Gold and Lead

Setting the Scene - Tombstone 1881
Western 101

Dramatis Personae
  • Virgil Earp – US Marshal
  • Morgan Earp – Deputy Marshal
  • Wyatt Earp – Faro dealer at the Oriental (ex-Marshal, retired)
  • Doc Holliday – Gambler, gunman and dentist, dying slowly of tuberculosis.
  • Sheriff John Behan – County sheriff (elected)
  • Ike Clanton – Cowboy and loudmouth.
  • Billy Clanton – His younger brother
  • Tom Maclaury – Cowboy and rumoured cattle rustler
  • Frank Maclaury – Cowboy and bloody good shot – soon to be bloody well shot
  • Billy Claibourne – Cowboy

Scene 1 – The Oriental Saloon

The Oriental is quite a nicely appointed place with a long bar and a number of gaming tables to suit Poker and Faro. The evening is drawing to a close. Some folks’re ahead at cards, others are much poorer. Ike, in particular, is roaring drunk and near cleaned out by Doc at poker.

Fortunately, most people have handed their guns in behind the bar, in accordance with the town ordinances.

Scene 2 – The next morning…

Ike is sobering up in jail. Virgil is angry. Hot-headed words from the night before threatened violence towards the lawmen in Tombstone, if they was met on the street. Some of the Cowboys arrive in town to pick up Ike from the Jail.

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Warning!
Doh!

Hello, Due to amazing stupidity on my part I failed to recognize that my coming holiday away visiting my folks in Somerset clashes with the first night of the western game on Monday 13th September.

So – I’m sorry, but I can’t run that night.

I’ll be back as normal the following weeks.

S

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Wagons Roll!

Train in vain.

The rails end about 20 miles short of Sweetwater, as the crow might fly. They should get there in a week or two, maybe, weather and land willing. That’s assuming nothing untoward happens by other agencies, too. The labourers are still working out of the yards near Pueblo but they’ll need to relocate once the track gets far enough onwards.

Sweetwater.

None of you know much about it – There’s a hotel in Sweetwater, apparently, but it hasn’t received glowing reviews.

Cañon City

Cañon City’s about 10 miles further up the Arkansas river going by the Cedar Trail from Sweetwater and is a much nicer place by most accounts. It’s got stores, a few churches, a bank, the county courthouse, county sheriff’s office and the main prison for the territory is nearby.

Entrance.

You’re travelling together with the gear and supplies you’d want to set up in Sweetwater, and several other wagons of stuff that are also going there. Taking the wagons and your supplies off the railroad (near where the rails end) and continuing on the river trail should only be a few day’s travel.

Questions?

  1. Post comments with questions etc. Yell if you want to try enquiring about stuff with contacts or allies.
  2. If you have Secret questions, send me a message.
  3. D_S – I’ll write to you separately!
  4. Also let me know if you’re happy for the answers and enquiries to go up here as public knowledge!
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Weibe's status report 18/2/1873
Report on the status of allies and the situation on reaching the town of Sweetwater. Private.

(OOC this is not known by your characters unless you are in my telegram chest)

Early risings for the group, in order to get to comfort – David’s decision. Good progress made.

Halfway there (5km from Sweetwater) the party was ambushed by native indians. Rackworth took two down and Lucas another two. Delvin finishes off the last. Rackworth receives arrow to shoulder and another wound from tomahawk. Indian arrow takes the driver of Brendon’s carriage in the gut.

Rackworth tends to himself then the driver is taken to the town. Babsy claims his position.

Key figures in the travelling group:
David Brendon – remained calm and in command throughout the ordeal – manipulated by his daughter
Sophia ‘Tokyo’ Brendon – demanding and unladylike
Rackworth – a sharp intellect and an even sharper sword – blunt socially
Lucas Buck – a dangerous man with a talent for guns – best to keep away from disputes
Devlin – erratic and prone to using explosives – keeps company with the rough types
Babsy – opinion not formed yet – keeps company with the rough types
Elenya – auntie in law of David – a potential risk
Ayasha Buck – speaks little but is confident in her actions – a potential risk due to beauty

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The forming of the new team, and other musings

Following my conversation with the local company man, I assembled my new team and headed out.

The first day on the trail proved frustratingly slow going, even the oxen have trouble over such terrain. I don’t envy the gang laying the rails! After talking with the lead teamster the night before, and arranging for him to follow on with the heavy kit, we rode on ahead so that I might start laying the groundwork in Sweetwater as soon as possible.

