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MURDER MYSTERY II: The Shifting Sands of Shyzoth

In ancient times the desert city of Shyzoth was a shining jewel, an oasis of prosperity amid the bronze and white crystalline sands of the vast desert. A thousand years before it was the seat of the greatest and largest empire of this planet, an empire spanning multiple continents. Now the empire has long since fallen into disarray, a multitude of competing city-states. Of these regions, however, Shyzoth is perhaps the oldest and most powerful. It is a city webbed by canals, aqueducts and irrigation systems where water == life in such a harsh location. Its buildings are ancient and sandy and majestic, topped with colorful minarets and the dominant religion, Hanshin, supplies many towers as Pinnacles reaching toward the exalted land in the sky.

The city is also a city of intrigue. A shady organization known as Tal'vrak runs the underground. Black markets thrive using secret signs and smoke symbols, integrated into the bustling street markets. Amid the trading of ancient empire artifacts and array of useful items is the trading of illegal weapons, drugs (Shyzoth is the capital of the world for an addicting desert flower called psyflora) and even slaves. There are certain streets that even the stalwart City Enforcers hesitate to visit. Streets that you can go to hire dark-robed monk assassins and slimy cutthroats, but only if you accept the risk of dying in the process.

The politics of Shyzoth are as complex and twisting as its high-walled streets and network of dusty canals. A figure known as the Mazoth rules the city as sort of a mayor, but the Mazoth does not have absolute control, far from it. The Mazoth must answer to his puppet masters, the Shyzoth Chancellors, a group of 5 ex-Mazoths that supposedly have lots of wisdom and charisma but really just have pockets full of gifts and bribes from various organizations, companies and individuals. Many potential Mazoths run for office on the idea of bringing justice and accountability to the halls of leadership, but they have to balance this initial desire with the possible future of becoming a Chancellor themselves after their 5 year term is up. It's a public election to be a Mazoth but when a Chancellor dies, the remaining Chancellors hold a private meeting to choose the replacement from ex-Mazoths, hence all the @ss-kissing that goes on.

That's not all though. It is often said that Shyzoth has two different avenues of leadership. After the empire fell due to its connection to a violent religion called Zamoa (which is now outlawed everywhere and hated and feared), all city-states are ideally supposed to be secular. However the religion Hanshin, which has been around for a very long time as the religion of the desert nomads, has taken root in Shyzoth in the past few hundred years and come to dominate the spiritual scene. The church is led by women only and the position of Theocrata goes to the most esteemed of these women. It is a position of dictatorship and extreme fundamentalism. Hanshin is a religion that attempts to integrate itself with every possible aspect of daily life and make its presence known.

Now that we have some background, let's introduce the scenario. A small number of people have gathered in a public square to hear the speech of a man known as Cabuul. Cabuul entered the city a couple weeks ago with a small troupe of followers, admirers and "disciples" that he collects in his wanderings. Many different types of people come to these kind of speeches. Many have crazy theories about codes within what he speaks. He has called himself a Martyr for Truth even though he was still alive. He's an enigma and a troublemaker. Medical personalities have diagnosed him with mild schizophrenia and extreme narcissism. Social personalities have described his voice as fluid and delicious and captivating.

Now he's dead.

More details to come later, but basically the City Enforcers have quarantined off the square and everyone that was listening to Cabuul's speech for one reason or another must remain inside until the killer has been brought to justice. However city law states that a quarantine can only be under effect for a certain time limit. If the killer has not been arrested by < *** >, the quarantine lifts and everyone can go home - including the killer, and this will become a cold case. (There are no intermediate "hours" or anything like that, it's a straight shot).

Now the City Enforcers have supplied two of their best people to be the official handlers of the case, and unlike the two the detectives from the previous MM, the City Enforcers have actual authority here. They can make arrests and prevent BTSC with the arrested person while they question them under influence of truth serums. However after the third (or maybe fourth?) false arrest they will be taken off the case and then the killer can only be caught my a majority vote citizen's arrest. Ordinary citizens cannot make arrests or accusations on their own, they must present their case to the City Enforcers who have agreed to hear out any cases reasonably before deciding to arrest. If the arrest was correct, the credit will go to the citizen that suggested it (or to the City Enforcers if they did it of their own volition).

There are also other things that need figuring out. There will be a list of questions that citizens want to find the answers to in addition to snooping out the killer. There are more crimes than just murder. If the citizens deliver correct answers to the City Enforcers they will be rewarded; punished for wrong answers. Also the killer may or may not have a secret agenda in progress during the events.

All of the characters will have more personality and more secret information than last time and the events around the murder will be more fleshed out… it's a good idea to not give away all your info at once though, not if you want to survive and possibly win. There will be multiple layers of intrigue.

