Question followed question. I interviewed one person after another trying to get to the bottom of the mystery in front of me. Their was nothing left of the witness I had been waiting all day to question but a bloody stain. He’d killed himself, or so the head of the Sanitarium would have me believe. On top of that unwelcome news, the crime scene had been tampered with. Three hours was apparently too long to wait for the authorities in Shadespire. Ominous words directly linked to my investigation stain the wall. Words written in the victim’s blood. Feasible he might do so, he was a crazed fanatic in a ritualistic cult. Feasible, at least until the moment I examined the body. There was no way he could have written those words. They were scribed after he was left hanging like a slab of meat on the twisted bars of his cell door. To add insult to injury, the men here would still have me believe he himself had pulled the bars free dislocating every finger, tearing muscle in shoulder and back in both arms and then thrown himself quite precisely on the upward angled bars, and all in a matter of thirty seconds while the orderlies made their changes. Either something miraculous had occurred or someone was lying. I was far more inclined to believe the latter. So I examined and cross examined. I took every angle I could think of with every witness. I went over the crime scene and examined the body time and again for something I might have missed. Each new little piece giving a more complete picture devoid of any real answers.
What happened here? I had to walk away with the knowledge that I wouldn’t find the answer to that question within the walls of the Sanitarium. So I left, angry and deeply frustrated. Knowing that something nasty was going on and that I was powerless to stop it. At least for now.
Such were the goings on in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I’m currently playing. As you might guess, I’m an investigator and our Dungeon Master has given us one heck of a mystery. I’ve enjoyed myself deeply, and despite extreme frustration in the midst of Monday night’s events I will still tell you that it’s fun. But now I might add that it’s also educational. I’ve always heard the benefit of role playing. Most of the time in relation to business. This is the first time I feel like I’ve felt the benefits of role playing. By playing the part, I gained a whole new insight into what it would feel like to be a gritty P.I. The joy of discovery and seeing pieces fall into place, and the deep frustration of knowing things don’t add up while being thwarted in every attempt to shed a little more light on the story. And that insight is a gift for my writing. By playing the part I’ve learned things that will add depth and authenticity to a character trying desperately to solve a difficult mystery. I have gained a deeper knowledge of what it feels like. That is an incredibly valuable gift!
Such is my experience living the story. I’m curious if you’ve had a similar one. Anyone care to share?