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

The characters notice they are all locked in spartan dorms with empty books. The lights around them are a soup of bioluminescent, biomanced algae. A man's face is thaumaturgically projected to each of the rooms. It is an older man with pale skin, and he begins speaking. "While you undoubtedly have many questions, I will keep this brief. You were all the creations of the promising thaumaturge Thosilus," the old man continues. "He literally created worlds through his writings, and you were his favorite characters."

The old man clears his throat. "I am Aemos, the caretaker of the Library of Worlds," he introduces himself. "And I have brought you here for an important reason. The Librarians here are of primarily of two opinions. One moderate faction wants to maintain their tomeworlds, and take only the resources they need. Another, more radical faction wants to harvest all the resources they can from tomeworlds, and destroying them in the process. Your creator was of the moderate faction, and his death has created unrest and suspicion."

He stops for a moment.

"Since few neutrals remain, I have brought you into existence to investigate your creator's death," Aemos adds. "If you agree to assist us, and help solve the murder, we shall grant you complete freedom. If not, you are welcome to remain in your dorm room. The choice is yours."

6/13/2008 #1
dreamshell

Chandi frowns, disturbed by what she's heard. She's still uncertain about what's going on, not even sure she believes what this man Aemos is saying, but considers her options. Regardless of whether or not what she's being told is true, she doesn't like the idea of being confined. It'd be best to heed these Librarians for the time being. Sheathing her pistols, she nods towards the projection, assuming that her actions are visible.

"I am reluctant to believe you without proof, but I am nonetheless at your mercy. If you agree to keep your promise of freedom and can support your claims, I will help however I can," she says.

6/13/2008 #2
The Crazy Talk Kid

Ades and Oro both feel the others' apprehension about this situation and the strangeness of learning that they come from a book. They share a long silence, both considering the implications of the situation. Ades speaks for them both, thinking that a long held dream might be within his grasp.

"We agree to your terms but I have a few... requests," Ades states, dry-rubbing his hands together. Oro makes the exact same movement without even realizing it.

"Sir?" Oro asks in a whisper.

"Trust me old friend, trust me," Ades answers with a rare smirk on his face as he looks upon the Librarian.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #3
Cam S

Moros stares at the projection.

"Wha...what?" he asks, aloud, blinking.

He had been in the middle of something; maybe he fell asleep...if this is a dream, he will need to wake himself up. Producing a needle, he jabs it into a tender spot on his arm. Feeling a blossom of agony on the spot, he determines that no, he is not asleep.

"Very well...I suppose it would be a good idea to investigate," he says, "Though I will need more information."

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #4
Jave Harron

"Chandi, I have the notes for all of your being, including personal secrets and biography, and I can even show you tomeworld building," Aemos states. "As well as any additional proof you require."

The old man then replies (privately) to the gladiator's response. "Yes? What requests do you have?"

6/14/2008 #5
The Crazy Talk Kid

"I want to be made into the finest and most powerful thaumechanic soulshell you can produce with advanced thaumechanic knowledge," Ades requests blatantly with his arms crossed in front of him. Oro again mimics his masters posture.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #6
Jave Harron

"He was found stabbed with his own dagger, and we will let you see the room," Aemos says to Moros.

"That can be arranged," Aemos says to Ades. "But for now, you may wish to observe other sorts of soulshells."

6/14/2008 #7
Crownbreaker

Geminos glances up from the notebook he has been scribbling in to look at the projected face. He considers Aemos' words. On the one hand, he isn't thrilled about getting involved in something that doesn't concern him, but on the other hand it could be interesting and if things get boring or problematic he could easily escape, he is confident. Of course, he doesn't know if he can actually trust the man, but that eventuality can be filed under 'problematic', and the most important thing is to get out of the damned room, where he has almost nothing to work with.

He briefly considers his options, then tosses his coin from one twin to the other, glancing at the result.

"Thank you for your confidence, Aemos. I am unsure of what exactly is going on, but both of us would be more than willing to help. All we ask is that the relevant information be made available."

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #8
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Well then, Aemos, I'll do it for my price," Ades tells him confidently.

"We also apologize for destroying your room," Oro adds with a glance around at the ruined... everything.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #9
Jave Harron

"I am opening your dorm rooms, and I would like you to meet with the woman at the end of the hall," Aemos adds. "Lady Yang will take those of you who wish to to the room. If you wish to see proof of my statements, I am in the room at the opposite end of the hall from her. And while all of you may be appearing strange to each other, do keep in mind cooperative action will be rewarded."

The doors open, and the characters see a hallway in front of them. At one end is a door with a woman they assume is "Lady Yang" standing nearby. At the other end is an open door with Aemos sitting inside.

6/14/2008 #10
Crownbreaker

Geminos gathers up his equipment and steps out into the hall. Tychos heads towards Lady Yang and the closed door, while Moiros walks the opposite direction, towards Aemos. There is no reason he can't do both, and he needs all the information he can get.

"You must be Lady Yang," Geminos says mildly to the odd-looking woman. "I am Tychos Geminos."

