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 yacht arrives inside a well fortified harbor. Drones fly overhead with airships, while shore batteries, fortress walls with constructs marching along them, and docked battleships all surround the harbor. A nearby private dock, holding similar yachts, remains. Prefa docks the vessel, and talks to the guards that approach. "These are my guests...and prisoners," he directs. "We must go to my father at once! My bodyguard, Eleutherios, has tried to kill me."

The guards salute and bring the Prince to an underground tram.

"This will take us directly to the Palace," Prefa explains. "And please, no violence unless they strike first. Eleutherios had been trying to convince Father to step up the war effort. But things will change when he sees you are still alive."

Amara is silent, having put her cloak and veil back on.

9/3/2008 #1
Cam S

"No violence, right," Moros said, pulling nervously at the barbed wire he was wearing under his clothes.

9/3/2008 #2
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Thank you for your help," Ades whispers to Clockroach.

"Indeed," Oro nods emphatically in agreement.

9/3/2008 #3
Jave Harron

The tram eventually comes to a stop, and Prefa leads the group up a winding staircase. Prefa had been informed of the truth of the world along the way back, and now seeks to inform his father. He pulls a lever on the side of the wall at the top.

"Everyone, bow as you enter," he says. "The rulers, including Father, are real sticklers for tradition. They even have non-sapient constructs mindlessly bow for no other reason than to satisfy their egos."

9/4/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 9/18/2008 #4
Jave Harron

As they approach, they see a man in regal robes on top of a throne. He has a double-spanner staff in hand, with several guards surrounding him. One guard turns, and shouts, "All bow to meet the honorable Grand Artificer Diminios Amatikos!"

Prefa, JARVIS, and the veiled woman bow, gesturing the others to follow.

"Pat them down for weapons," a guard orders. "If you have any, set them in front of you where we can see them."

Several heavily armored guards come down to pat down the party.

9/5/2008 #5
Monev11235

Clockroach's back cavity remains shut. Most of his weaponry is gone, save for ten nails and a circular saw blade. The back cavity is empty enough to sound completely hollow. There is essentially no way the winglike casing could be opened against Clockroach's will.

9/5/2008 #6
Crownbreaker

Geminos lets them take his weapons. They are hardly the most dangerous thing about him. Just in case he prepares to re-arm himself with neurotoxins and bone launchers.

9/5/2008 #7
The Crazy Talk Kid

Oro and Ades look to one another and disarm themselves. Ades isn't worried thanks to his heat resistant hands while Oro... is Oro.

9/5/2008 #8
Cam S

Moros bows along with the "captors" before extending his arms for the guards to search him. He had his needles embedded in his flesh, stabbing into his body's fat, but had been forced to give up the knife.

9/5/2008 #9
Jave Harron

Chandi puts down her weapons as well. The veiled woman stands up, and Chandi and Geminos note the pheromones are becoming active. Prefa also steps up.

"Father, I have ambassadors from the Amfolk and Autonomy that wish to discuss terms for surrender," Prefa bows and smirks. "And some people who have helped defend me during the treachery."

The Grand Artificer applauds. "The soulless machines will never understand our emotions or souls," he rambles. "They are forever mockeries that steal humanity's place in the gods' eyes... Now, we will hang them..."

"Hello, dear," Amara removes her veil. "I have returned to end this war."

The Emperor's face turns to anger. "You...you betrayed the Corredine Empire to those soulless constructs, and have the nerve to return here! Guards, seize her and execute her!"

The guards reluctantly approach as Prefa steps up. "Father, they have come to surrender to us. Under Imperial Code, emissaries are to be treated with respect and granted safe travel. Your order has directly violated the laws that you have sworn to uphold," Prefa replies.

"We are at war, Prefa! And this woman is a traitor!" he rambles.

"The codes are applicable in war, as I am sure you are aware of," Prefa smirks. "I would like to question your ability to rule as efficiently as the office of Grand Artificer requires, Father. Surely you realize that many things are becoming harder with each passing year."

