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[Dogs in the Vineyard] IC Thread: On the Tree of Life, Many Branches Divided

This is the IC post thread for our Dogs in the Vineyard game. The OOC thread can be found here: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=86417
- - -

From the edge of the post's territory, three men stand in the barest of coverings despite the hail of snow coming down all around them. Their skin is pale, and their eyes are glazed. Absolutely still they stand, staring off into the distance. What they see or hear, we shall never know.

Perfectly, they stand, straight in a line, side-by-side.

The one on the far left licks his lips, his tongue whipping past his teeth and just as soon back in, before baring them against the harsh winter.

"Have mercy, King."

The other two snarl, their brows furrowed and fists clenched. Statues in the snow. The one in the middle reaches out at the air, at nothing, grabbing at snowflakes, his hand straining and trembling, his body leaning forward just slightly - he pulls back, his invisible target just out of reach, and he grabs his own hair, pulling at it, wincing, yelling.

Quickly, the three of them turn and trudge back towards the post, the snow past their ankles and only getting deeper.


====================
I. Three Wise Men
====================


Fort Lemon is on the eastern-most edge of Faithful territory, the first settlement past the mountains. It is a trading post and garrison. It has no Faithful, and is not even a Branch. Its founder is William Lemon, a Mountain Man.

Months ago, the Prophets and Ancients of the Faith called for the sudden dispatching of several companies, all to make their way west with great speed and minimal preparation. Their reasons were never explained, at least not to the Branch Stewards.

- - -

Eleazar, Jacob, and Caleb, horseback, pass through the mountains. They watch a dispatch past, official business from the Temple. These strangers don't stop to talk, and instead speed on past.

Probably, it's to do with the Watson Company. The survivors are holding up in Fort Lemon. Hit by the blizzard something terrible, not prepared. That's where the Dogs themselves are headed, to the Fort. The Teachers had warned them, "It's not our land. It's not a Branch unto the Faith. But go and spread our good word, and tend to the survivors."

William Lemon, they said, is a stern man. He does not like our kind.

The few Dogs who had gone to lend a hand reported back, Yeah, don't cross 'im. He's about ill as a hornet, don't care too much for the Faith. They said, An' be careful - the Good King ain't graced that place yet. You bound to see vulgarities ain't decent to us normal folk.

He is not an evil man, and he took the Watson Company in, fed and cared for them. But he is not pleased with the intrusion, and does not hesitate to show it.

It's your job to go and become permanent attendants for a few months. Once the spring thaw sets in and the Watson Company is up and ready, you can head on along your route.

- - -

You walk, your horses clopping through the snow, your blankets huddled around you. The old Fort is just up ahead, not much longer now.

It's quiet, except for the whirr of the wind and the settling of hooves.

Up ahead, you start to come upon Fort Lemon, and near the gates, someone sees something half-buried in the snow. As you pass by, you see it is a hand, withered black with frostbite. It unapologetically reaches out for you, skin pale, a few fingers missing.

Up ahead, the man himself, William Lemon stands, arms crossed. One or two others move around the Fort, doing busy-work. Everyone else is inside.

robotsunshine on
«13

Posts

  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    As the trio approach the Fort, Brother Caleb spurs his horse a few feet ahead, marking himself as the spokesperson of his Company. His expression is calm, despite the sharp cold to the air, and the importance of a first impression.

    "Greetin's an' salutations t'you an' yours, a-Mister Lemon, sir. I'm Brother Caleb, and these here are Brothers Eleazar an' Jacob. We're here t'look after the Watson Comp'ny 'till spring thaw, an' to repay your kind hospitality with anythin' we can be helpin' out with while we're here." The young Dog turns his horse, holding Tempest on the spot while he glances back to his Brothers to bolster his confidence.

    "We done brought th'mail, not that there's much of it, an' a bunch o'things t'help with the cold. Blankets, 'erbal remedies, anythin' we could spare t'help out. Might not be much, but a man's gotta help out where he can when help's scarce an' precious, sir."

    He takes a breath, then adds his last, and the hardest subject to deal with.

    "An' we'll be holdin' the odd service in praise of the King of All Things, an' any o' yours that want t'partake are more'n welcome, Mister Lemon." While he speaks, Caleb runs a silent prayer to the Lord through his mind. He knows the Mountain Men aren't so fond of The Faith, but the offer of salvation has to be made.

    Kay2 on
  • edited March 2009
    The dark-skinned man watches the Dogs approach, not moving from his spot, not even changing posture.

    When he speaks, his voice is deep, deep as thunder.

    "No services on my land."

    It's a little while before he speaks again, quiet to the point where Brother Caleb starts to speak again to break the silence, but Lemon cuts him off.

    "You stay in the stables. Not enough room elsewhere. Eighty strong from your Watson Company. Not enough room, not enough rations."

    You'd swear he hasn't even blinked.

    "Put supplies in stockhose, South Gate. Then take medicine to sick in town hall. Our men are busy, no time to see after careless Watchdogs."

    He looks each of you in the eyes, then straight ahead as he talks, refusing to look up to any Faithful.

    robotsunshine on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    "That's mighty fine of ya sir, but we will be holding at least one service for the faithful here."

    I'm not saying yes.

    The Stakes: Will Mr. Lemon allow services?
    Just talkin' , using traits: (1d8 - My face just looks scary in order to frighten evil) and (1d6 - This righteous Dog serves the Lord)
    [I'll edit to remove any of these if you tell me to.]

    Dice: (5, 2, 1, 3, 4, 2, 3, 6, 3)
    Raise:

    Jacob hops off his horse and walks up to Mr. Lemon, looking as intimidating as he can. "Y'see, the faithful here deserve to worship God almighty. We'll hold in the barn if ya want, try to stay out of your way. But we will be doin' it."
    Dice: 3, 6

    Shinyo on
  • edited March 2009
    Shinyo wrote: »
    "That's mighty fine of ya sir, but we will be holding at least one service for the faithful here."

    I'm not saying yes.

    The Stakes: Will Mr. Lemon allow services?
    Just talkin' , using traits: (1d8 - My face just looks scary in order to frighten evil) and (1d6 - This righteous Dog serves the Lord)
    [I'll edit to remove any of these if you tell me to.]

    Dice: (5, 2, 1, 3, 4, 2, 3, 6, 3)
    Raise:

    Jacob hops off his horse and walks up to Mr. Lemon, looking as intimidating as he can. "Y'see, the faithful here deserve to worship God almighty. We'll hold in the barn if ya want, try to stay out of your way. But we will be doin' it."
    Dice: 3, 6

    (dice: 6 6 4 4 3 1 1 1)

    I am using William Lemon's trait, "In my domain, my Word is Law 1d10" for a... 4, great. (added it above)

    See:
    "This is not up for debate, Watchdog." William Lemon's face scrunches up, his eyes narrow, and he puffs his chest out. He sounds angry. Loud. "I own this land, a mile in all directions. Your God's presence ends where mine begins."
    (dice: 6, 3) Block / Dodge

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    As we're 'Just Talking', Acuity (5) + Heart (6).

    (Dice: 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 5 5 6 6)

    Raise:
    "Hey, now," Caleb says, holding out a hand, palm held towards the Mountain Man. "No need fer tempers to be a-flarin'. Mister Lemon," the Dog continues, "We can hold our service in the barn, none o' yours need even see it. Y'can't expect us to abandon our Faith, 'specially in such a time o' need, sir?"

    The younger man gestures towards the mule, following the trio, and the bags upon it. "We'll be droppin' of our supplies at South Gate, the medicines at the Town Hall, an' then see if there can't be anythin' we can do fer the sick. Then we'll be on to the barn, with our own, an' we'll see if we can get them back on their feet an' outta your hair at the earliest 'pportunity, what say you?"

    (Dice: 5, 5)

    Kay2 on
  • edited March 2009
    Kay wrote: »
    As we're 'Just Talking', Acuity (5) + Heart (6).

