Saturday Seed ~ 153 (Leagues of Adventure)

This seed is being planted for Leagues of Adventure, by Triple Ace Games (who have been having a great 30% off sale this week). If you are looking for some additional material to segue from one aspect of the Great Game Campaign to another, this seed might be of some small use.

My Saturday Seeds also reappear on Ancient Scroll on random Saturdays~

The seed

The seed involves a university library, some peculiar books in unusual locations, and a mystery discovered by happenstance. It is suitable for globetrotters of any level of familiarity with the world and its perils, and represents more an opportunity to choose whether or not to stick noses in the business of unknown others than to serve as a call to immediate action. This can be as slow spreading a growth as the group requires.

Planting the seed

The seed can be planted at any point the group finds themselves in a library, but the bigger and more diverse the holdings within that library the better. Setting things in motion merely requires that a globetrotter spot a compelling but clearly out-of-place work on the shelves. To keep things simple, this post will assume that events unfold in a University Library of good repute but they can easily transpire in any large holding of books anywhere in the world.

The Details

While navigating or being guided through the labyrinthine shelves of a major library, amid tiny whispers from students and scholars about various intriguing topics of the day, perhaps even on such thrillingly occult topics as reports of a floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition, a sharp-eyed globetrotter’s glance falls on a thick old tome of  a very distinct and disturbing nature, jammed in with books with which it does not belong.

Should they mention it to a librarian, that worthy will visibly pale and made excuses and apologies, but at all costs will seek to divert the conversation and get people out of that section of the library.

Should they wish to examine the book themselves, they will find it is just a shell of a book with its pages carefully cut away in the middle to make room for the hiding of a metal tray with a lid and a small lock. Investigation inside this sealed, metal tray will reveal the wax-covered hand of an adult male; the skin etched with complicated tattoos.

Should they simply turn the book in to a librarian as misfiled without examining it, they may encounter news of the police being called to investigate a possible murder, and may perhaps notice a complete change of staff on their next visit to the library, as though all had quit or been replaced.

Those with occult lore may realize – if they see the artifact in the book – that the item is intended to be a hand of glory. Those with medical skill may realize that the hand is fresh, not aged or preserved in any way. Those with a high degree of academic learning of ciphers, metaphysics, and the occult, may recognize some of the symbols in the tattoo as relating to the mind, consciousness, and movement.

How did it get there? What is it for? Why would it have been left in such an obvious place?

Investigation of the stacks near the shelf in question may turn up that maps are stored nearby and that some that detail the earliest stages of the university campus are missing. Very keen-eyed globetrotters may also notice splotches of blood on a nearby map table, and among the stored maps.

Rumors of old tunnels beneath the most historic buildings may surface or be overheard during their stay on campus, but serious inquiry will no doubt turn these rumors up.

What’s going on

This may just be a matter for the police, but the lure of maps, queer occult artifacts, and musty libraries can sometimes make people do bizarre things. In any search of the library, you may wish to have the characters stumble across examples of some of the hidden corruption in Victorian society, from risqué books and prints, to actual shenanigans in the rows and stacks of books.

Has someone been murdered? Are there tunnels beneath the library? If so, where do they go?

Enjoy~

 

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