Garret John McEwan

Handsome Devil of a Skinny Reb Scout

Description:

Garret John McEwan
Deputy Sheriff of Alder Creek

Base
Agility d8
Smarts d8
Spirit d8
Strength d4
Vigor d6

Pace: 6
Parry: 5
Toughness: 5
Grit: 2
Charisma: +2

Skills
Fighting d6
Guts d6+2
Notice d6
Riding d6
Persuasion d4 (untrained) [+ 2 from Charisma]
Shooting d6
Stealth d4 [+ 2 in wilderness]
Streetwise d4 + 2 [+ 2 from Charisma]
Survival d8 [+ 2 in wilderness]
Throwing d8
Tracking d8 [+ 2 in wilderness]

Tracking mods
+4 recent snow
+2 in wilderness
+2 more than 5 individuals
+2 mud
+1 dusty area

–4 raining
–2 poor light
–2 tracks older than 24 hours
–2 target attempted to hide tracks

Weapons
Throwing Knife x 10 (3/6/12) Str+d4
Colt Army .44 (12/24/48) 2d6+1, RoF 1, 6 shots, AP 1

Hindrances
Code of Honor (Major): Obeys a strict code of honor
Overconfident (Minor): Believes he can do anything
Loyal (Minor): Will stand in a stampede for his friends

Edges
Attractive: +2 Charisma
Woodsman: +2 Tracking/Survival/Stealth in wilderness
Lucky: +1 fate chip
Hard to Kill: Ignore would penalties on vigor save when critically wounded

Gear
Load Limit: 20 lbs (20 lbs for knives/guns/etc, plus 30 lbs for saddle)
Money: $27
Knife Bandolier ($2, 1 lb)
Throwing Knife x 10 (3/6/12, Str+d4, $20, 10 lbs)
Gun Belt ($2, 1 lb empty; 9 lbs with contents)
Colt Ammo (50 shots, $3, 5 lbs) X2
Holster ($3, 1 lbs)
Colt Army .44 (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 1, $12, 2 lbs, 6 shots, AP 1)
Horse ($150)
Saddle ($25, 30 lbs)
Binoculars ($10 used, from Marcus)
Tobacco
Lock picks
Compass ($3)
Strange compass needle
Fancy-ass Gold Watch

Garret’s Code

  1. The duty of the strong is to protect the weak.
  2. You don’t mistreat women, children, the elderly, or animals, and if you see someone else doing so, you should intervene if you can.
  3. Chivalry and politeness should always be your first avenues of approach when dealing with women and strangers.
  4. You don’t mistreat prisoners, but that doesn’t mean you have to be nice to them.
  5. You don’t shoot a defenseless man unless he poses some kind of serious threat in some other way.
  6. Torture is acceptable only in very limited circumstances and in very limited degree, in times of extreme need.
  7. The lawman’s job is to uphold the law, keep the peace, and bring wrongdoers to justice. It’s up to the judge to decide whether a suspect committed the crime he’s accused of, unless the lawman himself is an eyewitness, and then it’s still up to the judge to determine the punishment.
  8. You don’t judge a man for his beliefs, so long as he ain’t hurting anyone.
  9. Holy men and women always deserve respect. Maybe those Indian gods are Yahweh himself, going under an assumed name.
  10. You don’t sell out a friend or ally.
  11. You don’t scare folks unnecessarily.

Advances
5xp: Guts d6, Shooting d6
10xp: Vigor d6
15xp: Notice d6, Riding d6
20xp: Spiritd8
25xp: Lucky Edge
30xp: Hard to Kill
―————————-
35xp: Steady Hands?
40xp: Vigor d8?
45xp:

Bio:

Being a personal historical document for Garret John McEwan, born the 17th of July in the Year of Our Lord 1846, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in the Confederate States of America

Age: 33
Occupation: Scout, Former First Lieutenant in the First Volunteer Tennessee Cavalry; Horse Wrangler and All-Around Hand; Well-witcher; Prospector; Deputy Sheriff of Alder Creek, Commonwealth of California

Physical Appearance
Height: 5’11" Weight: 150 lbs

Hair: Shoulder-length, shaggy and somewhat limp, tobacco-brown, with rough uneven ends. He cuts it himself every once in a while, when it gets long enough to annoy him. There’s enough to be pulled back into a ponytail, but he usually wears it loose. His beard comes in in a redder shade, and only sparsely and slowly, creating a somewhat derelict looking goatee and mustache. He usually shaves everything but a few chin whiskers.

