There Comes a Reckoning

Little house on the prairie

With the prairie ticks dead or in ma belly, Miss Blackstone and I proceeded to pump the necrophile for information on his gang. His beating came short of what was due to ‘im, but he got understanding as to his options and directed us towards the hideout.

Now that bug I ate was makin’ a home in my guts and reminded us of my dire situation so we left the dead so as to not add to them.

We followed the trail till some time afternoon and crossed paths with what looked to be a circus. Seems a man by the name of Dr. Vandersmoot led his merry band of travelers selling his snake oil elixir and entertaining folks. He offered a free bottle of elixir if our able bodied posse would make camp with him. Having sworn that the elixir would cure the infestation in my belly, we stayed.

Seventeen days, he said it would take for the elixir to cure me of that bug. The thing seems to have settled down already so maybe it’ll work. I’d say that evening was uneventful, but I’d be lyin’. Let’s just say we didn’t have to shoot anything till morning.

Come morning, we found our prisoner impaired. We realized that the poor soul would soon get his getting’. He had a prairie tick that was full and comin’ out. He weren’t breathin’ and the tick seemed to be strugglin’ ta get out, and see’n that this was my fate, I tried to help. I tried to reach it’s legs in his throat to pull it out, but just couldn’t get a grip on the thing. I was the only one to try to help the man, the rest just stood by fondlin’ their irons. I was unable to help the man and the tick brust out his throat. The man’s blood and guts were soon joined by the bug’s as someone blasted it to hell from over my shoulder.

I fear I may not be long for this world… maybe the next will be better.

We broke camp, having purchased a number of bottles of that fine elixir from Dr. Vandersmoot, and headed on. Seems that, at some point, the thugs we were tailin’ broke formation and split paths to meet up later.

We were following the smaller of the two groups and were led to a small farm place. This place was eerie and wrong. See’n a it is only spring, the full and bountiful corn fields would have been odd if not for the smell of disease on them. The farm house looked like hell was knockin’ on the door last night but all was quiet, for now.

Mr. Clockwork thought to knock on the door as everyone else assessed the situation further but I
followed Johnny as backup. When Johnny topped the steps on the porch we heard a small voice say ta go away followed by the slightly larger voice of a shotgun blasting through the door. The shot clipped Johnny in his bad leg, which probably didn’t help that much, and I dragged him off to the side to get him out of harm’s way.

Miss Blackstone, again, showed a soothin’ side as she talked her way into the house and eased the tension in the small girl. The girl told us a story about her family planting the corn and spraying it with ghost rock to fertilize it err something and the next day it was fully grown. Her brother went into the corn after the dog and started screaming so her mother and father, God rest their souls, went in to save him, but never came out. Later, 5 men showed up, they beat this little girl and stole from the house but, again, were lured into the corn not to return. Finally, she said that something tried to get her in the house at night, but she kept it locked out.
We asked if she had any caster oil, as this is the only known remedy for the tick that Marty seems to be willin’ to admit havin’. The small jar of oil is only large enough for one person and I hand it to Marty, thinkin’ that maybe he’ll see this as a peace offerin’ for shootin’ his friend. He drinks it and he and I go outside when things get ugly. The rest have no mind to help this poor man either and stay inside. It doesn’t take long for the nasty thing to claw its way up his gullet and I assisted by pulling the thing’s legs as it forced its way out. I shot it when it was clear. I helped Marty into the house to rest as birthing that thing out of his mouth wore his strength to near nothin’.

We were worried that the door would be less effective at night with a shotgun blast through it so we started to make torches to burn the fields. More materials were needed so Johnny, Justice and I headed for the barn and left Miss Blackstone to comfort the little girl. Our materials found and torches built, we found that the only way to light these fields aflame was to walk along them as the sun set.

Of all the terrors of the night a scare crow, made even of straw, attacked me out of the corn. Johnny, as quick as I have ever seen a man, blocked the attack. Eliza saw the beast and recognized that it couldn’t be shot to death so Johnny and Justice beat it back into the corn field and set it ablaze. Eliza tossed an oil lantern on the creature, which exploded sending thick clouds of smoke into the air. We continued beating the monster with the torches until it ran to the house where we beat it to smoldering embers.

