AP: Dust and Bullets

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AP: Dust and Bullets
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:13:32 AM »
Hi, AW. Long time listener, first time caller...

Tonight on infrno.net, I am starting an AW campaign consisting of myself and five players. I've been doing a little setting prep over the last two weeks, gathering my players, and generally tooling up. The players have been having a good time choosing their playbooks and naming their sexy little survivors, but otherwise I have kept a strict policy of saving all the other character specific discussion for the table. They have done a nice job of creating some polaroid-like character portraits for their profiles though.

I also plan to screencast our sessions as we go. In the absence of a volunteer to keep session notes, I think it might help us keep track of the exploits.

Quote
The continent is a dust bowl. Without vegitation to anchor it, the topsoil long ago dried out and blew away. Powerful and turbulent jet-streams left over from the apocalypse cause racing winds that drive the dust and sand before it, constantly shifting the landscape, burying settlements, and uncovering the remnants of others.

Survivors have devised ways to escape the shifting desert of choking dust; but there is no running from the fine grit gets into everything. Most settlements have moved into deep breaks in the ground, or bury themselves beneath it, to shelter everything from the blasting force of the storms. The largest settlements are down in the canyons; great cracks and divides that allow the survivors to seek shelter below the terrible winds without totally sealing themselves away from the dirty brown sky that never seems to clear; a hazy orb passes overhead each day as light filters through from the sun...

...the sun...

The oldest of us claim to remember what it looks like on a clear blue day. They say it was bright--too bright to look at, and a burning with every color you could think of. Braggarts and liars claim to have seen it, once, through an unlikely break in the "dusty winter" as they daringly crossed topside. Fuck them; they have never seen it. They only say so to try and snatch a piece of ass. Truth is, they are too cowardly to cross topside; one slow step and the next blast-storm would etch the flesh from your bones and turn your skeleton into so much grit in the cloud. You never know if the dust you are choking on is all that's left of fools that try.

Truth is, none of remembers what the sun looks like, and even the old ones don't talk about the stars. It's all too much to bear thinking about.

Dramatic Characters:
  • Whit - Driver
  • Wyndham - Operator
  • Echo - Brainer
  • Stagger - Battlebabe
  • Sic Boy(pending) - Gunlugger

I'll update here as able, and invite my players to do the same.

Here's a link to the game profile on Infrno.

[Colin, you've used 2-hold. What do you do?]

Re: AP: Dust and Bullets
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 01:28:55 PM »
Who's Colin?

The character pics are great.

Also, great piece of setting there. I can smell the hot dust and feel the grit in my teeth.

*

Chris

  • 342
Re: AP: Dust and Bullets
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 09:32:06 PM »
Sweet game, man. Just got bookmarked and I'll be reading along!
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Session 1
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 09:40:55 PM »
Session 1

Sic Boy, having come to New Tuscon tailing a thug (Snake of the Dog Heads), finds herself with temporary employ as a bouncer at the Hole in the Wall. It is here that Stagger is quietly passing some time in the company of one of the few "honest" folks in the canyon town, the owner Mother Mabel. Wyndam has just returned from a wet-work gig and is on his way to collect his jingle from the contractor and town "benefactor", Vicious, who controls the water resources as well as New Tuscon's posse, the Vicious Boys. Whit is sparing some TLC for Pony, his rigged out 4 x 4 muscle car while Echo lounges in her small third-level room.

Echo receives a couple of visitors; Benny and Rock, a couple of the Vicious Boys come to take her to see the man himself. They escort her down to the canyon floor and into the old mine where most of New Tuscon has carved out a meager existence. Deep within, where the air is coolest, and the tunnels are lit with dim electric lights, Vicious keeps his quarters. He's a lanky, almost emaciated figure, with a broken sneer of a grin and wild eyes. He offers Echo some fresh, clean water and proceeds to woo her into his employ, an exchange to which Echo is no stranger and weary from; a figure of her talents no self-respecting hardholder can do without. She suspects that Vicious plans to have her, else eliminate her before someone else can take her and threaten his rule. So for now, Echo humors him, biding her time, and agrees to stay for dinner.

