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Sunday 19 June 2016

Wild West Campaign Update: "Doc"

In today's adventure, Bad Luck Miller immediately regretted a job he took for the richest man in Ford County, to get a pair of sodbusters off his land.  When he decided to get an assistant, he immediately regretted getting John Joshua Webb.

(John Joshua Webb)

Webb had a reputation as a good man to have in a pinch. And much like Bad Luck Miller, Webb was also of the habit of being fine with playing both sides of the law. He turned out to be a bit too blase, as it turned out, with murdering the unarmed sodbuster couple that they were sent to get rid of.  The whole thing left such a bad taste in Miller's mouth that he decided to 'go straight' and got a job as an assistant manager in the Dodge City lumber yard.

His troubles weren't over then, he was told by his much older and wealthier girlfriend, the widow McKnee, that her dear genteel nephew was coming to visit Dodge for a couple of days, and that Miller was expected to 'take care' of him!   The little nephew turned out to be a grown man. And he turned out be a lot more experienced than the widow believed.  And he turned out to not be very happy about Miller's intentions toward his aunt.  And, to top it all off, he turned out to be Doc Holliday.

Not that Miller knew this, until their stop off at the Alhambra saloon, where Holliday was recognized by Dirty Dave Rudabaugh.  Dirty Dave and Doc knew each other because when both were just starting their careers, it was Doc who taught Dirty Dave how to play poker, and Dave who taught Doc Holliday how to shoot (though by everyone but Rudabaugh's view, Holliday very quickly outstripped his teacher in skill).  Rudabaugh didn't know what was up, but he felt pretty sure that if Doc was in town, some son of a bitch was going to die.  It was sure looking like it would be Miller.

(Dirty Dave)

Meanwhile, deputy Young rescued a hapless Mexican named David from a vicious beating. He quickly developed a certain affection for the apparently long-suffering and pathetic but endlessly optimistic guy, and his general friendliness in spite of an endlessly shitty life. So when a bounty hunter comes to town, claiming that David (who seems incapable of hurting a flea) had murdered someone in a small Kansas town in a neighboring county, he has trouble accepting this.  He eventually finds out that the town in question has a horribly corrupt sheriff, and the charge is almost certainly fraudulent to cover up the real killing with David as a patsy.

At the same time, Doc Holliday decides to switch the target of his "PC I'm most likely to brutally murder" when he runs into Hale the Mormon Gambler, and like almost every other criminal that's shown up in Dodge, Doc mistakes him for the notorious outlaw Derek McClue.

Deputy Young (with help from some of the other PCs) ends up delaying the bounty hunter after David and tries to find a way to save him from an unearned noose. Finally, it's not Sheriff Bassett but the corpulent corrupt marshal Larry Deger who figures out the way to fix the problem.

(Larry Deger, our campaign's "Boss Hogg")

Deger wants to extort a debt from Young in exchange for his help, but Young flips it around by revealing that he knows all about Deger's involvement in the opium trade in Dodge.  Deger reluctantly explains the legal loophole which an allow the PCs to save David (that if David is wanted for a felony in Dodge that warrant would take priority over any in another county, so they just need to trump up charges for David here, to counteract the trumped-up charges there); but he also ends up promising Young that one day he'd pay for crossing him.

As for Doc Holliday, he starts to figure out that the Mormon Gambler is apparently good friends with all the lawmen in town, and Miller, and a number of other more dubious types; and he just can't get through his head what it is that this guy, who he's absolutely sure is a train robber and cattle rustler and leader of a huge criminal gang, is up to in Dodge, under an apparently false identity. He can't figure out if the Mormon Gambler has managed to buy off or to completely fool some of the greatest gunmen and most upright lawmen of the west.  In the end, he decides it's just too much for him, and chooses to get out of Dodge, promising Deputy Young that it's the last they'll be seeing of Doc Holliday.

Yeah, right.


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