Reasonably tall, average build, with a thick but neatly trimmed dark brown beard, when Ralph is dressed up for his saloon shifts he can definitely pull off the businessman look. He has a warm smile and his eyes seem to sparkle with things are going good, he is seldom seen without a cigar in his hand or puffing away on one. Though they are normally covered by clothing, his body has it's share of old scars - wounds from the war and much more personal encounters.
Traits & Characteristics
Very calm even in the most tense situations (+)
A man of few likes (Matilda and the saloon) and many many dislikes (foreigners, southerners, politicians, lawmen, mayors,
clergymen, do-gooders, braggarts, men who can't hold their liquor, brat kids, well, you get the idea. (-)
Cannot be bullied or even intimidated. (+)
Though he would argue it's always justified, he can be quite violent. (-)
Normally to see Ralph in action in the saloon, he comes off as a smiling pleasant enough fellow who seems at ease with his job and the customers. Rile him up though and another Ralph comes out, you do not want to meet that man. Ralph never shouts but keeps his voice under control, the fire in his eyes tell one when his temper is up. He and Matilda treat each others as equals in this business partnership and they often are kidding around and teasing each other.
Position: Co-owner of the Stardust Saloon in Kalispell
Details: Ralph handles as he puts it 'the heavy work' whether it be wrestle a new beer barrel to behind the bar or toss a
troublemaking customer out of the saloon. He's always armed and he has guns hidden away within the place too, he is
ready for any sort of trouble. He also bartends and claims to play the piano. Hear him do it once though and the conclusion
is obvious, he's terrible at it.
Veteran of saloon work, all kinds of saloon work from bartending to bouncer.
Knows guns and is very competent at using them.
A brawler too if it comes to it, he can take a pounding and dish it out.
Hobbies & Interests: Likes the liquor though it does not impair his ability to do his job. Also enjoys the occasional poker game. A surprisingly
good baritone singer.
Aliases / Nicknames
Place of Birth
Small farm in upper New York state.
Kith & Kin
Parents: William, Mary (deceased)
Brother(s): William Jr., Older brother who died in the Civil War.
Sister(s): Susan, younger sister, he lost track of her when she left to start a new life.
Matilda Devereau, his only friend. They compliment each other so well, their bond is solid as rock.
None currently but over his lifetime he's made enough of them. New to Kalispell, but give him time.
| CHILDHOOD 1836-1851 |
Ralph was the middle child of three born into a farm family in upstate New York. His parents were God fearing and strict in bringing their children up but they were fair. It was a hard life and the father expected the boys to help him in the farm labors as soon as they were able. By age 12, Ralph knew he wanted to be anything but a dirt farmer. He ran away at 13 and 14 but was caught and returned to his family. He didn't hate his family, he hated the farm. Finally at age 15, he was given an opportunity to accompany a relative to New York City to work as the man's apprentice as his father surprisingly gave in to the inevitable.
| EARLY ADULTHOOD 1851-1856 |
Ralph found the city amazing with its size and endless places to explore, the huge numbers of people of all kinds who swarmed those streets and shops. As for the work, he soon tired of it for it was backbreaking labor and done with no real profit to him, he might as well have been a slave. He ran away, yet again but this time in NYC there would be no catching him. He then began a career of petty crime as he fell in with a street gang of young toughs. He found he liked a good fight and even better, he usually won. And for the first time he had some actual money in his pockets.
| ADULTHOOD 1856-1865 |
Being a criminal meant run ins with the law and eventually the inevitable happened, he got caught in commission of a crime and was sentenced to three years in prison. He came out unreformed but maybe a bit wiser about what he could get away with and what was taking too big a risk. He ended up taking a 'job' working for the local corrupt political machine which had him beating people up with legal blessings. He knew sometimes it was unfair and he didn't even like his bosses but it was money and that was the way life was in NYC.
He was 25 years old when the Civil War exploded, tearing apart the nation. Though he would never have had to go serve, he decided he wanted the new adventure that being a soldier would present to him. He enlisted in a New York Zouave regiment, they got some really colorful fancy uniforms which impressed him.
