Wounded West

The Story so far
a brief post to summarize all the ones I've not written

So, I havn’t kept this thing up to date. I’m going to write a quick summary post of the previous events, resulting the demise of Rupert Railways.

A fire burns down Miller’s Saloon. Excessive heat and energy in the fire, including strange flame coloration and several small explosions, attract the attention of the authorities. Frederick Müller himself is held under suspicion.

Shen Li seeks to rescue Huang Xiaojin, who was taken first by the Third Inquisition , then by the Circle of Nine Fists. Meanwhile, River Wallace, attempting to appease the water spirits that taunt him, begins to investigate the fire at the saloon.

Joined by Culloden, and Hans, their investigation takes them to the City Cathedral, where a variety of skulduggery eventually ends in a hole blasted into the floor of the Cathedral, exposing a very old and twisted catacomb below.

Shen Li and Chadsworth Edgewater, seeking to further progress in their investigation of Rupert Railways, and avoid further entanglements with the Inquisition, eventually make their way to the Rail district. Shen, being a railway worker, is dragooned into helping to unload a large amount of cargo from one of the trains. During a free moment, he manages to break open one of the crates, and discovers a large amount of Red Ore.

Shen and Chadsworth take up positions watching over the crates, to see who comes for them. In the evening, while a passenger train empties, Chadsworth is nearly caught by railyard security. He summons a hoard of rats, and taking advantage of the chaos caused by the frightened crowd of passengers to escape.

Unfortunately, the panicked crowd knocks over the evening lanterns, and a fire begins to burn in the station. The flames quickly reach the stockpile of red ore. The resulting explosion leaves nothing of the station remaining, and damages buildings four blocks away.

Fleeing San Francisco, Shen Li and a wounded Chadsworth Edgewater encounter Rutherford A. Sterling, Esq. “Gentleman Entomologist” and Tuesday Afternoon on a bug hunt. Together, they travel to the Railway Camp, to lay low and bide their time.

The camp is in chaos; with no supplies coming in, there is little for the workers to do. The impromptu fighting rings grow in frequency, and eventually bored of the usual matches, a bout between Rutherford and Shen is arranged.

The fight is eventually interrupted by the arrival of a chinese-style dragon . Shen manages to talk the dragon away from the camp, though many of the folk have already fled. The group attempts to determine where the dragon has come from, eventually following a switchback trail up the side of a mountain.

Here, they are stopped by a tall figure in a long hooded robe. In the ensuing fight, the creature is revealed as something wholly unnatural, with a spider-like head, and jabbing forearms like a preying mantis. Eventually, they defeat the demon with fire. By the time they find the cave at the head of the trail, there is no one remaining to get caught … but an open portal to shimmers in the back of the cave, arcane sigils carved into the floor. Spilled candles and a scuffed summoning circle suggest a hasty departure. Chadsworth Edgewater successfully manages to close the circle, preventing further incursions …

You meet in a saloon...

Session notes:

High Concept
Chadsworth Edgewater
Summoner for Hire
Hans Sengelmann
If you can name it, I can mix it
Rutherford A. Sterling, Esq.
Wealthy lordling seeking adventure!
Shen Li
Wushu Master, working on the Railroad

You meet in a bar …

characters: Chadsworth, Hans, Rutherford

Looking to begin gathering intel for his coming job, Chadsworth makes his way to San Francisco. He decided that the best place to start looking for information is a watering hole near the railroad warehouses. He enters Miller’s Saloon, where it happens that Hans is the bartender. Chadsworth tries the “make like a buffoon” approach to information gathering, and immediately lands on Hans’ bad side.

Soon after Chadsworth orders his second glass of absinthe slurry, Rutherford bursts into the saloon, chasing after a butterfly. He catches it, slamming it flat between the pages of a collection book, but in the process spills Old Pete’s beer. Before the old drunk can work up to a fight, Rutherford buys a round for the house.

Rutherford introduces himself as a “Gentleman Entomologist”, and shows off the collection in hist book. Chadsworth notices that a couple of the specimens trigger his second sight, and casually inquires about a few of the samples. This leads into a monologue that Chadsworth illustrates by summoning a White Rabbit, which he uses to taunt Old Pete, before it knocks the drunk out cold.

The three pass a few hours at the bar, which has generally become more crowded as the day turns to evening, and Rotherford’s generosity is taken advantage of.

You can buy anything at this bar …

characters: Chadsworth, Hans, Shen Li, Rutherford

Shen-li and a number of rail workers have been given a few slips of company script, and sent north to San Francisco for a few days of their monthly leave. Huang Xiaojin leads Shen to a bar near the rail where a number of herbal remedies, tonics and elixirs may be acquired on the sly. Xiaojin is particularly interested in acquiring some “dragon’s breath”.

They enter Miller’s, and while Xiaojin and some of the other celestials are conducting business with Hans, Shen and Chadsworth learn that they are compatriots in Culloden’s scheme. Still standing at the bar, they begin discussing the plot, speaking in Mandarin.

Rutherford sends his injun manservant, Tuesday Afternoon, to begin preparing his carriage.

No-one Expects the Inquisition!

characters: Chadsworth, Hans, Shen Li, Rutherford

A hush falls over the bustling saloon when three men of the cloth enter. One, a particularly large monk, stations himself in front of the door, while the other two approach the bar, in order to address the room.

