The Mystery of Miss Trees

The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans

The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans - view from great drive Set in one hundred, fifty acres of idyllic Californian countryside, the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans offers a chance in life to those children who are so often failed by the modern world.

Life's tragedies are harsh on all children, but how much harder is it for their intelligence to be quenched by the unfeeling and underfunded behemoth that is the state welfare system? These children, who may be tomorrow's great men and women - scientists or politicians, doctors or artists - are welcomed by the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans. Whoever they are, whatever their background, we are here to see that they achieve their full potential.

The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans is a private foundation, funded by private donation. None of our children pay fees of any kind, and all truly gifted children are welcome.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans - sports The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans was founded in 1873, since which time it has battled untiringly to ensure that the truly gifted have a chance to fulfil their potential. Our facilities are second to none, be it in acedemia, arts or sports. Among our past pupils we count seven four-star generals, four Olympic medal winners, three state governors and a Nobel Prize winner.

Whereever our pupils' talents lie, the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans caters for their needs. We have seven fully equiped and state-of-the-art laboratories, two language laboratories, two acres of gardens, three gymnasiums, a running track and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Over the last five years our senior pupils have been building a computer, which this year will take over the school record keeping in addition to aiding the pupils' education in many subjects, not least computing itself.

The Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans - riding

But it is not just in school-time that the Carlos Cory School for Gifted Orphans excels. All of our pupils take part in a wide-ranging programme of activities. Our founder, Carlos Cory, worked his way up from lowly ranch-hand to millionaire horse-breeder. He felt strongly that caring for horses taught many great life-lessons and determined that every pupil of his school be taught to ride. It is a tradition that we are proud to continue to this day. We own thirty horses, which are cared for by the pupils and used by them on frequent outings and vacations. Not to mention their use during lessons as varied as art, genetics and mathematics.

We accept all children who come to us. We have a good relationship with the California State Welfare Department, but many of our children come from other states and even other countries. Some are brought to us privately. Whoever the child is, whatever their background, whatever their needs, however they are gifted, bring them to us. We wont let them down.

Matters Arising

This is an Amber game, set somewhere within the books' sequence, although the characters know nothing of Amber, Chaos or anything else.

The date is the 12th of July, 1980.

You can contact me on soronlin at googlemail dot com.


The images used on this page are:
Corsham Court
Payneham Swimming Centre
Llechrwd Campsite
They are used without permission for private, low-volume, non-commercial use, in the hope that a little free advertising will satisfy.

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Pre-Design Considerations

Firstly, before you begin designing the character, please keep in mind that the school has chosen you and only five others to visit Miss Flaumel, and she expects you to behave well in company. You are definitely not the top six pupils, and you may (or may not) be amazed that you have been chosen. It's OK to be a rebel, but the school should have reason to expect you to keep it under control. One of the play-testers went around randomly setting fire to stuff and people. I'm sure that wouldn't happen with this crowd, but please keep it in mind. Likewise you'll be acting as a party a lot of the time. So sociopathic loners are probably a bad idea.

Be aware of the "Gifted" in the name of the school. All the pupils at the school tend to excel in several subjects, often to a great extent, and not just on the academic side. The school regimen takes account of that, so your character may not understand just how good they are.


Your character should be eleven, twelve, thirteen or fourteen years of age.

Primary Character Design

I need to know what your character looks like, (including their build,) what they like and dislike, how they are viewed by the staff and students, (that's probably at least two different things.) Then I need to know how proficient they are at the various school subjects, or at least which their best and worst subjects are, and the various skills they have picked up outside school. (Pickpocketing? Sailing?) Finally you need a shtick.


The shtick is something you are better at than anyone you've ever met, and probably better than anyone on the planet. This can be anything you like. If your shtick is a normal human ability, then you'll be great, maybe phenomenal. If it is super-natural, then I'll probably rein it in somewhat; you're still young and still learning to control it. The more powerful the ability, the weaker it's going to be, simply for game balance reasons. I reserve the right to veto, but I don't expect to use it; I'll roll with it if I can. No shadow-walking or time travel, no Pattern or Logrus.

Secondary Character Design

I would like to know how long you have been at the Carlos Cory school, how you came to be there, and what you were doing before. How did you get to be an orphan? Who were your parents and what did they do? What do you remember of them? Do you have any other relatives? No plot-hooks please; I will ignore them.
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