Game Thread May 26, 2093 - Crooked Creek - RPG Crossing
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Old Mar 19th, 2022, 05:45 PM
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May 26, 2093 - Crooked Creek

The sun begins to crest over the horizon. The faint green aura which outlines the Wyoming Range every night forced to retreat back behind the mountain’s peaks like some heliophobic specter. The glow had been there ever since the bombs fell. Ever since the world died. A constant reminder of the strange storms which had covered the ruins of Idaho Falls and Pocatello since they were bombed 12 years ago. Whirlwinds of sickly green energy that wailed like the damned with faint shapes akin to faces contorted in terror pulled along it’s outer edge.

Or at least that’s how the stories go…

However here, within Crooked Creek, such horrors are but a distant rumor. Tales told by the few who had traveled the remains of America before finding their way to this Oasis among the Wastes. Life was not perfect in Crooked Creek but few would argue it being as close as one might hope in a world after Judgement day.

It was simpler here, mostly untouched by road gangs but still with enough food to feed all of it’s residents; the occasional surplus allocated to minor comforts for it’s residents. Dubois was a source of anxiety for some, those who had heard tales of corpses still moving beneath the town’s burnt remains, but most never went close enough to check if such stories were true. Even the green glow that peeked over the mountains every night had become little more then a fact of life; as accepted as the Sun which now began to awaken the Ranch’s residents.

May was about to end with June just around the corner. The middle of planting season with the fields just about ready for the corn seeds which would be one of the staples to see everyone through the coming winter. Last season had been particularly harsh, with a drought leaving little for the people of Crooked Creek to even plant with this year, but everyone had endured thanks to the ranch’s herds and preserves from years past. It would be tough, especially with a few new mouths to feed, but the people of Crooked Creek would endure...

At least that was the hope.

For now it was best to just get started with your day, along with the others of the settlement, and see where it takes you.
Experience Tracker
Player Character XP Advancements Level
Swordplay82Talia Humphry800Novice
EffeteBill Dawes750Novice
SilkAmy Wong304Seasoned
Cap UtSamuel Wells1000Novice
DBCowboyGarret Sax250Novice

Last edited by taleteller50; Mar 22nd, 2022 at 12:00 AM.
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Old Mar 20th, 2022, 08:02 AM
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Bill Dawes
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Bill was awake before the morning sun decided to once again grace the world with its mocking presence. He sat at the edge of the cot, staring into the darkness of the room, his head all in a fog. A few weeks usually passed between nightmares, but this was the third day in a row he woke in a cold sweat. He hoped he didn't scream this time. When he first arrived in Crooked Creek a few years back, kind Dorthy Hamil insisted on bedding him in the common room of the Lodge, but after the awkward moment of waking up half the townfolk and seeing them stand around him—many in their night clothes, some holding weapons—Bill was humbled to accept the offer of a small tent outside.

Since then, Bill has upgraded to a small shack about 100 yards from the garage, where he helps old Duncan with repairs and general maintenance. Built with his own two hands in the shade of an ancient live oak, the shack has taken on quite a unique personality in the otherwise quaint settlement. The exterior looks like a redneck's wet dream, with hubcaps, chains, Christmas lights, and all manner of random odds and ends hanging from its walls. A short, one-foot tall white picket fence partially rings the shack and trunk of the giant tree, a juxtaposition of aesthetics that Bill thought humorous. The interior of the shack is much more modest and practical: a folding cot salvaged from an old refugee camp, a large mirror frame with only half the mirror remaining, and a heavy dresser that dominates the space and holds all his personal effects. Although Bill does not mind visitors coming to gawk at whatever new oddity adorns his abode this week, everyone whose been here a while knows that the inside is strictly off limits.

Presently, as he sits in the gloom, anxiety fading with the memory of the dream, Bill rubs a large calloused hand across his face and groans in resignation. Time to face the day, he thought, even if it ain't day yet. After rolling his heavy shoulders and stretching his arms and back, Bill pulls on a pair of coveralls, dons his boots, and walks out into the pre-dawn haze. The new corn field where he'll be working today could be seen down past the main buildings. Bill was a suburban fellow before the End, concerned with paying his bills and keeping the neighborhood dogs from crapping in his front yard, so when the yokels here talked about tilling and turning a new field so the old one can go fallow, Bill just shrugged and asked what they needed him to do. After last year's drought, it was decided a water reservoir was desparately needed; something to collect rain water in case of emergencies. In the grey light, Bill can barely make out where construction had started earlier this spring. Materials are getting harder and harder to come by, and salvage runs need to be made further out each time. Bill doubts they'll find enough good timber and sheet metal to finish the basin in any reasonable amount of time.

A heavy sigh escapes his lips, the rushing of wind through a canyon. Bill scratches his thick beard, more grey now than anything else. This world ages a man. Though only in his late fourties, he looks like a man fifteen years his senior. Some of the folks have even ironically remarked how Bill "looks good for his age." He is rather fit, all things considered, but most of that comes from the natural strength of being a big guy. What was it those girls said, laughing, when he tried flexing for them? "Eww, you have a dad bod." Yeah, and why not? he thought. Dorthy's cooking has been a godsend after the rubbish he ate riding with the Goons.

