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

Silver Moon

Referenced in "Plots & Places" for an upcoming game with this campaign setting, so Bumped to be more easily found.
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Silver Moon

"The James Gang Comes to Town"

Chapter 17, “Three months later…”, July 29th, 1881:

A little over three months have passed since we last visited with Arcade’s Gang, which has been a relatively quiet time for them in Promise City. During the month of May, Circuit Judge Nathan Isby came to town for Louie’s trial. After hearing testimony from the El Parador Cantina witnesses the Judge declared Louie innocent of murder, declaring that the killing was done in self-defense. Marshal Bret Hollister was not pleased with this decision, and has continued to suggest that Arcade and his associates should move on.

Also in May, Morgana and Sam finally received their back pay for work on the Rocking H Ranch. The ranch owner, Forest Morand, sent the money to them via his son Zachary, who owns the Morand Cartage Company in the northeast corner of Promise City. Zachary mentioned that he might want to hire Arcade’s Gang as additional guards if he ever needs to have a valuable shipment to send.

In early June the railroad line being constructed between Tombstone and Promise City ceased construction. The official reason was that the railroad company needed to temporarily allocate their resources to complete a railroad line in the northern part of the state, however the rumor has it that Kris Wagner, owner of the local Wells Fargo Stagecoach, bribed them to stop construction as it would have severely hurt his business.

In mid-June the Liberty Hill Mine struck a very profitable silver vein. Additional miners were hired, and Arcade’s Gang was reinstated as full-time guards for a three-week period while the majority of this vein was mined. The Gang has now returned to being only on retainer, at half-wages. The English Duke and his male halfling associate have now moved on to visit his other mines, but the halfling’s sister Sydney Sue has decided to remain in Promise City.

Arcade’s Gang has continued to be omitted from mention in the papers. During this time they have also taken on a few odd jobs. Arcade and Morgana have started doing some large animal veterinary work, and Morgana has also assisted as mid-wife for a few human births. Louie has done some odd jobs at half-orc Charlie Wong’s Laundry, where the owner’s daughter Mary Wong seems to have taken an interest in him. Sam has worked part-time at Driscoll’s Tannery. Overall, the Gang’s individual incomes have exceeded their cost of living, for a slight profit for each (3d20$ and %cents).

While the town itself is not very large, being a mere four by six city blocks, the Gang has stayed pretty much in the poorer southeastern corner of town, where most of the non-humans reside. They occasionally see a few wealthier towns folk coming into the El Parador Cantina to partake of the female entertainment, but otherwise have had minimal contact with the more respectable members of town. Furthermore, the banker Frank Condon, doctor James Eaton, and Great Western Boarding House Owner Bill Watson have formed the Promise City Civic Association, whose main goal appears to be to institute Law and Order to the town and run out “undesirables” like Arcade’s Gang.

The Gang has made friends with the employees and residents of the Cantina, as well as several neighbors. The Cantina is owned by wood elves Pedro and Dorita Figueres, whose daughter Sanoma sings and dances to the maraca and concertina music provided by Estaban Fuente, who also serves as the Cantina’s bouncer. The Cantina’s three resident harlots, Estaban’s sister Maria, Pepita Alverez, and Angelica Husesca provide other entertainment. Angelica’s four-year-old half-elvan son Ricardo assists the Cantina’s human workman Grant Keebler. Estaban has also been teaching the lad how to pick pockets. The other two employees, who reside elsewhere in town, are the bartender Jose Ramirez and his twin brother Carlos who runs a gambling table at the establishment.

In addition to Arcade, Sam, Louie, Sydney Sue and the centaur Qualtaqa, there are now four other long-term residents of the Cantina, all non-human. These are an older wood elf named Manuel Gonzalez, who is believed to be a retired priest; Juan Gomez, a charismatic wood elf hired gun, who has had moderate luck with gambling; Kentucky “Shotgun” Krugg, an ogre who was once a slave, who works as both a hired gun and a miner at the Liberty Hill Mine; and Nils “Great-Axe” Svelsfjord, a dwarven prospector who has been trying to stake a new claim in the hills near town.

The neighbors that the Gang knows best include their associates Morgana, who resides in the tree grove behind the adjacent Celtic & Mexican church, run by the priest Thomas Valdez, both half-elves. Their associate and fellow mine guard Hank resides across the street at the Great Western Boarding House. The half-orcan Wong family resides nearby, and consists of Charlie and Li Wong, and their children Mary and Harry. Another family that the Gang has come to know is the Toluccas, who are chicken farmers of the wood elf race. They consist of Juan and Maria, and their children Roberto, Consuela and Manuel. Roberto is infatuated with the female entertainers at the Cantina, and Consuela often sings along with Sanoma and Morgana.

Other friendly neighbors who spend time at the Cantina include Cole Rixton, a respectable human who owns a nearby furniture store. Hannibal Brown, a human who runs Brown’s Ice House next door also begins his day with breakfast at the Cantina. The party also sees his children Maxwell and Liza, both in their early twenties. Liza is a flirt, who has currently caught the attention of Rixton, Hank and Juan Gomez. Maxwell dislikes both Hank and Gomez, wanting her to take up with only Rixton. Ice House employees Samson Hill and Beecher Lawson also spend time at the Cantina, usually with the female entertainers.

The last two neighbors that the party has gotten to know are a pair of successful gamblers who live in the house behind the Cantina. They are humans Conrad Booth and Paget Flashman. These two usually have their first meal of the day at the Cantina around noontime, before heading over to the their tables at the Long Branch Saloon. Pedro is content that they have no interest in gambling at the Cantina, as they have a less-than-stellar reputation and have been banned from two other saloons in town.

Silver Moon

Chapter 18, “News of the James Gang Arriving Soon!” July 29th, 1881:

It is the middle of the morning, and Arcade, Louie, Morgana and Sam meet on the first floor of the El Parador Cantina for breakfast. The meal is interrupted by the arrival of Angelica Young, the teenage wife of the typesetter at the Promise City Harald. Her one-year old son Mark is situated in a pack on her back, and she is carrying a stack of the latest edition of the Newspaper, selling them at the various taverns and saloons in town.

The main stories in the prior week’s paper had been rather exciting, concerning the shootout between Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett in the nearby New Mexico Territory. Since she is holding a larger than usual stack of papers, indicating a large print run, everyone present assumes this edition will be equally exciting, and every patron in the tavern pulls out a nickel to purchase copy. Everyone at Arcade’s table does the same, despite the fact that the half-orc Louie is only beginning to learn to read. All four get caught up in the story on page one, which has the headline “James Gang Arriving Soon!” in huge type across the top.

The story reads as follows:

Outlaws Frank and Jessie James have been identified as being the leaders of the Gang responsible for the robbery of the First Bank of Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory, on the morning of July 19th. Two guards were killed during the attack and three citizens were wounded including the Bank’s President, Josiah Holbert.

The James Brothers had become famous while members of the James/Younger Gang, which disbanded following a failed robbery in Northbridge, Minnesota on September 7, 1876. Under the leadership of Jesse James the gang became active again in October 8, 1879 with a train robbery in Glendale, Missouri. They next struck on September 3, 1880, robbing a Wells Fargo Stage in Mammoth Caves, Kentucky. The Gang's subsequent robbery was of a payroll officer in Muscle Shoals, Alabama on March 11th of this year.

On June 10th they held up a bank in Riverton, Iowa. Three current members of the James Gang, Jim Cummins, Bill Ryan and Clarence Hite were spotted in late June watching a bank in Wichita, Kansas, but departed prior to United States soldiers arriving on the scene. Iowa is fourteen hundred miles to the northeast, Wichita is a thousand miles to the northeast, and Albuquerque is only three hundred miles in that very same direction. It would appear that the James Gang is now moving is a straight line towards southeastern Arizona Territory.

This reporter finds these movements of the James Gang to be either a frightening coincidence, or clear evidence that Cletus James has made good on his threats to bring his notorious cousins to our fair city. Readers of the Promise City Herald will recall that Cletus James was the leader and sole survivor of a group of four citizens that were ruthlessly gunned down in our city during two separate incidents on April 17th and 21st of this year. The individuals responsible for the attacks on Cletus and his friends remain within Promise City, and are presently staying at the El Parador Cantina.

When asked about the impending situation Marshal Bret Hollister was quoted to say “If both of those gangs want to kill each other, that’s fine with me. We don’t need any of their type around here. I just hope the good citizens of Promise City are able to stay out of the line of fire.

Morgana is the first to finish reading, and comments “This James Gang does not impress me, being recognized at all these different places. Why would they rob all of those places and also let people know that they did it? Wouldn’t robbers that were any good keep from being identified?” Sam comments “Maybe they don’t care.” Louie adds, “More likely, they want people to know who they are, to enhance their reputations.”

Arcade comments “Damn, why did the paper have to print where we are staying.” “Hey, at least they didn’t mention any of us by name” Louie comments. It then appears that other patrons of the establishment have the same concern, as several short-term guests get up and inform the Cantina owner Pedro that they will be checking out, and then hurry up to their rooms to pack. After getting Morgana to translate a few of the bigger words, Louie comments “Doesn’t look like the Marshal plans to do anything to stop them.” “Except maybe hide behind his desk,” Morgana mutters.

They all then turn the page, reading page two, which begins with the headline“Billy the Kid still at Large, May have joined up with the James Gang!” The story reads as follows:

As reported in last week's edition of The Promise City Herald, the notorious outlaw and convicted criminal William H. Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid, remains at large. He was last sighted on July 13th in Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, where he shot and killed Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Earlier this year Bonney had been captured, and on April 13th Judge Warren Bristol sentenced him in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, to hang a month later. On April 28th Bonney escaped from the Lincoln County Jail, killing both of his guards. Following the escape Sheriff Pat Garrett and two of his deputies began searching for Bonney. The trail led to Fort Sumner, where Bonney and Garrett had a mutual friend. A shootout followed at the friend's home, leaving Garrett dead.

This reporter finds it to be an interesting coincidence that both Billy the Kid and the James Gang were committing crimes in central New Mexico Territory during the same week, and speculates that there might be a connection. Bonney could have certainly traveled the one-hundred-sixty mile trip to Albuquerque during the intervening six days between the murder of Garrett and the bank robbery. Bonney could be of great assistance to the James brothers, knowing the New Mexico Territory well.

The bottom third of the page is filled with the following ad:

Come and Dine at O’Reilly’s Café –Often called “The best breakfast in Promise City”! A nickel will buy you fried eggs, beef stew, coffee and toast. O’Reilly’s also serves up a mighty fine lunch. Located on Front Street right off of Main Street, just behind the First National Bank of Promise City.

After reading the page, Sam comments “Pretty shocking news.” Arcade casually replies, “I would certainly agree with that statement. Since when has O’Reilly’s started to serve beef stew with their breakfasts? We’ll have to go back there again soon to try it.”
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Silver Moon

Chapter 19, “A visit with the Deputy Sheriff”, July 29, 1881:

The gunslinger and mine guard Hank awakens mid-morning. It is after breakfast hours at the Great Western Boarding House and too early for lunch, so he decides to head across the street to the El Parador Cantina for something to eat. Along the way he passes the woman selling newspapers, and buys himself a copy. Entering the Cantina, he sees the four part-time mine guards that he works with sitting at a table reading the newspapers, the half-orc holding his upside down.

Hank pulls up a chair at the table and sits down. Arcade nods in his direction, and then looks back at the paper. Hank orders a mug of coffee from Dorita, and begins to read his own newspaper. When he gets to the bottom of page one he stops and says to Arcade “What exactly did you do to tick off this Cleatus James character?” Arcade answers “Not much, I just shot him in the chest.” “Any particular reason?” Hank asks. Arcade answers, “I didn’t care for the name Cleatus.” Louie interjects “He was picking on me, and Arcade decided to help.”

Hank asks, “What exactly are you going to do now? The paper tells where to find you.” Arcade replies “Well, I could just stay with Morgana in the tree grove behind the church.” “Only if or when you are invited!” she emphatically responds. “This is the wrong time to be fickle,” Arcade tells her. Morgana replies, “I’m not fickle, I’m independent.”

Louie asks Hank “Are there any rooms available at your boarding house across the street?” Hank replies “For you? Forget it. The Boarding house owner is one of the men who wants you guys run out of town.” Louie says “Well, why don’t we just shoot the guy and take over his place?”

Everyone goes back to reading his or her papers. Hank reads page two, which mentions that Billy the Kid may have joined the James Gang. “Mighty bad news, this James Gang coming to town.” Arcade replies “Yeah. I’ve heard that El Paso is good this time of year.” Morgana comment “Run away?” Louie says, “We could all go work for the railroad. It’s far away from here.” Arcade says, “We could find a place that we could fortify and hold up in, and wait for them to come.” Morgana states, “Why bother? Given how accurate this paper has been before I doubt they are even coming here.”

Hank says, “I hope you learned your lesson about this. Don’t leave anyone you fight alive, it will only come back to haunt you.” The group speculates about what the James Gang will do. Morgana comments, “If I were them I’d hit the two banks first.” Hank asks, “Would the banks in a little town like these even have enough money to interest them?” Arcade replies, “Well, there are four working silver mines in this town. The banks are probably sitting on a decent amount of cash.”

They ask Pedro his opinion, and he suggests they go talk to the law. “Why bother? The Marshal is quoted in the paper to say he doesn’t give a damn,” Sam comments. Pedro replies, “Not him, he’s just paid to look after things in town. I meant the Sheriff, who is the law for Cochise County. The Deputy Sheriff’s office is at the corner of Main and Front streets.” The five decide to go and talk to the Deputy Sheriff.

