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 transport approaches a set of massive walls with lights on top of them. Behind them, there are other lights that may come from the skyline of a city. As the vehicles approach, Model One starts flashing the lights on the transport in a certain pattern, and a few lights along the walls also flash. The vehicle approaches an opening in the wall, and stops.

"Everybody up!" Model One exclaims. "We're here!"

12/27/2008 #1
Cam S

Moros sticks his head out of the hatch and glances around before exiting.

12/29/2008 #2
Jave Harron

Outside of the hatch is a massive, covered dock with all manner of strange vessels on it. A series of large doors and cranes separates the dock from whatever is beyond.

12/29/2008 #3
dreamshell

"Should some of us remain here in case..." Chandi begins to ask the others, then leaves them to infer the rest for themselves.

12/29/2008 #4
Jave Harron

"I'll stay," Ades says.

"Allow me to go with you," Eleutherios says. "I know the construct's creator and leader of this place."

12/29/2008 #5
Jave Harron

Model One leads the group up a set of stairs, through several layers of locked doors, into a strange vehicle. It is a metal cylinder with magnets along the side and bottom, with pulsed ether powering the magnets, causing it to levitate.

"Welcome to Kitch Drennai's private tramway," Model One says. "Get in, and hold on to something."

The group enters, and the vehicle suddenly lurches forwards, and then settles at a comfortable, constant velocity. It slows down, and comes to a complete stop. Model One leads the group up a series of stairs, each with a faux golden trim.

"My father likes this architecture style," he remarks. "Art Techno, I think it's called?"

The construct opens a door with a stylized Art Techno sun, revealing a man at a desk. He is a middle aged man, and has a mustache on. "Model One!" he exclaims. "You're back!"

"Father!" the construct run towards the man. "I've brought friends. They helped me escape from the State."

The man gets up from his desk and shakes Chandi and Eleutherios' hands. "Thank you," he introduces himself. "I'm Kitch Drennai, and welcome to my city of Haven."

He looks at Eleutherios. "Friends of yours?"

Eleutherios nods. "Yes. Mind introducing yourselves?"

12/30/2008 #6
Cam S

Moros glances at the others, and fills in the brief silence:

"My name is Moros," he says, wondering if he should add anything else.

12/31/2008 #7
dreamshell

"Chandi," the warrior-diplomat says and bows slightly.

12/31/2008 #8
Crownbreaker

"I am Geminos." He does his best to keep his intonation in line with the obvious terrible formality of the situation while discreetly scanning the area for threats.

12/31/2008 #9
Monev11235

"Informal unit designation: Clockroach. Formal designation is a string of meaningless letters and numbers."

12/31/2008 #10
Jave Harron

"Good to meet you," Drennai says. "Now, your friend has informed me of the reality of our world, and a plan to spring a trap on the Librarians, before they decide to suck any more of our hard earned products to their world. The damned thieves."

He rolls down a map on the wall. On it is a large map, with a central continent with mountains in the center, and deserts to the south. The northern part was labeled "The State," the oceans to the west had islands labeled "Haven Consortium," and the southern deserts were labeled "Sheolites."

"I'm sure you've already heard of the State," he explains, pointing to the deserts. "The use the pain of their citizens, physical and mental, to sustain themselves. But something worse is down here."

He pulls out a small sample of red crystal, encased in glass. There is a sickly red glow from it.

"This crystal here is what the cult known as the Sheolites worship," he explains. "It's a thaumoactive mineral that propagates itself through ambient pain and suffering. When people, and constructs, are exposed to this unprotected, it begins to infest them, turning them into a hive mind of some sort."

He pulls out a portrait of a bald man with a goatee. "This is Abel, the leader of the Sheolites," he explains. "Managed to hold off the State's forces, and keeps popping back up no matter how many times they say they kill him. He often plans terrorist attacks to spread the crystal into State Foundaries and pain harvesting facilities."

"Master, explain the bottom line," Model One says.

