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[DitV] Snakeweed Crossing Branch

Started by Warren, July 26, 2005, 11:04:01 AM

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This is a big old town that I've just ran with my group of players. It took three sessions of play with an average of three Dogs per session. It's basically Clement's Patch with the serial numbers filed off and escalated to boiling point. You'll notice that I provide stats for my major NPCs. This makes it easier (for me) to use them during play, but obviously, you don't have to use what I've got here.

Anyway; here's Snakeweed Crossing...

Opening Scene

The Dogs have been riding Eastward along a dusty track loosely following an under-construction railroad track. The landscape is all rocky hills sprinkled with stubby bushes and tufts of scrubland grass. The brisk winds sweep dust up into the clear blue sky, and the sun burns down. They pass a few wagons of railroad workers passing them on the way towards Bridal Falls to continue building. The workers watch the Dogs warily, aware that they are outsiders in the land of the Faithful.

Snakeweed Crossing itself is a small town clustered around a railroad bridge crossing a broad river. The main town lies to the North of the railroad, centred around a fairly impressive wooden church. One of the houses along the main street has been blown to kindling, and is just a burnt-out skeleton. Another, larger, house is being built next to it. Another ranch, on the edge of town, is dilapidated and in very poor repair. The rest of the town is unremarkable until you get to the railroad. This marks an informal boundary between the Faithful settlement and the shanty town where railroad workers rest. This area is little more than a few hastily constructed shacks and tents, and is fairly quiet at the moment.

One thing which is very noticeable is the newness of the wealth, and the age of the poverty -- this town has only recently come into money, and was struggling seriously beforehand. The second major point is the number of women compared to men in this town; indeed most of the menfolk have two or more wives, which is unusual in itself. If asked, any of the townsfolk will tell the Dogs that Snakeweed Crossing was, up until recently, struggling to survive. The King had seen fit to provide only poor harvests and deliver families many more baby girls than they might expect for years now, driving the town into crisis. As such, multiple marriages are common, simply to support all the women, but a few months ago, things have picked up dramatically after Steward Young managed to get the railroad to come through. That's brought new people and much needed trading opportunities to the town, and now things are good indeed!

Something's Wrong

PRIDE: The Steward is proud of the fact he has managed to save the town from drying up and blowing away by arranging for the railroad to pass through here, and keeping the railroad workers spending money here.

PRIDE: Brother Willard is Proud. He thinks that the Steward has been favouring some of the other townsfolk over him, and he deserves better.

PRIDE: Sister Constance, Brother Willard's wife is also proud. She thinks that she should have married someone better than Willard, whom she now regards as a moaning layabout.

INJUSTICE: Because the Steward is trying to keep the railroad workers spending money in his town, he has taken his eye off his congregation, and just lets them get on with it.

INJUSTICE: Because of his pride, Willard treats what he does have poorly, and his family suffer.

INJUSTICE: Because of this, Constance, has to go virtually begging for supplies to their neighbours, and she resents him for forcing her into such a position.

SIN: The Steward is guilty of some minor Worldliness. He has had to have a lot of dealings with the Faithless in order to get the railroad to pass through, and is more comfortable around them than he really should be.

SIN: The daughter of Willard, Abigail starts prostitution with the railroad workers to get cash for her family. She hides if from them, saying that she is cooking and cleaning for them.

SIN: Willard's son has taken to going off into the desert and killing any critter he can find, in the vain hope that his father might show him some attention.

DEMONIC ATTACKS: The demons cause an explosion (a wagon carrying supplies of nitroglycerin) which spares another girl, Mary, who then turns to prostitution.

DEMONIC ATTACKS:  The Demons continue to cause accidents (explosions, fires, etc.) which leave young attractive woman homeless & desperate, and hence open to becoming prostitutes.

HABITUAL SIN: Mary starts prostitution too to get cash to rebuild her life.

HABITUAL SIN: Mary & Seth - the son of the general store owner - have illicit sex in return for Seth's help in building Mary a new house (brothel).

HABITUAL SIN: Seth is stealing supplies from his father in order to rebuild Mary's house/the brothel. He is framing Willard's young son to divert attention away from himself.

FALSE DOCTRINE: THE KING OF LIFE OFFERS PROSTITUTION AS A WAY OUT OF POVERTY.Abigail and Seth try to believe this to hide their guilt, but Mary has gone for it entirely. In fact, the Demons appear to her as "The Spirit of the Lady", and she has taken as some new doctrine: THE KING OF LIFE HAS SENT THE SPIRIT OF THE LADY TO WATCH OVER PROSTITUTES.

CORRUPT WORSHIP: The girls all offer little prayers to the King after each transaction. They spread the False Doctrine around to the other disadvantaged girls, and attract them into a life of prostitution.

FALSE PRIESTHOOD: Abigail, Mary & Seth have formed a false priesthood and have set up a organised prostitution ring. They already have some of the other girls affected by the Demonic attacks working for them.

SORCERY: Mary has willingly decided that she has been through enough hardship, as have all the other young girls who have been forced into this position, and calls upon the "Spirit of the Lady" to help her guide them. This "Spirit" is, of course, a manifestation of the Demons.

