Wow. Impressive doesn't begin to cover it. I was expecting something reminiscent of Harlan Ellison's For I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream or The Matrix, but this one had several intriguing surprises. I will be running this.
Minor suggested change: have the painting show wolves hunting someone. Actually, you could show a hunt with all the details, making it just a pretty show... until they get into the painting, and become a show themselves. Finally, when (if) they get out, a heap or two of old, dry bones could be ejected with them... as a final warning. Go to Comment
There exists a prestigious academy with a history going back hundreds of years. Graduates are highly skilled and very much sought after for employment. For purely traditional reasons, the academy requires its students to become proficient in a skill or area of knowledge that has no use in the modern world. This could be Ancient Egyptian, an antiquated form of writing such as shorthand, knowledge of building or repairing antique steam engines, programming COBOL, etc. PCs who graduated from this academy must be sure to have this skill in their repertoire.