Abilene Session Notes – 7 November 2015

Abilene Session Notes – 7 November 2015

November 23rd, 1878

The Red Lion…some little girl snatched out of a tepee and turned into a monster, bringing death and untold dismay to half the Great Plains.  Someone was going to pay, and our new, incredibly well-armed friends seemed all-too-willing to help.  This Colonel Kincaid wanted Johnny Wu.  He wanted Howling Wind.  He wanted Joshua.  I wonder what else he wanted…

As the zeppelin, the CSS Bull Run, ascends into the sky, the party is escorted up several decks to a mess/sleeping deck and left to have a bite to eat and rest.  Most of the party does so, with Ahiga heading down to the lowest deck with the gondola and stables to rest, and Olivia exploring up a few decks.

On the landing deck for the single-seat copters, Olivia chats up a pilot who reveals the ship is likely headed to Salina to take out Wu.  The pilot also reveals that Kinkaid is extremely prejudiced against “specials” and considers it his mission to wipe them out.

Heading further up, she enters a storage room with many crates of ghost rock stored – which isn’t surprising considering the technological superiority of the airship.

During Olivia’s explorations, Seri overhears gunners on the deck below complaining about ghost rock rationing on the ship.

Next deck up she encounters a planning room and studies a large map on the table there.  The map contains Kansas and parts of Oklahoma and Nebraska.  There are a number of notes on the map:

  • There are many navigational markers around Wichita, it seems to be the airship’s home base.
  • There is a note about Wu just outside of Salina.
  • There are a number of notes about Abilene, including the Duchess.
  • The stockyards is noted.
  • There’s a route on the map with the name “Mayhill” on it, likely Curtis Mayhill, the Dickinson Country circuit judge.
  • Notably, the location of the ghost rock mine was noted, with several navigation markers.
  • There are a few notes around Kansas City.

Olivia wakes Onesimus and together they brief the team to be even more watchful of Kincaid then they already were.

When Ahiga wakes, she discovers the playing card she took from Mosi’s body is missing.

In short order, a page arrives to take the party up to the map room where detailed maps of Abilene and Salina are laid out (the previous navigation map is gone).  Kincaid informs the party that with the Duchess gone, Wu really only has two lairs, the first is his mansion in Salina, which Kincaid intends to go and decimate with Bull Run, and the second is the home of Conrad Lebold, Abilene’s wealthiest landowner and chief benefactor.  He asks the party to secure Lebold’s home and confront Wu if he’s there.  Kincaid assumes that by morning, one party or the other will have killed Johnny Wu.

The party agrees and are dropped off on the outskirts of Abilene.  After discussing their fears, they decide to move forward in pursuit of Wu even thought they feel certain to be betrayed by Kincaid.  Onesimus stops by the telegram office and sends a report to The Agency before the party proceeds down main street to the manse of Conrad Lebold.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. patricia
    Nov 13, 2015

    Seeing the world as an eagle does is a strange experience. Everything is so much clearer, and you can see so many details that humans cannot see. The colours are so much more vivid; I saw colours that I cannot even describe, colours that have no names, colours that humans cannot even see. Soaring high up in the sky, for a short while, I could forget all that had happened. The world became nothing more than incredibly clear pictures, and wind beneath my wings.

    All too soon, I felt I had to return to the others. They had, meanwhile, boarded the flying machine, so I landed on it, and shortly after was transformed back to my human self.

    It occured to me that I was taking this far too lightly. I had been transformed into an eagle. But again, I had seen no evidence of ’áńt’įįzhį and its evil at all. Granted, Rat Girl was a strange one, but neither she nor her spirit guide felt evil, and I had seen no sign of her being a yee naaldlooshii, skinwalker, at all either.

    Also, she and her guide had helped me find my she’aszdáán and set her free. The two of them were fighting the walking dead with the rest of us, and had both put themselves at risk several times. Somehow, I could not imagine that an ’ánt’įįhnii would do that. Granted, she had little or no knowledge of our ways, but then, she was not of the Diné, so I suppose that was to be expected. She did, however, seem to pay attention to what I told her, when I explained to her that the names of the dead were not to be spoken. I very much doubt the others would understand, but she did at least listen.

    I found myself wondering, though. Was that what did it? The white man’s lack of respect for the dead? The way they kept grieving openly, speaking of the dead as if they _wanted_ to tie them to this world, _wanted_ to call them back? Perhaps that was just what they did, they called back the spirit of the dead. Or rather, the bad parts of their spirits. Was that why the dead were walking?

    I did not dwell too long upon that thought; it had been a long day, since I had not slept the night before the fight, and knowing that she was dead, and I had killed her had taken its toll as well. I worked my way down to the stables and found a place to sleep.

    I had not slept long when one of the others woke me up, explaining that they had been exploring the flying machine and found some rather disturbing information. It seemed the men aboard the flying machine were the ones who had run the mining operation we had interrupted. And now they wanted our help in getting rid of the evil Chinaman.

    While I had already decided to go after him, I could not help but wonder why. Were they truly trying to improve the conditions for the people living in the area, or did they just want to get rid of competition? Did they perhaps suspect him of being the one who attacked their mine? That he was connected to the evil that had befallen my she’aszdáán I knew, but I had, at that point, not mentioned what she had told me to anyone. Not that part, at least. Did they know that he was connected to it?

    I also realised at that point that the card I had taken was missing. Most likely, Exploding Man had stolen it back. If that was the case, I needed to decide what to do about it. Typical for white men, he had not even tried to ask me for it after I had buried my she’aszdáán. He had, if it was he who had done it, just taken it, just like his people steal everything they want. There was little I could do about it there and then without drawing too much attention from these other men though, so I decided to wait, and get some more sorely needed sleep.

    When I woke next time, we all went to a meeting with the colonel, the leader of the men aboard the flying machine. He told us he had decided that they were going to make an attack on the evil Chinaman’s home, and he wanted us to make sure he was not in the home of one of his allies. Neither my Chinaman friend nor I were too happy about this; we both wanted to be there and help take him out. Still, it seemed we had little choice in the matter.

    We were dropped off near Abilene, and though it seemed most of us agreed that the colonel most likely intended to betray us, and possibly try to kill us as well, we decided to go through with at least parts of the plan.

    As we headed into Abilene again, it occured to me that I had actually had a good night’s sleep, the first one I could remember since I came home and found everyone dead or gone. I had thought the death of my she’aszdáán would have made the dreams worse, but instead, the opposite happened. The nightmares were gone, as if she had taken them with her.

  2. Olivia Keller
    Nov 14, 2015

    As we return to Abilene, I have a new worry today. Colonel Kincaid has not been completely honest with us, and we don’t know why. The maps I saw on the airship were gone when he formally asked us to attend there, and the ghost rock containers weren’t in evidence as we passed through the supply room. And why would they not bring us along to Wu’s location in Salina? Perhaps there is a rational reason for sending us to Abilene instead. It just doesn’t feel right.

    I know Mr. White reserved judgment on the Colonel and his men, likely a smart decision. When I reported to him what I had seen on the other decks, he didn’t seem surprised. Perhaps I am only dealing with politics again, which never were my strong suit. I came West to help Gregory bolster the faith of those subjected to the evils here. I never expected to be caught between government factions.

    So now we must brave Mr. Lebold’s mansion in case Wu is there. I know Lebold’s name, but unfortunately little else that might be helpful. After my failure at the fortress, I am determined to do more. I will NOT let fear cow me again when others will be put at risk. We are still a very odd little group, but these people have faced death and horror together. I will see this through for them.

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