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Cottonwood Creek: A one-shot town for "Vampires"

Started by Warren, January 31, 2006, 01:24:33 PM

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Hello all,

Further to my Actual Play thread about introducing a Vampire LARP group to Dogs in the Vineyard I needed to create a one-shot town for them. Following Vincent's suggestion of "For the town: love triangle, bitterness, sorcery, illegitimate kid, murder. 5 or 6 named NPCs, tightly entangled, at least one deceased." I also kept TonyLB's town reflecting his thoughts on the Sin of Goodness in mind. I've come up with Cottonwood Creek. What do you guys think? I'm not sure if it's too big for a one-shot. Any comments or suggestions you have will be gratefully received.

Cottonwood Creek Branch

Opening Scene:
On a crisp autumn evening, the Dogs ride through the mountains that ring Bridal Falls city, following a creek full of freshly melted snow that winds down through the rocks. At the bottom of the valley lies a small town of about two dozen farmsteads nestled against the shore of a mountain lake surrounded by brilliant yellow cottonwood bushes. This picturesque scene is spoiled somewhat by the sight of a dozen or so young men with flaming torches shouting and preparing to march on a big old farm high up the opposite side of the valley.

Something's Wrong:
PRIDE: Brother Daniel, a good friend of Steward Eli, takes a nubile young second wife, Sister Leah, as his first one, Sister Bethany, is losing her physical appeal after giving birth to his half-a-dozen kids. And hey, he deserves it - he helped put up that barn last fall, didn't he?

Sister Wandering Star, the adopted Mountain Folk daughter of the Steward, believes her feelings for other women are natural, despite the Book of Life saying different. Eli turns a blind eye to this out of his love for her.
INJUSTICE: Sister Wandering Star toys with the affections and courtship of Brother Caleb in order to get closer to the true object of her affections, Bethany, his older sister. Sister Bethany is ignored by her husband in favour of his new, younger, prettier wife, and has to raise their six children pretty much alone. She begins to appreciate the help and soft words that Sister Wandering Star brings.

SIN: Brother Caleb persuades Sister Wandering Star to sleep with him - they are pretty much married already, right? She falls pregnant that night, and goes to visit Sister Bethany, to ask for advice about her pregnancy and to admit her feelings. She won't let Brother Caleb see her anymore. Sister Wandering Star moves in to the farm to keep a distance between her Brother Caleb and her father, Steward Eli.

Sister Wandering Star and Sister Bethany fall in love with each other and that love turns to lust behind Brother Daniel's back. He doesn't seem to notice one way or the other now, as he is sleeping with Sister Leah all the time now anyway.
DEMONIC ATTACKS: The Demons see a way in and start to make Sister Bethany's children poorly. They are continually crying and demanding attention. At the same time the Demons heighten the passions of all the adults in the town. The leads to an exhausted and desperate Sister Bethany - looking after her kids -  to shoot Brother Daniel with his own shotgun as he sleeps with Sister Leah in their bed. Brother Daniel dies from his wounds and Sister Leah runs back to town in fear.
FALSE DOCTRINE: Brother Caleb has had enough. He believes "A man has a duty to keep his house (and everything else he has Stewardship over) in order. The Book of Life says that you may use as much force as you want to do so."

At the same time, Sisters Bethany and Wandering Star believe that their lustful nights are permitted because "True love between two women is sanctified in the eyes of the King."

CORRUPT WORSHIP: Brother Caleb starts raising a posse around his doctrine that he preaches in the town square. The posse is mostly made up of young men who have been rejected by various women that they have been courting. In addition, Sister Bethany and Sister Wandering Star continue to consummate their lust up in Brother Daniel's farm, believing that they are doing nothing wrong.
FALSE PRIESTHOOD: Brother Daniel's brother, Brother Seth, and the frightened Sister Leah come to Brother Caleb's side during his rants in the town square. They join with him and his corrupt worship out of anger at the death of Brother Daniel.
SORCERY: Brother Caleb, Brother Seth and Sister Leah unwittingly use Sorcery to make Steward Eli fall ill, which makes the townsfolk give Brother Caleb's rants even more support. The anger is whipped up to fever pitch by the time the Dogs arrive in town, and Brother Caleb has formed a posse to march upon Daniel's farmstead up in the hills where Sister Wandering Star, Sister Bethany and her children are hiding out to "cleanse them with fire".

