wavy dagger logoReign of Terror

(Spring 1998)

Blood, gossip and wine flow freely in the streets of Paris. The year is 1806; Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, is dead in battle, and the Second Terror has taken hold in the City of Light. As the armies of old Europe gather to smash the revolutionary state once and for all, chaos erupts in the capital...

Power rests on the point of a bayonet. Today, you may be a Director, or a government minister; tomorrow you may be nobody. Just ask Andre Massena---seven weeks ago, he was a Marshal of France. Seven days ago, he was the most powerful member of the government. Seven hours ago, he was thrown in prison and charged with treason. C'est la vie---it is the Second Terror, and nobody is safe. Before he passed behind the gates of Les Invalides, Massena shouted ``Heads will roll!'' Will yours be one of them?

Don't like the government? Just wait, it will change faster than the weather. Still don't like it? You could join the Commune---In the Chaillot and Saint-Georges districts, the roads are choked with debris and carts; there, the locals have thrown up barricades, and revolted from the authority of the Directory. Jacobins, Girondins, and Montagnards all vie for the limelight today, because they might be outcasts tomorrow. Rumor has it that Marshal Soult will arrive from the south soon with a new army, and has decreed that whoever is in power when he arrives will have his complete support. That makes their game a delicate one...

Only at La Maison Politesse does civilization endure. Naked sabers and loaded muskets are forbidden there; even rampaging mobs are careful not to trespass there, except when invited inside for tea and cookies. In the grasp of its delicious calm, one can almost relax---

Then, to the north, the sound of musket fire erupts again. On the Champs-Elysees, you can hear them shouting, and dying---the people are rioting again, because there was no bread yesterday, and the government has fallen. A messenger arrives. Your comrades need to know: Is it time for you to take your place in the Directory by force?

For the good of France, you must act.


			    ===============
			    REIGN OF TERROR
			    ===============

Reign Of Terror is a historical fiction game in which Napoleon Bonaparte has died on the field of battle at the apex of his career. In Paris, as foreign armies assemble on France's borders, the fight is on to see which of the Notables who prospered under Napoleon will follow in his footsteps. Their weapons: guile, treachery, scandal, seduction, grapeshot, and rhetoric, just to name a few.

Some of them will become legends. Some will die forgotten. Others will win personal victories, caring nothing for the verdict of history on their actions. A few will build their private empires quietly, wielding great power from the shadows while others reap fame and glory. The rest---they will be happy just to have survived the Second Terror...

Which of those will you be? That depends on what you're interested in. Most characters will care about politics and will be able to do something about it. Almost all characters can lead mobs of rowdy Parisians through the streets in our Mob Combat(TM) mechanic if they're interested in that. Everyone has a chance to be a member of the Government at some point during the game, and the powers and form of the government may well change radically as a result of player actions. Not every part in the game is based on these grandiose plots, but most are affected by them.

Reign of Terror is a 10-day assassin game set in Paris of 1806. We've got schtick, we've got the smell of gunpowder, we've got dangerous liaisons, and we've got blood in the streets. Reign of Terror is brought to you by Nick Carter, Abbe Cohen, Derrick Kong, Jan Maessen, Jerry Marty, and Mike Richters, and is running from February 20, 1998 to March 1, 1998.



                          A Time of Troubles
                          ==================

1791: Long live the Revolution!

With the sullen thud of a guillotine blade, revolutionary France had served notice that the days of European kings were numbered. To the horror of aristocrats everywhere, blood ran in the streets of Paris as radical revolutionaries vied for control of France's destiny. Far to the south, a little-known French artillery enthusiast assigned to recapture Toulon from a British invasion force made his plans and bided his time as the infant Republic dissolved into chaos. His name: Napoleon Bonaparte...

1797: Emperor of France

With wit, charisma, and an uncanny sense of space and timing, Bonaparte stunned Europe by turning the dispirited French army in Italy into a formidable instrument of war, embarrassing the Austrian Empire and delighting the restive Paris Mob with a string of dazzling victories. Recalled to Paris by a cabal of radical revolutionaries, Bonaparte agreed to aid their plan to overturn the Republic, in return for the position of First Consul in their proposed triumvirate. They thought that maintaining control of a young general who had been away from Paris for years would be a simple matter. They were thoroughly mistaken. By 1804, they were mere bureaucrats, and Bonaparte was now Napoleon I, Emperor of France. The revolution, so it seemed, was over.

