History of the Blue Ridge mine Edit
Until the recent arrival of the fog, several outsiders came to Kingsmouth with a particular interest in the closed-up mine and the nearby quarry. Some came to investigate the unknown force and seek to control it, or harness its powers to further their own agendas. Others, sensing the dangers that it posed, came to prevent awakening what must never be awakened.
Both groups struggle to locate the source of the power, and none fully comprehend the extent of the inconceivable force they are up against. The future would indeed be grim should such deep sleep be roused.
What some consider mere stories are indeed the truth, or some variation of it. As people have dug further into the hill, the force underneath has grown stronger and caused a great deal of unrest, inspiring various tragedies, including the slaughter of the mine workers in 1971.
During the mining boom of the late 1800s, Solomon County was prospected for valuable ore - like so many places across the country. The results from the hills outside Kingsmouth were particularly promising and, consequently, the Blue Ridge Mine opened in 1879.
Mining for ore here was a controversial affair. Local Native Americans protested, and warned the mining company not to disturb ancient powers that slept in their holy land.
They ignored the warnings, laughing them off as feeble attempts to scare the miners away with superstitious mumbo jumbo, and carried on their operation - ignorant of the future horrors of the mine.
Accidents and mysterious incidents continuously tormented the workers in the first year of the mine's existence. Production slowed, several people left and it was difficult to hire skilled new personnel.
It wasn't long before rumours of the mine being cursed surfaced and people remembered the Wabanaki warnings again. More and more people sided with the natives, who said the spirits of their forefathers had been angered by the desecration. The popular opinion in Kingsmouth was that the mining company should have respected the holy grounds.
In 1881, a sudden drop in the price of iron, combined with constant accidents and an exodus of workers, forced the company to shut the mine down. Only two years after it had opened, Blue Ridge Mine was no longer economically viable.
For ninety years it remained barred and forgotten, until 1971, when another company bought the mine and continued extracting iron ore, this time drilling deeper into the hills than ever before.
The Wabanaki once again rose to oppose the violation of their holy ground by the miners, but they met much stronger resistance than in 1879. In a week-long conflict that eventually became physical, the tribe shaman was shot and killed by the over-zealous foreman, Edmund Franklin, when he tried to block the foreman's entry to the mine.
To the outrage of the Wabanaki, who claimed their shaman was brutally murdered, Mr Franklin pleaded self-defence and was found not guilty in court. Despite being acquitted, he was haunted by what he had done and fell into deep depression. Not long after, he hanged himself in his attic.
The killing of the shaman was only the start. A few weeks after the shooting, several mutilated bodies were found in the Blue Ridge Mine. The mine was immediately shut down and the police became involved. Investigations suggested that the horrific injuries could not possibly have been inflicted by humans, though it was pointed out that no wild animals in Solomon County were capable of such damage either. Ultimately, they accused the Wabanaki tribe of killing the workers as revenge for the loss of their shaman. Many members of the tribe were jailed; most of them didn't even receive a trial.
In 1973, a scathing report of the incident at the mine was published. The bodies of the murdered Blue Ridge Mine workers had all been severely mangled. Limbs were ripped off and many had suffered extreme burns or multiple fractures. Some were so unrecognisable that they had to be identified through dental records.
Most of the miners were migrant workers without families, and once autopsies were finished, Kingsmouth town council quietly arranged their burials near town. Their names and stories have long since been forgotten, their final resting place an unmarked grave in a town they never knew.
The report did not suspect occult influences. Instead, it revealed several safety violations, and concluded that the miners had died in "a tragic accident." It also concluded that the Native Americans could not be blamed. The jailed Wabanaki men and women were immediately released from prison.
The government tried to remedy the tense and extremely embarrassing situation by giving the Wabanaki tribe back some of their land. They were granted ownership of their holy land, including Blue Ridge.
Things were fine until 2005, when the Wabanaki council of elders disbanded after the majority voted to sell part of their land to a multi-national corporation to fund the construction of a casino. The purchased land included the mine, the old quarry and the hills around it. There was great disagreement within the tribe, as many relatives and old friends became bitter enemies - relationships that remain broken to this day.
The dispute among the Wabanaki was between those who still believed the legends and those who didn't. In the past, tribe members did everything they could to stop strangers from awakening the monster of their legends, but in these modern times, few cared about their heritage and almost no one remembered the old stories.
The legends claim that for thousands of years, the Native Americans in Solomon County have been defenders against a dark force imprisoned under Blue Ridge. It is a force able to corrupt people and blanket their minds with darkness. Like all myths, there is truth behind the legends, but the real nature of the great beast remains concealed from the prying eyes of daylight.