At the Hole in the Wall, Stagger is quietly sipping his drink at the bar, while the grog-maid, LaLa, serves a trio of Vicious Boys, Mercer, Roark, and Parcher. Sic Boy looks on from a table in the corner, lost in her own thoughts. Mercer starts getting a bit too hands on with LaLa; she's not that kind of commodity, not yet. Stagger looks to Mother Mabel for a cue; no she says, these are Vic's crew and she can't afford to have him snooping into her store-rooms. LaLa smacks Mercer and escapes to the back hall; Mercer follows, telling Roark and Parcher to mind the door -- an exchange that finally gets Sic Boys attention. She offers Roark a taste of her goods, coaxing him into the hall and farther into a side room, shutting the door behind her before crashing the cartilage of his nose up into his brain.

Meanwhile, Stagger tells Parcher how uncivilized they are behaving. Parcher draws a long blade and lunges as Stagger takes a shot with his pistol which goes wide. He takes a in his jacket sleeve, but crunches the butt of his gun right between Parchers eyes. Stunned, Parcher is taken captive and Stagger escorts him back into the hall where LaLa can be heard screaming.

Elsewhere in New Tuscon, Wyndham comes knocking on Vicious' door. He bullies his way past Benny and Rock, interrupting Vic and his "guest", Echo; she's obviously bored. Wyndham presents the hand of Pellet, the mark with one too many IOU's. Vic tosses the hand to his pet bone-hound in the corner and some jingle to the Operator, dismissing him with a reminder "I'll call you when I need you." On his way out, Wyndham shares a non-verbal exchange with the unsettling woman. Are you OK? I'm fine. Need an out? No thanks, I can handle him.[/] He shrugs it off and leaves.

While tinkering on Pony, Whit receives a caller - a hooded, evasive figure that says Barker has a job for him that will pay some jingle if he has his ride on the North road out of town by nightfall, and double if he shuts his mouth and doesn't ask questions. Whit gauges the guy legit in his offer and agrees to the job, turning back to his joy.

Back at the Hole in the Wall, Sic Boy comes out of the room to see Stagger heading back to confront Mercer with Parcher in an arm lock and a gun under his chin. "I'm going to talk some manners into my friends here" he says. Fuck that thinks Sic Boy, and grabs hold of Stagger's hand, "adjusting" the trigger. With Parcers grey spattered on the walls, Stagger shoots her a chilling look, and they head back to save the screaming LaLa. They find her pinned to a dilapidated cot, Mercer holding her down and fumbling with his pants. So distracted, Stagger puts the gun to his temple, demanding that he let the young girl go. Mercer whips around and grabs the barrel; in the struggle, the gun goes off, catching LaLa square in the head. Sic Boy whips out a shooter and wastes Mercer where he lay.

Finally able to escape dinner with Vicious, Echo heads home; it has grown dark outside; well...darker. On her way up the scaffolds to her room, she's confronted by a couple of robed figures, one drawing behind her and poking a scalpel to her spine. He whispers into her ear, "you're coming with us, delicious", his breath reeking of rot. Echo gently reaches back and touches him with her violation glove. Kill him, she says. The man pauses, growls, and lunges at his partner. They grapple for the knife and the puppet is thrown over the rail to break on the canyon floor. Seeing "down" as the surest escape, she runs back down the scaffold, looking for more of the hooded men, thinking to seek refuge behind Vicious' walls; better the devil you know...
-------------

How will Sic Boy and Stagger clean up the mess at the Hole in the Wall without making trouble for Mother Mabel and her black market business? How is Sic Boy going to swallow Vicious' want for Echo, a woman that she holds a tender spot for? Will Echo make it to Vic before she's caught, and what will his protection cost her? And what kind of trouble will Whit's fare bring his way? Will Sic Boy be able to pick up Snakes scent in New Tuscon and follow him to the front door of the Dog Heads?


Meanwhile, Whit idles on the road out of town, waiting for his fare and his cargo...

Re: AP: Dust and Bullets
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 01:03:05 AM »
Whoa. Looks like this one is going strong. Great scene at the end there.

