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Kitsewah's Curse

A cache by josephaw, assisted by rannthal Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/30/2014
Difficulty:
4 out of 5
Terrain:
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Note: though designed to be done at night, this wherigo is certainly able to be done during the daytime, though certain elements of it may be a bit harder.

Kitsewah's Curse:


While staying with a friend, he tells you about the creepy park nearby, but also about some long lost treasure...for the full introduction, read Chapter 1: Ghost Stories below (I do recommend you read it, or at least the synopsis, before you start the wherigo). Intrigued by the story, you decide to investigate further. You meet up with his Grandpa Jim, who tells you more, and gives you a map to help in your adventure. Now, you head out to the forest.

NOTE: This cache may take anywhere from 1-2 hours, so plan accordingly.

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Other Wherigo geocaches associated with this Wherigo cartridge:

Kitsewah's Curse: Rocky Road

Kitsewah's Curse: Azeban's Award

Kitsewah's Curse: Peteetneet's Plunder

Kitsewah's Curse: Mogollan Mischief


Chapter 1 Synopsis:

You are visiting a friend (James) in Payson, and while running, pass a creepy park. After getting back to his place late, you chat for a bit. Then, you ask him about the scary park. He tells you the story of Kitsewah's Curse, which says that years ago, when the Native Americans lived here, they had some disagreements with the local white Mormon settlers. Kitsewah was the shaman / medicine man for the local chief, Chief Peteetneet. Kitsewah foresaw the whites taking everything away from them, the natives, so he and some others decided to do something about it (i.e., kill the white settlers).

Chief Peteetneet didn't like that idea, and he worked with the white settlers to stop Kitsewah, but not before he killed a family. As punishment, he and his followers were executed, but not before Kitsewah cursed that grove, which was also his resting place (and the burial ground for all the other natives in their tribe). It would be cursed until Peteetneet admitted he was a fool not to have listened to Kitsewah. Peteetneet never did, and the grove has remained haunted ever since.

James then tells you about some treasure that is supposedly hidden in the grove as well. Apparently the natives had found some treasure with the Spaniards several hundred years ago, when they came through this area. Over the years, that treasure was safeguarded by the tribal leaders. THe story goes that Peteetneet, nearing death, had hidden the treasure in the haunted grove to keep it safe. After he died, no one ever knew where it was, and though some had tried to find it, they had never had any luck, only bringing back tales of fearsome monsters, ghosts, and tales of the horrors they encountered in the haunted forest.

You are interested in the treasure, and James tells you to go nextdoor and visit his grandpa, Jim, who told him all he knows about the curse and the treasure. You head over there, are attacked by some winged head creature, then talk with Jim for a bit. Jim tells you that he was befriended by an old Indian man named Falling Crow, a sad old man with no family, having lost his only son years ago in a horrible accident. Falling Crow told Jim all about the curse and treasure, and on his deathbed he even gave Jim an old map of the grove, which he said would help him find the long lost treasure. Falling Crow seemed to believe that the time had come to "settle old debts," whatever that meant.

Jim gives you a copy of the map, and you set out to the forest, ready to face what may come, and eager to find the treasure. What awaits you? Find out by downloading the wherigo cartridge and heading there yourself...

For the full introduction, see below:


Chapter 1: Ghost Stories

One day, while staying with a friend in town, you jog past a nearby park towards evening. You note that when you passed by earlier in the day, children were playing and all seemed well. However, now that it is dusk, you notice a foreboding feeling in the air. You pause for a breath, and listen.

“That’s odd,” you think to yourself. Not a sound; no birds, no children about, just….deathly silence. You feel a chill run down your spine as a cold wind strikes you, and you nervously laugh to shake off the feeling, then quickly continue your jog back to your friend’s place, just a bit more quickly than before.

As you get close, you see that the lights are still on. Relieved, you scurry up the porch steps, and then rap hurriedly on his door. James, your friend, soon opens the door.

“There you are!” He says, smiling. His smile quickly fades to a look of concern; “Goodness, you look like you’ve seen a ghost! Hurry up and get inside!”

You thank him, and step inside. “Thanks a bunch, James. I’m alright, can I just shower quickly and then we can talk about it?” “That sounds good.” James says; “We’ll talk in a bit. We’ve got some leftovers from dinner if you want any.”

Again, you thank him, and hurry off to shower. Refreshed, you return to the living room, where you find James and his wife playing a board game. “There you are! James said that I just missed you!” Laughs Sheri, James’ wife. You laugh, and join them for a quick round.