There was only one other passenger in our caravan, a young lady of questionable standards and morales. Although I fear she may be a bad influence on Sophia, I trust my daughter not to associate too closely with such a person, and brought her with us. At least if she’s traveling with us she cannot steal any of our effects. Of course I have no such fears about the teamsters, who are to a man professionals, and known to my company.

On the way I had time to catch up with Alexander. Whilst it’s good to see him again after so long, it seems he is having a little trouble taking orders from me after our years as peers in the regiment. He’ll get used to it I’m sure.

Shortly before we arrived at our destination, Lucas once more proved his worth, preventing us from unwittingly walking into an ambush by some Indian raiders, before playing an integral part in negating the threat they posed.

The two newcomers to my employ, a doctor and a demolitions expert who both come highly recommended by the company, both acquitted themselves well, although I am rather more used to a sawbones plying their trade after a battle than during it. The doctor especially seems very absorbed in his profession, although I have faith his skill will match his enthusiasm.

During the failed ambush, the one teamster who had ridden ahead with us so as to drive my coach was injured gravely. Despite his wound, he retained control and so avoided putting Sophia in more peril than she already was. Such bravery will not go unrewarded, I shall see to it that he is cared for. Upon his recovery I may well offer him a job, I have need of people I can trust in this town.

Sophia put a brave face on being put in such a situation, but I know her well enough to see how rattled it left her. I will have to make sure she is subjected to no hardships over the next few days as she recovers from her ordeal…

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Why do they call it Sweetwater?

Home, sweet home

The stagecoach and the horses crest the last rise on the nort side of the Arkansas River. The ground drops gradually away with the trail to a rickety-looking but wide trestle bridge. Beyond, on a lightly wooded and partially cleared plateau is what must be Sweetwater.

The spring clouds part cinematically and a ray of sunlight illuminates the view making the trees shine brilliantly green and the churned earth of the main street an unsettling brown.

Dr Rackworth and William the stagecoach driver are both injured and would be grateful for the more sedate pace of the coach.

Things of note

  • Babsi is welcomed at the Key West Saloon by her Uncle. Her quick wit and eye for opportunity may mean she’s worth much more behind the bar than in any other capacity.
  • Francis Renfrew is overdue, following a reported trip out to the minehead at Coal Creek
  • Dr Rackworth tends to his own injuries and the Drovers with remarkable skill
  • Liam meets some lads from the Old Country – the O’Carrolls, and friends.
  • Many guns are purchased from Mad Bill’s crate of inexhaustible firearms.
  • Some land is claimed by virtue of erecting tents.

People encountered

  • Theodore Charles (T.C.) Lowell – Proprietor of the Riviera Hotel
  • Richards – Bellboy, cook, general help at the Riviera. Old leg injury.
  • Seamus O’Carroll – Runs the livery but seems to let others do animal care. Irish (really?).
  • Dara O’Carroll, Pat + Jim Connelly, Eoin Murphy – Other drunken but somewhat quieter irish gentlemen that hang around the Livery, or Seamus.
  • Tom Davis – brother to Charlie the wagoneer – met at the freight yard and warehouse.
  • ??? (I forget) – Man who owns the Lucky Seven Saloon, met by Lucas.
  • Harry – Bouncer and barman at Lucky Seven
  • Francis Renfrew – A man famous for his hat and fastidious manner – not in evidence at the Riviera.
  • Johann Schmidt – Proprietor of the Key West Saloon (and brothel)
  • Dolly – talented lady of the Key West.
  • Elizabeth – a polite young woman drafted it for smart waitressing to the Brendon Party ladies.
  • Jolene – cheaper than the others. No-one’s enquired why.
  • ‘Mad’ Bill – owner of a diminishing crate of firearms, adequate eye for horseflesh.
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Weibe's status report 19/2/1873
Report on the status of allies and the situation having reached the town of Sweetwater. Private.

(OOC this is not known by your characters unless you are in my telegram chest)

We took the trail onwards after our incident. Sweetwater is situated at the bottom of a valley next to coal creek.

I had much to do upon arriving – driver still injured but recovering. DB and LB realise that DB’s associate Francis Renfrew is missing. Dissection of Indian corpse after dinner – Rackworth is beginning to help me (RW buys gun $40 for me in the morn > will pay back in time). Currently housed in the hotel – room 4 – with Elenya. We head out in the morning to locate FR.

