Riot at the Carnival
The Journal of Father Eric Brooks

September 27, 1875

We were just finishing dinner at St Mary’s this evening, when some parishioners came seeking sanctuary. Rumor was that certain folks from the carnival were setting animals free to rampage through the city. Under Father St Beuve’s direction, we gathered the flock in the chapel, and prepared to defend ourselves as necessary. After a few minutes, Mister Thomson – who was standing guard at the front doors – asked me to take over. He had noticed Danika slipping away down the street and meant to retrieve her.

What a session...
Intense Sessions

Wow, that was an intense session… After a number of intense and high action gaming sessions we have come to a break (breaking?) point.

Mirta's Thoughts
Mirta's Thoughts

Life has been a journey so far. After leaving my parent’s home in Texas, I was recruited by a Texas Ranger for an assignment in Mexico. Unfortunately, that assignment didn’t go as planned and I shutter to think what has happened to that poor village.

Circus (continued)
Danika's Diary

Afta I got somthin ta eat I went back ta the circus. I found Nitzka with other circus kids. They was gonna tell on me cause I am a townie and not supose ta be there.

Danika's Diary

Today was an icky day and I dont think I like Chanticleer much any more.

Boogey Men
Danika's Diary

I was playing with my new friends today and they was telling me bout some people who dissappeared from thier tenement. They was saying it was the boogey men.

Initial Journal Entry for Chanticleer
Journal entry for Chanticleer Arthur Thomson

I have finally arrived in Denver, and what a city.

Danika's First Entry
Danika's Diary

Danika Dark

Father Brooks thinks I should keep a journal. Mirta agreed that it would be a good way ta pratice my words and stuff. She promised ta help me if I wanted. I do not know how ta do this. Chanticleer says to just put in things about my life I don wanna ferget. He also says to start at the beginning. So that’s what I m gonna do.

I was takin care of myself just after I turned ten. Mirta says that because I did not have a mom or dad or my brothers and sister anymore I was an orpan. I don’t like that word. It sounds sad. Father Brooks said I could just say that I was lost for a little while. Until Rosalie found me. She was a ranger but no one knew she was a girl. Me and Marconi and Calvin and Keno and Mirta all worked for her. She made sure I had food and a safe place to sleep. That was before I had my derringer and could protect myself.

Marconi would think things in his head and then make them. Horses hated him and he didn’t like them none either.I think he just said he didn’t like em cause he only had one arm and couldn’t ride one anyway. He made this wagon that didn’t need em. It ran on ghost rock. He would let me drive sometimes. Calvin was a good gambler. That means he played cards for money. He taught me how to read and how to gamble too. I won a lot of money in Mexico once gambling. And Keno was a half indian girl who had a huge wolf dog as a pet. She was real good with a rifle and taught me how to shoot my guns. She didn’t take very good care of Pookie so he decided he liked me better. Keno went away. She just left and never came back. Mirta wears pants and dosent ride side saddle. She digs in the dirt and reads a lot.

Rosalie and all of us chased a few bad guys to Mexico. We got arrested and shot at. We gambled and shop and got the bad guys. Then zombies showed up and as we were trying to get out of town Rosalie blew up the place where they kept the gun powder and herself. But it did leave a hole for the rest of us to leave threw.

After that we met a Chinese lady named Yawnmay. She was cool. She could do what she called Martial arts. That is a fancy way of saying she was a good brawler. Me and Calvin rescued her once. And Pookie helped.

We went to Missippi after Mexico. I did not like it there! The town was scary Mrs Foster was a witch who wanted me to join her coven. She was evil. And she put a spell on the whole town cause they all did what she said. Calvin said they had a huge ruby that we had to find but Mirta got a letter about some important family stuff and Calvin went to the college to gamble with students and never came back. So we left for salt lake city to see her family and never got a chance to see the ruby. I wonder if salt lake city has a lake made of salt?

