Danse Macabre Part 6
- 1 Teaser
- 2 Intro - Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Avenionensium
- 3 Part 1 Intrigue in Avignon
- 4 Part 2 Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Avenionensium
- 5 Part 3 The Labyrinth of Paper
- 6 Epilogue
- 7 Fun Facts
Send to the players before the game :
10 January 1348, Avignon (Papal States) Most Holy Father, all your life you have served our Lord. Thus, it is without mistrust that you followed death when it came for you. Did you not see the black claws hidden under her dress? Who will now be able to deliver you from this satanic trap? ⚜️⚜️⚜️💀💀💀
10 janvier 1348, Avignon (États pontificaux) Très Saint Père, toute votre vie vous avez servi notre seigneur. Ainsi, c’est sans méfiance que vous avez suivi la mort quand elle est venu vous chercher. N'avez vous pas vu les griffes noires dissimulées sous sa robe ? Qui pourra à présent vous délivrer de ce piège satanique ? ⚜️⚜️⚜️💀💀💀
Intro - Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Avenionensium
- Initial situation :
- Date : 10 January 1348
- Location : Avignon (Papal States)
Before the game begin, let your players know that they should all have Immune (disease) Feat, which explains why they are still alive. If any payer doesn't have it, starting from this scenario he has to roll a die 6 on the beguinning of each scenarios, 5 or 6 he lives, anything else, he has the plague and dies.
After the events in Marseilles, the players are summoned to Avignon. After one week of travel, they arrive in Avignon the 10th of January 1348.
Few days later, the 10th of January, they are summoned by the pope.
He received a letter signed by Cardinal Élie de Nabinal dated from this morning saying that they murdered Agoust Louis des Beaux and asking that he is excommunicated, there is do doubt that the letter is genuine.
The Pope is supportive, but he still deserves an explanation.
Music : Z_Normal-Palais des Papes
The 10th of January, they are summoned by the pope.
Description of the palace of the Pope :
There could not be a more beautiful ensemble in its simplicity, more grandiose in its design. It is indeed the entire Papacy, standing, sublime, immortal, spreading its majestic shadow over the river of nations and centuries that rolls at its feet.
On ne saurait concevoir un ensemble plus beau dans sa simplicité, plus grandiose dans sa conception. C'est bien la papauté tout entière, debout, sublime, immortelle, étendant son ombre majestueuse sur le fleuve des nations et des siècles qui roule à ses pieds.
The players pass by a massive gate, lots of people amassed at the entrance, but the guards don't let anybody in because of the plague.
The players are greeted by the doctor of the Pope "Guy de Chauliac" He forbids the players from approaching the pope, he meet them in front of his chambers and they talk through a door. With perfume being burned in the whole room. Guy de Chauliac explains the relation between the current outbreak and the Justinian Plague.
He opens the door and has a letter in his hand. The Cardinal is here too in a corner.
Music : The Ringed City - Dark Souls III
Christendom is torn by god's wrath, countless people are dying in the streets of Marseilles every day and the masses are hungry for answers. You belong to the most holy inquisition and have to live up to its name. I have received this letter, signed by the Cardinal Élie de Nabinal accusing you of the murder of Agout Louis des Baux with the complicity of Hugues des Baux and demanding your immediate excommunication. I give you a week to resolve the matter with his Eminence of Nabinal, after which I will have to agree to his request.
La chrétienté est déchirée par le fléau de Dieu, d'innombrables personnes meurent chaque jour dans les rues de Marseille et le peuple demande des réponses. Vous faites partie de la très sainte inquisition et vous devez être à la hauteur de son nom. J'ai reçu cette lettre, signée par le cardinal Élie de Nabinal ici présent, vous accusant du meurtre d'Agout Louis des Baux avec la complicité de Hugues des Baux et demandant votre excommunication immédiate. Je vous laisse une semaine pour résoudre ce problème avec son Eminence de Nabinal, après quoi serait contraint d'accéder à sa requête.
The Cardinal says :
It is all true Most Holy Father, I saw them with my own eyes commit this henious crime in a church in Marseilles.
C'est exacte Très Saint-Père, je les ais vu de mes yeux commetre cette acte audieux dans une des églises de Marseilles.