As if on queue, the faint smells of cooking wafted over, involuntarily enticing a loud grumble from Bill's stomach. A sliver of sun peeked over the horizon, and by the time Bill brokefast it would be full up. Walking to the Lodge, Bill casually eyed the tractor parked in front of the bay door to the garage, but put it out of his mind as soon as it was out of sight. As he entered the Lodge, the smell of eggs and ground beef with white gravy sent his mouth watering. Dorthy stood with her back to the counter, stirring at the stove, her hair pulled into a tight bun.

"Morning ma'am. Gosh, does that smell good or what?" Bill's deep baritone reverberated through the air, a slight Texas twang to his vowels. He cradled a stool and sat at the counter. "Duncan still asleep? I hope we didn't overdo it last night."


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Last edited by Effete; Mar 20th, 2022 at 09:42 AM.
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Old Mar 20th, 2022, 07:35 PM
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Samuel Wells
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During his stay in Crooked Creek, Samuel has made a habit of waking up a little before dawn just to get a glimpse of the green radiation retreating beyond the Wyoming Range in the face of sunlight. It's not the eerie glow by itself that captivates him (after all, for a while he has resided far closer to the nuked cities of Idaho Falls and Pocatello), but the spectacle as a whole: the mountains appear as firm guardians, valiantly keeping the horrors of the apocalypse at bay until a new day comes by and sweeps them away.
And to think the young man was once out there in the wastes, how lucky he has been to have never faced the worst of those horrors in his journey; he can't help but wonder if he has been kept safe by some kind of charm, a gift from a witch to her son, but if it's so, why couldn't his mother protect herself? Perhaps magic wards fend off only fiends and ghosts and are of no use against the wickedness of man; or maybe safety is merely an illusion, and sooner or later the charm fails and the mountains yield.

The hints of fatalism in the lad's early-morning thoughts are usually dissipated by the inviting smell that welcomes the siblings in the Lodge when they go get breakfast together. They have been told this year things are harder than normal due to a previous bad season, but even so the community seems to fare pretty well through the lens of Samuel's experiences in Georgetown and other settlements: aware of it or not, the people of Crooked Creek are very fortunate. They have been so far, at least.
This time, when brother and sister arrive at the restaurant, the pleasant aroma of porridge can't stop a feeling of uneasiness from clinging to the eldest: Alex Humphry is still missing, and while none of the locals seem worried, even Nimue appears a little concerned about the not quite usual circumstances, or is Samuel simply projecting his apprehensions on to her?
Anyway, he now feels compelled to find a distraction.

"So... where have we left it yesterday? The knight was about to embark in the quest, right?" he prompts with a warm smile to drive all worries away.
The two have been playing this game for years: one would begin a story and then both would alternate continuing it as long as they wish. The current one is the first they started after the fall of the coven and has helped them cope with their loss; encouraged by Samuel to choose the theme, Nimue decided to deviate from their typical superhero tales and went for something inspired by Morgan's evident appreciation for the Arthurian cycle.

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Last edited by Cap Ut; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 02:03 AM.
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Old Mar 20th, 2022, 11:29 PM
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Amy Wong
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Amy watched the green-tinted sky for a time and thought back to the last time she had seen blue skies. It was at 30,000 feet moments before the bombs fell. For a moment, Amy was a young 14-year-old high school student enjoying her first ride in a plane. Blinking the memory away, Amy smiled at herself and closed the door to the small one-room cabin that she had rented and thought it a good sign that she didn't focus on the mushroom clouds that had followed. Or the crashlanding that cost Amy her left arm. The choice to stay and make a life for herself in Crooked Creek was already paying dividends in her mental well-being. Amy thought herself very lucky to have decided a week ago that she had had enough of the raiders that plied the highways. Walking down that overgrown dirt road to take her chances with possible mutated and disease-ridden animals, only to stumble across the town of Crooked Creek.

The only downside was there were no jobs available around town in the two areas that Amy specialized in, mechanics and salvaging. In Crooked Creek, there were not one but two mechanics plus a young assistant to boot, so that option was out. And the only place to salvage reasonably close by was Dubois, which Amy had cautiously snuck past the burnt-out town when she first came to Crooked Creek. At the time, Amy was reasonably well-stocked on scavenged items and didn't like the look of the burnt-out city. When she had first asked the residence of Crooked Creek about the town, Amy learned the place was called Dubois and was firebombed by the government due to a plague outbreak shortly before the bombs fell. From previous experiences, Amy knew that there was a good chance for her to find excellent salvage in Dubois. But that same experience also told Amy the place was probably infested with the walking dead who more than likely still carried that disease. Amy would use an overabundance of caution before trying her hand at scavenging the town of Dubois.