"The State's overreliance on pain essentially means they've put the whole world at risk of getting infested by this horrid crystal," Drennai continues. "But we have developed a way to not only stop the crystal, but convert it to something useful."

Model One approaches the glass ball, and his finger starts glowing. The crystal dims, and changes colors to a purple, and then deep blue shade.

"Model One has a technology built into him that can stop the growth of this crystal, and the flow of pain driven thaumaturgy," Drennai explains. "That's why the State wanted him. However, they were unsure whether they wanted to block or use this technology, and this delay enabled him to escape."

"One of the few times anyone has been helped by State bureaucracy," Model One says. "But this has applications for your plan as well."

"What will help all of us is if this technology can be applied to both areas of crystal growth and State facilities," Drennai says. "I have a weapons platform able to hit both types of targets, but I need some people to ensure it works."

"How will this alter the Library?" Chandi asks.

"After it's been converted, it can be used as a type of thaumaturgical computing substrate. Model One here will expand his consciousness across the planet, and he'll be able to tap large reserves of power. Enough to carry over to your world, even," Drennai explains. "So, interested?"

12/31/2008 #11
Cam S

"Is it possible to extract pain from these crystals?" Moros asks, interested.

12/31/2008 #12
Jave Harron

"Of course!" Drennai replies. "But even a trained thaumaturge needs to be careful with this stuff. It's got to be broken down, processed, and diluted to a form that doesn't try to infest your mind. And even then, you still have to be careful."

1/1/2009 #13
Cam S

Moros stares at the ground for a moment, then stiffens, his eyes widening--he doesn't mention the idea he obviously just had.

1/1/2009 #14
Jave Harron

"All I require you to do is guard a battleship while it fires a few salvos at its targets," Drennai says. "Afterwards, we sit back and wait."

1/1/2009 #15
Crownbreaker

"You need us to guard a battleship?" Geminos says suspiciously. "Is there a reason why a few thaumaturges can do this better than, say, a battalion of soldiers or constructs?"

1/1/2009 #16
Jave Harron

"I assume you have encountered the Librarian created abominations known as Sus, correct?" Drennai says. "One of them managed to infiltrate previous attempt to do the same, almost sinking the vessel with all hands. This time, there will be some marine infantry, constructs, and more support vessels, but report any suspicious behavior immediately. Especially since they can shapeshift now."

---

The group is escorted back towards the dock, where they meet back up with Ades, and shown a military styled naval yard. An airship, this one with strange blue jets instead of propellors or a balloon, awaits. Strange etheric pulse weapons bristle from it.

"Is this the battleship?" Ades asks Model One.

"No. This is our transport, and one of the support aircraft. A Haven-designed Warbird," the construct explains. "Armed with point defense turrets, cluster mines, and negation bombs."

The group boards the transport, and gets the view as the craft moves. The eternal ocean is beneath them, and several blue and gray shapes come into view over the horizon. Several airships, naval vessels, and gunboats patrol around a central vessel. Instead of conventional cannons, some kind of massive line of rings is emplaced on the deck.

"Is that the main gun?" Ades asks.

"Affirmative," Model One replies. "That is normally used to lob negation charges halfway across the world if we need them."

"Negation charges?"

"You familiar with the theory of matter and atomic theory?" Model One replies.

"Huh?" Ades asks.

"Well, here's the simplified version. A negation charge is...like the evil twin of matter, and when it comes in contact with matter, it makes a large explosion," Model One explains. "Now, air is also matter. A thaumaturgical field is used to encase the charge until it reaches its destination. That field wears down gradually, so it only explodes once it reaches a far enough distance."

"What if there's an accident with the stuff?"

"Simple. There is none of us left," Model One explains. "But, we're not firing negation charges today. We're firing a special package for the State and Sheolites."

The craft lands, depositing the group on the deck.

"Now, can stand around the main cannon and don't let anyone in but me?" Model One says. "I'd also like one of you to escort me. I have a few checks to make before anything gets fired."