The Cardinal seems very uncomfortable.
The players have just one sentence to say before the pope goes back to his room. Here they can use some Feats if they have to demonstrate that they are innocent. They have this one chance. The players should find a way out of the accusation. Either using a skill, or using proof. What proof do they have ?
Cardinal de Nabinal wasn’t even in Marseilles at the time. But right now they can’t prove it.
Either they use a skill right now, or they have to prove their innocence in the coming section.
- Explanations :
Tancrède le Bon, The Valet of Cardinal Élie de Nabinal is "the cardinal"
His ring allows him to use Necromancy on the grave of Jean XXII. He uses this power for two things : First he need to steal the right books and send them to the alchemist "the pope" who is right now in Austrial. And he uses this power to try to get rid of the players.
- Unsolved mysteries :
- Historical themes :
-Vatican Secret Archives
-Pope Jean XXII
Part 1 Intrigue in Avignon
- Normal : Z_Normal-Palais des Papes
|Ambiance Track |
|5 min||They see a painter Mattéo Giovanetti painting the walls in avignong. He paints an army of devils coming to Avignon. He watches the players super anxiously. He says : Are the rumours true ? The Death is coming to Avignong ? I pray that the sancity of these walls will keep the horror at bay. They hear some couhing in the distance.|
|15 min||They pass through a corridor and notice that all the people who pass by them avoid them and keep a very safe distance.
The word spread that they came from Marseille, so people avoid them.
|30 min||There's a Cardinal packing all his things, he is leaving Avignon. The pope told everyone who wanted to leave that they can. He decided to leave. The pope decided to stay, this is madness, everyone told him to leave.|
|45 min||While the players are eating, they open a piece of bread, and it is hollow. The middle of the bread there's a small clay figure of a skeleton pope. If Knowledge (heresy) they know that there was a witchcraft attempt on previous pope John XXII with a clay figure. Everyone at the table is terrified.|
|60 min||There's a guard coughing, he falls on his face. Dead of the plague. Francesco Petrarca is walking by.
"behold, I am She, whom they, fierce, and blind, and cruel name, Who meet untimely deaths;" She is coming, she is coming ! "'twas I did make Greece subject, and the Roman Empire shake;" Death is coming ! She is coming !
"Je suis l’importune et la cruelle que vous appelez sourde et aveugle, ô vous pour qui il fait nuit avant le soir." Elle arrive elle arrive ! "De mon glaive qui frappe et tranche, j’ai conduit à leur fin la race grecque et la race troyenne, et en dernier lieu, les Romains," La mort arrive ! Elle arrive.
They meet Francesco Petrarca the famous poet.
|75 min||They meet Guy de Chauliac in the corridors, he stumbles and lay on a wall. He sweats a lot and stared blankly at the players. He says that he is the greatest physician of his time, but the devil got to him anyway. He says he need to finish his masterpiece, Chirurgia Magna, but he had so little time to even start it.|
|90 min||Scene of the Assassins. But Four assassins instead of Two.|
Accused of Murder
After the audience, the cardinal looks terrified. The players have to find a way to prove their innocence.
Reasoning with the cardinal
Either they go to the cardinal by themselves, or he sends them a letter.
He explains that he had no choice but doesn’t say anything more, their goal is to find leverage on him and/or prove their innocence.
Prove their innocence : either they use a skill, or they find out that he was not in Marseilles, but in Aix en Provence preparing the arrival or the Queen Jeanne. The proof, they have a signed document by the barons of Provence who say they will greet her.
They can try to use this as leverage against him, in which case he will simply withdraw his accusation. But it’s not a strong enough leverage to have him talk.
They have to find a way, any way to obtain this information. For example they can ask his valet Tancrède le Bon , he doesn't want to talk to them and he will lie, saying that indeed he was in Marseille, but his lies are not convincing, so they understand that he indeed wasn't in Marseille.
Tancrède le Bon is "the cardinal" of course he won't carry the ring on his hand most of the time, but he isn't a Trickster, so players will see that he lies and hides stuff, but they do'nt have the power to kill or imprison him (because he is protected by his cardinal)
Or they can ask his scribe who will say that indeed he wasn't in Marseille.
