(As Italo Calvino says, "The you that was shifted to [others] can, at any sentence, be addressed to you again. You are always a possible you. Who would dare sentence you to loss of the you, a catastrophe as terrible as the loss of the I. For a second-person discourse to become a novel, at least two you's are required, distinct and concomitant, which stand out from the crowd of he's, she's, and they's.")
Elsewhere, you change into your bathing suit and dive into pool. The pristine water, its characteristics regulated by the diligence of the invisible engineers, welcome you into its embrace. You also spy one of the guest The aroma in the dining hall beckons you as exercise whets your appetite. You quickly change and eat the first thing that the chefs recommended.
Of course, you didn't want to miss out on the main attraction of the cruise, the art by Rembrandt. A few guests wander the center of the dining hall, and waited impatiently for the crew to remove the dust cover over the easels in the middle of the room. You grab food that can be finished instantly without a trace of it left on your hands. You don't want to run off to the washroom to clean your hands and miss the reveal.
At long last, the crew reveals the painting. They are in two sets. The forward set displays five landscape paintings by Rembrandt:
Landscape with Cottages, which was recently recovered after it was stolen in 1972,
Landscape with a Castle,
and The Stone Bridge
The aft set displays four paintings nicknamed "Kamerlicht". The paintings play on the room lighting:
A Scholar Near a Window (a study in ‘kamerlicht’),
Interior with a Window and a Winding Staircase (a study in 'kamerlicht'), or otherwise known as Philosopher in Meditation,
its companion painting, Philosopher with an Open Book,
Tobit en zijn vrouw, two characters featured in the Philosopher in Meditation,
and Philemon and Baucis
You can't help but hear this one guest keep gushing about the brilliance and awe that this one Dutchman should inspire in all of us. Near midnight, the paintings were covered once again, and four crew members asked all guests to stand away from the paintings until tomorrow morning when breakfast service starts (at 6:00 am).
You may have instead found yourself drawn to the comforts of the hot tub. A few guests dropped by. More conversational chatter. You notice a few guests enter the sauna room next to the gym. As you reach the end of the time limit allowed for guests entering the hot tub, you go out and grab a bite in the lounge. The crew plied you and other guests with a variety of drinks enjoyable for those who had a soak in the hot tub and sauna. With your muscles relaxed and your hunger sated, you retreated to your room.
In another part of the yacht, you find yourself drawn to the submersible. At the cruise yacht's current speed, the submersible cannot explore on its own and must be kept attached on a cable and anchored to the yacht. However, you can still enter with two of the crew members escorting you, allowing the submersible to act as a glass bottom deck for your viewing pleasure. You see the diverse wildlife brought about by the Kuroshio, which is an ocean current moving from the seas south of Taiwan along the sea south of Japan, eventually carrying the waters all the way to the Americas, so the crew tells you. In the past, it's known to be the strong current that leads to death. Nowadays, we understand it to be an unique ecosystem. Due to the high salinity and temperature of the equatorial waters, it attracts and provides a unique environment for all kinds of aquatic life. The warm waters promote algal growth, which feeds the fish that can survive in the area. The swarms of bonito, horse mackerel, pollock, sardines, anchovies, and squids that thrive here boosts the fisheries industry. The currents promote the formation of corals by Okinawa and other tropical islands. The marvels you now see beneath you show you the dark sea. When the submersible lights turn on, a glittering display of lights reflect from the scales of the many schools of fish that move around in the distance. You even catch a glimpse of a fishing rod hook, as someone tries to catch a fish for a cat that came on board.
Elsewhere, you climb in bed for an early night. You find yourself awake at some unknown hour of the night, nary a sound on the ship. You head over to the pantry and grab some food. You snack at the nearby table, listening to the gentle, barely-audible waves hitting the side of the boat like a timpani.