With the thing dead, we quickly set the fields on fire to kill off any other unnatural things that may be growing in it


To my reckonin’ there’s only one kind o’ injun that hides behind a rock. That’s the kind that’s fixin’ to steal yer scalp. So when I saw a couple of’em hidin’ with their bows at the ready I was expectin’ some powerful trouble. So I took it upon myself to take some shots at’em hopin’ to scare’em off or send’em to whereever it is they go when they die. My first shot woulda hit that sneaky bastard in the guts if it weren’t fer that rock he hid behind, prolly right after he crawled out from under it. My second shot went wild. Turns out it was a good thing cuz these injuns was meanin’ to make friends. Well then what were they hidin’ behind the rocks fer? Stupid. Turns out we didn’t go unharmed though as Joseph got all jumpy and managed to shoot Wes right in the leg. If it weren’t fer Eliza doctorin’ him up I don’t think he’d a made it. As it is he’s heading back to town in the wagon while the rest of us head out fer the bandits. THese injuns told us they saw’em headin’ out and there was about 15 of’em. We got our work cut out fer us. The injuns gave us some feather tokens that’s supposed to make us faster or smarter or some such nonsense. But we took’em cuz theys supposed to make us friends of some other feather lovin’ injuns.

Not too far along we came across a bunch o’ settlers that had been all shot up an tortured. They were dead other than a couple of’em we found dying. We did the right thing by’em. We found a couple of the bandits and learnt they was the ones that did the dirty work here. But while we was figurin’ out what to do next we say somethin’ swarmin’ at us from the tall grass. Some sorta big super tics. They were pretty vicious and fast and I ain’t ashamed to admit I was pretty scurred there for a minute. We managed to shoot most of’em but Joseph got one down his gullet. Eliza says that this is powerful bad.

April 15th 1877
The Posse

We ride out on the trail with Wes Cranston. As we head around a bend we encounter an Indian riding toward us at a trot. His hands are out and he has a stick in his hand laying up his forearm, looking fairly unassuming. Justice yells ambush and as Joe draws, his pistol goes off shooting Cranston in the leg. I am quite shocked at this violence from the group, though I suppose everyone is on edge given why we are in the woods. A brief flurry of out going gunfire while I yell to cease fire and get to Cranston. It is really bad, but it might be able to be saved. I tourniquet the wound and soon find Joseph at my side. He is going on about how he is “powerful sorry” about the whole thing. About this time Marty goes up and puts his gun barrel against the back of Joe’s neck. I buy some time by telling Marty it was an accident. I am trying to find a way to articulate my thoughts so he understands as Justice lays down a little macho logic.

See’s the Eagle takes us to his camp. He is of the 7 Feather Lakota tribe. His “medicine” tells him he would meet a strange war party. And that one of them would have an item of power, but he would not know how to make it work. Evil spirits (Manatius) have become strong and bold. Even Sitting Bull’s medicine cannot stop the spirits. They are searching for Manitus. There are two forces to be wary of in the plains, Crazy Horse and Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. He says the Dog Soldiers will treat us better if we mention we are Friends of the 7 Feather Lakota Tribe.

We head out in the morning. Before long we smell smoke. We come across the ruins of a wagon train. Branson Hicks gang. We agreed that I get Justice’s and my share for the Branson reward.

Sunday April 15th (evening)

We done shot up some bank robbers as they were headin’ outta town. We got two and winged 2 o’ the others but three of them skinned out. Eliza yelled that a couple more were fixin’ to skin out down Pine so we headed over there. But we were two late and a couple more made off on horses. They got the sheriff in the guts but he looks like he’ll pull through. That no good scumbag of deputy got his wind knocked out, probably trippin’ over himself trying to get out of the way. The bad news is they got the Doc on the way outta town. He was shot in the chest and Eliza said he wasn’t gonna make it. Joe had the way o’ things and drew his pistol to finish the Doc off. It was the right thing to do. But I had to stop him cuz I reckoned the townsfolk wouldn’t want to see the Doc with a bullet in his head. May not be good for the sheriff after all. Eliza suggested to the mayoe that he deputize me right away. Looks like this is fixin’ to get interesting.

We set out of town with Wes, Marty, and Butch Cole, the hardware store owner. On the way out of town the Preacher was firebrandin’ to bring the Lord’s protection down on us. I stopped and told him I reckoned he built up enough in his ledger so he could get back to his gamblin’ and whore chasin’. Joeseph told the preacher we could use his guns if he wanted to climb up in the wagon. Preacher told us he was needed back in town to minister to his flock. I told him he could start with Chinatown, as usual.

