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    Tales From The Porch

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    Robyo

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    Tales From The Porch

    Post  Robyo on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:55 am

    "The younger kin wouldn't recall the days before the rifts. Gigantic rips in the fabric of reality, they started appearing in the days of the Civil War. A few soldiers reported a series of mighty explosions, and when the dust settled, a swirling blue light, spanning across the air like a pulsating web. Afterwards, strange creatures emerged in the region.

    To be clear, I did not serve in the Civil War. Did my duty in that land grab from Mexico a few decades prior. Been here in Arizona ever since I was a soldier in '46. After the war, with no family to go back to in Georgia, I stayed out west. Traveled some, but always ended up back in Arizona territory. Been living in these parts for nearly 40 winters now. I was here when Pestilence was founded and built. And I've seen strange things in this land too. Being a gateway town to the Cactus Valley reservation (or The Wasteland as some folks call it), we get a unique perspective. The year is 1885 and things have changed forever on planet Aerth.

    Through the years, I've known a few veterans who'd fought in that costly war between the states. Some said, even before the rifts, there were rumors of vampire riders leading armies of undead soldiers. One night at Gettysburg, whole battalions rose up out of their howitzer-shelled craters and marched again, under the banner of the Crossed Stars. It was ghastly and most sane folks ran away. Those few brave souls who did stay and fight were cut down. They too, rose up as zombies or wraiths. All the while, vampire riders led the charge.

    Not to be outdone, the Union army soon unveiled their own secret force, Araen Cavaliers. Horsed riders and brave fighters who were noble and stern. They seemed as knights of long ago. Armed with sword and musket and bayonet, they fought with courage and cunning against the undead rebels. Within several months, their forces had decimated the legions of undead.

    So for a while, the escalation stagnated and the bodycount diminished. Then the rifts appeared. They began in the North. New York was hit hardest. A few riftbombs went off in the territories as well. Then some appeared in the South. Soon, rifts were appearing all over the globe. Some folks said the cause was a group of saboteurs, perhaps wielding alien technology or dark magic. Others spoke of an ancient chaos lord, one of the elder gods perhaps, that started it all. Whatever the cause, when those giant swirling blue holes appeared, life forever changed on our humble world.

    I don't dabble much in politics, especially these days with Uncle Sam's secret police spying on every dude and hombre from the Delaware to the Colorado. There seems to be forces in Washington these days who got no inkling about the principles this nation was founded on. I reckon the government has been overrun with foreign spies and infiltrators. Old Honest Abe would probably roll over in his tomb if he knew what had become of this fine country. After Lincoln was assassinated at the theater, then Andrew Johnson took over. He was impeached, and our good president Ichabod "Hawkmoon" Andyn came in. He has managed to stay in power for over a decade. This is his fifth term.

    The war dragged on for several more years, and the Texans finally called it quits. They succeeded from the confederacy and have been a lone republic ever since. That happened a short time after the "big one" hit California and sunk much of the western coastline. After the rifts, many other countries were interested in putting a stop to the war. With so much support, the Union finally crushed the Confederate armies.

    Since the war, things have not improved much for the southern states. In some places, it's like they're prisoners in their own land. Brick walls and barbed wire fill up the landscape. Union troops patrol the streets. Most towns have a curfew enforced from dusk till dawn. The gallows in town rarely sits empty. Federal secret police are known only as Uncle Sams (for the feds have never officially admitted to such an organization) and like bugs, are crawling everywhere. Children have been known to report their parents and neighbors turn in one another. It's a sad state in this once "land of the free."

    A man can still find some liberty though, in the western territories. Sure there are spies still, and some districts are tough on gun owners, but after the prolonged war, this country was ruined economically. Eying the vast territories and resources available in the west (and ignoring the fact that most of these lands were already occupied by tribes of the First Ones), the feds have opened up the west to any entrepreneurial souls hoping to score big. Since the war, it's been a mad contest for pillaging mother nature's treasures.

