Monday, September 21, 2015

Adventure Idea: The Sorrowful Bride-to-Be

Genevive Benoit


This is a side adventure that I added to one of the campaignarcs in my Honor+Intrigue game. The melodramatic tone fits well with a lot of cape & sword and swashbuckling adventure as well as standard romantic tropes. Thus it can be played straight up, as farce, or with a twist.

The setting can be almost anywhere - town, city, castle, tower, or manor all that is really necessary is some way of keeping the Sorrowful Bride-to-Be trapped. I used a new location so that the PCs did know anything about the principal NPCs. If the PCs/players are familiar with the location they may not have any uncertainty about the NPCs' motivations.

The adventure starts when one of the PCs happens by the place where the Sorrowful Bride-to-Be is being held and she tosses her note to the PC.

NOTE: If this is run as a subplot it may be more interesting if the PC doesn't have the opportunity to read the note until later in the day.

A Mysterious Note

Most kind Monsieur whose name I do not know,

I beseech you to take pity on a poor orphaned girl. I am being held here against my will and shall not be released until this coming Sunday when I shall be forced to marry an old, fat, and ugly man. Please, most kind, but unknown Monsieur, I humbly beg that you immediately contact my dearest friend, Etienne Deveraux. He is a student at the University in Paris. I have never been to Paris so I cannot better tell you how to find him, but as I am certain that he is as brilliant as he is kind I am sure everyone at the University must know his name.

Etienne is my last hope, save the ultimate recourse, for I fear my uncle and guardian has been won over by the guile of my cruel step-mother and also being old himself and often being in his cups he may not see how horrible a match with such an ugly old, fat man is to me. I have prayed to God for deliverance, but the time is now quite short and in truth I do not know where else to turn to reach my dear friend.

My earlier messages to him must have gone awry so now you see that you are my last chance to contact my dear Etienne so that he can come and save me. I pray God that you can reach him in time since otherwise I do not know what I can in Christian conscience do, but I vow that if it comes to the last that God will give me the strength to do what I must do.

I remain your most humble and pitiful supplicant,

Genevive Benoit

Background Information

If the adventure is being played straight up then all of the following is true.
Maurice Benoit
Genevive Benoit is being held a virtual prisoner at the Town Hall (or whatever location the GM uses). Her uncle, Maurice Benoit is the Town Governor. Although he is not enthusiastic about the wedding, he doesn’t want his family’s reputation or his dead brother’s memory tarnished or Genevive thrown into poverty with her dowry obliterated by his dead brother’s overwhelming tax debt. 
Grimoart Villelmeti

Grimoart Villelmeti, a wealthy merchant, has agreed to pay the debt and wipe out any record of the default once he and Genevive are married and besides, Maurice knows of no other marriage prospects for his niece. In addition, his sister-in-law and Genevive’s step-mother, Biatrisona Villelmeti Benoit, is pushing for the wedding and claims that “such nerves” are normal for a young girl before her wedding." Biastrisona is Grimoart's sister and she wants to please her brother, Genevive's suitor.
Biatrisona Villelmeti Benoit


Genevive Benoit

The Sorrowful Bride-to-Be           (SR 5)

Location: Burgundy (Auxerre)
Genevive Benoit (b. 1605) is the niece and ward of Maurice Benoit, the town governor of Auxerre. Genevive’s mother died at birth and her father, Herbert Benoit, married a woman from the south, Biatrisona Villelmeti. Biatrisona was a typical evil step-mother. Genevive’s father died in 1616 and she became the ward of her uncle, Maurice. But since Maurice is unmarried, she remained in the care of her step-mother –she and Genevive do not get along.

When Genevive was a child, she was engaged at her step-mother’s urging to an older man, Grimoart Villelmeti, a cousin of the step-mother, to whom Genevive’s father was in debt – both financial and political. This debt would have ruined Genevive’s father and it remained even after her father’s death. Now that she has come of age, the marriage is to occur and Genevive’s step-mother is pushing for the marriage to occur as soon as possible

Genevive is in love with Etienne Deveraux, a scholar. 

Might -1                  Flair 2                      Melee -1                  Defense 1
Housekeeper 1        Merchant 1              Temptress 1             Retainer 1
Lifeblood 7             Composure 3           Advantage 1
Boon: Attractive     Flaw: Noncombatant

Maurice Benoit

Location: Burgundy (Auxerre)
Maurice Benoit is a wealthy merchant from a family of wealthy merchants (SR 5). Though intelligent and knowledgeable in matters of trade, he seems common in his speech and plebian in his tastes. The one exception to this is his love for the new game of tennis. He drinks a lot and when he drinks too much he often blacks out.

Maurice thinks like a merchant so he prefers to treat most interactions as an exchange of value. However, he does like to show off how smart he is and will often answer questions just to demonstrate that he knows more about a subject than does his questioner. 

Maurice purchased and owns the position of Town Governor as venality. He is considering retiring and would be willing to sell the position to someone else who is willing to pay a premium price.
He has a ward and niece, Genevive Benoit, the sister of his brother Herbert. Genevive’s father and mother are dead, but she has a step-mother (her father’s second wife).

Although Maruice is generally well disposed to his niece he tends to be more benignly neglectful than actively engaged. Maurice is a drunkard and a bachelor and doesn't know much about young ladies, which increases his disengagement and his reliance on the guidance of his sister-in-law and Genevieve's step-mother, Biatrisona. 

