A Fistful of Ghost Rock

Independence, at last
Tuesday, June 23rd, 1879

Waking up to the sound of the wagon train waiting on them, the posse gathered their belongings (including Tim Sullivan, who is possibly considered such) and made their way onward. Considering the prior events of their travels, the journey to Independence was largely uneventful.

Arriving at the town, they were left to fend for themselves. As Pat bee-lined for the local tavern, Old Henry attempted to get orders from Smith and Robards, Jed began building his church redemption pavilion blessed outhouse tent, and Tsura began looking for orphans to save.

Meeting Adam Townsend, the local sheriff Marshal, the group learned that their taking over an alleyway was not much appreciated. Going to town hall, they then purchased the deed to the empty Augustus Building that was next door, with Jeb itchin’ to turn it into a church, and Tsura wanting to build a partial orphanage. Compromise did not go well.

Going to the market the next day to gather supplies, Jed was unfortunately the victim of an attempted pickpocketing. However, unknown to the members of the Bradbury Gang that accosted him, he had the power of heaven on his side. As well as a teleporting, hatchet-wielding old cuss, an accomplished gunslinger, and a huxter.

As the Bradbury gang members were carted off, the Sheriff thanked them for their efforts in not trying to hurt them too badly; he had been wanting to arrest them for quite a while now, and this time they couldn’t get away with their antics.

Rejecting the offer of the Pacific Fur Trading Company for the hide of the Wolf of Sweetwater, the party negotiated a deal with Tobias Yeager, earning them a pretty penny.

Following a few rumors (note to Marshall: never again be subtle with plot hooks), they made their way to the Astoria Mine, learning from Sam Dorian that recently there had been quite a few cave-ins, with a large number of the Welsh miners suspecting that the Tommyknockers had left the mine, preventing them from using the early warning system.

Convinced that the problem was simply a structural instability in the mine, Old Henry led the posse in, convinced that there would be easy money made.

As they went through the shifting tunnels and heard the cracking and knocking of stone, they realized they were wrong. Also, they realized that this gaming group is possibly not mature enough to have an enemy named “Knockers”. Yes. The jokes went there. .

Learning that the funbags Tommyknockers were sensitive to sound, the fight that ensued was chaotic and deafening, with Old Henry chucking his dynamite like there was no tomorrow. Despite the manitous attempting to, well, pretty much dig a ditch for Tsura, she was able to pull out a massive arcane blast that destroyed the Tommyknocker King, allowing them to escape the mine with the last survivor, and put an end to the Tommyknocker (giggle) menace in the mines.

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Settin' on to Victor's Point
Trouble with the lawless and the law.

Saturday, June 21st, 1879

Awakening to a day that didn’t involve rain, the posse ate some breakfast and began working their way down the trail with the Buxley Co. wagon train to the next stop in their trek, Victor’s point. Hearing the distinct sound of bees, Tsura alone was willing to take the risk of gathering honeycomb… thankfully for her, Jed was more than gracious enough to provide medical assistance in the aftermath.

Continuing on the trek the posse reminisced about their past: Jeb spoke of the first love of his life, the fiery-haired Emma Rose, who succumbed to tuberculosis. Tsura spoke of the love she shared , only to have her ripped away by the vampires that had taken her arm. Jeb revealed his anger at jazz singers for stealing away his beloved.

And Pat revealed that he wished that damn dog Red Eye coulda’ swum.

Stopping for some grub, Buxley realized that Samantha Donnovan had gone missing. Remembering their promise (that totally wasn’t given to them in exposition by a Marshal who forgot a plot hook) to keep an eye on her, they found tracks of her and her horse, being lead away by other footsteps.

Coming upon a clearing, they were able to find members of the 33rd Virginia, led by Corporal James “Six Fingers” Carston. They were holding Sarah hostage, with the clear intent that they wanted to make sure they could take liberties with her. Springing into action, the posse was able to quickly dispatch the 33rd Virginia, leaving only the youngest of their group, Tim Sullivan alive. Jed began his forced servitude preaching of redemption of Tim, while Old Henry took the liberties of making the distinguishing marks of Six Fingers Carston more portable (by way of hatchet).

Having saved the honor of Sarah and gaining a new recruit, they continued with the wagon train until they reached Victor’s Point, and moved straight as a rail towards the saloon. It was at this time that the Sheriff of Victor’s Point barged into their hard-earned rest, demanding that the posse come with him.

It seems that a member of the 33rd Virginia was accusing the posse of unjustified murder, and that Sarah had agreed to a sum of $10 to “entertain” them. As she protested, the Sheriff pointed out that her purity was not in question; her actions with Max Donnovan were known even here.

