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


#989

“These so called doctors are far too uptight with their codes, I tried to get one onto my staff, but to no avail” he shrugs “The Medical Council in the Old World wants to make laws about their medicines, and about lying to them, stupidity! Politics! I cant imagine Diana was taking too much, she visited only a week before, well before she died. She looked bright, cheerful, happy even. She certainly had her faculties, and I’ve seen one or two cases of overuse in my time.”


#990

Warran stands and watches the lawyer briefly, only for just a moment; but it feels like a week, as he is temporarily mesmerized by the flurry of activity the dwarf is engaged in. Her actions are quick and efficient, and her activity almost makes him think he is moving at a slower pace than she.

After realizing he has stood there long enough without responding, he finally speaks up, “I apologize for the intrusion. My name is Warran Forsyth and I am part of a team which is investigating a death for the local constabulary. After looking over the victim’s residence, it appears they may have been a client of yours. I am aware there are certain protections between client and lawyer which cannot be discussed, but my primary intention was to inform you of the death so any final plans which were arranged can be executed.”


#991

The lawyer, whose name is Erikeline Hammergrip, “Just Erik, if you don’t mind” flicks through her paperwork absent mindedly “A death you say, oh dear. Would you like a drink? Take a seat, let me see, where to begin… ah, their name would probably be a good start!”


#992

Simon waits a slightly uncomfortable amount of time.


#993

Just as it’s starting to get a little wierd, the door opens, and the butler is back, with a walrus moustached gentleman in fine clothes, who looks flustered. “Mister Rigby, I present, your passe-partout”

“How the bloody hell” he seems to be talking, but the volume is that of a loud shout “did you know I needed your services? Never mind, don’t tell me, what’s important is that you are here! Tell me, what is your method of strigillation? Well, as if I have any choice at this time. Gods praise your arrival, come on!”


#994

Simon hurries through the door.


#995

“The victim was Lady Diana DuPont.” Warran replies. He is curious of the lawyers reaction, as it seems she likely has not been notified.


#996

“Oh thank goodness” The Dwarf looks genuinely relieved “No! I mean… That is to say I’m not happy she died, it’s just, well, I thought you meant someone new had died that I didn’t know about.”

She takes a moment to settle herself once more “Lady DuPont’s affairs are all in order, you informed me of her death already. It seems there are some bureaucratic issues in the constabulary, what with the elections I don’t doubt. Just, indulge my curiosity, who asked you to inform me? And whose body has been sat on a slab in the watchouse, mistakenly identified for my client?”


#997

Simon, you find yourself in a busy corridor, servants stream from the kitchens to a set of stairs leading up. The butler opens a door, and inside you see several people, each sat at a table, hunched over a painting. They each have an oil lantern with a lens attached to light their subject and are all busy in some aspect of repair and restoration. “Take a seat” the butler says cooly, “And please confine yourself to this room. Caedmon will bring you the painting and the necessary materials from his studio” The butler sneers, and you sense that he holds the artist in extreme disdain.

“Yes, right, the frame is fine, but the plasterwork has cracked and needs remolding.” Caedmon Rigby tells you, “You’ll not need wood, just plaster I imagine, but you’re the maestro! What shaped spoons will you be requiring?”

Jarek, where are you?


#998

“There is one other question that you might be well placed to answer. The Lady made plans to have a reading from a play called Trees and Trees at her funeral. I was wondering why that particular reading? Was the play sinificant to Lady Dupont in some way? Is it a well regarded work?”


#999

Simon examines it for himself before replying.


#1000

Simon, the frame is a fairly complex piece of woodwork. On the ships where you learned your craft, the joins are big and rugged and simple and their eauty comed from their function, but this frame was created by a true master of craft, more akin to the woodwork turned out by the dwarfs of your childhood. It is made from four pieces of an incredibly rare redwood, and notoriously tricky to work with. The wood itself is in fact the reason the plasterwork applied to the top has cracked, you notice the distinct signs of salt water warping, not much, but enough to cause the split in the plaster on top. The plasterwork itself is carved to accentuate the painting, to add a third dimension to the art, a picture of a cat on a roof silhouetted against a blood moon.