Might 1                   Savvy 1                   Brawl 1                   Melee 1
Merchant 2              Official 0
Lifeblood 8              Advantage 1            Retainer 2
Boons: Carouser, Jack of All Trades;
Flaws: All Thumbs (Penalty Die picking locks, firing a gun or bow, or fine work; frequently spills ink and any papers always have blots and smudges), Drunkard (1 on d6 = drunk or past black out).
   Bash with Mug 1d6
   Hanger Sword 1d6+1 Dmg, +1 dmg to Quick Cut

Biatrisona Villelmeti Benoit

Cruel Step-Mother          (SR 5)

Location: Burgundy (Auxerre)
Personality: Biatrisona is the classic cruel step-mother. She frequently eavesdrops on her step-daughter Genevive and is cruel to her for the sake of being cruel. She wants to marry Genevive to her brother Grimoart both to be rid of her and to secure for her brother and the Villelmeti family the concealed fortune that Genevive will inherit after her marriage.

Biatrisona has several weaknesses.

  • Drinking especially if the vintage is expensive or from far away. 
  • Fancy clothing, though her taste is unrefined. She prefers flash or cost over good taste. 
  • Entertainment of any sort, especially anything that would be of interest to the nobility or the court in the capital.
  • Seduction and flirtation. Though not an attractive woman, she has a exaggerated opinion of her own charms.

Savvy 1                   Melee 1                   Merchant 1              Retainer 1
Lifeblood 8              Composure 3           Advantage 1
Boon: Keen Hearing                                Flaw: Vice (Cruelty)
        Strike w/ belt or spoon+1: Damage 1d2

Grimoart Villelmeti - Villain

Tax Collector and Merchant        (SR 7)
Location: Burgundy (Auxerre)
Background: Grimoart Villelmeti is a wealthy merchant and entrepreneur and a villain. Not from the  province of Burgundy, he is originally from Languedoc but now lives in a mansion outside of Auxerre. He owns and operates a shipping company that moves goods both by river barge and wagon. He also has a position as a tax collector in the Auxerre and Autun regions.

His business interests include the following.

  • Tax collection for the regions around Auxerre and Autun.
  • Barges for shipping wine down the Yonne, the Loire, and the Saone.
  • Wagons for moving wine from outlying vineyards into Auxerre.
  • Wagons for hauling wine from Auxerre to towns on the Loire (which leads west to Nantes in Brittany and the Atlantic) or the Saone (which leads south to Marseille and the Mediterranean).
SECRET: Grimoart Villelmeti falsified the tax rolls to put Herbert Benoit into his debt. He has documents in his office that will prove this and will absolve Herbert's heir, Genevieve of all debts.

Might 4                   Daring 0                  Savvy 2                   Flair 0
Brawl 2                   Melee 2                   Ranged 0                 Defense 1
Merchant 3              Pugilist 2                 Official 2
Lifeblood 16            Composure 3           Advantage 3            Fortune 3
Boons: Great Wealth, Hard-to-Kill, Herculean Strength, Strength Feat (BD), Thick Skinned
Flaws: Lumbering (penalty die for balance), Unsettling (Brutish Appearance)
Languages: French (N), +3 slots
    Protection: 1 (Thick Skinned)
    Walking Stick: 1d6+3 Dmg;
    Dagger: 1d3+5 Dmg; 5’ range when thrown, +1 with Called Shots;
    Snaphaunce Mazagatto Pistol: 1d6+1 Dmg; Range 5’; reload 2; misfire 2-3
    Broadsword: 1d6+5 Dmg; +1 Beat (on horse for travel, not usually carried)
Maneuvers: Bladework+2, Brawling+2, Choke/Crush+6, Dirty Fighting+2, Disarm+6, Hilt Punch+6; Beat+6, Bind+6, Grapple+6, Shove/Trip+6, Dodge, Parry+4, Riposte+4; Ranged Attack+2.

Etienne Deveraux

A Gentleman and a Scholar         (SR 7)

Location: Between Paris and Auxerre
Etienne Deveraux (born 1597, age 25) is member of the gentleman/bourgeoisie class and a scholar at the University of Paris.

After receving a letter from his true love, Genevive, informing him of the impending nuptials, Etienne is hastening to Auxerre to stop the wedding. 

OPTION: In a swashbuckling style game where dramatic coincidence is to be expected, the party may meet Etienne on the road on the way to Auxerre. If so, he will tell the party that he must urgently reach Auxerre and begs the loan of a horse. I they loan him a horse to the next inn Etienne will insist on proceeding, though he will be reluctant to explain why he is in such a hurry.

SECRETS: (1) Etienne is riding to Auxerre to stop his true love from marrying another (an old man whom she does not love). (2) Etienne is a member of the Academia dei Lincei, a secret organization of scholars based in Italy.

Daring 1                   Savvy 2
Melee 2                    Defense 1
Gentleman 1            Scholar 2
Lifeblood 8              Composure 3           Advantage 1             Retainer 3
Languages: French (Native), Latin (F), Greek, Italian
Boons: Learned (Bonus die to recall academic knowledge), Membership: Academia dei Lincei
Flaws: Helpless Loved One (Genevive Benoit), Obsession (Academic)
    Rapier: 1d6 Dmg; +1 Parry
Maneuvers: Bladework+3; Footwork+4, Dodge, Parry+4, Riposte+4

The possibly happy couple

No comments:

Post a Comment