This move has reached the hundred message limit. Please ask admin to post a new move.
Thread: Stanton and the Preacher
Board: Beneath Wild Skies
Group: Players
[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  Exit


posted... Stanton and the Preacher 
on Sat 19 Dec 2015 @ 10:59 AM (PBW Time)

  The trail to Chloride twisted through the Cerbat mountain range like a wounded snake lying belly-up in the rocks. The sun beat down with a vengeance, so angry and hot that Jergard Stanton's eyes may as well have been in an oven. Making things worse, he had to walk to guide his horse as it pulled his salesman's wagon through the twists and turns the path took. He silently cursed the sun that burned him from above, the rocky path that burned his feet from below, and the past that burned the way behind him, forcing him forward through this gauntlet of fire and stone.

The choked cry of a buzzard made him look up as he rounded a bend, and the sight before him swept away his simmering remorse. Not twenty yards ahead, a sun-baked tree with branches as white as bone stood stubbornly upright in the earth a little ways off the trail. Tied to this tree was a man wearing the black shirt and pants of a Catholic priest. His head hung forward, and a slight breeze moved his mop of sandy-blonde hair. At the edge of the trail, a sign post was jammed down into the ground with words in fresh red paint. They read, "Free this man and die with him." Against the sign, a short-handled hatchet leaned, as if daring Stanton to defy the words written next to it.

Jergard Stanton was a man familiar with temptation. He knew its pull well. But this was the first time he ever felt tempted to do something decent.

Jergard Stanton

posted... Onward 
on Tue 22 Dec 2015 @ 11:11 PM (PBW Time)

Normally he'd just take note of the situation and keep walking, but something about this preacher made him reconsider. Maybe it was a sign from a higher power, answering the prayers and curses he spat in equal measure while leading his damned horse through the desert trail.
He looked sunward again, shielding his eyes with a hand on his brow and cursing for another uncountable time the buzzards that took it.

"You alive, friend?" He dropped the horse's lead and walked toward the preacher, casting about for any observers. He reached for the hatchet, muttering "you got coin for my trouble?" not intending for the preacher to hear it, but not being terribly quiet about it either.

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Battered, bruised, confused 
on Wed 23 Dec 2015 @ 4:24 PM (PBW Time)

The sandy mop of hair hardly moves from its position. Closer, Jergard can see that this man hasn't just taken a beating, but he was beaten for taking a beating.

A single eye manages to open through the caked blood upon bruises. A voice akin to the herald of death's door hoarsely whispers above the sound of the passing wind.

"No, I'm quite dead." The man barely manages to rasp before heaving out a few dust choked coughs. "Just waiting for the choir invisible to pick me up. I'm afraid Charon cheated me out of my last two coins and left without me."

Obviously this man is delusional. Untold hours baking in the sun have not only tanned his blood choked features, but they've also left him nearly senseless. From the sound of it, he hasn't had anything to drink in a while, and from the smell of him, someone clearly wanted to leave a message that his kind wasn't tolerated in these parts. The corresponding chaw stains remain as a lasting testament to the firing squad of tobacco spit he endured before being left to rot with the tree.

Jergard Stanton

posted... Choir 
on Wed 23 Dec 2015 @ 8:53 PM (PBW Time)

"Fraid I don't know any hymns, preacher, but it seems I'll be playing your choir anyhow." Jergard swings the axe and cuts the preacher's bonds, then carries him to Stanton's Traveling Miracle Elixer Emporium. Inside the wagon is enough space for a man to lie supine between racks of bottles on the walls.

"It's a bit cramped, but it'll get ya out of the sun anyway." He splashes some water on the mans face, then offers him a little to drink.

"Where'd you come from? Or rather, where'd the folks who done this to you come from? It'd be nice to know where to avoid for fear of righteous vengeance of some kind or another. Man's vengeance for cuttin you loose, or His vengeance visited upon the folk that beat a preacher."

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Don't go there 
on Sat 26 Dec 2015 @ 10:15 PM (PBW Time)

The water works miracles as it makes the preacher look almost alive again. He sips at the water resisting his natural inclination to guzzle. Seems this isn't the first time he's been dehydrated.