My mind was taken abruptly away from my journal with the violent interruption of an explosion. I moved swift as a coyote down into the streets. I’m sure it was quite the sight as I have never attempted to run that quickly dressed in my Sunday best. I do think everyone was a bit too occupied to notice however, as a band of ruffians on Main Street were firing indiscriminately into the town’s buildings and by extension townsfolk. I slipped into the shadows and quietly moved with purpose to the bank where the explosion clearly originated from. Upon approaching the bank I noticed Deputy Oldman was lain out in the street. I broke from cover to tend to the man, this was a relatively safe action as the gang was moving down Main Street away from us. I quickly surmised that the Deputy had not been shot, but was likely suffering the ill effects of standing a touch too close to a rather large explosion. He is a man of dubious moral character, but I have no way of telling if he was a victim of happenstance or the victim of a plan that got messy. Perhaps even outlaws have a distaste for slimy little worms that try to play both sides…

At any rate he was as useful as ever. lying there in the street gasping for air like a fish in a desert. I advised him to lift his arms above his head and concentrate on breathing. I had trouble with the first and I don’t think he could do much but mind his inhaling and exhaling, but it was all I could do to help. I hurled a curse into the gaggle of bandits. It felt like a solid hit, but in the dark and chaos I am not sure how much good it did. As the gang headed down I noticed not all the gunshots were originating from the direction of the group on Main Street. I shouted loud as I could that more of the band was raising hell on Pine Street. This was a little too late however as they where already down the road where it meets up with Main Street on the way out of town.

In the aftermath I hear The Widow Tanning screaming about the Doc being injured. I rush over to render aid. Satisfied she has done her best Elizabeth goes to check on her father. Sadly the Doc has a sucking chest wound and there is nothing to do for the poor soul but send him quicker to Jesus to save him pain. I try to help him let slip his mortal coil, but I prove inefficient and about as much good as the cowards bullet seems to be at the task. Luckily Justice was there to dispense a little mercy as well.

It’s at this time I head back to the bank to see the extent of the damage. I am drawn away yet again by Elizabeth’s cries for help, this time it’s her father the Sheriff. He has a gut shot, it’s bad. He is putting on quit the brave face, and I admit it pushes my buttons a bit to see a father going through so much to protect his daughter. I manage to find a away to send her away satisfied that her father will be fine. I am not so sure. It looks like the shot went clean through, which is good. However it also looks to be far past my skills on the matter of medicine, and the only Doc I know of for miles and miles happened to pass away recently.

While my mind is racing I am dimly aware of the Mayor attempting to… mayor. It goes poorly. I call him and take him aside. I suggest he deputize Mr. Jones as the man in line is hardly a proper law man. I didn’t work it out with the Sherrif, but I figured he would back Justice. What I failed to account for was the man’s foolish machismo. He is polite in regards to my idea, but steadfastly and resolutely declares he needs a posse to ride with him. This is absurd. The list of reasons why he shouldn’t go is numerous. Sadly the reasons are weighted too heavy in his mind for common sense to prevail. It is the folly of men. I tried my best reminding him poor Elizabeth surly cannot take the loss of her father while still mourning her beloved husband. Luckily Justice mentions his work will be for not if he parishes on the trail. Though he may have worded it in a slightly different tone and not just the baritone.

The Sheriff is bravely making a speech to the townsfolk. When another thought strikes me like a slap when he keeps asking for horses. What of Ms. Brillo at the livery? Justice must have the idea too as we both take off for the livery. He out paces me a bit but we arrive around the same time to find she is hogtied and what seems to be embarrassed that she was jumped. I do say I quite admire the woman. The good news is that Ms. Brillo is okay, however there are no horses for her to supply. Understandably she is worried about her lively hood. I assure her a posse from the town is forming and we will chase those hooligans to the ends of the Earth lest the criminal population of the area think Shady Gulch is a victim.

Sunday April 15th

The Sheriff wakes up and is felling alright. Elizabeth wants him to rest, but he insists on heading out for the day. He offers to escort me to church and I accept, pleased to have more time with the man in a proper manner. We stop off at the jail first and Justice fills him in on both the ambush and key parts of the story about the Celstials. Mainly that the girl tried to kill Lung.

We head off to church and, as the Sheriff has decided to rest at the office, Johnny Clockwork escorts me to church. The Preacher makes a point of looking at each of us companions during. He talks us up for a second, then takes us down. Based on his sermon he makes excuses for himself. “As long as you believe in Jesus and accept him all is forgiven.”

Elizabeth inquired about the exchange between Justice and The Preacher. A Stagecoach arrived today. It appears it is Mayor Peabody returned from Wyoming. The Mayor is excitedly telling a tale of the attack. He brought a Negro newspaperman in to run the Shady Gulch newspaper his name is Grimsly. He will pay $1 for a story with collaborated. Grimsly took a loan from the Mayor to open the place. Mayor is also partial owner of the Shady Gulch Herald.

I go to the Celestial heroin den with Clockwork because he is concerned about a girl there named Song that Justice and Joe may have put in danger. I have no success in finding information, however Mr. Clockwork talks one of the girls into taking him into a darkened room where she is recovering. He wants to go in and rescue her.

