Baron and Duke Davis, twin brothers, were born on a dirt farm in Clayton, Washington in 1869 to Alma and Joha Davis.
As children, Baron was always climbing trees and exploring the woods, while Duke would dab honey in his eyes and stare at beehives and the moon. Baron was fun loving and gregarious, while Duke was serious and subject to fits of mad laughter or rage.
The Blizzard of 1887
In Winter 1887, a terrible blizzard came and buried the Davis homestead in 22 feet of snow, forcing the boys (now young men) to seek help and wood for their ailing parents. When they returned 3 days later with armloads of coal, Alma and Joha were frozen stiff and stone dead.
In Spring 1888 Duke went away to the prestigious Monsterology Academy in Noxon Montana, and within 4 years became a registered First Level Monsterologist.
Baron stayed behind, and worked his family’s land.
That Summer there was a real “crow problem” on the Davis farm, with clouds of the “devil birds*” flying overhead, covering the barn’s roof like a black sheet.
Baron, the consummate maker, built a scarecrow out of old tractor parts – the tallest and most imposing thing on the farm. The crows only cackled at the creation, which infuriated the lad.
One afternoon as Baron was circling the land with his tractor (trailed by hundreds of crows), an angry purple cloud drifted over the farm, looking like “a big haunted face”. Thunder rumbled, but Baron ignored it in lieu of getting his chores finished.
Lightning ripped across the sky and nailed the scarecrow and arched across to Baron and knocked him off of the tractor. When Baron awoke sometime later, the Scarecrow was marching dutifully around the border of the farm, whistling a friendly tune.
Baron hid in his house for 6 days, watching his Mechan creation circle his farm, waving at crows, and occasionally picking pumpkins and tossing them high into the sky. When the farmer finally worked up his bravery, he got on his tractor and attempted to “ram the incessant beast into damnation”.
The attempt failed.
When Baron awoke in a pile of tractor parts, the steam crow (steam powered scare-crow) had nested the confounded man in a pile of cornstalks, surrounded by hundreds of crows.
“I am Marrow Thatch”, the mechanical said in a hollow voice. “Are you quite alright?”
Baron wasn’t so sure, but he did try to run away.
A World of Monsters
After Baron calmed down, Marrow started pointing out creatures and beasts that lived on the farm.
At first, Baron couldn’t really see them unless he squinted or looked between the ears of the old barn cat, “Krippler”. It wasn’t until he put honey into his eyes (not recommended) did he see the toof-bat that lived in the well, or the “Top Notch” the Nasquatch. Or the attic goblins, the field trolls, or any of the other beasties that called the Davis farm “home”.
There were hundreds of them.
Baron was certain that he was going mad. Marrow simply seemed excited.
Marrow explained that there was a “world of monsters ” just on the “other side of this one”. It was called “Monstru,” and instead of Manlings it was filled to the brim with monsters. And sometimes those monsters escaped and “leaked through” to this world.
Monsters Need Our Help
“You see,” said Marrow, “monsters aren’t well adapted to living here on Irth. I’m not sure why, but living here can make some unbalanced.”
“The Monsters need our help.”
Turns out, monsters were getting into all kinds of trouble. Stealing soup, scaring children, and sleeping in wells and the insides of basements was causing quite a stir in the Manling world. Monsters are considered a supernatural nuisance, and are simply not tolerated in polite society.
Monsters need a guide in Irth.
“They need our help.”
Baron Had An Idea
Since monsters have an affinity for children (and since children can naturally sense monsters) it made sense to Baron to start for club of monster-loving folks – the Steam Crow Scouts. He spent most of his time from 1892-1902 working with Marrow learning about Monstru, creating this organization, writing the bylaws, and creating the foundation for the Crow Scouts.
Baron rebuilt his tractor, and in the Spring of 1902, began traveling the nation (leading a parade of his monster friends) telling the story of “the monsters among us.”
The Crow Scouts Thrive
By 1907, the Crow Scouts were a national phenomenon. Thousands of children (and adults) had joined up, and were learning about the Monsters that surrounded us. Baron returned to his farm, and rebuild it as a massive log lodge and headquarters of the Scouts.
Five Great Shindigs were held at the lodge, culminating with 25,000 Scout participants.
Around this time, Monsterologists around the world began warning of the “Monsterageddon Plot”, a ruse that included such lies as monsters “stealing your skin” and being rabid “Humanitarians” (eaters of humans). In 1913 alone, 48 tortured (and insane) trolls were released at county fairs across the country by PlugUgly lackeys.
Soon, newspapers were reporting negatively about the Scouts, and enrollment began to weaken.
It has also been reported that the Grand-Warlock Monsterologist Nigel Klang summoned hundreds of Night Terrors and other forbidden creatures from the Dimension of Terror, and let them loose about the land.
The Great War
With Europe at war (and thousands of ancient monsters getting involved) Baron joined the United States Army, and was soon fighting in France. Things were grim, but he continued to write back to the Scouts on a weekly basis, sending messages of positivity and hope for his monster friends.
In July 1918, Baron disappeared.
MORE TO COME… this is a work on progress.
*Duke never liked crows, and frequently shook his fist at the sky.