IX - The Cabin.   Posted by Marshal.Group: 0
Kansas Kate
 player, 432 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 02:52
IX - The Cabin
Speaking of witches, Kansas Kate stood calmly by the back door.  She took Cooper's magic pill and stuck it somewhere quick to get to, but highly secure, a unique trick of hers.

She weighed her options for killing everyone inside the cabin.  She listened, but mostly to determine how many people were inside.  And she kept her back to the cabin and scanned the area around and behind, lest an accomplice sneak up on her.
Albert Cooper
 player, 388 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 07:43
IX - The Cabin
After passing out a few bullets, Albert kept his eyes trained on the distance. He didn't want anyone sneaking up on them while everyone's attention was focused inside. He moved himself close enough that he could hear the conversation and add his two cents if necessary, but his back was to the posse and the inhabitants of the cabin they'd discovered.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 254 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 07:55
IX - The Cabin
Puzzled by the man's apparent suspension in time, Jacinta turned her horse away and began to inspect the area, searching for any signs of recent travel.  Why had he said he'd seen them outside of his cabin?  Were they apparitions or some sort of warning?  If there were any tracks to be found, she was certain she could find them.



Tracking: 7

00:53, Today: Jacinta Castillo rolled 7,7 using d8,d6, rerolling max with rolls of 7,(6+1)7.  Tracking.

Marshal
 GM, 671 posts
 W3 R1 B0
Sat 15 Feb 2020
at 01:25
IX - The Cabin
Peering into the cabin’s rear window a second time, Kansas Kate scans the interior, able only to see one other inhabitant aside from the man at the door: the dark haired woman she had observed previously. The woman, presumably the man’s wife, has ceased her chore, her attention fixed on the conversation, her hands clasped together nervously. Taking in the details of the rest of the home, Kansas Kate sees nothing that leads her to believe that anyone else resides there.

Although Albert Cooper and Kansas Kate remain vigilant, scanning the trail and nearby foliage for any hint of danger, the rocky terrain and stands of trees surrounding the cabin remain still. Neither rider sees any movement nearby, the stillness adding to the lingering sense of isolation.

”Son, if’n you’re thinkin’ the witch had a hand in some kind of crime, I can guarantee you she didn’t do it alone.” The man’s expression becomes serious. ”The witch is like...nature itself. I’ve come to think of her as the spirit of the mountain. I reckon she’s been here before all of us. But when it comes to people, she’s just a reflection of those who settle here.”

“My wife and I, those down in the valley, we don’t want much. Just enough fish, game, and harvest to keep us fed. A safe place to call home where it’s warm and dry. It’s enough. More than enough. And the witch...she’s content, just as we are. That’s why we can live here in peace.”

“Only scary story I’ve heard of her was from a time when the young braves of the mountain tribes grew angry because their elders wouldn’t allow them to go raiding. So they rebelled. Turned against their own people. Murdered and pillaged. She stirred awake then. And called up all kinds of darkness to cover the land.”


He shrugs. ”Some folks, they ain’t happy til they’ve ruined themselves and everyone around ‘em. If that’s what people want, she’ll answer.”

“Either way, she’s up there. Not much further. You’ll know when you reach it. The place where the rocks flatten out. Snows almost all the time”

Jacinta Castillo
 player, 255 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Tue 18 Feb 2020
at 05:13
IX - The Cabin
Jacinta dismounted and paced the area several times over, frowning at what she saw.  Confused, she retraced her steps, thinking she'd missed something.  Clearly, she hadn't.  Shaking her head, she glanced back to the posse.

"Y'all want to take a look at this?  Something here ain't right."
  Catching Roberts' and Shabbakasha's eye, she waved them over, as well.
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 25 posts
 Buckshot
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 02:19
IX - The Cabin
Roberts steps over to the tracks at Castillo’s prompting, as does Roving Wolf. Crouching down, the bounty hunter studies the ground, then shakes his head. ”Some of these prints...they look like they were made by animals that were diseased. Not long for this world, but then they seem to get...healthier as they stop in front of the cabin.”

He grimaces. ”These sickly lookin’ tracks, those don’t surprise me. Last time I was up here, I saw a fair share of things walkin’ about that should have been in a grave.”
Shabbakasha
 NPC, 29 posts
 Roving Wolf
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 02:19
IX - The Cabin
Shabbakasha’s expression is grim. ”Some of those that have refused to sleep for many winters, they are like coyote. Tricksters, able to conceal their true nature. To take on different shapes.”

He nods in the direction of the cabin. ”The man...he said he saw you. You and the gunfighter. That you watched his home from horseback. But you have never ridden up here before.”

“It was not you, pia wa'óo. It was one of the dead who had borrowed your form.”

Albert Cooper
 player, 389 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 14:31
IX - The Cabin
At Jacinta's beckoning, Albert moved closer to her and then listened to what Shabbakasha and Roberts voiced. "Hm. So what does that all mean fer us? Do them animals stay better once they ain't by the cabin no more?"