Saturday April 14th

Sherrif Truelock has asked us to accompany him out to the Tibbs/McReady claim. Well he asks others around me, and I insist of going. It’s a good thing too, because aside from the very odd behavior of the other prospectors we are met by a Dread Wolf, actually a pack of Dread Wolves, at the claim. I am deeply saddened to report the Sherrif has been bitten. I am unsure how to alert the Sherrif, or anyone else, to the matter as I have started down this road a few times and at best it ends with me politely escorted out of a town.

I was planning on taking up the invite from Jake Killburn regardless of the other’s acceptance, but I was happy they went along. Mr. Killburn appears to be an enthusiast of the Occult. Enough to enjoy a tarot deck. I managed to channel this conversation into information about a missing celestial girl Ming Song and the connection to the town’s Preacher.

Justice and Joseph visit the Celestial district to talk to Dou Choi Lung. They wound up in a scuffle with the man and apparently Sing tried to save him. Justice is filling me in when Sheriff Truelock bursts in demanding Killburn for justice in the matter of the death of Mr. Tibbs. As a group we manage to get the Sheriff out of Nugget and home. While Justice and Johnny get the unconscious Sheriff to his house, I run and get Darling. She is able to cure the Sheriff. I am briefly horrified as I think the poor dear has taken it on herself, but the symptoms quickly subside and she faints.

It is late at this point, but as the main crisis is over I volunteer to stay behind to watch over the Sheriff and his daughter Elizabeth whom has a rough night as Johnny apparently has no bedside manner. The boys go to leave and we are ambushed. I quickly spring into action. I activate Soul Sight. When I get I manage to startle them into inactivity with a lie about springing a trap.

Claude Maynard and Frank Ames where part of the ambush and started it. Jim Horner was a part of it and supposed to be in jail. It appears the Deputy Holden is dirty. We get the keys from Truelock’s house and take the two captives to the jail. Holden is in a cell. Claiming he was knocked out. His injury seems a bit small for the accused story and Justice takes it upon himself to conduct a small scientific inquiry by punching him in the face. Maynard and Ames are worth bounties I have $40 as my share. We lock those dead men in a cell to secure our money.

Friday April 13th 1877

While we are having drinks at a local establishment a mysterious man enters. He is gathering a bit of attention as he orders a whiskey. He begins to speak a piece about a man. I started looking around, and sure enough someone was taking umbrage with what this strange man was saying. At first the man being spoken of seemed angry at the dark stranger. But soon he turned ashen face and drops dead. A fellow fan of theatre the mysterious stranger punctuates the death with a cheers and takes the shot down smooth. He meets no resistance as he leaves and when he does the bar is oddly quiet for a moment. It seems the fellow actually died during the speech! I accompanied Justice with the body to the Church.

As if that wasn’t enough I have just returned from confronting two men trying to spirit away a body in the night. Luckily Justice was woken as well so after observing a bit and talking about what to do we decided to confront the pair as they walked away. It turns out it’s the body of Curtis Tibbs. He is a prospector along with McReady, whom stayed back at the claim to ward of “claim jumpers”.

Wednesday April 11th 1877 - Thursday April 13th 1877

Night felt oddly cold. I was constantly on edge. Darling continued a vigil with the pregnant army wife. I couldn’t help but get up and walk the perimeter from time to time. The men seem competent, there are just so few of them for all the dangers there could be. I am not sure, but I think they are benefiting from my presence.

I had to swim across the river to bring a ferry across at an abandoned crossing. I think the boys got a show despite mine and Darling’s best efforts.

Injun attack!

They were fierce and terrifying. Steadfast in their determination to eliminate us. Not the least of which because it became clear they where corpses not content to rest. The banker was insufferable. Blathering on the whole time about how he would gladly pay to be safe. It was at this time an undead Indian Raider leaped from his horse onto our carriage! Without even thinking I found my gun under his chin. I smirked. I actually asked the banker “How much is this was worth?” As I pulled the trigger. Sadly I fear that bit of wit was lost in the sound of the shot and overall chaos of the battle.

Despite this interlude, we where able to end the day at Shady Gulch. We are quickly greated by Sheriff Truelock. He stands in refreshing contrast to the environment. Rugged to be sure, but his gravitas is posh without pretention. It seems a rather common trait amongst the middle and upper class of the American South.

Wednesday April 14th 1877

Take carriage to Shady Gulch

  • Pick up boy in the road named Hank
  • Get ambushed by Hank and his gang.
  • Took Hank and a cohort captive
  • Attacked by Mexican Dragon
  • Army wife gives birth

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