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.
Case used 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.
Boyer's Crossing was just that, where two trails intersected and Hiram Boyer thought to establish a saloon with rooms where travelers might spend the night. Hopeful too that the stage-lines might also use the spot to change horses, which would be lucrative for him. That never came to fruition.
The saloon enjoyed a brief success when a small silver strike caused a sort of boom, but it petered out faster than a bottle between two drunks. Waiting for one case Steelgrave was Walt Shannon, Charlie Whitmore, and Johnny Knox. Three more men to add to the gang but these three were specialists, it there was such a thing. They took banks at night! Although Shannon and Knox were killers, Whitmore could be homicidal at the drop of a hat.
Perhaps Case might have decided against those three at one time, but men who took banks at night, that was all but unheard of, and those assets would add to the men that already rode with him. So, they waited, and Case and company rode toward them as fast as they could.
His band now numbering and even dozen, would be a formidable gang in almost any situation, committing almost any crime. However, Case was not dumb enough to think they could ride into any town and simply take it over. Too many men in these places had fought in the war, against Indians, as well as other outlaws like his men, and were hardly going to kowtow to a bunch toughs without a bloody fight.
Big Flat had been different, Whitefish had been different. They slowly took over those towns. He no longer had the time to waste easing into anything. Now it was strike hard and fast! In and out quickly, when it involved a town. Rustling was another matter altogether. Perhaps easier that a bank in that there might be one or two riders to deal with instead of a whole town where even the women could shoot.
Toole was still his top lieutenant, and he had contacted some of other men he had met along the way and felt he could trust. That was before he'd been forced out of Big Flat, but he sensed it coming and the would pick them up along the way north. Men on the dodge met men on the dodge, even if Case was free to go wherever he wanted, he had a knack for finding hard men. Once they connected the group would number some fifteen desperadoes. It made Case smile.
"Him? Name's Marley, Dade Marley. His brother swung for the bank job gone to shit in Kalispell. He's with us now." Case explained.
Howdy," Dade said with that ever-present smile of his.
"Yeah, sure. We're ready for whatever you want to do next." Toole said flatly. "Like get out of the cold if it don't run all the way north!"
"Alright!" Case shouted, "Boys this here's Dade Marley, he's ridin' with us. Now, let's get the hell outta here!" That was all the men needed, shelters came down quickly. The ground sheets that had been pieced together to build their shelter were quickly taken apart and each returned to it's owner as bedrolls were done up and tied behind the cantles on the back housing of the saddles. In a matter of minutes, the camp fire was doused, the twelve men were mounted and riding out, headed north and hopefully clear skies.
There was moisture in the air, and that alone made things just a bit more miserable. The leaded clouds hung heavy and dark and though it was not as cold as one might suspect, it was cold enough to make the long ride that much more dismal ride north, and that meant that the men would be sullen and morose. But they needed to move, there could be no doubt about that.
That hideout was big enough to hold he and his men, and it offered refuge against the weather, that is if it followed them all the way there, which it might. Then again it could be nice and sunny in the Kalispell-Whitefish part of the territory. True, Whitefish was gone, which made that part of the country even safer than it had been when Case ruled the town. Weather wasn't always the same everywhere, except come winter and the snows.
The two men rode into the camp, where the men had already saddled up and were waiting by the fire, a good sized one. And, at first sight, they were exactly as Case had thought they would be, sulky. He took a deep breath as The men walked toward him and Marley.
"Who the hell is he?" Toole asked without so much as a 'howdy.'
It was the next morning, which dawned cold and dark, with heavy black clouds hanging over the country. Both men were rolling up the 'soogans' in the tarps that served as the beds ground cover. To roll it up quickly would trap all manner of debris in the 'packers,' which were pants, shirts long-johns, what have you, inside the blankets. That would make for a number of uncomfortable nights on the trail, so slow and careful were the watch words.
Breakfast was coffee and jerked beef as they donned whatever was handy to keep them warm. Both wore chaps, but once the leather got cold, it stayed that way. Neither was talkative as they sipped the hot liquid. There was no telling if rain was coming, if not, it would miss a great chance!
Case got to his feet and kicked dirt on the fire, then dumped what coffee there was left in his cup as he said. "Best we get in the saddle, couple ours back to pick up the rest of 'em."
"Sure thing." Marley agreed, tossing the remainder of his coffee on the now dead fire. Both men went to saddling their horses, this was not going to be a day for travel, but there would be no place to get inside out of the weather anywhere close by, so riding was what they had to look forward to.
Once saddled they mounted up and headed out to meet up with the rest of the gang, who undoubtedly would be surly on a morning like the one they faced. Maybe a day, day and a half to get to the hideout outside what remained of Whitefish.
"Dade Marley is it? You got a brother name'a Bill?" Case asked, not bothering to either pull his pistol or get up.
"Do." Marley answered, "Know 'em?"
"Some, watched him swing. Spent time in jail together before the trial." Came the answer.
"Figgered. That was a big'a mistake as we ever made. Got away, but, I'm thinkin' I'm the only one that did." Dade confessed.
"Light an' set. Coffee's on as are the beans. I'm Case Steelgrave. Got some boys back down the trail, but I could use another man, seems we have some common ground. We're headed back north near Kalispell, maybe do some rustlin', got buyers up Canada way so we don't hold 'em long. And from there we can branch out, stage coaches, army payrolls, now that the fort's manned regularly. Banks, but a ways away from Kalispell. Far as I know they just got Guyer and Pike, town law, no county Sheriff, but that could change." He looked at Marley. "Plenty to do if you want to throw in with us."
