The Books of Uncle Silas
Author(s): Mervyn Boyd
Appears in: H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham.
The players are called to Arkham after the death of an uncle one of them didn't know they had...
- An earlier version of the scenario is freely available on YSDC; the published version is much expanded.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
The players are summoned to Arkham to deal with the will of "Uncle Silas", an unknown relative of at least one investigator. It turns out they're not who they thought they were. Silas' family were the traditional guardians of four dangerous Mythos tomes, until his brother Darcus fell insane and killed all but Silas and the chosen investigator in an effort to seize them for his own purposes. Darcus has recently escaped from an asylum and is tracking down his brother.
The investigators clear out the junk-crammed, delapidated house and sell off most of it. Only then do they receive a letter from Uncle Silas which had gone astray in the lawyers' office, warning them about the books and Darcus. They must track down from the bookseller who purchased them, who is slaughtered by a star vampire in the middle of their conversation. The investigators attempt to survive the star vampire, recover the books, and defeat the mad uncle.
Player Handouts: List the player handouts here.
Creatures: Star Vampire, mad sorcerer uncle
Campaigns / Scenarios:
List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.
Keeping things along the suggested lines may be difficult. The scenario relies significantly on the investigators agreeing to an Idea-rolled suggestion that they open the house for a jumble sale of the various junk lying around, and that they include their uncle's books in the goods on sale. Even new players may not want to give up on old books so easily, and allowing strangers to pick over the property may not seem like a good plan either. Given the house's poor condition, the investigator's ignorance of their deceased uncle, and the vast quantities of worthless junk filling the place, they may not have much interest in searching or doing anything much with the house, and may leave it to rot or just sell it as-is. While this could make it even easier for the books to disappear, it might be difficult to explain how any thief tracked them down amidst the mountains of rubbish, or to find out who the thief might be.
There are a number of strange events during the scenario which seem totally unconnected to the plot. These include mysterious monsters seen around the city, and two unexplained artefacts the players can track down. A Keeper might make something interesting out of them, but no guidance is given in the scenario. As it's intended for beginners, having a lot of red herrings may be confusing, so these should be used with care.
Darcus is apparently involved with the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight, which could make for an interesting link if this fact can be revealed during the scenario.
The scenario relies on one character proving not to be who they think they are. Some players may not take kindly to having control of their character wrested from them like this. A Keeper might prefer to tweak existing family relations so that the investigator can still inherit the books without being a foster-child, perhaps making the murders and Uncle Silas into a skeleton in the family closet, or having him an elderly and distant relation who happens to choose the investigator as a suitable heir.