From early childhood at the instruction of his mother, Case was taught that he was better than anyone not associated with his family. His other complexes and disorders began to show up early as well. Case was unable to feel remorse for the things that he had done to others, feeling he had the ‘right’ to do whatever he wanted. This was where his superiority complex blossomed. Followed in short order by his narcissistic disorder reared its ugly head.
However, it was when he got older and had a gun that he became a man to fear, even if one thought they were his friend. The exceptions are the Steelgraves, for whom he would do anything, and possibly already has without the family knowing.
Case Steelgrave is handsome and charming. He is also a cold-blooded killer. If met on the street or in a social setting, most people would say, “He’s so handsome and pleasant. I just can’t believe he’d kill anyone that wasn’t threatening him.”
As a child living in St. Louis, Case was fascinated with the tales of life out west. He wanted the glamorous life of a high stakes gambler and the homage he perceived to be accorded to gunfighters. Case also has avoided jail by always managing to goad his target into drawing first, therefore the killings have all been in self-defense.
Case is always well dressed in the latest style. Having taken on the role of town marshal in Whitefish, he takes great pride in displaying the shining badge on the breast of his jacket or vest. He’s finding that being a marshal gives him a perfect niche for continuing his true calling, being the most feared gunman that ever lived. His most distinctive feature is his voice. It is deep. rather slow in intonation, and very classy. The accent is rather undefined but is most similar to the British accent of one who has been classically educated.
Method of Operation
Case’s former base of operations was El Paso, Texas. He still subscribes to and uses the El Paso Chronicle to get job notices.
The prospective employer puts a personal ad in the El Paso Chronicle (newspaper) that names a city or town.
Case responds to the ad by mailing in a response that names a bank, usually in the city or town listed in the ad.
Steelgrave travels to the place specified and retrieves his fee. Then goes to the post office to pick up a letter (addressed to him via general delivery). The letter has the name of the person he is supposed to kill.
Currently, Case then spends as much time as it takes to goad his target into a fight, forcing the other person to draw on him so he can claim self-defense. However, he has the town of Whitefish in his pocket so there is no one willing to stand against him.
Employer Name: Whitefish City Council
Position: Town Marshal
Case uses the position of town marshal to cover his real profession, gunfighter.
Gunfighter - Fast and accurate with either hand, with fists or pistols.
Very good with a knife.
Gambler (Card Sharp) - Excellent with cards, practiced at every method of cheating.
Hobbies & Interests
Killing. Getting Shade Thornton, or any of that lot, regardless of sex or age.
Aliases / Nicknames
Kith & Kin
Spouse / Partner
*Gayal Dorset (deceased)
*Elsie Carpenter (deceased)
*See history for details.
None he is aware of.
Elias Steelgraves will do whatever is necessary for him to get what he wants, to advance his station in life, to increase his holdings.
He often purports to one thing but will do the exact opposite. He can never be trusted to be truthful. At seventeen, he decided that Elinor Dressin was going to be his wife. And although she was being courted at the time, he began his own courtship, knowing that her other beau, Harlan Knowles, would confront him.
When that happened, acting stunned and injured, Elias challenged Harlan to a duel, allowing Harlan to select the weapons. Dueling was pure sport to Elias, and Harlan was not a man of weapons.
Although Elias knew he could defeat Harlan, he let on publicly like he was against the duel idea. So convincing, even those who knew him, believed him. So, in order to eliminate the competition, he lay in wait for Harlan. The secluded area was perfect. When the man crossed the bridge, Elias sprang from hiding and slammed him in the head with a rock and then shoved the lifeless body to the rocks below. The following day he went to Elinor complaining that he had waited an hour past the time Harlan was to show, he never did. Though she did not believe him, she saw in him a man that would get what he was after, and as his wife, so would she. They were married and before the year was out Benjamin was born.
Age: Mid 50's
Elinor Steelgrave is a handsome woman in her sixties. She is very petite, almost delicate looking, but her appearance disguises a spine of steel. In demeanor, she is invariably polite in a condescending manner. She is highly intelligent. Like Elias, Elinor manages the family with an iron fist. This steel is applied in her business dealings as well.
