Quest for the Murderer pt. 8: the chantry

Using Athanor’s key, the treasure hunters can access the rearmost part of the chantry (they need to be able to access part of the chantry at least before this point in order to collect Freya’s charms). A few seconds after opening the door, disembodied speech greets them.

In the chantry, the treasure hunters find Freya’s remains. With her bones is her prayer book.

In order to make use of it, the treasure hunters must have collected the metal bones from the quest for the treasure. The painted hand on its surface, plus the holes which match the holes on the cutten stone from the quest for the treasure, should indicate that the players need to press the metal bones into the appointed holes. Doing so causes a message to appear.

Building the prayer book

You can build the prayer book without much trouble or expense. You’ll need:

  • an old cigar box
  • 9 V battery
  • insulated wire
  • aluminum foil
  • aluminum can
  • a plate of white LEDs ($1-$3)
  • a small sheet of glass ($1)
  • a glass cutter ($1.50)
  • hot glue & glue gun
  • electric drill
  • jigsaw
  • a sheet of celluloid transparency
  • laser printer

The exterior is just an old cigar box. Cut out a section on the front cover for your message to appear.

The message is going to be written on the celluloid transparency. First, run it through a printer and print a solid black box over the entirety of it. Then cut three pieces approximately the size of the hole you made in your prayer book’s front cover. Then use a hard tool (I used the edge of a screwdriver blade) to scratch your message into one of the three pieces of printed celluloid. You should not have to scratch hard; just use a smooth writing motion. Make sure, though, that you are scratching onto the side that has been printed, the side with the toner. Stack your three pieces of celluloid atop one another with the one bearing the message on the bottom and the message itself facing up toward the other two pieces. This should make the message unreadable except when backlit.

Use the glass cutter (available at any hardware store or craft store) to cut your sheet of glass (buy a picture frame from a dollar store or a thrift store). You want one piece of glass that will fit exactly into the hole you cut in your cigar box and one piece that is a bit larger than the hole. Use hot glue to fix the smaller glass piece into the hole in the cigar box. Sandwich your three transparencies between the two pieces of glass (on the inside of the cigar box) and glue the larger piece of glass in place.

For a few bucks, you can get a small plate of 30-or-so bright white LEDs designed for an automobile dome light. It’s designed to run on 12 V but I hooked mine up to a 9 V battery and was satisfied with the amount of light it gave me. Glue the LEDs in place inside your cigar box, lined up behind your glass and transparencies.

Glue your 9 V battery in place inside the cigar box. If you’re in need of a connection to snap over the terminals of the 9 V battery (so that you can wire it to the LEDs), just rip open a used 9 V battery and pull the top off. It will snap over your terminals perfectly.

Don’t complete the circuit between your LEDs and your battery. Instead, drill a hole and cut a gouge in the front cover of your prayer book to accommodate the metal bones from the Quest for the Castle Treasure. Your circuit should connect via the to protuberances from the metal bones. The aluminum can can be cut to make a nice spring which you can fix to the underside of the front cover, but don’t rely on it to conduct electricity because aluminum cans are coated in a resistant polymer which prevents soft drinks from decomposing the can. Coat your springs in aluminum foil for conductivity.

Close up the cigar box; paint the exterior; and you have a prayer book.

Disembodied voices

The audio track is extracted from the game assets for VTM Bloodlines. Two speakers were set up in the back of the chantry, one at the near end and the other at the far end. A stereo fade was implemented so that the unseen source of the voice could appear to move from one location to the other.

A pair of metal brackets were mounted to the door and wall to provide electrical contacts. When the door is opened, they brush past each other and trigger the playback.

The hidden message

The hidden message in the prayer book reads, ‘The dark entity left its mark on the haunt of its thrall. Cast the light of a black flame upon the castle map.

It may not be convenient for your treasure hunters to step out and pick up a blacklight; in such case, they can use the light which Athanor referenced in his latest diary entry.

Shining a blacklight on the castle map reveals not only the identity of the murderer but also the name of the specter. On the library (Aleister’s haunt) use a blacklight marker to write Hebrew characters whose gematria value adds up to the combination of the second lock on your chest for this quest.

The players should now have enough information to open the murderer chest.

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