On the way to salt lake we got stuck in a really bad storm. Indians were fighting in the sky and throwing spears of lighting at us. Marconi almost got hit by one but I threw him on the ground just in time. We took cover in an old barn.It was falling apart and had holes in it but it worked. It had graves in the back room of three soilders. Marconi and Mirta and Father Brooks all got taken over by their ghost and relived a battle they were in. Me and Pookie got to meet a creepy old but young Indian guy who tried to help but didn’t know much more n we did about it. Marconi looked like he was having a bad dream so I tried to make it better like my mommy used to do for me and I woke him up. The Indian guy said I shoud not have done that cause a spirit piggy backed with him. So he hit on the head with a fryin pan ta put him back ta sleep. When he woke back up on his own his head hurt but there was no more ghost with him.

The Indian said that his people were mad at the way ours treated them and were getting back at us threw the spirit world. He was trying to figure out a way to put his people to rest. We were gonna help too. But all we ended up doing was putting Pookie to rest.

We needed water and other supplies so I went looking. I found a big farm house. Me and Pookie went to check it out and see if they had water. They did and I brought Father Brooks and Marconi back to get supplies. And then the next day Mirta came out with the rest of us too. I played with a few of the girls and then the older ones started saying that I wasn’t a girl cause I didn’t hit like one. I beat up their brothers the day bfore cause they followed me. And then the girls started saying mean things about Mirta and we started fightin. Then when I was winnin they ran. I chased em and ran into their older brothers. Who said they was goin to whoop me and then prove I was a girl. I fought back and called for Pookie to help. I guess they didn’t like Pookie eatin the heads of a few of thier kids. So they filled him full of bullet holes. After that the adults yelled back and forth they made us leave the farm and the area. They were mean.

We went back to the barn to get the rest of our stuff and to bury Pookie. Me and Mirta buried Pookie and Father Brooks did what he called last rites to put his soul to rest. He said animals don’t have souls but I know Pookie did. He was a good boy and he was my best friend. While we did that Marconi went to start loading the wagon. He ended up getting taken by these thugs. Thugs, that’s what Mirta called em. We tried to rescue him. We stashed the wagon and followed them for a few days but they figured out we was behind em and waited for us. Mirta and Father Brooks thought it best to just let the thugs have Marconi. So we decided to go on to salt lake.

On the way to salt lake we hit Denver. It is a huge town. We got lost and asked sherrif Slick where to go. He told us to go down this alley. He tricked us. Led us into a dead end with children who must have thunk we d be good eatin. We killed them and then had to kill the lyin sherrif too. After that Mirta went to see if she got a message from her family and then we went to the church. Father Brooks said I should take confession and he did too. I think I scered the priest who took mine cause he started drinking a lot afterwards. The church let us stay with them if we would look into weird things happening in the town.

That is where we met Chanticleer. He is staying there too. He is a boxer. He told me all about it one night and even teached me some moves. He seems ok. I don’t want to like him too much cause he might leave me too.

Well that is all I have in my head for now. I will try to write more sometime. This is kind of fun.

The Investigation Begins
The Journal of Father Eric Brooks

September 23, 1875. Dinner

After settling into our new accommodations, we joined the good people of St Mary’s for dinner. Aside from Fathers St Beuve, and Swinburn – who was rather worse for drink – there was the caretaker Mrs. Johanson, her son Jamie, and a Northern gentleman who introduced himself as Chanticleer Arthur Thomson. Mr Thompson was a large man – head and shoulders above nearly anyone I’ve ever met – with a thick, full mustache and a preponderance of scars. We were to find out later that the man was a pugilist by profession, and was staying at the church as payment for performing odd jobs.

Arrival in Denver
The Journal of Father Eric Brooks

September 22, 1875

Though we arrived in the general area of Denver last night, we only entered Denver proper this morning. It certainly is a city on the grow, for better or worse. I only wish Mr Marconi were still with us, as he would have thought we’d passed through the Pearly Gates on the way here. Our experiences that day taught us, however, that there are far more sinners than saints in this mile-high city.

As we neared town, we were accosted by beggar children – surrounded, in fact. And even though Charity is truly a virtue, we had nothing to give. Ever impatient, Danika fired one of her small pistols into the air, causing the children to scatter. We were dismayed to find these children had relieved us of some of our possessions, including two whole saddlebags from one of the pack-horses. Shortly thereafter, a man named Hank confronted us, demanding to know which of us (myself or Mirta) had fired at “his children”. As the situation escalated, guns were drawn between Hank and Danika. Just before true violence could break out however, Hank was shot in the back by another man. This man wore a tin star on his chest and introduced himself as a Deputy Ted Irvings of the Denver sheriff’s office – though "everyone calls me “Slick”".

