Saturday Seed ~ 89 (All for One)

This week’s seed is an introductory set up for All for One: Regime Diabolique. It is set in Paris and while short, has the capacity to fuel an entire campaign.

The Seed
The musketeers are debauching themselves flamboyantly in a tavern of all places when a familiar face, whitened from sheer terror, sends them out into the night to do their duty.

Planting the seed
Does it get any easier than saying, “You all come together in a tavern?”

The Details
When the money gets tight, but the boredom suffers no restriction, many musketeers have to resort to drunken entertainments on the cheap. On one such night, a familiar face around this cheap tavern, one Jean (no last name, no forwarding address), a wood-cutter and semi-skilled carpenter, bursts into the room as though all Hell were after him. He tells a wild tale of being chased by a Hound of the Devil, and in truth it is plain that the clothes on his back have been torn by savage claws.

Getting to the details requires a lot of drink and soothing talk, but eventually Jean will tell a story of delivering a load of kindling to a small gate of the Cardinal’s Palace. In his telling, no sooner did he get to the gate than some foul creature from Hell set upon him and chased him all the way here. Very sharp-eyed listeners might question the mud on his clothes (4 successes) but either way there is no doubt about his belief and sincerity regarding being pursued.

Inspection of the torn clothes on Jean’s back will soon reveal claw marks on his back which in his shock he has yet to notice. When he does, the poor man passes out from his ordeal.

Investigation of the streets may turn up odd clues, like traces of Jean’s solo passage at speed through the muck and dog dung of Paris, but no sign of pursuit except perhaps for the hint of a sound from above that suggests leathery wings…. or bed sheets drying in the cool night breezes. Jean’s leather-bound collection of kindling can be recovered close to the Cardinal’s Palace, and more intriguigingly – the normal guard on duty at the gates has been doubled.

Again, those with sharp eyes may note the curious absence of one of the gargoyles or grotesques on the ornate stonework of the wall, but few if pressed will be able to recall if that is normal or not.

What is going on
If the group can pry information from the guard, they may learn that a thief had entered and made off with a priceless artifact. It is believed that the thief may have snuck inside with the workmen coming and going to construct a new Chapel for the Cardinal and his Bishops. This is not entirely false.

The truth is that Jean, a former street thief, did sneak onto the grounds but he did not steal from the Palace. Instead he dug up a golden cross an old friend of his had seen buried in the pit dug for the foundations of the new chapel by the guards of a visiting Bishop. This friend, and all the other foundation diggers had been sent to the front lines the next day, but not before he could give Jean a rough map of the location.

The cross is roughly 15 cm by 15 cm and is made of solid gold, with one ruby and one emerald on each bar of the cross.

After Jean dug it up, he was pursued by a gargoyle and narrowly escaped with his life thanks to winding streets and an order to be extremely cautious by the gargoyle’s infernally-connected mortal master.

The cross, a vile creation that works to enhance greed, and wrath is part of a set which also affect the cardinal sins…   Burying it in the foundations was part of a larger attempt to desecrate the new chapel as it was built, and so ensare all those who come to worship there. Clearly a plot to ensnare the poor innocent Cardinal…

The guilty party is a member of Le Dragon Rouge, and he and his allies are seeking to establish a very strong foothold in Paris, from the top down.

Jean’s life is in peril, the Cardinal is in danger and his fool guards know nothing, a plot is being enacted against the Church…! Someone has to do something!

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