By Emile Michaud, Entertainment
27/7/282-Recent mid semester reviews at prominent Universities across the Nor Eastern Empire have shown a disturbing trend of late, as intricate scavenger hunts designed by students have become a favored form of recreation. The trend has led to a drop in class attendance, and faculty fear a drop in grades will follow.
“They spend almost every waking moment pouring over maps and solving these inane riddles,” said one professor. “I saw a group of them in the library yesterday. I thought they were studying Sarnwainian literature, because they were pouring over the works of Dibi Un Krup, but no, it was all for one of those scavenger hunts. Some riddle about the sound a donkey makes when it eats too many legumes that led them to a statue of Elden Parissini, a famous composer who supposedly died on the toilet. Tickets to a performance at a nearby concert hall were taped to the statue’s posterior. Ridiculous.”
Sociologists suggest that this wave of Hunts has its roots planted in a tradition of good natured head scratchers developed by students of the Academy of Alchemists and Alliterators, some twenty years ago. Alumni of the Academy scoff at the idea.
“That is nonsense,” said Professor Avery Landers, one such alumnus who now teaches chemistry 101 in Oeil de Fleur. “I took part in the very first AAA scavenger hunts, and even back then, in the beginning when we had no precedent for such things and were figuring out the basics, our riddles and clues would have turned these students’ heads into mush. It is a pale copy, nothing more.”
Despite what Professor Landers says, many who participate in the hunts tell me that they enjoy the elaborate strings of clues that can lead to anything from an enjoyable panoramic view to a buried stash of money. Some hunts, however, have left participants cold.
“I gave up half way through my first one,” one student, who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of being ostracized by his peers, said. “The clues were complete [expletive removed], with each one more ridiculous than the last. It became apparent that the designer of the hunt was more interested in stroking their own ego than leading his Hunters on an interesting journey. Last I heard, the group I’d been with were still working on the trail. Come to think of it, no one has seen them in a week.”
In addition to a drop in attendance and grades, University faculty fear that the Hunts could get out of hand as designers struggle to top one another, or begin to grow bolder with their schemes.
“There was a report out of Sau Anoit last week, that one of these kids set himself on fire trying to set up a pyrotechnics display,” a Val Coursai University faculty member said. “And that was just one of the clues. I shudder to think what he had planned for the end of the hunt.”