What follows is not an adventure log or actual play account of our game; rather, is a sample duel showcasing the Flashing Blades combat rules work for new or prospective players. A narrative of the combat is interspersed with text describing the rules behind the action. The combat takes place in a Marchois inn on rainy day in May 1625 . . .
“You are a cheat, monsieur. Now stand, if you’re a man.”
It’s not the words that catch Louvigny‘s attention, but rather the sudden stillness which follows them, broken only by the sound the rain falling outside the inn. Across the common room, a gentilhomme in a slashed doublet of scarlet velvet stands with his rapier pointed at Ferusac’s throat across a table strewn with coins and cards. The Gascon’s face betrays no emotion beyond its usual wry indifference, but Louvigny notes that his fellow Musketeer’s eyes are alight as he pushes his chair back, scraping along the clay tiles, and slowly rises.
“Take your satisfaction, monsieur,” Ferusac growls as he draws his longsword with one hand and sweeps off his hat with the other, “if you can.”
First, let’s meet our combatants. Ferusac, the King’s Musketeer, is trained in the French and cavalry styles of fencing; the veteran soldier is also trained in the use of firearms and brawling. His Expertise is 18 with his longsword and his flintlock pistols, or while brawling; his pistols are in the saddle-holster on his horse in the inn’s stables, however, and unavailable to him.
Ferusac’s Expertise of 18 gives him a base chance to hit of 14 (4.31 Base Chance to Hit). His longsword modifies his chance to hit by + 1 (4.32, Hand Weapons and Unarmed Attacks). His chance to hit is 14 + 1 = 15. He is using his hat to parry, which provides a + 2 modifier (4.41 The Parry, (e) The French Style). His chance to parry is 14 + 2 = 16. His armor consists of a leather jerkin protecting his chest and flank and boots protecting his legs; his gauntlets were removed during the card game and remain tucked in the sash around is waist. Ferusac has Strength 12, Endurance 15, and a Stocky build, giving him 15 Hit Points (3.1 DETERMINING ATTRIBUTES).
D’Aiglet, the scarlet-clad nobleman, is trained in the Spanish style; a hunter, he is also skilled in the use of firearms. His Expertise is 14 with his rapier and 10 with the wheelock dueling pistol concealed in the sash beneath his cape.
D’Aiglet’s Expertise of 14 gives him a base chance to hit of 11. He rapier modifies his chance to hit by + 2. His chance to hit is 11 + 2 = 13; trained in the Spanish style, he gains an additional + 1 to slash attacks (3.51 Martial Skills, Dueling, (1) Spanish Style), giving him a chance to hit 13 + 1 = 14 on a slash. He does not use an off-hand parrying weapon; his rapier provides him with a +1 modifier to parry (4.41 The Parry, ( c ) Weapon Parry Bonus). His chance to parry is 11 + 1 = 12. His armor consists of a padded doublet protecting his chest and flank, padded sleeves protecting his arms, and padded breeches and boots protecting his legs; like Ferusac, his gauntlets were removed for the card game and lie on the table. D’Aiglet receives no bonuses to his hit points from his attributes and has a Thin build, giving him just 9 Hit Points.
Each man offers a salute, the gentleman, one d’Aiglet by name, adding a mocking sneer as well, then both come on guard. D’Aiglet stands tall, offering a lean silhouette behind his outstretched sword arm; the bulkier Ferusac drops into a crouch, longsword angled before him, hat held close to his chest.
D’Aiglet suddenly slashes at Ferusac, the tip of his rapier a streak in the light, but Ferusac sweeps the blade away with his hat and thrusts his sword on a low line, which d’Aiglet just manages to parry. The noble’s brow furrows slightly as he recovers.
Combatants with rapiers and longswords attack on the same count in the order of attack, but d’Aiglet’s Dexterity is higher than Ferusac’s so he strikes before the Musketeer (4.2 TURN SEQUENCE, (2) ATTACK). D’Aiglet chooses to Attack and Parry; he attacks with a slash aimed at Ferusac’s head – clearly he wants to kill his man – and he anticipates Ferusac will thrust. Ferusac chooses to Parry and Counter; he expects d’Aiglet will slash and counters with a thrust in return, aimed at the nobleman’s abdomen.
