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Dusty
Who is Dusty? Well I can tell you I am someone who enjoys creativity in many forms, the logic of code, the turn of a good phrase, historical genres (among many) and well-rounded written plots.

Hailing from the Southern Hemisphere, you may find me online at ‘weird’ times; however, it is just my time zone coming into play and I am always around every day at some point. So if you can’t find me in the Cbox, I am always available via PM.

Together, the founders have a combined experience level of over 50 years, so you are in good hands. So draw up a chair by the log fire and stay a while or longer and immerse yourself into the world that has been created here at Heart of the West!

Flint
Howdy all! You can call me Flint or Her Royal Highness or, of course, the ever popular Magnum PI, but if you can’t remember all that, I still answer to Tens :). I started writing when I was young but it wasn’t until my college years that I discovered RP. Yeah, never looked back, haha. I adore characters and plot lines and have way too many of them, if I’m being honest, but the heart wants what the heart thinks it wants! I play mainly males, finding them to be more comfortable in my mind, but I have my odd princess and I’m always ready to play! I do some graphic work for the site, advertising, and canon writing, and I can always help any of you with app and sizing issues, so just holler!
Shooter
Shooter has been writing with her fellow admins for up to five years! In 2014 she earned her degree in graphic design and now uses her skills to edit images for the site as well as design the maps for the area. Think of her as Heart of the West's personal cartographer and unqualified city planner. Fun fact; The Devil's Cradle Saloon used to be called The Blue Larkspur, this is the name of a plant as well as a race horse, a sport Shooter follows closely. Blue Larkspur raced for a stable called Idle Hour, which is the name of the hotel in Woodhurst. Every place on the maps has its own story!
Indy
Indy arrived at HOTW to assist in written aspects of the site as well as moral support and has been role-playing for a decade now. In the past she has written in such genres as fandom, historic, and fantasy. She has a bachelor's degree in history and is currently a high school world geography teacher.

Outside of writing, she enjoys video games and long walks on the beach. ...Not really. She hates the ocean.

Blue
Blue came over to the HoTW to assist with coding and general admin duties. During weekdays there is always an excellent chance that she is lurking about the site as work gives her the flexibility to do so. So if you are about, swing on into the cbox and say hello!

Additionally, Blue is one of those weird math and science people who also enjoys writing, and she has been writing for over ten years. She loves good plotting, character development, and is always a sucker for a happy ending.


 
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 The Plot, Area History
Founders Circle
 Posted: Jul 12 2016, 10:19 PM
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The Plot

Founded in 1858, Coalchapel Wyoming was little more than a blip on the map – another mining town that would most likely fizzle out in weeks and memory. However, criminal-turned-miner-turned-preacher Yul Pierce changed that when he established The Coal Chapel Church and brought people together. Now, ten years later, all sorts of individuals are trying to make their way in Coalchapel, and the place has become a powder keg just waiting for the right spark to set it all off.

Cattle barons find the area ideal for the land and the location of the train, but with crop farmers moving in, the free range is steadily shrinking...Miners are a greedy and cutthroat group who are at odds with everyone who could be looking at their possible haul...The locals are enjoying the influx of business, but with the outlaws closing in, everyone is keeping an eye on their wares...the cavalry has their hands full with the natives who feel their land is being violated and their people edged further and further back from their traditional lands...

And Yul? Well, he’s always up to something...

Where will you stand in The Heart of The West?

Heart of the West is a character driven site. Members may create their plots within the world of Coalchapel and the surrounding areas. There may be an occasional site-wide event, but outside the above, the site doesn't have a constrained plot. Your experience here is what you make it! Have fun!

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Founders Circle
 Posted: Jul 29 2016, 08:06 AM
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Area History

This does not include the history of the town as that was covered above, this section goes more into depth about the history of the outlying areas and explains various places on the maps you may be interested in knowing more about to further your RP experience here at Heart of the West! Be warned! Out there be monsters!
The entire area map can be found HERE


-Despite its name, present day Coalchapel was first brought to the forefront of prospector's minds when gold was discovered in the area in early 1849. Given its system of rivers and streams connected to the great, gold bearing North Platte River, the area was quickly inundated by ambitious gold panners who waded into the waters and sifted day in and day out. Obviously, the journey to such a remote location brought its own set of challenges. Most prospectors made their way to the valley via The Devil's Cradle nestled between Crooked Thumb Peak and The Widow Maker. This name may sound familiar if you've noted the name of the local saloon, its owner has a bit of a twisted sense of humor. If one didn't get eaten by one of the many bears, mountain lions or wolves prevalent in the valley at that time, he was sure to get ambushed on his way back out on his merry way to California to cash in his fortune. Outlaws stalked the trails day and night from the mountain now known as The Widow Maker, for good reason. A sharp shooting highwayman could pick off a miner and bring his good luck to a bitter end.

