Wednesday Writing Hook
Sure Hump-Day can suck, but we’ve decided to turn it into a *Hooray-Day* by releasing a new writing hook every week! Each edition will feature an image of an artefact, a complementary writing hook, and a little about its historical provenance, with a further reading option. We’d love to hear about the stories and adventures you wrote with them – be sure to detail them in the comments below! You can subscribe for more writing hooks, or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

The Writing Hook

The Lord of the Manor, or another rich noble, commissioned this tapestry, insisting on real unicorn hair being woven in to give extra vibrancy, and unicorn blood be used as a flaxen dye. It was hung a week ago at a large banquet, thrown for the Lord’s birthday. However, since then, members of his staff have started to go missing, and there has been tell of the sound of hoof-beats at night, along the flagstone corridors of the great Lord’s Manorhouse…


Closer inspection of the tapestry will reveal that there now seem to be additional figures with clash with the original layout, and whose terrified expressions and incongruous clothing suggest that something is amiss…

The Historical Facts

This glorious tapestry, entitled “The Unicorn Defends Itself” is from the South Netherlands, and was made at the end of the 15th century. The costumes are contemporary to that date. The expense of the dyes and metallic threads, and the hours of skilled work involved, made high-quality tapestries an incredibly expensive commodity. It is one of the seven “Unicorn Tapestries”, a collection of Unicorn-themed tapestries which have been displayed together since the 16th century and can now be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Read more about this artefact here:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467640

How would you use this writing hook for your writing or role-playing campaigns? How would you make this writing hook better? Let us know in the comments below! 

Looking for more inspiration? Why not try last week’s writing hook, Writing Hook #1: The Mysterious Box.

About Janet Forbes

Janet Forbes is a London-based professional musician, a classical soprano and recorder player performing everything from medieval polyphony to contemporary opera. You can find out about her “real job” at on her website. Janet is also a keen historian, archaeologist, writer, role playing games player, and the Mother-of-Kittens.

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