D’Aiglet must roll a 14 or less on D20 to hit (4.21 Base Chance to Hit); he rolls a 6, indicating a hit. Ferusac base chance to parry is 16 or less on D20 (4.41 The Parry); , he successfully anticipated d’Aiglet’s attack and gains a + 3 modifier to parry (4.41 The Parry, (a) The Type of Attack) but suffers a – 2 modifier from attempting to parry a rapier (4.41 The Parry, (b) Attacker’s Weapon Attack Bonus). Ferusac must roll 17 or less on D20 to parry; he rolls a 14, and parries d’Aiglet’s slash.
Because d’Aiglet’s attack was unsuccessful, Ferusac may now counterattack and gains an extra + 1 modifier to hit (4.2 TURN SEQUENCE, (4) COUNTER). Ferusac hits on a roll of 16 or less (15 to hit + 1 counterattack); he rolls a 9, indicating a hit. D’Aiglet normally parries on a roll of 12 or less; he guessed Ferusac’s attack and gains a + 3 modifier, but Ferusac’s longsword reduces this by – 1, and as Ferusac’s Expertise is greater than that of d’Aiglet, he suffers an additional modifier to parry of one-half the difference in their respective Expertise (4.41 The Parry, (d) Expertise), or – 2 (18 – 14 = 4; 4 ÷ 2 = 2). D’Aiglet needs to roll a 12 or less to parry; he rolls an 11 and parries – barely – Ferusac’s thrust.
There is a chance that d’Aiglet’s sword breaks when he parries Ferusac’s blade (4.42 Weapon Breakage). The chance it equal to 1 plus the difference in weapon strengths between the attacker and the defender. Ferusac’s longsword has a strength of 3 while d’Aiglet’s rapier has a strength of 2, yeilding a difference of 3 – 2 = 1. The chance of the rapier breaking is 1 + 1 = 2 or less on D6; d’Aiglet’s roll is a 6.
Louvigny watches as Ferusac allows a hint of grim smile to appear on his face, while beads of sweat sprout from d’Aiglet’s forehead. D’Aiglet viciously drives the tip of his blade at Ferusac’s throat, but again the Gascon sweeps the rapier aside with his battered, rain-stained hat and slashes with his sword, striking d’Aiglet’s sword arm. The nobleman cries out as blood stains his white silk shirt and his rapier clatters to the tiles.
D’Aiglet chooses to Attack and Parry once again, thrusting his sword at Ferusac’s head this time; he anticipates a thrust from the Musketeer once again. Ferusac chooses to Attack and Parry as well, slashing at d’Aiglet’s abdomen while preparing for a lunge from the nobleman.
D’Aiglet needs to roll 13 or less to hit with a thrust; his roll is 6, indicating a hit. Ferusac didn’t guess d’Aiglet’s attack correctly; his chance to parry this attack is 16 – 2 = 14; his roll is 12, parrying d’Aiglet’s thrust.
Ferusac’s attack succeeds on 15 or less; his roll is 4, hitting d’Aiglet. D’Aiglet doesn’t anticipate Ferusac’s slash, so his chance to parry drops to 12 – 1 – 2 = 9; his roll is 16, and d’Aiglet fails to parry Ferusac’s slash. The Musketeer’s attack was aimed at d’Aiglet’s abdomen, and two D20s are rolled to determine where the blow landed (4.52 Hit Locations); the rolls are 3 and 5, resuling in a hit on d’Aiglet’s right arm instead. A slash from a longsword does 2 points of damage (4.53 Weapon Damage) on a light wound, but because Ferusac’s roll was less than one-half the number needed to hit, it’s a serious wound causing an additional 1D6 damage (ibid.); the additional damage roll is 5, causing 2 + 5 = 7 points of damage. D’Aiglet’s padded sleeves protect him from 1 point of damage (4.54 Armor), reducing the damage to 6 points to the noble’s right arm. Because the damage exceeds one-half of d’Aiglet’s overall hit points, his right arm is rendered useless for 1 to 6 days (4.55 Effects of Damage); a useless arm cannot be used to hold a weapon, parry, or grip, so d’Aiglet immediately drops his rapier.
D’Aiglet staggers backwards, clutching his limp sword arm, his face contorted with pain and hate as his gaze flashes from his wounded limb to the Musketeer standing before him. A smirk twists one corner of Ferusac’s mouth as he returns the nobleman’s gaze over the point of his sword. “Had enough?” the Gascon growls.
The nobleman’s eyes bulge from a face red with fury. “André!” he screams through spittle-flecked lips, “Kill this dog!”
