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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?

1302 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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dogs_in_the_vineyard
Requires Approval: Yes

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Introduction

Image

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.

THEMES

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]Age:[/b]
[b]Gender:[/b]
[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.)

[b]Personality[/b]
   
This should be at least one paragraph.

[b]History[/b]
   
This does not have to be extensive, but at least one to two paragraphs.

[b]Goals[/b]

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

[b]Likes[/b][list]
   
[*]
[*]
[*]
[*]
[*]
[/list]

[b]Dislikes[/b][list]
   
[*]
[*]
[*]
[*]
[*]
[/list]
[/font]

Rules

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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Setting

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Sheriff Mills shook Anna's offered hand, nodding as she spoke. "Of course. I can give you the full story, as I know it, back in my office. If you'll follow me?"

That said, the Sheriff turned, leading the Dogs out of the train station and into town proper. A bustling and growing city met them, with people moving to and fro as they went about their daily business. She led them down the street toward her office, pointing out various local businesses of interest and other such sights. Nothing too remarkable, though the Sheriff did mention three places that might be pertinent to their investigation:

There was, of course, the town church. Well, churches. Abernathy was an urban city, having close to 30,000 souls who lived there regularly, and so of course there were multiple churches, of different faiths, all over the city. Abernathy had been much smaller before the railroad came, hosting a tenth of that number. After the arrival of the railroad, however, its population boomed, leading to it becoming one of the premier cities in the Deseret. Of course, its population paled in comparison to the over 100,000 souls who lived in New Life, but for a city that had held less than 500 people during the sixties and seventies, it was an impressive number.

Regardless, the Sheriff had pointed out a few of the churches they passed their way. Overwhelmingly, most of the churches in Abernathy were of the Faith, but there was also a smattering of Protestant churches in town, and one Jewish synagogue, according to the Sheriff. One church in particular stood out though: the First Church of Abernathy, so named for being the oldest, and first, church founded in the city. The Head Abbot of Abernathy would likely be stationed there, which meant there was a good chance he had talked to, or perhaps seen, the missing Dogs. Even if he hadn't, the local head priest would no doubt be a good source of information to learn more about the town.

The second location of interest was the Hotel Lancaster, a hotel near the train station that typically catered to rich and wealthy visitors, as well as the local elite. According to the Sheriff, the two missing Dogs had been offered rooms there, free of charge. They had stayed there for at least three nights, it seemed, though the Sheriff didn't know more beyond that. After Meyer and Mayfield were reported missing, Sheriff Mills had her deputies lock down the hotel rooms they'd used, so the investigators from New Life could check them out. Searching their hotel rooms would certainly be a good first stop, or near it, after they talked with the Sheriff.

Finally, the last location of note...wasn't so much a building, but what remained of it. They passed through a block of buildings that had obviously been damaged by a recent fire: most of the buildings present in that block showed varying levels of smoke and fire damage, with the epicenter of the fire located square in the middle. The epicenter had the worst of it, with only scorched remains left from the burnt out building.

Sheriff Mills murmured darkly as they passed that block, remarking that a fire had popped up in the area three weeks prior. She said no more than that, however, and simply insisted she'd elaborate further in her office.

Finally, they reached it, stopping before a building simply marked, 'Sheriff'. Jane Mills stepped inside, gesturing for the Dogs to join her. Unlike more rural sheriff offices, her office did not double as a jail, and instead was just a small building that housed the police officers assigned to this district in Abernathy, as well as her own walled-off office.

Once they were inside her office, Sheriff Mills closed the door behind them. She took a seat behind the desk arranged in the center of the room, and gestured for the Dogs to take the seats displayed in front of the desk. "I imagine you must have quite a few questions for me, Miss Ward. Well, I'm not sure I have all the answers you're looking for. I had my boys do a preliminary investigation when we got word that the Dogs went missing, but we haven't been too successful. Where do you want to begin?"

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Abernathy was more than familiar to Charles, in a sense, despite not having been to the city himself before. He had passed through dozen of boom towns that had exploded in size thanks to the railroad, when he had been working for the railroads themselves. He was hardly surprised to hear the sheriff speak of the diverse number of people in the city, as much as he knew some of his fellows within the Faith might believe, or at least wish, otherwise. Of course, it was only likely a city brimming with the Faithful that would tolerate a woman being their sheriff. He had to give credit to Mills, given the number of other people in the city that surely could not be so open minded. As they walked through the city, he only listened silently, observing the city around them.