    (Dice: 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 5 5 6 6)

    Raise:
    "Hey, now," Caleb says, holding out a hand, palm held towards the Mountain Man. "No need fer tempers to be a-flarin'. Mister Lemon," the Dog continues, "We can hold our service in the barn, none o' yours need even see it. Y'can't expect us to abandon our Faith, 'specially in such a time o' need, sir?"

    The younger man gestures towards the mule, following the trio, and the bags upon it. "We'll be droppin' of our supplies at South Gate, the medicines at the Town Hall, an' then see if there can't be anythin' we can do fer the sick. Then we'll be on to the barn, with our own, an' we'll see if we can get them back on their feet an' outta your hair at the earliest 'pportunity, what say you?"

    (Dice: 5, 5)

    (dice: 6 4 4 1 1 1)

    I Give. Lemon has a lot to lose, and does not wish to resort to trouble. Besides, Caleb made a decent-sounding proposal. I keep my 6 for future conflicts, and William resigns.

    With a sigh, the Mountain Man unfolds his arms. He is not a man of the Faith, and definitely not an advocate of it, but he understands the plight. "Keep it in the barn. No speak of your God outside of there, and none whatsoever in the presence of the residents of Fort Lemon."

    He turns to leave.

    "Go tend to your sick."

    robotsunshine on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Jacob feels like he respects this man a little more now. He decides it's time to go help around the place.

    Any children in particular who need help?

    Shinyo on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Caleb tips his hat to the Mountain Man, with a warm, and genuine smile.

    "Thankin' ya kindly, Mister Lemon, sir. Thankin' ya kindly. I'd offer a blessin' as what befits a man of yer fine an' understandin' character, but somethin' tells me it's best t'keep it t'm'self. An' again, thankee fer yer hospitality." Brother Dunn means what he says - there's no gloating or satisfaction to his tone, just gratitude. He spurs Tempest into town with Brothers Jacob and Eleazar, followed by Brother Eleazar's faithful mule, Patrick.


    Caleb's just pleased that they're allowed to hold their service. He'll continue on inside to drop off the supplies and medicine as discussed, then head to the barn to see his people here, unless anything out of the ordinary happens.

    Kay2 on
  • edited March 2009
    The Barn.

    Haystack beds and meager cots. Ft. Lemon citizens begrudgingly tend to members of the Watson Company, alongside able-bodied members of the Company itself. There's moans and whines, calls of, "Could use some water over here!" - the smell of sickness and herbal remedies.

    The smell of lingering death.

    A young-ish looking man darts from survivor to survivor, offering them medicine and food. From each, he gets cold stares and vicious words. "Good-fer-nothin'! Worthless! Get that outta my face!"

    Tears almost in his eyes, he moves on, trying to help someone

    There are only a handful of children who survived, and they all look to be in pretty bad condition.

    This man, this miserable wretch, he's the Steward of this makeshift Branch. Steward Asher, though you don't know that yet. He takes a deep breath, and sets his medicine and water down on a nearby table.

    He looks up and sees the Dogs, and the tears start flowing.

    - - -

    A second, taller man speaks to someone from Fort Lemon, something about the medicine. The Lemon man nods, and heads off, and the Watson Company man with the hooked nose and boyish face goes and speaks to one of the survivors. He points to a short, thin woman, off to the side, accompanied by five or so survivors - one of whom is bandaged up and is missing several teeth.

    More strangers you don't know, but the tall man is Peter Anderson, and the short, thin woman is Sharon Burns.

    Sharon calls out, over the din: "Everyone, everyone! Please! Everyone, quiet! Listen!"

    The room quiets down. Steward Asher, halfway towards the Dogs, turns to look.

    "We 'bout to give out the rations. Brother Peter was in charge of cookin' up the meal proper, so let's all give Thanks to him for makin' us this wonderful blessing."

    There's cheerful cries and applause for Peter. He waves it down from his seat beside one of the cots.

    "And word is, we got some officials from the Temple due in any day now, hopefully got some nice letters from the fam'ly for each'a ya." She stops to cough. "And also, our Steward has-"

    It's subtle, but there's a ripple of sighs and, "Aww, phooey"-ies surging through the weakened Companymen. They look towards Steward Asher, glaring.

    "...he has arranged to have some more clothes stitched up for us by Fort Lemon's seamstress ladies, somethin' nice and comfortable for each'a ya to ease yer pain. And we thank him! Thank you, Steward Asher."

    More noises of discontent and dirty looks.

    Someone leans over and whispers to Sister Sharon, and she turns and looks to the barn door, where the Dogs have entered.

    "Well, my, my. Glory done arrived!"

    robotsunshine on
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Eleazar looked out at the crowd. None of them seemed to be looking at him like he was just a scared young boy or an outsider mountain man who converted to the faith, they were all looking at him like he was their salvation, like he knew what was going on and that things were going to be alright now. Somehow this was so much worse.
    "Come on Patrick." He called out softly, walking over to his mule and grabbing the small sack with the letters. "Ok, now all ya'll listen. We're the Dog's thats been sent by Bridal Falls. First things first, looks like you folks good use some mail. I gotta letter here for the Gage family, be they abouts here anywhere?"

    Neaden on
  • edited March 2009
    A small, bruised little man raises one arm, bits of his skin withered and black.

    "Ain't the Gage family no more. Jus' me. Wife and baby died in the mountains."

    He lets his gaze wander across to Steward Asher, scowls, then lets his hand drift back down slowly, his eyes staring at nothing in particular.

    robotsunshine on
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    "Oh." Elezear smiled nervously before realizing the inappropriateness of the gesture and putting on what he hoped was a solemn frown. "I extend the um. official condolences of Bridal Falls then, and will offer up prayers for their safe journey to the King of Life. H-here is your letter sir." Eleazar nervously looked at back at the crowd and began to hand out the rest of the mail.

    Neaden on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Jacob walks up to the young man scurrying from person to person and puts a heavy hand on his shoulder.
    "Hey there boy, ya look like ya could use a bit of help. Anything I can do?"

    Shinyo on
  • edited March 2009
    Shinyo wrote: »
    Jacob walks up to the young man scurrying from person to person and puts a heavy hand on his shoulder.
    "Hey there boy, ya look like ya could use a bit of help. Anything I can do?"

    Fully seen up close, this man has recently shaved. He's at least a few years older than he looked from a distance. Seeing him this close up, you can see the bags under his eyes, and how stress has carved notches in his face.

    "Help me. Help me make this
    right." And looking over his shoulder, over at the noise building back up, the excitement and anticipation, he motions for you to follow him outside, into the snow.
    - - -

    As Eleazar fumbles with the mail, another woman reaches out towards him. "Anythin' for the Smiths, Esther an' Paul?" She's missing two fingers, and one of her eyes looks milky and swollen, though you're not quite sure that was from the frostbite. Her voice is low and halting - she must be very sick.

    Another man from the other side of the barn calls out, "Newton Clifford! Mail should be comin' from back East!"

    robotsunshine on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Jacob raises an eyebrow, and follows him outside; wondering what could possibly drive a man to such a state.

    "Well dang, son. I can tell just by lookin' at ya a small rest would do ya a world o'good. What's your name?"

    Shinyo on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Brother Caleb takes stock of the situation - Eleazar has the mail, Jacob's speaking to the man that seems to be bearing the brunt of the blame, so he takes the packs containing the medicine and makes his way towards Sharon Burns.

    "Ma'am," the young Dog says, reaching up to remove his hat while he nods to her. "Brother Caleb Dunn, here in service t'you an' yours by the Will of the Lord." He raises the leather bags filled with herbal medicines. "Got some olive oil an' muellin flowers in this here pack, should help with the Black Cold our brothers an' sisters are a-sufferin' from." He takes a moment to indicate his brother Dogs, saying, "That serious lookin' fella is Brother Jacob Robertson, a good man. The brother with the mail is Brother Eleazar Ryder, an' he is also. Where can we best be makin' use o' ourselves, Sister...?" The young man's voice ends on an upward tone - the classic way of asking for a name without actually asking for it.

