FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT ...
Murder at Pendleton Manor
In a charming town, not so very far from here, a stunning mansion perched at the top of a hill. Surrounded by tall fruit trees and manicured gardens, Pendleton Manor was known far and wide as the home of the wealthy Sir Percy Pendleton, along with his young family, and a large staff.
Sir Percy was said to have made his fortune in “industry,” but no one knew quite how. He had once been married to society beauty, Forsythia Pendleton, who died suddenly after a fall from a horse. Sir Percy remarried soon afterward, to the very young and frivolous actress, Zelda Baudelaire.
Pendleton Manor became “the place to be,” a magnet for the local gentry, who all angled to obtain coveted invitations to Sir Percy’s opulent parties. A full staff lived on the premises to maintain the property and oversee the frequent celebrations, including a cook, housekeeper, butler, chauffeur, and even a live-in tutor for Sir Percy’s three children from his first marriage.
On the night of Sir Percy’s death, the mansion was full of familiar guests, including several longtime family friends. At dinner, Sir Percy began to feel unwell, and swiftly succumbed to an unknown poison in his meal.
Police were able to eliminate a number of guests as suspects, but a handful are still under suspicion and a culprit has not been found. Judge Alexander Pierce, a close friend of Sir Percy, has taken it upon himself to gather the suspects at the mansion on the night after the murder, in hopes of finding a hole in someone’s alibi and identifying the murderer.
You are one of those suspects.
WHO WAS PRESENT LAST NIGHT?
Zelda is Sir Percy’s second wife. She is 25 years old and fancies herself an actress,
but seems to prefer shopping to anything else.
Duchess of Hopmeadow
The duchess is a longtime friend of Sir Percy’s first wife, Forsythia.
She is a rich, middle aged, widow who loves horse racing and a good stiff drink.
Madame Dupont has worked in the house as a cook for 25 years,
and has been fired and rehired at least twice a year.
Gwen is a fresh-faced young girl who has looked after the three young Pendleton children
for the past year. She seems to develop a crush on every man she meets.
Jesper has worked for the family since Percy was a child, and is very serious about his job.
He resents Zelda’s flippant attitude and wanton overspending.
Adeline is an ageing socialite who was once Sir Percy’s mistress.
They parted ways just weeks before he married Zelda.
Parker is a fixture at every society party. He’s handsome, charming,
and flirts with absolutely everyone, male or female.
Mildred lives immediately next door, and is known as the town gossip.
She constantly digs for information, and loves to say, “Well! I heard ….”
Bill travels everywhere with the Duchess, ostensibly to protect her extravagant jewels.
He is never without his locked case, which is rumored to contain her “pills.”
Fred was hired three weeks ago and is still learning his job. He carries a notebook
to keep track of things he must remember, and seems to be silently judging everyone.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
You, and all the other guests at the party, are playing characters in this story.
None of you know who the murderer actually is, not even your host, or the murderer him/herself.
That means it might be you!
Right now, all you need to know is a bit of your own backstory so you can prepare your costume & think about how you can "inhabit" your character and adopt their personality quirks.
Additional information about your relationship with the deceased and your whereabouts at the time of the murder will be revealed slowly throughout the party.
Your character dossier includes all of the information you need to know about yourself, but ...
DO NOT READ YOUR ENTIRE FILE until you are instructed to do so.
BEFORE THE PARTY
Review the first section of your Character Dossier (stopping at the marked page)
Think about how you would like to play your character (dramatic, campy, flighty, etc.)
Collect items for your costume (hints below)
Complete your Pre-Party Task (listed in your dossier)
Plan to bring your phone to the party so you can read your dossier aloud when it is time. You may also choose to print out your dossier if you prefer, but paper "cheat sheets" tend to be harder to conceal.
AT THE PARTY
The game will take place in three rounds. During each round, you will be instructed to share another page of information about yourself with the group.
Your host may choose to have all guests sit (perhaps around a dining table) and share their personal facts, or they may encourage guests to mingle in a cocktail party setting. If this is the case, make sure to keep track of the guests you speak to (you don't want to miss anyone).
You may choose to read your facts aloud directly from your dossier, or you may prefer to memorize your facts and paraphrase them as you monologue in character.
PLEASE DO NOT OMIT ANY FACTS OR LIE ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER.
Your challenge will be to analyze the information that all the rest of the guests share, and determine who might have had the motive and opportunity to murder Sir Percy Pendleton.
If you do end up being the murderer, you will not know until the final round of play.
To get to know your fellow guests before you meet at Pendleton Manor,
you might like to take on a small mission.
This is optional, and will not affect your ability to solve the mystery on the night of the party.
With your invitation, your host has included a file listing contact emails for all of the guests. You may conduct your mission via email communication.
Check your character dossier for your specific mission.
As an Amazon Associate, the Storyteller's Cottage earns a small commission from these links