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[DitV] King's Butte Branch

Started by Cyrus Marriner, October 07, 2005, 04:47:02 AM

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Cyrus Marriner

Here's the town I came up with for my first session of DitV.


King's Butte Branch


Steward Edwin attends to the needs of the small, poor, King's Butte Branch.  For the last five years, the settlers there have barely made enough to get by, relying on their poor farmland for meager sustenance, with hand-made textiles supplying what little extra income they have.

Then, there was blight.  The town barely had enough to get by on anyway, and certainly not enough for a surplus to take them through these lean times.  The Mountain People had food, but the congregation had nothing to trade with them.  Steward Edwin was losing his congregation's faith, particularly the faith of Brother Lemuel, a farmer who was voicing the most vocal displeasure with Steward Edwin.  Brother Lemuel even confided to his wife, Sister Constance, that he believes he would be a better steward than Brother Edwin.

Steward Edwin came up with a solution borne out of desperation in response to his congregation's failing trust in him: he offered several of the young unmarried women in the town to the Mountain People in exchange for the food they needed to survive, including Sister Bedelia, Brother Lemuel's daughter.  With this arrangement, the congregation survived, and most were satisfied with the arrangement, except for the parents of those being prostituted by Steward Edwin.  They, however, grudgingly agreed.

Sister Bedelia, however, has fallen in love with one of the Mountain People, Swooping Hawk.  She believes that because the sex was necessary for the people to survive, it was therefore pure in the eyes of the King of Life and not a sin.  She also believes that because her relationship is pure, she can be married to Swooping Hawk, and has been unreceptive to the courtship of Brother Phineas, who is the sibling of Sister Philomena, another of the prostitutes.


Several young women have been coerced into sex outside of wedlock and with Mountain People, on the grounds it is necessary to save the congregation.

Sister Bedelia is unreceptive to courtship, and therefore not fulfilling her role as a young woman.


The prostitution is obviously a sin, in many different ways.  The unmarried sex is a sin, and the act of coercing the women into the unmarried sex is also a sin.  Prostitution in and of itself might be a sin, independent of the two component sins.

Brother Phineas and Lemuel are sick and tired of seeing their family members forced into prostitution, and have starting forming small groups with the other men and attacking the Mountain People and taking their supplies.  Thus far, the attacks have been covert and bloodless, but that could change at any time.  They have been anticipating violence, and will not shy away from it--although they won't admit it, they're looking for a fight.


The new crops are starting to come up, but they're sparse and in a sad state.  It's starting to look like the congregation will have to continue their unhealthy relationship with the Mountain People, which is unsettling a lot of the people who thought the prostitution would only last through the winter.  Lemuel is seriously starting to consider trying to run Steward Edwin out of town, as he feels public opinion slowly turning against the Steward.

The Demons are also trying to strengthen the love between Sister Bedelia and Swooping Hawk, because that encourages...


...specifically, Sister Bedelia's belief that because her sex is necessary for the survival of the village, it is not a sin.  In fact, because her love is a sort of self-sacrifice, she believes her love is pure and her marriage to Swooping Hawk is already ordained in heaven.  In summary, her belief is that a sin isn't a sin if it is done for the right reasons.  She talks with the other prostitutes, and has spread this belief to them, since they all desperately want to rationalize their acts before the King of Life.


The prostitutes are starting to use ceremony, or imitations thereof, as part of their sexual practices, particularly anointing themselves with sacred earth before sex.  They don't actually have sacred earth, but they imitate the general procedure as well as they can with what they have.  They also burn incense in prayer, an adaptation of a ritual of the Mountain People.  And since there are five prostitutes doing this, that would make this a cult, which would make Sister Bedelia the head of a...


Bedelia's philosophy is pretty much predicated on one thing: she wants to marry Swooping Hawk, and she wants it to be okay with the King of Life.  The demons know this, and they're fine with that.  So they're going to do all they can to help her out, like make sure the Mountain People's relationship with the congregation deteriorates to the point where, once they catch Brother Lemuel's little band of raiders, they'll just attack the congregation outright.  And the congregation would have no chance of winning.  If that happens, Sister Bedelia will be more than free to marry Swooping Hawk.


Steward Edwin wants the dogs to tell him that what he's done is okay.

Brother Lemuel wants the dogs to stop the congregation's association with the Mountain People, particularly his daughter's association.  He also wants the dogs to condemn Steward Edwin's actions, and he secretly wants them to make him the new Steward.