    Kay2 on
  • edited March 2009
    Shinyo wrote: »
    Jacob raises an eyebrow, and follows him outside; wondering what could possibly drive a man to such a state.

    "Well dang, son. I can tell just by lookin' at ya a small rest would do ya a world o'good. What's your name?"

    Outside, the man is nearly in tears as he explains the situaiton.

    "I'm Asher Crosby, actin' Steward for the Watson Comp'ny while we're here at Fort Lemon. Abel Watson was the old Steward, but he died in the incident. He's my brother-in-law."

    With a great big sigh, a few deep breaths, he continues, his composure lifted somewhat.

    "Oh, Praise Be, now that y'all's here. I... I don't know what to do. Ever since I've been actin' as Steward, the whole Branch ain't done nothin' but get worse! I didn't get us safe in time, and lotsa people..."

    Another deep breath.

    "Lotta people lost their loved ones 'cause of me. An' they ain't too forgivin' about that. Seems like everything I do just makes the sit'ation worse. I jus'... I don't know! I don't know what do, Brother! How can I fix this? How can I make right with these people? They lost their families 'cause of me! More'n more are just gettin' sicker under my care!"

    He breaks down into tears.

    "What do I do?"

    - - -

    "Sister Sharon Burns, more'n happy to be seein' the likes of y'all here!" She thrusts her hand out and roughly takes Brother Caleb's, giving it a hearty shake. "That', over there is Peter Anderson, actin' assistant to me while we get these people cared for. If y'can't find me and you need me, just root him out, he's always out somewhere a-helpin'."

    Her entourage stares blankly at Brother Caleb, small, thin smiles on their faces. They don't even seem to blink.

    "Then remedies'll do nicely, if'n ya wanna pass 'em out. An' a kind word or two to what's left o' the Watson Company'd be mighty nice. After we get them seen about, we're out to help aroun' the Fort. And then after that... maybe you fellas could stop by the ol' schoolhouse, second floor? That's where I'm stayin', me'n a few others. Sure like the opportunity to welcome the Watchdogs of the Lord to the Branch proper!"

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Caleb shakes Sharon's hand as firmly as he can manages, then raises his hand in greeting towards Peter Anderson. "Helpin' our hosts is right an' proper, an it'll be good t'spend some time with those leadin' this flock, t'see what's been a-happenin'. As for the med'cine, I'll get right on it, Sister Sharon," Caleb replies, nodding slowly from time to time. "An' maybe a service, this evenin', t'help raise the Company spirits," the young Dog suggests, with an easy smile.

    After that, he starts to hand out remedies, careful to make sure they're shared out equally. Any pushing or shoving is gently rebuked with a firm, but kind voice, while advice on what to do is given alongside the medicine. "Dun' rub it on, just pour, an' let it sit there a-while," he tells one elderly man with blackened fingers. "Stay warm, dun' be rough with 'em, honey," Caleb then says to a young girl, while she squeezes her exposed toes stiffly. For the Faithful with the most severe effects, Caleb lays his hands on the unfortunate's forehead, after anointing them with the sacred river clay from his pot, commanding them back to health by the power of the King of All Things. He continues to pass out help, both herbal, caring and spiritual, as he moves through the crowd. He even manages to hold back his horror, his expression one of concern as the severity of the situation becomes more and more apparent.

    Kay2 on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Jacob slowly walks Crosby around a bit to try and relieve the tension in his body.
    "Well, first thing to do is stop tryin' to fix what ya can't. The people you've lost can't be brung back, so the most you can do for em' is pray."
    He looks over to the sick children.
    "Next, ya gotta take care of those ya do have before you lose more of em'. Us Dogs will be helpin' y'all out with that."
    "And lastly, ya gotta get back the trust of your people. It's gonna be hard to keep em' alive and faithful if ya can't have their trust. You're a man of the cloth now, you have to lead em' as such."
    Jacob thinks for a moment.
    "We're having a sermon later tonight in the barn. I'd like you to come up and pray with us, let your people know that you are sorry, and prove to them that you're deservin' of their respect by being a proper leader."

    Shinyo on
  • edited April 2009
    Steward Asher seems to relax, his panic dying down. He takes a few deep breaths to soothe himself.

    "Oh, glory, thank you. It's what I've been needin'. Can't a one of 'em in there stand me, 'cept for Sister Sharon and the few who didn't suffer no ill during the cold. An' either way, nobody'll listen."

    He sniffs. The way he stands, his shadow hits the side of the barn, and it looks hunched over and feeble.

    "But that'll change, right? I gotta lead these people, right? It's my job under the Faith!" He seems a bit bolder, a bit happier - relieved the Dogs are here to offer guidance. "So, pray. I'll be at that service, you can count on it. I'm headin' to go pray right now, before."

    He offers his hand to shake, gets Brother Jacob's name, and walks off through the snow towards where he's shacked up for the winter. A passing survivor of the Watson Company gives him a look that he doesn't witness, then continues towards the barn. A trio of Territorial Authority stare at him until he enters the shoe-maker's place, then in unison turn and gaze towards Brother Jacob. They seem stiff, mechanical. The middle one offers a thin smile, as he sways back and forth in the rocking chair next to the others.

    Brother Jacob stares right at them -
    right at them! - but doesn't even notice them, not at all.

    robotsunshine on
  • edited April 2009
    At the Lutz home, Hannah Lutz, pregnant and heavy, curls up in fetal position on the bed. She's bruised and bleeding, battered and worn. Each powerful sob sends her body heaving. Her arm in particular is bad, having been wrenched behind her and yanked on when she got tossed up against the kitchen wall. Breakfast is still spilled all over the floor.

    A mirror in the corner lets Hannah see herself, beaten and pregnant, and just makes her cry harder.

    "Y'ain't gettin' no name from me, no name at all," she tells the mirror. "Ain't nothin' that's touched sin gonna touch me," she says, while absent-mindedly running her hands along a scar across her neck. "No way, no how."

    - - -

    The sermon is much needed. Frostbitten fingers raise into the air, towards the King, and bruised and torn lips sing His praise.

    Peter Anderson sits next to Sharon Burns. Sitting next to Peter is Tamar Anderson, his wife. She goes to hold Peter's hand, but he pulls away in time to cheer on the Dogs, and to pat Sister Sharon on the back. Tamar scowls and turns to the side, mouthing a, "Praise Be," along with everyone else.

    Samuel Lutz stands by the barn door. He claps hard, tears in his eyes. He yells out, "Glory to the King! Glory!" He is short and muscular, very much so - someone you wouldn't want to get on the bad side of. He's working up a sweat screaming and hollering along with everyone else.

    A well-dressed couple, looking quite nearly decadent by the Faith's standards (we're talking TWO items of silk, here), sit near Samuel. The woman wears a ring she got from back East, and a beautiful hand-crafted necklace. She is Joyelle Hudspeth, and she smiles and cheers alongside her husband Bradshaw (who is a tad bit overweight).

    The sermon is nearing its close, and everyone is fired up, passionate. They all look to you for what's next.

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Brother Caleb finishes the sermon, which all three Dogs have been giving, with the words, "Brothers and Sisters, from this we take hope, we know that the King of All Life will provide and protect, and that we must ri-i-i-i-ise above these trials and tribulations, these tests of our Faith and character, that we must meet these difficulties with our heads held high in knowin' that there is a place for us at the end of times. Those we have lost, well, they're with our Lord in Heaven, an' though we miss 'em, we known that they're taken care of by God an' his heavenly host." He's very animated while speaking, walking back and forth on a flatbed wagon, his brightly colored coat unfurling behind him each time he turns.

