Danse Macabre Part 1

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Send to the players before the game :

 11th of December 1344, Abbey of Neuberg  (Austrian Alps, Holy Roman Empire) 
 The Duke Friedrich II von Habsburg just died at the age of 17.
 It is the third Duke of Austria who died within the walls of our Abbey!
 The families are denouncing a plot by Rudolf IV, their rival, but we both know better.
 They tried to lock away their curse but how long can you run from the Devil?
 11 Décembre 1344, Abbaye de Neuberg (Alpes Autrichiennes, Saint Empire Romain Germanique) 
 Le Duc Friedrich II von Habsburg vient de mourir à l'âge de 17 ans.
 C'est le troisième Duc d'Autriche qui meurt dans les murs de notre Abbaye !
 Les grandes familles dénoncent un complot de Rodolphe IV, son rival, mais nous savons tous deux qu'il en est autrement.
 Ils ont tenté d'enterrer leur malédiction, mais combien de temps peut-on espérer fuir le Diable ?


Each player chooses a quality in the list. He will succeed all his attempts in relation to his quality. For all other rolls, it's a die.

==>Category:Feats and +1 Feat explains the mechanics.

  • Initial Situation
    • Date : 16 December 1344
    • Location : Neuberg Abbey (Austria)

Friedrich II von Habsburg died in the Neuberg Abbey the 11 December 1344 at the age of 17. His death is very suspicious because he was the last member of this branch of the House of Habsburg. The Pope wants the inquisition to investigate, because it is the third member of this family to die within few years in this abbey. Otto der Fröhliche in 1339 then Leopold II von Habsburg in August 1344 and now Friedrich II in December. Their rival Rudolf IV made it very clear to the pope, that he doesn't want any noise. The pope can investigate, but no conclusions can be made public. Officially, they died of illness and that's it. In particular, he disarmed the city, made sure all the soldier of this branch of the habsburg were transferred back to Vienna.

This abbey is also the place where the archives of the Societas Templois are kept.

Characters :

  • Abbot Albrecht, a writer
  • Father Superior Oldaric, the book binder (the evil one)
  • Father Superior Arnaud (French), the illuminator he is on a trip to Avignon
  • Brother Galeazzo (Lombard), the doctor
  • Brother Conrad, the friend and confessor of Friedrich II (crazy)
  • Brother Eudes, the cook

Presentation of the library: Music Edward Cisorhand It is a large Benedictine (Cistercians) monastery dedicated to theology. The greatest of sciences. 3 levels of library plus the archives of the Societas Templois. The archives are locked in the basement and not accessible to them, if they insist someone will come with them to visit.

Description of the monsatery: Great towers, yellow stone. Path difficult to access need to go through a rope. 2500m of altitude. Very small city of Neuberg and the big Abbey. Beautiful view in the mountains.

There's two "tracks" one advances with the time, no matter what the players do. It's the "atmosphere track" One advances only with the player's actions. It's the "scenario track" If the "Atmosphere tracks" ends before the players finish the scenario track, there's a consequence.

The actual time on the atmosphere track is flexible. No problem to delay a bit or go a bit faster on the indicative times.

  • Explanations

Father Oldaric with a bone triptych. His contract is to kill three Dukes and ship their hearts plus take 100 monks hearts. He poisons the Dukes then remove their hearts after their death. For the monks he uses poisoned candles to make them crazy so it’s easier to kill them.

Day 1[edit]

  • Normal music (when nothing is happening) : Z_Normal-Commanderie Templière
Ambiance Track
5 min They pass by a corridor and they notice a statue of Otto der Fröhliche in armor, and it’s written below : Otto slaying the heretics. Lots of candles and gifts in front of him. One Monk is crying, this family was the abbey’s only protectors, what will happen now ?
15 min Everyone stops to go to pray. If they go : they notice lots of people missing at mass. A company of pilgrims arrive at the abbey, to pay homage to Friedrich II
30 min One of the pilgrims is missing. He took all his belongings and left. The only thing behind : a broken Rosary.
45 min Dead animal before their door
60 min Sinister sound, like a sinister laugh, actually it's a squeaky door. In the courtyard there a hooded monk looking at them for a long long time,then he leaves.
75 min There is one book on the floor, it is completely unintelligible. Pages and pages of gibberish.
90 min Someone locks players in a room by knocking down a piece of furniture, broken piece of furniture. When they go out, the bridges are sabotaged

Purpose: To determine if it is suicide, murder or heresy. In order to call reinforcements. Soldiers came with them and for lack of evidence will return.

