Danse Macabre Part 3

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Send to the players before the game :

 2nd of August 1345, Coy (Kingdom of Murcia, Crown of Castille)
 With faded tulips in her hair she dances every week.
 Her soul was the prize for her immortal love.
 How many will be the victims of her selfish heart ?
 2 Août 1345, Coy (Royaume de Murcie, Couronne de Castille)
 Avec des tulipes fanées dans les cheveux elle danse toutes les semaines.
 Son âme fut le prix pour son amour immortel.
 Mais nombreux seront les victimes de son coeur égoïste

Intro - The Skeleton Violinist[edit]

  • Initial situation :
    • Date : 2nd of August 1346
    • Location : Coy is a small town near the Castle of Lorca, Kingdom of Murcia, Crown of Castille.

There's a little water stream in the town

A vast shipment of poison was sent to this tiny town. Players rushed as fast as they could on scene.

When they arrive, they see a gallow with a peasant ready to be hanged. The peasant has his feets on a small stool.

Music : (fast start) Light of the Seven (EP 10 Trial scene)

"By decree of Sancho Manuel de Villena Señor Consort of Coy and warden of Lorca, the follow crimes will now be punishable by death :

-Any suspition of cedition against the crown of Castille

-Any refusal to pay taxes

-Any practice of islamic rites

-Any nocturnal visits to the necropolis of Coy

Any and all offender will be hanged by the Señorial guard."

After 00:39 (music time) the person who is about to hang start twitching.

He manages to free his hands and he starts smiling.

Then he start dancing on the stool.

Everyone is shocked.

And after a while he falls from the stool and hangs.

As he is hanging, he continues dancing for a long long time.

A time way too long, peasants start screming : "It's the curse !" "La Dama de blanco will take us all !"

He should be dead already, until the soldiers stab him with a spear and he slowly dies.

When the other peasants see that, they say. It's the "curse" When asked about it, they say the curse brings lots of misery.

The crops are rotting, the harvest isn't good. A "Dama de blanco" appears every weeks between friday and saturday near the necropolis (below the ruins of teh islamic castle). A skeletal violinist is spotted sometimes in the ruins of the castle. (explain that in this period violins don't existe yet, so it's actually a ministrel and his instrument is a Kemenche, an islamic violin) The ladies are ugly. Some children disappear and lots of unborn childs.

  • Explanations :

Hernando Locura was in love with Beatriz, but his father Juan Madraso wanted to marry her to the Bourgmestre instead. 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 Hernando was at his worst, an individual approached him and explained 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 Hernando 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 Hernando 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 Hernando 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 dancing plague is starting (with bribed actors) a hence triggering a collective hysteria.

He also explains him a way for him to see Beatriz, she would have to pretend sleepwalking.

Obviously Hernando did not imagine this plan, but the individual asked him to do it anyway to get his revenge. When Hernando 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. Whether he succeeds or not, his goal is not to kill them.

  • Unsolved mysteries :

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 :

Peasant life


Dancing Plagues

Ergot fungus poisoning

Peasant revolts

Language of Flowers

War between Castille and Aragon


Part 1 Midnight Dance[edit]

  • 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.

Ambiance Track
15 min 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.

30 min 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. There's a small carper for muslim prayers folded in a corner. The sick peasant see the players then scream "No ! No Dancing ! No Dancing ! No Dancing !" 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.

45 min 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 « No ! No Dancing ! No Dancing ! No Dancing ! » Music : Chant_Entrapment-8 He is caught very quickly.

If the players search him, he have a tissue handkerchief with bread crumbs on it.

60 min There's a child lost in the woods. His parents tried to get rid of him. But he came back. They see he has a toy of "Pedro El Cruel" ridiculised.
75 min A Priest gathered lots of people in a large hut. They all start laughing incontrolably and say "No Dancing ! No Dancing ! No Dancing !" 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.

90 min 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 women dancing. Like a ghost.

She dances next to the Necropolis and the ruins of a muslim castle.

While she dances Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem

They approach and see that it's actually aliving lady. Called Beatriz de la Fuente, the Bougmestre's Fernando de la Fuente 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 does this white dress come from ? It is the same quality as the handkerchiefs, it was offered by Hernando as a gift after he died. But she'll always refuse to admit it and say it was a gift from him from before he died

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 Hernando Locura 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 Hernando Locura was a ministrel in love with Beatriz.

But he was drowned in the woods near the necropolis (close to the ruins of the muslim castle) then burried in the woods. (Beatriz's father killed him, because the local Bourgmestre was also in love with Beatriz and he wanted her to marry the Bourgmestre) And they broke his Psaltery (Psaltérion en français)

Actually Beatriz's father Juan Madraso 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 Hernando'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.

Part 2 Peasant revolt (optional)[edit]

  • 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 nearly to death and kick him out. They cry "Death to Pedro el Cruel !" 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 de Villena, 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 : Fernando de la Fuente

The peasants want to defend the illegal mill. They explain that Murca recently taken by Castille crown, but it has been part or Aragon and it was part of the kalifate of Granada before that. 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 two phases of his choice.

