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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"Can you not use thaumaturgy to recall this killer?" Chandi asks Lady Yang, returning her pistols to their holsters upon learning there is no immediate danger. "Or, at the very least, could you not destroy these tomes to be safe?"

Chandi considers after the words leave her mouth. Only... how many would die if that were to happen? I mustn't forget that people exist inside those tomes. In some form, anyway.

6/20/2008 #31

"Didn't Aemos say that it was easier for a character to enter a tomeworld than a Librarian?" Geminos asks. "That would seem to suggest that whoever went into one of these tomes wasn't a Librarian."

6/20/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #32
Cam S

"Just because it's easier for us doesn't mean it's impossible for them," Moros says, "It might be more likely for it to be a character, but it could still be a Librarian."

He thinks for a moment.

"What would be the best thing to figure out first would be whether this is a factionalist killing or a personal killing."

6/20/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #33
The Crazy Talk Kid

"I'm no expert in finding killers but if it is a Librarian and they're hiding in one of these worlds, then why not have a head count of the Librarians? That should eliminate a few possibilities suspects, if I'm not mistaken," Ades tells them in an uncharacteristic show of intelligence.

6/20/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #34

Clockroach, who has thus far been silent, considers each of the Tomes he viewed and the general situation.

"Identifying any missing Librarians would seem a wise decision with which to start," it agreed after a moment.

6/20/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #35
Jave Harron

"If a Librarian was trying to get into the tomeworlds, they would have to cast hours worth of protective thaumaturgy while remaining close to the tomeworld they sought to enter," she explains. "But even if they had prepared them before the murder, there would still be all sorts of exotic alchemical substances around, which would have shown up with my regent. But, I will ask Aemos to do a headcount."

She approaches one of the constructs, and begins to wind a gear on the back of it.

"Aemos is able to control almost every automaton and construct in the Library. We can spy on the Librarians without them ever knowing," Yang adds. "But it should take a few minutes."

"But why does this Library exist?" Chandi asks.

"The Library of Worlds was originally constructed by a wealthy, maritime republic called Kaftor. The plan was to create a place where the world's best and brightest could research thaumaturgy and technology. Agents were sent to many of our trading partners and neighbors, to recruit them. I am personally from a very distant land, but I was interested enough to join the Library," Yang explains.

"Cannot Kaftor help us?" Chandi asks.

"Some time ago, Kaftor was wiped out by a series of natural disasters. There was a massive volcanic eruption, followed by earthquakes and tidal waves," Yang explains. "Aside from the occasional lost refugee, we don't get many visitors. Kaftor, for all we know, is a dead nation. So, we have been trying to gather resources to save what is left of it, as most of its thaumaturges, cities, and farmlands were destroyed."

Just then, a clicking was heard from the nearby automaton. Yang pulls out a small book of thaumechanical code, and looks up the message. "Apparently, all Librarians are accounted for, and have been before and after the murder. Aside from Thosilus, of course," she notes. "However, there is something odd. Someone who looks rather like a certain Radical was seen around here."

6/20/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #36

"And what information is available on this person?" Clockroach prompts her.

6/21/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #37
Jave Harron

"The figure is a tall, broad-shouldered man, generally disheveled, with wild, dirty blond hair, and a rugged face," Yang explains to the group. "That man is Tycho Eleutherios," she explains. "He's a character like you, and we think he has some affiliation with the Radicals. If he's involved..."

"You will need all the help you can get," Kenotaphion interrupts. "Tycho is a skilled fighter and manipulator. I have personally seen him openly threaten to kill one of our own, Daedalus. It's likely if the Radicals did have something to do with it, they would send a mercenary like him."

"But how can we track him?" Geminos asks.

"He could be in any one of those tomeworlds. Regardless of if he is in there or not, he or any Radical collaborators might have had a chance to screw up things inside each world," Kenotaphion adds. "Find a world that you all can agree on entering, make contact with our agents, look for Tycho, and try to undermine Radical influence. Even if Tycho is not in your world, chances are that he will find you."

6/21/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #38
The Crazy Talk Kid

"If this man is as bloodthirsty as you say, then perhaps he'll head to somewhere that he could kill to his heart's content," Ades interjects. "Which tomeworld would be the most likely place that a man like him could do that?"

"Yes, which one?" Oro adds to his master's question.

6/21/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/21/2008 #39
Jave Harron

"He is not a random psychopath," Yang replies. "He may be proficient at violence, threaten people with it, and have no problems with it, but because he gets paid to do so, or he has some advantage. If he is the killer, then the Radicals may have offered him something. If he's not, he certainly has unanswered questions. And for all we know, he may have entered a random tomeworld in haste."

6/21/2008 #40

"Do you have any insight into the Radicals' plans?" Chandi asks. "Perhaps there is something that might narrow down our selection."

6/21/2008 . Edited 6/21/2008 #41
Jave Harron

"The man that Tycho threatened is currently under heavy guard," Kenotaphion adds. "And probably in no mood to receive visitors now."

"The Radicals would want to cause some sort of world-destroying event in each. It would allow them to strip all the resources at once," Yang explains. "That might be a superweapon, some horrid sort of thaumaturgy, or even a social collapse in some. It would vary based on the world in question. If they wanted something that might be easy to work with, the genocidal wars in the Skin Deep tome may work."