"Been no trouble otherwise, Sheriff?" He drawled, once they arrived in her office, peering at her. The missing Dogs had surely asked such a question, even if they were only intending to pass through Abernathy. It was a Dogs' duty to mete out justice, even in the smallest forms, and some times troubles were easily and swiftly solved, if only because a brothel keeper couldn't do much staring down the barrel of a Dogs' revolver. And there was that look Mills had given the blackened ruin they had passed."What about that fire?"

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Sheriff Mills glanced over at Charles, frowning a bit as she mulled over her response. Her eyes narrowed a bit at the mention of the fire: it seemed to be a sore subject for her.

"There's always trouble, but that's to be expected in a city as big as Abernathy. Mostly petty stuff though. We've got our town drunks, our roughhousers, and other sorts of trouble-makers. Nothing too serious, aside from the occasional robbery or murder. And those get solved...or they don't. All in all, nothing you wouldn't expect to see in a city this size. About the biggest problem I've had to date is a moving brothel in town. It's...come to my attention that some sinners are running a moving brothel, of sorts, through town. It switches its location every week, and the people working for it are pretty secretive. I've really only heard rumors, and my investigations into it haven't turned up much." Sheriff Mills elaborated. The older woman sounding a bit frustrated as she described that last part.

All in all, nothing too surprising, mobile brothel aside. With a city this close to New Life, it was actually pretty bold to host such an institution here. But if they kept themselves mobile, never staying in a particular house or building for too long, then it made sense why the owners and workers had evaded capture for so long. And of course the patrons of such a place would be secretive and quiet about it, least its latest location be leaked to the police.

The rest, though, sounded mundane and simple enough. Minor crimes, even the occasional big one like murder or robbery, weren't entirely unexpected in a city the size of Abernathy. And unless something really went wrong, it was usually a simple matter for the city police to handle such things themselves.

"As to the fire...that is a somewhat long and complicated story." the Sheriff continued, a troubled frown crossing her withered face. "The fire itself happened three weeks ago, or thereabouts. Started in the middle of the night, and spread to the entire block. Thank the King of Life that our fire brigade managed to contain it there, though. We were able to quell the flames from there, until the fire burned itself out. Most everyone in that block were able to make it out alive, though some suffered burns or inhaled too much smoke. The Watson family wasn't so lucky, though. We believe the fire started at their house...and far as we've been able to tell, everyone died. We never found the body of the youngest there, a girl of thirteen, but her older brother and parents were found dead.

"That's not the whole story, however. Like I said, this is...a complicated matter." she said. That troubled expression still on Sheriff Mills' face as she spoke. "It's not unusual for fires to start now and again. Either through peoples stupidity, or the forces of nature. But this...is different. I have reason to believe that fire was started intentionally."

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Anna wrinkled her nose as she listened to the sheriff's description of a mobile brothel. It was a remarkably clever scheme. It had to be, certainly, to persist in a city so populated by the Faithful. That persistence and cleverness make it all the more corruptive, to fester in the heart of such a city. Under better circumstances, she would have relished such a chase, but as necessary as it was, it hardly seemed something that her missing comrades would have become involved in, in a city they were only passing through under direct orders to meet herself and Horatio at Red Road. Anna certainly expected that those profiting from the brothel would kill to keep their ill gotten gains, but it seemed too unlikely that her comrades could have found a great revelation from the passing curiosity, as short as their time in the city seemed to have been.

She glanced off idly as the sheriff continued her report through crimes that seemed even less likely to have troubled the other Dogs, her gaze snapping back to Mills at the mention of the missing child. The gnawing ache from the thought of the Red Road children welled up in her chest, but she stamped down on those feelings, only letting out the faintest exhale of a tight breath. It was a flagrant leap of judgement to assume a connection, to be sure, brought upon only by her frustration from that tragedy. The reality was that it was regrettably easy for the small body of a child to be lost in such a large fire, after all.

