1,000 Horses for Helen!
New 'Showdowns & Shootouts' adventure now online!
July 20, 2007 -- Houston, Texas
Aggie Mormon is the richest and most ruthless man in Thessaly County as well as the owner of the 1,000 Horses Ranch. A few days ago, his favorite mare, Helen, was taken from his ranch by young Tom French. Aggie claims the boy stole the horse, but Tom says he won her fair-and-square in a poker game. When Aggie welched on his bet, Tom had no choice but to spirit her away in the dark of the night.
Tom might be hot-headed, but no one doubts his honesty: if he says something and shakes on it, then his word is as good as gold. If he says he won Helen, then by golly, that's just what happened. So dang Aggie and his hired gunnies, this horse ain’t going nowhere without a fight!
This horse is ready to ride
Hawgleg Publishing is proud to release the third adventure in it's Showdowns & Shootouts Wild West Adventure Writing Contest, "1,000 Horses for Helen" by Carmen Cerra.
"Well hot-dog! I'm glad that story made it. Thank you for the honor! I figured if they can make Seven Samurai into a western, then why not the Iliad? I'm glad to have done my Clay County, Missouri, heritage proud," Carmen exclaimed happily.
Gutshot co-creator Mike Mitchell said that the historical references were part of what attracted the judges to Carmen's submission.
"I've gotta admit that when I first read the submission, I thought 'Aggie Mormon' was a horrible name,"Mitchell said. "Then a few paragraphs in and I caught on to the references to the battle for Troy from the Greek classics. Then the names, Agamemnon, Hector, Mayor King. They all fell into place... and that's when we fell in love with this adventure."
Visit the Winners Page
to download this adventure
This adventure has several free-form elements which leave key decisions in the players' hands. These include the option to run the game with small gangs or with a cast of dozens. Aggie's gunmen may decide to sneak into town and attempt to steal the horse, or they may come in, guns blazing and lead flying and take her by force. The only thing for certain is, if the horse dies in the battle, everyone loses.
"The scalability was another thing we liked about Carmen's story," said Gutshot co-creator Mike Murphy. "I really liked the fact that you could play it like a commando raid or an all-out attack."
Behind the times
Although released late in July, "1,000 Horses for Helen" will be dated for June.
"I was almost finished typesetting the adventure when I took ill and had to spend almost a week in the hospital," Mitchell said. Even as I was recovering, my health prevented me from spending a lot of time at my computer, so production stalled during that time."
The three Hawgleg partners discussed, at some length, whether they should skip that month or just backfill it.
“We decided to date it for June so it wouldn't confuse people later,” explained partner Paul Mauer. "We'll do the same thing with the next adventure. It will have a July date, and hopefully after that we'll get back on track."
Contest still accepting submissions
The three winners so far include: Al Theobald, Ross Edwards, and Carmen Cerra. In addition to the indescribable thrill and glory of having their names attached to a Hawgleg product, each winner will receive a limited edition ‘La Vaquera’ miniature.
Additionally, all winners will be eligible to be considered for the Judges’ and Jury’s Prizes with a combined value of more than $500 in value.
Check out the full prize list on the Contest Page.
The contest is accepting submissions through November or December (a final date will be selected near that time), so if you’ve got an idea for an adventure, then write it up, pilgrim!