Dark Fantasy Role Play

mroczne mięcho ku czci Melpomeny złożone w ofierze

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    - Witaj! Poniżej znajdziesz pomysły na przygody, scenariusze rpg, generatory i opowiadania w klimatach fantasy - wszystko (poza poezją i scenariuszami do Gemini rpg) autorstwa Maestro, choć często inspirowane różnymi źródłami. Fani systemów Warhammer, Monastyr, Gemini, Midnight, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Gra o tron (Pieśń Lodu i Ognia), Deadlands, Bestie i barbarzyńcy i innych światów RPG powinni znaleźć tu coś dla siebie. Szczególnie chciałbym pomóc początkującym Mistrzom Gry. Nie szukajcie tu rzeczy, które szybko się dezaktualizują. To ma być źródło konkretnych inspiracji do sesji gier fabularnych z niewielkim dodatkiem teorii rpg. Krwiste mięcho role playing.

AUTORZY: Magnus Sjöström i Johan Sjöberg
TŁUMACZENIE NA ANGIELSKI:J. A. „Heretic“ Hagen

Pod linkiem niżej znajdziecie TŁUMACZENIE przygody na polski autorstwa Savariana. Polecam:
http://geminirpg.blogspot.com/2012/01/zelazna-maska.html

In the north of Aretas, high in the mountains, lies “Baron Matteus Academy for the studies of artistic design.” It is a boarding school for the children of the noble families of the province. Here they are educated some years in etiquette, court dancing, poetry and music which they will need to fit well into their adult lives. Baron Matteus himself is the head of the academy and has a an eye on it that everything is going well in this distinguished school. He is aided by ten masters, each unequalled in their relevant topic, and at the academy live fifteen to twenty pupils. The academy was originally a fortress to watch over the Wolf Pass, a deep ravine running through the mountains, but in later days there was no need of a fortification like that, and now it has been transformed into the mentioned academy.
The academy has five guardians which act more as additional caretakers and hunters than as warriors. They are increasingly accustomed to their quiet life and have more or less left their swords on the shelves. These soldier do not think that there are some busy days ahead.
The Baron himself is a widower since a many good year after his wife died by falling in the Wolf Pass. The Baron has never come over that and has spent a good deal of time for himself, weeping.
On the other side of the Wolf Pass is a monastery which is inhabited by a small number of monks. The monks are quite orthodox and deem that the people within the academy’s walls are sinful and disgraceful as well as happy-go-lucky. The Baron and his employees deem that the monks are a bunch of boring and insane fanatics who do not understand by what means people entertain themselves. Both groups are not more that a stone’s throw apart; the baron’s distinguished academy and the monk’s dark monastery, and although both accommodations are more or less in the same place, they could be situated as well in different worlds.
Indeed, the monastery is situated in Sein, a region loyal to the church, while the academy is placed in Aretas, a province ruled by the sovereigns, with the Wolf Pass as border between the two countries.


Background

In the so quiet and wonderful academy there is a secret which threatens to ruin all who live there. It is an ancient truth that baron Mattheus’ wife, Minerva, died by falling into the Wolf’s Pass a lot of years before, but that is nothing else than a well-guarded lie. She fell indeed downhill and her body was half ruined, but she survived.
During her recovery it became nevertheless clear that she would not come out of the affair without severe consequences; her one leg was highly deformed after the tube-bones had been shattered by her fall and her face was deeply scarred. That was the hardest thing for her.

She was very worried about it, as she always had been known for her enormous beauty. Now she did not go outside anymore for not having to watch herself in a mirror, and she became more and more confused. The Baron, who was still adoring his wife, understood that she was on the way to lose her sanity. She did not want to meet anyone and she did not take a walk through the surroundings as she had done before either. The only thing she did was sitting in her chamber in the attic and reading poetry praising her beauty, poetry that the baron wrote for the since her first encounter.

The more time was going by, the worse get it, and at last it was exclusively baron Mattheus and the servant Eza who met the baroness. It was now that the baroness started to wander around in the castle at night, and it was now that she was searching for a way to regain her beauty. She spent hours for hours in the castle’s library and found there at last a book that revealed her a way to get her face back again: a book that was telling about the black magic.
The book she stumbled over was a simple diary that once belonged to Baron Mattheus’ ancestor, Ommnus. Baron Ommnus had disappeared without a trace on beautiful day in spring, several generations before baron Mattheus and his wife arrived at this place, but as she was reading this text it was as if all the actions of the story had happened just a couple of days before.

