The Marksman, Barkeep, Gunslinger, and Dr. Wolf: Rescued from the Rope

The last time we saw our fantastically facially blessed heroes, the Barkeep, Captain Crimson, and Gunslinger closed in on the Marksman, hiding out in a tavern and inn on the Isle of Cremouth. Hearing of the danger he posed, the trio ambushed the Marksman in hopes of safely reaching him for a conversation. After a tense stand-off, the Marksman reveals his intention to rescue the internally conflicted antihero, Dr. Wolf, from his impending execution after a rampage around the city. The Marksman’s further investigation led him to find that Dr. Wolf had dismantled a criminal empire, organized by a politically powerful mastermind whose schemes had oppressed the isle of Cremouth, Wolf’s home borough. Our trio of adventures join with the Marksman in hopes of gaining an ally by the exploit…


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The sun shines brightly and the sky is a perfect shade of blue in Cremouth today. A warm ocean breeze blows down the beautiful street, a light taste of salty sea air on the wind. In the months following Dr. Wolf’s capture and subsequent trial, the town has seen brighter days. The renaissance inspired facades of the businesses, now clean and maintained, are aglow, reflecting the light of the bright island sun. The temperature is warm but not oppressive. One could say it is a perfect day. For Dr. Wolf, it is the perfect day to die.


Citizens from all over Cremouth have gathered in the town square. Some were there because they believed justice was being served. Some were entranced by the whole affair and were curious at what would happen. Throughout the trials surrounding Dr. Wolf’s, several instances of corruption had been uncovered but very few of the offenders were still living to be prosecuted. The Parliament, while still moving to prosecute those who remained, determined that Wolf’s vigilante behavior, especially acted against government figures, could not be tolerated. 


So stands Dr. Wolf before the throng, hands bound and disheveled. The one of the few aspects of Dr. Wolf that remained well-kept was his beard, held in place by the balm the Doctor was able to sneak into his cell. Bystanders nearby catch a whiff of blueberry and tobacco. A rope tightly wrapped around his neck sat below his amber curtain of hair hanging from his chin.


A mysterious figure crouches on the roof of a nearby building. The sun was pleasant for those dressed appropriately for the weather, it was beginning to heat up for the Marksman in his dark cloak. He pulls his crossbow out from under his cloak and leans it up on the lip of the building, followed by his bog wood quiver. He pulls a small eye glass from a pouch on his belt. The officials for the execution are making their way up to the giant wooden platform around the gallows.


The Marksman selects a couple of slender arrows from his quiver, setting them on the ramps of his crossbow. He knows he only needs one shot, but he always loads two just in case. That’s the saying: “Two is one and one is none.” It would be truly unfortunate for the endangered Dr. Wolf if the one became none. Suddenly, four drummers march out and surround the platform, all the while drumming out their cadence.


*TAT-TA-TA-TAT-TA-TA-TAT*


The official moves to the center of the platform and begins to speak.


“We gather today to witness the execution of Dr. Remus Wolf. Let everyone who bears witness to this day contemplate the consequences of…” rambles the official.


The Marksman lays his crossbow over the lip of the building, aiming down the shaft of the arrow to the notch in the skull's head that adorned the front of the crossbow arms. There was the official, the executioner, and an officer of the guard presiding over the execution. The Marksman found his mark and waited for the sound of thundering hooves that would be his cue. The Marksman prays that the others succeeded in their mission. If not, both Dr. Wolf and The Marksman both will find the noose around their necks. 


“…serve as an example that no one is above the law. We pray that God may have mercy on Dr. Wolf’s soul,” finishes the official. He nods to the drummers and then retreats from the center of the platform. The drummers renew their drumming, this time with a faster cadence, a buzzing like a swarm of bees.


*tssssssssssss*


The executioner moves towards the lever controlling the trap door that will open up, dropping Dr. Wolf to his demise. Just then, the Marksman hears the rumble of horses galloping and the grinding of metal wheels echoing through the streets. Now was the time.


Several of the townspeople, hearing the racket turn to see the source of the sound. Down the cobblestone street races a massive armored bank wagon, completely covered in plate steel and thick steel wheels, pulled by a dozen Shire horses. The driver is hidden behind plate steel with a small window to run the reins out of and to see of course. The wagon approaches at alarming speed, not slowing down for the large crowd.


“LOOK OUT,” cries several voices from the crowd, parting as the wagon charges into the town square. The Marksman uses the confusion to loose a bolt from his crossbow. The arrow sails silently through the air, slices the hangman’s rope, then buries itself in the vertical beam of the gallows. Simultaneously, the driver pulls on the reins, directing the horses to dig in their hooves and turn around. As heavy as this wagon was, the horses were stronger. The sudden turn sends the wagon careening to the side, two wheels in the air, the other two sparking as they are drug across the cobblestone street.


The weighty wagon slams into the platform, breaking several supports, causing the platform to tilt forward and collapse. Those on the platform are thrown from their feet. Dr. Wolf falls, rolling toward the wagon. 


The captain of the guard is the first to recover as he tries to move in and secure Dr. Wolf. An arrow bounces of his helm, knocking him unconscious.


“Hmmm,” the Marksman chuckles, “Guess I needed that second arrow after all.”


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The heavy iron door on the back of the wagon swings open and the Gunslinger steps out, a single pistol drawn. He covers the people on stage, ensuring that no one tries anything, reaches down and pulls Dr. Wolf into the wagon. The Gunslinger slams the door and turns the weighty lock. The Barkeep slaps the reins and the horses take off again, pulling away from the decimated platform. As the horses barrels down the street, and the Gunslinger opens the top hatch of the wagon and climbs through. 


He climbs through the roof and lays down. Meeting up with the Marksman would be difficult, it was going to be incredibly touch-and-go. The Gunslinger looks to the rooftops and catches a glimpse of the Marksman running across the buildings. Several guards try to block the Marksman’s path but he draws a pair of knives and punches, kicks, slashes, and stabs his way through the fray. The Marksman moves like water past every guard in his path. The Gunslinger looks ahead and sees the large tent of the farmers market ahead. This was it. 


The Marksman jumps off a roof, sliding down the tent, and rolls onto the ground. He then jumps onto the side of the passing wagon.


“Hey buddy,” says the Gunslinger as he grabs the Marksman by the arm, pulling him onto the roof of the wagon. The two heroes then drop down into the wagon. The two then turn their attention to Dr. Wolf who was sitting on the floor.


The Marksman cuts his bonds with one of the many knives that hang from his shoulder sash. The Gunslinger hands him his coat, bowler hat, and cane.


“We’ll talk later,” says the Marksman to Dr. Wolf. It was going to have to be a quick transition from the borrowed bank wagon to Captain Crimson’s ship.


……………………………………………………………………………………………


The captain of the guard stands watching everyone file out of the town square. Wherever Dr. Wolf went, he hoped that he stayed there. He’d had enough craziness in this town for a lifetime. He didn’t want to see another one of those hooded figures again either. 


Just as the thought had entered his mind, a hooded figure emerged from the crowd heading towards him. He had a dark cloak on, just like the bounty hunter who tore through his guards earlier today.


“Hey you there,” said the officer, but the figure grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him into the alley. 


The figure lifted him up and pinned his shirt to the wall using a giant curved knife, shaped like a talon’s claw, with a ring made into the pommel.


“Was the Marksman here,” hissed the figure.


“Yes, yes he helped capture the Doctor,” trembled the guard. The figure’s strength was immense and his intensity shook the officer. 


“Tell me where,” commanded the figure.

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