  • Mary, under the guidance of the Lady, has decided to turn her new house (which is being built by Seth) into a Brothel.
  • Mary uses the Lady to spread word of the pretty young prostitutes of Snakeweed Crossing to more and more outsiders, thus increasing business & her income. Any young disadvantaged girls are also drawn here, looking for a chance to earn money.
  • Any of the girls at the brothel can be possessed by the Spirit, as Mary decides.

Cast of Characters:
These characters have 2d4, 2d6, 1d8 and 2d10 in Free Dice. These can be spent by the Gamesmaster at any time to modify the Traits or Relationships of any of these characters. The Powers* and Manifestations* are only available when the character is Possessed by the Demons.

The Steward, Brother Zachary Young
Whilst he likes the recent influx of railroad workers stopping in his town, as it was on the brink of becoming a ghost town, he is worried about the number of accidents (in fact caused by the Demons) that they seem to have brought with them. He would like the Dogs to talk to those who have been affected, such as Mary, and ensure that they don't hold a grudge. He wants the Dogs to know how important having these railroad workers around is to the community. As a minor point, it would be nice if the Dogs could stop off at Brother
Willard's and try to sort things out between them.

Stats: Acuity 4, Body 4, Heart 4, Will 6.
Traits: "I'm the Steward", 1d10. "Let's make a deal", 2d8. "The railroad is our future", 1d6. Fiery temper, 1d4.
Relationships: John Walker Wesley and his men, 1d8. Brother Willard, 1d6. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Pearl handled revolver, 2d6+1d4. Good quality pocket watch, 2d6.

Brother Willard Hobson, Unsuccessful Rancher
He wants the Dogs to find the Steward guilty of unfairness and remove him. He suspects that the Steward has been using Sorcery to achieve his ends, but won't come right out and say it. Other than that, he's a broken man; despite his best efforts, everything fails
for him anyway, so why try?

Stats: Acuity 3, Body 4, Heart 3, Will 3.
Traits: I'm a true beliver in the King of Life, 1d6. I have a powerful temper, 2d4. I used to be a good rancher, 1d4. "Why do I even bother?" 2d4.
Relationships: Steward Zachary Young, 2d10. My daughter, 1d4. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Big ol' double-barrelled shotgun, 1d8+1d4. Some sickly-looking livestock, 1d4.

Sister Constance Hobson, Willard's Wife
She secretly wants the Dogs to 'sort Willard out' and get him working again. She thinks it is strange and unholy that all these railroad workers are still hanging around when construction has moved on some distance away. She wants the Dogs to find out what is happening. If and when she finds out about daughter's sins, she will fly off the deep end and attack Willard with a shotgun, and then start a mob of the Faithful to burn down the brothel and the girls - to purify them. She would want the Dogs help and support if it came to this.

Stats: Acuity 4, Body 4, Heart 3, Will 5.
Traits: "The King of Life wants us to smite the wicked!", 1d6. "I shouldn't have married that fool", 2d4. "I have to do all the work", 2d4. "Expect kindness if you show it to others", 2d4.
Relationships: Brother Willard, 2d4. Sister Heezokisa, 1d4. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Willard's big ol' double-barrelled shotgun, 1d8+1d4.

Jacob Hobson, Willard's Son
Jacob has taken to hunting & killing every critter that crosses through the nearby territory, in hopes of impressing his father, and thus gaining some attention. That's all he wants, and will especially impressed if any of the male Dogs take an interest in him.

Stats: Acuity 5, Body 3, Heart 3, Will 4.
Traits: "I can catch any wild animal, me!", 2d10. "I can get through there!", 1d6. "I'm just a kid.", 2d4. "Why doesn't Father notice me?", 2d4.
Relationships: Sister Heezokisa, 1d8. My Dad, 3d6. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Well made - and stolen - hunting knife, 2d6.

Sister Abigail Hobson, Willard's Daughter, Prostitute & Cultist
She wants to keep her family looked after, but doesn't want to reveal her sinning to them. Is afraid of the Dogs, and tends to hide behind Mary when she can. She wants the Dogs to leave her alone and get her father to treat her family properly.

Stats: Acuity 3, Body 4, Heart 6, Will 2.
Traits: Pretty Young Thing, 2d8. Charming, 2d6. "Stubborn when she wants to be", 1d6. Easily led, 1d4.
Relationships: Sister Mary O'Brien, 2d10. Sister Hezookisa 1d6. "The Spirit of the Lady", a Demon, 2d4. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Nothing of note.
Powers*: Cunning, Preservation.
Manifestations*: My hair moves even without wind. My skin feels warm to the touch.

Sister Hezookisa, Potential Prostitute
A young girl - a lone convert from the Mountain People, who lives with the Hobson family. She is not attracting the attentions of any boys in the town, and wonders what the King of Life has planned for her. Mary & Abigail have approached her with their offer, and she
wants the Dogs to tell her what to do.

Stats: Acuity 5, Body 3, Heart 4, Will 3.
Traits: "I'll do whatever the King of Life needs me to do", 2d8. Hardworking, 1d6. Pretty, 1d6. "I'm not too sure, what do you think?", 2d4.
Relationships: Sister Abigail Hobson, 2d8. Sister Constance Hobson, 2d4. Sister Mary O'Brien, 1d6. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Nothing of note.

