If you'd prefer to read this post on Google Docs, here is a link:
SPOILER ALERT - if you still want to role play your obtained items or find out about them in character, do not read on. This thread contains spoilers for ALL of the meaningful loot items from the pirate treasure event.
Episode one saw a treasure chest wash up on the shores of Dead End and subsequently get looted. Milton Digler, a historian from the University of Michigan, raced to Dead End in order to secure the artifacts but was too late. The treasures were looted in an orgy of greed and left an angry Milton to stomp around town admonishing the masses in general, but never accusing anyone to their face. Save, of course, for one reporter whom Milton targeted with fliers for an article that had appeared in the Daily.
Before I get to the spoilers I’d like to share some things that were learned with this story. We tried some things that really hadn’t been done before in Dead End and there were some eye opening moments. First, people seemed to love the puzzle solving aspects on some of the items; more than we anticipated. If anything, the major feedback on them was that there should have been more steps and complexity to test problem solving. Second, people preferred immediate meet-ups once they obtained the items. We had thought people would trickle into the pawn shop or to see Milton, but there were early rushes to get together and unlock the various clues in large groups. Finally, screw realism. We made a decision to limit some of the more “important” items which required people working together and it made things difficult for some. Yes, the items are supposed to be “unique”, but next time we’ll seed twice as many as we think we need.
Read on to find out about the various items. Though somes items seemed to be garbage, nearly everything was a clue. Links will take you to completed descriptions for the items that had pairings. Text in ( ) is a sort of director’s commentary.
:Key and Box:
This item was important because if the Bonnie named in the letter was John Bonnie (which isn’t solidly provable with the items available) it would give legitimacy to some of the tales of Dead End’s founding. For those wanting to believe in the Dead End curse, Bonnie could also be the name of one of the Ender’s sisters. Note that the letter says “lying cheat” and not pirate and further says “burn in hell”; something witches were condemned to at the time. More, if the note was brought to Milton he would research the French name (Maurice Pierre Mercier) and find record of someone with that name as a mid-level officer of the French army. This would connect someone named Bonnie with the French provincial government, making the French integral to the founding of Dead End.
:Top and Bottom Map Halves:
Someone would probably place a high value on this item.”
This item was clearly meant to be special to the Pawns faction. There was prediction that the Pawn Shop would see traffic from this RP, but since it didn’t pan out that way I don’t believe the sextant ever made it to the shop. If brought to Milton, he would have revealed that the sextant was in an incorrect position for display and fixed it, allowing more inscription to be read. The implication was that a man named Bartolome owned or inscribed the sextant. This is a reference to Bartolome De Las Casas. An explorer turned missionary, Bartolome came to reject the subjugation of native tribes in South America around the 1400s. Its relevance here is that someone aboard the ship might have followed or respected Bartolome, giving some small degree of legitimacy to the notion that native tribes were integral to the founding of DE.
Congratulations. Now see what you can do about the infestation of current tenants.”
I was so bummed that this parchment didn’t result in court cases for attempted land grabs and all the drama that could have ensued from it. Historically, It provides direct proof that the French Provincial authorities knew about Dead End and governed it at least to the degree of laying claim to the land. In real life, Michigan was first settled by the French, so that fact had to become a part of this story in some concrete way. The context of the real life founding of Michigan, and the later abandonment of Michigan by the French, sets up additional historical references coming later in the story line. Stay tuned for those.
:A Small notebook:
:A Water Damaged Book:
To my knowledge, no one played out the mold infection that the book’s note card offered or used the book as an infection bomb/prank of their enemies.
:An old, rusty, flintlock pistol:
The pistol wasn’t named cursed, it was cursed. The owner carved that word into the handle after pissing off an Indian spirit guide to remind him that the weapon was cursed. No matter how well you aim it, no matter your expertise in firearms, the weapon malfunctions in some spectacular fashion that ONLY injures the person who fired the weapon. That’s what you get for messing around with native culture, white devil! All that remains of the pistol is the handle with the word "CURSED" carved into it.”
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