"They Rode to Perdition" starring Arcade's Gang (D&D/Boot Hill)

Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 11, "Lookin' for trouble or staying out of it?", April 21, 1881, 5:00 P.M.

Still mesmerized by her change in Morgana’s appearance, Arcade cannot take his eyes off of the attractive young lady. She tells him “You wanted to bring me with you to the poker game. You’ll be playing against an experienced gambler, so I thought it might give you an advantage if your opponent had something else to look at.” Louie comments “Yeah, but I think Arcade will be distracted too.” It is getting towards evening, and Morgana says, “I guess we should get going," She and Arcade stand, link arms, and head out the door.

Sam and Louie continue to drink their beer when the centaur Qualtaqa enters the Cantina and heads over to join them. Several patrons give this odd-looking Indian stares, and a cowboy comments “I hope he cleans up after himself.” “What’s up,” Louie states. “Shouldn’t you be heading off to work?” Sam asks. Qualtaqa answers “I will soon enough. But first I need to go and talk to one of the town leaders. I hear he spends evening at the Long Branch Saloon.” Sam tries to talk the centaur out of going, to no avail.

Qualtaqa leaves, and Sam says to Louie “Shouldn’t we go with him.” Louie answers “I’m not going anywhere. I don’t want to get into any more trouble. I’m staying here where it is safe.” “Fine, suit yourself,” Sam answers, and charges out the door after the centaur. Sam catches up to him and again tries to talk the noble Indian out of “This crazy idea of yours.”

The reach the Long Branch Saloon and the centaur marches inside. As soon as he enters the piano player stops playing and the entire saloon becomes totally silent. Qualtaqa announces that he is looking for Hamilton Fisk. A well-dressed man at one of the tables stands, and states that he is Fisk.

Qualtaqa approaches the table, and announces that he is acting in the capacity of ambassador for the Apache. “What do you want from me?” Fisk asks. Qualtaqa replies “You are said to be one of the most influential people in the town. The Apache would like to have peace, they do not seek trouble. I want assurances from this community that they will be left alone on their lands.” Fisk replies “I don’t want trouble from them either, but I’m not the one you should be talking too. Talk to the Deputy Sheriff, he’s in charge of Indian relations.” Qualtaqa answers “It is important that all town leaders agree. If you wish to talk to me further know that I am staying at the El Parador Cantina, and know that I am protected by the group called Arcade’s Gang.”

Sam nearly faints upon hearing that, as the centaur turns and exits the building. A stunned Sam chases after him, stopping Qualtaqa outside and yelling “What did you tell them that for!” The Indian replies “Because it is true”. “We’re not protecting you!” Sam yells. “Then why are you standing here with me?” is the centaur’s response. Sam doesn’t have an answer to that one.

Meanwhile, back at the El Parador, Louie has just finished off another drink. Unfortunately for him, his idea of staying behind to keep out of trouble doesn’t exactly work as planned. Two tables away, a Mexican sitting in the corner stands up. The person tosses off his sombrero and poncho, revealing himself to be the human Chris Fargo, the man that Louie had broken the jaw of several days earlier. Fargo has his gun drawn on the half-orc, stating “I’ve been waiting a long time for you to be alone Ugly. Now you’re gonna die.”
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Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 12, "Shootout at the El Parador Cantina", April 21, 1881, 5:45 P.M.

Looking down at the gun barrel of Chris Fargo’s revolver, the half-orc Louie now regrets staying back alone at the Cantina. Neither the bartender, Jose Ramirez, or any of the other five patrons appear willing to make any moves to assist. Fargo repeats his threat of “You’re gonna die right now, you Ugly varmint”. Louie and the others present have same trouble making out exactly what Fargo is saying due to the man’s broken jaw.”

Just then the halfling mage Sydney Sue is descending from the second floor, and sees her employee being threatened. Using the staircase as cover, the 2’10” woman quickly scurries down to the first floor. She then makes her way over to them from beneath the tables, to keep the gunman from spotting her.

Fargo continues to threaten Louie, and asks the half-orc “So, are you gonna beg for your life?” Before he can answer Sue acts, using what little strength she has to push the flimsy table up into Fargo’s gun hand. He fires, but the table knocking against him is enough to deflect the shot, the bullet striking the wall eight inches away from Louie’s head.

