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


#829

Warran is deeply disturbed by the description of the crime. It is clear on his face. He thinks to himself: My guess is that she knew the killer… Trusted them… and was strangled by the curtain tie we found removed from the wall.


#830

“No, there were no other marks on the body at all, she hadn’t been touched apart from this.”


#831

Warran composes himself and asks another question, “Did you know anything about Lady DuPont before she came into your shop? Also, have you heard of any other gruesome deaths committed lately from other undertakers in the city?”


#832

“Not much, I hear she invested in plays but I don’t know more than that. I haven’t heard of any other deaths like this, but… the knacker just hauls bodies, if it wasn’t someone of means, I don’t know how I would get to hear of it”


#833

Kaelin will give his thanks for the undertaker’s time. Before he heads outside to examine the burial plot, he has one last question.

“Is it possible to see a written record of her arrangements to see what Lady Diana requested?”

If Diana knew her death was imminent, he wonders whether there might be a clue hidden in the details pointing towards her killer.


#834

He opens a draw, neatly hidden in the wall and pulls out a notepad, flipping over the pages until he comes to a page filled out with neat, small writing.

“A willow coffin, woven basketry, not joinery and double layered to guard against… let’s just say failure. No horses to draw the coffin, but to be carried. Two Psalms and a reading from her favourite play, ‘Trees and Trees’. A simple wooden cross with her name and her husbands name, his ashes to be in her arms.”

There are many more, small details such as the suits that should be worn by the coffin bearers, where the mourners should be at any given time, the order of the service etc. Vanderberg will go through them in as much detail as you wish, describing and explaining what it all means, and any symbolism behind each decision.


#835

The reading from Trees and Trees:

Mr Vanderberg is yet to translate this into a reading, but he can provide you with the book left by Lady DuPont, the following exert is marked for the reading

EXT. ST GEORGE’S MOUNT - AFTERNOON

Considerate swordsman LORD JACK WILLIS is arguing with pretty doctor MS WENNA THORNTON. JACK tries to hug WENNA but she shakes him off.

JACK
Please Wenna, don’t leave me.

WENNA
I’m sorry Jack, but I’m looking for somebody a bit more brave. Somebody who faces his fears head on, instead of running away.

JACK
I am such a person!

WENNA frowns.

WENNA
I’m sorry, Jack. I just don’t feel excited by this relationship anymore.

WENNA leaves.

JACK sits down, looking defeated.

Moments later, loving nurse MRS FLORA GREENWAY barges in looking flustered.

JACK
Goodness, Flora! Is everything okay?

FLORA
I’m afraid not.

JACK
What is it? Don’t keep me in suspense…

FLORA
It’s … the murderer … I saw the murderer!

(It goes on like this for several pages)


Psalms:

First Psalm - Blessed be the Lord, the God of my strength, which teacheth my hands to a battle should rise, and my fingers to war

Benedíctus Dóminus, Deus meus, qui docet manus meas ad prǽlium, * et dígitos meos ad bellum.
Misericórdia mea, et refúgium meum: * suscéptor meus, et liberátor meus :
Protéctor meus, et in ipso sperávi: * qui subdit pópulum meum sub me.
Dómine, quid est homo quia innotuísti ei? * aut fílius hóminis, quia réputas eum?
Homo vanitáti símilis factus est: * dies ejus sicut umbra prætéreunt.
Dómine, inclína cælos tuos, et descénde: * tange montes, et fumigábunt.
Fúlgura coruscatiónem, et dissipábis eos: * emítte sagíttas tuas, et conturbábis eos.
Emítte manum tuam de alto, † éripe me, et líbera me de aquis multis: * de manu filiórum alienórum.
Quorum os locútum est vanitátem: * et déxtera eórum, déxtera iniquitátis.
Deus, cánticum novum cantábo tibi: * in psaltério, decachórdo psallam tibi.
Qui das salútem régibus: * qui redemísti David, servum tuum, de gládio malígno : éripe me.
Et érue me de manu filiórum alienórum, † quorum os locútum est vanitátem: * et déxtera eórum, déxtera iniquitátis.
Quorum fílii, sicut novéllæ plantatiónes * in juventúte sua.
Fíliæ eórum compósitæ : * circumornátæ ut similitúdo templi.
Promptuária eórum plena: * eructántia ex hoc in illud.
Oves eórum fœtósæ, abundántes in egréssibus suis: * boves eórum crassæ.
Non est ruína macériæ, neque tránsitus: * neque clamor in platéis eórum.
Beátum dixérunt pópulum, cui hæc sunt: * beátus pópulus, cujus Dóminus Deus ejus.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum.


