XII - A Heart of Thorns.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Marshal
 GM, 917 posts
 W0 R0 B3
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 17:19
XII - A Heart of Thorns
As the Toothpick does its grisly work, the outlaw notices that no blood arises from the deep wounds that she inflicts. The prone figure gives no reaction to the assault, but after a few moments, the unsettling movements beneath his skin come to a halt.
John Kinney
 NPC, 2 posts
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 17:21
XII - A Heart of Thorns
The man’s face reddens and his jaw works. He shakes his head. ”If it’s as you say, then you already know some of the things that have gone on here. People’s land ruined. Their crops choked off. Their children taken from ‘em. Honest folks reduced to nothin’, or killed outright.”

“If you know all that and are still thinkin’ to come up here and kill Lawrence Murphy, it don’t prove that you’re on the right side of anything. It proves you’re a damned fool.”

“If Murphy’s able to do all these things, what makes you think he can’t make them happen again? That he won’t call up all that and more if you press on with this?. It ever dawn on you that rather than makin’ folks prisoners or ruinin’ their fields, he could’ve just put ‘em all in the ground? That maybe he actually held back from what he was capable of?”

“He’s a bastard. He’s heard me say as much. Just another greedy son of a bitch that thinks he should own everything he sees. I’m not about to claim that he’s right. He isn’t. But he has the power to make what he wants happen. And if you keep interfering, more folks will die. He’ll do it just to prove that he can.”


He glances at the men gathered with him. ”My boys and I, we can put our hands on wagons, food. Take those that want it north. Colorado. Kansas. A place where they can build a new life.”

He gestures at those gathered on the lower floor. ”Looks like some of you had a hell of a time just contendin’ with Murphy’s help. Now, you really think you’re just gonna walk up here and kill him? I’m not just savin’ lives out in the valley. I’m savin’ yours.”
Henry McCarty
 NPC, 32 posts
 William Bonney
 Billy the Kid
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 17:21
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Footfalls sound at the ranch house’s front door. A trio of the Regulators enter: Billy, Scurlock, and Chavez y Chavez, the latter carrying a seeping wound on his left arm.

The Kid, his thumbs hooked in his gunbelt, looks up at the gathered gunmen upstairs with a scowl. He addresses their leader.

”You’re seriously wantin’ everybody to just walk away, John? Just let things be? Murphy murdered Mr. Tunstall. You know that as well as I do. And you think we should leave that unanswered?”
John Kinney
 NPC, 3 posts
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 17:22
XII - A Heart of Thorns
”John Tunstall was one of the best men ever to set foot in this valley,” the man replies evenly. ”But havin’ your revenge won’t bring him back, Billy. It‘ll only cost other folks dearly.”
Kansas Kate
 player, 592 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W0 R1 B0 L#
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 20:36
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Kansas Kate shuddered a little bit at the horrible thing, and cut it in key places a few times to make sure it was dead dead.  She'd take the head off if time permitted, but they didn't have that kind of time.

She needed a bit of air, walking back in with her side bleeding, her body wanting to quit but her mind not letting it.

"Revenge is fer idjits."  Kansas Kate replied in her nails-on-a-chalkboard voice but with an uncharacteristically cool tone.

No, no.  No more of that, ya used up all ya needed to of that.  That's fer idjits too.

She stepped forward.  "Ah came here ta shoot mah pa.  Didja know that?  Reckon not.  Nor do ah reckon ya care.  Ya shud-int, ah shur as hell don't, not no more.  Though ah'm sure he needs it."

It was a very strange voice, unrefined, scratchy, but lacking in that anger and acidity, not deliberately unpleasant like it had been before.

The former Wichita Witch squared her eyes to his.  "Ah ain't a smart gal.  Ah ain't pretty neither, mighta been once 'fore mah face got cut an' burnt.  Ah don't know even after all this if ah believe in a damn thing.  Ah don't know if there's a God like them church folks say, ah don't know if the idea of justice or other pretty words means a damn thing in this sorry ass shithole of a world.  But there's two things ah does know.  One thing ah don't believe in no more is nothin'Nothin's a big ass lie.  Ah don't believe in believin' nothin' an ah don't belive in doin' nothin' so ya shove that idea right up yer arse."

"Th' other thing ah know is thar's evil, and thar's evil.  Ah know what evil is.  They's two kinds of it.  There's th' evil that's our sorry lot, th' evil we do ta ourselves.  Th' evil mah pa done, th' evil mah ma done, an th' evil ah done, it goes on an' on an yooshually t'ain't a damn thing a body can do about it.  That's the evil we has ta accept."

