Saturday Seed ~ 173 (All for One)

This Saturday continues my celebration of U-day (no, not Mal’s U-day) by planting a seed for the fantastic swashbuckling horror game by Triple Ace, All for One – Regime Diabolique. If you want to see ‘fast and furious’ combined with intrigue, banter, the rise and fall of fortune, the smell of gunpowder and blade oil, and a fearsome howl in the darkness, then this is the game.

The seed
A series of individuals whom witness rumor insists were possessed have been trying to kill the king and his closest advisers. The musketeers who stand between royalty and these attacks are losing members in each attack. Someone has to get to the bottom of it!

Planting the seed
This is a seed suitable for any level of experience with the game and among characters. Like any other day, the musketeers may hear reports from their comrades about the events of their duty assignments – but unlike any other day the rumors, eye-witness accounts, and the death of their fellow musketeers will build into action fired by strong esprit de corps~   All for One, and One for All!  Essentially, while they could be instructed to investigate the curious nature of these attacks, getting into the swing of things and exploring the idea of such a tight bond in the unit will give the session real momentum.

The details
The musketeers hear about, then eventually get to witness at a distance, strange attempts to get close to the king – obviously with intent to kill. These attempts are made by regular citizens, unarmed, and made more memorable and horrible by the vile and demonic things they are saying about their intentions once they ‘drag the Sinner-King to Hell.’ While the brutality and otherworldly nature of the attacks is disturbing, the vile things the attackers say is causing a bigger disturbance among the people who have seen the attacks, or heard the rumors.

The pressure on the Musketeers to put these attacks to rest is immense. The fear of what they might encounter is equally so.

The attacks happen without warning. A normal person with a job and a family suddenly runs screaming out of the crowd yelling their hell-spawned obscenities and trying to push their way through the guard to get near or get into the Louvre. Their faces are contorted with rage and swollen with dark blotches like blood pooling under the skin. Their motions are wild and unpredictable. Their trajectory through the crowd is like a bullet, hurtling forward to destroy without thought. Arms flailing, mouth working hard through words no living person should ever utter, they charge their objective with single and terrible purpose before the guards close in to cut them or shoot them down – each and every time. The attackers have been reported as hard to kill with the blade, and several musketeers have been killed by hammer-like blows in the attempt. Now the musketeers are relying on their pistols and muskets to get the job done at range. Rumors of how many shots it takes to down these charging madmen are growing out of control, but the truth is no less worrying. In each case, musketeers have had to grapple the attacker and hold him – often at great personal injury or death – while the rest of their squad dispatches him or her with enough force to rend the body into pieces.

The dark blood on their skin and clothes when this is done is tenacious and almost seems to resist being washed away.

Public fears are growing, and confidence in the government itself is being challenged. If the advisers and counselors are unable to recognize the villainy that Hell is so hungry to claim that it sends its messengers to pull the king to his eternal punishment while still alive, then does that not mean that they are in league with him?

What is going on
What is going on is that this is actually not an attack on the king at all, but on the musketeers and on Richelieu. Both suffer in different ways, with the musketeers suffering physically and Richelieu feeling worry his power and position could weaken.

The threat is of course far closer to home than Hell, but may run the risk of expanding into something truly hell-spawned if the musketeers are slow in tracking it down. A defrocked priest with dangerous thoughts about government and God has lost his mind and traveled so far from the light that he has begun to think the powers of Necromancy he has cobbled together at first to resist dark magicians are really tools of the light. In his madness he is attacking the things he feels are most vile in this world: the reputation of the Cardinal who cast him out, and the symbol of the King’s power.

Now surviving as a simple laborer, digging ditches and graves, he has become adept at murder by surprise. He seeks out random people who he knows from the confessional are outwardly good, but inwardly vile, and slays them to raise their corpses to his service.

The trail is cold, but the musketeers may be able to start by trying to link the attackers together. Each can be traced back to the same parish. From their it grows harder, but tales of defrocked priests tend to be worth sharing – especially when it involves unwelcome attention to and affection for the dead…



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