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A Long March

Stormwolfe

The major events in this thread never happened. However, since several of the NPCs created for it will be used in other stories, we are going to archive this thread for reference's sake. Participants are welcome to copy/paste and modify their posts from this thread should need arise.

Message added by Stormwolfe

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Sgt. Braumann watched the new commander prepare for what certainly sounded like an Indian attack even as some riders came rushing toward them at their fastest gallop. They looked like they thought they were being chased by Satan himself, though if one ever got captured by Indians they would show you their devilry at torture. There was a woman among the riders too. He had to give her credit where credit was due, she was a good rider. Meanwhile though the veteran NCO was a bit puzzled by the current orders. Only fifteen men out of this whole command were being told to line up in three lines and prepare for volley fire. Five shots at a time. Braumann was puzzled. Why not present a more formidable skirmish line of forty...fifty men. He'd been in enough firefights with Indians to know that - sad but true - the vast majority of shots the cavalry fired never hit a damn thing. Marksmanship was not a cavalry skill. So to compensate you had to mass as many weapons as possible and pour in the fire. 

 

"What's he doin?" one of the other troopers asked in a quiet voice, out of the commander's earshot.

 

"I don't know. Maybe he's keeping all the rest of us ready for a counterattack. Or maybe he's nervous about the Indians coming from other directions too? The army don't pay me to run battles, soldier, just fight in 'em," Braumann commented, for the moment nervous but not reaching for his own carbine, instead just leaning on the saddlehorn of his mount and watching.

 

sgtsagarpg.jpg

 

*****

 

On the other hand, Jean Lavalliere had never been in a battle or even a skirmish so he was wide eyed and jumpy. He was so nervous that he was glad he could just sit on his horse near the commander and not have to be one of those firers. He figured his aim would be so shaky right about now  he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn as the Americans say. Merde! He wished he was back in Quebec.

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

@Glenn@Flip@Longshot@Bongo@Stormwolfe

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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large.Burt-6A.jpg.254c73148b9df45ed6a8b7439b55c05f.jpg"MacIntosh! the scouts ahead, we go before they act!" Ke-Ni-Tay shouted as everything around them evolved into a defensive posture.

 

MacIntosh wheeled his horse and the two started toward the Commander, "Hostile ahead. We mean to discourage them from doing anything but turin' tail!" He shouted above the confusion of the wagons circling, the drumming of hooves and shouts of the men, and the woman, with their wagons.

 

With all of the noise and what seemed to be confusion both horses were dancing about wanting to get away. The Apache looked at riders and cattle headed toward the command, full tilt, their dust obscuring what was chasing them, but he did know if it was Indians, they might well split to flank the riders, and seeing the soldiers, turn away at the last minute and dash off into the trees.

 

Tag @Glenn

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Although she'd never actually been enlisted, of course, Addy had spent plenty of time driving ambulances and freight for the Confederacy, so she was familiar with the ways of the military, and having grown up around harnessed beasts she was fast and capable when it came to unhitching her team and picketing them.

 

Grabbing her rifle, she took up a position by her wagon, watching as the civilian riders charged past the cavalry lines and into the shelter of the wagons.  While she recognized that there was a woman with them, she hadn't paid attention to faces until she heard a familiar voice.

 

"...Addy?"

 

"Quintin."  Grinning, Addy gave him a nod, then trotted over to grab his horse's reins.  "I'll see ta yer boy here..."  Not that she couldn't face whatever was coming, but as a man, he had a better chance of putting up a formidable resistance.

 

@Stormwolfe

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Guest Glenn

Brittles waited until he was sure that any friendlies had gone past their location.

"MacIntosh! Have your people stay within the tree line!" he called out.

 

He watched and waited until the hostiles came around the bend. "First line.....fire!" The five rifles rang out almost as one. 4 hostiles fell, either by being shot or having their horses go out from under them. "Second line.....fire!" 4 more hostiles, either on horse back or on foot, started running away.

 

Brittles waited...the Indians may attempt to regroup and attack again.

 

@Bongo@Stormwolfe@Longshot@Flip

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"MacIntosh! Have your people stay within the tree line!" he called out.

 

MacIntosh gave a mock salute, wheeled his horse, looking to Ke-Ni-Tay and they galloped away disappearing into the tree line where they scouted quickly for the group the Apache had reported. It was unknown if there were another party of hostiles awaiting some sort of signal, but MacIntosh made it his business to find out.

