Episode Guide for

Ghost Rock Reckoning

Return to Main Article: Ghost Rock Reckoning

Episode Guide

Each weekend, the players assembled to play what has been designated as an episode. Each week, a recap of the most recent episode’s happenings was posted to allow those who have been missing for many or few episodes to get a feel for what they have missed. 

Episode 1

Date: May 27, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: FEB 17, 1884. The half-breed Indian child who only knew his name as “Boy” shivered in the back of the baggage car during a bitterly cold day on the Denver Pacific rail line. Stowing away on the 410 Engine from Denver to Cheyenne was already a sketchy proposition, but whatever spirits of his Native people that had always guided and protected him, lead him to his current situation. Others were also on the train heading into Cheyenne, but they enjoyed more creature comforts. Jody Wales was an undertaker by trade and had heard of new opportunities out west. John Dutton traveled to prospect land in Wyoming for his cattle business. Jeeth Smith was always looking for opportunities for the next big payoff. Camile Lafitte was heading west to parlay her scouting skills into wealth. The Lupescu sisters, outsiders to just about everyone, sat quietly in their seats, with their cart and donkey stowed near the back of the train. As the 410 Engine pulled into Cheyenne, most of the party stretched from the 100-mile trip and sauntered into town on a quiet Sunday morning. While many of the PCs went out to gamble, Dutton strode directly to the Bank of the Northern Hemisphere, finding it closed. Pivoting, he sought out the bank president at his home, and brusquely convinced him to allow a withdraw. Getting back on the train as it headed west, the party settled into the saloon car, while Boy moved back to his patch in baggage. It wasn’t too long before the child head banging from inside a coffin, and he sought to free whoever was trapped inside. Richard “Deadeye Dick" Carson thought someone had pranked him, by conking him on the head and stuffing him inside a coffin. Up and about, he strode through the train, not recognizing the horrid smells coming from his body. With that not being enough, the train car jolted as it derailed from the tracks. With the PCs mostly unharmed, the party found two masked men with three horses galloping toward to the partially destroyed train, as the conductor seemed to be wandering about. The shooting started quickly, with the PCs skinned their smoke wagons to pick off the desperados as they arrived. Leaving the train car, the party was set upon by a patchwork man who had been lurking around the rear of the caboose. The Boy used his shape changing power to take a wolf form, and with his engaging the patchwork man, the rest of the party attacked from a distance, destroying it. Soon after, a stagecoach from Howell arrived to pick up the PCs, compliments of James Williamson Bosler.

Combat: Two seasoned gunslingers were picked off before they closed to rob the train, while a patchwork man was destroyed in a mix of ranged and melee combat.

Episode 2

Date: June 3, 2023

Attendance: David, Jason, Joe, Kelli, Kourtnie, Tommy

Summary: FEB 18, 1884. Clear and crisp morning skies greeted the party compared to the blizzard conditions that ended their day the previous evening. Jay the driver did a monumental task of getting the PCs along with their gear and animals overland in his stagecoach for everyone to arrive safely at Mr. Bosler’s Eighth of a Bar Ranch, just down the road from the town of Howell. Although most of the party slept in the bunkhouse overnight, John was afforded the comforts of the main house, as the rest of the PCs were subjected to the intense stench generated by Deadeye Dick. During the night, both the Boy and Edgewalker seemed to be nudged awake by something, but after looking around, found no one of note, although the Boy did recognize something odd about the windmill. In the morning, Jody came to the Boy’s defense as a farmhand attempted to bully him while the rest of the party sought out local information from Jay, with Jareth mounting up his horse to head into Laramie, bypassing a meeting with Mr. Bosler. When John and Jody did meet with Mr. Bosler, the duo was informed of the impending calamity in Wyoming: that most of the tall-tales folks heard back east were true. Realizing an opportunity to help the greater good and to make money, John convinced Bosler to sell him the town of Howell, which lay on the property owned by the latter. Camile and Edgewalker explored the area to find the Bosler property butted up against the territory of the Sioux Nation and all ranch buildings had a fetish attached for reasons unspecified. Unknown settlers were also spied from a distance, but time did not allow for investigation. After each PC (sans Jareth) met with Mr. Bosler, trips into Howell for various reasons found a town of 49 folks but lacking most of what the party wanted. Curiosity and the desire to better outfit gear, the party ran into Jareth on the road to Laramie, as everyone (sans the Boy) investigated the town of 3800, visiting several stores, but also looking for information involving the attempted train robbery from the previous day. At sunset, the party returned to the ranch, with only Jareth staying behind in Laramie. That evening, the Boy was nudged again, but from elsewhere. Wandering outside, he heard sounds of combat from a distance, north of the ranch. Shapeshifting into an owl, he investigated the commotion from above: three wagons of settlers were being murdered by hulking monstrosities. Retuning to bed, the Boy found a crow’s feather lying on his pillow.

Combat: None, although the Boy did get close enough to witness what was killing the settlers.

Episode 3

Date: June 10, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: FEB 19, 1884. Even after a long sleep in the Eighth of the Bar Ranch bunkhouse, Deadeye Dick was still in a state of confusion, consternation, and orneriness that just about anyone or anything that crossed his path that morning was subjected to his meanspirited disagreeable contrariness, including the bunkhouse guard and the housekeeper at Mr. Bosler’s house. Regardless, his cravings for meat continued his bitterness as the rest of the party awoke in either Howell or at the ranch. At the Tiger Hotel in town, folks were eating breakfast, when young Ed Bannon rode in spewing stories of Indians eating settlers. Cooler heads prevailed, the party sent the lad on his way home, and the PCs returned to the ranch via Jay’s stagecoach, while Wales saddled up to trail Ed. When the Boy (Tommy’s PC) awoke, he found himself gently covered by a blanket from Darklis, while she waited for her sister’s return. Curious about what he witnessed the previous evening, the Boy trekked north of the ranch, finding a disgruntled Deadeye Dick to travel with. The shrill cry of “Schminky” broke the silence of the morning as the other Lupescu sister arrived with most of the party reunited. Still wanting to investigate Ed’s claims, the PCs mounted up in the stagecoach, picking up the Boy and the Dick traveling north, while at the same time, Wales gathered Ed and Ed’s father to help him investigate his son’s claims. The party arrived together to witness Sioux warriors picking for the three destroyed Conestoga wagons. Overly precautious PCs made certain to do everything possible to prevent hostilities, and with Edgewalker’s wisdom and Darklis’s spells, Dutton was able to keep the peace even when half of the Sioux became skittish. Younger Bear communicated the Native Americans were also investigating the calamity heard from their territory last night and reiterated it was not their doing. A closer look found a family of 11 crushed to death by 3 or more massive creatures. Before leaving the area, the Boy spoke with Younger Bear to negotiate a meeting with Broken Feather (the local elder) at noon the next day, and after bodies were buried, all parties returned home. After finalizing ownership document with Thomisee, Dutton called for a town meeting mid-morning, offering warm beverages at the Tiger Hotel to help assuage the bitter cold. Soon after, local townsfolk reported a fire at the Bannon house. Wales and Lafitte rode out to find the family of 6 was killed in the same way as the settlers.

Combat: None, but things were tense when meeting with the Sioux.

Episode 4

Date: June 17, 2023

Attendance: James B., Jason, Joe, Tommy

Summary: FEB 20, 1884. At least Jareth Smith was warm before he walked out onto the streets of Laramie, with single digit temperatures hitting him in the face, nothing like the more temperate conditions he was accustomed to back East. Regardless, there were custom items to pick up from different places, information to track down, and party members to reconnect with, so he got on his way. Back in Howell, the rest of the party was finishing glad-handing citizens and reporting what had been seen at the Bannon house, but the sun was getting high in the sky (near that large bird) and appointments needed to be kept. As Smith rode into Howell, Dutton asked him to accompany the rest of the party to the meeting with the Lakota shaman Broken Feather and the Sioux party at the site of the settler massacre. Again, with all parties trying their best to avoid conflict, the PCs and the Sioux were able to communicate about the murders which were the result of foolish whites digging up a Lakota burial site, meant as a prison for a powerful manitou. Broken Feather and Younger Bear both agreed to help deal with the issue, but also handed over a white mercantile owner found wandering in their territory. Samuel Oswald Speirs claimed to have lost his wagon train during a trip through the Sioux Nation from Deadwood, but he was thankful for his rescue by the Lakota. Agreeing to meet again in the evening, the PCs decided to set up an ambush at the Bannon house for the creatures The Boy witnessed two nights earlier. Using Broken Feather’s casting, the party was endowed with the spirit of the buffalo and used this boon to winnow down four marauding creatures as they attacked during the evening hours. It was Dutton’s rifle skills, along with Carson’s and Smith’s smoke wagons which put the beasts down, which later reverted into the bodies of white soldiers. Dealing with the soldiers’ remains, the party returned to Bosler’s ranch the next morning, to drop off Speirs, and then to make plans for the rest of the day. Before leaving, The Boy spoke with Broken Feather about what his sleep disruptions might be all about. Questions about missing cowboys from the ranch led to finding Buck Carson dead nearby, with body perforated with holes. Looking for more firepower and perhaps manpower, the party eventually stopped by Howell on their way to Laramie for this and that. Staying at the Silver Star Inn, Smith reached out to local gangs to set up meetings with their leadership.

Combat: The party destroyed four soldiers, warped into buffalo men by the power of a powerful manitou.

Episode 5

Date: June 24, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: FEB 23, 1884. Camile Lafitte was good at everything except the things that she could not do, and one of the things she could do was gamble and drink at the Tiger Saloon in Howell, fleecing the locals alongside her comrade, Darklis Lupescu. There just were not that many folks in town for her to take money from (including that shady fellow who downed his whiskies), but just the same, it allowed for her to while the time away as she waited for the rest of the party to reunite. As Deadeye Dick and Dutton returned from Laramie, preparations were made for the PCs to travel into the Sioux Nation territory to retrieve items left behind by Mr. Speirs during his fateful travel from Deadwood. Although the day was bitterly cold, The Boy made things easier for Dick to travel when he was able to coax a horse to allow the Harrowed gunslinger to ride atop it. Heading north, the party met up with Younger Bear and a group of Lakota scouts who escorted the PCs north to ensure other Native Americans did not see this as an act of aggression. During the night, the party was accosted by a group of animated hands which served as a distraction for a singular patchwork man to sneak into the camp and attack the group. Contrasting the last patchwork man the party encountered, this one was made of up Native American parts compared to the Caucasian parts seen outside of Laramie. The party defeated the creature and were left unscathed, with Dick counting coup upon the dying monster, lessening his usual stench. The next morning, the party burned the body and continued their travels to the Blackfoot Sioux encampment where Broken Feather and Chief Kill Eagle sized them up. Information was shared about how the Head of the Circle Sioux north of the encampment craved war with the whites in the south, but they had been calmed for now. During that evening, Dick found himself in a precarious situation awakening to find someone had stolen his pants but left his boots and gun belt on. His troubles seemed to continue as next day during his ride, as the buckle on his saddle had been loosened and he almost took a spill in front of a group of Head of the Circle Sioux who were looking for a fight. Cooler heads prevailed and even as Red Bow tried to not like the party, there remained a need to show strength against the group of outsiders. Challenging the party to first blood in single combat, The Boy stepped forward and cowed his adversary as he shaped changed into a wolf.