"Do not try my patience, boy," the Artificer threatens, pointing his staff at the boy. "Stand aside!"

"No. Guards, for the sake of the Empire, and for my father's own protection, remove him to the Court Doctor's office for the time being," Prefa orders.

Half of the guards seem to be siding with Prefa, and half seem to be siding with the Emperor. If the party wants to choose sides or diffuse the situation, now would be a good time.

9/6/2008 #10
Monev11235

"Your honor, Grand Artificer, if a humble construct could speak, if you are fit to rule and your Court Doctor is a reliable man in whom you have placed your trust, what harm could be done by a simple health checkup?" Clockroach asks the Emperor in his most servile voice. "Would he not simply declare you to be fit if you are, and allow you to resume leadership?"

9/6/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 9/18/2008 #11
Jave Harron

The old man thinks for a moment. "Fine. I will make this brief," he considers. "Prefa, where is the Regent?"

"He resigned a year ago, Father," Prefa replies. "By Imperial Law, if there is no acting Regent, the heir will be the acting head of the Corredine Empire while the Grand Artificer is indisposed. Even if for a few minutes."

The Grand Artificer is lead away down a hallway, his guards helping the old man avoid falling. As soon as his father leaves the room, Prefa sits on the throne.

"So, as acting head of the Corredine Empire," Prefa remarks. "I accept this treaty. The Corredine Empire will cease hostilities with the Autonomy and Amfolk immediately, and mutual repatriation of prisoners will begin."

Prefa turns to several of the soldiers. "Write this down," he says. "My mother, Amara, is hereby resolved of any charges made by the Grand Artificer. In addition, the Corredine Senate will be reinstated, and the Grand Artificer will be a position up for election every five years, and the Senate will balance the power out, with Legal Magistrates acting independantly of both..."

As Prefa narrates to an assistant, Amara and JARVIS stand in front. JARVIS begins to talk. "Thankfully, Amara here volunteered to convert herself into a part-construct for our plan," he says. "We had special pheromone dispensers in her that could allow her to suggest things to blood relatives easier. Obviously, this included her son, rather than father. Many other people around court have been thinking the same about the former Grand Artificer."

"But they were too afraid to speak up," Amara says. "I doubt he'll be leaving the Doctor's anytime soon. Especially since he's a loyal contact."

"No, we aren't going to harm him," JARVIS adds. "Just detain him and show his senility to his peers while Prefa consolidates power."

"I will handle things here," Amara says. "But from the shadows. For now, it may be best if you return to the Drift. If you head for the docks, you'll find a converted fishing boat waiting to take you back."

9/6/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 9/18/2008 #12
Cam S

Moros waits for a moment, to see if anyone else moved, then began to move in the indicated direction.

9/7/2008 #13
Jave Harron

JARVIS directs some attention to the group. "If you wish to shop around the Imperial City, there is a market district within walking distance of the palace," he directs. "But once we return to the Drift, you will likely be returning to your Library."

9/7/2008 #14
The Crazy Talk Kid

Ades nudges Oro and, with a snicker, whispers, "All I'm looking forward to is my double payment."

9/7/2008 #15
Jave Harron

The group eventually returns to the carrier. Admiral Soun is waiting for them.

"Shit," he says. "I heard about what happened. Wouldn't have believed it if JARVIS hadn't told me. But we'll see if this peace holds. Those Imperials can be sneaky bastards."

"Admiral," JARVIS recommends. "I think it would be prudent to reward them."

"Right. I've got plenty of stolen Imperial goods to send to your bosses," the Admiral remarks. "Would you like some of them before I send them off? I have soulshell bodies, constructs, guns, vehicles, knives, explosives, machine parts, chemicals, explosives, and all sorts of goodies."

9/8/2008 #16
Crownbreaker

"I would not worry about the Imperials reneging on their treaty," Geminos says. "The machine woman appears to have the situation under control. Another regrettable victory for order over chaos."

