Brendan inherited his looks from his mother and his height from his father. His hair is often covered with a hat, but when it's not he likes to run his fingers through it so it stands up a bit. He is rarely clean-shaven but never grows out a full beard, hovering in some scruffy medium.
His normal outfit is a dirty-white shirt, jeans or brown pants, suspenders, and sometimes a vest. On the rare occasions he goes to church or a fancier event, he has one red plaid shirt that he guards carefully for special occasions.
Traits & Characteristics
Can be lazy (-+)
Belligerent around educated folks
Outgoing around women (unless they're educated; then he's more withdrawn)
Illiterate (except for his name)
Has a great memory for spoken word
Better with animals than people, generally
Employer: Evergreen Ranch
Skills: Roping, riding, tracking, breaking horses
Brendan's a jack of all trades, but a master of none. His father taught him how to sit a horse, how to rope a steer, and how to talk his way out of trouble. His mother taught him how to say his prayers. What no one taught him is how to read. He's best with animals, but he can do anything in the outdoors, whether it be plowing, herding cattle, or splitting wood.
He's worked his way west, looking for a job at a ranch or farm that feels like home.
Aliases / Nicknames
Current residence: Evergreen Ranch, Kalispell
Kith & Kin
Father: Casey Connolly
Mother: Margaret Connolly
Thomas - born 1848
Breda - born 1853
Maggie - born 1855
Finn - born 1856
1848: Born in Mississippi
1861-1863: Helps his mother take care of the farm while his father is away during the War Between the States
1871-1874: Drifts out west, looking for a permanent place as a cowhand
1875: Arrives in Kalispell in July and is hired on at the Evergreen ranch
Brendan waited to make sure that no more stray cows were headed toward the trees before he rode into the forest to search for more cows. It would be tricky to find them in the trees, in the dark, but he had to try. No one knew how many rustlers there were for sure, but they all seemed to be headed for the trees.
Fiona cantered along the treeline, away from the way José and the rustlers had gone. As he rode, Brendan searched the edges of the forest for any signs of cattle. He'd rounded a corner and José had completely disappeared from sight when a flash of light brown caught his eye.
There was the bony backside of a cow disappearing into the forest. Brendan leaned forward in his saddle, peering into the trees to see how many more cows, if any, were ahead of this one. It would sure be nice if he could find all of the cows at once.
Brendan nodded. "Yep." The less said about the Redmonds, the better. He spotted a stray that had wandered over from Evergreen to Redmond property, heaved a sigh, and nudged Fiona in that direction. He called to José, "See, we already got us a stray. I'll take care of this one, you see if there's any others."
He approached the lone cow from the far side. "Hup there!" The cow lifted its head, stared at him placidly, and sidestepped toward the Evergreen line. Brendan sighed and nudged Fiona closer. "Git along!"
The cow finally decided to move. It ambled slowly back towards Evergreen, with Brendan edging along behind it to keep it headed in the right direction.
"Any luck, amigo?" he called to José, the Spanish word slipping off his tongue without him really thinking about it. But it was appropriate, since José did appear to be Mexican.
Brendan cocked an eyebrow at her, his expression slightly skeptical. If this event had changed her so drastically so that she wouldn't even consider sleeping with a cowboy as handsome as he was - he thought pridefully - it wasn't in the past.
He breathed a sigh of relief as she acknowledged that he was probably not like her "handsome devil," but that relief was short-lived at her words: "don't you go lying ta me none though now...." He spread his arms in impatience.
When she finally spoke, he looked away. She'd said what he had been thinking - or trying not to think about. Was he so obvious?
"You don't got to say it like that," he mumbled, shifting his legs uncomfortably. "But...yeah." He looked at her from the corners of his eyes. "I've wanted to since...since I saw you that night in the saloon."
He still couldn't meet her eyes, so he just stared at the bumps his feet made under the sheet.
Brendan watched Arabella go, and started to watch as Caroline got up to lock the door, but after what she had told him, it just felt wrong to watch her. He picked at the sheet and slid down in the bed as she returned, again not looking over at her. In addition to the oddly guilty feeling he got when he looked at her now, Arabella had successfully killed any hope he had harbored of maybe making love to Caroline that night.
Because, if he was being honest, that was part of the reason he'd gotten into bed with her. It wasn't just to listen to her story. Which made him feel even worse.
"Uh...I was tryin' to...well..." He risked a glance sideways at her, exhaled loudly, and shrugged. "Look. I don't know what to say. I hope that son of a bitch got...got mauled by a bear or somethin'. He don't deserve to be alive still."
He worked his jaw back and forth, and finally the nagging thought that had been stewing in his mind burst out. "You know I ain't like him, though. Don't you?" This time he looked at her, his eyes pleading, but without the puppy-dog look he so often used to his advantage with women besides Caroline.
Brendan shifted uneasily in the bed, only holding Arabella's gaze for a second before looking everywhere but her. He didn't want to forgive Arabella, but she had a point. If Caroline had forgiven her, then...why couldn't he?
He glanced up in time to see her wipe away the tear, and worked his jaw back and forth once. He had seen how quickly Arabella could go from crying to laughing before: who was to say she wasn't just acting again? But the way his heart was aching told him that she wasn't acting.
He sighed loudly and ran a hand through his hair. "Fine," he said finally, still not meeting Arabella's eyes. "I forgive you. What you did was...stupid an'...wrong." He looked at her now, frowning. "But if Caroline's forgiven you...then we can be friends again."
