Opportunity Knocks

Investigation of Fort Lincoln: Epilogue I

“Ah hell Lyn, you’re all kinds of messed up.”

Blood had stopped flowing from the large wound. The hot iron had sealed the wound, but the arm was gone. The thin man was being carried by his brother through the forest.

“Nah, can’t be. I don’t feel nuthin.” said Llewellyn.

“That’s not good Lyn.” said his brother.

“I’m dyin then. All the things we’ve done, I know I’m headed for the pit. All the things we’ve killed, all those monsters, they’ll be waiting for me Roy.”

“No, not if I can help it.”

The brothers reached their destination, an Indian burial ground at the top of a mesa.

“Don’t do it Roy. It ain’t right.”

“I got to Lyn. It’s like pa always said, ’Don’t matter what he looks like, kin is kin.’”

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Prologue: Mystery of Weaverville
A visit to Fort Lincoln and beyond

We traveled south towards Fort Lincoln passing the towns of Harmony and Goodwill. The weather was miserable over the 2-3 day long trip, enough rain that it actually stripped the soil. Flash floods destroyed the sawmill and other industries. Van Duesen’s heir sold the family business and gave the proceeds the Wiyot.

Upon reaching the fort we went to the telegraph office. Sgt. Nolan Lake is the supply officer so we went to go speak with him.We saw a powerfully built man talking to a crowd about the death of Alina Hindle. He was a sheriff looking to deputize a group to pursue Barton Duval who was suspected of killing her. Cho offered to travel with Deputy Fox to seek the accused. Lt. Daniels is the ranking officer at the fort,

We spoke to Sgt. Lake regarding requisitions and determined that a large shipment of old rifles was picked up by Sgt. Tanner in the past.

We headed out to look for the fugitive. Shortly afterwards we ran into a dust storm. In the dust storm we encountered some Pinkerton men with a wagon that had a large iron sphere in it. Afterwards we made camp for the night. We continued north to a flat grassy plain with muddy river and a trading post. The Chinese man running the training post said that Barton Duval had been through a few hours ago. He tried to trade for a new horse. He left to head up to his claim. A few weeks back Duval had come through with some odd colored quartz rocks looking to sell.

We encountered a flipped wagon with crushed side and native arrows stuck in it. Percival surmised that the arrows were staged and suspects that the Pinkerton men were not really Pinkerton. He also suspected that they tore down wanted posters of themselves.

Later that night we encountered A glowing wisp like creature. Deputy Fox suddenly seemed overcome and started taking about beautiful music while he crammed his gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

The next morning we encountered a white man who took us to visit a local Native tribe. The shaman of the tribe told us that the white men we tracked had become a manitou after digging i a sacred area where he was overcome by a coyote spirit. He also said a different creature of darkness sent the wisp creature after us. that the creature could only be seen in the darkness and left tracks like a snake. They gave Icie a bone knife to use on the manitou to leave the possessing spirit from him. They asked us to go to the sacred place and put him down.
We went to the sacred place where Icie fell into an underground cavern while following a vague urge from the Knife. In the caverns we found a mining camp with two completely shredded bodies. Further investigation revealed Barton Duval hiding in another cavern, cringing in a corner. He was lamenting that he couldn’t kill himself and that he hadn’t wanted to kill the little girl. Hearing that the man was tortured and wished to die and knowing what the Shaman had told him, Cho immediately opened fire to try and put the man down as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the spirit bound in Duval mad him supernaturally resistant to damage and a protracted melee ensued until Icie was finally able to use the shaman’s knife to put him down for good.

As we tried to leave the cave we encountered the two men impersonating Pinkerton’s. They barred the exit, saying it was a good thing we were there because their “brother” was getting hungry. At that point a small dust cloud rapidly assaulted everyone in the room. We could see an invisible humanoid shape in the cloud, defined by were it blocked the path of flying debris. After another brutal fight the invisible beast was slain and the Pinkerton impersonators were put to flight. We pursued them for a time until the last of them slipped away into the wilds. We captured the wagon carrying the strange metal sphere and used it to transport the bodies of the invisible beast and Duval back to Fort Lincoln.

Once we arrived we collected a reasonable bounty and reported our results to the Sheriff. We sought out the Lieutenant in charge of the fort to see if he knew anything of the arms shipments to New Opportunity. If he knew anything he hid it well as we saw nothing to indicate guilt or a hidden agenda.

We departed back to New Opportunity, once again finding that our rations were insufficient for the journey. When we drew within sight of town we found Zane dangling naked from the archway at the edge of town. We were eager to find out what happened but the curtains closed on the session.

XP: 2

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Return to Grizzly Bluff: Epilogue

Rain fell in heavy drops, the kind that soak straight to the bone. The parched earth, which hadn’t seen rain like this in over ten years, soaked it up. If soil could be giddy, this land would be laughing with joy. But there was no joy in the man who carried the body of his love wrapped in clean linen. She never fancied him the way he loved her, and he knew it. He knew that she preferred the touch of softer flesh, but he didn’t care. She couldn’t help who she loved any more than he. She was gone, and his love demanded one final act.

