Will usually back down from a fight. To the point that most would consider him a coward.
Kindly, soft spoken.
Won't swear in front of a woman.
Always a follower or a loner, and has trouble stepping into any kind of leadership role.
Walks with a noticeable limp. This was no war wound, but rather got nearly crushed when railroad ties fell off a train car back when he was working for the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad.
Strong eyesight - even if a bit diminished with age, he still has better than 20/20 vision
Hums and sings while he works.
Worked in cotton mill as a child
1834 - 1840: Laborer, Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad
1840 - recovering from injury, largely dependent on his sister (Emily) and her husband during this time.
1841-1848 - odd jobs and helping out on John & Emily Reneau's turkey farm
1849 - Miner, Prospector
Laying railroad track
Prospecting - he's managed to find a little bit of gold from time to time, enough to keep him hopeful that his fortune lies just under the next rock
Hunting - frequently broke, so needs to acquire his dinner somehow
Horsemanship - Average horseman. He'd prefer a docile creature already well broke.
Singing - completely untrained, just has a naturally decent singing voice.
Aliases / Nicknames
Elly, Yelmer, Yelly
1815 - 1849 North Carolina
1849 - 1873 California
1873 - 1875 Montana
Kith & Kin
David (1810-1820) : Died from Smallpox
Emily (1812 - current) : Married to John Reneau. Has several children and a couple grandchildren.
Felix (1819 - 1862): Married to Paula. Had 2 sons. Felix and elder son died in civil war
October, 1815 born in North Carolina. His parents both worked for another family that owned a cotton mill.
1838 - Courted Hannah Wilkerson for nearly a year, but she decided to marry someone else.
1840 - Injured, lost job with railroad. Moves in with sister's family and her husband's turkey farm.
1841 - 1849 - Picked up a few odd jobs when he could, mostly helped out on the Reneau farm
1849 - Still unlucky in love and tired of being a burden on Emily's family, he heads west. One more '49-er'
March, 1851 - Lucky strike! Finds a sizable gold deposit and makes a small fortune.
April - December 1851 - With newfound wealth comes friends galore! And lady friends! Elmer courts Ida Bradfield, a beautiful woman with expensive tastes. By year's end he's blown through half his money.
1852 - Invests nearly all his remaining wealth into the hunt for more gold. Some is found, enough to keep the operation going for nearly 2 years before finally going broke again.
1854 - Ida moves on to wealthier suitors.
1854 - 1875 Elmer continues prospecting, always chasing rumors of new deposits, always in hopes of striking it rich again.
1862 - He was rich for a few hours... after working diligently for several weeks at a spot he suspected might prove fruitful, he was rewarded with a nice nugget. But some mudsill robbed him of it and in that moment, Elmer handed it over rather than fight for it.
"Oh, I don't mind a saloon t'all," Elmer replied, helping to get Robert's mule tacked up. "Just like ta get a couple bottles for when the snow's piled up so high that there ain't much to be done but pass the time," he said with a conspiratorial grin.
Elmer hadn't spoken to another soul (besides his horse and mule and the few mice that he could never seem to expel from his cabin) in nearly two weeks, so as they rode toward Kalispell, he talked most of the way... some more speculation about the book and map that were nothing more than wild guesses ... then about the river itself and the weather as of late. Of course, he'd listen too, if Bobby shared any stories, but never let the silence linger too long.
He didn't mind the prospecting so much, but it sure got lonely.
(ooc: To be continued in Kalispell in another thread... )
Elmer waved off Robert's concern. "Well, still gotta find it," he admitted. Where exactly the X was... he was hopin' he could find someone to tell him. "And I'd be glad fer the company! Iffn you can spare the lost day's work, that is."
While Bobby was getting ready, the old prospector took another long look at the map, as if staring at it long enough would somehow make it reveal more information. But then he slowly folded it up and very carefully tucked it back into the book, which he then put back into his satchel. All the while lowly humming the tune he'd been singing on the way here.
"Either on the way there or the way back, I wanna make a stop at the Carter farm too. See if I can get a bottle or two a the good stuff."
Elmer couldn't help but grin at Robert's speculation about the mark, which was in line with his. That only served to get Elmer a little more excited about the whole thing, as if he were already a millionaire just by holding the old paper in his hands. "That's zactly what I'm thinkin'."
He drained the cup of coffee quickly. "Ya need a run into Kalispell?" he offered. As early in the day as it was and as much as he enjoyed visiting, he knew didn't have much daylight to spare this time of year, so he'd better get moving again. "Or need anythin' whiles I'm goin'?"
"Course I opened it! Can't barely make heads nor tails of it, though..." Elmer admitted. "Ain't in English. But it's got dates... 18 'oh' 4. Older than I am!"