This sudden movement gives Louie the chance to draw his own gun from its holster, and he fires a shot back at Fargo. Since the half-orc had never fired a gun until three hours earlier, his marksmanship leaves a lot to be desired. The bullet hits Fargo in the left arm, which is unfortunately not his gun hand, and not does it hit any main blood vessels. This only serves to make Fargo angrier.

Fargo now take careful aim at Louie, pointing his gun directly at the half-orc's chest. He is totally ignoring the female halfling, who grabs the human’s leg and casts a Shocking Grasp spell. The spell has the desired effect, sending an electric jolt through the gunman and throwing off his aim, the bullet grazing Louie’s shoulder and deflecting off of the half-orc’s oriental armor. Louie takes aim and fires again, this time hitting his foe squarely in the chest. The gunman falls dead in front of Sue.

The tavern is totally silent for the next minute, then the patrons of the Cantina applaud. Louie walks over towards the body of his foe, and one of the Mexican wood elves asks the half-orc “You aren’t gonna eat him are you?’ “Nah, I never eat anything that died of lead poisoning” is the half-orc’s reply. He does take a few minutes to help himself to Fargo’s gun, gun belt, and the $ 10.91 that the man was carrying. Meanwhile, one of the human patrons of the Cantina makes a hasty exit out the door.

Once the gunfire ceased, the Cantina’s owners Pedro and Dorita Figueres enter the dining room and find out from Jose what has happened. Louie apologizes to them for the mess. Pedro tells Louie not to worry about it, but does ask Louie to help him haul Fargo’s body outside, leaving it on the street near the door. Pedro tells Louie that there has never been a shootout at the El Parador before, so the two bullet holes in the wall from Fargo’s shots will add some notoriety to the place. Dorita has Jose pour both Louie and Sue a drink “on the house”.

Before they finish their drinks the Marshal arrives. He takes a look at Louie and says “You again! I thought I told you to get a move on. I don’t like trouble makers in my town.” “I didn’t start it,” Louie states. “But you did finish it,” answers the Marshal. Louie replies “Well, he wasn’t that good a shot.” The Marshal tells the half-orc to get up, that he’s going to jail until this is all sorted out. Louie opts to not resist, telling Sue “Let the others know what has happened.”
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Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 13, "Deal’em and weep.", April 21, 1881, 5:45 P.M.

Arcade and Morgana walk arm-on-arm into the Lone Star Dance Hall and Saloon. The three-story building is approximately thirty foot square, with a small dance stage on the side wall near a staircase leading to the second floor. The bar is along the far wall, with two patrons sitting in bar stools. There are also five tables, with a single man sitting at two of them, cards and poker chips on the table in front of each man. Arcade heads straight towards the bar, ignoring the two gamblers. All of the men in the building are almost mesmerized by the sight of Morgana in her high-class attire, as this town does not get many attractive female visitors of wealth.

The two reach the bar, and Arcade orders himself a whiskey, and a glass of wine “for the lady”. The two nurse their drinks, and size up the two gamblers, attempted to evaluate which one is the one who called for them. Morgana whispers to Arcade “You do gamble, right?” He replies “I came here with you didn’t I?”

The better dressed of the two gamblers eventually speaks up, saying “You Mr. Arcade?” He replies “Just Arcade, Mister is what I call my mother.” The gambler answers “I read about you in the paper.” “Must have missed that,” Arcade answers, the asks “Are you the Job Kane that invited me here”. The gambler answers “I am. The paper says you are ruthless.” Arcade replies “Newspapers tend to be a bit jaundiced in their outlook. I just do whatever needs to be done.” “Care to play a hand of cards?” Kane asks. “Sure,” replies Arcade, and he heads over to the table with Morgana. She quietly tells Arcade “If you put me up as a stake in this game I will shoot you in the head.”