As they enter the small one-room brick building the Deputy Sheriff asks what they want. Arcade introduces himself, to which the Deputy Sheriff says, “Oh, I’ve been expecting you guys. I guess I owe you an apology.” “What for?” Morgana asks. He replies, “For using you as bait. I worked with Parker Baxter on the text of those newspaper stories.” “Any particular reason?” Arcade asks.

The man introduces himself as Colin Hunter, saying that he works for County Sheriff Johnny Behan, whose office is in Tombstone. Behan had summoned him to Tombstone two days earlier to discuss the James Gang situation, after which Hunter returned to Promise City and met with Parker Baxter to work on the newspaper stories.

“But why did you pinpoint us?” Morgana asks. Hunter replies, “I have very limited resources to guard against the gang, basically myself and two other deputies that will be coming in on today’s stagecoach, so needed to try to narrow the number of potential targets. Look at the ads in the paper. Several of them make references to where the businesses are in relation to the banks. My office is situated equidistant to both banks, one across the street the other two buildings south of here. That should attract the James Gang to both of them as targets.”

“And us!” Louie exclaims. Hunter answers “Yeah, but you’re Arcade’s Gang. You guys can take care of yourself just fine.” “How do you figure that?” Hank asks. Hunter answers “Parker Baxter has told me about what you guys are capable of.” Morgana interjects “Parker Baxter is also a drunk, why would you believe anything he says?” Hunter answers, “You guys are too modest. Everyone in town knows of your Gang’s reputation.”
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Silver Moon

Chapter 20, “Acquiring Allies”, July 29, 1881:

Arcade asks the Deputy Sheriff, “Do you know how many members are in the James Gang?” Hunter replies “No, not yet. But a pair of Federal agents will be arriving on tomorrow’s stagecoach with more information. You may want to come back then. Actually, what I’m really hoping for is that the newspaper will scare them off completely. I’m sending out copies of this paper to be circulated around Tombstone, and the towns of Galeyville and Dos Cabezas, which they will probably travel through one of those places to get here unless they come over the mountains. Jesse and Frank prefer to take places by surprise, and this publicity may be more than they bargained for.

Morgana says that she knows something about the gang, and then spins a bard’s tale about once when Frank and Jesse James were on the run following a robbery, and were given food and lodgings by an elderly woman who did not know who they were. During breakfast the following day she told them of how the bank was foreclosing on her farm, as he could not come up with the $ 900 she needed to pay in back taxes. The boys took out $ 900 of their loot, gave it to the woman, and told her to bring it to the bank and to be sure to get a receipt. She did as they instructed, after which they then robbed the bank to get back their $ 900, plus a bit more.

Hunter thanks her for the story, saying that he had not heard that one before. She replies “You’ll hear that and more if I wind up dead because of your story in the paper. I’ll come back as a ghost and haunt you for all eternity.” The Deputy Sheriff is unsure of how to take that comment. Louie comments, “She does a pretty good job of haunting us while she is still alive.” The Deputy Sheriff decides to break the now increasing level of growing tension by inviting them to join him in a drink.

They walk down the street to the Long Branch Saloon, one of the larger establishments in town, and he buys them all a drink. This saloon does not allow anyone to hold firearms, and the Deputy Sheriff and the party are required to check their guns at the bar. Morgana comments, “I’m sure that is why those gamblers Booth and Flashman prefer to gamble here.”

They have a pleasant conversation with Hunter, who explains how he and one other Sheriff’s Deputy in Galleyville are the law for the Eastern half of Cochise County. His primary work responsibility is Indian relations, which is why he normally leaves the law enforcement in the town to the Marshal. Since Marshal Hollister has chosen to not involve himself in this current situation it falls upon the County Sheriff’s office to do so.

Following the drinks at the saloon, Arcade’s Gang decides to wander over to O’Reilly’s Café, to see if the newspaper editor might be there. He isn’t, but the smell of freshly made beef stew is enough to prompt the group to sit down for an early lunch. During lunch Arcade declares, “We need a plan people!” Louie says, “Maybe those Federal agents will help. I hope they arrive in town before the James Gang does. Morgana suggests, “I think we need to talk to the Apache Indians. They could prevent the James boys from getting here through the mountains.” “Good idea,” Arcade comments.

The lunch is interrupted by the arrival of a well-dressed gentleman who introduces himself as Dick Lester, and asks if he can talk to them about some business? “What type of business?” Arcade asks. Lester explains that he is the town undertaker, and wishes to see if any of them would like to make arrangements for themselves at Lester’s Funeral Parlor. He begins to explain about the different types of caskets that he has available. Morgana says, “You’re not taking my measurements!” (Lester replies with a comment that Eric’s Grandmother would not approve of.) Arcade then forcibly ejects the man from the Café, with the undertaker yelling back “Fine. Be that way. At least I’ll get paid for issuing the death certificates.” Arcade replies, “Yes, but they won’t be ours.”

The group decides what to do next, and Louie suggests they go harass the typesetter at the newspaper office just for fun. Arcade says, “No, I like Morgana’s idea about talking to the Apache. Let’s go see what the centaur thinks of that idea.” The group heads back towards the stables at the El Parador, and find the centaur. Hank actually does the talking, knowing Qualtaqa best due to the two guarding the mine together on a full-time basis. Qualtaqa suggests that the group all stand guard duty this evening, and that he will then go talk to the Apache.

The group then heads back into the Cantina, where another round of drinks are ordered. Currently sitting down for lunch is the hired gun wood elf Juan Gomez, who gets into a discussion with Hank about the James Gang. Gomez jokes about the situation maybe ending the fact that they are both rivals for the hand of Liza Brown. Hank comments “I’ve about lost interest in her anyway. She’s a bit too pushy for my taste.” Gomez says that he was only kidding, and that they can count on him to help out if they need any help against the James Gang. The dwarven prospector Nils “Great Axe” Svelsford is also in attendance, and he too offers to assist them.

Morgana approaches another Cantina resident, the elderly Mexican priest Manuel Gonzalez, and comments “Are you worried about the James Gang coming here?” He looks to her and asks, “Are you?” She replies, “Yes, of course I am.” He comments, “Then I may be able to help you. Are your friends trustworthy?” She replies, “I do not know the gunslinger Hank that well, but I would trust the others with my life". Gonzales says “Let me go speak to Dorita about this.” He heads into the kitchen.

A few minutes later Dorita approaches the table, and asks the party to join her for a private discussion in the part of the Cantina where she and Pedro live. The party follows her into that section, where Gonzalez is already seated in a chair. She says that if they are willing to keep a secret she might be able to offer them great assistance in the upcoming battle with the James Gang. The party all assure her that they can be trusted.

She then tells them that Gonzalez is her grandfather, and that he is not a priest but a wizard. Wizards are not trusted in most parts of North America, and Manuel even more so, as he fought with Santa Anna’s army at the Alamo. Although it happened 32 years ago, feelings about the Alamo, and of the deaths of the Texans at the hands of the Mexican soldiers and mages, still run deep. She explains that Gonzalez had lived in west Texas until recently, when his identity was found out. He fled, and has been living here with his granddaughter ever since.

Gonzalez explains that he is a rather powerful mage (8th level) and is willing to help the party in their upcoming fight. He also offers to apprentice a member or two of their party, which Morgana immediately accepts. She tells the elderly wood elf that in the event that he casts any offensive spells in battle he should make it appear that they come from her instead. Arcade thanks Dorita and Manuel for their generous offer of assistance. She says, “Well, I like you guys and you are good customers, but personal self-interest also enters into this. Chances are the Cantina won’t be getting much business until this situation is resolved.”
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Silver Moon

Chapter 21, “Seeking out more information and assistance,” July 29, 1881:

The group head back to their respective rooms to get some sleep, as they are planning to be up for quite a bit of the night. Around sunset they meet back up in the Cantina lobby for supper, finding them to be the only customers. They then head over towards the Liberty Hill Mine just as the six miners are finishing up for the day. The mine’s principal owner, Graf Holzer, says “Howdy. I heard about what is going on. Talk to Kentucky.”

The party approaches the miner and hired gun Kentucky “Shotgun” Krugg, an ogre who had also been a slave prior to the Civil War. Krugg says, “Mister Holzer says that I can help you guys instead of mining for the next week or so.” “You don’t mind? It could be trouble,” Morgana comments. The ogre replies “Sounds like easier work to me. I got the nickname ‘Shotgun’ for a reason.” Morgana asks, “What do you use for shot?” “Usually scatter,” the Ogre replies, “Been shooting all my life.” Arcade comments, “Wait a minute? They trusted a slave with a gun?” Krugg smiles and says, “Sure. I helped protect the master’s livestock from predators.” “In Kentucky? What type of predators?” Morgana asks. Krugg grins and replies “Wolves, foxes, bears and rustlers.”

The ogre says he is going to go get some food and shuteye, and will join up with them in the morning. Once the miners are gone the centaur Quletaqa heads off to the northeast. The others settle into a quiet night of guard duty.

July 30, 1881:

Shortly after midnight Morgana hears the sound of horse hooves approaching. The centaur is seen approaching alongside a mounted rider. They approach, the rider dismounting. Arcade, Louie, Morgana and Sam recognize him as the Chief of the Apache. The Indian leader gestures to Hank, and asks, “Who is this?” Arcade sarcastically replies, “He’s my lover,” which earns him a dirty look from Hank. “Who are you?” Hank asks. The Indian replies, “I am Geronomo.” Hank is taken aback by this, and mutters, “Well I’ll be damned.” Morgana adds, “You probably will be.”

Geronomo thanks the party for keeping his ambassador Qualtaqa safe within the town. Morgana says, “You are very welcome. We now have a favor to ask of you.” She then explains about the group of human bandits known as the James Gang, that they might be trying to get to Promise City by way of the mountains. She explains that the Deputy Sheriff has used her and her friends as bait to attract them to this region. He asks about the safety of Qualtaqa, and is assured that the centaur should be okay as long as he maintains a low profile in the Cantina’s stable and not spend time around the town itself during the next week.

Geronomo agrees to stop any groups of armed humans who try to travel though the mountains. “Why are you so willing to help us?” a skeptical Arcade asks. The Chief gestures to Morgana and then Louie saying, “She is of the people. He is…of something. You humans protect them, and my ambassador. I will help protect you as well.” He then tells Morgana, “Let your Deputy Sheriff know that we will stop all groups of armed humans we see. To avoid confusion and mishaps please have him keep the soldiers away from the Mountains.” Morgana answers, “I will”, with a smile coming to her face as she realizes that was actually his primary motive for agreeing to help. The Indian chief rides off. The group remains on guard duty until dawn.

At dawn Morgana heads immediately to the Deputy Sheriff’s office. An unknown armed human answers the door. She says, “I’m looking for the Deputy Sheriff.” He replies, “I am Deputy Sheriff Billy Breckenridge.” “No, the usual one,” she replies. “Let her in,” Colin Hunter’s voice yells out. She enters, with Hunter and another man still lying on two of three cots in the room. Hunter says “Billy and John joined me yesterday. Guys, this is the female member of Arcade’s Gang.” She tells them about the meeting with Geronomo, to which they thank her and agree to get word to the Army to stay out of the Mountains for the indefinite future. She departs.

Being up all night the Gang decides to sleep until mid-afternoon, telling Kentucky to wake them if any trouble starts. Once awake, they eat and just hang around the Cantina until it is time for the afternoon Wells Fargo stage to arrive from Tombstone. Arcade, Louie, Hank, Morgana and Sam head over and watch for the stage. Two well-dressed men wearing side arms exit the stage, each carrying a travel bag, and walk directly to the Deputy Sheriff’s Office, entering it.

The group walks over in that direction. Arcade suggests that they wait, but Morgana decides to barge right in. She comes back outside, and gestures for the rest of the Gang to join her. The Office is rather cramped with ten people now inside it. Colin Hunter first points to Morgana and her companions, introducing them as “Arcade’s Gang, who I’m sure you have heard about.” “Otherwise know as ‘the bait’”, Louie interjects. Hunter then gestures to the two better-dressed men, one a handsome man in his late thirties wearing a green suit, the other a heavier-set man in his early fifties wearing a gray suit, and states “And these two gentlemen are from the Federal Government.”

The more handsome man extends his hand in greeting towards Arcade, and says “Hello. My name is James T. West, and my associate is Artimis Gordon.” One of the players comments, “I guess we should have seen that one coming.”

Silver Moon

Chapter 22, “Night of the Lady Safecracker”, July 30, 1881:

Louie comment, “West? You mean this whole part of the county is named after you?” Ignoring the orc, West tells the deputies and gang, “Artemis and I have been on the trail of an expert safecracker, who we believe is now working with the James Gang. “Your Gang?” Louie comments. “No!” West exclaims. “But you said your name was James.” “My first name is James! The gang is Frank and Jesse James. Anyway, we believe that this safecracker is now working with them. An individual matching her description was working with them at the bank robbery in Albuquerque eleven days ago.”

West asks, “How much do you guys know about safes?” Morgana replies “A little..” and then goes into a lengthy description about locking mechanisms, tumblers and types of combinations used. West and Gordon are both amazed at this Indian woman’s knowledge of such things.

