The new and improved defender of RPGs!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Wild West Campaign Update: The Assassin

East Vegas was shook up in several ways this session.

First off, by the arrival of Wyatt Earp. At first, the various criminals of Vegas were concerned that he might have gotten his Marshal's star, now that the president had ended the government-shutdown that had stopped the deputizing of all US Marshals.

But it turned out that he was just passing through and decided to check on his bromance, Doc Holliday.  He had come with his wife, Mattie Blaylock, who spent most of her time clearly stoned out of her mind on Laudanum. It was obvious the two weren't having the strongest of relationships.

Next up, the town was terrorized by a werewolf!  OK, maybe not a real werewolf? But certainly a fairly hairy crazy man named Lavoux who came begging Doc Kid Hoodoo-man Taylor to help him break the 'curse' of lycanthropy he was under. Kid Taylor tried his best to help, but when he went to consult with his 'teacher' Hoodoo Brown, the would-be wolfman had disappeared.  That night, some mysterious savage beast slaughtered Molly, the cow and decade-long companion of "Dangerous" Jim Springer, a septuagenarian who lived in a cave just outside of town.  Dangerous Jim claims to have been a lawman in Abilene and that he had taught Wild Bill Hickok all he knew. No one believed him, but no one also doubted that the tough old-timer was at least crazy-dangerous, and was likely to kill Lavoux if he caught him before Deputy Jackson did. The good deputy being the only lawman left in town, as Sheriff Dirty Dave Rudabaugh had hightailed it out to the desert on a horse (possibly with no name) as soon as he heard Wyatt Earp was around.

Meanwhile, Wyatt and Doc Holliday spent the whole night gambling, drinking and catching up. Wyatt told Doc (and the Millers, and kid Taylor) about how he and Mattie were headed to a town called Tombstone. His brothers Virgil and Morgan Earp were already in the area (with Virgil being a lawman in Pima County, and Morgan as his deputy), and that besides there had been a big silver strike in Tombstone, and the three brothers were going to buy in on a silver stake.

The PCs were quite interested in this, especially Crazy Miller, who had been waiting for some hint of another place to live than East Vegas, which was just too crazy for his liking, and too likely to implode or explode sometime very soon.

The third problem came up with the arrival of a gun-for-hire, actually more a professional assassin (in the modern age we'd use "hitman") named Karl Killier. Killier was (in)famous for charging $1000 a job, and always completing any contract he was given. His arrival in town meant that someone had paid a great deal of money to see someone die. Suspicions abounded, with several people assuming that Earp might be the target. For his part, Killier was taking his damn time, first deciding to relax in the Den of Sin (one of Miller's bordellos), renting a room and a permanent girl for several days. The girl, nicknamed "Rusty" said that Killier seemed a troubled sort of man; they spent that first night doing a lot of talking, and he seemed interested to get to know more about her, more like a sweet boy might than a hardened murderer. He hadn't really told her much about him, and certainly hadn't revealed who he was there to kill.

Other Miller had noticed a young man at Kate's Saloon who had seemed very nervous and left the bar as soon as Killier was mentioned. He lost track of the man, but told some of the local youths to keep an eye out for him.

The next morning, Kid/Doc Taylor found Laveaux in his doctor's office. The man was a wreck, not having remembered anything about the slaughter of the cow, it was all a red haze. Kid gave him some laudanum to sedate him, but before he could think of what else to do, he was called out on account of a shooting.

Other Miller had been informed that morning that the young man from the night before had been spotted, lurking around outside the Den of Sin. Other Miller figured Killier had murdered someone he cared about, but when he interviewed the young man he discovered it was the other way around: the young man had shot the son of a rich cattle baron in a gunfight, and he assumed Killier was there for him. With Killier's reputation, he figured his only chance was to ambush him in the morning.

Wyatt Earp came out of the Den of Sin, having been invited to spend the night and enjoy a couple of ladies by Crazy Miller (Earp's wife having been sent off to the Las Vegas Hotel & Hot Springs). Then Killier stepped out; the young man was prepared to ambush him but Killier spotted him easily, and the two had a shootout. The young man managed to hit Killier with a flesh-wound on his side, but he shot the boy twice in the chest and once in the throat. Doc Kid Taylor arrived when summoned, and took the boy back to be patched up in his office (only to discover, when he arrived, that the Wolf-man Laveaux was gone again).

Earp asked Killier if he was done now. Killier said he was not. The young man was not his target.

At this point, Deputy Jackson was more than a little worried and decided to report on Killier to Hoodoo Brown. Brown decided he'd find out just what Killier really wanted, or who he wanted, and called for him to come to him just after noon. Hoodoo planned to get all his men there, to make sure Killier didn't get any ideas if his target was among the crowd.  Everyone agreed to be there at the appointed time, even Killier.

After that, Jackson went out looking for Laveaux.  But it was actually Other Miller who found the wolf-man, when he heard a scream behind his shop. The wolf-man was attacking a mexican woman. Other Miller had no option but to try to stop him, and since his knee injury meant he couldn't run after him, he was forced to shoot the wolf-man in the foot. His shot was particularly good, and it pretty much destroyed his right foot, causing severe bleeding. Even so, Doc Kid Taylor managed to stop the bleeding.  Dangerous Jim showed up and demanded that Laveaux hang for what he did to Molly the Cow. It sounds a bit crazy, but technically, Laveaux had committed cattle-rustling, which was in fact a hanging offense.

Before judgment could be passed on Laveaux, the party all went to Hoodoo Brown's to see what Killier had to say for himself. Only Killier never showed. Instead, an alarum came up from the Den of Sin. While almost anyone who could get in his way was waiting for him at the other end of Railroad Street, Killier murdered Rusty, the prostitute. He left a note: "I had been hired by a man named Stephen Coleman to come to East Vegas and murder someone named Rusty Coleman. I did not know Rusty Coleman was a woman".

It became obvious to the PCs that Rusty the prostitute must have been from some kind of respectable and wealthy family, and that this was the 19th century equivalent of an honor killing. Also, that Stephen had been played; he had no idea when he took the job that he'd have to kill a woman, but his professional honor meant that the contract, once accepted, had to be fulfilled.

Not that this was an excuse Crazy Miller was willing to accept. He and Other Miller raced after Killier trying to track his horse, even though he had a lead of over 45 minutes. Kid Taylor and Deputy Jackson were close behind. They found the tracks but it led to a now masterless horse, near the Santa Fe Railroad tracks. Killier had clearly bolted out of town and then jumped onto the 12:00 train as it headed out north. They had lost him. Later, Crazy Miller would put a $1000 bounty on Killier's head, to see how he liked it.

The session ended with Laveax being hung. As for the PCs, they have already announced (in and out of character) that they're planning on making the move out of East Vegas, and moving on to Tombstone. And we all know how that's going to turn out.


Currently Smoking: Blatter Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best

1 comment: