Here's the initial pitch that I made to my players for the Burning Wheel game I wanted to start.
"About 20 years before the start of the game the dwarves completely destroyed the Iron Forest, thus upsetting a young boy and his wolf pack. This little disparate group went on to collect other tribes of wolves as well as orcs, spiders, and trolls, and were determined to destroy the civilized lands for their condescension. The elves, humans, and dwarves did not fare well against the now-dubbed Vermin Lord, who was hailed as a military genius. The "civilized races" reformed their governments into a permanent republic, which allowed for the creation of a dictator, called the Eaten One, who was to lead the armies of the republic until the threat was abolished. The Eaten One would then be thrown to the One in the Deep and devoured (hence Eaten One, although the reference to Le Guin makes me chuckle). The Eaten One wasted in no time in setting out against the Vermin Lord, won by sheer numbers, and captured The Vermin Lord, hanging him in the public square. The orcs and trolls escaped, but the spiders and wolves were enslaved. All was restored to peace.
Until the son of the Vermin Lord was found orchestrating a new uprising by his three best friends, and sent to Mount Grayfire, where he met an untimely end falling into the heart of the volcano. It's now twenty years later, and things are beginning to stir back up in the city where the three friends came to dwell...
Basically The Count of Fire will try and take over the criminal under element first, so that way he can do the most damage to his rivals. It helps to have a good spy network."
I posted that up on the Burning Wheel forums, where they pitched the idea that everyone could play a game centered around The Vermin Lord and his second-in-commands! I thought it was an awesome idea, so I pitched it to my players. The group chose neither idea, but instead opted to play the Count (now Countess) of Fire and her friends who betrayed her. We have two guys and two girls playing: Eric, Julio, Maria, and Martha. We didn't actually get the Beliefs and Instincts written up because all the players are first-timers to Burning Wheel (although Maria has Mouse Guard experience). By the time we got to Beliefs and Instincts they were all glassy-eyed after four hours of talking and learning how to make characters. We'll make Beliefs and Instincts at the beginning of the next session. Here are the character concepts we've got so far:
Eric opted to play a wolf that had originally been domesticated, but ate his captors and escaped. He's now horribly biased against all humanoids and wants to eat them all.
Julio decided to play a spider, who had become a decent burglar. He's married to the head of a spider-revolution movement.
Maria chose to play a noble woman who had run away and become a fence so she could avoid an arranged marriage, and is now the head of her house.
And Martha is our future Countess of Fire, who is a con artist (for now). She's currently in a romantic relationship with the head of a large crime ring.
The opening situation is that the criminals have been asked to break into Maria's house and steal an artifact of some sort from it. No one knows what the artifact is, and they've asked me not to tell them. We'll have character names for next time too.