Eyes: Deep-set and heavy-lidded. They are an odd, light golden brown flecked with green, some have even called them yellow, though he thinks that’s going a bit far.

Skin: Fair and smooth when he’s clean, usually tending towards tanned and needing a bath. His cheeks flush red in wind and cold, but he usually tans rather than burns.

Facial Features: Garret’s a good-looking man with an angular jaw, curving cheeks, and thin, well-shaped lips. He tends to look a little younger than he is. He often has something in his mouth – a cigarette, a stalk of hay, a toothpick – or a plug of chewing tobacco.

Other Physical Traits: He’s relatively tall and lanky, a little on the thin side, but muscular and well-proportioned. At first glance he can seem very plain and unremarkable, mostly through body language that says he’s too bored to bother with, but once you look at him, you notice he’s a handsome devil. Especially when he smiles.

Handedness: Right handed, but reasonably adept with weapons (especially knives) and some tools in his left hand as well, through long practice.

Voice: High tenor. Calm and understated. When he’s angry, his voice grows quieter. He can carry a tune, and often sings to himself when he’s alone.

Identifying Marks: Garret has three parallel scars on his right shoulder that he claims a wildcat gave him, and a variety of scars on his body, mostly acquired in combat during the War Between the States. Most notable are the bullet scars on his belly and back, where he was remarkably lucky that the musket ball passed right through.

Usual Clothing: Heavy-duty clothes for outdoor work, mostly Rebel grey and brown, with Levi Strauss’s indigo-died copper-rivet jeans. Often wears a blue bandanna with knotted ends of the scarf flopped over his forehead like a mammy’s rag. It keeps his hair and sweat out of his eyes, without getting in the way when he’s in the mines. When he’s out and about he wears a black and white cow-hide hat. It’s his “good” hat, which he won in a somewhat fair poker game off of Chickenlegs Ray, a part Cherokee man he knew in Oklahoma.

Most days Garret sticks to basics. Plain cotton union suit, heavy brown or blue canvas jeans and a tan or grey bib-front shirt. He usually wears an Indian necklace made of bone and turquoise. There’s speculation that the beads are segments of human finger bone, but Garret will neither confirm nor deny the rumor. He just smiles and says it brings him good luck.

On his feet he’s almost always got a pair of sturdy cavalry boots. When the originals wore out, he took them to the cobbler and had duplicates made. He’s on his third pair.

Living Situation: Up until recently, Garret’s been living in the rough when the weather’s good, and in convenient barns when it’s bad. When he’s got a little extra spending money from picking up a job as a scout with a cattle drive or witching a well for someone, he’ll spend a night or two in a “house of comfort.” Sometimes the comforts even include a proper bath.

Since taking on the job of Deputy Sheriff in Alder Creek, has been living with his friend Marcus Hewitt, the new Sheriff, in the former (deceased) Sheriff’s house.

Skills
Scouting: Hires on as a hand when ranchers need an extra man to ride lookout for a cattle drive. Witches wells, finds game when it seems scarce, and generally has an understanding of living in the wilds that seems just a little uncanny.

Horsemanship: Garret grew up on a tobacco and cotton plantation, and has been riding his whole life. He was a lieutenant in the First Volunteer Tennessee Cavalry, and prided himself on his ability to break horses considered too wild for the battlefield. He likes a spirited horse. When he left the Army, he rode a black charger, named Bucephalus after Alexander the Great’s horse, away from the battlefields and off to the promise of a new life in the West. His current mount, Jupiter, is a good-sized, five-year-old, black and white paint stallion with a surprisingly sweet temper for an unaltered horse.

Weapons and Fighting: Garret is a knife thrower, a skill he picked up in the cavalry when he was on scouting missions and a gunshot would have given his position away. He has upwards of ten small, custom-smithed blades strapped to his person on a bandolier. He wears the .44 caliber Colt revolver he took off a dead Union captain at Stones River, in its original holster, (those Union troops had some nice hardware.) He kind of wishes he still had his cavalry sword, but it’s not like he ever used it all that often.

Personality
General Personality Traits: Garret often looks half asleep, but he actually pays a lot of attention. He prefers to observe and assess before taking action, but action is still his watchword. Once he’s made up his mind to act, he does so without hesitation. He has little patience for debate, and trusts what a man does, not what he says. He operates by a strict moral code that might not exactly line up with the common notions of the day in every respect, but is at least completely self-consistent and recognizable: there is right, there is wrong, and a man’s one job is to know and do as he ought. He is law-abiding and chivalrous, and holds himself to a higher standard than anyone else.

