Saturday Seed ~ 48 (Aces & Eights)

This week’s seed is for Aces & Eights. I haven’t posted one for this incredible game for a while. I wrestled a bit with posting a seed for All for One, or Call of Cthulhu instead, but this week the trail-weary gunfighters beat the cocky sword slingers and doomed librarians.

The Seed

A small township, barely more than a train station, post office, telegraph office, general store, saloon, and a half-built church, on the characters’ way from somewhere to somewhere else, has gotten itself into trouble.

A religious revival brought on by the compelling and charismatic sermons, and exemplary public service of a new preacher has persuaded everyone to turn away from violence and villainy to such a degree that most have given up their firearms. While the land is gentle and the farms and ranches fertile, sadly they are not quite dwelling in the Promised Land.

They are about to find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go but Hell.

 Planting the Seed

Characters will need to be travelling a long distance and have a desire to stop in a town for this to crop up through discovery. Alternate methods of introducing it could be to find a wounded man on the road who requires their assistance, or to come across the preacher on the prairie outside of town, and overhear him praying desperately for help. I quite like the drama of that, but think giving players their heads will produce the best results.

On the way into town, characters will need to catch sight of a burned out farm, with obvious indications that arrows and hatchets were used on the residents. The violence here was perpetrated days ago.

In the distance, they will need to spot a raiding party in full war paint, heading somewhere fast.

Upon arrival in town, the dead and prison-like atmosphere of the saloon should be a dead give-away that something is wrong, but it will not take long for the gentle encouragements for the characters to ‘move along’ by the men who seem to live there to ring some warning bells.

The details

Relations with the nearest tribal leaders have been both stable and cordial for a few years. The effect of the preacher on the area has only improved relations. Unfortunately, the chieftain was recently killed in an accident during a hunt. Tribal leadership is faltering, and the young bucks think that the time is right to strike a blow against the defenseless people in the town. Small raids have begun during the night, and experts in the community fear it is only a matter of time before a more daring and potentially bloody attack will be made.

Worse, a group of bad men, cut loose from a protection job at a ranch further south, have decided the town and its sheep-like residents are primed for a shearing. They have taken up residence in the saloon, are holding some young ladies hostage, and fully intend to consume the entire place and leave it for dead.

It is into this sort of scene, a town held hostage by bandits, that the characters ride. The residents outnumber their oppressors, but immobilized by fear and conviction, they do not know what to do. Some are at peace and do their best to go about their daily lives, trusting in their heavenly reward. Others… have less stalwart faith, and are very afraid of what will happen to their loved ones.

What’s going on

Later that very day, near sunset, the bandits will go on a drunken rampage of looting, raping, and shooting up the place.

At the same time, on the opposite end of town, a band of 20 young tribal warriors will begin their most devastating attack to date. The helpless townspeople will be caught in the middle.

The characters have a lot of choices, including doing nothing. What they choose will say a lot about them, and where their story is headed.

Speak your piece~

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