Re: AP: Dust and Bullets
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 03:22:32 PM »
Stagger and Sic Boy, having wasted three Vicious Boys and LaLa in the back room of Mother Mabels place, Hole In The Wall, needed a plan to dispose of the bodies. Mabel was already regretting letting these two in the door for fear of the retribution it could bring down upon her; all of her black market deals counted on Vicious NOT paying attention to the old woman and her dealings, and these two could blow that clean away. After discussing some various contrived consipiracies and hack stories, they decided on a simple solution -- pack the bodies in one of Mother Mabels grog barrels, roll them out to the old sulphur shafts, and dump them down a pit. Fortunately, the dust storms were on their side tonight and the scouring blow overhead yielded sufficient cover to keep folks indoors and mask their activity. Sic Boy met with a tense moment as anothe Vicious Boy prowled into the bar while he was wheeling out one of the corpses. Sic Boy, with her stature and hatchet face, cowed the thug and she went on her way to warn Stagger before making trip deuce.

Meanwhile, Echo was fleeing from her attackers. At the bottom of the scaffolding, she opened her mind to the Maelstrom, and time slowed down. The grit and sand filled her essence and left behind a grain that whispered to her, "Whit is outside town, waiting for you..." Heeding the voice of the storm, Echo ran South through town.

Whit idled just outside town, reclined on the hood of The Pony. He heard a faint commotion and watched as Echo came running through the dust persued by several figures that dressed similar to the stranger that had hired him. He jumped into the car and fired it up; shortly after, Echo dove into the passenger seat. "Whatever you're being paid to wait here, I'll double it! Now drive!" Whit argued with himself for the briefest moment: break his word on the gig, or wait here for the men to catch up? Figuring that the other guy hadn't bothered to leave a down-payment for services, he said, "Deal" and spurred The Pony off into the stormy night, leaving the persuers in choking wake.

Having retired to their own hovels following the cleanup at the Hole In The Wall, Stagger and Sic Boy laid low. Sic Boy cleaned her guns, and Stagger dropped Sunshine (a drug made from ketamine and the poison sap of the trap bush) and lost himself in warmer memories. The next morning, Sic Boy went off in search of some company with Echo at her place, adn Stagger visited the marketplace to find a new jacket to replace the one ripped in his fight with Parcher; not to mention the blood...

While about the market, he listens to the morning chatter. Some disturbances late last night, with some strangers about town. And the gearhead that keeps a garage on the other side of town took off roaring into the night. Dumb shit probably got himself wasted driving out at night in the middle of a storm. Roarks woman was also saying the prick hadn't come home last night, and she was going to skin him when she found him. Stagger was thankful that it had been a busy night...

Out in the canyons, Whit had pulled up a few miles outside town to wait out the storm and give Echo some time to decide where she wanted to go. She had no idea who the guys were that attacked her, but between that, and Vicious' increasing pressure, time to leave town, she thought. She asked Whit to take her back to New Tuscon right away so she could pack some crap and get out while she could. The canyons aren't the safest places to be travelling; moreso when there's a storm on. It got rough on Whit during the drive, and he arrived in New Tuscon with the morning light and a flat tire on The Pony. He pulled it into his garage, planning to change it once Echo was sorted, and offered to escort her up to her place. Outside the garage, they were confronted by a bone-hound; Echo was horrified to notice that the beast wore a collar...this was Vicious' animal! Whit attempted to scare it off, but he only served to provoke it into an attack. It latched onto his leg, but failed to penetrate Whit's thick pants. Whit laid his shotgun down over the things spine and separated it's front from it's rear. Not daring to stick around, he tossed the carcass into the garage and locked the door. He attempted to cover the mess left outside, but damn! that bloody spray was everywhere! Instead they hurried off to Echo's place.

Thinking to skate town as well, Stagger went by Whits place looking to hire him out. The only thing he found was a locked garage and a patch of sticky gore in the dust. With few options, he opened his brain to the Maelstrom, but he was unprepared for the flood of emotion that snapped into him as the storm filled his being. It left him stunned and evasive, the memory of himself putting a bullet through the brain-pan of his own sister still fresh in his mind. Perhaps Echo could help him get a grip on his shit...

