The Long Road to Tomorrow

The Flower of Fort Comanche
Day 165-166 (Session 23)

{Back to Previous Entry: Deep in the Dark Heart of Clear Skies}

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Deep in the Dark Heart of Clear Skies
Day 163-165 (Session 22)

{Back to the Previous Entry: Going to Need a Bigger Bottle}*

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Going to Need a Bigger Bottle
Day 163 (Session 21)

{Back to Previous Entry: Under Stranger Skies}

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Under Stranger Skies
Day 162-163 (Session 20)

{Back to Previous Entry: Little Crystal on the Prarie}

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Little Crystal on the Prarie
day 160-162 (Session 19)

{Back to Previous Entry: Stone Cold Dead}

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{On to Next Entry: Under Stranger Skies}

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Stone Cold Dead
day 159-160 (Session 18)

{Back to Previous Entry: A Fist Full of Silver}

(I’ll get a narrative in here as soon as I can)

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{On to Next Entry Little Crystal on the Prarie}

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A Fist Full of Silver
Day 158-159 (Session 17)

{Back to Previous Session: Thawing Souls, Muddy Hearts}

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Now that I’ve slacked the thirst a bit, let me lay down the line. After nightfall the moon rises an them werewolves start their bayin’ and howlin’. Poor folk done huddlin’ together in the cars and trailers, memories of what’s happened on other nights beatin’ into ther chests with fear. Our heroes outside well, Ajax done laid out to make sure everyone had some weapon that could hurt those things. Ye need silver or magic to make a werewolf bleed, and fer good or ill, the seven members of our posse had enough they could use.

Soon it weren’t just sounds, ya start seein’ em. I’ve heard count plenty of times this story told where there were dozens o’them things out there. Yer eyes play tricks on ya so I ain’t gonna pin a number on ‘em. One thing fer sure though was they was led by one big somebitch. Tall like a house he was with jaws like a bear trap, whippin’ around some crazy ass club size o a man like it were a cactus ball bat. An then, ‘cause them wolves were not enough, ol glitterboy start tellin Adam he done been pinged by radar. Yep, south-east o’ that battle some folks done got their robot watchin’. Not helpin’ mind you, watchin’.

So here’s how it goes down. Them wolves got themselves done blown to smithereens.

Haw! Ye thought I was gonna stop there! Nah, see, Jeremiah were done flyin’ around droppin’ magic bombs and stabbin’ people with magic knives. Big Lou McKee put enough silver downwind to buy drinks for you lot fer a month. Tumbleweed were blowin’ away some hairballs with his magic fire guns. Ajax done some fancy shootin o’ his own, but also played o’ mounted golf with wolf skulls on his hammer and psi-sword. Them Branamen sisters were done flyin’ around in that hovercar, blastin with some magic boomsticks of their own. And, well, even that Glitterboy were done chokin’ some son-o-a-bitch with some magic rope he got.

Get it? Werewolf? Son-o-a-bitch? Laugh already ya slowpokes it were a joke.

Anyway, our posse were well equipped fer werewolves. Pretty soon the rivers runnin’ in wolf blood and mud and its clean up time for folks. Needless t’ say them refugees were a right bit happy about the whole circumstance and were really hollarin’ for a good hoedown to celebrate bein’ alive. Weren’t much, but Tumbleweed done fired up the grill and some bottles was opened, and they done sang themeselves back to the good Lord’s graces.

Some good food and good cheer put a smile or two on our posse’s faces as well. Yeah, there’s somethin’ about sheddin’ the blood o’ evil together that really can bring folks together. I don’t right know what were said that night, but come dawn weren’t nobody seemin’ like they were gonna call out nobody no more. Yeah, that bad blood done washed itself downstream too.

Right about time breakfast were comin’ around though, that group with the robot done started hailin’ Adam on the radio. Sein’ as they didn’t seem hostile our posse decided to invite them fer a bite and chat. Now it might just have been Tumbleweed’s salt-pork hash, but them folk were right friendly like. Wouldn’t have known it given the robot and power armor, and the car that done smelled worse than a pig stye at the end o’ a season – but they was led by some right nice knight lookin’ fellah and after talking about about how weird things was gettin’ (apparently there were whole towns gettin’ dosed in dark magic then – turning folks into zombies and the like) and how there weren’t no good right explaination they got down to business. They done explained they was headin’ homeways and saw that the posse were helpin’ out those poor folks. Since it were the opposite case fer our heroes, and it seems right under the circumstances to call em that, that knight feller decided he would offer to help those folks themselves by escortin’ them easterly to their home base in New Frisco.

