Saturday Seed ~ 43 (All for One)

This week’s seed is destined to intertwine with plots planted for All for One: Regime Diabolique. It asks the question, “Do ends justify means?” and then quickly runs monsieur le respondent through before he can twist our souls with his devilish words.

The Seed

Richelieu’s wars and machinations have been hard on France, and across the country many are suffering from displacement from a loss of home, or starvation from the destruction or requisitioning of harvests. On a mission for the King, the characters encounter a small hamlet which is clearly both lush and prosperous, despite the depredations of war there a short time ago.

Details:

The buildings of the town are either in good repair, or in the process of being maintained. Rooftops are being seen to, and fresh paint is being applied. People seem well-fed and content, and as the musketeers pass through, many are lined up to pay their seasonal taxes to the duly appointed tax-collector, who looks both surprised and happy.

On the far side of town, the small church which used to serve this community lies in ruin, the stones pulled down and the wooden parts of the structure burned. The ground around the foundation shows no sign of growth, just bare scorched earth. No sign of rebuilding is in evidence.

What is going on:

The local lord is using his occult knowledge to speed and bolster plant growth, and ease the suffering of his people. His price for this is their total compliance with all temporal political requirements such as state taxation and military service, and to tithe directly to the Bishop. The Church, he tells them, is a matter for another day.

Although the villagers are a deeply religious lot, the lord is making very persuasive arguments, using potent facts such as full bellies where there were none, a lack of diseases and plagues where there were many, and a cessation of the constant demands and raids by government and royal forces demanding monetary, food, or material aid. As all are profiting under his leadership, it is very hard to break ranks and forfeit his aid or ignore his requests.

Planting the Seed

The musketeers can clearly see that this town is thriving and with but a little investigation can also see that it does so as a result of the lord’s consorting with demons. The person’s benefit in this world, but at risk are their immortal souls… not to mention that nothing comes without price. What price has all of this required?

Popular wisdom and even expert occult opinion will steer the characters to the belief that the lord must be making human sacrifices in order to produce these huge benefits for his people.

It should be no trouble at all to spur the heroes into action once that realization has been met.

A complication:

Investigation will soon reveal that none of the townspeople have been sacrificed and indeed know of no such sacrifice if one has indeed been made.

Popular belief is that the lord’s family are all at court, including his wife and three children. Investigation will reveal this to be false. They left for Paris, but never made it.

Did the lord sacrifice them?

Enjoy!

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