He reached out and ruffled her hair, the way he would ruffle the top part of a horse's mane. Arabella was a like a colt; spindly-legged, awkward, and in need of guidance. But she was growing up, growing out of her child-like exuberance and into a greater awareness of how her actions and words affected others.
"Now get..." he swatted her arm gently. "...before you turn me into a gelding!" He gave Caroline a wry grin.
Finally Caroline brought it to Arabella's attention that she just might be squashing the cowboy who was trapped underneath her. Brendan sighed in relief as she finally moved off of him and squashed herself further between him and Caroline.
But, being the nosy little girl that she was, she had to peek under the sheet at him. What would she have done if he hadn't had his jeans on still? He snatched the sheet back over himself after Arabella grabbed it, and his timing just happened to coincide with the moment Mammy chose to walk in. That made things look worse.
He hid his face in the crook of his elbow until Mammy had gone, as if that would keep her from seeing him. "Shut up, Arabella. You're just makin' it worse." He pushed himself up to a sitting position and rested his head against the wall.
From there, he looked down at Caroline. "Hey. What I was tryin' to say...goin' to say...is that...I understand." It might not have seemed like much, but it was true. He did understand: about Caroline's past and why she was the way she was. But he didn't know what else to say. Should he say he was sorry?
Brendan got the distinct feeling that he'd said something wrong, or hadn't said the right thing. But before he could try to remedy that, Arabella burst into the room. He had a momentary glimpse of her ghostly-looking nightgown before the shroud-covered girl was flying through the air.
She landed in a most inconvenient spot. Brendan's eyes bugged out and he made a strangled "Hurgghh" noise as the air was knocked from him, collapsing onto his back with Arabella. One of his arms was still around Caroline, and now he was doubly trapped by her body and Arabella's, which was somehow squashed between them. He figured she would move in just a second, but she didn't, and instead began cuddling Caroline and wailing like a banshee - a banshee with an awfully sharp, bony knee.
As he got his breath back, he tried to remember what he had been going to say to Caroline; something that fully expressed his anger at what had happened to her. Something like what Arabella was saying? That was what he should have said. But it was hard to concentrate when he was so uncomfortable. As Arabella shifted slightly, her knee sent a fresh set of signals from Brendan's abdomen to his brain. A wave of nausea swept over him and he struggled to sit up, but that seemed to make her knee dig even deeper and he got a mouthful of Arabella's long hair. He spluttered and swatted at the hair with his free hand.
"Get...off..." he wheezed hoarsely before pinching Arabella's side to try to make her move, or at least move her knee from its current offensive position.
As José and Loretta slowed, Brendan pounded up beside him and then kept pace with him. As José's question, he nodded breathlessly. "I'll damn sure try!" he called back. Why was he so utterly stupid? Keeping the cattle out of the trees should have been his first thought, not an afterthought. He should have been doing that while the rest of the hands were off in the gun battle.
But now they had to live with the hand they'd been dealt and the cards that had already been played. As they neared the trees, he and José saw a few cattle heading into the trees, with another small group not far behind them. After their initial stampede, they had separated into small clusters. That was both good and bad. Good because it meant all of the cows weren't in the trees where they would be even harder to round up, but bad because they were already splitting off. More groups of cows meant more hands needed to round them up.
Brendan swore and spurred Fiona in an effort to beat the next group of cattle to the trees. He made it let out a high-pitched yell to turn them away from the trees, following it up with a shot from his pistol. The cattle, already spooked by the previous gunfire, swerved away from the trees and found another group of cows to follow; one that was just headed for the open range.
Brendan let them go, knowing they would run out their nerves eventually. As he breathed a sigh of relief, he saw Carson and Old Man Steelgrave riding by, hot on the trail of the rustlers. Good. The sooner the cattle thieves were out of the way, the easier it would be to round up the wayward cattle.
"Awkward, yeah." That was a good way to put it. But things could go from awkward to dangerous very quickly when property and cattle were concerned. He'd never been in any gun battles related to range wars, but knew it was a touchy business.
He glanced sideways at José as they rode along, not thrilled about his idea. "I mean, we could..." He shrugged, not really wanting to have a Clara altercation today. Not that he expected her to be out riding border patrol like he and José were now, but after what had happened last time he crossed over onto the Redmond's property, he wasn't going to go rushing over there again anytime soon.
"Eh, what the hell. Let's ride over there an' just take a little look-see." He clucked to Fiona and nudged her in the direction of the gap in the fence line.
Just as Brendan was starting to get close enough to the rustlers to be able to get a good shot off at them, they started to turn tail and run. Was that José going after them? It was. He cursed and banged his fist against the fence, then rose slowly. If the rustlers were gone, all he had to worry about was not getting hit by friendly fire until he found Fiona.
He whistled for her, unsure whether he could be heard over the ruckus. As he waited for his horse to heed his call - or not - he saw Carson and Elias standing over what had to be one of the rustlers and a horse. Oh, no. He wanted no part of that. Putting the injured animal out of its misery was one thing, but if they were going to shoot the man he didn't want to see it.
Carson walked over to the horse and Brendan winced as the shot rang out. How many more animals and men would die before the sun rose?
Fiona appeared in front of him and he swung himself up onto her back, then spurred her in the direction José and the cattle and rustlers had taken. He should have gone after the cattle in the first place instead of trying to shoot at the rustlers.
As he left the corral, the sound of the cattle and occasional flashes of gunfire guided him. He pushed Fiona as fast as she would go to try to catch up to José. If the Mexican had ridden off alone, he would need help.
But of course none of these thoughts were coherent. It was flashes of thought or images: Carson standing over the horse, José riding off alone, and all the cattle running away like demons escaping from hell.
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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