Action : Ask to see the body of Friedrich II von Habsburg :

  • Brother Galeazzo (Lombard), the doctor

Music When they analyse the body : Z_Normal-Palais des Papes Small body in a red white red flag. ‘His hands are joined’ and his eyes are closed. Lots of incense burning around him.

Action : Check eyes and mouth His eyes are completely red and his tongue is swollen. He was clearly poisoned but could be suicide.

Action : Analyse poison or medicine : The Composition of Death, red copper, nitric acid, verdigris, arsenic, oak bark, rose water and black soot

Action : Open his hands Music Danse Macabre A scar on his chest, his heart is missing ! The doctor didn't notice this when he got the corpse. It was removed after his death. Clearly a murder ! A soldier per player will remain in reinforcement.

Action : Ask to see the body of Otto der Fröhliche or Leopold II von Habsburg : They both have the same scar, all hearts are missing. It looks like a heresy but it's not a good enough proof. They notice a signet ring at Otto der Fröhliche’s hand.

Action : Inspect the ring There's a coat of arm with what appears to be a tree with two trunks and black wings. (if knowledge or knowledge heresy) That's the coat of arm of a Pagean ! Definitely a heresy ! A soldier will remain in reinforcement. If not, then they need next step :


Action : Ask around in the monasteries if anyone know those coats of arms, search the library :

Study and topologies of known heresies (title of the book) The book lists various known heresies. Ex: The church that burned 25 times

Ex: The chewing vampire

And they finally find the coat of arms, it’s a heresy !

Other actions:

-Low signal (something they can discover, but not realted to the the scenarion track:

Many people put their room badly Other books are a little illegible too

- Abbot Albrecht the superior father who worked the garden is the one who found the body.

-Brother Conrad (scribe mad) Friedrich II repeatedly wanted to confess something important but didn't have time. Friedrich II had a book under his arm all the time. It's the books !

-Brother Eudes (cook), the cook who met him last at meal (but silent)

Rooms are messy for many people.

-For sure they will ask to visit the archives of the Societas Templois. They don’t see anything useful. But they see books chained, with horrible shapes and covers, if they start to read them, their faith is challenged. Music Z_Flippant - Dark World

Either way, when they discover that it’s a heresy : Someone locks players in a room by knocking down a piece of furniture, broken piece of furniture. When they go out, the bridges are sabotaged

Day 2[edit]

Ambiance Track
5 min They see the statue Otto der Fröhliche have been defiled, his face is broken. The candles have been all broken.
15 min Laud bell. The pigeon loft is emptied. Weak signal (something they can discover): Toxic mushrooms are gone
30 min Tierce bell. The box that contained their sceals has disappeared.
45 min Sext bell. Music : Flippant le diable est dans la boite’'’ : A player receives poison in one glass. He has one action. He need to decide to vomit. Otherwise use Faith or die (if possible do it to a player that has Faith)
60 min Tons books on the floor. All of them are pure gibberish completely unreadable.
75 min Vespers bell. There’s a huge fire at the food, clothing and old candle storage building. The whole town burns except the Abbey. All the food storage in the city is destroyed all the city has to be in the abbey !
90 min Compline bell. Players' door is nailed and the room is smoked Music : Z_Flippant-Le diable est dans la boite
  • Normal : Z_Normal-Département Nécrologique

The small town is accessible only by a mountain path with a passage through a rope because the main road is blocked. Especially with the perpetual torrential rain falling. It has been cut. The players are stuck here.

Aim: To determine the level of danger. (from 0 to 5)

For the moment there is only one murder, so not what to call the cavalry. The level of danger is 1 if they proved the murder, 2 if they proved the heresy.

There is a high rate of abstention from prayers. 5% +1 index

Many people no longer tidy their room 10-20%. +1 index

Some scribes write completely unintelligible. 5%. +1 index

When one of them gets poisoned : +1

+2 other stuff, theirs to find

From 5 clues, they can call the cavalry. Who in any case will come after the facts.

'Either way, at the end : Players' door is nailed and the room is smoked’ Music : Z_Flippant-Le diable est dans la boite

Day 3[edit]

Ambiance Track
5 min Tons of books on the floors everywhere. In every floor every corridors. Most most of them ineligible.
15 min Bell of 5:00 Lauds bell: A person found dead, knife to the heart. No clues. Ambience: Brother Galeazzo is in the middle of a corridor looking intensely at a book. When they interrupt him he is in complete shock and cries, he says the devil was speaking to him. The book in complete gibberish but the page he was looking at is clearly written in another unknown language. Knowledge (heresy) : It’s pagan language.
30 min Music : Z_Batson-Brigands ! Attack: As players take a flight of stairs, someone pushes a cabinet up the stairs. The cabinet will soon fall and they have little time to react. It's up to them to find a way to block it. For example, plant something on the stairs.

