This week’s seed is a small one for problem solvers and community builders in Aces&Eights. It is suitable as a one-shot or limited number of sessions with established characters.
My Saturday Seeds also reappear on Ancient Scroll on random Saturdays~
The seed entails the characters stumbling across a scene of great tragedy and cruelty leaving them to pick up the pieces and do their best to make sense of it. The seed can go in a variety of directions depending on if the characters are members of the affected community or not. For ease, the seed presented here will be from the point of view that they are.
Planting the seed
The seed is appropriate for a group of characters with family or ties to the community and will of course play best if members of the group have children of school age. Drifters, cattle men, or seasonal workers will also work, but may feel a stronger sting of suspicion – and do so from an earlier stage in events.
During the day, a person or persons unknown entered the small church which doubles as a school-house for the community’s few children, brutally butchered the school teacher and the preacher, then abducted the students – all but one. One small boy only recently old enough to attend classes missed the murder and abduction while lolly-gagging in the outhouse. The quantity of blood spilled on and around the desks is excessive and those given to speculation and pessimism will have no trouble believing that the children have been harmed as well.
Sharp-eyed characters will be able to find the clues which must of course be there such as well-hidden, deliberately confused trails which quickly become obscured in other traffic. Sorting out all the obfuscation will take time. On the floor of the school is the broken chain of a locket one of the children was wearing. The savage nature of the killing is far beyond imagination and causes all sorts of questions not the least of which is to wonder what the victims did to the killer to earn such rage and retribution.
Strangers in town immediately become suspects. Recent arrivals are soon regarded with suspicion – parents or not, and those already on the outs with townsfolk find the dislike and mistrust of them heightened over night.
Someone has taken the children. Why? More importantly, where? Most importantly, are they safe?
What is going on
This is a sensitive topic and can be made more so if your group is interested in exploring such horrors, but the focus of this seed is intended to focus not on the horror of the murders and abductions, but on the forces and reactions which cause mistrust for our fellows during times of stress and crisis.
It may be that this abduction ends in tragedy. It may be that it is resolved well, but not without cruelty being perpetrated by the townspeople in their quest for answers. It may be that this act is a punishment for past ills, or it may be that the perpetrator(s) are simply mad and have given into a lunacy spawned by loneliness and the great unfeeling expanse of empty land and emptier sky.
Darken others' doors: