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Let's populate the Latigo Compound.


Wakshaani
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Unless there's a Penny Dreadful that I've missed (entirely possible, that!), we know OF the Latigo Compound but not much ABOUT it. Some of teh basics that we know:

It's effectively the southernmost reach of the Guild, but isn't terribly Guild-y, if you know what I mean. 

There are homesteads, farms, and ranches around it, mostly north, where the compound can stand between the Neverborn of the Badlands and the ranches, but not entirely as the Ortegas have been SO GOOD at driving the Neverborn away that the area is nearly pacified, allowing for more expansion.

It's fortified.

And ... that's about it. 

SO! I wanted to dig in and both lay out the place a bit and fill it with some people beyond the Ortegas that we know about.

THE COMPOUND
The core of the Latigo Compound wasn't built by the Ortegas but was discovered in Perdita's early work, even before she brought her family over. It was a walled church and yard, akin to Spanish missions of the American Southwest and California that she was familiar with it. She took it as a sign that the place was safe and it gave her a central base from which to engage in her Neverborn hunts. It has a water supply from a well, the walls were mostly intact, the buildings abandoned but empty of theats, and the bell tower in the church gave a commanding view over the surrounding area, allowing her to easily spot threats. Once her family arrived, they were able to shore up teh walls, get better defenses in place, and repair some of the on-site buildings, like the stable and a small blacksmith's shop. 

The First Expansion
As Perdita brought in her family,  space became a premium. It was one thing for them to live together, they were a family after all, but old tempers would flare and they needed to work together to survive. They used the materials on hand to expand the compound's walls, effectively doubling the safe space, building several small homes in the expanded area while keeping the original compound's buildings available as workspaces and for meetings. The old church, where they'd been forced to bunk, would be used to house the refugees that they were finding as they continued to patrol the region, pushing the Neverborn back and rescuing survivors from wagon trains and homesteads that were raided. Most of the survivors, once recovered from the shock, were happy to go back to Malifaux; some chose to strike out and try to settle again, while a few stayed on at the Latigo Compound itself, joining the extended family in a way and providing support when the Ortegas themselves were away. 

The Second Expansion
Soon, the numbers had gotten too large again. The walled compound was once more expanded, doubling the space again, with the newer buildings intended for civilian housing, while farming was started outside the walls... previously, a small garden was kept beside the church, mostly of root vegetables, but with the large population, they branched into wheat and corn, and large fields at that, the Neverborn being driven far enough back that there was worry enough that they needed to stay inside the walls at night, but that the fields would be safe in the day. 

The Third Expansion
The Third, and thusfar last, expansion turned the compound into a small town, the local Neverborn driven so far away that they were no longer a threat, which allowed the construction of more buildings outside of the wall. Small shops, tradesman, and more all came to settle in safety, first hugging the walls of the Latigo Compound proper, but soon stretching out further. Now a thousand people live under the protective wings of Perdita and the Ortegas, and while more arrive every week, just as many leave, now confident enough to strike out into the land that they've made safe.

***

DOCTOR AZUL
One of the first rescues, Brian Jefferson was also one of the most contreversial. He wagon train had been ambushed and eradicated when the Ortegas came upon it, with Brian the lone survivor, covered by the body of the train captain. He wailed over the loss of his savior, but they couldn't tarry, so he gathered up a few of his belongings and rode with them back to the compound. There, they discovered that he'd been infected by Black Blood, and was transforming. They'd encountered the condition before and had put down the maddened victims, but Brian was a doctor, which they needed, and was in the earliest stages. Instead, they jailed him in a small enclosure in the church, where he volunteered to suffer the curse and take notes on it... they could kill him once his mind was gone, but until then, he wanted to document the changes, so that those who came after him could possibly find a cure.  It was a long, hard week, and his pained screams nearly drove Francisco to end his misery, but Perdita stayed his hand. Much to everyone's shock, while Dr. Jeffesron transformed into a halfblood, he didn't go feral. He emerged with his mind intact, even if his body was different, and after a few more weeks of testing, they trusted him enough to let him out of the cage. He took a new name for himself, casting aside who he was for "Azul", or blue, to reflect his new look. Dr. Azul continues to shock new arrivals who thnk him a Nerverborn, not an infected human, but he takes it in stride; after all, he'd had the same reaction when he first saw his reflection! 

