Danse Macabre Part 3
- 1 Intro
- 2 Part 1 Midnight Dance
- 3 Part 2 Peasant revolt
- 4 Part 3 Dancing Plague
- 5 Part 4 The appointment
- Initial situation :
Year : 1331
Country : "Kingdom of France"
County (Compté) : "Champagne"
Viscounty (Vicomté) : "Valfranc"
Castellany (Châtellenie) : "Vilmaison" local Castelain (Chêtellein) : "Chevalier de Vilmaison"
Town : "Souspenelles"
There's a little water stream in the town
Music : (fast start) Light of the Seven (EP 10 Trial scene) The Corpses from Valfranc were to be shipped to a little town called "Souspenelles". When the players arrive there, they quickly find a warehouse, quite isolated from the rest of the town that smells really strong. When they arrive, a guy locks the warehouse and starts to burn it.
After 00:39 (music time) they manage to bash the doors.
The guy screams : "Oh Dark Lords, I have served you well ! Invite me, for I have accomplished my duty !" Then suicides by hanging himself among the other corpses. The warehouse used to store about a hundred dead bodies. But now it's empty. Except for a dozen villages hanged. The trail ends there.
After 03:40 (music time) the fire stars spreading to the forest with an incredible power.
All the village come to try to stop the fire. They throw water and earth at it until it stops.
When the other peasants see that, they say. It's the skeletal minstrel, he'll damn us all. They say there have been sights of a skeletal violinist/ministrel every weeks between friday and saturday near the cemetery. (explain that in this period violins don't existe yet, so it's actually a ministrel and his instrument is a psaltery)
- Explanations :
Oldaric Lefol was in love with Evelyne, but his father Jerome Dubois wanted to marry her to the Bourgmestre insetad. So he drowned him and the burried him with him instrument. But he pretended to drown and survived. He then left his grave to get his revenge. When Oldaric was at his worst, an individual approached him and explaiend him about dancing plagues. Told him that if he did what he had to, he would get his revenge.
The plan was the following : he would teach Oldaric how to trigger a dancing plague.
Dancing plagues are a phenomenom of mass hysteria that actually happened several times in european history https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_mania It is a phenomenom of mass hypnosis, where people believe a dancing plague is hapenning so they are hypnotised and become part of the dancing plague. During a dancing plague, people start dancing irresistibly and can't stop for days and days. It usually happen during terrible famines.
The individual did the following :
He would offer Oldaric the Skeletal Psaltery. He would also give him a chest full of devil's bread. A very pure, very tasty white bread laced with "ergot de seigle" a poisons that makes people delirious. He would also make sure a battle is triggered between the peasants and the soldiers so Oldaric has an opportunity to destroy the food reserves, steal food for himself and to bribe people. It's also a good opportunity to lace some food reserves with mandragora. He also told him to bribe some persons to pretend their body is forced to dance. The point is to first enfeeble people, by starvation and by poisoning (mandragora and "ergot de seigle").
Once they are very enfebled, pretend a dacing plague is starting (with bribed actors) a hence triggering a collective hysteria.
He also explains him a way for him to see Evelyne, she would have to pretend sleepwalking.
Obviously Oldaric did not imagine this plan, but the individual asked him to do it anyway to get his revenge. When Oldaric sees that the inquisition is involved, he doesn't know what to do. And try to scare them away, and if possible make them dance for long enough so he can get his revenge without harming them. (harming the inquisition would mean running for the rest of his life) That's why he tries to drug them with mandragora and put them in a situation where it's almost impossible to resist the mass hysteria. Wether he succeeds or not, his goal is not to kill them.
- Unsolved mysteries :
Why corpses where shipped in this town ? What happened to them ? Who is the individual that gave him the Psaltery, the bread and imagined the plan ? Why giving him a Skeletal Psaltery at all ?
- Historical themes :
Ergot fungus poisoning
Language of Flowers
Part 1 Midnight Dance
- Normal : Departement Necrologique
- When people threaten them to dance : Chant_Entrapment-8
The players will try to hunt down this skeletal ministrel and kill it.
- 10min It's been a long summer with heavy rain, they see crops rotting. Some peasants still trying to collect some, they search through the crop for non rotten grains.
1/3 of the crop is left fallow (jachère) 2/3 have been planted, but not reaped.
