Murder Most Foul

On our last session, we had a Duel of Wits followed by a Fight, which was triggered by the Murder Most Foul rule. It was an epic encounter, two of the PCs managed to dispatch 4 solid NPCs and their lady. However, some of these managed to escape and I’m uncertain on what the correct/interesting/fun ruling would be in this situation.

Here’s a brief retelling:

[i]The DoW was between the party and the widow of a late mercenary captain. The party wanted to recruit the loyal soldiers of the captain that had now pledged to their late leader’s wife. The widow wanted to see “justice” done on the bandit that killed her husband and on the leader of the bandits that allowed this. The catch was that the bandit leader had since become the fiancee of one the PCs; so they did not want to surrender her to the old woman.

The widow won the argument. The negotiations in terms of the compromise focused on the severity of the punishment that the bandit leader/fiancee would receive. The players angled for “house arrest for a limited amount of time, starting after the marriage takes place”; I accepted to allow the marriage to happen, but countered “house arrest in a secluded tower away from the cities and villages, for life”.

The PC, to whom the bandit leader was promised, wouldn’t have it. He demanded satisfaction in the form of a duel, but the widow rejected (Honor Besmirched).

The party decided to simply kill the widow and her soldiers. Blades were drawn. Fight happened. Through some epic rolls they managed to come out victorious, unscathed. One of the soldiers managed to get away from the murderous party as he was “running and screaming”. The Lady had also started running as the fight happened. One of the PCs chased her, and another tried to set take her out with a throwing knife, but both failed.[/i]

Now, my main question is this: Has the party “fail[ed] to kill the other characters” under Murder Most Foul; or should they be allowed to continue searching for the widow (they’re currently trapped in a closed off Arena - so she cannot hide forever); or as yet another alternative, could they be deemed to have satisfied the condition under MMF to not be bound by the result of this DoW? Finally, if they have failed and the widow wins as the MMF states, does this mean that the compromise that the widow offered becomes valid, or has she won completely without any compromise?

Any comment, suggestion, interpretation or anecdote is welcome. Looking forward to it!

This is AWESOME. This is the kind of twist that changes the direction of the campaign.

1st. She escapes and so does her loyal soldier. They are now full on enemies for the players. And they’ll be back.
2nd. Consequences! The escapees tell the law, the powers that be: MURDER. Good job, now you’re an outlaw.
3rd. The Lady and her allies will continue to try to enforce the sentence! She won’t rest until that woman is locked up in that tower. She’ll bend her whole existence to revenge: scheming, plotting, maneuvering.

I’m excited for you. This is the best kind of failure result that BW generates!