Chapter 17.3 Two Fools For Sister Sarah.   Posted by Alouette.Group: 0
Alouette
 GM, 1565 posts
 Automaton/Angel
 P4 T8(2) W0 F0 B3 Cha -3
Fri 9 May 2014
at 21:50
Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
[[Songage, naturally.]]

2:30am Holy Saturday, April 12th 1879: Trail to the Circle W


Rain drums on the hood of the hybrid wagon, cackling against the sides with every gust of cold wind blowing off the sea. The water works its way into every seam and crack of contraption and clothing alike; Billy's hair lies slick to his hide, rivulets of rain rolling from the mule's shoulders with every shiver.

The stormy darkness has a strange, thick quality, filled with the rush of rain: it's as though beyond the small, swaying hoop of the wagon's lights is nothing but an empty eternity of cold earth and stunted scrub. The ranch likely to be hit by the vampire showgirls Sarah'd trailed for months - and possibly where that rich widow Elizabeth Bradshaw was to be found, having taken shelter from the Comanche raid with her well-armed neighbour - had to be up ahead somewhere, but the cloudburst cloaked everything in drifts of textured dark.

A few times she'd thought she'd heard wardrums carrying off the low hills, but with the frequent rolling rumbles of thunder it was impossible to tell. Of a sudden, Billy baulks, simultaneously with a cry from the night:

"Hey! Hey, you there! Hold up!"

Sister Sarah
 player, 3 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Sat 10 May 2014
at 10:10
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Sister Sarah looked around into the storm.  She hauled back on Billy's reins, and reached under her seat for a sharpened stake.  "Land sakes, who on earth would be out in this rain?  Come out where I can see you, that's a good boy!"
John Wesley Hardin
 NPC, 2 posts
 Mean Outlaw
 P5 T6 B2 W0 F0
Sat 10 May 2014
at 13:44
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Billy hauls back against being reined in and shakes his powerful head, ears flattened. The large mule had been unusually skittish the whole way here and the thunder didn't help, but he didn't seem to like their visitors.

"Easy there, we're white- well, Christian men. Got hit by Comanch' coming over the ridge from Lago, lost our horses," a wiry, somewhat hunchbacked man hoves into view carrying a saddlebag, looking first at where a shotgun might be levelled, then up to Sarah's eyes. "All sorts o' shit going on out here, hasn't seemed wise to- Hank, will you git over here?"

There's a short pause before a hatless, worried-looking young man appears, makeshift bandages showing through his torn shirt at the shoulder. He seems utterly distracted by the name painted on the wagon's side, to the point of not registering the sister's presence until the lack of conversation prompts him to look over. Hank eases his hand away from his gun. "Sorry."

"Took a lance early this mornin',"
the older man explains his companion's injury. "May we come up? Ain't got but hardtack to share, but I don't know as we'll make it to anywhere civilized alone."
Sister Sarah
 player, 4 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Sun 11 May 2014
at 10:31
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Sarah sighed a bit.  "Y'all better hop on board.  T'aint much, but it's outta the rain some.  Maybe you can even help me.  I hear tell there's a ranch near these parts, run by the Widow Bradshaw?  I need to head that way."
John Wesley Hardin
 NPC, 3 posts
 Mean Outlaw
 P5 T6 B2 W0 F0
Sun 11 May 2014
at 16:57
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
"Only ranch 'round here belongs to Doc Ward - you're lookin' for somethin' that ain't the Circle Wuh you're in the wrong part of Texas," the older man grunts, swinging his bags into the wagon and climbing up. The younger, darker man follows awkwardly, retreating to the back of the wagon and trying to brush the damp from his hair.

"If this widow's rich, though, she might could be pals with Ward,"
the elder continues, installing himself on the edge of the seat beside Sarah - a bit close, but as Sister Sarah takes up most of the board simply being there, he doesn't have much choice. He smells of wet leather and a man who's slept in his clothes a few days.