And before she went there, Amy would first have to get the few survivors of Dubois that lived in Crooked Creek to open up to her about the best places to search. Add in that Amy had to pay for her small cabin plus food, and the scavenger woman knew she had to help out around town before she could go scavenging. But with Dubois closed to her for now by her own decision, there were only two things that Amy could do. Help out with the planting, which Amy felt about as helpful as a horseshoe on a cow. True, in her travels, she had helped in farming when the situation arose, but Amy always felt she slowed the whole possess down with only one arm. But on the upside, it might get those who had lived in Dubois to talk quicker. But the fact was, Amy still preferred to work alone. Twelve years walking the wasteland of UCAS/CAS had left a cautious streak in Amy that would take a bit of time to wear away before she felt confident in working smoothly with others. So, for now, Amy figured she would try her luck at hunting. If Amy brought back enough game for several people to eat, it might do the same as if she spent the day struggling to keep up with everyone planting seeds. And besides, it wouldn't hurt to go east in the direction of Dubois and scout this side of the town from a distance. Amy could cobble together traps and look for deer or boar to shoot with her NA M-92 on the way. Sure, hunting with a pistol is not the best way to go about hunting, nor cost-effective, but it worked as long as Amy could get close enough to be confident of her shot.

Decision made, Amy figured she should at least inform Alex of what she was doing. He seemed to be in charge though there seemed to be some tension between him and the ranchers. Frankly, Amy was used to ignoring the town politics that she was visiting at the time and wasn't looking forward to having to care about it here in Crooked Creek. Still, Amy chose not to be rude and entered the lodge searching for the man she hoped ran the place. Amy glanced around and saw several people, two who were busy making a story over breakfast and the biker-looking fellow whose name she remembered was Bill...Bill something. That was the other thing Amy needed to get used to again, remembering people's full names. Amy met him when inquiring about helping around town as a mechanic and I'm just assuming this from what was writenhe was one of the two and a half mechanics that the town of Crooked Creek boasted. Realizing she had been looking at Bill for a bit too long, Amy gave a mental shrug and said,

"I was going to ask if you had seen Alex, but from what you just said, I'll take that as a no."

Amy good-naturedly gave the large man a half-smiled. Unknown to most, that half-smile was her mask against the world. Long having given up on trying to intimidate people, Amy instead tries to blend into the background most days by being somewhat pleasant to be around.

 





OOC: @ taleteller50:
Would Amy be able to set traps(McGyver style) and scout the edge of Dubois from a distance all in 1 day and make it back to Crooked Creek before nightfall?
If not, then Amy will just 'hunt' in that direction to get the lay of the land between Crooked Creek and Dubois.

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Last edited by Silk; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 02:46 PM.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 10:38 AM
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Garret Sax
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Unused muscles protested with each step, a wrong one and his side flamed from the wound but Sax set his jaw and bore it without protest. Shakufa's transformation from gentle caregiver to hard taskmaster was abrupt but he could understand it. Beds and medicine were precious these days and if she was sure he didn' need them anymore then it was a damn good bet she was right.

Sax stopped a moment and turned, takin his first good look around Crooked Creek. Even now, with just this small peek at the place and the few folks out, place looked better'n most he'd been through. Hell, lots better. Course, since the world burned that still left a heap'a want. Most places wouldn' have brought a half-dead stranger in, let alone patched them up and give'em a bed to recover in for weeks.

Seemed a little too good to be true. Probably a good thing to hold some skepticism and not get too taken in. Shakufa seemed a good one and that Humphry fella had never set off any warning bells when he'd visited. That Nimue kid was skittish and quiet but it never struck Sax as due to somethin recent. Good folks here for sure but what about the rest? He remembered another place he'd lead some good folks to, didn' end up bein so nice under the covers. His friends and neighbors chose safety over right. Common choice these days, one they likely regretted at times but justified to themselves anyway.

Shakin his head, Sax shook off the memory. Standin' here like a statue wasn't gettin him anything else except an odd look now from a passin' fella. Best to keep movin' and try to get the strength back in his body. Meetin' some folks would be good too. Didn' take a genius to notice the direction most'a the ones he saw were headed, so Sax figured that was as good a ways to walk as any. By the time he reached the doors of the Lodge he had to admit that he did feel a bit better.

The was a pretty good group there, lots of talk, so Sax edged himself to a old wooden support post and leaned against it. His body wanted him to sit down but he ignored it. Good spot to listen to the chatter around him without bein' in they way. Good chance to gauge what the residents of Crooked Creek were like and what they were concerned about.

Last edited by DBCowboy; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 08:40 PM.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 12:08 PM
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Bill Dawes
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Bill was soaking up the last of the gravy and egg yolk from his plate with a piece of biscuit when the boy and his sister came into the Lodge. Bill looked over his shoulder and gave a nod, but neither seemed to notice, so he turned back to his plate. He had thought about asking Dorthy for another biscuit and a dollop of gravy, but even that meager-sounding request would earn him a tongue-lashing from the woman. Nobody in Crooked Creek went hungry, but that meant nobody really ate their fill either. But, damn, that biscuit was good! Miss Farlin must have used some of that baking powder Kyle brought back the other week. You don't really think about it at the time, but after almost a year of eating unleavened flatbread, a nice fluffy biscuit is the next thing to heaven.

Instead, Bill picked up the plate and gingerly placed it back down on the server-side of the counter so the elderly Dorthy wouldn't need to reach too far. A Gentle Giant. That's how Bill decided to portray himself. He had found a good thing here in the Creek, and for better or worse, he was a part of it now. Three winters he's been here, with the last the worst the town's seen yet. Where would they be without him? Who else would have dug the turnips from the hard ground when the frost came early? Who else would have moved the tree limb that smashed through the Maldin's window in the middle of that blizzard? And when little Henry broke his leg mucking about on the frozen pond, who else would have carried him all the way to Shakufa's house? These people need him more than he needs them!

