After a long hiatus, we were back in Bloodstone. Previously, the party had arrived, and were going to be dining with the Baron Tranth.
There was some discussion about who would be attending. No one wanted all the dwarves to come.
After some back and forth the dinner party invitees would consist of
- Menas ( Player Character (PC 🔍))
- Kruder (PC)
- Remy (PC)
- Holden (PC)
- Lady Gwen (PC)
- Dragan ( Non-Player Character (NPC 🔍))
- Crispin (NPC)
- Katie (NPC)
- Dellan (NPC)
Squire Marlin asked if anyone needed to be introduced.
Menas insisted on being introduced as High Captain Menas.
Squire Marlin escorted the guests into the dinning room and Menas to a waiting room.
Abbott Aldric and Sage Quillan were also present.
Holden had been at the College of Magic while Quillan was there. They sat together.
Meanwhile Menas was introduced to Baron Tranth and his daughter Lady Christine.
The seating arrangement would prove key…At the head of the table was Baron Tranth, and then going around clockwise was Sage Quillan, Holden, Abott Aldric, Lady Gwen, Katie, Remy, Lady Christine (at the foot), Dragan, Dellan, Crispin, Kruder, Menas (to the immediate right of Baron Tranth).
Dinner was served, and the drinks were flowing. Baron Tranth wanted no talk of business.
Holden and Sage Quillan talked about a student who was likely with the dwarves.
Lady Gwen kept eating to avoid any conversation with Abbott Aldric.
Dragan, Lady Christine, Remy, and Katie were conversing.
Crispin was devouring lots of food and Baron Tranth took note. Menas dismissed Crispin, and as he was leaving Remy decided to poke fun at the Crispin to impress Lady Christine and Katy.
The test was a Comedy test with the consequence being he would infuriate Crispin.
Remy failed and Crispin tried to go over the table at Remy, but was restrained by Dragan and Dellan.
Crispin was escorted out, followed by Kruder and Menas.
There Crispin swore that he would exact revenge on Remy for the humiliations. Menas interceded and promised he would be the one to punish Remy.
There was lots of cursing and threats in dwarvish.
Crispin was placated, and left. Outside was Remy’s guard/bondsman Brandon…and Crispin, without his armor and weapons wisely decided to disengage from Brandon (I should’ve had the Crispin attack Brandon). Instead Crispin cursed Brandon saying he would be put down along with his master.
While this is going on, Lady Christine is working to converse with Remy. Remy is trying to deflect the attention onto Dragan, who only has eyes for Lady Gwen. A bit of maneuvering, and Remy failed to redirect conversation. Lady Christine was infatuated.
During the conversation I called for a test to not alienate Katie, but Remy failed and Katie stormed out.
Lady Gwen, tired of Abbott Aldric and his droning, seized on Katie’s leaving and excused herself to help Katie. Together they hatched a plan to snoop around the Abbey.
Out in the hall Kruder and Menas were working up a plan when Lady Gwen and Katie came out.
Lady Gwen and Katie attempted to lie about Katie feeling sick…it was her time of the month. But Menas and Kruder didn’t buy the lie. They did, however, let the ladies go.
Lady Gwen and Katie went to the Abbey, and were greeted by Acolyte Devin. He was sweeping the entry.
Lady Gwen and Katie insisted on saying their prayers, and went into the Abbey.
Acolyte Devin kept sweeping, until Kruder arrived and asked a few questions.
Kruder left, and Acolyte Devin locked the Abbey up. At this point, I was simply assuming Acolyte Devin was concerned about a dwarf in the night.
Lady Gwen and Katie started poking around the Abbott’s chambers.
I called for a Scavenging test… Ob 2, they’d find more information about the heretical books, Ob 5, and they’d find a book of pure evil. I wasn’t intending for Abbott Alrdic to go evil so soon, but felt that I could challenge Lady Gwen’s beliefs and have her dig up some dirt. It was a perfect confluence of being annoyed, etiquette, powder rooms, clandestine operations, and pushing real hard. The story then naturally spiralled from there. And this would be beginner’s luck.
Lady Gwen beseeched her god, who was the god of the Abbey, for aid…Her request was struck down and she would need to atone for her actions.
Not to be deterred, Lady Gwen’s player threw some persona into the roll. With Fate and Persona, she managed to get 8 successes, though she would need 10. She opted to burn her Deed point, and did indeed find a book of pure evil.
Lady Gwen was going to bring down the Abbot…but not before Acolyte Devin interceded. With the successful test, I opted to have Acolyte Devin be more sinister.
Acolyte Devin attacked, trying to push Lady Gwen into the book. Lady Gwen screamed.
Kruder hearing the scream tried to bust down the door, but failed.
Acolyte Devin, with black energy coursing through his veins attempted to strike Lady Gwen, but failed.
Katie fled the room, leaving Lady Gwen and Acolyte Devin to fight each other.
The scuffle quickly ended after Menas burst down the door and Kruder and Menas subdued Acolyte Devin.
Menas, Kruder, Katie and Lady Gwen carefully gathered up the book, and they brought the book and the unconscious Acolyte Devin to Baron Tranth’s manor.
Back at the Dinner Party
In reviewing how this campaign is going, I will say that Burning Wheel with 5 players is very challenging. There is a lot to keep track of. At times Lady Gwen, played by my 11 year old daughter, feels as though there is too much downtime. I try to move the spotlight around, but it is challenging with 5 players. In Dungeons and Dragons (D&D 🔍), its simple, never split the party.
In this iteration of Burning Wheel, people are going off in separate groups, trying to accomplish something. I also feel that if the player wants the spotlight, then they should grab it. Or hook into the story in interesting ways.
While the others were out, the dinner was rather quiet, and eventually excused themselves to the sitting room, where the Baron began pouring find bourbons.
Holden began asking Abbott Aldric about books, after all Holden knew that the Abbott had sent some books to another priest.
Their conversation turned to heretical books of power, and Holden made a “Dark Secret-Wise” test to figure out how to destroy books of power.
He failed, and the complication that I gave him was that in order to destroy a book of power, he would need a person willing to sacrifice an appendage. I was particularly proud of this complication, as it was a moment where I could turn the failure into a complication, and still enable the player to craft what else must be done.
As the conversations were turning, Kruder, Menas, Lady Gwen, and Katie burst into the room…and sought the Baron’s attention.
During the confusion, Aldric attempted to slip away Inconspicuously, but failed. Instead he fled. He even muttered a baleful prayer of intercession, but his dark god would not listen.
Kruder, attempting to stop the abbott, threw Acolyte Devin, but wasn’t able to trip up the abbott.
Dragan, Kruder and Menas gave pursuit. A quick chase through the winding halls, and Kruder was left facing Abbott Aldric and his hostage, a serving lady.
Kruder advanced, and Aldric ripped at the hostages throat, drawing blood.
Kruder lunged but Aldric managed to put blood to his broach and turned into a puff of smoke…and was gone.
Lady Gwen was summoned and successfully tended to the serving lady.