His regiment saw some bloody fighting and any glamour he imagined might occur in a war quickly disappeared. But while the conditions and harsh discipline was something he chafed at, he found he remained calm and poised during the fighting. He did his job and he even was noticed and promoted for his heroism. By 1864 he was a sergeant. Then his regiment was disbanded so he immediately signed up with another newly raised one, glad to welcome a veteran. He finished the war in that regiment and to this day proudly states that being in the war to save the Union and free the slaves was the best thing he ever did his whole life.
| LAST DECADE: 1865 - 1875 |
Demobilized one last time, Ralph didn't go back to NYC, working for the politicians didn't appeal any longer. He wandered about taking various manual labor jobs and never really taking to them either. He was restless and began to slowly make his way west to see what this frontier life might be all about. He took a job in Chicago at a saloon and found out he liked it! He was a bartender but the boss called upon him to often intervene with troublesome customers. That he did, with a zest.
That's about when he met Matilda Devereau, though she was Mrs. Matilda Osgood back then. Her husband owned a prosperous saloon in Chicago also. She saw Ralph in action one evening and took up a conversation. He was impressed by her right off and then pleasantly surprised when she offered him a job at her husband's saloon with wages higher than he was currently making. He took it.
Taylor Osgood was a fine businessman, well anyhow he looked the part with his nice wardrobe and handlebar mustache. But Ralph soon realized Matilda was the brains behind the operation. She did the day to day running of the saloon, while her husband spent freely of the profits. Even worse, he was a brute, he treated Matilda badly especially when he had a few too many. To her credit Matilda often fought back, she had gumption which Ralph liked in a person.
A few years passed and Ralph was entrenched in his position, trusted and relied upon by Matilda and at least tolerated by Taylor who often neglected the day to day humdrum anyhow. Matilda and Ralph talked one night very seriously while they split a bottle of Irish whiskey. Matilda wanted to have her own saloon but such a concept was a bit overreaching as far as society was concerned. But if Ralph would go in with her, as co-owner, they could make it work. Ralph jumped at the idea. There remained one obstacle, Taylor Osgood. Matilda decided she would ask for a divorce and work out a private deal with Taylor to get a sizeable share of the money in the current saloon. Why not, she deserved it as she did all the work.
Well, that did not turn out well at all, maybe the pair expected it would not. Osgood refused and their relationship was now poisoned beyond repair. Very soon after Osgood made his own move. He brought in a good friend of his, an off duty constable of the Chicago police known for his rough ways and attempted to throw Matilda out of the place, his life, everything.
It descended into violence quickly, as usual Matilda fought back like the spitfire she was even against two larger men and the fight spilled out into the saloon's main room itself, scattering stunned customers. Ralph now intervened. Osgood drew a pistol and fired, narrowly missing Ralph who dove for cover. The constable drew his own weapon and blazed away. Ralph withstood the quick volley then calmly popped up and shot first the constable then Osgood. The off duty policeman died instantly, Osgood remained standing and still armed. But only for seconds as Matilda had reached the bar and pulled a revolver behind the shelf then aimed it right at her despised husband. Her shot took the man right in the chest and he collapsed. He would finally expire the next day in his own bed.
This entire bloody confrontation had taken place with close to twenty customers and when the inevitable investigation opened up, even the police department could not avenge their now deceased officer as it was stated by the witnesses the dead men had drawn weapons and fired first. Ralph was never charged, Matilda was for some reason brought to an actual trial where a jury quickly found her not guilty.
Matilda had her money now, all of it even. But staying in Chicago seemed a bad bet, Osgood had other friends, a few in high places and then there was the police who never took well to one of their own dying regardless of the reasons. No, it was time to go west and start over. Soon after their search turned up an available saloon in some backwater little Montana town, Kalispell.
| The Present: 1875 |
Negotiations were done by mail and it went quite smoothly. The saloon changed hands soon after and the old sign went down, replaced by a freshly painted one. The Stardust Saloon was now open for business!
Education Details: Barely educated, his mother taught him to read from the Bible, otherwise he did farm work so no formal schooling for him. He still hates to read as he is very poor at it. He lets Matilda handle all that sort of thing for the business.
Languages Spoken: English of course, none of them foreigner ones.
Animals & Pets: Saloon has a dog named Bruno and a few cats lurk about too, he's not partial to cats but tolerates them because Matilda points
Billy tried to explain he was just standing next to his friend, he had not argued nor definitely had not attempted to take a swing unless his drunken surly fellow cowpoke. Greer's temper was going to get him killed some day and Billy was determined he was not going to join him on that. The lawmen had their minds made up though and he was ordered to help Greer to his feet. It took a few tugs, Greer weighed a lot more than he did but once on his feet, Greer seemed able to slowly head in the direction ordered. Pike shoved them both toward the jail.