Combat: Although the animated hands annoyed the party, none of them were killed. However, another patchwork man (from Sioux parts) was dispatched.

Episode 6

Date: July 1, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: FEB 28, 1884. It seemed it would be a foregone conclusion that once the Boy had forced the Head of Circle (or End Village) Sioux warrior to capitulate during the “first blood” challenge, Red Bow and his war party would allow the strangers to pass without issue. However, once the Boy had reverted from his wolf form back into a human form, all the Sioux became agitated, drawing weapons, and shouting aspersions about how the Boy was the creature tearing apart their warriors in the north. It was Edgewalker channeling the spirit of Mato to show peace amongst all parties and cooler heads prevailed. The PCs and their Blackfoot retinue continued north to find Chief Four Horns of the End Village tribe preparing to celebrate his daughter, Burnt Thighs, would marry off to the chief’s son of another Sioux tribe, Snow Owl of the Two Kettles. As the party was wearily welcomed, several PCs went off to investigate what they could, finding the marriage was an arranged one to resolve the ongoing conflict between the End Village and Two Kettles over a mutually sought after area on the Cheyenne River called the Smoke River Gully. With the party spreading out to speak with several NPCs, the group concluded the wagon train with Mr. Speirs’ property was north of the conflict, but the PCs need to lend a hand to ensure either side would not seem them as an aggressor. A half-Native scout named Frank Leaphorn was tasked with leading the party, sans Younger Bear and the Blackfoot warriors, deeper into the Sioux Nations territory with word of how the marriage will put a stop to the conflict and to deal with a particular Two Kettles shaman named Blue Legs who continued to perpetuate the tension with supposed new-found powers. During the evening before their departure, Deadeye Dick seemed a bit touched in the head when he awoke in the night, spouting off about his desire to play cards with Darklis on the next full moon and threatening to murder a sleeping Wales during an evening watch. Traveling north and east, the party spied a group of permanent settlements through the unnatural fog and learned a “golden hair” group named the Hawthorn lived in the Smoke River Gully prior to either Sioux tribes’ arrival. Overcoming the desire to split the party, the PCs arrived at the End Village battle lines to meet with Red Bow again. Crossing the Cheyenne River, the party peacefully encountered Two Kettles camps finding most warriors wanted peace, but not everyone enjoyed that proposition.

Combat: None.

Episode 7

Date: July 8, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kourtnie, Leigh

Summary: MAR 3, 1884. After meeting a bevy of Lakota chiefs (and one half-Chippewa scout), the party sat down in the evening and discussed the details of their time in the Sioux Nations into the middle of the night. As tired as they had been, there was no doubt about how the two warring tribes of the End Village and Two Kettles seemed to want to be done with their territorial fighting, but something just kept pushing them on. The night was cold and dark with the campfire affording some sense of warmth under the moonless sky. Whether it was her mystic nature or her keen senses, it was Darklis that noticed movement around the camp, and she quickly notified the party. With her fellow PCs splitting away from the main group to investigate a possible ambush, the combat started with a bound End Village brave being set ablaze with kerosene while two assailants lurked away. The party was surprised to find the enemy that night was not humans, but a half-dozen group of wolflings. Although successful at splitting the party, the PCs were able to overwhelm the enemy as gun-toting party members relented and fired their pistols in the Sioux Nations territory. Less than a minute later, the wolflings were killed, but the burned brave also passed. Collecting the bodies, the party returned south across the Cheyenne River to find the End Village camp for Brave Drum. Before their arrival, The Boy (also called Skinwalker) spoke to Dutton about an odd stone rectangle he spotted farther east while out hunting with his owl familiar. Wales made a side-quest visit to Nuxvar, finding the “golden hair” Hawthorn people with only a few who spoke English. Information was shared about how the Hawthorn tried their best to stay out of the conflict between the Lakota tribes, but also of their terror of the wolflings return after being saved ages ago by the “great shaman” who protected them. Dutton spoke with the chief/shaman Brave Drum, encouraging a spirit quest for answers. The visions mentioned showed images of a Lakota warrior using a flint and steel (like the white man) method for lighting many fires but using large crystals instead. That evening, Leaphorn requested a night’s leave to check in on some friends in the area. While others bedded down for the evening, Deadeye Dick became crazed, searching out Wales to antagonize. While dropping his pants (again), Wales beaned him in the head with a shovel, and gave him a proper burial. In the morning, Dutton dug him up, and sought to mend his pants.

Combat: The party was able to outmatch an ambush set up by six wolflings.

Episode 8

Date: July 15, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 5, 1884. Not much had changed weather-wise, but at least there wasn’t any snow as the party prepared to head out to find Blue Legs, the source of conflict between the two Lakota tribes in their vying for the territory along the Cheyenne River. Again, Frank was sent out ahead of the party to scout the plains along the north side of the frozen river in the territory held by the Two Kettles, unbeknownst to him that a Sioux war party fell in behind the area he scouted and lay in wait for the PCs to come along. Soon enough, the party followed along the same path, and were attacked by a 20-brave horse-mounted war party (sporting the trappings of Eagle Bear), which swarmed across the hard scrabble, firing arrows into the PCs. The Boy was struck down almost immediately and died a valiant death. The remainder of the party used shrew tactics and Darklis’s spellcasting to route the war party, taking most of the Sioux captive. Choosing to imprisonment over execution, the PCs returned to Brave Drum’s camp with their captives, explaining their desire to continue to maintain peaceful relations with the Sioux Nations and how the visiting whites were going above and beyond to prevent any sort of war. Rather than go back out into the cold of the evening, the party decided to bivouac at Brave Drum’s campsite and continue in the morning. That evening, a tall, but disheveled figure wandered into camp. Claiming his name to be Big John, he mentioned how he didn’t remember how he survived a shaft collapse at an abandoned mine, but he was able to dig his way out left only with his clothes and his maul surviving. Edgewalker immediately suspected him to be a Harrowed and he was brought with the party when they left in the morning. Deadeye Dick made sure his manitou remained complacent during the night by leaving notes for the creature while he slept. As morning came, the party set out in a different direction, not retracing their steps, to find Blue Legs. As they traveled, the keen eyes of Wales noticed possible wolfling activity ahead of them, as they reached the Two Lance camp and later an out-of-place 10-foot stone rectangle covered with runes. Using spellcasting to read and their collective wits to decipher a riddle, the party accessed a portal leading them to an underground area of perfectly hewn stone. Combat ensued with the Two Kettles braves waiting inside, but the PCs made quick work of them with the Deal with the Devil powered spellcasting, thanks to Darklis.

Combat: The PCs were ambushed by a large Sioux war party, but were able to turn the tide in their favor. However, the Boy was killed.

Episode 9

Date: July 22, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 7, 1884. The battle just finished when Big John stepped through the portal into what could be best described as a climate-controlled environment made of perfectly hewn stone and an unknown source of ambient lighting. The Two Kettles warriors lay dead from the PCs’ hands, and the party was eager to move along when the rest of the team arrived. Noticing a granite statue laid aside, Jody and Big Dick returned the figure to its pedestal and were surprised to see the stone etch itself into the magically translated words of “My Beloved Rose”. Checking two closets, the PCs found a bound female wolfling, but were unable to communicate with her regardless of interpreter nor Ed’s spellcasting. Unbinding the wolfling but locking her in the closet, the PCs continued down the left hallway, walking into a statuary of children and various creatures, which showed slight animation until Ed’s translation of names were spoken aloud. A wizard-marked door piqued the curiosity of Jody, and he entered a dimly lit room, finding a stone plinth with a blue orb atop. Touching the orb, Jody activated a pre-programmed illusion of a woman named Genevieve Adolphe who warned of releasing the murderers she had shown mercy to, by binding their lifeforces into the (missing) crystals. Moving along, the party passed through the area, finding another room like the statuary, but filled with strips of bright cloth from torn dresses and a wall filled with toys, particularly with a box of OGELs. Hearing commands being barked past the next door, the party attempted to engage in conversation with leadership, who the PCs deduced as Blue Legs. Using sound tactics, the PCs were able to outflank the enemy group, but it was the creativity of Darklis using the bright strips of cloth as a trapping for her entangle spell which gained her an audience with the real Genevieve herself. Sharing that the whole area was a dedication to her daughter Rose, Genevieve negated the spellcasting ability of Blue Legs, leading to his death and forcing a capitulation by Whale and the Two Kettle braves. Discussing the matter, the party decided to slaughter the wolflings (including the captive female) and return through the portal. Wanting to get home, the PCs sent Frank on to inform the End Village war chiefs of Blue Legs’ demise, while the party traveled through Two Kettles territories with bodies and captives doing the same.  Eagle Bear was taken back to Four Horns where he was executed. The PCs retrieved the Speirs safes and headed back to home.

Combat: Out of the two combats, the first resulted in the deaths of five Two Kettles brave. The second resulted in the deaths of Blue Legs with two Two Kettles braves, and six wolfling warriors (plus the captured wolfling later). Whale and four Two Kettles braves were taken captive.

Episode 10

Date: August 5, 2023

Attendance: James B., Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh

Summary: MAR 13, 1884. Deadeye Dick awoke to another chilly morning in the Wyoming Territory, but at least he was in a familiar setting at the Eighth of the Bar Ranch, and, just as importantly, he had his pants on. It was good to be back in civilization, and not in the Sioux Nations, and already he was making deals with Mr. Speirs involving a pair of new six-shooters. However, he and the Lupescu Sisters noticed a pall about the ranch, and further investigating found several dismal details: Mr. Bosler’s youngest daughter had fallen into a coma, Mayor Thomisee had been shot, Howell’s bank had been robbed, and the town had been terrorized during the PCs’ absence. Deciding to deal with the town first, the party had Jay transport them to Howell for some investigation, but, on the way, encountered a starving Welsh minister named Father Colin (or to others, Priest Holmes). Mistaking him for Mr. Crow, the desperate preacher found favor with Dead Eye Dick, who gave him some money for food, although Holmes had worn out his welcome in Howell. Returning to town, the party interacted with several town citizens to find a rough group led by a former lawman named Simon Macht had been asking around for James Dutton, and caused a significant amount of trouble for the town when they were told he was unavailable, in so much the Tiger Saloon was partially set on fire and Mayor Thomisee was shot when he tried to force the cowboys to leave. To make matters worse, a totally separate pair of desperados rode into town and cleaned out the First Federal Trust Company before making their getaway. Desperate for help, Mayor Thomisee begrudgingly appointed Dead Eye Dick as Sheriff Dick, while making the Lupescu Sisters town deputies. Before long, one of the Macht’s cowboys named Rufus returned and the party was able to capture him before any shooting started. Deals were dealt, and the party agreed to meet Macht and his cowboys near “the tree that looks like a skull” between Howell and Laramie. Returning to the bank, Darklis used her power to object read Banker Gordon Walsh’s pocket watch to recreate the scene when the robbery occurred, finding a clue on the arm of one of the desperados: the symbol of The Devil Crew. Holmes was able to use the power of God to better heal Thomisee, and accompanied the party to a showdown with Macht, who vowed to return in three days for Dutton. In Laramie, the PCs contacted Sheriff Gaines to announce their intentions of confronting the Devil Crew.

Combat: Things got dicey with Rufus, but the party was able to overpower him before he could get a shot off.

