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Sunday 22 April 2018

Wild West Update: The Blacksmith

In this week's session, the PCs faced a trio of challenges in the town of Tombstone.

Also, Doc Holliday finally got to town, just in time to stop a scumbag called Johnny Tyler from taking a shot at Wyatt Earp (and Jackson, who was chatting with him outside the oriental) with a shotgun!

Doc was drawn into town at long last when Other Miller advertised an upcoming high-stakes poker game at the Argent Saloon.

Meanwhile, Virgil Earp was out on patrol when he ran into a man lying in the desert, half-dead with a gunshot wound to the back. As he was bringing him into town, someone tried to take a shot at him. Doc Taylor was called in to examine him, and he appeared to be paralyzed from the waist down, as a result of the bullet wound. The man was also in a confused state.

A while later a stranger came into town wearing a badge, claiming to be a deputy from Pueblo, Colorado.  He said the injured man was named McKormick and he had been chasing him for train and stagecoach robbery all the way from there to Arizona Territory.  The deputy wanted to take the man back with him, but Virgil decided to use the excuse of his injury to bide time while he confirmed the deputy's credentials.

That night, the alarm rung out! The store and home of the German blacksmith, Muller, had caught ablaze. The townsfolk (including Crazy Miller, who like many of us  crazy types is a night-owl) managed to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent lots, but the property was destroyed. The next morning they found one body there, which seemed to Muller's newly-married mail-order-bride. It turned out Muller himself had gone off to the Tombstone Mine to do some work for them.

Both Other Miller and Doc Taylor suspected that this fire was arson, and thus foul play. Miller because he was friends with Muller and knew about how some men had threatened him on his wedding day, demanding he sell his property to a rich developer; and Taylor because he had been networking with Hyram Adams, the developer in question, and knew Adams had been threatening Muller.

Other Miller set out with Crazy Miller and Smiley to try to find Muller. Meanwhile Doc Taylor recruited Morgan Earp to help him find and interrogate the men working for Adams to try to see if they would confess to the arson.

The men wouldn't talk, but Morgan arrested them anyways. When they got them to the Marshal's office, Virgil Earp came up with an idea: he would go with Taylor and confront Adams, suggesting that his men had turned on him and cut a deal, in the hopes that Adams would react in a way that would expose him.

Unfortunately, Adams proved to be a cool customer. He didn't crack. Worse still, when Virgil got back to the prison he found McKormick wasn't actually paralyzed after all, and he'd knocked Morgan out and run for it. Virgil went to find Jackson, and accompanied by the deputy from Pueblo they went after the fugitive.

When Doc Taylor was heading back to his office, he walked past the Cosmopolitan Hotel. He was half-owner of the hotel, and in its first month of operations it had made a whopping $4 in profit. Worse, he saw that his partner, Buckskin Frank Leslie, was spending all of his time with a waitress from the Grand Hotel across the street, who was a married woman to boot.

Suddenly, he saw the waitress' husband was crossing the street headed straight for Frank, gun in hand. Doc Taylor called out a warning just before the shooting started, probably saving Buckskin Frank's life.  Frank took a grazing shot to the temple, and a second bullet knocked off his hat, but then Frank managed to empty three bullets into the cuckolded husband, killing him.
Right then and there, he proposed to his lover, the newly-made widow, and asked Doc Taylor to be his best man (he accepted). Eight days later Buckskin Frank would be married to the woman whose husband he killed in a gunfight.

The Millers intercepted Muller the blacksmith as he was riding back to Tombstone, full of wrath after having heard the news of what had happened to his home and bride. They thought they'd talked him into giving the law a chance to do its job, or at least wait for a more opportune moment for revenge; as it turned out they'd be tragically wrong.  As soon as Muller was in town and away from the Millers, he tried to kill Adams, but ended up being shot dead by his bodyguards.

Other Miller decided to take the only revenge he could for now, he immediately headed to the town registry and bribed the registrar to reserve him the right to buy Muller's lot. At least, he figured, his friend would rest a bit easier knowing that Adams would never get to own the strip of land Muller and his wife had been killed over.

Meanwhile Virgil, Jackson, and the deputy from Pueblo caught up to McKormick, who was hiding in a shack. They were about to try to get him to surrender, when the 'deputy' turned on the other two, trying to shoot them in the back like he'd done to McKormick earlier. It turned out that he was part of McKormick's old gang; he'd killed the real deputy, and since McKormick had fled with all their loot, the deputy was going to kill everyone and keep the money for himself. There was an intense gunfight; with Virgil Earp taking several grazing and minor wounds before he and Jackson managed to kill the 'deputy'. Then Jackson rode after McKormick, caught up with him, shot him and recovered the stolen cash. For the first time in the entire campaign, Jackson managed to prove vital in a gunfight and came out a hero.

Later that night, Doc Holliday and cowboy Johnny Ringo met, for the very first time. They exchanged sinister glances and phrases in Latin, and decided they hate each other.

Nothing came of it, because of the intervention of Wyatt Earp and Curly Bill, but it was clear these two realized they'd met their potential equals. It was clear that it was only a matter of time until the two would try to kill each other. Tombstone had just become much more interesting.


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Canadian + Peterson Wild Atlantic

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