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Franklin Fortner

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About Franklin Fortner

ID Card

  • Role
    Supporting Character
  • Playby
    Brian Donlevy
  • Full Name
    Franklin Fortner
  • Goes By
  • Profession
  • Position
  • Birth Date
  • Status
  • Height
  • Hair Color
  • Eye Color

Physical Description

Proper, proportional build --- not flabby.  Good posture.  Keen eyes.

Traits & Characteristics

Razor keenness.   Affable on the outside, but very self-serving.  When he says that you're his friend -- watch out!  He is a gambler.


He is a salesman.  Not in the traditional sense but more like someone who sells people phony stock certificates, or someone who ropes people in to becoming partners in get rich schemes.


Sleight of hand - smooth talking - cheating at cards.

Aliases / Nicknames


Kith & Kin

Life Events

He is an "associate" of Judge Hiram Priest Esq.   They have both prospered from other-than-legal schemes.

Character Notes

Player Notes

Other Characters by this Player

  • Esquire
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    Samual S. Hinds
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  • Horace Potee
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    Eye Color
    Dark brown
  • Maude Potee
  • NPC
  • 9 posts
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    Eye Color
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  • Micah McGregor
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    Jock Ewing
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Recent Posts

  1. Franklin Fortner
    The Star Dust was unusually quiet that night.  It was so much as it was vacant as the patrons were more quiet than usual.  Maybe it was the weather?  Summer storm clouds were gathering.
    "All right.  Why are we here?" Began Franklin, rhetorically. "We are going to offer a great opportunity to townsfolk who wouldn't know opportunity if it knocked them on the head.  That's where you guys come in."   Cadwaller and Fink nodded.  They knew the score.   "So what do we have?  We have 200 shares of stock authorized to be sold in the Montana Mining and Mineral Company.  Of course I've got 2,000 shares.  Hiram over there has 2,000, and each of you has 1,000.  It's imperative that these people feel they're getting in on something big.  Of course, we know it's big.  And, do you know what?  They'll all make money on it.  Of course not as much as we will.  But they won't know that."
    "We have the blank stock certificates back at the hotel," Cadwaller said.  "They look very official." 
    Fortner was please.  "What I'll do tomorrow is wait until the saloon's packed, then I will introduce you guys and tell them to listen to you because it could be the start of something big.   After all, you guys could sell an Eskimo and snowball in a blizzard.  I'm counting on you to..."
    They stopped when that girl, Grimes came in, hesitantly.
    "Who the hell is THAT?" Mason Fink asked.  "I thought Buffalo Bill's freak show's already left town." 
    They all laughed.
    Tonight as she walked in, her stick click clacking as she felt out for obstacles inside the swing doors, she heard voices both familiar, Mr Fortner, her actual employer, and two strangers. The fact that they dropped a decibel or two as she came in (everybody assumed that, being blind, she had supersonic hearing) told her that they were probably up to no good. Unfortunately, that was a sad fact about working at the saloon. She couldn't help not seeing any evil; she tried, as ever, to do no evil; but it was very hard to hear no evil in a place like The Stardust. 
    "She works here, --- sort of," Fortner said.  "Just a minute."
    "Hey Frances?  You want me to get Caroline for ya?" he called.
  2. Franklin Fortner
    Mature Content: No
    Author: Preston
    With: Franklin Fortner - Judge Priest for starters
    Location: Start Dust Saloon
    When: September 1876
    Time of Day: Afternoon