Very difficult to go down the stairs quickly enough, the nearest door is closed. But possibility of stalling something in the corner to block. Great chance that a player will be seriously injured and stay to bed. If they can catch the guy who did that, he takes them for demons and is insane.

45 min 7h00 Prime bell: Death. They see a wagon full of books, clearly someone have been distributing them. There’s a dead goat on it.
60 min 9h00 Terce bell: Death. Brother Conrad says "It's the Books" and wants to burn all the books. The players have the choice to let him burn the books or not. They see Goat footsteps in the corridor, it leads nowhere.
75 min 12h00 Sext Bell: Music : Z_Flippant-Le diable est dans la boite Death. One of the players, randomly chosen (if possible who has faith) just realised he has a book in his hands. He hears a voice asking him to open it.
90 min 15h00 None bell: Death. Death of Brother Galeazzo tabbed. From this point on, everyone is insane, nobody responds or help them
  • Normal : Kin Amar

For each bell, there will be a kill. The players have to find a way to stop this.

Morning Bell 4:00 AM Matins bell: A person found dead, a knife to his heart.

Main actions:

The players have to propose plans.

Those do not work :

-Close the work rooms

-Close everyone in their rooms and do some rounds, or put people in different peasant rooms (all of them are burned already)

It does not stop the dead

-Put everyone in the yard or in the mountains and watch each other

After an hour the rain turns into snowy fog. The clouds are coming down. There is a dead person and this creates panic. There remain the other options.

- Put everyone in the 4 reading rooms and monitor each other.

Jumps to the intro of the next sessions

Day 4 - Societas Templois[edit]

  • Normal : Quake

The players spend the night in the library with all the other monks, all candles are light in the room. In the morning they are all intoxicated and paralysed, there is smoke on the ground.

For this scene Music: Behelith Father Oldaric tries to assassinate a player in the night. Dense smoke in his room. Father Oldaric walks between them slowly asking an insistent question, but impossible to answer: I never wanted to kill you. My lord didn’t order me to. Instead I will offer you a secret. I will offer you. Knowledge. Do you want that ? (The player cannot answer) Do you want that ? (The player cannot answer) Ok. You deserve to know ! He bring the bone triptych and opens it in front of the player. (Hopefully a player with courage or Faith) If no Courage of Faith, the player gets « Insane (temporary) »

Players know it's Father superior Oldaric (mad book binder).

Players must stop Father Oldaric and have him executed. And discover what happened in the monastery.

When they wake up, most of the monks are gone. The rest are either dead or asleep deeply. All the books have disappeared from the libraries.

Ambiance Track
5 min They find bloody books all over the hallways. A drop of blood below each books, they stick to the floor.
15 min Father Eudes is in the corridor exploded under a piece of furniture that fell. He was running away from something. Another player realises that he has a bloody book in his hand. But no voices and he can throw it away.
30 min There are monks crying in a corner. He discovers his face, he has no lips, no cheeks and no tongue and bleeds abundantly. When asked who did this he wrote: "Oldaric devil »
45 min Father Conrad (mad scribe) (crazy) wants to burn the monastery.

He tries to convince the players to help him. One of the players hear Father Oldaric’s voice « Talk to me. I have a secret for you.» he looks behind : Nobody.

60 min Some bloody goat footsteps on the floor. If they follow them, it leads to the dining room full of monks who hanged themselves. In the room, one of the players see a man with the head of a goat. He invites him to enter, he has a secret for him. Other players have to stop him or he loses faith.
75 min All the monks start to walk towards the dining room. In the middle, here is a huge circle of booksa living goat is attached in the middle. All the alive monks are shouting at each other in an unknown language. The players have the impression that the hanged people are chanting too. They feel something terrible is going to happen.
90 min A man covered with blood with a goat mask on his head come to them, he emerges from the dining hall with the Bone Triptych, it is Father Albrecht who completely lost his mind, he shows it to all of them and they all lose faith. Once they kill him, they get the key and can loot the Triptych off him.

Other actions: Action, Go see Brother Galeazzo: (If Father Galeazzo (doctor) alive and if not burned the books) Father Galeazzo (doctor) is found hanged at home. On his table he has an open book on the page of an inhaling poison that drives people crazy. He has a broken candle he was analysing. It's a way to tell the players where the problem come from.

Action visit Father Oldaric's cell: Father Oldaric (mad binder) (crazy) covered his cell with candles. He is afraid of the dark. But of course he's not there.

Main actions:

If they try to go to the archives of Societas Templois, there's a grid preventing them from going down. It's closed. They need to find Father Albrecht’s key to open it.