"Beats the hell outta what I got goin' at the moment. Believe you just got yourself another man Case Steelgrave. Pleased to make yer acquaintance." Marley agreed with a smile.
As luck would have it, his horse threw a shoe, forcing him to stop and replace it. Not the toughest job, but on that took time done right, and he was dead against slipshod work on an animal he may have to rely on for his life. So he took the time and realized he'd be with the men come morning.
He quickly set up a makeshift camp with a a hat full of fire, his bedroll laid out, and a couple of other comforts. He stretched out, considering his dinner option, jerked beef in a tin cup with water and hard tack. Not the best, but it would do.He knew he was low on supplies, and he's have to make that right. He knew the boys were at Spring Creek and there would be the necessities available.
"Hello the camp!" A voice called out, "I'm peaceable."
"Come ahead then." Case called back.
Out of the brush stepped a man he's not seen before, "Names Marley, Dade Marley."
Case, who had left ahead of the others had to double back to meet up with his men. He was angry that Big Flat had fallen apart on them, it certainly was not how he had planned it, but, it was the way it went. He was angry, yes, but he also looked at it as it was what it was and he couldn't change it. Unlike his father who would often try to change the unchangeable.
He was well aware that Toole would see rustling as a way to bring in cash, and supply themselves with meat. He wasn't against that, and there were still the contacts in Canada to buy the rustled cattle with no questions asked. He considered it a good move, and he would see what the laws response was, and thus be able to gauge the strength of law enforcement in the county, if there was any at all. He would reach his men before nightfall.
Mature Content: Nope.
With: Case, maybe some of his gang Location: Big Flat, Montana When: Early July 1876, Not 1896 Time of Day: Not sure yet
Big Flat, Montana. Not much of a town, but then, neither had Whitefish been when he stepped in. This would be the same. Sitting on the Flathead River there were men hard at it panning, and they were showing some color. It really wasn't enough to start a rush, or a boom, but it was enough to keep the saloon, the general store, the hardware store, and even a couple of ladies of the evening busy.
The trial had been a joke, well, as far as he was concerned it was, Goodnight had eared whatever it was his father paid him to get Case off with a genuine slap on the wrists, and, a pocket change fine. He wanted to stay in town, just to rub Guyers nose in it, but that would certainly have gotten him killed. If not by Guyer, certainly by Deputy Pike. Dying was certainly not in his plans, so, he decided to relocate to somewhere that offered possibilities for he and the boys. Big Flat was that place.
The first order of business was to ensconce in the town and get some of the prominent locals, and there were a couple, thinking he was exactly what they needed. A good honest marshal for their fledgling town of four buildings and perhaps a dozen tents. Someone to keep the peace. And that would be the man that single-handedly ran off the Guthrie Gang. No small feat the town believed. Though the gang had not killed anyone, nor had they beaten anyone, what they had done was intimidate and threaten. They usual tactic in gaining what they wanted. Of course, they were not above killing or beating anyone, there had just been no need. So the blacksmith made him up a star, attached a pin, and presto! Case Steelgrave was Big Flat's Town Marshal.
Slowly the rest of Case's crowd filtered into town as the town itself slowly grew. By the time he'd been in town a month, it had grown to twice it's size, one hundred hearty souls. Men were panning in the Flathead River and show some color, not enough to start a rush, or a boom, but enough to support the saloon, the general store, the hardware store and even a couple soiled doves. Big Flat was beginning to prosper, as was Case and his crowd. And to help that along, Billy Barnes, flush with cash, bought the saloon which had no name, Case fixed that, calling it the Buckhorn Saloon, which had everything, whiskey, women all two of them, card games and card sharps to go with them. And Dyer Howe to ensure everyone behaved.
Mature Content: No
With: Case Steelgrave Location: Municipal Building, Town Marshals Office, Cell 3 When: Sunday, April 30th, 1876 Time of Day: Morning
Case Steelgrave, the man that once ruled Whitefish with an iron fist now sat behind bars awaiting trial on an array of charges, some more serious than others. It had been a mistake, an avoidable mistake to have been drinking, and letting it get the better of him as it did.
Confident that a sober Case would have never attempted to disarm the Town Marshal with the obvious intent to kill him. That was the alcohol speaking and reacting. Odd how this happen like that, the good time, if that’s what it could be called, turnred on it’s head in a moment of blind fury.
No, he didn’t like Speed Guyer. Did not like the way he treated people, as if he owed them something. As if they were his equals, and some, as his betters. He was weak! By now he should be running the town, not working for it. It was clear to Case as he sat in the cell that Henry Guyer was really soft. Not hard like he was. Not willing to do what had to be done to control a town like Kalispell. It was as if blundering fool didn’t want what was lying there for him to take.
He looked at the two men waiting on a rope in the next cell and wanted to laugh at the foolishness of their pitiful attempt to take the bank. Why was he Marshal, they would have waltzed in and emptied that safe, then walked out like they owned the place. Things would have been different with his boys on the job, but that was not what happened, he was not Town Marshal, in fact his chances to become County Sheriff were not looking all that promising at the moment.
The one thing Case was sure of, he would get out of this, one way or another. There was the failed attempt to break him out, but that attempt was by the hands from the ranch, now his boys, they would have done the job right, he would be free, but that was not how it went. They would have left Guyer and his deputy dead in the street. Thinking on it, that might have been fortuitous. Goodnight would clear him of the serious stuff, the drunk in public, those charges, they would fade before the first campaign speech.
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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