X - High Lonesome.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Albert Cooper
 player, 431 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B4 L0
Mon 8 Jun 2020
at 23:22
X - High Lonesome
Albert took off his hat and straightened his hair a bit as he was addressed. Just felt right somehow. The cowboy nodded at the accusation while holding his beat-up old hat in his left hand. "That I can, ma'am. And we will take any help we can get."

Somewhere inside of Albert there was some amount of joy as it seemed that magic bullets might be part of the answer.
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 134 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Tue 9 Jun 2020
at 14:22
X - High Lonesome
Dr. Wayland was, by now, at least at the doorway to Owl Mother's house.  He had leaned his lightning gun against the wall so he could pull his little notebook and pencil.  He scribbled a bit, muttered a bit, crosses out a bit...muttered excitedly and scribbled a bit more.  He paused suddenly, tapping the pencil against his forehead, "Tallow... fat...  Hot?  Heat... Butcher... slaughter?... hmm..."
Owl Mother
 NPC, 3 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2020
at 18:57
X - High Lonesome
The Owl Mother motions for Cooper to approach her. Turning the weaving in her lap over, she draws up one corner of the cloth to show the gunfighter. On the woven cloth, Cooper sees a pair of symbols; one is a black arrow, the shaft of which is jagged a like a lightning bolt; the other is a white arrow with a wide shaft, marked with regularly spaced vertical lines.

”Carve these on your bullets,” the Owl Mother instructs, ”But be wise in your use of them. They will do great harm to Murphy and others that carry his curse. But to anyone else, they will be little more than wasp stings.”

OOC: Cooper would prepare rounds etched with the two symbols in the same manner that he would craft any other bullets with his Shootist edge. The Power Point cost for each round is 2.

Against a wendigo, such bullets inflict 3d6+2 damage and are AP 3. Any wendigo struck with one must make a successful Vigor roll or take 2d6 burning damage on the following round. The additional damage will continue until a successful Vigor roll is made.

Against any other target, the bullets only inflict 1d4 damage and have no armor piercing properties.

Note that if carved on a rifle cartridge, the initial damage would be 3d8+2. The burning damage and damage versus non-wendigo targets would remain the same.

Shabbakasha
 NPC, 39 posts
 Roving Wolf
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 01:27
X - High Lonesome
Outside, Bauer approaches the families that have been watching the riders' arrival with curiosity. Bridges follows her. Falling into her role as a keeper of the law, she introduces herself with a smile, assuring those that have gathered that she and her companions mean no harm. She is quickly met with questions about the posse's journey and the state of the outside world.

Shabbakasha gazes at the adobe hut in silence for several moments. Then, turning his attention to Kansas Kate, he says simply, "You should go and speak to her."
Owl Mother
 NPC, 4 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 01:27
X - High Lonesome
Having given Cooper the symbol that can aid him, the Owl Mother shifts her piece of weaving, showing the gathered riders its center. Woven in the middle of the blanket's blue field is a spherical knot of thorn bearing vines, the strands the color of sand.

"My sister's heart," she explains, "By now, it is likely black, like coal. But its shape will remain the same."

"Murphy keeps it with him. He hides at the home he has made for himself. He has many men. Men who believe he will give them wealth and power."

Kansas Kate
 player, 483 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W3 R2 B1 L#
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 01:57
X - High Lonesome
Having sorted the details of her bomb plot, Kansas Kate nodded, she hadn't intended to ignore the strange figure, she just figured she wasn't the best person to make introductions.

Putting herself where she wanted to be, she pushed through and asked the Owl Mother without asking.  "That helps with' a' hurtin' him, but he got some bad mojo.  I want his ass ta stay dead."
Bryan Lee
 player, 435 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R1 B1 L1
Sun 14 Jun 2020
at 12:27
X - High Lonesome
The Ranger listened calmly, patiently to the story woven by the Owl Mother, and the advice she gave for dealing with this...wendigo.

"We thank you for this advice and information. I suppose we can manage to shove some tallow down his throat, retrieve your sister's heart, and bring it back up here to her. When we return, is there something you can share that will aid in safe passage getting back here?"
Albert Cooper
 player, 433 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B4 L0
Sun 14 Jun 2020
at 17:28
X - High Lonesome
Albert approached when the Owl Mother beckoned him forth, and he studied the symbols carefully, memorizing every little aspect of the runes. He nodded at her instructions. "Thank you. Thank you so very much. We will make good use of this." Or die trying. That was always the way with these things.

