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


Jarek still chuckling jovially when the Orc on the other side of Aulexis gets up. He had not heard what was exchanged between them, but the Orc leaving caught his attention. He looks at Aulexis to try to read her expression.


“What lands were you looking to explore?”


“I’m gonna go to the Shrappel mountains in the Veil first and find a Sand Lizard, then to the Pits of St Ormenthia in the Old World to see a real life Orgock, then I’m going to sail from the Old World backwards to the Veil to prove Master Gasmonds theorum that the world is a cylinder, Then I’ll go North and South to both ends of the Earth to Disprove Master Orwells so called theory that the earth is a sphere, and capped with ice…”

The outlandish claims will go on for as long as you will allow them too, each voyage the work of a lifetime unto itself!


Kaelin is quite content listening to the dwarf babble on and on. He finds it sad to hear that all these planned adventures are merely a vehicle for gain wealth and power. Not just to experience the thrill of new places and sights, and not because the dwarf is a seeker of knowledge.

On that last thought he catches sight of Warran whirling on the dance floor. Seems like the scholar has a weakness for alcohol; perhaps Kaelin should try and keep a closer eye on him and try and direct his energies into more gainful pursuits.

He turns to the dwarf. “Does this Explorers Guild have a library at all?”


…or a workshop?


“They do… but…” he sighs “Because everyone wants their secrets, and they have their principles of not spreading knowledge that might be misused” He rolls his eyes theatrically as this this was the daftest idea he had ever heard “They keep it dispersed such that no one book can work without a book form another of their secret libraries. Bleugh, boring, imagine having to mount an expedition just to do your research to get to the good expeditions!”

“Workshops… yeah, they got everything!”


“Secret tomes of knowledge aside, are there more mundane texts? Flora and fauna of the Slient Forest, that kind of thing? And how do you join the Guild? By merit, invitation, payment…?”


“That sort of stuff, yeah, probably, I dunno, probably not. Joining? Oh, that’s the best bit! You got to go to the guildhouse and register, then a member can choose to mentor you, I’m gonna get Master Gasmond, I just know it… then he’ll take you out on one of his expeditions and if you make a good account of yourself then you are in! Or, you can bring them something new, that you found, I’m gonna do both, register, then get on the first boat to the Veil, find the lost treasure of Captain Serruilos”


“Captain Serruilos, the dread elven pirate. Even I have heard stories about her. Didn’t she use to be an adventurer until one of party members went a little crazy and pillaged an entire town, forcing the rest to go on the run?”

Discuss: The Paladin's Secret- PbFG (The Burning Wheel)

(Does Simon know who this Captain is?)


Yep, he almost certainly does, tell us what you know of the legends!


Only the normal pirate tales, how her ship the Gilgamesh pillaged the seas until even her ballast was silver ingots, but avoiding the navy she attempted to find a new route through the icy floes and was never seen again…


Kaelin resolves to speak to Warran about this Guild tomorrow. It seems like the type of thing that might interest him, and there maybe additional benefits to be gleaned from joining such a knowledgeable society.


Aulexis’ blank expression hides her surprise. The mirrored and polished metal makes sense now - all they can do to ornament what is essentially a prison for mad dying orcs. Her hands curl into fists for a moment of vicious internal exultation that would probably make the entire gathering assault her if she said it out loud.
Civilized and educated and well spoken, and a few short years from debased senseless madness. Disgusting, frail and pitiful creatures. Your lives and triumphs are like a season of field grass. I’ll see your descendants go senile in boxes, and watch your accomplishments be passed on to those who won’t remember you.
She shudders as the mood passes, and she remembers that Jarek is right next to her. He’ll die soon, too. Frail and barely able to speak or walk. She feels no joy at the thought of that parting.

“We, uh, should go.” She says out loud, to Jarek but mostly to herself. “We’re supposed to bring firewood…”


Jarek is confused and curious. As he sets down his ale and picks up his fife, he whispers to her, “Did you find out?”