Episode 11

Date: August 12, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 14, 1884. John Dutton had his mind on his money, and his money on his mind. Back from his excursion into the Sioux Nations, he was anxious to get to the task of building up Howell, to better protect the town from things that might threaten it. The direct task of building became complicated with news of the town bank being robbed and groups of armed men looking to run Dutton out of the territory. Grabbing their horses, Dutton, Wales, and Big John headed out to Laramie to find the rest of the party and to learn what they could. In Laramie, Darklis and Edgewalker Lupescu with Sheriff Dick were doing their own investigating, after talking with Laramie’s sheriff about why the Devil Crew, who were involved in the Howell bank robbery, have never been arrested. With all the party reunited in Laramie, Jay retuned the Lupescus Sisters and Priest Holmes back to the Eighth of the Bar Ranch to investigate the ailing of Mr. Bosler’s daughter, while the rest of the party reached out the local newspapers, with Dutton meeting directly with Boomerang editor Bill Nye, to locate Simon Macht, the man looking to eject Dutton from the Wyoming Territory. Back at the Eighth of the Bar Ranch, Darklis and Edgewalker investigated Helen Louise’s room to determine if her coma was fostered by an outside source, and using their detection abilities, they found some sort of device embedded in a stuffed bear. Further scrutinizing the device, but away from the house, the Darklis and Edgewalker inadvertently released a cloud which caused Holmes to become ill. While Edgewalker used protection magic, Darklis used her object read power to learn the device was implanted into the stuffed bear by Suzanna the housekeeper who received a reload several times over the years. Informing Mr. Bosler, he was receptive, but had a tough time believing something like this could happen and agreed to keep things quiet until more could be learned. Back in Laramie, the PCs were able to track down Macht to the Big Tent Saloon, with Sheriff Dick taking the lead to talk, then leaving for Dutton to arrive and chat. Although both were amiable, Dutton and Macht could not agree on his status. While Dutton left and Macht meandered after him, Wales initiated hostilities with Macht’s men while Big John purposely put himself into the situation. Combat ensued with Big John “releasing the devil”, killing Macht and his group, then performing cannibalism in front of astonished onlookers.

Combat: Wales ventilated one of Macht's henchmen, while Big John chewed up Macht and the rest of his associates.

Episode 12

Date: August 19, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 16, 1884. It was a cold, early Sunday morning, but there was plenty of activity at the Bosler home when Darklis awoke to start her day. First, she tasked Jay to drive to the northern part of the Eighth of the Bar Ranch to bury the mysterious device found in Helen Louisa’s room, then returned to the home to motivate Priest Holmes to finally cure Bosler’s daughter of her illness. The power of God was just the right thing, and with Helen Louisa awakened from her coma, Mr. Bosler’s thanks flowed like a green waterfall into Darklis’s purse (and Holmes’s pocket later). Determined to prevent future issues, Darklis went into deputy mode, and arrested Susanna the housekeeper on the grounds of fostering Helen Louisa’s sickness. With Jay’s wagon, the two women, plus Priest Holmes returned to Howell so Susanna could be turned over to Sheriff Dick. Upon their arrival, Howell was filled with new sights and sounds, as Dutton’s men corralled cattle and began reimaging the town. Even with this, the PCs noticed Gabby Smith, the town drunk, had returned with a wagon-full of whiskey, then later a traveling barber named Gerald Gage setup his chair to give haircuts and shaves to Dutton’s men, even with Camile getting some work done. Wales tried to have the workmen erect gallows, but that was canceled when those in charge made it a point that Susanna would need a fair trial. Priest Holmes traveled to Laramie, and returned in the evening with a new wagon, thanks to the local churches, while Darklis and Camile further investigated Mr. Crow’s bivouac making connections between Mr. Crow, Mr. Bosler, and Mr. Hatter. Jareth Smith later traveled to Laramie to inquire about becoming a territorial ranger and rescued a distraught widow (Claudia Taylor) whose wagon was damaged while looking for her kidnapped son, Terrance. While Smith did get the widow proper medical attention in Laramie, he returned to abscond with the property deeds she left in her wagon, after he spoke with Lt. Frederick Howard about ranger training. Back at the Eighth of the Bar Ranch, the PCs spoke with Mr. Bosler to clear up connections between himself and Mr. Hatter. Bosler spoke of a break in their relationship, their connection to the Twilight Legion, and how Hatter wanted to protect Helen Louisa. At the end of the day, Big John confronted Priest Holmes at the pastor’s campsite, telling the reverend that everyone knew of the accused improprieties involving a young girl’s exorcism and that he needed to move on out.

Combat: None.

Episode 13

Date: August 26, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 17, 1884. Darklis and Ed were both determined to find out more from the device planted atop the windmill at the Eighth of the Bar ranch, that they even used a family heirloom rope from Jay Joyce as they made their way to the top of the structure. Understanding it was a techno-magic device and not wanting to cause further issues, the device was left, but questions still abounded. Wanting more information, the sisters left the ranch and returned to Howell for insights, leaving Jody Wales behind. Back in Howell, some folks were looking for Priest Holmes, not realizing he had left the previous evening. Dutton’s men finished Big John’s house, now on the eastern shore of the Laramie River, while current-Sheriff Dick kept an eye on Suzanna Powers at the Tiger Saloon when Marshal Peter Troop came into town during his circuit of the area. Troop questioned several parties about what had happened lately, indicating he would take Suzanna into custody and transport her to Laramie City since a proper judge was missing in Howell. Finished with his ranger interview in Laramie City, Jareth Smith was on the road to Howell, making pleasant conversation with a family of three, traveling to Medicine Bow via wagon. Smith noticed his horse being a tad skittish while talking with the father, Robert, while the two kids, Rebecca and Bobby, played in the wagon, and chose to move on ahead to Howell hoping to make it before dark. When he arrived, he informed the party of the situation regarding Claudia Taylor and her kidnapped son. Later, concerned the wagon family had not passed through town, the PCs went out that evening to search for the family. Hearing the children’s distress, the party came upon a very large creature disguising itself as a Conestoga wagon and using its mimicry to kill Robert and the family horse. Using a stick of dynamite found on another wandering horse, the party quickly drove off the unknown creature, as it sprouted wings to fly away. On a child saving bent, the party decided to take a contingent of Dutton’s men to find Terrance Taylor, while Big John and Wales returned to Laramie City to interview Claudia, and later, Milton the town drunk. While Dutton, Smith, and the men searched the Taylor farmstead, a note was found referencing ransom money to be given to Roscoe Snow in Centennial. Ready to ride the next morning, Terrance was found at the base of the Straw Man’s post. Uniting the party, the PC decided to travel west to investigate Centennial.

Combat: The party was able to drive off a krolblota disguised as a Conestoga wagon.

Episode 14

Date: September 2, 2023

Attendance: James B., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 19, 1884. With the party reunited and solid night’s sleep, the PCs were ready to move west to Centennial to further investigate Roscoe Snow, a person of interest in the Terrance Taylor kidnapping. Ensuring the Straw Man heard all their plans, Mr. Dutton and crew traveled by horse over the snow dusted plains toward higher elevations west. On their way, Smith was the first to notice weird claw marks on the ground akin to what Camile saw before, while he and others heard explosions from the distance, but continued. More explosions resounded as the party closed in on Centennial, and the group encountered Jenny Upchurch as she returned to town, having experimented on her new formula for dynamite. Accompanying her into town at dusk, the PCs noticed a staked boundary around the town, learning its purpose was for protection, and that the town was struggling after mine production was shut down due to mysterious events. A simple mining town, Centennial had only three buildings, and the PCs found a warm spot in the main room of the Triangle Saloon to spend the evening, with Dutton even connecting with a traveling prostitute named Lola. However, not all PCs were ready to bed down for the night. Smith and Darklis investigated the ore warehouse, finding crates of milled ghost rock and a single boxed velocipede. The final box was of most interested, finding a live, but bound, nosferatu contained inside. Leaving the warehouse, the duo heard the mine steam engine for the elevator active when Sheriff Dick and Big John relied on their Harrowed abilities to investigate the mine. Big John only checked the first out of three levels, noticing signs of tommyknockers, but not much else. Investigating the sound, Smith also noticed other townsfolk and the mayor’s house coming alive from the same activity. Navigating around the NPCs, the party was able to return to the Triangle Saloon without suspicion. A cold morning greeted the party with Mayor Snow’s men inquiring about the strangers and the unauthorized mine foray. During these events, tables were flipped, breakfast was spilled, and angry words were spoken between the leaders of Centennial and Howell. Realizing he was beat without any legal ground to stand on, Dutton wheeled his party around, making proclamations of a better life in Howell if any miner would move there (along with a tree). Overtures to the Upchurchs fell flat as Jenny’s husband seemed a wet blanket. The PCs traveled back to Howell without issue as darkness fell.

Combat: A tied up nosferatu is unboxed and killed.

Episode 15

Date: September 9, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 22, 1884. Most folks think the only thing on an undertaker’s mind are 6-foot pine boxes, but the boxes Jodie Wales had on his mind were the crates full of milled ghost rock. Upon hearing about the antics in Centennial, Wales grabbed a wagon, and headed back that way with the party eventually following behind after dwelling upon the logistics of traveling to Laramie and/or Cheyenne. The trek back to Centennial was a tad warmer than the previous day, but the party still found a lone Jenny Upchurch experimenting on her newest explosives recipe, with Big John intervening before she was spooked by Wales’s horse. After hearing from Edgewalker about the joys of following Mato, Jenny returned to her work as the party continued into town, meeting with Clara Snow and then Boss Snow. Parlaying themselves as employees of Mr. Dutton, but also freelance contractors, Wales and Snow made deals contingent on if the party could solve Snow’s mine issues, although Darklis’s negotiation skills might have hindered things; except her empathy found an underlying fear of the whole situation. With a deal struck, the PCs collectively strategized the mine circumstances using magic to overcome a possible gas issue causing the miners to pass out. Using the town hoist man, the party journeyed down into the mine, bypassing the first two levels based on a vision from Darklis. On level three, Big John and Marshal Dick used their Cat Eyes abilities with Wales holding a bullseye lantern to find miner bodies and evidence of more than one tommyknocker in the area. Magic allowed a limited communication, indicating even the tommyknockers was fearful of the lowest mine level. Continuing further down in the elevator, the PCs found the fourth level emitting a green glow down the tunnel. The party peered into a side cave to find a bizarre humanoid surrounded by warped rattler larvae (the source of the vapors) chanting from a tattered book in an unknown language. Realizing this to be quite unnatural, Darklis blasted the area with spells after Dealing with the Devil, killing the humanoid with most of the larvae while Marshal Dick followed up by finishing off the rest with his Eastwood .44 revolver. Elemental manipulation and mine cars cleaned up the bodies and the PCs reported the mine was available again to a gushing Snow. The trip back to Howell incurred no issues, but upon their return, the party found that someone had burned down the wagon Mr. Speirs was using to run his gunsmith shop out of.

Combat: An unknown humanoid creature is annihilated along with a half dozen "rattler" worms and other larvae.