1806: Europe holds its breath...

A new era had dawned in Europe; just as the Parisian revolutionaries had brought men into the streets by the hundreds in support of their demands, Napoleon now brought enthusiastic volunteers onto the Central European battlefield by the thousands. For a brief moment, the rage that had brought the First Terror to a deafening crescendo in 1791 was turned outward, and upon the streets of the capital a hush descended---there were lessons to be taught, and a Revolution to be exported.

In December 1805, Napoleon's Grande Armee swept across the Danube in Bavaria and stunned Europe by crushing another Austrian army under Ferdinand von Mack, taking 30,000 prisoners. Spurred on by his unbroken string of victories, he pushed ahead to Austerlitz, where fortune deserted him, leaving him and several of his marshals dead at the hands of a Cossack raid. His strategy carried the day, but it could carry La Grande Armee no further. Left in the hands of lesser men, it was checked, battered, and finally broken, a victim of shattered dreams.

Encouraged by the sight of a defeated French army, Prussia entered the war, and on January 11, 1806, the four powers of the Third Coalition signed the Declaration of Nurnburg, demanding the unconditional surrender of France, and announcing their intent to restore the Bourbon Monarchy. February and March saw France stripped of its possessions in Europe; April saw the Allied armies massing in Hanover and Bavaria to deliver the final blow. On May 14th, for the first time in ten years, the enemies of France pushed their armies across the Rhine. Three hundred miles to the west, with the future of the France in the gravest doubt, and the star of its greatest hero fallen, the city of Paris, capital of the Empire and home to a thousand would-be saviors, descended into anarchy. The Terror had returned...

REIGN OF TERROR

Reign of Terror is a 10-day assassin game set in an alternate- history Paris of 1806. We've got schtick, we've got the smell of gunpowder, we've got dangerous liaisons, and we've got blood in the streets. Collect the other blurbs from your friends! Reign of Terror is brought to you by Abbe Cohen, Derrick Kong, Jerry Marty, Mike Richters, and Nick Carter, and is running after finals from Feb 20th to March 1st, 1998.



                               Paris, 1806
                               ===========

(Setting: a fashionable salon in Napoleonic Paris. All characters are speaking in outrageous french accents)

Jacques: You know, mon ami, I'm right about them. Ever since that speech of his at the Seine bridge, she's been flashing those big brown eyes at him...

Claude: Ah, Jacques, that is your problem. You see everything in terms of these petty liaisons---which have become so cheap these days. History doesn't care about such things!

Jacques: Well that is where you are wrong! What about Antony and Cleopatra-- what about Catherine the Great? What about--

Claude: (Rolls eyes) Jacques, Jacques, my boy, such things are fairy tales---I hear Catherine never even touched a horse...

(Crackle of gunfire in the distance. People in the salon hardly notice. Jacques looks up.)

Jacques: Mon Dieu! What was that?

Claude: Would you get out of your little cloud and pay attention? Just a little gunfire, same as yesterday. Probably the bakers rioting again, or the Catholics mixing it up with the Old Republicans, just as usual.

Jacques: I tell you, things have gone to hell since Bonaparte got it.

(Salon quiets. A few men stand at up, as if at attention. Others look at them darkly. More gunfire outside; a musket ball crashes through a window.)

Claude: Jacques, didn't I tell you to be careful saying such things when you don't have enough firepower at your back...?

NPC Salon Guy #1: The man was a pig! Long live the Republic!

NPC Salon Guy #2: Says you! We're being invaded, and you say you don't wish we had the Corsican here?

NPC Salon Guy #1: Better invasion than tyranny!

NPC Salon Guy #2: (Slaps #1 across face) Sir, I have the honor to challenge you to a duel!

NPC Salon Guy #1: Very well, then, I--

Jacques: Look! (points out window) Who are they?

NPC Salon Guy #2: (looks out window; face darkens.) Hey, that's Doumerc, from the Young Guard! (pause) I hate Doumerc. (pause; turns to #1) How about you?

NPC Salon Guy #1: (produces a musket from under the table) Doumerc. The nerve. He should know better. (cocks eyebrow at #1.) Napoleon was a tyrant. (levels musket through window)

NPC Salon Guy #2: (gets his own musket, levels it through window, flanked by ten more guys with muskets) Just get your head out of your #$&@#$ long enough to blow these bastards into next week... on three... two... one...