Dr. Azul is the top medical practitioner at the compound and has further acted as a father figure for others who have been infected; he can't save everyone, but being infected is no longer cured by a bullet to the brain for each victim. The Ortegas trust him to make the call on who can be saved and who cannot and, otherwise, he takes care of the wounded selflessly. He's also adopted each of the infected children that survive the transformation, as they're inevitably the sole-survivors of slaughters like he himself survived, and teh Azul "family" is second only to the Ortega's own in terms of size. Several of the children have tried to set him up with the single women of the compound but he's demured, saying that the adopted Azuls are the only family that he needs. He does wear a locket that contains the burnt remains of his wagon train's captain's photo, a keepsake of "the man who changed his life", but otherwise keeps little more than his medical supplies and books in a small library in his home. 

PABLO RAMIEREZ
The tubbiest fellow in the Compound, Pablo joined during the Thrid Expansion as a technician, sent by the Guild to man the telegraph office added at that time. By far the most technically-skilled member of the compound, he also dabbles in aethervox technology and has even set up a small electric lamp at his office, an object of much oooh-ing and ahh-ing when it was first installed. He's rarely seen outside as he doesn't take the heat well, but he's fine with that as it keeps him near the equipment. Pablo also serves as a postmaster, since he's already in charge of communications, keeping letters and packages stored in his office until someone comes by to pick it up.

DANIEL WONG
Teh Latigo Stablemaster, Wong's in charge of the Latigo horses, both caring for them (with the help of several stablehands, keeping the kids busy) and breeding new ones. he's yet to figure out why some foals are born Twisted and others aren't, but, as there's nothing to be done about it, he continues to rear them ... horses are too valuable to destroy just because one's born with cloven hooves or fangs. Wong's name gives people an impression of a quiet, slender fellow of neat appearence, but nothing could be further form the truth. Broad, squat, deeply tanned, Wong's quite proud of his Mongolian heritage and not the least bit afraid to let loose with a booming laugh at mealtime with other Compound members.


 

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PADRE GARCIA

Padre Juan Garcia was an early arrival, personally requested by the Ortegas after the First Expansion, as several members of teh family, and more the survivors that had been rescued, were dealing with a wide array of fallout from combat stress, survivor's guilt, and more. An older gentleman (and, in fact, Papa Loco's third cousin), Padre Garcia stood out in teh early wave not for being a strapping lad or a hard worker, but for being a calming presence. He was able to soothe frazzled nerves, heal mental wounds that no one else coudl see, and provide the basic spirituality that was so badly needed. After two years, he started, he started to express minor magical talent, so was sent back to Malifaux City for training in the Thalaric Method and official status with the Guild. By no means a powerful spellcaster, he nontheless has been writing Grimoires, known as "Latigo Bibles", and mentoring others whose magical talents begin to express. He and Pablo have an ongoing relationship about how the spiritualist who dislikes technology has the power to make automations go while the engineer who loves them hasn't got a spark in him to use. They tease one another on the regular, but everyone knows that it's just how they express respect. Padre Garcia is also the reigning checkers champion at the compound.

JUDY AZUL

Rescued as a small child in teh wake of a Neverborn raid, Judy, like many other children, was infected with Black Blood but was helped through it by Dr. Azul. Three out of four infected don't make it through intact but she was one of the lucky ones. For years, visitors would see her leading a pack of mixed children... some blue, some brown, some white... in games of tag, "Cowboys and Neverborn", and more, always underfoot and full of life. As the years passed, she grew into a striking young woman, and now feels like she should be taking the field, helping fight "for reals". She's a skilled sword-wielder, not on Francisco's level (but then, who is?!) and a decent shot, but they regularly chide her on her favoring a giant Neverborn-style blade instead of a sensible rapier or the like. She's actively pursued by many of the young Latigo men but, as yet, has never chosen a paramore... she's more focused on learning to fight! With her blue skin and horns, she has great difficult disguising her look, so instead wears it proudly. After all, she's still Human on the inside, no matter what she looks like on the outside.