Now I done never been to New Frisco, but I hear its rather nice, so it weren’t really too surprisin’ that them refugees were rather a spot okay with that deal too. So after breakfast done were over, they went there seperate ways.

Well, save one. If ya remember the feller that done jumped into the river to save the youngin’, seems that after ya washed the mud off an’ put some food on their bones that feller were a reasonably good woman by the name o’ Macey Lane. Seems Tumbleweed had a fair talkin’ with her over some stew and saw a good heart that were reasonably good shot with a gun and knew her way around med-kit so he were rather inclined to have her stay. Rest of the posse seemed to find her equally good or capable, whatever your fancy, so that made our seven into eight.

So they done got back on the road and kept headin’ south feelin’ a little better and a little worse all at the same time.

{On to the Next Entry: Stone Cold Dead}

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Thawing Souls, Muddy Hearts
Day 151-158 (Session 16)

{Back to Previous Entry: Back in Black and White}

As it is though folks, No showdown was to be had that day. Them sort of things can be a luxury when you don’t got much time and even less when the consequences were so dire. Fact were that no one at Philer’s Point had a right clue about no glowing flowers even less clue about weird shiftin’ landscapes. Only thing folks did know were about this “Fort Comanche” and that were because it was a place belonging to Jeremiah‘s people right up there next to Adam’s hometown o’ Clear Skies. There weren’t nothin’ else to be done than to get back in the saddle (or the Glitterboy, or the driver seat, what have ya) and make their south to see what could be seen. They needed something more to do the science and pscyho-machic hooley to figure out what were rightly to be done.

So instead o’ duels there were a meetin’ o sorts and Adam done let the folks o’ the Point know that he were puttin’ together a new posse to make to Clear Skies and find out what was what. As ya might recon the original posse done were all there Ajax (trouble not withstandin’), Jeremiah, Tubleweed, and Nikki; but also Nikki’s sister, the feisty Kitty Branamen, as well as one of the best fighters o’ the Point, the famous Gunslinger Louis “Big Lou” McKee!

Yep, those folks done packed their things and got a good taste o’ what Tumbleweed had been up to all winter. Got him some amazing sort of trailers that could go places much better than most – even could double as a livestock cart, living quarters, or hell the one had a whole kitchen-workshop-thing in it. Sort o’ thing be common round these parts now, but at the time that were pretty impressive stuff. More important like, meant that they could take a lot more with them than they would before. Which is to say a lot since they didn’t rightly know what they was goin’ after. When you’re just out to kill someone, ya can afford to travel a bit lighter – see?

Anyway the seven done loaded up and set on their way south. South meant warmer so soon yer snow is meltin’ and that’s a lot of mud. Damn lot of mud everywhere, in everything. Ya’ll don’t appreciate how much all this good, dry earth blowin’ about might be good for somethin’ but it’s like a shot o’ fine borboun compared to the sort of mud that goes up to yer calves and feels like its up to yer balls after you’ve been going on it for five days or so. Glitterboy even were lookin’ rather dull covered in the stuff.

Let me tell you though. All that mud slooshin’ around has to go somewhere, and that were right about the place they ran into a spot o’ trouble. Damn river were swollen like an overripe buttertroll, with enough watery mud rollin’ in it that you’d think it were the devil’s own stew flowin’ down hill. Clawin’ desperately to the bank were some poor folk lookin’ like their best days had gone downriver and their worst days were just about out too. Yep, seems those parts was under some kind o’ blight – werewolves. Damn beasts had done pillaged their town, burned it to the ground along with the fields and livestock they didn’t gorge themselves on. T’ make matters worse, those folks had been fleein’ fer days but the damn things done been pickin’ em off one at a time like coyotes do to sick buffalo.

And then their youngest done fell in the damn river.

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Say what you will about Juicers or Injuns, but Jeremiah weren’t rightly gonna let that fly. Well, no, that weren’t quite the right of it – specially since he done popped that jetpack of his and took right off flyin’. Y’ never saw such a thing in your life, ‘cept then from the other side of the river some other fool done dove right in too! Needless to say the flying chemical superman were the one doin’ most of the rescuin’ like and soon he were popping them both onto dry land.

Well, not dry mind you. Muddy. Dry-er land.