6/21/2008 #42
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Please elaborate on this "Skin Deep", I'd like to have some foreknowledge if I'm going to risk my life," Ades tells her, eyeing the tome warily.

6/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/22/2008 #43
Cam S

Moros sits listening as the others discussed the murderer. Genocidal wars in a fictitious world.

"Do the Radicals intentionally create unstable worlds to destroy for their resources?" he asks, staring at the book.

6/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/22/2008 #44
Jave Harron

"In order to create a world to viably extract resources from, it must be somewhat stable," Yang explains. "And by stable, I mean not about to collapse into nothingness as well as ones where there are various checks and balances on various economical and social factors. If those balances were to be thrown asunder, everything would go down the pits. And these five tomeworlds are the most expansive we have. So, the Radicals would have the most interest in these worlds if they wanted the most resources."

"What about Skin Deep?" Ades asks.

"That tome has three primary factions in it. There are humans with a culture inspired by Hindustan," Kenotaphion explains, and looks at Chandi. "Hindustan is a country in our world that also inspired yours. However, this version is much more racist. Aside from the racist humans, there are a race of...arthropod like entities called trilos. A racist faction of trilos are fighting the humans. Between these two are a new power called the Grand Symbiosis, trying to achieve unity between the two. Of these three, we support the Grand Symbiosis. The Radicals may be trying to inflame the racist factions, though."

6/22/2008 #45

"And you say you have agents in these tomeworlds? Characters like us?" Chandi asks Kenotaphion.

6/22/2008 . Edited 6/22/2008 #46
Jave Harron

"Yes. Our contact inside there is a member of the Grand Symbiosis," Kenotaphion says. "So, going to explore the Skin Deep tome?"

6/22/2008 #47

"I have no problem with that," Geminos says through Tychos after a quick coin toss.

"Neither do I," Moiros says. "Wars are nothing new to us."

6/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #48

"I find myself essentially without an opinion; whatever is most likely to work surely should be the path we take, right? What would be the point of inferior alternatives?" Clockroach declares.

6/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #49
The Crazy Talk Kid

"I'll go then, might even be educational," Ades votes.

6/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #50
Cam S

"No other viable option, really," Moros mutters dourly.

6/23/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #51
Jave Harron

"You have a few entry points. One is located in a friendly city in the Grand Symbiosis, near where the contact lives," Yang says, flipping through the pages. "Another is located in a wilderness area in swamps full of trilo tribes, and the last one is located near a hostile human racist city. I assume you'll be wanting the friendly city, right?"

6/23/2008 #52
The Crazy Talk Kid

"That sounds most agreeable for us though I would like to talk to Aemos first about my... payment plan," Ades tells the Librarian.

6/23/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #53

"There will be time for such matters later," Chandi asserts, casting a scowl towards the dead-handed man. "It is more important that we track down this killer as quickly as possible."

6/23/2008 . Edited 6/24/2008 #54
The Crazy Talk Kid

"It won't take long, miss, just a moment," Ades says to her with a smile on his face that does not reach his eyes and his hands resting on the pommels of his swords. Oro mimics his master as always, though it looks admittedly odd without swords to rest his hands on.

6/23/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #55

One of those, Geminos thinks.

"Perhaps the rest of us could go on ahead while he stays behind" he suggests. "if it won't take long he can catch up with us easily."

6/23/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 6/24/2008 #56

"He may do as he pleases," Chandi says and scoffs at the man's blustering, "but it would be wise for us to work together. We cannot have this sort of petty self-interest while on the mission, it complicates things. And do we all not want this to go as simply as is possible?"

Chandi turns her attention back to Yang and Kenotaphion. "Tell us what we need to know so that we might succeed."

6/24/2008 #57
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Oro, go ahead with the others," Ades whispers to the construct.

"But sir-"

"It'll be fine," Ades tells him and listens.

6/24/2008 #58
Jave Harron

A drone begins clicking, and Yang reads off a message. "Aemos gives you a few options. One is you can upgrade your body, or any part you want, after securing Moderate interests in this tome, or a few bodies should you directly catch the murderer," she reads.

"As for the tomeworld, the contact is named Tritiya Prakriti," Kenotaphion says. "He is technically not a he, due to changing gender and organs through biomancy. The city you will be finding yourself in is Sunergia, a Symbiont one."

"The tomeworld itself, before adding the humans and trilos, was an attempt at reconstructing Pangaea, what happened when the continents were all one aeons ago. Of course, things changed once we added the two species as a sort of social experiment," Yang continues. "But sadly, racism polarizes most. Biomancy has allowed two racist leaders to control each species, with the Grand Symbiosis in the middle. The Radicals may be trying to wipe out the Symbiosis, but we want it to become a viable alternative to the genocidal wars."

"When you are ready, touch the first page of the tome. It is recommended you enter at the same time, due to certain...irregularities with time flow relative to outside," Kenotaphion adds, opening the case to "Skin Deep" and opening to the first page. "When you are done, we shall make contact with you. Other concerns should be addressed through our contact."

6/24/2008 #59
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Very well then," Ades says frowning at this new twist. Oro seems to relax visibly, as much as a machine can.

6/24/2008 #60
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