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 de Villena wants to help them. If they know about Hernando he introduces them to his cousin who lives in the castle. If they don't know about Hernando, 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[edit]

  • Normal : Z_Normal-Bruit-Noir

Hernando will trigger a dancing mania in the city : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_mania Your goal is to find Hernando

  • The First dancer : Prince of Darkness - Fire Emblem
Ambiance Track
15 min 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 Hernando. The point being to trigger an actual Dancing mania.

30 min 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.

45 min 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.
60 min 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.

75 min The remaining villageers are angry and hang Beatriz for revenge. Trigger the flower in the lake event.
90 min 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 Hernando's hideout (or Hernando’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 Hernando, he wants to starve them, trigger a dancing plague and eventually kill all of them.

Everyone dances, except Beatriz

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 Hernando if he had a special place to meet Beatriz' Yes, there was an old broken house in the forest where they used to meet.

In this house they see some traces that someone was here but moved his stuff. He took almost everything out. You do see a rough bed, some unfinished poems. And there's a very rich islamic vase full of withered flowers Anagallis.

There are also lots of flowers being hung to wither.

Action : inspect the vase closely. THere's the name of a dead islmaic lords. From 100 years ago. They don't know which one.

Action : Ask someone who knew Hernando, why so many flowers ? Because he was very found of the language of flowers. That was the way to send him secret messages with Beatriz. Anagalis means appointment.

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 / evergreen candytuft : "calm down" "reconciliation" Anagallis  : "appointment" Cyprès / cypress : "grieving" , "ethernal friendship" Nemophile : "Forgiveness" Red Tulip : "eternal love" Achillée / yarrows : "War" Rhododendron : "Danger" (check that all those flowers grow in spain)

Action : Use some flowers to setup an appointment. or if Beatriz is threatened or if they walk towers the castle (If Beatriz 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.

Action : (This is a possible shortcut if they think about it.) Search the old forteress. They see one wall which has Anagalis growing.

It comes from the fortress.

They open, it is an islamic treasure. With lots of skeletons in all corners. It was a feast room apparently.

The table is set in fine silver cutlery.

On the table there's a withered flower Anagallis means "appointment"

As soon as they sit on the table, the door is shut behind them and the room fills with smoke.

Part 4 The appointment[edit]

Ambiance Track[edit]

Before they drink the wine[edit]

  • Music : Z_Normal-Bruit-Noir

In the streets[edit]

  • 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 Beatriz. They can follow her to the central place. Beatriz dies if she didn't die previously.

Central Place[edit]

  • 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.

Scenario Track[edit]

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 (Le Vampire by Charles baudelaire)

(English Version)

Our form in the sun follows us, walks, stops,
Imitates our gestures and our steps,
Looks without seeing, listens and does not hear,
And must still crawl when we lift our heads.

Man is here below
But a bit of living night, a restless form
Who sees without penetrating, without inventing repeats,
And whispers to Fate: "I follow thee where thou goest. "

(French Version)

Notre forme au soleil nous suit, marche, s'arrête,
Imite gauchement nos gestes et nos pas,
Regarde sans rien voir, écoute et n'entend pas,
Et doit ramper toujours quand nous levons la tête.

L'homme n'est ici-bas
Qu'un peu de nuit vivante, une forme inquiète
Qui voit sans pénétrer, sans inventer répète,
Et murmure au Destin : « Je te suis où tu vas. »

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, Hernando appears.

A skeleton wiht a Psaltery, he walks out of the small river. Now they can see Hernando 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 got stuck for too long, their shadows start attacking them. Don't let them stuck on this ennigma

If they defeated him :

He says :

"Vous qui vivez: il est certain,"
"Quoique cela tarde, que vous danserez."
"Réfléchissez à ce que vous ferez alors."
"Ye that live: it is certain,"
"Though it tarry, you will dance."
"Consider what you will do then."

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.

Danse Macabre

When hey wake up, they have some vomit at the mouth and they're in the town center. Hernando is dead. but he's an actual guy, not a skeleton. His skin is soaked though. He has a well decorated psaltery and a cloack clasp in the shape of a harp : the Bone Harp. It is very clear that it is extremely precious.

(part of the village may have burned, if they reached the black rain part, Beatriz 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.

Danse Macabre

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 Hernando'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.

They find a contract signed in blood between Hernando and a certain "L" that details all he has to do to get his revenge.

Some people also knew about Beatriz 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.

Beatriz and Hernando's accomplices ran away just after the event.

Among his stuff, they find an invitation to a bal masqué called the "Danse macabre"

The masquerade is supposed to happen in November 1347 in Marseille.

Post Game Bonus[edit]

Send those to the players as a post game bonus :

As a bonus, here is more infos about the dancing plague in Strasbourg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_plague_of_1518 [1]

Here is a map of Spain during the Castille Civil War, in green the Grenada sultanate, below the orange arrow : The Castle or Lorca In blue : Aragon, In yellow : Castille [2]

The flag of Sancho Manuel de Vilena [3]

The Castle of Lorca [4]

Coy is still a small 500 person village in Spain and it's river is even a tourist attraction now [5]