"If'n we ain't got turned around since sunset you're on the right track, anyhow." He makes a show of leaning to see the ground below them. "There is a track down there," he reassures her, flashing a grin.

"Ma'am..."
the lad in back starts up. He sounds like a Northerner, or more likely from the disputed states: "...would you happen to know a preacher man, 'bout my height, kinda fond of liquor..." he goes on to describe Sarah's father, face to gesture.
Sister Sarah
 player, 5 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Sun 11 May 2014
at 23:01
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
"Why, that sounds jest like my pappy.  He's been dead these last five years, though, so if yer' looking for him yer' a mite late."  Sarah snapped the reins, so Billy would start moving.  "What did y'all say yer names were?"
Hank Miller
 NPC, 1 post
 Angry Young Man
 P5 T5 W0 F0 Cha 0
Mon 12 May 2014
at 00:33
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
"Dead..." the young man mutters, then with feeling: "..damn."

Billy sets off a bit more hurriedly than necessary, weaving a little and causing the wagon to rock a moment before settling.

"Sorry, we didn't - so glad t'git out of this rain, I tell ya...Wesley Clemmons."
The older man offers his hand across for shaking.

The silence from the back becomes conspicuous, surrounded by the tinny drumming of the rain. "I ain't sure how to put this," the youth says, in response to Clemmons twisting to look at him. "That preacher...that man, your Pappy, was th' drunken bull my mamma took a thought to see safely home to his pitch and his kid - musta been you, prob'ly sleepin' like a little angel by then - an', well, she came back pregnant." He pauses, already aware the statement's bizzarre.

"Weren't no...kicking an' screaming, way she told it, but sometimes there ain't."
He leaves off their contrast in colour, tone measured and almost gentle, as though muted through a barrier between him and any pain down there to reach. "I never sought him - Ma moved North and married a good fella, I always had a roof over my head 'til he got tired of my pale ass hangin' 'round - but I swore I'd make him remember Calphurnia Miller if ever our paths came close to crossin'. Never figured on meeting the kid. Thought you'd hie off and go dancin' first chance you got, flee all that fake thunder an' all." There's a pause, then a faint warmth or tinge of mirth to his voice. "Always did picture you as blonde, though. Damn strange way to meet. Damn strange."

There's the sound of the youth cautiously moving up the moving wagon, then an offered hand on Sarah's other side. "Howdy. I'm your bastard brother, Hank."



[[Yep, your Mysterious Past card was "family member". His stats might change a bit as I fiddle, bear with me.]]

Sister Sarah
 player, 6 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Mon 12 May 2014
at 06:12
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Sarah stared for a moment, then took her hand off the reins and shook the offered hand.  "I'm Sarah.  Sister Sarah, of the Holy Carnival and Revival.  My pappy started this business, and I gots to admit, I never expected to see kin.  I thought it was down to jest me and Billy here, and Billy ain't much for conversin'."  She stared into the rain for a moment, then turned to the other man.  "How far did you say it was to this ranch?  Ol' Billy looks near fixin' to get himself a boat!"
Hank Miller
 NPC, 2 posts
 Angry Young Man
 P5 T5 W0 F0 Cha 0
Mon 12 May 2014
at 07:27
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
The young man laughs lightly, pleased at the unexpectedly easy acceptance. His hand is still cold and rain-wet, the grip very firm. Now it's said, he does bear a fair resemblance to their father.

"Old Man Jones'd pitch a foamin' fit if I showed you your negro step-siblings up North, so I guess it is just me."
Hank grins and settles back out of the rain, quietly taking to examining the merchendise.

"Ain't for sure, but I don't reckon we can be much more'n a half-mile from the ranch proper,"
Clemmons returns, squinting into the rain, then points. "See, looks like there's some light way up yonder - must be keeping a vigil 'gainst the Commanch'."

"I like your crosses, sis,"
Hank remarks from the back, rifling in the saddlebags. "Hey, it ever strike you as weird, that we all put gold paint'n fancy on the symbol o' some Jew gettin' lynched up? That's weird to think about."

