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Jonah Corbin

"I'm done fighting. Just leave me and my lot alone."

0 · 206 views · located in Fort Trinity

a character in “The Ballad of Fort Trinity”, as played by XavierDantius32

Description

Jonah has been defined by conflict and struggle. The Civil War molded him from an idealistic youth, to a hard and bitter man. This is evident in the deep lines on his weather-beaten face, rough skin sagging away from his skull. A wild tangle of dark hair hangs to his shoulders, a close cropped goatee framing his narrow, stress-tightened lips. His eyes glare wildly from sunken sockets, dark green flecked with black.

Times have been hard for ranchers across the state, and Jonah's dress reflects this. Cheap wool shirts and trousers, tucked into black riding boots, with his old double-breasted cavalry coat, faded where his sergeant's stripes used to be.

Personality

Jonah is a recluse, rendered bitter and angry by the horrors of war. As such, he isn't particularly likable, due to his penchant for strong drink and his general irritability in conversation and action. Often, Jonah's first recourse is violence, applying brute force to solve any problem. When violence doesn't work, he heads back to the bottle, simply ignoring the issue until it becomes overwhelming.

Equipment

Life is hard on the frontier, where few people go without carrying a weapon, and Jonah is no exception. His LeMat revolver hangs on his hip, hand-carved wooden grips inscribed with the motto of his regiment. He keeps a number of battered but functional lever-action rifles and shotguns in the ranch house, to defend his property from marauding Comanche and the bandits that roam the prairie.

So begins...

Jonah Corbin's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonah Corbin
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Jonah Corbin


The herd was thinning, both in terms of numbers, and how thin the cattle were looking. Hooped ribs poked against moth-eaten hide, the animals lowing discontentedly under the blazing sun. Jonah spurred his nag forward, one hand resting on the brass butt-plate of the twin-barrel swinging from his saddle. The Comanches had come again. Kicking down the wood and wire fence with boots and hooves, dragging away his livelihood with woven lassos and spears.

He was down to seventy, from a herd of almost two hundred five years ago. Disease, starvation and banditry had claimed the majority of his cattle, his debts mounting as he scraped to repair the barn, claimed in one of the boldest Comanche raids he'd ever seen. The Indian did not want him here. The town was safe, protected by the Gentleman and his crew, but his plot, out in the prairie was an easy target.

He followed the dry creek bed that bisected his plot, the nag's hooves kicking up a small trail of dust, obscuring the hoof prints created by the unshod feet of Comanche horses, dragging along five of his herd. He could see the gap in the fence, the posts kicked down, almost ripped from the earth. The sticky traces of dried blood remained on the wire, from where an angry cow had careened into it. Jonah pulled the shotgun from the saddle, settling it across his bowed knees as he nudged the horse forward, crossing the boundary, out into the wild plain.

The Comanche had driven his property back towards their hideouts in the distant hills, a good three hours hard riding. The cows would be butchered by now, hides turned into tents, meat fed to the starving. A noble cause, but at the expense of his livelihood. He'd have to head into town, see if Klaus, the moneylender of German extraction would give him another advance on the loan, so he could afford to fix the fence, and roof the barn.




The town was quiet, as always. The Gentleman was in residence, and no-one wanted to run afoul of the Lucky Sevens for some imagined slight. The Stultz's place was still smoldering, smoke hanging over the town like a death shroud. Jonah's gnarled hand rested on the wooden grip of the brutish LeMat at his waist, the other loosely holding the reigns as the nag wandered down the main street.

He tied her outside the saloon, empty save for a few travelers taking a rest before hurrying on. He slipped from the saddle, adjusting the twin bandoleers of shells and bullets that criss-crossed his thick waist. The moneylender's office was across the street from the saloon, a squat wood-paneled building with a gabled roof and peeling wooden columns flanking the glass-paned double doors. Outside, leaned one of Klaus's hired hands, a waspish man with round spectacles and a bowler hat, a gold watch chain crossing his gray waistcoat.

As Jonah approached, the clerk pushed the spectacles back up his hooked nose, ink-stained fingers tapping on the grip of a pepperbox pistol hooked into his trousers, a note of suspicion clouding his face. “I'll 'ave to take that pistol, Mister Corbin.” The man rasped, tapping ash from a short-stemmed pipe held in his other hand.

Jonah grunted a rough acknowledgement, tugging the bulky frame of his own gun free from the holster with a flick of his wrist, presenting it to the clerk by the grip. The clerk tucked the weapon into his black leather belt, sticking the pipe in his breast pocket as he reached for the watch. “Mister Kohlmann is in a meeting, so you'll 'ave to wait out 'ere.
Nodding again, Jonah settled against one of the peeling wooden pillars, inspecting his grime encrusted hands, nibbling at the corner of his thumbnail. A few minutes later, a portly man pushed through the doors, slicking back his sweat soaked hair with a pudgy hand, smoothing down his waistcoat with the other. “Good to see you, Marvin.” He remarked to the clerk, as he waddled down the steps, throwing an uneasy glance at the heavy-set Jonah in his gray Confederate coat, with the ammunition festooning his waist.

Marvin tipped his hat and glanced through the glass paneled door. “Mister Kohlmann'll see you now.”

