Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Book: Discours des Sorceirs

Discoursdes Sorceirs (English: Hateful Speech from Wizards) was first published in Lyon in 1602 by the French Magistrate, Henry Boguet. Boguet, who died in 1619, was a well known jurist and judge in the County of Burgundy. His renown was to a large degree based on his fame as a demonologist and for his book, which had been reprinted twelve times in the years since it was first published. 

Discours des Sorceirs may be used as a reference book for Witchfinders and Demon Hunters. If the GM desires it may contain useful information for the PCs. In my campaign the Discours includes a lengthy chapter on werewolves and an unexplained illustration of an object that the author calls a “Piège à Loup” (English: Wolf Cage or Wolf Trap). The object appears to be a lantern of unusual and baroque design.


  1. The witch-trials of the period have a lot of potential; as does the Affair of the Poisons, something similar could occur a few decades earlier if you wanted it to.

  2. Good ideas Andy.

    I have mixed feelings about using a witch trial - in part because one of the PCs is devout and another PC is a Jesuit Priest who (I think) is also devout. I'd probably have to tweak things so that the witches are both real witches and evil to keep the tone from being too grim for what the campaign is supposed to be. The PCs have run into one actual witch, but she escaped without a trial.

    The Affair of the Poisons is something I'm only a bit familiar with since it occurs during the Sun King's reign which is a bit after my current time of focus. But that is not the only poisoning to draw inspiration from. Both the Medici Queens of France (Catherine and Marie) were alleged to have been poisoners.

    The Affair of the Poisons was in the back of my mind as the inspiration for a series of court poisonings that made up the underlying mystery for a 5 session arc. The five sessions were in Volume 3: Tales of Mystery and Mayhem and formed the five chapters in Book IV: The Poison Ring. I ran that back in August-September of 2013. I don't think I've posted those session write ups yet though.

    The other inspiration for that was a poison ring that I bought at a Renaissance Festival for my wife for her birthday one year. Come to think of it, I must really trust my wife. Besides the poison ring, I've bought her two sets of very sharp knives and I took her shooting for her Guns & Roses 40th birthday tour. ;-)

    1. Yes, witch trials would need careful handling, particularly if you have one or more devout PCs. I shall look forward to reading The Poison Ring.

      We have a couple of 14th century longswords; my wife says that when he zombie apocalypse comes, we'll be ready for it.

    2. It's always best to be prepared. ;-)