Second Psalm - Blessed are they who keep his testimonies: that seek him with their whole heart.

Beáti immaculáti in via: * qui ámbulant in lege Dómini.
Beáti, qui scrutántur testimónia ejus: * in toto corde exquírunt eum.
Non enim qui operántur iniquitátem, * in viis ejus ambulavérunt.
Tu mandásti * mandáta tua custodíri nimis.
Utinam dirigántur viæ meæ, * ad custodiéndas justificatiónes tuas!
Tunc non confúndar, * cum perspéxero in ómnibus mandátis tuis.
Confitébor tibi in directióne cordis: * in eo quod dídici judícia justítiæ tuæ.
Justificatiónes tuas custódiam: * non me derelínquas usquequáque.
In quo córrigit adolescéntior viam suam? * in custodiéndo sermónes tuos.
In toto corde meo exquisívi te: * ne repéllas me a mandátis tuis.
In corde meo abscóndi elóquia tua: * ut non peccem tibi.
Benedíctus es, Dómine: * doce me justificatiónes tuas.
In lábiis meis, * pronuntiávi ómnia judícia oris tui.
In via testimoniórum tuórum delectátus sum, * sicut in ómnibus divítiis.
In mandátis tuis exercébor: * et considerábo vias tuas.
In justificatiónibus tuis meditábor: * non oblivíscar sermónes tuos.
Retríbue servo tuo, vivífica me: * et custódiam sermónes tuos.
Revéla óculos meos: * et considerábo mirabília de lege tua.
Incola ego sum in terra: * non abscóndas a me mandáta tua.
Concupívit ánima mea desideráre justificatiónes tuas, * in omni témpore.
Increpásti supérbos: * maledícti qui declínant a mandátis tuis.
Aufer a me oppróbrium, et contémptum: * quia testimónia tua exquisívi.
Etenim sedérunt príncipes, et advérsum me loquebántur: * servus autem tuus exercebátur in justificatiónibus tuis.
Nam et testimónia tua meditátio mea est: * et consílium meum justificatiónes tuæ.
Adhǽsit paviménto ánima mea: * vivífica me secúndum verbum tuum.
Vias meas enuntiávi et exaudísti me: * doce me justificatiónes tuas.
Viam justificatiónum tuárum ínstrue me: * et exercébor in mirabílibus tuis.
Dormitávit ánima mea præ tǽdio: * confírma me in verbis tuis.
Viam iniquitátis ámove a me: * et de lege tua miserére mei.
Viam veritátis elégi: * judícia tua non sum oblítus.
Adhǽsi testimóniis tuis Dómine: * noli me confúndere.
Viam mandatórum tuórum cucúrri: * cum dilatásti cor meum.
Legem pone mihi, Dómine, viam justificatiónum tuárum: * et exquíram eam semper.
Da mihi intelléctum, et scrutábor legem tuam: * et custódiam illam in toto corde meo.
Deduc me in sémitam mandatórum tuórum: * quia ipsam vólui.
Inclína cor meum in testimónia tua: * et non in avarítiam.
Avérte óculos meos ne vídeant vanitátem: * in via tua vivífica me.
Státue servo tuo elóquium tuum, * in timóre tuo.
Amputa oppróbrium meum quod suspicátus sum: * quia judícia tua jucúnda.
Ecce concupívi mandáta tua: * in æquitáte tua vivífica me.
Et véniat super me misericórdia tua, Dómine: * salutáre tuum secúndum elóquium tuum.
Et respondébo exprobrántibus mihi verbum: * quia sperávi in sermónibus tuis.
Et ne áuferas de ore meo verbum veritátis usquequáque: * quia in judíciis tuis supersperávi.
Et custódiam legem tuam semper: * in sǽculum et in sǽculum sǽculi.
Et ambulábam in latitúdine: * quia mandáta tua exquisívi.