In the diary Ommnus wrote about a woman in the region who had been accused of being a witch. That woman was arrested by the baron’s guards, brought to the castle and thrown into a cell. Baron Ommnus was curious about the woman who sat in the little cell, especially as he was not at all able to believe that she was indeed an witch; she was beautiful and young, polite and talkative and had the most charming laughter one was able to fancy. The baron was not able to comprehend by what means a few people could mistrust that woman and take her for a witch, so one day was he compelled to ask her.

The witch only glanced at him and asked: “How old do I seem to be?”. And the baron answered: “About twenty, but do not one day over twenty”. The witch answered with a well-sounding laughter and asked “And don’t you consider me beautiful? ” at which the baron confessed that indeed it was so. The witch gave him a fiery glance, then she said “And I tell you, my dear baron, that I am older than your late mother. This is the magic that I was accused for, this is the gift I have made use of. It is not because of the simple people’s fear that I am sitting here, but because of their envy. ”
And it was at that moment that Baron Ommnus understood what he had before him. By a long interrogation of the woman it turned out that she had a collection of scrolls in which she had noted all the spells that she knew, and shortly after he had definitely become aware of that, he had the intention to find them and to learn their secrets. Because so was the Darkness, to arouse lure for power and egoism in the people and make them believe that they possess the force to use that power without having to pay with their souls. A conviction that never was true, for when one falls to the Darkness in one’s mind then one’s soul will follow soon.
The Baroness continued to read feverishly the diary that described how the baron finally found the scrolls after a long search in the small cabin of the witch. The diary gave a direct description how he studied the spells that the witch had noted, and how he increasingly looked at that new tool as a blessing. At last he became one of the Darkness’ servants, and stayed it till he finally was discovered. In the last chapter of the diary baron Ommnus told how he had hidden the scrolls under the floor in the library. The baroness spent a clear night to break open the dark parquet floor before she found at last what she searched for. The yellowish and brittle scrolls had fallen to dark pieces and almost broke under her touch, but they contained everything that the baroness wanted to know. Now she would restore her face!
In the following years things started to happen in the castle. The crew that watched the castled was superfluous and sent away, and the majority of the elder servants died in their beds. Almost no-one remained who knew that the baroness survived the fall downhill, apart from her husband Matches and the faithful servant Eza. These two were the only ones to know that the baroness lived in the solitary attic. The Baroness searched the mysteries which were noted in the scrolls, but she could not find a spell that could help her at that time. For a short while she was able to let her face become what it once had been (by using the aspect Affect Organic Materia) but after an hour disappeared the beauty and only the scarred surface remained. She became more and more inconsolable, and it did not help that the baron declared his affection for her, she would be beautiful forever!
Baron Matteus had eventually the idea to start his academy, mainly because he began to lose his sanity in the empty castle and needed people around him. Shortly after that he decided for himself to carry out the idea, he asked his wife about the case and found to his astonishment that she was happy about his idea, but she would not tell him why. Ten years have gone by since then and now the things have begun to really go wrong.

The Baroness asked her husband not to reveal that she lived until the day on which she could show herself again to the people and the baron vowed it. When he gave the vow he had still no idea about what his wife had in mind, but slowly and surely it began to dawn on him that his wife was attempting to cultivate the forbidden magic so that she could regain her former beauty. He has never been a man of the Church but Mattheus realizes nevertheless that it is absolutely necessarily that it does not become known that his wife uses those powers. Additionally because the monastery lies at other side of the Wolf Pass as a constant reminder of what could happen if it became known what happens within the castle’s walls.
Evil at the attic
The Baroness has now eventually lost her sanity completely and she is on a good way to lose the contact with her human aspect and to arise till she becomes something that is not longer human. She has spied at the pupils and especial at the young women who live there using the secret passages that exist in all castle walls. She has began to be apprehended by an awful jealousy of their beautiful faces, so young and unspoiled, and bitterness has washed above her: “Why shall they have such a perfect face when my own one is so disfigured?”

