A Trial By Combat
Two nobles have been ordered to fight to the death to settle a rape accusation. Find some evidence or one of them dies. Yes, I ripped this off from the movie The Last Duel. I have no shame.
The year is 1307 and two nobles known as -insert name here- and -insert name here- are in a dire situation. The wife of one of them has accused the other of raping her and giving her a bastard child as a result. The other noble has pleaded innocence of this crime. In this kingdom, the punishment for rape is death.
The king launched an brief investigation into the matter but was unable to find any concrete evidence to back either the accusers or the accused. Unable to come to a ruling based soley on hearsay, the king decided to have the two nobles undergo a trial by combat. The victor of this duel would be declared the one in the right.
However, should the accusing wife have her husband be defeated, she herself will be punished for falsely accusing another of a crime. The punishment for a false accusation is the same as the crime accused, which in this case is death. However, the king has also declared that anyone who can provide verifiable concrete evidence of either party's guilt or innocence may deliver it to him and he will call off the duel. This offer remains open until the duel ends.
The PCs now face a choice. They can conduct another investigation and search for the evidence that is required, or just allow the duel to take place which it will in one month. Should the party chose to investigate, they must dig deep into the resulting rabbit hole and uncover the truth behind the matter. However the truth will be very hard to find and there is a chance that the players might act on misleading evidence that could get an innocent person killed. Only by following all of the leads to the very end will the true evidence be found. Will the players find it?
For PCs who wish to be one of the nobles fighting in the duel, the rules of the duel are as follows:
1. This is a fight to the death. Attempts to yield will not be accepted. Two people will enter the field of honor, only one will leave it alive.
2. The fight shall be done via mounted combat, ground combat, or a mixture of both.
3. Any armor and melee weapons are permitted to be used by the combatants.
4. Absolutely no outside assistance from anyone other then designated assistants such as a squire is permitted. Such designated assistants must be decided ahead of time.
5. Absolutely no magic in anyway shape or form in permitted in the duel by anyone. This includes enchanted gear and magic potions. Countermeasures to neutralize such magic will be in place to ensure this rule is not broken.
Other then those rules, anything goes.
NOTE ABOUT THE MOVIE:
There are no spoilers in this scenario. It is a movie that is actually very difficult to "spoil" due to the unusual way the story is told. I will not go into any details, but the movie is split into three parts where the same story is told from the perspective of the three main characters. Each of whom has a different explaination of the scenario. However, the movie doesn't confirm nor deny any details of the three accounts and each of the characters is equally likely to be telling the truth.
This open endedness make it perfect to be adapted into an RPG scenario since it is up to the players to form their own conclusions.
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? Responses (4)
I guess we can't know how to prove somebody innocent/guilty if we haven't seen the movie....and we also don't want spoilers...SO DON'T. Is the expectation for them to fight then in your scenerio?
The movie is rather vague about who is telling the truth. It doesn't confirm nor deny anything. It's a good movie though however it is ultimately up to you to draw your own conclusions.
Explained how this scenario works based on the movie.