“What is it Blythe?”
“It’s…sir…it’s another King Richard III!”
“What do you mean another…oh bloody hell. What does that make this, six or…”
“Eight. Eight Richards. What do you think this means, Blythe? What could this possibly mean….”
In late July, Providence construction workers found a body buried under the floor of a building they were renovating. When I saw the news story, it hadn’t been identified and people were speculating on when it had been put there. I knew, of course, that it was King Richard the III of England. Again.
It all started last September. Researchers looking for the body of King Richard the III near his original burial site located him under a car park. He was exhumed and properly identified by descendents’ DNA and osteoarchaeologists.
And that’s when things got…Weird.
A Multiplicity of Richards
Construction workers around the world began discovering the bodies. All around the world, but only in formerly British countries. All of them genetically identical to the first Richard.
Questions about how to re-inter him were put on hold as a special mausoleum was built to house the dozen or more bodies which turned up. Companies began budgeting time on new projects, just in case another Richard III popped up.
Is it some kind of plot? Is there a planned resurrection? Evidence of old-world cloning gone wrong? Whose secrets are being exposed by these Richards? What organization stood to gain by their being hidden? Was the blood or body of a king needed to seal a rift? Was this the secret to England’s colonial domination?
Sounds like it’s up to your party to find out………
No Rest for the Wicked
Two months later, King Richard III’s body was discovered after an old hospital was demolished to make way for a block of flats. The project was put on hold while researchers were called in from the University of Leicester to identify the body. When they opened the room where Richard’s remains were held, the skeleton was missing.
An examination of surveillance footage noted no unusual activity and when the researchers got to the construction site, they determined that this was, again, Richard III. Once again, he had a mysterious and apparently-Roman nail lodged in his back.
Six weeks later, it happened again. Construction site. Body. Nail.
Guards were put in the room, but when it happened again 10 weeks later nobody had noticed that he was gone until the phone call came in. Construction site. Body. Nail.
Why can’t Richard rest? Why does he need to be found over and over? What the heck is up with that nail?
It could be a magic-user or cult who draws strength from the body and the body’s fight to be freed. It might be a pact with the fae that went horrible wrong (note the iron in the nail). It might be a ritual that requires him to remain in unknown ground, but a twist with the nail’s accidental presence has foiled it somehow.
A number of modern games could support this idea. In Night’s Black Agents, it could be tied to vampires or vampires vs. fae. In Trail of Cthulhu, this might have been related to a mythos ritual. This would fit well with Kevin Kulp’s in-progress game, TimeWatch , which also uses the Gumshoe system. If your team can travel in time, they might be able to deal with the problem in the 15th century. It would also work nicely with the FATE system, with or without time travel/cults/faeries.
For the sake of those poor, tired Leicestershire researchers, put an end to this madness.