The cowboy paused to ponder. "Cuz it seems like we're close and now we gotta place we can retreat to should that be needed."
Shabbakasha
 NPC, 30 posts
 Roving Wolf
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 15:25
IX - The Cabin
”Their appearance of health is an illusion. They are shapeshifters, but their true form is that of something long dead. The sickly tracks, that was when they traveled as they truly are.” Shabbakasha explains.

”If this is a safe place, it might be that they chose to take on the forms of some of us in hopes that the cabin owner would fear us. That he would not give us his trust. It does not seem to have worked. But...”

He points to some of the tracks. All can see that the prints that headed south, down the mountain, appeared to be those of healthy horses. ”When they left here they kept their false forms.” He looks to Cooper. ”Should we find them, I believe that they will still look like you. You and pia wa'óo.”
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 26 posts
 Buckshot
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 15:25
IX - The Cabin
Roberts considers the tracks for a moment, then says, ”I haven’t always ridden on the right side of the law. Thing is, if I could make myself look like one of my enemies, I’d try to get amongst those that were causin’ me grief, sow a little confusion and turmoil. Maybe kill a few of ‘em, since they wouldn’t see it coming.”

He looks out at the surrounding trees. ”If I was a betting man, I’d wager that those two shapeshifters are close. Real close. Waiting for the chance to slip into the group and bring misery.”

“I reckon it’s treat important we don’t get split up from now on.”

Jacinta Castillo
 player, 256 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Thu 20 Feb 2020
at 07:07
IX - The Cabin
She sighed.  "I was afraid of that.  When he mentioned the two of us, I knew something was at play here.  They walked down toward our encampment.  I wager that if we hadn't set watch, they would have tried something then."

Looking first at Cooper then to the others, she lowered her voice.  "We should have some sort of signal to one another in case we are separated and return.  Something that will let us know that we are friend and not foe.  What say the rest of you?"
Shabbakasha
 NPC, 31 posts
 Roving Wolf
Thu 20 Feb 2020
at 17:18
IX - The Cabin
”When Comanche braves are on the hunt, they use the sign of the snake to tell one another to move quietly. To alert fellow hunters when prey is near. We can use the same sign to tell one another that we are who we appear to be.”

He extends his right forearm in front of him, palm down. Moving his wrist and elbow, he emulates the movement of a snake.
Marshal
 GM, 672 posts
 W3 R1 B0
Thu 20 Feb 2020
at 17:18
IX - The Cabin
The cabin owner studies Lee and Kearney silently for a moment. Shaking his head, he retreats into the cabin momentarily, returning with a pair of worn canteens, one in each hand.  ”Water taken from from the stream, just east of here. Purest you’ll ever taste. Stays cold, no matter what.”

He walks down the steps, his gait slowed by a limp. ”If you’ve got to go up there, and you’re not sure of what you’re seein’, take a guzzle. It’ll help.”

“Just remember, that witch, she’s only as bad as the people that settle on her land. She becomes what they think they need.”


He hands one canteen to each of the law dogs. As he does, he fades from view, his form briefly becoming translucent before vanishing entirely. Behind him, the cabin becomes vacant, its windows without glass, its doors open, swaying slightly in the mountain breeze. The structure itself remains sound, the wood weathered by years of resisting the elements, but still sturdy enough to stand firm and support the roof above it.

Glancing into the back window again, Kansa Kate sees that the cabin is vacant, save for a table, a lone chair, and the cold fireplace.
Kansas Kate
 player, 433 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Fri 21 Feb 2020
at 00:36
IX - The Cabin
Kansas Kate was actually not that surprised, though to say she wasn't moved by the spectacle would be a falsehood.  She was pretty sure whatever was here, wasn't here, as she was pretty sure Murphy was never here.

She considered her next action carefully, and opted to enter the cabin to conduct a search.  She wasn't hoping for much, but hoped against hope some record of who had been here, when they had actually been here, might be present.

I do have a Windfall card, if there's anything actually here, it might all just be ashes.
Bryan Lee
 player, 402 posts
 Texas Ranger (20/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W0 R4 B1 L1
Fri 21 Feb 2020
at 21:34
IX - The Cabin
He studied Kearney for a moment as they held their canteens and had witnessed what had just transpired. He wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but seemed to place some trust in what they had just been told.

"I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, Miss Kearney, but I'm thinkin' it might not hurt to heed the advice of this apparition regarding these here canteens. If other folks have water skins, maybe if the stream ain't too far we could suggest filling up there. I'm thinkin' whatever happened here, maybe somethin' like the opposite of whatever happened down in Angus."

He beckoned to her to rejoin the rest of the group with him.
Marshal
 GM, 673 posts
 W3 R1 B0
Sun 23 Feb 2020
at 00:13
IX - The Cabin
Kearney follows Lee to where the rest of the riders have gathered. The pair arrive in time to hear the last portion of the discussion about using the sign of the snake to confirm that the members of the posse are who they appear to be.

Kansas Kate enters the cabin, her footfalls the only sound within the vacant structure, except for the whisper of the breeze. The outlaw pauses to examine the table, finding only a pair of dusty plates and a few pieces of tin cutlery. A neatly folded quilt, pale blue and white, rests in the seat of the single chair, its colors dulled by a thin layer of dust.

