by Sophie Lagacé
This is a letter for use in playing Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple.
Benevolent Guardians of Celestial Harmony,
I reluctantly put pen to paper to beseech you for assistance in saving my grandfather’s lifework – perhaps even his life – from those who would use his precious automatons for evil ends.
My grandfather – Lord Graymist – is a renowned and gifted creator of clockworks. Since my parents died when I was a child, he has taken me into his house and, discovering that I inherited a small fraction of his genius, taught me some of his art and science. But he has recently become very ill, and I fear my cruel uncle, Sir Victor, will finally succeed in gaining control over Grandfather’s creations.
My uncle is a forceful and vindictive man; he has been here several times, once managing to bully his way to Grandfather’s bedside and the adjoining study where the most precious of the automatons are kept. The servants helped me convince him to leave, but he has threatened to obtain legal control over the estate. He does not believe me when I assure him that Grandfather sometimes wakes enough to speak, and is able to understand me.
At first when Grandfather took sick, I sent for reputed doctors, but I now fear my uncle has bribed them to keep Grandfather incapacitated. At the very least, Grandfather seemed to become more ill rather than better under their ministrations. Now I let no one tend to him without my supervision.
I suspect that Sir Victor cares little for his own father, and much for the secrets of the precious automatons. No one has ever been able to duplicate the complexity and refinement of my grandfather’s work. I know it is widely rumoured that they are… dangerous. You must understand, Grandfather was – is – a good man; but nevertheless he has sometimes undertaken work of a delicate nature for the sake of the kingdom. Although I would not have thought it possible a few weeks ago, I discovered that some of them do in fact exhibit features that suggest sophisticated weaponry.
Alas, a decade as his assistant was not enough for me to pierce my grandfather’s secrets. He wastes away, and his automatons remain silent except for the occasional twitch which my probing may provoke.
Any day now, my uncle may succeed in having Grandfather declared incompetent, and walk in with the legal means of becoming the trustee of my grandfather’s fate – and mine. He will take the automatons and wrest their secret, or at least cause great damage trying to do so. I fear he may even try to take further advantage of my grandfather’s illness to try to force him to reveal his secrets. As for my own fate, I have no doubt it will be bleak once I am in Sir Victor’s power.
I beg of you, good monks, please help me. If you cannot help my grandfather to return to health, then please take the automatons away to the Temple in the Centre of the Sky, the only place I know where they would be safe from men like my uncle, who would use my grandfather’s genius for evil ends.
Respectfully yours and awaiting your kind assistance,