VIII - Darkness and Firelight.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Tamsin River
 player, 184 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R3 B2 L0
Sun 26 Jan 2020
at 12:13
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
At the mention of Tom O’Folliard’s death, Tamsin could have sworn her heart had stopped. For a moment, it felt like nothing around her was real; the feeling passes as quickly as it had come, replaced by a wave of anger that made her jaw clench.

She sat down stiffly, staring into the fire as she listens.
L.G. Murphy
 NPC, 9 posts
Mon 27 Jan 2020
at 00:40
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”I imagine that even being close to the Rail Wars was sufficient to give you a sense of how such conflicts effect innocents that find themselves close to them,” Murphy says.

”Consider the War Between the States. The Jayhawkers and Border Ruffians in Kansas and Missouri. William Tecumseh Sherman laying waste to Georgia. John Morgan raiding through Kentucky. Homes razed. Hundreds who never lifted a weapon killed. It is the same throughout history. Caesar in Gaul. Alexander in Persia. The Crusades. More innocents slain than soldiers.”

He lifts his right hand in a helpless gesture. ”The Rio Bonito Valley is the same, just far older. The power that lays claim to it predates man. It had slumbered for centuries I believe, awakened by the shadows that first crossed the frontier during the war.” He smiles. ”Since Europeans first arrived on these shores, we have believed that we have the right to claim any land that we find, regardless of who, or what, might have called it home before us.”

“I don’t know what she’s called. I’ve since heard the legends from the Apache, the Pueblo, the Comanche and Kiowa. Many of them call her a witch, or the owl witch. Perhaps that’s how she’s chosen to show herself to them, knowing it was something they already fear. I’ve often thought that she was once human, maybe a medicine woman from a much earlier time, that somehow became something greater.”

“I’d heard about the power up in the Capitans. But, contrary to what you might have heard, I didn’t take that wagon train up there to find it. I’ll admit that I was arrogant enough to believe that if the stories were true, perhaps it was something that I could harness for my own use, to use to make my own ambitions a reality. But if it wasn’t, I was ready to find gold in California.”


He exhales a plume of smoke. ”She killed almost everyone. Made it clear who the mountain, and the valley below belongs to. She didn’t spare me outright. She waited until I had damned myself. Until I had transformed myself into a monster in my desperation to survive. Then she snared me.”

“I’ve helped her. Helped her swallow up those that have tried to claim what’s hers. And I’ve benefitted from doing so. But the promises I made to others...Dolan, McDaniels, Jesse Evans, Wrias Raines...I couldn’t give them what I claimed I could. I showed them just enough power to make them believers. But in the end, I’m just a servant. She’s the one who holds the cards.”


He points up the mountain’s slope. ”In about two days, she’ll have gathered all the strength she needs. And anyone who hasn’t left Lincoln will be consumed. Nothing but a ghost town left behind. Like Angus. All their anguish will satiate her. Their deaths will drive others who might try to lay claim to the valley away...for a time. That’s what murdering John Tunstall was all about. There’s nothing like threatening someone’s home, what they’ve worked for for years, to make them dig in. Refuse to leave. So they would be waiting for her to claim.”

He taps the ashes of his pipe into the fire. ”What you’ve been told isn’t wrong. If you can get up there, find her heart, tear it out of the earth, it’ll banish her. Put all of this to a stop. But you won’t. She’ll scatter you to the wind, same as everyone else that’s made the climb. But you can turn around, put all of Lincoln behind you. Make for Texas, Arizona, Old Mexico. Anywhere you please. And you can be long gone when the worst of it comes to pass.”
Kansas Kate
 player, 424 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Mon 27 Jan 2020
at 01:40
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Kansas Kate just smiled at Cooper, and then the Ranger, and made eye contact with anyone else who could see her.  "Yep that's just what we'll do ain't it Ranger?"
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 115 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Mon 27 Jan 2020
at 06:11
VIII - Darkness and Firelight

Dr. Wayland reached his free hand into a pocket to fish around for something.  He gave Kate a mild nod at her knowing look, but it was hard to tell if he was really thinking what she was thinking.  He did speak up, pitching it to join in the conversation with Murphy, "That is verah kind of you to offer us this way out, sah.  Ah do wondah just what we have done to desahve such magnanimity?  Ah mean, your plan seems to be to keep folk heah to be consumed... Yet you would allow such tasty morsels to scampah away?"  His hand found what he sought, withdrawing a small thin package, "Ah find many foods disagree with me as well.  Thus Ah also do my best to avoid them when possible.  Ah also find relief in pepsin chewing gum when it is unavoidable.  Good for the digestion.  Care to try?"  The scientist offered out the pack of pepsin gum sticks to Mr. Murphy after plucking one out for himself.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 249 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Tue 28 Jan 2020
at 04:02
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Jacinta stood slowly, holding her rifle casually in her arms across her body.  For the first time since Murphy's arrival, she spoke.  "I know what it is to be ensnared, to be left with no choices, to be used by those of greater power.  You cling to every little thing that you can control, because it is all you can do, but your life is not your own.  It can be taken from you so easily."