Or so you think. Is that a thud you hear from Deck Three? Nah. The Captain did say the crew like conducting séance belowdeck. This probably is just them, relaxing for the day. You leave the pantry and returned to your room. You take a few swigs from the drinks in the refrigerator in the pantry and return back to your room.
You slept early yesterday. There was so much more to do, and so much more to see in the morning than at night. You wake to the dim light coming through the window. You walk towards the aft stairs to reach the submersible deck and get a good look at the sunrise port side. As you climb the stairs to Deck Three, you notice one lifeboat is missing, and Captain Buregu and several crew members are staring at the remaining lifeboat.
"Ah, I see you're awake. Please stay here as I call the rest of the guests to our location. A murder is afoot."
As you waited, you looked into the remaining lifeboat. The lifeboat contains several charred remains, one of which bears a resemblance to the clothing that a guest was wearing earlier. All of the bodies appear to be kept in a bind and made to face another body's back. The mechanisms of the lifeboat is thoroughly damaged by a fire, such that it will sink when placed into the water.
Soon, you and all the other guests now gather by the lifeboat. Captain Buregu sigh, "I don't know how to start this. As you can see here, our lifeboat are in ruins. Inside this lifeboat contains several corpses, one of which appears to have the clothing of the one called "PhoenixTears", who appears to be holding a police badge with the name Takagi Wataru."
The captain pulls out a note that appears to have survived the fire. The captain shows everyone the note, which reads:
Well... that was fast. I haven't even talked to anyone yet lmao. Guess the benefactor doesn't like cops.
"Another corpse carries the memento that my second-in-command carries with him at all times. Not only that, all my engineering and technical crew members somehow disappeared from the yacht, possibly dead on the other lifeboat. All the navigational and communication systems have been damaged such that anyone without technical knowledge cannot repair them. Due to the damage to the navigational systems, it will take some time for me to correct course to deal with the Kuroshio. As I have mentioned before, I really can't run this ship well without Yokomizo-san. We will attempt to reach Ogasawara to notify the authorities as soon as we can."
"This may be harsh of me to say, but one of you is a murderer. As per the organizer's request, all crew members must work and travel in pairs at all times, as though realizing that this situation may happen, and allow all of us to have an alibi. I have been in my quarters, which can only be accessed through the bridge. You'll find the security footage from last night of the several entrances to the bridge, showing that I've never left the bridge."
"My mother told me of a tradition back in her home island. When we encounter a terrible deed upon the community and we know the criminal is among us, we would all vote together on the one who is most likely to have committed such a crime, and throw them in the sea. We continue this tradition until we are sure that the criminal is no longer among us or have learned from the error of his/her ways. No, I don't mean to suggest that we murder them. That's violent. I simply suggest that we throw them overboard. The Kuroshio has a much high salt content than most of the sea, helping him/her to float a little despite the ocean currents dragging you down. However, there MAY be sharks that lurk in this current full of delicious fish. There MAY also be giant squids that aggressively attacks their prey. You may be recognized as a squid's prey, but there is a chance you'd be rescued before that happens, right?" Captain Buregu's laughter booms across the open sea.
"Normally, I'd say it's a beautiful day and tell you to enjoy the delicious traditional breakfast from several Asian countries." Captain Buregu chuckles. "But considering all the dead bodies, I doubt you'd be in the mood. Also, asking you what you may want to enjoy during the day on this luxurious cruise yacht may seem a little disrespectful to the dead, but I still must ask. What would you like to do today? It's not like the dead should stop us from enjoying the rest of this trip. My crew will continue to be on the look-out for any murderous intent to ensure that you'll all be safe."
Day 1 Begins
Day 1 Actions can be sent up to 8:00 pm PDT.
You check the stack of mail addressed to the household in which you reside. Bills. Discount ads. The usual. More bills. More ads. Oh, What's this? An envelope with an elaborate gold engraving on an expensive cardstock. And it's addressed to you. This is different. You never get letters.