Up at Echo's apartment, Whit made to barge in and clear the place while she waited outside, but Echo hushed him to wait. Once again opening herself to the whispers in the storm, gasped and a chill ran up her spine as it spoke to her.  Vicious is inside, waiting for you my darling...

Dust and Bullets Session 3
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 02:03:51 PM »
With Vicious inside Echos apartment, Echo and Whit paused at the kicked in door. Echo decided that she would go inside and handle Vicious while Whit guarded the door and should come in if it sounds like things are getting nasty. She strolled in to find Vicious lounging in her chair, but had made a dangerous mistake…Vicious was not alone. A couple of his brutes, Benny and Rock, flanked the inner doorway and moved in to restrain her. Echo immediately reached out to their minds and spoke to them silently, Back away. Rock hesitated and backed up, presumably after seeing the look in her eye, but Benny resisted. She continued to press towards Echo as her nose began to bleed and grabbed her arm, twisting it behind her back. Echo attempted to reach around with her violation glove, but Vicious was ready; he knew what she was capable of, for that was the reason he pursued her so relentlessly. Seeing her move, Vicious jumped up and grabbed her wrist, pressing her against the wall. "Not so fast, love" he said. Again, Echo reached out and told Benny and Vicious to release her. Benny began to scream, smashing her head into the wall, but never letting go.  Vicious only smiled a knowing smile, then bashed Echo in the head, knocking her cold.

Outside, Sic Boy walked up the scaffolding to Echo's place to find Whit, the driver that had once left her for dead out in the canyon, standing outside Echo's door, tension on his face and a shotgun in his hand. "What the fuck are you doing here?" Whit motioned for Sic Boy to be quiet and motioned inside the apartment "Vicious is here." Just perfect, thought Sic Boy, I came to try to find out if Vicious knew about us wasting his guys last night, and here he is…does he know? A scream pealed out of the apartment. Fuck it, she decided. Echo's in there, and if I just waste Vicious I won't have to worry about what the prick knows. She pulls out her SMG and the two of them move in quick as cats.

Meanwhile, Wyndham had a job to do. He'd found a message in one of his dead-drops, the one at a nearby hotel where some of the anonymous jobs came in. "Kill Vicious' lieutenant, Rose," it had read. Cool. Now…where is Rose? He walked through town hoping to spy her somewhere, but New Tuscon was eerily void of the Vicious Boys this morning. Nobody in the market had seen her either. Wyndham decided to head straight to the top, and go see Vicious about her. When he got to Vicious' place, deep in the mine where it's cool (and defensible) he found nobody home. Not wanting to spend the day chasing shadows, he opened his mind, hoping to gain a bit of intuition on where he might find Vicious. The sandstorm filled his being, but instead of speaking to the Maelstrom, it began to rape his memory.

Stewart. She was my partner. The one person I felt I could trust in this dismal life. Between us, there was no gig we couldn't cash in on! But my debts grew deep and I was desperate. Obviously they knew that. So when the job came in for me to liquidate her, what choice did I have? It was me or Stewart at that point, and she didn't even know it. I put a bullet through her heart, cleared my tab, and left town.

The memory left Wyndham enraged. If I can't find Rose or Vicious, I'll bring the bastard to me! That woman he was with last night…Echo. If I have her, then he'll be soon to come! Wyndham set off for her place like a rising storm, mirroring the fresh sandstorm that was darkening the morning sky.

Whit moved in first, low and careful. He popped around the door, quickly reading the situation. The woman, Benny, was beating her own face bloody against the wall, while the slime-bucket Vicious was lofting the unconscious Echo over his shoulder. "Get him!" shouted Vicious. Whit took a chance and fired his shotgun, but the slug from Rock's pistol punched into his shoulder, taking his shot off the mark. Whit managed to shoot off half of Vicious' foot, causing him to scream and drop Echo. By carefully watching Whit as he clocked the targets in the room, Sic Boy knew where her threats were. She stepped into the doorway and cut down Rock in a precision stream of bullets. Wounded, Whit found cover behind the chair. Benny was beginning to recover, but seeing the bloody remains of Rock, and the screaming of Vicious, she hesitated--that was all that Sic Boy needed. She placed a careful shot right through Benny's brain-pan, ending the girl right there.