Et loquébar in testimóniis tuis in conspéctu regum: * et non confundébar.
Et meditábar in mandátis tuis, * quæ diléxi.
Et levávi manus meas ad mandáta tua, quæ diléxi: * et exercébar in justificatiónibus tuis.
Memor esto verbi tui servo tuo, * in quo mihi spem dedísti.
Hæc me consoláta est in humilitáte mea: * quia elóquium tuum vivificávit me.
Supérbi iníque agébant usquequáque: * a lege autem tua non declinávi.
Memor fui judiciórum tuórum a sǽculo, Dómine: * et consolátus sum.
Deféctio ténuit me, * pro peccatóribus derelinquéntibus legem tuam.
Cantábiles mihi erant justificatiónes tuæ, * in loco peregrinatiónis meæ.
Memor fui nocte nóminis tui, Dómine: * et custodívi legem tuam.
Hæc facta est mihi: * quia justificatiónes tuas exquisívi.
Pórtio mea, Dómine, * dixi custodíre legem tuam.
Deprecátus sum fáciem tuam in toto corde meo: * miserére mei secúndum elóquium tuum.
Cogitávi vias meas: * et convérti pedes meos in testimónia tua.
Parátus sum, et non sum turbátus: * ut custódiam mandáta tua.
Funes peccatórum circumpléxi sunt me: * et legem tuam non sum oblítus.
Média nocte surgébam ad confiténdum tibi: * super judícia justificatiónis tuæ.
Párticeps ego sum ómnium timéntium te: * et custodiéntium mandáta tua.
Misericórdia tua, Dómine, plena est terra: * justificatiónes tuas doce me.
Bonitátem fecísti cum servo tuo, Dómine: * secúndum verbum tuum.
Bonitátem et disciplínam et sciéntiam doce me: * quia mandátis tuis crédidi.
Priúsquam humiliárer ego delíqui: * proptérea elóquium tuum custodívi.
Bonus es tu: * et in bonitáte tua doce me justificatiónes tuas.
Multiplicáta est super me iníquitas superbórum: * ego autem in toto corde meo scrutábor mandáta tua.
Coagulátum est sicut lac cor eórum: * ego vero legem tuam meditátus sum.
Bonum mihi quia humiliásti me: * ut discam justificatiónes tuas.
Bonum mihi lex oris tui: * super míllia auri et argénti.
Manus tuæ fecérunt me, et plasmavérunt me: * da mihi intelléctum, et discam mandáta tua.
Qui timent te vidébunt me et lætabúntur: * quia in verba tua supersperávi.
Cognóvi, Dómine, quia ǽquitas judícia tua: * et in veritáte tua humiliásti me.
Fiat misericórdia tua ut consolétur me: * secúndum elóquium tuum servo tuo.
Véniant mihi miseratiónes tuæ, et vivam: * quia lex tua meditátio mea est.
Confundántur supérbi, quia injúste iniquitátem fecérunt in me: * ego autem exercébor in mandátis tuis.
Convertántur mihi timéntes te: * et qui novérunt testimónia tua.
Fiat cor meum immaculátum in justificatiónibus tuis, * ut non confúndar.
Defécit in salutáre tuum ánima mea: * et in verbum tuum supersperávi.
Defecérunt óculi mei in elóquium tuum: * dicéntes: Quando consoláberis me?
Quia factus sum sicut uter in pruína: * justificatiónes tuas non sum oblítus.
Quot sunt dies servi tui? * quando fácies de persequéntibus me judícium?
Narravérunt mihi iníqui fabulatiónes: * sed non ut lex tua.
Omnia mandáta tua véritas: * iníque persecúti sunt me, ádjuva me.
Paulo minus consummavérunt me in terra: * ego autem non derelíqui mandáta tua.
Secúndum misericórdiam tuam vivífica me: * et custódiam testimónia oris tui.