Sister Mary O'Brien, Prostitution Cult Leader
Taken her false doctrine too far, and has summoned the Demons to her cause. She wants to become rich by building and running her brothel. Mary wants the construction workers to know about her girls and the brothel, but not the Faithful (unless the Dogs say it's OK). Isn't afraid of the Dogs, and wants them to approve of her venture. Will resort to seduction and violence to achieve her ends if she has to, but is quite rational and willing to bargain.

Stats: Acuity 4, Body 2, Heart 5, Will 4.
Traits: "I know the Book of Life", 2d10. Attractive, 2d8. "My pa was the town doctor", d6. I love that old photo of my family, 2d4.
Relationships: "The Spirit of the Lady", a Demon, 4d6. Brother Seth, 2d8. Sister Abigail, 1d6. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Derringer in garter belt, 2d4. Old photo of my family, 1d4.
Powers*: Cunning, Ferocity, Preservation, Viciousness.
Manifestations*: My hair moves even without wind. My skin feels warm to the touch.My eyes burn with an inner fire, and my fingernails become razor-sharp claws.

Brother Seth Culver, Hamilton's Son & Cultist
A big, likable guy, he wants impress Mary. In his heart of hearts, he would like Mary to marry him, but he thinks that will be impossible now, so he goes along with her. If pushed he wants the Dogs to help Mary back away from what she is doing, otherwise he wants to put the blame for his thefts on Willard's young son.

Stats: Acuity 3, Body 6, Heart 4, Will 3.
Traits: "I'm a big lad", 1d10. "I'm good with my hands", 1d8. "Sly as a fox", 1d6. "I wouldn't know much about that", 2d4.
Relationships: Sister Mary O'Brien, 3d8. "The Spirit of the Lady", a Demon, 1d6. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: A big, well-made, hammer, 2d8. A good set of carpentry tools, 2d6.
Powers*: Ferocity.
Manifestations*: My eyes burn with an inner fire.

Brother Hamilton Culver, General Store Owner
Wants the Dogs to find out who's been stealing from him, but doesn't want them to scare off the railroad workers. He needs their income to keep his shop afloat.

Stats: Acuity 5, Body 3, Heart 4, Will 4.
Traits: Dedicated to his work, 2d8. We must keep the railroad workers coming here, 2d6. "I'm a pretty good listener", 1d6. Afraid of poverty, 1d4.
Relationships: Zachary Young, the Steward, 1d6. John Walker Wesley & the railroad workers, 1d8. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Apart from the contents of his store, nothing of note.

Railroad Workers, led by John Walker Wesley
John Walker Wesley is the most influential of the railroad workers staying in Snakeweed Crossing . One of his legs got crushed when a rail fell on it, and he is recuperating in a shack South of the railroad. About a half-dozen of his mates from the team are keeping him company. The railroad workers, as a whole, want to keep on visiting the girls, and they want the brothel to be built, and they aren't afraid of the Dogs. Some of the supplies for the railroad have been going missing (due to Seth stealing them), and they suspect the Faithful, but don't know why. They would like the Dogs to find out who is responsible and punish the guilty.

Stats: Acuity 4, Body 3, Heart 5, Will 6.
Traits: Respected by his men, 2d10. Air of violence, 1d8. Tough as nails, 2d6. Suspicious of the Faithful, 1d6. Letcherous, 2d4. Injured leg, 1d4.
Relationships: The Railroad Workers 3d6, The Steward, 1d6. Mary O'Connor 2d4. Blood Relations, 1d6.
Belongings: Big, heavy, shovel, 1d8. Revolver, 1d6+1d4.

The Workers: John Walker Wesley has a bunch of several railroad workers who act has assistants, bodyguards and lackeys. In any fight you would have to get through them first.

Stats: Acuity 6, Body 9, Heart 7, Will 8.
Traits:Big Negro, 1d10. Old Retired Gunfighter, 1d10. Angry Irishman, 1d8. Brash Kid, 2d6. Scheming Lackey, 1d6. Clumsy Oaf, 1d4.
Relationships: John Walker Wesley, 2d6. The prostitutes, 1d4. Blood Relations, 1d6.

What the Demons Want
They want the brothel to be built, and the prostitution to continue to grow. To that end, they want Hezookisa to join, and Constance to die in an 'accident', but only after she has flown off the handle at Willard and killed him. They want the construction workers to continue to arrive, but if they are scared off, that's OK too -- this place could become abandoned without their influx of money. Finally, any fights between the major players would be welcomed.

What would happen if the Dogs never came?
The brothel would get built and more girls (including Hezookisa) will be drawn into prostitution. Eventually the operation would get so big that it could not be missed, and Sister Constance would lead a doomed mob to burn down the brothel, after killing Willard with his own shotgun. Unfortunately, the demons and railroad workers will come to the defence of the girls, and a messy bloodbath would erupt. Whoever wins, the Faithful of Snakeweed Crossing will be lost and the town will fall to vice or lose it's income and become a ghost town.