For a time then she talked that way along with her faithful servant Eza about this new-found animosity, and the old woman agreed totally with her. So they began to plan things that were so cruel and inhumane and impossible to be executed by a sane mind. Eza went to a nearby village and got a smith there to craft a mask of iron.
The iron mask was equipped with screws and constrains and by tightening them one made that the mask tightened. The mask had no holes for the eyes and there was no opening for the mouth either. Only the nose was left out as so that one could breath. Eza took these mask back to the attic and there the two women continued to plan their next step.
Short time after they got hold on the first mask, the first girl disappeared. One black night one of the academy’s girls got out of her bed in order to go to the lavatory. She never saw anyone again but the two women who carried her up to the empty attic, where they put the iron mask above her face. Now, as the Baroness had that young and beautiful girl in her power she was not able to control herself. The mask was actually intended to disfigure, but in the baroness‘ mad hands it could also kill. She tightened the clamps so hard that the girl‘s head cracked, and the two women left the body lying at the attic’s floor. Eza calmed down the Baroness who after the incident became afraid that she could be exposed as the murderer, now that no-one in the castle with exception of the baron himself knew that she still was alive. Together they flung the body over the edge of the cliff and down to the Wolf Pass. A terrible accident, or suicide, so it would it be called.
Then Eza talked into the baroness if that maybe that this was what she needed for the incantation to give her back her face forever: sacrifices. Maybe the Baroness could “steal” the face of any of the girls at the academy, and having no luck at the first intend meant just to try it again...
Behind the scenes - Intrigue
Now the day for the annual masquerade of the academy has come, and all are gratifying themselves to get the opportunity to disguise and to dance at night. Baron Matteus has subsequently struggled with his conscience that tells him that after all the girl did not suffer an accident, but that she was killed by his wife instead. But he still adores her deeply and regardless what she has done, he does not want to lose her. Besides, he has begun to wonder if Eza does not have her fingers in the pie; the old woman that has been at their service since they arrived in the district. Finally, he fears the monks who live in the monastery. Has fears that one day they will come secretly into his castle to take Minerva with them to burn her at the stake. Although the monks formally have no power about his side of the pass there is plenty of folks in the surrounding villages that would not hesitate to come them to help if it came out that the baron‘s wife had something to do with the dark art. In short, so begins Baron Matteus to lose his composure.

In the solitary attic the baroness and Eza have designed a heinous plan. They will snatch the five most beautiful girls of the academy and blemish them with the iron mask. During this terrible act the baroness will cast an incantation that will give her what she desires the most: everlasting beauty. During the latest weeks the two women were sneaking around and ruminated in the shadows with the purpose to find the most beautiful girls. All that will happen the in night of the masquerade, which is also the anniversary of the opening of the Iron Gate.
The truth
What will happen when the baroness completes her ritual is not what she expects. She has for a long time been on the way into the Darkness‘ abyss and by her madness and obsession she has she fallen even deeper than what is possible for a human being. What the baroness prefers most of all is not what she believes by herself, beauty, but rather revenge. Deep inside she deems that the young girls should not be allowed to be beautiful while she by herself is disfigured, and she enjoys the idea that soon she will make them as repelling as she is by herself.

Everything is kept under surveillance by a faithful servant of the Darkness, related in direct descending direction with the witch about whom Baron Ommnus wrote in his diary. The witch survived the prison cell because the baron set her free in exchange for her secrets, and it was her who at last killed him.

The Baroness‘ “arising” is kept under surveillance by that woman who guided her along the way that will transform her in a creature of the Darkness, a Jeselite. The characters who come to the academy escorting the daughter and the son of an old friend, young lady Rolinda and youngster esquire Dios, will have the chance to see what is going on. Maybe they are also able to prevent the baroness‘ transformation and perhaps they can care for that the witch Eza will not cause problems in the future, but that will require that they first of all survive the night...

The monks on the other side of the gorge are completely unaware of all that, with an exception. In the monastery’s cellar sits an ancient and haggard monk who all days whittles at a wooden cross. In the monk‘s cellar there are thousands of crosses stuck into the soil and in the middle of them sits the ancient monk. That monk feels that there is a great evil in the castle facing the monastery, but he has not acted before now that he has anticipated what will come happen. For the first time in many years he steps out of his cellar and out into the monastery garden.
Course of action and overview
16.00 People are preparing themselves for the evening celebration checking their costumes and washing themselves in the bath cottage in the castle court. The characters meet Rolinda as she is coming from the bath cottage. She explains that she will disguise as a fox. At the same time comes her brother, Dios, to the characters. He already wears his dress: a scarecrow costume. Rolinda is one of the five girls the baroness has chosen to “donate” their faces. Her brother will be found dead later this evening.

17.30 The characters chase a mouse that has seized a feather which is to fit in one of their dresses. The mouse slips into a hole in the wall. The characters now have the chance to go after if they realize that the hole leads to an adjacent room, a chamber that always is locked because it is the Baroness‘ old bedroom. In that chamber are several portraits of the Baroness, and even a number of mirrors but they all have been shattered. That can encourage the characters to try to find out more about this affair. If they decide to ask the Baron about it he becomes quite angry about the fact that they were in his wife‘s old bedroom.