LOUIS BENOIT

"You can't be serious."
"I know, I know, just try it."
"I am NOT going to east some kind of Gremlin swill!"
"I swear, this isn't a joke! Here, I'll drink some first."
"I don't care if you drink the whole bucket, I'm NOT going to drink some Gremlin-cooked pigfood!"
"Well alright. More for us I guess."
"Us? What us?"
*points behind her*
*turns to see dozens of hungry people lined up at an impromptu kitchen, getting stew ladelled out by a grinning Gremlin standing on top of a crate. Other people were all around the compound, heartily digging in and clearly enjoying the meal."
"All of us."
"... well I'll be a gremlin's auntie."

And that's how "Louie" became the official Latigo chef. From trail stew to saute'd beef marinated in mushrooms to French pastries to Bayou chilli so hot that it makes Sntiago cry, it seems that there's nothing that the little guy can't put on a plate. Nobody's really sure how he got there but they're all glad he is!

ELIZABETH "LIZ" BARTON

Mrs. Barton is, first and foremost, an archaeologist (and anthropologist), one who came to Malifux in order to read the ancient tomes and help decipher the native writings. She was directed to the Latigo compound for some basic training and, while she's only been here for a few months, she's at least comfortable enough with a pistol that they're willing to let her ride out with a large group now. She's an avid reader, but she much prefers field work over musty libraries (and boy did that ever break Pablo's heart!) ... she just didn't know that it woul dbe quite so risky. Still, she's always ready to roll out whenever anyone has a lead about some lost temple or uncovered artefact. She wants to know everything she can about the Neverborn and the only way to do that is to go where they are. 

 Santiago's noticed that little Nino always volunteers to be on guard duty with her but, as of yet, has only teased him a little. If she's noticed, she's yet to say anything. 

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JACK TOMSON

A grizzled old man, Tomson left his native Scotland afte rthe death of his beloved life, having nothing left worth living for, but willing to travel to Malifaux and offer his services until his time ran out. He joined a settling bad into the Badlands and won their respect with his hard work ethic and skill, but those were things that couldn't protect them from the Neverborn. He and his village fought hard, but only the timely arrival of the Ortegas saved them. They agreed to move into the Latigo compound for safety, and while three of teh survivors sucumbed to Black Blood Poisoning and had to be put down, most survived. Several returned home after taking time to recover but Jack had nowhere left to go, so he stayed and busied himself making some small repairs, then got to cranking out good nails. In no time at all, the compoun was asking him t make right what was broken .. dented pans, broken pots, bent blades ... and he not only repaired them but made them better than before. After a few failed experiments, he even took to making rifle barrels, then other firearm parts... he never designed his own, he was a blacksmith not a gunsmith, but he could put together anything once he knew what parts were needed.

Ol' Man Jack is still there today, hammeirng away at the Latigo Forge, having taken several of the youths there under his wing. These days, everyone swears by his work, and getting a Tomson Blade on your first adult birthday is a tradition he takes pride in. He might not be the finest blacksmith on this side of the Breach, but he works miracles with the low-quality metal he has access to. These days, the apprenticies do most of the more common work while he tries to focus on weaponry, but it's not uncommon for him to wake up the town by hammering his anvil at sunrise, striking out a few "proper" nails so that the kids have some examples to follow, and he personally looks over every farming impliment to ensure they meet his standards. In his eyes, getting food's more important than killing. Life beats death.

MARIA FLORES

Maria isn't a spellcaster, a tragic figure, a genius, or anything special at all. She's a tubby middle-aged mother to several kids, quick to warn misbehaving children that she'll tell their mother what they've done, but even quicker to bring the gossip all around town. She's in EVERYBODY'S business and it's said that if there's a secret told in Latigo, it's heard by two heads ... who you intend and Mama Flores. She'll stop to observe every new arrival at Latigo and gab quietly with anyone in town to keep an eye on them and to report back to her what they see. Surprisingly, she doesn't make-up stories, but instead quickly digs deep into the truth and makes sure that it gets around. She's less a busybody and more of a one-woman newspaper, making sure that everyone knows what's happening. The Ortegas don't much care for public speaking, so instead of firey speeches when something's up, they just dispatch a pistolero to tell Flores what's up ... she'll handle the rest. 

