Note: If you are playing in my Sunday gaming group, please do not read this game session blog entry, as you've not played this scenario as yet! Don't want to spoil it, right? :)
November 26th, 1635
Bright and early the next morning, much against the wishes of Antoine Perrier, the player characters set off for the manse of Louis Chamberoux, leaving their lackeys behind in Paris. Since the characters felt that they could not take the horses that they use during their Musketeer duties, at the insistence of Eloise Desrevais and Alexandre Montclair, the characters rented the services of several horses from Marcel Jaramond, a horse and stable owner of their acquaintance in Paris. M. Jaramond gave them a very good deal on the horses, but he insisted that the player characters arrange for the return of the horses to his stables if they are unable to do so, and the player characters agreed to this.
The player characters travel together at a good pace, and get to know one another during their ride, but Gabrielle Arcond is infuriated at the fact that Antoine attempts to shamelessly flirt with her once more. Eloise is amused by the King's Musketeer's attempts, but Jacqueline D'Ubermand points out it would be wise to keep their attention on the road, as outside of Paris, a more "uncivilised" type of personage can be encountered on their travels. The player characters continue on, with a more vigilant approach.
The player characters stop by a small stream to enjoy a picnic lunch that has been prepared by their lackeys. Gabrielle compliments Alexandre on his lackey, Paul Morel's, culinary skills, but he admits that Antoine's healer amie, Altrine de Sanvers, was much more responsible for the work, as Paul has...poor taste in certain ingredients in food. As they converse, Nicolas Argentier points out there are several men approaching them on foot from the direction of Paris. "I fear our quiet little repast by the stream is about to be interrupted by some swordplay," says Gabrielle, sadly.
She is indeed proved true. As the characters regard them, the men in question approach closer and Gabrielle recognises one of the men as Claude Jumont, a Musketeer who vowed revenge on her for a slight she delivered him a day previously. The player characters rise and draw their weapons, and after exchanging brief words with Jumont, Gabrielle realises that there can be no peace between them. His anger at her completely overwhelms his common sense. The player characters square off against their individual opponents.
Eloise takes on her opponent, a thin and rakish man named Sanfort, and she finds that even without actual fencing skill, her knowledge of the street fighting techniques and her melee skills serve her well. He yields to her rather quickly, though not before the pair draw blood from each other. Nicolas takes on an adept Spanish swordsman named Rejean Demarco, and the two engage in a spirited battle that pits Italian versus Spanish styles of fighting against each other. Nicolas takes the fight when Demarco's sword breaks in half and he yields the fight to the former. Antoine finds himself matched up against Jacques Sancrest, a fighter with the Spanish fencing style, and the two are evenly matched up. The two duel for a good few minutes or so, each man taking a break to have a bit of water to drink and wipe their foreheads, before going back at it in a frenzied series of attacks, parries, and defenses. Eventually, Jacques is forced to surrender, as his wounds have made him quite dizzy. Gabrielle is matched up against Claude Jumont himself, and finds him to be a dangerous opponent, as he seems to take interesting risks when he fights. She is hard pressed to beat him, but is able to use her speed and Danse technique to inflict a serious wound to his leg that forces him, albeit grudgingly, to surrender to her. Jacqueline takes on one Helmut, a Germanic Musketeer with a penchant for Position de Fer. The novice fencer realises that her abilities are no match for the stolid German, and so she takes her wheellock pistol and shoots him in the leg! He is so surprised at her action that he collapses to the ground with a serious leg wound, and Jacqueline immediately races over to him and binds the injury preventing him from bleeding out. Alexandre Montclair finds himself facing a difficult opponent named Sergio, who uses the Dardi style of fencing and a swirling cloak. Alexandre acquits himself well, but after he takes two wounds from the Italian, Sergio says that he has no wish to kill a fellow Musketeer, and immediately goes to his aid.
Once the various combatants have resolved their conflicts, the player characters and their attackers help each other out to the best of their ability. (After all, they are all Musketeers!) Antoine and Eloise ask Jacqueline where she got her pistol, as both believe it to be her Queen's Musketeer's service pistol, but they are shocked to learn that the wheellock is actually Jacqueline's, a "gift" to her from her mentor, whom she still will not mention. Claude Jumont tells Gabrielle that she bested him fairly in combat, but that he cannot forgive her for what she did to him at La Rousse de Charme, though he will let matters drop for now. She asks if he wants to challenge her to a duel, but Claude says that she is a demoiselle and that he cannot do that as he does have a code of behaviour when it comes to the fairer sex. Gabrielle bristles at this, but both Eloise and Jacqueline are able to calm her down. Claude tells her that he and his friends will ride back to Paris - they left their horses a small distance away - and will see the player characters on their return.
The player characters use the stream to clean themselves up somewhat, Nicolas, Jacqueline, and Alexandre having taken the most serious wounds. The three Musketeers declare themselves fit to travel on, though Nicolas admits that if he has to fight once more, perhaps he will rely on his wits more than his sword for victory. The others get a good laugh out of this. The player characters finish their meal, Nicolas drinking a bit more wine than he might normally, but he tells the others it is medicinal. They continue on towards the Chateau Chamberoux.
A rather fun and entertaining session of All For One: Régime Diabolique, that the players told me they enjoyed quite a bit. Both David and Nick were surprised somewhat at how swiftly and how well the combat with Gabrielle's nemesis and his friends went, though all were a bit disappointed at the lack of other female opponents. (Hmm, I'll see what I can do to accommodate them next time we play! <g>)
Can't wait to type up the next session of the adventure.