Two Takes Ten
An Adventure Sketch
Synopsis: Aleena and Bargle of the Duchy are Battlemage and Magician. Colleagues. Lovers. The two have decided that the fractured duchy is ripe for control and all it needs is a single spark to bring the uproar they need to take over. To do this all they have to do is arrange set the match, unless the PC's stop them.
"A lot can happen during a state of emergency." Bargle to Aleena.
Background: In an alternate timeline, long before the Afridhi would invade it. The Duchy of Ten is an enlightened oligarchy comprised of the ten great heroes to resist the greater Thonian Empire. These ten split up the realm area, leaving Starmorgan as the capital and meeting place where the Ten could discuss business. Not a single Duke or Duchess has ever claimed the the hearts of all of the duchy, instead they held sway in their personal lands, united by a common enemy in the Thonians. But even a common enemy could not keep the people content forever. Duchy quarreled with duchy for resources and prestige. As heirs to original heroes began to subsume the positions of their parents, people began to wonder whisper why did they need the duke or duchess around anymore. It is in this period that two functionaries: The Court Mage, Bargle and a Battlemage Captain named Aleen have a plan to take control of the vast reserves of Starmorgan and from there expand their influence to the rest of the duchy. All they had to do was wipe out the ten. First, they had to rile the populace into anger.
|Aleena of Starmorgan,|
Target of Opportunity: To help rile the populace and force the ten to meet in Starmorgan, the lovers Aleen and Bargle have secretly given order to have one Dario Argent assassinated. He is not only the 'Favored Son' of the Ten, being a highly respected bard, but he is also leading a growing movement to demand greater representation of the people and a loss of power of the ruling council of Dukes. His position has made him popular with the common folk at the cost of favor with the nobility, who really like what power they have. While no formal charges have been brought up, rumors abound that the Ten shall have to confront the bard and what is viewed as acts of sedition. Dario has painted himself a target, but is confident that the love of the people will shield him.
If he is slain, as Bargle and Aleen hope, the furor of his death will cause enough of a riot that the Council will have to return to Starmorgan to plot how to take action. From there, the pair plan to slay the ten and show proof that the Ten were behind the killing of the rebel hero. Bargle, a master manipulator, shall then step forward, promising to wipe out the influences of the corrupted Ten, while securing his own interest in making him ruler of Duchy.
The Role of the Players: The players have a couple of roles they could slip into.
-Agents of the Government: The Government is wary of Dario and has hired the party to keep tabs on him. They could learn of the plot beforehand or be presented with the dilemma when they spot a group of hired thugs accost Dario and his lover during their ride. Do they intervene, showing the hand of the government? Or do they let it play out and deal with the mess later?
-Dario's Friends: Dario is a not just a bard, but an adventurer. He has cultivated friends, such as the players. Naturally he is worried about security during his rides and have asked the player's to ride along with him and his girlfriend. Will they be able to protect Dario during the ambush? What will happen when the attack fails and the country is still stirred to open revolt?
-The Outside Factor: Another dimension is in play when a Rogue-Spy named Ichabod Westlake approaches and informs the players that one of the Dukes is aware of the plot and plans to double-cross both the Duchy and slay Bargle. To help rally support, Westlake needs the players to work as either outright protection for the Bard, or stealthily removing the real assassins and then staging an ambush in order to set the match alight.
-Bargle is the Court Mage of the Duchy and lives in Starmorgan. A master in charm and illusion, Bargle has ears throughout the courts of the Dukes and Duchess, plus is very in tune with the people. He knows things are tense between the nobles and the people and has stoking the fire of revolution. He cares little but himself, and maybe Aleena.
Aleena (Cleric / Battlemage)
-Aleena is a Battlemage (a magic-user has a Cleric's spell rate, but can wear armor). She is commander of the guard at Starmorgan and is the secret lover of Bargle. She likes the idea of taking power, removing the ponderous leadership of the Ten and instead having a strong administration of two.
-Dario is a Bard, an adventurer, and the beloved son in the Ten. He can travel to any of the provinces and be welcomed by the people. Perhaps if had been born under a Duke he could have been the 1st to truly capture the hearts of the people. Of course, there is nothing stopping him from taking the reigns through revolution. A fact that keeps the government of Starmorgan awake at night.