Benjamin ‘Ben’ Steelgrave 39, 1836
Benjamin Steelgrave is the eldest son and his father’s right-hand man when his mother allows him to be. Along with his wife, Nona, and two young sons, he has moved to the new ranch in Whitefish. Benjamin would be considered a gentleman rancher as he has no inclination to actually work the range. He is a rather handsome and elegant man who, like his mother, has a somewhat condescending air when he speaks. He is not unintelligent, but he is not the brains of the family.
Clayton ‘Clay’ Steelgrave 34, 1841
Clayton is employed as the foreman of Evergreen Ranch, the Steelgraves’ ranch in Whitefish. He is the family member that is least interested in perpetuating the feud with the Thorntons. He has longed for a ranch to work and, under other circumstances, would have likely gone on the drift. He is generally good with horses, cattle, and people. He enjoys working and playing hard. Clayton is also good-natured, usually quick to smile and laugh. Despite the fact that Shade Thornton killed his younger brother, he would like to see the feud ended.
He is married to Janet Redmond and they have four children (two boys, two girls).
Zeke Steelgrave 32, 1843
Zeke has taken over the management of most of the Steelgrave’s non-ranching business interests. Of course, he answers to Elinor when it comes to business decisions, but as he has a very keen business sense, she does not interfere often. Zeke, like his elder sibling and mother, loathes everything Thornton and does not bother to disguise it. He is also cunning enough to interfere with the Thorntons’ various business interests without being overt or having it easily traced to him.
Calvin Steelgrave (deceased, a. 22 at TOD)
Calvin “Cal” Steelgrave was spoiled, arrogant, and truly psychotic. He was the family hellion and used to getting what he wanted or taking it if there was resistance, women included. He also considered himself as good a gunfighter as any that’d ever been born. While carousing with his brothers in Missoula, he spotted Regina Cantrell being escorted by her future brother-in-law, seventeen-year-old Shade Thornton. He caught her coming out of a store and tried to drag her into an alley and assault her. Shade heard the struggle and beat Calvin severely, even though he was younger and less experienced. A few hours later, Calvin lay in wait, intending to shoot Regina. Instead, Shade killed him.
Leah Steelgrave 26, 1849
Leah is a lovely and pampered young woman with a nasty streak where men are concerned. And likely the deadliest of the clan. She seems to enjoy luring them into her web and then crying foul, forcing her brothers to send them packing, usually not very gently. Most men call her bewitching. Those that have been caught in her trap and survived, call her a witch, and worse.
None that have survived to this point.
ADVERSARIES & ALLIES
Other than immediate family, to be determined during gameplay. Likely to be few.
Shade Thornton. Any that attempt to stand against the Steelgraves, or the Evergreen Ranch.
Others to be determined during gameplay.
1837 to 1847 (age: Birth - 10)
Once in school some of his future traits began to be displayed. Of course being the child of a rich family didn’t help.
1848 to 1851 (age 11 to 14)
Case was beginning to display his cruelty to others with continual fights and disobedience to his teacher. The final straw came after his fourteenth birthday when he wore the brand new gun and holster his father had gotten him to school and threatened the teacher. He was removed by force and delivered to his home with the message he would not be welcome back. The result of reading dime novels. He began developing an insatiable interest in gambling.
1855 (age 18)
Having run away to Texas, Case Steelgrave began his career as a professional gambler, as well as his rise as a gunfighter. There were several stand up fights where the competition was dispatched quickly. Some were not close to him in ability, but he had goaded them into it and allowed them to pull their gun first.
1857 (age 20)
His reputation continued to grow. He was beginning to be compared to Dallas Stoudenmire and Cullen Baker, though he would never face either. He was busy with the life of a gambler who would kill at the drop of the wrong word. He was then recruited as a gun for hire. The newspaper method was developed.
1858 (age 21)
Case took the first of two wives, a saloon girl by the name of Gayal Dorset. She was an asset to his gambling and fulfilled his needs. Finding out she had cheated on him, he whisked her off to Mexico on a supposed vacation. He returned without her stating she had left him. many suspected Gayal was in a shallow grave somewhere.
