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Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard

Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard

The King of Life has called upon you to be God's Watchdog, a defender of The Faith, the hammer upon which you beat men until they are purified. Can you answer the call, and do your best to defend and promote The Faith?

2016 readers have visited this universe since Magus1108 created it.
Topics: #drama, #fanfic, #gunslinger, and #western (Add Tags »)

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:
Requires Approval: Yes

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This is the west that never quite was.

It's an alternate version of history, loosely based on Mormon life in the 1800's. I say loosely, because this religion, that I shall call "The Faith," is not really the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon preachers don't shoot sinners in the street. But you might.

You see, imagine a rocky desert like Utah, Nevada, and the like, with snaking rivers and impressive cliffs. Imagine indigenous mountain peoples ("Indians," if you will) living on the plains. Imagine a mighty city of zealots flanked by four huge waterfalls. Imagine a religious group that the United States territorial authority butts heads with often. Imagine cowboys armed with "The Book of Life" dragging out a whore by her hair and forcing her to repent or face the wrath of God.

Can you kind of see the picture here? Are you interested? Let me be more clear:

Who are you: The watchdogs of God. Your character is a cross between an inquisitor, a missionary, an exorcist, and a monk. You carry both scriptures and bullets, you bring both blessings and judgment.

What's going on: A lot. Mountain folk don't like white man encroaching upon their turf. Sinners don't like repenting. Towns don't like their dirt being pulled up for all to see. The Territorial Authority doesn't like the Faith's habit of foregoing standard trials for confession and repentance.

Where are you?: A beautiful rocky desert with a couple forests to the north and more than a few natural wonders. Lots of dust. Lots of grime and grit. Lots of blood, and lots of frontier justice.

When is all this?: 1800's. Think cowboys and westerns, complete with big hats, horses, six-shooters and Clint Eastwood.

Why are you doing what you're doing?: Because the King of Life or one of his counselors called you to be God's Watchdog, a defender of the Faith, the hammer upon which you beat men until they are purified. Maybe your character is a convert from the East and it's industrial worldliness and filth. Maybe you were raised by the Mountain people and are the token ethnic bad@$$ Native American "Aragorn" of the group. Maybe you were raised in the Faith. Whatever the case is, you are a Dog, and you work in God's Vineyard.

How do you do it?: Prayer. Faith. Exhortation. Blessing babies. Shooting sinners. It's difficult, but straightforward. What nobody tells you is that the hardest part of being a Dog is to keep believing you are really what you think you are. When bullets bounce off your coat and when you are calling the dead by name to draw breath once more, you might think you're preaching the truth. When you're bleeding on the ground, when farmer Jeremiah kills his wife, when you saw humanity in that sinner's eyes, you might lose your faith. Just remember, I'm not telling you if The Faith your character belongs to is true or not. I'll leave it to you.


Redemption. Forgiveness. Fair enough.

Death, loss, grief, doubt. Dramatic.

Shooting, brawling, chasing on horseback. Good fun.

Is the Faith true? I don't know. Just don't be obvious, like have glowing miracles occur or demons appear or something. Play it straight. Pretend the world is like real life; as long as I'm talking about it, remember, no Rambo stunts, please.

Otherwise, just remember that I want this game to be DRAMATIC. I want tragedy. I want angsty characters (but if more than one person pulls the "my parents died" card I'm gonna be peeved). Your characters can be male or female, of any able age and marital status. The only tie that binds is your status as a Dog. This means you can declare doctrine. Yes you heard me, you can make up the religion's rules on the spot. Just keep it real, alright? No "sacrifice a donkey," let's play it like a psuedo-christian cult.

The Faith doesn't take kindly to loners; the Dogs work as a group. All Dogs have a long, patch-work coat worn at all times as an emblem of their position, a sturdy horse, a Book of Life, a jar of consecrated earth (holy dirt to sprinkle during rituals or something), and some form of gun.

Game System

You will post what your character does, and you can go ahead and describe whatever you want, so long as you don't resolve the action wholesale. Make sure you leave room for everyone to contribute meaningfully to a situation. Don't be a butt-hole; I know RPers are mature and courteous, so I have very high expectations.

