Riders of the Whistling Skull Report in Legends of Elohey | World Anvil

Riders of the Whistling Skull

General Summary

Grolm 11, 578
about 11:00 AM
Riders of the Whistling Skull Opening Credits
Generic article | Feb 27, 2021
Today's the day that some of you are planning to head for Sarsparilla Barn, no?
  1) What do you do about all these folks you rescued?
2) How you fixin' to get where you're going?
3) What are you a-gonna do about the Hesters, and Princess Alfredo-Alston, and for that matter her sister-in-law Lucky Alston?
4) How's your health?
5) How does the SNAFU Posse plan to take on an enemy force likely to include
5a) Hell Bovines
5b) Hell Woolies
5c) at least one duo of Hell Hands
5d) that one young steer Bruthazmus, Lee, and Chef saw with the crown mark on his head?  
Chapter 14: Riders of the Whistling Skull
Plot | Feb 16, 2021


Gore: 'Marnin' t'you, Lucky Alston.
Bull: Time for laying out all the cards, Lucky Alston.
Lucky Alston: Aw, push yer barrow! I'm too wore out for theatrics!
Gore: We been doin' some deducifyin', Lucky Alston.
Bull: We found the trail sign of some particularly nasty hornswogglin', Lucky Alston.
Gore: You're a TRAITOR, Lucky Alston...
Bull: It took us too long to get all the pieces and put 'em together. We been detectifyin' piecemeal here.
Gore: We worked out that Lucky Alston is the one who turned up the instructions for how to put weak tiny demons into the cattle. She was helping Miss Melinda go through Granddad Alfredo's old trunk of books when Miss Melinda "discovered" the tome. Big Lui even remarked at the time that the book might look like other volumes in there, but he couldn't recall ever browsing through it.
Bull: Lucky Alston is the one who made that first trip off to Gild'mar to get a wagonful of living plants for the ingredients Miss Melinda requested, and she spent not a single copper on any of the items Miss Melinda listed that would help other alchemies but not this one.
Gore: Lucky Alston never could read too good ... until about a month before Princess and Chica's handfasting, when she suddenly flipped her mind from badgering Chica to take the dowry and buy Ayrshire Farm to convert into an independent ranch. In fact, that was right about when Miss Jazleen gave Lucky that tongue-lashin' so bad it tinged the air fire-orange, wasn't it? And Lucky spent a solid week lickin' her wounds over at Limousin Farm. Only when everyone thought she was boozin' with Coy, she turned up to have learned proper readin' and 'rithmetic?
Bull: You didn't really spend that week at Limousin, did you, Lucky?
Gore: You spent it at Oatman Cavate, didn't you, Lucky?
Gore: And you got Coy to cover for you because Coy never did contradict any prattle to plop out of a lady's lips?
Bull: What did that lich offer you, Lucky?
Bull: Was it worth your sister's damnation?
— Hell Hand Hesters accuse Lucky Alston
Lee Chung, washing dishes: "Mr. Brawn, I believe I recall that my companion Miro Teague last night was unusually loquacious and forthcoming after talking with you to negotiate last night. You wouldn’t happen to have leftovers of whatever snack you offered him that encouraged that state, would you?”
Brawn, glancing at Lee: "Hunh."
He thinks for a minute.
Brawn: "Belike Lawless left a few of her cornmeal muffins in the pantry."
Lee Chung: “Good to know.”
Lee looks out the window. Miro is in the process of tying Lucky Alston up with appropriate sailor knots in his climbing rope, while Bull Hester and Gore Hester oversee the confinement. Apparently the fact-finding interview is done for this moment.
Lee Chung: “Apparently it’s not necessary to serve anyone such a repast now but that’s good to know if such a contingency is required later."
Lee Chung: “As long as I’m here though there is another entree that my companions and I might find useful. Would it be possible for me to use your kitchen to prepare a recipe of my own for them?”
Brawn looks as offended as if you'd asked to use his underdrawers.
Lee Chung: "Or I could possibly teach you the recipe and you prepare it if you prefer. And perhaps you could teach me a recipe in exchange, such as the one for those cornmeal muffins.”
Brawn: "Lawful does the bakin' for that sort of thing. I do meat pies and suchlike."
He's thinking over the offer to trade recipes, though.
Lee Chung: “Well this involves baking, being wafers and all, so I suppose I should consult with her. Do you think she’d be interested in wafers that had a restorative effect on the body? A modest but noticeable one per serving.”
Brawn: "She'll be back at around two this afternoon. Her 'n' Hollow are out seein' to the herds. I reckon she'll be in favor, if you plan on stayin' around that long?"
Lee Chung: “That would depend on circumstances and my companions. If that’s not possible I hopefully will have an opportunity to return to make such an exchange.”
Brawn nods. He's grumpy in general but he's a smidgen less grumpy toward you right now.
Brawn: "I got no problem with that. You got decent manners for a foreigner. Not like that yappy feller."
Lee Chung: “Thank you.”
Right about that time, said "yappy feller" Miro Teague and his friend Jesse Devonshire come into the kitchen, seeking said Truth-Inducing Cornbread Muffins!
Closer to High Noon, same kitchen:
Rex is eating the compost pile. Jesse and Lee are taking the Cornbread Muffins of Truth-telling off to where Lucky is tied up! Jesse and Lee think they might qualify as Good Cops for "befriending" Lucky, since it was Miro who provided the Voice of Reason to keep the Hesters and Princess from stringing Lucky up by her neck.
Jesse splits a muffin in half and shares it with Lucky. Naturally, she gets the top half, with its "Lemon Water" glaze.
Within a few bites, Lucky Alston is now convincing Jesse and Lee to go find Miss Melinda's secret laboratory! At least that's what SHE thinks she's doing.
