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March 15, 2006, 5:52 pm

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Cheka Man

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Filles D'Rame


This acting troupe travels across Calcobrina, delivering their own interpretation of popular plays, almost always to a standing room only crowd.

The Filles D’Rame are a fairly new, but established acting troupe that travel the Calcobrinan circuit, circling the peninsula once every year or so. The thing that makes the troupe unique compared to other traveling bands of musicians, stage performers, and dancers is that they prefer the classic works of the Bards compared to the more popular doggerel of the contemporary troupes. The second fact is that there is not one single man to be found in Filles D’Rame, and each woman and girl is devoted to the Goddess of love. Not surprising, they most prefer the tragedies and dramas that are based around love, promiscuity, and courtship rivalry.

The Filles D’Rame was founded around 12 years ago by a whorehouse madam who had a longtime running infatuation with the writings of the Bard Baldwin of Keeneshire. His tales of ill-fated lovers, courtly intrigues, and strong feminine characters appealed to the Madam. She sought to improve the lot of her girls, teaching them to read, write and etiquette so that they might find a career after they werent turning a profit between the sheets. The writings of Baldwin were primary in her teaching regemin, and it was no strange thing for the girls to be called upon to put on impromptu performances for this visiting dignitary, or that middling noble in an attempt to curry favor.

Chardonne, the senior prostitute under the Madam lead a very surprising coup, stealing away from the brothel and leaving the madam bereft of flesh to sell. The girls of the troupe had discovered that their talent at performing the old bardic epics in high cant, while dressed in negligee and corsets was very avant garde. The troupe formally organized and was able to ransom itself from the old madam and were able to make themselves masters of their own destiny, traveling from town to town.

Early Trials
The troupe faced early competition from both rival troupes who disliked a bunch of bootstrap whores taking up what could be their stagetime, and by the conservative Trinitine church. While the conflict with the church was limited by the relative lack of representation of the Trinitine faith in largely pagan Calcobrina, the rival troupes presented a real threat. Many performances were sabotaged by hecklers, food throwers, and the like, each members of rival troupes desiring to see a bunch of upstarts fail.

Having come from a demeaning and often cruel profession, few of the girls were fazed by such petty attacks, and only the most physical of threats and abuses were able to give them pause. Compared to reciting the 141 line composition of the Vair Road monolog whilst being ridden like a racehorse, doing a fun play while being heckled was small potatoes. After a few real threats, a few hired toughs made sure the girls were taken care of. The hired men even made sure that no new madam or ‘troupe leader’ was going to show up and start back the old practices.

After five years of touring, having worked out their acts and traveling the troupe was invited to perform for the Emperor of Calcobrina himself. After putting on what some consider to be their best, and probably most bawdy show to date, the Filles D’Rame were considered one of the best troupes in the empire.

The Show!
Basically being Pussycat Dolls doing Shakespeare, the Filles D’Rame most often perform variants of Romeo and Juliet, with both of the star crossed lovers being female. this show is very popular for the sword-fighting duels, and shocking amount of skin displayed during many of the monologs. Not surprisingly, many dissapprove of the show, but between ardent feminists and the adherents of the Love Goddess supporting the strong female presence of the show as well as its male fanbase that cuts across profession, class, and religion, the Filles D’Rame are not going anywhere.

Chardonne still leads the Filles D’Rame to this day, now working as an acting and line coach. Most of the original girls in the troupe have stayed on, being the senior members, others work with the costumes and make-up. A few work as grips, moving sets and scenery between acts. Beneath the seniors are the sophomore players, girls who have had at least two or three years acting experience, many of whom come from whoring backgrounds. They are understudies for the main characters and many do the early performances. The lowest rank are the Freshmen, the new recruits. They handle most of the scene work, and are background characters and sing in the chorus.