Arcade buys $ 25.00 worth of chips. The two begin the game, with each only putting a dollar chip into each hand. Kane wins the 1st hand, Arcade the next three, and Kane the 5th. Stakes do not raise until the 6th hand, where Kane wins the $ 12 pot. The winning alternates sides for the next five hands, the 12th hand being rather juicy for both. Arcade is confident with his full house, queens high, and the pot is raised up to $ 32. Kane also has a full house, but only 10’s high, so Arcade wins. Morgana realizes that Arcade is now $ 10 ahead of where he started, and wants to cash in that amount. Kane hands Arcade the $ 10 bill, which is then passed directly to Morgana, Arcade telling her “Buy yourself something nice.” Another ten hands of poker are played, at the end of which Arcade is only down $ 1 from his initial stake.

The game is then interrupted by the arrival of Sam, who charges into the building yelling “Louie is in trouble” to Arcade. Both Arcade and Morgana give the youngster a dirty look. Arcade tells Kane “Please excuse me a minute while I see what the kid wants.” Morgana stays at the table, flirting with Kane.

Arcade walks Sam over to the far wall by the dance floor, with Sam blurting out “Louie is in Jail.” “And…” Arcade asks, needing more information. Sam states “You know that Chris Fargo who was after him…well, not anymore.” “Louie shot him?” Arcade asks. “Yeah,” Sam replies. Arcade asks “What started it? Louie wasn’t trying to buy rice again, was he?” “No, the guy came looking for him,” Sam replies. “So it was self defense. Go bail him out,” Arcade answers. Sam also tells them about Qualtaqa’s speech at the Long Branch Saloon, but Arcade is not overly concerned about that.

Arcade shoves Sam out the door, with Arcade yelling “And don’t interrupt me again". Arcade returns to the table, Kane asking “What was that all about?” Arcade replies “One of my companions got into some trouble?” “What kind of trouble?” Kane asks. “Shot and killed a guy,” Arcade replies. “Is that all?” Kane answers as he starts to deal the next hand. Morgana does not comment, continuing to play the part of the dumb girlfriend.

They play another three hands, after which Arcade is still down only a dollar (and actually $9 ahead counting what Morgana took). The tide of the game then shifts with the 26th hand, with Kane winning the next three hands, with Arcade loosing another $ 10, now being just below where he had started. His luck then changes, with the 29th hand dealing Arcade a four-of-a-kind Jacks. Kane also appears to have a very good hand, and both players keep raising the bet, not stopping until all of Arcade’s chips are in the pot. Arcade considers buying more chips, but a stern look from Morgana convinces him to call the bet. Kane then reveals a four-of-a-kind hand, Queens high, and takes the pot.

Kane thanks Arcade for a good game. Arcade replies “Well, it was a learning experience….but it was an honest game.” “We only play honest games under this roof,” Kane replies, a fact that does not agree with what they heard about the gambler at the other table, Tom Lucky. Arcade answers “Glad to hear it, but my personal preference are honest games that I can also win.” Arcade and Morgana then head back to the bar.

She asks Arcade “Louie killed someone?”. Arcade says “Louie shot a guy in self defense. I assume the other guy is dead, since Louie is now in jail.” “Is Louie hurt?” she asks. “Sam didn’t say”, Arcade replies. They then engage the barkeep in conversation, finding out that the ‘Law and Order’ faction of the town is headed up by the lumberyard owner Neil Cassidy, general store owner Zeb Cook, and town doctor James Eaton. Morgana comments “I had better check to see if Louie needs some healing. I wouldn’t trust him to that doctor.”

Tom Lucky then wanders over to the bar and asks Arcade “Up for another game.” Arcade replies “Not tonight. The lady would prefer that I pay her some attention, if you know what I mean. Being broke I can handle. Being broke and lonely is another matter.” “I understand” Lucky replies. Arcade and Morgana then leave the Saloon.
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Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 14, "Aftermath", April 21st, 1881, 8:00 P.M.

Morgana and Arcade arrive back at the Cantina, seeing Sam there alone. "Didn't you go bail Louie out?" Arcade asks. Sam answers "I wanted to, but that centaur insisted that he wanted to come along too, and I thought he would just make matters worse." "I'll do this myself," Morgana states in a huff, and walks out the door.

She arrives at the Marshal's office. Marshal Bret Hollister clearly does not recognize her in her new attire, and asks, "What can do for you Ma'am." "I want to bail Louie out," she says, gesturing to the half-orc, then asks, "How much is bail?" Hollister now realizes who she is, and replies "How much do you have?" She answers "Ten dollars." "That'll do," he answers.

