Cursed together - A.K.A. Deadlands at Kitten Lair

Horse Eater

Horse Eater

The two white men with the wagon turn out to be Lacy O’Malley (a reporter from the Tombstone Epitaph) and a studio photographer out of Deadwood named Paolo. Evelyn has an immediate dislike for Lacy and starts accusing him of staging the scene before the Posse. Investigation reveals that the burnt wagon is from Iron Dragon Rails and holds a badly burned body with arrows stuck in – not shot into the body. There’re also some surveying maps that on closer examination Dr. Pat and Corky declare are useless.

Lacy had been convinced the Iron Dragon rails intended to break faith with the Sioux and were planning on laying lines through the Black Hills but revelation of the signs that the scene was staged has him determined to find out what’s really going on, that combined with his lack of Sioux escort has him convinced he should accompany the posse where ever they’re going.

Then the other repair crew man shows up and is a mess. He’s emotionally distraught, and definitely not in possession of his sanity. His rantings are not about the wagon though but about some horrible thing with bowie knives for claws and teeth. He does identify the body though as “Charlie”.

So reluctantly the Posse takes these three additional folks into their group and continue to follow the trail with their wagon of goods for Never Smiles. As they go up hill they find a carcass of a horse, which also has a nearby rope tied to a tree. And they find another one about a 100 yards up the trail and again every hundred yards, though no further ropes. It seems clear these bodies are fresher the closer one gets to Never Smiles village.

Then the Posse come upon a ruined old Trapper’s cabin and discover Never Smiles within, tied to a post. He appears to have been beaten and is unconscious. Once he regains consciousness he says he was ambushed and beaten by a couple of white men. The sounds of some horrible slurping noise interrupts him and Never Smiles quickly tells the Posse what his plan for the rock salt, shotgun shells and whiskey was as far as the horrible creature the Horse Eater. The cabin is near the edge of an overlook and the creature is climbing up out of the swamp below. When they see the viscous slug like thing does indeed have claws as long as bowie knives and teeth just as frightening.

Several folks are frightened and run, including Lacy, Paolo, the terrified repairman and the Posse’s Sioux warrior escort either was just as frightened, or decided to run after the three white men. The Posse quickly face their fear and using the rock salt start shooting and throwing handfuls at the creature. The Horse Eater is tenacious but dumb and sees the Posses’ horses and tries to attack those but is soon too wounded by all the salt to continue. The Posse put it down as it tries to flee back to the swamp.

After cleaning up a bit the Posse then decide they have to find the two white men who attacked Never Smiles so they start looking around for them or their trail or campsite. They find their campsite and begin investigating it, finding inside the tent a makeshift desk with some attempts at survey maps that look less believable than the ones from the wagon, and a blue iron dragon cap on one of the cots. Then the fellows return to their campsite and claim Never Smiles attacked them. Evelyn and the rest don’t believe their story and they get the drop on the self proclaimed pilgrims and ties them up.

A search of their pockets reveals that they have some gnawed on old knucklebones. Under questioning they reveal their names are Brothers Wyse and Strong and they are devout followers of the Church of Lost Angels and of their savior and prophet Ezekiah Grimm. They talk of the coming of apocalypse, the hell that will swallow the whole world and how only the saved will avoid that fate. The knuckle bones Brother Strong says are like dice that will show miracles to the faithful, “roll the bones you know?” he says, so Daren tests it out and rolls four of the “bones” on the ground.

This proves to be a mistake as the things act like seeds and a frightening, burbling mass of a bloody corpse rises from each of the “bones”. While the Posse are shooting the things, Evelyn, fearing that the pilgrims are controlling the corpses, decides to slit the Brother’s throats. Luckily the smell of fresh blood from the Brother’s doesn’t cause any of the Posse to lose control of themselves. After the fight the Posse assess the rest of the bones and Dr. Pat discovers that acid will dispose of them nicely, though the Reverend Ainsworthy thinks holy water might do the trick as well.

The Posse then return back to Never Smiles village for the night and tell of what occurred, though at Evelyn’s insistence they omit the detail of the Church of Lost Angels involvement. The next morning they reconnect with Lacy O’Malley and company and they travel back to Deadwood with Never Smiles as well. Much discussion of what occurred happens but Evelyn continues to insist on not telling the reporter all of the story, as to why the white men were fabricating a lie to ruin the good relationship between the Sioux and the Iron Dragon Rails. Lacy says the void in the story will only raise more questions than it answers, but he leaves the Posse alone at last to retire and write what he can.

The Posse set up as before in Deadwood, and since it’s still early in the day, several decide to go investigate Satan’s Garden – the mine on fire. Dr. Pat and Corky are eager to see if they can solve the problem. They go investigate and see a flying contraption land and a fellow dressed in a neat silver suit steps out – introducing himself as Andrew Fudge with Smith & Robards. He advises them to stay where they are so that they’ll be safe from the heat and fumes of the mine fire while he goes in to assess. He tells them on his return that he estimates it’ll take 2500, to 3000 gallons of water or other suffocating substance, properly applied to douse the fire. There’s much discussion and then he takes off with a promise to return in a few days.

The Posse returns to Deadwood city and have the ghost rock from the fire pit assessed and it is valued at $500. They also learn about Never Smiles brother White Feather who has a drinking problem and also nightmares. White Feather’s been told he should learn the vision seeking way of medicine but White Feather doesn’t have a guardian spirit yet.


CeliaTite CeliaTite

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