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Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

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Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:31 am

---Let it be known, Ladies and Gentlemen, That in the nineteenth century, in the time between the fall of the Emperor of the French and the first Great War, was an age unrecorded in conventional history, the Age of Steam.

When great empires stretched across the world like blankets over the land and sea. Prussia with its iron strength and discipline, France and its shining culture, the ancient Empire of the Ottomans and their sun baked horsemen, China as eternal and mysterious as the moon, the American States and its free frontiers. But the greatest empire of the world was Britannia, whose mighty fleets and industry made her the most powerful nation of the earth.

In this time lived Cale Cimmaron, with black hair and grey eyes. Gun in hand, he was a thief, a rogue, a swordsman. With great sorrows, and great joys. And in his time he trod about on the thrones of the world with his booted feet.---


Last edited by agmorgan on Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Format issues)

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:43 pm

New York City, the greatest city of the New World, did not sleep. But at night, most of its citizens did. The men working on one of the ferry docks of Manhattan were not so lucky.

Though perhaps 'working' is not the right word. Loafing is probably more appropriate. They were playing a game of dice behind some crates, out of sight from those working, and the stakes had steadily risen all evening.

"'Leven!" exclaimed one of the gamblers in a triumphant but low voice.

As the seedy looking man reached for his winnings amid the groans and complaints of his fellows the even seedier looking man seated across from him commented "Dats fur in a row, MacFein, an anoider tree before dat." Trying to look as disinterested as possible he continued, "You ain't been engineerin' no luck tonoite, 'ave ya?"

"Wot kinda ting is dat ta ax a man, Mr. VanDime?" returned MacFein, smiling with both rows of teeth. Raising his voice to be heard over the sound of people disembarking off the ferry he continued, "No call ta be acoosin' me jus 'cus yer loosin'."

"Jus pla the game." growled another, slightly drunker, dockloafer.

"Luv ta." said MacFein. "But wot you gonna bet wit?" asked the lucky gambler, as he made to stow the pile of winnings.

"Dis." answered VanDime, as he produced from the pocket of his coat a black iron box seven inches by five, with a closed off valve on one side, wrapped in leather. He put the box on the crate they were using as a dicing table, and displayed it proudly. He leaned back, waiting for one of them to ask the question.

MacFein obliged. "Whot's dat?"

VanDime explained, "Dat, my friends, is an Eternal Foir Box. Powafull ingun medicien dat. Go on, touch it." By way of example, he leaned forward and touched the box.

MacFein hesitated, then did the same. The dark iron was warm, almost hot, to the touch. But MacFein wasn't too impressed. "So?"

VanDime, feeling he'd not gotten the reaction he deserved, went on. "It's an Eternal Foir box! Here, wotch dis." VanDime donned a couple of thick gloves from another of his pockets, and picked up the box. He gripped the valve's knob and turned it slightly.


Last edited by A.G.Morgan on Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Can't get it to indent for paragraphs)

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:14 pm

The assembled gamblers heard the sound of air being sucked in, like the reverse of a hiss, then a roar like that of a furnace coming from the little box. Quickly, VanDime shut the valve back, and dropped the box back on the crate.

While VanDime took off his gloves, MacFein carefully put his hand to the box. Without even touching the box, he could feel the heat radiating from it. Suddenly he could see the practical applications of such a device.

"You could 'eat a stove, or warm a 'ole 'ouse." said MacFein, with visions of never needing firewood again.

"Or power a steam engine." interrupted a voice from beyond the light of the single, low burning lantern.

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:26 am

The company turned to regard this newcomer. In the dark they could not make out the high cheek bones, aquiline nose, and bronze skin that covered it all and marked his mixed heritage, and if they wanted to say something about his slow and careful southern accent, the way he seemed to tower drove the thought from their minds.
"Oo are you?" asked VanDime, annoyed that the stranger had stolen the words right out of his mouth.
"I am Cale Cimmaron." answered the stranger. "I heard you talkin' and the Fire Box interests me."

VanDime smiled at this, and said "Good, Good, I whus just about to suggest MacFein 'ere put all his winnin's 'gainst my box."

"If you can meet my bet."added MacFein in a low voice as he pushed the mound of bills, coins, and odd valuables into the center of the gaming crate.

Cale reached into his brown duster, and pulled out a leather pouch. He up-ended it on the wooden boards, making a small pile of silver.

The half a dozen or so dockloafers had been suspisious of this man before, but now they were sure he was some kind of wild injun bandit. But they were not particuarly worried about that, the least among them being the veteran of countless brawls and fights.

"Roight." said VanDime, handing the dice to MacFein.
MacFein rubbed the dice in his hands, whispering a prayer, and let fly the cubes.