Episode 16

Date: September 16, 2023

Attendance: David, Jason, Joe

Summary: MAR 23, 1884. Jareth Smith and Jody Wales would both agree it had been a long time since either had a great meal, whiskey with cigars, and a hot bath since arriving out west, and their overnight stay in Laramie City provided just that. While accompanying Mr. Dutton on a Sunday venture into town, the trio took care of their own business, but Dutton’s visit to the 40 Liars Club took center stage. Clearly the finest establishment between Howell and Cheyenne, Dutton was able to rub elbows with the affluent personalities of Laramie City, particularly spending time with Bill Nye (editor of the Laramie Boomerang) and providing plenty of copy regarding the political issues in Centennial. After an afternoon of gladhanding, the party reunited at the Triggs Hotel for an evening of pampering, including Wales taking upon the misnomer of Ben d’Uover when Sheriff Gaines came looking for a person of interest connected to the Corpse Cannibal. Staying overnight and taking the morning train back to Howell, the PCs quickly found out about the previous evening’s shenanigans involving the burning of Speirs’s wagon, along with the commotion generated by Marshal Dick and Big John, both who were put in timeout thanks to Mayor Thomisee. When questioned, Speirs confessed he was victim of a loan shark from Deadwood named Al Swearengen, and the wagon fire was no accident, as he was threatened earlier in the week. With Speirs (and two crates of milled ghost rock) now set up in Wales’s cabinetry shop along with a retinue of Dutton’s men to protect him, life seemed to get back to normal for the rest of the day. However, that evening, the two Harrowed were back to causing a hullabaloo, forcing Dutton to spend the evening keeping Marshal Dick and Big John preoccupied at the Tiger Saloon. During the night, Dutton noticed four unknown cowboys exiting town, heading east through the night. Grabbing Smith and Wales, the PCs tracked the cowboys to a campsite several miles outside of town, with four more individuals guarding a wagon. Getting a closer look, the party surmised the guards were manitou-animated bodies, and initiated combat. Gunfire erupted, with the wagon’s owner appearing, dropping spells on party members. The PCs were able to overcome being outnumbered, capturing two of the Wichita Witch’s servants. Boxing the Witch’s head, the party returned to Howell, and sent one servant back to Deadwood via train, with a message that Speirs was no longer to be targeted.

Combat: The PC ambushed and defeated a Witchita Witch and eight walkin' dead.

Episode 17

Date: September 30, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 25, 1884. Maybe it was a warmer than usual day or the need for a change of scenery or the desire to have questions answered, but Darklis Lupescu was ready for a train ride to Cheyenne. Her compatriots were also ready for that same train ride, but for other reasons. As the PCs waited for their iron horse, Wales spotted a stallion with three riders trotting into Howell, carrying Frank Leaphorn, Andrei Gogol (an associate of Mr. Speirs), and Reverend Father David Addison (a Jesuit priest). With Wales staying behind in Howell to protect the town and act in Dutton’s stay, the PCs hopped the 10 AM train east to Cheyenne. The journey took about 3 hours, and the party exited their carriage into the Magic City with little fanfare. Darklis and Marshal Dick followed a paperboy/guide to the outskirts of town, finding Joseph Eloy, the mad scientist who could examine the item plaguing Helen Louisa Bosler. While Darklis shopped the Gadgets store, Eloy identified the device as a scourge jar, and that it did contain an entity capable of creating sickness in others. The day was getting late, and after filling her shopping cart, Darklis and Marshal Dick connected with Dutton and Big John, promising Eloy they would return the next day with the capital to pay for all the items requested. Back in Howell, Wales killed Little Dan Roth in a gunfight over the death of Dan’s brother, and later he met a monster hunter named Margarita Charbonneau. Dutton found the party dinner and lodgings at the Inter-Ocean Hotel, along with meeting the owner, Mr. H.P. Hynds. After sending some of the PCs out across the street the Hynd’s Trivoli Saloon, Dutton and Darklis engaged with a mysterious woman named Aquila Eagle, who seemed to be sizing Dutton up during his meal. With Darklis using her huckster abilities, she determined Aquila to be a vampire, but Darklis left Dutton with a danger word (PINEAPPLE) giving him caution. However, all parties left amicably. Big John went out looking for trouble, gathering the wrong kind of attention when he caught a pickpocket, but let the youngster keep his gold $10 piece. Other bandits came, with guns ready, also looking for Big John’s cash. Combat ensued when Big John released his manitou (Egg-gar), and the adage of bringing a knife to a gun fight did not hold true. Disposing of the bodies in the alley, Egg-gar read some cryptic Latin written on the wall but dismissed it. Overnight, the party slept well with warm baths, and in the morning, acquired funds to finish their shopping spree.

Combat: In Howell, Jodie Wales won a duel with Little Dan Roth. In Cheyenne, Big John carved up three bandits trying to rob him.

Episode 18

Date: October 7, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Jason, Joe, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 26, 1884. For the most part, the overnight stay in Cheyenne was positive with warm sheets and a chilly morning greeting the party as they prepared to catch the train back to Howell; that is except for the murdering done by Big John. After acquiring the funds to pay Mr. Eloy for his gadgets, Mr. Dutton and Co. gathered at the train station to pick up the items. However, Dutton found himself peppered with questions from a mousy reporter named Roberta Goode from the Cheyenne Daily Leader. To complicate the matters, Dutton sensed Eloy lacked a dearth of financial sense and made it a point to accompany the young man to the Bank of the Northern Hemisphere to ensure he was treated properly and was able to open an account. Loaded with their new toys, the PCs headed back to Howell via train to be greeted by the corpse Wales dispatched the previous day; only Marshal Dick stopped over in Laramie to check-up on the progress for his own items. Back in Howell, the PCs connected with Father Addison, Margarita Charbonneau, and Andrei Gogol as to their presence in town. Offering Charbonneau bounty work for the Devil Crew, she indicated some interest, but confessed she was more of a monster hunter than bounty hunter. Back in Laramie, with his items in hand, Marshal Dick returned to Howell via train, only to have a tinhorn named Emmett Ford to sit next to him, gushing about how he was excited to spend his money on starting a saloon, and that Howell was the place he chose to put down roots. Meeting Dutton, Ford negotiated a stake in central Howell and construction began on his establishment: the Dusty Bison. Evening came quickly with the Tiger Saloon’s rooms filled with guests, but even in the middle of the night, Jareth Smith awoke to a clatter in the street, finding a large humanoid in a trench coat carrying a wrapped mass, making quiet hooting noises. An awakened Charbonneau also took note, recognizing the humanoid as an ally named Keyash, a sasquatch (but not a sassy squatch). With the party up and investigating, the carried mass was unfurled to find a near-death Ranger Cpl. Dabney. Using healing unguents, Dabney’s life was saved, but questions arose about a possible were-critter far south of town. When the episode ended, plans were made for Smith and Charbonneau to head south, Wales and Dutton to head north to Narnclaedra to reestablish ties, and the Lupescu Sisters to head west via rail to Piedmont to investigate a Mr. Crow sighting.

Combat: None.

Episode 19

Date: October 14, 2023

Attendance: David, Tommy

Summary: MAR 27, 1884. Pants. Sure, there was other blah-blah words spoken before, but when the topic of stealing pants was brought up, that was all that was needed for Poor Lazarus to rise and join in on this escapade. Although it wasn’t his idea, some nameless PC thought it needed to happen, so articles of clothing were stolen, and treasure maps were made for the rest of the party to enjoy. So overwhelmed by this sense of camaraderie between the Agents of Chaos, Poor Lazarus was extremely helpful to solving some lingering questions Dutton and Co. had since the outset of the campaign. As a well-read subscriber to the Manitou Times, Poor Lazarus gave insights that the party chose to bank as to not step on other PC’s toes. Even Reed Jones, the new railway man assigned to Howell, was taken back by the events. Deciding to take care of their own business first, Wales and Big John with Frank Leaphorn prepped to travel to Centennial to pick up the first load of ghost rock, per the contract signed with Boss Snow. Realizing the river would be too cold in the morning for the horses, the PCs chose to stage the armored wagon trip the night before on the west side of the Laramie River, bedding down under the stars. That evening, the party sensed something was not quite right around Big John’s home and recrossed the river to investigate. With his house eerily quiet, the PCs chose to inspect, finding the house had unwanted guests who were intent on killing Wales and taking Big John captive. A firefight broke out between the party and a Harrowed with four undead cowboys, who tried to converse with Big John, but to kill Wales. Eventually, the party was able to overwhelm their adversaries, although some sort of weird science device was present, causing issues with Egg-gar’s connection to Big John. With Blue Man slain and Wales taking the Harrex back to his shop, Big John investigated the Eye of Osiris embedded in Blue Man’s chest, surmising the second device in hand was meant for him. The rest of the evening passed, and the party made their overland trek to Centennial without issue. Seeing Jenny Upchurch outside of town, she was happy to see her friends, although Big John continued to get her name wrong. Meeting with Clara Snow, the PCs wheeled-and-dealed about future ghost rock shipments, but questions remained about the fine print. Heading to Laramie to drop off the shipment, the party noticed the sun’s glint off a spyglass, with someone watching their movements.

Combat: The party took down Blue Man (a harrowed) and four walkin' dead.

Episode 20

Date: October 21, 2023

Attendance: David, James B., Joe, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: MAR 28, 1884. As several party members awoke from a late afternoon nap and realized their pants were missing, all eyes seemed to fall upon Marshal Dick, as suspicions were his manitou was let out to play recently. With new duds acquired, Smith visited Ranger Dabney to gain his insights on whether to pursue the were-critter activity to the south or go with the rest of the party to follow information leading to the whereabouts of Mr. Crow in Piedmont. Also, the PCs were interested in tracking down Patrick Telchar, who might have created the scourge jar. After convincing the conductor to allow her monkey (named “Monkey”) on the train, the party decided to take a first class booking (thanks to Mr. Dutton’s deep pockets) for a late afternoon trip that dropped the party off at Piedmont in the late morning of the next day. A different type of “hard scrabble”, Piedmont was clearly an unincorporated town under the control of the Denver-Pacific rail line as a fuel depot. Finding the town drunk, Howard Reese gave directions to the party to find Irma Telchar, and to speak with Peter Davis, the town blacksmith, even after he showed the party some personal artwork which was described as unsettling to say in the least. Big John and Wales questioned Irma, to find Patrick had left over 5 years ago and was now connected to a man named Roberson (who Boss Snow also mentioned), and that the PCs might want to head north to Lander. Edgewalker, Darklis, and Marshal Dick interviewed Davis to find his twin seven-year-old daughters were found strangled outside of town six months ago, and that Mr. Crow was his prime suspect. Circling back to Reese, the PC saw another disquieting artwork which seemed to cement the idea that Mr. Crow was the one who took the girls’ lives, but questions remained as to how. Smith listened to the local hubbub to hear rumors of metal men wandering north of Piedmont and accompanied Big John and Wales out of town to investigate. Finding human and artificial tracks, the PCs decided to stay with the later after the tracks bifurcated. Low on supplies and wanting return to the rest of the party, Smith and Wales returned south with Big John deciding to stay perched, waiting for something to arrive. His patience paid off when he spied an automaton marching along the same path that the PCs suspected it might return to. Getting the Drop on the machine, combat ensued, and although Big John did superficial damage, the machine mowed him down, leaving him for dead.

Combat: Big John was overcome by an automaton from Hellstromme Industries.