Once they confront him with this truth, he will withdraw his accusation.
Then his valet Tancrède le Bon will come to them and explain that he is haunted by a very powerful ghost. He says he saw this card on his table one morning.
The dead pope
A card with a skeleton pope on it and one sentence : Remember Carcassonne . (Jean XXII was part of a big inquisition trial against Fraticelli in Carcasonne and he knew things about Élie de Nabinal that he use as blackmail. Elie de Nabinal was promoted by John XII because of his fight against Fraticelli)
The valet Tancrède le Bon doesn't know what this means and try to avoid the discussion.
Any player with Knowledge (heresy) will know what it means.
Otherwise they have to search the past of Elie de Nabinal where they see that Jean XXII gave him the title of "Master" in 1331 because of his fight against Fraticelli in Carcasonne.
If they ask to check the records from that trial. They are told that the records disappeared ! Some documents disappeared ! This is unacceptable !
Music : XenogearsZenoParadoxLightfromtheNetherworldsEBison then Z_Baston-Le diable est dans la boite
The same night two assasins come through a secret passage, even the pope wasn't aware of this secret passage. Fight in the night.
The assasins are wearing worn crusaders armours, they don't recognise the heraldry, except that of Aimeric de Cros, a knight who fought alongside John XXII.
One has a flail and shield, the other has a crusader longsword and a shield. All those equipments have been stolen from dead nobles burried in Avignon
Two players need to have Combat (duel) to defeat both of them. If one or two of them aren't defeated, they stab one or two random players with their poisoned weapons. Immune (poison) or death for the player in question.
Élie de Nabinal is assassinated on that night 12th of January. He dies of the plague. (The players can’t prove he was assassinated)
Part 2 Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Avenionensium
- Normal : Z_Normal-Cathédrale Silencieuse
|Ambiance Track |
|5 min||A grand mass is organised to honour Cardinal Elie de Nabinal. The bells ring three times three strokes to announce his death.
Music : Epique désespéré 10 - Requiem, K.626, Lacrimosa (Mournful Day) There's a grand procession. The grand room is lit with candles and incense. They can either attend or search the palace (until the music is finished). During this time the archives are closed, but most other rooms are open. If they search the room of the Cardinal (which is also the room of his valet) they find : Below the bed there's a Book "Ars Magna by Ramon LLul" inside it there is a letter from Pope XXII to Gasbert de Valle congratulating him for the construction of the palace of the Popes . It is disturbing because Ramon LLul is very controvertial, in between alchemy and witchcraft.
In the chimney there are lots of letters who were burned. Only few words are sill readable : "Returned". "Soul". "Sin" And
"Your Illustrious Lordship's most faithful servant, Elie Cardinal de Nabinal"
"Le plus fidèle serviteur de Votre Illustre Seigneurie, Elie Cardinal de Nabinal"
(this is an address that you give to a pope as a cardinal, nobody else)
|15 min||Alchemy : Some books disappeared : Liber de compositione alchimiae, De investigatione perfectionis (Geber), De mineralibus (Albart Magnus), Opus maius (Roger Bacon), The book of Abraham the Jew. And most importantly L’élixir des philosophes and L'art transmutatoire. Nobody knew those books were here ! Except the pope himself and the librarian. Also, the rumours says that it was John XXII who wrote "L’élixir des philosophes" and "L'art transmutatoire". The librarian explains that for some reason, the pope seemed passionate about alchemy, and at some point in his life he made a bull to ban alchemy ! Very strange.
Also They receive a letter for Guy de Chaulliac, he is critically ill and begs them to leave.
(If didn't solve the plague issue : 5 bishops caught the plague. Only bishops died ! Nobody else. They saw a blue light in their room)
|30 min||Templar books disappeared : Accounting books taken from some Templar commanderies, Liber Consolamenti (Secret rule of the Templars), Some letters and script of the trials some Bulls from John XXII. The librarian explains that the pope helped create lots of orders in Europe in the ashes of the templars. For example the order of Montesa in Spain or the order of Christ in Portugal.
