Saturday Seed ~ 38 (All for One)

This seed is forged for All for One: Regime Diabolique, and can be used either as a springboard into intrigue against the Cardinal’s Guards, an early foray against the foul denizens which stalk the night, or – if you are especially daring – both.

The Seed:

Eglise Saint Etienne du montThe musketeers and their lackeys are making their circuitous way home after a night of celebrating life, liberty, and loyalty to one another, and relishing favoured tales of musketeers tormenting the Cardinal’s men. Their jocular jaunt is interrupted, however by the sudden descent of two men into their midst, clutched tightly to each other face to face, as though in a fierce struggle. The fall, clearly one from a great height, was more than sufficient to snuff out their lives, but as they pass from this world to their eternal reward, one of them coughs out a short plea, calling on those with ears to hear and take action.

This seed can be implemented at whatever speed you like, and go as deep into the inner mysteries of the setting as you like leading to a single sessions adventure in demon hunting, or serve as the spine for a grand campaign against the evil which seeks to consume France.

The Details:

The two men have obviously fallen a great distance, but any sober minds will quickly realize that their present location is much too far from the nearest building of sufficient height, the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. As they stand in the Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, they will be unable to avoid wondering just how these two men could have landed among them from so far above; as if they were dropped by some agency granted the power of flight.

No two musketeers will be able to agree on whether the two men were clutched together in fear, anger, combat, brotherhood, circumstance, or simple instinct, and I encourage the GM to offer each player a separate and compelling description for the tableau of death before them. All else will be clear and the call to action will be loud, but this one, small detail, should be left to sour their unity and give rise to later debate.

The two men are known to all present, but not well. The Cardinal’s Guardsman is older, near retirement, and has been seen lately as both a coward, and mental weakling; prone to fear and jumping at shadows. His uniform is obviously in bad repair, and his face is heavily lined with worry and distress.  His body is thin and malnourished, and the marks of injury upon it are doubly horrifying as a result.  The musketeer  is new to the cadre, and not well-known at all – but fiercely loved, nonetheless. He stood out for his hearty laugh, his mercurial changes of mood, and his good financial standing in most of the preferred taverns. His death must be avenged!

It is the musketeer who survives long enough to spit out bloody final words, entreating the voices he seems to faintly hear around him to avenge him, to seek out the darkness and gut it with the sword of light. He passes into death with no sign of the smile by which most were first caught upon meeting.

What is going on:

If the group investigates the Church, they will find plenty of evidence of a struggle both within and without, leading all they up to the roof. However the men got up to the roof, it was not by the means the musketeers and their concerned, but confounded clergy escorts will need to use. If any risk a perilous investigation across the roof of the building, they will find ample evidence that the two men were not alone up there, and that a great battle was waged back and forth across the slippery surface which involved sword and knife play, pistol and musket shots, and perhaps even gouts of flame. The blood of men has been spilled liberally and flowed into the nooks and crannies of the complicated structure to dry, and be forgotten.

Tracing the steps of the two men to that place, and their ultimate demise far above the streets of Paris can be as fast or slow a journey as you need. Witnesses can be found as the group traces the duo back to whence they came, or for a more convoluted and evolving approach, the letters, journals, and the testimony of close friends can be slowly pieced together to create a picture of what must have lead the two men to be there that fateful night. I leave those details in your hands.

There are many things which can be the cause of this scenario, and they can be as simple or as complex as you like. The men could have tangled with a sorcerer, or come face to face with a demon. They could have been competing, they could have been cooperating, they could have met there by blind chance. I think it would be most compelling if the two men had been able to set aside their differences for the sake of protecting their fellows from this peril, but that would need to be part of a large tale, full of other intrigues, and rich characters…  doesn’t that sound like fun?


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