West then says, “Artemis, for the benefit of everyone other than her, why don’t you give us a short history about safe manufacturers. Artemis Gordon begins “Most of the large East Coast banks originally started with large vaults and safes made by the Chubb Brothers of England, but due to the high cost of shipping such heavy objects across the ocean a number of United States safe companies soon developed. Currently there are about a dozen domestic manufacturers, although the market is dominated by the three largest, the Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton Ohio, the Diebold Safe and Vault Company of Canton Ohio, and the Harrisburg Safe Company of Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Safes use to be the top company, with their reputation being built upon the fact that the locks were uniquely engineered to be unbreakable and robbery-proof. They became the second largest after the great Chicago fire ten years ago, where a number of Diebold safes were found to have their contents intact, as the publicity from that then made Diebold the main company. Harrisburg Safe’s popularity continued to wane following the death of the company’s Chief Engineer and Locksmith, with Mosler now being the second largest.”

West continues “The United States Secret Service became involved in the case two years ago, as a result of a counterfeiting ring that ravaged the states along the east coast. Most counterfeiters are caught when trying to distribute the fake money, but this ring operated by secretly breaking into bank vaults and then replacing real currency with the fake, the thefts often going unnoticed for some time. What our investigation found in common with these thefts was that all of the banks involved had safes and vaults from the Harrisburg Corporation.”

Gordon continues, “We visited the Directors of that company, who reluctantly divulged the suspected identity of the person responsible. Her name was Mae Clarke, the widow of their former Chief Engineer and Locksmith Josiah Clarke. Following her husband’s death in a plant accident she had approached the Board of Directors about hiring her. They knew that she had visited her husband’s private workshop everyday, bringing him lunch and sharing a private lunch hour with him. She told the Board that she never actually ate with her husband, using the lunch hour to test out the latest lock designs. She said that she also tested every safe and vault before it left the plant, and volunteered her skills at the same pay scale that her husband received. They did not believe her, and only gave her a small stipend as compensation for her husband’s death.” “The equivalent of a gold watch,” Arcade mutters. “Stupid men,” Morgana adds.

West continues, “Artemis and I decided to go meet this woman. We approached her house, and the attractive thirty-year-old woman let us in. She must have suspected why we were there, as she lured us into her study and then shut the door. We quickly discovered that the wooden walls, floor, ceiling and doors to that room were only a façade, and we found ourselves locked inside of a metal vault.” Morgana mutters “More stupid men.” Gordon glares at her, and says, “We were not without our resources. We managed to escape the trap, but by that time she was long gone.”

West continues, “For the next year that she was on the run, banks and private homes that had Harrisburg vaults and safes found themselves subject to robberies. The company worked to replace the locks on all products they had sold during the prior decade, assuming that she had a copy of the combinations, but she managed to get the new locks opened just as easily. As the company’s reputation back east waned and they rapidly lost business to their two competitors, they decided to send the Harrisburg sales force west of the Mississippi River.” Arcade interjects, “What? They just assumed that a woman wouldn’t be able to travel west on her own?”

West says, “Apparently, but as you have surmised, as the company’s products moved west, so did their nemesis. For the past year Mae Clarke is rumored to have been working with the Douglas Gang*, as most of their robberies were at locations with Harrisburg products. Two other Federal Agents captured the leaders of the Douglas Gang during a robbery in California a few months ago. A woman matching Mae Clarke’s description was with them, but she once again managed to escape. She now appears to have moved on to the James Gang. It is not surprising that Jesse and Frank would want someone with her talents, as their disastrous robbery attempt in Northfield, Minnesota was foiled in part due to their being told that the safe was on a timed lock and could not be opened.”

Gordon continues, “According to the records from the Harrisburg Company three safes have been shipped directly here to Promise City. The Silverbell Mining Company purchased a large vault as well as a smaller wall safe. Condon’s Bank purchased a large vault. Cook’s General Store is also said to have purchased a number of safe from a California distributor, some of which were probably Harrisburg models.”

West says, “We hope to catch her here.” Arcade says, “I don’t know. Once she’s gotten use to riding on a horse you’ll never get her back into civilized society.” That earns him a dirty look from Morgana. She then comments, “It sounds to me like a case of poetic justice. I’d say she is entitled to ruin that company. My inclination would actually be to help her.” Arcade interjects, “I have to admit, it does sound somewhat appealing to me.”

Morgana continues, “I wonder if she is willing to take on an apprentice.” “Or five,” Louie interjects. The Federal agents are taken aback by this turn of the conversation, and West reiterates that she is an accomplice to a group of outlaws, who killed two people in the most recent robbery. Louie comments, “Yeah, we know. We read about it here,” pointing to his newspaper, which he is again holding upside down.

*(Don’t strain your brain trying to remember who this gang was. The original “Douglas Gang” were actually from the Boot Hill chronology, being playing characters in the original game play tested by Gygax and Blume prior to the game system’s publication.
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Silver Moon

Chapter 23, “Checking out safes and pianos”, July 30th, 1881:

The group returns to the Cantina from the Deputy Sheriff’s Office. The old wizard Manuel Gonzalez is waiting for them, and asks Morgana if she would like to head off into the desert with him for the magic training. Arcade mutters, “Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Louie picks up on the innuendo, adding, “Yeah, he wants to show her his wand.” The rest of the day is uneventful.

July 31st, 1881:

Arcade, Louie and Morgana sit down for breakfast in the Cantina in the middle of the morning to discuss what to do next. Morgana suggests visiting the buildings with Harrisburg brand safes. Arcade and Louie disagree, stating that it isn’t their problem. She heads off on her own, while the other two just hang out in the Cantina.

She first goes to the office of the Silverbell Mining Company, and convinces the clerk Earl Hogan to go find the owner, Elton Hubbard. Hubbard vaguely remembers her from when she investigated the broken pipe to the smelter three months earlier and asks what he wants. She warns him about the safecracker. He says he already knows, having conversed to the Federal agents the day before. She asks to see the vault, to which he is rather skeptical saying, “What business is this of yours?” She explains that she is looking out for the interests of her employer, the Liberty Hill Mine, which uses his smelting operation.

She manages to convince him to show her the vault, a large Harrisburg model. She copies down the serial number and notes the manufacturing date of 1779. She asks about the wall safe, which he refuses to show her, stating that it is well hidden and will not tell her which of his four buildings it is within. She suggests to him, “If it is that well hidden I would suggest you keep all of your money there for the near future, rather than in this vault.”

She next heads back to the Deputy Sheriff’s Office, to converse again with West. She asks how long ago Mae Clarke’s husband died, and is told four years. She then asks if the new locksmith was an apprentice of the late Josiah Clarke, and is told that he was. She replies, “Then the age of the safes won’t make a damned bit of difference, she knows all the same tricks to get into them.”

She convinces West to join her for a visit at Cook’s General Store, as they have not been informed yet about the safecracker. They cross the street to the store, and speak to the proprietors Helen and Zeb Cook. They currently have three safes in stock, two Harrisburg models and a Mosler. The Harrisburgs are both older models, and the shop’s owners are informed that, “The safecracker knows the combinations, and will have no trouble opening them.” They are currently using one of these for their own receipts, and decide to move their money over to the Mosler. West asks about past purchasers of safes, and is told that one was sold to the Palace Saloon and another to gambler Conrad Booth. Neither Helen nor Zeb remember which manufactuer's brand those were.

Morgana returns to the Cantina, knowing that Conrad Booth usually begins his day there with the noontime meal. When the gambler and his housemate Paget Flashman arrive she joins them, telling them about the potential safecracker. She asks to see Booth’s safe, which he agrees to show her following the meal. Flashman is offended, saying “You won’t let me anywhere near it.” Booth replies, “I trust her more than I trust you.”

As Booth and Morgana get up to go she says, “Come along Louie.” The orc follows, and Arcade decides to join as well. Booth seems annoyed at the inclusion of the others, but proceeds to his house, which he unlocks and then leads them upstairs to his bedroom, which also has a locked door. Once inside, he moves a painting on the wall, behind which is an older model Harrisburg safe. Arcade suggests that he find a less obvious place to put it, but Booth explains, “I can’t easily do that. I don’t own the place, I rent it from the Condon brothers.” Louie suggests finding something bigger to put in front of it, with Arcade suggesting that Booth purchase a four-posted bed for that purpose.

They leave, and Booth rejoins his companion to head down to the gambling tables at the Long Branch Saloon. He thanks the party for their advice, to which Morgana replies, “No problem, just remember to not cheat any of us at cards.” Arcade says to Morgana “It’s been a while since we’ve done any gambling. We should do that again.” She replies, “You just want to see me in a dress again.” He answers, “Not necessarily.”

The three discuss plans of how to proceed, coming up with a plan to change the sales records over at Cook’s General Store, assuming that the James Gang will go there first. The three head over and are surprised when Zeb Cook tells them he doesn’t keep written records saying, “Why bother. Until the County or Territory institute a tax there is no reason to go to that extra work.”

Before leaving, Morgana takes an interest in one of the most exotic items for sale in the store, an upright piano. She sits down on the piano bench, and begins to play Mozart’s Fortieth in C. “Having fun?” Arcade asks. She replies, “Yeah I am. The Cantina’s has been too quiet these past few evenings. I need to find somewhere else to perform.” Helen Cook is impressed by the music, and suggests, “There are a number of the nicer saloons have pianos. Or you might want to buy this for your Cantina. It can be purchased at a price of only $ 100.00.” Morgana doesn’t comment on the price, and asks, “What is the best saloon in town?” Helen replies “The Palace Saloon.” “The same place that bought that other safe from you?” Morgana comments. Helen replies “Yes”.

Silver Moon

Chapter 24, “The Palace Saloon”, July 31st, 1881, 4:00 P.M.

Morgana goes to the bathhouse to clean up, using the scented soaps, and then fixes herself in her “Eastern” attire, with the corresponding change in hair style. She then heads north up Freemont Street, to the corner of Freemont and Sierra. The Palace Saloon is a large three-story wood and brick structure on the corner.

Morgana enters the building. The first floor consists of a bar along the entire opposite wall with a wall-sized mirror behind it, a dozen tables, a small table with a roulette wheel, a staircase along the eastern wall and a small stage with piano along the western wall. There are currently around a dozen patrons, in addition to the bouncer, bartender, gambler and four saloon girls. The furnishings in the building are fancier than those of any other drinking establishment in town. She notices that, like the Long Branch Saloon, patrons here are required to check their firearms.

She informs the bartender that she wishes to talk to the owner, and is directed to the gambler sitting at a table nearby. She approaches the man, and asks about employment as a singer. He looks her over from head to toe, introduces himself as Evan Adair, and says, “Come back this evening and sing a set. Depending on the reaction we might then talk about a regular job.” “Fair enough,” she says.

She heads back to the Cantina, telling Arcade and Louie about her audition this evening. They have a light supper, and she then leaves to head back to the Saloon. Arcade and Louie decide to go listen to her, and both clean up and dress in their best clothing. They head off in that direction just as it is starting to get dark.

She enters the Saloon and notices that a good size crowd has gathered. Card games are going on at two tables, every barstool is filled, and the chairs at most of the tables are occupied. The bouncer, whose name appears to be “Dave” is now acting as a second bartender alongside the other, who she hears people refer to as either “Deacon” or “McCoy”.

Morgana has to wait until one of the six saloon girls now present finishes singing a series of bawdy songs. Adair introduces her as “As newcomer to town, who has hopes of becoming an entertainer.” Morgana sits at the piano, and begins playing and singing a part from a Norse Opera, which the patrons have little reaction to. The then follows it up with a dozen songs running the full spectrum of highbrow classical to lively raucous bar songs. She plays the piano for most of these, but sings a few without accompaniment.

Midway through her performance Arcade and Louie arrive at the Palace Saloon. The bouncer stops their entry, informing them that the orc Chinaman is not allowed inside. “We came to hear the woman sing,” Louie says. The bouncer replies, “I don’t care why you came here. Hit the road. We don’t like your type here.” “What if I promise not to buy any rice?” Louie asks. “Humans only,” the bouncer exclaims. The two eventually give up, and head back to the Cantina.

She waits until Adair completes a game of cards before wrapping up her set, and then approaches the man, who now has one of the saloon girls hanging on his arm. “Well?” she inquires. He replies, “Not bad at all. It is a bit noisy and crowded now to talk business. Why don’t you stop by tomorrow mid-afternoon and we can talk about regular employment.” “Fine, I’ll see you then,” she says, and exits.

She arrives back at the Cantina, excited about how well the audition went. Louie tells her, “We’re sorry we weren’t there to support you. We tried.” Arcade gestures to Louie, and says, “They had a humans only policy, and wouldn’t let him in.” Morgana replies “Really? Well I just think I’ll wear my regular clothes for my appointment tomorrow.”

August 1st, 1881, 1:30 P.M.

The morning is uneventful, with Morgana receiving more magic training for Manuel Gonzalez and Arcade taking Louie a short distance out of town for some more target practice. After lunch Morgana heads over towards the Palace Saloon, attired in her full Indian regalia.

As she starts to enter the Saloon the bouncer Dave moves to block her entrance. She attempts to move around him, and he moves to further block her. “I have an appointment with Mr. Adair.” “I don’t think so Indian,” the bouncer answers. In response she begins singing, duplicating one of the songs from the night before. “Now do you believe me?” she comments. “Quit your whaling. I said go away,” the bouncer replies.

The bartender comes over to the door asking, “Is there a problem?” Morgana interjects, “Yes. I have an appointment with Mr. Adair, and he won’t let me in. I sang here last night.” McCoy does a bit of a double take, and then says, “You didn’t sing here dressed like that. Go clean up and then come back.” She refuses, emphatically stating “Go get Mr. Adair, I have an appointment.” McCoy leaves, but rather than coming back with the owner he returns with a loaded shotgun, which he levels at her and says, “I believe you’ve been asked to move along. Go.” “Lady, you’re leaving or you get shot,” the bouncer comments.

