I submitted this pitch for an open call from a role-playing game company. It wasn’t accepted, so instead of chucking it I thought I’d send it up here. Maybe I’ll write it for another role-playing game, although I don’t know which system I’d use or which game it would best fit. In any event . . .
A Royal Extraction
London, 1568. The Earl of Desmond, Sir Gerald Fitz Gerald, has been arrested as a rebel against the English Crown, removed from his native Ireland, and imprisoned in Leger House, a make-shift prison in Southwark, the seedy city district on the southside of the Thames River. He has been detained for over a year, imprisoned with his wife, son, and newborn baby. His brothers, Sir John and Sir James, move to end this intolerable situation and hire mercenaries to free the earl and his family.
They enlist the famous seadog and privateer Martin Frobisher, who agrees to pilot a small craft up the Thames and meet at a secret dock. Leger House conveniently sits atop a disused branch of the sewer, whose exit eventually leads to the river. The PCs are hired to move the four Desmonds from Leger House to the dock, an evening’s work for a month’s wages.
But there are complications. Leger House sits between Clink Prison, a notoriously dangerous lockup with frequent escapes, and the Paris Gardens, an active bear pit frequented by London’s worst type of citizens. Sir Gerald is sick, as are his two live-in prostitutes. His wife says it is syphilis, contracted from his most recent orgy, but the group will later discover it is lycanthropy. The disused branch of the sewer is the abandoned workshops of one of Queen Elizabeth’s alchemists, dismissed from service because of the monstrous hybrids he stitched together, savage creations that still roam loose beneath the city. Martin Frobisher plans treachery, hoping to advance his career by handing over the escaping Irish lord, and arrives with a regiment of British soldiers.
Perhaps the characters can survive. Perhaps they can save some of the family, perhaps even Sir Gerald. More likely they will be torn apart in the sewers of London.