There will also be "items", tangible objects (possibly evidence-related) that can change hands and be used to provide various information, abilities, etc.

Don't let yourself be covered by the shifting sands of Shyzoth…

Public Knowledge:

> not having a list of "questions" to answer

> an arrest involves the City Enforcers arresting a specific person for a specific crime. The truth serum is good for 1 question - to determine if they did that specific crime or not. Then the enforcers can hold that person in individual quarantine (no BTSC except with the enforcers) as long as they want, but only one person can be arrested at a time

> 3 incorrect arrests before it becomes a situation of majority voting. We'll explain that if/when it comes to it

> list of people in the square: (with some personality traits in brackets)

Businessman [hotheaded, big ego, likes to get in scuffles]

Disciple [always getting caught up on/fascinated by tiny details]

Chancellor [prudish and germophobic]

Hot Dog Vendor Dude [outgoing, people person]

Hobo/Beggar [sloppy, sometimes drunk]

Hanshin Priestess (Identical Twin Sister to Scientist) [devoutly religious]

Outsider [foreign accent]

City Enforcer I [aggressive]

City Enforcer II [obsessed with the law, nitpicky]

Man Eating Sandwich [talks with a full mouth; observant though]

Coroner [nervous wreck]

Well-Known Tal'Vrak Mob Boss [mob boss attitude]

Hippie [hippyish]

Pregnant Animal Trainer Lady [good at manipulating men]

Scientist (Identical Twin Sister to Hanshin Priestess) [intellectual]

when you claim a role, also give him/her a name! And of course you always act as your role would, and always remain in character on the thread and in game-related PMs

Hosts: Unreality & Frost

1) Filly

2) Golfjunkie

3) Framm

4) Molly Mae

5) Blablah

6) Izzy

7) yuiop

8) MissKitten

9) JarZe (unconfirmed)

10) Klose

11) JS

12) Kat

13) GMaster479

14) dawh

15) nashville 1998

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Crouseau: Calm down people. We're here to solve a murder, not debate religion. If neither of you have a permit, I may have to fine you for proselytizing outside a designated zone... :angry: The law is very clear on that: Shyzoth Decree MMDV, Section III, Subsection XI: All persons wishing to preach their religion in the streets must possess a permit granted by the high council or its representative to speak in an area designated by said permit. Violators of this decree are subject to a fine determined by the enforcer. Further failure to comply with this decree can result in imprisonment.

If you help us solve this mystery with the dead man, then I'll overlook your transgressions this once, but if I feel you're holding out on me, I won't hesitate to book you. :dry:

Chill out home dawhg. *presents permit*

Yo Red, *hands a fake ID* Keep your beer to yourself, I have better stuff and refuse to pollute my mind with the yuckiness of ethanol. :P

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We would appreciate that anyone with interesting information about any individual here detained step forward to give Ralph and I a private word about what you have seen. Anything out of the ordinary would be useful. And I hope you don't need reminding about Shyzoth's strict "Aiding and Abetting" laws. :rolleyes:

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Frost/Unreality, I'm confused about the list of questions. Is there, or is there not one? O_o

There is no list of questions. We were initially making one, but we realized it would reveal too much of the information right at the beginning, and we wanted you guys to figure stuff out for yourselves.

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As many of you have pointed out, unreality's inbox is probably full, so don't bother adding him until he gets back and can delete some of the messages. Mine is getting pretty full too, I'll have to clear some of it out...

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I don't have any role information yet.

Yeah, sorry, apparently unreality PMed blahblah (whoever that is) instead of you. I added you to the conversation, hopefully you have it now.

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keep in mind a few things:

*** if you are arrested legitimately by the end, you've lost - no matter what info you brought to light, no matter other evidence you uncovered, no matter other arrests you arranged - just keep in that mind :P

*** some items require action by us before you use it. So before you use an item, let us know

*** to trade items, just make sure both people are okay with it officially in a PM and let us know and the transfer happens

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One more important thing of note:

*** All of these personal conversations are exactly that, they're personal conversations. Anything anyone says to you is merely spoken through word of mouth, and you cannot directly use it as evidence for or against someone (meaning no copying text someone else wrote and showing it to another player nor inviting another player to your conversation to see previous posts). You can only say what you were told in your own words, just as you would if you heard something from someone else. Obviously the enforcers have to judge for themselves whether any claims made to them by the roles are legitimately true or not.

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We can add people to convos if we're forming an alliance, right?

Well yes, I mainly meant don't add the enforcers to a conversation that contains incriminating evidence, as that would be a bit unfair.

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