"We will inquire with the abbot and then search the hotel rooms. Thank you for your help, Sheriff Mills." Anna said, once Mills had finished, tipping her hat to her before turning and stepping back outside. She looked to her comrades once they had left the sheriff to her business. "We will have to be cautious here. It is quite likely the others did not expect an ambush in such a settled city and that may have been their downfall. Lord willing, the abbot will be able to point us to their trail, and if some foul wretch tries to interfere, then we will have someone to question."

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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"You said something about the fire being intentional?" Margaret questioned, before they left. "Mind explaining that?"

Sheriff Mills gave a nod. "Yes. I don't have any concrete proof...just a suspicion, really. But there are too many coincidences to ignore here. Four years ago, there was a terrible fire in Abernathy. A quarter of the city ended up being destroyed. We've managed to rebuild since then, but a lot of good people lost their lives. The year after that fire, on the exact anniversary...another fire sprouted up. We managed to contain it just to the block it originated in, however. At the time, I thought it was just a cruel coincidence. Then...the next year, on that same day, another fire. I was suspicious by that point, but there wasn't anything I could prove: if anything, people here were more inclined to believe it a curse from the Dark King. Then...just a few weeks ago, the 3rd anniversary came, and on that day, there was yet another fire.

"Like I said, I don't have any proof. But at this point, I'm confident we have a serial arsonist in town. I don't know why they're making fires on the anniversary of that awful day year after year, but I
know someone has to be behind it. Once is coincidence, twice is a cruel twist of fate, and three times is intentional. Someone in my city is setting fires the same day every year, but I have no idea who." the Sheriff declared.

Margaret pursed her lips at that, a troubled look overcoming her face as she heard the tale. One, even two times, she could buy it as coincidence. Three times, however, proved intent. Someone in this city had to be setting fires once every year: maybe they were even behind that original, devastating fire four years ago. Either way, it seemed a good chance that there was an arsonist running about.

...Well, maybe not. One other possibility crossed her mind. But Margaret truly hoped this was just the work of some cruel man, and not...something else. The last time she'd encountered 'something else', her entire Pack had been burned alive.

Once the group was assembled outside, Margaret turned her attention to Anna. She nodded at her words, finding them agreeable enough. "Do you want us to split up, then, Anna? One team could go question the Head Abbot, and the other investigate the hotel room. Of course...staying together for safety's sake might be best, too. If Meyer and Mayfield were ambushed in town, we have no idea what lengths their attackers will go to to cover up their crimes."

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Charles idly stroked his beard as he listened to the sheriff. More trouble than expected, for sure, but such was the nature of a city. At least, a city that wasn't the Faith's capital, but holy cities surely were the exception, not the norm. The sheriff's suspicion of an arsonist made sense to Charles, but if the anniversary had passed, the trail was certainly cold. His lips curled up in amusement at that wordplay, but he quickly pursed his lips back into a poker face, lest that rigid young woman of a Pack leader think he was finding some amusement from the dire straits of Abernathy. But clearly Anna didn't seem intending to pursue that trail either and Charles just tipped his hat to the sheriff with a friendly smile before following his comrades outside.

"Reckon we could split up, two's safe enough company. We sure know to be cautious. The poor souls we're tracking prolly didn't think to expect an ambush, in a place like that." He frowned solemnly at the thought, one he expected that other Dogs might not be so willing to entertain. The Dogs may have had training to match the most grizzled of gunslingers that he'd seen in his travels, and the Lord's blessings on top of that, but they were still ultimately only men, and the Faith certainly taught that only the King of Life was infallible among mankind.

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Sonia nodded in agreement, finding the idea sensible. Of course, Anna would be the ultimate say in the matter, but splitting up into teams, to cover more ground, made the most logical sense to her.

"If we're splitting up, how should we do it, and who'll cover what?" she inquired, looking over at their Pack Leader. "I don't mind teaming up with Charles, and checking out the hotel. We can leave the Head Abbott to you and Margaret, and meet back near here in say...an hour or so? That should give both teams enough time to do their business."

That seemed like enough time to her to follow these first two leads, and maybe check into any further ones that might spring forward from there. And once an hour had passed, they could reconvene here, or back at the sheriff's office proper, and compare notes. Once they had a good idea of the timeline here, of how long Meyer and Mayfield had stayed in-town and where they'd gone, it would hopefully be an easy matter to find out where and when they had disappeared.