After that, weren’t much else could be done. Those folks were rightly about werewolf chow if the posse weren’t gonna stop them and that’s the right of what they did. Piled them all in (and on) their vehicles and toted them across, before circlin’ the wagons (Or circling the trailers) and settin’ ready for some right proper Judgement on those beasts.

Afore we get to that though, someone fetch me another drink. Spillin’ blood gives me a mighty thirst.

{On to the Next Entry: A Fist Full of Silver}

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Back in Black and White
Day 150-151 (Session 15)

{Back to Previous Entry: Aftermath}

Simmer down folks, simmer down. Since ya’ll have kindly graced the master of the house with enough change t’ keep me well lubricated, I’ll pick up where we done left off last week.

Y’ may recall that after the death of the infamous Edgar Casey, things weren’t really all that well in the land o’ Tolkeen. The ol’ Coalition were victorious, an’ the posse that went out t’ meet him had shrunk more than they grew. Philer’s Point, which done become a sort of home port to those folks were down to but three: Adam Churchill, glitterboy pilot o’ the well know Churchill line; Tumbleweed, dogboy with the head of a mechanic, the humor of a coyote, and the heart of man’s best friend; an’ Nicole Branamen, or Nikki for short, the farm girl that done blossomed into a psychic powerhouse. The bounty hunter called Ajax, who turned out to be a cyberknight as ya’ll may recall, had done vanished with the settin’ sun, headed west to destination unknown. Jeremiah Whiteclaw, the Juicer superman had taken up escorting a group of refugees to the safety of the Colorodo Baronies, warmer by far than Tolkeen in the very warm company of the recently rescued and beautiful Aggie Baird.

By-the-by winter set in, as he does, and that whole land was cloaked benieth the deep snows of the north. Chilled winds from the Great Lakes froze the land so solid even the mighty armies of the Coalition decided they’d rather not stay. The good folk at Philer’s Point, on the other hand, didn’t rightly have much choice in the matter. Now, they had plenty of supplies t’ go round thanks t’ the generosity o’ our heroes, so their bodies done been nourished. But this sort o’ winter tries the soul as well, and as I were sayin’, that sort of nourishment were in short supply.

Some, though, fared better than others. Two such were Tumbleweed and Kitty Branamen, sister of Nikki. Those two souls had a kinship in mischief that brought them together, but their friendship was the sort that were born of shared joy and misery. They found solace in each others company that were not to be found in the dire faces of their fellows, and laughter came easier between the two of them than it does between most.

Anyway, it were a frigid March day, crisp and clear. Second day in a row since before Christmas that it hadn’t been snowing – common in those parts, and a welcome sign that spring might be soon to break. Spirits were not as high as they might have been under those circumstances. Few weeks prior, two vagrants done shown up at the point seekin’ shelter and weren’t a few days done afore they’d done tried to have a piece of Nikki. Done slit her throat too. Weren’t for her super psychic powers I don’t recon she would have lived. The two o’ them got a right bit o’ frontier justice at the end o’ a boom gun, but its hard to clean blood smears from the minds eye. Were lingerin’ for a lot of people, particularly Adam and Nikki. See, Eriko, the samurai, were still in a coma from the showdown with Casey an’ though Adam were a symbol he weren’t no natural born leader. Nikki were helping him to run things right and well, maybe there were feelin’s growin’ there too. Feelin’s buried under mounds of duty like a flower done get buried under the fertilizer when you’re tryin’ to grow food.

Pretty complicated that.

So, round about the time that were stewin’ but good, radio done start pipin’ up with word that a stranger on an armored horse done been spotted on the western perimeter. Weren’t long before the ol’ glitterboy done been tearin’ across the snow. But the boom gun got put away soon enough – the stranger were none other than Ajax, loopin’ back around on a finer lookin’ horse than he done left on. Soon enough, whole place is in an uproar: an ol’ friend has returned! Certainly the most interestin’ thing done happened there for a good while, and unlikely t’ end up on the wrong end of a gun at that. Storytime though, with Ajax would wait until after some food and shuteye, he would but say that he’d been travelin’ for several months and would tell more later.

