Tome: A Mystery RPG
A death in the Library of Worlds forces the characters of the murdered writer to find his killer. With the fate of several literary worlds at stake, the murderer must be stopped if the Library is to survive.
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Jave Harron

Concept: A fortress-like library called the Library of Worlds is the sole remaining enclave of a proud civilization. There are a few desperate survivors trying to find somewhat to rebuild their society. Within this library, author-thaumaturges create worlds inside books to harvest resources to survive. One camp of writers prefers to minimize their interference in the tome-worlds, preferring to take the minimum of resources. Another camp wants to strip the tome-worlds of all resources, and destroy everything that gets in their way. The murder of a moderate writer ignites tensions in the library, prompting the writers to pull several characters from the dead writer's tome world to act as investigators (the players). The players must enter the worlds concealed in several arcane books to solve the murder mystery.

Era: Alternative 1300 BC, same timeline as "Empires of the Sun" and "Father of Lights"

Setting: A Kaftorian/Atlantean (Minoan) Library outpost on a rocky island in the Black Sea. A super-volcanic eruption has destroyed most of Kaftorian civilization, save the isolated enclave. The librarians are trying to survive and rebuild what they can of their civilization, but the two camps have fundamental disagreements on how to do so.

-Nations of the Era: Several nations exist in the world around this time. These are the most notable ones in the Known World. While most Librarians are from Kaftor, a number of them are foreign thaumaturges recruited for the project. Thaumaturges may be from any of the nations of the Known World below.

-European:

-Kaftorian Remnant: The nation of Kaftor was based on the island known today as Crete. The bureaucracy of this seagoing empire was so immense, the palace is labyrinthine in its construction. The government of Kaftor was a republican oligarchy, run by merchants. The old nation had plumbing, advanced ship design, and thaumaturgical research, they were the most powerful nation in the Western world. They had colonies around the Adriatic and Aegean Sea as well (in modern day Italy and Eastern Europe). However, a volcanic eruption and social collapse have destroyed what remains of this civilization. The remnants of their military have raided many coastal areas, severely weakening other civilizations. The sole remaining outpost of Kaftorian learning is the Library of Worlds, located on a remote island in the Black Sea.

-Language: Greek

-Mycenae: A small nation to the north of Kaftor (in modern day Greece), composed of several smaller, warring city-states. Culturally and religiously, it shares much with Kaftor. The two remain trading partners, but often mistrust each other due to competition for colonies and sea lanes. A unified Mycenae would surely rival Kaftor. Each city has its own government, ranging from oligarchies to direct democracies to magocracies. Many philosophers inhabit this land.

-Language: Greek

-Ierne: Located in what would later be called Ireland or Eireland, Ierne is a fairly uncivilized land by many standards. The dominant clans here organize themselves in a tribal council. Members are often selected by the adults of each clan, and the council handles problems between clan members. However, this does not prevent infighting amongst the clans, but compared to other barbarian lands, those from Ierne are more subdued. Seeking foreign trade, they have began to practice more hygienic lifestyles.

-Language: Celtic-Gaelic

-Alba: The island of Alba (Britain) is dominated by warring tribes in a loose confederation known as the Picts. While not as restrained as the tribes from Ierne, the Picts themselves are less aggressive than their "civilized" rivals to the south, the Ysians. The land is rich with ley-energy (as a result of rich ley-lines in their land), and some people have been twisted by prolonged exposure to deep-wood ley-energy. A tribe was twisted into a feared warband called the Ravagers, who now have faster metabolisms, thinner bodies, a drive to consume meat (often human flesh), and reproduce (often raping victims). It is said the lucky ones are raped to death by Ravagers, and then eaten, and what is left becomes their new clothing. For the unlucky ones (such as a woman pregnant with Ravager-spawn), the above order can change.

-Language: Celtic-Gaelic

Middle Eastern:

-Aiguptios: A land of sand and pharaohs, the land of Aiguptios controls most of northeast Africa. The practice of mummification is popular here among the nobility and the pharaohs, as to be mummified is to be able to experience a good afterlife. Many rulers often have themselves buried with mummies of soldiers and servants, waiting for the day their tombs will be opened, and they will be free to reconquer their kingdoms. Ab-dead are openly seen as a religious miracle here, especially ones that retain their former personality (such as mummies, namely).

-Language: Ancient Egyptian

-Elam: The empire of Elam is a nation in transition. With the weakening of Babylon, the nation was reduced to their capitol and small slivers of land around the Persian Gulf. An earlier version of the Hanging Gardens exists, and lies in disrepair. However, with trade between East and West resuming, many see the opportunity to rise again and flourish as an empire in between both sides of the Known World. Their own thaumaturges and astrologers, however, are traditional but not on the "cutting edge" of such research. That will likely change, soon.

-Language: Persian

Far East:

-Harappa: This land is in modern northwest India. The land of Harappa is a city-state and the surrounding territories. Unlike many other kingdoms, the people of this land use biological analogs to common technologies. By manipulating a mystic idea (the so-called "Ladder of Life") within organisms, and bending them to fit different roles the way a potter molds clay. There is a caste system in this country, based on the ability of one to modify genes. The elite can alter life the most, while the peasants can do so the least (but this does not prevent them from making use of such lifeshaped tools). Certain rogues also have the ability to shapeshift and absorb genes, and use this ability to make mischief. Those renegades are called "rakshasas." However, ancient records and ruins tell of an even stranger, inorganic technology or thaumaturgy, used some time in the distant past.

-Language: Hindi

-Yin: The most powerful nation in the Far East, the Shang dynasty controls Yin. Under them, mechanical devices and thaumaturgical research in all sorts is progressing. Plumbing, mechanical clocks, crossbows, and elaborate, water-driven machines are some marvels among many. Contacts between them and Kaftor are surprisingly rare, despite both being the "superpowers" of this era. Thaumaturgy here is also advanced. A number of sages have tried to put their minds into terra-cotta sculptures (with verying degrees of success). A meritocratic civil-service system is in place within the Imperial government. Unarmed combat schools are also springing up inside the country.

-Language: Ancient Chinese

-Mu Barangays: A series of small island city-states southeast of Yin, each city state, or barangay, share many cultural aspects from Harappan religion. However, a stranger, more alien culture seems to have influenced the inhabitants of these islands. This culture was known as "Mu," and many inhabitants of these islands know resonance-based thaumaturgy. A number of traders from this land are exploring other parts of the world for the first time.

-Language: Proto-Tagalog

5/14/2008 . Edited 5/14/2008 #1
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