1859 to 1869 (age 22 to 32)
Not much changed for Case, with the exception of the 1861 marriage to Elsie Carpenter, and the 1862 murder of his brother Calvin. This marriage lasted for five years. Lasted until her continual use of Laudanum (tincture of opium) turned volatile with loud knock-down drag-out fights almost the order of the day. When Elsie pulled a pistol on him, a bullet cut a furrow across his right arm, he shot and killed her. The killing was ruled as self-defense. With that, Case cleared out of Texas and headed for Evergreen Ranch and the family.
1871 to 1875 (age 34 to 38)
He was well received and brought back into the fold which was rustling cattle, burning homesteads and killing nesters. Ever expanding the Steelgraves holdings. And to ensure that they were not apprehended, Case was installed as town Marshall of Whitefish. He was also on the prowl for any of the Thorntons, especially Shade! And, he still was able to pursue anything that turns up in the El Paso paper.
The two men took seats at back table, Case facing the door, ordered coffee and waited for it to be delivered before Clay said; "Meyers is a good choice, that's for sure, but I'm thinking your right, an expensive choice."
"You have another man in mind?" Cole asked, then sipped his coffee.
"My thought is we appoint John Anderson Justice of the Peace." Referring to his personal attorney, and a man that had successfully represented his father more than once. "He can be trusted, and he would know a man that could take over his practice in your firm."
"Case, I don't have a firm." Cole responded.
"You do now. I'll wire him and get him out here from Billings, maybe bring his man with him." Case stated. "We'll need help going forward with the new county and all. He has powerful connections in the governors office and those would smooth the way on this project."
Sounds just about right." Cole agreed, then asked, "How's the drive north going, or have you heard?"
"The boys should be just about back, if I've figured it right. Expect Toole, or one of them to report in with the money so I can get the payroll done and paid."
“I’m to be Mayor I take it?” Cole asked, knowing that was the basis of whatever plan the Steelgraves might have.
“Yes, and hopefully we have our man in place in Kalispell as well.” Case replied, adding, “let’s walk to the café, I could use something to eat.”
“I as well. And, yes, our man is firmly entrenched in the community.” Came the response. “A position above suspicion, and one that can and will gather all the information we need going forward.”
“Good. Perhaps our only problem will be the appointment of a judge here in town. I know that we have the circuit judge in our pocket, but I’d like to have a man here, full time.” Case explained as they reached the Bon Ton Café as he opened the door and allowed Cole to enter first, following and closing the door behind them.
“Perhaps Ogden Meyers could be persuaded to come off the trail and settle in to a full time position here,” Cole suggested, “of course, it would have to be worth his while considering how well he does on the circuit.”
Case nodded, realizing that yes, it would cost either the town or his father to lure the arbiter o a full time position. “A lot to consider, but not out of the question, to be sure. My father could be most persuasive were he inclined to be.” Both men shared a chuckle. “Means we could pull out of Flathead County and form our own. Keep the Thorntons out of our business.”
Cole smiled, “Steelgrave County, has a nice ring to it."
“Take who you need, I’ve some men returning here the week or so, we’ll be fine.” Case added, then looked to the bar. “Be with you shortly, Cole.” Then back to his brothers. “My attorney Cole Latham, soon to be Mayor here, lock this burg up tighter’n a corset on a skinny gal.”
They all laughed at the remark. Taking over Whitefish had been Case’s plan all along, though Elias agreed with it, seeing the advantage to such a move. He had been far more interested in Kalispell and Lost Lake Ranch, of course that wasn’t lost on Case at all. But to himm, there was time enough for that.
“Aw’right lil’ brother, wished you was ridin’ with us, but soon enough I reckon.” Ben said thrusting his had out. “ More to do that’s for sure.”
“You boys ride easy. I’ll be here waitin’ on word.” He turned then to his own men and added, “You do what your told, I’ll see you when you get back.” There was a murmur of acknowledgment as chairs scooted back on the plank floors, spurs jingling as the men stood and moved toward the door.