Louvigny sees movement in a shadowy corner of the room, opposite the roaring fireplace. A man, one of three at seated around a table, rises. He is not tall, but his arms and neck are thickly corded where they emerge from his leather jerkin. From a scabbard at his waist he draws an enormous hanger and advances toward Ferusac, the broad blade glinting in the firelight.
The innkeeper, his apron twisted in his hands, speaks up. “Monsieurs, please,” he begins, but d’Aiglet shoots him a look like daggers and the innkeeper falls silent as André waves him back with his sword.
At this, Louvigny rises as well, addressing himself to d’Aiglet. “Monsieur,” he says in a srong, clear voice, "your challenge has been met. You risk dishonor – " Before he can finish, d’Aiglet whirls toward him and barks, “This is none of your affair!” and André looks back at his companions at the table in the shadows. “Bernardo! Biscotti! Help this fancy find his seat,” he orders, and with a quick glance at one another, they rise. Louvigny observes one of the wretches, with a scraggly beard and mustache, draw a long dagger from the top of a muddy boot while the other, with a drooping mustache, plucks an empty wine bottle from the table and shatters it on the edge, leaving the broken end in one hand and his ceramic mug in the other.
The pair advance on Louvigny, and the young Musketeer licks his lips gone suddenly dry as he draws his rapier and main-gauche.
Now let’s meet the rest of our combatants. Louvigny, another Musketeer, is trained in the French fencing style; he is also skilled in the use of firearms and polearms. His Expertise is 15 with his rapier.
Louvigny’s Expertise of 15 gives him a base chance to hit of 12 or less. He rapier modifies his chance to hit by + 2. His chance to hit is 12 + 2 = 14 or less. He ues a main-gauche, an off-hand parrying weapon; the main-gauche provides him with a +3 modifier to parry. His chance to parry is 12 + 3 = 15. Louvigny’s armor consists of a padded doublet protecting his chest and abdomen, padded sleeves and gauntlets protecting his arms, and padded breeches and boots protecting his legs. The Musketeer receives no bonuses to his hit points from his attributes and has a Normal build, giving him 10 Hit Points.
André, d’Aiglet’s gamekeeper, is trained in Old Style fencing and brawling; his Expertise is 12 with his hanger (cutlass) and 14 for purposes of brawling attacks.
The gamekeeper’s Expertise of 12 gives him a base chance to hit of 10 or less; his cutlass provides a + 1 modifier to hit, giving him a chance to hit of 10 + 1 = 11 or less. The cutlass provides no bonus to parry, so his chance to parry is equal to his base chance to hit, 10 or less. André’s armor consists of a leather jerkin protecting his chest and abdomen and boots protecting his legs. He recieves bonuses of + 1 for his Strength, + 3 for his Endurance, and + 1 for his Stocky build, giving him a total of 15 Hit Points.
Bernardo and Biscotti, d’Aiglet’s grooms, are each trained in Old Style fencing and brawling; Bernardo’s expertise with his dagger is 11, and both men have Brawling Expertise of 12.
Bernardo’s Expertise of 11 gives him a base chance to hit of 9 or less; his dagger provides no modifier, giving him a chance to hit of 9 or less. The dagger also provides no bonus to parry Bernardo paries on a 9 or less as well. Biscotti’s Brawling Expertise of 12 gives him a base chance to hit of 10 or less; his wine bottle, a Brawling weapon, provides a modifier of – 1, giving him a chance to hit of 9 or less. Neither man wears armor, and they receive no modifiers for attributes or Normal build, giving each man 10 Hit Points.
Ferusac tosses aside his hat and snatches up his cloak from the back of his chair, swinging it once around his arm as André advances. Each swordsman feints, trying to draw out his opponent, but neither commits to an attack as they watch one another other warily.
Louvigny comes en garde as the two ruffians approach, trying to flank him. He aims a sharp thrust at the man with the gleaming dagger held before him and is rewarded with a cry of pain. Then Louvigny gasps, his insides exploding in white-hot fire as the other wretch’s wooden clog strikes him in the groin.
Both Ferusac and André choose to Parry and Counter; since neither attacks, the opportunity to counter is lost.
Louvigny chooses to Attack and Dodge, giving himself the opportunity for a Reaction Parry (4.41 The Parry, (f) Reaction Parry) against Bernardo’s dagger and a chance to avoid Biscotti’s bottle; he aims a thrust at Bernardo’s chest. Bernardo chooses to Parry and Counter, thrusting at Louvigny’s head; he anticipates a thrust from Louvigny. Biscotti first throws the contents of his wine-mug in Louvigny’s face, then aims a Vicious Kick at the Musketeer.