(If didn't solve the plague issue : 7 bishops caught the plague, 3 who had it died. Only bishops died ! Nobody else. Music : Hail This Nightmare - BloodBorne One of them confessed the he heard a ghost of Jean XXII)
|35 min||Witchcraft and Jewish Magic books disappeared : Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm (Picatrix), Sepher Raziel HaMalakh (The Book of Raziel the Archangel) All those books are about Jewish magic and magic in general. John XXII made several bulls against the Jews.|
|40 min||Witchcraft and Jewish Magic books disappeared : Liber Semamphoras. He informs the players that he saw someone sleep on the grave of John XXII, but he ran away.|
|45 min||Witchcraft and Jewish Magic books disappeared : Sepher ha-Razim, The Sword of Moses. The Librarian explains that the pope was targeted several times by sorcerers and he is the first one to decrete witchcraft as being heretical. But at the same time he collected books about magic !
(If didn't solve the plague issue : 15 Bishops caught the plague, 5 who had it died. Music : Hail This Nightmare - BloodBorne One Bishop suicided jumped by his window.)
|50 min||Heresy and Death books disappeared : Summa sacre magice Book about summoning the devil|
|55 min||Heresy and Death books disappeared : Ars Notoria about summoning the devil|
|60 min||Heresy and Death books disappeared : Liber Juratus Honorii (Sworn Book of Honorius) a Necromancy Grimoire, lots of letters about the Beatific vision. All those books are about summoning the devil or summoning death herself. The librarian explains that Pope XXII in his late life had a very strange theory about Death, for which he was criticez as being a heretic. In his point of view, people don't go to heaven just after death. First they are just in the embrace of death. He was called the heretic pope several times.
|75 min||Gold, the Fratichelli and the antichrist : All documents about the Fratichelli trials disappeared. The Librarian explains that the pope was in favour of the church being rich which opposed him to the Franciscan Fratichelli, and he was called overtly as being the antichrist. And for some reason he became insanely rich, much richer than a pope should be at some point in his life.
(If didn't solve the plague issue : 50 Bishops caught the plague, 20 who had it died. All the remaining bishops run away Avignon is mostly empty.)
|90 min||They hear the voice of John XXII and see his ghost go to the archives. All players roll a die 6, if 1 or 2 they run away (unless Courage).|
Some documents were stolen in the secret archives ! This is unacceptable ! A Cardinal died in strange circumstances, this is very strange too ! Too many death from the plague, they have to do something !
The players have to protect the archives the best they can and prevent the plague from spreading.
Basic Protection from the Plague
4 Bishops are bedridden, they caught the plague. Nobody else, no cardinals, no servants, just bishops.
Action : Mass is forbidden an people have to isolate
Anything else that makes sense
Nothing stops the plague
Bishops continue catching the plague (of course, that's not how the plague spreads in real life... so isolating people is useless)
They notice that their rooms are super cold and there's ice on the floor. They didn't notice it before, because : Before isolating them in their room, they would aerate their rooms during the day, now they can't.
(In particular it's "the cardinal's" goal to weaken the papacy as much as he possibly can, so he sneaks in he rooms of the people he wants to kill and talks to them Disguised at John XXII.)
The players must understand that "the cardinal" enters through the window.
Action : Barricading the windows is the solution or guarding the outside is ok too.
Securing the Archives
Each X minutes some books disappear.
Some books are in a log, but the vast majority arent. Way too many books to transfer out of avignon. Also the pope doesn't want too much noise about it.
They cannot condemn the access, because the pope has to send some new books or bulls or letters regularly.
Like everyone else, they can request access but they have to say exactly what they want to read.
Security system : There are guards fulltime by the door, just one entrance.
There's a librarian. To get a book, you need some kind of written authorisation and a password.
This password changes every week and depends on the sections (same system since Jean XXII). Very few people know the system.
The librarian gives a key that depends on the section.
Most books are chained, so when a chain is broken they know a book have been stolen. Then the librarian knows the names sometimes, sometimes he doesn't.
Action : Lock the most sensitive books / books about alchemy somewhere else. Not possible, too many of them.
Action : Ask the Librarian to make a list of all the people he let in in the past month. He say he will need some time. Then he dies of the plague before he is finished.
Action : Ask to simply shut down the archives The pope refuses, it's impossible.