At the opposite end of the hall, he introduces himself to Aemos. "Moiros Geminos, at your service, Master Aemos," he says with a slight bow.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #11
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Oro," Ades says simply as he walks towards Lady Yang at a leisurely pace with his hands clasped behind his back with Oro mirroring his actions. Ades greets curtly but respectfully, "Lady Yang."

"Lady Yang," Oro echoes.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #12
Cam S

Moros emerges from his room, sliding the needle from his arm. He produces a stained rag and cleans the bronze needle, before putting it back in his kit.

When he meets with the others, he stands off to the side, smiling in what he feels to be a friendly fashion.

6/14/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #13
dreamshell

Chandi exits the room and makes her way down the hall towards the man who had identified himself as Aemos. A part of her, the one accustomed to years of roughing it in the desert, thinks about taking out her dagger and holding it to the man's neck.

But she's supposedly a diplomat now. So, for the time being, Chandi figures she'll just play nice. After all, there isn't any reason to distrust these people. Yet.

6/15/2008 . Edited 6/17/2008 #14
Jave Harron

The group with Lady Yang are shown a dorm room similar to the ones they first appeared in, with a few exceptions. There is a braced window on one side. The most notable one is the corpse on the floor, of a young man with a slit throat. The bloody dagger is placed carefully on the nearby desk. A bookshelf with several empty spaces is visible, but no footprints are.

"We found no signs of forced entry, and no signs of someone climbing outside near the window," Yang notes. "A new tomeworld he was writing vanished, and some of his other notes as well. If any of you are biomancers, perhaps you may find some of the minute traces we missed."

---

Aemos leads his group into his office. He shows them a notebook with their life stories, personalities, and secrets written into it. "No one would know this sort of information about you otherwise," Aemos notes. "Unless they've been spying on you for years. But, as for some proof with tomeworlds..."

He retrieves a book from his desk, and opens it. He describes a single room in elaborate detail, and then shows a black image on the back page. It shows pictures of the world detailed in the book, in this case an elaborately decorated room. "If you wish, you may enter this room," he says. "This was an early experiment in tomeworld construction, and as such, was before we found out how to do things on a larger scale."

6/16/2008 #15
Crownbreaker

"How exactly are we tied to these books?" Geminos asks Aemos through Moiros. He doesn't want to find out that the destruction of these books would be the end of him.

---

Geminos weighs the risks and benefits of revealing he is a biomancer. Of course, from the looks of it, these people already know all about him, so the eclectic collection of 'characters' surrounding him are the only people to worry about.

"I believe I might be of some assistance there," he says. "Though I'm afraid I cannot promise much-I'm hardly an expert in forensics."

6/16/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #16
Cam S

Moros feels his mouth move of its own volition, and holds up a finger. He produces a needle and jabs it into the back of his neck--a flower of pain blossoms in his mind, and he feels his jaw lock briefly before he removes it.

Stepping forward, he enters the projected room.

6/16/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #17
dreamshell

"How do we enter this room?" Chandi inquires, observing the book closely.

6/17/2008 #18
Jave Harron

Moros touches the image in the book, vanishes, and suddenly appears inside it.

"There are normally portals that lead back to the Library as well," Aemos explains. "But some are more obvious than others. There is a single book on the table in the center of this room, and that has a portal inside of it. The reason we keep most portals hidden in the more developed tomeworlds is to control the traffic in either direction."

Moros touches the linking book in the image, and pops back out.

"All of you came from smaller tomeworlds like this. For all intents and purposes, you are like Librarians, save you are able to enter and exit the tomes more efficiently," Aemos continues. "Characters are able to do that. If a tomeworld is physically destroyed with someone inside it, everyone inside is dead and gone. And if you die in this world or the tomeworlds, you are also dead and gone. Barring reanimation or revival of your course, or transfer to a soulshell, of course."

---

"Perhaps you could look for things I couldn't see?" Yang suggests. "I have a chemical that can highlight blood stains and hair strands, and perhaps you can tell me who they belong to."

Yang applies the solution, and a glowing smear appears on a nearby wall, and a few glowing strands on the desk in the room.

6/17/2008 #19
The Crazy Talk Kid

Ades and Oro looks on, neither of them skilled at biomancy or very effective at crime solving.

6/17/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #20
dreamshell

Chandi frowns, facing the hard truth.

So... I am fiction, she thinks. All my life, every hardship or happy moment, is what someone else wrote for me. It's a shame this man they say was our maker is dead. I would have enjoyed the pleasure of killing him myself. Hmm... I wonder if he knew that, as well.

The warrior-diplomat forces her way out of her introspection and looks hard at Aemos.

"It seems what you say is true," she admits. "You offered us freedom, did you not? I would like to earn mine now, Librarian."

6/17/2008 . Edited 6/17/2008 #21
Crownbreaker

"Thank you, Lady Yang," Geminos says. "Do you mind if I retrieve biological material from our late friend for comparison?" Without waiting for a response he dispatches several biomorphs to collect samples from the dead man and the blood of the wall. They had been designed exactly for this purpose, though with an admittedly different end in mind.

---

Geminos listens to the bronze-skinned woman talking to Aemos for a moment.

I don't need to earn anything. I'll stay because this is could be amusing.