She defiantly holds her ground, and then begins to sing again. McCoy continues to point the shotgun and her. Both he and the bouncer attempt to talk to her, but she cannot hear them over her singing. She attempts to raise her voice to an octave that will break glass, and is almost there when she feels a hand on her shoulder.

She turns, and is facing the town’s Marshal Bret Hollister. He tells her, “Ma’am, I would strongly suggest that you move along. I can’t have you standing here blocking the doorway keeping patrons from entering.” She points to the two in the doorway, and says, “I’m not blocking anything, they are. And nobody has even tried to enter.” “Only because she’s making a scene,” the bouncer exclaims. Hollister tells her, “I’m afraid I have to agree with them. If you won’t leave on your own I’ll have to arrest you.” She finally gives up and walks away; telling the men in the doorway “Your boss won’t like hearing that you made me miss my appointment.”

She heads back to the Cantina and pouts. Louie tries to cheer her up, with Louie suggesting that they go back and burn the building to the ground. “Only if we remove all of the booze first,” Arcade comments. Louie replies, “We can’t remove any of it. They won’t let us through the doors.” Arcade says, “Why don’t we send Sam after them.” Morgana comments, “What is he going to do? Meek them to death?”

Hank enters the Cantina and joins Arcade, Louie and Morgana. She continues to pout and complain, and Hank asks what she is upset about. Arcade says, “She went over to the Palace Saloon to make trouble.” She replies, “I did not! What difference does it make how I dress to go to an appointment.” Arcade answers, “If it really didn’t make any difference then why didn’t you go in your Eastern attire? You knew your Indian get-up would cause trouble after what happened to me and Louie!” “What happened?” asks Hank. Louie interjects, “They wouldn’t let us in last night.” Arcade adds, “Yeah, I think it was because Louie didn’t have a tie.” Hank surmises, “I would imagine that the patrons there would have been happy to throw him a ‘necktie party’.”

Arcade looks back to Morgana and says, “You can’t tell me that you really expected any other outcome?” She evades his question, and says “I wore these clothes because they are more comfortable. I didn’t want to have to put that corset back on.” Louie asks “What’s a corset?” Arcade replies, “It’s like a bellows, except that you fill it up with boobs instead of air.” Hank comments to Arcade, “Have you ever thought of writing a Dictonary? Morgana offers to let Louie wear one. He declines. The four continue to just sit around the Cantina, being the only customers.

Silver Moon

Chapter 25, “Arrival of the James Gang”, August 1st, 1881, 2:30 P.M.

Meanwhile, two miles northwest of Promise City, a group of ten riders have now approached a burnt out barn alongside an abandoned farmhouse. Former Promise City resident Cleatus James had brought this group to this location. The group had circumnavigated way around the towns of Tombstone and Dos Cabezas to avoid being seen. The open fields that they then traveled through for the past several miles belonging to the Lazy S Ranch. These fields were deserted, as the Shaw family that owns the ranch, and their hired hands, are all away on a cattle drive. This allows this group to approach close to town without being noticed. The old farmhouse had once belonged to the Shaw family, before they built their larger farmhouse five miles further west, so was deserted.

This group was comprised of nine men and a woman, with the group’s leader being the notorious outlaw Jesse James. All but one of this group had participated in the robbery of an Albuquerque, New Mexico bank two weeks earlier. Following the robbery the money was divided up, most of which was then sent “home” to locations in Missouri and Utah with two other gang members no longer with the particular group.

Shortly after that the Gang crossed path with the notorious William H. Bonney, otherwise known as Billy the Kid. Billy proved to be quite useful, knowing the New Mexico Territory well, and was able to get the gang safely away from the posse that had been pursuing them. In the time since then the young outlaw had begun to overstay his welcome, making unwanted advances to the Gang’s only female member Mae Clarke. He had also begun to challenge and question Jesse’s decisions and authority.

Almost as annoying was Jesse and Frank James’s second cousin Cleatus James, who had used his family connections to discover the James Brothers secret hideout two months ago, and then talked them into making this trip to southeastern Arizona. The current plan was derived based on Cleatus’s knowledge of Promise City, and where large quantities of money would be located. The plan called for the team to later split up into two groups, and neither Jesse nor Frank had any reservations about sending Billy the Kid and Cleatus as part of the group with the more dangerous assignment. Accompanying that pair would be the Ford Brothers, Charlie and Bob*, whom Jesse had begun to sense a bad feeling about

*Note: In the real timeline, James Gang member Bob Ford was the person who betrayed and killed Jesse James in 1882 to collect the reward money.

It was decided that this building would be the rendezvous point for later this evening. The horses were fed and watered, while the Gang ate a light meal. Frank James walked around the building with his friend Bill Ryan, deciding upon a secret location for Ryan to stash the loot from the first phase of the planned robberies. The Gang then mounted up and rode towards town. Cleatus called for them to stop at a hilly area not far from town, where Ryan then took all of the horses and rode back to the abandoned farmhouse while the other proceeded on foot.

From a hill overlooking the town Cleatus pointed out to the others their two initial objectives, a small clapboard house on the outer end of the town’s northeast corner, and a large three-story clapboard home, the westernmost building in town, not far from the hill with the smelting operation. Cleatus led his quartet to the smaller of these two buildings, while Jesse, Frank, Mae, and James Gang members Jim Cummins and Clarence Hite headed around the western end of town, cautiously approaching the building from the rear.

The larger building had a locked back door, which locksmith and safecracker Mae Clarke was quickly able to open. The five quietly made their way inside, and caught the live-in housekeeper Hazel Thomas by surprise. Once Jesse James identified himself by name and brandished his weapon Hazel did not hesitate to show them the secret location of the safe belonging to the home’s owner, Elton Hubbard. Mae cross-referenced the safe’s serial number to a list that she carried, and then correctly dialed the combination. The contents of the safe were emptied into a satchel. Mae then left behind a hand-written note, and then relocked the safe. Mrs. Thomas was then gagged and tied into a chair on the third floor, and the group departed.

Across town, Cleatus led his group into the 10x20 foot two-room building that was home to Scott and Mona Taylor. Guns were shoved into the faces of the Taylors, who were told to not make a sound. The windows and shutters to the building were the all shut, and the couple were gagged and tied to the center support beam of the building. The group waited for almost an hour, until there was a light rap on the door. The door was opened, and their other group entered. Jesse James then introduced himself to Mona, telling her exactly what she was going to do next, and what the lethal consequences would be to her husband if she failed to do as instructed.

Mona was untied, the gag removed. She then left the building, accompanied by Jim Cummins and Mae Clarke. Mona and Mae both carried cleaning supplies, with a pistol hidden inside the pile carried by Mae. Cummins had an armload of firewood, with his sawed-off shotgun concealed inside of it. They passed two other homes, and then crossed Sierra Street, going up to the large two-story wooden home that was the home of bankers Morgan and Frank Condon. Mona was employed as the cook and housekeeper for the bankers and quickly unlocked the door using her own key. A few people passed by on the street during this time, but do not pay any real attention to the trio.

Mona then led them directly to the hidden wall safe. Mae Clarke took one look at it and then let out a string of explicative, as it was a Mosler model rather than a Harrisburg. The safecracker calmed down and took out a set of tools, and then spent nearly an hour on it before the safe’s door finally opened. The effort proved to be worth the wait, as the safe is stuffed full with cash. The money was piled into a pair of buckets and covered with rags. She again left a prepared letter in the safe, then shut and locked it. The three returned to the Taylor residence, where Mona was again tied and gagged.

A quick count of the money from the Condon safe showed a haul of almost $ 11,000 as well as a ring of keys that is immediately handed to Cleatus. Over $ 4,000 was taken from the Hubbard safe. The rest of the contents from the Hubbard safe are various deeds and other legal documents, which Cleatus tossed into the wood stove and then lit. Frank James puts the money into two satchels, and made his way towards the hills to the north. He returned a half hour later saying, “Bill has it.” Bonney tells the bound Taylors’ “If we hear any sounds coming from this building during the next two hours we will set it on fire.”

It is now getting towards evening, and the Gang splits up again into the two separate groups, heading off in different directions. The group with the James Brothers head through back alleyways and wait over half an hour until Sierra Street looks to be deserted before they casually cross it, then make their way behind more buildings over to back door of Cook’s General Store. The store is still open for business and the five outlaws decide to hide in a nearby storage shed and wait until the store closes for the day.

The other quartet had made their way around the outskirts of town, and come up from the south, their destination being the home of gambler Conrad Booth. They make their way along the south hill, going around Brown’s Ice House to the back door of Booth’s house. Ice House employee Beecher Lawson notices this quartet at this back door, but since they use a key to get inside, assumes they have permission from Booth to be there. Cleatus James’s back was to Lawson, so he didn’t recognize the former town resident.

Lawson does mention this to Ice House owner Hannibal Brown. Brown replies, “Probably just some house guests. I saw that a new bed was delivered there yesterday, which he must have purchased for his friends to sleep on. I’ll be heading over to the Long Branch Saloon in a few minutes with today’s ice delivery, so I’ll ask Booth later if he’ll be needing more ice during their stay.”

Back next door, once inside the building, the four outlaws spend a short while looking for the safe. Using the stolen keys they get the upstairs bedroom doors unlocked, and eventually find the safe on the bedroom wall behind a large four-posted bed. Once that is done their only instructions are to wait until Mae Clarke arrives to then open the safe. Cleatus continues to peer out of a second floor window at the El Parador Cantina next door, hoping to get a glimpse of the man who wounded him several months earlier, the mysterious stranger known as Arcade.
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Silver Moon

Chapter 26, “Strangers at the Booth House”, August 1st, 1881, 5:15 P.M.

Given how quiet it is in the almost deserted Cantina, Arcade’s gang has no difficulty in hearing an argument going on inside of the kitchen, which is surprisingly in Common rather than Spanish. At the sound of Dorita yelling, “Take it back” Morgana decides to go see what the commotion is all about. She enters, seeing Dorita arguing with Hannibal Brown, the owner of Brown’s Ice House, who is carrying a large block of ice with a pair of tongs. “What is going on?” Morgana inquires. Booth sees Morgana and says “Good, you’re here. Get the rest of your Gang.” Hearing that, Arcade, Hank and Louie enter the room.

Dorita hasily yells out, “He brought this block of ice saying it is a present from that gambler Conrad Booth! I have enough ice until my regualar delivery tomorrow, and don’t need it. I am a good judge of character, and that Booth wouldn’t give his own mother a present. The only reason he would give me anything is because he must have been caught cheating and banned from the Long Branch Saloon, and wants to gamble here. Pedro will never allow that!” She yells this so fast that Morgana misses half of it, but Hank caught it all and repeats the parts that she missed.

Brown says, “No, he sent me here for another reason.” Brown then tells them about the four strangers seen entering the Booth house, and that Conrad Booth says he has no idea who they are and that he isn’t expecting any guests. He told Brown to bring deliver the ice and then pass on the message on to you, so as to not look suspitious. Dorita says, “So he doesn’t want anything from me? And I get to keep the ice?” “Yes,” Brown replies, which begins to calms down the agitated wood elf.

The group discusses how to deal with this turn of events. They decide to do some reconaissance, talking the centaur Qualtaqa into making a trip over to the Liberty Hill Mine and back via both sides of the booth house. The centaur returns to the Cantina twenty minutes later, reporting that all of the curtains on the building are drawn, but he saw some movement at a second floor front facing window.

The party discusses tactics, coming up with an initial plan of geting dynamite from the mine and then blow up the building. Arcade says, “That might be difficult, since the building is mostly made of brick. It could be very dangerous trying to try to get lit sticks of dynamite inside, and that Sam kid doesn’t appear to be around for us to send to do that.” “How about sending that centaur?” Hank asks. Morgana suggests that letting the Apache’s ambassador get blown up may not be the best tactic. She convinces them to wait until she’s had a chance to talk to Booth before doing anything.

She heads over to the Long Branch Saloon. Booth is sitting alone at the table, and she goes to join him. Keeping his voice low, he reiterates about not expecting any guests at all, and suspects the four might be after the money in his safe. She says, “Give me your key and we will go check it out. We’ll try not to get any blood on the curtains.” He hands her the key and replies, “Why would I care about blood on the curtains. I rent.” She says she will make it appear that she is his housekeeper, and raising her voice asks him “For some money to buy groceries.” He hands her a $ 20.00 bill, and with a twinkle in his eye, says “Better buy quite a bit. I hear I may be having some house guests.”

She heads towards the door, and is almost outside when one of the saloon girls asks Booth, “So Conrad, are you getting a little Indian on the side?” Morgana does a quick about face, and yells at the woman “Listen B**ch, I make my own way though honest work! I don’t have to…(phrase deleted to keep from offending Eric’s Grandma)…for a living.” The saloon girl’s jaw drops and she does not respond to Morgana’s verbal barrage. The rest of the bar is silent, except for a low murmor of “catfight, catfight” from several patrons. Morgana storms out of the building. The DM comments to Morgana’s player “Congratuations, in the course of a single afternoon you’ve now made a scene at both of the fanciest saloons in town.”

She heads directly across the street to Cook’s General Store, purchasing a large quantity of groceries. She tells them that she will have to go get somebody to help carry her purchases. They ask her to be quick about it, as it is already past their usual closing time. She returns to the Cantina, explaining her plan. She says, “I will play the part of the housekeeper and Louie will act like the lowly Chinese servant.” “Well, he’s pretty good at that,” Arcade comments. She continues, “We will bring the groceries into the card sharp’s house, look around, and kill anyone we see. We’ll leave all doors ajar, and you guys act as our backup. Come running at the first sound of trouble.” “Sounds rather risky,” Hank states. Arcade comments, “The riskiest part is her bringing Louie with her to a grocery store. Haven’t you heard what happened the first time he tried to buy rice?”

