Aurelian is just over medium height, lean and muscular in build. He has dark brown hair, just a touch of greying on the sideburns if you look closely enough. His eyes are also deep brown. Due to the fact that homesteading is labor intensive work, he tends to wear plain, durable clothing.
Traits & Characteristics
Sober minded, firm (+)
Devoted to his family (+)
Driven to succeed, stubborn in his ways (+/-)
Brave, when young to the point of being almost foolhardy (+/-)
Upright, no tolerance for outlaws, troublemakers (+/-)
Aurelian, at a first meeting, seems a very even tempered, mild mannered, solemn sort. He speaks calmly in a matter of fact tone of voice. His smile, when he chooses to use it, is genuine. One can tell he is educated given his vocabulary and knowledge of a wide variety of subjects.
However if he does become angry and or gets into a fight, the look on his face changes. He has a tightly controlled anger that is dangerous for those he might unleash it upon. Violence is not his first choice but make no mistake about, he is perfectly capable of using it including killing. His military experience included more than enough killing.
Around his children, he is patient but expects obedience and proper behavior. Anyone who watches the three of them interact would soon realize they are a close knit loving family.
Kalispell, Montana Territory
Ex-soldier in the cavalry. Knows weapons, horses, learned farming from his uncle prior to the war.
He can shoot, he owns two rifles and two pistols as his personal arsenal.
While he has been in his share of fisticuffs and brawls, mostly in his wilder young days, he would prefer not to engage in such things anymore. If involved though, he could at least acquit himself reasonably well.
Hobbies & Interests
Too busy for such foolishness as hobbies. His interests are making his homestead a success and seeing to it his children have a decent life.
Aliases / Nicknames
2 miles outside of Kalispell, Montana Territory
Kith & Kin
| FAMILY |
Spouse / Partner
Kathleen Redmond (deceased 1874)
Clara - First born, age 15.
Wyatt - Age 11.
Catherine (deceased, 1874, a. 3 months)
Julius Redmond (They are no longer in touch by mutual consent) Mother
Susan Redmond (They are no longer in touch by mutual consent) Sister(s)
Juliana Redmond (Younger sister, no longer in touch) Other Family
Uncle Ramsey (Took in Aurelian when he was in his late teens until the war, taught him farming) Deceased.
| NON-FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS |
TBD in game play
TBD in game play
| 1836 |
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania to Julius and Susan Redmond. It was a difficult birth, perhaps foretelling the often contentious relationship between parents and son. Aurelian was named after a famous Roman emperor, even as his father had been named after an illustrious historical Roman too. Julius was a successful businessman in town and always planned his son would follow him to take over the business someday. Once old enough to be aware of such things, young Aurelian had other ideas. There were probably many causes and blame to go around, but Aury was quite - first a scamp and then later a rebel. Julius was stern even severe and did not hesitate to use a riding crop on his defiant son. It didn't work.
| 1851 |
Aurelian had a serious run-in with the law, it seemed he was charged with stealing a horse which he adamantly denied to little avail. Even his father did nothing to help him as their relationship was already poisonous enough. Fortunately being 15 years of age probably saved him a harsh fate but he ended up serving three months in jail and owing the horse's original owner for the cost of the animal as it had been injured during the so-called theft and was put down. His father would not give him a penny. That's when his Uncle Ramsey stepped into the picture. He took in the lad and put him to work on his farm. Uncle Ramsey could be firm in his expectations too, but he also was much kinder in his outlook on bringing up a boy. Aurelian got along so much better with Ramsey, and his behavior settled down.
| 1859 |
Aurelian was working in a local racing stable in the horse barn when he met Kathleen Bevins at an event at the local race track. They danced into the night and hit it off splendidly. After a short courtship, they were married later in the year, Aurelian's parents were not even invited and probably wouldn't have come anyhow.
| 1860 |
Late that year the couple welcomed into the world their first child, a baby girl who they named Clara.
| 1861 |
The Civil War began and in a burst of patriotic enthusiasm a rash Aurelian volunteered for the service. He enlisted in a cavalry unit due to his experience with horses. He found himself a trooper in the 6th Volunteers Regiment or Rush's Lancers, the only unit in the war to carry lances. Later in the war, they were issued Sharp's carbines, much more practical.