    In the west, there is danger beyond wild men, savage beasts, and an unforgiving climate. Since the rifts, things have gotten downright weird. Strange folk walk abroad these days. We call them the Outlanders. The feds have stayed pretty hush-hush about the whole affair, but I've got ears for strange news and some say the outlanders aren't even from this planet.

    I ain't as naive as some folks, and it's tough to keep your head in the sand in a place like Pestilence, Arizona. Let me tell you, not all them outlander folks is trouble-makers and ruffians. We've got one here who's been sort of adopted by the community. Even made the fella town marshal. Despite his serpentine condition, a finer lawman you couldn't hope to find anywhere else.

    Well, now I'm parched and need a drink. Y'all come back for a drink or a tale anytime. I'm just the local barkeep, in the twilight of his years, looking forward to retirement, and doing my best to stay sane."

    -Buford McGillicutty, Bartender of the Sun Dog Saloon, Pestilence, Arizona Territory














    Last edited by Robyo on Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Robyo

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Robyo on Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:24 am

    Next up: Pestilence.

    Then we should ready to start...

    Auren is hooked pretty easily, but I'd like to know why the other characters are in town. Just hanging out at the saloon?



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    Chris

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Chris on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:56 pm

    cheers that was AWESOME! great 'in-character' introduction. that really helped me understand the world and some of the random comments you made, which all now fit into a picture that makes sense.

    *Marshall Sparks tips his hat to Buford for the props
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    Robyo

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Robyo on Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:24 am

    Chris wrote: cheers that was AWESOME! great 'in-character' introduction. that really helped me understand the world and some of the random comments you made, which all now fit into a picture that makes sense.

    *Marshall Sparks tips his hat to Buford for the props

    Thank you sir! I believe it's always helpful to have some introductory background info before one begins to play in a new campaign... Similarly, I enjoyed your recap of the sci-fi adventure, though I was still confused about the location when I began! alien

    I just need to get used to play-by-post, where an encounter can take months to finish. It's so easy to forget important stuff in the interim and I really should read an entire thread before doing something dramatic. Oh well, live and learn!
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    Chris

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Chris on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:35 pm

    Yes, definitely takes getting used to, especially at our somewhat erratic pace Rolling Eyes

    Your suggestion of a recap was great, since much of the sci-fi game is character-backstory driven, it is easy to lose bits of info over what is now about 1 year.

    A couple questions - is there a Judge\town magistrate in Pestilence or in the county or territory?
    I assume Marshall Sparks is the cop, but just making sure he doesn't also act as judge\jury.

    What is Marshall Spark's relationship like with said Judge? Is he human? How does he treat Outlanders - same as humans or unfairly?

    Do they see eye-to-eye on enforcement of the laws? Do they have conflicts? Is the judge a hard-ass that sentences everyone to hang for petty offenses or does he let everyone off the hook or somewhere in between?

    This would affect how Marshall Sparks enforces the laws and who he actually drags before the judge in chains, depending on how the judge sentences.

    And at some point, if it is needed for the story, I need some idea of what the laws are in Pestilence - specifically regarding Outlanders, guns, etc....

    I can look up historical laws if you want as a basis, but the world seems enough different I thought I would ask!
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    Robyo

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Robyo on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:16 pm

    Chris wrote:A couple questions - is there a Judge\town magistrate in Pestilence or in the county or territory?
    I assume Marshall Sparks is the cop, but just making sure he doesn't also act as judge\jury.

    What is Marshall Spark's relationship like with said Judge? Is he human? How does he treat Outlanders - same as humans or unfairly?

    Do they see eye-to-eye on enforcement of the laws? Do they have conflicts? Is the judge a hard-ass that sentences everyone to hang for petty offenses or does he let everyone off the hook or somewhere in between?

    This would affect how Marshall Sparks enforces the laws and who he actually drags before the judge in chains, depending on how the judge sentences.

    And at some point, if it is needed for the story, I need some idea of what the laws are in Pestilence - specifically regarding Outlanders, guns, etc....