He’s happy enough off by himself in the wilds, but when he actually takes a mind to be around people, he can be the life of the party. Flirting. Joking. Teasing. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends, and a pain in the ass to his enemies. He’s got a strong protective streak, and if you wrong a friend, you can expect to find yourself on the unpleasant end of one of his knives.

He’s pretty sure he can do anything he sets his mind to, and believes in his own luck maybe just a little too much sometimes, but so far it’s stood him in good stead. As he will tell you himself with a broad grin, when called out on some foolhardy endeavor or another, “I’m still here, ain’t I?”

Quirks: Often has something in his mouth – a cigarette, a toothpick, a chaw of tobacco. In his personal life, Garret’s not really what you’d call an orderly person. He always has at least six plans running simultaneously, and is easily persuaded to take on something new, so long as he finds it interesting. He gets bored fairly quickly, often abandoning projects once he’s worked out the major details. He has a collection of naughty pictures from far off Japan stored in a pasteboard folder, including some that would, as Garret tells it, shock the balls off a preacher.

Motto: “There’s no such thing as cheating once you’ve already cheated death.”

Sexual Orientation: Bisexual. Prefers men, but women are easier (and safer) to get. Garret effortlessly, almost unconsciously oozes a sort of raw sexuality, and he is rumored to have fathered a child with an Indian woman. Or in some tellings a Negro woman. He denies it.

Gifts/Talents: Can find water in a desert, grub in a famine, and a safe hidey hole in a barren plain. Understands how to break a horse better than a lot of ranch hands. Generally gives good advice. Plays the banjo (badly). Good kisser. Can do amazing things with his tongue. Can turn anything into an innuendo and make even brushing his teeth seem sexy. Speaks passable Cherokee and a few words of Navajo.

Flaws: Overconfident, moody, drinks too heavily, loyal to a fault, evasive, slightly paranoid, fights.

Religion and Philosophy: Presbyterian. Garret is religious, though he’s relatively private about it. He grew up in the church of his Scottish ancestors, knows his Bible verses, prays nightly, and sings hymns when he’s by himself. He firmly believes that God gave him a second chance when he survived incarceration in a Union prisoner of war camp and a musket ball through the side. No man is that lucky naturally. He promised God he’d live every day like it was a gift, and he holds to that promise as best he can.

As for philosophy, if his experiences so far in life have taught him anything, it is to live in the moment for the here and now, because you never know when it will all come crumbling down.

Code of Conduct:

  • The duty of the strong is to protect the weak.
  • You don’t mistreat women, children, the elderly, or animals, and if you see someone else doing so, you should intervene if you can.
  • Chivalry and politeness should always be your first avenues of approach when dealing with women and strangers.
  • You don’t mistreat prisoners, but that doesn’t mean you have to be nice to them.
  • You don’t shoot a defenseless man unless he poses some kind of serious threat in some other way.
  • Torture is acceptable only in very limited circumstances and in very limited degree, in times of extreme need.
  • If you have to kill someone, try to make it as quick and painless as possible.
  • The lawman’s job is to uphold the law, keep the peace, and bring wrongdoers to justice. It’s up to the judge to decide whether a suspect committed the crime he’s accused of, unless the lawman himself is an eyewitness, and then it’s still up to the judge to determine the punishment.
  • You don’t judge a man for his beliefs, so long as he ain’t hurting anyone.
  • Holy men and women always deserve respect. Maybe those Indian gods are Yahweh himself, going under an assumed name.
  • You don’t sell out a friend or ally.
  • You don’t scare folks unnecessarily.

Thoughts on Race: Garret was born to a slave-holding family, had his diapers changed and his colic walked off by a black mammy, caught crawdads in the creek and learned his letters with the nappy-haired children of the house slaves, and had his first sexual experience with one of the field hands. It was not a rape.

Garret’s father was considered lenient with his slaves by his peers. The McEwan slaves lived in decent cottages, ate well, had medical care, and observed the Sabbath with a day of rest. To Garret, black skin meant a person was likely a slave, but still a human being created by God and deserving of dignity.

Although a product of his upbringing and culture, the years Garret’s spent in the West have taught him even more to judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

Likes and Loves: Tea (his mother drank it), Shakespeare, sex, sleeping past sunup, pumpkin pie, teasing and flirting, bourbon whiskey, tobacco, a good throw down, good Indians.

Dislikes and Hates: Yankees, being snuck up on, horse thieves, claim jumpers, seeing a friend hurt, people who pick on the weak, puking and other stomach upsets, spinach.

Fears: Starvation, dying in a cave-in, the undead.