You carefully open the envelope and take out the thick stack of paper inside. When you unfurl the papers, a thick sheet of paper like a bookmark fell out. You read the first bit of the letter as you bend down and blindly reach for the bookmark-like object:
"Congratulations! You have won the lottery for an exclusive exhibition of paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, several of which were recently recovered and restored to be viewed for the very first time in a century. This exhibition is held on an exclusive 20-day cruise around the Pacific Ocean in our deluxe suite, stopping at Ogasawara and Okinawa, with a two-day shore excursion at both iconic tourist destination. The all-expense paid cruise will leave from Yokohama on..."
You hold up the bookmark-like object and peruse it. An ornate ticket, with similar gold engraving as the envelope, shimmers in your hands.
A choice now lies before you: will you accept to go on this three-week long trip to see the exotic sights of the Pacific Ocean and the paintings of a revered artist, or stay at home and mope about how you're not having the best summer to all your friends?
You can't help but admire the ticket design. The ornate ticket reflects the light like gold glitter. The weight of the ticket makes you wonder if the gold is real. At the back it reads: "Admit one. The boat is scheduled to leave one hour before sunset (17:34). Only valid while donning the mask sent along with the ticket."
You almost forgot about the package that was left on the doorstep when you got the ticket in your mail. You scrounge for it among all the other items you're packing. Here it is: the mask. It looks like something from those parties. What are they called again? Oh yes. Masquerades. Very traditional ones, covering the top half of the face. You recall the letter mentioning the mask.
"...will be required to wear the masquerade mask. A simple one has been provided to you. You are welcome to choose your own masquerade mask before coming. The organizer of the lottery require that all who participate on the cruise must keep the mask on when in public. While a peculiar rule, I hope you will enjoy your time on this exquisite adventure."
Is there anything else I need? I'm sure it'll all fit in the suitcase somehow.
You throw all of it into the suitcase you have prepared for this cruise. You plug in your phone to the phone charger.
You make a mental note: put phone charger in suit--.
You dream the sweetest of delights, the most thrilling of adventures, the most wondrous of sight. You smile, awaiting a bright new day.
You head towards the aft starboard of the cruise ship, where two women dressed in a white uniform with gold and white epaulettes are welcoming the guests.
As you wait in line, you notice a submersible undergoing inspection at the stern by two people dressed in the same uniform, but with purple instead of white colours on their epaulettes. A lifeboat lies on the side of the ship between the two floors above you. Another two people dressed as those by the submersible are inspecting the boat.
You reach for your face, making sure the mask is on. You show your ticket. They each scrutinize the ticket a magnifying glass that seemingly appeared out of thin air.
"Welcome to The Taipan. We hope you enjoy your stay." The two women gesture you inside the centerline corridor behind them. "These two will take your luggage to your room and bring you to the dining hall, where we will give you an orientation of the Taipan when all the guests have boarded."
A man and a woman--dressed in the same uniform as the two women who handled your registration--take your suitcase and gestures you to follow them down the corridor. After they reach your room and left your bag inside the door, they hand you the key to the room. "Please follow us to the dining hall, where you will be given an orientation to the cruise yacht. Also, we were instructed by the organizer of the cruise to tell all our guests to refrain from revealing their true persona behind the mask. The reason? We're not sure, but you'll soon find that the organizer has a very peculiar taste regarding this cruise."
You follow them to the aft stairwell. After going up a flight (or two) of stairs, you reach deck four. You enter the forward doors from the stairs, and arrive in the majestic dining hall. The red radiance of the setting sun diffuses across the white luxurious curtains and tablecloths draped around 12 tables, 6 on each side of the ship. The radiance reflects from the mirrored ceiling to the 5 easels--covered with a thick white blanket for dust cover--sitting in the middle of the dining room. Several waiters (in the same white uniform) have come out in pairs with large platters of hors d'oeuvre. You take a few pieces of delight as you admire the scenery as other guests with masks trickled into the room.