Louvigny’s attack succeeds on a roll of 14 or less; his roll is 9, a hit. Bernardo attempts to parry the attack; his chance to parry is 9 or less, with a + 3 modifier for guessing Louvigny’s attack correctly but a -2 against the rapier and – 2 for the difference in Expertise, giving him an actual chance to parry of 8 or less, Bernardo’s roll is 15, and the rapier thrust strikes; as Louvigny’s attack succeeds, Bernardo’s attempt to counter is lost. Louvigny aims for Bernardo’s flank; he rolls a 2 and 10 for hit location, resulting in a light wound – 2 points of damage – to Bernardo’s chest. The wound has no other effect.
Biscotti goes straight to dirty fighting. Biscotti aims a Vicious Kick (4.73 Dirty Fighting, Vicious Kick) at Louvigny’s groin. The groom’s Brawling Expertise 12 gives him a base chance to hit of 10 or less; a Vicious Kick requires an additional modifier of – 2 to hit, and Louvigny’s Dodge provides a modifier of – 3 to the attack, giving Biscotti chance to hit of 10 – 2 – 3 – 5 or less to hit. His roll is a 4; Louvigny suffers 1 point of damage and is stunned, losing all remaining actions in this round and may only take one action in the next round (4.55 Effects of Damage).
On the other side of the common room, André abruptly rushes forward, lunging at Ferusac with the hanger as he passes. The Gascon whips his cloak at the blade too late; the sword’s edge slices through Ferusac’s leather jerkin and bites into the skin below his left arm, and he staggers back, grunting through gritted teeth.
Louvigny struggles to regain his balance as pain courses through his body. He slashes wildly at his tormentor, missing badly as Biscotti jabs him in the ribs with the broken wine bottle. Bernardo attempts to thrust his dagger under Louvigny’s chin, but he slips on spilled wine on the tile and the blow is lost as he struggles to regain his balance.
Ferusac once again chooses to Parry and Counter, anticipating a slash from the gamekeeper and thrusting at his flank in return. Instead of slashing, however, André lunges, a long action, eschewing defense for an all-out attack.
André hits on 11 or less; he rolls a 7, scoring a hit. Ferusac attempts to parry with his cloak, which provides a + 2 modifier (4.41 The Parry, (e) The French Style) against the gamekeeper’s cutlass, which provides a – 1 modifier; he parries on a roll of 14 + 2 – 1 = 15. He rolls is 17, failing to parry the lunge. André’s cutlass is aimed at Ferusac’s head; his rolls for hit location are 6 (chest) and 18 (right leg), resulting in a light wound to the chest. The cutlass does 4 points of damage on a lunge; André’s Strength 17 meets the Advantageous Strength bonus for a cutlass, giving him + 1 point of damage (4.53 Weapon Damage), for a total of 4 + 1 = 5 points of damage to Ferusac. The Gascon’s leather jerkin absorbs 2 points of damage, leaving him with three points of damage from the blow; there are no other effects from this damage.
Because André’s attack succeeds, Ferusac loses his counterattack.
Louvigny gets only one action in this round, and he chooses to use it on a slash at Biscotti’s chest; he gets no defense against either Bernardo or Biscotti, but he may still make a Reaction Parry against Bernardo’s dagger. Bernardo chooses to Attack and Parry with his dagger, aiming a thrust at Louvigny’s head and anticipating a thrust in return; Biscotti chooses to Attack and Dodge, aiming a strike with the broken bottle at Louvigny’s head.
Louvigny’s chance to hit is modified by – 3 from Biscotti’s dodge defense, resulting in a 14 – 3 = 11 chance to hit; his roll is 18, a miss. Bernardo’s chance to hit with his dagger is 9 or less; his roll is 20, a miss and a possible Fumble (4.72 Fumbles). A roll of D6 on the Fumble with Hand Weapons table results in a slip; Bernardo can take no other actions this round. Biscotti’s chance to hit with the broken bottle is 9 or less; his roll is 9, resulting in a hit. His rolls on the hit location table are 7 and 11; he strikes the chest with the bottle, causing two points of damage. Louvigny is wearing a padded doublet, which absorbs 1 point of damage; he takes 2 – 1 = 1 point of damage from the attack.