Afterwards, you are all sitting around relaxing before bed. Sheri excuses herself, saying: “I haven’t been feeling well, I’d better get some rest. Don’t stay up talking too long, you two.” You wish her well, and then James looks at you directly, and says: “So, it’s the nearby park, isn’t it?”

You nod, a bit surprised that James already guessed what had been the matter. “Is there something you’d like to tell me, James?”

James sighs, leaning back in his armchair, thoughtfully considering his words. “Tell me what happened first, if you don’t mind.”

You laugh nervously; “Ah, what’s to tell? I took a late jog, as you know, but just as I was coming back, I passed the nearby park and grove, and just got the most eerie feeling. Something isn’t right about that place.”

James nods his head knowingly, peering at the floor. “Of course, you’re right. There IS something wrong with that place. Now, as you know, we got this nice house rather cheap. Little did we realize of course the reason why.”

James stands up, leaning against the way, rubbing his brow with eyes closed. “We knew that we were getting a steal on this house, but it was only after that we learned about THAT.” As he finished, James pointed out the window, straight towards the trail that disappeared into the dark grove.

“People ‘round here say that it is haunted. At first we thought they were only joking, joshing the new neighbors you know. But then we noticed that no one ever goes near that park at night, and no one wants to talk about it. And that FEELING...I mean, you walked by it and felt it, didn’t you?”

You nod solemnly, staring at the wall. “Yes, I most certainly did...that place gave me the creeps!”

James nods as well, then sits back down, a dry smile on his face. “Well, I did some digging, and found that it all started when the white pioneers first came here. Chief Peteetneet, the head honcho Indian Chief around these parts, was said to have a medicine man, or shaman that he relied on as his chief advisor, named Kitsewah, who apparently was infamous for wearing a bear skull on his head, and his extreme views. Well, when the Mormons came, Kitsewah warned the chief that the arrival of the white man was an omen of the end of their rule upon the land. If they did not follow his plan, the prophecy would be fulfilled and the indians killed or driven from their homes.”

“So what was Kitsewah’s plan then?” You ask. James looks down at his feet, and after a moment speaks again: “Well, it sure wasn’t pretty. Basically it was to slit the throats of all the settlers while they were sleeping in the dead of night…” You gasp, shocked at the thought of it. James nods; “Chief Peteetneet agreed that it was too much, and ignored Kitsewah’s pleas, suggesting a more diplomatic approach. Kitsewah was utterly convinced however, and went ahead with his plan, which was gruesome indeed. Peteetneet found out about the Kitsewah’s plot, and with the Mormon settlers’ help, they caught Kitsewah and his men in the very act, killing a farmer and his family on the outskirts of town.”

Shaking his head, James continues: “Peteetneet, not wanting to incur the wrath of the whites, ordered that Kitsewah and his conspirators be executed. That very night, the deed was done, in the very spot where that grove stands today. The grove was already the burial ground for Chief Peteetneet’s people, so at least Kitsewah recieved the honor to lie with his own people. Allowed to speak some last words, Kitsewah again promised that the whites would ultimately drive the indians from their lands, and also cursed the ground where he would die, saying that it would remain that way till Peteetneet atoned for his ignorance. And with that, they were shot.

You stare at the ground, then look at James: “So was Kitsewah right after all? Did his prophesy come true?” James looks at his hands, then into your eyes: “Every word. It wasn’t long after that the Blackhawk war broke out, which was a tipping point that forced local indian chiefs to choose between the whites and their brethren. Peteetneet chose his brethren, but by then it was too late. They lost their lands, and Peteetneet died a broken man.” You sit for a moment, thinking about poor old Chief Peteetneet. “That old Kitsewah must have had some real power for his curse to still have power over the minds of the locals.”

“Well…” James starts again, “That isn’t all of the story. People mostly forgot about Kitsewah (they certainly wanted to), and today the indians are just a story from the past. The grove remained mostly untouched for many years, getting overgrown and thicker with each passing year. Most everyone forgot that it was an Indian burial ground, and Kitsewah’s story was mostly lost to the mist’s of time. I only found out about it from my old Grandpappy Jim, who grew up in Payson. He’s one of the only people I know who even remembers the story now.”