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Quentin kicked his leg over the saddle and dropped to the ground beside Paladin. "Much obliged..." He nodded to Addy then looked around at the others as they dismounted. "We'll stay here and defend the wagons...no need to wander around and get in the way of the troopers..." Quentin finished reloading his Winchester and moved over to one of the wagons that faced toward the approaching Indians. He rested the rifle on the corner of the wagon and aimed along the barrel, firing a few rounds at any Indians that seemed to be drifting their way.

 

The volleys from the triple line drew Quentin's gaze and he gave a single head tilt. "Brave...not sure how smart he is, but definitely brave..."

 

@Players

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Guest Glenn

Brittles had his horse brought over to him, then he ordered one of the lieutenants take a squad of men to check if the Indians were actually dead. He also ordered the lieutenant to recover and rifles the Indians had, and to round up any of the Indian ponies that survived.

 

Brittles ordered his men to mount, and when they did, they started heading the way the hostiles came from.

 

@Bongo@Stormwolfe@Flip@Longshot

 

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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Quentin heard some orders being given and turned to look over at the commander. He saw him detailing men to check the indians and then heading in the direction of where they had come from. He jogged back over to his horse and thanked Addy as he mounted again. He looked over at Harriet and the others. "We might be able to save something of this after all...HAHHHH!" He kicked Paladin into a gallop and raced up along the column to rein up next to the commander. "Sir! If I might make a request?"

 

@Glenn @Stormwolfe @Bongo @Wayfarer

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large.Ke-Ni-Tay-5A.jpg.26ae55d8d1ddf7b359cd82ad925dbbc3.jpgHunting for sign told them the five scouts were al that were present, and that they had ridden off to the north hurriedly. Both men were aware of any number of Indian reuses.

 

"No others nearby, these they maybe went after others, or maybe just escape." Ke-Ni-Tay surmised.  "Maybe there is an ambush for those who would give chase, maybe not. Hard to say with these people."

 

"Well we ain't given chase, that's for sure. Been fooled by that once." MacIntosh stated flatly. "Not even sure what bunch these are. Nobody said anything about hostiles in this neck of the woods, but likely as not word hadn't reached them by the time we got there that they were out."

 

Both turned their mounts and started back to the command, clearing the treeline in time to see Brittles and what appeared to be a squad, starting off in he direction the attack had come from. They looked to one another.

 

"Maybe ambush is is there!" Ke-Ni-Tay said.

 

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Young Jean Lavalliere remembered his orders, stick with the commanding officer, remain behind him and be ready to to blow any bugle calls the man required of him. So he kicked at his horse's flanks and then galloped forward as part of the command party. The volleys had been loud and at least effective enough to chase away the Indians, his first experience seeing them in action. They sure didn't hang around long. Probably not just the fire but the fact that the cavalry unit was 100 strong decided the issue. The Indians had no great reason to launch themselves into a suicide attack. He couldn't blame them really.

 

The young man wasn't the best of riders, having had a short period of training in horsemanship back in St. Louis before being shipped out by railroad to a western army post. He still was unsure yet if this decision of his to come south into the United States to sign up as a soldier. But he was stuck now for the duration of his enlistment. He had heard a lot of troopers deserted every year but it was riskiest to desert while on campaign as you might run into hostiles. Then you were dead.

 

No, he'd keep soldiering on.

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

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Guest Glenn
21 hours ago, Quentin Cantrell said:

Quentin heard some orders being given and turned to look over at the commander. He saw him detailing men to check the indians and then heading in the direction of where they had come from. He jogged back over to his horse and thanked Addy as he mounted again. He looked over at Harriet and the others. "We might be able to save something of this after all...HAHHHH!" He kicked Paladin into a gallop and raced up along the column to rein up next to the commander. "Sir! If I might make a request?"

 

@Glenn @Stormwolfe @Bongo @Wayfarer

 

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Brittles looked at the man. "What is it you want?"

 

Quentin looked out before them before looking back to the officer. "Quentin Cantrell, sir...I and my party were bringing a small herd of cattle to the fort when we ran afoul of the indians. I would consider it a personal favor if you could assign a few men to help I and my group gather our scattered herd."

 

@Glenn@Stormwolfe@Wayfarer

 

 

 

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Both turned their mounts and started back to the command, clearing the treeline in time to see Brittles and what appeared to be a squad, starting off in he direction the attack had come from. They looked to one another.