However, the eyes of Pat Weaver were sharp as ever for trouble; as he sat eating his spaghetti, he noticed, off the reflection of the bar mirror, that rifles were pointed at their backs. Calling the Sheriff out on his cowardly ways, the resulting shootout left the last few members of the 33rd Virginia slain, as well as the Sheriff, and a barrel of ’45 Kentucky whiskey.

Self-appointing himself as the new Sheriff, the Barkeep explained that Carston was actually the former Sheriff’s brother; there had been talk that the Sheriff was going to give him immunity in Victor’s Point in exchange for support of taking over the town, a gateway to Independence. In thanks for getting rid of the cowardly Sheriff, he used the opportunity to dispense the whiskey from his improperly functioning barrel; and the Old Henry managed to make some friends by giving everyone a free round.

Settling in for the night, they prepared for the next leg of their journey; to the safety and civilization of Independence, Missouri.

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Trouble in Sweetwater
A storm's a-brewin'

Wednesday, June 18th, 1879

As a slight drizzle began coming down, the Buxley Co wagon train rolled into Sweetwater, a stopping town that owed it’s existence to bein’ a day’s travel from Victor’s Point further on the trail.

As the wagons rolled in, a blast of smoke came from the house of the recently deceased Wesley Connor, as Old Henry discovered that, no, the young inventor’s work did not meet the Smith and Robards strict manufacturing requirements (yet alone safety complaince).

Stepping out, he met the reverend Jedediah Green, gunslinger-for-hire Pat Weaver, and the gypsy Tsura Kalderash. As the storm seemed to be getting worse, Mr. Buxley suggested that the wagon train stay in town for the night, to which everyone agreed: it would be hard enough to get through to Cartersville without having to drive the train through fresh mud.

They were then approached by Max Donnovan, the mayor of Sweetwater, who had a bit of a conundrum; the local judge, Robert Samuelson, had been stirring up trouble against an Indian who was living in the town. By his reckonin’, Red Bear was responsible for the storms, and as such, the murders of the livestock that occurred at night. Donnovan wanted someone to put the judge’s mind at ease, and was willing to give a nice little purse to anyone who could figure out what was disturbin’ the peace.

The posse went immediately to the stables to find the caretaker of the town’s livestock, which happened to be none other than Tom Donnovan, the mayor’s son. Speaking to the preacher, Tom let on that he knew more than he wanted to tell about the happenin’s at the barn… and, when faced with the sight of Weaver’s six-shooters, he fessed up: he’d been rollin’ in the hay with Samantha Samuelson, the judge’s daughter.

Never one to let the redemption of a youth slip him by, Green immediately organized a wedding. During the festivities, Tsura consulted with the Manitous, finding out that Samuelson had a bit of a grudge against Red Bear; his wife had left him for the Indian years ago.

As everyone woke from the last night’s revelry, they awoke to screaming. Thinking that another one of the livestock had been murdered, they went outside to see the body of Tom Donnovan in shreds. Outrunning the cries for a hangin’, the posse took Red Bear and brought him to the barn, fixin’ on getting the truth. Red Bear stated that he had indeed been summoning spirits, but only because someone else was trying to bring in some bad mojo into the town. As the mob rushed the barn, he handed Henry a talisman, telling him that it would lead them to evil.

Defusing a lynchin’ (by way of some teleportin’, storm-callin, telekinesis, and hidin’ behind a barn door), the group was able to convince the mob that Red Bear should have a fair trial, with “Henry S Knocklebocker, Sir, Esquire, Ph. D” as his attorney (and most likely smartest man in town).

Diggin’ up evidence, they found that Red Bear was, for the most part, a favored member of the community before Samuelson started raisin’ fits about him. And after talkin’ to his daughter and a chat with a Manitou, the group became convinced that Judge Samuelson had a lot to gain by Tom’s death, now that Samantha would be inheriting the Donnovan cattle.

However, a thunderous boom of lightnin’ unsettled the posse, and suddenly Red Bear’s talisman started twitchin’ like a jumping bean in a fryin’ pan. Rushing outside into the storm, they saw what had to be the largest wolf they had ever seen trying to break into it.

What they failed to see, however, was the pack of normal wolves that came with it.

As lead and spells started flyin, and blood washed onto the mud, eventually the posse stood victorious. However, the talisman still was twitching, so they followed it right up to Samuelson’s house, Max Donnovan in tow.

Breaking open the door, Judge Samuelson turned around, breaking his neck in the process, as whatever demon was possessing him revealed itself. Throwing more lead (and a large, telekinetically-propelled frying pan) at the problem seemed to fix it. Donnovan asked the group to keep the Judge’s possession a secret, and to agree to take Samantha to Independence.

Making their way back to the saloon, the group exposed the source of the evil, and, with the rousing speech given by Pat Weaver, they found security in the midst of their chaos; for they knew, that when evil rose it’s head, they were there to take it down.

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