As she goes to hand over the money she says, "I will get this back, won't I?" He replies "Sure, as long as the ugly guy shows up in court. If he skips town or gets himself killed then you lose it." She looks to Louie and says, "Try not to get yourself killed." The Marshal unlocks him from the cell, advising the half-orc "And try not to kill anybody else either, that'll look bad to the judge at your trial."

They return to the Cantina, where the other patrons treat Louie like a celebrity and Arcade tells him "You did well". Sam suggests that they find somewhere else to stay, but Louie answers "Nah, the guy who wanted to hurt me is dead, and I like the free drinks."

Morgana states that she will be heading back to the druid church next door. Arcade asks to accompany her. They arrive at the grove, and Arcade finally reveals to her that he is also a follower of the druid faith. They have short services to the nature gods, after which she invites him to see where she spends the nights. He takes that as an invitation, and the two of them then find a quiet place together in the tree grove behind the church, where they take the relationship to a whole new level.

April 22nd, 1881:

Sam and Louie come downstairs for a late breakfast, and notice that the others are nowhere around. Pedro says he has a note for them from the newspaper editor. Sam comments "Louie, it's for you". "Actually for you and Arcade," Pedro comments. "Must be about yesterday," Louie states. They wait around until early afternoon, and Arcade still does not return. Louie concludes, "He must be busy. Want to join me to go see this guy?" "Sure, I'll go with you, as long as you don't shoot me," Sam jokingly comments.

The two of them make their way over to O'Reilly's Café, where they find a very intoxicated Parker Baxter. Baxter pours them each a drink and another for himself, and pulls out his paper and pen to take some notes.

"So, you shot up Chris Fargo?" Baxter asks. "He didn't leave me any choice," Louie answers. Baxter says, "Well, I've been asking around. Apparently when Cleatus James left to go get his cousins he told Fargo to stick around and keep an eye on you. So what happened? You saw him and decided to take him out?" Louie says "He drew on me first, and fired the first shot. He missed so I shot him back. Both of my shots hit, his missed." "So you just cut him down in cold blood?" "I guess you can call it that," Louie answers.

Baxter then turns to Sam and asks "And you condone this Mr. Arcade?" Sam says "What, No!" "You don't condone this Mr. Arcade?" Baxter then asks. "I'm not Arcade!" Sam yells back, "as to whether I approve or not, well if somebody had a gun on me then I would kill him." Baxter frantically jots that down. The editor then turns back to Louie and says, "If it was just self defense then why were you arrested?" Louie answers "I don't know. Ask the Marshal." Baxter replies "I did. He said you were a trouble maker." Louie replies "I don't cause trouble, it comes to me." Baxter jots that down, finishes his drink, pours himself another one, and then says "Thanks for the interview." Sam and Louie finish their drinks and then leave.

April 22nd & 23rd, 1881:

These two days pass by surprisingly uneventfully. Arcade and Morgana spend a lot more time together. Louie continues to be congratulated by the Mexicans and other patrons of the Cantina, although they no longer buy him free drinks. Sam wanders around the town, managing to stay out of trouble.

April 24th, 1881:

Sydney Sue meets the four of them for lunch at the Cantina. She pays them for their first week's work. She says that with Hank and Qualtaqa handling the night guard chores they aren't really needed anymore, but she offers them a chance to "stay on retainer for half-wages, without having to work unless trouble comes up." That sounds like a good idea to the four. She adds "Well, as long as the town knows I've got you guys hired that should be enough of a deterrent, given your new reputation." "What do you mean?" Arcade asks. "Haven't you seen today's paper yet?" she asks, "with the big headline "Arcade Issues Challenge!".
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Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 15, “Yellow Journalism”, April 24th, 1881, 1:00 P.M.

“WHAT!” Arcade exclaims, upon hearing from Sydney Sue what the top story in today’s newspaper is. He looks around the room for anyone who may have a copy of the paper. He sees a Mexican wood elf reading one at a corner table, and walks in that direction. “May I please take a took at that?” Arcade asks. The elf looks up, sees who is talking to him, and frantically throws the four-pages of newsprint at Arcade, stammering out “S-s-s-s-sure, kept it, just don’t hurt me!” Arcade shakes his head and goes back to his friends with the newspaper.