I will adjudicate only FINAL RESOLUTION, that is, you can describe anything short of obviously ending the conflict. I'll decide the final outcome after the dust settles. Note that the more your character sacrifices, the more likely he is to win (getting hit with bullets or taking insults to heart is sure to win my sympathy).

Other Stuff

The Faith moved to the west to escape persecution. The Territorial Authority, although not at war with the Faith, is often at odds with it, as their goals are usually the same but their means differ vastly. The Mountain Folk don't like the Faith, but the Faithful like them enough to try converting them, with limited success. It is said that the ancestors of the Mountain Folk were once Faithful, but they fell away long before the white man came.

Your characters are expected to travel from town to town, bless babies, officiate at weddings and such, and purge sinners. The adventure style will be episodic, with each town having it's own "episode."

At the moment we require a minimum of three Dogs to play the game; so we'll need at least two other players, as I'll be taking a Dog myself, of course, and I'm only allowing one character per person. I might allow the creation of characters that aren't Dogs, and perhaps let people have more than 1 character, but that's for later. I'm not too sure how many people will be interested here, so for now, I'm just limiting character creation to Dogs only.

At maximum, having at least five players/Dogs (myself included) altogether would be wonderful, but the last two slots are optional, so it can just be the three of us to do things, really.

List of characters:

Dog #1: Magus1108 (Horatio)
Dog #2:
Dog #3:
(Optional) Dog #4: Nekriist (Otto)
(Optional) Dog #5: Hyperewok (Anna)

Character Creation Sheet:

Code: Select all
[font="century gothic"][center][size=200]CHARACTER NAME[/size]

[img]Insert Image URL here.[/img][/center]

[b]Ethnicity/Race:[/b] (What race are they? Black, white, hispanic, Native American, etc etc)
[b]Level of Faith:[/b] (How Faithful is your Dog? Are they true Believers? Are they having doubts or a crisis of Faith? Have they lost their Faith? Or do they just pretend to believe, for one reason or another?)
[b]Years of Service:[/b] (How long have they been a Dog? A couple of decades? Five to ten years? Or are they quite green in their experience, with less than a year or two under their belt? Perhaps they're even fresh out of the academy?)
[b]Weapons/Equipment:[/b] (What sort of equipment or items do you carry, aside from the obligatory gun, the Book of Life, and jar of consecrated earth? And please have any items you have be period specific. No cell phones or other modern technology allowed.)

This should be at least one paragraph.

This does not have to be extensive, but at least one to two paragraphs.


What are some of your characters goals in life? What do they aspire to be, or what do they aspire to do?




Da Rulez:

1. No god-moding Or thou shalt be smited
2. The GM will have the final say in conflict resolutions Big Brother Is Watching
3. Obey the Roleplay Gateway rules Don’t fight the man
4. Stick to the Character Sheet Can’t live without a skeleton
5. Minimum post length of 200 words. No one-liners, give your fellow RPers something to work with. And please keep the grammatical/spelling errors to a minimum.
6. Stay Active Life happens, but the roleplay needs to keep moving. If you know you won’t be able to post at least every other day for some reason or another, let us know in OOC and write yourself to somewhere where you won’t hold up other posters.
7. If you are abducted by aliens and Disappear… I reserve the right to GM your character out of the way if you disappear and your last action is holding up other players. I will try to interfere as minimally as possible in such a situation, but depending on who your character is/what they are doing I may have to make major decisions for you. You have been warned…
8. PM or OOC plot suggestions, things you think would be neat or would otherwise like to see. No promises, but I’m open to input and good ideas
9:There is a limit At the moment, I am imposing a limit of 1 character per person. That could change in the near future, but for now, it stays.
10: Interest Dwindling? Be Honest If you're losing interest in this RP, please, just be honest and upfront with me, and tell me you wanna drop out. I can't count the number of times people just stopped posting, and didn't respond to my PMs when I prodded them. It's so annoying, and I just wanna cut through that bullshit.
11: Have fun! Having a good and enjoyable time RPing is what this game is most about. So make sure to have a blast!