Clemmons snorts. "Mebbe your Sister Sarah can learn you some respect for religion, kid. Hell ain't half full yet: could be you'd learn to stay out of it."

"Me? Ha."
Hank's scorn's not entirely surprising. "God don't come out here, anyhow. Hey Sarah, you want some hardtack? It's horrible, but I soaked it eatable with whiskey." A tablet of hardtack appears over Sarah's shoulder, waved in offering.

"What on Earth...?"
Clemmons interrupts. There's a series of strange lumps up ahead, lit wetly by the lightning.


[[Notice -2 to identify what on Earth those are.]]

Sister Sarah
 player, 7 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Mon 12 May 2014
at 08:03
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Sarah dropped the reins, and reached under the seat.  In one hand, she pulled out a double-barreled shotgun.  The other pulled out a crude cross, with the bottom part sharpened to a point.

Probably not....

01:01, Today: Sister Sarah rolled 3,-1 using d6-2,d6-2, rerolling max with rolls of 5,1. Notice.

John Wesley Hardin
 NPC, 4 posts
 Mean Outlaw
 P5 T6 B2 W0 F0
Mon 12 May 2014
at 17:28
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
With impressive reflexes Clemmons catches the thrown-down reins before they slide off the seat. Billy turns his ears back and slows, unsure if he's supposed to stop.

"Jesus, woman, if I saw Comanches I'd be shootin' at them!"


Hank, a little bemused to be ignored, sits up and leans forward to peer out front. "What d'you see, Wes?"

Clemmons squints, frowning in perplexity. "Whal, it looks like seven steers...Hell, maybe a bull or two, y'see the horns on that?" He points into the dark. "-Jes' laid out dead around the bottom of a blowed-up steam wagon."

"Reckon they had a crash?"
Hank jokes, though he's got a gun in the hand not full of hardtack.

Clemmons just shakes his head and stares at the inexplicable collection of dead cattle. "Darndest thing..."


[[John Wesley Hardin, rolled 9,2 using d8,d6, rerolling max with rolls of (8+1)9,2. Notice? Wes notices all the things.

Hank Miller, rolled 0,1 using d6-1,d6-1, rerolling max with rolls of 1,2. Notice? Nope, but then he's in back anyway.]]

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:29, Mon 12 May 2014.

Sister Sarah
 player, 8 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Tue 13 May 2014
at 09:09
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
Sarah lowered the shotgun.  The cross, however, never wavered.  "I cain't see nothing in all this rain.  Are there any bodies?  We should give them a right seeing to."
John Wesley Hardin
 NPC, 5 posts
 Mean Outlaw
 P5 T6 B2 W0 F0
Tue 13 May 2014
at 20:18
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
"Not a human corpse that I can see, ma'am. Jes' bull. Well, steer, anyhow."

"Maybe they were blown to atoms,"
Hank suggests uncertainly. Billy plods on, long ears flicking back and forth for any sign of trouble.

"Or the steers really was...aw, Hell!"


As they get close enough to see through the wash, one of the mangled and bloated carcasses raises its head. Bits of skull slide off, plashing wetly into the mud. The rest of the animal remains immobile, but it strikes the travellers at the same moment that the rest of the dead steers have raised their heads around them. Green fire flickers between the shattered horns and bullet-riven skulls.

Then they start speaking in unison.

[[Fear/Nausea (Spirit) check, please, then I'll get to the NPCs..including the most important one.]]