20.30 Now begins the annual tradition: a hide-and-seek. The tradition says that they who succeed to stay hidden for the longest time wins a horse, so all disperse eagerly all over the academy. One is hiding in pairs, and one seeks in group. The tradition says when the last person is found, the masks will be dropped, and thereafter one will have a late supper before going to bed. During the play disappear the five girls and the characters find the dead Dios without head, still dressed in his scarecrow costume. If the characters choose to run for help, the body disappears, and the characters have to accept that they were mistaken. At that moments missing people disturb no-one, several times in previous years people have hidden and then were afraid in the night. Everyone thinks that the whole thing was a joke. All except the baron.

23.55 The demasking takes place in the upper-case hall and at the same moment everyone hears the monk ringing his bell. The people rush to see what happens and go up to the tower to see better. Into the monastery garden comes a crowd with the monks that are led by an ancient and haggard man. He has the wooden cross in his one hand and one can see that it has a pointed end. He goes up to the belfry and starts to deliver a mass.
Meanwhile the Baron is rushing to the attic and confronts both women just as they are putting the mask over the it first girl‘s face. As the baron sees that he casts himself her over his wife, crying and yelling with fury. Eza sneak up to him and stabs him in the back with a dagger. In the turmoil one of the girls breaks free and rushes to the staircase, but she stumbles, falls and breaks her neck. After that the baroness is shocked realising that she now lacks a girl, and that they must get another one. Their glance falls at one of the characters (if a there is a woman in the group) and decides that she is the perfect substitute.
00.20 The monks at the monastery garden are holding a mass that shows traces that mainly remind of an exorcism. The haggard figure with the wooden cross shows stigmata which appear in form of blood streaming out of his mouth, eyes and ears. He hollers loudly that the Darkness is coming. At the same time as that happens, the Baroness sneaks through one of the many secret passages and appears behind the female character (alternatively).
From there she uses magic (Summon Noise, Affect Noise) to call her with Rolinda‘s voice. She tries to sound as if she calls from a far hall and tries to get the character to follow her.
If more than one of the characters follow the voice, they come to the conclusion to the attic where Eza is waiting at the door. Together with the Baroness she starts an attack with the aim to get hands at the young woman. The two witches attack with united forces to destroy the characters with ease, but they have not counted with the ancient monk on the other side of the Wolf Pass. Just then when he becomes aware of the dark end for the characters he calls the One with a loud and clear voice that can be heard all over the place, and throws himself over his wooden cross. At that moment of self-sacrifice (which follows the rules for stigmata) the witches lose their magic powers for one hour and that is the moment for the characters to fight back.
During the fight Eza tries to escape through one of the many hidden doors and her aim is the place where it all began several generations before; her cabin in the forest.

01.30 If Eza manages to escape, she flees to her cabin in the forest. Maybe the characters try to follow her and let the soldiers pursue her. Regardless of that, the body of the Baroness disappears without a trace and the last thing one sees of her is how a pale figure wanders through the Wolf Pass and into the forest.
Description of places that take place in the adventure

The Academy
Baron Matteus‘ castle is nowadays an academy that is dedicated to art, dance, music and etiquette. Everything is monitored by ten teachers who all are competent within their fields of knowledge. Briefly said, the castle is built with four floors, and there is even an attic and a cellar. The big main-building is surrounded by a courtyard with stable, two bathing cabins, a barracks for the soldiers and a fountain. A description of the castle‘s main building is given below, floor for floor:

The cellar
In the cellar there is not much of interest. It has three big storerooms and a number of lesser ones, and also ten prison cells. These have not been used for a very long time. A little rotten straw and a good deal of mice are there. On stock are food and beverages, gear and even some weaponry, among other javelins and bows. They are in a deplorable state.

1st Floor
The first floor contains a large hall that is adorned with a large number of portraits of the former barons who governed this region. A gigantic carpet of the red fabric along with golden brocade covers the whole floor. From here, doors lead to the remaining rooms on this floor: the dining-hall, the ball-room and the trophy room.
The dining-hall has a high ceiling and the walls are painted with impressive figures dedicated to all sorts of warrior activities. A broad staircase leads up to a stage at the second floor. Three big long tables stand side at side in the room and at the short end of the central table stands the Baron‘s throne-like oak-chair with silver fittings. A giant fireplace covers the northern wall totally; and there is a door leading to the kitchen.

The ball-room is precisely that what is sounds like: a large hall along with polished marble-floor with the purpose to hold balls or something similar there. After the Baron converted the castle in an academy a small stage was added for performances and poetry readings.
There is also a big door here leading to the toilet and there are stairs going up to the second floor. In the panel behind the western wall is a hidden door leading directly to the hidden staircase. These occult staircase goes all the way up to the attic. To find the hidden opening is difficult and all attribute rolls to discover it have a DL -6 modification.