In ætérnum, Dómine,* verbum tuum pérmanet in cælo.
In generatiónem et generatiónem véritas tua: * fundásti terram, et pérmanet.
Ordinatióne tua persevérat dies: * quóniam ómnia sérviunt tibi.
Nisi quod lex tua meditátio mea est: * tunc forte periíssem in humilitáte mea.
In ætérnum non oblivíscar justificatiónes tuas: * quia in ipsis vivificásti me.
Tuus sum ego, salvum me fac: * quóniam justificatiónes tuas exquisívi.
Me exspectavérunt peccatóres ut pérderent me: * testimónia tua intelléxi.
Omnis consummatiónis vidi finem: * latum mandátum tuum nimis.
Quómodo diléxi legem tuam, Dómine? * tota die meditátio mea est.
Super inimícos meos prudéntem me fecísti mandáto tuo: * quia in ætérnum mihi est.
Super omnes docéntes me intelléxi: * quia testimónia tua meditátio mea est.
Super senes intelléxi: * quia mandáta tua quæsívi.
Ab omni via mala prohíbui pedes meos: * ut custódiam verba tua.
A judíciis tuis non declinávi: * quia tu legem posuísti mihi.
Quam dúlcia fáucibus meis elóquia tua, * super mel ori meo!
A mandátis tuis intelléxi: * proptérea odívi omnem viam iniquitátis.
Lucérna pédibus meis verbum tuum, * et lumen sémitis meis.
Jurávi, et státui * custodíre judícia justítiæ tuæ.
Humiliátus sum usquequáque, Dómine: * vivífica me secúndum verbum tuum.
Voluntária oris mei beneplácita fac, Dómine: * et judícia tua doce me.
Anima mea in mánibus meis semper: * et legem tuam non sum oblítus.
Posuérunt peccatóres láqueum mihi: * et de mandátis tuis non errávi.
Hereditáte acquisívi testimónia tua in ætérnum: * quia exsultátio cordis mei sunt.
Inclinávi cor meum ad faciéndas justificatiónes tuas in ætérnum, * propter retributiónem.
Iníquos ódio hábui: * et legem tuam diléxi.
Adjútor et suscéptor meus es tu: * et in verbum tuum supersperávi.
Declináte a me, malígni: * et scrutábor mandáta Dei mei.
Súscipe me secúndum elóquium tuum, et vivam: * et non confúndas me ab exspectatióne mea.
Adjuva me, et salvus ero: * et meditábor in justificatiónibus tuis semper.
Sprevísti omnes discedéntes a judíciis tuis: * quia injústa cogitátio eórum.
Prævaricántes reputávi omnes peccatóres terræ : * ídeo diléxi testimónia tua.
Confíge timóre tuo carnes meas: * a judíciis enim tuis tímui.
Feci judícium et justítiam: * non tradas me calumniántibus me.
Súscipe servum tuum in bonum: * non calumniéntur me supérbi.
Oculi mei defecérunt in salutáre tuum: * et in elóquium justítiæ tuæ.
Fac cum servo tuo secúndum misericórdiam tuam: * et justificatiónes tuas doce me.
Servus tuus sum ego: * da mihi intelléctum, ut sciam testimónia tua.
Tempus faciéndi, Dómine: * dissipavérunt legem tuam.
Ideo diléxi mandáta tua, * super aurum et topázion.
Proptérea ad ómnia mandáta tua dirigébar: * omnem viam iníquam ódio hábui.
Mirabília testimónia tua: * ídeo scrutáta est ea ánima mea.
Declarátio sermónum tuórum illúminat: * et intelléctum dat párvulis.
Os meum apérui, et attráxi spíritum: * quia mandáta tua desiderábam.
Aspice in me, et miserére mei: * secúndum judícium diligéntium nomen tuum.
Gressus meos dírige secúndum elóquium tuum: * et non dominétur mei omnis injustítia.