He carried her over the threshold of the newly built church. Votive candles flickered but refused to be extinguished. The priest, kneeling at the altar, felt the whip of cold air strike the back of his neck. He turned to see the silhouette of the man carrying a body in his doorway.

Waving the visitor off he said, “The undertaker is next door. We can make arrangements after the deceased has been taken care of.”

“Alberto. It’s Shay. She’s dead.”

A feeling of dread passed over the priest. He knew that Shay lived a dangerous life. He knew she would die young, but the news still affected him.

“I’m sorry Ben. I… I know how you felt about her.”

“She died at Grizzly Bluff, Alberto. They cut out her heart.”

The name of Grizzly Bluff hit Father Santos like a bullet. Memories of the horrors he saw there passed through his mind.

“She died at Grizzly Bluff, and you know what that means. I need your help Father. I need to make sure she wasn’t cursed.”

“Ben, you know the lord hasn’t blessed me with his power since the last time.”

“Please Father, try. I can’t let her suffer.”

“It would take a miracle.”

“Then lets hope I came to the right place.”

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Excerpts from the Diary of Natalie Ezrah

1868: The night of my 11th birthday the earth shook and split apart. My family is missing, and everyone says they’re dead. No one would help me. They just looked at me like I’m a monster. I think they blame me for what happened. A nice man fed me today, his name is Tobias. He says he will take care of me.

1869: Father said he was working on my birthday cake so he let me end my studies early today. I went outside and there were some boys from the school, they threw rocks at me and one hit me. I have a huge gash that bled. They called me a freak and laughed at me. Father says that my pink eyes and white hair are a blessing from God. He says I’m his angel.

1870: Father took me to Harmony today. I hate how he uses me as a prop. The new church looks beautiful. I like it when everyone leaves and I can be there alone and by myself.

1870: The boys at school are always staring at me. They say disgusting things about me. They think I can’t hear them, but I can. Benny Harper said I did things with him that I never did. Father wanted to know why I was crying over dinner, I just told him I wanted to be alone.

1871: I forgot to cover up when Father took me to the market today. My skin burned and turned bright red. Some children pointed and laughed at me. An old Indian woman grabbed me and cut off part of my hair. As she walked off, she said that my white hair would bring her luck. I told Father but he just said I should spend more time praying.

1872: I was walking down to the river to do laundry when a group of Chinese surrounded me. They started asking me to cure them of their rashes and boils. I tried to be nice, but when I said I couldn’t cure them a man grabbed my hair and pulled me down. He started yelling at me in Chinese. I screamed. The new boy at school, Gavin Dorsey, ran up and pushed the man away. He took me back home. At dinner time he brought round the laundry I dropped. It was freshly washed.

1873: Gavin took me out to the sea today. He brought a picnic basket with delicious treats and a soft blanket to lie on. He said he loves me and wants to marry me when I’m old enough.

1873: Father was furious when I told him I was pregnant. I haven’t told Gavin yet, but I know he’ll do the right thing. Father called me a harlot, and told me to pray for forgiveness.

1873: I don’t understand my dreams. I don’t know why I’m so angry all the time.

1873: Gavin just laughed when I told him I was pregnant. He accused me of being a slut and that it probably wasn’t his child. He left town and I don’t think he’ll be coming back. Father won’t let me out after dark. He says it’s because of the Scalper, but I think it’s because he’s ashamed of me.

1873: I finally snuck out last night. I ran into Mr. Schrute. He had dropped one of his carved fairies and it had broken. I helped him clean up, and he told me that I was still beautiful to him and that it wasn’t safe to be out after dark.

1873: They killed poor Mr. Schrute. They say he was the Scalper and had killed Mr. Jackson and Mr. Truesdale. I can see his cabin burning from the top window of the church. Mr. Schrute would have never hurt anyone, he was always so nice to me. My dreams are getting more violent. I don’t feel well at all. I think the baby knows I’m upset.

1873: Every night father drinks too much and then beats me. He kicked me in the stomach, I think he wanted to hurt my baby. He said he was going to throw me out. Tonight I fought back. I grabbed the candlestick and threw it at his head. He fell, and the blood covered the floor. I set fire to the church and tried to make it look like an accident. I don’t know where I’ll go now.

1874: I’ve lost my home, my father and now my child. I have sinned, and God is punishing me.

1875: An Indian boy found me today. He says that it was prophesied that he would find me. He calls me White Doe.

1876: The medicine woman is a good friend to me. She told me that I have an important purpose for Kachewinach and the tribe. She told me that I could help him find an ancient temple.

1877: After two seasons of looking, I think we found what the medicine woman was talking about. She said we’d find the magic inside to get revenge on the people of New Opportunity. Today she introduced us to an army officer. He says he can supply us with guns if we can show him where the temple is.

1878: The voice spoke to me again last night. He promised me power to destroy. I made a deal with him. I will give him what he needs, and then I will have my revenge. My father killed my child, and now I will destroy everything he created.