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Anna looked among her newfound pack as she considered, her jaw set rigidly in concentration. Splitting up could be a risk, given the threats that could be arrayed before them. Such threats had ambushed two other Dogs, after all, unaware as they may have been. But that trail could grow cold if she led her pack too cautiously. And Sonia was no pup herself, to be offering her counsel.

"I agree." She said, perhaps with a hint of sentiment as she looked to Margaret. That small selfishness of time with an old friend was surely no great falling. Sonia and Charles certainly had every indication of competent Dogs in their own right and it was best that she as the Pack Leader saw to the city's Head Abbott. "I will need to see to the abbott myself and Margaret can accompany me. We must presume that we are in danger while we remain in the city, as our comrades were. We will have to act with great care. But we still must be swift enough to bring this evil to light. We'll meet here at the sheriff's office in an hour, and Lord willing, we will have better leads to pursue by then."

She nodded to Sonia and Charlies, before promptly heading off towards the church with Margaret in tow. "It's good we have time together, at least, ill news aside." Anna said idly to Margaret as they continued through the street. "It's been far too long."

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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"Indeed. It has been far too long since we last saw one another." Margaret replied, nodding slightly at Anna. A small smile tugging at her lips, as she walked alongside her old friend. Indeed, it had been too long since they'd last seen each other. Exchanging letters was fine and all, but it was nothing compared to physically being together with a loved one or friend.

"I will admit, though, I cannot help but feel slightly jealous. We graduated at the same time, but here you are: commanding your own Pack before I do. It must feel satisfying to some degree, no?" she continued on a moment later, her tone light and teasing as she playfully elbowed Anna.

"Alms? Alms for the poor?" came a distant voice, not long after Anna's reply.

They weren't far from the First Church of Abernathy now, but Margaret felt compelled to see where the voice had come from. She found it soon enough: it seemed to be the voice of a disheveled looking homeless woman. She was sitting against the wall of a butcher's shop, holding out a wide-brimmed hat as she begged for money on the street. The denizens of Abernathy passed her by without a second thought though, most walking by her without even looking at the poor woman.

And Margaret felt that same urge, some quiet voice in her mind urging her to pay the woman no heed, to go about her business and keep going to the church. To ignore her, like everyone else, and resume her duties. Her better sensibilities fought against that notion however: with the certainty that ignoring that poor woman's plight was morally wrong and a sin. Indeed, her training as a Dog, and her moral upbringing, made her certain of that. But then, where was that urge to ignore her coming from?

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Charles strolled down the street in the other direction alongside Sonia, whistling idly to himself and giving every impression of one casually as off-guard as anyone would be in a city that certainly wasn't rife with gunslingers and robbers anymore. But he was still carefully listening to and watching his surroundings, his eyes darting back and forth subtly as he glanced towards the corners of buildings as soon as the two of them were starting to pass by, before his gaze would then turn back to the crowds of city folk going about their day. That was the problem of such a large city that was not so safe as all those poor souls thought. Even if there was only the sherriff's problems to deal with, sinners and madmen all seeking to sate their dark urges, such things lurked under the pristine vision of even this Faithful city. He let out a low, amused breath to himself at the thought. At least on the frontier, the threats and the sins were all flagrantly apparent. Gunslingers settled their grudges at midday, at least usually. And the ones without such decency only had so many places to ambush from in the ramshackle mining towns that barely had a half dozen buildings to even call it a town.

But satisfied enough for the moment that an ambush wasn't immediately imminent, he let his gaze turn back to his compatriot, the Dog rugged and worn with age, even more than he was. He certainly hadn't met many Dogs that looked nearly so old, certainly to be expected in such a calling, but he was obliged to admit to himself that he was hardly a young blood himself. Instead, he just cracked a friendly grin as he spoke. "Reckon they even bunked the night at the hotel? I figured some of y'all ain't comfortable at the thought of fine living, even for a night."

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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"Some might not, but I'd consider such a blessing from the Lord. Besides, if someone offers me free bed and board, who am I to say no?" Sonia countered, smiling lightly as she glanced over at Charles. "Of course, that's just how I'd view it. It's always possible Meyer and Mayfield were more frugal and uncomfortable with accepting such an offer. I suppose we'll find out soon enough, either way."