Rédime me a calúmniis hóminum: * ut custódiam mandáta tua.
Fáciem tuam illúmina super servum tuum: * et doce me justificatiónes tuas.
Exitus aquárum deduxérunt óculi mei: * quia non custodiérunt legem tuam.
Justus es, Dómine: * et rectum judícium tuum.
Mandásti justítiam testimónia tua: * et veritátem tuam nimis.
Tabéscere me fecit zelus meus: * quia oblíti sunt verba tua inimíci mei.
Ignítum elóquium tuum veheménter: * et servus tuus diléxit illud.
Adolescéntulus sum ego et contémptus: * justificatiónes tuas non sum oblítus.
Justítia tua, justítia in ætérnum: * et lex tua véritas.
Tribulátio, et angústia invenérunt me: * mandáta tua meditátio mea est.
Æquitas testimónia tua in ætérnum: * intelléctum da mihi, et vivam.
Clamávi in toto corde meo, exáudi me, Dómine: * justificatiónes tuas requíram.
Clamávi ad te, salvum me fac: * ut custódiam mandáta tua.
Prævéni in maturitáte, et clamávi: * quia in verba tua supersperávi.
Prævenérunt óculi mei ad te dilúculo: * ut meditárer elóquia tua.
Vocem meam audi secúndum misericórdiam tuam, Dómine: * et secúndum judícium tuum vivífica me.
Appropinquavérunt persequéntes me iniquitáti: * a lege autem tua longe facti sunt.
Prope es tu, Dómine: * et omnes viæ tuæ véritas.
Inítio cognóvi de testimóniis tuis: * quia in ætérnum fundásti ea.
Vide humilitátem meam, et éripe me: * quia legem tuam non sum oblítus.
Júdica judícium meum, et rédime me: * propter elóquium tuum vivífica me.
Longe a peccatóribus salus: * quia justificatiónes tuas non exquisiérunt.
Misericórdiæ tuæ multæ, Dómine: * secúndum judícium tuum vivífica me.
Multi qui persequúntur me, et tríbulant me: * a testimóniis tuis non declinávi.
Vidi prævaricántes, et tabescébam: * quia elóquia tua non custodiérunt.
Vide quóniam mandáta tua diléxi, Dómine: * in misericórdia tua vivífica me.
Princípium verbórum tuórum, véritas: * in ætérnum ómnia judícia justítiæ tuæ.
Príncipes persecúti sunt me gratis: * et a verbis tuis formidávit cor meum.
Lætábor ego super elóquia tua: * sicut qui invénit spólia multa.
Iniquitátem ódio hábui, et abominátus sum: * legem autem tuam diléxi.
Sépties in die laudem dixi tibi, * super judícia justítiæ tuæ.
Pax multa diligéntibus legem tuam: * et non est illis scándalum.
Exspectábam salutáre tuum, Dómine: * et mandáta tua diléxi.
Custodívit ánima mea testimónia tua: * et diléxit ea veheménter.
Servávi mandáta tua, et testimónia tua: * quia omnes viæ meæ in conspéctu tuo.
Appropínquet deprecátio mea in conspéctu tuo, Dómine: * juxta elóquium tuum da mihi intelléctum.
Intret postulátio mea in conspéctu tuo: * secúndum elóquium tuum éripe me.
Eructábunt lábia mea hymnum, * cum docúeris me justificatiónes tuas.
Pronuntiábit lingua mea elóquium tuum: * quia ómnia mandáta tua ǽquitas.
Fiat manus tua ut salvet me: * quóniam mandáta tua elégi.
Concupívi salutáre tuum, Dómine: * et lex tua meditátio mea est.
Vivet ánima mea, et laudábit te: * et judícia tua adjuvábunt me.
Errávi, sicut ovis, quæ périit: * quære servum tuum, quia mandáta tua non sum oblítus.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum.