For a brief moment, Bill thought about marching into the kitchen and just taking that biscuit. No, taking two! Hasn't he earned it? Suddenly, he noticed his hands, the white-knuckled grip along the edge of the plate. Any tighter and the porcelain would surely snap. He let go so abruptly, the plate clattered, bringing a startled reaction from Dorthy, who was—luckily—busy stirring a pot of porridge and had not seen Bill's little episode.

"Apologies ma'am. It slipped. Uh, hey... if you see Alex, can you tell him to meet me down in the new field? There's something I need to talk to him about. Thanks, Dorth." The big man hesitated a moment, wondering what else to say, but then just strode away awkwardly. As he turned from the counter, he saw the new girl standing there looking at him. Their eyes met briefly, but Bill's involuntarily drifted to where the young woman's left arm should be. A pang of sympathy washed over him. With all the hardships this world throws at a person, how much worse is it to endure while being maimed in that way? How many have I left to that fate? he thought. Is she one of them? Is that why she stares?! Does she recognize me?

"I was going to ask if you had seen Alex, but from what you just said, I'll take that as a no." Her smile shook Bill more than her words.
"Alex? Uhh... no, I haven't seen him. Why, is there something you need? I mean, I was about to get the boy"—Bill hitched a thumb in Samuel's direction—"to help me with the tractor, but if it's something simple, I might be able to help." Bill glanced over at Samuel. He and his sister seemed to be engaged in some type of game, exchanging stories with one another. They haven't even gotten their meal yet. "Besides, it looks like I can spare the time, Miss...?"


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Last edited by Effete; Mar 24th, 2022 at 09:17 PM.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 08:43 PM
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Amy Wong
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hunting for salvage


Amy noticed Bill's glance towards her missing arm and ignored it like she did all the other glances she had received from the townsfolk of Crooked Creek. But when the man ended his sentence with "Miss...?", Amy waved her only good hand and said,

"Just call me Amy, and it wasn't all that important either. But if you could tell Alex when you see him that I'll be out hunting today, that would be great.

I plan on hunting east in the direction of Dubois. With how everyone around here is spooked by the town, the game might be better in that direction. And tell Alex not to worry, I'll stay out of Dubois."


With another wave of her only good hand, Amy left the lodge without eating. Heading back to her cabin to gather a few supplies that she would need to make traps Amy decided to grab a can of kidney beans out of her traveling supplies as well. Sure, Amy could have asked for something to eat back at the lodge, but if she managed to catch enough game, the can of beans would return to her stash, and Amy would eat some of what she caught instead. Besides, Amy hated kidney beans which were one of the reasons why the can remained in her stash five months after having found it. And if Amy failed to find any game today, the kidney beans would finally stop mocking her.

After topping off her canteen with water from the an asumptionold fashioned hand pump, Amy casually made her way out of Crooked Creek, heading east.






OOC: If anyone want's to talk to Amy she'll stop and talk before leaving town
Edited my previous post so there are no duplicate sentences between posts.

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Last edited by Silk; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 02:47 PM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 01:55 AM
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Breakfast"No", Dorthy answers Bill when asked about Duncan. "He's already in that blasted shop", she states with a mixture of amusement and annoyance as she passes Bill his share of today's breakfast. "Didn't even wait for me to dish him up some or nothin'. Be sure to take him some when you head over. Don't want my husband falling over halfway through the day cuz he was too stubborn to eat first", Dorthy says with a smile as she turns back to her pot to dish others.

Dorthy was like that kindly old grandma everyone wished they had; always wearing her apron and carrying a spoon which she was more then ready to smack you with if you tried to sneak extra cookies or something. Despite being such an excellent cook she wasn't exactly fat but she wasn't thin either; just a older kind of stocky that showed she could carry a sack of flour if needed but probably asked the 'young'ns' to do it for her most of the time.

As Bill had expected breakfast was more then just a simple gruel. The largest portion of the meal was still corn potage but to the side there was also a corn biscuit with gravy, a single fried egg, and a small helping of hash with ground beef. A veritable feast to many in the wastes but still relatively small for the Ranch as most of the sides were little more then a mouthful each. Even the bowl of potage was only half full due to the rationing which had occurred over the winter. Back then it had even been smaller due to how inactive many were waiting for the snows to pass.

This was however all necessary due to last year's poor harvest and most took little issue with it. Even milk was relatively scarce right now as only half the herd could usually produce milk, the rest being too young or steers, and these were the months when they typically ran dry; preparing themselves for their next round of calves.

Still, what was given would stick with you most of the day, especially since lunch would be little more then a snack of dried fruit or jerky.

When Bill let the plate clatter against the counter Dorthy was startled for a moment but as the man suddenly changed the focus to asking about Alex a small hint understanding seemed to glimmer in her eyes. "I haven't seen him or Daryl since they set out for that hunt a few days ago but I'll be sure to tell 'em to go see you when he's back". Striding over to pick up the plate it looks like Dorthy is about to say something else but Bill turns away too quickly for her to say it.

