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Sunday 3 June 2018

Wild West Campaign Update: Film Noir Western

In this session, the town of Tombstone saw the arrival of three very important inhabitants.

First, Johnny Behan, a dashing key Democrat politician in the area. He was coming to make sure that Pima County went to the Democrats in the 1880 election.

Second, his traveling companion and girlfriend, Sadie Marcus, renowned for her beauty and singing skills:

Sadie catches the eye of everyone who sees her, but none more than Wyatt Earp.

The third is Dr. George Goodfellow, already a famous doctor (one of only a dozen or so actual real doctors in the territory), as well as military hero, naturalist, philanthropist, boxer and bon vivant.

He's moved to Tombstone because he's heard it has no real doctors, and this means huge trouble for Kid/Doc Taylor. Not only does Dr. Goodfellow have absolute contempt for Kid Taylor, he wants his location, above the Crystal Palace Saloon. He feigns being a patient, and judges that Kid Taylor is just a boy who learned a couple of tricks and is now passing himself off as a 'doctor'. Kid doesn't want to sell his lease, but Goodfellow claims he'll just buy the whole building in that case.

Desperate, Taylor rushes to the owner of the Crystal Palace and tries to buy the building himself. It costs $6000, and Taylor doesn't have that kind of money. Goodfellow comes in and offers the owner $8000.

Kid Taylor has no choice. He goes to visit Curly Bill Brocius and asks for his help. Curly Bill is in the Fan Tan house, stoned out of his mind on opium, but he agrees that Dr. Goodfellow will die, in exchange for Taylor (who is now deputy Marshal of Tombstone) not interfering with the local Pima County elections (where Curly Bill is acting as the elections official, appointed by Behan). Taylor agrees.

Other Miller had other problems. He learned that his Uncle Roman had died, and left him a mysterious inheritance. It turns out to be a boxed up statue of a cormorant.

Other Miller plans to put it up in the bar, but then a strange little eastern European man named Slavoj offers him $300 for it. In other times, this would have piqued Miller's curiosity, but now he's been through far too much in life and has no fucks left to give, so he just agrees to sell the statue for that much. He heads off to get the statue from the bar, but when he comes back with it, he finds that Slavoj is dead, apparently shot by a sniper.

The body isn't even warm when a couple of other weirdos, a fat and thin man dressed in the style of southern gentlemen, show up. They introduce themselves as Lafayette and Frobisher and are also asking after the statue.

Other Miller decides to take no chances; he heads off in the night to the local blacksmith to get the statue melted down.
There turn out to be others looking for the statue as well: Crazy Miller runs into a Prussian colonel, complete with monocle, asking after it. And Kid Taylor meets a stunning French femme fatale.  There's mention of one other, too, a shootist, named The Rifleman.

The Riflman finds Other Miller at the blacksmith's and offers to buy the cormorant statue from him, but by now Miller refuses. The Rifleman duels with Miller and shoots him, really badly, in the chest, then he takes the statue and runs for it.

Doc Taylor arrives at the scene, and sees that his friend is a likely goner, but then Dr. Goodfellow shows up and starts patching up Other Miller like it was nothing. He does need Taylor's help though, and gets him to take out a bullet lodged again one of Miller's ribs.

While the operation is ongoing, Crazy Miller and the town Marshall look for the potential assassin. They find him, but it turns out to be too late, he's dead. He looks like he's been run through with a Prussian sword.

They go looking for the Prussian, only to find him in his room in the Grand Hotel, apparently (lethally) poisoned by Lafayette & Frobisher, who have checked out of their hotel.  Then he goes to the OK corral where he learns that no only did the two southern dandies head out, but the Femme Fatale also took off after them. As is a Mexican named Lopez who had just arrived.

Crazy Miller makes a deal with Lopez. He just wants these people dead, Lopez wants the Cormorant.
They chase after the others and end up finding Frobisher with the Cormorant (they find out later that Lafayette and the Femme Fatale murdered each other).

Crazy Miller offers Frobisher a chance to leave behind the Cormorant and walk away, but Frobisher won't have it, so they shoot it out and Frobisher dies. The Mexican takes the cormorant statue and says goodbye.

Back in Tombstone, Other Miller has miraculously survived, and both Goodfellow and Taylor have changed their opinions of each other. Goodfellow offers Taylor a chance to stay on as his assistant, and Taylor agrees, eager to learn from a real professional.  Then he remembers he'd already put a hit on Goodfellow! He rushes off to find Curly Bill, and finds him in a conversation in the Argent Saloon, with the Cowboys' main killer, Johnny Ringo.

In a totally masterful piece of roleplaying performace, Kid Taylor actually convinces Curly Bill that they  had never spoken at all in the Fan Tan House, and that Curly Bill had just hallucinated the whole conversation about murdering Goodfellow. Curly Bill believes him and figures he needs to smoke less opium, or maybe more opium.

The last note in the session is that when Goodfellow learns of the statue, and speculates it might have bone one of three "Lorenzetti Cormorants" in the world, worth about $20000.  Virgil Earp goes to recover the bodies of the southerners and the femme fatale, and he finds some strange articles in the desert: a sombrero, bandolero, poncho, and even a fake mustache.   It seems the Mexican "Lopez" was really Uncle Roman all along, and his death had all been a ruse to get his enemies in the open where they would get rid of each other or could be gotten rid of.


Currently Smoking: Castello Fiamma + Image Latakia

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