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Return to Grizzly Bluff

After the fighting in the paper mill a crowd gathered outside. Mercy Jackson came after us like a miserable, savage chihuahua seeking to paint us in the worst possible light. Cho told her that her fixation on death wasn’t healthy and that the deputies could no more stop death than they could stop lightning or a landslide.

Percival went back and examined the glyphs down in the tunnel and wasn’t able to determine much other than they were Aztec in origin and referenced Ququmatz.

The following morning Sadie Wilson approached Percival and slapped him, declaring he was a dangerous man, one she could never trust and declared her love for Benny Harper. Benny then challenged Percival to a duel. Neither Cho or Madame X were able to dissuade Benny. they dueled and it was comically bad. Benny finally landed a near hit and the duel was ended.

Just then Sheriff Redwood returned and proceeded to berate the deputies for the state of the town. He was very angry to see the Wiyot prisoner in the cell and summarily executed him. Cho was not happy with that and told him that bad karma would be his reward. Redwood then berated Zane for using his real name in the deputization paperwork.

After that he told us that Shay Anderson had gone up to Grizzly Bluff to investigate the Wiyot. Cho mentioned that she was in grave danger as the Wiyot were currently up in arms and extremely violent. The deputies all agreed to proceed to the Bluff with all due haste to try and extract Anderson.

The deputies decided to proceed the back way through the forest to avoid being an obvious ambush target but still ran into an ambush from Wiyot, including a shaman and Zang. A battle ensued. We gunned them down. Dulawat the shaman declared that the circle of vengeance would not end well for anyone with his last breath.
-—————
After the fight Cho’s mind drifted back to a time when he was pursuing Franklin Granger along with some Union scouts. the scouts had cornered Granger when he took hostages from a wagon train traveling west. Rather than be captured Granger ignited one of the wagons with women and children inside, forcing the scouts to try and rescue them. Granger escaped in the ensuing chaos.
-—————

We continued on the Grizzly Bluff and found an Indian long house on one side of the bluff and an archaeology camp on the other. There was a wagon full of odd and expensive machinery next to the long house. the long house itself was empty except for 20 plus bunks. While we were investigating the house three Wiyot braves came up from the canyon. A quick gunfight ensued and the braves were gunned down.

The deputies ran to cross the bridge as quickly as possible but drew fire from a number of braves in the canyon. A brief exchange of gunfire put the savages down. The camp had two tents,a campfire pit, a wooden structure

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This is a special Bennie we can use at some point. “Just Crazy Enough To Work”. We can get one automatic success on an action in exchange for an automatic failure at the Marshall’s discretion at some later point.

Adolf Bandolier was hired by Preston Tanner to find information about a mythical city of gold. Preston Tanner sent telegraphs whenever something of value was found.

Redwood is shaken by the loss of his friend Shay Anderson.

$200/reward plus one weeks pay of $20.

Nearest ranking officers in the region are at Fort Lincoln south of Goodwill. Tanner would send messages to Fort Lincoln via telegram.

Tunnel under papermill has mention of god of greed, city that is a monument to greed and records mention of god of wrath.

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Excerpts from the Journal of Zang Ju Shen

1872
I have a sister! I have a family! But why would my parents hide me away while my sister gets to stay at home? I don’t understand.

1873
Mother is dead. They say that a man in town killed her and then himself, but I suspect it was father. He won’t let me leave the temple to go to her funeral. Every time I see him he looks at me with disgust. I just found out who my mother was, and she’s gone again. At least Mei is able to visit me.

1875
Tomorrow I will be old enough to leave this temple and be on my own. Maybe I can join Mei on one of her adventures with the Maze Pirates.

1876
Mei doesn’t understand. The pirates have no honor and cannot be trusted. I met someone today who understands honor and pain. He is an Indian warrior who wants to see this city burn as much as I do. I have finally found the family I have always wanted.

1878
Kachewinach is a good leader, but he does not understand battle. And I think he is too distracted by White Doe. The attack on the town was a good diversion while we stole the bones of the old preacher. I left my dog behind to kill a few more. He had the dog madness, probably from those bats at Grizzly Bluff, and would have died soon anyway.

The guns the soldiers provided are no good, it takes too long to reload and they’re as loud as a thunderstorm. Next time we’ll attack at night from the old tunnel using arrows so no one hears. This town needs to burn.

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A note found in Mei's room by Bethany

Dear Sister,

I hope this letter finds you well, and with some free time on your hands, becasue we’ve got a problem. It has to do with Father. Seems he had something to do with New Opportunity’s recent troubles with the natives. I don’t want to involve the authorities becasue we both know that father would just weasel his way out of it again. You’ve got some influence with Sheriff Redwood though. Meet me at the Paper Mill at Midnight tonight. Maybe we can figure a way to make sure he faces punishment. Knock five times at the delivery door and I’ll let you in.

I don’t have to tell you how important it is that you keep this to yourself. If local fools got word of this they’d assume that you and I were in on it too. They have no honor. I don’t understand how you can stay here. Come alone because there are other complications I’ll explain once you’re here.

-Zang.

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