Before leaving they check to see who else is around to help out. The ogre Kentucky joins them, and the magic-user Manuel Gonzalez gets into position near a Cantina window, to cast spells if needed. They leave and Hank tells Arcade, “She’s insane you know.” Arcade ansers, “Yes. She is quite mad.”

Morgana and Louie arrive at the store and pick up the groceries. Once they are gone the Zeb and Hazel cook close up and lock the store, leaving out the back for their home. Once the two are out of sight the five members of the James Gang exit the nearby shed and proceed to the back door. Mae very quickly picks the locks the back door and the five head inside.

They find the three safes that the store has for sale, and Mae quickly opens both Harrisburg models with the correct combinations, finding them both empty. The Mosler model will take longer to open, and she gets out her tools. While Mae works on the safe, her four associates have started using acid and chisels to dissolve and remove the mortar on the brick wall separating the store’s western wall with the First National Bank next door. The sounds of their efforts are muffled by noises from the Peacock Saloon and Gay Lady Dance Hall and Saloon, both located on the other side of Cook’s store.

Meanwhile, Morgana and Louie walk past the front of the Cantina, and head down the alleyway between it and the Church, towards the front entrance of Conrad Booth’s 25x20 foot two-story house. He allies watch from inside the Cantina windows, guns at the ready to fire at the house’s upper windows at the first sign of trouble.

Morgana and Louie head up to the front door, which she then unlocks. They proceed inside, leaving the door slightly open. The large front room is unoccupied, and they walk past the staircase to the second floor on the rear wall of this room and through the doorway into the kitchen. The room is also unoccupied. Louie puts the groceries down on the table as Morgana unlocks and opens the back door.

Arcade, Hank and Kentucky have now left the Cantina via the side stable door, and cautiously make their way towards the Booth house from the side, using the Brown’s Ice House wall as cover. Hannibal Brown, his two children and other two employees wave at them from inside and Brown mouths the words “Good Luck”. Hank mutters to Arcade, “I tell you what. I think we’ve got ourselves a fan club.”

Silver Moon

Chapter 27, "The Promise City Shootout of 1881", August 1st, 1881, 6:30 P.M.

Hearing a few boards creek from above, Louie gestures upstairs. Morgana nods, and loosens her sleaves to give herself better access to the throwing dagger on each wrist. She also pins her cloak to the side, making more accessible the concealed tomahawk strapped to her back. Morgana hands Louie some towels to carry, which he hides his pistol inside. She then wets a rag and loudly says, "Let's go clean the upstairs."

They head up the stairs, with Morgana taking her time washing the staircase railing. At the top of the stairs is a landing, with the doors into both second floor rooms both slightly ajar. "Let's do the back room first," she says, and then opens the door its full length. The 10x20 foot room appears to be unoccupied. Morgana moves around to the far side of the bed, and starts to make the bed while not taking her eyes off of the closed curtain in front of the room's only closet. Louie says, "There's a spot," and leans down on the floor beside the bed. While he appears to be cleaning the floor he looks under the bed, not seeing anybody.

A man with a rifle then steps through the doorway to the room saying, "Stay right where you are." The closet curtain is then slid to the side, to reveal a young man with a pistol, who steps out of the closet. Morgana's hands are currently filled with the two bedsheets, and she flings one at each of the foes. One brushes against the man in the doorway and falls to the floor, but she is more successful with the closer one, the sheet completely draping over the man.

The man with the rifle reacts to Morgana's sudden movement, turning his rifle towards her. Still lying on the floor by the bed, Louie draws and fires his pistol up at the man, hitting him in the left shoulder. Louie also slides most of his body under the bed to make himself a smaller target. The man with the rifle swings it back in Louie's direction and fires. The bullet goes into the orc's shoulder, but his armor manages to slow the bullet enough to keep it from penetrating very deep.

At the sound of the gunfire Arcade, Hank and Kentucky charge through the back door and head in the direction of the stairs. The ogre has the longest pace, and makes it to the staircase first, starting to charge up it with the two human gunslingers right behind him. A man with a rifle then steps out onto the landing from the front room at the top of the stairs.

Back in the room upstairs, Louie and the first rifleman each shoot at each other, both hitting, but neither fatally. The man covered by the blanket starts to pull it off of him. Once the man's gunhand is uncovered Morgana makes it the target of her first throwing dagger, slicing into the man's wrist and causing him to drop his pistol, as he yells out an explicative.

The rifleman on the landing fires into Kentucky's chest as the ogre fires his shotgun up at the man. The ogre is struck, but the bullet misses all vital organs. Kentucky's shotgun blast fired too low, totally destroying the top two stairs below the landing, with only a few pieces of shot striking the man's feet and legs. The man receives only minor wounds from this, his feet and legs being covered by heavy leather boots and chaps. Both Arcade and Hank fire around the orge at the man on the landing, Hank's shot missing and striking the ceiling, but Arcade manages to hit the man's side for a minor wound.

Louie's next shot misses, but so does his wound opponent's. The man near the closet manages to finally get the sheet off of him, and Morgana notices a second pistol holstered on his belt. He begins to reach for it, but is not as fast as the Magic Missile spell she throws. This knocks him back, giving her time to toss her second dagger, which strikes him for what appears to be a rather painful hit in the abdomen. At this point she is already reaching across her back for her remaining weapon.

Bounding off of the last intact step, Kentucky "Shotgun" Krugg leaps towards the rifleman, and fires his shotgun when the barrel is pointing directly at the man's face. The man's head is obliterated and the torso collapses onto the landing. The back of the man shooting at Louie is now only two feet away from the ogre, who decides to use his now empty shotgun as a club to strike the man. Before he can swing the shotgun, a shotgun goes off from the front room. Hank and Arcade both see the shot enter the ogre's back and exit his chest. Kentucky's body then collapses onto the landing.

Morgana's tomahawk flies though the air just as the man is unholstering his pistol. The tomahawk lands with fatal impact in the man's groin area (not unlike the tomahawk throw by Jay Silverheels from the now classic Johnny Carson Tonight Show segment). Outside the room, both Hank and Arcade intentionally fall forward from the top intact stair, their shoulders landing against the two bodies, Arcade fires his pistol into Louie's foe in the rear room and Hank firing his rifle at the shotgun holder in the front room.

Arcade misses, but Louie manages to get a fatal shot into his foe this time, and the antagonist collapses. Louie looks across the landing into the front room and into the face of his former nemesis, Cleatus James. Blood is spurting out of James's shoulder as a result of Hank's wound and he drops his shotgun, but still stands. The players joke about the being called Arcade's Gang, and how he is the worst shot of the group, still having never killed anyone.

Louie stands up and yells at Cleatus "Me Bad Thunder" (the translation of his orcish name) "Don't mess with me." The orc then fires his pistol, the bullet passing over Arcade and Hank's heads, but missing the opponent. Hank also fires his rifle again at James, but also misses. Cleatus draws his pistol with his unwounded arm and takes aim at the orc. Before he can get the shot off Arcade pivots around and fires up at James, killing him.

Meanwhile, over at Cook's General Store. Mae Clarke has finally gets the safe to open, finding $ 865 in cash inside. Enough bricks have mpw been removed for the petite Mae to crawl through to the First National Bank, and she begins working on the lock to the bank's latest model Diebold vault while the others continue to remove more bricks to widen the opening. They then hear the distant gunshots. Clarence Hite is handed the cash from Cook's safe and told by Jesse James "Sounds like the shots are coming from where the others are. Go and investigate. Just act like an innocent bystander. If the others can use our help come back and get us. If they are beyond help, get out of town, and we'll meet you back at the rendezvous."

Silver Moon

Chapter 28, "The Death of Billy the Kid", August 1st, 1881, 7:15 P.M.

The smoke begins to clear. Arcade and Hank do a quick check of the second floor to verify that no other enemies are hiding. Morgana casts a few Cures onto the wounded Louie, who has three bullets in him and would now be dead without the added protection from the armor. The bodies are each searched, with Arcade finding $ 18.51 and a ring of keys on Cleatus, while Hank and Louie find less than $ 10.00 on each of the riflemen. Morgana however finds a total of $ 146.52 on her opponent as well as the two high quality pistols.

The furniture in Conrad Booth's bedroom has been moved, and the wall safe uncovered but still unopened. The group debate trying to open it, but decide not to since "None of them made it out alive, so they would assume that we stole it. And if the safe is open Booth would say the money we found on these guys is also his." Arcade hands Morgana the key ring, and she is surprised to find them to be regular keys instead of skeleton keys and lockpicks.

The party hears shouting outside on the street, and peer out the front window. Deputy Sheriff Colin Hunter is peering around the corner of the Cantina pointing a rifle at the building, and yells out again "What's going on in there?" Hank yells out, "The fight is over. We have a bunch of dead bodies in here." Hunter cautiously approaches the building and heads inside. A crowd begins to gather on the street outside.

Hunter asks Arcade "So, what exactly happened?" Arcade replies, "We walked in here and killed everyone." The others give a little more detail. "Anyone hurt?" he asks. Hank replies, "The ogre bought it." Morgana adds, "The orc got shot a few times too, but he'll live." Hunter begins to check the bodies, confirming the identity of Cleatus James. He does not recognize the two riflemen. He freezes up at the sight of the one Morgana killed, and says "I'll be right back."

Hunter returns along with Deputy Sheriff Breckenridge, who takes a good look at the body and says, "Yep. It's him." "Who?" Morgana asks. Breckenridge replies, "William Bonney. Also know as Billy the Kid." She asks, "Is there a reward on him?" Breckenridge says, "I believe that there is. Don't know the amount though. We can find that out."

Arcade, Hank and Louie begin talking about each wanting a share. Morgana only hears part of the conversation and thinks they are talking about her. "Nobody gets to share me!" she yells. Arcade says, "We don't want you. We're talking about he reward." She replies, "Well you don't get either."

Things begin to calm down and word spreads through the town like wildfire about the death of Billy the Kid. Conrad Booth arrives soon, pleased to see that his safe is still intact. Hank tells the gambler, "Sorry about the mess." He replies, "What do I care. I
don't own the place."

The newspaper editor Parker Baxter approaches the party back at the El Parador Cantina, and tries to convince them to let him write up the story collaboratively with them. As he put it, "This is big news, and it is going to be written up by other people if I don't. You're better off working with me on the 'official' version." They agree, requiring to see a written version before anything appears in print. At Morgana's insistence the story credits it all to Arcade's Gang, without going into too much detail as to who killed who.

Meanwhile, Clarence Hite had heard that Billy the Kid and his companions were dead, so headed out of town. He found Bill Ryan, who was waiting with the horses. Hite filled in his friend and then rode back to the rendevous point. An hour later Ryan saw Jim Cummins and Mae Clark heading down the street, looking like a couple, and carrying luggage appropriated from Cook's General Store. They joined Ryan and then tied the luggage filled with money from the First National Bank onto the horses of their four recently deceased companions. Cummins and Clark then rode off with the extra horses, leaving Ryan to wait for the James brothers. A half hour later Frank and Jesse James cautiously made their way back, and then rode away to rejoin their companions.

August 2nd. 1881:

By the time the party awaken for the day word about the other robberies committed by the James Gang is now all around town, with a total of over $ 22,000 having been taken. A posse is being formed to go look for the outlaws. Arcade, Hank, Louie and Morgana have no interest in joining the posse, but volunteer Sam so that the gang can't be accused of not helping out.

Conrad Booth expresses his gratitude to the party by extending them $ 500 in table stakes at his gambling table. It is also discovered that there was a $ 500 reward for Billy the Kid, placed by the Governor of the New Mexico Territory. Agents West and Gordon verify the death of Billy the Kid and assist Morgana with the paperwork to file the claim for the reward, warning her "Territorial Governments aren't known for their efficiency, so don't expect to receive the money anythime soon." The bodies of Billy the Kid, Cleatus James, Bob Ford, Charlie Ford and Kentucky Krugg are laid to rest on Boot Hill.

August 3rd to 10th, 1881:

The posse fails to locate the six surviving members of the James Gang. Elton Hubbard, Morgan Condon and Frank Condon experienced the greatest losses from the robberies, and have to sell a number of properties owned by them around town to stay solvent. Cook's General Store also has cash flow problems, and they sell the piano to Morgana for a bargain price.

Gambler Conrad Booth's reputation is increased by the newspaper publicity, and he buys his house from the Condons and kicks gambler Paget Flashman out. He moves down to living on only the first floor, keeping the second floor as it was left following the Promise City Shootout, to show exclusively to people who choose to gamble with him.

Arcade's Gang are treated as local heroes by about half the town, while the more respectible people in town blame them for attracting the James Gang to their community in the first place.

The End (for now).

Silver Moon

Module #123 - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Chapter 29, “Another Ten Weeks Have Passed…”, October 23rd, 1881:

Another ten weeks have passed in the town of Promise City. Arcade’s Gang continues to be either the most famous or most infamous group of citizens depending upon who you talk to, with the story of the “Death of Billy the Kid” having been reprinted in newspapers around the world. Equally famous now is the gambler Conrad Booth, whose poker table at the Long Branch Saloon is often filled, especially when Arcade decides to join the game. The $ 500 in table stakes that Booth extended to Arcade is now down to $ 280, which is still an ample amount to keep him coming back.

