Friday, September 9, 2016

Ficition Friday; Vol 6: City Tales | Book I: The Seamstress Ch 1 + ch 2

It's September. Which in the US is (more or less) the start of a new school year. Which seemed like a good excuse to give me a new assignment: to post game fiction on Fridays. I'll call this Fiction Fridays, a name that I stole the from the Frothing Mug. He writes good fiction. Le Sergeant, which is set in the reign of Louis XIV, is the sort of story that I imagine Gaston has in his background. And Le Dieu Perdu, though set after Mazarin had replaced Richelieu as chief advisor, features the same sort of background that motivated characters in the late 16th and 17the centuries to come to Paris to make or restore their fortunes. And his stories about Giancarlo are particularly fun to read. 

In a way, fiction is too generous a term for a lot of what I have written. These tales are all based on my Honor+Intrigue campaign and serve as a an adventure log of sorts. Some are pretty bare bones - just the facts. Some contain notations about actual die rolls or game rule outcomes. Some are heavily fictionalized to include character thoughts and motivations and sometimes extra dialog. When writing I try to capture the important details of play as well as the feel of the scene. But I err on the side of making the PCs actions make sense in the moment. My experience in over 40 years of gaming is that sometimes the players make choices that in hindsight or from the GM's more global perspective are kind of dumb. Often these are the source of real amusement during play and when retelling the story afterwards. While I don't want to ignore those actions, I want the stories to be fun for the players to read so I write the tales as if they were written by a sympathetic writer, perhaps some friend or admirer of the characters. However careful reading will often reveal when some PC did something particularly ill-advised.

I'm starting in the middle of the campaign. I've published some of the earlier tales already, but there are some extensive gaps that remain to be filled and I am just not finding the time to reconstruct adventures from years past right now and I wanted to add some fiction. So these tales start out in June of 1623 with what I call Book 6 - City Tales. Lucien, a King's Musketeer remained in Paris while the other PCs went north as part of a diplomatic legation to the Netherlands. The action in the north is covered in Books 4 and 5, which have not yet been finished.

This tale featured two players and a single PC, Lucien de Bourges.  My wife, whose character was with the legation, played Rouvroy, one of Lucien's fellow musketeers.

Lucien is a King's Musketeer who is haunted by the terrible deeds he witnessed but could not entirely prevent at the Siege of Nègrepelisse during the Huguenot Rebellion of 1621-22. He is a daredevil and a master of the French style of Fencing. His first cousin is the wily Guy de Bourges.

Bertin is a 12-year old Paris street urchin who Lucien adopted as his page boy. Bertin is looking to get out of the gutter. He is brave, bright, and personable though his skills are lacking and he is illiterate (though he tries to hide that fact). He is the page boy (chasseur masculin) and trusted companion of Lucien de Bourges, a King’s Musketeer.

And here is Lucien's good friend, Louis du Rouvroy.

King’s Musketeer                   SR 7
Location: Paris, King’s Musketeer
Motivation: The Musketeers are my family!
Short and stocky with slightly unkept hair and an engaging grin, Louis du Rouvroy is a typical King’s Musketeer. He is a joker. But despite being perennially broke he believes that he lives in the best of all possible worlds; therefore everything will always somehow work out for the best. He also believes that “coins in the hand are like seeds: in good times one should sow them widely by buying dinners and drinks for all your friends so that in lean times you can reap the benefits of their hospitality.

He loves being a King’s Musketeer – his identity is tied to the Musketeers and he is even more concerned with the reputation of the King’s Musketeers than with his own.

He was on guard duty with Lucien de Bourges in Adventure 04: On Guard and was also at Tragedy at the Comédie-Française (where he helped save Alvise Contarini, the Venetian Ambassador) and with Lucien on the Pont Neuf. He considers Lucien a brother, though he feels Lucien is too thoughtful and worries too much. “Too much thought spoils the digestion.

Rouvroy partnered with Lucien in the Adventure: The Seamstress where he gained a permanent +1 Fortune Point based on Marcia’s play. “All this spy stuff, there is something wrong with it.

Daring 2               Flair 1              Melee 2                Defense 1
Soldier1               Duelist 2          Gambler 0            Retainer *
Lifeblood 8          Advantage 2     Composure 3       Fortune 1
Boons: Military Order (King’s Musketeers), Dueling Style (French)
Flaws: Active Duty, Spendthrift
   Rapier: 1d6 Dmg, +1 Parry                      
   Cloak: +1 Feint, Bind
   Wheelock Pistol: 1d6+1 Dmg, 10’ Range, Reload: 3, Misfire: 2
Maneuvers: Bladework+4, Brawling+2, Dirty Fighting+1, Quick Cut+3; Feint+3, Footwork+2; Cloak Parry+3, Parry+2[3], Riposte+2; Aim Shot, Ranged Attack+0
Author: Gaston’s Hat NPC in: L'Honneur et les Intrigues (Fic)

I: The Seamstress


Chapter 1: Birthday of a Duchess

(June 1623) Lucien and Rouvroy attend a party at the Louvre as guards. The party is to celebrate the Duchess de Bellegarde’s birthday. The Duchess is one of the Queen’s Lady’s-in-Waiting. The King and Queen are there. Baron d’Ile-de-Batz is there observing the Queen’s attendants. Collette du Pre is there as well. 

A young noblewoman in a mask asks Lucien to guard her Seamstress. The Seamstress is Antoinee Lemoire who is from Bourges. On the way to the Seamstress’s shop, Lucien and Rourvoy are waylaid by a gang of men armed with staves, clubs, and swords (these are collection agents for the Cartel de Profit led by Marcel de Galharda). They defeat and drive off the agents.


Chapter 2: Unexpected Visitors

The rest of the first night passes uneventfully and Lucien has his boy Bertin summon de Sandras and Trebouchard to guard the Seamstress during the day. They too pass an uneventful period. 

The next night Lucien and Rouvroy play cards with the Seamstress. Rouvroy and Lucien lose 25L to the Seamstress. Their game is interrupted by Lourdaud’s Bully Boys breaking down the back door. Lucien defeats some Pawns, but de Vaillons gets the drop on Lucien and holds him at pistol point. Rouvroy shoots a Pawn and Lucien group tackles the others, but de Vaillons gets the drop on Rouvroy. The Seamstress knocks de Vaillons out with an iron as the Vicomte de Lourdaud leaps into the room through the front door to “save” the Seamstress. He is surprised that de Vaillons is unconscious and the Musketeers chase him away. The Musketeers disarm the unconscious de Vaillons and drag him and his surviving men into the nearest alley and douse them with wine. They hide the five dead bodies in the cellar.

Afterwards a messenger arrives and speaks with the Seamstress alone. She asks Lucien to escort the messenger to the Auberge du Cygogne Noir (the Black Stork), and inn in the Latin Quarter while Rouvroy remains to guard the Seamstress. They carefully exit out the back way and Lucien notices two men watching the front of the shop. On the way to the Black Stork, Lucien talks to the messenger. He deduces that the messenger, while fluent in French, is actually an Englishman. The Englishman apologizes for keeping his name a secret but he reveals that his master is an admirer of the Queen.

Back at the shop, Lucien and Rouvroy go out front and accost the watchers so that the Seamstress can escape out the back. The fight the watchers - more or less to a draw – than decide to disengage and retreat. In response one of the watchers calls Rouvory a coward and disparages the Musketeers. Lucien is barely able to persuade Rouvroy to retreat…

Next Friday our fiction will be a story called, Sacrilege, a solo tale featuring Father Signoret. And this tale includes something no one expects...

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