Once his whistle is wet, he speaks again,
"Many thanks son. Stay clear of the town about ten miles east of here and you should be fine. I wasn't there long enough to know its name. As for what I did, I tried to bring religion to a place that it wasn't wanted. When it comes to righteous vengance... we'll see what happens. For now, it would be safest to get some miles away from here before nightfall, maybe get to Chloride or Digsville. Anywhere is better than here. For now,.."

The preacher pulls off his trademark white collar and shoves the bloodied mess into Stanton's hands. "...put this somewhere out of sight just in case."

With obvious exhaustion setting in, the priest falls unconscious in the cramped space. He's alive and well enough, but his tale will have to wait for another time.

...At least he was a pleasant enough fellow while awake.


posted... ten miles? 
on Fri 1 Jan 2016 @ 1:00 PM (PBW Time)

  The "ten miles east" comment tells Stanton everything he needs to know about the priest's condition. He just came from the east - and there ain't nothing that way for a lot more than ten miles.

Chloride shouldn't be too much further on, though. Looks like west it is.

Jergard Stanton

posted... Plans 
on Wed 6 Jan 2016 @ 4:49 PM (PBW Time)

Jergard pockets the priest's collar, some part of his mind already working on a way to use it as a disguise for a confidence scam.

He stands and stares down at the unconscious man. "Alright friend, Chloride it is ..."

He steps out of the wagon and closes the door behind him, before checking on his horse. "Best get on with it ... Come on." He grabs the lead and starts walking West again.


posted... Chloride 
on Sat 16 Jan 2016 @ 8:11 AM (PBW Time)


(You're coming in on the far side of the map - up where it says "general information.)

A few hours later, with the sun mercifully low and the shadows stretching like a ghost's fingers across the scorched earth, Jergard reaches the town of Chloride. Evening is settling in on the budding little town. Stanton can see several structures in various stages of being built, men putting a few last touches on them before heading to bed or to the one saloon that, though clearly unfinished, already sounds like it has a respectably sized clientele inside.

Here's a handy guide to the signs you see in the picture above, which is of modern day Chloride:

General Information: The Stagecoach office, which looks like it does extra duty as a post office and printing press. Looks like they have a telegraph wire set up, but it doesn't go anywhere yet.

Doodle Dum: The saloon, which in this case is named the Silver Dipper Hotel and Saloon.

Chicken Coop: The livery stable, with a sign marking it as "Cooper's Stable."

Judge Holmes' Law Office: As advertised, but the Judge's name is Donahue, and the place doubles as a Sheriff's Office and lockup.

Hangin' Tree: As advertised.

Bank: As advertised.

Grafton Cabin and Chloride Rest Area: Looks like a small animal farm with chickens and pigs and such and a butcher shop.

Pye Cabin, Apache Kid RV Park, and "What's New": This area has a good sized cabin surrounded by tents of various sizes, and a few smaller cabins that are just starting to get built. Looks like this is where most of the prospectors are living.

Pioneer Store Museum: At this point, marked by a sign as the "Schmidt Surveyor and Hardware Store."

Monte Cristo Gift Shop and Gallery: Marked by a sign as "Guiscard's General Store."

US Treasury Mining Company Headquarters: As advertised.

Chloride Militia Barracks and Armory: As advertised. Bear in mind, a militia is made up of people actually living here doing other things, not actual US Army troops.

Barber/Doctor's Office: Not marked, located next to the Law Office.

Conspicuously absent: There is no church, yet.

For simplicity's sake, all the buildings you see in the picture are there in various states of completion.

Jergard Stanton

posted... Rolling 
on Mon 18 Jan 2016 @ 1:11 PM (PBW Time)

Jergard leads his horse and wagon through the town along the main drag, looking for a good place to roll out his wagon show in the morning. He decides the area across the street from the Treasury is going to be best. Nothing much there now, near the militia and miners, and not too close to the hangin tree.

He checks on the preacher in the back, and if he's awake tells him "Stay here for a minute. I'll be back shortly. Have to see a man about a horse, then I want to have some words with you." He keeps his tone even, just on the edge of friendly. If the preacher is still asleep, Jergard lets him rest and locks up the wagon.