Aurelian participated in several skirmishes, his own opinion was the lance was useless but orders were orders. He was promoted to corporal in 1862 then to sergeant in 1863.
| 1863 |
A most memorable year for the young soldier and family man, during the Gettysburg campaign he was fortunate enough to be rewarded for his good service by a quick leave to visit his wife and little girl. It was but a single day (and night) before he had to head back to his unit, but nine months later Kathleen gave birth to a baby boy, Wyatt. Then soon after at the Battle of Brandy Station, Aurelian took part in what even many Confederate foes claimed was 'the most brilliant and glorious charge of the whole war,' his 6th Regiment suffering the single heaviest losses amongst cavalry in any single engagement of the war. Aurelian was both brave and lucky. He was nominated by his company commander for the Congressional Medal of Honor and survived two light wounds.
| 1865 |
By the time the war was over the 6th had been amalgamated with other units into the 2nd Provisional Regiment and was then mustered out late that year in Kentucky. His war was over, and he was heartily sick of it too.
| 1867 |
A rather subdued Aurelian now settled down to make a livelihood for his family of four. Uncle Ramsey passed away, just dropped dead out in his fields one hot summer day. He left the place to Aurelian, so the family moved in.
| 1870 |
Scranton had changed rapidly after the Civil War, growing into a full-size city and gobbling up the former farms on the outskirts. Aurelian was convinced to sell even Kathleen approved, they had been scraping by, but it had not been prosperous for the work put into it.
| 1871 |
For a time they lived with Kathleen's ailing mother as she could no longer manage alone. Aurelian had difficulty finding any decent work, it wasn't easy for the family, and it galled him fiercely. To top it off Kathleen gave birth to their third child, another girl named Catherine. Another mouth to feed however dearly loved. Sadly though the baby was never really healthy like their first two offspring and the poor little girl died a few months later. Kathleen especially was distraught.
| 1872 |
Late in the summer, Kathleen's mother passed on, and since the property was next to worthless with a small rundown house, they hung around long enough to sell it for what they could get then made the momentous decision to go out to the western frontier. The land was available out there, an ambitious man could take advantage of the Homestead Act and carve himself out a decent sized plot of land.
| 1873 |
The family utilized the railroads to take them west to Chicago then up into Minnesota where they stayed for a short time, but Aurelian had heard good things about Montana. It was a beautiful country there and more choice land available there than even Minnesota. So on they went further west. Seems no one told them about Indian trouble though. Not quite true, Clara, voracious reader that she was, had read of it in the papers when she could get a hold of one. Supposedly though there was a gold rush going on too and most were certain the government would have to protect the flood of prospectors swarming there.
| 1874 |
Montana was truly as scenic as they had been told. Clara sourly pointed out the winters would be hard, but Aurelian liked what he saw. Less civilization to him meant more freedom. Sure enough, they found a section of land they believed would be perfect, close to water, soil seemed rich and fertile. Aurelian put in a claim, paid his $18, and commenced to work on a place to live. That's when disaster struck. One early afternoon, they were hit by Indians. Later some told Aurelian they had been lucky it wasn't even a full war party but just a few young bucks looking for trouble and an easy target. Aurelian did not agree. It was all over in minutes really. Kathleen was washing some clothing at the nearby creek along with Clara. Wyatt was helping Aurelian with the roof. The Indians came at them from more than direction, and Aurelian no sooner spotted three braves coming at the unfinished cabin but heard screams from the creek. He and Wyatt scrambled down, a few shots missing them both until he reached for his rifle. He dropped one Indian, and the other two retreated. Then he raced for the creek, Wyatt in his wake trying to keep up. He found Kathleen first. She was dead, an arrow deeply embedded in her back. She was lying upon Clara who was moaning and also wounded. Another arrow had impacted just below her right collarbone, also a deep wound but not a fatal one. So far. Aurelian had no choice, he had to get help for his daughter, so he loaded up the wagon with her and his wife's body, hitched the team and headed for the nearby community. There was a doctor there and fortunately a good one. Clara lived. Once she could, Clara told of how her mother had shielded her with her own body after she had been hit by the first arrow. Aurelian knew that was his Kathleen alright. To add to his grief, later when he returned to his homestead, everything was either burnt to ashes or stolen, the Indians must have come back. Clara took a month to heal, battling an infection but stubbornly (for that was Clara) pulling thru. They left for someplace else in Montana then.
| 1875 |
Kalispell wasn't big, but it seemed nice enough. Plus Aurelian was a desperate man now, without his wife but with two children who depended on him, he had to find them a place to live. That is when he met Lloyd Sidwell and his wife. Sidwell was another homesteader, but he was in the act of leaving his place. He said his wife wanted to go back East but pointed out they already had a cabin constructed on their land. Aurelian paid him virtually the last of his money for that land. The man took him out there and indeed he had been telling the truth. It was actually a fine construction job too, better than he could have done, Aurelian grudgingly had to admit.
