It is a busy time in the Royal Palace of Grimaud. King Louis' trade agreements with the neighboring Kingdom of Chiswick are up for re-negotiation, so there is a large envoy of Chiswick diplomats, guards, and attendants in the castle.
On paper, Chiswick and Grimaud are allies and trade partners. In practice, though, Chiswickers are an uncouth and rude lot, blustering around with their harsh, guttural language, drinking their foul grainy brew, eating their tasteless mushy meals, and smelling like horses.
It is no wonder, then, that there have been more than a few arguments and back-alley duels between the civilized Grimaudians and the brutish Chiswickers. The Musketeers have attempted to keep the peace as best they can, for the sake of the trade negotiations, but it has been a trying task indeed.
The curtain lifts on our little drama one bright cheery Spring morning. Rumors in the palace abound that King Louis and the Chiswick diplomats have reached an agreement and that the Chiswickers would be returning home by week's end.
Because of this, you all walk with a bit more spring in your step and, perhaps, an extra twist of your mustachios.
Just when you mistakenly think that nothing can go wrong this fine morning, you hear a blood curdling scream coming from the direction of the diplomats' quarters. With rapiers drawn, you rush to see what's happening, and you find an hysterical young maid standing just outside the suite belonging to one of the Chiswick diplomats. The maid is holding her apron up to her face and sobbing uncontrollably into it. From this angle, you can see she has very nice legs.
But, alas, duty draws you to turn your attention to the suite itself. Inside, you see the corpse of a Chiswicker. His throat has been brutally slashed open and he has bled out all over the carpet.