Overhearing Amy's chat with the man Dorthy interjects, tapping Bill on his shoulder with her spoon to get his attention. "Stella be over soon enough to check in with everyone. I'll be sure to tell her what you're planning on doing", the elderly woman says looking at Amy. "In the meantime", Dorthy mentions as she turns back to the stove before producing a bowl of portage with a fried egg on top, passing it to Bill. "Take this out to that husband of mine and make sure he eats it. I'll make sure the new kid gets out to ya and won't be complaining about staring through out the day. Oh and Bill", Dorthy leaned across the counter before sneaking an extra biscuit into Bill's hand. "You be sure and watch that temper, ya hear".

You could swear that woman was a Syker some times if she didn't have a full head of curly grey hairs on top of her smiling face. She always seemed to know.



"Ya! He was going to go face a dragon", Nimue said with a smile, her legs swinging slowly through the air under the table as they couldn't quite reach the ground. "But he needs a powerful weapon first so he needs to find Morgana the Magnificent to craft him a magic shotgun". Impatiently the young girl waited for her brother to continue the story.



Sax seemed content to just watch everybody for the time being; trying to focus in on specific conversations over the low din of people talking to one another. Many gave Sax a curious stare with whispered exchanges between one another when they noticed the man but most focused on dishing up and chatted about what they were probably going to do today or making plans for socializing once they were free. One woman in her 30's, with short brown hair and wearing an apron covered in flour, approached Sax with a bowl of what looked like corn portage with a fried egg on top.

"I guess you're the one Shakufa's been stich'n up", she said with a warm smile as she extends the bowl to Sax. "Go ahead. We normally ask outsiders to pay for meals but Alex and Sha are picking up your tab for now. If you need anything else come see me or Dorthy. She's the one behind the counter with the spoon. Oop, sorry", the woman says as someone calls out to her, revealing her name to be Lesley. "Duty calls. There's extra seat out on the deck if you're looking to sit down. Ok, OK! I hear you", Lesley calls out to the pair of men calling to her as she quickly moves back to help handing out the day's breakfast.

OOC@ Silk : Travel to Dubois would take about 4-5 hours, one way. Likely 5, even if she heads directly towards it rather then taking the winding dirt roads, as this would be her first time traveling there. Daylight, at this month and place, would usually be between 5:45 am and 8:15 pm. That's 14.5 hours of daylight. Given the 9 hours of travel (5 there and 4 back minimum) and an hour of resting at some point, that leaves about 4.5 hours for scouting, trapping, etc. She could do it but would likely be beat by the time she gets back and Amy would even miss supper. I'll leave it to you but scouting the shorter path to Dubois as she hunts the area would make a lot of sense for this first day.
Experience Tracker
Player Character XP Advancements Level
Swordplay82Talia Humphry800Novice
EffeteBill Dawes80+5+40Novice
SilkAmy Wong30+5+34Seasoned
Cap UtSamuel Wells100+50Novice
DBCowboyGarret Sax25+50Novice

Last edited by taleteller50; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 01:55 AM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 10:28 AM
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Garret Sax
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Sax took the plate with a nod of thanks, "Much obliged. Sure appreciate the hospitality here but can't say I like the idea of bein' indebted further, especially since I'm standin' again. You don't happen to know someone round here I could talk to bout earnin' my keep, do ya? Alex around?"

Regardless her answer, Sax will find himself a seat and eat, likely on the deck as he'd had enough of being cooped up. He'd had some rough meals on the road and plenty in the dives and ruins of the Wastes were folks had scraped out a living for themselves. There was some real desperation out there; if some of those folks knew about this place they'd come begging to join it....or raid it. But Lesley seemed to say the town got visitors so it wasn't exactly a secret. Maybe things were better here in the North than they had be further South?

He wasn't sure how long he'd be here, so far Crooked Creek didn't seem like it had much need of him. Couple weeks maybe, make sure he was fit to travel again. Til then, he'd better find a way to help out round here to earn the food and shelter these folks were sharing.

OOC Just to play with the die roller, try a Notice roll. Are people armed? What's his impression of the folks in the Lodge?
Dice Notice:
d2-3rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-3 Total = -2
d6cx9,6t 4 Running Total = 2
d6cx9,6t 2 Running Total = 4

Ooops, copied the code for the -2 modifier


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Last edited by DBCowboy; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 08:45 PM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 11:11 AM
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Nimue's genuine smiles reciprocate so effortlessly Samuel's dedication to brighten her days, in fact his worries are already washed away.
"You're right, however Morgana is still in Avalon and the knight has no way to reach the enchanted island yet..." the young man strikes a pensive pose before feigning an eureka moment. "He can ask Keith the Dwarf to magically contact her, though. But that little prankster won't help unless his riddle is solved: what breaks yet never falls, and what falls yet never breaks, the first always following the second and the second the first? Think about it, while I get our breakfast."

As he approaches the counter, Samuel overhears the conversation between Bill and that girl with a missing arm arrived just a week before, and can't help but feel a thrill when Dubois is mentioned: it has been a while since his last scrounging action and he's definitely rusty, but he kind of misses the excitement of finding and tinkering with those components tech spirits love so much, enough to have been tempted by the ghost town ever since he learned about its story; ruins of the past allegedly untouched by radioactive fallout, what more could a scavenger ask for?
Of course, he has never done anything about it: venturing alone in a place infested by who knows what? Hard pass. Besides, he isn't anymore a traveller of the wastes with zero certainties for his future, he has responsibilities now and cannot afford to risk his life for some dangerous pastime.