- 30min They hear screaming from inside a hut
(a peasant have been poisoned with ergot de seigle.) They visit the hut : The hut is made of clay and straws, no windows. Inside the hut, a third of the area is penned off for the animals, which live in the hut with the family. A fire burn in a hearth in the centre of the hut, so the air is permanently eye-wateringly smoky. Furniture is a couple of stools (tabourets), a bed of straw, and a few cooking pots made of clay. They are cooking leaves and mushrooms as well as rotten grain. The penn is almost empty, only one very thin sheep remains. The sick peasant see the players then scream "You will dance ! You will dance ! We will all dance !" Music : Chant_Entrapment-8 When asked what happended, the family doesn't know, he was sick since few days, a fine tissue handkerchief was found on him when he went mad. He had skipped a dinner on that day.
- 45min Some peasants are eating a rotten carcass of a boar. It is not legal for peasants to hunt, in this time only lords have the right to hunt. But they swear it was a dead carcass they found and they didn’t hunt it. Another peasant comes towards them with a knife he looks at very angry « You will dance ! You want to make us all dance ! I'm not going to dance ! I'm not ! I won't dance ! » Music : Chant_Entrapment-8 He is caught very quickly.
If the players search him, he have a tissue handkerchief with bread crumbs on it.
- 60min There's a child lost in the woods. His parents tried to get rid of him. But he came back.
- 75min A Priest gathered lots of people in a large hut. They all start laughing incontrolably and say "You will dance ! You will dance ! We will all dance ! All of us !" Music : Chant_Entrapment-8
They all come from one home. If the players search their home, there are several tissue handkerchiefs with white bread in it.
- 100min At the end of the atmosphere track, they are attacked by a bunch of peasants who want to eat their meat. Either they have the Combat (skirmish) ability, or one of them is Wounded.
They go to the spot where the skeletal ministrel is supposed to have appeared, in the night between friday and saturday.
They see a white woman dancing. Like a ghost.
While she dances Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem
They approach and see that it's actually aliving lady. Called Evelyne Toffea, the Bougmestre's Guillaume Toffea young bride wakes up every saturday morning t go dance in the woods until sunrise.
She dances every week in the woods. With withered red tulips in her hairs she wears a wonderfull white dress. She had a bucket of withered red tulips in her chamber.
Then she goes back home.
She is pretending to be sleepwalking, so if the players wake her up, she wakes up, no problem. She pretends to be sleep walking because the truth is, every weeks, she goes to see her lover. But of course she can’t say that because he’s supposed to be dead.
Action : Where the flowers come from ? Nobody wants to respond. But eventually they know that it comes from an old lover who died.
Action : Ask if she dances always on the same spot. Yes.
Actually she dances where Oldaric Lefol was burried just after his murder.
The rationale is. They have to meet on this spot. If she’s not followed, then she meets him and they go to a more beautiful place. If she’s followed, she starts dancing and pretend she's possesed or something. To make it look like a ghost story so nobody wants to get involved and stop her.
She have a strange reaction if the players mention him.
If the players dig enough, they learn that Oldaric Lefol was a ministrel in love with Evelyne.
But he was drowned in the woods near the cemetry then burried in the woods. (Evelyne's father killed him, because the local Bourgmestre was also in love with Evelyne and he wanted her to marry the Bourgmestre) And they broke his Psaltery (Psaltérion en français)
Actually Evelyne's father Jerome Dubois did this. And then burried him right here and then, with his instrument.
He was ministrel for the local Castellan, he used to play Psaltery (Psaltérion en français)
Action : If the players dig the grave of the lover, they only find the broken instrument inside. -> He was burried with his instrument.
Action : If the players search Oldaric's old broken home. They see is a stock of devil's bread (it's pure white bread). That's the end of ergot de seigle poisonning. Alternatively (if they search his home too early), there’s nothing of interest in his home, but if they open his grave, the peasants start a search for a place where he might live and they find his hideout and a chest full of devil’s bread.
Once the father Jerome Dubois learns that the grave is empty. He is angry and go to the woods with a bunch of peasants with torches to go kill the ministrel. He see a ministrel in the woods and chase him.