The lead slams his staff three times on the ground, and announces himself as Cardinal Ramires, agent of the Third Inquisition. He is here to confirm reports of Demoncraft, and to take the heretic in for questioning.

The cardinal questions, roughly, those around the bar. His attention turns to Rutherford and Chadsworth, eyeing the large bug-tomb suspiciously. Hans attempts to mollify the priest by providing him with a mug of wine. The Cardinal takes the wine, murmurs something in latin and takes a sip. When he slams the cup back to the counter, blood splashes out onto the bar. The cardinal dips to fingers into the blood, and plants them direction on Chaddsworth’s forehead.

It sizzles and burns, and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Of course, there’s a barfight

characters: Chadsworth, Hans, Shen Li, Rutherford

Acting on instinct, Hans smashes a cudgel into the Cardinal. Rutherford picks up his stool and strikes at the other priest at the bar, and Shen knocks the staggered inquisitor to the ground. The patrons, nervous, know one thing for sure: Shen and the daemonist were talking in a language they did not understand. They immediately start brawling with the other china-men in the bar.

The priest guarding the door draws a pistol, and fires at Chadsworth, who has already dropped to the ground and begun a summoning. Soon, the bar is filled with small flying daemons, adding to the chaos.

As the fight progresses, Hans, Shen and Chadsworth manage to sneak out the back. Chadsworth sights a priest guarding the back alley, and shouts to him: “Your brothers need you inside!”. The priest leaves the alley, and bursts into the tavern, knocking the door-guard off balance. He shoots a gas-powered chandelier, and the bar, covered in spill spirits, lights up almost immediately. The daemons vanish in a puff of sulfurous smoke.

Chadsworth flees the scene, attempting to convince gathering onlookers that the Inquisition set the tavern on fire. Hans re-enters the burning bar, looking to retrieve some of his more valuable stock. He witnesses the priests carrying off an unconscious Huang Xiaojin.

It’s a chase!

characters: Hans, Shen Li, Rutherford

Shen takes off at full speed after the burdened inquisitors. Hans and Rutherford follow behind in the wagon that Tuesday Afternoon has shown up with.

They’re forced to leave the wagon behind when the pursuit veers through a narrow alley. They quickly pass by the priest left to block the way, but are stymied when they exit the alley into a crowded market.

They split up and question market vendors looking to find out where the inquisitors may have taken Xiaojin. Shen learns that many celestials have gone missing over the last few months, though no-one knows where they may have been taken, nor are they sure why those particular men were taken.

Hans has better luck, and learns the direction his friend and regular customer has been taken.

The three set off again, and catch sight of the priests, way at the bottom of the hill. Before they can catch up, however, they are ambushed by a group of black-clad asians. “At last, we have caught you Shen Li”, gloats the leader, Sao of the Nine Fists. Shen pleads solidarity, that they are chasing a captured countryman, and promises on his honor to face Sao in single combat the next morning, if they can be allowed to rescue Xiaojin.

Sao signals his companions, several of whom disappear. Moments later, the group sees the priests at the bottom of the hill fall in an assault. If Shen Li’s word is not enough, the Circle of Nine Fists has his friend now.

Plottin' and Schemin'
in which a campaign is begun

Session notes:

This is mostly a setup session, covering initial setting generation and character creation. Most of the setting details we’ve got, I’ll put in the wiki, rather than the session notes.

Introductions are made

Characters present: Chadsworth Edgewater, Culloden, Esq

Culloden and Chadsworth meet mid-morning in a dingy saloon, in a dying town a day’s ride from anywhere. Other than the bartender, there are only a few drunks sleeping off the evening’s festivities.

Culloden’s network referred Chadsworth as an exceptional saboteur. After some initial conversation, they get down to business: Culloden would like for the Rupert Railways construction effort to experience some delays. An accident with the supplies, maybe. Something to set back their efforts by a week or two.

Without bloodshed.

Chadsworth agrees that it’s quite doable, though the no loss-of-life stipulation complicates matters. As a fee, he requests a pre-1830 edition of the Book of Hoyle. Work will begin on evidence that the book is in Culloden’s posession. Culloden agrees, and sets his man Fred on the task.

New Friends

characters present: Culloden, Esq, Shen Li

Culloden travels south, reconnoitering the still-unfinished stretch of railroad south of San Mateo. Late in the evening, he comes across a workers encampment, and is drawn to the noise of a fighting ring. He is just in time to place a bet on a fight between an enormous irish brute and a wiry chinaman. Culloden places an impressive five-dollar bet on the celestial, and joins the crowd in watching the fight.

Shen fights his battle well. He takes a number of solid hits, but manages to KO his opponent with a high-kick to the jaw. Shen and Culloden meet when they go to collect their winnings from the bookie. Culloden received decidedly better odds than Shen was given. The bookie observed that, if Shen keeps winning the way he is, payoffs are only going to get worse … there is a way that could be helped, however …

His honor offended, Shen leaves the bookie to return to his tent. He offers to share hospitality with Culloden, a meager soup of wilted vegetables and roots. The two discuss the situation in the camp, and Shen reveals a simmering anger at the railroad company … the workers here are not being treated well. Culloden reveals that he is planning to strike a blow against the line, and Shen agrees to recruit help — eyes and ears — from among the workers. More plans will be forthcoming later …

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