The trophy room is filled with the heads of wild boars, bearskins, deer antlers and similar. A giant hunting javelin hangs between the large windows which are looking out on the backside of the courtyard. One can sense a dim fragrance of moth balls in the air. A large table is situated in the middle of the room and around it stand six chairs made of black wood. In a corner of the room a staircase leads down to the cellar.

2nd Floor
Going up the two large stairs in the dining-hall one comes up to a stage which runs around the whole dining-hall like a gallery. From here, one has an excellent view about all that happens down below. From these stage four doors lead further into the academy, one door in each cardinal point. The Western one leads to the library, the Northern one to the corridor that contains the teacher‘s room whilst the two remaining doors lead to the pupil‘s corridors.
The library is a large and dark chamber along with massive bookshelves which bend under the pressure of all the books in this room. The floor is made up of dark parquet, and there are four large and massive armchairs in the corners. A chandelier is hanging from the ceiling, made of moulded iron. From here, stairs lead to the dancing-hall.
The teacher‘s chambers are spacious and luxuriously equipped with smooth fleeces and big beds bolding with downbolsters. Most of them have an own fireplace in the wall.

The pupil’s rooms are sparsely equipped with two beds in every room, a wardrobe and a board with a waterbowl for washing. If one wants to wash more than just the face, one may use the bath cottage in the courtyard. Two persons are always living in each of the rooms, and, of course, there is no mixing between the sexes.

In the corridor is also the toilet where one can do his necessities. It is simple and smells slightly. At the end of every corridor stairs go up to the third floor.

On this floor there is also a chamber that remains always locked, and that is placed in the teachers corridor. This room lies wall to wall with the chamber of the characters which will cause an incident later that evening. That chamber is the old sleeping room of the Baroness, and it is full of paintings and mirrors. All mirrors have been crushed and the paintings are scoured but it is nevertheless possible to recognize that the pictures show a very beautiful young woman along with dark hair and pale skin. A black bed is covered with dust which lies like a blanket above the floor. If someone looks down one can see tracks in the dust, tracks that come from somebody who walked with bare feet across the floor not long ago. These are the footprints of the Baroness who every now and then visits this room on her nightly excursions.

3rd Floor
On this floor live the servants and soldiers when they are off-duty. They have big bleak
chambers and simple furniture, but in a whole it is quite good (originally this was designed for fifty soldiers, thereof the big space of the rooms). On this floor people eat and wash their clothes; a special windlass lifts water from the courtyard up to the washroom. Currently thirteen servants are working in the castle, including Eza.

4th Floor
On this floor lives baron Mattheus. There are three bigger chambers on this floor.
The sleeping-room is overfilled with black bearskins and massive wooden furniture. Above the large fireplace hangs a giant portrait of the Baron and his wife which shows her in her younger days. That portrait is the only one left undamaged and it is the baron‘s dearest baron dearest possession. A giant axe hangs above the bed, rust-stained but still with a sharp edge. That is the baron‘s own two-handed axe but a lot of time has passed since he used it the last time.
In the baron‘s working chamber is besides a writing-table also a smaller arrangements of seats around a table made of red beech wood. Also in the room are a big book-shelf and a wine barrel. A mirror hangs over the door and many silver candlesticks are attached to the wall. A red carpet covers the floor. Additionally the Baron collects life-sized marble statues, and twenty „men“ are spread across the giant room.
The living-room is the Baron’s habitual place to be. He often sits at the large windows that looks to the Wolf’s Pass and is lost in his dreams. One of the walls hangs a tapestry in black and gold with a motif of the days when the Baron ruled in a more warrior-like way than today. A set with silver chalices rests on a small oak table that is place in front of the rooms fireplace.
From here a staircase leads up to the attic, half concealed by the tapestry. This is nevertheless not the staircase the Baroness is used to take; she prefers to go down through the secret stairs in the castle walls. The door is unlocked but creaks terribly.

The attic
At the wind there are a lot of clutter and other things. Everything from furniture which are out of use to worn-out clothing is stored here.
Big wooden beams run across the rooftop. On the far side of the attic is the door that leads to the room which the baroness chose to be her haven. These door is always locked when the baroness is out for one of her excursions and the only ones who have the key are Eza or the baroness. In spite of that that it is not too difficult to get through the door since it is thin and rotten. The decay is advanced so far that it takes only little weight to burst through.