-Coppersprings is a collection of water situated in the valley of the Little Creek Mountains, its namesake an effort by the mining company to deviate gold seekers from the area. It has just about been panned clean however, but on occasion, a truly dedicated prospector finds a few nuggets. These rare discoveries always spark a buzz of excitement that there is a big vein nearby just waiting to be tapped, much to the dread of the coal mining company that does not want to compete with big name gold mining company moving into the area. As such, prospectors occasionally turn up dead shortly after their surprise discoveries, usually marked up to foul play by rival gold panners.

-In 1855 the Tabor & Hurst Mining Company sent surveyors into the area in search of a gold of a different color, they found it in less than a year and what remains of Mt. Morton is to the east of present day Coalchapel, abandoned and defunct but still a favorite place for those of the less lawful variety. The coal was considered fully extracted from Mt. Morton in late 1862 and in addition to the increasingly frequent cave-ins, the camp was relocated to where it is now. Due to hazardous conditions many miners found their final resting place in these abandoned shafts and the location is a bit of an attraction for thrill seeking teenagers as rumors of the lost souls haunting Mt. Morton circulate about town. Let it be known that sometimes these wayward young people wandering off in search of adventure, never return.

-Fort Langden is an impressive construction in itself but not many know the history of that crater that sits just behind it, what the locals now call Beggar's Hollow. Small collections of water in the area have killed many a horse that has stopped to drink from it, hence the name of the mountain just south of it. Beggar's Hollow is what remains of a volcano, groundwater in the area is contaminated by volatile fumes and is poisonous to drink.

-Swindler's Ridge is the highest peak in the county and is also next on the list when the coal dries up at the current mine. Surrounded on all sides by sloping, smaller crags and cliffs it is the perfect place to hide both outlaw and his ill-gotten gains.

-Longhorn Lake is not named after the Texas Longhorn cow but rather the abundance of elk and moose in the area. The river leading to the lake cuts through the croplands and is deviated by farmers to use for their fields. Unfortunately, because it cuts through the Northern Rangelands first it sometimes becomes contaminated by ranchers' cattle. Before being used for irrigation, the river was much larger and much of the cropland today used to be covered by water, making the land here very fertile for growing both crops and grazing land for cattle. This lake is also a livelihood for the nearby Natives that were relocated to a reservation in the area by the soldiers of Fort Langden with little regards to their identity or their dignity. As such the tribe is made up of a mixture of several bands, sometimes causing feuds amongst them. In some effort to keep them away from the good, civilized folks of town as well as the crooked vagrants who may do them harm or worse, sell them alcohol, they are in a pretty remote area.

-The flats, or Deadlands, is an area of land that is dead and dry. It was formerly covered in a stand of trees, but they were cut down long ago to make the towns of Coalchapel and Woodhurst, the latter of which was named because of its lumber mills. Without the trees to shade it the marshlands were subjugated to the hot sun and dried up. One would be lucky to find any living creature here and if they do, whatever or whoever it is probably ain't up to nothing good.

-Smuggler's Den is an area south of the remaining marshlands just outside of a crooked and dangerous path through the mountains at the base of Swindler's Ridge. This route leads all the way to the mining camp and is an area of interest for the local cavalry in some effort to thwart the comings and goings of illegal trade that is no doubt being carried out by the crooked miners in their systems of underground shafts.

-Deadman's Alley was the railroad's first, and expensive, attempt to get rails through the mountains to the lucrative coal and gold deposits in the area. In the end, a more sensible approach from the south was proposed and the project abandoned. One can see the path ends just before reaching a small stand of mountains in the west, south of Smuggler's Den near Moose Jaw Mountain. This 36 mile stretch of the man-made valley has claimed the lives of many vagrants over the years attempting to traverse it in some effort to smuggle illegal goods into the mining camp. Most fall victim to rock slides, exposure, dehydration and predation from wolves and coyotes.

Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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