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


Bad luck Jarek! It seems your rival salt purchasers are keeping watch for signs that you have rumbled their plan and wave cheerily at you as they plot to profit off your lack of knowledge of the docks. Aulexis, tell us how you go about your final preparations with your chosen captain.


Aulexis becomes more and more serious the closer that they get to the salt trader. This is the first mission that she’s undertaking for the Paladin, and she’s anxious that it goes well. She seems to gain an inch in height, as her captain’s posture returns and her gaze becomes a steel blade.
When they board the salt ship, she’s fully in her element. “We’re on business from Paladin Conchubhar.” She announces with a imperious tone. “100 barrels of salt. Your captain, if you please.” She directs this towards one she recognizes as the Bo’sun.

She leverages all of her persuasive powers, the grace of her appearance juxtaposed with the authority that she projects (now under the auspices of a world-wide hero), it’s not so much that she tries to bargain for the salt, so much as demands it.

(she’ll fork in command, drop dead gorgeous and authoritative to her roll to negotiate 100 barrels of salt to be delivered to the Paladin.)


The Captain of The Unfortunate Conflict of Evidence, an Elven ‘definitely not a pirate’ legitimate trade vessel moves across the deck like a serpent that has seen a mouse, and shows no surprise at Aulexis’ presence. “What can we do for you today?” he purrs.

(( Your roll is against your command, and I’ll give you advantage from your background, yes to FoRKing in drop dead gorgeous, and yes to authorative too. The Ob would have been Ob3, but for the last roll’s failure, it is now against Ob4. Succeed and you will secure the salt, and a lift back to the Paladin’s castle to ensure the deal is not misrepresented. Fail and the Captain will make sure he bumps into enough salt traders on the high seas to legitimately secure the required salt, it will be delivered the next time he is in the area, in 2d6 weeks. Remember, you have your full compliment of players to offer help if they are able too, so let’s get everyone in on the roll if possible! ))

(( On the “Are we trading stolen goods” question, almost certainly not, Pirates tend to only conduct one or two bad runs a year, the rest of the time they trade legitimately, and use this to gather intelligence. There is always the chance that you are not recieving honest goods, but pirates rarely go out to risk their lives for salt, valuable as it is, there are better cargos to target ))


(I can see no skill I have I could fork in. Shipwise? I would able to quickly see through any nautical flim flam as to why the cargo might take 12 weeks.)


It’s got to FoRK into command, which shipwise could in this situation, give me some very convincing rp and the answer is yes!


((Kaelin’s got plenty of skills that could be relevant, but struggling to parse the command part. Are we essentially ordering them to deliver the salt, rather than bartering for a price?))


(Assumingthat Jarek can catch up to them, can authority wise work?)


That’s how I read it!


Yes and yes - linked tests explicitly take place over time and I see no reason why he wouldn’t have caught up


(I was intending to convey that she was using her command skills as a negotiation tactic, but command would be better than trying a beginners luck roll on the unopened negotiation skill)


When Jarek realizes that he’s been clearly observed listening in, he swears under his breath then musters a false smile and waves to the orcs as if he were merely being friendly. He takes off at as close to a run as he can manage on the crowded docks looking for any signs of the others.

After two false alarms and being nearly mistaken for a tardy midshipman, he spies the others boarding The Unfortunate Conflict of Evidence. Aulexis is taking the lead on negotiations. Good. I’m ready to get this salt and get out of here. Jarek puts his failure to notice anything useful on the docks behind him and turns his attention to the Captain.


Kaelin will start to softly sing a shanty in the background, something about the joys of being at sea and the freedom of sailing over the waves. The ploy is to soften the command given by Aulexis - is it such a chore to do something that is on the way to open seas anyway?

(A slightly daft attempt at wrangling seamanship and singing in together for one FoRK)


Simon spends the minutes before Aulexis’ negotiations giving her a whole list of excuses given to his former captains by suppliers; Ill weather, damage to sails, sea monsters and navigational snafus, in turn he relays how his captain dealt with each half truth and tall story. He also develops a short hand. If he thinks the captain is pulling a fast one, he will tap twice on a piece of decking, as if assessing its structural integrity.


It felt like “I’m a captain, you’re a captain, dispense with the games and sell us the salt for this price, oh and you will throw in delivery.”


I’m ok with slightly daft on a gentle introduction adventure, we can turn up the wick later, for now I’d rather you all get to know your characters, who they are when not under too much pressure… because when the heat is on we get to find out who they really are :slight_smile:


Jarek is surprised that Kaelin starts to sing. He appreciates Kaelin’s technique and enthusiasm for sailing. No distractions. Jarek focuses his attention on the Captain and the Bo’sun. While the Captain gives off the same level of calm authority as Aulexis, the Bo’sun seems a little overeager to be taken seriously.

He’s eager to impress. That could be useful. Jarek nudges Aulexis and then looks at the Bo’sun who is trying to puff himself up to the same level of impressiveness as the Captain.


(yes, that is what I was going for!)


(Does Warran have any forks to bring to the table, @UllinBethalto?)


(Well… he could make a fork… If only he had the right tools…)
(Sorry, I have been racking my brain since after I finished making dinner, and I am struggling to see how Warran can help. Write, Sorcery, Read, Symbology, Great Master-wise, Enchanting, Calligraphy, Blacksmithing, and Staff really do not fit into this situation… But Research… That is something I might be able to work with… Give me just a second while I type something up…)


While Simon is speaking with Aulexus, Warran’s mind races to see if there is anything he can remember to help. He thinks back to his schooling and though he was never really interested in Alchemy, there was a period of time when he did listen to some older students and scribbled down some notes in his earlier years to see if he was interested in learning about it. Maybe there is something in there which can help us… Most likely not…

He pulls out his journal and goes towards some of the very first pages. The words on the page are tightly scrawled and close together. They are hard to read, as time has caused them to fade, but he is able to make most of them out. 'Bezoars, mostly ineffective against…unable to read…’ A mixture of an alcoholic drink with 'cinnamon and gold leaf to aid digestion’… Another digestive aid made with a 'liqueur of deer blood, liquorice, and anise seeds/crushed’… Warran thinks to himself: What were these guys on about… None of this is helpful!

Finally, he spots something at the bottom corner of the page, something helpful. 'Items which can and cannot be dissolved in alcohol.’ There is a short list of 30 powders: under ‘can dissolve’ is salt; under ‘cannot dissolve’ is saltpetre. Finally, something useful!, he thinks to himself.

Around this time, Simon is finishing his talk with Aulexus. Before they enter negotiations, Warran gives Aulexus a consolidated breakdown of all the information they have gathered the last couple of days, highlighting the most important notes, and finishes by saying, “Kaelin found out we should be looking for a blend of salt and saltpetre. I instructed the orc guide to find us someone who can acquire this for us. If at any point you think the goods on offer are not this, we can always test the salt mixture in a clear spirit. The regular salt will eventually dissolve, but the saltpetre will not and will cause the liquid to be cloudy… Or at least that is what my old notes indicate…”

Warran shrugs, “I imagine this can be used as leverage in your dealings with the captain. But I am not sure it is of much use to you. But still having more information is better than having less…”