She stepped forward.  She lifted her right hand, the one covered in the velvet glove she never removed, not until now.  She peeled it off.  The pentagram the witches had burned into it was still there.  She hated it, but she was done hiding and showed it.  "Th' other kind of evil is bullshit like this!"

A little bit of her usual sound came back just briefly in that statement before she dropped the hand.  "Ah just kilt me a thing in there what shouldn't be.  It takes a cockless little shitchewing bitch like Murphy ta work his will by relyin' on sech things as that.  A man who cain't use th' evil what comes in his heart ta any ends he desires ain't no man.  An a man who ain't a man ain't shit, an neither is you.  Ya wants to go warn folks, do it, but you done get the hell out of here."
Bryan Lee
 player, 531 posts
 Texas Ranger (8/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R0 B0 L1
Mon 8 Mar 2021
at 15:38
XII - A Heart of Thorns


Lee followed Kate to the room's doorway, but no further. He listened to her say her piece before adding his own.

"John Kinney: This is Texas Ranger Bryan Lee. You're not a murderer. You served your country with distinction, and while you may have fallen into a little outlawry, it's nothing you can't evade. But you continue down this path, and you'll have crossed a line - along with all the men with you - and I promise on my own account and that of the Texas Rangers, it's one we will not forget. You seem to care about the people in this locality, which moves me a bit, so I'll make you an offer.

"Join us or get out of the way, and I'll see to it that all y'all will have a note of honorable conduct in this here incident in your Ranger files to serve as a counterweight against your other deeds - and we can forget this little dust up here wherein you threatened to murder those deputized in aid to the Texas Rangers. If you leave, I promise no pursuit or inquiry into the direction you've gone. You join, and I will work on clearing your records of any non murderous conduct you may have engaged in."


OOC:

Persuasion: 5 (if any of them respects the Texas Rangers, then 7...it's a stretch, but you never know)

Note: I'm hoping to persuade not just Kinney, but anyone with him.

09:35, Today: Bryan Lee rolled 4,5 using d6,d6, rerolling max.  Persuasion.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:43, Mon 08 Mar.

Albert Cooper
 player, 524 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W4 R1 B5 L0
Mon 8 Mar 2021
at 18:48
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Albert remained relaxed as the voices of his friends joined to his own refusal to back down. He had held back a few points that could still be made, but he waited to see what sort of response there would be to the Ranger's offer. If he were on the other side, it would be mighty tempting.

He did frown briefly at the sight of the pentagram. It reminded him of the wife he once had and the life they'd briefly built. It also reminded him of the revenge he had taken. And while it hadn't brought her back from beyond the grave, it had felt pretty good. Maybe he was just one of those idjets.

The cowboy still held his gun in hand, but wasn't currently threatening anyone with it. He could change that quickly enough if necessary.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 342 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W5 R4 B7 L0
Tue 9 Mar 2021
at 06:33
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Jacinta wasn't much of a talker.  She'd never been.  Talking drew attention and got you hurt or killed.  She wasn't a braggart.  She wasn't out for glory.  She just did what needed to be done, mainly to survive.  And that didn't include running her mouth.  So she watched stoically and waited, rifle reloaded and ready for what would inevitably come.  There were too many big egos and swinging dicks in the house for anyone to just walk away.
John Kinney
 NPC, 4 posts
Tue 9 Mar 2021
at 16:31
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Kinney makes no effort to interrupt those who are addressing him. When Lee finishes his statement, the outlaw is silent for a long moment.

Then, turning to the rifleman guarding Patrick Garrett, Kinney nods. The gunman pulls Garrett’s pistol from where it has been tucked into his gunbelt and hands the weapon to the sheriff, stepping away from him.

”I think what you’re doin’ is suicide,” Kinney says, ”but I ain’t gonna add to the bloodshed. If Murphy comes after me later, I’ll have to contend with that on my own terms.”

The riflemen lower their weapons.

”We’re gonna ride into Lincoln. Anyone’s in trouble, we’ll try to get ‘em to Roswell, or maybe the Jinglebob Ranch. Chisum’s got more money than he knows what to do with. He can afford to put up some people in need.”

He scans the gathering on the lower floor and sighs. ”I don’t reckon I’ll see any of you again. If I’m wrong, well that’ll make for a pleasant surprise.”

Kinney moves down the staircase, his fellow outlaws falling in behind him. As he steps toward the front door, he pauses beside Kansas Kate. ”Upstairs, down the hall,” he tells her, ”Last door on the left.”

