XI - The Valley.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Marshal
 GM, 750 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Wed 8 Jul 2020
at 15:13
XI - The Valley
The families of High Lonesome take the time to gather food among them, ensuring that the riders have meals for the ride back to Lincoln. Morning bathes the mountain village in a hazy light, the cold air filled with the scent of pine and wildflowers. The Owl Mother emerges from her humble dwelling, watching as the group makes ready to depart. ”We’ll be prayin’ for you,” Bridges tells the posse, looking up at each of them with concern, ”I hope we see all of you again real soon. You’re always welcome.”

The ride back down the Capitan Pass proves uneventful, but provides little opportunity for rest for the riders. Once the group have put High Lonesome behind them, they find the mountain trail just as dark as it was during their ascent. The silence among the tall trees is broken occasionally by the noise of hushed movements, branches snapping and loose rocks falling, displaced by things unseen shifting through the shadows. Despite the pervading sense that they are not alone, nothing ever emerges to threaten the posse, the hidden presences seemingly content to merely watch the group’s passage from the gloom.

The riders reach Lincoln an hour before dawn. The town’s Main Street is still, the stores and businesses that line it mostly dark, their owners not having yet risen to meet the day. There are exceptions: Light pours out of the barn at the Ellis Store, where Ike Ellis and his hands have already begun the care of the horses entrusted to them. Across the street, lantern light glows within the first floor of the Patron House, where Renata Montano and her family prepare breakfast for their guests. For a brief moment, the flash of a match provides a short lived gleam on the porch of the Courthouse, where a lone figure lights a cigarette as they watch the thoroughfare. The only other illumination comes from L.G. Murphy’s store, dim yellow light spilling from the windows that flank the entrance.

Entering the town from the west, the riders note one other matter of interest: the front door and windows of the Thornton-Curry Saloon have been hastily boarded up. As the group regards the vacant barroom in the pre-dawn dark, a lone horseman emerges onto the street from behind the Torreón, moving toward the Courthouse at a slow trot.
Kansas Kate
 player, 495 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Thu 9 Jul 2020
at 01:54
XI - The Valley
Whoever the hell came out of that hut with her eyes wet and clean streaks down her dusty cheeks from all the tears looked like Kansas Kate, but sure as hell didn't act like Kansas Kate.

The troupe was "treated" to the dubious presence of a ridiculously sunny woman who had taken to singing in the saddle and laughing and pointing at everything like she'd never seen it before, like they'd taken in an idiot girl.

The singing... well, it wouldn't be fair to call it good, in any way, but it massively, massively improved quickly at least, and it might be the better end of the bargain to listen to the singing over her talking.

Kansas Kate did have a raspy voice, but normally she really leaned into it and grudgingly spat out out her words, chewing on them, talking in the lowest register her physiognomy would support.  It was purposeful to make her speech sound as unpleasant as possible, but also effortlessly so, for she'd been doing it for so long.  That habit would be hard to break, though singing, which stretched syllables and put them to rhythm, accelerated the process and made her sound more like, well, herself.

"From this valley they say you are going.
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while.

So come sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
Just remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy that has loved you so true.
"

But there was no singing once she saw town, in fact she cut off right in the middle of Green Grow the Lilacs.  She saw some problems.  She wasn't happy for one damn minute, it was like a vacation for the posse.

"We should stop that feller a headin' over ta th' Courthouse."  Her speaking voice, still more harsh, had a warmth to its tone never heard before.  The way she said that, she wanted to stop him to give him a hug or a puppy or a piece of chocolate cake. "An' go check on some folks quicker'n a snake falls out of a gunny sack open at both ends, ah wonder what mustah happ'n'd round here."
Marshal
 GM, 752 posts
 W0 R2 B2
Sat 11 Jul 2020
at 23:16
XI - The Valley
The rider glances at the gathering, perhaps silently gauging whether any part of the group might mean him harm. Apparently satisfied that all is well, he nods at them, then guides his mount over to the courthouse porch. There, the lone figure that the posse observed smoking steps over to the horseman, the glint of a badge on his coat briefly visible. The two begin conversing quietly, the rider gesturing toward the boarded up saloon as they speak.
Albert Cooper
 player, 444 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B4 L0
Sat 11 Jul 2020
at 23:25
XI - The Valley
Albert enjoyed the ride back. He even tried to engage double-kay in some conversation as they returned, though she seemed rather intent on the singing. Perhaps later.

The Lincoln native frowned a bit as the posse rode back into town. It seemed quiet. Too quiet. Of course it was before dawn when they arrived. So maybe it was the appropriate amount of quiet. The gun wizard had etched the special rune in the bullets of his posse-mates who had wanted them, keeping one for himself. Hopefully they could find the wendigo with relative ease and end his evil. Though nothing ever seemed easy these days.

