Okay, it’s been quite some time since our last foray into the Territories for an update on my group’s Wild West D&D campaign. Last time, I gave a brief summary of our last few sessions, but as we approach the finale, something a little more in-depth is required, and I finally have time away from other secret-squirrel projects to do this long overdue write up!
In Attendance: John Dwyte (Darryl), Magnus Dwyte (Trev), Father Jeb Underwood (Joe).
An’ naturally, I’ll be servin’ as the Lawman.
Our heroes found themselves in the local jail after their ruckus at The Velvet Birdcage, along with Morgan. The sheriff is in the pocket of the Quiet Brothers, so Morgan is released after only an hour so that he can continue to do the muscle work for those darn demon-worshippers. It looks like the Dwytes and Jeb would miss their chance to interrupt the demonic ritual that the Quiet Brothers are planning to enact! Jeb tells them not to worry.
“The Lord will provide boys. Now get some shut-eye.”
The next morning, they wake to hear a commotion out in the front of the sheriff’s station. They recognise the voice of Gabriel Forrester, who they helped (kind of) waaaay back when. Gabriel storms in with the sheriff, and demands that the Dwytes and Jeb be set free. The sheriff is reluctant, and makes some excuses that the three of them are all dangerous, armed outlaws (which, technically, is not a lie) and have to kept incarcerated, awaiting trial. But Gabriel’s not taking “no” for an answer, and he brought backup; Elsa deBouvier and the girls from The Velvet Birdcage all walk in, crowding around the increasingly-nervous sheriff.
“Last chance, sheriff. Let the preacher and his friends go.”
The sheriff panics and tries to escape, but the burlesque girls mob him, drag him to the ground, and viciously knife him. Gabe grabs the keys and lets the Dwytes and Jeb out, and everyone awkwardly avoids making eye contact. Elsa hands Jeb back the ceremonial knife where he’d left it in the burlesque house. She and the girls have all got blank stares and tell him that the “moment of destiny” is upon them. Hmm.
The gang get their gear back and head for the church, stopping on the way to acquire as much dynamite as they can afford. The wedding hasn’t started yet, but the procession route is packed with crowds and decorations. Obviously they can’t go in through the front door of the church, so they sneak round the back. Inside, the place is suspiciously empty. They take the dynamite and start setting it up on pillars, the idea being to bring the whole place down on top of the Quiet Brothers.
But who should walk in when they’re in the middle of their act of sabotage? Morgan, of course, with some more of his Red Brand goons.
“I knew you couldn’t stay away! Well I’ve had it with the three of you! We’re ending this, now!”
They have a gunfight in the church, but it doesn’t last long; soldiers rush in from outside at the sound of gunfire, followed by a senior military officer in full ceremonial garb; Colonel
Robert Lee Thaddeus Jefferson, John’s old rival from his army days!
“What the hell is going on here!?”
For the second time in 24 hours, the Dwytes and Jeb find themselves at gunpoint. John however is hidden away, and Jefferson doesn’t see him. Although John now knows that it wasn’t Jefferson who burned down the family home, he still arranged it so that John was dishonorably discharged from the army, and effectively ruined his life. And for Jefferson to be here, today, in formal dress uniform… he’s Mildred’s new husband-to-be! John takes aim from cover…
Magnus and Jeb are trying to talk down the soldiers when at that moment, the Butler – who by now everyone knows is a Quiet Brother – strolls in from off-scene. Magnus and Jeb can’t do anything as they’re under guard by the soldiers, and John is too fixated on Jefferson.
“Is everything quite alright, Colonel?”
“Everything’s fine, Mr. Sable. Please, leave this to my soldiers and I. We’ll sort out this mess, and then we can proceed.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
Three things happen then. Mildred, in her wedding dress, comes in to ask what’s happening. John shoots Jefferson, hitting him in the chest and knocking him down. And Mr. Sable, the “butler”, whips out a knife, utters some demonic words, and stabs Morgan in the chest.
“The blood of an Apostle who has turned from the Lord’s light. You were always just a tool, Morgan. But your sacrifice will mark the beginning of a new age.”
Morgan staggers back and starts to change, as some infernal force takes over his body, warping and transforming it until eventually a huge demon stands in his place, its body burning with hellfire…
To be continued…