Burning Locusts: Session 3

Social Engagements and Contracts

Note: This post has content disclaimers.

Burning Locusts: Session 3 is a game session report for Burning Wheel Gold. We played via Discord and Roll20 on .

Our characters are swimming in their own agendas, but we’re slowly entwining them.

Frederico seeks to Stay at Ansidora’s

Frederico pays a visit to Ansidora’s large summer home.

Ansidora plays on her instinct “Never give up a chance to slight my ex-husband Vadam.”

Frederico wants to stay with Ansidora. Ansidora agrees to let Frederico stay with her. Ansidora’s thinking is, “Vadam would hate that a human is staying here.”

Frederico’s looking to blend into social functions. He wants to partner with Ansidora. Ansidora’s inner monologue, is “How much can I get Vadam’s goat by showing up with a new man.”

The early plan is for Frederico and Ansidora to attend a social function together. And there Frederico will begin gathering information.

Ansidora seeks out Ginna to Determine Her Worthiness for Tumol

Ansidora’s son, TumolTumTum”, is dating Ginna. Ginna has the reputation amongst dwarves as “The Prettiest Woman in Scintillante.”

In the previous session, Silas, the Dwarf brewer and ex-boyfriend of Ginna, gave Ginna’s address to Ansidora.

So as to avoid Tumol being there, Ansidora fills Tumol’s schedule during the time Ansidora seeks makes a call at Ginna’s place.

In this moment, Frederico wants to join Ansidora. He attempts to Persuade her, but fails. Garnering a low stakes challenging Persuasion test.

Ansidora heads to the Ginna’s address in the warehouse district. Ginna’s setup a small barrel making workshop and beer kegging operation. It’s evident that Ginna has some Dwarf lineage.

“Very industrious, I approve,” says Ansidora.

Ansidora tests Atravieso and fails, she starts fiddling with things.

“Please don’t touch stuff it’s expensive,” requests Ginna.

In this scene we have a nice conversation where we learn that Tumol is sweet and loving towards Ginna. Whereas Silas was difficult.

Throughout the conversation, Ansidora doesn’t find anything that would bar her TumTum from dating and marrying Ginna.

Ansidora makes a Family-wise test regarding Ginna’s life expectency. This is an Obstacle (Ob 📖) 3 test. Ansidora wants to declare that Ginna’s life expectancy is extended and thus suitable for her TumTum. Failure, Ginna’s life expectency is a bit longer than a human. Ansidora does some mental math, and the likely 70 years together seems adequate. She mentally gives Ginna and Tumol her blessing.

Frederico and Antonius Clandestine Meeting

We establish that Biagio orchestrates where Frederico and Antonius meets. We set a scene at the Hallowed Grounds, a Go hall. There Frederico wants to Circle up a Go playing mercenary. Antonius offers some helping dice; his presence at a Go hall almost assures that there’s someone with a mercenary background.

Failure, word will get out that Frederico is looking for mercenaries and that Antonius was meeting Frederico. In Burning Locusts: Session 1, at Lord Jade’s behest, Antonius agreed to dismiss Frederico. So there are two problems:

  1. People will begin to chatter that Antonius is looking for mercenaries. With his 3D reputation as the Captain of the Radiant Company, this is a natural conclusion.
  2. Lord Jade will almost certainly hear that Antonius has reneged on his arrangements.

We proceed with the scene, Antonius and Frederico discuss next steps. Frederico wants to get into a social function of the upper echelon.

Antonius just so happens to know of a party, one that he plans to reveal his Scintillante cityscape painting; The painting that we established triggers dwarven Greed.

The plan that Antonius and Frederico launch is:

  1. Antonius will purchase a nice butler/footman suit for Frederico.
  2. Frederico will learn more about Fiego.
  3. Antonius will secure a sword for Frederico.
  4. Antonius will make sure that Frederico joins the staff for the social party some days out.
  5. Frederico gives Antonius the address of Ansidora.