If approached by visitors, Flores normally pretends to not speak English; if people don't know that she can understand them, they're more likely to blab something important. Once she gets to know someone, she'll let it slip, usually by correcting them with, "It's not nice to call someone fat!" or the like while thwacking them with a wooden spoon. Maria's a great organizer and is always involved in every celebration, making sure that everyone's fed, that musicians are paid, and that decorations are proper. She might be the most ordinary person in the entire place but that doesn't mean she hasn't got a role to play!

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THE GAMBERRITOS

A general term for the numerous kids that run around inside the safety of the compound, the Gamberritos (little rowdies) range from four to fourteen (At fifteen, they're expected to be adults and act properly!), spending much of their time running around, roughhousing, playing games, and generally being rambunctious. There's not a ton of educational opportunities at the compound in the normal sense ... Padre Garcia keeps them up on basic reading, Pablo can pass on some math, and now that Miss Barton is present, she's been positively mortified at the lack of schooling so has taken it upon herself to at least *try* to civilize the little ones. (Good luck, Miss Barton!) 

The Gamberritos are *always* around, chasing one another, hollering and whooping it up, crashing through crowds, and always trying to stay one-step ahead of Mama Flores and her wick spoon! Black, white, brown, and yes, even blue all scrum together, and it can often be hard to tell which barefoot and dust-covered kids are which, so the blanket term of "rowdies" just sorta *happened*. They don't mind. About the only time that they calm down is when someone new's shown up, then a dozen or more of them will gather around to watch whatever they're doing, oohing and ahhing if it's impressive, howling with laughter and tossing japes if someone's learning a new skill and doing it wrong. (Oh, the stories Miss Barton could tell about when she was first handed a pistol! It was a week before the red left her ears!) 

It rarely comes up, but the Gamberritos know ll the shortcuts and hidden passages in Latigo, which is how they move around and stay out of trouble. If there was ever some kind of siege, tehy'd certainly be able to sneak some PCs around to where needed.

THE GENERAL

The General used to have a full name but it's fallen off and now he's simply The General. At one point in time, the General arrived in the early days of Latigo, a veteran of the Powder Wars, with his noble helmet, chest full of medals, and a chest full of gold that he was using to hire adventurers. He headed west with a large group, intending to conquer the far mountains. A week after they left, the first stragglers returned, telling of the Neverborn ambush that they encountered and the horrors that they experienced. Over the next few weeks, a slow drip of other survivors, in ever-worse shape, would return to the compound, with even worse stories. After two months, the General himself returned, a broken shell of a man. He eventually recovered physically, but his mind, and his purse, have never been the same.

These days, the General mostly stays in the Latigo Saloon, nursing his drink and trying to keep his tattered uniform presentable. He'll happily recant his tales of glory from The Wars over a hot meal and a drink, and is actually quite a good storyteller. Sadly, all he has left are his medals and his stories, and it's only by mercy that he even has a place to lay his head at night. He dreams of oneday returning to the mountains....  he claims to have a map to great treasure, and he'll happily split it with anyone who helps him find it, but the map is all in his head ... he burned the original copy years ago, for fear that someone would murder him for it and take the treasure that was rightfully his. 

The General is in excellent shape for a man of his advanced years, sturdy from a life of soldiering even if his limbs aren't as stout as they were in his youth, and despite his broken mind, he's still got a razor-sharp grasp of tactics and military command skills. During the second expansion, he took command of the defending forces while the Ortegas took the attack to the enemy and he performed remarkably well. He hope sto have that chnce again someday, but the local Neverborn now give the compound a wide berth, so he's unlikely to do so. Well, unless he can talk a group into taking him to teh western mountains and the fights that are sure to be unleashed on them there.
 

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