Case shook each of his brothers hands and walked the cadre to the bat wing doors of the saloon. He stopped, watching the men descend to the hitch rails and mount their horses and head out of town. He stood for a bit after they had gone, looking up the street, then turned, “Now Cole, time to put our piece of the puzzle together.”
After stopping at the Marshal's office and not finding Case there, he checked his watch, and he was right on time. Well, if the man was not in his office then he probably was at the Silver Dollar Saloon. It appeared to be where Case Steelgrave handled most of his business.
Cole Latham was an attorney and doing quite well in Oklahoma, however things began to get a bit hotter than Latham liked. In fact, the association with a certain faction of less desirable individuals was coming to light so a quick exit to beat a rope was required. In Texas he met Case Steelgrave and the pair had become fast friends, Latham successfully defending him on a couple of occasions. But again, things began to look like he would need an attorney, so Case suggested that he head for Whitefish, Montana where he himself would be headed in short order.
Cole entered the saloon to see Case talking with his brothers, whom he had met on several occasions, so he stepped to the bar to wait. Family first, he understood that, he would wait his turn. It was no secret that he would become Whitefish’s Mayor in short order, being the only candidate, and cement the Steelgrave hold on Whitefish.
Case pushed through the bat wings at the Silver Dollar. There was a bite in the air, the seasons were changing. Cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon, at least for a while yet.
There they stood, Ben, Clay, and Zeke. Not who he'd expected, but a welcome sight none the less. "What brings you owl hoots to Whitefish, Pa kick you off the ranch?"
Ben, the eldest of the Steelgrave boys laughed, "nah, we come to let you know Pa wants to move on all of the open range to the north." He hesitated just long enough to let that sink in. "So we're here to get that ball rollin'. Figger you should be the first to know his plan."
"And that is?"
Ben smiled, "He plans to take hold of ever'thing east of the Evergreen to Columbia Falls, and south just shy of the Kalispell limits."
Now it was Cases turn to smile. "That move to the south could prove to be a bit of a problem what with Thornton and like Redmond likely takin' exception. Seems maybe Pa's bit off a big chunk."
"Well brother, they sure can do alla that they want." Zeke said, his hatred for the Thorntons evident. "Colonel Colt'll have a say in that."
"Yeah, time we burned 'em out anyways. Ain't fogettin baby brother Cal neither! We owe 'em!" Clay added.
"So when's this party startin'." Case asked.
"We'll be headed out shortly to start it, though there really ain't any ranches to take, just some sod busters to root out.. Like to have a few of yer boys, if you'll allow." Ben explained.
Mature Content: Add yes, no, or short info if needed (example: Yes, violence).
With:NPCs in the thread. John Anderson, The Steelgrave Brothers, Location: Whitefish proper, Marshal's Office, Town Hall, etc. When: September 1875 Time of Day: Mid-morning,
Word had reached Case that the boy, Billy Holcombe, had been attacked and half eaten. Bear paw prints were said to be all over the blood soaked ground. His horse never found. It shook Case, no man likes to think of being eaten. But, as with his sister, there was business to attend to. Whitefish and Steelgrave business, all but one in the same.
He sat at his desk in the sheriff's office pondering what needed to get done, providing those necessary for the beginning of his fathers plan showed up as expected. He knew the plan, ever inch of it, and how easy some parts would be, and how deadly other parts could be. He had the en for the job either way. In a week those driving the cattle north would be back in town and could be deployed where they were needed.
There was a rap on the door, followed by young Tyler Oats who blurted out; "Marshal, your brothers are at the Silver Dollar waitin'." Case smiled fished out a dime and tossed it to the boy as he rose from his desk. It was beginning.
"Yer sister's down ta Kalispel lookin' fer some gent fer yer paw." Dex McKenny announced as Case walked into the Silver Dollar Saloon. "Jest did gey back from the ranch. He seems almighty steamed 'bout somethin'."
"When ain't he steamed?" Cash asked shaking his head. "Some hombre followed me toward the hide out, Robbins got lead in him, sent young Billy Holcombe to find the body or find the tracks. Who's rankled my father enough to send my sister to kill him?"