    Then, he stands tall, and makes the Sign of the Tree. "So, Brothers an' Sisters, let us pray for those who have moved on, to be with the King of All Things, an' wish them Godspeed to paradise, an' for the strength to carry us through this hard, cold winter, an' to give us the courage to face or futures under God. Ay-men." Caleb lowers his head, his hair falling in his face as he leads this silent prayer. There are so many eyes looking at him and his Brothers, so many hopeful faces that need something to believe in, someone to lead them through this horror. The Dogs are here now, though, and all is right as far as they are concerned. Most of them, at least.

    Kay2 on
  • edited April 2009
    A thunderous round of applause, and some are moved to tears. And for the first time in a while, there is no moaning, no whimpering. Just silent resolve. Just hope.

    - - -

    A more relaxed atmosphere in the barn now. People come up in a line to thank the Dogs. Among them, Samuel Lutz and Joyelle Hudspeth.

    Joyelle speaks to Brother Eleazar and Brother Caleb. Samuel speaks to Brother Jacob.

    Joyelle: "Beautiful, just beautiful! It's what we've needed for a long, long time." And she holds out a hand, the hand with her ring on it, her ring from back East. And she says, her name is Joyelle Hudspeth, wife to Bradshaw Hudspeth. "And my children, Lucius, Seth, and Deborah."

    Samuel: "Brother Jacob, me'n you need to have a heart to heart. Y'all came at just the right time, I tell ya. Maybe you can help me with somethin'?"

    Joyelle: "It's a bit too cold for my tastes, don't you agree? Oh, and don't you just love this silk collar of mine? The residents of Fort Lemon here adore it, and one even offered to buy it off of me! Oh, Lucious, Seth, go outside and play. Deborah, Deborah here - doesn't she look just like me? The beauty runs in the family..."

    Samuel: "It's my wife, Hannah. Ever' night she comes in, drunk as a bee'n a liquor cabinet. She gets to talkin' to them trappers and traders, passin' whiskey back an' forth - ain't right! Ain't what a woman's 'sposed to be doin'! It can't be good fer the baby!..."

    Joyelle: "...and my grandmother, straight from England! Could you tell, could you hear the accent? Oh, no one can. It's a faint one. But I'm no bother, loyal to the Faith, yes I am! Have you noticed my ring? Have you noticed my necklace?..."

    Samuel: "...can't say what's gotten her to be this way- ahh, 'scuse me. But, we're holdin' up in the first house down the road, you can't miss it, nice screen door on it, painted blue? Why, you could come over even now, if you wanted to, Hannah should be home - I tell ya, she gets more marks 'cross her body every time she comes home, don't know what she's out there a-doin'..."

    Joyelle: "...if you ask me, that Sharon Burns is getting a bit too big for her britches! And I say britches, I mean britches! She takes on the work of men! She sits back and smiles every time Steward Asher makes ill of the situation, she steps in and tries to fix it - but where was she to begin with? Oh, I just don't know... I respect the Steward, and he's had his problems, but that Sister Sharon is only out to cause problems!..."

    Samuel: "...little one on the way, due any day now, ol' sawbones told us 'afore we hit the trail with the Watson Company. Biggest disaster I ever heard of. An' that good-fer-nothin' Steward ain't makin' it any better. Buys some food from Lemon? Poisons the whole camp! Drove two Faithful from the house of a non-believer to sleep in, wasn't this barn but one down the way, caught fire in the night, killed 'em both! He don't deserve..."

    Joyelle: "...of course, I have more linens, and everyone wants to come and borrow from me. They weren't prepared, not prepared at all. Perhaps you two could come for tea after we leave here? I'd love to show you the dresses I brought from home! And perhaps we could discuss this... Sister Sharon Burns issue in a bit more detail?"

    Sharon Burns: "How y'all folks doin'? Samuel Lutz?" She turns a cold gaze towards Joyelle, who only returns it. "Sister Hudspeth. Well, I'll be seein' you three in the ol' schoolhouse, second floor? We got a lot needs doin' 'round here, lot of work..." She turns to walk away, staring square at Joyelle. "A lot to discuss."

    Samuel: "...swear I'll take a gun to him myself, he comes near my family again..."
    - - -

    From the barn door, the three men have watched the congregation. They do not clap, or cheer, or praise. They simply wait.

    robotsunshine on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Jacob listens to Samuel's story. "Certainly, certainly...I'll come by a bit later and have a talk with your wife. And do try to take it a little easier on Steward Asher. He's tryin' his best to do a job that one man can't rightfully do. Y'all gotta help him to help you, y'see?"

    Shinyo on
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    "Thank you miss Joyce, it's awfully kind of you. However I'm going to have to refuse your generous offer for now. I'm sure you'll be able to find some other person here who'll be more and glad to take tea with you, some of these folks look like they could awfully do with a good meal." Smiling, Eleazar breaks away from Joyce to head towards the schoolhouse to find Sister Sharon.

    Neaden on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Brother Caleb lets Brother Eleazar say his piece, then steps into the space the elder Dog leaves as he moves off to find Sister Sharon.

    "Sister Hudspeth," Caleb says, placing both palms together in front of his chest as he speaks. The Dog tilts his head slightly, a concerned, slightly confused look on his face. "I couldn't help but be noticin' - you're drawin' a lot of attention to things you got, mighty purdy things might I add, but y'don't seem to be so concerned about your unfortunate Brothers an' Sisters in th'Faith, if y'don't mind m'sayin'."

    He holds up a hand now, fingers outstretched, anticipating an interruption from the vain woman. And truth be told, she's going to try to interrupt. What Joyelle Hudspeth starts to realise though, is that when Brother Caleb Dunn speaks, people listen.

    "Now, Sister. Might I be remindin' you, these folks need help. An' Praise Be to th'King of All Things that you came so prepared with y'linens an' suchlike, an' Glory to th' One True Lord that y'had the presence of mind to bring 'em, and the goodness in y'heart to share with th'Company. But I got to say, y'necklace, y'scarf, an' y'dresses aaaaall the way from England ain't important right now, what's important is gettin' the Comp'ny back on their feet, healin' their ills, giving Thanks to our lovin' God that y'all are alive an' doin' his good work on this earth, an' helpin' out where help's needed. Now," here he pauses, pursing his lips before turning towards the rest of the men, woman and children in the barn, spreading his arms wide. His coat flaps open, showing the full measure of the color and authority it holds, before he looks back over his shoulder towards Joyelle and her kin with a warm, genuine smile. "Surely helpin' these good folks get back t'health an' happiness under God is more important than purty things t'make a purty girl even more purty, am I right, Sister?"

    Joyelle seems shocked, perhaps even embarassed by Caleb's words, her eyes downcast for a moment before she nods slowly.

    "I an' mine'll be happy to share tea an' break bread wi' you an' yours once all this ruckus an' ill business is taken care of, good Sister Hudspeth. Fer now though, we gotta be talkin' to Steward Crosby an' Sister Burns an' Brother Anderson about turnin' this thing around, an' getting this Compn'y whole again. Blessin's on you an' yours, an' thanks for your good, good work in helpin' those less fortunate an' less plannin'-savvy'n yourself, Sister."

    Kay2 on
  • edited April 2009

    Outside of the schoolhouse, Sister Sharon talks with another woman. A woman with a glassy, blank look on her face, who can't seem to take her eyes off of her. Almost as if she wants to reach out and touch her.

    Certainly not befitting of Faithful women.

    "Brother Eleazar! Ele... did I say it right, sir? Hah, well, come on over!" She pats Brother Eleazar on the back hard, laughing. "We got much to talk about. This here's Sister Susannah, friend o' mine."

    She turns and looks at Brother Eleazar - or is she? Her gaze pierces right through! - and smiles, bowing her head just a bit.