Episode 21

Date: November 4, 2023

Attendance: David, Jason, Joe, Korie, Tommy

Summary: MAR 29, 1884. Managerially speaking, Dutton’s disposition as hands-on has always been an earmark for his character, and this did not alter with the changes Howell was experiencing as of late. So wound up in his work, it wasn’t until this morning he was able to meet Reed Jones, the new D-P railway man assigned to Howell, but it was then Dutton also greeted the 11-member Wing family to town, with Hsu “Johnny” Wing as the family head, looking for a new life and “free house”. Dutton spent some time reinforcing his ideals that every man (or woman) who came to him looking for a fresh start would be treated equally. Earlier in the day, questions arose about the half-cow found in the nearby pasture, but other personal issues swayed his investigation. Regardless, the cattle baron was happy that the Dusty Bison would be opening soon, and then he could placate Lola. Back out near Bridger, Smith and Wales were concerned about their missing friend, Big John, as their sizable companion never returned after from scoping out the “metal man” footprints found previously. With the town of Bridger having little to offer, Smith did notice a group of black uniformed men sporting the insignias of Hellstromme Industries’ private army, mounting up for their own reasons. Back into the wilderness, Smith and Wales tracked Big John to a small cabin, where they spied him bound to a bed with a typewriter on his laptop. Deciding this was NOT his kink, the duo confronted Annie Wilkes and her reasons for trying to nurse Big John back to health. Although Big John took some time to recover, he worked with Wales to continue tracking the automaton footprints, while Smith returned to Bridger. Going on the premise the automaton was walking a perimeter, the PCs found a houses-sized engine in the mountains, guarded by four more automatons. Interested to see what would happen, the party began sniping the apparatus, causing enough damage for the automaton guards to activate. Still sore about his last fight, Big John lured one automaton into a rocky outcropping, using a borrowed sledgehammer and disabled the robot. However, a self-destruct device annihilated the automaton, but Big John escaped with little harm. In Howell, after meeting Benjamin Vhan King, Dutton visited the Thomisee residence, finding Avery in down spirits, thinking about his deceased son. Spending the night, Dutton awoke to bright lights, jumping up before his bed was vaporized in the same way as the half-cow found earlier.

Combat: Big John outwitted and disabled an automaton, which later self-destructed.

Episode 22

Date: November 11, 2023

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Joe, Korie, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 1, 1884. Benjamin Vhan King had his own secrets he knew Mr. Dutton would have a problem with; that he was the illegitimate son of Captain Richard King of the King Ranch in Texas. When this information was divulged, Dutton promised the young inventor to give him a fair shot, regardless of if he was related to the competition. Another promise to keep was for those two plus Avery Thomisee planned a getaway in Cheyenne. Leaving Dutton’s men in charge of Howell, the gentlemen took the first-class D-P line to the “Magic City” for some adventure. After fixing up King with new duds, the evening was spent at the Cheyenne Club; a first for all three gentlemen. The evening had two items of note. Dutton spied Aquila Eagle (a suspected vampire) playing the violin for the Cheyenne Club members. Also, Bill Nye, a guest to the club, blurted out something about “who put the Giver in chains?”. The rest of the evening was uneventful. Back out west, Marshal Dick and the Lupescu Sisters found themselves in Bridger looking for answers, going so far as to terrorize the town drunk who confessed all the town’s citizens originated from the City of Gloom (Salt Lake City) and were former employees of Hellstromme Industries. Having moved to Wyoming, the citizens seemed under the sway of a man named Rev. Paul Mauth, who was responsible for the machine found by Wales and Big John the previous episode. Interviewing Captain Andrew Felton and his group of darkly clad X-Squad soldiers, Darklis and Ed learned Mauth was out of town and could not be reached. The PCs came together at the Wilkes homestead to plan out their next move. The party followed the divergent tracks of the two teams of X-Squad soldiers, leading them to the mysterious machine in the middle of Uintah County. Interested if his newfound Harrowed power would work on the automatons guarding the machine, he was gunned downed in the same manner as Big John. A group of X-Squad soldiers arrived, and combat ensued with the party easily killing them from their sniper post overlooking the machine. Curious about why the X-Squad did not activate remaining the automatons perimeter, Big John performed a battlefield autopsy, finding the bodies filled with metal implants akin to acupuncture. The second X-Squad team arrived, and the second shootout resulted as did the first, except a prisoner was taken. The party left the scene, returning to the Wilkes homestead to figure out what their next steps should be.

Combat: The PCs took out two groups of X-Squad soldiers, but showed some restraint in taking captives too.

Episode 23

Date: November 18, 2023

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Kelli, Korie, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 2, 1884. In the nineteenth century, most people had no idea what a vacation looked like, nor did they understand the ways it improves physical and mental health, motivation, relationships, job performance and perspective, but Avery Thomisee did now. With Dutton and Vhan giving him a tour of Cheyenne, Thomisee seemed almost a new man after staying the night at the opulent Inter-Ocean Hotel, catching a baseball game between the Cheyenne Capitals and the Rawlins Rousers, and enjoying a “The Barber of Seville” performance at the Cheyenne Opera House. Aside from entertaining Thomisee, Dutton did take care of his own business, ensuring his will was in place and enticing Joseph Eloy to relocate his gadget shop to Howell with the plan to take young Vhan under Eloy’s wing as an apprentice. After three days in the Magic City, the trio plus Eloy were ready to return to Howell to get back to business as usual. Out west in Bridger, the rest of the PCs were feeling the same. No longer interested in the Church of Steam machine, the party said goodbye to Annie Wilkes leaving their thanks (and Egg-gar’s stories), returning their two prisoners to Bridger, and taking the first train available back east. During the journey, Edgewalker’s desire to mill around the baggage car led to her discovery of a scarred woman, claiming to be Emily Coykendall Holliday, the wife of William H. Holliday of the Wyoming Territorial Legislature. Taking the woman with her to her sister Darklis, the three huddled in their first-class roomette determining their next steps. However, by morning, Emily was found unresponsive and Marshal Dick (with his new stethoscope from Dr. William Mueller) declared her dead. Arriving in Howell, Wales gave instructions to the conductor to conduct Holliday’s body to Cheyenne to let local law enforcement take over. With the entire party (including Camille Lafitte) together in Howell, things almost seemed peaceful until later that evening. Even after Big John dispatched another undead cowboy named Sigma from his house, he had trouble sleeping, as did those in town. The party soon realized a thick fog was forming over the ground in the town proper, then later a red fog of negative energy also mixed in. Dutton and Marshal Dick were able lure the mourning mist toward the Eighth of the Bar Ranch and used the weird science windmill’s protective aura to dissipate the fog. In the morning, interviews found that the PCs might need to return to Cheyenne for more answers.

Combat: Using their smarts, the party was able to lure a mourning mist away from Howell and use the properties of the Eighth of the Bar Ranch to temporarily dissipate its main body.

Episode 24

Date: November 25, 2023

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 4, 1884. With the confusion set aside from where the party wanted to travel to, the PCs eventually made it onto the D-P No. 4 westbound at 12 PM to Cheyenne. With the party arriving on a brisk Saturday afternoon, Dutton & Co. quickly found lodging at the Inter-Ocean Hotel with Mr. Hynd ensuring the PCs had the top-floor rooms, steak dinners ready for them in the hotel restaurant, and tickets secured for a performance of “The Barber of Seville” at the Cheyenne Opera House. Although the rest of the party might have been entertained by “Largo al Factotum”, it wasn’t Wales’s style and during the intermission, he crept away to the Trivoli Saloon. Getting a drink was fine, but Wales did notice a suspected Harrowed gunslinger sitting by himself. Learning his name was Charr, he observed this man in black, even sending over an anonymous bottle of whisky, but then watched a one-sided conversation with a second individual who was later identified as Jeremiah Anastasia. The rest of the party joined Wales, who was under the misnomer of Dennis Beaverhausen, and spent the rest of the evening with Darklis and Edgewalker gambling (and pilfering) from the rest of the denizens in the bar. The next morning, the party spoke with the Cheyenne police chief and visited the home of William Holliday, inquiring about the nature of his wife Emily Coykendall, who was last seen as a dead mass of scar tissue on the train to Howell. Finding Emily and her three children in a fine bill of health, Dutton chose to interview her and her children separately, learning that Emily was sick with tumors the past year, but a healing trip west helped cure her malady. Suspicious there was more to it, Darklis’s spellcasting revealed an invisible silver cord connected to Emily, spooling out of her into the Hunting Grounds and trailing off to the west. Feeling upset and wanting a respite, Emily left the party to her upstairs room. Undaunted and wanting answers, Wales scaled the back of the Holliday home, clubbed Emily, and secured her unconscious body from the second-story to the alley down below. Realizing she was missing, the house butler came upon the situation, calling out for help before Wales nearly shot him. With PCs and NPCs coming upon the crime scene, Wales was able to talk his way out of the situation and send the local police off in another direction. Solid roleplaying helped convince Emily to stay with the party and later in the day she was accompanying Dutton & Co. back to Howell via train.

Combat: Wales took missed when trying to shoot the Holliday's butler, and almost kidnapped Emily Coykendall.

Episode 25

Date: December 16, 2023

Attendance: Jason, Joe, Korie, Tommy

Summary: APR 7, 1884. The train ride back to Howell was nothing to write home about as the PCs made it back to their base of operations all the while convincing Emily Coykendall Holiday it was a great idea to leave the comforts of Cheyenne to meet an old friend, Mr. James Bosler, as the PCs were interested in firming up whether Emily was whom she said she was. As the PCs returned home, it was Avery Thomisee that was the bearer of bad news: the mourning mist the PCs were able to dissipate several nights ago had returned and the NPCs Dutton had left in charge were successful in removing it from the area using the weird science device upon the Eighth of the Bar ranch as was done previously, although there had been some injury taken to Billy Billy-Johnson. Even with Smith returning from searching for Cpl. Dabney in the south and encountering a new prospector to the area named Curtis Smythe, the party made plans to deal with the mourning mist, but to also locate where it emanated from. Speaking with Mr. Thomisee and then with Mr. Bosler at the ranch, Dutton was quite the bearer of bad news involving the death of Benjamin West, how Mr. Hatter might have been corrupted, and how other ill tidings seemed to abound. Bosler did offer a replacement Twilight Legion communication device destroyed by persons unknown. When Mrs. Coykendall-Holiday encountered Mr. Bosler, the latter was able to confirm she was legitimate, but noted she seemed in a state of improved health from when last they met. With Vhan investigating the weird science device atop the ranch windmill, his detection of arcana into the spirit realm showed a salty demon connected to the tongue that power the protection magics emitted from the device. Horrified, Vhan and Mr. Eloy left the ranch with the newfound information, returning with the rest of the party to Howell. That evening, the party again encountered the mourning mist with Big John attempting to “snort” the mass of negative energy, while Mr. Dutton appeared to be drawn into a partition in the space-time continuum by a stranger (Jared Roberson) who insisted he crossed space and time to destroy the man (Dutton) who was the killer of his grandfather, Lennox Roberson. Dutton was able to slap leather first and use his gatling pistol to fire off a burst on Jared’s control device, vaporizing the crazed time-traveler. When the flux of space-time energy subsided, the PCs were able to find the source of the mourning mist: a capstone which led to a ghost rocked-lined shaft leading deep into the earth.

Combat: The party was able to drive away the mourning mist away again, while Dutton was able to avoid disintegration from Jared Roberson.

