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The Paladin’s Secret - A Play By Forum game of The Burning Wheel

The letter is not formal in the slightest. It is a simple piece of paper, crumpled quite badly, but straightened out again. It reads:

I have been watching you and I know the things that are dear to you


Warran, the books are mostly familiar to you, they are the books you were instructed from at school in magic. They haven’t been removed from the bookcase since it was set here after the move to the colony.

You find many notes and scraps of paper, similar to your own notes of your lessons from your school days, except the hand that wrote these was much younger than you when you were learning.

Is any of the handwriting familiar to Warran, had he seen before? Also, does it look like the handwriting of threatening letter was modified to make the script harder to identify, or was it written normal? (Was the person trying to deliberately write poorly so it would be hard to compare to another writing sample.)

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That would be a read check Ob5 and I’ll add disadvantage as you don’t know the handwriting of the person who wrote this - total of Ob6

On a failure, you’ll not be able to match this to the person who wrote this by their handwriting found elsewhere at all, as you will never be confident as to what their normal handwriting is.

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Kaelin tries to wrap his mind around something that bothers him.

“Warran, the messenger had a verbal message for you from Diana, correct? Yet he was the one who apparently discovered the body. I am not familiar with how these messengers work, but should he not have delivered your message before returning here?”

He doesn’t really know what he is supposed to be looking for; everything about this style of house and living seems a little odd, and that’s discounting the absent servants. He wanders to the balcony to take in some air and see if anyone might be watching the house.

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“It’s not a death threat, which is what strikes me as odd. The author is threatening what is ‘dear to her’, and that implies he or she would attack Diana through that avenue, not kill her outright. I think we should view the body as soon as possible, to determine the cause of death.”
There’s no damage or rips in the carpet, upholstery or furniture anywhere in the room, or otherwise signs of a struggle?

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(( I’m assuming that before you left, the inspector gave you all the relevant information you need that he had - and items, such as the key to Diana’s house, the authority to see her body at the morgue where a post mortem was conducted etc - as things come up that you should have, you will have! ))

Kaelin, no-one is watching the house, Warran probably is very familiar with how the messangers work, they access a house via a servants entrance, their messages are usually left in one place, they memorise them, destroy them and deliver them verbally. They are almost universally ex soldiers, decorated special forces or undercover agents who have been tortured and resisted - they are used as a far more secure messaging system than the post. Messangers are as protected in law as majordomo’s and butlers hence why the police couldnt even intecept the message to Warran in a murder investigation, in theory the messanger could have insisted the room was empty of everyone except Warran and the police at least would have had to comply, had Aulexis insisted on remaining, he would not have had to deliver the message- indeed he probably shouldn’t have delivered it. With access to nobles houses at all times and access to their secrets, it’s a difficult, ardous profession that is highly paid and they often bear the brunt of noble rivalry. If any should take a bribe or are even suspected of having done so, their guild acts quickly and with renowned brutality. They pride themselves on their incorruptibiliy and honour.

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There are no signs of a struggle at all, everything in the room, except for the curtain tie is neat and tidy

Does anyone wish to search anywhere else in the house or for anything in particular, or are you ready to move on?

The fourth curtain tie, close to where the body was found. From the arrangement of the curtains, does it look like it is untidy because someone was in the process of tying curtains back, or more that it has maybe been removed and replaced?

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It looks like someone removed the tie from the wall while the curtains were drawn closed, so there is no disruption or mess, just the tie lying on the floor.

Have we looked in all the rooms? Kaelin will idley wander around the whole house one last time to make sure he hasn’t missed anything, taking particular attention to look at any portraits or pictures that might be hung on walls or on desks.

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There are two portraits in the bedroom, one of a stern looking man, with a fancy sword and expensive clothes and, Warran can tell us about the other portrait, that of his school bully, Greygord. The stern man’s portrait, one Laurence DuPont has a birth date, and a death date - some 20 years earlier. He would have been in his late 40’s when he died.

Such a general check of the house also reveals a large stash of medicine in the bedroom, it seems a doctor has been prescribing opium to the Lady, but she hasn’t been taking it whilst returning for more.

Finally, Kaelin finds in the kitchen a set of keys, one for each lock in the house except the front door which has two. Those aside, there is one more key, it has a label which reads “Stonor House”

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Are windows and doors all secure?

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Yes, there is no signs of a forced entry at all, just a large muddy footprint by the front foor

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(Are we permitted to take evidence from the crime scene at this point? Also, did the inspector have someone notify her son of her death?)

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Of course, so long as they are returned after your investigation… :wink:

(This question has taken me a full day to research!) The Inspector wouldn’t, that would be the job of the undertakers.

What’s next then? Collection of evidence can be assumed, so if you’re finished here where will you go next?

Jarek is unable to sleep. Did I make a mistake by coming with the messenger? He must know something. I’m halfway to Kingsport. Frustrated and restless, Jarek climbs a nearby tree. He looks behind him to the lights of Inchwick and looks ahead to Kingsport. Unable to make up his mind, he pulls the cube from his pocket and begins shifting it in his fingers.

This thing is clearly valuable to someone or it wouldn’t have been on that crest… Diana was my only lead to figuring out what this thing is or what it’s for.

Jarek looks at the shield side of the cube and runs his thumb over it. As he does so, he catches the shield with this thumbnail. The shield rotates and the cube pulses like a heartbeat and is quiet.

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The funeral parlour is a sensible next step I think?
Asking around about ‘Stonor House’ might be another plan, as would perhaps speaking to the doctor concerning the (untaken) opium medication.

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“Might it be worth me staying behind, in case anyone else seeks to enter the house?”

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