You will find me at:  

My Backstory

 

I’m a blues man, through and through. I believe in right and wrong, and I live by the good book. My mama used to say, “Music is God’s gift to his chil’un.” I know, some do wrong with it, but many others use music to spread joy and goodness. I have always aimed to be the latter.

I got me a old time record store, all vinyl, you see. I don’t sell much, but I do seem to congregate a whole mess of friends, like-minded folk who love music the way I do. We got live bands play up on the roof on the weekends, too. So if you into music, and if you into the blues, drop on by my store, Sactown Blues.

 

About me...

He

Skill Cap     Great
Skill points spent/total	30/30
Base Refresh																		8
Adjusted Refresh																	2
Fate Points from last session																	0
Power Level :  Chest Deep
Skills
Superb  {+5}: Conviction 
Great  {+4}: Empathy, Contacts  
Good  {+3}: Rapport, Discipline  
Fair  {+2}: Alertness, Resources, Presence
Average  {+1}: Driving, Lore, Investigation, performance
Stunts and Powers
Cost		Ability
-1		I Know Just the Guy (Contacts)
-1		Silver Tongue: +1 to wheedle info     
            using Chit Chat (Rapport)
-1		Hold Still, Willie: Can spend a Fate 
            point to dive for cover when out 
            of turn (Athletics)
-1		Bless This House
-1		Guide My Hand
-0		Wizard’s Constitution
-1		The Sight
-1/+1	Soulgaze
My Friends
Raven Telladore - A waitress at Annie Mae’s and Slim’s ‘adopted’ granddaughter.
Annie Mae - Owner of her cafe and the best cook this side of Mississippi.

Cab Callahan - A dear departed friend, who happens to now be a ghost hanging around the store.
Mr. Ling - Cantankerous owner of the laundry just below Sactown Blues.

My Playlist
Stress
			1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8
Physical:	o  o   
Mental:		o  o  o  o  +1 minor consequence
Social:		o  o  o
Armor:		none
Character Description

Slim is a tall, wiry black man. He nowhere looks his age, and has the stamina and energy of a man forty years younger. He has big, wide eyes that seem to take in the wide world, and when he looks at you with those dark, knowing eyes, you can feel them pierce right to the core of your soul. It can be jarring at first, but as you get to know him, you realize that those eyes also hold the kindness of the world within them.


Slim always dresses neatly, and is fastidiously clean. He is never seen without a hat, and he has a sizable collection of them. Also, it is a rare instance for him to be seen without a big, welcoming smile on his face.

You will find me at:   
Sactown Blues
ABOUT SLIM
Name    Willie “Slim” Sparrowhawk
AGE  78  Birthday July 7th
High Concept  Heart and Eyes, Open for the Lord
Trouble Everyone’s Grandpa
Aspeccts 
 Music Makes the Man
 You Can Run, You Can Hide
 The Lord Shall Provide
 Unfinished Bid’ness
 I Got this Record Store, see...
Theme Song 
Reap What You Sow by Willie “Big Eye” Smith

Willie Smith was born in Helena, AR, to a Baptist minister. Raised in the church, he always felt the touch of god on his shoulder. At a young age he was, called by the lord in a dream (although at the time he did not realize the spiritual significance), to venture to Chicago where he heard Muddy Waters for the first time. Willie experienced a revelation, moved by the music, and was hooked on the blues. The attraction to the music (bestowed by the Lord) persuaded him to stay in Chicago. In 1954, Willie, playing harmonica, formed a blues trio, who built a following in Chicago and gigged around the area for a few years. The '60s were lean times for the blues and for a few years (mid-'64-'68) Willie packed up his harp and found himself doing odd jobs including working in a restaurant and driving a cab around Chicago. Downtrodden, Willie struggled to find his place in the world, and at times felt the Lord meant for him to be doing something else in the world. But every time Willie would listen to music, especially the blues, the holy spirit tugged at his heart to return to music. During the ’70’s, he had moderate success playing in groups, using the contact’s he’d made in the industry in Chicago. In the 1980s, he performed briefly in the Legendary Blues Band with Pinetop Perkins, Louis Myers, Calvin Jones and Jerry Portnoy.

  1. Background

On a cold winter evening in 1989, the world changed for Willie Smith. He had acquired an agent, Carl Carlsbad, who had promised to sign Willie to Soulbound Records. Carlsbad was ‘schmoozing’ Willie up with a few label execs in a posh nightclub, and the deal was nearly done. It was then that Willie Smith had his first encounter with emissaries of hell. As he looked into the eyes of Casper Allgood, the VP of Soulblood, a chill entered Willie, the likes of which he had never encountered. His gut, or perhaps the holy spirit, told him that to make this deal would imperial his soul, and right there and then, he stood up from the table and walked away from a life-changing deal. Carlsbad pressured, then threatened Willie to change his mind and take the deal, but Willie refused time and again. By now he’d been married to Carlotta Pickett, a jazz vocalist, for over a decade. When she died suddenly under mysterious circumstances, Willie was devastated. Carlsbad came to Willie one last time, not-so subtly suggesting that Carlotta’s untimely demise was retribution for refusal. Carlsbad threatened to do the same to Willie if he did not comply. Willie felt the strong presence of God, and in a bitter struggle for life and death, Willie was able to emerge from the burning building torched by Carlsbad’s hellfire. The papers ran Willie’s obituary, and he knew it was time for him to flee Chicago for good.

