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


Jarek nods at Aulexis’s comment. While he is eager to explore, he feels the distance that he has traveled since boarding the Quietly Confident.

“I rarely got to travel with the army, but I saw caravans departing and arriving often. Everything was so organized and there was a sameness to all of the wagons. What do you think are in those?” He points to two wagons with bright red symbols painted on them that he does not recognize.


Jarek can help with his Inconspicious skill, yes - he’s well versed in where people might think about hiding things they want to stay hidden, which are probably the thinks that he would find the most interesting! (This is a suggestion, Jarek, feel free to use a different skill!)


“I don’t know either. Should we take a look?” She smiles at Jarek a little mischievously.

Does Jarek want to use conspicuous? That sounds good.

If the test is impossible, is it also impossible to avoid ticking off a guard in this case? I’ll still go for it, though.


I’m not saying the guard will be ticked off, not even suspicious - merely curious


So would I roll 6 dice for perception, plus whatever bonus from Jarek’s conspicuous?


Do you mean conspicuous or inconspicuous? Would authority wise work here?


Correct, you will roll the 6 dice from your perception of B6, and an extra one with Jarek’s help. This also benefits Jarek’s skill of choice, helping him gain experience for it.

Jarek, you can help with authority wise instead, and instead of helping find secrets, you’ll instead help uncover anything interesting about the guards and how they operate - either way you provide +1D (One extra die)


Let’s go with conspicuous for Jarek.


Conspicuous it is! I feel conspicuous wil help you find interesting things that the wagon owners particularly want noticed!


Aulexis checks out the wagon for unusual wares!

7d6: 2 + 4 + 2 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 6 = 26




As the pair of you wander around the wagons, away from the gathered merchants, there is little of interest. One or two of them are filled with food for the journey, plenty for everyone and many packages bear the Paladin’s mark, clearly your membership of the expedition has been paid in supplies.

Mostly though the wagons are empty, awaiting produce from the Orcish city!

As you wander around, one of the guards watches you curiously, before turning away to watch the darkness beyond the camp once more.


“Ahhh, so she has an eye for talent… I wonder why she is making this trip? Normally if you travel this kind of distance you are looking for something physical… Perhaps she is looking for something new and exotic to bring back to have performed? On occasion, in my leisure time, I write some small stories… Perhaps one of these could be turned into a play someday?” Warran chuckles at the notion.

He takes a bite of food and then asks, “So this group she is a part of, is it a guild or a collection of private individuals?”


“There’s no guild, I imagine though that you can’t show up with money and be able to join them - I should think they only accept their own type of people, whatever that is! At the end of the day, probably just others that they get along with” Archibald shrugs.


“That explains why everyone seems to know who we are. The Paladin spares no expense.” Aulexis muses.

“You were in the army? How came you to be in the Paladin’s employ?” Aulexis looks over Jarek, not exactly the warrior type, that is to be sure. But everyone has some kind of usefulness, provided they have some courage.


Warran leans back and considers whether or not her disdain for him was because of him not being ‘her type of people’ or because she knows who he is and what he said to her son…

Soon after Kaelin arrives back from his walk and Warran decides to stretch his legs and regard some of the others who are in the caravan. He has particular interests in seeing if there are any craftsmen (blacksmiths or silversmiths) and sees if Diana is speaking with anyone else in the caravan (or is she just hanging around by herself).


Jarek looks warily at Aulexis. His initial instinct is to outright lie. He doesn’t know how far the Noble is willing to go to find him or if the Commander was able to reasonably explain his sudden disappearance.
He hesitates taking in her missing ring finger, scars, and slight air of authority. She’d definitely know if I lie… Or she’d murder me when she found out.

"Yes, I was raised in the army. My Commander is Kasia’s brother. He was able to get me this assignment.”

Suddenly Jarek is very aware of the people around them. He does not want to say anything incriminating that might be overheard.

As they come around the next wagon, they see Simon and another man staring intently at a piece of wood. Jarek waves enthusiastically. Simon and his friend look up to greet them.

“Who is your friend Simon?”


“I am indeed travelling with the caravan” beams Henry Studley to Simon “Got a new job, keeping the wagons rolling - let me tell you, the silent forest, it’s not a good place. It looks normal, better than normal, it’s like the best woods you’ve ever been in, the trees are tall and straight, fruit grows in abundance, and then you realise, it takes a while but once you notice it, you can’t unnotice it - there are no animals at all, no birdsong in the morning. The Exile who took us through on the last job, they pointed out the deaduns, any animal that gets near, they just die…” he snaps his fingers “just like that”

He pauses for breath, in the swing of his story, he’s obviously told a few times now.

“Same with people, according to the Exiles, they just die in there, nothing kills em, they just die! And that’s why we need the Exiles see, they can read the wind or the trees or what have you, they know when it’s safe to cross, without death. Anyway, last time it was an Exile woman, an Orc and she lives mostly in Ur-zitz but she took the job to navigate us through and she said that it’s the volcano breathing, every time it breaths out, everything dies - oh and whatever you do, don’t eat the fruit”

He screws up his face “Tastes like death! Trust me, I did it, thought I was a gonner after, that’s how bad it was!”


Your fear is appropriate, she smirks internally, but appropriate fear makes for short conversation. She wonders what made him take a second look, and her missing finger aches when she notices him look at it. I should really get a glove.
There’s something more to his story, and she’ll tease it out sometime in the future. Some mystery is always appealing.

Overall: a mixed success. It’s been one hundred and fifty years since she was an approximation of Jarek’s youth. Perhaps it’s just as awkward for other people to talk to her, as it is for her to talk to other people? She will work on being more relatable, somehow. Speaking less formally?

She follows Jarek to Simon and his old friend. Waving as enthusiastically as Jarek would be weird. She nods at both of them.
“Simon. We’ve not met officially… Aulexis.”


Jarek is glad that Aulexis has taken the lead. He introduces himself and shakes Henry’s hand. Between his recent thoughts of the army and Henry’s description of the forest that they are about to cross, Jarek is hit with a wave of homesickness. Life in the barracks was predictable and all the fruit was edible, but the routine was often dull.

“What do you mean you can’t eat the fruit?! What’s the purpose of… err… fruit if you can’t eat it?” Stupid. You nearly asked the carpenters what the purpose of trees was if you can’t eat the fruit.

His new life was certainly more exciting than his old one, but he felt the weight of his inexperience. He starts drumming his fingers on the outer seams of his pants. Trying to distract them from his gaffe, he nervously started asking a lot of questions at once. To Henry, “How many times have you crossed?” To Simon, " Have you ever seen so many trees like that?" To Aulexis, “Have you ever been any place like this before?”