Some more play from our Burning Wheel game. We only made it to Episode 13, so I hope you can sense a crescendo in the story.
On his journey back to Foxglen, Bram met a farmer called Sigbert who he uncovered to be a cultist. Sigbert has offered the powers of the cult to help determine the origin and nature of the mark on Bram's forehead. Bram remembers nothing about it, except flashes of memories about a trial and searing pain. He and Sigbert arrive in the village the day before Darwin is due to marry his second wife Clare.
Sophie has returned to Foxglen in the middle of scandal and gossip. Rumours are flying that Bram has taken her as a lover as well as a disciple. Sophie has an argument with another lady of the village, Paltis* and loses the argument, forced to admit that she craves her independence from Darwin. He's crushed by the revelation and Sophie leaves the argument and the house.
Bram finds Sophie and shows her the brand* on his forehead. She rushes him to the temple where Fier the Priestess recoils in horror at the sight. She brings Elric the High Priest and they discuss earnestly how to save Bram from the curse. Sophie decides to have Bram blessed in order to break the curse and arranges for it to happen before the wedding.
While they wait, Bram goes to visit the cultists, Sigbert and Simon, and takes a walk to the woods with them. They take him to meet the cult leader, Unwin. Bram and Unwin are half-brothers and haven't seen each other in years. After a brief brotherly reunion, Unwin begins to prepare a ritual to uncover the secrets of the brand.
Sophie has gone home and has another argument with Darwin about Bram. Darwin is angry that Bram has displeased the gods and will bring their judgement on Foxglen.
Meanwhile, the ritual has prepared a potion for Bram to drink. He tips the foul steaming brew into his mouth and fades into a world of shifting shadows and savage spirits.