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 party finds themselves back in the vault of the Tomeworlds. They begin to notice how bad they smell after they dove through the fecal pool. Their two previous guides, the abdead man and Lady Yang, are missing. In their place, there is a young boy standing next to a large stone construct etched with sacred geometric symbols.

"Greetings, friends," he says. "Despite your smell, you have written a happy ending for one of the tomeworlds."

7/22/2008 #1
Monev11235

"I'm glad enslaving and destroying the individuality of an entire army had such a good outcome," Clockroach mutters.

7/22/2008 #2
dreamshell

"And who are you?" Chandi asks, frowning at her current state.

7/22/2008 #3
Crownbreaker

"Fooled me," Geminos says. "We helped one faction enslave another one, and threw a third into utter chaos that will likely result in the deaths of thousands. And our target got away. It was fun, though."

"Did a man, or a swarm of bugs come through here?"

7/22/2008 #4
Jave Harron

"The enslaving and chaos are short term effects," the boy explains. "They will be restored free will and assimilated into a more tolerant society. But there are other Tomeworlds where states is far less benevolent and more heavy handed."

He turns to his construct. "This is my brother," the boy says. "And I am Joshua. The Moderates have been more on edge lately. Someone tried to assassinate Lady Yang while you were in that tome world."

"Did a man or bugs come through here?" Ades repeats Geminos' question.

"At one point, yes, and then fled into the ventilation ducts," the boy replies, pointing up. "My construct tried swatting them, but there were too many."

7/22/2008 #5
The Crazy Talk Kid

"What?! The other librarians only thought to put you two on guard?" Ades says shocked. Oro walks up to the stone construct and looks it up and down.

"Reminds me of home," Oro states.

7/22/2008 #6
Monev11235

"Question. What happens when the racists get their free will back? Are you just going to mindcontrol them into having the opinions and views you see as 'right' so they don't make trouble?" Clockroach demands.

7/22/2008 #7
Cam S

"I knew a poet once," Moros mutters, looking downward at his feet, which he desperately wanted to wash, before looking over at Clockroach, "who wrote and wrote and wrote, and decided in the end that he needed to just solve his problem by removing the last stanza of his work, so he ripped the papyrus and tossed the part he didn't want into the fire. Why not simply do the same?"

He turns to Joshua:

"Perhaps, in the future, it would be wise to place guards near the exit to Tomeworlds."

7/22/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 7/25/2008 #8
Jave Harron

"I am the guards," Joshua replies. "Like my stone and soulless brother, we are ready to face most opponents. However, a swarm of insects was not something we had anticipated seeing. The rest of the Moderates are trying to isolate themselves, as are many of the Radicals."

"What about the tomeworld, though?" Ades asks.

"You'd have to ask the thaumai that ran the Grand Symbiosis, the Colony, and Tritiya," Joshua continues. "But, based on previous actions it has undertaken, it will likely keep each racist in a personal hell or show them what life is like as a member of the racist group they fear. It is several times more intelligent than mere humans. It just works in subtle ways at times."

"But where's the swarm, then?" Ades asks. "Where do the vents go?"

"Everywhere in the Library," Joshua replies.

"So they never foresaw anyone getting into the Tomeworlds from the vents?" Geminos inquires.

"Not in the form of a swarm of insects. Those vents are far too small for people and most constructs and animals to crawl through," Joshua answers. "But, there is a hub for the vents a few floors down. It's run by constructs, and you might be able to put insecticide or chemicals that can kill or disable the insects inside."

7/23/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 7/25/2008 #9
dreamshell

"Is Eleutherios still likely to even be in these vents?" Chandi inquires.

7/23/2008 #10
Jave Harron

"If Eleutherios entered the vents, he probably had a good idea where he would be going in there," Joshua explains. "But if I were him, I would probably enter some of the dorms owned by Radicals. Did you see any other signs of Radical activity or agents in there? Anything that really stuck out of the tomeworld in particular?"

7/23/2008 #11
Monev11235

"Character, name of Sumra, tried to knock off our contact?" Clockroach suggests.

7/23/2008 #12
Jave Harron

"Was this character pale and seemed to have different sorts of powers than everyone else?" Joshua queries.

Chandi nods.

"There's a Radical I think might be worth investigating, then," Joshua says. "Her name's Sumira. She's created characters that the Radicals often employ as contacts and grunts in Tomeworlds. While they are characters, like you, they literally have no depth. As such, they have a strange ability to give themselves new skills when they feel threatened. If I were you, I would kill them fast."

"So these 'Su' characters can alter themselves on the fly?" Ades asks.

"Exactly. If one of them was killed or spotted you in that Tomeworld, then Eleutherios may be going to meet Sumira to update her on what happened," Joshua continues. "Sumira is normally found skulking in some dark corner writing bad poetry, and has an inflated sense of ego. And her favorite corner seems to be downstairs, near the entrance to the vent hub."

7/24/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 7/24/2008 #13
Jave Harron

Downstairs, there is a maze of dark tunnels but a few well lit sections. A young girl sits on a wooden chair and desk next to a bookshelf under a light, writing on a piece of paper.

7/24/2008 #14
dreamshell

Chandi takes out her pistols and points them accusingly at the girl.

"You! Sumira! Are you responsible for the pale waif who disrupted the Skin Deep tomeworld?"

7/24/2008 #15
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Do you know the meaning of the words tact and/or diplomacy?" Ades asks Chandi but all the same rips the piece of paper away from the table in front of Sumira. Oro aims an arrow at her head and hopes that she doesn't pull some impossible move like certain beings in "Skin Deep".

7/24/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 7/24/2008 #16
Jave Harron

Sumira looks up and sobs. "I make those characters because he likes them! And I'm so deep, I get lost in myself!" she moans.

