Gold and Lead

Denouement

Brendon discovers that ‘Soaring Eagle’ Smith is not in attendance at the Railroad camp. Forster and the deputies look pissed off and surprised. Brendon rides out with Harris and Fairlane in pursuit of Smith towards the Wellville mine. Forster declined to accompany, declaring that this particular issue was out of his jurisdiction.

Buck and Rackworth successfully commit Sophia to a private sanatorium where she can be looked after, before acting upon receipt of Brendon’s telegram and following towards Wellville. The heroic party are re-united for a night under the stars before pressing on at first light to Wellville.

Close to twilight, they find Smith’s horse, dying. Tracks of a large man head up and over the hill towards Wellville. The trail continues around the hill and is much more suited to horse-traffic. The party dig their heels in and gallop to the mines incurring varying levels of saddle sores en route.

Once arrived, they deputise the miners at twilight and split sending Rackworth, Colt and Crafts (+ boys) up the hill to the Hole. Brendon, Colt and Buck secure the camp and prepare for shenanigans.

Wolves howl. Strangeness on the hilltop and gunfire in the woods accounts for Riley, and then Bill as they try to marshal their forces and escape back to the rocky outcroppings and better visibility of the summit. Rackworth and Colt shin down the rope ladder and wait in the hole once the screams from the woods die down.

Down at the camp, a couple of miners are shot by large caliber rifles from a fair distance away. The groups take cover in various buildings, or on the roof. Fights break out amongst spooked mining folk as the mist rises around the camp.

Brendon has an odd altercation with a gigantic wolf-thing that leaves him unconscious but not quite dead. Buck gets winged by some stray gunfire from the building he’s atop and then seeks refuge inside.

There are howls from outside, scratchings and sniffings at the walls of various buildings, and finally the sound of a match being struck. Buck and Rackworth and Brendon had arranged themselves a way distant from this threat and were only deafened by the blast of the dynamite at back of the stables.

Rationality prevails and the party set an impromptu ambush around the carefully thrown glowing rock prize of Jed Mitchum. A wolf attempts to move it, but can’t get purchase with its jaws. Brendon readies his dynamite, Buck and Rackworth their guns.

A gigantic wolf-headed thing skulks from the shadows at the edge of the camp and approaches the rock. Buck’s shot seems to take it down, Rackworth’s cutlass bites deep into it’s neck as it lies fallen in the mists and then Brendon throws his dynamite. All that remains are shards of faintly glowing rock, and what looks to be a gigantic paw by moonlight.

Wolves howl in the woods.

Cleaning up by light of day, the survivors head back to town to make reports.

  • The giant paw is more easily recognized by day as a large human hand, partially covered by a furred wolf-skin mitt.
  • Left to try and work the mine, or further enhance the hole – the workers experience increasing fractiousness and trouble.
  • Sheriff Tim of Cañon City warns Buck that Forster has posted a warrant for his arrest for the murder of Weibe. Tim’ll have to come looking as County Sheriff in a day or so, and wanted to do Buck the courtesy of a quiet warning. It seems that Liam and some others were able to shed enough doubt on the story recounted to them.
  • With trouble at the mine and trouble in the County, and a successful coal-line serving the Railroad, the Brendons look to relocate to California where a proper school may be found for young Sophia.
  • ‘Soaring Eagle’ Smith is not seen again.
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Recap

The Party found the smoke issuing from the top of the hill. They climbed down a crevasse or fissure to find a pinch-point that only Buck and Colt went to wriggle through. They reported some rocks, maybe some glowing rocks beyond. Colt seems convinced they’re valuable and useful rocks.

Returning up top, there was gunfire from the watchers and a profound belief that wolves were stalking them again. Things settle down and the party rest the night back at the camp, having set boobytraps. Bob dies in the night, no wolves attack.

Sophia runs off at first light on Mr Schnookums, pursued by Buck. He kills her horse, and out heroes return with a stroppy sixteen-year-old tied to the back of a horse.