Albert looked about and nodded at the suggestion from double-kay, but he didn't immediately move to do anything. Rather he looked over at Bauer who had legal standing in these parts. "Whaddya think, deputy?" Albert lived around here, but Bauer had roots in these parts. She should understand the pulse of the town.
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 138 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Mon 13 Jul 2020
at 00:35
XI - The Valley

At Kate's suggestion that the man on his way to the courthouse, Dr. Wayland helpfully brushed back his long coat tail to put his hand to his pistol.  One of his pistols.  The normal looking one that he seemed to draw whenever lesser amounts of firepower were called for.  He paused himself from drawing it though as Cooper queried the Deputy.  It did seem polite to wait for legal sanction before he began shooting...
Lena Bauer
 NPC, 95 posts
Tue 14 Jul 2020
at 00:46
XI - The Valley
”I don’t recognize either one of ‘em. Never seen the fella with the star before in my life,” she tells Cooper.

She prompts her horse forward, guiding it at a slow walk over to the courthouse porch. The rider and the man with the badge turn to look at her as she draws near.

”I’m guessing you’re Deputy Bauer,” the tall man on the porch says, ”I’m glad to see you’re alright. I’ve been concerned about you. From what I’ve heard, you’re one of the best deputies Lincoln has.”

”I appreciate that, sir. I had some business elsewhere in the county,” Bauer answers, ”If you don’t mind asking, who would you be?”

The tall man smiles. “Well, I’d be your new Sheriff, Deputy,” he replies.

Claire Ramsey steps out onto the porch of Ramsey’s Restaurant, reaching up to light the lantern beside the entrance with a match. She pauses, studying the street and those gathered there with a pensive expression, then hurries back inside.
Albert Cooper
 player, 446 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B4 L0
Tue 14 Jul 2020
at 19:48
XI - The Valley
Albert moved with Lena as she approached the new Sheriff. He nodded at the response - the badge did make it somewhat apparent. "Howdy, Sheriff. I'm Albert Cooper." Albert hoped that would spur on some more talking.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 295 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W5 R2 B7 L0
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 05:39
XI - The Valley
Jacinta was watchful on the way back down the mountain, but was pleased when nothing stopped them from reentering Lincoln.  The quiet town was unnerving.  She stopped her horses along with the others, rifle resting on her knee.  While a few went to meet the new mystery sheriff, she stayed atop her mare, eyeing Murphy's store in search for signs of life.

"Almost like someone's expecting a fight,"
she murmured.
Bryan Lee
 player, 438 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R1 B1 L1
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 14:20
XI - The Valley
"Ah, there's a new Sheriff in town. Well, I like to make my introductions to the local law when I'm operating in an area, as I did with your esteemed predecessor. I'm Bryan Lee, with the Texas Rangers," he said, extending a hand.
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 139 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W1 R4 B1 L0
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 02:31
XI - The Valley
Dr. Wayland stayed back as well.  Not being local or having any sort of badge.  Or really any legal mandate of any kind.  Unless any of these fellows had a bounty...  Which would be convenient.  He eyed them closely.  Hopefully.  At Jacinta's words, the bounty hunter slowly moved his hand away from under his coat.  He whispered back, "Mah apologies...  Ah had thought that we /weah/ expecting a fight.  Pe-haps I misundahstood owah intentions...."
Patrick Garrett
 NPC, 10 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 03:27
XI - The Valley
”Mr. Cooper. Ranger. It’s good to see you again.” Both men recognize the new sheriff as Pat Garrett, the accomplished buffalo hunter who rode the stagecoach with them from Roswell to Lincoln, and helped fend off the attacking wolves.

He gestures to the rider he had been speaking with. ”This is Tom Horn. Serves as a guard on Quinn Murdock’s stage. With the exception of Miss Bauer and a couple of others, I have some concerns about the trustworthiness of some of the deputies I inherited. So I paid Mr. Horn here a stipend for his assistance with a sensitive matter.”

He nods at the boarded up saloon across the street. ”I’ve had a saloon keeper up and disappear. One that had become rather vocal in the last couple of days about her distaste for one of our local ranchers.”
Tom Horn
 NPC, 4 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 03:27
XI - The Valley
Horn, who has been building a smoke, speaks up. ”It looks like Miss Thornton is a guest of said rancher. Not a willing one. A couple of his men definitely dragged her out there.”

“Watched the house for a time. Saw a couple of the hands take a plate of food and a pail of water down to the storm cellar.”


Keeping an eye on L.G. Murphy’s store, Castillo observes a man emerge from the building. He is dressed for the range, a Peacemaker tied low on his left thigh in a worn holster. He leans against a nearby post, silently watching the gathering at the courthouse.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 296 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W5 R2 B7 L0
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 09:02
XI - The Valley
Jacinta shot Wayland a look.  "Oh, we are, gringo.  We definitely are."

Her gaze narrowed as she watched the figure emerge from Murphy's store.  Nudging her horse closer, she tried to get a look and a chance at identifying him.
Bryan Lee
 player, 439 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R1 B1 L1
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 19:15
XI - The Valley
"I'm a bit relieved that you're the new sheriff, Mr. Garrett. I had feared it might have fallen to one of the deputies that you mentioned having concerns related to their trustworthiness. That said, I can't rest easy if some harm has come or may soon come to Miss Thornton. I think that time is of the essence in this matter," he said.