"We're goin," Billy muttered but decided if he smarted off it only would get worse. So it was that he ended locked up behind bars. Case was there too, not looking so good and not just because he was drunk.
Ralph had been about to head back into the saloon when Speed approached and offered a handshake which Ralph accepted.
"Didn't get a chance to thank you for your actions earlier today, You and Quentin here made the difference, along with young Ryker. I think we've time for a drink before we head to the Hotel for that steak."
Ralph nodded, "In my business there is always time fer a drink. Come on in."
Quentin extended a hand to Ralph and shook it. "Marshal's right. You sure helped keep them busy until the law arrived. It's good to know other citizens stepped up..."
"Just tried to do my part, it's the business' money in that there bank too afterall," Ralph shrugged, he actually was a modest sort.
Quentin then looked over at the marshal. "...I believe the deal was I buy the drinks and you buy the steaks!" He looked back at Ralph. "I know buying drinks for the bartender seems odd, but I owe you a drink or three as well. I'll leave you some money for Pike and Ryker to have a few later on if you don't mind helping me out?"
"Well, I don't drink on the job but I'll knock one back when it's closin' time, thanks," Ralph agreed with that stipulation, you can leave yer money and I'll tell Pike n' Ryker who's treatin'."
Quentin glanced down at Greer to assure himself the man wasn't faking his condition, then he looked back at Billy. "Let's start with your unfortunate choice in friends...now, you move real slow...and undo your gun belt with your left hand, and let it fall to the ground. Don't spook me, Boy...I spook...I shoot, you understand?"
Billy swallowed then nodded, "Yeah, I understand. I ain't stupid."
Very deliberately, he used his left hand to complete the task asked of him and the gunbelt ended up on the street. Even then he then kept both his hands up, "See, just like you asked."
Quentin bided his time keeping Billy at the end of his revolver and watching the crowd of onlookers. He did let out an inner sigh of relief as he heard the doors bang open and Speed and his deputy re-emerged from the city building. As they approached Quentin looked at the deputy. "If you would be so kind and collect this gentleman's gun belt. His companion was...unable...to remove his, so you may want to collect it also."
Ralph had by now emerged from the saloon to join the crowd, curious as to just what all was going on. He already knew from customer comments that Case had been arrested though what for he had no idea. Now he saw one of Case's thugs lying groggily on the street and the younger one with his hands up. This sure was turning out to be quite the momentous day in the history of this sleepy burg.
Ralph listened to the man explain things, Case sure seemed to have already assumed he got the job. There was however an election to be won, little detail that. Ralph knew one thing, he would NOT be voting for him.
"And these new deputies? Would you be hiring the likes of these two fine specimens?" Ralph jerked a thumb at Greer and Billy.
Greer just pushed his empty shot glass forward, "Gimme another!"
Ralph poured him one as he listened to Case's reponse.
"These boys an' me drove some LL stock in to town here, and a couple Lost Lake boys headed them home" He bragged. "There's rustlers about."
"Yeah, we found the cows," Greer was quick to explain to Ralph under the false assumption the veteran barkeep even cared.
"Just keep 'em comin', Ralph. You know, after the election I'll be able to put a stop to all that. Guyer can't do anything, got no jurisdiction."
Ralph nodded, leaving the bottle then right on the bartop, he had a feeling at the speed Case was downing his drinks, plus two new thirsty jaspers, that bottle might just end up empty. The two Evergreen cowpokes took up their shot glasses. Greer downed his in one big gulp but seemed more prepared to take his time. Ralph doubted that the youngster was much more than seventeen, eighteen at the most. Again not that Ralph cared, hell he had been drinking already when he had been thirteen.
"Well, if you're runnin' for his office, why will you suddenly have this here jurisdiction yer talking about? Or you planning on holding more than one office at a time?" Ralph asked.
Case was momentarily distracted asking the Evergreen hands, "So, they take the cows alright?"
"Yeah, it makes a body feel good ta know we went and done the right thing, givin' em back to their rightful owners n' all, " Billy grinned.
"Yeah, yer saints, you are," Ralph drolled sarcastically.
Ralph dutifully poured him another shot glass, straight up to the brim, he did not stint on drinks, even to customers he didn't much like.
"I was involved, I know what I saw. You weren't there so you can say 'sounds like' all you want but the townsfolk know what happened. We got us a couple of fine lawmen already," Ralph countered.
"As for runnin' for County Sheriff, it's a free country, you do what you want," he shrugged. Matilda and him stayed out of local politics. Unless it would affect the business.