With that, the outlaw leader and his gang depart.
Albert Cooper
 player, 525 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W4 R1 B5 L0
Thu 11 Mar 2021
at 17:31
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Albert nodded at Kinney's statements. "Thanks, fella. Mebbe we'll see ya, mebbe we won't. Appreciate ya helping other folk out, though."

He then looked around at the rest of the posse to see if they were ready, or if they wanted to chat a bit before proceeding.
Bryan Lee
 player, 532 posts
 Texas Ranger (8/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W2 R0 B0 L1
Thu 11 Mar 2021
at 21:12
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Lee tips his hat to Kinney as he departs, and gestures upstairs to the others.

"The fella in that room over there intimated that Murphy was hoping that we'd get sucked into a fight down here so that he could finish up whatever devilry he's got goin' on up there. Let's go get us a heart."
Kansas Kate
 player, 593 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W0 R1 B0 L#
Fri 12 Mar 2021
at 01:57
XII - A Heart of Thorns
"Heh, ah could draw me a little picture here..."  Kansas Kate mused for a moment, spreading a little bit of her own blood on the wall from her red fingertips.  "...well, good a time as any."
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 209 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W3 R2 B0 L0
Fri 12 Mar 2021
at 14:18
XII - A Heart of Thorns

Once the matter with Kinney and his men had seemingly come to a peaceful resolution, Dr. Wayland lifted the business end of his lightning gun up and away from pointing at them.  The scientist looked...let down?  Surely not.

Wayland stepped to the side of the stairs as Kinney and his men filed away down the stairs.  The scientist did seem to have a quick whispered discussion...possibly with the riflemen, but also possibly just for his own benefit.  Whatever it was didn't seem to attract more than curious, sidelong glances from those departing.

Wayland then completed his ascent to the Sheriff's side.  This completing his original mission, "Well, that certainly went bettah than expected...  Maybe things are looking up...". His words were hopeful.  His tone was not.
Tamsin River
 player, 246 posts
 Flower Power
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W1 R2 B3 L0
Sat 13 Mar 2021
at 12:53
XII - A Heart of Thorns
"Ms. Bauer, we're not entirely done yet, are  we." Tamsin says. Cheery voice, neutral face. Lena had been on the brink of death. "Let me take a look at that properly, now that we have a moment."

Spending two fate chips to use greater healing as per my knack.
Kansas Kate
 player, 595 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W2 R3 B0 L#
Sat 13 Mar 2021
at 23:04
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Hating to ask for help, but realizing the dire situation, Kansas Kate shambled over to get in line behind the worse-injured.

"Hate to ask ya this, but can ya'll, ah dunno, pull a bullet out 'er knacker somethin' together in there so ah can hold a gun wit'out it shakin'?  Don't have to be proper doctorin', ah can die right after it's over.  Hell Doc, you got a way to heat up th' Toothpick in yer pile o' doom 'n gloom, mebbe a piece of hot metal pressed 'gainst the worst of it could do 'er."
Kansas Kate
 player, 597 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W2 R3 B0 L#
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 20:38
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Apologies for Double Post but I forgot the cards.  Playing this, now.

quote:
3H - Snake Oil
“Let’s make a deal.”
Play anytime. An enterprising snake oil salesman arrives in the middle of the scene (no matter where it takes place), complete with wagon and entourage, promoting his wares. He'll have something in his inventory useful for the current situation.


Patrick Garrett
 NPC, 32 posts
Tue 16 Mar 2021
at 17:27
XII - A Heart of Thorns
”It did, actually,” Garrett says in agreement with Dr. Wayland, ”Likely could’ve gone even better if I hadn’t rushed up there like a damned schoolboy.” He pauses. ”We make it through this, I figure I owe Kinney and his people at least a few days’ head start before I go lookin’ for ‘em.”

“Murphy sure as hell isn’t gonna go that easy. I reckon he’s ready to kill anyone who sets foot up there. Has some kind of trap waiting, no doubt.”

Lena Bauer
 NPC, 108 posts
Tue 16 Mar 2021
at 17:27
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Bauer releases a slow breath as River completes her ministrations. The deputy shakes her head in wonder. ”Guess Ava Winter wasn’t tellin’ any fib when she said you were gifted. I’m much obliged to you, ma’am.”

Opening her pistol, she reloads it methodically, glancing up at the balcony above.
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 51 posts
 Buckshot
Tue 16 Mar 2021
at 17:28
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Roberts approaches Kansas Kate, drawing a bundle of dark colored herbs from one of the pouches on his belt. He offers the dried plants, secured together with two pieces of twine, to the outlaw.