At some point, they are attacked by a flock of wolfs. Either one of the players have Combat (Skirmish) or one of the players is wonded. At the end of the skirmishe, Evelyne's father Jerome Dubois is found drowned, hammered by a large stick. (the same way he killed oldaric) There are clear footsteps, but impossible to follow. So Oldaric isn't dead !!!
Part 2 Peasant revolt
- Normal (before the start of step 1 of the battle) : Commanderie Templière
The peasants have made their own mill (moulin) fourty people turn it. The soldiers come and say that it's illegal, they have to go to the watermill of the local Priory.
But that's where they pay the taxes (for using the mill) so they refuse to do that.
They beat the taxman "champarter" ("champarteur" in French) nearly to death and kick him out. They cry "Champarteur, chapardeur, champarteur, chapardeur" Obviously, there'll be a fight the next day.
The soldiers come to the players first and ask them for help.
The head of the guards : Captain Beaudry, the step brother of the Castellan
The Captain tells them : Regardless of what they want to do, the local castelan doesn't want any troubles with the inquisition.
If they refuse. The peasants do the same. The head of the peasants, the Bourgmestre : Guillaume Toffea
The peasants want to defend the illegal mill. The soldiers will attack the next day.
The players can pick a side, if they win the fight, they gain a different gain. If they pick the losing side, no advantages. If they refuse to pick a side, they gain nothing.
If one of the players is Rich or has a Great Network, he can pay the taxes and it counts like a peasant win.
At each step, they need to find a good idea to win. If they win more than 3 phases, their side wins. If one of the players have the Combat (Battle) ability, give him the answers to each phase.
70 soldiers, 30 Bows plus 3 Knight in armor (the Castellan, the Captain and an a cousin of the Catellan) vs 350 peasants, 50 bows
Step 1 : Preparations
Timer : 15 min Music : Latharne la Silencieuse Peasant side : The peasants have no weapons, only clubs, pitforks and flails. To help them : Turn their scythe into Guisarme or make shield
Soldier side : Poison the well or burn some houses.
Ambiance : Some peasants leave with their goods. They take refuge in nearby villages. Lots of peasants cry when they leave because they are serf, they belong to the plot of land where they are. With no right to leave.
Step 2 : The two armies are facing each others, constant flux or arrows
Timer : 15 min Music : Z_Baston-Le diable est dans la boite Peasant side : Make sure to organise them in lines. Propose a smart plan of attack. Soldiers side : Make a sound battle plan
Ambiance : One soldier/peasant seems terrified, you can hear him pee on himself. There's dreadful silence but you can hear some people praying. The Castellan has a dark armour with a salamander on the helmet. The other knights have a normal armour.
Step 3 : Charge of the soldiers
Timer : 15 min Music : Z_Baston-Tourmaline Brule The cavaliers disperce the archers. The line of soldiers well organised lance/shied+mace charge the peasants. A separate contingent of soldiers prevent a move from the back.
Peasant side : Check where breaches happen, collect troops at the right spots, then redirect them in the holes.
Soldiers side : Either concentrate the troops in one spot to pierce or collect a distribute the troops and reinforce the holes.
Ambiance : From time to time, the cavaliers charge in the melee and destroys enemy lines. There a guy who fell on the floor, he's stamped by the troops and cries.
Step 4 : Siege weapon attack
Timer : 15 min Music : Z_Epique-Babel The peasants start to drive the soldiers back. They regroup next to the Siege weapon that was concealed in a nearby forest. So the soldiers decide to destroy the mill to punish them or lead them to yield. A small trebuchet (Couillard) starts shooting around the mill. Trying to aim at it. It break a house in one shot.
Peasant side : Shoot burning arrows at the Couillard. Or any other smart way to destroy it.
Soldiers side : Help the Couillard aim right, if one of the players has a related capacity. Prepare a burning projectile instead of a rock one, the fire spreads to the mill.
Ambiance : Some people are trying to hold their house together.
Result. If the players have 3 win out of 4. Their side wins. If not, the other side wins.
Soldiers win : The Bourgmestre is taken captive and he yields. Alternatively, the mill is destroyed. The peasants fight in a non-cohesive way and loose.
If the players where on this side, the Captain Beaudry wants to help them. If they know about Oldaric he introduces them to his cousin who lives in the castle. If they don't know about Oldaric, he owes them a Favour.