Albert was looking forward to a bit of a break when this was all over. In the mean time, the answer to some part of their issue seemed to be magic bullets. This certainly energized the gun wizard.

He did listen to the rest of it in case he was needed to perform any part of the tallowing or retrieval.
Owl Mother
 NPC, 5 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2020
at 17:17
X - High Lonesome
The Owl Mother studies Kansas Kate for a moment. “The tallow. When it is poured down his throat, Murphy will be no more.”

“When I am finished talking with your friends. I would ask that you remain here, for a time,”
she tells the outlaw, ”I need to speak with you alone.”

She returns her attention to Lee. ”Once you have my sister’s heart in your possession, you will have nothing to fear from the mountain. You will be able to come and go freely. Nothing that is here will harm you, even after you have returned the heart to its place.”

Her expression becomes sorrowful as she surveys the gathering. “I am sorry that you must do this thing. That there are those that make war a necessity. But I am truly thankful for your courage. For your willingness to protect others who cannot protect themselves.”
Marshal
 GM, 747 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Sun 21 Jun 2020
at 01:39
X - High Lonesome
Bridges appears at the door of the hut, as if he had been called there by the Owl Mother. ”If y’all wouldn’t object, there’s some of us that have got together to scare up a proper supper for you. And between all of us, we’ll find a place for each of you to sleep, if you want to do that before riding back to Lincoln.”

Provided they are willing, he leads the riders to one of the homes on the far side of the circle, from which they catch the tempting scent of baking bread and simmering food.

Only Kansas Kate remains behind, as requested by the wizened woman with the weaving.
Owl Mother
 NPC, 6 posts
Sun 21 Jun 2020
at 01:40
X - High Lonesome
When the last of the riders have departed, the Owl Mother sets her weaving down and regards Kansas Kate with her dark eyes. ”Siobhan,” she says, ”do you want to remain as you are, with one foot in each world? Or do you want to be among the living once more?”
Kansas Kate
 player, 488 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Sun 21 Jun 2020
at 03:04
X - High Lonesome
Kansas Kate looked at the Owl Mother with genuine horror.

Her hair had been lighter as a child, she remembered.  She still had her dark brown eyes, but they were vibrant and lively, not evil and cold.

Six Year Old Siobhan Miller, pre-Kansas Kate:
"Mommy no!"


The plea fell on deaf ears.  Tilly Miller had gotten her hands on, of all the damn things in this world, a genuine hickory walking cane that some fool had managed to break in half.  How that happened is a mystery to never be solved, and one not relevant to little Siobhan as she feels it come down on her.

It hurts.  It hurts a lot.  It hurts as much emotionally for Mommy to hit you with it as it does physically.

Tilly Miller, still settling in to her addiction:
"Shut up Siobhan you little whore!  I am so tired of you!"


The broken implement rises and falls twice, each impact hitting with a sickening thud.  One of the other 'soiled doves', one with a heart anyway, would sneak in the room after the laudunum took Tilly Miller out and take the little girl to a doctor.  She'd need stitches, and her wrist was broken too.  That prostitute would also steal $15 from Tilly Miller's not-so-secret stash, but little Siobhan would never say a word.

The present day Kansas Kate does not stand there and take it however.

"YEeeeeeAAArgh!"

The outlaw kicked a small clay pot, which pulverized it into dust.  The interior was mostly saved because there's not much to interact with here in an immensely satisfying way.

"Don't ya call me that.  Don't no one call me that!  Not no more.  It ain't mah name no more, an it ain't been fer a coon's age."

If her heart still beat, it would be pounding right now, but even without it Kansas Kate was wound up emotionally.

Owl Mother:
”Siobhan,” she says, ”do you want to remain as you are, with one foot in each world? Or do you want to be among the living once more?”


But talk about mood whiplash.  Kansas Kate began to laugh, that bitter, hollow, mocking laugh of hers.  That laugh which her raspy, smokey voice made terrible.

