Last Friday we talked about creating a single artist and some of the ways you might be able to use it in a campaign. Today we’re going to take that concept a bit further by exploring a conclave of artists.

insta-npc-6-coverNow you may be wondering about the reasons behind creating a group of artists, but in many stories it’s the groups that get in the most trouble. Perhaps a group of artists (like a merchant’s guild) sees a new artist as a threat and either drives them out of town or “eliminates them” before the general populace (and therefore their income stream) finds out and latches on… Or perhaps a group of artists is sensitive to change in the area more than the average person and you start seeing odd things appearing in their sketches or paintings…

But before I jump to any conclusions about the group we’re creating today, I figure we should actually create it – don’t you?

Like on Friday, we’re going to automatically select a couple of options as we go through the steps in Insta-NPCs #6: Shh… Artists at work….

First, we don’t need to randomly determine if this is one person or a group. It’s a group. And second, though it could be interesting to see what effect a dead cadre of artists may have on a plot or people, I think we’ll go ahead and assume that this particular collection of folks is very much alive.

Now, as to Production, how busy are our bees? A quick d6 gives us (6) Unknown. Curious. I wonder if they’re hiding how productive they actually are in an attempt to control the market?

As for Style, a d4 gives us (2) Abstract. For Medium, a d20 gives us (8) Instrument. And for Dedication, a d6 gives us (5) Effortless.

Next up we have Tools, where a d20 provides (7) Movement. The group’s Love is (1) Form on a d6. And their Subject seems to be (17) Dreams on a d20.

Curiouser and curiouser. Our strange little group of artists effortlessly manufactures instruments with a bit of an abstract style and form, using movement to relay their feelings about dreams.

Dreams automatically brings in a Cthulhu-esque feeling for me. So perhaps these strange instruments the Dreamers are making are creating some strange harmonic frequency helping the Old Ones break through to our world. Each instrument is hand-created for each musician in town, amateur or professional.

elder-signThe Dreamers as a group of artists was formed in the early days of Ardglass by the wives and children of its founders in the early 1800s. First as a form of encouragement and later to gain more influence on the townsfolk. Though its early members were mostly painters and writers, when Charlie Ledoux moved to town with his family after the Civil War, the focus changed to include musicians and woodworkers.

Charlie was a bit of an outcast, holding some strange religion other than the Christian ministers who had run unopposed on spiritual matters for decades. But it was his approach to music and the art of instrument design that brought him into the Dreamers and saw his quick rise to its leadership. The Ledoux family business grew rapidly, gaining talented folks to their flock. Soon they were producing dozens of instruments for people in town and beyond.

In the new century, the Ledoux clan continues to gain influence. Juliet Ledoux has become madam of the clan as the eldest after Charlie’s passing. She is the guiding hand behind Ledoux Instruments and has the ear of the current president of the Dreamers – Hadley Grant, a landscape painter of some skill.

Together they took a plan to Mayor Cradshaw to encourage the study of music in schools. This plan aims to have a Ledoux instrument in every home by the end of 1915, three years hence. In total there is a need for 400 separate instruments of a variety of styles and Ledoux will hire three more full time designers and woodworkers for her shop to keep up with the new demand.

What they town doesn’t understand is the Ledoux’ sinister purpose behind their benevolence… Each instrument is branded with the Ledoux’ particularly strange family symbol – a strange, warped five pointed star. And, when played, a small amount of discord accomplishes a particular vibration that is sent into the universe. With each note, Alala, the Herald of S’glhuo, comes a bit further into our dimension… When Alala fully inhabits our realm, the Ledoux’ plot will be complete and the world as we know it will end.

As each instrument is completed and given to a child, more and more sightings of strange tall, bluish humanoids (the Denizens of S’glhuo) are seen around town – signs that the end grows ever closer…”

A strange little group of artists, connected with some Lovecraftian mythos, and we have a plot worth of a Call of Cthulhu game or any game that intersects with the insane world of the Old Ones…

The Dreamers only want what’s best for the children of Ardglass, don’t they?

[insert evil laughter here]

Today’s details:

  • Today’s Context: “I need an artistic group to hang a sinister plot upon!”
  • Today’s Recipe calls for Insta-NPCs #6: Shh… Artists at work….
  • Today’s Ingredients: Group, Alive, Unknown, Abstract, Instrument, Effortless, Movement, Form, and Dreams
  • Today’s Setting: Lovecraftian in nature – could be 1900s eastern seaboard of the US or adapted for any fantasy campaign

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