The Gang continues to work as part-time security at the Liberty Hill Mine, although it is primarily their reputation that has kept trouble away from the mine, with the actual guarding now limited to only a few hours each night (and that mostly by Sam). Even Louie has discovered that people in town tend to shy away from him, fearing trouble from the Gang, although he still hasn’t gotten up enough courage to attempt to purchase rice. Louie continues to court Mary Wong over at the laundry, commenting that “I now seem have the best starched shirts in town.”

Arcade has added to his “mysterious stranger” look by purchasing for himself a black leather duster and hat, as well as making sure that his mustache is always well waxed. He and Morgana have continued to have a precarious relationship, with him noticing that “She only calls me ‘Sweetie’ whenever I’m winning at cards and she then takes my winnings.” Although she had allowed the initial newspaper reports to credit Billy the Kid’s death to the entire gang she has allowed word to get around town that she was actually the one who was responsible.

Midway through the afternoon on this cloudy autumn day Deputy Sheriff Colin Hunter wanders into the El Parador Cantina and over to the table where Arcade, Hank, Louie, Morgana and Sam have just finished their mid-day meal. “Mind if I join you? I’ve got a couple of things to talk about.” “Help yourself,” Arcade states. Morgana quips, “What are we accused of doing this time?”

Hunter says, “I wanted to update you on the reward money.” “Do you have it?” Morgana asks. He replies, “No, but it looks like you will get it. That Federal Agent James West helped pull the right strings to get the payment started.” A discussion about West follows. Most of the party remembers West as being a Caucasian in his thirties but Arcade seems to remember him a colored gentleman in his twenties. Hunter tells them that “The New Mexico Territorial Legislature has now put together a bill to authorize the appropriation.” Hank comments, “That doesn’t sound to me like that money will be coming here anytime soon.”

Arcade says to Hunter, “So you traveled here all the way across two states just to tell us “no money”? Hunter replies, “Nah, I just walked here from down the street. The information came in today’s mail. Although, there’s one more thing I’d like to talk to you about.” Louie says “Ah, I get it. You were trying to soften us up by telling us ‘no money’.”

Hunter states, “The other thing I wanted to tell you is that my boss, the County Sheriff, wants to talk to you.” Arcade says, “Fine, have him pull up a chair.” Hunter answers, “Actually, he’s not here in Promise City, he’s in the County Seat, Tombstone. We’d like you go there on tomorrow morning’s stagecoach.” Morgana again states, “What are we accused of doing this time?”

Hunter replies, “Nothing as far as I know. I think he wants to talk to you about the Apache. Sheriff Behan was the one who talked the army out of going into Geronimo’s hills.” Arcade comments “He probably wants to make new conditions for the Indians.” Arcade gestures to Louie and asks “Can I bring the ugly half-orc with me?” Hunter replies, “Bring whoever you want.” Morgana interjects, “Fine, all five of us will go. And you’re paying the round-trip stage fare.” Hunter reluctantly agrees to this. Hank volunteers to ride shotgun atop the stage.

Hank says, “Should we think about bringing along Hakuna Matatta? Maybe he could help pull the stage” Cassie states, “The centaur’s name is Qualtaqa, and no, we’d probably better leave him here. But I think that he and I should probably check in with Geronimo before we go.” Louie asks, “Do you need me to go with you?” Morgana replies, “I’m the one who single-handedly took down Billy the Kid. I don’t need anybody.” She gets up and leaves. Hank comments, “I tell you what. Somebody sure sounds sure of herself these days.” “Tell me about it,” Arcade comments with some frustration.

Morgana and Qualtaqa ride out to the hills and shortly after nightfall meet up with Geronimo. The Apache Chief reiterates that the humans should stay out of his hills and keep the treaty that was originally made with Cochice. Morgana states that she will do what she can to keep the humans away, but wishes to first confirm that the Apache have not been causing trouble with any human settlements. He states that the only raiding parties that the tribe has conducted recently have been against the enemy wood elves across the Mexican border. She thanks him. Geronimo concludes the discussion by stating that “If the humans come into my land they can expect war.”

Back at the Cantina, the group decides to call it an early night, as four-hour stagecoach rides and hangovers do not make for a good combination.

October 24th, 1881, 8:30 A.M.

The gang arrives at the Wells Fargo office for the morning stage to Tombstone. The two drivers assigned to this run are Chuck Nevers and Newton Gilly. Hank knows Gilly from when he boarded at the Great Western Boarding House, and the two exchange handshakes. A mailbag and a few boxes are loaded up onto the stage.

They travel for the next four hours across the Arizona countryside, on the winding dusty trail. None of the three men up top are all that talkative, with fewer than forty words being spoken during the entire trip. As they near Tombstone they reach where a five-mile long section of railroad track had been sited, with the road now being much smoother. They pass by several buildings and farms along the outskirts of town. A large number of buildings are seen a half mile in the distance. Newton tells Hank, “There she is. The bustling community of Tombstone.”

Silver Moon

Chapter 30, “Welcome to Tombstone”, October 24th, 1881, 1:00 P.M.:

The Wells Fargo stage rides into the community of Tombstone. The city itself is rather small, consisting of two main streets named Allen and Freemont that are intersected by six other streets named First through Sixth (a map of 1881 Tombstone can be found at the following link: http://ferncanyonpress.com/tombston.../tombsmap.shtml ). The Stage lets the group off at the corner of Allen and Forth streets, with Newton Gilly pointing out to Hank where the County Sheriff’s Office is located.

Arcade’s Gang enters the brick building, finding it to be about twice the size of the Deputy Sheriff’s Office back in Promise City. Both jail cells are currently unoccupied and the only one present is a Deputy Sheriff who introduces himself as Jeb Dalton. Hank steps forward to shake his hand saying, “Hank Hill, and I tell you what. I’d like to introduce you to the group responsible for killing Billy the Kid.” Dalton’s jaw drops and he exclaims “Arcade’s Gang. The Deputy asks to hear the story but Arcade only answers, “He met an untimely end.” The Deputy then says, “The Sheriff has been expecting you.” “Well, go get him,” Morgana comments.

Dalton leaves and quickly returns with Sheriff Johnny Behan. Behan dismisses his deputy and asks the Gang to have a seat, thinking them for coming. He says, “The United States Cavalry commander over at the nearby Fort Huachuca is wondering when the soldiers can head back into the Dos Cabazes and Chiricahua Mountains. They had agreed to stay out while the Apache who lived there stopped all Caucasians in order to prevent the James Gang from coming through there. That was almost three months ago, and the James boys now seem to be long gone.”

Morgana had arrived wearing her Native American garb, and speaks up, using her bard abilities to add a level of persuasiveness to her appeal. She tells the Sheriff that the threat to the County from the James Gang still remains, what with a beloved cousin of Frank and Jesse having been killed in the Promise City robberies. She also reiterates that there have been no skirmishes of any kind between the Caucasians and Apache since the travel ban into the mountains was enacted, which is making life easier for both the Cavalry and the County Sheriff. She emphasizes that the current agreement should remain until they have definite proof that the James Gang are not planning to return on a quest of vengeance.

Sheriff Behan concurs with her assessment and says that he will speak to the Army about maintaining the present status. Several party members sense that there will be a quid-pro-quo to his acquiescence, which then follows. He asks them to do him the favor of handing around Tombstone for the next several days. “Any particular reason?” Arcade asks.

Behan says, “Well, yeah. Deputy Hunter has told me about the two factions that have developed over in Promise City, with the cowboys who like the rough-and-tumble lifestyle as opposed to the Promise City Civic Association..” “Who want us run out of town,” Morgana interjects. “You want us to stay here so that they get their way?” Louie inquires. Behan interjects, “Oh no, this isn’t about Promise City at all. We actually have the same situation here in Tombstone, only worse. The tension between the factions have been escalating and I’m afraid that things are about to fly off the handle ” “So you asked for us to make sure that they do?” Arcade asks.

Behan replies, “Oh no, I think your presence in town will help to defuse the situation.” All of the members of the gang burst out laughing at that suggestion. The Sheriff states, “Don’t laugh, I’m serious.” Morgana comments, “You expect us to be a claming influence?” Arcade points to Louie and says, “This guy gets shot at just for going into the grocery store!” Hank adds, “Yeah, and another member of our group is seventy-five percent horse, and he’s the nice one!” Behan replies, “Dagnabit, don’t you underestimate yourselves. Your reputations precede you. Both sides will think twice about causing trouble with you around, at least until they can figure out whose side you’re on.”

Morgana asks, “Exactly where do you fit in?” He replies, “I’m on neither side, but I am a bit more sympathetic to the cowboy way of life. I admire folks who live off the land and put in an honest day’s work. That law-and-order group is nothing but a bunch of money-grubbing bullies who take advantage of those who are less fortunate.”

“So who exactly are these folks?” Arcade asks. Behan replies, “The law group is comprised of three brothers known as the Earps. Virgil Earp is the Marshal of Tombstone and his brothers Wyatt and Morgan help him out. They own a number of business interests in the town, including a saloon, a number of buildings and stakes in several local silver mines. They tend to push people around and act like the own the whole place, although I guess they do own a fair share of it.” Arcade comments, “I’ve heard of those Earps.”

“Who heads the Cowboy faction?” Hank asks. Behan answers, “A group known as the Clantons. Newman Haynes “Old Man” Clanton started a ranch out by the San Pedro River eight years ago. Most of the cowboys in the region work for them at the Clanton Ranch. They are rumored to also be involved in some less-than-honest practices, such as cattle rustling, but nothing has ever been proven. The patriarch of that group is a man named Ike Clanton, and he doesn’t taken kindly to being pushed around by anyone, let alone the Earps.”

“And if they don’t take kindly to authority figures what makes you think they’ll listen to us?” Morgana asks. Behan replies, “Well, I think they’ll think twice about taking any shots at the people who killed Billy the Kid. Rumor has it that back when the Clanton Ranch got started William Bonney was one of their ranch hands.” Arcade interjects, “Hold it, are you saying that we killed one of the only guys who ever put in a good days work around here?”

The Sheriff says, “Look, I’m not asking you guys to do anything except hang around the town for a few days and intimidate both groups of potential troublemakers.” Morgana says, “Fine, but we’re only staying a couple of days. Any longer than that and I’m sure Louie would get shot.” Behan glances at the half-orc and says, “My, my, I believe the little lady likes you.” Louie answers, “She supports the whole gang, and I’d watch the ‘little lady’ comments if I were you. She was the one who actually killed Billy.”

Hank says, “So, will any of the bars in town actually let the half-orc in?” “Sure, as long as you’ve got cash. There are around a dozen bars in town, three of the main ones right on this Street.” Arcade says, “Sounds good. If we get thrown out of a bar we’ll just move onto another one. We’ll make sure that people know we’re here before the night is through.”

Morgana says that she would like to freshen up before they go anywhere. Hank says, “I tell you what, why don’t we find us a place to stay before we do anything else. I’m sure one of these taverns must have some rooms.” “Actually, I’ve already found you a place to stay,” the Sheriff interjects adding, “Head down the street a block to the Harwood House, near the corner of Freemont and Third Streets. It’s right after Fly’s Photo Gallery and Boarding House and near Jersey’s Livery Stable.”

“Any particular reason why you picked that place?” Arcade asks. Behan replies, “The owner, Jake Howard, is a friend of mine and he said he had some rooms available. If I’m paying for your stay here I want it to be where I can get a good rate. Besides, it’s safer for you to stay somewhere that doesn’t have a tavern, especially given your group’s reputation.” Sam comments, “Yeah, some drunk might try to make a name for himself by killing us in our beds.”

Silver Moon

Chapter 31, “What’s Up Doc”, October 24th, 1881, 3:00 P.M.:

Arcade comments, “Sheriff, you said that the Earps owned a Saloon. Which one?” Behan replies, “Haffords Saloon at the corner of Allen and Fourth.” “We’ll make sure we hit that one tonight,” Hank states. They thank the Sheriff for his hospitality and he thanks them for helping out.

The gang heads over to the Harwood House, which is on Freemont, the back of the building facing towards the O.K. Corral over on Allen Street. They introduce themselves to Jake Harwood (brother of William A. Harwood, Tombstone’s first Mayor) who has been expecting them. He says he has five rooms available, four on the second floor and one on the first, and asks how many they will need. “We’ll take all five,” Morgana states, “And make sure that mine has a tub in it.” He hands her the key to the first floor room, saying that he prefers to not have to lug the water upstairs, and says he will get the tub filled right away.

Morgana’s key has #3 on it, and the others are #6, #7, #9 and #10. “How many guest rooms you got here?” Hank asks. Howard replies, “Ten, four on the first floor six on the second.” “Who are the other two living on the second floor?” Arcade asks suspiciously. Howard replies, “Two long-term tenants. Neil Tolsohn is in room #5. He’s a bartender down the street at the Occidental Saloon. The guy in room #8 is Rex Hooper. He works for the Territorial Governor as a member of the Arizona Rangers, and is usually away on patrol, so you probably won’t even see him.”

“Let’s meet back here in a hour,” Arcade states. Everyone heads to his or her respective rooms. Morgana tells Howard to go fetch the water. She inspects the tub in her room, casting a Clean Cantrip on it to eliminate evidence of past bathers. She waits for Howard to draws her bath for her and then departs. She then casts a druid spell to heat the water up to a comfortable temperature before sliding into the tub. She sings during the bath, her voice resonating through the building.

When they join up in the lobby she changed her appearance, looking once again like a dignified upper class Easterner rather than an Indian maiden. Jake Howard does not act at all surprised by the change, and she comments to Arcade “He’s more observant than you are.” “That’s not saying much,” Louie comments. Sam has brought his rifle, which Howard says needs to be left back I the room, stating “There is a city ordinance against carrying firearms in the street. Nobody ever bothers about side arms, as long as they stay holstered, but carrying around a rifle is asking for trouble.” Sam quickly brings it back to his room, actually feeling safer without it now that he has heard about the city ordinance.

