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Round 3: Vincenzo Savonarola vs. The Deacon


The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988
Roleplay begins Sunday and ends next Sunday. 3 RP maximum.

You may submit a card segment for use on the card by private messaging it to the following usernames: Chad; Ford; User Poets Not all segments may be used (i.e. we might only include winners, just depends on the amount of craziness).


Apr 1, 1998
Urbana, OH
(Chris Shepherd sits on a wooden altar at the front of a church, recognized by a cross emblazoned on the wall behind him. Holding his staff in his right hand, he leans against it as he rises to his feet and turns to the camera. He’s dressed simply, even as the area around him is a bit more elaborate than where he’s been shown recently.)

CS: Godfather. It seems every round I end up doing this – thinking back to a time before. It seems that’s what so many of us are doing. Remembering times past. Deacon faced a Godfather, not you, but like you in at least a few ways. That was quite a few years ago, and for the historians out there, they’ll remember it as Deacon’s rookie year. And for the rest of us, they’ll start to realize - yesterday is gone and I have a feeling if we spend our time looking back, we’re not going to see that train mowing us down.

(Chris looks away for a moment, biting his bottom lip as he considers his next words carefully.)

And maybe that’s what happened to Dan Ryan, Sean Stevens, and later by both men who had only one match earlier took these favorites out. (Chris turns back to the camera.) Maybe, but somehow I doubt it. They got caught, not by looking back, not by expecting a win, but by the reality any of the wrestlers in this tournament should expect – you had best BRING your BEST every round or expect it to be your last.

(Chris smirks.)

Unless you can psych your opponent out before they even step between the ropes.

(With a shrug, Chris begins walking in front of the altar, working his way toward the church’s podium.)

Some would say that’s what happened with Rezin. He’d listened to the hype. He’d looked at the man he was going to face, the train that was about to obliterate him, and Rezin gave up. Some would say that. (Chris looks away for a moment and shrugs his shoulders.) Of course, others would say it’s a casualty of the choices he’s made in life. Whatever you choose to believe, only one fact is for certain –

(Chris stops walking and stares at the camera for a moment.)

Deacon got a pass.

(Chris continues his walk, going up two stairs to the “stage area” of the church, little more than a raised platform carpeted in red.)

Some would say that Bonecrusher was psyched out before his match as well, that he’d already given up before he ever stepped into the ring with the Deacon. But I would say not Bonecrusher, but Lane Cash did that, not in facing the former Greensboro champ, but in looking at the fabled “hardest bracket in the tournament” and flinching. He didn’t show up, and Bonecrusher, for the first time in years, did… and gave what he had. It was enough for one round, but as all the craziness hit round two, Bonecrusher stumbled and then fell. Literally.

(Chris pauses for a moment as the lights behind him dim.)

And Deacon got another pass.

(He nods. A spotlight glows behind him, illuminating the cross, then moving to various other areas – the piano, the drums, and finally Chris.)

Some have said that it was Providence paving Deacon’s road to the final four, God Himself making the paths straight, the mountains made low and the valleys rising to meet Deacon as he walks upon the golden road of promise. (Chris shakes his head) Pardon me why I doubt, for the God we served compelled us to carry a cross not be carried upon a lectica.

(Chris begins walking across the stage area toward the podium.)

Godfather, your road isn’t all that much different. You fought the Hayes boys, and they might as well have been twins. Neither was willing to meet you, to do what was necessary to give you anything beyond their shoulders to the mat. The only question is – was that what you wanted?

(Nearing the podium, Chris pauses again, his clothing changing from the t-shirt to a polo and khakis.)

To Jethro, you dared him to cut the strings cinching about him. Evidently, he stayed a puppet to the puppeteer you claimed to be. To Alexander, you gave him an offer – forfeit. He responded affirmatively, silently skulking in whatever cave he called a home. And as he stayed silent, you sulked that he had taken your offer of forfeit, you going on to state how you were hoping for a challenge. I’ll leave it to Kendall Codine to tear apart your logic.

(The spotlight focused on Chris as the everything else gets dark.)

And you can leave it to me to offer you a deal.

(Chris’ staff is gone.)

Show up.

(The cross glows brightly behind him.)

