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Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard

Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard

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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?

11,330 readers have visited Dogs in Almighty God's Vineyard since Magus1108 created it.

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

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]
   
[*]
[*]
[*]
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[*]
[/list]

[b]Dislikes[/b][list]
   
[*]
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Toggle 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!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 4 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
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While Sonia watched the rear entrance and Charles checked out the floor, Margaret moved toward the other main doorway, setting herself alongside the opposite side of the door handle before she cautiously reached over to open it. The door creaked open without issue, and Margaret peered into the darkness within, her gun pointed forward. She glanced inside, squinting as her eyes tried to adjust to the pitch-black darkness of the room. When she was finally able to properly see, Margaret openly gasped.

It was at that same time that a peculiar and rather odious smell filtered into the wider area, a smell that all four of the Dogs were all too familiar with. The smell of a rotting corpse.

"Anna, come quick," she hurriedly urged.

Margaret grabbed the nearest candle available, and used it to shed light into the darkened room. Inside, three pale-faced bodies stared back at them. They were of an older man, an older woman, and a young girl barely into her teens. The man and the woman were chained to the wall, while the girl was bound to a table in the center of the room. A tray containing bloodied medical instruments laid next to her. The bodies of the man and woman bore evident signs of torture, with slits across their throats as the most obvious sign of their demise. The body of the girl, however, was cut open in a manner most foul and ghastly: her chest cavity was exposed to the world, torn open no doubt with the instruments around her.

"Jesus. That must be Melissa Watson. And the other two..." Margaret trailed off, before cautiously approaching the body of the woman. She stared carefully at her still face, noting the Watchdog tags dangling from her neck, before pulling back. "They have to be Dogs Meyer and Ford. There's no doubt about it."

Her eyes darted back over to Melissa, and despite her growing nausea, Margaret carefully chanced a look at her exposed chest. The look of utter pain and anguish on Melissa's face told a clear story. "It...looks like they cut her open while she was still alive. And...God, her heart is missing. I can see her other organs, but her heart, it's just...gone."

The setting changes from Dogs in God's Vineyard to

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Anna ran without the slightest pause at Margaret's call, scowling as she quickly caught the scent of rot before anything else.

"Goddammit." She couldn't help but curse again, gripping tighter still at her revolver in a vain attempt to steady her trembling fury. "Goddammit."

Charles followed soon after, only to jerk to a halt with a muttered swear of his own. For all that he had seen of mangled corpses before, more than he could ever count, his stomach roiling as his gaze lingering on the girl's body. Bowing his head, he mumbled a prayer, difficult that it was to muster words.

Anna said nothing further for a long moment, glaring at the corpses, forcing sharp breaths in and out through gritted teeth. Eventually, she spoke up. "Leave them be. We need to keep moving. The heretics can't have gotten far. There has to be a path they took." She ordered, quickly looking further about the room, all the more furiously searching for a hint of a trail.

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Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
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Anna ran without the slightest pause at Margaret's call, scowling as she quickly caught the scent of rot before anything else.

"Goddammit." She couldn't help but curse again, gripping tighter still at her revolver in a vain attempt to steady her trembling fury. "Goddammit."

Charles followed soon after, only to jerk to a halt with a muttered swear of his own. For all that he had seen of mangled corpses before, more than he could ever count, his stomach roiling as his gaze lingering on the girl's body. Bowing his head, he mumbled a prayer, difficult that it was to muster words.

Anna said nothing further for a long moment, glaring at the corpses, forcing sharp breaths in and out through gritted teeth. Eventually, she spoke up. "Leave them be. We need to keep moving. The heretics can't have gotten far. There has to be a path they took." She ordered, quickly looking further about the room, all the more furiously searching for a hint of a trail.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
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Anna ran without the slightest pause at Margaret's call, scowling as she quickly caught the scent of rot before anything else.

"Goddammit." She couldn't help but curse again, gripping tighter still at her revolver in a vain attempt to steady her trembling fury. "Goddammit."

Charles followed soon after, only to jerk to a halt with a muttered swear of his own. For all that he had seen of mangled corpses before, more than he could ever count, his stomach roiling as his gaze lingering on the girl's body. Bowing his head, he mumbled a prayer, difficult that it was to muster words.

Anna said nothing further for a long moment, glaring at the corpses, forcing sharp breaths in and out through gritted teeth. Eventually, she spoke up. "Leave them be. We need to keep moving. The heretics can't have gotten far. There has to be a path they took." She ordered, quickly looking further about the room, all the more furiously searching for a hint of a trail.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
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Margaret nodded, and she rejoined the others in searching out the basement room. It took another ten minutes of thorough and careful search: their target was so well hidden, that it almost escaped Sonia's notice. But she was the first to notice a series of odd scratch marks etched on the floor near a bookcase built into the wall. Her eyes narrowed, and she started pulling at books in a hurry: it was on her fifth try that a soft, sudden 'click' echoed through the room, and the wall partially opened as the bookcase suddenly swung out, revealing a secret tunnel carved through the hotel's foundations.