Had she been in Mayfield or Meyer's place, Sonia definitely would have accepted such an offer. Living piously was a good goal of course, but one could also agrue that a free stay at a first class hotel could be a gift from the Lord, and so they should accept such an offer based on that premise. That was how Sonia viewed the matter, at least. She knew plenty of Dogs might disagree with her...but, having lived as long as she had, she honestly wouldn't pass up a night at a free room in a hotel. She'd slept on the cold hard ground, on lice-infested beds, on hardwood floors, and everything inbetween. One night of creature comforts wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, and besides, it wasn't like anyone could say the Lord wouldn't approve of his Dogs taking up such an offer. The Book of Life certainly praised a humble lifestyle, but it also said to accept gifts at face-value, and to not spit on the generosity of others.

At any rate, it didn't take long to reach the Hotel Lancaster. Once they walked in, a rather impressive and stylized foyer would greet them. Between the plush red carpeting and the expensive-looking chairs and sofas, the hotel's lobby reeked of wealth and upper-class living. Definitely the sort of hotel a traveling businessman would stay at, and similar clientele. Interesting that the owner of the hotel offered two Dogs a free stay, then. Perhaps he or she was a Devout person?

Regardless, Sonia walked over to the front desk, nodding lightly at the clerk sitting behind it. It was an older gentleman, perhaps near Carver's age, dressed in a formal suit. The man couldn't help but look at the two of them with slight disdain, taking in their more gruff appearances, but one look at the guns holstered at their sides stayed any choice words the front desk manager had for them.

"Welcome to the Hotel Lancaster. How may I...help the two of you today?" he inquired, as he quickly adopted a pleasant and friendly smile.

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Anna smirked wryly in return, nudging Margaret back. "You'll have your own pack soon enough. I had the blessing of a good mentor for these last few years. It is satisfying, but..." She still would have gladly stepped back down for the chance to work with Horatio on another mission, especially one with such dark tidings. But all she could do was briefly pray once more that his own search would be successful, and return her focus to her own. "But I still would hope it would not be too soon that you are off with your own. I would like for us to be able to ride together for awhile longer." She said with another faint smile, before pausing as she followed Margaret's gaze to the beggar

She wrinkled her nose with distaste at the sight of the beggar. It was a blemish on the city's preacher, to leave one of his flock adrift, instead of guiding him towards honest labor. There were no beggars in New Life, after all. But chastising preachers for such a minor matter was far from her duties, even without such a vital mission as there was now. She would need the preacher's full focus on the missing Dogs when she questioned him. She simply took a coin from her coat pocket, giving the woman a cursory glance as she tossed the coin into her hat and continued onwards. There was too much work to be done already and Anna strode onwards up to the steps of the church.

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
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Margaret spared one last glance toward the beggar, before moving along with Anna. There was something odd about her, something that nagged at her mind, but she didn't have time to really dwell on the matter. Instead, she walked up the steps with her companion, getting up there first and opening the front door for the both of them.

"Worry not, Anna. I'm sure we'll be riding together for some time." she replied to her friend's last words, even as her eyes took in the sight of the church itself.

The front door opened to a wide and opulent looking chapel. Pews made up the majority of the space, at least on the first floor. Margaret spotted a door near the entrance that was closed, which she supposed might lead up to the second story of the building itself. To the back of the chapel there was a large podium, likely where the priest spoke from. And in the back, see could see more closed doors: either other entrances to the floors above, or they led into a different area, perhaps a kitchen or a room for prayer.

Thankfully, they wouldn't have to go about searching for the Father, as they spotted him near the back of the pews, sitting on one of the benches and reading the Book of Life. And as the Dogs approached, he looked up from his holy book, perhaps sensing their presence.

He stood up to greet them, smiling kindly at them. He seemed to be an older man, perhaps in his fifties or sixties. While he may not have been old enough to have been one of the town's founders, certainly he seemed old enough to have seen Abernathy change and develop these last few decades. Growing from a small frontier town, to one of the most populous cities in the Deseret, only behind New Life itself in terms of population and prestige. It made Margaret wonder how the old man had changed with the town, or if he was one of the stubborn few who refused to change with the times.

"Greetings, my dear sisters. I am Father Joseph Mycroft, Head Abbot of the First Church of Abernathy. How may I help you two today?" the older man sweetly inquired.

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

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