Deputy Irving offered to show us to decent lodging in the city, and on the way gave us quite a tour – including an overview of local politics, businesses, and history. Finally, we came to the mouth of an alley. He instructed us that what we were looking for was on the other side, and took his leave.

The alley was narrow enough that we had to move single-file. I took the lead, with Miss Veila in the back, keeping the child between us. We found the passage blocked by a crate partway down, and just as we were preparing to move it, there was a cry from Danika. We were surrounded from in front as well as above by street children. They seemed to have no concept of the English language, and indeed did little more than hiss at us before they attacked.

I prefer to avoid fighting in general, and the thought of battling children is particularly distasteful. But we were left with no choice, as they were clearly intent upon killing us.

The events that follow, I only have vague impressions of. I was blinded early in the fight with a handful of sand, and spent a good amount of time trying not to be lynched. From what I could infer from the aftermath, Danika once again saved the day with – according to Miss Veila – an impressive display of acrobatics and hand-to-hand combat. I recall hearing in the background several wet thumping sounds during the ordeal – it turned out afterwards to be feral children Danika had thrown from the roof of one of the buildings. Up on that roof, she found the remains of several other unfortunates. It appears that we were meant to be these children’s latest meal.

Once the fighting subsided, I felt a great urge to get to a church and be absolved of my sins – particularly this latest, very terrible one. However, before we could move the blockage from our path, Slick returned. Apparently, his plan was to let the children take us for meat, then sell off our possessions for a tidy profit. Tempers flared, including my own, and in the ensuing altercation Danika slew the villainous deputy.

After removing ourselves from the alley, we set about securing goods for a trip to Salt Lake City. The last large city before the Rocky Mountains, Denver is the natural stocking-point for trains – both rail and wagon – headed west. It is a seller’s market, and the price is whatever the shopkeep feels he can get away with. We quickly determined that we didn’t have enough money to stock up for the two month trip through the mountains. We would need to find a source of income if we planned to continue from here.

Miss Veila retrieved a message from a nearby telegraph office, instructing her to visit a Mister Marcus Brown at the First Colorado State Bank in order to draw funds from her late uncle’s – now her – estate.

September 23, 1875

After spending the night in less than savory accommodations – both in price and atmosphere – we set out to locate the First Colorado State Bank. We quickly discovered that there is no First Colorado State Bank in Denver. We proceeded to the two main banking establishments in the city, in hopes of tracking down the correct location. As it turns out, Mister Brown had been employed at the First National Bank of Colorado, but has since passed away. Mister Kinkaid, another banker at the same establishment, had been assigned to this account. However, the gentleman keeps peculiar hours, and we have as yet been unable to contact him.

While we were waiting for a better time to meet with the banker, I was able to find the Cathedral of St Mary’s and took Danika and myself for a long-overdue confession. Though I tried to keep to the more recent events of Kansas and beyond, Father St Beuve could tell I was holding back and – at his prompting – I gave a full accounting of our tale thus far. Everything from when I joined the group in Texas, to the fiasco in Mexico, the possibly-unfounded “strangeness” going on in Oxford, even our run-in with settlers on the plains.

After receiving my penance, Father St Beuve asked to speak with me in his office. He assigned Father Swinburn the task of taking Danika’s confession. I believe I last saw that unfortunate man heading out of the sanctuary with a faraway, stunned look on his face.

In his office, Father St Beuve informed me that he had been tasked by Holy Mother Church to report on any strange goings-on in Denver. If nothing else came of this meeting, he at least promised to send someone to look into the situation concerning the barn in Kansas, which sets my mind somewhat at ease.

He was particularly interested in Miss Veila’s profession of archaeology – “tomb raiding” as he put it. He explained to me there were some strange things happening surrounding the local cemetery. People being seen about town after their own funerals, supposed ghosts, things of that nature, which seem to be following us around. Though I was unable to vouch for my companions, I agreed to bring it to their attention as a possible source of employment over the coming winter months. In the meantime, the Father agreed to put us up in the rectory, which is a very welcome change from the hard bedrolls and seedy rooms we have been staying in of late.


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