been working on a translation from the original Polish and has done enough so that the Investigators (or anyone who speaks Polish) will know that it uses very convoluted language to predict the sudden demises of a variety of unrelated people represented by the woodcuts. The first such deaths predicted reportedly took place well before the recording of prophecies was undertaken, and the prophecies contained in this  anthology range in dates from 921 AD through to 2021. The deaths are noted as being accidental for the most part and do not contain much information other than the date of the prophecy, the date of the death if known, the prophet’s woodcut image of the person’s face, and a description of the death itself.

 

Fell through the ice and drowned

 

Year of our Lord 840. Fell through the ice and  drowned. Match 1643. Confirmed 1643.

 

 

The text, in the section with the man’s most recent translation work, pertains to prophecies which have not yet been confirmed as true. There are very many, but the page with the man’s worksheet tucked inside shows the faces of the investigators in sequence from oldest to youngest with the date of 841 for the prophecy. There are no matches nor confirmations, just the description, which is identical for each. Driven Mad and Buried Alive.

On the previous page is an image bearing a great resemblance to the object of their investigation. As with the others in this section there are no matches or confirmation dates, but the description is chilling, for it is  the same as for the Investigators. Driven Mad and Buried Alive.

What’s Going on

Something out there has stolen a man’s entire store of knowledge and left him with nothing but the storehouse.

The investigation will lead the group to uncover that the appointment was scheduled with the man’s most prized contact in rare books, and that the two had had a friendship limited solely to correspondence and lists of valued books traded over the years. Much of the correspondence, when examined, will begin to show a strong trend in this contact fostering desire in certain areas and for certain books, then supplying them. There are repeated queries about which books had been read, and which had been studied more deeply. Questions and probes about the content appear with great regularity. On one hand the contact seems like a mentor, on the other, a harsh school master.

Finally, the two agree to meet. There are no more books – now is the time for…” a meeting of minds.”

The next morning, he appears not far from the Investigator’s house, passed out, but otherwise unharmed… if you don’t count the peculiar plug in his head and the total erasure of his mind.

What could have done such a thing? Why?

If it were up to me, I might suggest that a creature uses the minds of its victims to accumulate memories and learned wisdom on a wide variety of subjects, and then distills those memories into an elixir for its own purposes… draining them from the host as one contextual dose of understanding and bottling them into a Draught of Comprehension.

Your route to madness may surely vary~

Enjoy!

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