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OOC thread

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Welcome to the town of Sweetwater south of the Texas panhandle. The road here might have been a bit dusty, but the Sweetwater Saloon offers a place to wet a dry throat. The batwings open into a dark smoke filled room where an elderly man plays a halfhearted song on a badly out of tune piano. The portly Saloonkeeper collects your guns (and swords) and stores them under the bar before he serves you.

The whisky is rough and the crowd rougher! Meg O'Donaghue, Edward Vermissa, and John Wade have fallen into a poker game with a man who goes the by the name of Mr. Logan. He's a well dressed man with a thin mustache and keeps losing more than he's winning. So far, John's won 3 dollars, Edward 4, and Meg 2, all at the expense of Mr. Logan.

"One more round," Logan says, dealing out the cards yet again. "Let me win some of that back."

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There are four windows at the front of the building. The bar is on the north wall while the piano and a stair up to the office are on the south. A lone pool table is nestled in the back corner, and two well worn tables and several scattered chairs fill the center of the room.

Eddy let out a gleeful laugh as he accepted his cards. "I'm sure glad to keep takin' your money, Mr. Logan, but you sure you wanna keep goin'? You got less luck than black cat under a ladder." He shuffled his cards around nonetheless and looked around the table. "Well, I'm in. What about you fellas? If his pockets ever run dry, I'll take the shoes and leave the rest for you." He chuckled, flashing a smile at John and Meg.

His eyes returned to his cards and he shuffled them around again before taking a satisfying sip of bad whiskey. "How in the world is there not hair on your chest drinking this stuff like this?" He said glancing at Meg. His head shook in admiration as his eyes studied his companions, paying particular attention to the reactions from their cards.

Meg sat with her back to the wall, glancing up over her cards every time the door stung open. To be honest, the only reason she'd joined the game was for the seat. She'd been mostly quiet and just a touch nervous throughout the multiple hands. Her glass sat practically untouched.

At Eddy's comment, a small, terrified "Oh!" escaped her lips, and her hand instinctively reached toward the row of buttons flowing down the front of her blouse. Her eyes darted downward as she, nervous and embarrassed, checked to see that none of them were unfastened. "Oh, oh, I-I'm sorry," she stammered with a glance back at him, "I'm afraid I misunderstood." The tiniest hint of brogue curled around her words as she spoke.

She took the cards dealt to her and studied them, probably trying to forget her embarrassment. Her teeth chewed at her lower lip for a moment, but given her previous nervous and timid nature, it wasn't much of a clue to anyone else at the table.

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Mr. Logan gave Eddy a tight-lipped and annoyed smile at his quip about black cats and taking his boots. "Lady Luck is a fickle mistress, Mr. Vermissa." he said, putting his dollar down on the table and then adjusting his clean tie with his meticulously trimmed fingernails, a somewhat obvious tell that he was displeased with his cards. "Perhaps she'll decide to smile on me this hand."

He glanced over at Meg when she clutched at her blouse like Eddy had dared call her a whore or something. He sighed in further annoyance. That the woman who looked liked she was scared of her own shadow had even managed to win a couple dollars was exceedingly perturbing.

"Where ya'll from? Not from around here, I'd wager..." he asked, making small talk to hide his rather poor poker face. "Myself, I'm actually from Georgia, but I've been out here awhile now, in the cattle business."


There are others scattered around the room besides the saloonkeeper and the poker players: 2 old men playing pool, a man at the piano, plus 3 roughnecks at the bar and 3 at the second table, one of which glances over at the poker game every once in awhile.

"I'm a Scouser," says John Wade, "Off the ship from Liverpool."
He maintains a poker face as he glances at his cards, obviously none too bothered about the game.
"Do you know of any work round here, Mr Logan?" he asks, "preferably something that doesn't involve any heavy lifting, I'm not built for that kind of job?"
He scowls. The others can see that there is something wrong with him physically, probably the result of a childhood infection or deficiency.
"I'd hoped to make my living in America, but it's tough here, real tough." he sighs, "not that it's not tough in Liverpool too, but you had your family with you, and regular work in the docks and the factories. Here it's every man for himself."

He sips down some whiskey.
"I'll raise you" he says to Mr Logan.

"Ah 'scowzer,' eh?" Eddy asked, butchering the term. "Sounds like a drunken scout. 'Why is that scout stumbling through the woods? Oh he's a scouser." He chuckled to himself before going on. "I'm from Missouri originally. Though even before the war I wasn't much for home. Joined the pony express soon as I was old enough and poof," He gestured to a point on the far wall, "Off I went." His hand hung in the air for a moment while his eyes caught the man at the other table. Eddy lowered his hand and took another sip. "Not so sure where I'm from these days."

His drink was getting empty and he glanced at the bar before returning his attention to Wade. "Steady dock work sounds pretty nice compared to this life, though I wouldn't trade the freedom. There is always work for a good rider, no matter how skinny their arms are. I can vouch for that. These arms was nothing when I were younger. Just little twigs, haha." He said with a chuckle before tossing in his money. "I'll call." He said with as he eyed the other's reactions, letting his eyes drift to the man at the other table once more.

Meg managed a sip from her glass while the others conversed. When play got around to her, she simply slid a dollar out onto the table without ever paying much attention to the other players or their reactions to their own hands. She just smiled and nodded to Mr. Logan, foolishly hoping that no one would press for her answer to his question. It was one she never could quite figure out how to answer. Would it be Ireland? Philadelphia? Or Missouri? Arkansas? Could it be both nowhere and everywhere at the same time?

Percy would be riding in from a day's worth of travel, looking to refresh his parched throat like animals to a watering hole. It was the only saloon for miles, so he parked and tied his horse, next to some others, and swung the doors open. He put faces to the voices he had heard before entering, checking each one of them out while the Keep took his two guns. The small pocket knife stayed where it was, reassuring Percy.

