Dramatic Wounds 0
Sword School: Tout Près
Double-parry (Fencing/Improvised Weapon) 3
Tagging (Improvised Weapon) 3
Exploit Weakness (Tout Près) 3
Legendary Trait: Panache
Courtier: Dancing 2, Etiquette 2, Fashion 2, Oratory, Sincerity, Mooch
Merchant: Cooking 2
Servant: Etiquette 2, Fashion 2, Menial Tasks, Unobtrusive
Streetwise: Socializing, Street Navigation
Archer: Attack (Bow), Fletcher, Trick Shooting
Athlete: Climbing, Footwork 3, Sprinting, Throwing, Swimming, Balance
Dirty Fighting: Attack (Dirty Fighting), Attack (Improvised Weapon), Parry (Improvised Weapon), Throw (Improvised Weapon)
Fencing: Attack (Fencing) 3, Parry (Fencing) 3
The sun was still rising, beams of light glistening through his bedroom window when Jean Céleste had finished putting the final touches on his packing. The beautiful Montaigne countryside beckoned; the birds chirped nothing but happy melodies from outside. It was a good day to start his own adventure. He placed a hand on the silver pendant he wore around his neck, the last reminder he had of the parents he never knew.
Jean, acting servant for a very well-to-do Montaigne family, had lived a very blessed life for a servant. He was always treated as one of their own, so much so that he “inherited” their family name. It was just as well, anyways; it wasn’t like he knew what his real one was. The life of a servant for the Célestes was all the life he had ever known.
His best friend, Andre, eldest and only son of the Céleste family, had always treated Jean as his own brother. Being similar in age and growing up together meant that these two boys were as close knit as could be. They certainly got into their fair share of trouble, but would always stand by each other through thick and thin. The masters of the house didn’t really object to this relationship, perhaps for want of a good comrade for their son. For biological reasons, Andre never had any other male siblings. As one might imagine, however, being this close to the heir of the family brought Jean some scorn from a few of the other servants. Andre was definitely the one thing that made Jean second-guess his desire to leave.
Well, maybe make that two things. The food served at the Céleste household was to die for. To. Die. For. Christophe had to be the most gifted chef in the land. At the very least, he was in Jean’s mind. Jean spent what was left of his spare time after hanging out with Andre instead hanging out around the manor’s kitchen. The head chef there, Christophe Gratin, was always happy to show Jean around when things weren’t too busy. He also never seemed to tire of Jean’s amazement and never seemed to mind teaching him a thing or two…when time permitted.
Come to think of it, Jean was sure no other servant could boast about as comfortable a life as his. Shaking these dangerous thoughts from his mind proved more and more difficult as he second-guessed his departure. There was a lot to miss here, even for a servant, but it wasn’t helping him feel any less confined…or helping him bring closure to the mystery of his parents, something that the masters of the house were always oddly tight-lipped about.
It was time to go. A new chapter had begun for Jean Céleste, one that he would write himself.
The Music Box Puzzle
The Marquis’ daughter, Cherie, secretly gives Jean a musical jewelry box, fashioned of a distinctive dark red wood with an ornate symbol on the bottom. The music box had apparently belonged to the late mother of Jean, but was not given to him as a child as a young man had no need for such a feminine object. The music box houses an ornate clockwork ballerina that dances to a common Montaigne folk tune.
Inquiring around, Jean finds out that the wood comes from La Selva de Fendes in Castille, and sets out to find out more about the music box. The wood, as it turns out, was indeed from the Forest of the Fiends, but is also a popular export wood, used for many special projects. Back to square one, Jean continues to investigate while in the company of Nigel Graves, an Avalonian knight also travelling the countryside for his own reasons.
Upon meeting up with a handful of fellow adventurers and escaping a few close calls with the Inquisition, Henri notes that the music box bears the same symbol as the one on his puzzle sword, the mark of the famous swordsmith and tinkerer, Detruire. Realizing that the inventor was famous for hidden switches and compartments, the puzzle-loving Henri spends many a night inspecting the box, trying to see if anything is hidden therein.
After many long nights, Henri finally manages to pop a secret compartment while at a military camp by the Montaigne border. The secret compartment contains a short letter and some accounting documents. The letter reads as follows:
My Dearest Nicolette,
I have uncovered evidence that my brother is embezzling money from the crown. I have enclosed the incriminating ledger pages, keep them in a safe place. I am going to confront Edmond tomorrow and try to reason with him. If anything should happen to me take Quentin and the papers to Eisen. Find Claus Richter in Wische, he will keep you safe and know what to do.
From his memory, Jean recalls that his master, the Marquis Edmond, used to have an older brother who was also named Theo, who was married to someone named Nicolette. Both of them and their son had unfortunately died at a relatively young age, leaving the family line to the Marquis.
Katy confirms that the accompanying accounting documents appear to confirm that someone was indeed embezzling funds from the crown.
Finding Cherie at the Emperor’s Ball, Jean shares his findings with her and reluctantly notes that it will still be awhile before he returns home. Unfortunately, someone of the Valroux household overhears this and tries to convince Jean to spill the beans about the Céleste family. Thanks to some shenanigans at the Ball, he leaves empty-handed.