McKinney shrugged, "Man name'a Pike. 'sposed ta be somethin' fierce with a gun, but don't they all say thet? Got a couple of the boys with 'er per usual. Bannister and Santee, both good with the iron."
Case looked at McKenny a long moment. "Sending the better guns? He expecting some kind of trouble?"
"Didn't say, but I think he wants to be more than prepared, if'n this fella wants ta make it a corpse an' cat'ridge affair."
To which Case merely nodded. That would be like his father, send the best if there might be trouble, even though everyone of his men were good with a gun or they wouldn't be in his employ. Besides, he had more pressing business than whatever his sister was up to.
Case Steelgrave had watched the heard started moving out of the valley and off to “market” just over the border in Canada. It was just as lucrative as in the states, but far less risky, and with fewer questions asked. The other thing, the distance was far less than anywhere else.
He mounted his horse and headed out. There were a number of things that waited on his attention in Whitefish, things he needed to get taken care of. Young Billy would have the story on the man Robbins shot. And that could be put to rest quickly and hopefully quietly.
Then there was a civic matter to take care of, a Mayor needed appointing and after that a town council of like minded individuals, but first the issue of a Mayor. His father, Elias had given the word to place man that could be trusted in the position, and that was what Case was going to do.
And there were the small ranchers, sod busters, and squatters to deal with, and that alone was going to be a planning nightmare. It had to be done with no reflection on the Steelgraves, he had planned to use the Barnes boys for that, but, they had to hold up the stage, and they had to pay for that, so, he’d need to figure out something else.
And then, he thought of the girl, the school teacher fresh from the east. And matters became complicated, or at least they seemed that way for the moment on the way to Whitefish.
With: Case Steelegrave, Toole, Robbins, Billy Holcombe Location: Hideout, Silver Dollar Saloon Whitefish When: 1875 Time of Day: Early Afternoon
Case and Robbins rode into the hideout where most of the men were in the final stages of saddling up. Toole had ordered the men not out with the herd to get ready to move out. They had far to many to hold, and there was really no profit in holding them. Actually, they would simply be making room for more.
The two riders stopped at the cabin where Toole stood waiting "We're about ready to move 'em out, boss."
Case dismounted and dropped the reins. "Good, holding too many, and there's more to take." He stated. "Robbins here shot a fella but lost tack of him. Need a man to go look for the body, or the mans trail, I need Robbins here with the herd."
Toole rubbed his chin in thought before he said, "Young Billy Holcombe could track a snake over rocks.
He offered, looking at the boy who sat on the edge of the roughhewn table twirling a length of latgio and smiling.
"Yes sir, Mister Steelgrave, I can find 'em, dead 'er alive." Billy offered.
"The get to it, son! Toole, Robbins, get the herd moving. I'm headed back to town. Billy you report to me when you find him. Billy simply nodded and went to his horse as did both Toole and Robbins. As they mounted up and headed out, Case scanned the valley which on day would be his ranch, but, that would need to wait a bit. There was other business to attend to first.
Case swung his mount around at the sound of the rifle shot behind him. Was someone trying to bushwhack him? He couldn't figure it, he was a long ways from Kalispel as well as Whitefish, and he'd watched his back trail, well maybe not as well as he should have. Maybe somebody was savvy enough to stay out of sight, but keep on his trail.
He cursed himself! It was that woman, that school teacher that had distracted him from being as vigilant as he should have been. It was then he saw Robbins headed straight for him at a gallop. He reigned in as got Case.
"Boss!Some feller on a roan horse was trackin' you." He blurted out. "But I got him! Damn sure did."
"Where's the body?" Case asked angrily.
"Body?" Robbins asked. "Ain't one. Feller folded over his saddle horn and the roan? It done taken off through the trees faster'n I could foller. Lost 'em."
"Damn!" Case hissed. "Well, at least you got lead in him, likely bleed out when he falls off the horse. Let's get to the herd and get it movin, for Christs
sake!" with those word the two thundered off toward the hide out, and the rustled cattle.
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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