Foul Play in Fair Play - part 2

James, after a brief discussion with the local pastor about the ethics of setting up a sniper position in the steeple of the church, settled on the roof of the Sheriff’s office. Eliza hid herself behind the Sheriff’s outhouse, and Nelli set up around the corner of the saloon. Caleb, ever his own man, decided once again that the best location to place a secure guard would be inside the saloon, at the poker table. Sadly, there was inevitably a disagreement with some other gamblers. Just as James sighted the Newburg gang walking towards town, aimed his rifle, and signaled to Eliza that the ruffians were on their way, Caleb’s encounter escalated to the flipping of the poker table and some very unkind loud words. This imperfectly-timed ruckus caught the attention of Nelli, as well as a mysterious android named “Apache” Bob (next door in the Barber shop), both of whom decided they should investigate. As Nelli and Apache Bob made their way towards the saloon, there was a roar followed by the hasty exit of one gambler from the saloon. Apache Bob shouted at the gambler to halt, assuming the figure beating a hasty retreat was the perpetrator of the injustice. All this noise caught the attention of the Newburg boys, who decided their approach may require more caution; Landon and Barrett moved purposefully towards the saloon while Leo made his way towards the back door of the Sheriff office, presumably with the intention of meeting the watchman. Nelli, unaware of the ruffians’ approach, headed into the saloon to diffuse the situation. She found a large green “Marshul” shouting at a terrified ganster for insinuating he might be crazy.

Deciding it was time for action, James initiated the confrontation by shooting off Landon’s hat. Nelli manage to get Caleb to calm down. James warned Landon not to move, and threatened him with what a huge rifle might do to him should he not comply. Caleb, now aware of the situation, pitched in his threats to Landon as well. Nelli, taking the more direct approach, shot Landon in the foot. And lasered it right off. At the sound of Landon’s anguished screams, Barret dropped his gun and began to run.

During this shouty ruckus, Eliza deftly knocked Leo unconscious. As she dragged him to the jail, he began to struggle, but was at the mercy of her iron grip. Eliza arrived at the jail, only to find it locked. Letting out a sigh, she proceeded to drag Leo to the Sheriff’s office, find the jail key in the Sherrif’s desk, and drag Leo back to the jail before locking him up.

Meanwhile, Caleb turned his attention to the fleeing Barrett and threatened him to stay put. James, not learning from Nelli’s botched act of pacification, shot his railgun at Barrett’s leg and blew a hole clean through it. Barrett immediately collapsed to the ground, screaming. Just to be sure, Nelli instructed Barrett to stay put.

The thread was dealt with, but the aftermath was bloody. Caleb and Nelli dragged Landon and Barrett to the saloon to tend to their wounds. Caleb, after initially botching his attempt at surgery on Barett’s leg and doing additional harm, tried tried again and managed a successful amputation. Nelli meanwhile exercised adequate first aid upon Landon’s lasered-off foot stump to keep it from getting worse. Once the pain and bleeding and screaming had subsided, Landon suggested that someone very important will be annoyed at the Marshals’ meddling… Regardless of the consequences, the Marshals locked the remaining ne’er-do-wells in the jail and turned in for the night.

In the morning, with no local sheriff or watchman anymore, the Marshals provided the jail keys to the the local priest. They showed the townsfolk the jail and its occupants, and collected the posted bounty. Given his presence at the events of the night before, and his willingness to continue helping, the Marshals deputized Apache Bob into their group.

As the town’s watchman had not participated in the murder of the sheriff and had been pressured into compliance with the Newburg gang’s activities, he had been freed from his bonds. In line with Landon’s threats from the night before, the watchman warns the Marshals and their Deputy (hereafter referred to simply as the Marshals) that it might be wise to skidaddle before the Newburg boys’ employer hears the news of their defeat. Caleb very tactfully loutmouthed about the watcman’s part in the scheme in front of the onlookers from the town, raising their ire and prompting them to push for an impromput lynching of the former lawman. Luckily, James was able to fast-talk the town into understanding the dangerous situation the watchman had been in, and the pressure he was subjected to. Ultimately, the townsfolk decided to merely exile the watchman, who hastily packed the essentials into a newly purchased wagon and headed out of town.

