The Emperor has been slain in his bed! Thousands will mourn him, but your job is not to weep for him. You must find his killer and bring him to justice.
This is a long mystery. Answering each question takes 4 clue points per character.
Here are the questions, with a default set of answers. Use these answers, tweak them, or create your own.
How did the Emperor die? The emperor was killed by drowning in his sleep. His killer managed to feed him a potion of water (known on the black market as a potion of drowning) in his sleep, which was a passive enough effect to slip past the many magical effects placed on him for protection.
When this question is answered, the killer sends one of his agents to kill one of adventurers or a contact in the same way!
Why was the Emperor killed? The Emperor has many enemies, but what ultimately got him killed was a crusade that the Emperor was to lead against the weakened forces of the Abyss. Recent upheavals amongst the demons lead the Emperor to believe (correctly) that a decisive campaign could expel demons and devils from affairs of mortals for several ages. Such a campaign could usher in a 14th age of peace and prosperity.
When this question is answered, it’s probably time for the players to meet a few demons.
Who killed the Emperor? Sven Goodrich, one of his attendants, who is also the Shadow Prince’s most inventive and successful assassin. The Shadow Prince had the Emperor killed, because, well…I’ll use his words:
“Personal? No, it’s never personal. It’s just that an age of peace and prosperity free from any influence from the Abyss would be extremely bad for business. The Emperor was entertaining, but even a jester needs to know his place.”
When this question is answered, it’s time to talk to the Shadow Prince and make a deal…or prepare for a fight.
Assign clues as loot. If you want, you can let characters choose to have a clue instead of standard loot when you assign it. You can also create clues appropriate to your campaign as needed. It’s also possible to assign a clue via a relationship roll. You can roll a d3 for the clue’s strength or assign it. If a player did a lot of work for a clue, best to assign it a high rating. If it was just a skill check or relationship roll without much work, a low clue rating is OK.
- He has many enemies
- Killer has strange tools
- Secret crusade
- Diabolist uninterested
- He trusted the killer
- The Abyss at a crossroads
- The 14th age
- Shadow Prince’s letter
- Emperor’s protective spells
- 1,000 servants, 1,000 alibis
- Disorderly court
How would you tweak this mystery for your campaign?