"What ah want?  What ah want?"

She rasped some more.

"Ain't nobody give no damn 'bout what ah want.  Ah'm here cuz yer ornery kin, an' ah ain't count you as one of th' devils, yer just too alien to th' concept of good 'n evil as men see it, cuz there ain't no sech things nohow cept for what ya make up fer yerself.  What ah want is meaningless.  Mah life was meaningless.  Mah existence now, is meaningless.  The lives and decisions of everyone you seen ta-day, they don't amount to white crust on a dog shit.

"Ah already seen it.  Ah seen what's beyond th' pale, what's at th' end.  There ain't no good in it, there ain't even just nothin', because just nothin' would be a mercy.  No, this universe don't have no mercy.  No matter what ah ever done, this is how it ended.  They done showed me good."

She shook her head, her tone changed yet again, this time to sincere, and as least abrasive as she ever got.

"Ya think ah didn't try?  Ya think ah don't wish it could be diff'rent?  Ah tried everythin' ta make it diff'rent, but it ain't never no diff'rent.  What in the hell are ya'll gonna do against that?  An' why me?  They's better people'n me what winds up dead 'fore their time, or at least innocent ones.  Ah'm a piece of shit and th' very right hand of the Devil.  Me bein' alive again, that would just lead to more evil in the world.  Ya, ah'm evil now, but ah'm evil by nature, that don't really count, there ain't no choice no more.  Why help me even if ya could?"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:06, Sun 21 June 2020.

Bryan Lee
 player, 437 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R1 B1 L1
Tue 23 Jun 2020
at 04:12
X - High Lonesome
Once they were all gathered back where the aforementioned supper was, excepting the company of Kansas Kate who had remained behind at the Owl Mother's request, the Ranger looked at the rest of the gathered folks that he had ascended with.

"I think that as we go forward with whatever plan we've got, we're gonna need a little more help. My recommendation is that we head over to the Tunstall Ranch and speak with Mr. Bonney and the Regulators. I have a feeling it won't be as hard to persuade them of the need to come and help us deal with Murphy."
Albert Cooper
 player, 438 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B4 L0
Tue 23 Jun 2020
at 04:22
X - High Lonesome
Albert nodded. "I mostly agree. More help we can get the better. So long as we can trust they won't try ta take the power of the heart fer themselves." He looked around at those in their immediate vicinity. "It's not that they ain't mebbe great allies. Jus' every person we add ta our circle, well, that heart needs ta end up back where it needs ta end up. And it's got power. And power corrupts."
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 135 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Wed 24 Jun 2020
at 03:57
X - High Lonesome
Dr. Wayland finished scribbling in his notebook as everyone stepped outside.  Note pad away.  Lightning gun back in hand, he draws out the key to span the clockworks again so that the system can continue to charge.  "Well, if we prove able to destroy Murphy and find this heaht," began the Doctor, helpfully,"Suhely we would be able to do the same to any foolish enough to attempt to make use of said powah."
Tamsin River
 player, 214 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W0 R4 B2 L0
Wed 24 Jun 2020
at 10:54
X - High Lonesome
”The heart needs to go back where it belongs,” Tamsin agrees. ”If we find it, maybe I should guard it, so to speak. From the Regulators, anyways, if necessary. People generally don’t want to kill the healer, and if that’s what it takes to get the heart it might deter them.”
Owl Mother
 NPC, 7 posts
Thu 25 Jun 2020
at 03:31
X - High Lonesome
The Owl Mother regards Kansas Kate with earnest compassion. ”Perhaps I see possibilities within you that you yourself cannot. Perhaps I am not convinced that all of your existence will be devoted to destruction.”

“No matter what I see, what I offer to you is real. If you wish to walk among the living again, you may. Should you choose life, I believe you will possess a wisdom, an understanding that very few are able to take hold of. It is impossible not to be changed when one tastes death, then life again.”

