Reconstructing the Past

Mission of Peace
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Runaway Train
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Showdown with Archibald Clement

The party went with Floyd to Lexington MIssouri for its long-awaited showdown with Archibald Clement and his gang. They arrived at the town and cased the joint the day before the election, which was when the gang was planning to strike. They met up with Frank and Jesse, the two ratfolk who were Floyd’s contacts in the gang. In exchange for clemency for anyone who left with them, the ratfolk agreed to turn on Clement and take the gang for themselves.

The party set up on the day of the election with the cart, which contained Jeb and the preacher, near the stage. Althea, meanwhile, hid out under the stage. Calloway and Black Fox blended in with the crowd, while Floyd set up across the square on a rooftop. Clement tried to sway the crows in his favor for seceding from the union as the single town of Lexington. Black Fox stood up and debated with him for a while about th legitimacy of his plan. The gang subsequently abandoned him to his fate and rode out of town, except for a few loyal members by the stage. The party quickly dispatched Clement’s bodyguards and arrested Clement. They received a large bounty, which they used to spend the winter in Kansas City.

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Catching Up

Due to your GMs being lazy slackers, we have been neglecting to track the party’s progress in the adventure log for a while. So, at long last, we are getting back around to it. This is a post to summarize the party’s adventures since the last post.

Around Halloween, party members were confused to find themselves at a mysterious plantation house, with no recollection of how they got there. Many strange and unspeakable things transpired, but eventually, Black Fox woke them from their magically-induced dream to find that the cattle had been stolen. After tracking down the thieves, the party had a standoff with Al-Saher, an efreet lawyer from Chicago, who turned out to be in cahoots with Gunter on an insurance scheme. Because Gunter was trying to go back on his deal to commit insurance fraud, Black Fox determined that Al-Saher had a valid complaint against the German. They left Gunter with only the Devil’s Cattle, allowing the lawyers to go on their way with the herd.

…………

Shortly after entering Kansas, the party happened into a town where Black Fox receives a telegraph from Floyd asking her to help him track down a man named John Noland, who may have information on the whereabouts of Quantrill’s Raiders, a notorious band of ex-confederate outlaws. Just after Black Fox departs on this mission, a bank robbery takes place, but without Black Fox the party is unable to apprehend the criminals. The party proceeded to pursue the criminals through several towns but to no avail.

Black Fox tracked John Noland to the Wichita outpost, where she met a carrier dragon named K’Leal. After locating and questioning Noland, K’Leal agreed to fly her back to meet up with the party in the town of Independence. With winter encroaching, the locals, including Jessie, were concerned about the possibility of being attacked by Black Ice in the night. The party, though skeptical, did indeed encounter this monster, and had to fight it off.

The next day, Black Fox received another telegram from Floyd, instructing them to meet him in Joplin, Missouri. The party proceeded to travel to Joplin, where, much to Jessie’s surprise, they found her brother, and the truth finally came out about Jessie’s real name: Althea. It turned out he had come to town to get away from their oldest brother and his new wife for a while. He also had the notion that he could make some money on gambling, but that went about as well as you would imagine. Although he wouldn’t outright say it, Althea could tell that what he really wanted was to find a wife of his own to bring back to the farm. Out of a sense of guilt and obligation, Althea agreed to help.

Meanwhile, Black Fox, Jeb, Nate, and Calloway met up with Floyd, who gave her the rundown of what to expect when they reached Liberty, where the Raiders were hiding out. He showed them pictures of two ratfolk, named Jesse and Frank, who are Floyd’s informants in the group. Floyd has given them immunity, along with anyone in the group who will leave with them. The real target is Archie Clement.

The next day, Althea bought new clothes for her brother while Jeb and Calloway modified the wagon to enable Jeb to craft potions on the road. They also visited a dry goods store, but did not find what they were looking for.

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On the Trail

Last time on Reconstructing the Past…

The Great Cattle Drive was underway and the party had been on the trail for several days. Aside from feeling saddle sore, all was going well. On the morning of he fourth day, the party received a summons from Gunter, the boss, to his tent. When they arrived, Gunter toldbthe party he had a job for them. He wanted them to go out and find him some locally growing cannabis. After some haggling over compensation, Calloway, McClaren, and Jessie agreed (no doubt interested in gleaning some for themselves whilebthey were at it. Black Fox declined, stating that a drug errand was beneath her.

So off the three went in search of riverbed areas where the weed might be found. Unfortunately at the first likely spot, mcClaren stepped in the mud and disturbed a mud elemental. After a hasty fight, the group moved on.

Meanwhile Black Fox was engaging in conversation with some other people at camp. They were chewing the fat over rumors of giant spiders who had taken some wondering cattle already in the night. Perturbed, Black Fox was suddenly greeted by none other than Floyd the Pinkerton, who had a letter for Calloway to deliver. It turned out he was also there tracking a rogue group of ex-Confederate soldiers who had murdered a tribe of Indians on their own territory. Offended by this news, Black Fox voluntered to join his posse to take the rebels out.