Lucky assures both men that there's no reason for them to hurry toward their goal. She says the most direct route (through Oatman Cavate and across the Dead Place and up a nearly vertical mountain face to go down Cliff Daisy Waterfall) at a fast long-distance pace is still going to take more than a full sun-up-to-sun-down of travel. Going around the outside of the Canyon Ridge mountain range is going to be more like two days, either way; and any of these three routes would have the travellers weary at their destination.
Quarter after twelve, out between the nearest two barns on Juniper Flail Ranch
Lawful and Hollow won't be back until 2:00.
Bruthazmus is not convinced YET to put on fake horns and pretend to be the Lost Prince of the Cows.
The Hesters have found five horses, three of which they allow are BARELY sufficient to pull a wagon, and three flat carts. They're fixing the axle on one of those carts.
Having interrogated Lucky Alston subtly, Lee and Jesse agree that Lucky did not confess guilt but did know too many personal details about EvilSeed to match her claims of innocence. And her conviction that Princess will, indeed, support an eventual death sentence is also a problem for Lucky's case.
Padre wants to be the person in official custody of Lucky Alston. Padre also argues that the rescued folks need to stay at Arjory Pond only long enough to recover their strength for a trip to a city: there formal law enforcement can be borrowed, and a judge will already preside over a proper court, and most importantly we will have defenses against any Hell Woolies raid that may come along. Padre insists that the folks of Purgatory Gulch must not leave everything waiting to be solved for them by the Pathfinders of the SNAFU Posse.
Mayor Jaeke Blaze supports Padre's position after some consideration. Mayor Blaze does not want to discount the concerns of Princess Alfredo-Alston, possible sole surviving owner of Whippetal Ranch and de facto leader of the rancher side of The Troubles. But now is not the time for factions, nor the time for fixing fault: now is the time for taking steps to get out of The Troubles completely.
It does not sound encouraging on any front.
Princess decides that she's going to stick with the Hesters, her foremen duo, even if they do seem a mite peculiar lately. She wants her land back; she wants her wife back; she wants her ranch back.
Whatever it may cost her.
Leaving Juniper
Lee Chung gets the baking recipe exchange done as close to 2:00 p.m. as possible. He has the recipes for a standard meat pie and for not-truth-compelling cornbread muffins. More importantly, he learned some interesting techniques for how to adapt a baking recipe to be cooked on a campfire. When he has the right tools of his own, and time to apply his scholarly training to deconstruct and reconstruct his past lessons, he will be able to adapt recipes such as the Rose Wafers for campfire use when the SNAFU Guild adventures in the wild.
Lawful, meanwhile, needs to practice the Rose Wafer recipe several more times before she will be comfortable doing it without supervision. She took plenty of notes, so for the time being she is limited by what supplies she has on hand.
There's a confrontation between the Juniper Flail Ranch hands and the Hesters, because the Hesters are stealing 2 of the better horses AND at least a couple of carts.
The Hesters can point to specific cows in the "Juniper Herd". That's our cow, and that one, and that one over THERE. You can take off the brand but we know our cattle.
And about a third of the region's known remaining population are right here to see this confrontation, and nod, and allow as how the Hesters do have a point.
Combine that with "take Topiary Rex far far away", and that begrudgingly works out.
The party takes the rescued folks away to the east, heading indirectly toward Arjory Pond . The land east of the Canyon, north of Purgatory Gulch, and especially close to Arjory Pond has a lot of arroyos of different size, making the route sometimes have to wander a lot to get across a gulf. At one point Topiary Rex and Jesse dip further south to go to that farm where Bruthazmus had been trying to take care of the animals -- although he did miss a day.
The Hesters and Princess Alfredo-Alston are directed to go with Jesse.
Everyone else keeps on going to Arjory Pond. We drop the rescued folks -- including Padre and Lucky -- at Arjory Pond for some recuperation and safety. We also take whatever Miss Melinda left behind as a means to un-devil the cows.
And then the SNAFU Posse departs to spend the night at Braunvieh Farm!
  • it has BEDS
  • they have MATTRESSES
  • and BLANKETS
  • it has a KITCHEN
  • there's an OUTHOUSE
  • lots of CHICKENS
  • In the morning, over Lee's cooking (completely Truth Serum Free!) We can take a look at what Miss Melinda left behind -- how likely does it seem to work? -- and how we're going to go about defeating the Hell Cow Army.
    (Or how we're going to take it over!)

    If a tumbleweed rolls past you, and you wonder if you should take advantage of your attack of opportunity, you might be a member of the SNAFU Posse.

    If a cabbage rolls past you, and you are certain you should take advantage of your attack of opportunity, you are definitely a member of the SNAFU Posse.

    Jesse Devonshire late in the day on Grolm 11th, 578
    The Bows of Purgatory Gulch
    Lee Chung
    -Level Monk 6
    Jesse Devonshire
    6-Level Druid
    Zhang Sephia
    6-Level Ranger
    Bruthazmus Kele
    Nodin Bugbear
    6-Level Ranger
    Miro Teague
    7-Level Sorcerer
    Player Journals
    20210116 How to Undo HellCows? by Jesse Devonshire
    Report Date
    16 Jan 2021
    Primary Location
    Secondary Location

    Cover image: by CB Ash


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