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Character Portrait: Horatio Morale "Sometimes all you can do is just live day by day."
Character Portrait: Anna Ward
Anna Ward played by Hyperewok
"The wicked have no place in the vineyard we have wrought. So sayeth the King of Life."
Character Portrait: Charles Carver "Wise man once told me, 'If I save but one soul, then all my suffering has been justified.'"
Character Portrait: Ira Murphy
Ira Murphy played by Magus1108
"You will profess your love for the One True God, or die by the flame. It is your choice."
Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne "I will avenge those who have fallen, no matter the cost!"
Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood "There is no time to regret the past. You can only look forward, and strive to make a better future."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

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Sonia stepped into Eliza Ford's room, idly looking around as Charles stepped in after her. It was a first-class hotel room, she had to admit. A large, comfortable bed took up much of the right wall, while a dressing cabinet took up space on the left. There was even a secondary room that, when opened up, revealed a water closet, or toilet, or whatever one wanted to call indoor plumbing. It was an invention that was becoming more and more popular in the US, although they weren't as common in still developing areas, like parts of the Deseret.

Still, beyond that, there wasn't much to see. Sonia stepped back into the room with Charles, idly looking about as she considered his question. The flooring was carpeted, so it wasn't like their was a loose floorboard they could pry open to find any hidden caches. Where else, though, might a Dog hide something? There wasn't anyplace to really do such in the water closet. And upon opening the dresser, she'd find it empty.


On a hunch, Sonia approached the bed and moved her hand along the mattress, until she slipped a hand underneath to paw at the bed frame. She spent a minute feeling around, until her hand grasped something. Almost immediately, she pulled it out, revealing a hard-worn, leather-bound book.

She flipped through it, briefly scanning the written pages within. "Seems like Dog Ford kept a journal on her. You'd think that if she'd really left town, she'd have taken this with her."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

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Anna forced an annoyed breath to exhale out slowly, carefully masking her impatience with a calm stare to the floor for a long moment. The doubts around the fire may have been enough to draw a Dog's attention if they were simply passing through the city, dispensing justice as the Lord guided them in subtler ways. But Meyer had not been wandering and seeking such justice, he had direct orders otherwise. To go against that implied a darker discovery.

"Father, perhaps you could point us towards the homes of the families who were unfortunate enough to lose someone in the fire?" She asked, glancing briefly to Margaret. "With all the talk of the tragedy of late, I think the two of us might pay our respects to those families. And we do not want to keep you from your own duties for long, of course."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

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"The most recent fire you mean? Well, not too many people died, thank the Lord. A block of people lost their homes, and that is unfortunate, but most managed to escape without serious injury. Granted...a few suffered serious burns, and even now we have a poor soul in the hospital that's still in recovery. As for those who died...from my understanding, only the Watson family perished that night. Not a soul survived in their household. Although, the Watsons do have family here in Abernathy, Joseph Watson and his young wife, Agatha. They lived on the opposite side of town to Miles Watson and his family. If you wish to talk to them, or the poor man still in the hospital, i would be happy to tell you where to go. And, of course, I can give you the addresses of those who lost their homes," Father Mycroft dutifully replied.

Margaret listened to his words absently, brow furrowing somewhat when he mentioned someone still in the hospital. "There is still someone in the hospital? It's been several weeks since the fire, hasn't it Father? Surely they would have healed or died from their injuries by now? Were they so extensively burned, to require such a lengthy stay?"

"Yes...something along those lines, I believe. I am no doctor, so I do not pretend to know just how badly young Richard Horpe was hurt. He's a boy of fifteen...and from what I understand, he tried to go into the Watson house during the inferno to save them. Richard lived on that block, and from what I understand...fancied the young Miss Watson. However, he was unsuccessful in his attempt...and for his bravery, became severely burned as a result," Father Mycroft replied. "If you wish to know more about him, I am sure his family or doctor could tell you...or, even the boy himself. I've taken to visiting him twice a week for prayer. The boy is taking opium to manage his pain, but seems lucid and responsive most times I've visited him."