Ferusac bares his teeth in a devilish grin as André presses his advantage, slashing at the Gascon with the hanger. The flashing blades whistles past Ferusac, who then whips his cloak over André’s head and shoulders. The gamekeeper, disoriented, roars in anger as he struggles to free himself from the folds of the garment.
Across the room, Louvigny springs forward, lunging at Biscotti, driving the point of his sword into the man’s flank as he passes. The groom recoils in pain, all thoughts of attack lost as a handspan of steel enters his abdomen. Bernardo slashes at Louvigny with his dagger, but the Musketeer catches the blow on his main-gauche and turns it aside before it can find his flesh.
Ferusac prepares to Parry and Counter once again, expecting a slash and preparing to entangle André in his cloak. André chooses to Attack and Parry, expecting a thrust while slashing at Ferusac’s head.
André hits on 11 or less; he rolls a 12, missing. Ferusac does not need to roll to parry, but because André missed, he may counter. Ferusac attempts to Entangle (4.74 Special Attacks, ENTANGLE) André with his cloak; first he most succeed in an attack with a roll of 14 or less; his roll is 12. André may attempt to avoid the cloak by rolling less than his Dexterity – 3; the gamekeeper’s Dexterity is 9, so he must roll 9 – 3 = 6 or less. André’s roll is 8, and he is entangled in Ferusac’s cloak; the gamekeeper loses all of his actions next turn.
Louvigny chooses to lunge, a long action, at Biscotti this turn; he is allowed a Reaction Parry against Bernardo’s dagger. Bernardo choose to Attack and Parry, slashing at Louvigny’s head; Biscotti plans another Vicious Kick and Dodge’s Louvigny’s attack.
Louvigny’s chance to hit is modified by – 3 from Biscotti’s dodge defense, resulting in a 14 – 3 = 11 chance to hit; his roll is 10, a hit. The Musketeer’s attack is aimed at Biscotti’s flank; he rolls 6 (chest) and 15 (flank), striking the flank. The lunge causes 4 points of damage; the groom wears no armor and takes all 4 points of damage and he is stunned by the attack, losing all actions this turn and limiting him to one action next turn.
Bernardo hits on a 9 or less with his dagger slash at Louvigny; his roll is 4, a hit. Louvigny is allowed a Reaction Parry to the attack; he normally parries on 15 or less and there is no modifier for parrying a dagger, but because this is a reaction parry, the modifier is – 6, giving him the chance to parry on 15 – 6 = 9 or less. Louvigny’s roll is 9; he parries the attack, but only just.
As André fights his way out of the folds of the cloak, Ferusac performs a flèche, lunging past the gamekeeper and slipping a handspan of his blade under André’s ribs. The latter groans in pain and anger.
Again Bernardo attacks with his dagger, low this time, the point jabbing toward Louvigny’s guts. The Musketeer, sensing an opportunity, parries in septime, than twists his main-gauche hard against Bernardo’s blade. The dagger slips from the groom’s hand and clatters to the floor. A grim smile appears on the Musketeer’s face.
André can take no action this turn after being entangled in Ferusac’s cloak, so Ferusac opts to lunge; André can attempt a reaction parry, however, as it is not an action.
Ferusac’s lunge succeeds on 15 or less; his roll is 6, a hit. The gamekeeper attempts a reaction parry; he parries normally on a 10 or less, but this is modified – 1 for Ferusac’s longsword, – 3 for the difference in Expertise between the two swordsmen, and – 6 for the reaction parry, reducing his chance to 10 – 1 – 3 – 6 = 0 – he cannot parry the blow. Ferusac aims for André’s flank; the rolls are 2 (head) and 10 9chest), so the lunge strikes André’s chest instead. The longsword normally causes 4 points of damage on a lunge, but 6 is less than one-half 15, a serious wound causing an additional 1D6 points of damage; Ferusac’s damage roll is a 4, causing 4 + 4 = 8 points of damage. the gamekeeper’s leather jerkin reduces the damage by 2, so the actual damage is 8 – 2 = 6 points of damage. André is stunned as well; he may only take one action in the following turn.
Louvigny chooses to Parry and Counter this turn; he anticipates a lunge and will attempt to disarm Bernardo. Bernardo chooses to Attack and Parry; he thrusts his dagger at Louvigny’s flank and expects Louvigny to lunge. Biscotti is limited to one action this turn; expecting Louvigny to lunge at him again, he chooses to Sidestep as his defense.