“Mm. I think I’ve learned enough, any further would be extremely impolite. I’ll explain once we’re on our way back… Unless you’d like to stay longer?”

A Note before reading...

(This is a morning after recollection of what occurred the night before. Naturally, he would have some gaps which are not quite filled in all the way. If you want to jump in at some point and interact with Warran during his “adventure” just quote the section and we can expand it a bit. There are a couple of bits though which I am pretty sure none of the others were around for. Most likely the part towards the end. Why is there a theme of my characters having too much too drink in Will’s games? :thinking: )

The morning after…

The morning light is painfully bright, and every small sound is excruciatingly amplified as Warran begins to wake from a rather unpleasant slumber. He notices near him a mug. He picks it up, brings it to his nose, sniffing it. Cider… And weak stuff for that matter… I wonder how much I had… With a rather disappointed look on his face, he props himself upright against the base of the tree he had been sleeping under and notices not too far away, a pile of sick. Well… Looks like too much apparently… Usually does not happen until I get well past a half dozen… He scratches his head and feels the warmth radiating from one side of his face. Maybe it was eight… or perhaps nine… Why on earth does my face hurt… And my shoulder…

Warran sits for a moment as the sun finishes rising and his head throbbing, he thinks back to what he can remember of the previous evening…

The night before…

Warran was sitting writing in his journal when one of the members of the caravan approached him, smiling, and holding several mugs. “You always seem to have a nose in one of those books you carry! I figured you needed a break, take a mug. It is a cider of pear and berries. Not very refined but goes down good enough!” The man puts a fistful of mugs in front of Warran, and not wanting to appear rude, takes one of the mugs.

Warran looks over the mug, indeed even in the evening light and glow of the distant fire, it does appear to have a pink tinge to it. He sniffs it, and it has a light fragrant aroma of berries and crushed flower petals. He takes a sip, and the floral aroma gives way to a slightly tart yet pleasantly sweet brew of pear cider for the foundation. He looks up to thank the man, but he has already moved well beyond to another group of travelers, and Warran decides to take another drink.

Indeed, it was smooth, and soon he realized he had finished the mug rather expeditiously. At that point, Warran decides it to be a good idea to engage in socializing with some of the others in the caravan. He packs up his belongings sets it with the rest of the groups’ gear, and heads over to the fire where he sees more of the cider being distributed.

Once at the fire he feels it best to join in with the others who appear to be dancing a jig which is unfamiliar to him. He decides to try his hand at the dance and after several attempts at it decides to give up resolving in the fact he will not be able to pick up the steps. He then collects a second mug of the cider. He can tell it is rather weak in strength, but it is rather smooth and goes down rather quickly. At that moment, a rather handsome girl approaches him, “You don’t want to drink it too quickly, or there will be none left for the rest of us,” she chides him playfully, “And if you drink too much of it, you will never learn the dance. You just nearly had it… Perhaps if you had the right person showing you…”

She offers him her hand, he sets the mug down and dances with her around the fire. After quite some time, or what seems to feel to be quite some time, they both decide dancing had become boring as Warran was just starting to get the steps correct and they both collect a couple of mugs of the cider and run off behind some wagons. For some reason, Warran thought it best to wear her hat… So it would not get lost en route. After finding a secluded spot hidden behind one of the distant wagons, the two of them drink another mug of cider while talking. He does not recall much of the conversation, but he does remember the tone was rather friendly. For some reason, he remembers them discussing her dress… Maybe she was a seamstress?

While he started into his fourth mug of cider, he recalls why the side of his face is now slightly inflamed. At one point, while behind the cart, he leaned over and whispered something in her ear. She sat up, bolt upright, grab her hat which was between the two of them and gave him a nasty glare. She stood up, and while Warran tried to rise up and apologize, she spun around and slapped him on the cheek. He remembered it hurting his face very little at the time, but it caught him off guard and fell to the ground in the process. He lay there for a moment feeling very remorseful for what he said. After giving her a moment to leave the area, he got up and started to stagger back to the campsite.