Action : Change the password system. He will get a very "low security" password and still access the best books by picking/breaking locks.
Action : Let one of the players guard the entrance and ask for the librarian to write the names of people goign to the archives. Books missing. One of the locks have been broken. No suspicious names in the list of people. (the name of the valet of the cardinal is in the list but it's normal because the cardinal asked him to go archive some documents, also he goes throuogh the secret passage, so his name doesn't appear too many times)
Action : Search everyone leaving the archive It's actually useless because he hides the books in an alcove and will unload all of them in one night through the window.
Action that works :
Action : Ask one guard to follow each person in the archives and check the name match guard x person
Action : People need to ask for a document and only the librarian go fetch it then record it. Books still disappear, it's proof that there's another access, secret passage.
Finding the secret passage
How to find the secret passage ? There's dust on the ground, but not nearly enough.
Action : If they try to study the plans of the floor there's no chance to find it. Because no precise plan exist.
Action : Tracker can work.
Action : Anything that makes sense is ok
Action : Knock on every walls until one of them sound empty. is ok.
Action : Pour water as much as they can and see where it exfiltartes is ok too.
They found a secret passage that leads to the archives that's where he was held !
That's when all the torches are blown
Part 3 The Labyrinth of Paper
- Normal : Z_Baston-Skeleton Dance
|Ambiance Track |
|5 min||They hear the crying voice of the Pope.
"Alas, I have to lead the dance, Should I go first, I who am the very incarnation of God?"
"Hélas! Faut-il que je mène la danse, Que j'aille le premier, moi qui suis l'incarnation même de Dieu?"
They look around, impossible to tell where the voice come from, they realise that they are in a HUGE maze of books. Bigger than a city. Books as far as the eye can see.
|15 min||They hear the crying voice of the Pope.
"I was the highest authority In the church and Saint Peter; But Death came to get me like all the others."
"J'ai eu la plus haute dignité En l'église, comme saint Pierre; Mais la Mort vient me quérir comme tous les autres."
They see a HUGE scroll with written on it : "The Trial of the Templars". Next to it they see a pendent with a huge dog teeth, relic of "Saint Christopher" a Relic lost to mankind, because St Christopher is a man dog and he church doesn' accept that. They can take it if they want. (but then the player needs to take the Feat "Relic" and Prowess "Enrage (self)" or "Tracker")
|30 min||They hear the crying voice of the Pope.
"I don't care about dying yet, But Death is at war with everyone. Honour, which passes so quickly, is worth little!"
"Je ne me soucie pas encore de mourir, Mais la Mort fait la guerre à tous. Il vaut peu, l'honneur qui passe si vite!"
There's a corpse in the archives, in a cage. He is intact didn't even decay.
|45 min||There's a Huge book that falls on a random player, he is "Wounded" this book's title is : Biblical apocrypha|
|60 min||There's a dried corpse a very weird creature that looks like an imp (actually it's a fake). Anyone without "Courage" who see it roll 1 or 2 and they go "Insane"|
|75 min||A complete bookshelf is pushed on the players, anyone with a 1 or 2 is "Wounded".|
|90 min||They finally catchup with the Pope. But a random player is stabbed in the heart by the Pagan demon, instant death.|
They hear a voice which is not Human, sounds like someone talking backwards.
"I have always known this and I have suffered for it, There is neither heaven nor hell. Only death. The heretic Pope was right. I was right."
"Je l'ai toujours su et l'on m'en as fait reproches, Il n'y ni paradis, ni enfer. Seul la mort. Le Pape hérétique avait raison. J'avais raison."
They see the skeleon of Jean XXII walking by in the archives in a blue halo. (it's just "the cardinal" Disguised as Jean XXII)
He when through a gate which is locked (actually he has the key, made a copy of it)
Action : Lockpicking or some strength feats
"I dedicated my life, to hunting and burning heretics. But he avenged them. Harshly."
"Ma vie entière j'ai chassé et brulé les hérétiques. Mais il les as vengé. Terriblement vengé."
A torch is knocked over and start to burn books. They have to extinguish the fire !
Action : Unless they have a better idea, the only thing they can do is isolate the fire from other books. using a cover of hitting the flame of peeing on it or whatever won't work. But for example is they have "Well Prepared" they have enough water on them. They don't have time to go fetch water or whatever unless they have the "Agile" feat.
