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


The Orcs turn to look at you, and the sober one comes forwards “Come” he says “Join us if you wish, we celebrate the life of a great man!”


So this is a 5d6 roll and if I get 5 successes You are only going to get rid of 2 memories?


Yep, beginners luck isn’t supposed to be good!


(Just wanted to be clear for posterity…)

How drunk does Warran get???

5d6: 5 + 1 + 6 + 3 + 4 = 19


When Jarek plays the fife, all of the energy that usually results in fidgeting is focused on his playing. After playing, he seems more relaxed. He is impressed with Aulexis’s singing.
“You have a nice voice.” He whispers to her.

Calmly he thinks to himself, If you want to take something and not get caught, you can’t make it too obvious what you want. What he wants to know is who is in the cage and why, so he resolves not to stare at the cage. He turns to the Orc that welcomed them.

“Thank you for your welcome. Please tell us about the great man.”


(Only 1 fragment removed… So close to 2!)


Warran’s memories the next morning (and feel free to include these in your own roleplay and Warran, feel free to expand on them as the night goes on):

  1. Dancing around a fire

  2. Dancing with a pretty girl

  3. Running hand in hand with the pretty girl, wearing an unfamiliar hat

  4. Saying something to the pretty girl and getting a slap

  5. Looking for Simon, calling his name

  6. Dancing a raucous dance arm in arm with some of the men from the caravan and laughing

  7. In a fight with the men from the caravan that you were dancing with


(Oh, unlucky… just one more success would have saved you from this)

  1. Casting one of your spells.


“He was a baker” the sober orc tells you “He baked the best bread in the village”.

a cheer goes up, and one of the drinkers pipes in “He was a great friend, he loaned me his ear more than should be expected”

another cheer goes up - it seems the ritual, funeral as it turns out to be enters a new phase, and everyone around the fire, with few exceptions takes a turn to call out something they remember about the orc they say is recently deceased. It’s all pretty standard funeral stuff, no-one says anything particularly shocking, all the comments are positive.

Space is found for you on a log around the fire - while there are a few tents here, most of the orcs seem local, Exiles and this seems to be a regular meeting place for them as the logs have seats carved out, and the firepits are well built. You are each handed a drink too, the same earthy brew that they are all drinking.


(( Warran, you also earn a fate point, instead of getting it for playing a belief that drives the story forward like Aulexis and Jarek did, you earn one for having an instinct that gets you into trouble ))


Jarek raised a glass or smiled and laughed at the appropriate times as the Orcs continued to tell stories about baker. After a big performance, Jarek enjoyed getting a pint with the other musicians on their way back to the barracks. Jarek also has memories of particularly officers trying to drink away the bad memories that they carried from the war and brawling with each other. This knife is a comfort, but I don’t want to have to use it.

At a moment, when the Orcs were laughing at a shared memory and attention was away from them, Jarek leans over to Aulexis holds his cup up as though drinking to hide the movement of his mouth. “Should we ask about the cage or try to get a look in there?” he asks quietly. At this point, none of the Orcs had done anything to draw attention to the cage. Jarek actually takes a drink and joins in the Orcs laughter while listening for her response.


Aulexis is a little disappointed in herself that a whispered compliment from Jarek (about her singing) is very pleasing. Is she so desperate for the praise she once had that a passing friendly comment makes her blush? It’s the fact that he praised her voice that really broke through her guard. She was caught up in the moment - she doesn’t normally sing in public. Elvish singing standards are very high, so she’s unremarkable in an elf’s ears, but she always loved to sing.

Aulexis only pretends to drink the brew. Alcohol was one of her hobby pursuits as a corsair, and she abstains now as part of her self-imposed asceticism. Thankfully, it’s nothing she’d be interested in drinking in the first place. A fine wine would be tempting at this hour, though.

She’s more and more uncertain about the movement in the cage, and a wild thought begins to creep into her mind. But it surely cannot be true… The idea of a preemptive funeral is devoid of all decency and taste. She’s not sure how she would even deal with it if her suspicion turned out to be true.

“I’ll see if I can get an answer out the one to the right of me. No good way to get near the cage now.” Aulexis does a similar movement with her cup to cloak her speech.

She leans to the orc next to her once she’s sure it’s not ‘his turn’. She keeps her voice at the ‘private comment/question’ volume, hoping not to disturb the general goings on.

“Sounds like a fine man, your friend. Shame he died!” She tries to keep the bracing brotherhood tone of the general gathering, and hopes that the booze will smooth out the blunt statement.


“Thankyou” he whispers back, “Our lives must seem fleeting to elves, but we all must die and his time had come. Thankfully, he was with his family when he passed, his last moments were peaceful, he was loved.”


Jarek regards the Orc to his left. He wants to get him talking, but considers the topics at hand: mysterious cage that leaves him unsettled, but no one else seems to even notice, the horses that they may very well have to steal to make a get away if things go badly, or maybe… These Orcs seem to take pride in their local craftsmen and food.

“I’m sorry that we were not able to sample the baker’s bread. Are there other local wares that we should not miss?”


The orc shrugs “You’re on your way to Uz-zitz? Best go there, the food on the wall is the best of our food, besides, Named aren’t generally welcomed above, you might find a frosty reception if you don’t have good reason to go up there. Tell me…” he lowers his voice even further “Sorry, I’ve never met a human before, is it true what they say… you don’t wash?”


Simon and Kaelin, you find yourselves that evening chatting with a rather young dwarf, only just turned 40, and youthful looking at that. He is gabbing on excitedly about his plans to join the Uz-zitz explorers guild, learn the secrets of their black powder and get rich and powerful like their most famous members, who it seems he can receipt their deeds by heart - mostly revolving around studying rare and dangerous creatures in far flung lands.


“That is good to hear. That is what we all desire, elves as well.”
She is beginning to feel like their caution wasn’t as warranted as before. She proceeds politely.
“Forgive my ignorance, as I am not familiar with your customs in this matter, what is the cage that your elder stands watch over? Is there some kind of animal inside?”


The Orc chuckles "You could put it like that I suppose, but I wouldn’t let the family catch you saying that! Maybe you don’t know, we Orcs are blessed with two deaths, when our soul dies, our body is left, and… " he stops himself. “Let’s just say, what remains is not fit for decent eyes to gaze upon. That is what is in the cage, and soon he will die his second death, and his son will stare into his own future.” The Orc shudders “My father’s passing wasn’t so happy, his first death was not discovered, and my shame was on display for the world to see, we didn’t get to say goodbye properly, he did terrible things…” he pauses “I don’t wish to talk of this anymore. Sorry.” he gets up to move somewhere a little more private, a pensive look on his face.


(( While humans struggle with Faith, and Corruption, Dwarfs with Greed and Elves with Grief, Orcs struggle against the Darkness within, the beast inside, and while Elves may wither and die of their grief gracefully, Orcs, well, turn into something perhaps more familiar to a Tolkien reader ))


Suddenly self conscious, Jarek leans back and tries to subtly sniff himself. “Well… We do wash, though some not as often as others… and it depends on the circumstances.” Jarek chuckles. “I once knew a man who tried to avoid it. He tried to use a strong perfume to hide it, but it only made it worse. The stench was incredible.” He laughs at the memory then nervously looks at the Orc to see if he is laughing too.


When you said that the Orc indeed would have laughed, and would have replied “Oh, I see, well if you want to know an Orcish cleaning, visit the bathing house, you won’t need perfume for a month!”