"Well, they are a cult...I suppose secret entrances and tunnels only makes sense for them," Margaret remarked.

After peering out into the darkness, and seeing no one in the immediate area, they cautiously made their way into the tunnel, Anna leading the way with a candle taken off of the table in the room. The small, paltry light was not nearly enough to illuminate the otherwise darkened tunnel, but it provided enough light to guide them forward, illuminating the path ahead through the barest margin as they traversed through the tunnel.

They traveled for some time: at least ten minute's worth, until they reached a central juncture through the tunnel system. Stretched out before them now where several branching paths: one to the right, one to the left, and one in the center. And, of course, there was the path behind them that led back to the hotel.

"A series of secret tunnels that stretch under the town?" Sonia murmured to herself, eyeing her surroundings warily. Every flicker of shadow had her spooked, and she couldn't help but wonder if and when someone or something would jump out at them. "They must have an extensive operation here. But, if a cult like this has been able to operate in a city like Abernathy, undetected this entire time...well, that only makes sense."

"The question is, which path do we take?" Margaret questioned. "There's no way of knowing which path leads where....I don't see any markers here. Perhaps..."

She trailed off, an idea sparking to her mind. She gestured for Anna to lower their candlelight closer to the ground, and once she did so, Margaret spotted what she was hoping to find. They were faint, but she could see a trail of footsteps leading toward the rightmost tunnel path. Unfortunately, a second set of footprints verged off toward the central tunnel as well, throwing an unfortunate wrench into her discovery.

"Not bad," Sonia complemented. "Assuming these tracks are from those bastards from earlier, then it seems we have their trail. But...hm, no way of telling which set of 'prints is most recent. Hell, for all we know, they could have split up, and gone down different paths..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna Ward Character Portrait: Charles Carver Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
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"Thank the Lord." Anna murmured ever so faintly as she hurried to Sonia when she found the passage, careful not to let the relief show, intent on given the image of the stern, confident Dog she had to be in such a moment. "Quickly, now. They can't be far ahead."

Of course, they could only move so swiftly in a dark, cramped tunnel, mindful of ambushes that they had to be, and Anna gripped her pistol tight enough to leave her hand trembling once more, furiously aching for the opportunity to use it. Charles followed at the rear, all the more tense in such cramped quarters, keeping a careful watch for any hint of movement behind them.

Anna hissed, but managed to refrain the curse, when they arrived to the passage's split. At Margerat's suggestion, she lowered the light, and let out another annoyed breath as the trail became clearer.

"Damned madness." Charles muttered from the rear, grimacing at the thought of how extensive the scheming had gone. "Should we split?"

"No, we go as one. The Lord will guide us." Anna said, not voicing the inevitability that they had surely split up. Without hesitation, she stepped to the right, and began marching down the tunnel with the light and her pistol raised and readied.

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View All » Add Character » 9 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Horatio Morale
Character Portrait: Anna Ward
Character Portrait: Charles Carver
Character Portrait: Ira Murphy
Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood

Newest

Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
Sonia Redwood

"There is no time to regret the past. You can only look forward, and strive to make a better future."

Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
Margaret Thorne

"I will avenge those who have fallen, no matter the cost!"

Character Portrait: Ira Murphy
Ira Murphy

"You will profess your love for the One True God, or die by the flame. It is your choice."

Character Portrait: Charles Carver
Charles Carver

"Wise man once told me, 'If I save but one soul, then all my suffering has been justified.'"

Character Portrait: Anna Ward
Anna Ward

"The wicked have no place in the vineyard we have wrought. So sayeth the King of Life."

Character Portrait: Horatio Morale
Horatio Morale

"Sometimes all you can do is just live day by day."

Trending

Character Portrait: Anna Ward
Anna Ward

"The wicked have no place in the vineyard we have wrought. So sayeth the King of Life."

Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
Sonia Redwood

"There is no time to regret the past. You can only look forward, and strive to make a better future."

Character Portrait: Charles Carver
Charles Carver

"Wise man once told me, 'If I save but one soul, then all my suffering has been justified.'"

Character Portrait: Horatio Morale
Horatio Morale

"Sometimes all you can do is just live day by day."

Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
Margaret Thorne

"I will avenge those who have fallen, no matter the cost!"

Character Portrait: Ira Murphy
Ira Murphy

"You will profess your love for the One True God, or die by the flame. It is your choice."

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Horatio Morale
Horatio Morale

"Sometimes all you can do is just live day by day."

Character Portrait: Charles Carver
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

"You will profess your love for the One True God, or die by the flame. It is your choice."

Character Portrait: Anna Ward
Anna Ward

"The wicked have no place in the vineyard we have wrought. So sayeth the King of Life."

Character Portrait: Sonia Redwood
Sonia Redwood

"There is no time to regret the past. You can only look forward, and strive to make a better future."

Character Portrait: Margaret Thorne
Margaret Thorne

"I will avenge those who have fallen, no matter the cost!"


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