Episode 26

Date: January 6, 2024

Attendance: David, Jason, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: APR 8, 1884. Staring into the ghost-rock lined shaft, several of the PCs wanted to investigate this newfound area but realized taking care of the situation connecting Emily Coykendall-Holliday to the Hammond Sanitorium in southwest Wyoming took precedence. Dutton was quick to task Billy Billy-Johnson with accumulating the resources needed to use Howell’s supply of raw iron to create a seal on the cracked capstone to temporarily prevent the mourning mist from rising again. Leaving Big John to guard the area, the rest of the PCs did what needed to be done to collaborate on sealing the shaft, while making their own preparations leading west via train the next day. Not one to sit idly, Big John retrieved “fishing gear” from town and cast his line into the shaft when the opportunity arose. Nothing was hooked, but Big John did notice some play on his line prompting him to believe something was below. Camille did not need to go fishing to suspect something underground, but Marshal Dick did issue her a speeding ticket (she was standing still) just before he cruised away on his police bicycle, in hot pursuit of local livestock. With time on his side, Smith hopped the train to Laramie City investigating the disappearance of Cpl. Dabny, learning Lt. Howard was also sight unseen for about a week while checking on the missing corporal. With Vhan and Eloy working with the Howell townsfolk to run the temporary kiln, the party was able to sufficiently cap the ghost rock shaft, then investigate the head family found in the river. Getting to the sanatorium was not a straight shot, but the D-P No. 3 westbound was an overnighter with no disturbance, and the party stopped the next morning in Green River City to rent a large barge to travel about 10 miles down the Green River with the equipment, horses, and two stagecoaches in tow. Even though Dutton & Co. arrived in Green River City just before 8 AM, the sun was setting by the time the adventurers were within one mile of the newly named Dayspring Sanatorium. However, the smooth trip ended with the unarmored stagecoach splitting an axel on the road, tossing folks off kilter, and leaving Emily with a broken arm. Soon after, a nest of devil bats descended upon the party, but the PCs were able to destroy the creatures, allowing Big John to finally embrace his dreams as “Batman”. 

Combat: Dutton & Co. destroyed four devil bats and a king devil bat as they raided the wagon train.

Episode 27

Date: January 13, 2024

Attendance: Jason, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: APR 10, 1884. Even though darkness had fallen upon the Dayspring Sanatorium, that did not deter the party as many of the group were not content to just idly spending the night while questions needed answering. Dutton was the first to get Emily Coykendall-Holliday talking and reacquainted with her former caregivers, to get the PCs into dining with Director Fleming and the doctors on staff. Smith was the first to notice the unique devices poking out of the walls, referred to as “harmonic convergence devices”, but his character thought they had camera-like qualities. Vhan spied more ethereal cords than just Emily’s, with all the doctors having cords that spilled into the ground. Each of Dutton & Co. were given rooms for the evening after touring the first floor, but most of them found reasons to wander the property. Smith found his way to the privy, and located stairs leading up and down, while Dutton flirted with a nurse (“Crikey!”) who shared the PCs had yet to meet Dr. Rasmussen. Lafitte also wanted a breath of fresh air and milled around the courtyard while checking in on the horses. Big John seemed to be the only sensible PC, as he immediately went off to bed. With several party members meeting briefly to plan things out, Vhan awoke Big John (now controlled by Egg-gar) looking for suggestions on how to cut the electric lights. Using a plug from the Church of Steam, Egg-gar shorted out the electric grid, plunging the facility into darkness. While the PCs inside the sanatorium made their own moves, it was Lafitte who fended off devil bats looking to attack the horses when the lights went out. Smith moved to the second floor, investigating Fleming’s office and finding a stamped coin with a weird sigil hidden in a desk. Three other party members made it to the basement, all acknowledging Eloy’s starlight spectacles was the best investment they ever made. Lurking below, Vhan and Egg-gar were able to follow a cadre of lanterns as the doctors moved to two concealed entrances, where Vhan noticed dozens of ethereal cords. On the west side, the PCs heard wailing with cries of confusion and pain, finding humanoids with molted bodies. Combat started when the PCs breeched the east door, finding Dr. Rasmussen and a man-machine horror named Kalvin. The PCs won, but questions remain.

Combat: Lafitte dispatched two devil bats as the rest of the party destroyed a Splugorth bio-borg and mechanicalized mind melter.

Episode 28

Date: January 27, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 11, 1884. It was just after midnight with a time to measure what transpired between the party and their encounter with the freakish combination of Dr. Rasmussen and the man-machine horror named Kalvin. With the rest of the party picketing the underground area, Darklis and Edgewalker did what they could to make use of their unique talents. Reflecting on the weird energy, Darklis reached out to see if there was an entity in the room to answer questions, and connected with the spirit of Kalvin before he headed off to his great gig in the sky. The details were sketchy, but both Rasmussen and Kalvin were allies belonging to a group called Cobra Savage, and the spirit’s commentary led the PCs to believe he was from a far-distant future. Back east, Marshal Dick awoke almost naked in Laramie City with instructions from Poor Lazarus to travel to Sherman to find the person who murdered the family found by Big John in the river days prior. Flustered with his lack of wardrobe, the lawman resolved to stealing clothes on the train ride, and decided to stay in Sherman since he could not acquire a firearm. Back west, Ed assessed the machine that Kalvin’s body was attached to, and surmised this ultra-weird science was the source of power to the whole facility, channeling her spells to jumpstart the power in the complex. Egg-gar was fascinated by the eyes of Dr. Rasmussen and proceeded to carve them from the dead man’s unnatural skull to save for later, while Wales harassed Dr. Cavanaugh into confessing what he knew. With Darklis piling on through her illusions, Cavanaugh implicated Lennox Roberson and Patrick Telchar in the creation of the sanatorium to gain financial backing and political favors. Further questioning revealed what the “receptors” were: unnatural creations using blood samples of the rich and powerful. Leaving underground doors open, the party soon realized the receptors wandered from their special room up to the ground floor of the sanatorium. Wales smelled smoke and Big John (back in control) heard gunfire leading to the PCs fleeing from the sanatorium for safety. Before exiting, Big John vainly sought the blood samples upstairs, but instead found a lone receptor sitting in the director’s office. After shared whiskey and mild aspersions, Big John escaped a fiery doom.

Combat: No real combat, but plenty of rolls to avoid a fiery doom.

Episode 29

Date: February 3, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 11, 1884. Morning came in Sherman and Marshal Carson was intent upon starting his day by finding those missing clothes that Poor Lazarus seemed to have strewn around the southeast of the Wyoming Territory. Investigating the Ames Pyramid south of town, Carson felt Poor Lazarus strengthen his power over the Harrowed, but the lawman was able to subdue any dark desires, finding a puzzle leading to his clothes and directions to Buford. Connecting with a young man named Archie Smithers, the duo investigated the abandoned Agat gold mine and killed tommyknockers to find more puzzles and directions to head east to Granite. Back west, the rest of the evening passed uneventfully as the party camped outside of the burning Dayspring Sanatorium, far enough away from the flames to avoid damage, but close enough to deter any wandering devil bats looking for another meal. As the sun rose, the PCs only had Dr. Cavanaugh in hand, but had few answers as the medical director pleaded ignorance to party questions. Big John returned to the smoldering site, protected by spells from Edgewalker, looking to ensure any possible blood samples were destroyed, finding the body of the receptor he shared a whiskey with. Inspiring the rest of the party, Dutton and Co. searched the entire facility after finding Foster’s Fusiliers gunmen dead from something other than gunshots, fire, or devil bat. The above ground floors were clean, but the basement level uncovered a poisoned Nurse Irwin (Crikey!) along with several dead orderlies. Irwin told the PCs she was being held by Agnes, another nurse who was inhuman in looks and strength she recently revealed. Following Irwin’s directions, the party investigated the receptor medical bay finding another exit at the far end leading to a sub-basement area down a narrow passageway. Darklis reconned the area, finding the room used to create receptors, with Agnes destroying evidence. Combat ensued with the evil nurse being more than enough to tangle with Big John, Dutton, and Wales, but eventually the PCs prevailed. Feeling their time was done, the party used their remaining wagons (with Emily Holliday, her receptor, and Dr. Cavanaugh) to travel to Rock Springs for a train ride back to Howell. As the train pulled into the station, federal marshals greeted the PCs with warrants for their arrest, charged with kidnapping. Emily spoke up and no arrests were made. The next day, her receptor died with Wales burying the remains in the town graveyard. 

Combat: The PCs destroyed a handful of bloodwrights and Nurse Agnes (poison woman).

Episode 30

Date: March 2, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Joe, Kourtnie, Leigh

Summary: APR 13, 1884. As the sun crested the horizon in Howell on a chilly Sunday morning, the churchless town slowly arose to the business of another day. Smith started off by seeking out Samuel Speirs, sharing with the gunsmith the potential weapon Dr. Rasmussen tried to use on the party during the first combat at the Dayspring Sanatorium. Both men were unsure about the nature of the gun as it was made of unfamiliar materials and did not have a place to store traditional ammunition. Wales also had interests in Speirs, and he inquired with Joseph Eloy as well about the progress in figuring out the nature of the Harrowed items that were retrieved not long ago. Eloy mentioned that he was at a stopping point, and he needed a Harrowed to “test” certain theories about the potential of the devices. When the Lupescu Sisters arrived at Eloy’s shop, all three did notice that one of the enucleated eyes of Dr. Rasmussen seemed to watch the trio from the enclosed lab beaker on the shelf. Intrigued by what Eloy believed to be a “symbiote”, Darklis found her empathy power connected with the eye, then coincidentally found a large mason jar attached atop a broom handle, pouring out one of the eyes with solution to create a staff. Back in Granite, Marshal Carson and Archie Smithers returned a wooden leg to the local town drunk in return for another message left by Poor Lazarus directing them to Cheyenne. Arriving in the “Magic City of the Plains”, the duo searched out the Washington Academy, breaking into the private school to look for clues, but none could be found. Smithers revealed to Carson of his unnatural ability to read the minds of human remains, but not to speak with the dead. In Howell, Dutton lamented the poor decisions made by Ole “The Swede” Johanssen about moving minority newcomers to tent camps outside of town by the river, rather than keep them safely nearby. Smith (as Smythe) used a soft hand to interrogate Dr. Cavanaugh as he was manacled in Wales’s basement, learning more about Prometheus and their end-of-times philosophies. A cold day became unnaturally colder with Edgewalker relating to the party of a vision of icy claws. Using their occult understanding, the sisters determined a chinook might be in the area. With Billy Billy-Johnson as their scout, Dutton, Wales, and Smith used a goat as bait to lure the creature into a “kill box” where their rifles (and ghost rock ammo) sniped the beast from afar. Dutton kept the pelt for himself.

Combat: Dutton, Smith, and Wales bagged a chinook that was upsetting the local environment.