#1001

“Trees and Trees, Oh, that’s interesting. No, it was not a particularly special play, it did well enough I suppose for an…” He stops “Well, plays from Veil have a somewhat less than commercial appeal. However, it was her husbands last play that he saw, and she told me he connected with it quite deeply. I imagine, being buried so far from his resting place, she wants to ensure the connection with him is acknowledged. I didn’t take her for a sentimental woman, but there you go!”


#1002

(When I went back to look up the undertakers name {Mister Vanderburg}, I noticed this was not really answered. Could you answer this for me Will? :smiley: )


Warran perhaps misunderstands her question, which causes his eyebrow to briefly rise, replies “With the elections occurring and the investigation being handed over to myself and my colleagues; it has been decided to go back over and thoroughly investigate the circumstances around Lady Dupont’s death and looking over any previous discussions with persons informed of her demise to insure we are working with the most accurate information. Several people who have been questioned have been shocked or surprised by hearing of her passing; so, I have decided to inquire with you while the rest of the investigative team is following up on other leads.”

“To our knowledge, Lady DuPont’s body was transferred to an undertaker. In addition to asking a few questions, I was coming here today also to ensure Lady DuPont’s final wishes were being properly fulfilled; however, with your last question… perhaps there has been some miscommunication which we are trying to avoid in our investigation. There was some discussion among our team her legal advocate was not yet informed of her death.”

“I understand you have several clients you need to attend to, and I do not wish to take more of your time; but could you tell me who previously informed you of her death and when that was?”

(Sorry, interrupted several times typing this out, hopefully this reads as: ‘I came of my own accord and am double checking any possible loose ends’.)


#1003

This is, without a doubt, Lady Diana DuPont, certainly as you met on your previous adventure!


#1004

(I assumed so, but you know what they say about assumptions…)


#1005

The gleam fades from the Dwarfs eyes, as the prospect of litigation for gross misconduct is swept away “Well, I see” is all she manages “It was a Hawthorne, one of your lot.”


#1006

Kaelin nods and makes some notes.

“Did the Lady ever mention any fears that someone might mean her harm?”


#1007

The theatre owner looks as if he’s about to speak, almost checks himself, but, with uncertainty “Yes, well no. She mentioned something, an incident that had me worried, but she claimed that everything was in hand. Not the last time I spoke to her, but the time before, she was visibly shaken, poor Diana. It was clear something awful had happened and she told me that she had received an unexpected visit from someone from her past. There was a terrible accident, you see, and Diana was involved. A carriage that she was riding struck two little boys - they had run out into the road to get to a sweet seller on the other side, right in front of her carriage and well… it was a scandalous affair at the time, one boy dead, the other maimed. There were all these witnesses who blamed Diana, and she was hauled in front of the dock and ultimately found innocent, yet the madding crowd then bayed for the blood of the judge as well. It was horrible. Anyway, she told me that the father of the twins had turned up here, in the colonies and demanded money with menaces. She was quite shaken, and of course, she had none to give, so she refused which she would have done anyway even if she had.” He sighs. “People are just awful.”

“The next time I saw her however, she asked about how to get hold of my little pick me ups, and seemed perfectly happy, though I think the whole incident made her start to feel her age. When I asked, she said that she hadn’t heard from the man again and that she had taken steps to ensure that he wouldn’t trouble her in the future. I think part of that was remaining poor, she wrapped up our remaining business and settled all of her accounts - those she would not let me write off for friendships sake at least. Well, Greygord is through his education now, and his career is going well and she only ever was interested in money for his future, so it’s perfectly understandable. Diana is one of those angels… was one of those angels not motivated by greed.”


#1008

“Would you happen to remember the names of the maimed boy or his father?”