"On͠o̵nt̨l̶ac̨hi͢x́, ͟n͜ima͢n͟ oniqu͘i͡ta͘c̛ ͞s͞e ca͠ba͝ll͘o̸ ͡c͜o̧st̶ic͠.͠ O͡n y҉e̵j͏h͏uan͏ ip͠àn̶ yet̵ia͏y̛a̵ ̧cui̛t͞ia̸y̕aj ҉Mi͠quilist͟li̸,̶ ̧n͜iman on͘ ye͟jh̶uan ̶ǹi̴s̨iu c̀uaj̨to͘ca̶ya͞ c̷ưi͞tiay̸a̶j̕ ̨Mi͢c̸t͘l̷an. Oq͟uinḿacaque͜j ̷pǫde͜r͏ ̡ipan ̢sé nahui̡ pa҉r͡t̢etip͟an͜ ͜i͟n tla͏l͝ticp͞açt̶li ̶p͝a̕r̨á q̶u͢inmicti͝śqúe̕j̕ on̶ ͜t̀ląca̸m̧ej ͞i͘can̸ gueŕr͝as̕,̢ ̨i̸cań a͢p̛i̴s̛tl҉i, ica̶n ̛cu̕a͞lolistli n̷iman̛ ican ̛o͞n tec̕u̵an͝ime̵j͝ ͞y͡o̧lqưe͟j ̕y͘e͢jhuan quisa̷s͝q̷u̶e͟j ́i̵p̵an ͜in͞ ̡t͠l̴ąlticpac̵tl̕i̧ ."
Sister Sarah
 player, 9 posts
 Hellfire preachin'
 P5 T6 W0 F0 R1W1B1 Cha2+2
Wed 14 May 2014
at 00:08
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah

17:08, Today: Sister Sarah rolled 6,8 using d8+4,d6+4, rerolling max with rolls of 2,4. Fear check.

Bane Cow
 NPC, 5 posts
 Uppity Cattle
 P5 T12 F0 Cha 0 Extra
Thu 15 May 2014
at 21:05
Re: Chapter 17.3  Two Fools For Sister Sarah
The dead cattle finish their pronouncement in that weird, ancient tongue, trailing off into silence. Hank's gun clatters as it falls from fear-numbed fingers. Billy quivers. Clemmons has gone pale.

Then the steers' jaws drop open again.

"AAA͟A͟A̶AAAA̵AAA̕AAAAAA͝AAAAA҉A̢AAAAAA̵AA̢A҉AGH̡!

AAA͟A̢A̛AAÀA҉A͞AA͜ÀA҉A̷A҉A͏A͢AA̡ĄAAAA͝AAAA̸A͞AAA͠A͠!!
̶
AAA҉AAA̴AAA͡A͘AAAAA̡A͜A͢AAAA̶AAÁAA͠AAA̛AAAAAH͏H̸H̡!!!"



The screaming is too much for Billy; the big mule makes a thin braying whinny of terror and bolts. He has to go forward since the wagon prevents him turning, which only increases his fear as they bounce past the mad, unalive mutilated heads on the dead bodies within feet of the sound. Clemmons loses his grip on the reins, his curse smashed out against the side of the waggon as he scrabbles not to be thrown clear.


[[Yeeeah, I muffed the modifiers on that, but it's all good - -5 +2 still gives Sarah a sucess. The NPCs...not so much.

John Wesley Hardin, rolled 0,1 using d8-2,d6-2, rerolling max with rolls of 2,3. fear! Eh.
John Wesley Hardin, rolled 4 using 1d6, rerolling max with rolls of 4. red chippit. -> 5. He nearly loses it, but he's all right.

Hank Miller, rolled 1,0 using d8-2,d6-2, rerolling max with rolls of 3,2. fear! Hank does not like!

Now to the most important one...

22:07, Yesterday: Alouette, for the NPC Billy, rolled -2 using 1d6-4, rerolling max with rolls of 2. fear! Panickin' mule!

John Wesley Hardin, rolled -1,-1 using d4-2,d6-2, rerolling max with rolls of 1,1. Drivin'! ...I'll rule he's dropped the reins (reins, people, reigning is what the Queen does </peeve>) and give you an Agility -2 to catch them here, then a chance to make a Driving roll, also at -2 (lots of rapid action, with a shotgun and cross to put down somewhere), 'cause the Collision rules are mean.]]