The ball will be fantastic. There will be jongleurs, harlequins, musicians, singers, graceful dancers and fire-eaters, terrifying beasts, boats on the lake, gallons of food and riverfuls of wine, displays of magic and dazzling pyrotechnics.
The Duke of Erezi organised it all to impress the girl to whom he has taken a fancy, the Infanta Maciete de Carogne. She sailed up the river today on her tour of the old provinces of Calanz, and will arrive at his palazzo for the ball later tonight. The Infanta is the most desired and lusted-after woman in the whole Eastern continent, and will be looking particularly resplendent tonight.
The Duke obviously wants high security at the ball: gatecrashers have a nasty habit of turning up and drinking too much. Therefore he has hired the PCs as guards to stop such infringements.
The PCs will have to plan and put into practice the security arrangements for the ball: patrolling the perimeter, drawing glyphs and setting up traps, that sort of thing.
However, unknown to the guards the Duke is secretly intending to kidnap the Infanta.
Unknown to the Duke, his rival suitors are intending to gatecrash the ball and kidnap him.
Unknown to any of these, a politically motivated thief from the Orzi Verci mafia is going to sabotage the fireworks in an attempt to assassinate Tomaso d’Alerco, the head of the rival mafia.
Unknown to him, Tomaso d’Alerco has an inkling of this and has employed assassins who will try to enter the ball surreptitiously over the walls to guard his life.
This gives room for a fun evening of chaos and confusion between guests, guards and gatecrashers. Bear in mind that the PCs must do their best to make sure none of this is noticed by the other guests, because the last thing the Duke wants is a scene…