He leads the horse back to the stables and sees about getting water and oats for the beast and a place to hitch her up over night.

He then goes across the street to the Inn and Saloon and asks about a room for the night.

Finally he heads back to his wagon and the preacher. He'll wake the man up if need be and lead him to the Inn and fill him in on what Jergard has seen of the town so far, and plans for the next day.

"I haven't seen a church, so either folk here don't have much faith, there's a traveling preacher who makes use of one of the other buildings, or they just ain't built on yet.

"In any case, I wanna set up my stage show tomorrow. part of that is going to be my miracle cures, and to help sell that you're gonna lay there all half dead, then when I give you the cure you'll jump up good as new. Think you can manage that?"

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Deaths' sun bleached door 
on Mon 18 Jan 2016 @ 8:22 PM (PBW Time)

The trip is rather uneventful as far as the preacher is concerned. Occasionally a jostle solicits a slight moan, or maybe a slightly louder groan.

Compared to the shade-less side of the tree the wagon is a paradise allowing the man to finally get some dreamless sleep.

Jergard doesn't know how long the man was out there, and by how he acted, this so called "preacher" probably doesn't know either.

The preachers eyes shoot open as Jergard reigns the wagon into position. The sudden stop and the sounds of people force the preacher awake from forced habit.

"Stay here for a minute. I'll be back shortly. Have to see a man about a horse, then I want to have some words with you," Jergard states in a tone that reminds the preacher that he might have just gone from the frying pan into the fire.

"Yea...sure. Not goin anywhere." The preacher calmly responds while getting into a more comfortable position in the now stationary wagon.

When Jergard leaves, the preacher takes a moment to look around at the oddities of this particular conveyance. He also takes the time to test his strength a little and try to rub some circulation back into his limbs. It's painful, but at least it lets him know he's still all there.

With nowhere else to go and lacking the strength to try moving, the preacher stays put and listens to try to figure out where the heck he is and see what little is left on his person.


posted... All that's left ... 
on Mon 18 Jan 2016 @ 9:23 PM (PBW Time)

  After some water and some rest, the Preacher feels much better. Not 100%, but able to walk. All that's left to him though are the clothes on his back - the black Catholic Priest's frock that, at this point, has faded to a faded, dirty gray.

The only other thing left here to you is the hatchet Jergard used to cut you down. It's well worn, but very sturdy. It's also significant, somehow ... something to do with an old man back where you came from ...

... something ... bad ...

Jergard's return snaps the priest out of his dark reverie. He offers to lead the priest to a rented room at the saloon and explains, "I haven't seen a church, so either folk here don't have much faith, there's a traveling preacher who makes use of one of the other buildings, or they just ain't built on yet.

"In any case, I wanna set up my stage show tomorrow. part of that is going to be my miracle cures, and to help sell that you're gonna lay there all half dead, then when I give you the cure you'll jump up good as new. Think you can manage that?"

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Honest dishonesty 
on Mon 18 Jan 2016 @ 10:19 PM (PBW Time)

The preacher thinks on this proposal for a moment and eyes Jergard for a bit. The man may be a swindler, but he was honest enough to accept a burden that he didn't have to.

"Seeing as you did rescue me from certain death, I owe you. If this is what you want in return for my salvation, then I'm obliged to let you have it. Just...make sure there's nothing bad in your so called cure."

The preacher moves to let Jergard help him up, "I remember a family purchasing a cure from another Snakeoil vendor, spent all they had on it too. They were dead the next day. Undertaker said it was poison by the color of their fingernails and teeth, all black as coal."

The preacher coughs a bit and clears his throat. "Sorry, thinking of it turns my stomach a bit. I'm probably worrying about nothing, but old habits die hard and there's enough death out here already."

Jergard Stanton

posted... Why poison? 
on Sat 30 Jan 2016 @ 9:12 AM (PBW Time)

"Why in hell would I want to poison my customers? That's no way to get repeat business." Jergard takes one of his bottles down from a shelf and uncorks it. He takes a swig, and passes it to Blondie.