Peasants win : The Captain fall off his horse. He's quickly surronded and yields.
If the players where on this side, the Bourgmestre owe them a Favour. They can collect anytime before the end of the scenario. The feats associated with the Favour are at your discretion.
Ambiance : Some people from the losers are moaning on the ground and some peasants come to collect their weapons and clothes. Stabbing some of them. Very few dead in the end.
The food store was pillaged and burned. Everyone cries and start accusing each others.
Part 3 Dancing Plague
- Normal : Z_Normal-Bruit-Noir
Oldaric will trigger a dancing mania in the city : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_mania Your goal is to find Oldaric
- The First dancer : Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem
- 15min They see one person leave her home and dance at the center of the city Music : Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem
His family follows him and try to cover him for the rain. They seem desperate to help him. They try to stop him, to wake him up. In reality this one and the few first ones are actors paid by Oldaric. The point being to trigger an actual Dancing mania.
- 30min There's about five people dancing. People are closing their doors and isolating themselves. Music : Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem
Some people try to catch one of them to feed him. A lot of them start coughing, they are completely wet.
- 45min There's 30 people dancing, they moan, some scream like zombies, one of them is wonded, and he damagnes his wound as he dances. Music : Eros A lot of people pray for them.
- 60min They are about a hundred one quarter of the village is dancing One person falls to the ground Music : Eros he keeps crawling. And says "Help me. We will dance. We will all dance."
People stop caring. They lock themselves in to survive.
- 75min The remaining villageers are angry and hang Evelyne for revenge. Trigger the flower in the lake event.
- 100min Music : Eros
The next day, the village is empty, everyone dances. All playres roll, the one with the lowest result dances also (that's the punishment for not ending the track). In the meantime he can play the Bourgmestre, who helps the players.
The goal is to find Oldaric's hideout (or oldaric’s new hideout if they already found it the first time)
One by one, people will start to go on the village center and dance. This is a revenge from Oldaric, he wants to starve them, trigger a dancing plague and eventually kill all of them.
Everyone dances, except Evelyne
They read through inquisition registry, it seems to have happened before. Long time ago in a not related setting. It's a disease for the soul, nothing magical.
He is not at his home, because that's where they found the devil bread.
Action : They ask people who knew oldaric if he had a special place to meet Evelyne Yes, there was an old broken house in the forest where they used to meet. They see a lot of withered flowers. LOTS of them, so many varieties. Barils even. Anything of value was stolen. Empty drawers, empty coffers.
Action : Ask someone who knew Oldaric, why so many flowers ? Because he was very found of the language of flowers. That was the way to send him secret messages with evelyne.
Not long after learning that. Or if they never learn that, after 30 min it happens anyway. They see a bucket of white flowers in the center of the town, where people dance.
Action : Spy to see who puts them At night, someone put white flowers on them.
They catch the guy, he was a cousin and friend of Oldarichis name is Blondel Lefol
He says he's doing that to appease Oldaric because he knew the language of flowers very well and those flowers means "calm down" "reconciliation" https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corbeille_d%27argent
Action : Ask him how could we contact/find Oldaric ? He says : let's put a lot of flowers in the middle of the town, to push him to meet. Several choices : Corbeille d'Argent : "calm down" "reconciliation" Anagallis : "appointment" Cyprès : "grieving" , "ethernal friendship" Nemophile : "Forgiveness" Red Tulip : "eternal love" Achillée : "War" Rhododendron : "Danger" (check that all those flowers grow in france)
(If evelyne is killed or if they threaten her life, this starts right away) Once they do that, the little water streams starts to be filled with withered https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycoris_(plante) It means deaths. Eros Necropsique - La voix
Actions : Some flowers got caught in the sides of the water stream, so they can go upstream and see where he dropped them. Also he droppped some flowers on the ground by mistake at this spot.
It comes from a house. Bourgmestre's house.
The table is set in fine silver cutlery.
On the table there's a withered flower Anagallis means "appointment"
On the table, there's a pitcher of hypocras (laced with mandragora) and Candles on the table (important to mention it)
The players have to drink it. They then fall asleep.
Part 4 The appointment
Before they drink the wine
- Music : Z_Normal-Bruit-Noir
In the streets
- Music : Z_Flippan-Dark World
- 15min - Resist song : One roll There's a flash of light, and they see a skeleton with a dark hood hugging the player who has the squeletal coin.