Several women, most notable being the Baroness of Scaulderfeld, serve as liasons and agents for the troupe, finding new venues for performances and clients for private shows. The promoters, generally three to five at any given time, are supporters of the troupe and have standing equal to the seniors.

Key Players
Obviously Chardonne is the leader of the troupe, working with the new recruits as well as doing training for mock-sword fights and duels. She is a slightly taller than average woman and is very quiet and reserved, when working with the girls she is authorative and demanding.

Second to Chardonne is Jonquille, a blonde woman with a whip-like physique, and best known for tossing in acrobatics with the sword-dueling on stage.

Carnatte is considered the roustabout and troublemaker, being prone to drinking and having no fear of getting into a fight with anyone interested. She also spends time promoting the show once it arrives at a new location, traveling to the bars and taverns to spread the word.

Plot Hooks
Bodyguards - The Filles D’Rame have been targeted by something worse than a rival troupe. The bawdy antics of their stage show has offended Lord Stuftshirt. The troupe has to pass through his domain but have a standing warrant for their arrest. The PCs have to escort the troupe through a gauntlet of bounty-hunters, Lord’s Men, and fanboys!

Going to the Show! - The PCs get a chance to relax and catch a real play. Imagine their surprise! A non-violent, non-mystery encounter, jenkies!

Lost! - Chardonne has been kidnapped and it is up to the PCs to find and rescue her before the performance in front of the Duke is canceled.

Get Them! - the Old Madam has hired the PCs to disrupt the show any way possible and ruin the troupe for almost ruining her and her business. Can the PCs fulfill the contract or do they have better morals?

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
March 15, 2006, 19:28
Voted Murometz
March 15, 2006, 20:07
Pussycat Dolls doing Shakespeare! That says it all!

This adds a lot of color and realism to any world or campaign. No combat, no mystery (necessarily) as you mention, which is great! An additional plot hook might be a bard character trying to get Chardonne and Jonquille to agree to stage one of his or her original plays. Or how about one of the chracters falling in love with one the ladies or vice versa. Finally, the characters attend a play during some down time, only to be mocked when the Filles D'Rame put on a parody performance of the pc's last adventure (the ladies have heard of group's exploits through the grapevine), with some improvisational bawdry romance thrown in for laughs, or some inaccurate tragedy involving one of the characters which didn't really occur!
March 15, 2006, 20:52
I love this!Then again I am an hard head strong girl so what is there not to like???
Voted Pariah
March 15, 2006, 23:10
I don't know, I just kinda liked it... Great Job.
Voted MoonHunter
March 16, 2006, 9:47
This is one of those groups that is just so odd, that it rings true... because nothing this strange could not be true.

Well done in all accounts that way. Take two paws up... mostly because I am afraid to raise my tail in reference to this post ;)

Was this inspired by a real group?
March 17, 2006, 2:48
The main inspiration was looking in the Societies section and seeing that there was not one society entry for Artistic/Performance and decided that there needed to be at least one entry. As for the Pussycat Dolls doing Shakespeare, no idea where that came from.
March 16, 2006, 9:52
Additional Plot Hooks

1) Competition: Another group, inspired by their success, takes to the road. They are simply not as good and are doing nothing but tarnishing the idea of the Pussycat Dolls doing Shakespeare. What to do and not be a hypocrite about it?

2) In comes the revolution: The troop is in an area when a small coup occurs. The new lord is actually the head of the local Trinitine Church. The troupe is in the wrong place at the wrong time. (A good scenario to do after the adventurers are already familiar with/ friendly with the troupe)>

3) Noble Infatuation: This one goes too far. One of the troupe is snatched in a somewhat public place in the immediate presence of the characters. Or you can make it extended, as they are too late to do more than see her dragged away. Now they need to assault the castle (or sneak in anyways).
Voted valadaar
January 12, 2007, 8:14
What's not to like on this one? :)

The 'posers' could be in fact a whole gaggle of The Lilitu, or there could be one of these in the troupe.


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