"So, my question to you is this -- do you want to be free, gringo?  Do you want to be liberated from your enslavement?  Or are you still her servant and mean to help her swallow Lincoln whole?"
L.G. Murphy
 NPC, 10 posts
Wed 29 Jan 2020
at 04:21
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”While you’ve been a thorn in my side, you’ve shown great courage in the process, sir,” Murphy replies to Wayland, waving away the offer of gum, ”I’ve always admired daring, even when I was at my most barbaric, and impulsive. Bravery merits consideration.”

He listens to Castillo intently, seemingly considering her words carefully. However, when she finishes speaking, he shakes his head. “Before the witch bound me, my humanity was already lost,” he answers. As though to emphasize his response, he smiles, revealing teeth that are two uniform rows of tightly spaced fangs, like long, rounded daggers. ”If she falls, my ability to live as a civilized man is all I’ll lose. The illusion that I’m human. Even if I wanted to make the climb with you, you couldn’t trust me. Sooner or later, the hunger waiting inside would overtake me.”

He draws his coat around him. ”I’d caution you, though. I’m not the only monster in your midst. One of you is ruled by a dark spirit. A manitou, which could prove all too eager to do her bidding.”

“I came here to give you a choice. To let you decide the path you want to follow. And I have. When the dawn comes, you still have the opportunity to climb back down. To get out. No harm will come to you in leaving Lincoln. If you press on toward High Lonesome...then you’ll reap the consequences of that decision. It’s all in your hands now.”

Jacinta Castillo
 player, 250 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Wed 29 Jan 2020
at 06:40
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Jacinta tipped her hat in acknowledgement and reclaimed her seat, resting her rifle across her knees once more.  "Then I guess we got some thinkin' to do before the sun comes up," she said simply.  Her dark gaze turned to the others, wondering if Murphy spoke the truth, but knowing so little of such matters that she couldn't begin to guess.
L.G. Murphy
 NPC, 11 posts
Wed 29 Jan 2020
at 18:28
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”From here, Lincoln is almost directly due south. From there, you can follow the stage road to Roswell. You can even take Murdock’s stage, if you prefer. No one will harass you. Not the sheriff’s office. Not the House. You’ll be free to leave.”

He points northeast. ”If not, High Lonesome’s about half a day’s ride that way.” He glances at Roberts. ”Can’t believe you’d ever consider going back.”

“Either way, we won’t see one another again.”


Pulling his hat down over his eyes, he steps out of the circle of firelight into the dark tangle of trees westward.
Kansas Kate
 player, 425 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Wed 29 Jan 2020
at 19:02
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
The outlaw chuckled bitterly.

That wasn't Murphy.  Maybe it was in a technical sense, but not really according to her anyway.

And he, it?, was wrong.  They would meet again.

Kansas Kate would be the last thing he ever saw.

Under control of a Manitou her ass.  No spook in Perdition or Parts Unknown was half as hateful as she.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 251 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Thu 30 Jan 2020
at 16:09
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
09:08, Today: Jacinta Castillo drew the single card: 3C using the Deadlands system.  Dooooom.
Bryan Lee
 player, 392 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W0 R4 B1 L1
Thu 30 Jan 2020
at 16:11
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Bryan listened quietly, and waited for anyone else to say their piece or for Murphy to be well out of earshot before he would speak again.

OOC:

If we're supposed to post it here:

09:57, Today: Bryan Lee drew the single card: AH using the Deadlands system.  Card Draw.

Tamsin River
 player, 185 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R3 B2 L0
Thu 30 Jan 2020
at 16:31
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
08:30, Today: Tamsin River drew the single card: KD using the Deadlands system.
Kansas Kate
 player, 426 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 00:14
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Observing the waiting period, Kansas Kate finally commented.