They all head over to the Paradise Saloon for some supper. It is still early, with only a few patrons in the establishment. Each of the men order either a beer or beer and a shot of whiskey. Morgana orders wine, and is brought a glass of a vile smelling maroon-colored liquid that may have once been wine but was clearly not stored properly. She reconsiders and gets a beer instead. They each order the house special for the meal, a bean and beef stew with freshly baked bread.

Arcade attempts to drop his name several times during the meal but the bartender either has never heard of him, doesn’t believe it’s really him or doesn’t care. At the end of the meal the three humans decide to go bar hopping. Morgana decides that she wants to go shopping instead and Louie offers to accompany her. “Alright, but don’t let him try to buy any rice,” Arcade warns.

The two of them head over to “Cole’s General Store” on Freemont Street, where she asks to see what they have in stock for material. She buys a few yards of a dyed linen material and asks the proprietor if there is a tailor in town. He gives them directions to a place over on Allen Street.

As the sun sets in the distance the guys head down the street to Haffords Saloon. By this point it is started to fill up with patrons. They stand out, as there do not appear to be any cowboys in this establishment, with the patrons all look to be residents of Tombstone. A good-sized man with a thick mustache is sitting at a barstool drinking heavily, so Hank and Arcade move up to the bar, sitting on either side of him.

Hank nods in the man’s direction and introduces himself saying, “Howdy, name’s Hank Hill. I just got into town a few hours ago.” The man downs another drink and replies, “Hello, name’s Doc Holliday. What brings you to Tombstone?” Arcade speaks up, saying “He’s with me. Are you a Physician?” “Yep,” the man replies, as he orders up another glass of whiskey. Arcade extends his hand in greeting, giving Holliday a firm grip while stating “Name’s Arcade.” Holliday’s handshake tightens in response as he says “Arcade? From Promise City?” “A’Yup,” is Arcade’s response. “Why are you here?” Holliday asks. “Got bored, decided to check out a few other places,” is Arcade’s answer.

The three continue to sit at the bar drinking, without any further conversation. After an hour Arcade pays the tab then leaves, with Hank and Sam following him out. Once out on the street Hank says, “I’ve heard of that guy. He’s suppose to be bad news.” “That’s what I’ve heard as well. Shouldn’t take too long now for word of our arrival to get back to the Earps.” Hank replies, “Think you’re right there. I tell you what, we should now find us a cowboy bar, for word to get back to that other group.”

Across town, Morgana and Louie are at the Dubois Tailor Shoppe, where the proprietor Jacques François Dubois has been taking measurements to fit her for a dress. During the fitting she converses with him in fluent French, getting him to talk about himself while revealing nothing more than the fact that she is unmarried about herself. Louie continues to play his usual role of being her valet. The Frenchman has shown her several examples of his work throughout the shop and she is pleased with what she sees, pointing out which lace she wants him to use to.

When he is finished he inquires as to when she wants the dress to be finished. She says, “I guess I’ll want it as soon as possible, as I don’t know how long my team, Arcade’s Gang, will be in town.” The man’s jaw just about strikes the floor at hearing that, and he stammers out “Arcade’s Gang! Sacra bleu! The one’s who shot Billy the Kid?” She replies, “Actually, he wasn’t shot. I killed him myself with my knives.” Louie adds “That’s not entirely true. It wasn’t just your knives, you finished him off with a hatchet.” The tailor’s face turns pale. She then sweetly asks, “Now, when did you say the dress would be ready?” He swears that it will be completed by the morning, even if he has to stay up all night working on it. She thanks him and then departs with Louie, the two of them heading back to the Boarding House.

The other trio has found themselves their ‘cowboy bar’ further down Freemont Street, namely the aforementioned Occidental Saloon. “You Neil Tolsohn?” Hank asks the bartender. The man replies “Yah,” in a thick Scandinavian accent. Hanks replies, “We’re boarding over at the same place as you.” Arcade adds softly, “But you may want to keep that fact to yourself.” Hank interjects, “You’re about to find out why” Arcade then raises his voice and states “Name’s Arcade. You might have heard of me.” Everyone inside the building reacts to hearing that, and the trio is soon being bought drinks and asked to tell the story of the ‘Promise City Shootout’, as the incident has come to be called.

They stay at this Saloon until close to midnight. One of the more interesting people they meet is the notorious Johny Ringo, who tells them of a near shootout that he almost had a few months back with Doc Holliday. He says that he and the Doc had cleared the streets and were both fixing to draw on each other when Deputy Sheriff Billy Breckenridge intervened and with a few other bystanders managed to stop the fight. Arcade comments that he met Breckenridge back at the Promise City Shootout, and that the Deputy Sheriff was the one who positively identified Billy the Kid’s body. As the evening progresses Ringo speaks loudly of his desire to kill Wyatt Earp, who he considers to be the worst one of the Earp brothers.


First Post
Interesting stuff. I look forward to seeing how the Gunfight at the OK Corral works out with these characters involved! :D

As a point of interest, what sort of classes and levels are the characters and NPC's in this?

Silver Moon

Tallarn said:
Interesting stuff. I look forward to seeing how the Gunfight at the OK Corral works out with these characters involved!
I'm looking forward to it too. Next week's game should be very interesting indeed! (BTW Tallarn, Kriskrafts plays Morgana)

Tallarn said:
As a point of interest, what sort of classes and levels are the characters and NPC's in this?
The character classes are listed in the first post. Our group starts all new playing characters at 2nd level, zero experience. At the start of this current module all were still at that level, although some will be at 3rd by the time we finish (assuming they are still alive). In accordance to Boot Hill rules, most NPC's are also in the 1st to 3rd level range, although the Earps are currently at 4th and Doc Holliday is 6th. Here's the next chapter, from last Sunday's game:

Chapter 32, “And this bird can sing”, October 25th, 1881, 7:00 A.M.:

Morgana and Arcade are the first two awake, and head outside for a private Druidic ceremony welcoming the sunrise. They head back inside, seeing a different man now at the main desk than we there the night before. He introduces himself as Howard A. Harwood, Tombstone’s first Mayor and also Jake Harwood’s brother. “So you own this place?” Howard replies, “Yeah, I let Jake manage the place, my primary occupation is selling lumber, but there has been so much building lately I’m sold out. That’s why your rooms were now available.” “You stored lumber in our rooms?” Arcade questions. Howard answers, “Sure, I needed to keep it somewhere.”

Louie soon joins them and says that he is hungry. Howard tells them “Most of the taverns aren’t open this early, but several never close so you could get something to eat there. You might want to try the Bird Cage Theater down the street.” The three of them head off, soon seeing the place that they had been told about (http://clantongang.com/oldwest/birdcage.html). The building has three sets of front double door and they enter through he center set.

Upon entering the building they quickly surmise the facility is a den of iniquity with multiple gambling tables and 14 cage-crib compartments with pull around curtains suspended from the ceiling along the walls where various female entertainers can do performances, both public and private. A dance hall stage lines the far wall. All of the walls have numerous bullet holes in them.

Morgana is attired in her Indian maiden clothing while the half-dozen other females seated in room are wearing pieces of sheer material that barely qualifies as clothing. A poker game is going on at one of the tables in the basement. The three sit at a different table on the main floor and a middle-aged woman wearing a cloth bathrobe comes over and asks what they would like. “Whatever’s good for breakfast,” is Arcade’s reply.

The party eats a breakfast comprised of an oatmeal mash, hash brown potatoes and beer that are surprisingly good. Shortly after nine both Hank and Sam wander into the place and join the others. Morgana inquires as to whether she can use the piano along the side wall and the older woman says, “Sure, go right ahead.” Morgana begins with a few lively European pieces followed by a classical piano concerto.

Hank finishes his breakfast and then wanders downstairs to the card game. Three players are attired in suits and ties, the other two are dressed as cowboys. “Game been going on long?” Hank asks. “Started after this place opened, eight months ago,” is the response. “You guys been here all that time?” Hank inquires. One of the better dressed men replies, “Most of it, players keep coming in and out. Care to sit in?” “Don’t mind if I do,” Hank answers, pulling up a seat.

There is not much conversation at the table during the next hour, although Hank does find out that one of the men playing is an Earp brother, although not one of the three that the Sheriff spoke of. This one is James Earp, who says that he is the proprietor of The Sampling Room Saloon, another Tombstone tavern. During the hour Morgana begins singing to the piano music, again alternating the pieces to provide a diverse and eclectic array of songs that illustrates her full vocal range. A pair of grizzled prospectors enter the building, one human the other dwarven, and she shifts to playing and singing a Norse opera, singing half the lines in the Dwarven language.

The dusty old human prospector wanders over to the piano. He has long white hair and a matted beard. He smiles at her, revealing that he has several missing teeth, and says, “You’re new here. I haven’t tried you out yet.” Morgana adds into the next verse of the song the line “And you’re not going to.” The rebuffed man wanders over to the bar, and Louie whispers to Morgana “You never know, he might be rich.” The man complains to the Madame about the attitude of the ‘new bird’. The woman replies, “She doesn’t work her, but she sure can sing,” as Morgana reaches the conclusion of the song, hitting the highest octaves of the line “We’ve all died and gone to Valhalla.”

Hank has had very good luck at the table (The DM having told the player “You have a 70% chance of loosing, roll percentiles to see how badly you did” and the player then rolling a 93!) After less than an hour he has nearly doubled the $20 he had first put into the game, and decides to start loosing so as not to anger the other gamblers at the table. One of the men glances upstairs and asks, “So, why do you hang out with an Indian and a Chinaman.” Hank replies, “It’s a job.” He then gestures up to the other table and adds “My associate Arcade keeps all types of folks with him.” The men at the table all show some surprise at the mention of Arcade’s name and one says, “I take it he’s the older one?” “Yeah,” Hank replies.

Having now established his reputation Hank feels that it is now safe to cash out of the game, ending up $ 15 ahead. He wanders back up to the other table. One of the harlots eyes the cash in his hand and follows over to the table, trying to catch his eye. Hank does not appear to be overly interested so she walks up to Arcade and asks, “Care for some company?” Arcade gestures to 15-year-old Sam and says, “I’m more concerned about my friend here. He’s twenty-two and has never known the comfort of a woman.” She says it will cost $ 5 to which Arcade says, “I’ll give you $ 10 if you make sure it stays out of the newspaper.” Hank interjects, “I’ll make it $ 15 if it does make the paper.”

She takes the money from Hank, and then leads Sam up a rolling staircase and to one of the oversized bird cages. The curtains are then pulled shut. Morgana switches over to playing some love songs. When he doesn’t return right away she begins singing a song making up lyrics about how he is forever gone. Sam eventually makes his way back to the table. Hank says to Arcade, “Looks like he survived.” Arcade replies, “Yeah, I was afraid at first that she’d come back and give you a refund.”

Morgana decides that it is time for her to go pick up her new dress. Louie agrees to accompany her but the three humans decide to stay where they are, Arcade commenting, “I think Sam needs to rest a spell.” They head over to the tailor shop and Mr. Dubois enthusiastically has the dress ready. She examines the intricate workmanship, concluding that it would have taken him far longer than the fifteen hours to make, and yet he doesn’t look tired. She tries it on and it fits like a glove.

She concludes that since France is know for its mages that he must be one, but he denies that when she asks him directly. He wraps up the dress and they leave the shop, with Dubois breathing a sigh of relief. She comments “Looks like I found myself a tailor.” Louie replies, “Yeah, but next time you might not want to scare him so much.” “Why not? It gets me this level of quality.” she replies.
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Silver Moon

Chapter 33, “The Clantons and the Earps”, October 25th, 1881, 11:00 A.M.:

Morgana and Louie head outside, seeing a pair of men down the street at the West End Corral unloading a wagon of freshly slaughtered beef into the adjacent meat market. One man is older than the other, a bit heavy set, with a goatee and mustache. The other is younger and clean haven. They head down that way and Morgana approaches the wagon, looking over the beef. She asks about purchasing some and the older man replies, “You’d have to ask the meat broker inside, we’ve already sold it all to him.

Arcade, Hank and Sam make their way around the corner and join up with the others. Arcade gestures to the wrapped up package she is holding and asks, “Did you get your new glad rags?” Louie answers, “Yes, and then she try to buy hunk of cow.” Hank asks her, “What would you do with it? Never mind, I don’t want to know?” Arcade decides that “cow” sounds like a good idea, and suggests they find a restaurant that serves steak. “You eat steak? I thought you were a druid?” Louie comments. Arcade answers, “I’m a druid, I’m not dead. It’s alright to eat animals as long as they are treated properly and killed humanely.” Hank comments, “You’re a druid? Why do I hang out with you?”

Two buildings are nearby, the Alhambra Saloon and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and Grand Hotel. The two men have finished unloading the wagon and enter the Alhambra. Arcade decides the other looks fancier, and to go there. Hank comments, “Not sure about the name though, why would a woman want to point out that she has a big nose?” Arcade replies, “I don’t know, maybe she got the idea from the tavern her sister opened, Wide Ass Mary’s.”

They enter the building and are very impressed with the interior. There is a wide and handsome staircase covered by an elegant carpet and supporting a heavy black walnut banister. Upstairs they see a main hallway leading to several rooms. Downstairs has a parlor and the walls are adorned with rare and costly oil paintings. The furniture is of walnut with rich cushions of silk and a piano is in the far corner. The adjacent dining room is of the same good taste, with three chandeliers, handsome centerpieces on each rich walnut table, and place settings of cut glass, china, and fine silverware of the latest style in cutlery.