  1. Rising Conflict

Returning to the territory of his youth, Willie moved to the Mississippi Delta - the city of Memphis, and took up playing the blues harp under a new name, Billy “Big Eye” Waters (a nod to the legendary Muddy Waters). Unfortunately, those record execs from Soulbound were able to discover that Willie had not died with their sorcerer Carlsbad in the fire, and they sent agents (ostensibly mob goons) to ‘persuade’ Willie to return to Chicago and honor the deal he had verbally agreed upon.  At the same time, Willie realized that the Lord indeed was ever-present in his life, guiding him towards souls that were on the verge of being lost to temptation, or worse - just as he had been tempted in Chicago. Following a premonition, he was guided to a den of cultists about to initiate a brainwashed teenage girl into their midst. It was at very instant when the goons from Chicago caught up with Willie. There was a brief battle of spells vs. machine guns, as each side mistakenly believed Willie was being protected by the other. Willie and the girl, Felicia Applegate, walked away from the slaughter, although nobody else did.  After that incident, and after much prayer, Willie felt the presence of the Lord guiding him west. Felicia, as a token of her appreciation, paid for his train ticket to California.

  1. The Story: Coincidence, I think not

  1. Phase Aspect: Music Makes the Man

  1. Phase Aspect: You Can Run, You Can Hide

Following the path of the Lord’s calling, Willie found himself in Sacramento, California in the mid 1990s, The first day he hit town, his stomach was as empty as his pockets. He’d just stepped out of the cable-car (much like the L back in the Windy City - but not elevated). Here hey called it Light Rail, and it deposited Willie on the K street ‘mall’. Willie found himself standing in front of a corner restaurant, the bright red and blue neon blazing “Annie Mae’s Cafe”, and a painted addition to the window declaring “Try our delicious CHITTERLINGS and BAR-B-QUE.” Willie knew he was home.

Quickly becoming a regular, Slim (as he was now calling himself - ‘Slim’, a nickname Pinetop Perkins had given him years before in Chicago), befriended the staff at Annie Mae’s, including Annie the owner and head cook, as well as a young waitress, Raven Telladore. Raven soon started calling him grampa, and they found they shared the love of the blues. Raven introduced him to several clubs in town that featured live blues, like the Torch Club and Po’Boyz out in Folsom. They became fast friends, and Slim knew that Raven had been placed into his life for a reason.

One lonely late night in 1999, Slim was enjoying a cup of coffee when a strange, pale man entered the cafe. Raven was pulling a double shift, and she confided to Slim that this guy, she called him cheese-face, creeped her out. Slim had a very bad feeling about this one, and did not leave Annie Mae’s until the pasty-faced man had finished his incredibly large meal, enough for four grown men. After the creep’s departure, Slim tried to shadow after him. Outside, he found the man had simply vanished.

Two nights later, Slim was awakened by a terrible dream involving this creepy pale man. He threw on his robe and slippers and ran the two blocks to Annie Mae’s. When he got there, he found it completely empty. No patrons, no staff. A muffled scream from the back confirmed Slim’s worst fears. Rushing past the kitchen, he found the creepster looming over Raven, who he’d gagged and tied to a chair in the storeroom. The vile man was leeching the very life from her, and Slim instinctively uttered a prayer to the Lord. Suddenly the man was thrust back from the cramped room, and forced all the way out of the diner.

The stunned, pale-faced man tumbled right into the waiting hands of the Sacramento Police, who Slim had called from his cellular phone during his sprint from his apartment to Annie Mae’s. The villain was arrested, convicted, and is now doing time in Folsom Prison. Raven recovered physically, but she is terrified that John Hughes, the pasty-faced creep, will get out of prison and return to finish the task he started that terrible night.

  1. Guest Star: Raven/Blessed are the Hungry

Slim could not stay away from the blues. He’d sit in and jam at many local clubs, never thinking that he’d ever own one himself. On a sunny June day in 2003, he was jamming in Folsom at the Powerhouse Pub when he met a young entrepreneur named Cabel ‘Cab’ Callahan. Cab and Slim got to talking, and the topic of employment came up. At the time, Slim had returned to his older professional skills, bussing tables at Annie Mae’s in the mornings, and driving for Checkered Cab at night. He’d been playing off-weekends with a The Masters of the Blues, a local blues combo. But, as many of the gigs in his youth, this one only paid in beer.