Some simple tracking brought the possee upon the scene of an enraged Centaur riding down a group of bearded men who were obviously the culprits. It seemedb they had arrived just in time to help this person get her revenge. After the soldiers had been dispatched, Black Fox and the Centaur got to know each other and found they had much in comon. Not having an immediate purpose, the centaur decided to accompany her new friend back to the cattle drive, thinking she cohld be useful there. They returned to find a worried preacher, who said that the other thrree still had not returned and night was falling.

The Doctor, the rogue, and the sorcerer had inadvertantly stublmed upon not only the coveted plants they sought, but also onto the lairs of two giant spiders. The spiders paralyzed each of them in turn and wrapped thweir victims in webs, which is how the gunsliger and barbarian found them. The fight that ensued was difficult, but finally the beasts were brought down. In their lairs, several cow carcasses were found, along with a Staff of Swarming Insects. The centaur was then introduced to the rest of the party and they returned to get their promise of payment from Gunter, trusting him less by the minute.

Experience Gained: 7,123

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The Devil's Cattle

Last time on Reconstructing the Past…

The party finally arrived at the place where the Great Cattle Drive was preparing to embark on its journey. Arriving in the camp, they asked around and learned the whereabouts of the person in charge, a Dwarf named Gunter von Hammersmark. Jessie promptly barged into his tent, dragging the others along with her, and demanded to speak to him.

Upon hearing Jessie’s proclaimation that they were going to join up with the cattledrive, Gunter informed the party that they had all the help they needed and he had no reason to hire them, except possibly the doctor and cleric. If they wanted to prove that they were worth enough to take on, they would have to undertake the task of obtaining some legendary Devil’s Cattle for him. A herd had been sighted in the area, within a few days travel.

The party asked around the camp to see what they could learn of the ghost cattle. Jessie learned that they were tended by mysterious supernatural figures known as The Riders, but she didn’t put much stock in the stories of the old timer. Calloway learned similar stories of the Devil’s Cattle from a folk song performed to him by a group of humans. Meanwhile, McClaren found that his healing skills were much needed in the camp.

Eventually, acting on information gleaned by Black Fox, the party headed West, toward where the Cattle had supposedly been seen last. After a few days’ ride they came upon them. Cleverly surrounding the Cattle, they managed to intimidate the beasts enough to herd them without stampeding them, eventually making it back to the drive fir a few of them and winning the respect and employment of Gunter.

Soon after returning, however, a group of mysterious individuals entered the came, coming straight for our hapless adventurers. It was none other than the Riders of the story, back for revenge against those who had been brazen enough to steal their Cattle. The party faced a harrowing fight but eventually triumphed.

Experience gained: 4,634

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Nosferatu!

Last time on Reconstructing the Past…

The party’s travels brought them to a little town called Persia, Texas. Upon first inspection, it seemed to be an abandoned mining town. The party looked into most of the buildings and found evidence that a stranger explanation was called for. Eventually they emerged back out onto the street to find a dwarf dressed all in black with striking red hair and beard. The party immediately suspected that this was the Ranger in Black they had heard tell of. At about this time they also noticed a large mountain looming just beyond the town, which they could not recall having seen before.

The Ranger had our adventurers sit down with him at the bar (which was conspicuously well stocked) for drinks. It soon turned out that what he wanted to discuss was the murders at Tull. It seemed that word of that strange and horrible night had spread, and the Ranger was seeking those who would answer for the crime. Jessie vehemently denied having any part in the matter, while the Doctor, Calloway, and Nate were somewhat more candid. It was agreed that the party would accompany the Ranger to the “magistrate’s” castle in order to explain the extenuating circumstances and clear their names as much as possible.

On the way to the castle, a stream of people began to descend from the mountain, walking in an almost zombie-like state of exhaustion towards the dormitories. The party was perturbed, but carried on.

At about this time, Black Fox arrived in town. Having told the party to stay put, she had gone off to pursue a nearby bounty whose trail she had picked up. Quickly surmising that something was amiss, she decided to go toward the mountain, where the miners were coming from, cursing her fellows all the time.

The party was reunited inside the castle just before the magistrate emerged, introducing himself as Count Schreck. Gaunt, pale, and with menacingly long fingers, he was clearly a vestage of the Old World. He soon explained that the miners were his employees, and that he routinely transported the entire mountain into another dimension where time passed more slowly in order to have the miners fit a whole month’s work into the span of a week or so, only to emerge wholly exhausted to sleep.

After a short discussion, Black Fox’s patience for Count Schreck wore thin, and she preemptively shot him. A violent fight ensued, resulting in the deaths of the the Count, the Ranger, and the Seneschal, and in the near-death of Doc McClaren. Realizing that the castle had begun to crumble around them, likely due to the absence of the count’s influence, the party hastily made their retreat.

Experience Earned: 5,667

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Floyd Loughton, Pinkerton

Last time on Reconstructing the Past…

As the party continued their travels toward the great cattle drive, they encountered a [man?] riding as fast as his horse could carry him toward Tull, the very town the party had left in the dead of night after a rather messy encounter with the townsfolk. The man was riding out in search of a doctor who could treat a sick family in his town, as their doctor had recently been killed. Doc McClaren offered to help, and the man brought them back to his town, called X.