    Sister Sharon nods her head towards the schoolhouse. "Shacked us up in there. Peter Anderson stays up there with us, his wife Tamar stay's by the garrison tower. Don't you worry, though, ain't nothin'... wrongful between us! No, we stay in sep'rate rooms. We jus' stay up so late tryin' to make sure we get by day to day. Wanna come on up, meet everyone?"
    - - -

    Brother Bradshaw comes storming forward, a serious yet fretful look on his heavy face.

    "Now, now - wait just a moment, here. My wife..."

    You can tell he's struggling for words, struggling to somehow cast her in the right.

    "We gave our piece when Sister Sharon asked us to! It's not our fault we were better prepared! That... that... harlot has no place to condemn us because we're wealthy!"

    A few murmurs and whispers from the crowd, but everything's still noisy, still ignoring the talk they share.

    Joyelle Hudspeth steps back, turning to look towards Brother Eleazar. Had a mountain man really refused her presence?

    "To each their own! They all had a chance to pack their own goods! We don't go begging at their doors for food!" Brother Hudspeth smells of cooked broth and roasted meats, and you're not the only one who's noticed it.

    "We're in this together, but there is most certainly a line!"

    - - -

    See, you've set the stakes - Will Sister Joyelle remember the Branch and not just herself? And sure, she nods her head and submits, but give her a minute or two to mull it over, and she's about to get pissed the only way self-absorbed rich women can. And notice it's only Sister Joyelle, not Brother Bradshaw. It could just as easily have been both, but this way maybe we can inspire doubt and conflict between them, and that means juicy drama.

    1. Stakes
    Will Sister Joyelle remember the Branch?

    2. The Stage
    Brother Bradshaw's booming voice caries, and suddenly, Brother Caleb and the Hudspeths are the center of attention. A lazy circle has formed to hear what is being said - anger at the Hudspeths, and nervous anticipation at the Dogs' reactions. The sky is getting darker outside. The tension makes your skin crawl.

    3. Participants
    Since Brother Eleazar went to go see Sister Sharon, it's just Brother Caleb and the Hudspeths. Brother Jacob is busy with Samuel Lutz.

    4. Starting Arena
    Just Talking. Roll Acuity + Heart.

    5. Roll 'em!

    Bradshaw Hudspeth
    (dice: 2 2 3 3 4 5 6)

    Joyelle Hudspeth
    (dice: 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5)

    Brother Hudspeth will go first, to continue his tirade. Then Joyelle's Best Roll is 9, tie break of 4, then 3, then 3.
    - - -

    Bradshaw Hudspeth
    Raise:
    "These people are poor planners, and nothing more! I love them as Brothers and Sisters of the Faith, but we left in a hurry and they were not prepared! We were! Now, I'm all for y'all bein' here to help out, but don't think you can tell us what to do with our wealth! We earned it! We had to share our food when Sister Sharon found out about it, we-" He stops, bites his lip, but then continues, "We shared! Don't presume to tell us these people need more than Faith and rest!"
    (dice: 5, 3) (only Kay needs to See)
    - - -

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Just Talking - Acuity (5) + Heart (6)
    (Dice: 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 6 6)

    See:
    Brother Caleb listens to Bradshaw Hudspeth, turned to one side as he nods his head - yes, they earned their wealth. Yes, they were better prepared. But Caleb senses a chink in Bradshaw's defenses, and does not hesitate in pointing it out.

    "When the good Sister Sharon FOUND OUT about it? You're tellin' me, that you folk would be ready an' willin' to let your Brothers and Sisters in th'Faith starve, an' only gave away a share t'your Comp'ny when you were found out, an told t'help your fellow man?"

    (Dice: 5, 3)

    Raise:
    "Does not the Book o' Life, praise be to th'Lord, preach that you should love thy neighbour, let not the child o'your Brother go hungry, an' to give what y'can when it's needed by others? Does not the Book o' Life, that one true guide to a righteous way of livin', say that pride in wealth an' frivolous luxury, is jus' one step on the road to sinful covetin' and selfishness? You, Brother Bradshaw Hudspeth, have the power to HELP these people, t'get them back on their feet an' our livin' their lives with the blessin' o' th'Lord, an' you're sayin' that your wealth is more important than their health? I say that your helpin' o' these good people can only lead to a-cuuum-ulation o' the only wealth that matters, that o' respect an' good relations wi'th'Faithful, which will be paid back with Holy Int'rest for livin' the way the One True Lord commands!" All the while, he's addressing Bradshaw, as it seems that Joyelle has quietened and accepted her mistake. Caleb doesn't quite know how women work yet.

    The Dog turns, again causing his beautiful coat to swirl around his ankles, though it's by accident that this dramatic gesture occurs, not design. He holds open his arms to the rest of the flock.

    "CAN AH GET AN AY-MEN?"

    (Dice: 5, 5) (Bradshaw needs to see - Joyelle too, if she wishes to argue.)

    Kay2 on
  • edited April 2009
    Brother Bradshaw
    He's using his trait, "I'm stubborn and refuse to back down, even when I'm wrong 2d8" for a... 4 and a 1, wow. Okay.

    See:
    Brother Bradshaw scowls something fierce, his fists clenched, knuckles white, his face turning red. The loud, echoing cry of, AMEN!, makes him jump, and stare around to the faces of all he's sinned to.

    "We... W-We helped all'a you! We gave you food! And the best you can do is cry because it didn't come fast enough?!"

    Even Brother Jacob and Samuel Lutz have noticed by now.

    He looks at the Watchdog, teeth bared. "We... The Hudspeths were better prepared! Our wealth, it..."

    He's breathing hard, looking around at everyone like he expects them to jump on him and beat him with their fists. Truth be told, they're giving off that kind of vibe.

    Brother Hudspeth has nothing to say.

    (dice: 6, 4, 1) Taking the Blow

    (dice: 1 2 2 3 4 4 6)



    Sister Joyelle
    I'm rolling her trait of, "My way of life is worth fighting for 2d8" for FUCK YES TWO 8s.

    See:
    Sister Joyelle looks like she's about to cry. You can't tell if it's your words, or her husband's inability to defend her - the knowledge that you might be right about this.

    "We didn't help. We didn't help. We did, but... too little, too late. And that makes us sinners, Bradshaw."

    She wrings her hands together, looking towards the floor.

    "But do you know what made us sin, Brother Caleb? Do you?"

    (dice: 4, 4, 2) Taking the Blow

    Sister Joyelle is escalating to physical, but not fighting. She gets a 2, 2, 5.

    Raise:
    "We sinned because we came from nothing. We came from squalor. Bradshaw, here, worked his way up from his hands and knees, trying to feed our children. We lived in towns where the Faithful would just as soon rob from you then pray for you. We've watched wretched men enter our house and take from us. We felt the spit on our faces when we asked for help."

    She looks up, tears in her eyes, starting to water over.

    "We saw our friends die in the snow, and a brave man take over to try and help, only to be shot down at every turn, and to have some WHORE OF A WOMAN try to take over!" She's nearly screaming at this point, and only getting louder. "Our children watched people die! They asked us why God wasn't helping us! THEY SAW PEOPLE DIE! THEY'RE JUST CHILDREN!" Joyelle stands toe to toe with Brother Caleb and grabs him by the shirt, wrapping her fingers around his beautiful coat. He's forced to look at her.

    "What we have is money, and a lot of it. We needed it years ago, when our family was starving, and God in Heaven, we need it now." She weakly begins to shake Brother Caleb, crying into his coat. "If that makes us sinners in the eyes of God, and you have to go pray and tell him to lay down Judgment on our heads, then ask him. You ask him, where he was when we needed him. You let him know, WE already Judged HIM."

    She collapses into Brother Caleb's chest, sobbing and shaking.