The girl (her name is Amy, apparently) isn't the only recent addition to the community: there's also that guy, Garret Sax, who has spent the last week or so getting patched up by Shakufa. Samuel notices him studying the crowd; not a problem, as long as he doesn't show too much interest toward him and his sister. But what about the accident? The man seems barely able to stand up now, how much distance could he have covered when his gun wounds were still bleeding, how far from the settlement could the shootout have possibly happened? Hopefully he isn't bringing any trouble to Crooked Creek, not that Samuel is in the position to judge, really, given the situation regarding Nimue: he has done his best to cover their tracks, but Faust is still out there and the young man can only shiver at the thought of that monster finding them.

When he passes by Bill, Samuel seizes the opportunity to address him with his typical nonchalance, "Hey Bill, when do you and Duncan plan to start today's works on the tractor? Jacalin needs a hand with the Shop this morning, so I'd like to inform her when I'll be available."

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Last edited by Cap Ut; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 12:04 PM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 05:46 PM
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"Amy! Yeah, that was it." Bill taps his temple and gives a slight eyeroll, as if to say, "This old noggin ain't what it used to be." However, when the girl mentions going out hunting, alone, Bill's eyes widen, revealing a bit more white around those baby-blues. His eyes leave hers once again, but this time he gives the young woman a more measured look. He had assumed she was weak, crawling to the safety of Crooked Creek after something awful happened to her previous crew, but he can see now he was wrong. As she waved her arm, toned whip-cord muscles writhed beneath; an arm accustomed to carrying twice as much weight as it should need to. The girl's outfit was custom, with clever use of straps to redistribute loads and provide easy access to items from just her "good" side. Of course this girl would go out hunting alone! She doesn't need help; she never has. Heck, she's probably scoffing at Bill's offer right now, as she strolls out the door with all the confidence of a badger in a beehive.

"In the meantime..." Dorthy continued to speak, this time directing her words at Bill and handing him a bowl of food for her husband. D'oh! Of course, he thought. Between the lack of sleep and the unwelcome intrusion of old habits, Bill found it hard to concentrate today, and he had entirely forgotten Dorthy mentioned bringing Duncan breakfast. Samuel was at the counter now, and Dorthy busied herself preparing the sibling's morning meal.
"Hey Bill," the handsome, spry youth greeted the big man with a casual nonchalance and asked about the day's labor.
"Mornin' Sammy. I'm going to the garage right now." Bill lifted the bowl slightly, as if that meant something significant. "Join us whenever you're finished, but, uh..." Bill lowered his voice in a conspiratorial way, "don't be too late. You know how Duncan can get." He gave the young man a friendly slap on the back just as Dorthy returned with two piping hot bowls of chow.
"Oh and Bill," the woman stopped the man as he began to turn and pressed an extra biscuit into his hand with a stern warning about his temper. Bill could only nod silently, his shoulders hunched; a child's gesture after being admonished for doing something wrong.

During the brief walk from the Lodge to the garage, Bill kept looking down at the small biscuit dwarfed in the palm of his hand. Emotions competed within him: shame, anger, regret, dispair, anger. The overhead bay door was still closed, with the old tractor waiting quiescently in front, so Bill went to the smaller side door instead. Pausing before opening it, Bill once again looked at the biscuit, then shoved the entire thing into his mouth. Munching on it greedily, he thought, I do deserve this. After swallowing and brushing away any crumbs from his beard, Bill entered the garage and bellowed, "Duncan?! Hey, old man, come git yer grub!"


OOCFixed typo: scrolls --> strolls
Also, I need to work at maintaining a consistant tense throughout. I went from present tense with Amy to past-present tense for the rest.

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Last edited by Effete; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 06:47 PM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 06:40 PM
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Talia was worried about her Pops just like her Ma but it wasn't something either of them would dwell on. It wasn't the first time he had gone off with Daryl to hunt something that was likely a danger neither of them nor Stella were about to reveal to the rest of the settlement until it was an actual concern. Likely it was just another pack of wild dogs they couldn't leave to attack the cattle or something like that. A little dangerous but not something they'd have trouble with. Talia had actually been bugging her Pops to take her out on one of these trips but he had told her to stay behind because of planting season. The Ranch needed as much hands as it could muster and that included her.

Still.. Why had he left at such an important time? A pack of wild dogs was one thing but couldn't that have waited until after planting? Maybe they would have had to keep an extra lookout posted to make sure the pack was kept off the herd but that wouldn't have been much trouble. Maybe it was something worse then dogs? Maybe...

Na, Talia though as she shook the idea from her mind. Pops and Daryl would be back soon and maybe next time all three of them could head out.

Of course Joshua wouldn't make that easy. He was always messing with Peter or Valery, Talia's siblings. For someone who kept insisting that the two of them get together he had a funny way of showing it. What, he thought I'd go, 'Oh Joshua! You're so manly picking on someone a quarter your size. Take me now'! The guy's skull was so thick no wonder she had to kick him in the jewel's to get the clue. Next time she should just shoot him or something. BANG! Right in between the eyes. Problem solved. Then she could do the same with Rodie senior. Do everyone, especially her Pops, a favor.