Fate, though, would seem to have more in store for Philer’s Point. They done had them a gunslinger by the name o’ Big Lou who were a champion of sorts for Eriko the Samurai afore the winter set in. Had a bad accident with the Coalition, lost an arm, got a prosthetic, hated it, and got a bit more in love with the bottle than be good for a man. He were on lookout in the wee hours o’ the mornin’ when who should show up but Jeremiah, droppin’ down out o’ the sky on his jetpack like a falcon. Nearly scared the gunslinger t’ death, an’ certainly gave Jeremiah a good dose o’ how bad things had gotten ‘round those parts. It were pretty surprisin’ to the folk in the fortress too, when they found their watch had been relieved by a familiar and friendly Juicer.

Now, ask you can imagine, breakfast was startin’ to sound real good about then so we done found ourselves with the ol’ posse back together, starin’ across plates o’ toast and bacon and mugs o’ joe. Round about after Nikki done told about how things had been goin’ at the point, folks was lookin’ at Ajax and Jeremiah and well it were kinda like this: Out o’ the frozen north, things were startin’ to get goin’. Down south, strange magic were workin, changing the landscape around with that o’ alien worlds. Coalition had done woke up and were none too happy with that, so were pokin’ about like a bear done poke a bee’s nest afore it takes a big bite. Xiticix done been seen expandin’ their territory again, and those hives weren’t that far from the point!

An, well, then Ajax decided t’ make things a little weirder.

He had gone out t’ the west on a sort o’ spiritual manhunt. Way he said it made it sound like the man he were huntin’ was himself. I don’t rightly know much about that pyschic hookey, but seems he found somethin’ because he were back in Philer’s point because he had some sort of mighty important dream. In that dream, he saw doom for these folk – saw Adam take his own life at the bottom of a bottle o’ rye; saw Eriko smothered under a pillow by her own doctor; saw a strange alien world that were right like that Jeremiah had just done told about with a sign that read “Ft. Commanche, 10 miles.” All those was brought together by some strange green flower.

Like I said, weirder. Only he didn’t stop there.

Somethin’ deep in that must have struck a nerve, for his words flowed fast and quick like only anger flies. He spoke o’ the deep malise in Philer’s Point, the new dangers that swarmed about like locusts, and how ill prepared they were to survive what was to come. He let loose more bitter bile at Adam round the way he done treated Nikki, an how his presence there hadn’t made things so much better but worse.

Yeah, I heard men done get called out for less. Y’ could cut the tension in the air like a vibroblade. After that, they done split up to try and focus on what to do next (or just get some well deserved shut eye in Jeremiah’s case), but one thing was for sure: Weren’t going to be a dull place in Philer’s Point much longer.

{On to next entry: Thawing Souls, Muddy Hearts}

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The Wintertime Blues
Downtime adventures

Our intrepid band has divided for a time. Some to seek solace in their thoughts. Some to fulfill duty. Some to enhance their skills. Some to continue to seek fame and fortune. This entry is designed to help you understand what has happened with each of you during the cold winter months.

In General
The winter sat in and the Coalition had decided after that last major engagement with Tolkeen resistance forces that they would declare total victory. They have begun to drawn down their forces. Soldiers are packing up and leaving. Refugees still flee the area and the coming winter. The CS has established several small bases throughout the area as a “presence” just in case the evil of Tolkeen returns.

As for the resistance, their backs are broken. They are trying to disappear into the woodwork. The most militant among them still fight and are being destroyed.

The winter really begins to set in around the beginning of November this year and will not let up until mid March. Snow and more snow fall. Winds from the lakes and some say the Warlocks buffet the area.

Philer’s Point
Things here will be hard. The refugees that are here are going to have a tough time though not impossibly so. Supplies that the adventurers continually gather help so much. Lady Eriko Oikawa remains in her coma despite the attentions of Virgil and Nicole Branamen. Adam Churchill is being referred to as “Lord Adam” by many of the Tolkeenites due to his quasi-celebrity status and the various heroic tales floating around about him. His leadership in the Point has proven to be most invaluable. Tumbleweed has trained hard and worked harder. He has learned so much from training under the firm teaching of Hargun and Iggy.

The people of Philer’s Point are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the party. They are all spoken of highly and are very respected. The food, blankets, medicines, and vehicles are all greatly appreciated. Hargun even cried when he saw all of that support rolling in. As for the remains of the Skull Transport, it has been re-purposed into spare parts, living quarters, weapons, and the power supply has been converted to supply power to the quickly evolving township.

There is talk of a wall and gates. There is even talk of trying to assemble a sort of town council. Lord Adam is thought to be the best choice for mayor but this is all up for debate.

Oh, there is more but I reserve that for each of you below.

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