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Outgoing around women (unless they're educated; then he's more withdrawn)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 flew over the crest of the rise on Fiona with the rest of the riders and tried to pick out the rustlers from where their gunshots were coming from. It was hard, with the intermittent flashes from the gunfire giving only a little clarity to their attacker's figures. He rode bent low on Fiona's neck and stretched his pistol out in front of him. Somewhere on the way to the paddocks he had lost track of José, but there was no time to worry about him now.
A spattering of gunfire came from ahead and in the resulting light, he caught sight of a fellow on a horse across the paddock. He pointed his pistol and squeezed the trigger once. In the dark, with the motion of his horse, and the uncertainty of the whole situation, there was no way of knowing if his shot would even hit. He shot again in hopes that he would at least hit something.
Shooting in the dark was a lot different than shooting at rattlesnakes or beer bottles in the daytime, and neither of those things he'd practiced on ever shot back. These men would shoot back.
Brendan chuckled. "Dream? Nah, my dream is to lay around all day with nothin' to do. But this ain't so bad." Now that he thought about it, he didn't really have a dream. Besides being rich someday. There wasn't anything wrong with drifting, but it certainly wasn't the dream.
He led the way into the stable and pointed to an empty stall. "That one can be hers. Oats are in the corner over there if she wants any." He pointed this time to a large sack labeled "oats" stacked on several others like it.
Then he went over to his horse's stall. "This here's Fiona. She's mine." He patted her chestnut nose fondly and entered the stall to start putting her tack on. He was in no hurry to get out on the range, and José's horse needed some time to be fed and watered, so he took his time and even brushed Fiona's coat a bit before putting the saddle on.
"You ever ridden for a place this big before?" he asked, glancing back at the Mexican. It was highly unlikely. Steelgrave had one of the biggest places in Montana and probably in the whole of the territories. Probably.
Mature Content: Probably not
With: Brendan and Caroline Location: Caroline's room When: July 25, 1875 (picking a random date that works time-wise) Time of Day: Night, after Caroline's shift ends
Brendan adjusted his pillow under his head and turned on his side, feeling the floor beneath his hip. He made a face. It wasn't the first time he had slept rough - the beds in the Evergreen bunkhouse weren't exactly cushy - but sleeping on the floor started to wear on you after a while. He had been able to sell off Billy, Greer, and Black Jack's horses and tack, and with that money had bought himself two new shirts and a bedroll so he wasn't sleeping just on the hard floor.
It wasn't so bad living above the saloon: there was always something going on, and he'd had the opportunity to win some money playing poker. It wasn't much, but it made him feel like he was doing something useful even if half the time he was just sat on his ass at a corner table.
He was always around when Caroline sang. At first it had been out of hopes that she'd take a fancy to him and he wouldn't end up sleeping on the floor at least for a night, and then it had been out of their friendship that had grown and out of a wish to help keep Arabella from pestering her. Not that Caroline needed any help with that. She treated Arabella with extreme coldness, or at least she had. They seemed to have mended things recently, but he just couldn't let it go. He didn't normally hold grudges, but his one he held for Caroline's sake.
He wasn't watching her tonight, however. He had too much on his mind. Bridget and Crabbe were at the forefront of his mind as the snatches of Arabella's piano playing, Caroline's singing, and the audience's applause drifted up through the floorboards. He turned and turned again but couldn't get comfortable and couldn't go anywhere with his thoughts.
By the time he heard Caroline's step outside the door, he was fed up with thinking. When she opened the door and came into the room, he sat up. "Good crowd tonight," he said conversationally. "Could hear whoopin' and hollerin' all the way from up here." Not that that was different than any other night Caroline sang.
He got up and lit the lamp on Caroline's bedside table, then went back to his bedroll and leaned against the wall, one leg straight out in front of him and the other bent so he could rest his elbow on it. He'd taken to sleeping in just his jeans rather than his long johns because...well...he would rather Caroline see his bare chest than see him in his long johns.
Brendan slipped his plate into the pan of water and grabbed one more piece of bread, then followed José outside, gnawing on the bread as he walked.
He noticed the new horse outside and squinted at it. It had been there when he first passed, but he hadn't been awake enough to pay attention. Now he looked the animal over as he chewed. It was a mare, with sturdy legs and a broad chest. She looked like she had stamina, which was good in a cowhorse.
"That your mount?" He gestured at the mare and looked at José. It was a needless question because he knew the horses on Evergreen and she wasn't one of them. "She's a nice one. Bring'er along to the stable an' she can have some water'n oats if she wants 'em."