"Buncha god damn bullshit.  As far as okie dokes go that there were a piss poor 'un."  She appended.  "O'Folliard bein' dead, good chance that part's true though."

18:12, Today: Kansas Kate drew the single card: JS using the Deadlands system.
Bryan Lee
 player, 393 posts
 Texas Ranger (20/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W0 R4 B1 L1
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 01:30
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
"The only reason he'd come up here and give us a chance to back out is that they think that we've got a shot at takin' this thing down. As far as monsters and all that, I think he was just trying to find a way to cause division in the ranks."

He rubbed at his nose and gave a sniff. "Goddamn pollen," he muttered under his breath.
Kansas Kate
 player, 427 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 02:10
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
"It's more'n that lawdog.  Why ya think ah let him yammer on 'stead of makin' his noggin' pop like a watermelon with this here scattergun?"  She answered her own question.  "He had no power here 'cept that what we gave 'im.  In fact, mebbe that weren't e'en Murphy.  Mebbe that were some scairt critter ah tryin' ta fend fer itself, what knows we's a comin'.  Usin' what's in our minds 'gainst us."
Marshal
 GM, 662 posts
 W3 R1 B0
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 04:22
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
PM
Albert Cooper
 player, 384 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 08:00
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Albert frowned as Murphy departed, listening to the chatter from his friends as he considered what had been said. It didn't really seem to change all that much in Albert's mind. He did take his hat off and scratch the top of his head for a moment before replacing the fedora.

The cowboy shrugged. "Any of that change any o' yer thinkin?" The cowboy looked around at the posse to see if anyone was inclined to answer.

OOC: While he considered the others, Albert drew what could only be described as a rather poor card.

Nothing good ever came from drawing a four of clubs. Nothing.

23:53, Today: Albert Cooper drew the single card: 4C using a deck of 54 cards.  Pick a card. Aaaaaany card.

Tamsin River
 player, 186 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R3 B2 L0
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 10:23
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
“Well, I went from should do to need to do if that counts,” Tamsin says,  “If that’s what you mean.” Her voice was tense, angry.
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 116 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 03:36
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
The scientist put the offered pack of gum pack into his pocket; un-bothered by the Murphy-thing's impolite non-refusal.  The words that were offered were more interesting...and bothersome.  His own stick of gum was being quietly chewed as he turned back to the others, "No...  It does not altah my thinking...  Ah decided to follow you all up into this desolate place to whatevah horrible, dark end awaits me...  His threats were hardly surprising news."

22:20, Today: Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland drew the single card: 9C using the Deadlands system.  Pick Me!  Pick Me!
Lena Bauer
 NPC, 84 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 03:57
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”All that managed to accomplish for me was to make me mad as hell,” Bauer says. She spits on the ground. ”O’Folliard damn well didn’t deserve that.”
Aileen Kearney
 NPC, 52 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 03:58
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”I’m still makin’ the climb. But if I come back down again, I’m huntin’ Murphy down. Human or not,” Kearney adds quietly.
Shabbakasha
 NPC, 28 posts
 Roving Wolf
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 03:58
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
”Murphy’s heart is corrupt. Conflicted,” Roving Wolf says, ”But the danger he speaks of is real. The mountain will seek to consume us. But each of us, we knew this. We made the journey knowing what we would face.”

“Those that can should rest. We will need all the strength we can find for tomorrow.”


OOC: I’ll leave this open for another day, in case there’s any further discussion that needs to take place. Then I’ll move things forward to sunrise.
Bryan Lee
 player, 395 posts
 Texas Ranger (20/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W0 R4 B1 L1
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 20:47
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
"When we come back down again, Miss Kearney, I'll help you track him down," he said. It was a just mission, and it would be a lot easier this side of the border with a Ranger in tow.
Kansas Kate
 player, 429 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 00:17
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
"Ya'll can hunt 'em down, but ah'm killin' th' sunuvabitch."  Kansas Kate was surprisingly neutral in her tone, like she was reminding them a horse needed four shoes.
Albert Cooper
 player, 385 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 00:37
VIII - Darkness and Firelight
Albert nodded at the responses to his question. Everyone seemed to be determined to take a shot at what seemed to be the root of evil in the area. "Glad ta hear y'all ain't deterred." He looked about. "Those that ain't gotten a full night oughta try ta get some sleep. Double Kay and I can keep lookout."

Albert didn't feel the need to discuss what he'd be doing on the other side of the climb toward this confrontation. He had a suspicion that things might be different enough that it was hard to say what he would or would not do once all the dust had settled.