Abilene Session Notes – 27 September 2014
29
September, 2014
Abilene Session Notes – 27 September 2014

November 16th, 1878

When we rode into the stockyards after a day of freezing our asses off in that damned wind, we knew something was wrong, we just couldn’t quite put our finger on what…

The party notices that all of the buildings – the Drover’s Cottage (and its six outhouses, one of which is out of order) and a series of small one-room houses – all have tents pitched nearby, except for one that appears to have been ransacked.  A closer look reveals that something large pushed through the front door of the building, the interior of which is veritably coated in blood and gore.

The injun ranch-hand, Chigger, encourages the party to check in with Al inside.

The party meets Al, the proprietor of the Drover’s Cottage, along with Madam Wednesday who runs the girls.  When asked about the tents and the ransacked house, Al tells them of a band of ex-Confederate soldiers who have been making passes through the Stockyards for a few months.  They always come through with a small band of mostly men who speak predominantly Swedish, so he’s assuming they’re from Lindsborg.  Four members of the band are staying at the Cottage, presumably under orders from their Captain Dane to keep an eye out for people asking questions (like the party).

The last time through, one of the young captive men rebelled and was killed.  The man’s mother, who had apparently been caught up in the sweep, laid a curse over the place, that any who slept under a roof would be ground to dust.  Thus, after a man named Johnson was killed the next night in his cabin, all of the locals have been sleeping in tents.

Dane’s four men eventually come downstairs for dinner and exchange somewhat-pleasantries with Patton.  At least one of them is genuinely a former Confederate solider and had served at Gettysburg.  Holden engages them for part of the evening over the poker table and learns a few things: that the soldiers are flush with money but are very tight-lipped about its source, that they call their captors “conscripts”, and the place they are being taken to is the “claim”.

That night, the party borrows tents from Al and beds down near the Cottage.  Seri chooses to sneak away and sleep in the loft of the barn, even after being warned by Chigger that the barn has a roof, too.

The party is roused in the dead of night by the sound of the bard doors being ripped from their hinges.

 

Al Wednesday

 

9-28-14

1 Comment

  1. patricia

    We kept a slow pace. The wagon slowed us down enough that it would have been faster to travel on foot. Or maybe not. Some of them did not seem to be used to travelling much. We got as far as a small settlement with tents and houses.

    One of the buildings was ruined, and there was blood splattered all over the walls. Too much blood, so chances were someone died in there. Enough reason to stay clear of the building.

    One of the men told us that the settlement was under a curse. Some men had passed through earlier, and an old woman had cursed the settlement as revenge for a death. From what he described, it sounded almost like a yee naaldlooshii, though from what I understood, the old woman was upset about a child of hers being killed. Still, it could have been white magic. I had already seen the rat girl change shape, but she had none of the signs of being a yee naaldlooshii. This, however, was different.

    There were other men at this settlement as well, four of them. Soldiers, or so they claimed. Greycoats. They made me want to string my bow; they seemed like trouble. For a few moments I thought they were going to come to blows with one of the people I was travelling with. They were talking about their war. It seemed as if they had been fighting on the same side, and still the air felt like before a fight.

    They did not end up fighting, though. Instead, they ended up playing cards for a while, before it was time to get some sleep.

    It seemed whatever it was, attacked people sleeping indoors. As long as we slept in tents, we would be safe, or so we were told. So we headed outside for the tents. Since everyone else clearly slept outdoors, and some of them were not suited for it, it was clearly not just a joke they played on us.

    Just in case whatever haunting this place was what I feared it was, I decided to stay awake. There are songs that will protect against them, but I was no shaman, so I did not know if it would work at all. And since this seemed to be the work of a white woman, it could be that the ways I knew would have no effect except angering it.

    There are a few other things that can be done; perhaps one day, you will learn about those. But I made a few preparations, and sat down with my chant.

    When we heard it, the ground shook for each step it took. Something heavy was approaching. The rat girl had snuck off into one of the buildings, the barn, where the animals were stabled. That was where we heard the steps, and then came the sound of something tearing the door to the barn off its hinges.

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