Episode 31

Date: March 9, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 14, 1884. Marshal Carson and (newly deputized) Archie Smithers awoke after a restful night’s sleep at the Inter-Ocean Hotel ready to continue their investigation of the dead family set about by many riddles ago. After acquiring manacles from the county sheriff's office, the duo proceeded to the Washington Academy, interviewing headmaster Thomas Knowlton about the murders, finding nothing but the promise from Knowlton to provide information the next day when he could put his finger on something. Before returning to Howell, Carson noticed a shipment for Father Holmes, slated to be sent to Chugwater via freight. Back in Howell, PCs started their cold day planning on visiting Cheyenne, but noticed three quality stagecoaches waiting by the railroad stop. Inquiring with Reed, the railroad operator mentioned the wagons were dropped off earlier to be used for transporting unknown NPCs to unknown destinations; later, one went west, one went north, and one went south. Looking through Howell for any visitors, the party found two British gentlemen who appeared to be observing the comings and goings of others. When accosted by the Lupescu sisters, Edgewalker received a vision forewarning her of impending trouble with the Brits, while Darklis tried her best to dissuade her sister. Finding Wales, banter did nothing to sway Messrs. Ague and Quinsy from leaving the Tiger Saloon. Back at his house, Koribayed found someone had created a pit trap under his doormat and investigated the 100-foot drop before Dutton retrieved him to deal with the mysterious strangers. Although both were strong, Big John (and Egg-gar) were stronger, with Ague dragged away only to disappear after being tossed down the pit trap. Dutton was summoned to Mr. Bosler’s ranch, where the former owner of Howell introduced the party to Lennox Roberson and Felix Flair. The encounter was brief when Roberson offered to purchase Howell, and Dutton countered by drawing the Prometheus symbol on legal papers in response. The visiting NPCs left hastily, with the rest of the party discussing their next moves. Connecting with Carson and Smithers, the two PCs along with the rest of the party boarded the train to Cheyenne, with plans to stay for a while. Dutton and Wales visited the Cheyenne Club, finding Roberson alone. While Wales accidentally/purposefully doused Roberson with his drink, Dutton was able to assuage the situation, establishing a gentlemen’s understanding between them.

Combat: No deaths, but Big John did struggle mightily in moving Ague out of Howell, with Quinsy swinging along the way, while Wales tried to gun him down.

Episode 32

Date: March 16, 2024

Attendance: James, Jason, Joe, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 16, 1884. Although they were not sure of why they had traveled to Cheyenne, both Darklis Lupescu and Marshal Carson knew there was plenty to do. While Dutton was gladhanding folks politically, Darklis was able to bond with her Staff of Rasmussen, bringing her a clarity of vision she had not experienced since before her cataracts appeared, even though Monkey was not onboard with this addition, while on the way to investigate the Washington Academy’s connection to the dead wagon wheel family, and, unconnected, the murder of Benjamin West, an operative of the Twilight Legion. Headmaster Thomas Knowlton of the Washington Academy was eager to help Carson, pointing out a former student named Michael Long had a weird connection with unexplained phenomena involving past deaths and his artistry. Further clues led to the Bluebird Children’s Home, but nothing of note was learned except Monkey became extremely agitated. Finding West’s office and his body, Carson and Lupescu (with Archie Smithers in tow) used their abilities to confirm West’s death was not a suicide, and that others had ransacked West’s office during the time of his demise. Darklis was able to score a shadow cloak, and by the end of the day, the party had made the proper financial moves to purchase the building for themselves. Smith was able to complete his training and was sworn in as an official Territorial Ranger, adding one more law enforcement title to the party. However, no additional information could be learned about missing Cpl. Dabney. While the party relaxed in the evening, Darklis went to find more information at the local saloon, while others went to hob-nob at the Cheyenne Club. Finding neither appealing, Big John prowled around during the evening encountering Charr, and later followed a shadowy figure jumping across rooftops. Inevitably, the Harrowed came across a mugging of a citizen by an odd-looking assailant. Pulling off the cowl, a part man-part bulldog creature struggled mightily against Big John, who forced the assailant (named Winston) into submission, before taking his back to the Inter-Ocean Hotel. Also at the hotel, Dutton received a visitor which he had put feelers out earlier in the evening when he encountered Stephen Stout at the Tivoli Saloon. Alleged vampire Aquila Eagle shared with Dutton what she knew involving the weirdness of the Wyoming Territory, further cementing some of the suspicions the PCs had about Prometheus and their plans for Howell.

Combat: Big John was able to subdue and capture Winston the Dog Boy.

Episode 33

Date: March 23, 2024

Attendance: David, Tommy, Tony

Summary: APR 17, 1884. It was a timid knock at his hotel door, but for Wales, it could mean anything, so guns were drawn as he flung the door open to find a naked Archie Smithers standing in the hallway. Smithers recounted of a kerfuffle with Marshal Carson, and Wales did his best to assuage the situation and retrieve Smithers’s clothes from the street below. Big John awoke to find a bound Winston in his room and mused how to introduce his captive to the rest of the party, deciding to talk it over with Wales as he ate breakfast, observing the undertaker talking with a salesman peddling Demiplane Whiskey. With full bellies, Big John introduced Wales to the cowed dog boy in his room. Coincidentally, it was also at this time that Matthew Clark happened to be walking by, ready to deliver a prescription of laudanum from the Kilpatient Brothers Apothecary to a Mrs. Darling down the hotel hall. Hearing Winston howling on two separate occasions, the budding mad scientist eavesdropped on the conversation until Wales flung open the door (again) and pulled him inside. A brief dustup happened until cooler heads prevailed, with Winston noting that he “smelled” magic on Clark. A returning Smithers added to the noise when seeing Winston for the first time, but it was the news the young redhead shared that caused even more commotion: Governor Hale had been kidnapped. Looking to investigate the matter further, the PCs found the governor’s mansion surrounded by local and territorial officials making it difficult for the party to intervene, but details emerged that a trio of men were able to overcome the governor’s security force and take him hostage. The party waited until nightfall, deciding to use Smithers as a distraction with a flaming wagon, allowing the PCs to sneak inside the mansion from the rear entrance. Once inside, Wales and Clark eliminated two miscreants as they watched through the window at Smithers’s hullabaloo, while Big John and a hooded Winston moved upstairs to the governor’s bedroom. Bound to a chair with a crazed vagrant hovering over him, Hale was incapacitated. His captor pointed a boney finger at Big John screaming “froggy” before Big John gutted him, freeing the governor. A quick search of the mansion found several bodies mangled in a bizarre way, but Clark surmised the bodies of the guards might have been polymorphed. Wales and Clark returned the governor to the police, and all seemed good, until the PCs heard a loud boom and saw an explosion in the night sky.

Combat: Wales and Clark killed two armed kidnappers, while Big John made an important saving throw and slew a crazed spellcaster.

Episode 34

Date: April 6, 2024

Attendance: James, Jason, Joe, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 18, 1884. The big news everyone was talking about in the morning was the nighttime fireworks in the sky due to a meteor explosion northwest of Cheyenne, and it was enough for newly promoted Territorial Ranger Jareth Smith to mount up on his first official investigation. Riding out into the wilderness, Smith found remnants of the meteor in burned patches along the prairie, and questioned other folks who were collecting fragments for a bigwig in Cheyenne named Eric Masterson who was offering compensation for any meteorites. Finding Masterson, Smith interviewed the collector who said he represented scientists back east who paid good money. While Smith nosed around, Marshal Carson and Darklis followed leads on Michael Long and his connection with the murders involving his art. Accessing Long’s house with a hidden key, the PCs found benign paintings on the above ground floors, but angry and grisly art in the basement. Sensing a presence, the duo encountered a manitou named Xaney, who intimated he coached Long into painting works which softened the barrier between the world and the Hunting Grounds. Even with Poor Lazarus loosed, Darklis had no urge to engage, and the PCs returned to the Inter-Ocean Hotel. Dutton and Big John conscripted a Pinkerton agent to provide security to the new building purchased for Dutton’s campaign as Governor, and later he received an invitation for a violin recital from the Dulcet Strings, a quartet involving Aquila Eagle. Dutton and Darklis attended the private event in the evening, with the huckster noticing several odd NPCs. In the morning, the party left Cheyenne to catch-up with Long and find missing Cpl. Dabney. Arriving in Sherman, Darklis got a taste of the power from the Ames Pyramid and encountered a morally ambiguous Antonio Araniva. Moving farther west, the party located a native-dressed Dabney, who acted nonplused as he introduced the PCs to his new “father”, Chief Two Feathers. Recognizing something was just not right, Smith relentlessly questioned the Arapaho about lycanthropes, learning of another tribe further south before leaving. Big John returned that evening to confront the now shapeshifted natives recognizing them as werewolves. In the morning, the party tracked the now missing lycanthropes to a burned down homestead, finding a secret tunnel beneath. Following the tracks, the party found a werejaguar named Abril Cordova, her two children, and a maimed Margarita Charbonneau.

Combat: None, but things were hairy between Big John and the werewolves, and Darlis avoided issues while navigating different NPCs.

Episode 35

Date: April 13, 2024

Attendance: James, Jason, Kourtnie, Leigh

Summary: APR 22, 1884. It’s not every day one welcomes a lycanthrope to your home but leave it to John Dutton to overlook social norms with his forward-thinking views on equality and bring the werejaguar family of Abril, Emmanuel and Jorge Cordova into Howell. The town was already bustling with the additional craftsmen and blacksmith, but also from treasure hunters looking to acquire bits of the meteor which exploded over the area several days ago. Still imprisoned in Wales’s basement, Dr. Cavanaugh was also excited, pontificating about this being one of the signs of the coming of the Tetrarch and that the world would be made new. Still interested in finding Michael Long, the missing artist connected to the deaths of James, Rebecca and Elton Shockey, Dutton, Marshal Carson and the Lupescu sisters with Archie Smithers searched out Howell, inquiring if Long had arrived in town during his yearly trek, and finding nothing, then paired up to travel south down either side of the Laramie River, searching for the artist, having worked out that he had not made it yet into Howell. No artist was found, but the PCs did come across the body of a mutilated steer that Edgewalker surmised might have come from something unnatural. Dutton also found the remains of a recently destroyed painting which Darklis sensed ghost rock was mixed into the paint. Deciding to investigate nearby Laramie City, the PCs deviated from the river and spent the day searching the town’s saloons and restaurants before settling in at the Royal Hotel with Mr. Eickland taking care of their stay. Dutton reached out to Bill Nye at the 40 Liars Club gathering, and sharing information about things connected to Prometheus, and later in the evening saw the noticeable faces of Frank Otto and Jeremiah Anastasia walking on the opposite side of the street when Dutton returned to the Royal Hotel. The next morning, the party returned to the river to continue their search, and came up empty handed until high noon, when a booming voice was heard speaking menacingly to a young fisher boy farther down river. Using her Staff of Oculus Arcane, Darklis was able to spy a demonic gentleman on the verge of something insidious and spurred her wagon forward using spells to quicken her horses’ pace. Even as Carson and Dutton blasted away at the creature with their firearms, it was huckster spellcasting which drove the manitou away. Later, Dutton found more evidence of angrily shredded canvas as it stuck to the reeds beside the river.

Combat: The PCs save young Gary Indiana from a manitou conjured from a discarded painting of Michael Long.