Wyndham heard the gunfire before he saw where it was coming from. He drew his pistol and ran into Echos apartment, only to find Sic Boy between him and Vicious. "Get out of my way!" he told her. Sensing something dangerous about the haggard man, Sic Boy moved. Vicious took this as opportunity to try and make a break for it, and lunged at the doorway, only to stumble straight into the furious Wyndham who grabbed him by the mohawk, gun pressed under his chin. "Where's Rose?" growled Wyndham.

"Get me outta here alive, and I'll hand her to you." offered Vicious. Wyndham glanced to Sic Boy who was calmly fingering the trigger of her machine gun. He raised a questioning eyebrow to her, and Sic Boy shook her head.

"Let's tie him to a chair, old man, and make him tell us what we wanna know." The imperceptible threat from Sic Boy cut through the burning haze in Wyndhams head.

"Fine. But you better not kill him before he tells you where Rose is. I still have a damn job to do."

By now, Echo was coming around, and Whit grunted from behind the chair, "A little help?" Wyndham and Sic Boy secured Vicious to the chair, and then Wyndham helped Whit out of the apartment to go see a guy he knows about stitches and a couple narcostabs. Sic Boy turned to Vicious, a wry grin on her face. "What were you doing here, Vic?"

Vicious was beginning to pale, maybe from the blood loss. "Fuck you, hag." Sic Boy kicked him in the bleeding foot, causing him to scream again. But before she could do more, a massive shudder rippled through the very walls of the canyon, shaking pebbles and dirt from the ceiling. Immediately, Echo reached out to the Maelstrom, What's wrong?

The towns water reservoir, it whispered back. The one down in the mines. The Vicious Boys have blown it.

Dust and Bullets Session 4
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 02:46:16 PM »
(To help catch him up, and solve some continuity issues I was about to face, Staggers role in this session overlaps the previous session, bringing the party back together at the end.)

After having been unable to find Whit at his garage, passes through town. The air thickens as the storm that's blowing topside throws down dust and sand, so most of the town is shuttered indoors. Still, it's eerily abandoned. Off in the distance, he hears the muffled report of gunfire and some shouting. Investigating, Stagger sees some shrouded figures stationed outside of the main mine entrance - definitely not Vicious Boys. He approaches them cautiously, and tells them that, whatever they are up to, he has no love for Vicious and might be of some assistance. After weighing his claim, they take him inside to meet Barker.

--
Back up in Echo's flat, Wyndham returns to find Sic Boy going to work on Vicious who is tied to a chair and dying. They don't have much more use for the man, but Wyndham still needs to find Rose and claim her head for his client. They figure that if it was the Vicious Boys that set off the rumble which had shaken the canyon, she'd probably be in the thick of it. If it WASN'T the Vicious Boys, no doubt they'd be trying to stop whomever it was. Wyndham gives Vicious his last goodnight by way of a bullet to the head, and they head down to mines where only the Boys were allowed to go.

--
Stagger was led through the mineshafts, occasionally passing posted guards (all dressed in the same robes and sporting sharp, filed teeth -- cannibals no doubt), and a number of cooling corpses belonging to Vicious' crew. Scaffolding and walkways led down a deep vertical shaft to a sub-level. He was led through a few side tunnels and into a small area carved from the rock. Several of the cannibals who were attempting to take over New Tuscon were crouched behind a backstop that bracketed a set of old mine-car tracks leading further in, where the occasionally gunshot was heard. Off in a small room to the side was Barker, thin, shirtless, and leering. Stagger repeated his offer to help; obviously there was a bit of a standoff here, and he could help lead Barkers men through the tunnels and take the Vicious Boys by surprise. Doubting his intentions, Barker offered him a deal. He took Stagger to a nearby pile of dead cannibals and carved off a hunk of meat, offering it to him. Politely, Stagger declined. Barker shook his head, unsurprised. "I knew you were false. Boys, take him!"

