Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quick and Dirty: Apremont-Sur-Allier for Night's Black Agents or other modern conspiracy games


Description:  An area of forestry and farming comprising a small village and two hamlets situated by the west bank of the Allier River, some 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Bourges at the junction of the D100 with the D76 and D45 roads. The river forms the boundary between the commune and the department of Nièvre.

Population:  76

Conflict:  Absolutely none, unless you count the endless squabbling between the castle’s groundskeeper and the garden’s overseer. With a population of 76, there isn't much that can't be accomplished by simply ignoring one another.

1.       Floral Park:  The Floral Park is designed to allow the Allier trickle into a valley, creating pools of water, and it was all inspired by the famous “White Garden” of Vita Sackville-West of Sissinghurst, England. The grounds include buildings designed a Russian painter and architect, a small lake complete with gazebo in the middle, a quarry converted into a waterfall. The buildings are designed to reflect different national styles from around the world.
2.       Castle:  The castle sits on a bluff overlooking the Allier River. It dates from the 12th century, making it a century older than the church. The stables for the castle were originally a glass factory and now serve as a museum of the area. The property is so well maintained that the name plates of horses kept in the stables can still be read.
3.       Village:  The village consists only of buildings from or designed to match buildings of the regional style from the Middle Ages. Many residents of the area served as a quarry workers in the Middle Ages. The stones were used throughout the country in many religious buildings, such as the Orleans Cathedral.

Three Hooks:
1.       Apremont-Sur-Allier was designed by vampire hunters or by survivors of vampire attacks. The garden within the Floral Park contains exotic flora. This may be the only place in Europe to locate that ever hard-to-find bat thorn. The garden may also contain enough of specific plants or flowers to serve as a barrier to vampires. If the flora is not enough to keep vampires out, the waterways around the property will keep vampire who can’t cross running water at bay.
2.       Apremont-Sur-Allier’s tagline is “A magical place. . . where time has stopped.”  This may be a hint towards a crossover with TimeWatch or it could be advertising as cover for the vampires living here. After all, top hats and fancy capes just aren’t the haute couture anymore. With all of the stone buildings, the castle, the gardens, and a population count so low, everyone could be Renfields, Apremont-Sur-Allier could be the perfect place for an elder vampire to call home.
3.       The gazebo in the middle of the lake is actually an entrance to a vampire’s lair. During the reconstruction of the village between World War One and World War Two, a vampire built a lair in the bottom of a quarry. The quarry was then filled in with water, a gazebo built in the middle of the then lake, and an enclosed set of stairs built from the gazebo down to the lair.


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