“I was given these a year or so back. When I was chasin’ a fella out on the Llano,” he tells her, ”Got myself shot in the chest. I was found by a Comanche brave I’d befriended, Red Horse, who took me to a medicine man.”

“He used these same plants on my injury. Healed it up fast. Gave me these should I ever fall into trouble again. He’d blessed it, same as those he put on my chest.”


He pauses. ”We’ll need to wet it down with water, but it will staunch the bleeding, close those wounds up quick. But it’ll burn like fire. Worse than pourin’ whiskey straight onto ‘em.”

Overhearing the conversation, Chavez y Chavez walks over, offering his canteen.

OOC: The herb bundle, when applied, will heal up to three wounds.
Kansas Kate
 player, 599 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W2 R3 B0 L#
Tue 16 Mar 2021
at 23:45
XII - A Heart of Thorns
"Any'un else need it worse?  Ah'm hurt, but ah ain't only 'un."

Looking around and seeing the real bad cases were mended, she nodded to Roberts and Chavez y Chavez.

"Well, if it hurts that bad ah reckon it's what ah deserve.  Let's do 'er while we're still young."

With that, she quickly removed the sling from her rifle and and put it between her upper and lower teeth.  She figured clamping down on that would at least stifle the screaming.
Dr. Ezekiel Q. Wayland
 player, 214 posts
 Have Science.Will Travel.
 P4 T5/7 W0 F0 W3 R2 B0 L0
Wed 17 Mar 2021
at 03:52
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Dr. Wayland nodded lightly as he listened to the Sheriff and observed the preparations of the others, "Oh yes...  Some sort of deeply wicked and diabolical trap, no doubt...   Ah would expect no less."  He laid the lightning gun in the crook of his arm a moment, freeing a hand to methodically go through the motions of changing out the ammo cylinder on his gatling.  To himself, or something very like it, he muttered, "No, Ah haven't forgotten about the hostages, but there's little to be done now.  Spilled milk...  cracked eggs...  omelets...."

Finished, he dropped the gatling back into the holster and turned to the Sheriff again, "Ah find myself thinking of breakfast.  Hopeful sign.  Thinking of the future..."  He tried a smile to set minds at ease.  It probably didn't.
Albert Cooper
 player, 531 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W4 R1 B5 L0
Wed 17 Mar 2021
at 04:41
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Similar to some of the others, Albert double-checked that his pistol was loaded and included that special bit of ammo where he'd added a few runes. Seemed likely to finally come in handy. As it was the last bit of gun wizardry at his disposal, it had better help.

Albert nodded at Kate. "Ain't got no need myself, double-kay, but thanks fer the offer. Get yerself fixed up an' let's finish what's been started."
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 52 posts
 Buckshot
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 18:52
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Roberts gently places the herbs against Kansas Kate’s wound. He holds up a hand, a silent request for Chavez y Chavez to hold for a moment.

”When I was real young, I was...well, I was real foolish,” he tells the outlaw, ”I was in Kansas. Abilene. Thought I was smart enough to get away with somethin’. I was wrong. Got myself gut shot.”

“Horse doctor took pity on me. Dragged me to a blacksmith. Dug the bullet out, had the smith slap hot iron on the wound. They didn’t have any whiskey.”


He gestures to the herbs. ”This...it’s not far from how that felt. I’m sorry. But it will do away with this wound.”

He looks back at Chavez y Chavez and nods. The Regulator empties his canteen on the bundle.

The burning is just as Roberts described, but within moments, when the bounty hunter lifts the bundled plants away, Kansas Kate’s wound has vanished.

OOC: Both of Kansas Kate’s wounds are healed.
Kansas Kate
 player, 601 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T5 W2 F0 W2 R3 B0 L#
Fri 19 Mar 2021
at 00:09
XII - A Heart of Thorns
She grunted and let out a slew of unpleasant noises.  The leather had been a good idea, but it tasted terrible.

"...ugh... the man Jesus of Nazareth hisself just punted me in th' babby-maker..."  She remarked after it was all over.
Henry McCarty
 NPC, 33 posts
 William Bonney
 Billy the Kid
Fri 19 Mar 2021
at 18:05
XII - A Heart of Thorns
Billy nods in agreement with Cooper’s sentiment, carefully checking the loads in each of his pistols before returning them to their holsters. ”Long past time we saw this business settled.”