Ruby meets up with me and we head out together. Along the way there is a rather macabre spectacle of hanging corpses along the path. Ruby mentions these are warnings from the Indians. These men broke the treaty and no-one claimed their bodies. The mines themselves aren’t large, only 4 or 5 men total allowed and some of the areas are just stripped bare.
We finally make it a rocky area with gouged out bits. She leads me to a secluded spot and seems quite taken aback by recent activity in the area. There is a filthy horse blanket that is a few weeks abandoned and empty cowboy boots. It is curious, but not too odd in the American West. She goes over a practical show of her powers. Her list is most impressive. By the time we are finished it is dusk. My first success is learning Hangman’s Noose. I am certainly hoping to never cross paths with mother again, but I would so relish the chance to see how she likes experiencing it.
On the way home it starts to rain darkening the way even more. I activate soul sight and a little bit later hear a growling clicking noise. One of the hung men… he… well… stretches and distorts freeing himself from the binding. It almost paralyzes me in terror, but I manage to reclaim my faculties. I simply refuse to die here like this and I think there might only be one of the creatures. Ruby’s horse is terrified and bucks her off. I draw too late to shot before it gets arms around her. I chant out the curse for Life Ebb hoping it works with these things as well. An ichor exudes from its rotting flesh. I am not sure at first if this is helpful but Ruby seems to be aided in her struggle with the creature. I hear the horrific noise of their unnatural stretching again and realize there are two in total. The new comer completes its drop and as I locate it I see it has Obsidian in it’s clutches. The horse proves it is more than style and speed, keeping it together and fighting the creature. I reach into myself and call out to the creatures with the blackness of my soul as I was taught early in life. I feel it works, the creatures no longer seeming to have interest in me, and focus on protecting Ruby. She has startled mumbling, but as distracted as I was I cannot be sure exactly the curse. I aim and before I pull the trigger and in the moment before I stroke the pistols trigger I realize she is doing the curse version of what I just darkened my soul for.
I let lose the deadly little projectile at the retreating one, it drops with the fourth shot. I dismount to find a trophy, focused on both proof of these creatures and something to research what they are. As I approach the spot where the creature fell, Ruby yells to help her get her horse. I snap from my task realizing I would be anxious to leave in her place too. I run back to Obsidian and head down the trail to her horse. We both try to calm it and Obsidian helps, laying his head in a caring manner on the other animal. I do love this creature quite a bit and even more now.
We make it back to town and into the Green Door. I notice she is bleeding and make a concerned remark. She reminds me this is an issue for her and I offer to dress it for her. After an easy bandage I look at her and say I could really use one of those baths if possible. She responds that it was exactly what she was thinking. The attendant nods and goes to set it up.