    (dice: 8, 8)

    (dice: 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 5 5 )

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Escalating to Physical, but not Fighting.
    Body (3) - (1 3 6)
    Invoke Trait - "When I speak, people listen - 2d8" (3 7)
    (Dice: 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 6 6 6 7) (Used: 3 5 5 5)

    See:
    Brother Caleb listens, the woman's story causing his eyes to widen in shock, especially as Joyelle grabs his coat and forces him to look at her, her thumb resting on Daddy's Black Stitch. When she sags against him, the Dog takes her weight as gently as possible, and holds her against him as she sobs into his chest, stroking her hair in reassurance.

    "Oh, Sister," he says. "Sister, I'm sorry for what happened in your past, I'm sorry for what your children saw, but listen. Please, listen. Everything happens for a purpose, y'understand? God chooses how things pan out, see, an' th'King of all Things musta hadda reason fer alla them things t'be happnin' t'you an' yours. There's a reason fer all of it. You worked hard t'get your wealth, an' well deservin' of it y'are too, but God wanted y't'work fer it, y'see? It made you strong, Sister Joyelle. It made you strong 'nuff t'stand up to me, here, an' tell me what you went through. It made you strong 'nuff, you an' your husban', t'help here, where it matters most. It's all part o' the plan, an' though we may never unnerstand jus' what He's got lined up fer us, he's got it all lined up fer a reason. An' who's to say you can't work up this wealth 'gain? Who's to say that, after savin' this Compn'y wi' what you worked hard to earn, that you won't be able t'make it all over again? Wi' the respect an' the gratitude o' the whole town, y'all be in a better position for business-makin', I do think. Look here, Sister Joyelle."

    Caleb gestures towards the Hudspeth's children, turning so that Joyelle can look that way too. Every movement he makes with her is so very, very soft and gentle. It's firm, though he's not pushing her around. It's just a soft, assertive guidance.

    "Lucius there, an' Seth. You said they had t'watch people die. S'true, an' that's a terrible thing fer a child t'see, but think 'bout it for a minute. If them boys are half as smart or hard-workin' as you an' Brother Bradshaw here, mebbe this terrible time done gone put it in their minds t'study fer bein' Doctors, y'think? A family with yer wealth an' dedication, well. It'll be hard, but I reckon you an' yours are the best equipped in this whole comp'ny t'educate a pair o' fine, upstandin' physicians, yeah? An' Deborah, mayhaps this whole situation has gone put some thoughts in her head, too. An' after seein' her brothers go on through education so well, she might take her place in th' school, as mistress o'er the little ones, t'give them the confidence and teachin's so they can go on to greater things, or perhaps nursin', or midwifin', any o' those occupations that only the smartest, kindest, gentlest women can do well. I ain't sayin' that's what's gonna happen, but those are things I can see comin' out o' this for the good of God's plan, y'hear me?"

    He then turns to address the crowd, raising one hand in supplication. "I been a mite hasty here, good Brothers an' Sisters. These good folk were scared, an' when we's scared, we curl up in a lil' ball sometimes 'till we can make sense o'th' horrors 'round us. These fine folk need your help an' prayers just as much as you need theirs, together, we can' see our way through this."

    (Dice: 7, 5, 4) (Taking the Blow)

    (Dice: 1 2 3 3 3 3 6 6 6)

    Kay2 on
  • edited April 2009
    Bradshaw Hudspeth
    (dice: 1 2 2 3 4 4 6)

    Raise:
    "See? It's what I mean. Things ain't how they seem."

    The crowd is torn - who to hate at this point? Who to believe? Turning heart is a tenet of the Faith, but not an easy one to follow.

    A man in the crowed thinks: We starved 'cause of you.

    "Joyelle, you ought not to say such in front of the children. Our business is private matters. But, Brother Caleb - sir, we don't know how long it's gonna be for us here. The Steward bought us some food from William Lemon the mountain man, turned us all sick! We been trackin' an' tradin' since then with unbelievers who come through here. We 'bout outta food, all of us."

    He looks around at everyone, turning away from the Dog.

    "People, I love you all from the bottom of my heart, but look at my family - we got a lot of mouths to feed. We had to keep what we had to feed ourselves."

    He's quiet for a moment, wondering if any of this is sinking in. He turns back to the Dog.

    "Brother Caleb, when we share all our food and can't get no more... what, we're supposed to starve along with everyone else? That's how the King wants it? If'n you can save just one life, isn't it worth it?"

    That same man calls out: "Where was all that, Brother Bradshaw, when my little girl went hungry and died in the night?"

    (dice: 4, 4)

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    (Dice: 1 2 3 3 3 3 6 6 6)

    See:
    Caleb tugs a handkerchief from his pocket, and offers it to the sobbing woman he's comforting, before he nods towards her husband. "Brother Bradshaw, you done plenty to help these people, but I might need t'be callin' on you for a little more. Not food, you say you ain't got no more, an' I believe ya. But trade, like you were sayin', might need your talents at barterin', an' a little more o' the wealth you worked so hard to 'ccumulate. I'll talk t'William Lemon, I'll find out what made y'all sick. I don't think y'talkin' 'bout no frostbite, neither."
    (Dice: 2 6)

    Raise:
    He seems thoughtful, nodding along to what Bradshaw is saying. "Ain't no-one else gonna be starvin', if me an' mine can help it. You tell me what happened when y'all had food from Lemon - jus' you f'now, Bradshaw, then I'll be askin' round. I'm sure it ain't from the food, though. Lemon ain't no man o' the Faith, but he ain't gonna get nothin' from a-poisonin' ya. Like I said, leave it wi' me, an' I'll see what I can be a-doin' t'get more food in here, fer trade an' service. We gon' work our way through the hard times, you believe me."

    When the man shouts his question to Bradshaw, Caleb raises his voice above the sussuration of the crowd. "Your little girl, Brother. She's in a better place now. She ain't hungry, she ain't sick, an' she ain't cold and frightened. She's happy, an' with the Lord. It's gonna be much harder on y'all who are left, so don't be angstin' over one taken back t'stand beside th'King of All Things, Brothers an' Sisters. It's sad, it's hurtful an' it just ain't fair that she ain't with us no more, that those that've passed on ain't with us no more, but they ain't sad. They're a-waitin' in Paradise until your work here on God's good Earth is done."

    He even sounds like he means it.

    (Dice: 1 6) - Bradshaw needs to see.

    (Dice remaining: 3 3 3 3 6)

    Kay2 on
  • edited April 2009
    Kay wrote: »
    (Dice: 1 2 3 3 3 3 6 6 6)

    See:
    Caleb tugs a handkerchief from his pocket, and offers it to the sobbing woman he's comforting, before he nods towards her husband. "Brother Bradshaw, you done plenty to help these people, but I might need t'be callin' on you for a little more. Not food, you say you ain't got no more, an' I believe ya. But trade, like you were sayin', might need your talents at barterin', an' a little more o' the wealth you worked so hard to 'ccumulate. I'll talk t'William Lemon, I'll find out what made y'all sick. I don't think y'talkin' 'bout no frostbite, neither."
    (Dice: 2 6)

    Raise:
    He seems thoughtful, nodding along to what Bradshaw is saying. "Ain't no-one else gonna be starvin', if me an' mine can help it. You tell me what happened when y'all had food from Lemon - jus' you f'now, Bradshaw, then I'll be askin' round. I'm sure it ain't from the food, though. Lemon ain't no man o' the Faith, but he ain't gonna get nothin' from a-poisonin' ya. Like I said, leave it wi' me, an' I'll see what I can be a-doin' t'get more food in here, fer trade an' service. We gon' work our way through the hard times, you believe me."

    When the man shouts his question to Bradshaw, Caleb raises his voice above the sussuration of the crowd. "Your little girl, Brother. She's in a better place now. She ain't hungry, she ain't sick, an' she ain't cold and frightened. She's happy, an' with the Lord. It's gonna be much harder on y'all who are left, so don't be angstin' over one taken back t'stand beside th'King of All Things, Brothers an' Sisters. It's sad, it's hurtful an' it just ain't fair that she ain't with us no more, that those that've passed on ain't with us no more, but they ain't sad. They're a-waitin' in Paradise until your work here on God's good Earth is done."