The office was opulently furnished, gilt-framed oil paintings hanging from the roughly plastered walls, plush furniture off to the side under one of the large windows. Klaus Kohlmann sat behind a large hardwood desk, imported from some fancy furniture company up north. He was a small, portly man with thinning hair and drooping jowls, a limp mustache clinging to his top lip. His large spectacles and black eyes made him almost insect-like, hunched over a mountain of ledgers, ink-stained fingers grasping his pen.

Another servant stepped forward, motioning to take Jonah's coat, but he waved the man away, striding brusquely into the inner sanctum of the moneylender's office. The German looked up from a ledger, tapping the dripping pen into an ink-well set into the ornate desk. “Ah, Mister Corbin. What can I do for you?” His accent was thick and guttural, small gobbets of spittle spraying from his mouth on every hard syllable.

“I need another advance.” Jonah responded, folding his arms, glaring down at the squat man who was slowly bleeding him dry.

Kohlmann paused, removing his spectacles and setting them to one side. “I can't do that, Mister Corbin. You're already three months behind on your lease payments.

“You think I don't know that, mister?” Jonah retorted, thrusting himself forward, resting both palms on the desk. “I ain't got no more money. The drought and the injuns are killin' my heard, s'all I can do to keep 'em off the property.”

The moneylender set his hands in his lap, recoiling slightly from Jonah's aggression, flashing a glance at the clerk in the far corner who slipped the pepperbox from his belt. “That's unfortunate, but it is not my concern. Fifteen hundred dollars by the end of the month or I send my boys out to take what's mine. Good day.”

Kohlmann replaced his spectacles and returned to the open ledger with a look of disinterest, the scratch of the pen filling the office. Jonah was seething, his narrow face slowly turning a deep shade of red. “You can't brush me off like that, you fat bastard.” He yelled, sweeping aside a pile of ledgers, reaching out for the man's collar.

He was brought up short by the metallic click of a revolver, brandished by the clerk. The six barrels of the ugly pepperbox glared out at Jonah, matched by the steely gaze of the man behind them. “I suggest you take your effects and leave, Mister Corbin.” Kohlmann responded, a note of steel entering his voice. “Before things get out of hand.”

Jonah staggered from the office, the LeMat back in his holster. With a brutal grunt of anger, he smashed his fist against one of the decaying wooden pillars, raising a great cloud of splinters and shattered wood. Still seething, he headed for the saloon, the urge to drown himself in whiskey pushing itself to the forefront of his mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Shay Character Portrait: Jonah Corbin Character Portrait: Madeline Whitten Character Portrait: J. Jackson
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Max looked up from the bar as Jonah walked in. The man was a bit of a fixture, drowning his sorrows in whiskey on many a night. He had the bottle in hand and a shot poured for him before Jonah was fully inside the saloon.

“Evening Jonah.” The bartender gave him a nod. “Give me a nod if you want another.” The bartender turned his attention to one of the girls and a few of the other patrons.

Maddy let a small almost sad laugh out at the stranger’s comment. “We were once all lost and wayward, at least some of us still have our souls.”

His hand slid on the counter. Maddy could see the bills under the calloused hands. Times like this still took her by surprise. The men knew her to be the less flirtatious or gaudy of the girls but they treated her like they did all the saloon girls. Rarely a situation like this occurred. A stranger who was a bit more reserved and cautious.

“Shy and kind...with blue eyes. Dangerous combination.” Maddy thought as she laid her hand on his. She was glad her heart didn’t swoon like it once had.

Her smile remained and she sighed just a little, “Plenty left for you. How about we start with a hot bath and get your clothes cleaned?” Maddy moved around the bar to stand beside him. “Lots of water heated and ready for weary travellers.”

Maddy took his hand and waited for him to grab his hat and coat. Her other hand quickly slipped the bills away.

She paused, another stranger entering the saloon. He made his way to the bar, Max serving him his bourbon. “So many new faces. I wonder how many will stay and how many will end up in the ground.”


Maddy smiled began to lead the way upstairs when a yell made everyone in a saloon stop. At first it could have easily been mistaken for the wind but Nellie moved to a window and looked out.

“The the hell does that boy think he’s doing? He is going to get himself shot. I don’t know who he’s looking for but I hope for his mama’s sake it isn’t one of the Sevens.” Nellie moved to the door and stuck her head out.

“If you know what’s good for you son you will get yourself back home before you make your mother sick with worry.” Nellie placed a hand on her hip.

Maddy shook her head. “Pay them no mind. I am sure they will get it all sorted out.” She looked back at the stranger and continued up the stairs. She led him down the hallway. From the closed doors on either side sounds of laughter, voices and other activities could be heard. Near the end of the hall, Maddy opened a door.

The room was small, a tub and small table taking up most of the space. A chair sat in the corner. It was one of four rooms on the upper floor meant for bathing. Maddy stepped inside. The tub was already full of hot water. All the tubs in the place would remain full as long as the saloon was full. The kitchen staff would work tirelessly to keep large pots of water hot and at the ready.

“You can undress and get in. Soap’s there.” She pointed to the table. “Give me a yell once you are in, I’ll be just outside the door. I will give your clothes off to be cleaned. You’ll have them back as soon as they are finished with them.”

She moved towards the man, stopping just in front of him. Maddy cocked her head, her eyes sparkling with amusement in the lamplight. “You have a name? Help so I know whose clothes I am giving over.”