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[Actual Play] Village of Blois 
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Post [Actual Play] Village of Blois
Thought I would share our Ravenloft game we are running. I'm using a TV show sort of format to structure the game, which is how I am breaking down what happened below. You can get more details concerning how we are dealing with Ravenloft here. Feel free to ask me any questions if you got any...

The Teaser
We opened up outside Kyrie the Tinsmith's home in the town of St. Archard. After a late night meeting of the three characters (who are united in purpose to discover and destroy the plans of the Marques St. Archard), they are confronted by a woman wrapped head to toe in swirling robes. She thrusts an infant girl into the hands of Aleron and points to the east. Then the robes blow away into the wind, leaving only the infant.

The little girl, with mismatched eyes, has a note pinned to the blanket she is wrapped up in, instructing Aleron to take the girl and have her baptized in the Fey spring at the village of Blois. The note is written in the hand of Jacque's dead lover and states that this must be done at midnight, at the end of the Feast of St. Monica, or the child's soul will be lost and a great calamity befall the land.

Jacque goes and gets permission to be one of the priests to travel to the village of Blois from the Archbishop of St. Archard, a bloated man who values rich food more than religion. He claims Aleron as a body guard for the dangerous road, and Kyrie as a widowed cousin he must look after. Together they set out with William, a bumbling priest who was originally assigned with the task of overseeing the Feast of St. Monica in the village of Blois, which happens to be ruled by an ally of the Marques.

The Issue
We open on the characters arriving at the crossroads outside of Blois, just 48 hours before they are to perform the ritual. Hanging from the tree at the crossroads are three bodies; a man, a woman, and what looks like it could have been a teenage boy. They had been flayed and it looks like they suffered genital mutilation. The priest of course knew that the genital mutilation was because of the crime of incest, but the flaying was a punishment he was not aware of on the books. Big signals that something is wrong in the town.

When they road on into town they met with the village headman, Michelle, who was busy preparing the square for the priest. He sent them on to the village's chapel, set Kyrie and the infant to stay with a local family and made sure they where fed. This is where we split off into three little scenes to flesh out the something is wrong here.

Aleron, acting as Jacque's servant, went to the count of Blois' manor home to alert him as to Jacque's and Williams arrival. First off he noticed that the town showed no signs of damage. See, he had been part of a group of soldiers that a year earlier had been sent by St. Archard to destroy the town, all it's inhabitants and to sow salt into the earth. They did this and where mysteriously dismissed from service.

Secondly he noticed that the manor house (which is really a Norman style keep) was surrounded by a perfectly manicured lawn (think English garden), which had a gardener who didn't respond to any attempts to get his attention. It also was in pristine condition and now sported a mausoleum. He made it to the door, spoke with the chamberlain who looked like and old man who had a face lift and was informed that the Count of Blois would be down in the evening to formally greet the priests.

Kyrie, in the meantime, encountered Zadock (can you tell I have been playing the new CoC X-box game?) outside the local smith's. She got a whole low-down on weird stuff happening. Lots of cryptic stuff about the people always being there and stuff. All sorts of cryptic stuff, but no mention of a Fey spring.

Jacque got to sit and counsel a young (maybe 13 years old) pregnant girl named Matilda. Through the process he learned that it was her family up at the crossroads and her brother had raped her in what the villages call the Demon Woods. When he did, his eyes where all solid black and he spoke a strange language she couldn't understand. The family suffered for trying to cover up the incest, she was taken into the Count's home as a servant, and she was almost ready to pop after only a 3 month.

The Complication
So that evening the Count and his family came out of the manor home and formally greeted the priests and invited them and their servants to dinner. His entourage consisted of him (who looks like Christopher Plummer in Star Trek VI), his very young, blonde wife who's skin looks a bit stretched, his four sons who seem to be eyeing everyone, the chamberlain, the gardener and young, very pregnant Matilda. Also, at dinner, the Count was the only one to really talk, which he did, at length, about nothing while being cryptic about everything. However, he did mention that the Archbishop had sent a letter ahead of them, letting him know who was arriving.

The Count offered to let them stay at his home instead of the little chapel in the village, which they agreed to, but left to go "gather their things." The slipped off into the Demon Woods looking for the Fey spring, following a little trail. There they heard what sounded like someone chopping wood further in. Eventually they found an old, abandoned cabin, but the chopping sound stopped.

After a little investigation they ran into Zadock again, who was sitting against a tree getting good and drunk. He implied to them that there was something wrong with the townsfolk and that he had always been around, but they had not. Something was obviously up, so they went back to the village, figuring to see if the well hid the spring.

In the village the encountered four goons with axe handles telling them to leave. The leader mentioned that only one priest was supposed to be sent. Kyrie took off with the infant to try and reach the manor house, while Jacque and Aleron faced down the mooks. She made, told the chamberlain what was happening. He told her he would get the Count's sons to go help, rushed her into Matilda's room for safety, but then locked her in when he left.

At the village square, Jacque (bought initiative at a severe penalty) fired his pistol at the leader, but missed badly. He then got thrashed by two of the goons something awful. Luckily Aleron is a superb, if ruthless soldier, and dispatched all four goons with ease. Together they made it to the manor, busted in the door to see a rather shocking scene.

The gardener was standing before an altar, holding someone's skin in one hand and a knife made of bone in the other, all the while chanting in a strange tongue. On the altar was the count's wife, seemingly still alive, but skinless (identified by her blonde hair). To the right of the altar was poor pregnant Matilda, strapped into what I can only describe as a medieval birthing chair. Luckily for her, Kyrie was hiding behind a tapestry with the infant they had found. The rest of the village stood facing the altar, chanting along with the gardener, and that was where we left off.

Keith

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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel


Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:03 pm
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Very interesting!

Creepy village with a hidden secret. Very well made. I first thought the baby was a hag, but it seems to be something else...

Keep us informed of your campaign,

Joël

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"A full set of (game) rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a black hole" (Adams)

email me at paquinjoel@videotron.ca !


Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:40 am
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Joël,

Thanks. I hate to say it, but I ad-libbed the entire thing. I was really unprepared for the session. Usually I write down a bunch of beats/bangs of things I would like to see happen, but I was one part lazy and two parts busy.

I've been thinking about the next session and I'm not sure which way to go with the pregnant girl, the weird skin ritual, or the Fey angle. Any suggestions from folks would be great.

Keith

_________________
Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel


Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:54 am
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