“Hmm… well isn’t that a fun little ghost story.” You say, chuckling as you say it, trying to ward off the uneasy feeling in the room. James purses his lips, then scratching his face, states: “Yeah, it would be...except for the other part that grandpappy told me; about the Lost Indian Treasure.”

You look up, a bit more interested in the topic. “Treasure, you saw? Pray, do tell!”

James chuckles, and heads back to the kitchen. “You want a cup of mint tea? Should help you to settle down for the evening.” He is gone for a minute, and you start to wonder: What sort of treasure we talking about? Is it protected by Kitsewah’s Curse as well? Lost in thought, you look down to see a cup of hot tea seemingly floating in the air just below your chin.

“Yipes!” You jump, which also startles James, who you now can see was holding the cup (it wasn’t actually floating as it appeared). He chortles, realizing what just happened. “Sorry there, partner. Didn’t mean to scare you.” You laugh it off, taking it in stride. “Yeah, well you certainly tell a good ghoulish tale. But what really interests me is this other tale of treasure.”

“Ah yes, I was about to tell you when the tea went off. So, apparently the natives had kept some secrets from the white man. One of those secrets was the fact that they had helped the Spaniards years before find some very rich veins of precious metals, like gold, sivler, and even some jewels, and they had shared in the profits. Being the chief, Peteetneet was given the task of safeguarding this treasure, and when he could see that the war was lost, and that Kitsewah’s prophecy was being fulfilled, he apparently didn’t want us white folk getting our hands on this gold, so he took it and buried it in Kitsewah’s Grove, hoping perhaps that the curse would protect it.

“Well, did it?” You ask. James shrugs, and continues: “As no huge indian treasure trove has ever been reported, I’d venture a guess that it is indeed still there. Grandpappy tried to find it once in his younger years, but he claimed it was truly protected by Indian Ghosts and he gave up the search.”

As James speaks, you begin thinking about what you might do with such treasure. Gold is at a premium these days, and certainly there are many good things you could do with it. “Well, are you interested in looking for it with me?” James chuckles, then gets serious. “Well, as much as I’d like to, I’ve got other responsibilities now. Sheri is expecting, and I just got promoted, so I’m pretty busy. And what if one of those ghosts got me?” As he asks the question, his lips curl into a smirk and a slight chuckle, and you wonder if James even believes the story he’s told you. Still, it DOES make for an interesting conversation.

James finishes his tea, and then tells you that he’d best get to bed. “One last thought though: since you’re on vacation, maybe you ought to go chat with Jim; if anyone can help you find that treasure, it would be him.”

James writes his address down, and you look at it. “Why, it’s just across the street!” you mutter to yourself. Hmm...you really aren’t all that tired after that scary story, and you wonder what was in that tea after all. It tasted like tea, but you feel more invigorated and ready to go than before your run. You glance out the window, across the street at Jim’s house. Surprisingly, the lights are still on. You look at your watch, see that it really isn’t all that late to make a house call, and grabbing a jacket, flashlight, and a notebook for notes and surreptitiously slip out the door.

After arriving at Jim’s House, you notice something strange across the street. You could swear that you saw a pair of eyes watching you. Curious, you hurry over to investigate. Try as you might, whatever it was is gone.

As you return to Jim’s house, while walking back again across the street, a screech fills the air. You look behind you to see a face flying towards you...with wings and claws! You dive to the ground, but it swoops back around. You rush across the street, and hide in the bushes. After hearing some screeching and the flapping of wings, it looks like you got away from the creature, whatever it was...You take a moment to catch your breath, make sure that you are presentable, and then walk up to Jim's house.

You arrive at the door, and peek in the window. You can see an older gentleman sitting in an armchair, reading a book. You take a deep breath, then knock on the door. You hear stirring inside, then the door cracks open. “Can I help you?”

You introduce yourself as James’ best friend growing up, and mention how you are visiting James and Sheri for the weekend. “Ah yes,” says Jim. “James has mentioned you several times, though it’s been a while. Why don’t you come in?” You step inside, graciously accepting his offer.

He offers you a seat, and after you’ve sat down, he peers at you over his reading glasses, then says: So are you here about Kitsewah’s Treasure then?”

You chuckle, surprised at his astuteness. “Yes, well, I suppose there wouldn’t really be any other reason, would there?” He chuckles, and nods. “Yes, well, James likes to scare people telling those stories, but truth be told, there really is treasure out there.” You laugh a bit with him, then proceed to tell him about the monster that you just saw flying in the sky. “Yes, well, I’ve met that one before, along with some of the other supernatural creatures of that grove. That particular one is a nasty one, though. It’s called a Chonchon; it’s the flying head of a sorcerer, maybe even Kitsewah himself.” You stare at him almost in disbelief...almost. After a moment, you then ask “And how did you find out about the treasure that these monsters are guarding?”

