Lars, a young boy returning home to Deadwood to visit the graves of his parents after barely surviving several harrowing experiences of his own out in the west.
Sancho, a simple Mexican cook on a train to nowhere he intends to be.
Anneelia, a young museum employee who may be more than she seems.
Asher Konstantine, a learned man, a scientist, not quite part of this world, but enough so to cause trouble.
Four strangers, together in the passenger car of a train, heading east from Washington through the Rockies. Most of them are intending to be dropped off at Deadwood, the next stop for the train. None of them suspected the surprises in store on this ride, although one of them carries their own dark secret back in the baggage car.
The summary thus far:
Lars, after fidgeting in the passenger car for a while, heads to the baggage car to snoop around. However, he is stopped by Harold the Cook who states that no one is allowed back without the accompaniment of a conductor. Lars fast talks him into letting him by just to grab something he needed. He succeeds, and heads back. In the baggage car he rifles through everyone’s belongings, coming up with $10 and a gatling pistol. He doesn’t do much investigating of the giant crate in the middle of the car that states it is a museum object, and heads back out. He has a seat at the bar and orders a meal with part of the $10 he had just pilfered.
In the passenger car, Asher shares a drink with the quiet Mexican who is staring happily out the window. Soon after, Sancho leaves the passenger and makes HIS way to the dining car, sitting next to Lars. Harold the Cook charges Sancho twice as much as he did the boy and comes back with half the food, which Sancho does not immediately notice.
After he finishes his pickle, Asher leaves the passenger car to procure some dinner for himself. When Harold charges him $2 instead of 4 and brings him a full plate, Sancho DOES notice the lesser treatment he has received and begins spouting off in Spanish, which only Asher understands. He takes it upon himself to translate and soon there is a stare-down between Harold the Cook and Sancho as the latter tries to force his way into the kitchen to show Harold how to truly cook. Sadly, the deaf Mexican is cowed by the icy stare of the train’s cook and returns quietly to his seat. Asher gives his food to his new acquaintance just as Anneelia arrives in the dining car and attempts to talk the cook out of his bigoted ways. She does not succeed.
Behind them, a poker game ensues, and a well-dressed weasely man puts forth his treasure map as collateral, then wins the hand with a card that was hidden up his sleeve. Asher quickly follows him to the next baggage car and confronts him, demanding the treasure map to keep his mouth shut. The gambler says it is a family heirloom that was made by his grandfather and leads to a treasure buried outside of deadwood. He can not give it away, but would part with it for $50, as his health prevents him from looking for it himself.
Just as the handoff happens, there is a massive explosion from up ahead and the brakes are slammed on, throwing everyone about. Anneelia flies across the dining car, spraining her ankle quite badly. Everyone else comes out unscathed (from the party, anyway, the other passengers are all quite hurt), and Asher returns to the dining car and flings open the door to hop out and examine the explosion. As soon as he opens the door a bullet ricochets off of the train car and the group realizes it’s a train robbery!
A group of men come out from the woods, firing madly at anyone they can see. The party quickly returns fire. Anneelia quickly incapacitates a couple of them while the rest of the group continues whittling their numbers down. Suddenly, a hissing object flies through the window and rolls under the table. It’s dynamite! Everyone realizes this but Sancho, who doesn’t see it come through the window and can’t hear it. After flinging a conductors step stool at one of the bandits, he gropes for another makeshift weapon and finds something under the table. Standing, he realizes it is a lit stick of dynamite. Anneelia quickly pulls it from his hand and races across to the window, with cover fire being provided by Lars and his newly-found gatling pistol. Asher rushes over and grabs it from her and moves to throw it out the door but drops it at his feet accidentally and quickly kicks it, where it explodes in midair just outside the train.
Just as the group breathes a sigh of relief, another stick of dynamite flies into the train. Anneelia goes to throw this one out the door, and it hits the top of the door and drops to the ground just outside the dining car. Everyone quickly moves to escape out the backside of the car except Sancho, who moves too slowly.
Outside, the rest of the group sees that Harold the Cook has not been idle. While they were fighting off the bandits, he has been dragging everyone he could find outside and patching them up as best he can. Asher crouches and sneaks through the snow to the boulder the bandits’ leader is hiding behind. He leaps up and shoots the bandit leader just as the second stick of dynamite explodes in the dining car, and a slightly singed Sancho steps outside, smoke rising from his poncho, saying “Fuego…” and charges one of the men, squeezing him in a bear hug and bursting his stomach, dropping the limp form of the robber into the snow.
Asher fires at the leader, injuring him, but is shot point-blank in turn by the bandit leader’s rifle, dropping the scientist to the ground unconscious and severely wounded. Anneelia and Lars sneak around the car to the boulder and Lars leaps at the leader, wrapping his arms around his neck and choking him into unconsciousness. Anneelia quickly ties him to the boulder as Lars throws his bola at the last remaining bandit, entangling him and knocking him down. He throws a second bola at him and entangles his neck, chocking this bandit into unconsciousness as well.
Sancho comes and removes the constricting bola from the bandit’s throat as Harold comes around and notices Asher, quickly tending to his wounds and performing field surgery on him to get him up and running again.
At this point, Anneelia says that her partner from the museum is missing, along with the baggage car and caboose. Harold says the entire night crew is also missing. He volunteers to stay and help the survivors and watch the captured bandits and Anneelia talks the party into joining her in searching for her companion and the train crew. They agree.
They walk back down the tracks, down the mountain, the air growing heavier around them, the trees starting to feel dark and foreboding. They find the cars derailed and search them. The crate has been broken from the inside and blood is everywhere. At this point, Anneelia realizes she needs to come clean and tells them that she actually works for the government and is transporting a strange creature to a secret research facility in Duluth to discover what it is. It has obviously escaped, killed several people, and dragged the others into the hills. She feels that while it is not safe to go after it now as dark approaches, they need to find the creature and recapture or kill it, and hopefully find survivors. As she finishes her tale they find themselves back at the main train and determine that they will head back down the hill early in the morning to hunt down this strange creature.
PCs—I just jotted down the overall story, not including anything that everyone wouldn’t know. If I missed anything major that you would like me to add in, just let me know and I’ll edit it. Other than that, that’s it until next session!