Monday, November 18, 2013

Authentic Frontier Gibberish

He said the sheriff is near.
This here be a table of rumors, tall tales, folklore, and superstitions native to the wyrd and fantastic west. I call both the world I made this for AND the base town for the campaign within that world Doublecrossroads, and it seems a cursed game, as every time I try to run it some horrible emergency comes up. Anyway, some of this is true, some of this is truthiness, some of this is folksy insanity disguised as good sense, you know how this goes:

  1. Red-eyed cats spare those with a conviction worth living for, only hunting those who despair. Saying "It's a good day" keeps them at bay.
  2. The rock witch lurks in Slaughter Shack. They say it's built on tortoise back
  3. The Doublecrossroads saloon, Bloody Pissed, serves only alcoholic blood strained from a river of red sand.
  4. The howl of the fuck ape means a second sunrise a'comin'.
  5. No man has seen the desert's endin'.
  6. The golden cities of the elves can make one immortal.
  7. Everyone else is robots.
  8. Spider bites are good luck.
  9. Creatures that eat sin creep into town when there's misdeeds, and they don't care for justice, so even a right killing must be blessed.
  10. There's a lost ship of bones which sails the sands.
  11. Live to see a three-armed man and you'll regret it.
  12. Hospitality must always be extended to skeletons.
  13. The unnamed dead play mournful tunes on boot hill in the moonlight. If their killers hear them, they die of shame.
  14. The Sirocco Trail runs through the desert. One end goes to heaven, the other to hell, and no way to tell which is which.
  15. Serve your guest burned black flesh, for ghosts get into the cattle.
  16. Mesas were invented when the sky peoples took their mountains and flew away to escape the greed of dwarves and men.
  17. The shadowmen strike at noon.
  18. A man in a dream ate all the land west of Whisper Canyon, dreaming it was his supper, and eventually he became the moon.
  19. A snake for a sheathe will keep you from havin' a girl.
  20. A dead elf turns into gold.
  21. Old Geary Cable buried himself with a fortune, so his children couldn't get it, only for his children to strike it richer than Geary ever dreamed. Now Geary wants out, and you can hear him screaming by Skyclaw Creek.
  22. Nockawillow-Nockawillow hears you when you pray, count to ten then cuss ag'in or else get stole't away.
  23. Fish are abundant in the streams of the rockier mountain valleys and surprisingly numerous in the arid wastes. No fish was meant to die out here, though. Kill a fish in the sand and you'll never be able to swim again.
  24. No one knows how deep the Wyrmcoach goes, or why it travels like it does. Some say it keeps a passenger who rides alone, that they're still riding further down, forever.
  25. Don't shoot at the sky or it just might break.
  26. The victims of a gun follow that gun forever. When the man pullin the trigger dies, they put hooks into his soul and drag him around for eternity, followin the new owner of the gun. The Dead Trains extend all over, their tracks stretching across the continent and crossing one another frequently. Some magicians look for such places, the idjits.
  27. Mirages know exactly what they're doing.
  28. Solving the riddle of Church of Mudclay Tunnel unlocks the power of Hungry Mountain.
  29. You'll meet the means of your death before you die, only once, and if you never do then your death won't be a true death, and you'll become a thing. This is common enough knowledge that even cowards and children seek exploration and danger time to time, to avoid such a curse.
  30. The village of Slattern earned the ire of Pumagod's daughter, and so the "cat people" there have been cursed with no thumbs.
  31. Carve your true love's name into a bullet and sleep on it for a month. If you dream about them every night, the bullet will never fire and gunfire will never take their life. If you don't, then you're doomed to kill them one day with that very bullet. Throw it in a fire or a lake, it won't help.
  32. Wash a machete every full moon with lavender. It has the bloodiest history of any weapon, and an unwashed machete quickly smells of meat.
  33. The Horsemen watch you, and  follow you, and run your town in secret, and slaughter entire territories when threatened with exposure.
  34. Cropper knows a spell that can turn all the badlands green with life, water and trees, but he will never cast it. He sits in a cave, counting the money he made selling the trees that were here before the Forefathers, trees he sold to the Folks Beyond The West. It's all the money in the world, and he hasn't counted through it once. If you find him and ask him the secret to his magic, he'll lose count, and cast the spell on your heart in a moment of existential depression.
  35. Bat breath is good for rheumatism, and the elderly surround themselves with bats.
  36. Doublecrossroads is home to witches what outlaw other witches, and gods what eat other gods, and the Man Who Knows Everyone.
  37. Sheep have a power they can only use for rape revenge.
  38. Wolves are actually all part of one great pack and the Akela of this pack can bring wolves back from the dead.
  39. There exists somewhere in the hills a fountain of youth, as well as a fountain of evil. Beware when there are too many children about.
  40. Clocks, sundials, and timepieces showing sixes on them are bad luck.
  41. Stars only come out to watch something, so sleep soundly on dark nights.
  42. The badlands lead to hell, which is why so many horrible things come out of them, living where nothing ought be able to.
  43. Never mark a birch tree.
  44. There's places where history isn't right to be found.
  45. Sometimes sand eats.
  46. Those who claim to have found the southern ocean are lunatics, or else a part of something entirely different from the polite world.
  47. There are paintings in the cliffs and tableaus in the canyons which tell the story of people from before the Forefathers who aren't any native folk anyone's familiar with. They aren't kinds of FOLK anyone's familiar with. They aren't SHAPES of folk anyone's familiar with, and lookin at em hurts the eyes. Most look and are changed, but few ever look and see. None look and understand, but some look and learn. If all you see are pretty pictures, the pictures will come after you.
  48. Guns were made when a man wrestled a god, and man's iron and the god's fire got all crushed together during the grab. You can kill with a gun, but no one's sure if that's blasphemy or worship. No one can agree on the god, either.
  49. Branderson. This is a story of the common folk. Branderson went into the earth and learned how to make. Then he went into the mountains and took enough to make things from. Then he went East and built the towns there, and they looked so empty that Branderson built himself a wife, and other Brandersons, and other wives. Eventually his kids grew up and married and had their own kids, and those kids called themselves humanity to avoid confusion with real people, dwarves, and elves. They forgot Branderson and all their history. When they all finally got too big for their big cities, they came back West looking for room.
  50. We all sell our souls to the sun, and the only cure is whiskey.
I'll add more of these as time goes on.