You settle in and start to make light conversation with the other masked guests in this room. The weather, the senseless politics in faraway countries, the economy under Shinzo Abe's rule, the future of Japan, the next thing the Suzuki Corporation is going to build. You're not sure if you're following the conversation all that well.
Finally, there are 16 masked people waiting in the dining hall. A man with four gold stripes on his epaulette enters the room from the forward entrance to the dining hall.
He clinks on a glass and everyone turns their heads to him. "I am Captain Bulurufu Buregu, the one who will make sure you have a pleasant stay on the luxurious Taipan. My mother told me that she named me based on the proud traditions of my ancestors, who came from an island the name of which I can never remember. I mean, I can barely say my name that well. You can refer to me as Captain Buregu, if that makes it any easier. And to my left is my second-in-command."
"Ah, yes. My name is Yokomizo Kaigo (横溝 開悟)." He said in the most soothing of voices. "Before you ask, yes, I'm related to a certain pair Of famous police officers. My mother wanted me to excel in life. She didn't want me to be an afterthought to my brothers' naming scheme, so she made a pun with my name too. She has always reminded me that she wasn't serious about the other meaning from the pun. So she says."
"HAHAHAHA" Captain Buregu's laughter interrupts Yokomizo-san. "It may be hard to tell, but without him, I'll never be able to run this ship," Captain Buregu exclaimed.
"Anyways, let me give you a tour of the cruise yacht. We're currently on Deck Four. There are several stairways on the Taipan. The most frequented are the two interior stairways, the forward stairs and the aft stairs. All of you came up from the aft stairs. Let's go back there to begin the tour."
"Further towards the stern (the back of the ship) is a small patio cafe service, the Blue Lagoon. You can relax while looking at the sea. Let us head upstairs now."
"On Deck Five, we have seating for the cafe. Near the center of the deck is the gym with one treadmill and two multi-purpose machine, along with various exercise tools at your disposal." Further ahead is the hot tub portside of the ship. Further forward is the pool we have recently installed for your enjoyment. Now let us go down the forward stairs."
"We're now back on Deck four. Here is the lounge, where we have two musical group playing from 8 pm to 2 am. You'll also satisfy your alcoholic thirst here. Be nice to the bartenders. I don't want to lock you up and bar you from the bar. HAHAHAHA," Captain Buregu's voice echos in the lounge. "Let's head down to the Deck three."
"Towards the bow of the ship is the bridge, and my quarters. This area is highly restricted. We ask that you not enter in case you mess up the delicate navigational system. As you look aft, you'll see some of the living quarters for our guests. The self service laundry can be found near the middle of the ship on this deck. Room 301, 302, 303, 306 are connecting rooms, and is used to store some of the painting that we will be seeing during our time here. Please refrain from entering them, as the environment in those rooms are set to keep the paintings from being damaged by the elements. Let us head down towards Deck Two."
"Deck Two contains the rest of living quarters for our guests. Since you probably did not have a chance to see your rooms yet, let me describe its opulence for you. You'll all have a room about seven tatami mats large containing a queen size bed. We would have put in a larger bed, but it doesn't fit through the door. Each room has a marble bathroom and a view of the open seas. You'll find our other self service laundry room in the middle of Deck two. Below here is Deck one, where our crew resides. We ask that you refrain from entering belowdecks. You may hear some strange noises. Do not worry; they like to conduct séance during their free times. I assure you those from the beyond would not bother you during this trip." Captain Buregu booming laughter catches you by surprise. "Let us make our way to the aft."
"Here is where you all boarded the yacht. I'm sure you have seen our submersible. It holds three people, and two of our crew will board along with you to help you navigate the world under the sea and enjoy the wonders of the Pacific Ocean. Each trip is an hour long and held during the day. Also, as per our organizer's request, we have set up one table for some card games should you wish to gamble. You'll see it on starboard of the aft stairs. On the portside, there's a small pantry, should you find yourself hungry and thirsty in the middle of the night. Let us head back up towards the dining Room."