Bring your puppet strings. Just try to cinch them about Deacon’s arms. Just try to make him dance to your song.

(The camera pans to a crowd in the formerly empty sanctuary. Now full of people in their Sunday best.)

Bring your deals and promises that kept Jethro quiet. Offer us a chance to survive the war you are going to bring us. Promise us that we can live to see another day if only we lay down for you.

(The church sanctuary morphs into an arena.)

And Deacon…(Chris smirks) he’ll bring his.

(The camera pans again, the crowd’s cheers meeting Chris’ own intensity.)

His first offer will be to take the strings that you’ve used to easily entangle your opponents, and well… the righteous have this nasty little habit. The evil planned against the chosen? Don’t be surprised when your own actions entrap you.

(Cuts back to Chris as he holds up 2 fingers.)

His second offer? Let’s see this war you talked about. Let’s see if, after we meet in this 3rd round, refusing to lay down for you leads to anything other than the Deacon moving on to the 4th round.

(Cuts back to the crowd, and once again, the arena is the sanctuary Chris started in. And as he continues, the crowd responds by getting louder and louder.)

We’ve gotten a pass for 2 rounds. Some would call it a gift, and I’m fine with that. But your gifts are over. And if you have half the guts of Bonecrusher, Deacon’s gifts will be over as well. I assure you, Deacon would have it no other way. The valley won’t rise up to make Deacon’s way smooth? He has no problem digging deep into the valley to see what gems are there. The mountain isn’t going to be made flat? That’s just perfect.

(The camera cuts back to Chris.)

You can’t move a mountain that isn’t there, and as Jesus said - with less than a speck of faith, moving that mountain is exactly what Deacon’s gonna do.

(Behind him, no spotlights are there. No drums. Not even a piano. A barren stage. A barren sanctuary. Only a cross showing as the camera pans up.)


League Member
Apr 11, 2012
“Sinners make the best saints…”

Muffled, calming sounds of an automobile accompany the low, rasping voice. Cool droplets of rain bead upon tinted windows, streaking and flowing together as the limousine accelerates. Two men sit, well dressed, in suits, on opposing seats.

“Pardon, Godfather?” inquired the younger man who was previously reading through a travel itinerary. He is sleek and swarthy, hair combed back neatly. It shines glossily in the low, shaded lightof a rainy day car trip.

“Don’t you agree Antonio?” asked the older man, just as swarthy, his faced lined with age. There, legs crossed, peering out the window with the world rolling by, his eyes as grey as the storm clouds.

“You’re still thinkingabout what Shepard had to say,” Antonio knowingly stated.

“I am. He is quite the mouthpiece,” said Vincenzo as he sat there for a moment, mulling over the most recent message from Chris Shepard. “And his Deacon is quite the brute.”

There was silence between them fora few moments. The every so often bump and thud of tire rubber over potholes punctuated the quiet air. Antonio, Godson and nephew, looked over his mentor and patriarch of the Savonarola family. Was the man that he held so much respect for questioning himself? Had the tournament already begun to take its toll?

“Godfather, you have nothing to wo-…”

“I am not worried,” interjected Vincenzo. He spoke with his hands, still staring out of the window as if trying to spy a long awaited sight. “I am elated, in fact. A challenge at last! The very reason I agreed to this tournament.”

“What were you getting at before?”

“Ah, well. Don’t you agree?”

“I suppose. What does it matter?”

“It is of great matter!” saidVincenzo. “Those in sin that come to grace possess a broader perspective. They bear the cold consequence of their transgressions and come to know the luxury of a warm return to righteousness. Because the grace of God is just that. A luxury.”

“Luxury begets vanity, both sin by another name. Then to pontificate to the huddled, shivering masses who struggle every day with the choice between right and wrong – from up on high enrobed in the great fur-lined cloak of the Lord’s love…”

Vincenzo’s lip curled and hecoughed disgustedly at the vision in his head.

“…it is an abomination. True faith, true redemption is not a stark white canvas wiped clean. Let the river wash away the sin, but the stain remains forever dark. Forever a definite shade of grey until death takes the soul.”

Antonio wonders at his Godfather’swords, as always in awe of his mind though unsure of Vincenzo’s point.