Cab knew at once that Slim deserved more out of his later years, and offered him a proposition. There was a record store that was going out of business and liquidating their assets. They could not compete with the mega-mall music stores. Cab knew with Slim’s kindly and outgoing nature, that just like when he performed, he’d draw good people to him. He’d be the perfect man to draw a great clientele. Slim also saw the goodness and honesty in this stranger, and over the next weeks, they proceeded to set up a business. Cab provided the startup cash, and Slim would be responsible for managing the store, which they named Sactown Blues. Neither of them seemed to mind that it would bring in little revenue, they both had faith.

They found a great location downtown on K street, just three blocks farther on down from Annie Mae’s. It was a retail loft space above a dry cleaners, with roof access, that had been derelict and abandoned for decades. Slim was drawn to the place, and he knew something was terribly wrong up there. Mr. Ling, the owner of Ling’s Cleaners, told Slim the place was haunted, and that at night he often heard thumping noises and worse, a terrifying whimpering and wailing. Whatever it was, it never bothered Ling.

Slim and Cab had toured the loft with the real estate agent during the daylight hours, and other than needing severe repairs, the shop looked like the perfect local for their proposed record store, and they found the rooftop would be a perfect venue to hold live events and blues jams. Still, Slim was unsettled. There was something here that needed to be dealt with. 

The renovation project was going as planned, and for protection, Slim had insisted that the work only be done during the daylight hours. He’d been there during the evening, and once at night, but whatever was there wouldn’t show its face. Whatever the thing was, Slim had scared it into hiding, for weeks passed with no sign of it. One night in late July of that year, Slim arrived home to discover a voicemail on his machine. It was Cab, telling him that he was heading over to the store to see what the rooftop looked like at night, suggesting Slim come over and check it out. Slim burst out the door, and sprinted those four long blocks.

When he arrived, he palpably felt the spirit of the ghost as he dashed up the stairs to the main store area. When he got into the space, amidst the ladders and drop-cloths and tools, he found Cab, nailed to the wall, dead. Whatever killed him had used a pneumatic nail gun left there by the construction crew. It had nailed Cab to the wall then put a series of nails in his forehead - in the pattern of a cross.

Just then, an electric saws-all started up, and floated over towards Slim. The power cord was dangling, not even plugged in, but vibrating death nonetheless. Slim instinctively ducked, God guiding his movements. He pulled out the worn pocket bible he always carried, and held it before him. The Lord protected Slim that night, and allowed him to flee to safety, but the loss of his dear friend tore at him.

It took over a month to research the former owner of the loft. Samuel Rochester was an artist, a painter and part time set-builder at the Old Globe Theatre in Old Sacramento. He’d lived and worked in the loft in the 1930’s. A buried news file described the circumstances of his death. “SR returned home,” read the Union, ”surprising a burglar who the authorities believed was in the act of stealing Mr. Rochester’s now famous painting entitled “The Engagement of Molly Bloom”. The startled burglar stabbed Rochester in the heart with a slim-handled paintbrush tool, killing the artist instantly. Also according to the Sacramento Union reporter, “the killer was never found, but the painting was discovered and sold at public auction.” A little deeper digging revealed that the painting now resided in the storage facility of the Crocker Art Museum.

Between Slim’s experience with the supernatural, and with the guiding hand of God, he knew what he had to do. In order to release the spirit of Sam Rochester, the painting needed to be presented to the ghost, and the spirit had to confront the stolen art, knowing it was safely returned. Only then could his spirit be set to rest.

Slim discovered the painting was not for sale, nor would the Crocker just lend him the art. Stealing the painting was no easy task, but Slim managed to do it, even though it went against every fibre of his upbringing. He took it to the loft and waited for the sunset. The confrontation was bloody, and Slim was injured, having the sharp end of a claw hammer imbedded between his sixth and seventh ribs on his right side. As the circular saw was spinning towards Slim’s throat, a white light flashed and the saw’s ‘power’ was cut, sending it clattering harmlessly to the floor. That gave Slim the chance he needed. He unveiled the painting and said a prayer, naming Samuel Rochester and sending him home to the lord, or to hell if Saint Peter judged it so.

Slim discovered that the white light that he’d seen was the spirit of Cab Callahan, who’d taken to replace Rochester’s Ghost in the loft. Cab, however, is a kind and beneficent spirit, who looks after Slim and the folks at Sactown Blues. He even peeks in at Mr. Ling from time to time, making sure irascible launderer and his family are doing well. Slim returned the painting to the Crocker intact, as received a small fine, but did no jail time.

Six weeks after Cab’s death, Slim received a letter from a fancy lawyer, stating that Cab had left the deed to the store and its contents to Slim. The store was opened a week later, with a gala concert, a tribute to Cab, held up on the roof. Cab was subtly in attendance, and he approved.

  1. Guest Star, Redux: Cab/The Ghost Stoe...

  1. Phase Aspect: The Lord Shall Provide

  1. Phase Aspect: Unfinished Bid’ness

  1. Phase Aspect: I Got This Record Store, See...