Returning to Cañon City they go to the Land Registry and register a new Claim on the mine since it’s been unworked in Colt’s name. He agrees to sign all profit from it over to Brendon. The Clerk reports increased interest in the area from a giant, and a deputy. Not one of Tim’s, but one of the Deuputy Marshals, likely one of Forster’s men.

The party return to Sweetwater to find it much improved. Crazy Bill, Schmidt and Scanlon all report that Forster and his deputies have been all over, asking questions, making notes and asking more questions regarding the Brendon posse. Often these questions seem to pertain to Weibe.

Brendon engages Hank Chambers to borrow some of the workforce to excavate the mine area in Wellville. One of Chambers’ larger employees isn’t present and seems to have been unreliable around the full moon in recent months. Brendon posts a bounty on wolf-pelts in the Wellville area.

There’s a quite civil luncheon between Forster and Brendon where they discuss Weibe’s conduct and the night of the explosions, a lot. The deputies present take notes.

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Dances with Wolves

Clearing

In the clearing is an odd bower or shelter around 8’ high and 12’ long. It’s covered with animal hides, appropriately indiginous for the area. The clearing seems natural, rather than man-made, but Freddie Crafts’ initial analysis of the soil and nearby flora doesn’t suggest why this would be a clearing.

Despite growing apprehension and disquiet, Rackworth decisively strides over and slashes at the hides with his cutlass and obligingly a head falls from within the structure to land on the ground. Suddenly, the growing tension that a number of the party had felt in the area dissipates and all is normal for a spring morning in the woods of Colorado.

Inside the structure on 3 racks are a number of bodies, 13 of caucasian ancestry, 2 of the heathen indian race. All of them are dead, but surprisingly unmolested by beasts or ro. They seem mor dried and desiccated than you might expect given the likely age of abandonment of the Wellville camp. All the bodies are turned on their right sides to face east and a short spear is driven into the back of each through the liver. In some of these bodies, it’s apparent that the spearwound is post-mortem.

Also present in the hut is a variety of Indian talismans or trinketry, the cause of Ayasha’s initial ‘Bad Medicine’ assessment. Some are Cheyenne, Some are Cheyenne but unknown to Ayasha since she’s not done a lot of talismanic occult training. Some are not Cheyenne. Samples of many of these are appropriated by Buck.

Investigating further down the path, they find a privy and a convenient outcrop of rock into the stream for washing clothes. The privy contains newspaper dating to 1861 consistent with the camp being abandoned 12 years ago.

Mines

The drift mine slopes shallowly down into the hill. Notably they could do with laying rails to assist the extraction of ore or rubble. Within the mine, there’s an old bloodstain of likely fatal wound and drag marks showing the removal of a body. The surviving nature of the stain indicates that it’s likely not much more excavation was performed after the incident.

There is gold in this hill. Obvious seams within the hillside and the nature of the sediment and creekbed show likely to be a good area for gold. The shaft continues to follow path of lesser resistance in an exploratory fashion while the claim is explored.

At the end of the tunnel there is some slight air movement. Experimentation with some exhaled smoke shows that air is going into a finger-width fissure in the rock. The crack is deep enough and uneven enough that Rackworth’s cutlass won’t penetrate more than a couple of inches though.

A provisional plan is made to light a smoky fire at the tunnel end and then search the slopes of the hillside for some chimney or other entrance where the smoke may issue from. Wood and greener leaves and foliage is gathered for this endeavour. An elk is shot by Liam and the party have a fine dinner. The camp is prepared with lanterns and watches arranged.

Night

Around 2am a couple of the people on watch hear a wolf howl to the north of the camp. Liam starts dynamiting the woods to the south of the camp which brings the sleepers awake (except Rackworth who was resolute in his slumbers until his medical skills were required later on).
Some wandering about and squinting at the darkness occurs with only a couple of cases of nearly mistaken identity in the gloom.