… Sigh.. No.. That wasn't right. As much as that sounded like a good idea Talia knew Alex and even Stella wouldn't appreciate that. As much as her Ma liked to complain about the Rodie's, her and Pops were never ones for bloodshed. Talia would just have to keep an eye out for Joshua and his friends; maybe shoot the heels off their boots or something if the went after Peter again. Hee.. Maybe if she pretended like she wanted Joshua she could make him drop trou somewhere and then turn the table on him; making him walk back home naked.

No that wasn't right. She'd have to see that Pencil d!ck naked to do that and Talia didn't feel like losing her lunch over a prank.

From the racket it sounded like Peter and Valery were up so it was about time she took them to grab a bite. Technically they had a kitchen in their house just like the Rodies but unlike them Alex had always said they needed eat with everyone else. Alex might be in charge but he had always made it clear he was only in that position so long as everyone else wanted him there. They weren't better then everyone else, Talia's family was just members of the community like everyone else. Of course it didn't hurt that Dorthy's cooking was a heck of a lot better then anything Talia or her mother could make. Pops was usually the one to cook on the few occasions they did use the kitchen and with him out it was possible the rest of them might end up burning water.

Quickly dressing and grabbing her guns, Talia bounded downstairs; greeting her mother and siblings before checking the two youngest Humphries to make sure they were ready for the day. Picking up Valery and taking Peter's hand Talia gave one last kiss on her mother's cheek before heading out to the Lodge.

By the time she showed up the place was already packed with most of the tables already filled up. Then Talia spotted Samuel and Nimue. Nimue was right around the age that she would play with either Peter or Valery, the three of them having grown relatively close over the last winter. Talia didn't mind Samuel either. He was a little older then her but compared to that creep Joshua, Sam was practically a polished diamond. She also didn't mind some of the stories he told which, besides entertaining the kids, sometimes included snippets of his own travels which Talia always found interesting. For as much as Talia wanted to keep an eye one her family to keep them safe she always wondered what it was like there out in the wastes. It didn't hurt that when she did pay attention to Sam, at least when Joshua could see them, the bully would fume over 'his girl' talking with some other guy.

With Samuel stepping away to fetch some plates Talia moved in and deposited her siblings at the table. "Hey Nimmy. Keep an eye on these two while I go grab some plates".
Dice Stealth Roll:
1d4 4
Dice Ace Dice - Stealth:
1d4 1
Dice Wild Dice:
1d6 6
Dice Ace Dice - Wild:
1d6 2
Check Result = 8

That's how you start a game.
Quietly slipping through the rest of the crowd Talia tried to sneak up on Samuel to give him a quick pinch while he was busy talking with Bill.
Assuming Sam doesn't notice TaliaJust as Bill was walking away and Sam was preparing to grab his plates from Dorthy, Talia moves up behind the young man and gives his side a playful pinch. "Hey Sam", Talia says with a mischievous tone as she moves to Sam's other side to keep him spinning to keep track of her. "You're usually more alert then that. Something on your mind", the young woman said with a dazzling smile.
If he makes the Check"Awww.. I was sure I had you that time", the teenager said with a disappointed pout as she moves over to the counter to grab some plates herself. "Hope you don't mind if me and the munchkins sit with you and Nimmy"?


 

Last edited by swordplay82; Mar 23rd, 2022 at 06:57 PM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 01:24 PM
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Samuel nods his head acquiescent. His question was sincere, he could have very well assisted Jacalin after helping with the tractor if Duncan and Bill needed him right away, but he gladly accepts the suggestion: Jackie will be more pleased this way.
"See you later," he tells the grizzled man as he leaves to deliver breakfast to his colleague.

The lad's plans for the morning are taking shape: he will accompany Nimue to Shakufa's cabin, return to the Shop and do what he has to do and then join the two mechanics. But that later, for now he'll just relish a warm meal with his sister while waiting for Stella's announcements of the day.
Something is still missing, though.

 

"Oh... I guess so," Samuel admits, taken aback. There are a few, to be fair, including the fact that her father hasn't returned yet, but the young man has no right to be more worried than her, and if she doesn't bring it up herself, he's not going to. "There are some new faces around; at this rate Cooked Creek will soon become a metropolis," he adds smiling back at her, after recovering from the ambush.

Initially Samuel didn't know how to feel about Talia's exuberance: genuine friendliness from strangers is a rare commodity out there, where the social landscape is molded mostly by suspicion and selfhood, at least in his experience. With time he has warmed up to her and began enjoying her company. Also, he must concede she's kinda cute.

Before accompanying her back to their table with the food, he glances over Nimue and the two youngest Humphrys; he's happy she has the opportunity to socialize with other kids in a safe environment, definitely a step up from his own childhood.

OOCNotice roll to catch Talia (she also gets a raise, by the way ):
Dice Notice:
d2-1rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-1 Total = 0
d8cx9,8t 4 Running Total = 4
Dice Wild Die:
d2-1rh1 (1 (Rerolls: greater than 1))-1 Total = 0
d6cx9,6t 3 Running Total = 3


Sheet
 

Last edited by Cap Ut; Mar 24th, 2022 at 06:20 PM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 11:05 PM
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Talia had hoped to get a bigger reaction from Sam but despite finally getting the drop on him Sam hadn't even seemed startled. Talia had at least expected him to jump or something. Maybe she should pinch his butt next time.