In the Baroness‘ chamber paper covers the whole floor and the smell of lovely perfume and dirty clothes fills the air. A chair and a desk stand closely to the only window of the room. On the desk lays baron Ommnus‘ diary, almost well-thumbed. The tattered paper on the floor are the poems that baron Matteus wrote to her since their first meetings. They praise her beauty and her delicious manner. In the nook stands a bed with iron framework and above it lays a thick plaid. On the bed there is also the scroll that contains the witches formulae.

The secret passages
Through the castle lead innumerable secret passages. The Narrator is free to put them in place where he/she considers it to be convenient.

The monastery
This building will only be described very shortly in that adventure since it will hardly be necessary to examine it. The most important details will be given here nevertheless.
The monastery is built of dark stone and has two floors. From the roof rises the little belfry. Twenty monks live in the deserted monastery and they have principally no contact with the academy. One monk is a little special and this is the one who sits in the cellar in an own chamber and who manufactures crosses of wood at day and night. He sits surrounded by thousands of crosses which he gives a tip and sticks them into the ground.
All the other monks look at him with awe, for it seems that he is very close to the One. This man has the gift to feel the presence of the Darkness in the castle and he has an idea of what will happen. At the end of the adventure he sacrifices his life to the One and in combination with that act of self-sacrifice the Darkness looses for a few moments the possibility to support his henchmen. That makes it possible for the characters to capture the two witches who caused so much misery. Nevertheless, this will not stop the Baroness to transform into a Jeselite but it can prevent that she disfigures the five women for life.
The Course of Action
Below follow again the various incidents, but now the description is more detailed.

16.00 The characters are totally busy to take their costumes to their room, the costumes have been brought from a tailor in the wider surroundings. The characters have all dresses which are inspired by birds: hawk, crow, vulture, swan and owl. These are costumes with feathers who are fixed on dresses of velvet. They have various bird masks made of wood painted in bird colours. On their way up the magnificent stairs from the dining-room they meet one of the most charming girls of the academy, Rolinda, and her brother Dios.
The characters know them both very well. Dios is already wearing his dress at, he will disguise himself as scarecrow with a bag bun around his head with only one hole for the eyes. In the conversation it comes out that Rolinda will disguise herself as a fox, and she shows a mask made of a real foxhead. After this they part and the characters go to their room.

17.30 The characters are about to finish their masking as they hear a squeaking and a little mouse appears dash above floor along with a dark feather in the mouth. It flees into a gap in the wall and into an adjacent chamber. That chamber is the baroness‘ old sleeping-room but the characters do not have the slightest idea of that. The feather that has been stolen should have been placed at the top of the crow’s head and without it the crow will give a bald impression. With a little reasoning the characters may realize that room in which the mouse must have disappeared the mouse took can be reached through the teacher’s corridor. If they choose to go to that room they encounter during their walk many persons which are hassling clothes back and forth disguised as all possible animals.
Having reached the baroness’ bedroom they find the door locked, but the lock is so simply constructed that principally any key would fit. It is also possible to get in balancing on the ledge which runs around the outside of the castle, twenty centimetres wide, until one comes to the window that looks into the room. This window is seized by a hook from the inside and if one does not want to crush the window one can pick it loose with the help of any small object.

The inside of the baroness’ chamber is, as already said before, dusty and an enormous mess. The mouse that one was going after lies in its little house which it has built in the tattered mattress. When the characters have looked around a little bit and have checked the paintings they hear a load voice yelling behind them: „What the heck are you doing here? The hell! OUT!“ It is the baron by himself, wearing a bear‘s costume of real bearskin to the honour of the day. He is completely enraged about the character’s trick and pants fiercely.
Whatever the characters say, he leads them rudely out of the room. The baron enters the room by himself and shuts the door again loudly. One of the servants who has observed the whole incident mutters „that it is not convenient to tell about the wife“ but if the characters ask what he means with that he demonstrates that it is obviously convenient in spite of all. The servant can tell that the baron‘s wife was very beautiful but that she fell into the Wolf Pass many years ago. The baron has never got over that loss and he chose to lock his wife’s bedroom, so that the memories of her should remained untouched. One of the servants who has observed the whole incident mutters „that it is not convenient to tell about the wife“ but if the characters ask what he means with that he demonstrates that it is obviously convenient in spite of all. The servant can tell that the baron‘s wife was very beautiful but that she fell into the Wolf Pass many years ago. The baron has never got over that loss and he chose to lock his wife’s bedroom, so that the memories of her should remained untouched.
After that, the servant speaks about things which are totally uninteresting for the characters; that he has breeded pigs down there in the village, that the old Hans is surely striken by pneumonia, that the servants would need new shoes and so on endlessly if no-one stops him.