    He even sounds like he means it.

    (Dice: 1 6)

    (Dice remaining: 3 3 3 3 6)

    Bradshaw Hudspeth
    (dice: 1 2 2 3 4 4 6)

    He's rolling "Sister Sharon is a sinner, and I won't stand for it 2d4" for... two 3s.

    See:
    Brother Bradshaw snaps his fingers. "You want to know about that food? I can tell you a thing or two about what's happening. It's that Sharon Burns!" Again with Sister Sharon. Ever since it was brought up that she made him share his family's good, he continues to condemn her.

    "Sister Sharon undermines Steward Asher at every turn! I wouldn't be surprised if she poisoned the food herself to make him look bad! I tell ya, she's wicked!"

    (dice: 6, 1) Block / Dodge (by way of diverting the topic onto something else!)

    Raise:
    The entire crowd boos Bradshaw Hudspeth, calling him a liar and other foul names. He ignores them.

    "If you seek to condemn us, you call her out to task too! She's pullin' the strings, I tell ya! Fair's fair, you punish Sister Sharon for what she's done!"

    (dice: 6, 2)

    robotsunshine on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    (Dice: 3 3 3 3 6)
    Invoking trait - "I'm a Dog - 1d6" (2)

    See:
    "Now, Brother Bradshaw. I ain't condemnin' no-one, and you ain't got the authority to make that call on Sister Sharon, that's somethin' for us Dogs to sort out, y'hear me?" Caleb stands tall now, the gently weeping Joyelle in her fine dress, with her fine necklace, and her fine scarf spotted with tears and thoughtlessly crumpled.
    (Dice: 6, 2) Block/Dodge (Pointing out the Dogs have the authority in this, not Bradshaw)

    Raise:
    "Here's what I'm gonna do - I'll talk to Sister Sharon, get her side o' things, then the four of us'll, as well as Brothers Jacob and Eleazar have a chat 'bout what you're accusin' her of, an' she gets to make her defense fer all of us t'here." The Dog then shakes his head slowly. "I don't think one o'th'Faithful'd be poisonin' her Compn'y, but she does need t'be supportin' Steward Asher instead o'doin' his job for him. Now, can y'say fairer than Sister Sharon bein' able to put her story forward, an' us Dogs sortin' out the trials an' tribulations you good folk are a-goin' through? I'm thinkin' that there's some truth to what y'all are sayin', but not quite the truth that y'pushin' at me right now. I think you're sore 'bout her tellin' you t'share your food. She was right 'bout that, though. If y'hadn't helped these folks out, there'd not be much Comp'ny left for the Lord's Watchdogs to save, an' y'd do well t'remember that, Brother Bradshaw."
    (Dice: 3, 3)
    (Dice Remaining: 3 3)

    Kay2 on
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Eleazar smiled nervously at the strange women. "Yes Ma'am, your pronounced it very well thank you. It's very nice to meet you umm...Ma'am." The strange woman continued to stare right through Eleazar, he started to get nervous, feeling that she could see more about him then he would like. "I surely would like to meet everyone though if you've got the time to introduce me." He looked back, there seemed to be some hullabaloo back in the barn but it seemed in control for now. "You say the Anderson's don't live together though? Pr'aps I better talk to them, see if there is anything they need to work out between themselves. It ain't good to have a husband and wife divided against themselves."

    Neaden on
  • edited April 2009
    Kay wrote: »
    (Dice: 3 3 3 3 6)
    Invoking trait - "I'm a Dog - 1d6" (2)

    See:
    "Now, Brother Bradshaw. I ain't condemnin' no-one, and you ain't got the authority to make that call on Sister Sharon, that's somethin' for us Dogs to sort out, y'hear me?" Caleb stands tall now, the gently weeping Joyelle in her fine dress, with her fine necklace, and her fine scarf spotted with tears and thoughtlessly crumpled.
    (Dice: 6, 2) Block/Dodge (Pointing out the Dogs have the authority in this, not Bradshaw)

    Raise:
    "Here's what I'm gonna do - I'll talk to Sister Sharon, get her side o' things, then the four of us'll, as well as Brothers Jacob and Eleazar have a chat 'bout what you're accusin' her of, an' she gets to make her defense fer all of us t'here." The Dog then shakes his head slowly. "I don't think one o'th'Faithful'd be poisonin' her Compn'y, but she does need t'be supportin' Steward Asher instead o'doin' his job for him. Now, can y'say fairer than Sister Sharon bein' able to put her story forward, an' us Dogs sortin' out the trials an' tribulations you good folk are a-goin' through? I'm thinkin' that there's some truth to what y'all are sayin', but not quite the truth that y'pushin' at me right now. I think you're sore 'bout her tellin' you t'share your food. She was right 'bout that, though. If y'hadn't helped these folks out, there'd not be much Comp'ny left for the Lord's Watchdogs to save, an' y'd do well t'remember that, Brother Bradshaw."
    (Dice: 3, 3)
    (Dice Remaining: 3 3)

    You seemed to be addressing both of them, so I'm letting them both See in addition to Joyelle's Raise. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Bradshaw Hudspeth
    He Gives, taking his 3. He bows out and begins to speak, but is interrupted by Joyelle Hudspeth.

    Joyelle Hudspeth
    She's rolling her trait, "My three children are God's gift to me 1d8" for an 8, and I swear I'm not cheating here. If you guys want good die rolls, totally use Wizards' dice roller, because good lord.


    See:
    "Better men than you have tried to be fair to our Company, Brother Caleb. The King of Life himself saw fit to punish us for no reason, and now He's let that woman take over. He ignores the good Steward, who does nothing but help."

    She's regained most of her composure, taking deep breaths and wiping her eyes, and she pulls away and back to her husband.

    "But if God won't be kind and fair to my children, why does it matter if you are?"

    Nobody will admit it, no one in the crowd - they'll deny it and yell at her and fight for the Dogs - but... they're kind of wondering that, too.

    (dice: 8) Reversing the Blow

    Raise:
    Joyelle hugs her husband, pressing her head to his chest, still eyeing Brother Caleb. "I'm sorry, Brother Caleb. But that's not enough."

    "If God doesn't plan on returning our love, then I don't see why I should obey his will and help these people. Not to be... mean, or anything like that to them, but," she tosses her hair, her necklace polished and perfect, "Maybe we should all find our own way."

    "Unless the King sees fit that Sharon Burns be put where she belongs, as a widow and a mother, and nothing more."

    (dice: 8 5)

    (dice: 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 5)

    - - -

    Eleazar smiled nervously at the strange women. "Yes Ma'am, your pronounced it very well thank you. It's very nice to meet you umm...Ma'am." The strange woman continued to stare right through Eleazar, he started to get nervous, feeling that she could see more about him then he would like. "I surely would like to meet everyone though if you've got the time to introduce me." He looked back, there seemed to be some hullabaloo back in the barn but it seemed in control for now. "You say the Anderson's don't live together though? Pr'aps I better talk to them, see if there is anything they need to work out between themselves. It ain't good to have a husband and wife divided against themselves."

    Sister Sharon nods. "Well, they just don't sleep together. And most of the time, Brother Peter's workin' with me, and Sister Tamar's helpin' out around here. Jus' don't see much of each other. Hard times." Sharon cuts a sly grin - "'Tween us two, though, Mrs. Anderson don't care much for me, I think."

    She shrugs.

    "C'mon upstairs!"

    The schoolhouse is dark, the last bit of sunlight flat against the drawn curtains of the upstairs. Sister Sharon takes a candle and helps Brother Eleazar to a seat.

