Actual Play – Woops, wrong Dragon (8/1/2012)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean Nittner, Kristin Hayworth, Justin Dhiel, Andrew Eckhart
System: Burning Wheel
Setting: Burning Theorsa

We picked up right where we left off; Baldric, Afon and Roderick pondering over a map of Theorsa planning a feint. Moya trying to make herself scarce after depositing the “body” of Father Menden, and Father Mikhael going to find his priest to burn. Yay!

Never script feint

I should know from my MANY lost Duels of Wits that feint is a bad, bad move. To often it is countered with Point and destroyed. Well, it seems some old dogs never learn new tricks. Baldric and Afon, with the Duke’s aid planned a strategy involving Rolf leading a force to the south to dupe king Kentigern into thinking we are trying to reclaim that the duchy of Beldyn, all the while circling around the Great Glacier on boats we hope to get from Kashkyr with soldiers we hope to rally from the loyal provinces. That was a lot of hope and maybes and depends on. And what did it hinge on: A beginners luck strategy roll vs. Ob 4.

Fuck my life.

Shaun, being the merciful GM that he is, deigned that one roll was not enough to determine the final result of our war against Kentigern. There were other “linked” factors, like if we get the ships, if we rally the troops, and how hard we fight at the gates of Rathmor (the capitol). So he opted to consider this roll a linked test, which will add +1 ob to our later challenges. The feint will fail, but that does not necessarily spell defeat of our forces.

An empty cell

Meanwhile Father Mikhael had to excuse himself to get a good burning done. He went down to the dungeons but found the cell empty.  A guard told him that Lady Moya had recently visited the heretic and found that he had died from his wounds.  This did NOT please Mikhael! He sent a soldier backup up to speak with the king and inform him of what happened.

Confessions

Just as the soldier arrived, cowed by the fervent priest, Moya also arrived to report on…things. Poor soldier. He was in the extremely unenviable position of reporting on the the priests account of Moya’s actions…in front of Moya. Yeah, he got a verbal lashing from the lady knight, as a curt dismissal from his king…who he only now realized was his king. Go-go gadget crown, go!

After he was dismissed Moya saw the plan, and really didn’t like it, because you know, she’s smart. Actually she liked the plan (it was hers after all) but didn’t like the idea of sending Rolf to do it. The devil in the details. Baldric took her aside, I imagine one some grand balcony overlooking the keep, and asked her to put the plan aside for a moment and tell him what happened with the priest.

“You’re not going to like what I tell you.” Moya warned him.

“I’m used to that.” Baldric reassured.

Then she fessed up about the priest, her desire for his spellbook, and all. Yay, Baldric’s first duty as king. Decide between his lover (who had broken the law and his specific decree that the priest must burn) and the zealous priest who would be a formidable enemy should he turn against the crown. Ah Baldric, always thinking with his loins.

He assured Moya that he would take care of Mikhael and that she should probably give him some room to do so.  Moya went back to not liking the plan, and Baldric set out to go make things right with the priest.

Define a heretic

Baldric and Mikhael got another chance to have words. Yay for having falsehood trained! The man suffered horrible wounds, and received inadequate medical attention. He died. It’s unfortunate, but lets move on.  Luckily, it worked.

The follow up conversation thought was a bit trickier. It didn’t come to a roll, so I’m not confident it will stick yet, but it was very important to Baldric that Mikhael NOT conflate Moya’s sorcery with heresy. The father defined heresy as spreading the word of false gods, or a false faith. YUP, not something Moya does. We’re all good. So they made an agreement that Mikhael wouldn’t go sending soldiers off to do is bidding, but that we would find him a suitable attendant. A page from within the keep to tend to his temporal affairs while he focused on the spiritual health of the troops.  Yay, pages. And Baldric needed a squire too. Huzzah circles rolls.

Captain Rolf is not amused

So it was Afon’s job, as the only one that Rolf actually likes (go figure) to convince him to go lead this feint, of course not with the forces he actually needs to take back the duchy, because we need those for the attack. So, best case scenario, he is vastly out numbered by the kinds men and probably dies. Worst case scenario, the king sees through the ruse, dedicates no forces, and Rolf and his small contingent are left twiddling their thumbs while a war rages on on the other side of the continent! Yeah, no wonder he wasn’t excited.

Afon told him not only that he was going to do it, but that he was going to do it with a smile. He tried to convince him of the value the feint would have and left with Rolf accepting the duty, but mad as hell at Afon for selling him out. (A very nice compromise I thought).

Finding help

Mikhael could see the way the wind was blowing. Fighting was going to break out and he was more than a little unprepared to be part of it. The attendant we rounded up was really more bodyguard than manservant. Man, just thinking about that makes me itch for another fight.

Baldric needed something much more finessed. A squire that knew about all the knightly duties, but that was also trained in the court and knew how to relieve the king of his beverage without making a fool out of anyone.  The fact is that Baldric can’t keep himself sober, and when Moya does it, it turns into a bitter brawl between both bed-sharing bannerets.  So he found Rowan Daultry, the nephew of Sir Daultry, the loyalist and sell-sword they met in Kashkyr.

Woops, wrong dragon.

Here comes the fun part. Moya convinced Aziz (no reason to call him Owain any longer) to try and summon Seleth (you know his god) so that she could make a deal with him. Well, you know how these things go. Burn this incense, use these special wrongs, face North by North West, and pray and awful lot. And some times they work, and sometimes they…

WAKE UP A SLEEPING DRAGON!

THE WRONG DRAGON.

Did I mention…

DRAGON

Moya thankfully negotiated her way out of being eaten on the spot, but only by sending him east to eat up the countryside there. Yeah, I’m sure no ill could come of this.

Thoughts on the game

The pacing was a bit slow this night. I think we were all kind of tired. Also, it seems after such a major ordeal last game (Baldric being announced King) it made sense to have a more mellow game. But in the last few moments Moya and Aziz brought the game full tilt to OMG HOLY SHIT DRAGON AWESOME.

I can’t wait for Moya to come back and give us a report on what happened, or you know, not, and have us find out later. Good stuff no matter what.

I think “he’s not your friend anymore” are really bitter stakes for Afon to accept. Which is funny given how mercenary he is. But that the thing, he only forms a few bonds, so he was pretty hurt when this one was broken. Yay for the vagaries of Duel of Wits.

I so, so, so have my next scene planned for the next game.  It involves Baldric, Afon, Rowan (the new squire), a wheelbarrow full of timber and hunting a priest. Yay!