Mist rises, and a number of wolves attack with oddly careful tactics, seeming maybe to lure people from the shelter of buildings and to wait patiently before pressing an advantage. Crafts is bitten badly in the calf and arm, Brendon is bitten and all the visible wolves are slain. Seen close to, it’s apparent to Crafts that there is strangeness as an attacking wolf’s eyes darken and fade somewhat from blue to a more usual brown/hazel.

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If it bleeds, we can kill it

The Party do some heroic downtime research finding the names of survivors from the USGS survey team involving Halloran and Bolland.
Other research shows a mining camp optimistically called Wellville in the hills southwest of Cañon City. This was in the area surveyed by the team and also a location of claims subsequently owned by Bolland.

Sweetwater is healing from it’s many wounds and has a much more established demeanour (( please send me a PM with any of the things I said that I’ve forgotten)). One new Arrival is Freddie Crafts, a rancher with 2 young men and a boy in tow. Since he’s just travelled in by that road, our heroes take Crafts along on the 2 day ride out to the old Wellville Camp. On the way, they discover Mr Crafts has the soul of a poet, and a fondness for gazing at the stars in order to contemplate heavenly glory. Rackworth attepts to peddle cures for pederasts to him.

The camp is deserted and overgrown. Valuables have been taken, and provisions so the place wasn’t evacuated in a complete panic. Things that do remain are blankets and low value awkward to carry things like cot beds. People probably left too swiftly to organise wagons.

A path leads away from the camp through the woods alongside the creek. Ayasha scouts and reports a clearing with ‘Bad Medicine’ in it. Our heroes head down the dark dark path, with unease creeping into their bones with every step.

BANG! Rackworth kills a bush.
whicker Buck hears what sounds like Indian ponies further up the ridge in the forest but can’t see them.
BOOM! Liam throws dynamite at a different bush.

And the party charge into the clearing in good(!) order.

roll initiative

[Next session is Sep 12th for WoD. (D+D on 5th Sept ) ]

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Trials of Life

Mr Brendon is acquitted by a quality legal team, and some canny preparations. Also, he was innocent, but they weren’t going to let that be the sole decider.

Mr Bolland, finely muttonchopped manager of the AT+SF RR company is apparently dead. Slain by something with anger management issues. Identification is hard to be conclusive. The corpse is a man of the appropriate size and build of Bolland. The housekeeper reports Bolland retiring for the evening as usual to his room. Closer examination of the hairline and fragments of face skin appear to be similar to Bolland’s hair. Mr Fincher of AT+SF will provide a positive ID of the body, once he’s finished throwing up.

Sophia investigates newspaper archives and discovers that Bolland owns a number of claims in the hills around. Hanlon, the dead rancher from last month, was a member of an army scout survey team for the USGS several years ago. Martin Ryan of the Cañon City Express will dig further regarding any potential claims and more specific areas surveyed.

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Isn't the city exciting (part 2)

The execution of Charles Sullivan approaches.

  1. Sophia experiments with places to conceal a hatpin.
  2. Dr Brendon, Buck, Ayasha and Colt carefully observe a nondescript house a few blocks away from the hotel.
  3. Rackworth awaits concealed under the boardwalk of the jail for potential rescuers
  4. Liam has rounded up some additional assistance and is returning to the jail to ‘carry out his orders’
  5. Hired hunters loiter near the jail
  6. Acting Sheriff Tim Hanshaw hopes you’ll all go away
  7. The manager of the Imperial Hotel fields messages for the absent Mr Brendon

Also, Buck is contemplating sending Ayasha off to the jail to get some additional help (Not sure in the packing up whether Brendon noticed this possibility or whether it’d merit discussion)

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Isn't the City Exciting!
Tokyo's Shopping

I am just loving our little vacation in the city. Daddy’s taken me to see some shows, I’ve gotten fantastic new outfits, and I looked simply divine during the trial… however short. Daddy did not seem pleased, but I’ve been having too much fun to worry about what he’s up to.

