Saturday Seed ~ 97 (All for One: Regime Diabolique)

This week’s seed is for All for One. It is crisis of choices disguised as a tale of action against dark forces. Although I feel strongly that the game plays to greater longevity with a heavier emphasis on sharp swords and sharper tongues than on the occult, this story has been creeping about the boneyard in my head for too long. It is time to set it loose~

The Seed
For some, love leads to ruin. This seed, once planted examines the madness which can transpire when love dies.

Planting the Seed
A friend of the characters comes to them bereaved and suicidal after the loss of his betrothed. This may work best if it were to happen at a very inconvenient time. For ease of presentation, this seed assumes the characters will be musketeers. The seed begins with a murder, and some or all of the characters may be involved in seeking the killers, and have intermittent contact with the bereaved friend during the first night and day after the murder, but the real events begin one day after that.

The Details
Denis Lalande, a fellow musketeer of good renown is in mourning for his fiancée who two nights ago was found raped and murdered in her local church. The whole community is still reeling from the brutality of the crime and its location. Denis, in his grief, was unable to prevent himself from lashing out at the parish priest and God, and has fallen into a black place of constant drinking and suicidal depression. He is being watched with mixed attitudes of sympathy and fear, as the degree of blasphemy which he has given voice is far beyond that which even the most lapsed Catholic is willing to let slide as being attributable to the pain of loss.

Lalande pushes the family to an early burial of their daughter, Corinne, and the ceremony takes place behind the family home, over the strenuous objections of the local clergy. So outraged is Lalande over the tragedy, he does not listen to their talk of consecrated earth.

Diligent searchers for the brutes who dared despoil and kill the fair intended of Denis Lalande have not stopped since the alarm was raised, but Denis himself has given up hope. As he enters the tale, he is falling down drunk and trying to pick fights with anyone he can in hope of meeting his end, and seeking Corinne in the afterlife. He is being tailed by a young, feckless priest whose idea of counselling in this situation is to remind Denis that if he dies by his own hand or without confessing, he will not be joining Corinne in Heaven, he will be forever without her in Hell. Denis is having none of this Theological debate, and is rushing to meet his maker as fast as he can.

To make matters worse, as night falls, reports begin to spread like wildfire of Corinne’s final resting place having been desecrated, and these reports soon turn to rumours of a woman in a grave-stained shift stalking the streets crying out for vengeance!

Denis, convinced these reports are of Corinne, turns to the exasperating priest for an explanation only to be told that her body has become the nesting place of evil spirits. She must be found and burned to ash so that no harm may befall the innocent… but at the price of her own resurrection come Judgement Day.

Lalande goes mad and turns even on his friends, seeking an end to the pain. It is basically at this stage that the seed begins in earnest for the players.

What is going on
Sadly, the priest is not entirely wrong. Corinne’s body has been dragged up and out of the earth by a demonic entity of wrath who will revel in vengeance and chaos while it can, until its pursuit of satisfaction consumes the corpse as fuel.

Brawls and duels galore await the characters as they seek the killers, but the real challenges lie in keeping their friend alive, protecting innocents from the thing wearing Corinne’s skin, and putting it down once and for all. An exploration of impotence in the face of tragedy, of the role of religion in the 17th Century, and the swift satisfaction of justice served by steel and sinew are all good directions to take this seed as you play out the events.

You will want to tie her murder to something big in your campaign as foreshadowing to prevent the themes of the game from drifting too strongly toward humanity’s wanton inhumanity to itself.

Speak your piece~

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