1/2/2009 #17
Jave Harron

Model One looks to Clockroach. "Would you mind escorting me?" he asks.

1/4/2009 #18
Monev11235

"I suppose not," Clockroach replies, following Model One. In the case of anything going wrong, it is prepared to shout a warning directly to its compatriots via resonance thaumaturgy.

1/4/2009 #19
Jave Harron

Clockroach follows Model One around the vessel, not spotting anything abnormal.

---

On deck, meanwhile, boredom is setting in. An officer approaches Moros. "Sir, I hate to be rude, but are you another agony user?" The scars of a fellow agony thaumaturge are present on the young officer.

1/4/2009 #20
Jave Harron

Moros nods.

"Well, sir, I presume you know about the weapon launch, correct?" the young officer asks. "I'd like to ask you to help with a few things in the hold."

1/7/2009 #21
Cam S

Moros, somewhat dubiously, follows the man.

1/8/2009 #22
Jave Harron

The man takes Moros to an isolated chamber below decks. Several crates full of ambient thaumaturgical energy are there, stashed next to a shelf of inactive munitions. What is inside the crates is unknown.

"There's a storehouse of thaumaturgical power here. If you want to harvest some, stick your hand in the crate," the officer says.

1/8/2009 #23
Cam S

Moros flexes his fingers once before plunging his hand into the box. Agony courses up his arm, and he smiles.

Placing his hand on each jar in his bandolier, he refills them each, then proceeds to refine them down from mere human pain, through the passenger in his mind.

1/8/2009 #24
Jave Harron

"That's it, absorb it all," the officer says. "You may be feeling faint soon. The crystal normally does that when you're infected."

Moros suddenly feels sick, like a knife turning slowly in his guts. A red glow courses up his arm. Something from outside is invading him.

The officer opens the top of the crate, revealing samples of the red crystal that Kitch Drennai had showed them before. "You'd be surprised how hard it was to smuggle these onboard," the officer explains. "And what luck we've managed to infect someone from outside this world... The crystal says your name is Moros, correct?"

1/8/2009 #25
Cam S

Moros doesn't answer, but pulls his arm free, as it feeds on him the gibbering thing in the back of his mind began making ecstatic noises.

He began constructing an agony effect, stealing the energy that the red crystal fed upon and shedding it into his surroundings.

1/8/2009 #26
Jave Harron

Moros suddenly feels something helping him in fighting the crystal off. The biomantic implant he received back in "Skin Deep" is helping drive off the invading. It is helping steal the pain from the crystal, drawing it back. The traitor-officer looks at him and pulls out a pistol. "Stop resisting," he says.

---

A sailor approaches the group on deck, and asks Chandi. "Hey, wasn't there another one of you?"

1/9/2009 #27
dreamshell

Chandi nods. "He and another officer went off together. I am not sure why or where they are now."

1/9/2009 #28
Cam S

Moros produces his knife,and begins to cut the infected piece from his hand, carefully ensuring that the blade doesn't touch the crystal. He would do something to the officer when he finished taking his own life out of danger; if the officer tried to attack him, though, all of the pain Moros was harvesting would be aimed squarely at the middle of the presumed Sheolite's head.

1/9/2009 #29
Jave Harron

"No one was supposed to separate you from guard job, other than Model One," the sailor says. "Can you describe him to me?"

The group describes him.

"That officer was no thaumaturge," the sailor replies. "He's a low ranking technical officer. Unless..."

---

Clockroach and Model One approach the ammunition loading portion of the ship. Sailors and robotic limbs move the strange "shells" into firing position for the accelerator weapon.

They walk through an almost empty hallway. Off to the side is a man holding a gun to Moros. A red crystal is visible on the floor. A red glow is visible from an open crate nearby.

"Hey, isn't that your friend?!" Model One exclaims. "Officer, what is your name and rank?!"

---

Moros cuts the crystal off, but still has the officer pointing the pistol at him. "Freeze, or I'll shoot!" he threatens Model One and Clockroach.

1/9/2009 #30
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