Posts Tagged With: Rippers

Jam, Bread, and RPGs

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I realized I’ve been binge-reading romance novels as comfort books because the news from the Republican Convention has been so depressing.  You know, among other things.

In times of trouble I have to turn to something.  Romance novels and kitchen exploits are my favorite thing to turn to.  The Roger’s Red grape vine has gone crazy on me, and I have a TON of grapes that are dark purple and that right kind of sour.  I’m planning on making grape jam this weekend before the birds can eat all of them, and possibly I’ll try my hand at a loaf or two of wheat bread.  I may even have enough grapes for a REAL, full batch of jam.

I made the tastiest Irish Blaas from scratch last weekend, and my bread-making confidence is all up in the lofty heights of amazingness right now.  It was easy, I just had to wait for rising.  Wheat bread now seems surmountable, even without a stand mixer with a dough attachment.  Kneading for 8-10 minutes?  Good exercise.  We’ll see if I continue to say that after my arms fall off this weekend.  Wheat bread is supposed to be the hard one.  It’s reputably dense if not done right, though I wouldn’t know.

It is 10 days from the end of the month, and I have already spent all of my allotted book budget.  Which means I will have to subsist on rereading like I used to do in the dark ages before there were e-readers.  Can I do it?  I can totally do it.  If nothing else, I have plenty of Kipling on the shelves.  The last time we moved, I was happy for almost a month on a book of his stories.

In other news, we’re starting a new Rippers game on Friday… which means new characters.  Which means new character backgrounds.  I didn’t have the gumption or the time to make it as much of a short story as the last character, but I felt like the one I came up with was fairly clever.  I’m working on all the short stories, but I don’t think anything is good enough to share currently.  So in its stead, you can read a few paragraphs about Meg Hews.

She’s got a signature weapon that I’ve named “Carrie” after Carrie Nation – the gal that used to go into saloons with an axe and break stuff (including people).  She was very anti-liquor and a little bit insane.  Badass women for the win.

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Photo by Caelkriss on Deviant Art – click picture to link.

Meg Hews:

There is an old assumption that men whose wives die in childbed visit their grief on their children, but Margaret Hews never found that to be the case.  Her father was a jolly man with a quick smile, a firm sense of duty, and a black-and-white view of the word.  He was never sad.  When her mother died he just raised her at the Pinkerton office, and when Uncle Charlie complained, Dad said it was Meg or him. Charlie knew Dad was too good an agent to lose.

Dad let her scramble around his desk and crumple up old newspapers, teaching her to shoot a BB gun at the tender age of 5, and leaving her with Uncle Charlie whenever he had to go out on a job.  Uncle Charlie voiced his dismay, but eventually he shrugged it off and taught Meg to play poker with licorice pipes for winnings.

Dad was against her taking the badge, of course.  But she wasn’t fit for anything else when she grew up. She wasn’t demure enough for the boys who wanted a gentlewoman and her housekeeping skills were atrocious.  She refused to learn to type.  The only thing she could do was shoot straight and spy a lie from a mile off.  Pinkerton Agent it was.

It would be easiest to make her way in an office where everyone didn’t call her Meggie or remember that one year where she executed all her dolls for murder and subsequently burned them at the stake in the metal office trash cans.  Embarrassing.

So when a spot opened up at the St. Louis office, Meg made Uncle Charlie pull strings to get her in.

Categories: Fiction, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Geneva Allerton

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OK, I’ll admit that I’m one of those crazy people who plays alternative Roll Playing games.  Savage Worlds is my favorite, and so is Rippers.  We’re starting a game today, and this is my character background.  It’s sort of literary-ish, so I thought I would post.

Geneva Allerton:

It was a vast sum of money; so vast that it seemed incomprehensible to Ginny that such an amount of money could really belong to one person.  Although when she thought about it, she supposed that much money was in an account of father’s somewhere.  She was opening letters at the breakfast table when she read the figure and sloshed hot tea across her hand, down her white dress.   Her skin prickled.  She picked up a napkin, scrubbing at the stain while staring at the spidery black figures still clutched in one hand.  In the dark paneled hall all those months ago, Ginny had gazed down at grandmother’s waxy face in the mahogany coffin, listened to the girl paid to wail in sorrow, and this thought had never crossed her mind.

She was an heiress.  The mansion in Chicago and all.

At that moment, two other thoughts crossed her mind.  She would not have to marry poor, boring Wesley like her mother wanted.  In fact, she probably wouldn’t have to listen to mother about anything ever again.  A smile pulled at the corners of her mouth.  Ginny set the teacup down with a porcelain clink, then flew up the stairs in a whirl of tea stained organdy.  This letter needed answering immediately.

“An unmarried woman, living alone!” her mother said.

“Yes,” said Ginny.  “Besides, I’ll have servants.  It’s not like I’ll actually be alone.”

“This is what comes of letting you read suffragette trash.  I should have known better.  Your father warned me.”

“They’re just pamphlets,” Ginny sighed, “and they have nothing to do with this.”

“My foot they have nothing to do with this!” her mother shouted.

Still, she was only in Chicago a few weeks before she was horribly bored in a way shopping could not cure.   She joined up with the suffragists in Chicago almost immediately, but that only occupied a few days of the week.  It was not enough.  Her first thought was to start a settlement house like they were doing in England, but grandmother’s mansion was most decidedly not in the slums.  That stood on Grand Boulevard among a sea of other mansions.  The living room had a view of the fountain in Washington Park.  The drapes were velvet.

Ginny was standing in the middle of a rally in the Chicago sunshine, a pole in her hand with a banner proclaiming Give Mother The Vote! when she heard about Hull House.

“It’s a settlement house like in those articles,” said the lady next to her.  The feathers on the woman’s wide hat bobbed in the breeze as she talked.

“Right here in Chicago?” asked Ginny

“Right here in Chicago.  They do classes and health care, and help the poor immigrants with just about anything you can think of.  If I had time, I’d go help out in a heartbeat.  Six children at home, though, and a husband none too pleased that I’m out here with a banner and not in the kitchen cooking dinner…”

“I have plenty of time to spare,” Ginny said.  “I think I’ll see if they need anything.”

“I envy you young ones sometimes,” the woman said.

Ginny went in person.  As she walked up to the front door, three ladies clutching a black bag rushed from the house, hands on their hats.  Ginny watched them fly up the walk and into the slums, skirts swirling about their legs.  People on the sidewalks parted to let them past.  She smoothed her dress and stepped into the large entry way.

“Hello, can I help you with anything?” a slight, well-dressed woman asked Ginny from a desk at the end of the hall.

“Yes, I’m Geneva Allerton, and I’m here to volunteer.  I don’t have many skills, but I’m willing to learn anything, and I’d like to help.”

“Oh,” the woman said.  “Miss Addams isn’t here right now.  Octavia Vicino is having her baby and no one else will go because she isn’t married.  It could be hours before she’s back.  I’ll tell you confidentially, though, they don’t need a lot of help right now.  Not unless you can do something about the ghosts.”

Ginny laughed.  “The ghosts?”

“We’ve had to shut down the whole west wing of the house.  It’s getting impossible.”

“Well, I did say I’m willing to learn, didn’t I?” said Ginny.  “What do I need to do?”

“Come back tomorrow and speak to Miss Addams.  She’ll let you know what’s next from there.”

What was next was a series of magic classes, and a permanent position with Hull House removing anything that wasn’t supposed to be there, including drunk husbands.

Sometimes, as she pulled the power into her fingertips, she thought of the sprawling, staggering amount of money on the letter all those months ago.  It was really remarkable how quickly things change.

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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