Actual Play – Breaking Morality (6/13/2012)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean Nittner, Justin Dhiel, and Noam Rosen
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: Burning Theorsa

This has been brewing for a while. In the fiction, for nearly a year, in game for 17 sessions. Baldric, a young knight whose moral code and has been challenged and found wanting, is out if his mind infatuated with Moya, his war wizard companion. Besides the fact that they have very different outlooks on life, scream at each other all the time, and often despise one another, there is one major hitch in their would be romance. Their siblings. Or at least half-siblings, but it’s still close enough.

For ages that was enough to keep them apart. Baldric didn’t know Moya was his sister, and so he pursued her relentlessly. Moya cast him away over and over. It was their routine. They also fought. A LOT. So that kept things from getting boring, and from feeling like skeezy sexual harassment. Generally speaking Baldric would make an advance, be spurned, something (unrelated) would come up that they fought like cats and dogs about, and they would part furious with each other.  The would both kick ass to overcome their trials, growing closer to each other in the process and… repeat.

Baldric has even found out Moya was his sister. Twice! But the Dragon Magic (she gave away her family name) keeps robbing him of that knowledge. Every night he forgets and wonders what revelation he had but like a dream was forgotten.

And of course there was even more than all that…

Aeric is missing

We started just before the feast with Moya bringing Afon to Baldric (who had been searching for the mercenary). “I have a letter from my father. Aeric has run away!” The real hitch here is that, just last session, Baldric had ordered Afon to go assassinate the king (I know, crazy), and now, not even a day later he was changing his mind “We need to find Aeric.” We quickly deduced that he was probably following his love and had returned to Catamere’s. Baldric made some pretty thinly veiled references to the power of love and Moya made some even thinlier (word?) veiled retorts. Finally they agreed, the plan to kill the king would have to wait, they would go save Aeric… again!

Seducing Andon

As the feast was about to begin, Moya searched the town for a village woman who would have a dress she could wear. “I need it for the feast” she told her. We’ll that was mostly not true. Once the feast began, and she knew Baldric would be occupied she went to the captive knight Andon, dismissed his guards and proceeded to seduce him in order to have him grant Baldric and audience with the king. And it worked! We played through the dialog but faded to black when her hands started exploring.


Baldric was nearly loosing his mind.  Moya was absent and Ayernand was not only late, but now that he was present, gorging himself as though he would never eat again. Afon, bless his soul, had been trying to keep Baldric sober, but drinking his wine for him. His capacity to drink, noticed by the soldiers dew some attention and one eventually challenged him to a drinking contest. The mercenary drunk him under the table! Literally, I mean, dude passed out under the table.

The Speech

After the cheers for Afon’s drinking, Baldric tried to get everyone’s attention, and he got it, but not in the, “hey, let’s all hear a speech” fun way, but in the “what they hell are you doing, we were trying to party” way.  Sorry Ayernand.  Ayernand was then called upon to give his speech, to bolster the morale of the soldiers. What he did was speak of duty, and speak of how you keep giving and giving until your last drop of blood is spent on the battlefield. It was a sobering, but inspiring speech. AND… it earned him a home in Redvayle… like that people were NOT going to let him go after this. Fun times ahead.

We’re all uncomfortable now

Baldric found Moya drunk sitting by a fire.  After all that feasting and toasting and shouting, despite Afon’s efforts Baldric was drunk too. “Your drunk!” Moya protested “Yep, I guess I am.” Baldric surrendered. This, all in itself was a big deal. It meant that Baldric had lost his command. He swore that if he touched spirits again she he would step down, and there he was, passing her another drink.

So, his command was gone, but not all was lost. Or maybe there was just more to loose. We handled the seduction as a duel of wits. It wasn’t about whether or not they were attracted to each other, it was whether Baldric could convince Moya to cast aside her inhibitions.  We made the Duel of Wits a “big deal” (like I said above, brewing for 17 sessions), but it was over in two volleys.  An ill timed Feint vs. Point (hey, isn’t that my move) and an insane number of sixes that kept coming up and the Duel was over, with only a minor concession, that they would keep the affair secret.

They ran to a pasture stripping off each other’s clothes (and armor) and we faded to black.

Still by the fire

Ayernand and Afon had one of those “we could really get to know each other better” moments but it was soured by Afon looking at Ayernand’s possessions with avarice. Ayernand saw the lust in his eyes, and did not want to lose his book (a book of bawdy stories), so he drew his dirk and backed away slowly. So many instincts almost went off there. Eventually he sheathed in and the two men departed in different directions, eyes on each other.

Holy shit. Bird. I mean, man.

Baldric woke first in the morning, to the caw of a raven (which Shaun had been referring to all night). He threw a stone to chase it off. Moya woke soon after, startled and cast Shards! B6 bits of rock, earth and Baldric’s scattered armor tore into the raven, who first cawed and then screamed as it transformed into a man, father Menden.

In nothing but his small clothes Baldric grabbed the bleeding man and started dragging him into camp. “Surgeon, surgeon! Someone get me the bloody surgeon.”  Moya meanwhile, starting to hear the first rumors beginning to spread of her visit to Andon last night, of Baldric nearly naked dragging the bloody body of a naked man, and of other things. She got an a horse and rode off, to nowhere in particular, just out of camp.

Thoughts on the game

I’m glad the Bladric and Moya tryst finally came down to a Duel of Wits. We voted romantic on to Baldric just to see him pursue  her.  The status quo needed to change, and now it will.

I like that Afon and Ayernand tried to bond but didn’t. I’d like to see more development between them.

I’m going to have to think of beliefs a lot for next session. I see Moya’s relationship with Andon, and Ayernand both being great grist for the mill if/when Baldric find out about them. Fun times! And by that I mean, horrible tragedy.


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