“Ah, well that is a story in itself. Suffice to say, I was friends with an older indian gentleman by the name of Falling Crow, who used to have a vegetable stand in town. He used to tell me all about the indians that lived in these parts, and then one day he took ill. I went to visit him in the hospital, and he clasped my hand, grateful that I had come. See, Falling Crow had no family; his wife died when young, and his only boy died in a car accident many years ago. In fact, he sometimes told me that I reminded him of his boy, and called me White Crow sometimes in jest.”

You can tell that it is a painful memory for Jim, and you let him sit in silence for a moment without interrupting. “Well, anyway, since he had no family, no one had come to visit. He was grateful to have company, and his time was near. Near the end, he seemed to be talking with people that weren’t there, and then he turned to me, and told me about a map that had been passed down to him, which would help me find the lost treasure of Peteetneet, hidden in Kitsewah’s grove. He said that “the time has come to settle old debts,” though I’m not sure what he meant.“

“Anyway, right after that he passed away. After the funeral, I decided to see if I might find the map like he said. Sure enough, just where he said I’d find it, there it was. Well, I grabbed it, and took a look. The map showed the Indian Burial grounds, and had many different things identified, but I didn’t understand the symbols. Falling Crow told me that the only time you would find the treasure was at night, when the danger was the greatest. However, I quickly got scared after something came howling after me. Not sure if it was a ghost or not, but I’m not one to test fate.”

“Well, might I take a look at the map?” You ask. Jim hesitates, but then he relents. “Falling Crow gave me that map for a reason, though I don’t really understand it all. It seems that it is time to find that treasure after all.” Jim goes into a back room for a moment, leaving you waiting in the front room. You glance around the room, and it appears to be the normal fare of rustic decor: antlers on the wall, along with an old rifle; a carved bear with paws outstretched to hold magazines, etc. You notice an old black and white photo, with an older Indian gentleman with a young white boy at his side, standing next to a vegetable stand. That must be Jim and Falling Crow, many years ago.

Jim returns, with a leather scroll that looks very old. He delicately unties the twine that binds it closed, then carefully unravels it. The smells of years past wafts into the air, and you can’t help but imagine some old Indian elder drawing out the map over 100 years ago. You can almost smell the campfire nearby…

Well, anyway, Jim shows you the map. It is starting to deteriorate, and some of the writing is almost impossible to read. “Is this even legible anymore? Maybe we are out of luck after all…” Jim sighs, and says: “Indeed, the map is in deplorable condition. I kept it in the cellar, but we had a big flood many years ago, and I didn’t realize it had gotten wet. By the time I did, the damage had already been done.”

“Well, I guess that’s that then” you say, a bit disappointed. With a wry smile, Jim pulls out a piece of paper, and hands it to you. “Now hold yer horses, pal. After Falling Crow put so much trust in me, you don’t think I’d let him down now, do you?” He hands you the paper, and as you unfold it, you see a copy of the map, handwritten by Jim himself. He explains that when he first got the map, he had better make a copy of it, just in case. “Haha, you sly old dog Jim; you really had me fooled for a minute!” you chuckle. He laughs a bit, and you can see that the first spot indicated is pretty close.

“Well Jim, if you don’t mind, I’d like to borrow this and give a shot at finding that treasure. This first spot looks to be just behind James’ house. Do you have another copy of this map?” Jim assures you that he has both a digital and printed copy of it, and not to worry. Just as you are preparing to go, Jim asks you to wait a moment, and disappears again. When he returns, he gives you an old necklace, with a white stone crow. “This is my totem, and Falling Crow said it would help protect me. Take it, and godspeed.” Thanking him, you head out, heading straight for the first area on the map.


End of Chapter 1. For the rest of the adventure, you'll have to go through the wherigo; see the cartridge downloads below:

Wherigo.com Cartridge Download Options


Other Wherigo geocaches associated with this Wherigo cartridge:

Kitsewah's Curse: Rocky Road

Kitsewah's Curse: Azeban's Award

Kitsewah's Curse: Peteetneet's Plunder

Kitsewah's Curse: Mogollan Mischief

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ohfu

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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