"It's mostly river water I let sit in a barrel with some wild flowers to give it a sweet taste, strained through cloth, with drops of different juices for color.

"It ain't any kind of real cure, but it ain't gonna hurt nobody neither."

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Quality of Character 
on Sun 31 Jan 2016 @ 12:18 AM (PBW Time)

The de-collared preacher takes a sniff and a taste. Finding the contents to not be dangerous he passes the bottle back to Jergard.

"Had to ask. Never did find out why that other feller left death in his wake. Still, that's in the past. Who knows, maybe you've accidentally found something that does work."

The preacher takes a throaty breath to clear some of the dust out of his lungs, "Well, if you want me to do something tomorrow, what is it that we should do today?"

The preacher calmly takes the worn hatchet and places it into his belt with the practiced ease of someone who had spent countless hours perfecting it.
A gentle brush of his frock, which now resembles a duster thanks to the accumulated grime, and the hatchet vanishes into the cloth. Oddly enough the man mentions nothing of this hatchet nor it's significance. Perhaps that is a story best left for another time. Maybe after food.


posted... Interuption 
on Sat 6 Feb 2016 @ 1:16 AM (PBW Time)

  As Stanton and the Preacher approach the Saloon, they notice a middle-aged man, thin as whipcord, seated on a chair next to the door. He stands as they approach, adjusting his hat and giving them a sardonic grin from under a hefty mustache. He rests his left hand on his hip, and his right comes to rest naturally on the low-slung revolver in its holster. On his chest, a bright tin star winks even in the shade over the saloon's porch.

"Afternoon, gentlemen," he says. "Sheriff Pratt. Saw you come in on that salesman's wagon." He steps up closer to Jergard, and Stanton finds himself looking way up. The Sheriff is easily six and a half feet tall - maybe taller. "If you're going to work the crowds here with whatever miracle water you're carrying, you'd best know things can get dangerous for merchants just passing through. It's best if they give some due to the law. And by law, I mean me."
His eyes and stance harden - not that they were soft before. "And in case you're slow on the uptake, stranger, by 'due' I mean fifty percent of whatever you make. Do we have an undertsanding?"

Jergard Stanton

posted... Naturally 
on Tue 9 Feb 2016 @ 9:59 AM (PBW Time)

So that's how it is around here ... Jergard thinks. He hides his disdain with practiced ease. This isn't the first corrupt sheriff he's dealt with.

With an affable smile, Jergard steps forward, right hand out stretched. "Certainly, my good man. Certainly! Wouldn't have it any other way. I've always been a friend of the law, ain't that right, Blondie?" he turns to the preacher and slaps him lightly in the chest with the back of his hand.

"Why just last month we helped the sheriff of ... where was it, Blondie?" He pauses, long enough for the preacher to open his mouth, but not long enough for him to say anything. "That's right. We helped him round up some cattle rustlers. Mostly by just keeping to ourselves and staying out of Sheriff McGovern's way, but also with a generous donation to the Orphans, Sheriff, and School House fund.

"Remember our farewell party, Blondie? Got the whole town to pitch in. Course it didn't hurt that they got two ripe tomatoes for every nickel they donated, and them rustlers tied up to the pillory in the center of town.

"You shoulda been there, Sheriff. That was quite a night."


posted... A Different Kind of Welcome 
on Tue 9 Feb 2016 @ 8:35 PM (PBW Time)

  The Sheriff's expression goes from condescending intimidation to confused incredulity. "Right," he finally says after a moment. "My office is over there. Don't leave town before saying good bye, Mr. Stanton."

The Sheriff walks away, getting back up on the boardwalk and striding along at an easy pace. People going towards him on the boardwalk get out of his way or suddenly find a reason to cross the street - and he keeps walking along like this is how things ought to be.

Stanton and Blondie head into the Silver Dipper, finding it as one would expect to find a saloon as the sun goes down on a mining town. There are only a few customers, yet, but the staff is busy getting ready for the nightly rush. It's the usual layout - a big central area with plenty of tables, bar to the left, stairs to the right leading up to a catwalk and the rooms they rent. Going towards the back, one can go under the catwalk and end up in what looks like a more respectable restaraunt, where a sharp-looking older gentleman sits playing cards with a woman dressed to the nines in silk skirts and a fancy bodice. The older man looks up at your entrance, excuses himself, and walks on over.