 

"Maybe ambush is is there!" Ke-Ni-Tay said.

 

Brittles led his men at a fast pace, hoping to catch up with any Indians. He noticed that his bugler was struggling with his mount....he decided when they had a chance, he would give him some lessons in riding.

 

They rode for about half a mile...with no sign of the hostiles....so Brittles had the men turn around and head back towards the camp.

 

@Wayfarer@Bongo@Flip@Stormwolfe

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large.Ke-Ni-Tay-5A.jpg.26ae55d8d1ddf7b359cd82ad925dbbc3.jpgMacIntosh and Ke-Ni-Tay raced after Brittles and his men in the hopes of skirting them and ferreting out any ambush and give the troopers a warning. But there was nothing, just the tracks of the war party heading away.

 

There was no sense in following, because sooner or later they would either catch up to them, or ride into an ambush. Better to ride back and report. MacIntosh did not like the idea of the small party ahead and the war party behind. He fought a number of tribes over the years and what they had encountered made no sense to him. Were they even the same tribe?

 

"Maybe we think scouts are with war party, maybe they not. Maybe they just watch so'gers for other tribe." Ke-Ni-Tay said, as if he had read MacIntosh's mind.

 

"Could be. Damn sure could be." MacIntosh replied as the command came into view. "Looks like they're regrouping."

 

Tag @Players

 

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While everyone was stirring about the wagons, Harriet rode over to the wagon with the one person she knew outside her own party. Lost Lake's two trail hands and Weems had settled nearby as well. They were loading spare weapons and preparing for a fight. Harriet wanted to talk to Quentin and take stock of where they stood and what was coming. She pulled her Winchester from its scabbard and dropped to the ground, and looped Spirit's reins through a loop on the wagon.


Harriet kept one eye on Quentin as she began reloading her rifle. She was extremely grateful that he had not been harmed. At the same time, she tried to quash some of the other underlying feelings that had surfaced when he had put himself in harm's way for them. Practicality resurfaced. They needed to find a way to retrieve the scattered cattle and finish the short drive to the fort. They needed to fulfill the contract even though Harriet felt sure that Judge Wendell would take the Indian attack into account when he reviewed the ranch's records. It was also a matter of honor. Harriet suspected that Shade half expected them to fail.


To her surprise, she knew the woman that Quentin had spoken to. Harriet's smoky gray eyes widened, "Addy!" Despite their circumstances, she smiled, "You are the last person I expected to run into out here."

 

@Bongo @Longshot

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Guest Glenn

Brittles and his men returned to Brittles dismounted and one of the troopers came over and took his horse to be fed and watered. 

The major took the time to walk around the camp, making sure everyone, including the newcomers, were okay.

 

He walked towards where Addy's wagon was. 

He walked up to see Addy talking to another woman and a man....probably the ones that were ahead of the hostiles.

 

@Stormwolfe@Bongo@Longshot@Wayfarer

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"Miz Harriet!"  Addy had noticed a female rider, but things had been too chaotic at first to worry on it.  Now, though, with the threat taken care of for the moment and the stock settled and secure, she was able to acknowledge the other woman.

 

"I'm gettin' an escort back toward town.  Are ya all right?"  She grabbed a canteen from under the seat of her wagon and held it out.  "Water?  Or I got a flask'a whisky, if ya've a mind."  Grinning, she winked, then asked, "Why was them Injuns after ya?"

 

Then she noticed the major and nodded to him.  "Major, this here's Miz Mercer.  She's usually a lawyer in Kalispell when she ain't ridin' hell-bent over th' prairie!"  She laughed, then added, "Miz Harriet, this is Major Brittles, US Cavalry, but ya probably figgered that out!"

 

@Stormwolfe; @Glenn

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"Miz Harriet, this is Major Brittles, US Cavalry, but ya probably figgered that out!"

 

Nathan touched the brim of his hat. "A pleasure, Miss Harriet. Glad we could be of service." He gave the pretty lady a smile. "Is anyone in your party hurt?"

 

Tag @Stormwolfe@Bongo

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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Harriet took the canteen from Addy, removed the cap, and took a long drink. Hers had come off her saddle at some point during the harrying ride. She gave a mental shrug. She could replace it once they got to Fort Kilpatrick. "Thank you, Addy," Harriet said, sincerely grateful to the other woman. She waved back the way they had ridden from, "I am not sure how we offended the Indians. I thought they were after the cattle and horses but they continued on after us instead. Perhaps, Quentin can get us some answers at the fort. We checked for hostile activity before leaving on the drive...none was reported in Kalispell."

