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Naked Came The Alchemist

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And choose what thou shalt finde of meanest price
Leave sophisters, and following my advice,
Be not deluded; for the truth is one,
'Tis not in many things, this is Our Stone:
At first appearing in a garb defiled,
And, to deal plainly, it is Saturn's childe.
His price is meane, his venom very great
His constitution cold, devoid of heat.

-from Hunting The Greene Lyon

In 1870, after the death of old Lord Albertus Rook, his grandson Elias Rook opened up the famous family estate to the public, changing its name from Rookwood to the cryptic title of Musaeum Hermeticum. The eccentric elder Rook had made a reputation for himself as a dabbler in alchemy as well as a mechanical genuis but kept mostly to himself and did not interact much with the locals. The estate sat on 30 acres of land, and the large manor home, populated with thousands of cunningly contrived automatons, steam-powered devices and other clockwork curiosities entertained visitors for a little over a decade until, in 1885 when the Musaeum Hermeticum suddenly and inexplicably closed and Elias Rook vanished from all public sight. Rumors circulated of a death or several deaths on the grounds due to mechanical malfunction, but nothing was ever verified, the victims if there were any were never made known to the papers and Elias Rook himself could not be contacted.

Now in 1908, ten letters of invitation have been sent to ten individuals from all walks of society. They will come here to the Musaeum Hermeticum and enter a dark secretive world, laced with ancient alchemy and populated by disturbingly life-like automatons. The promise is of fabulous wealth, the revelation of old mysteries and perhaps something more...

...if they survive, that is.


*****


" Naked Came The Alchemist " is a work of collaborative fiction, open for anyone to contribute to. Normally in collaborative fiction, each participant writes a chapter but here we will play a little looser. I will start by posting the first part of Chapter 1 and anyone who wants to play can contribute to the chapter by adding onto it in the comments. When I feel the chapter has reached a suitable stopping point, I will wrap it up and the next chapter will be put up in another post and so on.

The entire work will be divided up in 13 chapters and the rules of gameplay are as follows.

1) No killing off or otherwise permanently changing a major character owned by another author. You can feel free to kill off your own characters all you want to, though :) and as this is a murder mystery this is even encouraged

2) No God Mod'ing, i.e., not making a character a God, invincible and never wrong when all other characters are not similarly endowed

3) No writing for another author's characters, unless agreed by the author

4) Please don't hog the story. If there are a number of participants we want everyone to get a chance to write. However if things get slow I will post as much as I can to keep the story flowing

5) Writing in this story will require a certain level of committment. I'll have a ' bulletin board ' post up at the top where folks can talk Out Of Character about story elements and if for whatever reason you may be indisposed for a while, please make sure to notify us and if needs be, give another author permission to 'puppet' your character until you get back.

6) Remember the storyplay will be full of certain twists and turns and that will be part of what will make it fun. We don't know where it will go. So please don't have any " pet " ideas, i.e. ideas you love so dearly that you won't be able to stand it if they get mangled or changed in the course of the story.

7) Strong language and explicit sexual content are a no-no. We're all adults here but I'd rather not turn this story into a jolly Edwardian soft-core porno even if the LJ name suggests otherwise ;D so keep things PG-13 please

8) For the love of God have fun :P

I think I've got the basics but if I need to add a rule or tweak one I'm up for suggestions :)

Resource links to help with the writing and inspiration

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/map_of_site.html for brushing up on your alchemy know-how

http://www.angelfire.com/punk2/walktheplank/automatons.html so what they heck are automatons anyways?

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