As the family was quarantined, only the Doctor and the Preacher went to tend to them. McClaren spent the better part of the day assessing their symptoms and learning about their environment. He eventually diagnosed the disease as malaria and set out to find an herbal cure. Luckily, he happened upon an old Orc who operated a laundry nearby and who turned out to be a master herbalist. After some misunderstandings had been cleared up, he provided the Doc with the plant he needed. McClaren also realized that this man would be a perfect candidate for the town’s new doctor.

Meanwhile, Jessie and Black Fox headed to the local watering hole. Not finding any likelier forms of entertainment, Jessie hit the tequila hard. After much bad beer and badgering from the gnome, Black Fox finished off the rest of the bottle.

After Calloway set off to but was quickly picked up and unfortunately shot by a pinkerton who was sent out by his family to gather him up and drag him back to St. Louis, and the party while totally souced, except for the preacher tracked Calloway and his captor into the night. Their captor was a dead shot and winged Black Fox as the party approached, but even sloshed she was able to skillfully return fire. The party and the pinkerton, who’s name was Floyd Loughton, came to an understanding and Calloway was set free to go on his merry way, and Floyd informed the group about a strange man in black who was asking around about them to the north west.

Experience Earned

McClaren: 2,652
Black Fox: 2,737
Calloway: 2,592
Jessie and Nate: 2,250

Anachronisms, Optional History Lesson, and Trivia to follow.

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

Last time on Reconstructing the Past….

As the party was wandering the central plains of Texas, they were surprise attacked by some anhkegs and some roving bandits, gnomes and lizardmen who had snuck up from Mexico, before they came across the town of Tull.

Just outside of Tull in the distance the group saw a roving elder dust elemental, sometimes called black blizzards by the locals, who forced the party to take shelter in the town; but that isn’t all they saw. They also saw off in the distance, some of the lesser batfolk that act as servants of the vampires and damphir, traveling somewhere, though it is not known where. Tull was a quiet little town, where Jesse sold off some “conquisador’s armor” to a rather inbred ratfolk, named Jethro, who she tricked out of his money. Then as the sun was going down the whole town took shelter in the the old Essean Mission that was the only stone building in the town.

It was only after the townsfolk went to sleep that the party realized that there was any kind of problem. For they were possessed by some ancient evil that awoke in them a great anamosity toward our intrepid adventurers, and they started to swarm towards them with murderous intent. If not for the quick thinking of Black Fox, McClaren, and the preacher. The townsfolk might have killed our heroes in their sleep. But with Black Fox holding back the tide and with support from McClaren and Calloway, the preacher was able to exorcise the spirits that had possessed the poor villagers. Unfortunately it was too late because, between McClaren and Calloway, half the village had been killed. So, noting that the dust elemental had passed on it way, the adventurers decided to skip town in the middle of the night instead of try and explain themselves to the townsfolk who had survived the ordeal in the morning…

Experience Gained: 3,428 points

Anachronisms

  • Tull was named for a town that is in the first book of Steven King’s Dark Tower series The Gunslinger. In this town the locals have been driven mad by some dark, mysterious and ancient force.
  • Jethro of Tull, the inbred ratfolk shopkeeper, was a self indulgent progressive rock joke about the band Jethro Tull. As well as possibly a reference to Jethro Bodine in the Beverly Hillbillies.

Optional History Lessons
Spanish Missions in Texas
Conquistador
Jethro Tull, the real-life agriculturalist from the British Industrial Revolution

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Once Upon a Time in New Orleans...

Alright folks, we have officially gotten this show on the road! Congrats on a fun first session. I am intending to chronicle our adventures on this blog, since I am curious to see whether it is useful to have an official record, and I just like taking notes.

So, we kicked off with each of the characters having some encounters around the city of New Orleans. Eventually everyone was drawn to a riot just as it was about to reach the boiling point. Rather than join the fray, our heros succeeded in breaking up the commotion through intimidation and appeals to sanity. Nevertheless, the occupying Union soldiers showed up as the mob was dispersing and pinned the rabble-rousing on none other than our hapless adventurers. They were given until sundown to get out of town or have a bounty placed on their heads.

After gathering their posessions, the party was escorted by the soldiers to the city limits and told not to return. A few miles out of town, a gnome on a large black stallion, calling herself Jessie McIlroy, rode up. Black Fox recognized her as the gnome who had tricked her into helping her steal a horse earlier that day. After some introductions, the group decided to travel together towards Odessa, Texas to join up with a large cattle drive that is in need of extra cowboys. On their way out of Louisiana, the party successfully defended themselves against four crocodiles.

Experience gained: 1,134 points

Anachronisms

  • Ratfolk Bartender: “I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree.”
  • Jax Brewery was not founded until after 1900.
  • Hotel Mont de Leon was founded in 1884.
  • Odessa, Texas was founded in 1881.
  • Benjamin “Beast” Butler was so unpopular in New Orleans that he was actually recalled from the city in 1862, but his successor, Nathanial Banks, was staight-laced and boring. Butler, on the other hand, was a profiteer and all around jerk, and makes a much better bad guy.

Optional History Lessons
Butler’s General Order No. 28
The Black Codes

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