Interesting. Well, if the fire had started at the Watson residence as the Sheriff suggested, then it would make sense that this Richard had suffered such severe burns. It made her wonder what he had seen the night of the fire, though. It also made her wonder if either of the Dogs had gone to see Richard. Of the survivors, Richard's situation differed: he had been to the epicenter of the fire, and survived to tell the tale. If he had any memories of that night in the Watson home, it could shed light on some very interesting details.

Then again, it was likely the Sheriff had already interrogated the boy, and the other survivors. They could just always return to her, and see what her initial investigation and interviews had turned up, if they were so inclined.

Regardless, Father Mycroft happily gave out the locations of all the survivors of the fire and their relatives, including the hospital where Richard Horpe was at, and where Joseph Watson lived. If they truly wished to investigate that path further, then they seemed to have some good leads.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

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Charles let out an appreciate whistle at the room's opulence. He was certainly being reminded of the luxury he'd left behind in Richmond, with a twinge of longing for such creature comforts even if he knew well enough that he didn't truly need such things. A night or two enjoying the hotel owner's hospitality would be a harmless indulgence of such feelings, of course.

He slowly stepped further inside behind Sonia, carefully looking around the room. The carpet covered his first thought, when he'd hidden letters and tobacco in his own childhood room years and years ago, and so he continued onwards, peering underneath the dresser and then looking around the porcelain and plumbing of the water closet.

As he stepped back into the room, he blinked with surprise as Sonia produced the book from underneath the mattress, silently thanking the Lord for their good fortune at having suspicions proven right. "If'n they'd made it out of the town, we very well might not've been sight after 'em." He said as he stepped up to her, peering over her shoulder to the book's pages. "Any word on what was in the poor woman's thoughts?"


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"That's a good question. Unfortunately, the entire thing is written in code." Sonia declared, holding the pages open for Charles to see. Sure enough, the pages seemed to be written in gibberish, making no sense whatsoever. "I recognize it though. It's a cipher they taught us back in the Academy. I should be able to decode it given some time, but that's gonna take awhile. Certainly won't have any answers right away."

That was annoying to no end. A potential source of answers, right here in their hands, and it was all written in code. The Lord sure was testing them here. Still, she wouldn't hesitate to rise up to the challenge.

"We can probably speed things up by just decoding the last few pages. I doubt she had enough time to write thoroughly about her stay in Abernathy." Sonia reasoned, closing the book. "Although, it does make me wonder. Why did Eliza Ford write her, presumed, journal all in code? It stinks of paranoia. I mean, it takes time to translate sentences into code. It must have taken her twice as long to write it all down in this journal. Was she just that paranoid?"

It was possible. A lot of Dogs, especially the older they got, tended to get rather paranoid and suspicious of those around them. Still, going this far for secrecy and privacy struck Sonia as a bit much.

"If you think we've got time, I could try my hand at decoding the last couple pages while we're here." Sonia offered a moment later, glancing at Charles. "We got another room to search, but it wouldn't hurt to try and get a head start on this. It might be beneficial to decode the whole thing, eventually, but just doing the last few pages should suffice. Granted, it's been awhile since I used this cipher, but I should remember it well enough."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

0.00 INK

#2 days 21 hr ago, as written by Hyperewok
Anna's gaze turned sharply back to Mycroft spoke of the boy that had been perhaps foolish enough to run into the center of the fire, but had survived nonetheless. Surely there was no clearer sign of the hand of the Lord than that. Of course, the sheriff surely would have questioned the boy with her own suspicions, and presumably shared them with the pack earlier. But Anna had certainly seen in the past that a Dog's presence could elicit a truth where others, even lawmen, could not. She committed the addresses to memory before nodding to Margaret with a subtle gesture to the door. For the moment, there was nothing else to as of the preacher.

She headed outwards, pausing at the doorway to incline her head respectfully to Mycroft. "Thank you, Father, you have been of great help. We will be sure to return for prayer when we are able to."

Once she and Margaret were outside and in relatively privacy, she walked down the street in the direction of the hospital, leaning in close as she spoke quietly to Margaret. "We can start with the boy and see if our missing comrades already spoke to him. If not him, then the other families. If the two of them were investigating the fires, there's only so many apparent people to speak with. We should find that trail swiftly."

Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard: Out Of Character (OOC)

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