Bernardo’s attack hits on a 9 or less; his roll is 2, a hit. Louvigny parries with his main-gauche, allowing him to parry on 15 or less; his roll is 4, and he parries the thrust. Now he attempts to Disarm Bernardo ((4.74 Special Attacks, DISARM); Louvigny’s main-gauche is weapon strength 2 and Bernardo’s dagger weapon strength 1, so the disarm may be attempted. Each combatant makes a resistance roll (3.4 USING SKILLS) against his Expertise. Louvigny rolls 6, which is 15 – 6 = 9 less than his Expertise; the 9 is subtracted from Bernardo’s Expertise 11, meaning the groom must roll 11 – 9 = 2 or less to prevent the disarm. His roll is 12, so Bernardo is disarmed.
André coughs as he recovers, red foam flecking his lips, and Ferusac presses his advantage, lunging again, but the gamekeeper is ready this time, kicking the Gascon’s feet out from under him and sending him crashing to the floor.
Across the room, Louvigny slashes at Biscotti again, his blade a glittering line trailing a spray of blood as it connects with the groom’s chest. Biscotti’s eyes roll back and he collapses like a rag doll, the remains of the broken bottle shattering on the clay tiles. At the same moment, Bernardo crashes into the Musketeer, intent on bearing him to the floor, but somehow Louvigny keeps his feet under him and pushes the groom back.
Ferusac wants to end the fight, so he lunges again, trying to score as much damage as he can; he will trust to a reaction parry if André attacks. But André is prepared to give up the fight, trusting in a reaction parry as well and attempting to Trip Ferusac.
Ferusac’s lunge hits on a roll of 15 or less; he rolls a 16 and misses. André can now counter with a Kick in order to Trip (4.73 Dirty Fighting, TRIP) the Musketeer. André’s kick gets a + 3 modifier; his Brawling attacks hit on a roll of 11 or less, and with the modifier the attacks hits on a roll of 11 + 3 = 14 or less. The gamekeeper’s roll is 10, the trip is successful, and Ferusac falls to the floor, stunned.
Expecting Bernardo to spend the turn recovering his dagger, Louvigny chooses to Attack and Dodge, slashing at Biscotti’s flank again. Biscotti again chooses a Vicious Kick and Dodges while Bernardo ignores his lost dagger and instead attempts to Tackle Louvigny, a long action.
Louvigny’s chance to hit is modified by – 3 from Biscotti’s dodge defense, resulting in a 14 – 3 = 11 chance to hit; his roll is 5, a hit. The blow is aimed at Biscotti’s flank, and the location rolls are 4 (right arm) and 9 (chest); the slash strikes Biscotti’s chest, as it is closest to the flank. A slash from a rapier does 2 points of damage, but Louvigny’s roll of 5 is less than half the chance to hit, so an additional 1D6 damage is added; the roll is 2, causing 2 + 2 = 4 points of damage. Biscotti now has cumulative 8 points of damage to his chest and flank; he is rendered unconscious for 1 to 6 hours by the blow (4.55 Effects of Damage, CHEST or FLANK).
Bernardo tried to tackle (4.53 Weapon Damage, UNARMED ATTACKS, Tackle) Louvigny; he plans to Grapple and Choke (4.73 Dirty Fighting, CHOKE) the Musketeer on the next turn. The groom’s Brawling Expertise 12 gives him a base chance to hit of 10 or less; his roll is 11, and he misses.
All thoughts of his own wound forgotten, André bellows as he stomps his foot down on the fallen Ferusac. The Gascon groans as the gamekeeper’s boot smashes into his ribs, and Ferusac rolls over and staggers to his feet.
Louvigny thrusts his rapier at Bernardo, but the groom leaps backwards, beyond the reach of the Musketeer’s blade.
André chooses to Stomp (4.73 Dirty Fighting, STOMP) Ferusac while the latter is on the floor. André’s kick gets a + 3 modifier; his Brawling attacks hit on a roll of 11 or less, and with the modifier the attacks hits on a roll of 11 + 3 = 14 or less. The gamekeeper’s roll is 2, a hit causing a serious wound. Because André’s Strength is greater than 16, the kick does 3 points of general damage with an additional + 1 point of damage for a successful stomp, causing 3 + 1 = 4 points of general damage to Ferusac. Ferusac must also make a resistance roll between his Endurance 15 and André’s Strength 17 to avoid beind stunned (4.53 Weapon Damge, UNARMED ATTACKS, Kick). André’s roll is 13, which results in a modifier of 13 – 17 = -4 to Ferusac’s Endurance check. Ferusac must roll 15 – 4 = 11 or less to avoid being stunned by the stomp; he rolls 9, so he is not stunned by the attack. Ferusac has now taken three points of damage to his chest and four points of general damage; he has eight hit points remaining.