"We're now back on Deck Three. You will find the lifeboats anchored on each side of the yacht around Deck Four by the stairs that run on each side of the ship that extends from aft Deck Two to Deck Five. Here we also have the doctor on board. Across from the doctor's office is the beauty salon. We offer a spa service, massage services, and hair-styling services so you look your best. Don't worry. Our crew members are instructed to allow only one person in the salon at a time, so that no one see your face underneath the mask. Now let us head towards the Dining Room once again."
"Now that you've seen all of the yacht, you're welcome to look around between Deck Two to Deck Five. We'll reach Ogasawara in the morning two and a half days from now. In the meantime, let me know what services you would like to enjoy this evening, and I'll make sure that the crew fulfills your every need."
Come on now. Don't wait. The marvels of the open sea awaits. You only have to tell Captain Bulurufu Buregu.
PM me in forum or DM me on discord for spectator access.
02. Iwamoto Yuri
06. PhoenixTears (Dead N1)
07. Henry Gordan
09. Kleene Onigiri
11. Abs. (without his manservant)
12. darkest absol
The following posts are taken from Round 74, with a few changes. The major ones affecting gameplay will be highlighted in the changelog (post #5).
Post 1: General Notes for the game
Post 2: Rules
Post 3: Roles
Post 4: Actions
Post 5: Changelog and Phase change posts
Game will begin (i.e.: prep phase begins) on 22:00 PDT on September 19, 2018 (and 01:00 EDT/06:00 BST/07:00 CEST/13:00 PHT on September 20, 2018).
NOTE: Phase changes for this round will be 48 hrs. 46 hrs to submit actions, with a 2-hour stand-by phase.
During the 2 hrs stand-by NO ACTIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Only wills can be updated. This is to promote healthy sleeping behaviours, and so that all players (and GM) will experience a minimal impact on the other aspects of your life (except for how Mafia makes us paranoid and sleepless; even I can't fix that).
Phase change will be at 22:00 PDT/01:00 EDT/06:00 BST/07:00 CEST/13:00 PHT every OTHER day unless something comes up (I'll try to let you know in advance). Actions are due two hours before phase change. Anything submitted after that time will not be counted.
- Make sure you're available to/plan to actually play the game! Do not join if you do not intend to play the game. If you sign up to play, you are expected to send in actions, vote, etc. Please send a message each night/day phase to confirm you are voting no one.
- Role-handoffs (for BO/Friends/DBs only)! Each person may only be responsible for up to one other person's actions at any time. That means Gin cannot be handing in actions for him, Vermouth, Anokata, Chianti and Bourbon in the same phase. This has been a problem several times in the last ten games or so; GM will not let that happen again. It's not fair to put all the pressure of handing everything in on your teammate and not do anything yourself. You must PM the GM with who will be handling your actions, otherwise it will not be accepted!
- Minor Note: For the BO, everyone may not be around close to phase change due to timezones, and sometimes things need to be changed at the last minute, so here's the deal: if you send in a preliminary action with a note saying the BO can change it, then any BO member can change that action if they need to. If you do not send in a preliminary action, then only a designated BO member is handling no more than their own actions already may submit an action for you.
If Vermouth is not going to be around close to phase change but submits her actions with a note saying the BO can change it, then any BO can change it. If she does not submit actions at all, then she must choose a BO member who is only handling their own actions for that phase to submit her actions. If she does neither of these things, it will be a strike against her.
Town members who are not part of a group may not hand their role off to another player.
Disclaimer: GM has the right to change this at their discretion.
- The gameplay will be facilitated by the use of Discord! Discord is an efficient tool for communicating with other players (and joining in the banter), and you are highly encouraged to join Discord for that purpose. Note: It is not required to use Discord to play. Actions, Wills, and phase changes are updated on the forum as per tradition. Details for joining Discord are given to all players during prep phase.
Remember guys, everyone affects everyone else in this game!
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