    I can look up historical laws if you want as a basis, but the world seems enough different I thought I would ask!

    I'll need to further research the legal details, but off the cuff I'd say, there are a couple district judges who travel to Pestilence occasionally, as the need arises. They "ride the circuit," and are usually human. The full-time courthouses are in larger towns, like Phoenix. There is a government building in Pestilence that is sometimes used for court. More often, it serves for town hall meetings.

    If Marshal Auren needs to catch a criminal who is wanted in other districts (besides his own), then he would be required to be involved with transporting prisoners back to other towns.

    Probably the marshal and his deputy's biggest concern are keeping the peace among the various folk and factions that inhabit the region.
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    Robyo

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Robyo on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:13 am

    “Good afternoon, pardner. I'm just resting my bones in the shade. Have a seat if you wish. I'm taking my twenty-minute break, then it's back to work. Yeah, I work inside, slinging brewskies and whiskey shots for the local populace. Those that imbibe, anyways. What's this? Oh, just a lemonade. I like to stay sober when I'm working. You never can tell what kind of trouble might be comin' through the swinging doors. Besides, the stuff just gives me a headache these days.

    Nearly 80 winters I've walked this mortal coil. Seen some incredible things too. Bizarre things. I'll say, mighty strange times have come to planet Aerth. I s'pose you know all about that. This here town, fer instance, lies at a nexus point between the mortal world and the fey and shadow realms. That's one reason why they designated the Res in this part of the territory. Makes them feel right at home, I guess. The Outlanders, I mean. They're a weird lot.

    It's a couple days ride from town to the outlander reservation, what's been called the Wasteland. It ain't a fun park, more of a prison camp, from what I've heard. Most folks steer clear. It's really just for those that don't adjust to civilized society. Ahem.

    The town of Pestilence grew up as a gate-town to the Wasteland. I guess that's how it got the unfortunate name. Folks haven't always been so open-minded about the outlanders. And now they've put in the railroad, bypassing our little community. The town's role has diminished somewhat. Community leaders are worried what the lack of traffic will do to the local economy. I think we still get some odd characters coming through here.

    We've had a bit of a shakeup in the last several months. First, the face stealers started showing up. A couple fellas appeared to be regular cowpokes came into town. They started acting up in the brothel and Marshal Sparks made short work of them. Turns out, they were monsters in disguise.

    The marshal tracked their origin from the ranch of Bossman Biggs. He deputised a couple capable gun-fighters and went to investigate. A shoot-out ensued and many men died. Fellas on both sides of the law ended up on Boot Hill that day.

    Turns out, Biggs was in cahoots with a secretive and well-financed east coast conglomerate. The Bossman had been mining a rare mineral called radiance. This powder is known to be a prime component in spell-casting. The greedy rancher also used strong-arm tactics on his neighbors, hoping to mine their lands as well. But the marshal and his compadres put a stop to Biggs' operation. On his land, they discovered an artificer's workshop and a huge construct known as a war golem. Where he got them, none can say.

    Marshal Sparks and Tommy returned to town. They carried the bodies of several deputies and hoped to have them raised by Myrtle the witch. But there wasn't time, so the bodies were given to the undertaker and mummified and placed in the wine cellar of the Opera House Saloon. Sparks and Tommy went on a mission to investigate reports of missing people in the countryside. They've not been heard from since.

    We've got a new marshal. He was judge-appointed for awhile and then won by election, but unopposed. His name's Virgil and seems like a decent fella. Ain't got the charisma that Sparks got. I wonder if we'll ever see him again?

    Things are picking up lately. The town is throwing a 20 year anniversary celebration. You should stick around for the excitement!"

    -Buford McGillicutty
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    Arcturus

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    Re: Tales From The Porch

    Post  Arcturus on Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:19 pm

    Great storytelling! Nice recap of the action to date. Looking forward to exploring the Arizona territory.  cheers 

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