Episode 36

Date: April 20, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 24, 1884. Jodie Wales awoke to the sound of voices assembling outside of his home/shop on a bitterly cold morning in Howell, prompting him to gather his weapons and head out the door for breakfast and to determine what the ruckus was all about. Workmen and citizens had lined up outside of Speirs Armaments at a free gun exchange for a new Speirs Cattleman .45 revolver. Although he did not choose to swap out his custom weapons, Wales did suspect these were rebranded Colt Peacemakers, and when confronting Speirs, the gunsmith deferred to Andrei, who differed to his absent cousin Pykoup. Leaving Wilson at his home, Big John sauntered into town to speak with Abril the werejaguar (who does not speak English), but found a healing Margarita Charbonneau instead, discussing her healing (thanks to the doctor from Cheyenne) and tracking tips on finding the missing werewolf clan. Taking in what he could, Big John visited Eloy’s shop finding the last Oculus Arcane to have procreated into two. Telling Eloy he would return for the eyes, the Harrowed elicited the help of the jailed Dr. Cavanaugh to perform surgery later in the evening. West of Laramie City, the tracking PCs awoke to the cold morning (although Archie didn’t seem bothered), focused on finding Long, and were able to do so mid-morning, with Darklis easing up to the artist while he worked to cast a slumber spell and incapacitate him. Tying him up and returning to Laramie City, the party used Dutton’s influence to obtain a private train ride back to Howell with an unconscious Long in tow. Darklis was greeted by Rick Raven as she exited the train who subpoenaed her to appear in court on Monday for the trial of Susanna Powers, the former maid of James Bosler. Taking Long to the newly constructed jail, the PCs (sans Big John who was undergoing an enucleation) interrogated a shackled Long to determine his culpability in loosing manitous through his artwork. Dispelling one painting activated the second artwork and combat ensued in the marshal’s office with Poor Lazarus and Wales being unable to affect the demon until Darklis blasted it into nothingness. Wales fled the area because of the fire spell, and the interrogation continued, until an unknown assailant sniped Long with a headshot from a barred window. As Marshal Carson quickly went outside to find “nothing”, Archie seemed the most disturbed although his ability related to the party that Long no longer had control, and the psychosis of Xaney was driving Long’s creations.

Combat: The party was able to apprehend Long, destroy a painting-bound manitou, then remove Long from the equation permanently.

Episode 37

Date: April 27, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Jason, Joe*, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 25, 1884. It didn’t take Big John Koribayed long to realize the “inhuman howls” that most of the townsfolks heard the previous evening were from Winston the dog boy, so sad that his new master might have left him forever, although Big John was missing only overnight. Mentioning to Wales that the werewolves were still an issue down south, Big John made plans for his group to head out via horseback although Winston had issue with several things: he didn’t like Big John’s new eyes (nor “eyelids”), he didn’t like Big John’s new nightmare mount which was summoned from a plane of Hell, nor did he like the idea of going south as something was drawing his attention to travel northwest. Wales also enlisted the help of Andrei Gogol (and possibly his cousin Pykoup Andropov) in watching over the imprisoned Dr. Cavanaugh during his upcoming time outside of Howell. While preparing for werewolf hunting, Marshal Carson, the Lupescu sisters, and Smithers left in the early hours of the morning via rail to travel to Cheyenne, then up to Chug Water to reunite with Father Holmes who had been missing for several weeks now. The train ride to Chug Water was without issue although the party did notice several heavily armed NPCs heading farther north to Ft. Laramie past the border of the Sioux Nation for an upcoming armed conflict with local tribes. Making it to Chug Water, the PCs spent the evening at the Stag Saloon waking in the morning to find an eye-patched Father Holmes at the Church of St. Martin. Father Holmes spilled the beans about how Big John had warned him away from Howell lest a nasty accident would happen, how he felt God urged him to continue east to find his purpose, and how he has been protecting Chug Water from animated hands and patchwork monsters as they often attacked the church in the evening. Back in Howell, Dutton met entrepreneur Corbin Treacher, who shared his plans to build the multi-story Boulevard Hotel in the center of Howell, as Dutton was looking for volunteers to run his upcoming campaign to become the new territorial governor. Back to Chug Water, the PCs spent the rest of the day waiting for the train to arrive in the morning, until noises by the Church of St. Martin awoke them to Father Holmes wielding a Greatsword while protecting the church from an attacking patchwork monster. The PCs with Smithers engaged the undead with spells from Darklis and gunplay from Marshal Carson bringing the creature down.

Combat: Darklis, Marshal Carson, and Smithers were able to take down a patchwork man.

Episode 38

Date: May 4, 2024

Attendance: James, Kourtnie, Leigh

Summary: APR 27, 1884. The Lupescu Sisters and the law dogs of Howell awoke to a frigid Sunday morning, realizing there was still much to do in Chug Water, but there were other places Darklis needed to be before too long. Having Rev. Holmes connect the party with local scout Boone House, word was sent to the Eighth of the Bar Ranch to send aid for the defense of the town, and the party was able to hop the weekend train back to Cheyenne to drop off a copy of Wieke’s Treatise at the local librarian for Holmes, then they traveled home to Howell to check in. The next morning, the PCs were up again early for a court date in Laramie City as Darklis was deposed as a witness in the trial of Suzanna Powers. Taking the stand after Mr. Bosler and Jay Joyce, who both leaned toward mercy with the former maid that was manipulated, Darklis provided damning testimony of how Powers endangered Bosler’s daughter while colluding with Mr. Crow to purposefully sicken her using a weird science device. After a full day of testimony, the PCs were ordered to remain for the night for possibly next day questioning. As the party stayed to themselves in the Royal Hotel, in the morning, Marshal Carson brought news of a fire at the house of Powers’s defense attorney, and a riot at the jail where Powers was being held. While the latter was only roughed up, the attorney was replaced with a greenhorn lawyer who fast tracked questioning with Bosler, Joyce, and Lupescu, with the jury returning one hour later with a guilty verdict to be carried out by hanging the coming Friday. As the courthouse emptied, the PCs spotted the watchful duo of Frank Otto and Jeremiah Anastasia, with Edgewalker pointing out a possible Mr. Crow sighting. Darklis verified this with her staff of Oculus Arcane, but the PCs decided to let the villain come to them rather than hunt him down. Back on railroad, the PCs traveled to Cheyenne and used Dutton’s deep pockets to obtain a private train ride to an overjoyed Holmes in Chug Water, who reported animated hands had gotten inside the Church of St. Martin, attempting to steal his sword. Darklis used object read on the weapon, finding that its origins were from Jerusalem during the Third Crusade and that it passed through many hands, but most importantly through some otherworldly creatures who imbued it with magic and finally, Moira Warner Knowlton. Edgewalker prayed for a vision from Matto receiving insight of a bloody table filled with tools and a magic needle: the Sewer’s Smile.

Combat: None.

Episode 39

Date: May 11, 2024

Attendance: David, Joe, Tommy

Summary: APR 27, 1884. While Team Lupescu was operating east of Howell, other PCs operated west of Howell, on the prowl for lycans. Wales, Big John, and Winston were joined by Ranger Smith to hunt down recently turned Ranger Dabney and the clan of werewolves led by Two Feathers, and the PCs made the decision to investigate the nearby township of Centennial before going into the vast untamed wilderness. On a quiet Sunday morning, the party arrived in town with Wales contacting Clara Snow (although looking for Roscoe Snow) and made financial demands to compensate the broken deal for Ghost Rock shipments using the armored wagons. Tempers flared with Wales leaving unsatisfied, while Big John and Winston checked the local warehouse which the party found of interest during their previous trip to the area. Butting heads with the armed guards and making things worse when Wales arrived, it took Smith’s presence to calm the situation, and the party wheeled to leave town, but ran into Jenny Upchurch instead. It was a coin of phrase used by Smith when describing Dabney’s current state that shook her, as she requested the party to transport her outside of town before any words were spoken. West of Centennial, Upchurch told the PCs of her suspicions that Clara Snow was a witch and held sway over her husband. Leaving Upchurch to walk back, the party travelled a bit more to make camp for the evening, and it was Big John’s loosed manitou that prevented the warehouse guards from sneaking into camp to kill the party during the night. Combat ensued with six dead cowboys and the party finding a tied-up Upchurch nearby who told the PCs she was captured while traveling. Dragging the bodies back to Centennial, the PCs confronted Clara Snow about the attack with Smith using his full breadth of the law to humble the mayor’s wife. Winston and Big John investigated a smell the dog boy picked up on, with the duo sneaking into the house via the backdoor, then upstairs to a magicked bedroom door. Inside, an ailing Roscoe Snow lay bloated on his bed with the symbol of Prometheus branded into his chest. When Clara went check on her husband, Big John grabbed her, and regardless of her pleading for her spouse, murdered her with a manitou claw. Her body exploded in a fireball, which also detonated Roscoe, blowing off the roof of the house. In the chaos that ensued, Big John fled with a near-dead Winston to the Taylor farmstead, as the rest of the party scoured the area for clues.

Combat: The party was able to overcome a night ambush and slew six Centennial guards. Big John couldn't kill an unarmed woman, so he loosed Egg-gar who dispatched Clara Snow, then by proxy, Roscoe Snow.

Episode 40

Date: May 18, 2024

Attendance: David, James, Jason,  Joe, Kelli, Kourtnie, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: APR 30, 1884. Big John surveyed the Taylor farmstead for anyone looking to follow him from his adventures in Centennial and when he found none, a quick attempt to communicate with the Straw Man garnered nothing so he went back to tending to an injured Winston in the house. Little did he know that Jodie Wales was making his way to him and would reunite that part of the party before they headed back to Howell. Back east in Chug Water, the rest of the party decided to use their limited tracking skills to find the source of the patchwork men and animated hands, relying on Darklis and Smithers to locate a lone house in the hills far east of town. Upon seeing pigs in a pen, Edgewalker cast a spell to speak with the swine, learning their master tended to feed them the remains of victims, carved up to create the forementioned undead monstrosities. Confronting the homeowner, Levi Kennedy professed he was a simple carpenter, but it was Marshal Carson’s release of Poor Lazarus which brought out Wicked Wilbert from Levi’s harrowed body. Combat ensued with Wilbert calling upon the power of the Sewer’s Smile before dying from of a fireball blast. Back in Howell, Camile Lafitte stumbled into town, threadbare and amnesiac from the last couple weeks. She encountered an English-deficient Abril Cordova who worried about the absence of Big John as he left days ago to track down the werewolves she was previously in conflict with. Connecting with Carboneau, the trio were about to leave when Koribayed, Wales, and Winston returned to Howell. Back east, the party discussed the best way to eliminate the multiple undead hidden under the Kennedy home, realizing their enemies were in the caverns below. Before acting, a portal opened and Mr. Hatter appeared requesting the Sewer’s Smile returned in exchange for a bag of gold, although Darklis did pepper him with questions. Satisfied, the PCs returned to Howell on the recently opened Denver-Pacific rail line now daily servicing a rebuilt Ft. Laramie. Back in Howell, Dutton was asked to meet with Mayor Thomisee and local railroad baron, Milton Marks. During the conversation, Marks read a prepared statement, then attempted to take his life if not for the quick thinking of Big John. Bound, it wasn’t until the next day that the PCs surmised Marks was magically coerced via telephone. At the same time, Wales encountered Messrs. Ague and Quinsy in his shop. The duo murdered Dr. Cavanaugh, detonating Wales’s ghost rock supply.

Combat: In Chug Water, Team Lupescu found and killed Levi Kennedy/Wicked Wilbert, the source of the patchwork men and animated hands. Back in Howell, another Prometheus member detonated after death, and (maybe) vaporizing Ague and Quinsy.