Just then two cowpokes came thru the swinging doors and went straight for the bar. Ralph knew 'em alright, two Evergreen hands, a rather odd couple they made. The young one always smiling and laughing and the bigger older man surly and sour faced most of the time. He also well recalled the older one, Greer, had been arrested back during the fall festival when he hit a local teenage girl. Not much to be proud of there.
"Well, the Lost Lake boys took their cattle, they're gone," Billy announced.
"Without so much as a thank ya, " complained Greer.
Billy leaned against the bar right next to Case, "Gimme a shot too, barkeep."
Then Greer chimed in, "Me too."
"You got it," Ralph set up two more shot glasses, he was trying to figure out what was going on with these jaspers. Was Case into cattle ranching now? Or just helping out old man Steelgrave with the Evergreen affairs.
"One whiskey comin' up," Ralph reached for a bottle and poured a shotglass to the brim.
Case now blaggered the current lawmen, unfairly in Ralph's opinion and Ralph was not shy about sharing his opinions when he was a mind to.
"I disagree. Both Guyer and Pike did their jobs and with bravery. Seems to me you shouldn't be talkin' much considering you lost a whole town whilst you were at Whitefish," he commented dryly. If the man took offense he didn't care.
"Who was it got killed, and who shot the bank robbers? Guyer? Pike?" Came the next question. "Reckon as those two had their hands full with the mayhem."
"Only casualty amongst the townfolk was Mr. Olsen, shot dead in the middle of the street when he called out a warning there was a robbery. As for the robbers, it seems one got away but he is being pursued by Guyer. It weren't my job to either count or identify the dead robbers, you'd have ta ask Pike or Guyer when he gets back. No clue when that might be," Ralph commented.
"Now as to who shot the devils, all I know is both lawmen and local citizens all did their part. That includes me. But what difference who shot 'em. Important thing is they got shot. "
"I can't believe that happened...poor Mister Olsen," the woman said as she allowed Ralph to head her toward the diner, her business, "I didn't know what to do. I don't suppose I could have done anything."
"Looks like he died fast. And I'm guessin' his death was the first shot fired by the robbers so nothing anybody could have done to save him or stop the robbery. They had the jump," Ralph didn't believe she should blame herself for anything.
"Please, Mr. Flandry, come in for some coffee and pie," she offered as the approached the cafe, but then she wondered if that was appropriate, or what was appropriate under the circumstances.
Before he could answer, Clara came racing toward Emeline even leaving the diner door wide open in her haste to check on her employer.
"Oh thank God you are safe! I was so worried," she stopped short of the woman just when it seemed she might give her a supportive hug. Clara had never been and still was not a hugger. But it didn't mean she didn't care and care deeply.
Ralph grinned at the reunion and paused, "You know, ma'am, I will take you up on that kind offer alright but just not now, not today. I need to get back to my job. Odds are as the excitement dies down some menfolk are going to want to wet their whistles. You take care now."
"Thank you, Mr. Flandry, I'm unscathed." Her gaze drifted to Barnabas, and she was happy to see that he seemed to be all right. "A little shaken...there are still two more...they went out the back."
"Hmm, really? Trying to make a run for it I reckon," Ralph frownd.
"They shot Mr. Olsen...is he..? Does he need help?"
Ralph shook his head, "He looks pretty dead, ma'am."
Pronto then checked to see the woman was alright. But the warning she gave was also followed by a gunshot. Ralph followed the lawman into the alley and turned out they got the drop on yet another outlaw who was facing off with .......Ralph should know the man...oh Ryker.
It seemed the outlaw didn't have any fight left in him, not to mention he was surrounded. He gave up. It seemed to be over then. Ralph lowered his gun.
Wyatt heard his name mentioned and stepped out, "I'm alright."
He spotted Weedy then and gave a little wave. They had survived!
Ralph was just about to fire when one of the lawmen beat him to it and quite the shot it was too, why he shot the gun out of the man's hand. Ralph lowered his own revolver, duly impressed. Actually the jasper had been lucky to only lose maybe a couple of fingers, Ralph had been about to put a round in the miscreant's head. No need now though. Looks like Kalispell was going to have itself a hanging soon. Might drum up some extra business for the saloon too! Public hangings always brought big crowds to see 'em. Matilda would be happy to hear the news.
"Ma'am, you alright?" he asked of the young woman out there in all this carnage. Now she had been a brave one alright.
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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