Louvingy chooses to Attack and Dodge, aiming a thrust at Bernardo’s flank; Bernardo chooses to Step Back, a long action, so Louvigny’s attack cannot reach him.
Exultant, André swings his hanger in a wide arc at Ferusac’s head, hoping to score a killing blow, but the Gascon sweeps the blade aside with his cloak and thrusts his longsword past the gamekeeper’s parry into André’s guts, under the bottom edge of the his jerkin. André staggers, his eyes uncomprehending at the sight of crimson blood staining his woolen breeches; the hanger slips from his hand and falls to the tiles with a loud clang as André sinks to the floor with a groan and lies still.
Louvigny advances cautiously, prepared to thrust his sword at the groom, but the fight is gone out of Bernardo, and he leaps back again, angling toward the door of the inn.
Ferusac returns to his earlier tactic of Parry and Counter; he anticipates a slash from André and prepares to counter with a thrust to the flank. André chooses to Attack and Parry, aiming a slash at Ferusac’s head and expecting a lunge from the Gascon.
André hits on 11 or less; he rolls a 5, scoring a hit. Ferusac attempts to parry with his cloak, which provides a + 2 modifier, against the gamekeeper’s cutlass, which provides a – 1 modifier; he parries on a roll of 14 + 2 – 1 = 15. His roll is 6, parrying the slash. Because André’s blow was parried, Ferusac may counter.
Ferusac’s thrust succeeds on 15 or less; his roll is a 1, an automatic hit that bypasses armor (4.54 Armor). The gamekeeper attempts to parry; he parries normally on a 10 or less, but this is modified – 1 for Ferusac’s longsword and – 3 for the difference in Expertise between the two swordsmen; André’s chance to parry is 10 – 1 – 3 = 6 or less. His roll is 9; he doesn’t parry the attack. Ferusac aims for the flank, and he rolls to determine the hit location; his rolls are 11 (left arm) and 14 (flank), resulting in a serious wound on the flank. A thrust normally causes 2 points of damage, but serious wounds get an additional 1D6 damage; Ferusac rolls a 3, causing 2 + 3 = 5 points of damage. Because the attack roll was a 1, none of the damage is reduced for André’s armor. André now has 6 + 5 = 11 cumulative points of damage to his flank and chest; this is more than one-half his total hit points of 15, so he is rendered unconscious by the blow for 1 to 6 hours.
Louvigny again choose to Attack and Dodge, but Bernardo wants to make good his escape; the groom chooses to Step Back again, and by successfully stepping back on two consecutive turns, he is now disengaged from the fight with Louvigny.
The remaining groom dashes for the door of the inn and disappears into the pouring rain outside the inn. Both Ferusac and Louvigny suddenly realize that one man remains standing: d’Aiglet. The noble’s face is pale, his red eyes fixed on Ferusac as he aims a pistol in a shaking hand at the Gascon.
“Die, you cur!” he screams in fury. The wheellock whirrs and with a loud crash and gout of flame and smoke the pistol discharges.
Finally, missle weapons. D’Aiglet’s Expertise is 10 with the pistol, giving him a base chance to hit of 8 or less; because the pistol is a wheellock, d’Aiglet receives an additional + 1 modifier to hit (4.33 Missle Weapon Attacks, (a)), making the chance to hit 8 = 1 = 9. Because of the earlier wound to his right arm, however, d’Agilet is forced to fire with his off-hand, incurring a modifier of – 3 (4.33 Missle Weapon Attacks, ( c )); this makes his chance to hit 9 – 3 = 6. Finally, the range is Close (4.33 Missle Weapon Attacks, (b)), granting a modifier of + 3; d’Aiglet’s chance to hit is 6 + 3 = 9 or less. His roll is 8, a hit. D’Aiglet aims for the head, and the hit location rolls are 16 (flank) and 20 (left leg); Ferusac is hit in the flank by the pistol ball. The ball causes 2 points of damage; armor only saves one-half the normal amount against firearms (4.54 Armor), so Ferusac’s leather jerkin reduces the damage by 1 instead of 2, resulting in 1 point of damage.