If the characters talk about what they just have heard with someone else, many of the servants are able to tell the same thing. All believe that the Baroness is dead and they also believe that she haunts the castle at night. Some say that they have seen her wandering through the corridors and disappearing into the walls without leaving a trace. Others say they have seen her looking through the window in the library. All their observation is sincere, but of course she is not a ghost and her mysterious disappearing into the walls comes from all the secret passages that she uses and which run through all the castle.

18.30 The dinner begins in the dining-hall. The table literally bends under all the fine food: for choice pork, grilled quails, filled lamb meat, frizzled sweet potatoes, fried trouts and cold deer. Everything is dished on the three long desks and at this especial meal even the servants eat at the same tables. Among the dresses that call attention is of course Rolinda’s fox costume, but also costumes of jokers, jesters, princes, knights and diverse monsters. Everything takes place under the large chandelier which emanates a warm light allover the hall. In the fireplace burns a warm fire and the wine flows in streams. During the meal the baron gives his thanks for the year gone by and there is no anger left about the character’s venture.

During the meal Dios talks with one of the characters about the monks who live in the monastery on the other side of the pass. He says that some nights before he saw a monk standing at the monastery roof with a huge amount of wooden crosses in the arms. The man seemed to be haggard and weak, because he tottered in a strange way. Dios looked at the man for a few minutes but then went away and laid down again and when the morning arrived he was gone. During this conversation the persons who sit around the characters begin to tell about the girl who was found at the bottom of the gorge with cracked skull and it is said that she was found with a wooden cross near her body. That is indeed true, the monk laid down a cross near the body as a sort of blessing, but the characters do not interpret it as such a gesture, they will believe that the monk killed the girl.
After the meal the dance begins, and this take place, of course, in the dancing-hall. Some of the pupils stand together with the teachers for music on the little stage. No further incidents happen during the dance.

20.30 The hide-and-seek. In accordance with the tradition of the academy the hide-and seek will be played, and the one who succeeds to stay hidden for the longest time will win a stately horse. To give every youngster the possibility to win the horse the Baron chooses the characters as the seekers. They may stay in the dining-hall waiting a quarter of an hour before they start to seek their pals. What happens during the play has been told before, but below is a number of incidents which you as Narrator may throw in whatever order you choose. The discovery of the hidden ones starts fast and the ones who have been found go down to the dining-hall for a residual portion of the game. The baron himself does not participate in the game, instead he is sitting at a desk and plays a game of chess with himself.
In the dark library someone has extinguished all light, and it is pitch dark. In the darkness one can hear movements which come out of the exterior walls If one takes a luminary one can see that the room is empty but one finds a big spot of wax on the floor, which is still soft.
However one searches, one does not find a candle the wax could be from.
Deep inside the castle, in one of the corridors, there are audible sounds from the lavatory, and if one opens the door, fifteen persons who all have hidden in there rush out.

In the trophy-room Dios in his scarecrow costumes sits hidden behind a stuffed wild boar. When the characters speak to him, he will not answer. When they touch him he falls down with a unhealthy bump and his head rolls like a ball over the floor. If the characters have sufficient presence of mind to stay in the room and examine the corpse they find that in spite of the decapitated corpse there is no trace of blood. The wound has been burned with such a heat that the blood has coagulated. There is an explanation for all that: Dios and Rolinda sat down in the trophy-room and waited, but in the same moment Eza and the baroness came in through the secret door in the wall. Eza conjured the aspect Fire and laid it on the edge of the axe which she used to cut off Dios’ head. Rolinda’s scream was not heard because the baroness used her magic to suppress the sound in the room (Affect Sound). Afterwards they took Rosalinda with them up the attic. They would have also taken the corpse with them but then the characters came in the room and they closed the secret door rapidly. If the characters do not leave the room without staying at the copse they leave the copse behind until they find a possibility to do remove it unseen. If it becomes necessary they will use magic to lure the characters out of the room, for example with the aspect Sound.
The reactions about the character’s discovery are described in the summary.
In one of the corridors the characters may see a woman in red clothes who just goes round the corner. If they follow her, they do not find a trace of her, she seems to have disappeared into thin air. In reality she entered one of the secret passages. If the characters look for it they can find it but that demands a successful roll with Difficulty Level -6.

