San Francisco, 1850
The mention of my Grandfather in my father’s journal about Chicago lead me to track down my grandfather’s journal. A particular entry about San Francisco during the gold rush peaked my interest, but what was most interesting was that he chose to begin telling this story before he even arrived in the city.
Apparently he would eventually come tracking an item of power, A magic mirror of all things, but that wouldn’t be until it gained a certain amount of notoriety in supernatural circles.
The story begins with a strange group of friends: A boogeyman, which I didn’t actually believe existed; another kitsune, which seem to plague my families past; a mining heiress with the ability to shape-shift into a wolfhound; and three people cursed to share the same body by a magic mirror.
It would seem that the boogeyman, a former pirate, had been bound to the land by a native American holy man. His one charge, in order to be set free, was to scare everyone out of San Francisco. A tall order even for the likes of the Dread Pirate Edgar. He tried to stand up to the Shaman, but the man proved himself a worthy adversary and shamed him into accepting his fate…for now.
Krystal Neil, the shape-shifter, was the next person to have a visitor. She recognized him as a man who had been skulking around her mine in the previous few weeks. He was wearing very fine clothing this time, something he hadn’t done while investigating the mine. He tried to intimidate her into selling her land to him. Josh, the kitsune, didn’t like that too much, so he robbed the man blind. Did I mention that he was a runaway farm-boy thief in addition to his spirit fox ways? He thought himself a bit of a Robin Hood actually.
The unknown man left very much the way he’d come. When he was gone, the young kitsune checked his ill-gotten gains and noticed, along with four twenty dollar gold coins, a strange note. While this would be a fortune at that time anywhere else (about two thousand dollars in the early twenty-first century) it would barely buy a few necessities in the boom era of San Francisco.
The note suggested that someone, a Lady of all things, wanted to by Krystal’s mine. Something about the note lead a couple of the members of this little party to conclude that the Summer court wanted to take control of it.
They went to check the mine out, to see if they could determine what it was that Summer wanted. The kitsune immediately wanted to leave. He felt an otherworldly greed to maim and destroy emanating from the ground all around the mine. Something ancient and implacable lived here.
Wanting to get to the root of this all, and not liking how the representative of Summer had treated them, they decided to seek out the Shaman and determine what he might know about the being in the earth.
Their first night out of town they were set upon by two werewolves. The pair seemed more hungry than anything. They attacked the navy seal, one of those bound to the mirror, who had a couple of tricks up his sleeves, namely two enchanted Japanese short swords, swords he himself had enchanted. His sleeves saved him from the attack that took him while he slept, another of his enchanted items.
Upon waking, and seeing the wolves, the kitsune made an illusion with the fire, making it seem to fly into the eyes of both of the shape-shifters. While blinded, the navy seal slashed at one of them with his sword and then Krystal, in dog form, raked at the now bloodied wolf with her claws. The other wolf escaped into the night. The badly injured wolf shifted back into the form of a young man.
The party, lead by Josh, try to do a soft interrogation of the young man. Edgar, who is hungry, walks into the night to ‘hunt rabbits.’
Toby misses the real intention of this and so requests that Marty replace him and go hunting. He actually succeeds in getting two rabbits.
That is more than can be said about Kristal, still in dog form, and Josh. The boy said little more than that he was hungry, and when a rabbit was offered to him after Marty returns he took it and bolted. The group did not follow him quickly enough.
The rest of the night passed uneventfully and in the morning the group packed up and began travelling again. The land passed slowly for them, without much to prevent the monotony. Around midday they noticed a plume of dust off to the side behind a row of hills.
Edgar attempted to use a telescope to scan the hills for movement, but he ended up looking through the large end. As he stated “It is supposed to make small things big, right? So you point the small end at what you are looking at…”
Marty ended up noticing an Indian pony and sent Kristal, still in dog form, to investigate. The Native Americans began shooting arrows at Kristal, and our group lept into action to try to protect her life. Edgar told her to run, Josh made her invisible, Marty waited, and Kristal ran.
She changed back into her human form and dragged her dress under the wagon where she hurriedly covered her nakedness.
The group was escorted to the camp and into the Medicine Man’s Tee Pee. They proved imminently agreeable in all things and have promised to help the Shaman perform his ritual to put the creature, which seems to be an outsider of some sort, back to sleep.
Kristal even agreed to close the Mine for three weeks while it is done.
Now all that remains is to begin preparations and to protect the ritual.