"The constructs and firearms sound the most interesting," Geminos says after a moment. "What sorts do you have?"

9/8/2008 #17
Jave Harron

"If Amara's in charge, then the Empire should become a republic easily within a year," JARVIS adds. "Assuming our predictions are correct. If your group desires it, we can convert anyone into a soulshell, should they desire it."

"For guns, we have repeating rifles, shotguns, revolving pistols, harpoon guns, longer ranged rifles, large caliber guns for anti-armor, flamethrowers, and parts for all of them to be mounted on constructs," Soun adds. "For constructs, we have repair constructs, mobile assembly ones that can produce small goods from materials on hand, devoted war constructs, underwater ones, flying ones, and plenty in between."

9/9/2008 #18
The Crazy Talk Kid

"I'm looking for a soul shell about my size and preferably humanoid," Ades practically drools at the prospect.

9/9/2008 #19
Jave Harron

"Do you want any specials on the body?" Soun asks. "Like other parts carried over, customized limbs, and so on."

9/9/2008 #20
The Crazy Talk Kid

"I would prefer something light and fast with some built in tools and thaumaturgic capabilities," Ades states. "Most importantly, give the arms plenty of strength and endurance."

9/9/2008 #21
Cam S

Moros examines a serrated knife.

"What else do you have?"

9/9/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 9/18/2008 #22
Crownbreaker

"Are any of the fabricator constructs capable of making ammunition for the firearms? Especially the ammo for the shotguns or long ranged rifles?" Geminos asks. "It would not do at all to run dry."

9/9/2008 #23
Jave Harron

"How human do you want the soulshell to look? We have two that might suit your needs. One's a short, squad mechanical humanoid called the Gremlin series," JARVIS asks. "We also have a modified battlefield welding drone that resembles a worker in a welder's mask and protective suit. And the fabricators are able to not only make ammo for guns, but for themselves as well."

Soun looks at Moros' wounds. "Well, there's some straight edged ones, ones you can mount as bayonets on rifles, and more barbed wire."

9/10/2008 . Edited by dreamshell, 9/18/2008 #24
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Can the welding model hold blades?" Ades asked.

9/10/2008 #25
Jave Harron

"Yup. It can hold anything a normal human hand can hold," JARVIS replies. "So, ready for your procedure?"

9/11/2008 #26
The Crazy Talk Kid

"Lead away," Ades says happily. Oro follows, unsure of how to feel.

9/11/2008 #27
Cam S

Moros looks at Soun:

"Will they hurt more than the serrated ones?" he then thinks for a moment, "do you have anything that will hurt excruciatingly without damaging?"

9/11/2008 #28
Jave Harron

"The serrated ones generally hurt more," Soun says. "But we do have some other things. There's defensive spray, and the stingbox. The defensive spray is a nasty chemical you spray into the eyes or nose of an attacker, blinding them and causing lots of pain. Then there's the stingbox, which resembles a small gun that fires two metal barbs on wires out, running a current through. Hurts hell of a lot, but it may screw with your heart."

Ades is taken down to a room where several inanimate construct bodies hang on the wall. Oro is held back by two guards, and Ades enters a small room with a surgical table, and the construct body next to him. A thaumaturge and surgeon approach him. "Are you ready? We'll put you to sleep for a few hours, and when you wake up, you'll be in a new body," the surgeon prepares a syringe.

9/12/2008 #29
Crownbreaker

"I will take an ammunition fabrication drone and a pair of revolving pistols," one twin says. "And one of the longer ranged rifles, if you will let me," he adds after a moment.

The second twin gives Moros a glances as the priest interrogates Soun about the usefulness of various implements for self harm. "I'll never understand why you choose to practice that particular school of thaumaturgy. Surely there must be some equally effective alternative."

9/12/2008 . Edited 9/14/2008 #30
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