He set off for the stable where his own horse waited. It would only take him a few minutes to get all his tack on his horse, but they were in no particular hurry today and it would give José's horse a while to rest if she needed it.
Brendan nodded complacently at the new hand's answer, seeing no reason to question it. "Cattle's all I know. Cattle and horses." He sopped up the rest of his gravy with the last bit of his bread and licked his fingers, then pushed his plate away with a faint scraping noise and stood, groaning and stretching his arms over his head.
"Well. It ain't gettin' any cooler out there. You want to ride out with me, get the lay of the land?" It wasn't just an offer made out of friendship or nicety, but one that would make his job easier. If Martinez rode out with him today and learned the ropes, that was one more hand to spread the work around. In addition, the new hand seemed to be closer to his age than some of the other hands and he thought they might get along.
He paused and rested one foot on the long bench. "That is, if Carson don't want you to be a night owl with him?" He directed this question at Carson himself, looking to the older man for direction.
Brendan felt a thrill of excitement as he urged his horse on to the paddocks, but it turned to horror and anger when he finally neared the paddocks and saw the last of the cattle heading off into the night. Holy hell, the cattle were getting away! This wasn't right. It wasn't fair.
He spent every waking hour watching those cows and now some bastards thought they could just take what he and the other hands had worked so hard for? That was injustice right there. But what to do about it? Did he go after the cows or the rustlers? Obviously you couldn't stop cows in a stampede until they chose to stop, but you could stop rustlers.
He clucked to his horse and urged it behind the rest of the hands up over the small rise to the paddock, pistol at the ready. And that's when he heard the first of the shots.
Brendan grinned at the Mexican's question. "Here? Nah, we all do the same work. Only some of us are better at...how'd you say it...the herding...than others." There was a twinkle in his eye, but also a note of pride in his voice because he was good with the cattle. Better, he would like to think, than most of the "gun hands" which made up the majority of the Evergreen riders.
He shoveled some more food into his mouth and looked over the new hand appraisingly. "How long you been workin' cattle?" he asked as he scraped his fork over the surface of the tin plate to get as much food as he could off of it.
Brendan heard the shot in his sleep, but didn't fully awaken until all the hands in the bunkhouse started to get up and leave - they fussed almost as loud as that shot. He caught snatches of information and oaths in between the flurry of boots and belts being pulled on. There was Granger's voice, "They're after the herd!"
That got him and any other lazybones moving. He flew down the ladder and pulled on his gun belt and boots as he headed for the door. He was one of the last ones out, but made up for lost time on the way to get his horse. As he swung into the saddle, he noticed José nearby. The other man must just have only arrived back at the bunkhouse. That was rotten luck for him.
"Martinez!" He nudged his horse, which was prancing impatiently, closer to the Mexican. "You know who's after the herd?"
"Connolly," Brendan supplied the answer to the man's unspoken question. Martínez was a Mexican name, there was no doubt about it, and the man's accent would have given him away even if his physical appearance didn't scream Mexican.
He shoved some eggs onto his fork and into his mouth before continuing the conversation. "You new here?" Obviously he was, but asking such a simple question left room for the person answering to elaborate a bit. Not that Brendan knew any of that. He was just curious and that seemed like the best place to start.
And there was another thing that he wanted to know. "You a gun hand or cow hand?" There wasn't much difference at Evergreen, but it was important enough to him that he asked about it. It wasn't that gun hands didn't make good cow hands, but lots of times they didn't. They didn't understand animals because animals didn't really obey guns, and that made them poor hands.
Brendan stumbled into the cookhouse a few minutes later, sniffing the air hungrily. The morning air was still chilly and the scent of breakfast always seemed to carry further on chilly mornings. He had practically been able to smell the steak from the bunkhouse. He plopped some of everything on his plate and grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to the table where Carson and some other hands were eating.
He ate like the other men: elbows on the table with forearms resting protectively around his plate, entirely engrossed in his food. It wasn't until he had drained his cup of coffee and gotten halfway through the foot on his plate that he realized the man he was sitting next to was a stranger.
He eyed the stranger's darker complexion and wildly curly hair for a moment while he chewed, then set his tin cup down with a clank on the table. "Who're you?" he asked as he crumpled up the crust on his bread to cram it into his mouth.
It wasn't all that friendly a greeting and his tone wasn't warm, but since it was morning, that was probably more conversation than the newcomer had gotten from the other men at the table.
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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