The time is right for another installment of Mysterious Monday. We semi-regularly published these short, creepy, and weird story hooks for readers to use as inspiration for your next game. If you enjoy reading these or put any of them to use in your own game, let us know in the comments below. In writing this installment, we’ve settled on the format we introduced in Mysterious Monday – The Summer Edition. Following each hook, several bulleted prompts are provided to help get your creative juices flowing.
The Church of the Three Winds
Roger Zane was a drifter in the classical sense of the word. Drifting from town to town as the mood struck or his current situation drove the need for a change of scenery. To make ends meet, Roger regularly worked for room and board or as a day laborer for cold hard cash; he was too proud to panhandle on street corners. Like many drifters, Roger has problems, but he’s not an alcoholic, a gambler, or a drug addict. His problem is of a spiritual nature. You see, Roger was a founding member of the Church of the Three Winds, a small but growing church in Libby, Montana. During the formative years of its growth, Roger lost his way in the Church’s eyes. For six years, church elders fronted as a New Testament – Good News Church, but in reality, there was something much darker happening behind closed doors, out of public view. Plagued by scandal, Roger left the Church of the Three Winds and began drifting around the country, never staying in one place too long. Roger is continually looking over his shoulder as if he knows someone or something is coming for him.
- What dark secrets does the Church of the Three Winds have?
- What scandal plagued the Chruch? How was Roger involved?
- What is Roger running from?
- Does the Chruch want to silence him? To what ends will they go?
The Mystery of North Anderville
As the cold rain and snow give way to warmer temperatures and melting snow, the remote town of North Anderville remains frozen in time. Even as the snow recedes and the roads become passable once again, there is little life left here. Recent travelers who’ve passed through North Anderville report seeing no one. No smoke wafting from chimneys or any signs of life for that matter. The local constabulary, under whose jurisdiction North Anderville falls, is troubled by the recent reports. Having sent constables to investigate, they are left scratching their heads as to what happened there. During their investigation, constables found few clues; meals left untouched, beds partially turned down, baths prepared as if residents were going about their daily lives, and then just disappeared.
- How remote is North Anderville?
- Where have all the residents gone?
- Were they abducted? If so, by who and for what reason?
- Did they walk away? Where would they have gone?
- Did residents struggle?
Rudelsohn’s Puzzle Box
Created in the 15th century by Hans Rudelsohn, a German clockmaker, the ornate wooden box measures 6″x 4″x 2″. Each face of the box is intricately inlaid in various exotic hardwoods from far-flung places. The box’s inlaid design is reminiscent of a 3rd-century Roman mosaic only in miniature. When shaken, something can be heard shifting inside the box. The beautiful little box was given to Burgermeister Petrus Rudelsohn of Hamburg, Germany, on the death of Hans Rudelsohn in 1493 with a note that read, “Dearest brother, I bequeath you this puzzle box I have lovingly made. If you are intelligent, as our mother believed, you will have no problem opening it. Our family’s legacy and inheritance are within—best of luck. Signed “The Second Son, Hans.” Over the centuries, the box has changed hands many times but has never been successfully opened. Many have tried to force it open but fail. In every case, any marks that marred its surface are gone the next morning, and its original luster has returned.
- Who was Hans Rudelsohn?
- What is Hans referring to in the note? Second sons did not typically inherit.
- What is really in Rudelsohn’s puzzle box?
- What is the secret to opening it?
- What causes all the damage to the box to disappear by the next morning?
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