Let us continue with our look at twelve obsessive collectors. If you missed our first six delightful characters, you can read about them in part 1.
7. Sir Rankwen Frien, the Mummy Collector
Although his collection raises alarm bells everywhere nearby, Frien is merely interested in the acquisition of mummies with a view to firstly enhancing his innocent curiosity of genuinely dead mummies. Then there’s the potential to question the more intelligent mummies and learn the secrets of their formation, as well as any other secrets they may have to allude to the location of lost burial sites, ancient temples, and other—potentially vastly lucrative—archaeological sites. That Frien has to occasionally dismember or reduce a mummy to a head and chest through his questioning is merely a fact that assists him in his work; they are undead and have no feelings, therefore threatening their extinguishment of unlife is merely a valid way of questioning them.
8. Tarramor and the Faces
Masks can be troubling, and Tarramor has lots of troubling masks. She’s a troubling person—an overtly artistic lady with a shocking edge and an unpredictable and twisted sense of humor. She wears the masks for special occasions, and when she does, she takes on the personality of the mask as she sees it.
The troubling thing is that Tarrramor rules this shire and its countless terrified subjects of the land of Fotherly: acres of moorland and mountains on the edges of civilization. She loves to have visitors to her manse, where she regales them with her clever acting as the masks. Some visitors she likes, some she doesn’t. Those she doesn’t like she lets go, then sends the hunt after them—hounds and men riding swift horses who wear masks of men and dogs eating people alive.
In truth, a worse fate is in store for those she likes, for she dons seductive masks of passion, and if these are rebuffed, she takes upon the mask of the spurned woman.
9. The Ghoul Collector
Pickled ghouls in armored glass jars may seem an odd obsession, but Parran Robin thinks it is perfectly normal. He uses the ghouls to conduct his own fascinating trials into the extent to which ghoul fever can be passed to other creatures. He has to live alone, of course, and although he’d love a wife, whenever they get close and find out about the ghouls, they seem to leave. Or stay, if he makes them.
His obsession doesn’t end at mere experimentation, however, for he also likes to hunt, and when he releases his experiments from his isolated hunting tower deep in the pine forest, he heads out with his faithful hound and horse to savor the thrill of the hunt.
There is nothing like a human ghoul for prey, however, and Parran has found that, just occasionally as a treat, he has to bulk up his collection with fresh meat to infect. The most choice morsels, he’s found, are adventurers; so cunning, so clever, so resourceful. And, of course there are always two such hunts—the first to capture, the second to kill the infected meat.
10. The Great Cartographer and Historian Edwin Mabe
Although its owner is rarely at home, the mansion of Mabe is a treasure trove of maps and objects, parts of temples, whole statues, and even an entire pyramid, semi-reconstructed in the grounds of his lodge.
Edwin keeps a staff of strange foreign people at his mansion, and curious music can be heard at all hours wafting through the downs and along the river. Some people claim that Edwin died decades ago and that the staff actually runs the mansion as a lure for those whose knowledge they wish to acquire.
11. The Hoarding Women
You smell the mansion long before you see it. She’s never thrown anything out that could be vaguely useful—neither her nor her twin sister—and that includes rags, bones, broken objects, rusted objects they’ve dug up, and any manner of crap. The mansion groans under the collected weight of two long lifetimes of unhinged hoarding and bristles with room after room of flotsam, rubbish, and, sometimes, treasures.
The Hoarding Women—they forgot their true names long ago—love visitors; they get so few these days. They like to invite visitors to stay, but sometimes these visitors get lost in the confusing mass of chambers, and they eventually end up in the east wing where their poor demented brother lives.
12. The Museum of Lilith Grenk
She is ridiculously, outrageously beautiful, but she is, sadly, quite demented. Lilith loves beauty—covets it and smothers herself in it. Beautiful paintings, beautiful sculptures, beautiful people—all must be hers. She always pays the highest price for beauty, and she is well known by fences and rogues, adventurers and antiquarians.
There are always rumors about such collectors. Some people say that Lilith’s collection is too complete and spans too many centuries. These folk claim she is undead—a vampire or a lich, perhaps. They say that she takes lovers who are never seen again save as statues: statues beneath clay, statues that were smothered alive as people by her desperate admiration of their beauty and a desire to keep it the same forever.