He now had a roof over the heads of his family. It was enough for the time being. They couldn't give up, Kathleen wouldn't want that. It was time to make this place their home, no more moving. Come hell or high water, they were staying.
Apparently he needed to clear up their guest's misunderstanding of his invite, Aurelian realized when Jay mentioned not wanting to take either of the childrens' beds.
"Oh, sorry. I meant sleep under our roof but we only got three beds. No guest bed unfortunately. But I can have Clara gather up some blankets to set on the floor and cover you too. Extra pillow. You could lie down near enough to the fireplace, you'll be plenty cozy and warm. As you can see, it's a small cabin, we don't have the room for another bedroom not to mention - til just this minute - no need for one," he quickly explained.
"A whole lot better than sleeping in the barn though - especially with that big ol' hole in the roof," Aurelian grinned.
One they were inside the cabin again and had cleaned off the snow from their boots, he addressed his daughter.
"Clara, Mr. Ryker here finished adjusting the horseshoes, a fine job of it too. And I decided to offer him another job, fixing that barn roof. He accepted so he is gonna be staying overnight then. Can you find whatever we got to fix him up a comfortable spot on the floor to sleep. You know, blankets, pillows, that sort of thing."
Clara listened to her father and what he wanted of her, then eyed the man, this time with a look of resignation. Her father really could use the help up on that roof, especially given the elements. They both worried if Wyatt 'helped' up there he might well fall and break a limb or worse. Yes, better it would be Mr. Ryker, she figured.
"When I tell Clara the work you did here and the quality of it, she will think differently I assure you," Aurelian pointed out.
As the two of them began to pick up and put away the tools from the project, Ryker informed him that he was going to head on out then. Aurelian nodded.
"Certainly, well thanks again. Glad you got a hot meal out of it."
"I need to go and find a roof over my head. If you ever feel that you need a hand around here again, let me know. As long as I'm in town, I'm happy to help," the man declared.
That gave Aurelian an idea and he jumped on it then.
"Speaking of roofs... I do want to fix the barn roof before it gets any worse but I am not about to have Wyatt clambering around up there and I am even reluctant to let Clara assist me, it is hardly proper work for a woman," he started.
"How about you stay overnight and on the morrow unless we get a blizzard, we could start on that roof?" he got to the point.
"Either way, it is too late now for you to head back to town in the dark, you can sleep in the house and your horse in the barn. It is no trouble," Aurelian now offered.
Eventually the fire was the right temperature for Ryker to do his work, Aurelian just stayed out of the man's way and let him go about it. It was quite interesting to watch an expert at work anyhow. Every once and awhile he asked Jay a question about some little detail, just out of curiosity. If nothing else he was learning something new. As the remodeled horseshoes were cooling, Jay stated, "That's what they should look like. Now it's easy to put them on when the snow melts."
"Right, they do look good alright," Aurelian nodded.
"I can't promise you that I'll be around that long but if I am, I'll put em on for ya."
"And I have faith that you will too, that is if you are around. I do understand, you've got a whole new life to start to work on. If that means you need to move on, it only makes sense. I feel what you did right here was worth more than a simple meal," Aurelian assured him.
Aurelian nodded, "I came out of it lucky enough to be sure. I admit to going thru a stretch there where I was a sort of rebellious hooligan but I honestly did not ever steal a horse."
"As for that friend, we stopped being friends soon after that. He was the real horse thief. He got away with it though," he sighed.
The conversation died down then as the pair of them waited on the fire to be just at that right temperature so Ryker could utilize it with the horseshoes. Aurelian was content to just stare into the fire, there was something almost comforting about it, maybe because it was winter and this kept back the cold.
ooc: I'm running out of conversation ideas too so you can advance this along to where Jay is finished with his efforts if you want.
Aurelian nodded, "Yeah, it will. Fortunately we are in hurry."
When he had finished his short form personal life story, the man still had one question he was curious about,
"Why were you incarcerated, if you don't mind me asking."
"I was young and kind of wild. I hung around with a few locals I probably should not have but I was trying to show my father I could get along without him in my life,'explained Aurelian
"One day I was accused of stealing a horse. I actually hadn't done that to be honest. It was one of my friends but they blamed me for it. I was lucky I didn't get hung probably due to my youth. But I had to serve some time in the county jail. I learned my lesson and stopped hanging around with those friends."
Well, the girl certainly seemed to take the death of her father rather well, given how recently he had passed. But Aurelian was not about to judge. He had not gotten along with his father at all and had not even attended the funeral.