A woman whose facial features clearly indicate that she is the Kate the place is named for approaches them. She takes a close look at their rustic attire and asks if they are sure they are in the right establishment. After Arcades introduces himself she immediately reconsiders, apologizes for the misunderstanding, and ushers them over to a table. Arcade comments to his Gang “Having a reputation has its advantages.” Hank replies, “Yeah, I’ll bet there have never been any orcs or Indians in this place before.”

The meal is excellent as this is obviously the best restaurant in town. All of the other patrons dining in the room appear to be respectable citizens, the men wearing suits and ties and women in fine dresses. While waiting to order desert everyone hears some shouting out in the streets. Several of the patrons get up and head over to the window to see what is going on. The party stands up and go over there as well, except for Morgana who says, “Why should we care. We’re not getting paid.” Arcade reminds her, “As a favor to the Sheriff for keeping the humans away from the Apache.” “Okay, fine,” she replies and follows him to the window.

A man in a suit is arguing with the two cowboys who unloaded the wagon in front of the Alhambra Saloon. In addition to the yelling the cowboy then raises a fist and his sidekick does likewise. “Who are those people?” Morgana asks. Hank says “The better dressed one is Doc Holliday, I don’t recognize the others.” Kate says “That’s Ike Clanton and his friend Tom McLaury.” A man in a black suit approaches to break up the argument. He threatens to arrest them both, and they each head their separate ways. “And him?” Arcade asks. “He’s the Tombstone Marshal, Virgil Earp,” is Kate’s reply. “Would he really have arrested the Doc?” Hank asks. Kate replies, “Sure, he’s arrested his own brother Wyatt before for disturbing the peace.”

They watch Virgil Earp continue down the street and enter the Crystal Palace Saloon. “Why’d he go in there?” Louie asks. Kate answers, “He has his office on the second floor.” Arcade decides that it is time for him and his gang to pay the Marshal a visit. They head down to the Saloon and up a staircase to the second floor. There are offices there for Town Marshal Virgil Earp, Judge Wells Spicer, and one belonging to County Sheriff Johnny Behan. Only Earp’s is currently occupied.

They enter and Earp asks what he can do for them. Arcade identifies his group, to which Earp says, “Yeah, I heard you were in town. You’re not planning on starting any trouble are you?” Arcade says, “None at all. From what I saw in the street others are causin’ you trouble.” “Nothing I can’t handle on my own,” Earp replies. Hank says, “I met that Doc Holliday last night. Seems like one tough customer.” Earp answers, “I can handle him just fine without any of your help.” The group figures they’ve overstayed their welcome, so leave the office.

Arcade, Hank and Sam decide to continue to check out the various drinking establishments in the town. Louie heads down to the West End of town, known as ‘Hop Town’, which is the Chinese Quarter. Morgana head back to the boarding house, takes a long bath, gets fixed up in her new dress, and then returns to Big Nose Kate’s. Kate recognizes her despite the change in appearance and welcomes her back. Morgana asks if she can use the piano and Kate says, “Help yourself.” Morgana spends a few hours playing and asks if she can come back at play in the evening, which Kate is happy to agree to.

The gang meets up for supper in the Chinese Quarter, with Louie directing them to the best place for oriental cuisine. They then head over to the Oriental Saloon, finding it to be a gambling hall for humans with oriental décor. They are also told that the Earps have a major stake in the gambling operation of this establishment. The games are higher stakes than Hank is willing to try out, and he suggests that he and Arcade find somewhere else. Morgana heads back to Big Nose Kate’s. Louie and Sam decide to go back to the boarding house and get to bed early.

Shortly after her arrival at Kate’s Morgana sees Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury come downstairs, apparently staying at the Grand Hotel. They each down two shots of whiskey at the bar, then head out in search of a poker game. Morgana spends the evening playing, with people dropping change in a cup she’s placed atop, her end of night total being $ 3.68. She also finds out that Big Nose Kate is Doc Holliday’s girlfriend.

Across town, Hank and Arcade have made themselves at home at the Occidental Saloon. Hank once again has good luck at cards, being up $ 63 by around midnight (The player rolled a 98 for his percentile roll this time). Arcade whispers to him to start loosing before he gets them both shot. An inebriated Doc Holliday enters the saloon and joins the game at about this time. After Hank looses around $ 20, a little to each other player, he bows out of the game. Virgil Earp enters around the same time, and stands at the end of the bar nursing a beer.

October 26th, 1881:

At around 1:00 A.M. a very drunk Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury stagger into the saloon. They sit at a table and start a card game with Pony Deal and Buckskin Frank Leslie, two of the people that Hank and Arcade and played with at Johnny Ringo’s table the night before. Holliday finishes his current hand, then gets up and walks over to that table. Holliday bellows, “I heard you’re going to kill me, Ike. Get out your gun and commence.”

Clanton shows that he is unarmed, while Virgil Earp makes his way over to the table. He approaches Holliday and suggests that the two of them leave. Before they are out the door Ike Clanton yells to Holliday, “We’ll kill you tomorrow when the others come to town.” Holliday wants to head back inside but Virgil manages to get him to leave. Clanton gets up to follow them out, but McLaury manages to stall him a few minutes. They then leave, with Hank and Arcade behind them.

Once out on the street they see Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday are now a few bocks away heading west, but Wyatt Earp is standing in the middle of Allen Street glaring at Clanton. Ike yells to him “Tell your consumptive friend, your Arizona nightin’gale, he’s a dead man tomorrow!” Wyatt matter-of-factly replies, “Don’t you tangle with Doc Holliday, he’ll kill you before you’ve begun. Earp heads off in the direction of his brother, while Clanton and McLaury head east back to Big Nose Kate’s. Hank and Arcade decide that the excitement for the evening is over, and head back to the boarding house.

Silver Moon

Chapter 34, “At the Breaking Point”, October 26th, 1881, 7:00 A.M.:

The sound of a rooster crowing in the distance wakes Morgan, lying in the bed in Arcade’s room alongside her occasional lover. She washes up and dresses and tells him that she will be heading back to Big Nose Kate’s. Arcade says that he will be along with the others once they are awake.

She walks into the Saloon, finding Ike Clanton, Tom McLaury, Sheriff Behan and another man playing a card game called Fero. Kate confirms that it was an all night game. When the current hand ends Behan attempts to talk Ike into going up to his room to sleep. Marshal Virgil Earp enters the Saloon at this point and suggests it as well. Ike asks Virgil to deliver a note for him to Doc Holliday, which Earp refuses to do. Ike then says, “You’re in together with him, well give a note to your brother Wyatt,” and scribbles out something else. Virgil refuses to do that as well. Clanton curses and then he and McLaury go to the bar and order drinks. Morgana approaches Earp and Behan, saying, “Clanton appears to be very drunk.” Behan replies, “Yeah. I figured if he stayed up all night and kept drinking he’d spend today sleeping it off.” “Let me see what I can do,” Morgana comments.

She heads over to the bar and picks him pocket then goes into the next room and reads the notes, both of them threats. She returns and starts playing the piano, with soothing songs. Clanton and McLaury eventually head upstairs, to presumably sleep. She then goes out to do some shopping and is not there when the other members of Arcade’s Gang arrive. “Where’d the little lady go?” Hank asks Arcade. Sam warns Hank, “I don’t think you should be calling her that.” Chinaman Louie comments, “She wouldn’t move so quickly if her feet were properly bound.”

Ike Clanton comes downstairs carrying a rifle and hurries outside. “That doesn’t look good,” Arcade states. They head outside, soon running into Morgana and tell her that Ike Clanton is running around with a rifle. She heads back inside and tells one of the employees to go find Kate, or else her boyfriend might get killed. She goes back outside and they all head down the street.

Ike Clanton is further down the street and is now arguing with Virgil and Morgan Earp. Clanton argues that he needs his rifle for self-defense, that Doc Holliday threatened him. Virgil confiscates the rifle and Morgan begins to shove him around until Arcade’s Gang approaches. At that point they march Ike over to Justice of the Peace Wallace. Virgil tells the judge that Clanton violated the town ordinance about having firearms in the street. Clanton again claims self-defense. The Justice fines him $ 27.50.

Just then another commotion occurs outside on the street, as both Wyatt Earp and Tom McLaury had heard that the others were at the Justice’s place and arrive simultaneously from opposite directions, bumping into each other. Wyatt actually apologizes but the drunk and sleep deprived McLaury just yells insults in return. Wyatt removes his Buntline Special from its holster, picking it up like a club, but then reconsiders hitting McLaury after Arcade walks up to them.

Clanton and McLaury head back to Big Nose Kate’s while the three Earp brothers head away the other direction. Arcade’s Gang decides that the situation has been defused, and all head off to get a bite to eat at Kate’s. Clanton is back at the bar and Arcade comments “Good thing he didn’t get shot back there, he wouldn’t want to get any blood into his alcohol system.” Morgana decides it is time to do something about his drinking before the man loses all control. She goes to the bar and sits beside him, then uses her bard abilities to plant a suggestion that he should drink coffee rather than beer. She then convinces him to head upstairs to get some sleep. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, she then joins the others for a meal.

A short while later they see Tom McLaury outside in the street, talking to a pair of cowboys who have just rode up. The three of them head off. “That doesn’t look good either,” Arcade comments. The Gang heads over to the Tombstone Jail to see if Sheriff Behan is there. He isn’t, so they then go to the second floor of the Crystal Palace Saloon to check his office, but he isn’t there either. (Actually, he’s at his home sleeping, having staying up all night with Clanton and McLaury.) Just as they are about to leave Virgil Earp arrives back at his adjacent office.

The Gang no sooner starts to talk to him when somebody else runs upstairs, yelling, “The Clantons are over at the gunshop.” Morgana says, “Can’t be, Ike is sleeping.” The man replies, “No, Billy Clanton, he and Frank McLaury just got into town.” Arcade states, “The last time a Frank and Billy came to a town we were in there was trouble.” The Marshal lets off an explicative. “What gunshop?” Hank comments. Earp replies, “Only got one in town, Spangenbergs over on Fourth Street.” “Mind if we tag along?” Arcade asks. Earp replies, “If you do you’d better keep your guns in their holsters.” “No problem,” Hank states.

They all head down to the gunshop. When they arrive to see Frank McLaury standing outside of the shop arguing with Wyatt Earp. Billy Clanton and Tom McLaury are also standing there, putting cartridges into their gunbelts. Wyatt tells his bother Virgil, “Caught them coming out the shop with a new Winchester rifle and ammunition.” Tom McLaury tells Virgil, “Since when is buying a new rifle a crime? It’s not loaded.” “Keep it that way within city limits,” Virgil replies. Frank McLaury shoves the rifle into a saddlebag on the back of his horse.” Wyatt comments, “Well, he didn’t tie that horse up properly. It wandered up on the sidewalk. That is a crime.” Virgil manages to calm his brother to clam down.

The Earps and Arcade’s Gang all follow Billy Clanton and the McLaurys back to Big Nose Kate’s, then continue on back to the Crystal Palace Saloon. The Earps sit at one table and order lunch. Arcade’s Gang takes a different table and orders food for themselves. During the meal Wyatt keeps glancing over at the other table. After the meal the two Earps head upstairs to Virgil’s office. Arcade’s Gang decides to head back to the boarding house.

They then see both McLaurey brothers, both Clanton Brothers, and somebody that they do not recognize (Billy Claiboure) standing together with two of their horses in the alleyway off of Freemont Street between Fly’s Photo Gallery, the Jersey Livery Stable, and the Harwood Boarding House. Arcade gestures for the group to head into the boarding house, as these men are standing outside of the Morgana’s room. They all head to her room, and Louie uses his thieving skills to carefully raise up the glass windows with the curtains still drawn, so that they can discreetly hear what the cowboys are talking about.

They hear the men talking about bushwhacking Doc Holliday when he comes by, saying that this is the route he always takes going from Freemont to Allen Street. The party talks about how to deal with this, deciding to go talk to them, but reconsider when Sheriff Behan shows up. The Sheriff speaks to the cowboys and then confiscates a shotgun that Ike Clanton now has. He wants to take the handguns too, and the newly purchased rifle on Frank McLaury’s horse, but McLaury defiantly states “I ain’t giving up my weapons till you disarm the Earps, they have been threatening to kill us.” Billy Clanton says that he won’t give up his guns, as he is planning to leave town soon.” Behan warns them that if they set foot on the street carrying loaded firearms they will be in violation of the law and subject to arrest. He then leaves.

The Clantons then flag down a kid and hand him a note, saying “Give this to Doc Holliday down at Haffords Saloon.” Arcade and Morgana decide to go follow the kid and intercept him if at all possible. The others are told to stay in the room and continue to listen to the cowboy’s plans. Unfortunately they are slowed down getting out of the boarding house and are unable to reach the Saloon before the messenger gets there. They enter the building, seeing Holliday reading the note. Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp are all in the room, as is Sheriff Behan.

Holliday finishes reading the note and says “Ike Clanton is challenging me to a showdown over at the O.K. Corral.” Virgil says that he needs to go and disarm the cowboys. Behan says that he has already disarmed them, taking both a shotgun and rifle away from Ike Clanton this day. Virgil says that he will have to see that for himself. It appears that both Earp brothers and Holliday are preparing to go with him. Arcade speaks up at this point saying, “No. You wait here, I’ll do it.” The Earps exchange glances then look back at the leader of the now famous Arcade’s Gang. After a long pause Virgil says, “Go right ahead.” Arcade and Morgana leave, heading north to Freemont Street and then east to return to the alleyway.
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