    A couple of weeks had passed since the hubbub caused by Horace Potee's disastrous poker game and the subsequent loss of his homestead and the suicide of his wife, Maude. 
    Arabella had left her employment but with a promise to come by from time to time to play the piano --- not too much evidence of that, yet.
    Business at the Star Dust was brisk.  Franklin Fortner's ownership had not quelled the busy traffic of patrons.  Just he opposite, business was brisker than usual.  A card room had been created in one of the back rooms, -- less noisy interference from drunk cowboys. 
    Then one day, something happened that would set the direction of things for some time to come.
    In through the swinging doors of the saloon came two gents -- city slickers, some would say.  They were flinty and hard, not powder puffs.  Loudmouth drunks shied away from them, wisely.   One's name was Luther Cadwaller and the other was Mason Fink.  Cadwaller was tall, chiseled, graying and impressive in his fancy big-city clothes.   Fink was compact, with a close cropped beard and the clothes of a dandy from his shiny shoes to his derby hat.  He proudly proclaimed that his ancestor was Mike Fink the famous roustabout and keel boatman from the dirtiest and most sinful and most dangerous town during the early 1800's:  Natchez, Mississippi. 
    They were businessmen, speculators and investors, to be specific.  They were called to Kalispell by Franklin Fortner and Hiram Priest (soon to be running for Mayor).  The men were acquaintances and had worked together in the past for "mutual advantages" as they liked to say.   Though appearing friendly to one another in Kalispell, their relationship seemed subdued and not palsy-walsy, just all business.
    They had an opportunity for the people of Kalispell, an investment opportunity, and when the timing was right, they'd preach that evangel.
    Franklin Fortner met them at the bar.  He greeted them as if they were important personages and, to Fortner's and Priest's thinking, they were.  They were important because they had roles to play in this carefully crafted scheme.  They were as important to this scheme as Judas was in the promise of mankind's salvation.  He, some would say, that of all the Disciples, he was the most necessary and the most loyal.
    "What can I get you gentlemen?" Fortner asked the men, but immediately turned to Ralph.  "A bottle of our best whiskey." 
    Fink reached into his inside coat pocket and drew out some greenbacks.  Two landed on the bar.
  3. Franklin Fortner
    Franklin was unmoved by his employee's apology.  Far too much planning, law breaking and luck had gotten him and Priest this close to success to have a chatterbox split tail ruin it for them now.
    It was news to him that she was planning on working for the Undertaker, but he was glad.  It saved him having to fire her and come off looking like a villain. 
    "I hope you forgive me. And I'll never do it again." she finished, looking close to tears and wringing her hands. She though that was a nice touch, wringing her hands, though she'd rather be wringing his neck.
    "Just make sure you don't, he warned.
    That night, up in his office, Fortner and Hiram Priest were in close discussion about what their next steps would be.
    They came to a decision that neither of them could be seen as swooping in and finding the vein of gold.  It would sure as Hell raise suspicions about the origins of their good luck.
    What they would do is form a Company as silent owners/partners.  It would be the Montana Mining and Timber Consortium.  They would sign up some people as investors, but the two conspirators would own all shares of stock, 50-50. 
    "If we get some decent townsfolk in on it, they would appreciate the dividends if we hit a lode," Priest conjectured, as though there was any question that they'd hit a lode.
    "Who can we get to be the salesman?  We can't be seen as having a hand in it," Fortner asked. 
    Priest rubbed his chin before stuffing more tobacco in his cheeks.  "We can get Addison Whitworth," he concluded once he could talk.  "He's the perfect salesman, Franklin."
     It had been a long day.  Priest went out the back to head to his hotel room, and Franklin headed back downstairs to finish things up.
    The place was deserted, it being 1 a.m..   Only Ralph was there, behind the counter, tidying things up.  So, Franklin went over and leaned heavily on it.
    "Ralph.  Why don't we have a nightcap?  Break out the good stuff."
  4. Franklin Fortner
    Speak of the Devil, the girl from the mountains came back in right then, having been to Jolly's. She wanted to avoid Fortner and Priest if possible, but she needed to report in about Mrs Potee. She approached the pair with a disingenuous smile.
    When Priest saw her heading their way, he said headed back to his table and his cards.
    Fortner faced her, his hands clasping his coat lapels.
    "Howdy Mr F." she said, feigning a familiar affection for the snake. "I just been over to Jolly's, him and the boy Raymond were just setting off with their little cart. He asked if I can please go over there tonight and help wash and dress poor Mrs Potee." she asked on the undertaker's behalf. "Seein' as she ain't got no kinfolks what's ladies round here." Normally a female relative would do that task. 
    "Look it," Fortner said icily.  "I don't much give a damn what you do with that hag.  I've got a business to run and you've been throwing wrenches in the works all day.  Now I don't know what you saw or what you THINK you saw, but that stupid sodbuster got so drunk he drove his hag to the grave and then he lost his homestead."
    He turned and bolted back the remainder of his whiskey and continued.
    "I've been nothing but nice to you.  I've let you have the run of the place.  Hell!  You did whatever you wanted;  played the piano, sang, worked in the kitchen, whatever you did you didn't have anyone on  your back about it.  Hiram over there tells me you've been spinning tales and suppositions about what went on here today, and Mr. F don't like it."
  5. Franklin Fortner