He refilled his mug for his fifth portion of cider, commenting to one of the men nearby, “This is quite good. I shall have to inquire about it in the morning.” He then had a sudden thought which came shooting forward quickly through his soupy mind: I really need to talk to Simon about making me a ‘proper staff’. This walking stick is not going to cut it if I am going to do any sort of training against Aulexis… I doubt I have much of a chance… But if I do not want to make a complete fool out of myself, I am going to have to start with something better… He glanced across the campsite quickly, he did not see Simon immediately. Not being able to locate him quickly he decided to yell for his traveling companion, “Simon, Simon! Where are you, my friend? I seemed to have forgotten where I last saw you…”

Warran does not directly recall if he ever talked to Simon (if you want them to have we can RP it!), but he does now remember collecting his sixth mug of cider and being encouraged by a group of young men from the caravan to join in some dancing. He recalls dancing and joking around with the men and noticing the majority of the caravan had packed up to sleep for the night and only a handful were still awake. One of them pointed out the bright red small handprint on his cheek. Warran drunkenly, sheepishly replied, “I will not repeat what I said, but obviously it was not well received.”

The lads then proceed to take the piss out of him, which he takes with good humor, full knowing he did something stupid; however, while finishing his seventh mug of cider, something happens which changes such a merry and jovial moment to turn on its head. One of the lads then proceeds to make lewd and inappropriate comments in regards to Aulexis. Warran, who moments ago was rather carefree and jolly, turns cool rather quickly. Not at all amused by the comments, he drains his eighth mug of cider in one draught and turns to the one who made the comments. He sizes up to the young man, who is a half a head shorter than Warran and says, “Oi! You better apologize for saying that! It is one thing to joke around for saying somethin’ stupid, but I will not have you talking about a friend of mine like that!”

Before he knows it, there is a shove from behind, he spins around to see a fist flying towards his face; and if not for him stumbling, it would have connected with his jaw. Luckily, the blow hits him in the chest and then he staggers a few steps backward towards a group of wagons. He sees six opponents in total, blinks, and then realizes there are just three who have broken off to fight him. He does not really want to fight, he just wanted the ‘little one’ to apologize. Instinctively, something jumps to the forefront of his mind, and as soon as it does, in his inebriated state, he acts on it. If he was sober, he would have taken his lumps, tried to get a few blows in, and moved on. But what was said really angered him and the blind attack on him had pushed him a step too far. The words of a spell come to mind and he clearly speaks them, casting the spell The Fear.

All he remembers after that is moving away from the camp, vomiting, and then laying down beneath the tree where he awoke…


Jarek looks at Aulexis trying unsuccessfully to read her expression. Are all elves this hard to read? He does not want to risk angering the many Orcs who have graciously hosted them, but his mind returns to the horses that drew them to this gathering in the first place.

To Aulexis, “Let me ask him one more question and then we will leave.”

To the Orc on his left, “Do you mind my asking where you got such beautiful horses?”


Warran, go ahead and make the roll for your casting of The Fear, it is Ob3 but I’m going to add a difficulty to Ob4, I think your drunkenness counts as a disadvantage! Your sorcery is B4, so you have 4 die to roll!

Should you fail, then the spell will not cast and there will be much laughter at your expense, but no further attacks.

Jarek, the orc scratches his arm “You’re clearly not talking about my old nag” he gestures to an elderly horse in pretty good shape, but not an impressive breed or specimen. “Mostly I have to walk alongside her” he says with a smile “but horses are traded in the docks of Ur-zitz, and what you get depends on what boats are in.”


I do not think I can FoRK anything in, and I doubt you will let me cast it “carefully/patiently” on account of drunkenness. So let us get this failure over with, I predict 4x 1’s! :laughing: