Random Idea: Tempus clausum

Posted by on September 18, 2013
Arabian Nights by josiahmackenzie on Flickr

Arabian Nights by josiahmackenzie on Flickr

This is part of a series of RPG characters, creatures, items, adventure ideas, and locations inspired by random entries from Wikipedia. The material I create may grow distant from its roots.

Today we have Tempus Clausum, an ancient Roman Catholic law that forbids celebrations during certain solemn periods of the year (such as Lent and Advent). English equivalents include the delicious terms “closed time” and “forbidden time.”


You have come to Clausum, the holy city, during Closed Time. The faithful must rest from their labors during this week.

Unfortunately, a foul murder has been committed. Sorana, a young priestess of Shelomith the All-Seeing, was found dead in her chambers. Her purple-tinged hands and bulging eyes speak to the use of alatil poison, an expensive powder that kills within seconds.

The priests cannot investigate this murder during Closed Time, but will pay you handsomely to do so. Lukas, the chief priest of the Temple of Shelomith, will tell you all he knows of Sorana’s habits. She was a simple, devout young woman who left the temple more often than most on solitary errands.

You have an ally in the tenets of Closed Time: no-one may leave the city until Closed Time ends two days from now. The perpetrator still lies somewhere among the many temples and spires of Clausum. Is it another priest or priestess of Shelomith, jealous of Sorana’s rapid rise in the priesthood? Is it a member of the cult of Lael the One-Eyed, ancient enemy of Shelomith? Was Sorana as virtuous as she appeared, or did she have more earthly dealings that made her enemies? Or did she learn more than she should of the strange, ancient secrets of Shelomith? Those who report a murder are usually involved….

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