The characters see a rat wedge in through the open door directly followed by a strangled scream. When they enter the room they see a girl masked as jester twiddle out off the chest of drawers where she hid under. She looks up and sees that she has been discovered. She explains cheerfully that she is afraid of rats and that it ran directly over her hand. She remains in the room brushing her clothes. When the characters leave the room they hear some seconds later a slamming sound from within and when they come back into the room they see a dead rat lying right on the floor, trampled to death. There is not a trace of the girl but a small mirror that stood by the dresser has fallen to the floor. The girl’s name is Linnea and she is one of the five chosen ones. The baroness opened a door in the wall and hit the girl unconscious. Then she stepped on the rat and saw her reflection in the mirror. She became furious, as usual, about what she saw and threw it to the ground. Then she used the aspect Time to be able to act quickly and to disappear through the secret door again before the characters entered the room. It is exactly as difficult as before to find the door but if one finds it, it leads into one of the tunnels that run through the castle’s thick walls.

In one of the rooms which the characters enter there is a weak smell of perfume in the air. In the room sits Eza, doing embroideries. The old the woman is not recognizable under her masquerade but the characters sense again that she is one of the servants in the house. Eza looks at them in the same way a predatory bird looks at his prey. If the characters choose to talk with her they will not get anything but a short answer. Should the characters watch her discreetly they may see how she gets up from her chair and goes to a closet in the room. Then she enters the closet and opens a door in the wall through which she disappears. The secret door locks from the inside and is very sturdy.

23.55 A bell rings in the dining-hall and all which have not been discovered before come out of their covers. All except the five girls and Dios. If the characters enter screaming out that strange things are still happening, they are met with the attitude that these are pure fantasies or that they try to frighten the people. In the same moment the monastery bell rings and a loud voice is audible. The people are rushing curiously to know what is going on and crowd into the watchtower straight above the castle’s court. From there one can see the apparent ceremony of the monks and one can distinguish a monk standing on the roof with a big wooden cross in the hand. During that turmoil the baron rushes to the attic where he will be killed.

00.20 After one of the girl’s death (cf. the summary above) the baroness attempts to attract the female beauty among the characters (if there is one, otherwise she will choose the most handsome man). If her friends follow her, that will not disturb the baroness, she knows that her power can handle them easily.
The characters will probably use the baron’s staircase, if they have not found the secret staircase. Having reached the attic they have to stand two rounds of combat before they can hear from the outside the monk’s voice yelling. The monk gives his life to the One and gives the characters the upper hand. Without their powers, the two women are less danegerous by far, additionally they are very starteled. What the characters see when they come up to the attic is terrible. On the ground lies four girls, the hands bound on their backs, with gags, and one of them (Rolinda) has a bizarre metal construction on her face. A lot of cranks and compulsions stand out from the mask. Eza awaits the characters standing on a roof-tree and she attacks them from there.
Disregarding how the fight ends, the baroness’ body disappears without a trace and one can see a pale figure wander away through the Wolf Pass.
If everything fails
The worst thing that can happen is that the characters become victimes of the baroness and Eza. In that case the ritual can be completed and the evil which causes that action awakes the Jeselite which has slumbered for a long time in the crazy baroness. Furthermore, a faithful henchmen of the Darkness has been raised to posession and a part of the struggle has been lost. In that case the baroness takes over the academy after her deceased husband whom she will blame to have been a wife abuser and barbarian, and Darkness will dwell there, teaching the noble children to turn their view to Merodak, against freedom, justice and power.
Characters
All characters are described briefly, and only their most outstanding attributes are mentioned. All other attribute have the average value 10.

Baron Matteus
Baron is a big man with along with a boisterous fashion. He has curly hair and a curly beard. He is in his fourties. The baron is frequently dressed in black velvet, but for the evening he is disguised as a bear.
STR 14
CHAR 13
AGL 6

Eza
Eza is the absolute stereotype of a witch with her white hair by an the witch along with sits hair in a knot under a huckle. She has a crooked nose and steel-grey eyes. She walks slightly bent speaks with a little raspy voice. little rasp accord. Under this facade she is quite fast and her powers are no fun.
STR 8
AGL 13
MEN 14
Magic +6
Close Combat +2

Baroness Minerva
The Baroness is disfigured. She limps strongly, and her face is gnarled and scarred. She wears clothes of dark velvet and smells of perfume. She is also quite demented.
STR 7
AGL 5
MEN 14
Magic +4

Some names for the servants/pupils in the castle are given below. Be prepared to improvize their special characteristics. All servants seem to be useless if their special duty is not concerned, the pupils have more or less the same capacities as the characters.

Frederic Udolf
Minna Tannvar
Badur Batvina
Evea Yrme
Nilla Ibrim
Haugt Haldon


Translator’s note: „Iron mask“ is in my eyes a very good adventure and I did my very best to translate it as accurate as possible, in spite of my very limited knowledge of Swedish. In case of doubt, I always tried to get the meaning even if I did not understand each and every word. Therefore I assume the full responsibility for any misunderstanding or bad expression.

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