So, I'm running the new edition of 7th Sea, specifically at the moment I'm running a variation on the Quick Start adventure and I asked each player to come up with a scene where their character messed up and had to be saved by another character. It led to some very fun situations - including one of the characters getting married off by the ship captain in exchange for much needed supplies.
The guy playing the ships captain came up with this gem of a set up, which I felt I had to share:
Nursing a goblet of the gloriously restorative Chateaux Chanreaux Grande Reserve while holding a cold compress to the side of his head, Capitaine Michel would later solemnly - and in all good conscience - conclude that in the final analysis, he was entirely blameless for setting the entire eastern dockland of Feniksowo Harbour ablaze with giant fireballs while attired as a flaming demon.
The plan was modest yet sound, and did not include any element that required the esteemed Capitaine to masquerade as a harbinger of the end days:
An invitation for a simple but discreet meeting of fellow Montaigne was extended to Madame Le Baronne Isabelle Novotny who was originally of the Dubois family, hailing from the neighbouring region to Chanreaux. As wife of the Baron Herakliusz Novotny, a renowned noble in the Sarmatian Senat, Madame Isabelle presented a potentially powerful ally and bridge to the Novotny family. This informal drinks invitation was to be held at 2 o'clock in the comfortable lounge within the glorious hilltop views of the Pachtuv Palace hotel, and in so being was in Michel's view entirely proper within the scope of good taste and noble etiquette.
It was not Capitaine Michel's fault that the invitation, properly dictated to his manservant Jacques Souffrant, did not include an explicit clause stating exactly which 2 o'clock was proposed.
It was not Capitaine Michel's fault that Duke Kazimierz had anticipated this next move, and had made arrangements for Novotny's men to follow Madame's movements.
It was not Capitaine Michel's fault that in their heady teenage years back in Montaigne, the young Madame Isabelle had felt somewhat encouraged by Michel's rather scattershot declarations of amorous intent. After all, if every young lady of good breeding took to heart the endless lovesick lamentations of the gangly young stag that was Michel in his pomp, his body would now be wrapped in the riches of dowry gold, rather than poultices and topical burn liniments.
So as anyone could see quite plainly, it was not Capitaine Michel's fault that Madame Isabelle chose to wilfully misinterpret the invitation and arrive in the middle of the night for what she hoped might be an infidelity or dalliance, discreetly popping up the latch on his bedchamber with a letter opening knife, thus rousing the Capitaine blinking from his evening rest.
Likewise, it was not Capitaine Michel's fault that hot on her heels arrived a squad of sword wielding brutes, confronting the pair with Michel standing aghast - nor indeed that the Capitaine was still in his bedrobes, which failed to protect his dignity as a cold breeze from the open door billowed the white flowing cotton gown upwards and outwards, revealing to all the suddenly wrinkled goods concealed beneath.
Self defence is the first right of a Nobleman assaulted in his private chamber, and the cornered animal is fiercest of all. Therefore Michel was unsurprised by the widened eyes and fearful look of his assailants, as he brandished the nearest weapon - which happened to be a large copper bed-warming pan - and swung it in a grand arc round his head. It was not Capitaine Michel's fault that in the heat of battle, he alone failed to notice the tiny platoon of glowing embers that were ejected from the holes in the copper pan, spiralling gently down towards the silk bedcovers, velvet curtains, Madame's powdered grey wig, and finally the flowing white bedrobes of Michel himself.
As the guards thundered back down the corridor in retreat wailing "Pozar! Pozar!", Capitaine Michel correctly identified this as the Sarmatian word for 'Fire'. Interpreting this as their regrouping to execute an imminent broadside of Musket shot, he bravely grabbed Madame Isabelle by the waist and without hesitation dove head-first out of the bedroom window. After all - the Capitaine had an exit strategy, a contingency plan: Jacques Suffraux had left two horses lashed to a cart stacked full of hay underneath the bedroom window to break the Capitaine's fall.
Split second as this action was, it could not be Capitaine Michel's fault that he still neglected to notice the plume of pinprick sparks and grey smoke trailing from both her wig and his hindquarters as they sailed down, nor for misinterpreting Madame Isabelle's screams - as well as the significance of the gentle 'whumpf' noise as they landed on the soft, dry pile of straw.
Assured of their escape, it was only now that Michel turned to Madame Isabelle. Startled by the sudden visage of this shrieking flame haired harpy, it could not possibly be the Capitaine's fault that he might choose to return the screams in kind. Nor indeed that upon hearing this, the horses would then rear up and career out of the courtyard and down the hill at full pelt, joining in the unearthly wailing as they ran for their lives from the blaze.
While - as befits a generous leader of men - Capitaine Michele had indeed ordered that thirty barrels of the excellent Vintage Rzeczpospolita Brandy should be bought and taken aboard, it was absolutely not his instruction nor his fault that Jacques Souffrant had chosen to wrap these in sack-cloth and stowed them at the rear of the cart nestled beneath the straw for safe keeping and transit.
Standing on the front seat of the flaming cart astride his flaming demon concubine, flaming bedrobes fluttering grandly behind his naked body and by now covered head to toe in thick black soot, gripping the reins with one hand and gesticulating frantically at the startled townsfolk that milled panicking down the cobbled streets, Capitaine Michel yelled hoarsely, imploring them to get out of the way. "Hors du Chemin! Hors Du Chemin!"
It was not the Capitaine's fault that in his haste he used his native Montaigne tongue, and in particular not his fault that that the broad translation of this into Sarmatian is '"Whores and shame! Whores and shame!". In addition, as it is a well known function of physics, it could not possibly be the Capitaine's fault that each lurch to the left or right produced a flaming ball of hellfire from the wheeled inferno that was the cart, as one by one the brandy barrels - by now swaddled in flaming cloth - bounded down the street and exploded onto the warehouses and loading bays that lay ahead. How was the Capitaine to possibly know that anticipating civil unrest, Duke Kazimerz had that day taken delivery of several hundredweight of gunpowder and cannon shot? How could the fault possibly lie with the noble of purpose, yet deeply unfortunate Michel?
All this said, it is entirely to Capitaine Michel's credit and good judgement in choosing his capable and loyal crew, so that at the very first call of "Pozar!" a dark, leather-clad figure gave a muffled sigh, flicked a knife into his hand and slid catlike down from a nearby rooftop lookout next to his Sarmatian crewmate, Drdos.
He spoke quietly in the Sarmatian native tongue, with a slight Castillian accent: "Take these customs papers and weigh anchor with all haste... I believe Capitaine Michel is preparing to leave."