(Multiple volleys of gunfire. The salon-goers fire a second volley, and the tattered opposition begins to move away. Jacques stands alone in the middle of the wrecked salon, transfixed, pointing first at the retreating enemy, then at the heavily-armed salon-goers.)

Claude (Cowering on floor): Jacques, you idiot, get your head down! It's dangerous in here!

Jacques (All misty-eyed): Don't you see, Claude? I have it!

Claude: Get down here, or what you'll have is a stomach full of lead!

Jacques: Claude, don't you see? The masses, Claude. The masses are the key! The masses have the power to resist oppression and tyranny!

Claude: What are you talking about?

Jacques: Didn't you see it? We stood up to them, and resisted the gunfire! Anyone can do it! The masses are the key to everything!

Claude: You blockhead, you were the only one standing up. Cover is the key, Jacques. As in, behind cover.

NPC Salon Guy #2: Look! They're coming back! With reinforcements! What do we do?

Claude: (Resigned) I vote we send Jacques out to reason with them...

REIGN OF TERROR

Reign of Terror is a 10-day assassin game set in an alternate- history Paris of 1806. We've got schtick, we've got the smell of gunpowder, we've got dangerous liaisons, and we've got blood in the streets. Collect the other blurbs from your friends! Reign of Terror is brought to you by Abbe Cohen, Derrick Kong, Jerry Marty, Mike Richters, and Nick Carter, and is running after finals from May 23rd to June 1st, 1997.



                       What's a Girl to do?
                       ====================

16 mai 1806

Dearest Henri,

Paris has fallen into chaos since you have gone to the front. But it is nothing compared to what my heart has experienced, being without you for so many months. I think of you daily, patiently awaiting your return. There is fighting and bloodshed in the streets, which only makes me think of the battles you must be facing, and hope that you will emerge triumphant and send those Prussians back where they belong. Still, I worry about your safety whenever I see another Frenchman come back injured. Be assured that it is the only thought I have when I see another Frenchman. In these trying times, if nothing else is constant, there is still our love.

Your Loving Wife,
Juliette

****

18 mai 1806

Mon cher Jacques,

Can it truly be a week since I have seen you last? Your touch still lingers upon me as if it were yesterday. I can think of no one but you. Perhaps you will be able to tear yourself away from your endless Directory meetings again soon to call on me. Certainly there are other things of importance besides fending off the roaming mobs and deciding whom to throw in the Bastille this week, are there not? Who knows how little time we may have together if things get any worse. Let us enjoy these tender embraces while we still can. I shall be waiting for your visit.

Yours,
Juliette

****

19 mai 1806

Monsieur Robert,

I was overwhelmed by the lovely roses that were delivered to my doorstep yesterday evening. Of course I guessed they were from you. Who else would be so presumptuous as to give such an extravagant gift, unsigned and unidentified but for the words, "Ce soir, ma belle." I cannot believe you managed to find three dozen roses the day after every last flower garden in Paris was trampled by angry mobs aiming muskets at one another. But of course, you have connections. And style. It is what I love about you. I shall be there, with my usual gift for you.

Yours,
Juliette

****

19 mai 1806

Dear Lynette,

You won't believe my successes this past month. Henri is still off at the front, suspecting nothing. But what's a girl to do to keep entertained--and informed--while the men run around talking politics and fighting wars hundreds of miles away? I've managed to seduce one of the Directory members lately. It makes me wonder whether I should have married a politician instead of an officer, if all politicians are as attentive to their subjects' desires as this one is. Henri is just so boring, compared to him, and to Robert. Every other day Robert gives me something extravagant, not to mention the evening visits which are as much a pleasure to me as to him. And all he asks is that I keep him up to date on certain gossip. I hate to say it, but I hope Henri takes a long time to return to Paris!

Truly,
Josephine

REIGN OF TERROR

Reign of Terror is a 10-day assassin game set in an alternate- history Paris of 1806. We've got schtick, we've got the smell of gunpowder, we've got dangerous liaisons, and we've got blood in the streets. Collect the other blurbs from your friends! Reign of Terror is brought to you by Nick Carter, Abbe Cohen, Derrick Kong, Jerry Marty, and Mike Richters, and is running after finals from Feb 20th to March 1st, 1998.