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


The door opens again and the messenger lets himself out. “I’m behind thanks to… it doesn’t matter, I was helping someone out with something and wasn’t able to work” he begins, clearly he is not a natural teacher.

“I’ve picked up three days worth of messages, I’ll be working through the night tonight, I want to cover at least 5 pickups. Now when I go into the houses, you’ll have to wait outside, you understand? Once we’ve picked up all five, then we’ll deliver those that we can here in Inchwick, before travelling to Kingsport…”

He starts to rattle on about the logistics of delivering messages in the same place at the same time, and setting your workload early in the day and having to stick to it. It seems that there are many nuances to delivering messages efficiently, and you will be expected to tag along with him, but wait outside everywhere.


Jarek is desperate to ask about who he was helping out , but takes a breath to calm his nerves.

“That sounds alright.” He then starts pelting the messenger with questions. “Do you get to travel a lot? How do you make sure that you remember all of the messages?”

As they enter the Main Street, he makes momentary eye contact with Kaelin. Please follow us! But when he walks past Kaelin he returns his attention to the messenger.


Kaelin, please make a beginners luck roll in Jarek-wise, Ob 2, doubled to 4. On a success you’ll understand the eye contact, otherwise you will believe it means that you’re too conspicuous, stop following!


Kaelin keeps his distance, marking the house, and then wanders off past the alley entrance as the messenger comes back out with Jarek in tow. He catches Jarek’s look as he goes…

(What exactly am I rolling for a Jarek-wise test?)


All beginners luck wise skills are against Perception


Kaelin rolling beginner’s luck in Jarek-wise
5d6: 2 + 5 + 4 + 1 + 1 = 13


Kaelin backs off as Jarek requests, heading back to the watch house to rejoin the others (on a circular route to avoid doubling back on himself).


Simon, Aulexis and Warran, does Kaelin find you at the watch house? If not, where does he catch up to you, and what are you doing?


Jarek curses inwardly when he glances behind them and sees Kaelin moving away from them in the opposite direction. He realized during the salt adventure and weeks of respite back at Fyrestpool he spent very little time with Kaelin.

I need to spend more time with them when I get back. A wave of homesickness hits him briefly. Musicians trained together for so much time and communicated nonverbally so often that he forgets that not everyone does that or has that level of familiarity with each other. Jarek feels very much alone, but he is determined to find out as much as he can from the messenger. He turns his attention back to the messenger.


You spend a good part of the day travelling to the houses of some of the lesser nobility of Inchwich, each time being asked to wait outside, while the messenger, whose name is Ciark, lets himself into each house or is let in after a knock on the servants entrance. Each of the houses employ guards, and those you see keep a close eye on you.

Finally, he starts to deliver his messages, and for you, the process is much the same. He leads you to a house or shop, one time the coal yard and to several market stalls. Each time he makes sure to have you wait well out of earshot - outside the premises if possible.

Unless you decide to slip away, day will turn into night, your feet will start to ache and your clothes will start to chafe against you. Just as you are ready to drop, with the sun setting, he will announce that for the next dozen or so messages, you will be travelling to Kingsport and from there, out into the countryside, where you will camp to be up at 4 to catch the farmers as they rise to place the orders that he has been tasked with delivering. You are to set up camp, massage his feet and cook dinner.


Maybe you decide to go to the victims house to check out the crime scene?


(Sorry, kinda forgot about this. It has been a hectic couple of days.)

Before leaving the watch house…

Warran asks, “I know you are very busy, but I am a bit out of the loop. What elections are being held and who are the candidates? Also, it was mentioned in your letter that you had a primary suspect who committed the murder… is that information available to us or is it confidential?”


The elections are for the council of elders, every year at this time, every burgher who owns a semi detached or terraced house or a registered estate ((basically anyone but the poor)) elect those who have reached the age of retirement to the council. More than 30% of the vote to be a yes and they are in if they have had a career in politics, if not then they need 67% of the votes. Your own household will cast a vote on each member.

We do have a suspect. Someone sent the Lady a threatening letter, you’ll find it at her address, we’ve left the scene intact for now, until after the elections. We believe that whoever sent it is our suspect. Who that is shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, and if you can’t, we will when we free up the manpower.


Jarek expected the routine camping and cooking. When the messenger reclines and wiggles his heavily calloused, malodorous toes, Jarek blanches slightly. I’m not massaging those unless he’s giving me something worthwhile.

“So you haven’t told me much about how to become a messenger. Is this typical for your work day?”


“Never apprenticed before boy? You have the look of one who has done something but what that is i don’t rightly know, nor do I care! You learn by doing, and you do what I trust you to do.”

“If you thought this would be a handy shortcut into a guarded mansions so that those fingers might lift a thing or two leaving me to take the blame, well, you aren’t the first, you won’t be the last and you’ll be disappointed same as all the rest.”

“Stick with me and I’ll grow some of these beauties on your feet” he wiggles his calloused toes at you “and you’ll keep up with me all day long”

“I will admit, you’re in at the deep, some pilchard from the paladins men came over to get a message, presumptious little taffer, thought he would try to bully me, so at least that saves us making the trip over there, they can swing for their messages if they don’t make right. But that bonus aside, I’m desperately behind, the guards held me because one of my messages was from a murdered client and now I’m days behind. No matter, stick with me if you’re honest and I’ll feed you, water you and shelter you as well as get your career started”

He starts to snooze as he talks and drifts off into incoherent mumbling about it being the second highest job for a working man behind butlering


Aulexis sighs at the limitations of being law abiding before dismissing herself and Warran from the inspector and getting directions to Diana’s house.

“Where’s Jarek? Did he tail the messenger?” She asks once Kaelin returns, though she’s pretty sure she already knows the answer. “Doubtful we’ll catch up with him. He’ll just have to catch up with us at Diana’s house. Perhaps we can leave a message for him here, in case he doesn’t think to go straight there. As for the rest of us, we’ll need all eyes and hands on the crime-scene. Let’s head there now.”
She thinks about her previous attempts at investigation. With her new perspective, she suspects that she often condemned the wrong man on her ship. She’d like to turn a new leaf and see some justice done in the Paladin’s name.

(Heading to Diana’s yes?)


Warran nods his head, “I agree, let us go to the scene of the crime. Hopefully, we can ascertain the information we need to reveal the identity of the killer.”

In regards to Jarek’s absence, “It is possible he tailed the messenger… He thinks a bit independently and might flit about a bit, but I have every confidence Jarek can handle his own. I would not worry too much about him, and he will be back as soon as he figures out the lead is cold or with the information we need.”


On joining with the others back at the watch station (perhaps as they just step out to head towards Diana’s house), Kaelin will confirm that he left Jarek in the company of the messenger. More than just tailing him, Jarek seemed to have won a degree of confidence from the man, and was busy talking to him. He clearly signalled that Kaelin’s presence was too intrusive, so he backed away to give Jarek room to win the messenger’s trust.


The house is a large terraced house on the edge of town, with views over the salt marshes and an ornate fence surrounding an opulent front garden, the centrepiece of which is a fountain, though it looks like it hasn’t been used in many years.

The Inspector had given you a key which opens the front door, and you find your way to the drawing room easily enough where the body was found.


Is there anyone in the house?