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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Wild West Campaign: The Retrial

In our latest session, the PCs were still in an increasingly-tense Tombstone. The Earp group, including the PCs, were in control over the town, but all there rest of the county was under Cowboy domination.

The PCs were still mourning the death of Jeff Young at the hands of commancheros; surely they were probably also thinking about how it was unbelievable misfortune losing one of their very best shots during these tense times.

There was some good news, however. Jim Jackson and his Scottish partner Smiley had come back into town after nearly a year. They were shocked by current developments, but quickly got back to working for Crazy Miller.

The Earps got a surprise when they were informed that OK-Corral survivor Ike Clanton, with the help from his lawyer Bill McClaury (the brother of the two McClauries to have died at the OK Corral), made an appeal to obtain a new hearing against the Earps, but in the town of Contention.

The argument was that Judge Wells Spicer was prejudiced in favor of the Earps and against the Clantons, and thus a new trial was called for. The PCs lawyer advised the Earps that the appeal was almost certain to be rejected. But the Earps were concerned that this wasn't the cowboys' real goal. Wyatt Earp figured that the whole thing was just an excuse to force Wyatt, Morgan and Doc (Virgil was exempted as he was still recovering from his injuries) to leave Tombstone and travel in open country where the Cowboys could ambush and kill them.

So Wyatt decided that the plan was safety in numbers. They got together a big group of men, including Crazy Miller, Jackson and Smiley, Kid Taylor, Bat Masterson, Buckskin Frank, and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson to ride out with him, Morgan, Doc and the lawyer to Contention.

Meanwhile, Other Miller, Texas Jack Vermillion and Sherman McMaster would stay in town, along with Deputy Marshal Charlie Bassett, to take care of the town and guard Virgil and the women-folk. Virgil, his wife Allie, along with Morgan's wife Louise and Wyatt's partner Maddy were all staying in expensive rooms in the Grand Hotel. Before leaving town, Kid Taylor had his wife Frances and their baby join the Earp family... and more controversially, Wyatt got his lover Sadie Marcus to stay there too, to absolutely no one's satisfaction.

The group headed to Contention ended up passing the night in Charlton, where there were quite a few cowboys, but Bat Masterson pulled some strings and the local "vigilance committee" of business-owners came to their aid, a vigilante group of a couple of dozen men kept watch over the Earp party to make sure that if there was a shootout, it wouldn't be in Charlton. The night went through calmly and the next day they continued on and arrived in Contention.
Contention was absolutely full to the brim with Cowboys, and the townsfolk were all in their pockets, so there'd be no help from friendlies here. Wyatt and Morgan decided to commandeer the Registry Office (where the hearing would be held the next day) and stay holed up there that night, ready to fight off any potential siege.

But it seems the Cowboys actually had other plans. Taking advantage of the relative lack of Earp lawmen and shootists in Tombstone, they went in and set fire to Other Miller's house. He wasn't in it at the time, mind you. As everyone rushed over that way, the lawmen suddenly thought that maybe the burning down of his house was a distraction. So they split up, and went to go protect Judge Spicer, Mayor Clum, and Virgil and the women in the Grand Hotel.

Other Miller took the latter job, and as he entered the hotel, he suddenly heard shotgun shots! Realizing they came from the lot behind the hotel, he raced to the rear door, even as he heard return fire coming from the Earps' window.
Other Miller got out the back door to see a group of four or five cowboys running off in the night. He shot in their direction, hitting one pretty badly and grazing another, but they ran away (and Other Miller, due to an old wound, couldn't run after them).  Virgil called out to him from the window that they were alright, that the cowboys hadn't shot through the windows and seemed to just be shooting into the air as if to intimidate them.  As it turns out, Other Miller was glad he hadn't killed any of them just then, as it might have made for a complicated trial.  Other Miller had no way of knowing it, but the cowboy he injured was none other than Phin Clanton, Ike's brother.

The next day in Contention, the local judge very quickly dismissed the complaint made by Ike Clanton. Wyatt and the group were worried that the PCs were going to be ambushed as soon as they headed back for Tombstone, so it occurred to them to take a turn as soon as they were out of view of town, and turn toward Bisbee.  They managed to sneak off that way, and got to Bisbee where the town Sheriff greeted them and had already worked along with Railroad men to get the cowboys out of the town.

So in the end no lives were lost this time, but everyone was pretty shook up. It was clear that a big fight was imminent. And when they got back to Tombstone, all the Earps were upset at their women being threatened. Realizing he couldn't protect her, Wyatt made Sadie Marcus leave town, and possibly walk out of his life forever.

Kid Taylor, meanwhile, realized that there was nothing left for him in Tombstone and he was putting his young family at risk.  His pride was the only thing keeping him here, not wanting to seem yellow and leave his associates when they were going to face the cowboys, but he had to put his family first. So he and his wife decided they would be leaving town next month.


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  1. can i join the old west rpg? if so how?

  2. You'd be welcome to try out, if you live in Montevideo...