Snake Oil: Daniel Ocampo

Snake Oil: Daniel Ocampo

Black Isle Presents

A Free Radical Production


The sun has risen and fallen three times since you left the remains of your home. The trail you've been following has led to a wide path leading north, and you've just spotted the first signs of civilization. In the distance, a number of man-made structures break up the landscape. You can't quite tell if the area is inhabited.

There have been a number of damaged and weathered signs along the path, all bearing the same symbol:

It's not a symbol you are familiar with. You're not quite sure what it is, but there's something comforting about it, something inviting. Perhaps someone in town will know more. As you travel further, you come upon a small, broken wagon and an agitated man. He kicks the wagon in frustration and sighs, wiping the sweat from his forehead with a rag. He is oddly dressed, wearing a black suit and top hat. He turns and sees you approaching.

"Oh, Jesus!" he yells before diving behind his wagon. He pokes his head out, watching you nervously.

The Wasteland, Somewhere in California...

Daniel had been lost in thought for hours, so much so that he almost didn’t notice the man or his wagon. He was fixed on the horizon and the symbol he saw. Perhaps it was the Spirits guiding him to this town. This town might help him on his quest; you never can tell. Daniel looked down at the man, who was taking cover, possibly in fear, due to Daniel’s immense size and the fact that Daniel most likely startled the man; the man, like Daniel, was probably lost in thought and totally unaware of Daniel’s presence, until now that is.

Daniel took a knee to come down to the man’s level, he smiled and spoke.
Are you having trouble, friend? Do you need assistance? Perhaps I could help,” Daniel said, offering his hand, palm side up. Daniel has never really known any other people other than those from his tribe. As of late, Daniel has become increasingly more curious of the strangers he’s been meeting, this man, in that hat. Daniel wondered who he might be; maybe he's a shaman, judging his 'head dress'.

The man's fear seemed to vanish instantly as he regarded your actions. He stepped out from behind the cart and straightened his suit before approaching the giant tribal. He extended his hand in greeting.

"Pleased to meet you friend! Name's Harvey, Harvey Newman, purveyor of traditional cures and herbal enhancements. I was on my way to Ridgecrest over there," he explains, indicating the settlement you'd seen in the distance, "but my cart's wheel decide to up and quit on me," he finishes, indicating the cart.

"Would you be a champ, and help me transport my wares? Say, what's your name, anyway?"

The Wasteland, Somewhere in California...

Daniel continued to smile as he listened to Harvey and his woes.

"I am called Daniel. I can assist you. What would you like me to do?" Daniel asks, coming off one knee to his full height. Daniel stretches out his shoulders and neck, producing awful cracking sounds as he finishes. Daniel never knew a stranger and this time, was no exception.

"Daniel, eh?" Newman pondered, admiring your ridiculously large frame. He moved to the back of his cart, and began to gather up several jars and bottles, placing them all haphazardly in a massive sack. "Normally I'd need several trips to get all my stuff there, leaving my precious cures here where just anyone could steal them. With you here, we can take them all at once!"

He finished placing the majority of his wares in the sack. It did indeed look heavy, far more than the wisp of a man before you could carry. Newman motioned towards the sack, indicated that you should carry it. Meanwhile, he continues to look you over. "Say, you wouldn't happen to be a tribal, would you? You might be able to help me beyond just transporting my goods, if you're willing."

The Wasteland, Somewhere in California...

Daniel smiled at Harvey.

Just this sack?” Daniel asked, picking up the burlap sack off the ground in a smooth heave. “Yes, I am a tribal. I come from the Red Canyon People, a Pomo tribe deep in the valley, several days walk from here. I am called ‘Walks-A-Like-A-Bear’. I bet you can guess why,” Daniel said smiling at the last comment. “Help you? I would be able to help you, if it is going into the mountains. I am…” Daniel hesitated. “If you are going in that direction, I can maybe help you,” Daniel’s brief expression of concern vanished and was replaced by a smile that covered his face. “Tell me, what kind of help do you need?” Daniel asked, walking besides Newman as they both started for the town ahead.

Harvey frowned a bit in concentration as the two of you make your way towards the town. He speaks slowly, or at least more slowly than he had before. "You see, people around here aren't so trusting, and for good reason. They see a man dressed finely like myself, and they wonder 'what could he possibly know about tribal remedies?' That's where you come in, big fella; they see you, they're a little more willing to give my genuine cures a try. Whatd'ya say?"

In its pre-war days, Ridgecrest might have been a nice little town. As it was, however, the settlement resembled a scrap heap with piles haphazardly shoved into the rough shapes of buildings. A shallow ditch had been dug around the village, which apparently served as a place for the townsfolk to dispose of their garbage. A small bridge over the refuse served as the main entrance into town.

The Wasteland, California, Ridgecrest

As Daniel and Harvey walked into what could be called 'town', Daniel listened to Harvey's request for help. He pondered for a long while before they stopped; Daniel didn't talk, he just sat there in silence, almost to the point where it would've been an uncomfortable, awkward social situation.

"Will I need to lie?" Daniel says, curiously. "Do your cures work? If they don't, then I can help you. I can give you real cures, I am...was...."Daniel said, his face saddened for a moment and then he forced a smile. "I was going to take over as medicine man for my village, before they were gone. I can help you make working cures. A little hope goes along way, when you have none left. A false hope is worse than death, it poisons the soul" Daniel says pensively. "Would you still like me to help?" Daniel says, waiting for Harvey's cue to put the sack down, which doesn't bother him at all. Daniel looks about town with a grin on his face.

'A new place, new possibilities. Perhaps someone here will know what happened to my people' Daniel thinks to himself, a much broader grin spreads across his face.

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