Looking about, Kansas Kate sees nothing that would provide any clue regarding the identities of the former inhabitants. However, as she lingers inside, she is overtaken by an emotion that is relatively foreign to her: peace. The outlaw is calm, perfectly aware of the danger that likely faces her and her companions, but somehow untroubled by it, confident that the posse can face whatever might await them on the mountaintop.

OOC: Kansas Kate, you’re now entitled to a +1 modifier to any Spirit rolls you’re required to make. The boost will remain as long as you’re on the mountain.
Albert Cooper
 player, 390 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Sun 23 Feb 2020
at 19:54
IX - The Cabin
Albert considered the suggested signal. "Guess the only thing is if we're bein' watched, a signal that can be observed might be able ta be copied? Maybe we should each get our own word ta say instead? Mebbe even have ta work it inta a sentence if we're split up an' come back?"

The cowboy furrowed his brow in contemplation as he looked around for thoughts from others.
Kansas Kate
 player, 434 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Sun 23 Feb 2020
at 20:45
IX - The Cabin
The outlaw walked out the front of the cabin, dazed, but very calm, something rare for her.  She spoke strangely as she volunteered her unsolicited synopsis.  "Ah think... ah think whatever were here, were doin' an okie doke, but... ah reckon it had to.  Ah don't think it knows anoth'r way to be.  Mebbe it want'd ta help, mebbe not, but ah don't think it meant no harm."
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 258 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Tue 25 Feb 2020
at 06:09
IX - The Cabin
"I agree," she said to Kate, throwing a glance back at the cabin.  "Maybe why whatever came to visit them couldn't get any closer."

Looking back to Albert, she quirked a brow.  "What's yours, then?
Andrew Roberts
 NPC, 27 posts
 Buckshot
Tue 25 Feb 2020
at 16:26
IX - The Cabin
Roberts takes a few steps toward the vacant cabin, regarding it soberly. ”I wonder... if it knew. If the mountain knew somehow. It understood that those of us that were leading the train were bad men. Only concerned with money, nothin’ else. Maybe that’s why this place didn’t appear to us. We weren’t deserving of its help.”

He frowns, his expression haunted. ”If that fella told the truth, I wonder if all the bad that happened up here...it was because of us. What was in our hearts. That she...La Lechuza, she became murderous because Murphy was. Because he was willing to trade people’s lives for power.”

He turns back, gazing down the trail, in the direction of the ruined wagon. ”I never saw none of those people die. I ran when the shadows came alive. Found a place to hole up and fight. All the others...the people going to California...they were just gone.”
Albert Cooper
 player, 391 posts
 Gun Wizzerd
 P5 T6 W0 F0 W1 R3 B3 L0
Tue 25 Feb 2020
at 16:41
IX - The Cabin
Albert listened to Kate's thoughts and nodded. The whole thing was a bit strange, but seemingly harmless. He nodded at her summary.

At Jacinta's question, Albert raised an eyebrow. "Lasso. Easy enough ta work inta a sentence fer me."

The cowboy became pensive at Roberts' commentary. "That...makes things a bit weird fer us, then, don't it? If La Lechuza's just a reflection? Or has nature been corrupted beyond help?" It didn't exactly jive with what Murphy had said. Not that Kate believed that to be Murphy anyway.
Kansas Kate
 player, 435 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Wed 26 Feb 2020
at 02:00
IX - The Cabin
"Well won't know 'til we get there.  We can stand around with our peckers in our hands or we can move."  Kansas Kate snapped this time, more acrid, more... customary.
Jacinta Castillo
 player, 259 posts
 Half-breed Scout
 P4 T5 W0 F0 W3 R1 B6 L0
Wed 26 Feb 2020
at 06:51
IX - The Cabin
"I guess we know what your word will be, chica," she said to Kansas.  "Let's get on with it, then."

Whistling for her horse, she mounted the creature and gave it a pat on the neck.  As usual, her rifle stood propped on one leg.  The bullet that Albert had given her was added to the others in her firearm.

"If the old timer in the cabin is right, then maybe she'll help us put down Murphy," Jacinta offered.  "Go up with open hearts and open minds."
Bryan Lee
 player, 403 posts
 Texas Ranger (20/20 PP)
 P7 T6 W0 F0 W0 R4 B1 L1
Thu 27 Feb 2020
at 21:59
IX - The Cabin
"I think that's not a bad plan. Also, the...fella in the cabin gave us these." He held up one of the canteens that he'd been given.

"He said that in case things get a little fuzzy up there that, we can drink this water and that it'll somehow help. It's from a spring just east of here apparently, and it'll clear us right up."

"Lead the way Kate, long as everyone's ready."
Kansas Kate
 player, 436 posts
 Hot words and cold slabs
 P6 T9 W0 F0 W1 R5 B1 L#
Fri 28 Feb 2020
at 00:59
IX - The Cabin
She saw no harm in going along with it, which wasn't her custom.  But what was her custom was to grunt slightly and re-saddle in preparation to move east.