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[DitV] Tribulation Branch

Started by ptikachu, May 07, 2005, 03:24:19 AM

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This is a town I created for a game I ran recently at the FLGS, for two new players and one of my longtime players. It turned out quite well; details forthcoming.

Tribulation Branch

Tribulation Branch is a Faithful settlement built on cold, dry rock and surrounded by harsh natural beauty: columns of ancient stone in all directions. Zebulon Eludai founded Tribulation because he had a vision from the King of Life that faith could best be found in this holy yet unforgiving spot. The harsher the living, the better, he said. It is a prayer retreat as well as a trading stop between the nearest Territorial Fort, Fort Gerrold, and the Faithful town of Claybridge.

Steward Thomas Shoe is the guardian of this Branch, and he and his plain wife Jane run the prayer retreat together with their soon-to-be-wed daughter Mathilda.

The farmers of Tribulation Branch look to Daniel Haggerty for leadership. Haggerty is the strong man of the community, a former militiaman who fought the Mountain Folk in long-ago skirmishes, and now acts as de facto sheriff. Haggerty is an old friend of Shoe's and is engaged to marry young Mathilda. The problem is, he keeps a lover, a Mountain Woman outcast named Eliza who dwells in a lonely cottage hidden in the hills to the north. Eliza is trying to learn the Faith, having come to it on her own, but the depth of her sin and the twisted doctrines that Haggerty teaches her are doing her little good. She is confused and forced to rely on her lover for guidance. He just hands her children's leaflets that don't have any mention of sex and marriage, conveniently enough.

Shoe knows that Haggerty is screwing around but turns a blind eye to it, being too much of a coward and knowing who really wears the pants in Tribulation.

TA: The Territorial Army fort, Fort Gerrold, is run by Captain Parker, who hates this assignment and expects to transfer out soon, and doesn't care what happens after he's gone. He'll settle for a quick fix (bribery) over any long-term solution. Fort Gerrold houses a hundred soldiers, most of them ill-disciplined ruffians who wouldn't make the cut anywhere else.

PRIDE: Haggerty thinks he can enjoy his lover while marrying Mathilda at the same time. Mathilda has learned about this INJUSTICE through eavesdropping on Haggerty and her father, which has led her to anger and SIN.

SIN: Yep, she's recently lost her virginity to one of the dumb young soldiers who visit the town for supplies, mainly to spite her father and her future husband. This screwing around has led to DEMONIC ATTACKS. Demons of lust and violence are influencing the rowdy young Territorial soldiers spending their leave prowling around Tribulation, leading to them attacking the town's daughters. It doesn't help that Mathilda informs her soldier friends of the townsfolk's patrol routes so that they can steer clear of them. Tensions are rising.

Also, strange dark birds circle the rocks and peck at young children in the open.

FALSE DOCTRINE: All around. Mathilda believes she is the one who was wronged first, and has come to the conclusion that the King of Life will bring terrible vengeance down upon Haggerty and his woman. To that end she is praying for the King to send his messengers to bring doom upon the Mountain Woman and the old militiaman. CORRUPT RELIGIOUS PRACTICES, baby. The Demons hear her and she is approaching Sorceresshood if not stopped. Candles, private ceremony, voodoo involving a Haggerty dolly. Also, Haggerty is trying to convince Eliza that what they're doing is all right, and is also trying to get Shoe to marry them in a secret, heretical ceremony. So far Shoe is resisting out of sheer self-preservation, which is kind of brave of him we suppose. Shoe can't resist for long.

Mathilda wants the Dogs to take Haggerty and Eliza down, and accuses Eliza of being a sorceress. In fact supernatural Demonic attacks (dark birds) will occur around Eliza when the Dogs are around, but they are not actively obeying Mathilda yet, merely trying to make things worse.

If the Dogs don't kill Eliza, Mathilda will try to persuade a soldier to rape her...

Meanwhile, Haggerty is just hoping for two quiet marriages and has no idea what Hell is in store for him. He's also willing to kill any soldier who touches his future wife. He blithely thinks the soldiers are the cause of it all, and does not suspect Mathilda at all.

Steward Shoe doesn't want his dereliction of duty to be discovered, and will blame things on the soldiers first, then on his daughter. He will implicate Haggerty last of all, and will not confront his own shortcomings unless pressed.

And Eliza is praying for Haggerty to change his ways. In fact she may approach the Dogs in secret to beg for their help in redeeming him.

Captain Parker wants the Dogs to calm the town down (and they may have to after his soldiers gang-rape a local girl), and offers liquor, gold, tobacco, powder and anything else he can pilfer through his corrupt quartermaster crony. He's a bastard, but he will have offending soldiers flogged brutally. In public, if need be.

The demons want the town ruined. Best case: Shooting war between the Army and the Faithful. Also good: run Eliza off the road of Faith by framing her as a sorceress. Also good: ruin Haggerty one way or another. They want the Dogs to get into a fight with soldiers, and may even possess a soldier at one point.

If the Dogs didn't show up, Mathilda and some of her soldier friends might start a False Priesthood/menage a trois. Haggerty would have his marriage to Eliza, but then Mathilda's wedding would go horribly bad and Haggerty would have to kill a soldier at some point. Then Captain Parker would demand blood retribution, and at best Tribulation would have its heart torn out, with the demons circling the pieces that remain, like sharks.

How guilty is Shoe? Is Mathilda close enough to being a witch to be killed for it? What should Haggerty's punishment be? Can the Dogs save Eliza? And how will the Dogs deal with Parker's soldiers?

Here's one idea to kick off the town: The PCs ride into town just as a hapless young soldier is about to be lynched by the town storekeeper for raping his daughter. The catch - the private is innocent of the rape, but is protecting his friends who committed the crime and are now back at the fort.