"I'm sorry about your father, Arabella," he stated sincerely, an orphan now, it wasn't going to be easy for her.
Having made the mistake of asking, he was then 'treated' to an inordinately long and confusing explanation of mourning rules down south or at least by her family traditions. It was way too much to take in let alone remember details.
"Ah, thank you for that summation," he said with just a touch of good natured sarcasm.
Clara now gave her little brother directions, "Wyatt, go into my room and get ready for your bath. The water is almost ready. "
"Awww, shouldn't I wait until I'm dirty after the day 's over?" he was less than enthusiastic.
"No, I am not keeping that tub filled for the entire day. Now go, " Clara would not be dissuaded.
"Oh, family tradition, well it was a useful one alright," Aurelian nodded at his explanation.
"Teller might be steady work and less harder on a body than blacksmith," he pointed out though. Blacksmithing was difficult hot labor, he would not want to make a career of it but of course he didn't say that aloud to Jay.
The other man now inquired what did he do back in the day.
"I did not get along with my parents, my father especially. We never saw things the same way. I eventually got into trouble and spent some time in jail. I got lucky though and my uncle took me in on his farm. I enjoyed working for him on the farm, he was a good, fair man."
"I met and married the love of my life while working on that farm. We had Clara. When the war broke out, I signed up with the cavalry - the Union of course - and spent the remainder of the war fighting with my regiment, the 6th Volunteers of Pennsylvania. Once I got demobilized, I went back to trying to farm but things had changed. My uncle left me the farm in his will but ... well, long story short. We could no longer make a go of it. Lots of reasons but in the end my wife and I agreed. We wanted to go west and start over. So the four of us headed on out and we ended up in Montana," he smiled.
Hearing her compliment, Aurelian smiled, "That would be me. You're welcome."
Clara threw a compliment Arabella's way.
“Oh, that’s just the one we always say, in the connexion," replied the younger girl.
That was a new one to Clara and she prided herself on her vocabulary. Later she would have to consult the dictionary. As to the girl's remark about post meal prayer, Clara headed her off at the pass on that one, "Well, we do not say a prayer then. You will have to pray it silently. God will hear you."
Though Clara wondered if even the Almighty was tired of having to listen to Arabella.
Once breakfast was finishing up, Clara put another large pot of water onto the stove to warm up the bath water for Wyatt. Meanwhile their guest had a question. Aurelian nodded to hear it.
“Could you tell me what date of the calendar it is today. I reckon I should work out how long it is since my Pappy died, so I can get started on my year o’ mourning.”
"Well, it is December 19th, close to Christmas. Did your family do it that way back home, mourn for a full year?" he asked his own question of her.
Clara had mourned their mother of course, though for almost an entire month she had been in bed from her wound. But a full year? They just didn't have the time to do that. Her father stated that she would not have wanted that anyhow, she would have wanted them to get on with living their lives as normally as possible. Clara agreed.
Aurelian listened to the man relate about his English experiences. He had actually heard of how their upper classes would go hunting mounted on fine horses with a large pack of dogs to run down the ....fox wasn't it? And no guns were used or at least not talked about? Seemed like a lot of fuss for a mere fox but to each their own. Then Jay explained about that worthless farmland of his, bad luck there.
"Yes indeed, the blacksmithing," Aurelian nodded, "So who taught you blacksmithing? Did you apprentice at a shop someplace? Isn't that the usual way of things."
Ryker then asked if Aurelian could start up on getting a fire going. Aurelian nodded, "I will get right on that. It'll be a bit to get a fire nice and hot for metal working." But then the man would realize that too.
The man gave him the courtesy of hearing him out as he told the sad tale of what happened to his wife and daughter. Aurelian could tell it now without getting emotional but it still hurt and always would. Ryker expressed his condolences then and sympathized with im. Aurelian had not told it for sympathy though, least not for himself but just so the man might better understand Clara's ... issues on occasion. Hopefully it worked. But he wasn't about to push it further. Time to concentrate on the task at hand.
Ryker checked out the first hoof on the horse.
"She's alright. Had to grow up tough. But that'll serve her out here."
"I hope so. Some day she will make some man a wonderful wife. And she will be an excellent mother too," Aurelian spoke like a proud father of course.
Continuing his work Jay added. "Look at me. I'm from England. I've not be brought up to lead a frontier life. I had to learn everything. Had a run in with some Indians before, too. Chippewa...up North. Not quite that bloody though."
"Chippewa huh? Oh, so you came from England then? Interesting. When did you come over? Do you remember much about England still?" Aurelian was curious, he'd never been out of the states.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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