The Light that Never Warms (All for One: Regime Diabolique) – Campaign Report 2

This is the second installment of reports for my current face-to-face campaign which is using Triple Ace Games’ excellent All for One: Regime Diabolique ~ a game of supernatural intrigue and swashbuckling action in a dark reflection of 17th Century France. This campaign emphasizes intrigue, dark magics, and verbal sparring but includes a dash of chasing and escaping mixed with a healthy portion of wine and revelry.

Session 3: Where do we stand?

Knowing that dawn was growing close and that they needed to escape if they wanted to avoid seeing what they looked like without skin, the intrepid occultists bundled up the unconscious damsel and prepared to slip out of the cellar below the roadhouse stable. There was little that they could do from here or take other than the certitude that further evil was due. Forgoing their plan to infiltrate the roadhouse proper in disguise, the pair searched the bodies and possessions instead. Nothing unusual was turned up, but each bore an iron ring with a dragon rampant sigil on it, on leather thongs about their necks. A copy of this was hastily made with ink on parchment, and left in place. Plans were discussed and discarded about spiking the ale stored in the cellar to help them identify the soldiers despite any disguises they might adopt with their magics – no time!

Trying to escape using the soldiers’ horses proved futile as the mounts simply refused to move. With the need to slip out on foot with an unconscious woman in tow, the pair knew they needed a distraction, and while in the lair of the enemy the opportunity to strike a blow was too good to pass up. Whatever else this group was up to, they had used a pack of highly trained attack dogs to stage the death of the alchemist. The dogs must go, and then the pair had to get back to the alchemist’s refuge.

Using more of their precious time, and components scrounged from the neatly arranged mystical stocks in the cellar, the alchemist created a compound that will enhance aggression when inhaled. The homomancer used the time to rouse the damsel to calm wakefulness, and to ready the mule, which seemed to have no objections to departing with them – unlike the snooty war horses. Dosing the dogs was a bit of a challenge, but the pair was rewarded with the sounds of the caged animals tearing themselves apart. The commotion was nearly enough to wake the dead.

The trio hoped to escape under cover of the noise and commotion, and at first it seemed that they had. As they made their way to more populated areas of the city, however, the sharp-eyed homomancer spotted a skilled and stealthy pursuer.

With knowledge of the city and its Watch, the silver-tongued homomancer diverted the guards in their ill-fitting and dirty uniforms to patrol the street behind them. He had them fan out to search both sides of the streets and all the dark places in between as there had been a disturbance, and threatening men were pursuing the distressed damsel. Claiming (more truthfully) that they were taking the damsel to safety, he charged the Watch with finding their pursuers.

Using the time this bumbling, ill-dressed road block presented they did their best to lose pursuit, but focused more on finding a second Watch patrol in order to have them escort the damsel to the safety of the musketeers’ protection. Once free of the mule and the traumatized victim of black magicians, the pair made better time and less of a spectacle getting to the laboratory.

Once at the lab, they found a proclamation from the Inquisition nailed to the door forbidding access. Fearing the worst (damage, the loss of the cross, the loss of the alchemist’s grimoire, and overzealous searching leading to false accusations of witchcraft) the duo entered. As the alchemist takes great care in following the laws of France in regard to the practice of his art and the sale of alchemical remedies, he was well aware of the terrible fate which could await him should he be charged and need to be investigated. Anger already simmering, it was not long before the baleful influence of the cross began to make itself known. No stranger to magical manipulations, the homomancer steeled himself and forced his head clear. It took time, the steady presence of his friend, and the reminder that the anger he was feeling was obviously not his own, for the alchemist to similarly overcome the influence.

Discovering that all written records and books had been removed, but that other than a mess being made, nothing hidden had been found and nothing incriminating had been taken, the two set about reviewing what they knew, and what had to be done.

The first item was to state out loud the growing certainty that the Satanists who broke their fraternity at the last dark of the moon were a part of, or in league with, the black liveried soldiers at the roadhouse, and that their leader was able to move in both high society and the ranks of the Church. They concluded that the attack on the fake alchemist was to gain easy access to the lab, and/or drive them out into the open, but were not quite sure the reasoning behind the use of the false maker’s mark (the alchemist’s) on the sleeping draught given to the hostess to use against their musketeers at the ball.

They further decided that it was time to compare notes, and ensure that their ’employers’ were intending to do something about all of this – before it is too late. Obviously the Satanists were still interested in hunting the occultists, and that their plans for the cross and the chapel were still very much in motion.

Meanwhile, the Musketeers had made their way home with bellies full of wine and heads full of perfume, only to find the Watch waiting for them with a damsel, recently in distress! After much posturing and masculine displays of mustaches and panache, the two got down to listening to her story; making mental notes to figure out what the devil their lackeys had been up to.

The damsel related that she was one of the maids at the Cardinal’s palace, and that she had been abducted from the market. She could not remember how that happened precisely, but woke up to torture and ungentlemanly conduct in a cellar – where she has been for some time. She was able to describe the leader and lead tormentor quite well:  a strong man of average build, blonde hair, cold blue eyes, a hooked nose that had been broken many times, and a scar from his right eyebrow to his right cheek.

Once together, and going over events from the beginning, the group began to realize that the most likely situation was one where some agency of malign intent and satanic affiliation was moving against the Cardinal. The most startling and conclusive revelation seemed to be that the goat’s head sigil, when looked at the right way, was none other than a stylized representation of the dragon rampant symbol of the black cloaked soldiers… but what is the actual significance of a Crimson Dragon?

Regardless of their own lack of regard for the Cardinal, the musketeers do respect his office, the political force of Richelieu in the nation, and of course their Faith. Satanists everywhere must be opposed. All that aside, they also noted with great glee, that whatever else is accomplished, it must be members of the King’s Musketeers who uncover and foil this foul and satanic plot against the Cardinal, and take the praise for it!

Session 4:  April 14, 2012

Related articles

All for One ~ Regime Diabolique Campaign Development Report 1
All for One ~ Regime Diabolique Campaign Development Report 2
All for One ~ Regime Diabolique Campaign Development Report 3

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