Frederico asks where he might recruit some mercenaries. Antonius points him to the Torch and Tankard, a tavern where Antonius often recruited folks some 17 years ago.

Most of the other taverns Antonius frequented for hiring mercenaries have long since closed. I named the Torch and Tankard in a bit of a callback to Antonius’s now defunct Radiant Company.

Ansidora Visits Vadam’s Place to Find She’s on the List

We flip the scene to Ansidora. She heads to the house that Vadam got in her divorce. She immediately notices that there are Dwarven Host guards. They have a list of people to keep out; Ansidora’s one of at least a few on that list.

Fuming, Ansidora swears to cast the runes to proclaim Vadam’s doom. We’re assuming that you can use Rune Casting on someone without being in their presence. She works her way home, and there is a courier waiting to drop off a package and get the requisite signature. The package is both a sealed letter and a sealed scroll case.

Here we learn of the great reveal.

The letter is from Charles, Ansidora’s father. He explains the following:

This contract comes from the Hall of Contracts in the human city hall. The contract is signed and renewed upon the inauguration of each new mayor of Scintillante. During that event, the dwarf ruler of Hartheld also signs. Within the contract there references to another contract.

Charles gives a warning. He doesn’t have access to that contract. It is held by Old Roanie, an old dwarf engraver who has succumbed to the Greed. Charles cautions Ansidora if she seeks out Old Roanie.

Antonius Arrives at Ansidora’s House to Learn of the Contract

Antonius calls on Ansidora at her home. Together, they unravel and read the contract.

This contract began in 289 and we are now in the waning days of 4912. And the contract expires during the Year of Convergence; more specifically on January 17th, 4913. A handful of weeks away.

There is further mention of a paper document kept by the city; it details the city limits which are referenced within the contract with the Cicada Company.

Ansidora makes mention of the letter from her dad, as well as and Old Roanie. Antonius, has heard of Old Roanie; a successful Dwarf-wise Ob 1.

Ansidora and Antonius read an examine the rubbing of the etched contract. There’s something different about it. Ansidora fails a Dwarven Script test to glean more.

Antonius, having negotiated many contracts, reviews the rubbing with scrutiny.

Task
Antonius declares, via Contract-wise that there is space for a contractual loophole.
Intent
Antonius wants to open the possibility of extending the contract.
Consequences
It’s air-tight.
Obstacle
Ob 5
Dice
Contract-wise B4 + 1D help from Ansidora, + 1D Field of Related Knowledge (FoRK 📖) Cicada-company Wise, + 3D from Persona
Result
7 successes

There is in fact space for a loophole. Given the degree of success, we’re holding this as a future step for a Linked Test. We don’t know what it is, but in Antonius’s experience, there’s an opening to exploit.

Frederico at the Torch and Tankdard

Frederico heads to the Torch and Tankard, he wants to:

  • find out more info about these mercenary companies.
  • find a patron (multiple sources of information).
  • make some minor friends.

The Torch and Tankard is much more transient, there’s a lot of veterans and maimed folk.

Frederico fails his Circles test, and really doesn’t find anyone worth talking to. So he starts listening and wants to learn more about mercenary culture. He attempts a Beginner’s Luck of Mercenary-wise, but fails.

Intent on learning things, Frederico let’s his cups get ahead of him.

Reflections

The reveal from the Game Master (GM 📖) of the ending contract was a bit of a surprise. Immediately, I could see Antonius choosing one of two paths:

  • To rebuild the Radiant Company to defend Scintillante.
  • To exploit the loophole so he could again head back to painting.

This felt like a great turning point. The GM established a fact, the ending of the contract with the Cicada Company. But Antonius established that there’s an opportunity to exploit a loophole.

As the locusts begin to gather will Antonius focus on creating a contractual loophole or will he begin to work towards the defense of Scintillante. Antonius has withdrawn and it’s unclear if he’s content with his current situation.

I have some significant Beliefs and Instincts to consider.