Actions of the key figures:
David Brendon – keeps up company business
Sophia ‘Tokyo’ Brendon – spends time in room 1 – activities unknown
Rackworth – medical skills proven once again – owe $40
Lucas Buck – spent time planning a building
Devlin – made contact with SO’r under influence of alcohol
Babsy – met up with uncle Johann
Elenya – read in room 4 and occasionally entered room 1
Francis Renfrew – missing company-man – presumed WIA
TC – Hotel owner
Shamus O’Reilly – irish crime-lord
Ayasha Buck – keeps to room 1

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Adventures in babysitting

Let’s split the party!

Babsi remains at the Key West to supervise the nice lunch and stylish environment of Sophia and the women of the Brendon party.

Brendon, Devlin, Buck, Rackworth and Weibe ride out with Seamus, Jim and Dara for Coal Creek in search of Mr Renfrew.

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Downtime #1

Time passes. There’ll be a month to get a bit settled in Sweetwater.

The destruction of the O’Carroll’s opportunistic grasp of Sweetwater is the end of the first Story. You get all spent willpower back. Go look at the XP wiki page and consider justifying any heroic plans or applied wisdom in addition to the usual chapter xp for learning, writeups etc.

Things to think about

  • The railroad will arrive and the workforce are largely quartered in a tent-city adjoining the railyard.
  • The railroad workers will need paying which will involve substantial sums of money arriving in town.
  • The railroad workers will need to eat, sleep, drink, gamble and other things so there’s opportunities to service this captive market.
  • Elections – Mayor, Sheriff and… anything else?
  • New builds and renovations to the town. A Station is likely. Chateau Brendon? The Jailhouse and fort.
  • What do you want to encourage into the town? Do any of you have fame, status or contacts that might help suck something desired into the mix?
  • Do you want to try and pull any favours or enquire about stuff happening in town (or out in the wider world)?
  • If any of you want to buy more dots of resources or contacts – now could be the time to justify getting into some sort of business as a silent-ish partner or making friends in the area.
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Of obstacles overcome

Well, having gathered up a little posse to go and search for our missing man it didn’t take us long to get to the bottom of matters. After barely an hour we ran into one of the local miners. Sheriff Lucas Buck used his charms to persuade the fellow to come with us, although even he couldn’t convince the man to tell us all what was going on. Sensing this I had a private little chat with him on the trail, and he filled me in on Seamus’ doings. It turns out he’s not deputy material, not least because he’s the one to make my man vanish. This alone I could forgive, but he didn’t take the couple of openings to come clean that I tossed his way.

Having made small talk with all present, including filling in the team on this turn of events, we stopped for an early lunch. Rackworth doctored the lunchtime drinks to give us a bit of an edge. Liam had prevailed upon me to give Seamus one last chance, but I hadn’t had the chance to tell everyone that I was doing this. Although they failed to adapt to the change in circumstance they carried out the plan with remarkable efficiency.

After the good doctor had tended to Seamus’ wounds (incurred whilst resisting lawful arrest), he spilled the beans. Turns out he was in the pay of AT&SF, acting under instruction from the enigmatic Mr Bolland.

A small amount of tidying up later and the O-Carroll gang was out of business, with the ringleader strung up in full view of the townsfolk and after due legal process. Needless to say this show of strong leadership has impressed the town, and I foresee little trouble from that angle. Of course, with people being people, this could change for the pettiest of reasons, so I’ll have to keep an eye on things. Perhaps Miss Babsy could assist, after all her uncle seemed to be one of the people most troubled by the gang and she is well placed to observe people when their guard is down.

After his exemplary service, Lucas Buck had secured the backing needed to be voted sheriff. Rackworth has set up shop and is winning himself a reputation (if not friends) as an efficient surgeon. Liam continues to be a useful asset, keeping an eye on the construction work required to build up the infrastructure so as to better support the coming expansion, not to mention maintaining us in good standing with the rougher elements in town. And as for myself, well, without too much trouble I have been elected Mayor. The railroad’s business is proceeding well, with coal coming down from the hills in regular and growing amounts. The rails reached Sweetwater and the work-camp was ready for them. I’ve appointed Alex to handle most of the routine paperwork, freeing me up to take a more active role in managing affairs, and so far he has acquitted himself well.

And of course my darling Sophia who is dealing with the rather substandard accommodation with commendable stoicism whilst our house is built. Unfortunately there is not much for a young lady to do in such a frontier town, so I will have to see to adding some entertainments more fitting to a young lady to Sweetwater’s paltry offering.

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