“Shepard didn’t talk about sin, Godfather,” said Antonio trying to get at the meaning of all this.

“He did not have to. He spoke of faith and it moving mountains; to overcome obstacles, to defeat the odds with little more than a mustard seed worth of faith. Yet, the mountain does not simply jump. It must be conquered! That mountain is sin itself and must be painstakingly removed to make way to the promise of redemption. The true sinner knows this.”

“The true sinner, such as I, has been steeled in the frigid reaches away from God; toughened in the wastes of human despair, battling back towards the heavenly hearth. And once returned from the most icy depths, the grey stains revealed in the light, is the warrior’s worth realized and his experience celebrated.”

“I don’t fancy myself this sort of warrior. No, I am the true embodiment of this. It is the path I have walked most certainly. I know the choices I’ve made and how black they were. I know the value and advantages of my ways. So, should it come to wrath and pride when this Deacon and I meet, the giant will be felled. He and the kindly shepherd can drag their cross…”

Godfather rubs his hands together, looking around at the cabin of his limousine. With drooping jowls, an ever so faint snarl and contemplating eyes he growls...

“…I’ll nail them to it.”


Apr 1, 1998
Urbana, OH
(Chris Shepherd sits on the ground beneath a tree. Leaning against the bark, his legs drawn up slightly, he looks every bit the part of someone on vacation, down to the floral buttoned up shirt straight out of Hawai’i. But he’s clearly not on an island. For those who know, it’s Deacon’s retreat in the Appalachian Mountains, somewhere south of Pittsburgh along the West Virginia border. But even if it’s close to a metropolitan city, it is light years away. No cars can be heard. No airplanes. And maybe it is just a little bit like an island.)

CS: This tournament has been anything, if not surprising. Godfather, when I dared you to – cinch your puppet strings around Deacon’s arms and try to make him dance to your song – I didn’t expect that song to be ours. I expected you to make deals, promises of recompense, and you gave me…your theological leaning.

(Not many have tried such a tactic, Chris knew, and that either meant this Godfather was certain of his beliefs or certain that he could beat Deacon at his own “game”. But this wasn’t a game. This was a life. Chris glanced down for a moment, clasping his hands and letting them fall against his drawn-up legs.)

Sinners make the best saints, that’s what you said. Interesting theory, and if this were a debate, you could probably use the Apostle Paul’s words of how he was the “worst of sinners” before becoming the man that God used to write the bulk of the New Testament. But the same Paul would also share how we are all sinners, following on what Jesus had laid - the foundation that with one sin, we are guilty of all of them.

(Chris’ nodded, looking down at his hands.)

That is you. That is me. That is all of us.

(In behind Chris, sunlight peeked through a row of clouds, not menacing a coming storm, but providing just a bit more coverage.)

Upon entering this tournament, I had laid one of my sins for all to know, not to set myself up as the greatest of sinners but to setup what I most hoped to give – honesty.

(Chris paused momentarily.)

And honestly, every saint was a sinner. The best saints aren’t the ones with the darkest sins. To say so would make a person who murdered and then cannibalized his victims into a greater saint than one who grew up around the faith of Christ and clutched to it early. By your view, Jeffery Dahmer, who purportedly accepted Christ near the end of his life, is a greater saint than Timothy, a friend of that same Apostle mentioned, who received Christ’s words with his mother’s milk and throughout his life worked for the good of the God he was born to serve. Godfather, it’s not the darkness of the heart that tells the greatest story because, if we’re all honest, all our hearts are dark.

(Chris stood up, still leaning against the tree. He’d dealt with the darkness, walked in it. How old was he when he’d “changed sides”? It’d been long enough that he didn’t remember, and maybe that was good. It was best to move on. Looking back only led to regret.)

In listening to you, I know you embraced that darkness, but as with much, it isn’t the words I hear as much as the insight you’ve provided. For as I spoke of faith, you spoke of sin. You dwelled on sin. Perhaps that is what separates us most – You’ve lived in the darkness long enough to see that mountain of sin grow ever larger, like a giant warrior growing stronger each time you glance at him. And us, we’ve lived in the light long enough to know sin for what it is – proof that we need a savior. We all have darkness in our hearts, and to compare one man’s sin debt to another is as foolhardy as to compare one’s righteousness to the other. The sins we carry are beyond our ability to change. The righteousness we have garnered is little more than a candle in the middle of the sun.

