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Orchard Plains Branch
Topic: Orchard Plains Branch (Read 3380 times)
Orchard Plains Branch
February 15, 2006, 10:03:10 AM »
Here's my second attempt at a town.
I developing this town, I had two goals in mind.
First, I wanted the action to be at a fever pitch when the Dogs show up. This'll force the characters (and the players) into quick action.
Second, I wanted the person being blamed for the town's problems to essentially be innocent.
I think these two elements, in concert, would make for some very interesting play.
Let me know what y'all think. :)
Without further ado...
ORCHARD PLAINS BRANCH
An unusual fungus has infested the town's apple orchard and is making people sick; the first to get sick were some young men who were offered some apple pie. The townsfolk don't know the cause of the sickness, and all hell's breaking loose as a result.
As the Dogs near the town, passing bountiful apple orchards, they see a crowd gathered around a large oak tree (presumably the Town Tree for folks using such in their campaigns). A young, crying girl is lashed to the tree, the top of her dress torn away; a man stands behind her with a long whip. Opposite the whip man is another angry man with rifle raised, poised to gun down the whip man.
Sister Felicity, an eligible young woman, is the best baker in town; and she knows it. Although she's often been caught saying prideful things; she really doesn't mean any harm or offense to any of the other women of the Village.
Sister Grace, the steward's daughter, is an available young woman too; just as is Sister Felicity. Brother Meshach has been courting both Sister Felicity and Sister Grace. Sister Grace has fallen in love with Brother Meshach and thinks she is the better woman for Brother Meshach; "Sister Felicity is prideful", she claims, "and will be nothing but trouble".
An unusual fungus has attacked the orchards this year; the weather conditions were ideal for the fungus to flourish. The townsfolk haven't figured that out yet.
Brother Alden is Sister Felicity's father, and the town's apple farmer. Recently, as the harvest season has approached, brother Alden has picked a few apples that have ripened early.
Sister Felicity used these apples to bake a fabulous apple pie, which she brought to a recent barn raising. Brother Meshach was among the young men to whom Sister Felicity gave a piece of her pie; all the while innocently boasting that it was the best pie at the table.
Sister Felicity's boasting in such a public venue caused serious embarassment to Brother Alden, such that he could not ignore it. Brother Alden's belt swung hard and fast that night, to beat the pride out Felicity.
Of course, the apples in the pie were infected with the fungus, so not long after Brother Meshach, and the other men who ate of the pie, fell ill. Rumors began to spread throughout the village about how Sister Felicity's pride remains and that is the reason the men have fallen ill and remain so.
*Disunity*: Sister Grace has been campaigning to her father, Brother Josephus, to convince him that Sister Felicity is the root cause of the men's illness, and that she deliberately poisoned the pie to prevent Brother Meshach from marrying Sister Grace.
*Violence*: Feeling pressure from Brother Josephus' to make sure that Sister Felicity is acting like a proper woman of the Faith, Brother Alden has whipped Sister Felicity almost every night since the barn raising, claiming that if her pride were eliminated the men would have recovered. Sister Felicity has acted like a model woman since her first beating on the night of the barn raising; Brother Alden has noted her good behaviour and is heartbroken at having to beat her, but knows that he would lose face with the townsfolk if they felt he wasn't respecting Brother Josephus' opinions.
The Demons, feeding on sister Felicity's suffering, have taken the opportunity to make the orchard fungus flourish, and to hasten the ripening of the apples to accelerate the harvest.
As the apple harvest continues, apples are being shared around the community. More and more people are falling ill.
The steward is becoming increasingly convinced of all of his daughter's claims. He believes that "The only way to save the town is to cleanse Sister Felicity of her Sin". Of course, in this town, at least, a 'cleansing' means almost certain death for the one so cleansed.
Brother Josephus knows that Brother Alden has been beating Felicity due to his pressuring; he's certain that Brother Alden would not agree to Sister Felicity's 'cleansing'.
On this fateful morning after the end of the apple harvest, Brother Alden has decided to head out of town for a bit of a hunt. Brother Josephus takes the oppotunity to gathers a few townsmen and to perform the sister Felicity's cleansing in Brother Alden's absence.
The cleansing ritual typically consists of lashing the one to be cleansed to a tree, exposing their back, and whipping them until the cleanser (usually the steward) feels that the Sin has left them; usually, by this point, the cleansed are close to death and will die soon afterwards. Such a death is, however, considered, since the person's soul is considered clean.
*HATE & MURDER*
Brother Josephus, whose distemper is exacerbated by his daughter words, is unlikely to stop the cleansing until Sister Felicity is at death's door.
However, Brother Alden, returns from his hunt just the cleansing is nearing its end. Sister Felicity leans painfully against the tree, tears flowing down her reddened cheeks. Her torso is bare for all to see; her back is horrifyingly lacerated. A brisk, cold, autumn wind blows across her back, intensifying the pain. Brother Alden is horrified at the scene, and in anger raises his rifle to Brother Josephus, demanding that he stop this nonsense immediately.
This is when the Dogs show up...
==What do the Townsfolk want from the Dogs?==
*Brother Josephus* wants the Dogs to sanction the cleansing, and allow him to finish the ritual. he also wants the Dogs to cure the sick townsfolk.
*Brother Alden* wants the Dogs to recognize that Felicity has repented her Sins, to bring an early end to the cleansing, and to forgive and bless her, and heal her wounds.
*Sister Felicity* wants the Dogs to heal her, and forgive her Sins.
*Sister Grace* wants the Dogs to marry her and Brother Meshach. She also wants the Dogs to let the cleansing be finished (so as to eliminate the competition in the pursuit of Brother Meshach's heart).
*Brother Meshach* (and the other sick tonsfolk) wants the Dogs to cure his illness.
==What do the Demons want the Dogs to do?==
The Demons want the Dogs to proclaim that Felicity is the root cause of the town's problem, and that she should be cleansed. They want the Dogs to proclaim that Brother Alden should be cleansed for opposing Sister Felicity's cleansing, and threatening Brother Josephus.
They want the Dogs to proclaim that the illness are indeed the result of Sin, so as to keep their attention away from the real cause (the orchard fungus).
==What Would Happen if the Dogs Never Came?==
If the Dogs never showed up, Brother Alden would shoot and kill Brother Josephus. The townsmen would tackle and subdue Brother Alden.
They would then finish Sister Felicity's cleansing; leaving her alive to suffer painfully for a few hours before finally dying.
After Sister Felicity's Cleansing, they would lash Brother Alden to the tree and perform a cleansing on him as well; also effectively killing him.
Several of the sick townsfolk would die of the fungal poisoning, which would worsen morale of the townsfolk. The fungal poisoning would continue to claim lives, and the town's deepening paranoia about sin causing the illnesses would eventually destroy the town entirely.
Leo M. Lalande
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