There are even some handsome men here!

I have ordered a beautiful Maccaw and cannot wait for it to arrive. An Aviary is being built at our new house for it. Puppy seems well too, such a moron but let it not be said that I never help the needy!

It’s not all sunshine though, some horrid little brat stole my purse! I could not believe such audacity. Daddy made up for it by buying me a better one though, so it could be worse I suppose…

Kisses,

T

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Implementing the plan

Well, I must say that my plan is going rather well so far. Those brigands played right into my hands by taking out the sheriff on the train, that was really overstepping a mark! The evidence that they were behind the attacks on the ATSF assets was planted successfully (so my men inform me), and although they won’t believe it’s authentic, after the blatant attack on the lawman the ATSF would be fools not to go along with it.

Taking out the enemy troops was hard going, and brought up some memories I’d rather have left undisturbed, but went about as well as these things ever can. The hunters handled themselves pretty well, given that they are not military men whilst their opponents most certainly were. They disrupted the enemies’ retreat and held them in place long enough for the posse lead by myself and Buck to get to the scene without riding into an ambush. Once there my inspiring leadership and body of more experienced men was enough to sweep through the disrupted foe, smashing aside what little resistance they could offer.

Better still, Buck managed to take one of the enemy alive, which allows us to move to phase three of the plan. We need to make sure he stands trial, and that the ATSF are called upon to give evidence of how his band tried to blackmail them. Being seen to turn on their own, and hang them out to dry when things get rough should put a dent in their ability to move against us again in this way. To take best advantage of this, I think we need someone to put word out that these men really did work for ATSF. Perhaps Liam could use his contacts? However this plays out, I want to make sure everyone knows not only the depths ATSF are prepared to sink to, but also how fast they are to turn on their own in the face of trouble. If we can do this well enough to make the few survivors who escaped us go after them for vengance, that would be positively delicious…

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Tokyo's Plans
While you were out shooting people...

So, Tokyo’s been seriously traumatised lately. Her dog’s died, she nearly killed Alex, Daddy nearly died! And her house has been blown to pieces.

As it’s only been a couple of days since the last ‘event’, she is quite upset about her father going out again. She’s busied herself for some of the time organising for a new house to be built, and having the livery’s buildings stabilised and such.

The new house will be about 100yd further down the road than the old one, further from the town. She’s also going to insist on a chapel being installed near to where the sheriff’s compound was. Obviously, God is angry with us for not doing this sooner!

She’s also taken a trip to Canon City to commission some new dresses and a baby Macaw to be brought in from Mexico. She’s bought a new puppy there for the meantime. It’s a mongrel called Cinderella.

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Damage Limitation

Rackworth maintains composure and treats the wounded
Sophia enlists the help of the tent city trappers to donate furs to keep the disposessed and wounded warm
Colt displays admirable common sense regarding potentially explosive buildings and also helps with makeshift repairs and firefighting
Alex fails to find explosives at Chateau Brendon
Liam and Buck apprehend Alex and Higgs in the action of ‘investigating’ the Chateau
Mr Brendon makes a tough decision

OOC
It’s 3 RL weeks until next session.
Get the story straight regarding what happened to Alex! He was seen post explosion by a number of townsfolk. He was also seen leaving towards the station by several.
Even if you don’t send a message of condolence to Governor McCook – you’ll want to explain his sudden absence to Rackworth and Colt and Sophia.

Other things on the go:

  • Investigating rumours of sabotage at the ATSF – Mr Colt was earmarked for equipment inspection
  • Keeping an eye on Jared and the Surveyors
  • The Grand Plan – Might be missing its accountancy analyst – maybe see if Sophia has a head for numbers?
  • Strange things afoot involving mist and attacks, possibly indian related
  • The Grand opening of the Railroad station and railyards at Cañon City – UPRR is the current provider. (ATSF have also purchased land for sheds and rolling stock in anticipation of getting track up there at some point.
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