Stagger smashed one of the nearby thugs across the bridge of his nose, bulling his way past. He made his way to the barricade, running up the backs and heads of the men sheltered behind it, and ran down the tracks. The cannibals were afraid to give chase, but they managed to land a solid hit with a gunshot before Stagger found an avenue to duck into. Through twists and turns he went, and quickly lost his bearings.

----
Outside the mine entrance, Sic Boy, Wyndham, and Echo found a couple of the cowled cannibal men. Echo recognized their style from the men that had tried to kidnap her the night before. Wyndham cautiously approached with Sic Boy covering him through the gloom of the dusty air; they would have to get indoors soon or risk sucking up too much of the choking dust. "Step aside and you'll not be hurt," warned Wyndham, brandishing his pistol. Judging them no friends, and a good meal to boot, one guard dropped his gun and lunged at him. Wyndham deftly stepped aside, sending the cannibal to his knees. Sic Boy cut the second one down as he was attempting to take Wyndham from behind. Wyndham quickly put a round through his attacker before he could recover.

Having gleaned the way to the reservoir, Echo led them past where Vicious kept his apartments and deep into the mine.

-----
Stumbling through the dark, Stagger eventually heard what sounded like an argument, and a faint light down the tunnel. He drew closer to listen. "We'll not go out like this, Rose! We don't even know if Vicious is still alive. Give me those blasting caps!" "This is what he ordered! He has a plan and I'll not let him down!" Stagger casually entered the short hall, pistol drawn, and surveyed the scene. A handful of Vicious boys were huddled around several crates of old, leeching dynamite, wiring them with detonators. Farther back, the hall opened up into a massive natural cavern where a faint, cool breeze brought the scent of water. A few more Boys carefully watched another entrance, occasionally firing a shot into the darkness.

"Let's not do anything hasty," he said. "Barker has this place blocked off, but I can lead you around, and maybe get out of here."

"Not a chance!" said Rose. "If they are coming for us, we'll take 'em with us!" and grabbed another handful of explosives. I've got to get out of here, thought Stagger. Keeping them covered with his guns, he moved through to the cavern. The Vicious Boys let him go, focused on their grim future. He moved quietly around the rim of the underground lake with black, still water. He managed to sneak up behind the three guarding the passage, taking them by surprise. But his gunshots echoed through the cavern bringing the others screaming. Stagger ran. He followed the twisting passage with the remaining Vicious Boys on his heels, suddenly emerging into a straight tunnel with a set of mine-car tracks. At the other end waited Barker and his cannibals. Seeing no escape, Stagger charged at them, gun blazing in the dark tunnel. Behind him, Rose appeared screaming bloody murder and holding a fistful of old dynamite.

The last thing that Stagger remembers is the deafening concussion, and the blackness that followed.

--------
The air in the mine shaft was cool, but even as they descended the scaffolding, it became choked with dust. Not brown and dirty like the sand up top, but gray and sooty, with a bitter tang on the tongue. Near a sub-level, the scaffolding stopped in a crushed ruin a few feet above the landing. They dropped down and entered the tunnel that was gently spewing dust and smoke.

Inside was a small chamber carved from the stone. One side was collapsed in a pile of rock, and huge cracks rent through the walls. Amid the fallen stones, parts of arms, legs, and heads stuck out at odd angles. After a few moments of searching, Wyndham found the black-clad Stagger buried under some large rocks and debris; unconscious, but alive for now. They dug him free and assessed that he'd at least broken a leg or ankle, and was probably dying, but they had no skill to help him there. They had to get him some aid, and fast! Wyndham also noticed the half crushed head of a woman nearby. Hoping it could at least pass for Rose, he hacked it free from the neck and they all headed for the shaft, Sic Boy carrying Stagger over her shoulders. Wyndham led them to a guy that might be able to help; the same doc that had helped patch up Whit earlier that day.