#836

“I am no patron of the arts,” Kaelin ponders “Is Trees and Trees regarded as a good play?”


#837

I seem to remember hearing about it a lot a few years ago, but I dont know how it was recieved.


#838

Jarek wakes with a start, still in the tree with the cube firmly grasped in his hand. It is still dark. He scans the area for the messenger or anything new that might help him make his decision. If I’m going to leave and head back to the others, I will need to go now. Jarek is torn between wanting to see this through to possibly find out more about Diana and the cube and not wanting to give another foot massage at the end of another day’s journey.


#839

He appears to be fast asleep


#840

(I find it really strange she knew she was going to die, but her murderer just grabbed something from her own house to throttle her. The only premeditation seems to be by the victim.)


#841

“Who identified the body?”


#842

I’m sorry, but I haven’t been party to that information, that would be the police’s job - your job to co-ordinate, before the body is brought to me, though an elderly Lady, no family, I would imagine it would be one of her servants.


#843

Kaelin will leave the others to examine the body whilst he takes in the fresh air outside and looks over the grave plot.


#844

Aulexis would like to survey the body.


#845

“You may see the body, so long as you treat it with dignity and respect”

The church and graveyard is a half hours walk away, if you wish to go without the others


#846

Kaelin’s happy to wander off without the others. He’d rather avoid staring at a dead body, besides which with the three others there he’ll hardly be adding anything extra by his presence.


#847

Mister Vanderburg takes you down a wide but exceptionally long flight of stairs, wide enough for pall bearers to carry a coffin along. Deep in the cool depths, you find yourself in front of a pair of double doors, and even from here, the smell - a sickly sweet mixture of herbs and preservatives couples with the smell of death - wafts through. When the doors are opened, and Mister Vanderburg walks through, the smell hits you like a wall.

Please make a Steel test to be able to enter this room, fail and you will vomit and be unable to go any further.


The graveyard is a place of peace, and Lady Dupont’s plot particularly so. Having not yet been dug, the grass not yet even cut, it is a meadow, and the number of graves is remarkably few considering the near decade that the colony has been here for, though of course, not all can afford to be buried here. A simple wooden cross, Mister Vanderburg informed you had been ordered by Lady DuPont would be seriously out of place here, the 40 or so tombs in place, and that is the best description of the great stone monoliths, each trying to outdo it’s neighbours in the expense lavished on the carvings, size and construction. The plot you have come to see is to the opposite end of the graveyard, as far as it can get from the competition. Given the size of the plots, and the planned position of Lady DuPont’s site, whose trunk makes up the corner of the field, then her modest burial will always be kept away from the others, a moat of grass separating her from the others.

The priest from the church wanders towards you, and he so exactly suits the image of the local perfect parish priest that he could be playing the part in a play. His cassocks are pristine and a sombre dark grey He is smiling pleasantly and politely. The very way he walks suggests that he is hear to listen to all your problems and with a kind word, dispel them. His hands are clasped together, almost as if in prayer. His face is crumpled and his hair thinning and he wears tinted spectacles which mask his eyes.

“Are you here to see someone who has died recently?” He enquires.


#848

“Not quite. I take it that you’ve heard of Lady Diana Du Pont’s death? One of my companions has been deputised by the Watch to examine the circumstances of her death. We found out that she recently arranged her funeral; I wondered whether examining her chosen burial plot might help get a better measure of the Lady.”