Kansas Kate
 player, 490 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Thu 25 Jun 2020
at 23:28
X - High Lonesome
Kansas Kate listened, and after a long, silent moment answered.  "Well, ah ain't never been one ta like doin' what some feller done told me.  An' that includes mah little ghosty friend.  How do ah make it move out, granny?"
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 37 posts
 Buckshot
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 15:43
X - High Lonesome
”I think you all are well aware that me and the Regulators haven’t always seen eye to eye,” Roberts says, ”but I don’t really see them bein’ much interested in the heart. Those boys want what happened to John Tunstall made right. And they might jump to conclusions here and there. But there’s not a one of ‘em who want to turn into the kind of monster Murphy is.”
Lena Bauer
 NPC, 94 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 15:44
X - High Lonesome
”I can’t say that all the law in Lincoln is clean,” Bauer offers, ”but some of ‘em can be trusted. I’m sure I could round up the honest ones to help with the fight.”
Owl Mother
 NPC, 8 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 15:44
X - High Lonesome
The Owl Mother extends her withered hands to Kansas Kate. ”You take my hands. And you trust me,” she answers.
Kansas Kate
 player, 491 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 23:19
X - High Lonesome
Kansas Kate looked at the strange being critically, but judged she could whump her ass if she tried anything, especially if she already had her hands in a grip.

"All right, this better be good."
Marshal
 GM, 748 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Thu 2 Jul 2020
at 01:14
X - High Lonesome
The old woman's grip is surprisingly firm. The Owl Mother gazes intently at the outlaw for a moment, before saying simply, "Murphy...he had no right to take you from this world."

Suddenly, Kansas Kate is in the darkened schoolhouse, the last shots of Murphy's henchmen echoing through the small space, the scent of gunsmoke and her own blood filling the outlaw's senses. She is tumbling to the floor, fighting to keep her grip on life with every bit of fleeting strength she can find. Crimson pools beneath her and she is able to get one last glimpse of Murphy, his stony features bearing an expression of disgust.

And then pain, pain greater than even the wounds that stole her life, fills Kansas Kate's chest, her vision going white as her withered heart somehow surges to life again, the lifeless tissue straining to cast off its former atrophy. Blood and warmth invade the outlaw's limbs and she draws in a deep breath, suddenly aware that she has only needed air in recent days to lend strength to her voice.

Somewhere within her, something rabid and inhuman lets out a piercing shriek, a monstrous protest at being forced from its newly claimed vessel. Kansas Kate feels it abandon her, clawing at some hidden place within her as it is torn free. As it departs, it carries the last of the cemetery cold with it, loosening the last of death's hold on the outlaw completely.

And then Kansas Kate is in the hut again, her hands still held by the Owl Mother. Her breath calms. Her heart slows to an even rhythm. And she is alive.
Kansas Kate
 player, 492 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 03:03
X - High Lonesome
That was a jolt.  There are many motions to living, but they usually go on automatically so they are not considered, but when the whole apparatus restarts at once, it's quite painful.  When there is suddenly blood pressure where there was none a moment before, interesting things happen.

She fell, wheezed, coughed.  When she sat up at last and looked up at the Owl Mother, she began to weep.  No weep was too weak a word.  Her body wracked and convulsed with the sobs.

Siobhan Miller had just stopped crying at some point.  She wasn't sure if she'd been eleven or fourteen or if she'd just stopped all at once or it had just gradually tapered away.  And now it all came out at once.  All of it.  Everything her mother'd done to her.  Everything her mother'd become.  That time she wanted to cry for abandoning her mother.  That time she wanted to cry when she learned her mother was dead.  All the times she'd been afraid.  All the times she'd hurt someone else.  Anything, everything, it all came out at once.

The Owl Mother didn't stand a chance.  Kansas Kate leaned forward on her legs, grabbed them and wept a river.
Owl Mother
 NPC, 9 posts
Tue 7 Jul 2020
at 03:46
X - High Lonesome
The Owl Mother is silent for a long time, holding Kansas Kate as though the outlaw were her grandchild, broken by the cruelty of the world and in need of shelter and comfort. She is unhurried, content to give Kansas Kate all of the time she requires, aware that the outlaw’s weeping is the outpouring of countless wounds of the soul, which have lain dormant for years beneath an all consuming rage.

After a time, the Owl Mother speaks quietly, a kind smile on her lined face.”I am so glad you did not choose to remain in shadow. You are meant to be here. Among those who are living.”

“Life...it has given you little reason for faith. But what follows, it can be different than all that has come before.”