Saturday Seed ~ 165 (Leagues of Adventure)

This Saturday Seed is being planted for Leagues of Adventure in the spirit of how things tend to get out of hand when on vacation. This seed will work fine for a single character, and will escalate in mystery and importance for each character it includes.

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

The seed

The body (or bodies) of the characters are delivered home for burial months after their unfortunate deaths abroad several months ago. Obviously, the characters are quite surprised to learn of their deaths, particularly as these deaths occurred in a place to which they have never travelled.

Planting the seed

The seed is best planted at a time of choice, when other duties and interests are pressing. Death usually chooses inopportune times to visit and this should be no exception.

The characters can be of whatever sort – either explorers of the world, or explorers of the mind, or sciences. All that matters is that they have never visited the place where they have reportedly died. What their doubles were doing there, how they came to perish, and how the authorities recognized them are matters of mystery.

The Details

The corpses are, apart from teeth and minor details like scars from recent misadventures and less-visible or privately placed ones from childhood, identical to the original. Their personal effects are authentic. All of their documents are in order, or perfect forgeries. Few would recognize these cadavers as anything other than who they appear to be.

What may heighten the mystery is that the cause of death was murder. The group was found, hastily hidden, but the subject was not apprehended. In fact, there is no suspect. What is known is that each character was killed with a weapon or method similar to one they are known to use themselves. (Hunter shot at range with a rifle, Inventor bludgeoned by a steam-powered killing machine, etc.)

What’s going on

Although you can set this up to run quite directly and without twists, it can also be a fecund source of misdirection. At the root of it all lies a single man of means, but it does not have to be someone who has a particular need for revenge or desire to outclass the characters, he may simply entertain himself with people who might pose an interesting challenge.

The direct route:

In its simplest form you could paint the villain as a killer who sees himself as a hunter of men. He has set up this elaborate ruse to draw the characters out of their element and into his, expecting them to travel to the scene of the crime to investigate. Once there, he will manipulate them and toy with them until he is satisfied and can kill them.

The scenic route:

Alternately, the deaths may have been unfortunate necessities caused by betrayal on the part of the doubles. Once one of the doubles needed to be silenced, they all had to be. The intent was to cover up their deaths in a believable way, but circumstances made everything look too suspicious, so the villain did his best to turn this upset into an effective lure.

His goal is not to kill the characters, but to turn them to his own purposes. He wishes to use them, exploit their talents really, to attain a goal of his own – one which the characters would never agree to. He is waiting for them now, hoping they will move themselves into position so that he may try to spring his trap again – implicating each of them in a crime on foreign soil heinous enough that without something to clear their names they may never return home. Merely catching this blackguard will not do – they have to outwit him at his own game, or… do what he wishes.

Enjoy~

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