Saving a runaway nun, a short adventure

Set up

A nun has (again( runaway from the local nunnery. The party has the choice whether to recruit her (which I localised as a nun from Hildegard von Bingen's very own Rupertsberg, for my Rhine Gorge Game), gaining a latin writing grog or to give her back to the church in exchange for gratitude from the local clergy.


The Covenant is informed that a strange but beautiful lady has been seen in the local woods, this can be played up as very White Lady-like for a bit of misdirection (my party immediately assumed faerie shenanigans).

Finding the Nun

She is somehow lost and avoiding the main path to avoid any pursuers sent by the nunnery. She has no outdoors skills, so finding her oils down to a series of easy Per+Hunt(tracking) or Survival (forest) rolls with a bit of narration to tie things together. (If you want to add a combat encounter, she could be rescued from a bear or wolves...)

She can be found sitting on a fallen tree, crying, wearing a torn and stained, black and white nun's garb (colours can be adapted to whichever order if it's relevant). My party was for a long time convinced that she was a faerie, so kept rolling Per+Second sight, I did nothing to disabuse them of this.

Unless the party seem threatening, she will confide in them, and ask them to protect her from her hunters. She doesn't have any grand long term plan, she just couldn't stand living in a cloister, locked up in a cell anymore. She will try to use her charm on any men to try and convince them to take her back to the Covenant. Per+Folk Ken will gain more insights into her. My party rolled a 40 on the Per+folk Ken, so I just gave them her whole life story as she poured her heart out to the confused grog.

Finding her a home

The Covenant will easily find a place for her to lodge, but the next part in the story is the following Sunday after mass. The Religious characters of the party are approached by their parish priest and asked to be on the lookout for a runaway nun. (He has received a message from the cloister that she might have run in the direction of his parish, and that he should do his best to help find her.) He will let them know that her soul is in peril, that she has been tempted by demons before and that this is not her first time running away. He'll make a whole spiel about the danger to her mortal soul and that her temptations will lead others into damnation. (This is an opportunity for a personality roll religious or for opposed theology rolls if applicable)

In my game, this was sufficient for the party's religious magus to take the priest back to the Covenant and let him take the nun away.

Further developments

If the party gives the nun up, they will receive a letter from the Cloister thanking them for their good deed (in my party's case, they are trying to build up non-Hermetic alliances to help put pressure on Stentorius of Fengheld to gain his sponsorship for the foundation of the Covenant). They could also receive a financial reward or maybe even a relic or other ecclesiastic boon if the party has long standing good ties with the Church.

If the party keeps the Nun, then it's a matter of time before her presence in the Covenant leaks (drunk grog at the Inn, visit of church person, confession), which can lead to dissention with local church, or maybe even the Teutonic order coming to knock on the door demanding her release (obviously they have kidnapped her!)


What about the bishop summoning the covenant to his court, and in case of no show suing them in a mundane court for the restitution of the nun?

But a wise nun should have shed her identity and garb latest when asking others for aid.

Any number of funny things could happen, in my case, I didn't have to consider further church involvement, but I think it's a nice potential Hook (Church enmity).

Not all Covenants are publicly accessible, being located Regios or other locations in which the church and most locals might now even know they exist. So preparing some ideas on how to get stories from her interacting inside the Covenant would be a good idea.

Her beauty and lusty nature will of course be a possible source of trouble within the Covenant, you could focus it to draw one or more of the Magus in. Maybe she likes older men or scholars. Just be careful not to take it to far and implode you game over a single lusty wench.

I think story ideas for her not related to her beauty and lusty nature would be most helpful. Especially given that she is willing and able to use her charms to get what she wants, so those things will happen normally from play. But what if an angel or demon takes an interest in her, desiring to save or damn her soul? Maybe the bishop is corrupt and was considering taking her as a mistress? Or despite her lusty nature and being a women, she is a remarkably skilled Scribe who several members of the church wish to keep in their employ?

Very interesting, and reminds me somewhat of this account of a nun with a similar plan:


very interesting storyline indeed.

There really should be a collection dedicated to your postings as they make up a corpus of literature of the genre of "Ars-Magica How-do" and it would be a shame if they were lost in the forum archives.

Another good plot. I like the dilemma of doing the lawful thing and doing the right thing.

If you will allow questions, I am curious about the questions posed by the parish priest. Is the nun actually susceptible to the infernal or is it just the priest considering the act of running away from a nunnery a sign of susceptibility? Is the nun really inclined to sin or does she just not want to be a nun? It seems to me that there is a potentially large possibility space that the parish priest is unlikely to provide details about.

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The Nun linked has Venus' Blessing and Lecherous, so that should give you a few ideas right there. Young, beautiful, and enjoys the 'staff of life'. The description also says she dislikes life in the convent. Maybe she was forced into joining it?

I see, although the link actually sends me to the theologian in the post before the nun. I think it would be reasonable to assume that the nun uses the stats for the theologian.

Though in fairness I missed the link entirely, and your interpretation is probably better than mine.

If you will allow questions,

Questions and comments are always welcome, that's part of the reason I put them up.

I am curious about the questions posed by the parish priest. Is the nun actually susceptible to the infernal or is it just the priest considering the act of running away from a nunnery a sign of susceptibility?

The magus who resolved the story line has the "pious" flaw, so he was touched by the priest's sermon and warning that both her soul is in peril and so are those of the ones she might tempt. Since I'd played so far the priest as earnest but not massively competent (latin and theology 3), he made a half baked argument about her being married to christ and divorce not being legal. Once convinced, the player just brought the priest to the house where they'd hidden the nun and let the priest drag her away...

Is the nun really inclined to sin or does she just not want to be a nun?

In this case, as Troy pointed out, I gave the character lecherous and Venus' blessing. So I imagine her having been sent to the nunnery by her parents as a way of curbing her enthusiasm...

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I've edited the link now, I was off by one because I did not account for the index post being counted... And yeah, the theologian stat block would also work, although I would see a very different character resulting.

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Though interestingly the statblock for the theologian would fit the overview of the character description you gave for the nun if you just replace the name and gender. :slight_smile:

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