"I enjoyed riches beyond imagination ! Yet death came to get me, like all the others."
"J'ai joui de richesses que vous ne pouvez pas même imaginer ! Mais la Mort vient me quérir comme tous les autres."
They see him go through a bookshelf, actally there's a secret passage.
Inside the Archives, Jean XXII had walled a section. e.g. there's no way to reach it unless you know the right secret passage. It's a narrow passage between two shelves.
There's a statue of him on a column near that bookshelf. The statue has a big purse (players need to ask)
Action : Press on the purse It unlocks the secret door.
"I absolved countless Templars, yet it is one of theirs who condemned my soul."
"J'ai absous d'innombrables Templiers, pourtant c'est l'un des leurs qui a condamné mon âme."
The book shelfs get closer and closer and there's an army of hands with chainmail (he Disguised people as templars)
Action : Some smart way to pass through for each players or they get Wounded
"I deflected so many spells, defused so many plots. Alas, all but the last one. In the end, he won. He always win."
"J'ai brisé tant de sorts, défais tant d'intrigues. Hélas, toutes sauf la dernière. A la fin, il a gagné. Il gagne toujours."
Someone disguised as a demon appears, he has a long flaming sword made of chicken bones
Action : unless Combat (monster) need some smart way to take him down
"The Fratricelli were right. Greed became my downfall. My obsession for the philosopher's stone attracted the wrong attention. When I realised who this Alchemist was, it was too late. I have been chasing him ever since. And in death, he found me."
"Les Fratricelli avaient raison. L'avidité a causé ma perte. Mon obsession pour la pierre philosophale a attiré l'attention de la mauvaise personne. Quand j'ai réalisé qui était cet Alchimiste, il était trop tard. Depuis, je n'ai eu de cesse de le pourchasser. Et après ma mort, c'est lui qui m'a trouvé."
There's a huge Alchemy Lab inside the hidden part of the archives with all the books he confiscated. Proof that the pope was also an alchemist.
There are tons of tiny wires attached to lots of vials, if they touch the wires, some acid or burning or poisonous vials fall on them.
"Eye for Detail" allow safe passage, same for "Clarivoyance" or "Reflexes" but they can at most help one person pass through.
"You who live: it is certain, Sooner or later, you will dance. Think on what you will do then. My torment is over, Free me, I beg you"
"Vous qui vivez: il est certain, Quoique cela tarde, que vous danserez. Réfléchissez à ce que vous ferez alors. Ma peine se termine, Je vous prie, libérez moi."
Several flying pigeons flew away with pages of a book. They can take down one of them, the last one that he release, but that's it, other are gone already they see five cages of pigeons already used.
The pages he sent are taken from an alchemy book, this book references and transcribes pages of the "Book of the Acts of Solomon" This book is a missing biblical text ! (e.g. mentioned in the bible but missing) So he sent the last remaining copies of some parts of this book using those carrier pigeons.
He doesn't resist, they can kill him, he drunk poison anyway.
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
At the end of the scenario, hey figure that the pigeons he sent were bound to Neuberg, the abbey they visited at the first episode !!
And few days later, the 25th of January 1348, a HUGE earthquake shakes the entire region and destroys countless citizes and monasteries in the region.
At the end of the plague, 9 cardinals and 100 bishops died, it has never been seen in the history of Christendom.
By cross referencing with other books, they reaslie that the passage in question in the book was about the Opus Magnum and the Albedo (Oeuvre au Blanc) which is the second step of the realisation of the philosopher's stone, after the Nigredo (oeuvre au noir)
More infos about the Book of the Acts of Solomon who is a biblical lost text : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Solomon
XXXX Why so many pageans help "he cardinal" near avignon ???
The vatican secret archives are indeed 85km long https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_Apostolic_Archive
Pictures of the palace of Popes in Avignon : http://jaimelafrance.tourisme.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Avignon5-750x563.jpg
More infos on the book of the acts of Solomon, the missing biblical text : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Solomon
Why so many secret passages ? Because Gasbert de Valle was indeed the archiect of the Palace of the Popes.