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


“Well, I don’t really want him to see my face like this, but the punt is outside his hut, we just have to cross town and head up into the marshes a way on the other side. Come on, if we’re quick, there might be some food left by the time we get to Traders Rest!”


While the mention of food makes Jareks stomach rumble, he feel certain that Archibald is lying about that too.
“Surely your friend would help tend to your injuries. We should stop in and see him.” Jarek scans the area for signs of a boat or an escape route.


You could easily escape along the trail that leads South, curves around the swamp before heading back North on the other side - or just walk back into town easily enough.

“He would” Archibald hangs his head “He worries so, and you understand, I am married, we have to be very careful. I can’t just show up, much as I would like too, and I will not let him see me like this!”


Warran has a sudden revelation and says, “So he is a very close friend of yours,” giving a look of understanding, “I could see why you would not want to impose on him out of the blue like this… I know some who have such very close friendships like yours, and you are right, they would worry. Perhaps, if you give us directions from a short distance away from his home, a group of us can go ahead and get the punt and inform your friend that we are using it to help you get across the marshes safely and then we will not have to worry about you being seen in this state. Also, he will not worry about your safety navigating the marshes.”


He nods “Yes, that would be fine - It will be quite obvious which hut it is, his is the only one left now that hasn’t been pulled down as a eyesore to the ever spreading nobility of Inchwick” he spits “ A feat that has cost me a pretty penny!”

He leads you back through Inchwick, across the bridges and along the marsh on the other side, being careful to pick his way along the shoreline and back out into the marsh where, close to the only hut left - and Kaelin, you recognise a fisherman’s hut with small nets and traps stacked outside, rather than your favoured spear fishing. towards the wetlands is indeed a single skiff, perfectly suited to punting or paddling around the salt marsh.

GM Note

(( This is as close as we’ll ever get to homophobia - it’s a Western late medieval society, so it probably should be rampant, but I have very little interest as a GM exploring themes that may cut close to home, home of friends or family if I can possibly avoid it without explicit player consent. I’ll play this situation as I had written it in my notes, as him being worried about being caught having an affair - the fact it’s with a man is incidental and accidental, but I’ll also leave it vague enough that you can draw your own conclusions if the need to believe that he is worried about homophobia is important for immersion - which I also do not take lightly! ))


Warran tells the others he will go up to the hut alone. He speaks with the person inside the hut explaining Warran and his companions are going to transport Archibald across the salt marshes on the boat, as they are heading to the same place. Warran returns to the group and informs them they have permission to use the boat.


Jarek looks at the boat and the expanse of marshes. His stomach is still rumbling. “Do you think we will still get there in time for the food?”


Archibald cheers up, he points across the silty waters to a distant bonfire, just a speck at this distance. His cheeks are beginning to swell, but he says “That’s where we’ve got to get too, that’s the caravan at Travellers rest, I should say we can do it!”


Once the pieces fit together, Aulexis is a little angry at Archibald. She is an extremely jealous person, romantically, so cheaters produce an emotional reaction of disgust, especially when they’re men.

She’s not invested enough to be very put out, but her face is even more mask-like than when she suspected him to be some kind of scam artist.

“I’m feeling hungry as well, let’s get a move on, shall we?”


Kaelin will have a look at the fishing gear, making a judgement of the quality of the fisher based on the maintenance and standard of his gear.

He’ll then turn his attention to the boat, and will get everything and everyone suitability arranged for the trip over to the Traveller’s Rest.


Simon will check the boat, the quality of the punting poles and the likelihood of a smugglers compartment.


Kaelin, you can see that the gear has not been used in a long time, but has been kept well maintained and clean and ready to go by a reasonably skilled hand - just not as skilled as yours.

Simon, the skiff is basic and large, it needs to be so it doesn’t sit low in the water with a full haul of fish and gear and get grounded in the saltmarshes. It is crammed full of places where you would know you could hide a smugglers compartment, did you want to start examining it in detail to see if you can find any?


Sure! I am after all compelled to!



Simon, give me a shipwise check, Ob 3 please. On a success, you will know for sure if there are any hidden compartments on the skill. On a failure, you will miss several areas where a substantial hidden compartment could be, and further more, you will cause everyone to miss out on a nice warm dinner with the caravan.


So that’s… Perception based skill, so do I roll 5 dice and need 3 for successes?


(If Simon looks like he’s taking forever, Kaelin will unwrap his spear and see if the time can be spent more productively than just waiting.)


You do need three successes, yes, but you have the shipwise skill, which is B2 - right now you only have two dice to get those three successes - you might want to think about working carefully and taking longer, getting help, finding some other skills to FoRK in and any other advantage you can think of!


Carpentry? It’s clearly wooden.


Can Jarek help with that? Secret compartments would definitely interest him.