She looks down, and the crunching of insects under her feet can be heard. Several dead insects are scattered around the base of her chair.

7/24/2008 #17
Cam S

"Hold on for a moment," Moros says, begining to jab needles into his flesh. He restrains the urge to jab a needle into his scrotum and send the completely alien and unintelligible pain to the woman, whose mind might shut down trying to understand the agony.

7/24/2008 #18
Jave Harron

Sumira falls off her chair, screaming and writhing in pain. Chandi picks up the ripped piece of paper she was writing. She can make out some of the writing. It opens with "Dear Ty Eleutherios,-" and proceeds through line after line of painful to read writing until it gets to another "Sue" character description. It ends with the note, "She will help the Empire."

7/25/2008 #19
Crownbreaker

Geminos glances at the paper over Chandi's shoulder.

"My eyes," he mutters. "It would appear that this 'Empire' is where we should go next."

"Perhaps, now that we've caught the person responsible for these, we can stop anymore of these character from showing up."

7/25/2008 #20
dreamshell

"We should deliver this one to the Moderates," Chandi says, motioning to Sumira. She takes another look at the note, then crumbles it and tosses it over her shoulder.

"Which of the tomeworlds is next? There is more than one with an empire, is there not?"

The warrior-diplomat looks over the group, then herself, and frowns.

"Cleaning up would not be unwanted, either."

7/25/2008 . Edited 7/25/2008 #21
Jave Harron

Sumira looks up and cries. "My characters can adapt to anything! You can't stop them! They're already in all the Tomeworlds!"

Chandi quickly spots a notebook. Paging through, she finds several characters, all of which seem based around the same idea: A soulless look-alike of Sumira that can excel at anything they do, no matter where they are. However, they must often see something first before they can mimic it.

7/25/2008 #22
Cam S

Moros looks at her, and sneers. He produces a needle and reaches under his robe.

Sumira begins to scream and places both hands between her legs, trying to stop a pain housed in an organ she doesn't possess.

"That's uncomfortable, but so worth it," Moros says, his voice a tiny bit higher than it was earlier.

Looking down, he thrusts his hips. Looking at his companions, he flashes a broken smile.

"No permanent damage."

7/25/2008 #23
Monev11235

"Could we alter her characters by altering their source notebook?" Clockroach asked. The idea made it want to cringe (if it had a face, anyway) but the advantage of making all of Sumira's character blind, deaf, etc., would be great.

7/26/2008 #24
dreamshell

"Perhaps the Moderates would be successful at sabotaging the girl's creations," Chandi offers. "Let us hand her and these notes in, tidy ourselves, and move on to the next tomeworld."

7/26/2008 #25
Jave Harron

The group leads Sumira upstairs to Aemos' office. The Librarian is talking to Lady Yang and a new arrival to the Library.

"What do you mean there's a threat here?!" he exclaims. "I've checked. That book should be-"

"Missing since the murder," the new arrival, a short dark skinned woman explains. "And that is one you don't want a Radical getting their hands on."

"I've personally checked all the Librarians' rooms, and found no trace of it," Yang explains. "Where else could it be?"

"How about a Tomeworld?" the new arrival suggests. "If someone killed for that book, and they most likely did, I doubt they were stupid enough to leave it in the Library."

"Excuse me," Aemos turns to the group. "Is there some reason you brought this brat to me?"

The group explains what they encountered in the Tomeworld, and the Su characters that she was churning out like a factory.

"You've caught me at a very busy time," Aemos says. "This woman, Hina, arrived and told me about some...complications with the murder. Apparently, the loss of a thaumaturgical spellbook from his room is something she thinks is the motive. If it's been hidden in a Tomeworld, then it could be anywhere."

"What sort of book was this?" Moros asks.

"It's called the Ysian Manuscripts," Hina replies. "Red leather cover. Thick book about this big."

"Any clues on what tomeworld that this Eleutherios might have been in before Skin Deep?" Aemos asks.

"Sumira did mention something about an Empire," Chandi notes. "And so did Eleutherios."

"Then I'd think there's two strong possibilities," Yang notes. "Twilight Empire is a tomeworld about a dying empire and breakaway factions fighting for freedom. Panthassala has a republic turned into an empire by a deranged emperor. However, Twilight Empire's a bit more likely in my opinion, since Panthassala is new to being an empire."

7/26/2008 #26
Jave Harron

"I recommend you find all the people that might've come into contact with him in this tomeworld," Hina suggests.

"Now, before you all go running off for another Tome, I'll let you rest for a while," Aemos says. "Your rooms have been cleaned, and the tomes are under heavy guard. We have installed filters into the air ducts to prevent any more infiltration of that sort."

7/27/2008 #27
dreamshell

Chandi turns to the others. "Let us freshen ourselves up, get some rest, or..." she casts a glance at the constructs, "repair ourselves, if necessary, I suppose. Tomorrow we shall go into this 'Twilight Empire' tomeworld."

With that, the warrior-diplomat leaves for her room and an anticipated bath.

7/27/2008 #28
Jave Harron

Chandi finds there is a bathing room at the end of the hall, and it has running water, a bath, and nozzle above the bath that sprays hot or cold water when a metal knob is turned. After cleaning, she returns to her room and rests. The others clean up and rest as well. The wake up several hours later, and Aemos stands in front of them. "Are you ready to enter Twilight Empire?" he asks.

7/27/2008 . Edited 7/27/2008 #29
Crownbreaker

"Perhaps we could get some more specific information on the Twilight Empire tomeworld before we enter," Geminos says. "What kind of technology they have and what kind of thaumaturgy they use. According to what we learned in the last tomeworld, Sumira's characters tend to use thaumaturgy that is unusual for the tomeworld, so we could know better what to expect."

7/27/2008 #30
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