Behind the gate they can hear a voice chanting.

Father Albrecht has disappeared. How to find Father Albrecht?

It's his garden time. Players must find his usual schedule. And they will find it in the garden. He may also see that he is missing his gardener outfit in his room.

Secret Archives[edit]

When they arrive at the bottom of the archives Music Gaunter o Dim

Go to the top of the library in his workstation behind the grid of the most secret books. There is a huge volume with jaws, Father Oldaric (mad binder) worked there for a long time and attached knives and bones to this big book.

The big book is readable, but it drives crazy if a player reads it.

The tower is covered with candles. Players do not feel well.

Father Oldaric reads the book aloud. It disturbs the players even more. At every step, they have to roll high or go crazy.

  • He explains to the players that the god of the old and the new testament are not the same and give a clear proof.
  • Which means that the god of the old testament is actually Satan
  • Which means that Satan created the world.

Example of inconsistencies :

Example 1[edit]

In the new testament, saint Timothy cannot be more clear :

1 Ti.6:16

"who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen."

And yet, in the old testament, it is the exact contrary :

1 Ki.8:12; 2 Chr.6:1; Ps.18:11

In the book of Kings, the book of Psalms and the book of Chronicles, it is repeatedly said "The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water."

God cannot be both surrounded by Light and darkness ! Only Satan is surrounded by darness.

All the players who don't have courage have a roll, anything less than 4 and they go insane.

Example 2[edit]

In the new testament, Saint Luke and Saint Matthiew clearly says that you should forgive your enemies :

Mt.5:38-40; Lk.6:27-29

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them."

And yet, in the old testament, god is vengeful, it is said three times in both Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy

"But if there is harm,[a] then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

God cannot both condone revenge and forgiveness ! Only Satan condones vengeance !

All the players who don't have courage have a roll, anything less than 5 and they go insane.

Example 3[edit]

In the old testament, Isaiah says that God and God alone create heaven and earth


"I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,"

And yet, in the new testament John says


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men."

Let me ask you a question. Who is the Word ? Who created all things ? Who hide in darkness ? Who condone revenge ? Who ? But SATAN ! SATAN himself created heaven and earth ! And the proof is in the bible ! Your whole life, when you called for God the creator, you have been worshipping SATAN !

All the players who don't have courage have a roll, anything less than 6 and they go insane.

Example 4[edit]

And let me read you the greatest secret of all.

He gives a final quote from the bible, but all the players lose their faith and faint.

(More inconsistencies : http://www.skeptically.org/bible/id7.html )

He is in a reading cage in the middle of the room with the book. Up to them to find a way to kill father Oldaric.

  • Bashing the grid does not work.
  • Pick through the grid is too difficult.
  • To turn off all lights is the right solution.
  • Possible to simply flee.

Once they turn off all the lights, it scares father Oldaric and he fall on his own book. Turn off the light in real life when this happens. Then play the music Music:Behelit

He is dead.

Finish to describe the scene.


In the cage, Father Oldaric had kept some letters he received. Nothing unusual in his letters, except that the writing becomes more and more confused.

They find one letter though that is very unsual He triptych is never found even searching thoroughly the monastery.

When reading the letter Music Danse Macabre


It is with great satisfaction that I learn your taste for our candles.
I am delighted with your new order.

Know that my institution can treat its good customers generously, you will no doubt appreciate my new merchandise.

Your devoted

Eugène Clavicle, the skeleton merchant

PS: You will be pleased to learn that I will hold a booth at the Provins fair in May. Feel free to visit me on that occasion.

As soon as the game is finished, put those musics :

  • Epique entre-scenart gagant 12-Pista de audio 12.mp3
  • Epique entre-scenart gagant 12-Pista de audio 12.mp3 (put it twice)
  • Fin epique glorieuse 06-Final
  • Then loop this Playlist Normal-Prima

They have Three main choices :

  • Keep Albrecht as the head of university yes or no
  • Keep the Library open, yes or no
  • Burn the forbidden book, yes or no

Post Game Bonus[edit]

Send those to the players as a post game bonus :

As a bonus, here are some actual pictures of the Neuberg Abbey : [1] [2] [3]

Fun fact : Indeed, three dukes died in the abbey of Neuberg : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto,_Duke_of_Austria Frederick II and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_II,_Duke_of_Austria

The Societa Templois was indeed founded by Otto and he also built the Abbey, so it's quite possible that it was the seat of the order at some point.

As crazy as it seems, this coat of arms was the real coat of a peagan family [4] (the VON PFEILSDORF / PILEWSKI ) who where defeated by German knights, possibly the Societa Templois.