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Monday, 8 April 2019

Wild West Campaign Update: The Showdown

When we'd left the PCs, who had spent the last two sessions riding as Adjudicators with Wyatt Earp on his vendetta ride, they'd just managed to make their way to Henry Hooker's ranch, with several injured men and on the run from the Cowboys.

Jackson, who had been very badly shot at the gunfight at Iron Springs, was dying of infection. Doc Holliday collapsed as soon as they arrived at the ranch, from a fit of consumption.

The PCs needed time, but they also knew that there was a force of at least 30 cowboys who were hunting for them, and it would only be a matter of time until they were found.

Henry Hooker hated the cowboys, so he was willing to put Earp's Immortals up for as long as they needed, so long as the posse didn't show up. But he didn't want a fight on his ranch when they did.

Jackson took two days to die, and they buried him. Kid Taylor had been tending to Doc, who continued to defy medical science with his stubborn refusal to die.

Wyatt, meanwhile, was starting to realize that there was no easy way out of here. He came up with a plan: when the Cowboys came, he figured Johnny Ringo was going to call him out for a duel, to avenge the death of Curly Bill. He would go face Ringo, a fight he didn't think he could win, while the rest of the able-bodied men would ride out, to spare Hooker and his ranch as the Cowboys would no doubt pursue them. Hooker agreed that he'd let Doc stay in the ranch, and that if the Cowboys wanted Doc, they'd have to get through him and his men.

A couple of days, later, two Cowboy riders came close to the ranch, dragging a body behind them. It was Sherman McMaster, who had been on lookout duty. They left his corpse along with a note from Ringo telling Wyatt where to find him at sundown.

Wyatt went to say goodbye to Doc. But secretly, Doc had other plans. He knew Wyatt would be too pig-headed to listen, so he feigned being less recovered than he really was.  He told Kid Taylor what to do: when Wyatt rode out to find Ringo, Kid would lead the others to the spot near the meeting place where Ringo would no doubt have a group of Cowboys waiting, and ambush them. Doc changed out of his usual clothing for a duster and hat that would allow him to look like Wyatt from a distance, and put on the marshal's star he'd tricked Wyatt into leaving him.  He was going to get to Ringo before Wyatt did.

The PCs headed to the site, being helped by an Apache that had been expelled from his people and had been working for Henry Hooker. His lust for money had led him to exile, and when he learned that Earp's party included the famously wealthy and generous Crazy Miller, he decided to offer his services. He led them to the spot and the Adjudicators (Crazy Miller, Other Miller, Kid Taylor, and Texas Jack Vermillion, along with Tarak) snuck up on a group of 9 cowboys who were waiting for Johnny Ringo to finish off Wyatt. Other Miller surprised the one who was watching the horses and killed him with a mighty pistol-whip to the head.  Texas Jack cut their saddles so that if any tried to ride out they'd fall.  Then they were supposed to wait until they heard shots coming from the duel.  But at one point one of the cowboys saw their dead companion, thinking he'd fallen asleep on his watch, and started walking up to him. The PCs waited, worried they would need to fire on the Cowboys before Doc could face Ringo, but then at the last moment they heard a single shot ring out from the duel site. They started firing on the cowboys. Within a minute, all nine cowboys were dead.

Wyatt and Doc joined the PCs; Doc's trick had worked, and he'd bested Ringo in a duel, shooting him through the head. Now, the PCs rode out hard for Colorado, to avoid the rest of the Cowboy posse, agreeing that they'd be back soon to finish the job.  It wouldn't be over until the last man wearing a red sash was a corpse.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Gawith's St. James' Flake