"Welcome to the Silver Dipper, gentlemen. My name is Niel ... Neil Backton, the owner. You've come in ahead of the rush, so I now have the luxury and pleasure of welcoming you, personally. Can I provide you with a room for the night? Some whiskey? Companionship?" Backton's slick talk seems sincere - it doesn't have the fake-sounding veneer of most hucksters. More like the earnest welcome of a businessman who genuinely wants your business.

"Blondie" The Preacher

posted... Realization 
on Wed 10 Feb 2016 @ 7:38 PM (PBW Time)

The priest did his best to keep the role of "Blondie" his sand colored hair and dust covered appearance helping the effect. Seeing the Sheriff was like a cold splash of water on his face.


*I was here.*

If nothing else confirmed it, it was Neil at the Silver Dipper that locked the realization home. Only years of study and focused prayer kept the preacher's face from betraying this fact.

*Why was I here?*

The preacher was thankful to have such a silver-tongued companion, and now that he's "such good and long time friends" with him, they're both going to be in for an interesting evening.

Not wanting to see if anyone recognizes him...possibly for the worst, the preacher changes his voice slightly in the presence of Neil, "Mr. Stanton," setting the scene for tomorrow's work, "I've been feeling a tad ill tonight, could you decide before my head spins off?"

This change of character is very obvious to Stanton, as the Preacher isn't hiding it at all.

Jergard Stanton

posted... Certainly 
on Sat 13 Feb 2016 @ 10:06 PM (PBW Time)

"Certainly, my good man, certainly. We shall require a room with due haste. Perhaps you or one of your competent and capable staff can find my associate a quiet place to lie down before we go over the specifics of our accommodations in your find establishment.

"The road to your fair town was long, and my friend doesn't travel well. He'll be right as rain after a few days of rest. Perhaps sooner if I can convince him to take a draft of my patented miracle elixir." Stanton gives the preacher a sharp, quick glare meant to be seen by the small audience developing, and an almost imperceptible nod meant for the preacher.

Once he has a moment with Neil, Stanton will ask for clarification on a few points: 1) Does the companionship come with a separate room, and if so, for how long?
2) What does it take to join in the poker game?
3) Is there a more traditional location for him to set up his wagon than where it is right now?
4) Stanton will try to subtly ask Neil's opinion on the Sherriff. Is he well liked by the town, or merely tolerated? Does he shake down all the businesses, or just the traveling merchants? etc.

If Stanton can talk his way into the card game, perhaps after dinner when more folks are around, he'll play it straight. No cheating, unless he catches someone else cheating.


posted... settling in 
on Sun 14 Feb 2016 @ 2:57 PM (PBW Time)

  Backton picks up on the show you two are putting on quickly. "A room it is, my friends." He motions to one of the girls working the room and has her show the Preacher up the stairs to a small, simple room with two beds and a wash-basin.

"Anything else I can get for you, hon?" she asks sweetly. "Water, some food?"


Meanwhile, downstairs, Backton invites Stanton to sit with him a while. He's an easy conversationalist, and answers Stanton's questions:

1. He can give you a room where one of his ladies will entertain you. How long you need it depends on how much you can pay for it.
2. The poker games are not organized - not tonight, anyway. If you want to join a game you have to ask the men playing.
3. After asking you where your wagon is set up, Backton recommends you move it closer to the bank. "Not for any reason related to selling your wares - only for safety of your goods. There are guards watching that building at all hours."

This leads you easily to a chance to ask about the Sheriff. "Why not close to the Sheriff's office?" you ask.

Backton gives you a look. "I know you've met the man," he says, "so this warning should come as no shock. Sheriff Pratt enforces what laws suit his needs. That's made him enough friends to survive and enough enemies to be interesting - but if he thinks he gain by plundering your wagon he will.

"Speaking of your wagon ... do you need a man to help you with your show tomorrow?"
[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  Exit