Adventures of Mellisandre

My wife and I recently dtarted a 1 on 1 Burning Wheel campaign and we’re having lots of fun.

She’s playing Mellisandre, a court sorcerer (with sorcery, enchantment, and summoning [maybe a bit much for ones first BW character]) who has run away with the princess after the rest of the royal family was assassinated by the king’s brother Duke Philippe.

We started our campaign at the edge of a meadow outside of Cherbourg with Princess Annette and Mellisandre gathering herbs. Astrological portents had given the impression that it was a good idea to be out of the city today. Gerard, one of Duke Philippe’s henchmen approached on horseback. He informed Mellisandre and the princess about the royal family’s tragic demise at the hands of some elven diplomats and wanted to escort Mellisandre and Annette back to the safety of the royal palace. Gerard is not a good liar and it was clear to all involved people that the elves were not responsible and that he had no intention of taking the princess to safety.

Mellisandre used her arcane powers to cast Havoc’s Hand on Gerard, giving the princess and Mellisandre enough time to mount their horses and escape to Mellisandre’s secluded cottage.

At the cottage they’re now grieving, planning their next steps, and beginning the princess’s sorcery training. Additionally the herbal garden of the cottage is in disrepair and supplies are sparse, forcing Mellisandre to take on tasks she is previously untrained in such as trapping, and foraging.


Mellisandre and Annette have now spent 12 days at the cottage. Highlights include:
Teaching Annette sorcery, sadly the instruction test failed. Better luck next time.
Meeting the friendly huntsman Anton, he gave helpful tips on where to set snares to successfully catch rabbits.
Scavenging for equipment to use as snares and makeshift fishing gear.
Restoring the herb garden and enchanting mulch with the insectivore trait from a unlucky rodent. 12 successes on an ob 4 roll. The mulch was then given a personal introduction to each herb under great ceremony to activate the enchantment.
Having a lovely dinner with Anton, his wife Catherine and their children after attending the royal funeral ceremony in the local church.

This evening’s session was all about gathering food for the journey to the sacred stone circle where Annette’s magical powers will be activated through an ancient ritual.

Mellisandre has gotten skilled enough at trapping rabbit that she routinely manages to catch food for the day. Trapping enough rabbits in a short time to manage a week on the road proved beyond her, though. Fishing and foraging likewise wasn’t getting her enough food. This culminated with the sorcerer and the princess attempting to hunt deer armed with a herbalist’s knife and a garden hoe. The deer lived to see another day.

The following morning Mellisandre gathered 1D cash of herbs to trade in the village for some food and a bedroll. She made the haggling test with the help of Catherine and succeeded in the resources test.

Annette and Mellisandre are now about to head out to find Mellisandre’s old master, Lumiere and convince him to help with the magic ritual at the stone circle.


Very neat game so far: I love the focus on low-key, everyday activities like trapping rabbits and restoring the herb garden. You mentioned it’s your wife’s first campaign; is it your first, too?

What are Mellisandre’s beliefs?


I have played a one-shot before, but it is my first real campaign.

I really love how Burning Wheel allows us to focus on the low-key elements and still delivering a satisfying gaming experience.


Did you use extended tests for the “gathering of food” or was it single tests? What influenced your choice? When would the extended test be beneficial for the game session and when to use extended test

We did 1-2 food gathering activities per day most of the time. I think if I went back I would consider a single test, and letting it ride for the full duration of the stay, but idk maybe gathering food each day helped to ground us in the moment and avoid the temporary downtime between action feel.


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