    At the very moment when Franklin Fortner and Marshall Guyer were in discussions, some of the men, dispatched from the Star Dust, arrived at the Potee homestead.  They came upon Horace who was curled up in prenatal position in front of the cabin steps.  The door was opened to the cabin's interior where the slowly twisting figure of Mrs. Potee hung. 
    Within thirty minutes, the men had cut down the tragic figure of Maude Potee and loaded her on a buckboard.  Rigor mortis had set in, and she was difficult to lay flat properly.  When Horace finally had the strength to stand up, he staggered over the buckboard and saw Maude scornfully glaring at him.  The men covered her up, but it was a vision that would never leave him.  So, in the months and years ahead, whenever he thought of Maude, which was often, he always saw her stare of condemnation. 
    Mounted, and ready to leave for town with the corpse, one of the men slapped the ass of the mare pulling the wagon. 
    Fortner slapped the empty whiskey glass on the bar and asked Guyer if there was anything else he needed to know.
    "I've got a business to run, so if we could wrap this up, I'd be obliged."
  6. Franklin Fortner
    "I figured that you oughta know about it.  You see, some of the boys think that maybe Potee had something to do with it.  The last we saw of his missus, they were yellin' at each other, right here in the Star Dust.  She lit outta here like her hair was on fire, and he was so drunk he could hardly sit upright at the card table.  So, I've done my civic duty by callin' you in on it."
    "Yes, as acting County Sheriff it would fall to me to investigate." Card table, and drunk as a lord? Now why would he be at the card table? So they were at each other in here, were they?"
    Again, the sneaky bar-owner was making himself sound like some kind of a saint! Arabella was too scared of Fortner, Priest and his cronies to say anything, though: she just hoped Jesus would forgive her for her pusillanimous behavior. 
    "They certainly WERE at each other.  All the patrons heard  'em,"  Fortner insisted.  "From what I understand, Horace Potee was betting all his spring planting money in hopes of growing it bigger.  And she, being a good Christian woman, was trying like Hell to pull him away from the table.  Finally he ordered her out the saloon, and she went."
    "A terrible business," intoned Priest, gravely.
    "Yes sir, it is, now there's an orphan to be concerned about." Speed pointed out. "On top of everything else the child has no family, no parents, and, no home."
    Arabella reached the bar with the empties at this point and put them on a tray to take out back to the kitchen to wash. Listening to that old rattlesnake priest join in this chorus of hypocrisy was almost too much to bear: her own silence on the matter made her feel as dirty and unclean as the glasses. 
    "Thanks Arabella for coming to fetch me." He called to her, then, "I'll be riding out to the Poteets, to have a look around. Did you say you brought the body in for Mister Jolly?"
  7. Franklin Fortner
    "Afternoon. Mister Fortner wanted to see me?" He announced. as  he waited for his eyes to adjust in the dimness of the saloon.
    By then, Hiram Priest, had made his way to stand beside Fortner and Hannaberry, mouth full of tobacco.
    "Why yes," Fortner answered.  "Mr. Hannaberry here says he was out at the Potee place and found Potee's missus hanging inside their cabin, and Potee a'sittin'  on the porch in a drunken stupor.  I sent some of the boys out to help cut her down, seein' that it was the Christian thing to do."
    Hannaberry nodded his agreement while Fortner spoke.
    "I figured that you oughta know about it.  You see, some of the boys think that maybe Potee had something to do with it.  The last we saw of his missus, they were yellin' at each other, right here in the Star Dust.  She lit outta here like her hair was on fire, and he was so drunk he could hardly sit upright at the card table.  So, I've done my civic duty by callin' you in on it."
    "A terrible business," intoned Priest, gravely.
  8. Franklin Fortner
    "And we never did find that steer!" laughed Fortner, delivering the punchline to one of his tales from his Kansas days.
    Hannaberry slapped his knee and laughed loudly, his worry over the Potee situation salved by three whiskeys.  "You got more tales than the Good Book has, Mr. Fortner!" Hannaberry managed to say after the laughter. 
    Fortner had as many drinks as Hannaberry, but it had no affect on his mental acuity.   He was capable of downing copious amounts of liquor with very little change in speech or movement. 
    His face froze in its pleasant configuration as the saloon doors swung open and the Marshall walked in, Arabella trailing behind, eyes bloodshot. 
    "Good Afternoon, Marshall," he greeted.
  9. Franklin Fortner
    What can I do for you, Mr Fortner?" she asked, smiling brightly and fluttering her eyelashes.  
    Hannaberry, wiped his mouth with his sleeve.  "Just what I needed," he said, setting his empty glass on the bar. 
    "Ooooh, do you want me to fetch you another one, Mister Hannaberry?" Arabella asked proactively. 
    She deliberately avoided the subject that had brought the odd looking man in here.
    "No no," Fortner said.  "You seem to know your way around town.  And, I'm wondering if you'd run down to the Marshall's office for us and tell him to hustle over here 'cause we got some news for him.  I'd go down there myself but ...  Well, I've already sent some of the boys out to Potee's place, and I've got a business to run."
    He smiled at her.  "Whaddya say?"
  10. Franklin Fortner
    "Sheriff Pike? No one has seen him for a long time now. He and his wife left for California or someplace after gettin' married. Ain't been back since.  You want law in this town, yer gonna have to go the Marshal, he's got a place, down the street."
    "Thanks, Ralph."  Fortner began to appreciate his bartender's reticence.  It was good to know that the man could keep his mouth shut. 
    He raised his voice.  "Arabella!"  She was still tickling the ivories, but he could put her to better use.  "Come here.  Will you?"
    Hannaberry, wiped his mouth with his sleeve.  "Just what I needed," he said, setting his empty glass on the bar. 

About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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