Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Troubled journey (6): A closing trap

Pierrelatte (Dauphiné), night of 24th August 1713

Marquis de Vilana quickly inspected the deceased monk's pockets and took out a book of worn leather cover. A Bible. On the first page there was a brief inscription in Latin, in a large and neat handwriting. It was some kind of dedication:

"To Brother Dídac of the Langue of Aragon. May God keep you and guide you in your new position. In the Year of Our Lord 1696"

Then he had enough, he finally recalled the true identity of that old monk, whose pityful remains layed on the floor. That certainty hit him like a hammer. Of course he had known that old monk! But it had been in Catalonia, long ago. Even before the outbreak of war. His actual name was Brother Dídac of the Order of... But... what the hell had lead a person of his importance and position in that remote French town?

The pragmatic aspect of Vilana finally prevailed. They could no longer do anything for the deceased man, but had enough evidences for him to have been pursuing a goal shared to them. It was time to get some answers still... provided they had time enough for checking the monk's spartan holdings. He stared silently at Claire, who quickly understood and started thoroughly inspecting the room. Meanwhile, Vilana begun a sharp interrogatory to the still commoted Brother Adrien, with the aim of discarding him out as a crime suspect -or not.

At last, Claire managed to find some documents deliberately hidden in a pocket sewn to the inside of some spare habits. The girl also showed a metal symbol, consisting of an eight-pointed white cross on red background. A Maltese Cross. Evidences over evidences. Vilana took apart the young Brother Adrien with the aim of calmly debating with him, while Claire hurried to her own room to shed her blood stained clothes. She was still stuffing the contaminated dress into her luggage when perceived the sound of footsteps along the corridor.

A sudden male voice took her by surprise "Murder!", the voice loudly shouted. Claire cursed to herself: it was impossible for that to have already seen the old monk corpse, because they had his rooms firmly closed, and now she'd heard no sound of door opening. Actually, that cry of alarm was nearly a straight incrimination, especially if someone managed to unveal her blood stained clothes in her luggage. With the fatal premonition that a trap was about to close upon them, Claire opened her room's door and feigned a expression of surprise and fear.

One of the militiamen, of course. Who else?

Under her adopted role of a terrified scary lady, Claire's relentless feline mind coldly started calculating actions and chances.


abdul666 said...

'You have known worse, Claire!
But of course, you were alone,you had no charges to bother for, then...'

Jeroen72 said...

Hmm, i expect a another death soon...or a very tied up militiaman ;)

Soldadets said...

Best is yet to come, for sure! ...or worst, it depends.

Oddball said...

And don’t forget that “Misterious are the ways of the players and their characters”... Any roleplaying referee knows this painful true. And this adventure is another conclusive proof of this.

abdul666 said...

A nasty trap indeed, set with creativity and skill; to be saluted, from a 'professional' point of view. Did the author (there is a cunning *brain* behind such ambush; would be interesting to meet the person) intentionally manage to 'kill two birds with the same stone', or was De Vilana's party 'merely' unlucky enough to happen to be the 'sucker' to look as the culprits? Was De Vilana's cover pierced? Not that it changes much for the instant; ironically, they are not the ones in position to make a prisoner for later interrogation: life is whimsical... Will the 'other side' let leak some hint, such as referring to De Vilana as 'the Marquis' or 'the merchant', in the frenzied moments to come?

I'm sure all those thoughts crossed Claire's mind in a flash; as I'm sure she's now humming softly to herself. Hidden under her clothes, she carries enough close-combat weapons to arm a full squad, but her main concern is that she has to drag her companions (or at the very least the Marquis) out of this trap: and their... 'reactivity' is an unknown factor. And where is Llinàs? Hopefully still free and (he does not look like a novice) not totally disarmed nor befuddled, but...

abdul666 said...

If later you need in France a 'good guy' NPC, what about the Marquis Adrien de la Pate Feuilletee ['Pâte Feuilletée' with French police :)], the grand-father of the famous Hubert de la Pate Feuilletee who, some 30 years later, was to be adopted (under the Indian name of 'Double Scalp', because of his wig) by a tribe friendly to Nouvelle France?
{Btw I suspect that Oumpah-pah, who later in the story makes a sojourn in France, is not foreign to 'Mani', the Amerindian character in "pulpy" 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' :)}.

As for a highest level Evil Boss, the archetypical, iconic villain of the time in French 'Cape et Epee' literature is Philippe de Gonzague -he is to be killed in 1717 (btw, don't ask me how, but Claire *knows* the botte de Nevers, the secret thrust of the Duke de Nevers: at 8'.16).

Soldadets said...

Happily I was given by the game master the opportunity of playing Lord Vilana's role -and I must admit he managed for several times to confuse me, even to seriously fear for my character's life...

Yes a cunning and dreadful mind, behind this plot!! :D