The headline "Arcade Issues Challenge!" takes up a third of the front page, with the story below it. Morgana takes the paper from him and begins to read the story:

“For the third time this week another long-time citizen of our fair city has been placed to rest on Boot Hill, the victims of newcomer Arcade and his gang of rabble-rousers. The most recent fatality is part-time carpenter and occasional wrangler Chris Fargo, who was gunned down in cold blood on April 21st at the El Parador Cantina. The half-orc member of Arcade's Gang known as Louie shot him. This is the gang member that had initiated the gunfight on the 17th, which left Larry Harris and Mike Keegan dead at the hands of Arcade and his followers.

Arcade has apparently staked out the El Parador as his headquarters, and anyone who runs afoul of his gang there will suffer the consequences, as Chris Fargo was unfortunate enough to discover. Fargo attempted to defend himself from the half-orc, reaching for his own sidearm. This was hardly fair, as Fargo was still recovering from a beating at the hands of this gang from earlier in the week, so not fast enough. The half-orcs first shot struck Fargo’s arm, incapacitating him. The half-orc then fatally shot the defenseless human in the chest. Louie, like his mentor, feels no remorse at all for his actions. When asked by this reporter about second thoughts for his bloodthirsty act of bravado the half-orc said “He had it coming to him. He drew on me so I shot him.” The half-orc then issued a challenge to the town, saying that “Trouble can come and find me, I’m ready.”

Arcade was asked by this reporter if Louie spoke for his entire Gang, and the mysterious stranger replied “Sure he does. I condone his actions.” The gunfighter then issued his own challenge and warning to all, stating that “If somebody points a gun in my direction I will kill them.”

Morgana looks up, saying “That’s the end of the story.” Arcade slams his fist on the table, exclaiming “I never said that!” “No,” Louie comments, “Sam did.” “That wasn’t exactly what I said,” states Sam. “If Sam said it then why am I quoted?” Arcade exclaims. Louie states “That Baxter guy was totally drunk at the time and thought Sam was you.” “I think we need to go talk to him,” Arcade answers. They get up to leave, with Morgana comments “I find it interesting that those thugs and deadbeats are now written up as respectable ‘long-time citizens’, especially since this mud hole of a town has only been in existence for a little over a year.”

The four leave the tavern, without noticing the three related stories on two other pages of the paper. On page 3 is a story about Qualtaqa, the Indian centaur. It has an almost factual account of his conversation with Hamilton Fisk at the Long Branch Saloon about being an ambassador for the Apache. The story includes the reference to his now being protected by Arcade’s gang. It also mentions that the centaur is working as a guard with Arcade’s gang at the Liberty Hill Mine. The newspaper editor then speculates that there may be a connection between Arcade and the Apache tribe, especially with the Apache woman and her pet wolf as part of his gang.

Another almost factual story recounts Arcade’s card game at the Lone Star Dance Hall and Saloon. Most of the quotes about the card game are from Tom Lucky, the gambler who had watched from an adjacent table. Lucky talks at length about the “classy looking dame” who was with him, and then about his own challenge of Arcade to a game of cards. Lucky’s final quote was “He turned me down for a game. At the time I didn’t realize what a ruthless gunslinger the guy was, so I guess I should consider myself lucky that I didn’t play him. He had already lost to Job Kane, and was already upset. Loosing to me might have really set him off.”

The final related story is one page 4, and concerns Cletus James. It reminds the readers that Cletus left town a few days ago to go fetch is cousins Jesse and Frank James, of the infamous James/Younger Gang. It then says that Cletus had told Chris Fargo to stay behind and keep an eye on the Arcade situation. The newspaper editor speculates that with Fargo now dead at the hands of Arcade’s Gang the James Gang will definitely be seeking retribution. The story concludes with “Woe to the poor citizens of Promise City who will be caught in the crossfire between these two vicious groups of killers.”

Next: The conclusion.
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Silver Moon

Promise City, Arizona

Chapter 16, “Freedom of the Press?”, April 24th, 1881, 1:30 P.M.

The quartet of Arcade, Louie, Morgana and Sam arrive at O’Reilley’s Café looking for Parker Baxter. The bartender and owner, Walter O’Reilley, tells them that the newspaper editor has not come in yet this day. The group get directions to the office where the newspaper is published.