The immediate threat now dealt with, messengers were dispatched to Consequence and River Junction to inform the stage line it can return to its normal route. However, the Marshals talked the situation over and decided it was only a matter of time before the same business interests in Grunting Hollow hatched a new scheme to redirect the stage from its rightful route. The villains in Grunting Hollow would have to be dealt with.

Foul Play in Fair Play - part 1
Wherein the Marshals are unexpectedly waylaid by a local bandit problem

The main street of Fair Play was uncharacteristically deserted for a typical early evening. Fair Play was hardly a bustling metropolis at the best of times (being host to neither much industry nor entertainment to speak of), but even that being the case, the lack of witnesses as the dusty stage coach rolled into town was grounds enough to take note. Or it may have been, had the unlikely combination of passengers, then emerging from the coach, been at all familiar with the town (which, given Fair Play’s distinct lack of much to do or see, would have itself been surprising).

First to disembark from the coach was perhaps the least likely sight of all: A tall, heavily-built, oddly-dressed character carrying a large gun jumped off the roof of the coach. Under the thick layer of road dust, greenish skin may have been just barely discernible. At any rate, the upturned nose, pointed ears, jutting jaw and teeth were unmistakable: this was a “ speed freak”, and the very act of a speed freak leaving a stage coach upright, undamaged, and full of living occupants was nearly out of the realm of conceivable probability. As if to have one last, bitter laugh in probability’s face, leaving probability utterly stunned and adrift, this particular speed freak had, pinned neatly upon his chest and showing no trace of the dust that blanketed the rest of his person, a shiny metal star which had been amateurishly but meticulously inscribed with the letters “MARSHUL McTEEF”. McTeef took one brief look around before sauntering off to the saloon.

The rest of the passengers then emerged from the slightly less-dusty passenger compartment. First Eliza Jenning, a lithe, dark-skinned humanoid who carried two large sabers, followed by Nelli, the other a trail-worn felinoid with a laser rifle. Last, a very handsome man carrying a huge railgun: James McClairen. These three brushed themselves off and meandered towards the hotel.

The marshals did some investigating around town and determined the local sheriff and deputy have been killed, and the town is being terrorized by bandits. After speaking to the proprietors of the newspaper and general store, as well as the watchman in the jail, they learned there is a bounty out for Barret Newburg and his cronies, Landon Wylam and Leo Rukavina. The three ruffians typically show up most nights after dark, and generally bust up the place. They have caused a lot of property damage, but luckily no serious injuries.

Eliza and Nelli were the first to pitch in together, taking out the roof of the saloon. James independently took up a sniper position in this room at the top of the hotel. Caleb thought it best to keep an eye on the inside of the saloon (and its wares). The four Marshals kept a watchful eye on the paths in and out of town all that night, but to their surprise, the ruffians did not show up in the town. The only item of note was that the town watchman mysteriously departed the Sheriff office just after dusk, headed roughly south-west past the graveyard, and returned again just as the sun returned to the sky.

Nelli and Eliza set upon the watchman and easily terrified him into telling them his secret: he, and the Newburg gang, are working for a business man in Grunting Hollow. The aim is to have the River Junction/ Albion Water stage coach line redirected through Grunting Hollow instead of Fair Play. The watchman and the bandits will be paid once the redirection is official and permanent. Caleb, informed of this, went to the stage coach stop and was able to confirm due to the ruffians’ antics, the stage coach has indeed been re-routed to Grunting Hollow until the issue is resolved. Despite using all his charms, Caleb was unable to convince the stage operators that it is safe for the stage to resume its normal route until the bandits are fully dealt with.

It seemed if there was to be much hope of the Marshals ever leaving Fair Play, they were going to have to work together to take care of this bandit problem. With four stubborn and independent law-men/-women, used to working on their own, working together was not going to come easy. Eliza tracked down James and Nelli found Caleb, and after much debate they agreed to cooperate. After locking the watchman up in Eliza’s hotel room, the Marshals gathered at the hotel dining room for breakfast and the formulation of a plan. It seems that the watchman had been instructed to wait until the Marshals had given up and left town, and then he was to set off a flare to notify the Newburg gang it was safe to come back and resume their mayhem. It was agreed that they would wait until near dusk, set off the flare, and then load the jaws of their cunning trap.

Caleb went and purchased himself a crisp new bowler hat, and had his hand-made badge shined up by the blacksmith, before everyone took their positions. As the sun began to fall below the horizon and shadow fell over the town, Nelli set off the flare.


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