Saturday, June 27, 2015

What to do about a Prince?

Recently one of the PCs, Father Signoret the swashbuckling Jesuit priest, physically attacked a noble client of the Prince de Conde at the theatre. As it turns out, this has created a political complication for the patron of a second PC, Guy de Bourges. Guy is a courtier and spy who works for the mysterious, wealthy, and enigmatic masked nobleman, the Duke DeMainz. This resulted in the following meeting between Guy and his patron.

The Duke seems more impassive than usual, but I can sense he is upset about something, Guy observed as he waited while Pendu, the Duke’s silent servant, poured a dram of brandy into a fine Venetian crystal glass. Guy warmed the glass in his hand before sipping.

The Duke’s resonant voice said from behind his gold mask,

“How is the brandy? Excellent I trust? De Bourge, I must confess I am a bit put out by your cousin, the Jesuit. He has acted most precipitously and not in my interest. You know that the Prince de Condé has been a threat to the rule of the Bourbons since the time of Henry IV. And this attack by Father Signoret on one of the Prince’s clients may just give Condé the cause celebré his needs to increase his power amongst both the Grands and the Barons.

Guy explained that his cousin “had been trying to prevent Villemorin, who had been heckling the stage and threatening the actors, from ruining everyone’s fun at the theater by stopping the play.” Guy continued, “and what’s more, Villemorin went off and left without a word or glance to Madame Rolampont who he had escorted to the play. What a boor!”

DeMainz continued, “Boor or not, it is probably fortunate that the King is so mad for the hunt or I dare say someone might even have managed by now to persuaded Louis to re-ban the Jesuit Order. Which, all things being said, might not be the worst result if they can’t keep their priests under control. I thought they were supposed to be a damned military order! Gods Marines and all that. Hmmph!”

“This religious disputation is dangerous. France has had more than enough strife in the cause of various zealots. The balance needs to be restored. I want you to find a way to weaken Condé’s influence so as to rebalance it with the influence of the various other factions at court and I don’t much care how you do it. Hopefully you have someone[i] close to the Prince to assist you. And remember, the Baron St. Giron is also a client of the Prince and Villemorin’s captain. If you are caught acting against St. Giron I won’t protect you.”

The players seem a bit stuck for next steps and I'd like some ideas about how Guy could weaken the Prince de Conde to try to reestablish the political balance.
  • Guy is a master of disguise and an expert spy and graceful courtier.
  • Socially he is a chevalier (SR 9) so he is not on the same level as a Prince (SR 17).
  • Guy controls two experienced NPC spies one of whom is a lady in waiting to the Prince's wife.
  • He also controls a network of average spies.
  • He can access some funds, though not enough to come close to matching the Prince's wealth. Guy may also call in favors from other PCs.
I'd like something swashbuckling or maybe a 17th century version of some Mission Impossible style antics. What are some suggestions for how Guy should proceed?

EDIT: A follow up post has some additional information on the Prince or check Wikipedia.

[i] Collette is a lady-in-waiting to Condé’s wife and Guy’s agent.

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