They arrive at the office, the only employee being a teenage boy who is carrying a box of type letters. They enter, the boy looking up and asking “If you people are looking to buy a paper we’re sold out.” “People call me Arcade,” the man announces, which causes the boy to let out a yelp and drop the box of type onto the floor. Arcade walks up to the boy and says “I don’t like what I’ve been reading in the paper.” The boy exclaims “Please don’t kill me, I have a wife and kid to support.” That comment takes Arcade by surprise, and he asks “Wife and kid? How old are you boy?” “Fourteen” the boy answers, adding “We kind of had to get married.”

“OK, listen up kid,” Arcade says. “I won’t kill you provided that you do two things for me. First, tell me where I can find Parker Baxter. And second, promise me that you will NEVER AGAIN set the type for any story about me. I mean it, if I ever see my name in this rag again I’m going to hold you PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE! It that clear?” The boy nods, and agrees to both terms. The group then leave.

They arrive at the Baxter house, a large two story brick structure. The front door is unlocked and slightly ajar, so they enter. Nobody is on the first floor, and there are dirty dishes from the previous night as well as several empty whiskey bottles. “Must be upstairs sleeping it off,” Louie concludes.

They make their way upstairs, finding Baxter passed out on the bed, wearing a pair of long underwear that he apparently had on the day before. The pudgy middle-aged man has a day’s growth of beard and smells like he’s been showering in booze. Morgana tells Louie and Sam to go back downstairs and get some pots and pans from the kitchen. They soon return, and she instructs them to “Bang those together near his head while Arcade and I thrown open the curtains.” As they do so Morgana adds to the racket by letting out a high pitched scream.

The sudden onslaught of light and noise immediately wake the hung-over newspaper editor, who yells out “WHAT IS HAPPENING!” Arcade gestures for his companions to stop making noise and says “I have a bone to pick with you?” “Who are you?” the confused man states. “ARCADE!” he yells back, “And that rag you print is as yellow and sorry as your liver.” “What, Huh?” Baxter states. “I’m sick of the lies you are printing about me!” Arcade answers.

Baxter regains some composure, and says “What are you talking about. Those were direct quotes.” “I didn’t say any of that!” Arcade replies. “Sure you did, you told me all that a few days ago at O’Reilley’s”. “That wasn’t me you drunken louse, you were talking to him” Arcade says, pointing to Sam. “You want me to print a retraction?” Baxter says. “No, just leave me out of your paper all together…..or else!” Arcade answers. “You’re threatening me?” Baxter exclaims. “Not a threat, a promise,” is Arcade’s answer.

Baxter then gets uppity, stating “How dare you! You break into my home! Threaten me! And have no respect for the freedom of the press!” “We didn’t break in, the door was open,” Sam states. Baxter mutters “The young lady must not have locked it on her way out.” Arcade sarcastically states “Shocking! Imagine that, a young lady could actually bring herself to leave such a fine specimen of a man as you.”

Louie joins in the fun, stating “What should we do with him?”, and smiles a grin showing off his fangs. Morgana suggesting tying him to the bedposts so that he can think about what he’s done. The others go along with the idea, and the man soon has his arms and legs lashed tight. Baxter protests loudly until he is told “Shut the hollering’ or we’ll gag you too.” Arcade then instructs him “If I ever see my name in your paper again I’ll be back, is that clear.” The man nods. They start to leave, and Baxter says “Are you going to let me go?” Morgana states “We might let the kid or works for you know to come by later.” Louie says “Yeah, or we might just set the fire to the first floor.” They all exit the building, being sure to lock the door behind them.

One consistency with the real wild west is that Arcade’s reputation was created by the press rather than actual fact, especially considering that he was the only member of his quartet who didn’t kill anybody during this module.

The End (for now).
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Silver Moon


Arcade's player is currently writing a module that will bring the characters to 1881 Victorian-era England. Should be an interesting place to drop a group of cowboys and indians.

And while the characters are still in England, Morgana's player has a few thoughts on how to use them in that setting too.

I'm not sure which of those modules will actually be ready first, but I am personally looking forward to getting to play the centaur paladin-like Indian.
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