I will add you to the top of a list of people I'll pester when the time comes! No worries, but as of now folks want to press on and regain steam with who we have!
As for the rest of you, holiday fever hit me. This saturday I will post again to consolidate characters and perspectives and narrow the focus. If I can survive christmas with the family I'll have no more forseeable delays ahead!
Alright! I'm not dead! Power was restored two days ago then it was a whirlwind of chaos with small ice related injuries/mishaps (a separated shoulder due to a slip is a nasty but not critical thing, let me tell you.)
It seems the other half of our posse has been made MIA for various reasons, of which i will take a chunk of blame for my thanksgiving hiatus. How do you guys want to handle this? Recruitment drive and I NPCify the other characters, reboot, continue as is with them fading to obscurity and we keep a smaller playerbase? I'm open ears, I just wanted to hear you guys' two cents. I definitely am active and able to continue myself.
"He used a blade huh?... News has been right scarce coming from that direction, so every little bit helps."
Once more that notepad appeared in his hands and he seemed to write for far longer than the simple information warranted, before once more Uzume had his full attention.
"As for the goings-on, that's partly what this excursion of The Sheriff's is for. We don't really know much at the moment- just that the whole family was put down. Six souls tortured and hanged, and from our first visit we can't even really tell what-for." He shakes his head morosely, but his features don't mirror the sad weight of his actions. That silly little smile of his never leaves his face. "We're hoping to find out more this time, put some folks at ease."
For a moment the queer man taps his chin in thought.
"I'm not really sure what the womenfolk in town do, they're always too busy to talk to me. Sorry, can't be much help there. If you're looking to do odd jobs Is uppose the saloon's as good a place as any, everyone goes there to complain. Ol' Sue runs the general store on the far end of town..."
he indicates vaguely in the westward direction.
"And she might know of folks in need of proper work. Need anything else, or can I get movin' before The Sheriff bites my head off for chatting with ya too long?" he grinned a far too happy grin.
"Six bodies found hanged. Two scalped, the mother and daughter, the father's hands were busted up and the fingers cut off, the youngest son was unrecognizable from whatever they did to his face, and the two other boys got the worst of it. I reckon they thought they could put up a fight. One's eyes were pulled out, and as far as could be told they were what the other boy had choked to death on. that's the short of it anyhow." The Sheriff spoke bluntly, no emotion in his words. "Nothing stolen. Cattle still present. Home was put to the torch though, but it's still standing. Sturdy piece of work, that house, to still be up as it is."
He paused there as if really listening to Lily's questions for the first time, despite having answered so thoroughly and swiftly.
"You'll do well." he said at last. "You ask the right questions." He seemed satisfied with her presence so far, and an imperceptible discomfort he may not have been aware of himself clearly lifted from his shoulders.
The ride is short, but the heat can play tricks on travelers- especially in these parts. What feels like an eternity is only just a minute, and when a breeze comes blowing across the plain its dust filled momentary coolness can make someone feel like they're flying. The three sets of quadruped footfalls kick up loose dirt and dust from the barely-worn, and thus barely visible, path north-and-west out of Ulysses, but other than the heat and sun little of consequence beleaguered Wallace and Gilead on their race.
And thus an hour's ride passed in the blink of an eye, or perhaps dragged on for eternity. who's to say.
what can be said, however, is this;
The Jefferson Farmstead is a queer sight to behold. A great sturdy cabin stands hollow and black, heavy wooden framework torched and ashen but still standing. Windows lie broken, doors unhinged and open, the interior of the home visible as the remnants and debris of considerable fire damage to the whole structure... But somehow the home still stands.
As they approach the property, they pass by the large, gnarled, tree they can recognize from the photos as the tree the family was left hanging from. The ropes still hang from the branches, though the bodies have been put to rest.
as she passes beneath the branches of the tree overhanging the road, a sudden and loud scream fills her head- but as an echo rather than the direct shout. As if being heard over a great distance.
"No! Please, no! God.. God why, why us?!"
A woman's voice, the words filling her head like lead weights. the woman's voice breaks into a series of sobs, then her voice tightens and Wallace receives an eerie and painful sensation along her scalp as if someone had yanked her hair--
And just as suddenly the premonition fades and all is normal in the world.
And upon entering the farmstead properly, they are welcomed by the mooing of several dozen cattle left at range in their enclosure, and a few chickens huddled together quietly near a fenced in coop. There's a tear in the wire fence, a trail of blood and feathers scantly visible in the dirt and disappearing out of sight behind the burned home of the Jefferson family.
Baked into the dirt by the heat of the sun were many splotches of darker earth, rancid and spoilt- the taint of blood. the size and resilience of these darker splotches of earth stand as a testament to the cruelty and horror experienced by the family as their home burned, but little else was as obvious or out of the ordinary.
As the dust settles from their entrance, the farm house seems to creak and groan from a sudden, far more stiff than they'd experienced on the approach, breeze that buffeted against it.
Alright y'all can sue me for the extra day there, girlfriends have a way of stealing your attention for a day and you not really realizing it. Darned creatures, I'll figure out how to put 'em down one day but for now she remains impervious to stakes, salt, iron, and silver.
Just a semi-needless update while I'm finishing up.