- 30min - Resist song : One roll Some withered flower petals fall. Flower that means death. They can hear clearly someone playing Psaltery. Overlay music (on top of other music) : Prince of Darkness
- 45min - Resist song : Two rolls If they haven't found the central place yet. Overlay music (on top of other music) : Behelith They see the a skeletal women dancing with withered flowers in her hairs. It's Evelyne. They can follow her to the central place. Evelyne dies if she didn't die previously.
- Music : Z_Baston-Skeleton Dance
- 5min - Resist song : One roll A black rain starts pouring.
- 10min - Resist song : One roll Some dancers crawl to them and grab their feets.
- 15min - Resist song : Two rolls the town starts burning black flames. (the town burns IRL also)
- 20min - Resist song : Two rolls the sun is rising, but it's an eclipse sun. They feel it's rays are painful.
- 25min - All the players dance.
Resist Song : Rule Except those with the Courage feat. They have to do something like cover their ears or anything relevant or it's an auto fail. Roll die 6. 1 = Fail First fail : Get the Drowsy feat Second fail : They lose control and dance
The players go to the Bourgmestre's house, where the table is set. Wine is served. A mix of Hippocras mixed with Mandragora. To meet him, they have to drink. Candles on the table (important to mention it) They fall asleep.
They're now drunk and start hallucinating.
It's completely dark, they don't see a thing.
Action : There are candles on the table. They should remember that. There's a firestriker next to the fireplace. They should find it.
The candle light is very dim. Extremely dim. And the flame dances like someone's breathing. Also, the light seems to diminish slowly.
They had a blackout, they completely forgot the way to go to the town center. Unless one of them have Total Memory. Also, the light is really too dim, they barely see a thing.
Action: Follow the biggest road or follow the sound of the river. Or anything else that makes sense.
Finally they find the town center.
Lots of light, like it's a party.
Most people are crawling on the floor trying to dance. Some are still walking.
They speak one by one telling a poem.
"Talent and lov', was his will." "Heart bleeding he begged the moon" "He who sups with the devil" "should have had a longer spoon." "Dance with us now." "You will be spared." "Dance with us now." "Dance with us now." "Dance with us now." "Dance with us now." "Dance with us now."
The music is very intense here, they have to do much more rolls. But they can't see him.
Action : One of the dancers mimics a violin. When they kill him, Oldaric appears.
A skeleton wiht a Psaltery, he walks out of the small river. Now they can see Oldaric as a squeleton and fight him.
Action : Either the players have a quality Combat (Duel) or They need to find a smart way to kill him. he dodges all their attacks. His shadow doesn't move though. They should strike where his shadow is.
If they defeated him :
He says : "He who sups with the devil" "should have had a longer spoon."
Music : (fast start) Light of the Seven (EP 10 Trial scene)
All the dancers start to scream and cover their ears. Some start scarting their face with their nails.
They peel their faces off until all that's left is a bloody skull then they attack the players and dismember them.
Then it all turns black.
When hey wake up, they have some vomit at the mouth and they're in the town center. Oldaric is dead. but he's an actual guy, not a skeleton. His skin is soaked though. And he has a skeletal psaltery.
(part of the village may have burned, if they reached the black rain part, evelyne may be alive or dead.)
A large portion of the villagers are dead. But not everyone.
If they all dance :
Music : (fast start) Light of the Seven (EP 10 Trial scene)
They dance, they dance for what seems an eternity. Then the dancers starts going toward them and pull them apart. Then it's all black.
When they wake up, they are in a monastery. They have been dancing for a week, but the inquisition found them. The town is wiped out. They don't gain the Psaltery.
Epilogue 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 take more time to comb the woods and they find Oldaric's actual hideoout, they find real food, clothes etc... Villages start to talk. Some of them where actually paid to pretend a dancing mania. The point was to trigger an actual dancing mania, and it worked.
Some people also knew about Evelyne meeting with him and her way of pretending she was posessed.
As well as poems written by him.
A solid proof that he was alive this whole time.
Evelyne and Oldaric's accomplices ran away just after the event.
Among his stuff, they find an invitation to a bal masqué called the "Danse macabre"
But there is no place on the invitation but there is a date, it's in more than six months.