Grabbing plates for herself and the others Talia looked around at the mention of the new faces. "I wish", the young woman said with a grin. "Not too long ago you were one of those new faces", Talia said nudging Sam in the ribs softly. Looking back towards the crowd her demeanor changed to a more serious look. "Just hope we can feed 'em all. We're still waiting for that new seed and it'll be hard if we gotta eat nothing but beef for a year. Took us so long to get the herd as big as it is".

Sitting with the others and bring sure her siblings started eating rather then just chatting, Talia started scarfing down her own meal.


 
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 02:54 PM
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BreakfastOn her way out Amy meets a woman in her late 30's which she recognizes as Stella Humphry, wife of Alex Humphry and the one who had been organizing everyone in the settlement during her husband's hunting expedition. It appeared she was on her way to the lodge but had decided to check on you as you were gathering supplies.

"Ya heading out", she asks. "Planning on moving on or are you planning something else". When Amy had first arrived Alex had been welcoming of her but Stella had always appeared to be a little suspicious. After all, it was unusual to have strangers show up at the ranch who weren't shown the way by others. It was one of the main reasons why the settlement had likely survived as long as it had with minimum defenses and enough wealth to entice your common raider.

Even Amy didn't really understand how she had decided to start wandering towards the ranch's general location without even knowing it was there in the first place. She had just considered it lucky. For the people here to have been as welcoming as they had been without ulterior motives was unusual enough as it was, it wasn't surprising that at least some of them were a little suspicious of the stranger.

OOC - SilkBe sure to make a Survival Check when you finally head out to see how you do at hunting.



Lesley looks one last time back to Sax as he asks his question while still moving towards her station and the impatient people lining up there. "Alex is still out I think. Talk to Stella. She'll set you up. HEY", she suddenly yells at one of the people in line. "Get your hands out of there. I said I was coming".

Looking around the room Sax can see that some of the people around the ranch are armed but not nearly as much as he would normally see. Most everyone had knives or other tools which could be used as a weapon in a pinch but few guns among them all. Some, including a particularly striking teenage girl, had pistols strapped to their sides but for a place that didn't appear to have walls or other defenses they were particularly lightly armed.

Sax had heard of a place nicknamed 'Helltown' further east which was similarly devoid of defences but that settlement also had a reputation of everyone, even the kids, being heavily armed and ready to gun down any would be troublemakers. Maybe these people had more or better weapons hidden around the ranch but he didn't see any. This place was a little bit out of the way and Sax didn't see any roads better then a dirt one around here but were they really that well hidden? No, that couldn't be the only thing, could it? After all they had occasional visitors, right? How had these people survived as long as they had in this new world? Were they just that lucky?



When Bill opens the door to the garage he finds Duncan hunched over a work table with a spark plug held tightly in place by a vice. The old man had partially wrapped it in cloth to ensure that the vice's 'teeth' didn't damage the small piece of equipment while he cleaned it with an old wire brush.

Duncan had long gone bald leaving only a thin crown of white around the edge of his tanned and spotted dome. His arms, despite being quite muscular in Duncan's youth, were slowly loosing tone and definition; skin slowly collecting in flaps where it was once pulled tight. He was wearing an aged flannel shirt which was more stitches and patches then original cloth. Most would have resigned the fabric to the rag pile long ago but Duncan never threw things away unless he had too; normally once Dorthy finally made him get rid of it.

When Bill calls out Duncan doesn't appear to even acknowledge the man past a neutral and quite grunt as the old man continues to focus on his work.

The garage was an example of organized chaos, fill of various scraps, parts, and tools which only Duncan ever seemed to navigate without difficulty. Even Bill, for as long as he'd been helping out, didn't know where everything was. He knew enough to get work done, even having a section of table which was specifically for his work, but half the time he would have to ask Duncan if they had something specific housed within the mess to find it. Of course, Duncan never appeared to be hindered by any of this, regularly reaching into the mess somewhere to pull out just what he needed...

At least that's how it had been like.

Recently Duncan had been having to think longer and longer to remember where he kept everything. He grew angry when someone tried to help, just like with work, but more and more Bill had to go looking for things himself to avoid arguments.

When the food is placed next to him Duncan didn't even look up from his work. Although Bill did note a quick nasal inhale from the older mechanic as the scent of breakfast reached his nostril.



When Samuel and Talia return to the table Nimue's , Peter, and Valery are intensely discussing something with one another. Seeing the arrival of breakfast the trio grab their individual plates and begin to eat; Nimue appearing to be still in deep thought. Finally the young girl asks, "Tallie? Sam's being mean again, asking me a riddle before we can continue the story. He said it breaks but never falls, falls but never breaks, and then something about the first following the second and the second following the first? Can you help", Nimue said with pleading eyes.

Experience Tracker
Player Character XP Advancements Level
Swordplay82Talia Humphry80+5+20Novice
EffeteBill Dawes89+30Novice
SilkAmy Wong38+04Seasoned
Cap UtSamuel Wells105+3+20Novice
DBCowboyGarret Sax30+20Novice

Last edited by taleteller50; Mar 25th, 2022 at 03:46 PM.
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