Ferusac winces as the ball strikes him. His arm swings outward and his longsword sails through the air, catching d’Aiglet in the shoulder. The nobleman gives a strangled cry, and falls to the ground.
Ferusac throws his sword at d’Aiglet. His base chance to hit is 14 or less, modified by – 1 at close range, making his chance to hit 14 – 1 = 13 or less; his roll is 6. Ferusac aims for d’Aiglet’s chest; his rolls for hit location are 5 (right arm) and 17 (right leg), so the wound is to d’Aiglets’s right arm. A thrown longsword normally causes two points of damage, but the wound is serious, resulting in an additional 1D6 damage; Ferusac’s roll is 1, causing 2 + 2 = 3 points of damage. D’Aiglet’s padded sleeves, however, reduce the damage by – 1, so the final damage is 3 – 1 = 2 points. As d’Aiglet only has two hit points remaining, he is reduced to zero and falls unconscious for 1 to 6 hours.
As d’Aiglet’s hit points were reduced to zero by an attack on his right arm, there is a chance that he will suffer a more serious or lasting injury (4.8 Recuperation). His roll is 15; he will end up with a bad scar on his arm to remind him of the fight in the inn.
Louvigny stares dumbfounded at Ferusac, and at the nobleman lying on the floor. "That was – " he begins, but Ferusac cuts him short. “Not now,” the Gascon mutters. He grabs a cloth from the bar and loosens the strings on his jerkin. “Are you hurt?” he asks.
As the excitement of the moment fades, Louvigny feels his wounds, a dull ache in his groin and abdomen, the cut on his chest, and a pounding in his temples. “Yes – I mean, not badly,” he replies. “You were shot?”
Ferusac nods. “A scratch,” he replies. "That one – " he nods at André " – got me pretty good with that deer-splitter of his." He grimaces as packs the wound the wine-soaked bar rag. “And I think he may have cracked a rib.”
“A surgeon – " Louvigny begins, but again Ferusac cuts him off. “No time,” he replies. Moving slowly, the Gascon shuffles to where d’Agilet lies on the floor. He places his hand on the nobleman’s chest. “Still breathing,” Ferusac murmurs, then glances at Louvigny. “Did you kill your man there?”
“Yes, maybe – I don’t know,” Louvigny replies, looking hastily at where the groom lies on the floor of the inn.
Ferusac recovers his sword, cleaning the blade on the nobleman’s velvet doublet. He takes d’Aiglet’s scarlet hat, tears off a long white plume, and sweeps the coins and cards off the table into it. Next he reaches inside d’Aiglet’s doublet, removing a silk purse filled with jingling silver, and tucks it inside his own jerkin. Finally, he removes a glittering diamond ring from the nobleman’s pinky.
The Gascon turns to the innkeeper, standing in the shadows, his wine-spattered apron still twisted in his hands. Ferusac leans in close to the trembling host, and holds the ring under his nose. “For your trouble,” he growls, his eyes fierce. The innkeeper reaches for the ring, but Ferusac pulls it back quickly. “Should anyone inquire, we are heading west, toward Bourdeaux. You heard us talking about a ship for Spain. Do you understand?” The innkeeper nods quickly. Ferusac presses the ring into the man’s palm, pressing his hand firmly. “If I find out you said anything else, I will be back,” he rumbles, his breath warm on the innkeeper’s rosy cheeks.
“Let’s go,” Ferusac says to Louvigny, stopping to take d’Aiglet’s sword as well.
Crossing the inn’s muddy courtyard, the rain seems to be growing worse, Louvigny notes sourly. Inside the stable, they quickly saddle their horses. “You robbed a gentleman,” Louvigny blurts out.
“You disapprove, chevalier?” Ferusac replies as he slowly, painfully eases himself into the saddle. Louvigny grimaces – the only time Ferusac uses his title is when he’s mocking him.
“The coins on the table, yes, I understand. But his ring?” Louvigny asks as they ride out of the stable into the downpour.
“The innkeeper would take it anyway once we left,” Ferusac replies, raising his voice slightly over the rain splattering their hats and horses, “and accuse us of taking it. He’s still blame us for it either way, but now we may have bought some time with it.”
Louvigny says nothing for a time. The only sound is the splash of the horses hooves in the mud. Finally he speaks up again.
“Ferusac, were you cheating?”
The Gascon’s face is hidden in the shadow of his hat.
“Just keep riding, chevalier.”