"If you will excuse me, I believe I've learned all I need here. I'll join Lady Yang's group." He turns to the bronze-skinned woman and the man who had just entered and emerged from the book. "I am Moiros Geminos, but I'm afraid I do not know who you two are."

6/17/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #22
dreamshell

"I am Chandi Chamar," the warrior-diplomat tells the man. He's something of a sibling, she supposes. "You have a twin brother over there, yes? Who are you?"

6/17/2008 . Edited 6/17/2008 #23
Cam S

"Wait...is it possible that a tomeworld could be nestled inside of another tomeworld? If you hadn't told me that the portal led to the 'real world,' I could easily believe that this was such a thing," Moros says to Aemos.

6/17/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #24
Crownbreaker

"An honor to meet you." Moiros says to Chandi. "I see you've noticed Tychos. Regrettably, my elder by a few minutes. We were formerly employed by our nation's military, before we found ourselves here. Rather overwhelming, isn't it?"

Geminos gives a glance towards Aemos. "What is the significance of the books missing from the shelves? Are they the ones here or have they been stolen?"

6/17/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #25
Jave Harron

"First, it is entirely possible to put a tomeworld within another tome world. Some early explorers of tomeworlds have taken small tomeworlds with them for supply and lodging," Aemos notes. "As for the stolen books, we have a general idea of some things taken, but not all. A few thaumaturgical manuals have been confirmed to be removed, but we are not aware of which ones specifically."

"Any particular focus?" Moros asks. "Like were they related to tomeworld construction, biomancy, or something else?"

"A few notes regarding tomeworld construction were taken, but a few other ones were as well," Aemos replies. "But we did find a folder with all of your information inside it. There is the possibility that the killer may know about you as well."

---

Geminos' bioforms make a few observations regarding the blood. The blood belongs to Thosilus, but it is not in a natural splatter pattern. Someone has drawn a strange symbol in the blood, though it is not visible without Yang's alchemical solution. The hair, however, does not belong to the victim, nor Yang.

6/18/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #26
Jave Harron

Geminos notes it may be prudent to ask someone with experience in thaumath or sacred geometry about the strange blood symbol. Perhaps the nearby construct, Clockroach, may be able to examine the room further, due to his refined motor skills for precision in manufacturing.

6/19/2008 #27
dreamshell

"Perhaps we should join the others and see what we find," Chandi suggests to Moiros and Moros. She bows slightly towards Aemos and makes her way down the hall to where Lady Yang and the other tome characters investigate the crime scene.

6/19/2008 #28
Crownbreaker

"The blood is his," Tychos Geminos says, gesturing towards Thosilus' corpse. "But I'm afraid I can't identify the symbol in the bloodstain on the wall-perhaps someone better educated in that field would care to investigate?" He files Thosilus' material away in case he ever needs it.

---

Moiros Geminos nods as Chandi leaves and gestures for the others in the room to go first.

6/19/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #29
Jave Harron

"I know someone who does know sacred geometry and thau-math," Yang says. She calls the name "Kenotaphion" while knocking on a nearby door. "We found something in the room we want you to look at."

Kenotaphion has bronzed skin with a leather-like texture. At first glance, it would be difficult to tell that he is ab-dead. His clothing is an odd blend of Kaftorian and strange garb the characters have never seen before. He looks around the room, and at the sigil on the wall. He analyzes it for a few minutes.

"What is it?" Yang asks.

"The killer's getaway," Kenotaphion replies. "That's a Sigil of Spatial Union. In short, it allows someone to transport themselves instantly, consuming most of whatever it was drawn with."

"Then why did my solution pick it up, then?" Yang asks. "If it was all consumed by the use."

"Because it consumes most, rather than all, of whatever it was drawn with," Kenotaphion replies. "And judging from the usage here, the killer escaped to...SHIT!"

"Where?" Yang asks.

"The Reading Vault!" Kenotaphion replies, his ab-dead face becoming oddly panicked.

Yang turns to the group. "That's where we keep our main tomeworlds. If the killer's there, then the Radicals might destroy them! Follow me!"

The woman from Yin takes the group behind her, and draws her sword. "Kenotaphion, get some of the others. Tell Aemos. We need to get guards there, now!"

Lady Yang leads the characters down a dorm-filled corridor, eventually leading into a room with several people going about massive bookshelves. Massive constructs organized the shelves and sorted the books, handing them to the Librarians below. In their haste, they notice a strange woman in a green robe stare at them, and then vanish.

"Hina! Stop playing tricks and get help!" Yang orders.

The group comes to a stop at a massive set of stone and metal double doors. The label "Reading Vault" is displayed overhead in Kaftorian.

"Aemos lent me this," she produces a key from around her neck, and opens it. Two guard constructs await by the side. There is another set of doors (which Yang opens) and the end of the Vault is revealed: Five Tomes, each inside a locked, transparent case. They are labeled "Enemies of the State," "The Twilight Empire," "Valley of the Winds," "Skin Deep," and "Panthalassa."

"These cases are normally locked," Yang explains. "But someone's been through here recently. They could be our killer, and they could be in any of the tomeworlds!"

6/19/2008 #30
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