 

After explaining what had occurred, Harriet turned to the man that Addy was introducing. The man was dashing enough but a bit forward she thought as he stated his pleasure upon being introduced. "Major Brittles," Harriet murmured, "Harriet Mercer," she responded. Glancing at Quentin and the men, she shook her head in response to the Major's question, "I do not believe anyone took any harm. However, we cannot linger, sir. We need to see if we can retrieve the cattle we lost." Handsome military officers were all well and good but the Major would not be out the money if the ranch did not show good faith on the cattle contract.

 

@Glenn  @Longshot @Bongo

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"Miss Mercer. As soon as we reach Kalispell see if they can track down your missing cattle. Your people, of course, are welcome to come along. How many cattle did the Indians take?" 

 

@Longshot@Bongo

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"Major, the bloody creatures will not have returned to Kalispell. Until we can round them up and count them, we have no idea how many the natives might have taken," Harriet folded her arms over her chest and threw a sideways glance at Quentin, hoping he planned on backing her up. "Fort Kilpatrick is within minutes of here. If we cannot locate the remainder of our herd, we will ride there and request help. We will not travel the more than twenty-five miles back to Kalispell."

 

Quentin finished sliding his Winchester back into the saddle scabbard before walking back to the group. "I think you may have misunderstood the situation, Major...the indians pursued us. They did not seem interested in the cattle unless as an afterthought...we may still salvage our contract with a bit of assistance from the US Army..." Quentin smiled pleasantly even as he looked at Harriet with the hope of some silence. "...Besides, the beeves were for the Army to begin with...it's sort of your property once it gets to the fort."

 

Harriet smiled at the Major, "Thank you for your timely intervention with our pursuers." Turning away, she began checking her gear. Harriet had no intention of defaulting on the contract.

 

Tags @Glenn @Bongo @Stormwolfe  @Players

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Addy wasn't sure about the cows -- in her opinion they were only good for eating!  But she figured Mi Harriet knew what she was talking about.  Glancing at the Major, she asked, "So, we're clear now?  Ya'll chased off them savages?"  She gave him a nod.  "Should I get my team hitched again?"  It had been a long day, and the relative safety of a fort sounded good!

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"Should I get my team hitched again?"

 

Brittles looked at Addy. "We'll be heading out to Fort Kilpatrick tonight." Brittles turned to his aide. "Lieutenant, have the men prepare to mount, we're moving out." With that Farley rode off.

 

Brittles looked at Harriett. "Once we reach Fort Kilpatrick, I'll report to the colonel, and if he gives his permission, we'll start trying to track your cattle. I hope that meets with your approval, Miss Mercer."

Brittles mounted his horse. "I hope, while we're at Kilpatrick, you ladies will do me the pleasure of dining with me."

 

With that, he rode off.

 

@Bongo@Stormwolfe@Longshot

 

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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At the offer of supper, Addy glanced at Harriet, then shrugged and nodded.  "Thank ya, sir, I'd be glad."  Any opportunity not to have to cook on the trail was not to be passed up, not that she'd been planning on anything 'cooked' other than coffee.  She had biscuits, jerky and canned peaches, a satisfactory meal, but she'd surely not mind something better.

 

"I can set ya up with me fer th' night Miss Harriet, set a nice bedroll under th' wagon."  She grinned.  "I hardly snore at all!"  Oil cloths draped over the sides of the wagon would provide the ladies with some small bit of privacy, and unless it snowed or there was a bad thunderstorm, they'd have passing fair comfort.

 

@Stormwolfe; @Glenn

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Quentin's head reared back a bit and anyone who saw the motion might have imagined they could hear the warning rattle of a diamondback. Quentin was not expecting deference or anything from the Army. He had been a part of that organization and knew how it viewed civilians in general, but this officer was doing a pretty fair job of angering everyone not in a uniform in very short order.

 

"Dinner sounds excellent, Major...I will be happy to accompany my friends this evening..." Quentin glanced at Addy and Harriet. "...I even brought a bottle with me on the trail drive to celebrate the end of the drive. I would be pleased to contribute it to the evening."

 

@Glenn @Stormwolfe @Bongo

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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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