(Chris’ hair, normally in a ponytail, dangled loose about his shoulders. Blonde hair remained, somewhat, or all the white just mixed in making one look the same as the other. He was getting older, even if Deacon appeared as timeless as ever.)

But the 3rd round of Ultratitle isn’t going to be about the most righteous competitor facing the most vile. It’s going to be about Deacon versus Godfather, each bringing what they have. You, it would seem, have a heart troubled, but one you feel that is unconquerable so late in life, as erroneous as that belief is. You have held to these thoughts of darkness. Deacon brings a faith that stripped him down, built him up, and made him a champion – and not only of a few companies. And certainly not because he did anything more than begin with one thing.

(Chris glanced back. The Deacon was there clearing brush.)

Believe this Jesus.

(The sun broke through the clouds that had been hiding it. One could almost feel the heat bearing down on anything other than where Chris sat – the shade was sufficient for him.)

We all need new beginnings, even in the middle of the 3rd round.


League Member
Apr 11, 2012
It is sunny and warm in the heart of the bustling Gotham, New York City. The perfect chance to frequent a favorite, local sidewalk café; something Vincenzo Savonarola has taken advantage of. There fenced in by a waist high wrought iron balustrade, seated at a comfortable table in the shade of a tree, amid the to-and-fro of city life, he sits reading the news. Legs crossed, draped in a charcoal warm weather suit; the paper’s finished crossword sits beneath a saucer and cup stained with rings of dried coffee.

The articles read much as they do most days. Local oddities, stories of courage, political happenings, the stock report; all are quite standard. Increasingly, however, warnings of war,tensions between nations, financial insecurities, rising powers, starvation, falling IQ’s and resilient disease strains are becoming the norm. Cool grey eyes speed through each line missing not one beat and all the while the mind races.

“Recompense, like I’m some petty privileged heir trying to buy frivolous luxuries…”

Vincenzo flips the page of the Times and quickly takes in the pictorial weather report. There is a chance of some future atmospheric disturbance. Best be prepared for the storm on the horizon.

“I buy what is for sale. Be it a person’s dignity or their very soul. If there’s a price I make my offer.”

Brakes whine and horns honk, a waitress rattles by carrying her tray full of dishes. The sports section is always entertaining. Vapid,but entertaining. What’s this? A blurb about the ongoing Ultratitle tournament, no names mentioned. None need be mentioned; Deacon and his Shepherd quickly come to mind.

“And if they won’t take their pieces of silver, if they won’t sell themselves and stand aside…”

The world section details many unsettling truths. China rises in the east and famine deepens its hold on the third world. The horse of war rides forever and threatens yet more conflict. Death comes to the unfortunate suffering masses, though one might consider them fortunate given the coming times.

“…my wrath befalls them. I get what I need in whichever way is fitting; by gentlemanly deal or brutish battle.”

Driven by the feelings behind his thoughts, Vincenzo’s right hand crinkles the paper. Classifieds are all that is left and will not be read. The paper is folded and set down upon the table. In all these things now sorting through the Godfather’s mind, of the information he has gathered the man begins to make sense of it.

“It’s going by the book. My life, the tournament, Shepherd, Deacon…this world.”

“And though it is so plain to see the course of things, none seem willing or able to change. Blindly they go forth, reading one word, following another, fooling each other into blind belief.”

“The glaring fact is that humans are hypocrites, most despised by the Messiah. Say one thing, do another. Speak with a forked tongue. Deceive, lie, cheat and say it wasn’t so.”

“Hide your true selves. Sit on your pretentious perch, holier than thou, and believe you know the true nature of life and sin.”

“It’s going by the book, but do they know which book theyread?”

Vincenzo produces cash from his breast pocket, leaving plenty to pay and plenty to tip. He adjusts his attire and stands up from the table, leaving behind his readings and dishes. On the front page in the corner the city bishop is pictured, smiling. A light wind blows the page over behind which an emaciated, bug eyed movie-monster looks back over its own shoulder as if looking at the cleric.

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