Script outline by M. Jenkins, 2006
A setting very much like the old Snell house and Bird Island in Coffeepot Bayou, St. Petersburg, Florida. The house is Renaissance-styled, architecturally. Warm colors: oranges and golds, sandy yellows. Two or three stories tall, high ceilings. Interior very baroque. Like Versailles. Marble floors. There is a second, stand-alone house out on the island. Same style, but much smaller. It is essentially ignored — treated like a playhouse, or guest house, or a Victorian ‘folly‘ (fake ruins).
Our heros have some kind of large key / medallion / stone object thingy. That must be placed in a cavity, where certain upward-facing pins will be pressed down or left up by the designs on the face of the medallion. Think of one of those metal pin thingies, that you can press your face into. Instead of having enclosed tumblers in a single row (like a normal lock & key), this is a grid of tumblers facing up, open to the viewer. A sort of 2D barcode of pits & peaks is the ‘key’, which would be pressed down onto the the tumblers, which would then allow you to turn the whole mechanism and release the lock / bolt / whatever. That would start a chain reaction of progressively larger mechanisms unlocking, revealing an opening to a stairway / tunnel leading out to underneath the ‘guest house’.
There they find a great open space underground, filled with weird objects (like National Treasure / various Hellboy settings). This is a high class, high grade, 19th century, secure storage facility. Among it’s users were the Freemasons, various other secret societies, the rich and eccentric, etc. Contents: physical objects, ranging from car-sized to fist-sized, and many shelves filled with books & papers and filing cabinets lining the periphery.
Specific contents: a giant human skull with pointed teeth, tall as a man (wearing the tattered remains of a Mayan headdress). Some weird standing mummies (Hellboy-esque), golden sculptures, ancient to renaissance. A very early photograph — of a fort in a desert location, constructed from fossilized dinosaur bones (very large), stacked log-cabin style. The layout is a pointy star design like most 15-to-18XX forts. An early photograph of a small village carved into a giant fossil whale (or something) in a cliff face — Anasazi-like.
In the center of the chamber, a single glass-topped casket, with the embalmed and mummifed body of Abraham Lincoln. Died 1901. Beside the casket, on a small table, are a few important personal items — memoirs of fantastic and secret adventures. A sketch by Lincoln of the relative sizes of the Earth and moon. Early photo of the surface of the moon, with tiny Earth above the horizon. The surface is rough and mountainous, with jagged peaks on the right. There are some oddly garbed, tiny figures in the foreground…