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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

An Old Treasure(?) Map


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A map pre-dating the civil war has been found with a mysterious 'X'.  Is it stashed wealth?  Is it a vein of gold?  Or just a spot where someone wanted to build their home?  The creator perished in the war, so he can't be asked.  Specific details about exact location, who finds the map, etc can be ironed out on Discord between interested parties.  


Characters Requested

Any!  Would love 2-3 participants.



  • Map might be held by a relative of deceased party.  This person is new to the area, so goes about trying to recruit a guide, but is none too subtle about it, allowing the rumors to circulate.  Maybe some unsavory sorts follow behind to lay claim to whatever riches might be found.  
  • The X might be in a dangerous spot.  Maybe in Indian Territory.  Maybe on the outskirts of one of the ranches (so might involve trespassing!)
  • This was totally inspired by this picture, but I'm open to using Frank or to playing an NPC (who just might turn into an actual character if I like him/her! Which is probably how at least half of my PCs start out.)
  • It could be played as a rescue mission.  No one believes there's anything to be found, so character heads off alone (or with just 1 other person).  After a few days, maybe somebody gets worried as to why they ain't back yet.  
Edited by Juls (see edit history)
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If you want someone to help spread rumours or gossip/talk about the possibilty of hidden treasure, I have a few minor characters that can be used e.g. Walter Simpson (desk clerk at the hotel); Ruth Johnson (housewife - husband works for the bank).

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Maybe we could do it in stages?  Something like the map coming to light a little bit too late in the year to risk a trek before the snow starts.  The endeavor needs to be put off until spring thaw.  (Which, of course, wouldn't rule out a surprise late snowstorm to complicate matters later!)  That would give time for rumors and speculation to grow and potentially involve more characters.  

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@Wayfarer, your prospector came to mind when I was contemplating this idea.  Seemed kinda right up his alley.  :)


All @Players  if I were to make up an NPC that inherited some stuff from a relative that used to be here (or at least somewhere near here), are there any older story lines that I might need to take into account?


(Or maybe not "need to", but that would simply be cool to tie it back to somehow?)  

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My two cents, but maybe its some old Spanish looted gold...maybe some caravan headed North to keep searching for other sources of gold and they stored their cache somewhere before continuing on, but then something bad happened...sickness or other indians or both?

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It's been a long time since I've read the John Carter stuff, so memory is fuzzy.  I remember a cave, but was there anything special about it?  (Other than it being a gateway to another planet, of course!  Talk about a plot twist, huh?  ;) )


Oh, the Spanish gold could be a good idea.  That would make the rumors both grander and more questionable at the same time.   


Edit:  Is Great Falls too far away to be reasonable?  I've been scouting for an old map and so far, that's the only one I've been able to find that is that old enough that would already be old in 1875.


From 1814:


Edited by Juls (see edit history)
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