What do the Townsfolk want from the Dogs?
BROTHER CALEB is a young man with a lot of anger who has raised a mob of angry young men who follow him. He is a Sorcerer, but doesn't really realise what's going on - it's just a "red mist" descends over him when he thinks of the injustices that have been committed in this town. He wants the Dogs to agree to his False Doctrine and to make the sick Steward Eli to agree with him too. He believes that his sister, Bethany, was possessed by Demons which made her commit murder and wants the Dogs to exorcise the Demons out of her. He thinks that Sister Wandering Star is in command of these Demons and wants her punished and her baby brought into his care. He also wants the Dogs to marry him and Sister Leah so that they can bring this baby up together as their own.

SISTER BETHANY is consumed with guilt over killing her husband, Brother Daniel, and wants the Dogs to forgive her Sin. She also wants the Dogs to restore order to the town and make her younger brother, Caleb, calm down and forgive her also. Sister Bethany is convinced that her love for Sister Wandering Star is true and pure and wants the Dogs to marry them so that they can raise her children and Sister Wandering Star's baby together without fear of recrimination.

SISTER WANDERING STAR is a pregnant Mountain Folk convert and the adopted daughter of the Steward, Brother Eli. She knows her father is ill, and wants the Dogs to heal him and restore him to his rightful position. Sister Wandering Star thinks that it could be all Brother Caleb's doing and wants the Dogs to kill him, or at the very least, throw him out of town.

She is living with her lover, Sister Bethany, up in Brother Daniel's old farm. She wants the Dogs to recognise Brother Daniel as a Sinner who mistreated his wife and thus assuage Sister Bethany's guilt over killing him. Sister Wandering Star is convinced that her love for Sister Bethany is true and pure and wants the Dogs to marry them so that they can raise her baby and Sister Bethany's children together without fear of recrimination.

STEWARD ELI is an old gunfighter who adopted Sister Wandering Star as a child after his service in the Territorial Authority army. A man who has put violence behind him, he believes that the King of Life has a plan for us all. He is not sure if his recent illness is part of that plan, and wants the Dogs to try and make him well again and restore order to the town. He also wants to be told that he is a good Steward and that this situation wasn't his fault.

He wants the Dogs to forgive his daughter her Sins and marry her to Brother Caleb so they can raise their child together, like good folk should. He wants the Dogs to punish Sister Bethany severely for killing Brother Daniel and corrupting his daughter. Finally, it would please him if the Dogs could wed Sister Leah and Brother Seth so that Sister Bethany's children can be brought up by them as their own.

SISTER LEAH   is a nubile, shyly pretty girl who is easily led (I'm thinking of Saffron from the first part of Our Mrs. Reynolds if I'm honest). She wants the Dogs to punish Sister Bethany for killing Brother Daniel in what she thinks was a fit of jealous rage. As she is a widow now too, she would like the Dogs to marry her to Brother Daniel's nephew, Brother Caleb, who can support her. She does not want to look after any children - and will refuse to do so if asked by the Dogs or anyone else. Finally, she thinks that Brother Caleb is a strong leader and that the Dogs should appoint him as Steward over the ill Brother Eli.

BROTHER SETH is the nephew of the late Brother Daniel, and his closest living relative in town. He wants the Dogs to agree with Brother Caleb's doctrine and to appoint him as Steward over that weakling Eli. He thinks that the Dogs should restore order to the town and make Womenfolk obey men again, and if they don't, well he will have to take matters into his own hands. He also wants the Dogs to kill Sister Bethany as she killed his uncle, and to bring her children to him to care for. He will not believe that Brother Daniel was anything less than a fine man and would like the Dogs to offer prayers for him as an honourable man. Finally, he wants to marry the pretty Sister Leah as they seem to be hitting it off well enough, and she seems like the kind of woman who takes orders well.

What do the Demons want the Dogs to do?
Appoint Brother Caleb as Steward and allow the anger of the mob to lead to wife-beatings and the menfolk running amok. Eventually the town will consume itself in self-righteous fire as brother turns against brother.

What Would Happen if the Dogs Never Came?
Brother Caleb would lead his posse up to the farmstead where Sister Wandering Star, Sister Bethany and her children are living and raze it to the ground. Sister Wandering Star and some of the children would die in the flames but Caleb would drag his sister out of the inferno to try and conduct an 'exorcism' upon her. There would be an argument between him, Brother Seth and Sister Leah about this which would end in bloodshed and after Eli dies due to his illness, the town will collapse upon itself in angry recrimination.