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:14 pm

The dice went up in the air, then fell straight down. Then they hit, bounced once, then lay still. Snake eyes.


MacFein groaned, VanDime laughed, and the assembled company began muttering amongst themselves. VanDime made to collect his winnings.

But Cale gripped the crate by one corner, and in one heave pulled the top loose, spilling the contents to the floor.

The gamblers all jumped to their feet, except the one who'd had too much to drink who more lumbered, shocked and angered at this wildman's breach of gaming protocol.

Then they noticed what Cale was interested in. Inside the crate was a ceramic jug, with copper wires coming out of it and wrapping around an iron bar, that had been glued to the underside of the crate's top. The wires also ran to a device on the side of the wooden box, attached to a plank that looked loose.

VanDime opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by Cale's fist grabbing him by the shirt. Cale bent down to pick up the fallen dice, bringing VanDime with him, and placed them on the righted gaming platform. Putting his foot against the loose board, that was on the side VanDime was sitting at, Cale turned the board sideways.

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:01 pm

The dice held tight to the wood, glaring at them all with the two black dots.

MacFein then experienced an epiphany. VanDime had rigged the dice with a magnetic game board and dice. But if he had just been winning all night, everyone would have gotten suspicious. So the bastard had set him up to win all night, and attract suspicion for it, till this last throw when VanDime would win it all.

"But... 'Owed you know?" MacFein asked of Cale.

Cale shrugged (VanDime rose and fell) and said "Saw the dice stick to the box." Then he turned his attention to the cheater. "Where did you find that Fire Box?"

"I... I took it offa some limey bastad's baggage when I was loadin' up a ship yesterday!"

"Which ship?"

"The, uh... Brass Belle. Fur Liverpool!"

Cale glared at the elevated man a moment, then turned to look at the others. They had the look of murder in their eyes, or at least the look of one of the higher order of beatings, as they looked at the cheater of their number.

Cale turned back to VanDime. "What did the man look like?"

VanDime had seen the looks the others were giving him to. "Tall, big man, built like a beer barrel. Mutton chops 'nd a currly 'stach. Rich clothes, and a glass over 'is roight eye."

Cale nodded silently, then walked out from behind the piled crates and cargo, with his prisoner in tow, quickly followed by the other dockloafers.

Once they were clear of the boxes and crates, Cale Cimmaron let out a yell. He took the man over his head, and sent him flying.

VanDime would later be glad of this, once he had time to consider that being thrown fifty feet into the water (and learning to swim soon after) was vastly preferable to being beaten like a dead horse. But at the moment he was just hoping he wouldn't break anything.

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Re: Cale Cimmaron: A Barbarinan in the Age of Steam

Post  A.G.Morgan on Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:29 am

Cale turned back to the party of gamblers. "I'm sorry to have broken up your game." he said to the bewildered and slightly disappointed dockloafers.

"Ah, fuget abut it." replied MacFein as he turned back to the rigged game crate, hoping to quickly retrieve as much of his winnings as he could.

"Din't like 'em much anyway." commented the intoxicated gambler. "Tought 'e was shmarter dan us."

Cale retrieved his silver and the Eternal Fire Box, then turned to leave. Some might have been inclined to argue over the rights to the ill-gotten artifact, but did not want to argue the issue with the big bandit, and were too busy arguing over the pile of valuables and how it was to be divided up.

Cale passed an irritated looking foreman going to investigate the commotion on his way from the docks, and not wanting to become involved in the discussion that would be following he quietly moved into the shadows of the street.

Finally he came to a tavern that had rooms to rent for the night, and he entered hoping to find a meal and place to sleep.

The commons was lit by a few lamps and candles, making it bright only if you had just come in from the darkness of the street, and the few customers left looked like they would ether be leaving soon or in the morning.

The woman behind the bar was a comely one, with wavy brown hair, freckles and wearing a tight fitting blouse. Cale had caught her attention when he walked in, and as he came near she asked, "Whot can I do fur ya, stranga?"

Cale removed his hat as began to anwser, "Evenin' ma'am. I'm needin' some dinner, and a room. With a bed if you've got any."

"Well the cook's gone off, but I'll see if we've got anathing lef." Then pointing up the stairs in the back of the room continued "tird door on the roight's empty, if ya wont it."

"I'm much obliged, ma'am." said Cale, and produced a pair of silver dollers as payment and gratuity.

She took the coins and said with a smile "If ya like, I can bring bring it up fur ya." .

Cale also smiled and answered "I would like." Then as she turned he added, "and do you know where I would find a ship to Liverpool?"

To be continued?

(So, any thoughts, criticisms, or suggestions on how to spell a New York accent?)

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