Worst Nightmare: What Garret has nightmares about is pretty much what you’d expect: the war. He wakes up in a cold sweat dreaming he’s back in the Union POW camp, starving, sick with a festering gut wound, trying to escape. In the worst ones his buddy Ray is there too, and dies in Garret’s arms when the Yanks start shooting at their prisoners. Sometimes Ray takes a bullet in the face, then keeps talking to Garret, telling him he needs to get them out, but every avenue of escape Garret tries is blocked, and the dead just keep piling up.

Dreams and Ambitions: Hit the motherlode, strike it rich, and move some place nice, like Shan Fan maybe.

Relationships
Family: Most of Garret’s family are deceased. Immediate family, including mother, father, and two sisters were all killed or died of starvation and disease during Sherman’s relentless march through the South in the waning days of the war before England helped turn it around for the Rebs. His old mammy, a former slave named Sally Mae, still lives, last he knew, in Nashboro, Tennessee.

Friends: His closest friend, Rayburn “Ray” Newhouse, a fellow First Tennessean, he lost track of after the Chickamauga campaign. He figures Ray was killed, but still pours his buddy a drink once a month when he goes into town. He just drinks his friend’s shot for him — Ray wouldn’t approve of the wasting of good whiskey. He’s got a few other friends here and there, but no one he’s seen recently. He’s on good terms with the local Indians, and speaks passable Cherokee (learned it when he was scouting during the war) and just enough Navajo to get by.

Another friend from the war, Marcus Hewitt, just recently turned up not dead. They were more like drinking buddies than soulmates back in the war, but it sure is hella nice to see the old boy again.

Lovers: Many and varied, and most don’t last particularly long. He has a clandestine male lover in the Navajo tribe named Ben Tsosie. Garret disappears off to Indian lands for few days every now and again, and Ben Tsosie and others from his clan are often found out at Garret’s claim, but as far as anyone in town knows, it’s just that Garret is an Injun Lover. Which it’s useful to have around, a man who can negotiate deals with the savages.

Enemies: General Sherman and anyone who fought under him.

Heroes: General Nathan Bedford Forrest. General Robert E. Lee. President Andrew Jackson. Alexander the Great.

Personal History
Childhood: The second child and first son of a fairly well-off plantation family in Murfreesboro, Garret grew up with many of the finer things in life. He had a Negro mammy, a white governess, and a series of tutors who saw to it he was a learned and civilized young man. His father taught him the finer points of managing a plantation, riding a horse and holding his liquor, while his mother and sisters made sure he knew which fork to use on the fish, how to court a girl, and how to recite Shakespearean sonnets. At fifteen he enrolled at Harvard University, intending to study law. The secession from the Union by the Confederate States saw an end to those ambitions.

Service Record: Garret and his fellow Southerners high-tailed it home to join up in defense of their States. With his parents’ blessings, he took his father’s best grey gelding to join the First Volunteer Tennessee Cavalry as a scout. His natural ability, half-year of college education, and family ties earned him a lieutenant’s rank almost immediately.

He served honorably until the Chickamauga campaign in autumn 1863, when his horse was shot out from under him. He was taken captive by Union forces and transported to the new but already overcrowded Rock Island Prison Camp. Through what Garret believes was divine intervention, he escaped the smallpox epidemic that swept through the camp, survived starvation and dysentery, and after six months, he managed to escape, though he took a bullet through his right side for his trouble. After another three months mending in a sympathizer’s hay loft in southern Indiana, he rejoined his Tennessee regiment, where he served until the end of frank hostilities.

After the War: Returning to Murfreesboro, he found the ruins of his family home, but no signs of the family, animals or slaves who had lived there. He tracked down a former slave, Sally Mae, who had known him since birth, now living in a Free Negro camp in Nashboro. She told him his family had died in Sherman’s march through the South. With nothing left to tie him to Tennessee, Garret took his horse, his weapons, his Bible and his scars, and headed West.

Over the next several years he wended his way through the Indian Nations: Arkansas, the Unorganized Territory of Oklahoma, New Mexico and on into Arizona, mostly working with horses or riding scout for cattle drives and wagon trains, and witching water in the arid land.

He was bitten by Silver Fever in Arizona, and decided to try his luck at prospecting, as he’d always had a natural talent for finding wells and he figured silver couldn’t be much different. He headed into California, said his prayers, and staked his claim near an older, played-out mine outside Alder Creek. He hasn’t hit a seam yet, but he’s got a good tunnel started, and figures it’s just a matter of time and sweat.

Garret John McEwan

Of Gog and Magog nezuko