He passed a poker table on his way to the bar, seeing it was full and thinking it just as well since he could never get the hang of the game and would rather keep his money as a certainty anyhow.

"One refill," the large man started as he held up his canteen, his deep tone coming out like dry gravel under a wheel. "And one whiskey."

With that, he set some coin down on the bar top and took a seat on a round stool while flipping up his duster. He swiveled as he waited for the barkeep to pour, thinking there was nothing familiar about anyone here. He had a past he hoped wouldn't catch up to him here, so far from home. When the drink was set loudly before him and his canteen returned, Percy turned and thanked the man without a smile, his face as still and emotionless as when he entered the place.

The lower half of it was messy with an unkempt beard, reaching up to his sideburns. He wasn't one to care about such things and it didn't bother him none. The rest of him matched the simplicity of his demeanor with neutral tones and flash-less garb. His boots were stained with dust, a blue collar man, his large, weathered hands proving as much.

He took his first sip of whiskey and continued to study the place and it's occupants.

((Poker players - roll a d20 and we'll see who wins the hand. If you wish to modify your roll with one of your attribute bonuses, that's fine, as long as you can justify it. :) Otherwise just a straight d20.))

Mr. Logan looks down his nose at John, mustache twitching slightly on the left side, as if even the notion of considering someone who appeared so weak for a job was unthinkable. "My payroll is full at the moment," he said, taking another large sip of his whiskey. Not that John had asked him personally for a job, though he still seemed to feel a need to make that perfectly clear. "Can't just be throwing money away."

"Went to Missouri once," he continued, temper seeming to grow a little fouler as he looked at his cards. "It should really be named Misery, shouldn't it?"

"How bout you, miss?" he says to Meg.

When Eddy briefly catches the gaze of the man at the other table, he sniffs casually, then looks away. When Eddy glances at him again a few moments later, he sees the man casting a glance toward Mr. Logan. Just paying attention.

The three roughnecks at the bar eye up the newcomer.


rolled 1d20 and got a natural 14. After the modifier of -1, got 13
Mr. Logan poker round - Perception

Meg gave Mr. Logan a sideways glance and almost grinned at his remark about not throwing money away. He seemed to be doing a pretty decent job of just that at the table. But her smirk quickly disappeared, although she continued to eye him with distrust as his mood became even more foul.

Ah, crud. There it was; he couldn't just leave her be. "Mmm, yeah, I've been to Missouri. Can't say it was the awfullest." She knew exactly what he had meant to ask but chose to answer what she wanted to answer instead.

((Edit: Well. That v is fine too.))


rolled 1d20 and got 20
It's just a dollar. What's a dollar?

"Missouri?" says John Wade. "Never been to those parts. Slave state, I believe, though I don't do much politics."

He sips his whiskey, and folds his cards. He can tell from Meg's grin that he's not going to win this round.

"Pony express is a good idea," he tells Eddie "that would suit me down to the ground. I just need some work right now. "Goes from Missouri to California , does it not? That's quite a ride. Or maybe that's why Mr Logan was warning me against Missouri?"


rolled 1d20 and got a natural 6. After the modifier of +1, got 7
+1 Perception, Poker roll

Eddy moved his cards around as he the others spoke, glancing up at the newcomer before returning to the conversation. "Well, I do believe even the pearly gates would seem miserable to anyone with bad luck and a worse attitude." His free hand counted his earnings as he spoke to Mr. Logan. "Specially a tightfisted one." He was quite happy with himself as his attention turned to Meg and he raised his glass. "I don't find Missouri to be the most awful either. Pretty terrible, but not the most." He said with a chuckle before draining the whiskey with an exhilarated hiss after the burn hit.

He set his glass down and without looking up from his cards, continued to speak. "As for its history of slavery and the Express both ended with the war. Though, plenty of courier work still exists. If we aren't able to make a living off Mr. Logan's losses that is." He winked at Wade before glancing passed him at the newcomer again and taking note of some of the roughnecks looking at the newcomer as well. Lot of looks seemed to be going around the bar, but none too malicious as far as he could tell.


rolled 1d20 and got 7

As the cards are shown, Mr. Logan lays down his three 7's and glances first at Eddy's cards and then at John's cards, smiling to see he's beaten them and starts reaching to collect the pot. "About damn time, looks like you won't be..." he mutters, then his hand freezes when he sees Meg's Royal flush of diamonds and his mouth tightens in anger.

Logan throws his cards across the table and waves to the roughnecks at the next table and the bar... who must be the ones on his payroll since all 6 of them abandon their whiskey glasses and start toward the poker table.

"This has been fun lady and gentlemen, but I believe I’ve been cheated. I’ll take my money back now, thank you!" He reaches for the pot, obviously intending to scoop it up...

Meg's hand darts across the table to reach the pot at the same time as Mr. Logan's. Half standing, her left hand finds its way to the upper edge of her leather vest. Despite her seeming timidity, her right hand still remains on the money. "Mister, ya lost fair and square, and you know it. This," her head bobs toward the fellas now surrounding their table, "ain't a good idea... Someone could get hurt, ya know...."

John Wade thought of the close-knit communities around the Liverpool docks. There, there was plenty of drinking and gambling, but if someone welshed on a bet, or even sponged off a round of drinks, everyone knew about it, and the reputation would haunt him for the rest of his life. Here, there were no controls, and men like Mr Logan could behave as they liked. It was tough in America. Physically weak and with no gun, he doubted he could give good account of himself in a fight. On the other hand, if they let this pass, soon everyone would be bullying them.

"You call your goons because you are beaten by a lady?" he says, "Not very manly of you, Mr Logan."

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