    This is Sharon Burns' trusty council, only her closest advisors talk to her here. There's Peter Anderson, giddy and smiling; a few Brothers and Sisters from the Watson Company; and three strange, tall men.

    "This here's Captain Tom Blue, this here's 1st-Lt. Hans Gerlach-Saye, and this is 2nd-Lt. James Braxton. They ain't of the Faith per se - Territorial Authority, you know - and I know we don't consort with non-believers in such matters, but they're willin' to learn an' hear of the Faith!"

    Hans Gerlach-Saye slowly turns his head to fix his unblinking stare on Brother Eleazar. The trio are all gripping their knees, knuckles turned white, veins in their neck bulging - yet they still appear very relaxed. He speaks in a soft, "off" way - maybe an accent? - that's a little unsettling. Almost like he's having to think and learn every word before he speaks it.

    "Pleased to meet you, Brother Eleazar. I hope you'll be listening to Sister Burns tonight."

    James Braxton takes a deep breath, his eyes widening.

    The Captain licks his lips before talking. "We're jus' helpin' out as long's the Watson Company's in need of help. We keep our wicked and worldly ways to ourself."

    James Braxton makes a noise with his mouth, like he's trying to hold back too much spit. The three of them look uncomfortable, and Sister Sharon takes over.

    "So they's safe. But, Brother, listen - we've been sort of helpin' out, trying to make sure Steward Asher...," she sighs. "See, the good Steward, he tries - he really does - but he just ain't fit fer it. These people, they recognize me as a good worker, a strong defender o' the Faith, and they know I'm up to it, that I can right what he does wrong."

    She takes to walking slowly around the room, behind everyone, following the circle of attendees.

    "Thing is, Steward Asher? He... he's done taken to unsav'ry tactics to try an' keep his position. Picked up poisoned food to give out, 'cause ol' Lemon had a lot of it and was 'bout to throw it out? Didn't think it'd be so bad, but didn't care none, either. He ain't observin' the Faith - he's just tryin' to stay in charge. An it's got us kinda worried, now that y'all showed up: we jus' don't want y'all backin' him up an' defendin' him and keeping him on as Steward when he's bad for the people! Everyone agrees - the whole Branch - that he'll resort to any means to keep his title, an' he's puttin' us all in jeopardy that way."

    Sister Sharon stops behind Brother Eleazar, and puts her hands on his shoulders, squeezing softly.

    "By the King of Life, Brother - help us out. You an' your friends. It's the right thing to do - make the Steward step down before he hurts someone else."

    robotsunshine on
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Eleazar stares, horrified, at the three Territorial Men. Something about them reminds him of things he saw as a child. He stood up quickly and and moved away from Sister Sharon and her touch.
    "Now y-you shouldn't talk about the Steward that way Sister, least of all in front of these people who ain't of the faith. If he's done something wrong that's for us to decide, not for you. Until then he is your Steward, and you must respect that."
    Eleazar once again glanced nervously at the military men. "And as for these fine young men, well if you want to learn the faith I think it is best you talk to me and Brother Jacob and Brother Caleb. Why don't you come outside and we can go talk to them, just the six of us."

    Neaden on
  • Kay2Kay2 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    (Dice: 3 3)

    Give:
    Brother Caleb raises both hands in defeat, the expression on his face one of sorrow. But it's not for him; it's for the Hudspeths.

    "Sister, if y'think the King o' Life ain't returnin' your love, after all I've said, an' all your teachin's of Scripture, then nothin' else I got t'say is gonna sway y'thinkin'. Maybe we should all find our own way, I see what y'sayin'." The Dog turns, and gestures towards the rest of the people in the Barn, the sick, the sad, the defeated. "I'll look after 'em, wi'my Brothers in the eyes of the Lord, an' you can look after you an' yours. Don't you worry 'bout Sister Sharon, neither. We gotta have a talkin' with her, but that ain't anythin' for you t'be worryin' 'bout anyhow, like y'said."

    One hand is held upwards now, palm facing the Hudspeths, fingers spread in the Sign of the Tree. "E'en though y'don't think He's lovin' ya, the Lord of All Things is gonna be watchin' out for ya, as long as y'believe. An' I think y'all be believin', Brother Bradshaw, Sister Joyelle. You keep your goods an' your counsel. Jus' know that if y'come back to us, an' y'need somethin', we also need somethin' from you."

    With that, Caleb turns from the wealthy, hard-working family, and hastens to join Brothers Eleazar and Jacob - he looks somewhat concerned, as if there's something nagging at his mind, here.

    (Die kept: 3)

    Kay2 on
  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Jacob felt something wasn't right as he walked down the little moonlit road from the barn to the home of Sarah. The moon was pretty low in the sky, in fact it was just low enough that from the front, it was right behind Jacob; for just a moment, it looked like his eyes were glowin' like an animals. Like he had the barred fangs of a dog. There was a whole big mess of trouble in this town, more than seemed right, and it all seemed to be leading in the direction of this Sarah.

    He politely knocked on the door to her house.

    Shinyo on
  • edited April 2009
    The Hudspeths turn to face the barn - dozens of sick and angry faces glaring back at them. People they've wronged, people who starved while they ate well.

    The Hudspeths, they don't sleep very well that night.


    - - -


    ====================
    II. The Wicked in Great Power
    ====================


    "How are thou fallen from heaven, O demons! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"


    - - -


    When the trappers and traders come to the Fort, their hands soiled and bruised, and they do not believe in the Faith, they bring with them worldliness and vulgarity. William Lemon is a proud man, and he consorts with the spirits of his ancestors - that is a sin to our people, but he is his own, and the Branch must be healed before the mountain man can begin to see the light of the Faith.

    Members of the Watson Company won't admit it, but they feel abandoned by the King of Life, and Joyelle Hudspeth's words tonight only reinforced that. They hear tell of spirits and sin, of other religions and other ways of life. They are fading fast from the Faith, besieged constantly by non-believers.

    Hannah Lutz, her body sore and bruised, sits at a table with a company of huntsmen. Her eyelids are heavy, her words slurring. Her pregnant belly bumps up against the table. She laughs and laughs, and pulls the collar of her dress un-fastened - she rolls her sleeves up in mixed company.

    Taking a big gulp from the bottle before her, she looks to one man and says, "Boy, you got some big hands. Bet a... big hands like that, bet they c'n hold a big gun!" She props her cheeks on her fists, her elbows flat on the table. "Sayin' I got a little problem back home, how much'd it take fer you to fix it?"

    The guy isn't sure what she means, but at the same time, he kind of is.

    "How much you'd take, fer-... fer to have, somebody end up missin', from our side? With that big, strong gun of yours?" And the man asks why she would want such a thing (but he doesn't refuse),

    She says, "To make the nightmares stop."

    Inside her, the baby kicks, and she just takes another strong gulp to quiet it down.


    - - -


    The three Territorials stand up in unison, their eyes fixed on Brother Eleazar.

    "Yes. Let's."

    There's a knock at the bottom floor, as Brother Caleb starts to make his way towards the schoolhouse.

    Sister Sharon heads to the window and looks out. "Oh! It's Brother Jacob. Good, he'll be wantin' to hear this too!" She lets the curtains fall back into place, then looks back to the standing Territorials and Brother Eleazar. "Oh, that'd be jus' wonderful! It's so nice to hear of unbelievers willin' to learn more of the Faith."

    Tom Blue cracks his neck, and they all head single file downstairs towards the door.

    Sister Sharon puts a hand on Brother Eleazar's shoulder. "You'll think about it, Brother? I know we should stand behind our Steward, but not if he's wronged us, surely? Please, talk it over with your friends, and come back to us."

    Hans Gerlach-Saye opens the door to see Brother Jacob. He winces, as if the sight causes discomfort, but then quickly regains his composure. His eyes are mostly pupil, very little iris - the white that is there is milky and dark.

    He says, "Brother Jacob. I believe we have to talk."

    robotsunshine on
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