Sister Bedelia wants the dogs to marry her to Swooping Hawk.  She also wants them to affirm her philosophy, but a marriage will kind of be an affirmation and good enough for her.

Sister Constance wants the dogs to stop her daughter from having sex with the Mountain People.  She also wants the dogs to make her husband the steward, because that would be just as good as achieving objective one.

Brother Phineas wants the dogs to get those fucking Mountain People away from Bedelia so she'll be receptive to his courting.  He also wants the dogs to completely condemn the Mountain People as evil.

Sister Philomena wants the dogs to say that she hasn't been sinning.

Swooping Hawk doesn't want anything from the dogs, but he wants the congregation to accept his marriage with Bedelia so he could argue to his tribe's leadership that the congregation is part of the tribe, and therefore entitled to the tribe's resources so they could end the shameful prostitution.  This is something the dogs could give him, he just doesn't know it.  He also wants to marry Bedelia because he loves her.

The Demons want the congregation and the Mountain People to go to war.  They want the dogs to keep the Mountain People and congregation from reconciling.

If the dogs don't show up, then either the Mountain People will catch Brother Lemuel's raiders and kill them, or Lemuel will try to take the stewardship from Edwin by force, probably killing him in the process.  Either way, it will end up in war with the Mountain Folk, and the branch will be wiped out.


The main problem I'm trying to work out here is that I don't like the "sorcery" that Sister Bedelia is invoking.  It was the best I came up with, and it feels more like a "monkey's paw" style of sorcery or wish fulfillment than the sort of sorcery outlined in the book, which feels more like the demons obeying the sorceress instead of pursuing their own agenda in the guise of aiding her.  From what I read in the town creation rules, it seems like sorcery can be the demons acting on silent yearnings because of the power the corrupt worship bestows upon the sorcerer, but this is kind of a perversion of Bedelia's desires that doesn't quite feel right.  I'm not even sure if I want the sorcery, I only went there because the I had corrupt worship involving three or more people.  There's a good chance I'll just say it's right on the verge of a false priesthood, and Bedelia could become a sorceress at any time that's appropriate to the story.

Otherwise, I'm fairly satisfied with the branch, but I certainly welcome any criticism.  It's my first attempt at town creation, and I'd like to know how I could improve it.

Nev the Deranged

I like it. I like especially Swooping Hawk actually sympathizes with the Branch-folk and wants to help them. I'm sure there are some among the Mountain People who look less favorably on these activities, just as there are probably Faithful  with a variety of opinions on the subject as well.

As for the sorcery... well, I barely noticed it. I mean, yeah, "the demons want...", but the stuff they want is just the stuff that's likely to happen anyway in a situation like this. Which I think is more or less typical for Dogs. How that manifests special-effects-wise will depend on where the supernatural dial ends up in your game (you can set it at a certain level to start, but your players will be the ones adjusting it in play to where they feel comfortable/excited). The prostitutes are definitely a cult, proponents of a way of life that runs counter to the Faith, whether the "demons" backing them up are actual demons or just the demons of human nature.

Just my 2c.


I like it.  It's a nasty town, but things look pretty straight forward.  I'll be interested in hearing what the Dogs come up with.  Some things seem very likely, but there's a lot of room for surprising manuvering.

Is there a reason the dogs can't just say, "We'll have other branches send you enough to tide you over," and have that solve everything but the marriage?

Hey, I'm Scott Martin. I sometimes scribble over on my blog, llamafodder. Some good threads are here: RPG styles.

Jason Morningstar

Yeah, what Nev said - it seems to me that everybody has a solid and defensible motivation for wanting what they want and doing what they do.  The demons don't matter much unless the players want them to.  And as far as having relief supplies shipped in, it's too late for that - the sexin' has been done. 

One thing I'm drawn to, though, is the idea (not really articulated in this town, but possible) that the growing cult and the Dogs might be compltely aligned in purpose.  That would be hot. 


Nev the Deranged

Quote from: Jason Morningstar on October 07, 2005, 11:49:00 AM
One thing I'm drawn to, though, is the idea (not really articulated in this town, but possible) that the growing cult and the Dogs might be compltely aligned in purpose.  That would be hot. 

Dooooood. And within a few years, the demon Vegas arises centuries ahead of schedule out of the Deseret territory...