"If you wouldn't mind, perhaps this is a conversation best having inside of doors. I've deputized a group of concerned citizens, some of whom were on that stage we both took into Lincoln." He gestured towards the group in the distance, where he would see Castillo, Kansas Kate, Albert Cooper, and Tamsin River, who had all been on that stage.

"I think if we coordinate our efforts, we might be able to bring an expeditious end to this problem, and I could share some more information with you that I've gathered."
Patrick Garrett
 NPC, 11 posts
Fri 17 Jul 2020
at 23:59
XI - The Valley
”Step into my office, Ranger. You and your deputies. Let’s see if we can can find a way to solve our mutual problem,” Garrett says, gesturing to the door behind him, the entrance to the Sheriff’s office. Cooper and Lee can see that fresh lumber has been used to repair the damage the building sustained in the fight with the Bone Fiend.

Castillo is able get a good look at the man on the porch, the gray at the temples of his dark hair and deeply lined face suggesting to her that he is middle aged. His straightness of his posture and his squared shoulders leave the scout with the impression of him having once been a soldier, possibly for many years. His eyes are dark and seemingly empty of emotion.

OOC: Jacinta, give me a Smarts/Common Knowledge roll. You can add a +2 modifier, as you’re especially knowledgeable about the New Mexico territory.


Inside the Sheriff’s office, the riders find that Garrett has started a fire in the wood burning stove, sufficient to ward off the morning chill. Aside from Bauer, none of his deputies are present, the desks and chairs that fill the spartan room all unoccupied.

Horn remains at the entrance, occasionally peeking out to monitor any activity on the Main Street.

Garrett puts out his smoke in a tin ashtray and sighs. ”Lawrence Murphy did not support my appointment to this position. But the Governor gave him no choice. The Territorial Government wanted someone in this office who could look at things with clear eyes, and without any loyalty to any of the interests that are at each other’s throats here.”

“Still, it didn’t take long to figure Murphy as the one behind most of Lincoln’s woes.”


OOC: I’m working on the assumption that all of the posse, along with Kearney, Roberts, and Shabbakasha, have stepped inside Garrett’s office to converse. If someon has another course of action they want to pursue, let me know.
Kansas Kate
 player, 499 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W0 F0 W2 R3 B1 L#
Sat 18 Jul 2020
at 02:25
XI - The Valley
Kansas Kate was deep in thought, very deep in thought.  It was like she wanted to say something immediately, then caught herself before she uttered it, then it made her think a great deal.  This was more uncharacteristic behavior indeed, and if she were more self-aware she might have worried about what an absolute nut she appeared to be recently.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 297 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W5 R2 B7 L0
Sat 18 Jul 2020
at 04:14
XI - The Valley

Smarts: 14

21:13, Today: Jacinta Castillo rolled 14,3 using d8+2,d6+2, rerolling max with rolls of (8+4)12,1.  Smarts/Common Knowledge.

Bryan Lee
 player, 440 posts
 Texas Ranger (12/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R1 B1 L1
Mon 20 Jul 2020
at 02:14
XI - The Valley
"Governor Mosby asked me to come down here to look into the same situation, and things have improved marginally on account of our interventions here, but as long as Murphy retained a strangehold on this place with sufficient muscle to intimidate all of the locals, there was only so much that could be done."

He leaned against the wall by the door, so as not to be caught unawares. The last time they were in this building they'd been attacked by some kinda bone creature, and he was always wary of things like that returning.

"To begin with, the man that we'll call Murphy isn't him. I have reliable information that the man going by Lawrence Murphy actually killed the real Lawrence Murphy, and is instead correctly named Longley. His crimes include the deaths of individuals on the wagon train that was lost in the Capitan mountains, and his survival of that ordeal is believed to have involved cannibalism.

"The investigation I began shortly after arriving with our wagon train very quickly linked Murphy to the kidnapping of several children, who we managed to free. I have a captive that links Murphy's operation to those acts being detained nearby. I could not trust the local law at the time to detain him, I hope you'll understand. Dolan, Jesse Evans, and the associated gang attacked myself and my deputies with intent to kill when we were investigating them in Blazer's Mill recently. My deputies are very capable, and said group of attackers did not survive the fallout.

"In short, I believe attempting an arrest of Murphy is the required course of action, though I do not believe he will go quietly or without violence and I can only assume that he has taken a hostage in preparation for our attempts to apprehend him. I returned from a related investigation just now with the intention to seek aid from a group that is regarded locally as troublemakers. I have managed to come to some terms with one Mr. William Bonney and the Renegades, and have gotten him to halt his actions while I pursued justice. I believe that he and his fellows could be of great help in our attempts apprehend Murphy."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:14, Mon 20 July 2020.