Very carefully, he opened the book to where a folded piece of parchment had been tucked into the pages. "Gonna see if I might find someone in Kalispell that can tell me what it says..." he continued as he carefully unfolded the parchment to reveal a map:
"Ya see this X? Gotta be sumthin' important! Don't know why a fella would mark a spot like that if it weren't sumethin' important!"
Elmer quickly found a spot to tie the horse and mule and followed Bobby to the cabin, carrying his own tin cup along. "That sure is nice of ya," he said, pleased at the idea of a decent cup of coffee.
"Found a little... I'll pro-bly spend it all today getting supplies for the winter ..." he said. Then he fiddled with the flap on the bag he carried with him. "Found sumthin' though..." he added, with a mix of sheepishness and eagerness. Elmer had never been one for keeping secrets and he'd been thinking about this for nearly two whole days now.
"You know that bend in the river up yonder? One with the big twisted spruce ... kinda right up 'gainst the hillside? Well, I thought that'd be a mighty fine place ta dig a cellar. Know what I found there?"
Not waiting for Bobby to try to guess, Elmer pulled a book that looked like it was about ready to fall apart out of his bag and set it on the table.
"A whole damn person! Fella... well I'm assumin' it was a fella, couldn't really tell ... been there a long time. Think the side of the hill gave way on him on or something. I gave him a good and proper burial... but couldn't quite bring myself to bury this with him again."
He tapped the book, clearly curious to see what the young man thought of it.
(ooc disclaimer: translation done with google translate, so it's likely far from perfect.)
"Hey there! See the Indians haven't gotten your hair yet!"
Elmer grinned, pulling his hat off for a moment and ran a hand through his shaggy gray hair. “Not yet. Guess they figure my gray scruff ain’t worth nuthin,” he said, putting the hat back in place. It reminded him that he was well overdue for a hair cut. Maybe he’d add that to his list of things to accomplish while he was in town.
"You ate yet? Ye be right welcome to share mine....nothin' fancy ya know."
“I sure appreciate that…” The young man’s name finally came back to him and he added, “…Rob.” Then held up a hand to decline the offer. “But I already ate.”
“You got any coffee, though? I been skimpin’ on mine till it weren’t nuthin’ more than belly wash. But run out a week ago. I’m hopin’ I can get some today in town.”
Mature Content: unlikely
With: Elmer Stroud, Robert Cullen Location: Somewhere along the Flathead River When: October 1875 Time of Day: morning
Elmer Stroud sat atop his buckskin gelding as he followed the river south toward Kalispell. A pack mule trailed lazily behind. Despite a rather disappointing gold prospecting season overall, Elmer was in a good mood this morning. He’d found at least some gold flakes and two teeny nuggets over the past couple weeks which were stored in a little pouch in a pocket inside his coat. Hopefully enough to let him buy some supplies for winter, which would be here sooner than he’d like. It gave him hope that the big score was close.
It was a frosty morning, but quite lovely, with some low fog rolling along the water. The old prospector hummed and sang a silly song he’d picked up somewhere last year. His singing voice was pleasant enough… not that the equines and the birds would mind much one way or t’other. It just helped pass the time.
"Ten little Indians standin' in a line, One toddled home and then there were nine.
Nine little Indians swingin' on a gate, One tumbled off and then there were eight.
Eight little Indians gayest under heav'n, One went to sleep and then there were seven.
Seven little Indians cuttin' up their tricks, One broke his neck and then there were six.
Six little Indians all alive, One kicked the bucket and then there were five.
Five little Injuns on a cellar door, One tumbled in and then there were four.
Four little Injuns up on a spree, One got fuddled and then there were three.
Three little Injuns out on a canoe, One tumbled overboard and then there were two.
Two little Injuns foolin' with a gun, One shot t'other and then there was one.
One little Injun livin' all alone, He got married and then there were none."
“Well, look’it there, Lucky…. I do believe that’s ah …. Oh, shoot, what was his name again? I reckon it’ll come to me in a minute,” Elmer raised his hand in a friendly wave toward Bobby. He’d only met the young man briefly a few months before… on his last trip into Kalispell. “Best we be neighborly, huh?” he said to the horse, then dismounted to walk the rest of the way. He walked with an uneven gait, the result of an injury several decades ago that had never healed quite right, but it didn’t phase him too much now.
“Doin’ alright?” he asked as he came closer, reaching out to shake Robert’s hand in greeting.
(Open to other characters that might be in the area!)
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.
Connect With Us On
If you are already a member of our Discord server, click the image and it will take you directly to Sagas' server on Discord's web app. If you would like to join our server, click the invite link on the left (bottom of sidebar).