Frank's Weird West Campaign Summary - Tanner

2-5-09

All seven characters (eight depending on who you ask) were riding on the same train, which was traveling through Denver to Salt Lake City. Most did not know each other, but over the course of the day most had introduced themselves to the others.

A strange person who was allegedly working for a museum in Boston was transporting a crate that he says contains a statue. When Texas Ranger Solomon McCormick got into the baggage car with the help of Miss Kitty, he saw suspicious-looking chains wrapping the crate. The museum-worker, who was named Alan Seibert, refused to allow Solomon to open the crate and somehow had the cooperation of one of the conductors.

Questioning of many of the train's occupants ensued, but many red herrings were found and not many solid leads discovered. One person who was interrogated and threatened by Solomon turned out to be nothing more than a deserter, and most of the passengers are suspicious for one reason or another.

Two extremely annoying boys on the train were punished by Virginia Knights. She first threatened them, then when they kept annoying people she stuck them in a couple of dresses and shoved them back in the passenger car.

In particular, a mad scientist named Phyllis McGruber managed to not only get slapped, punched, and buffaloed, but also fell off the train. He was the only casualty.

2-12-09

Things started with the mad scientist trying to climb across the train to get into the baggage car (and almost falling again). Then, he somehow made it inside. He started to hack away at the seven locks on the mysterious crate, and managed to get one off before the museum employee and conductor came in and insisted that he leave.

Instead, the brainer climbed back up onto the top of the car, waited for the conductor to leave (but not Alan, the museum employee), and tried to unhook the cars. Unfortunately, Alan came up right behind him, gatling pistol drawn, and forced him to enter the next car. One thing led to another, the mad scientist lit up some dynamite, and Alan unleashed a burst of fire from his gatling pistol. The wounds weren't fatal immediately, but would a short time later prove to be mortal.

The next day, the front of the train suddenly crashed into a gorge, probably from dynamite planted by the bandits that were going to ambush the train shortly. The force of the crash did minor damage to most, but finished off the insane scientist. The other heroes quickly came to the train's aid and fought off their attackers, killing most and sending the rest fleeing. It was quickly discovered that the back two cars of the train — the baggage car with the crate and the caboose — had been detached and had rolled back down the track a ways.

After a quick check of the train's remaining passengers, the heroes began sprinting down the tracks (after convincing some of the people in the train to not follow them — although one still did), trying to get to the wrecked cars. When they arrived, they found the back portion of the train had jumped the tracks when going around a curve.

…what happened to the crate?

2-19-09

At the wreck of the back two cars, the crate was found to be broken open thanks to one of the magical locks being smashed. Whatever was inside had gotten free, and something had lost a lot of blood there. There wasn't otherwise a lot of interest there, so the group decided to take what useful items they could and head back to the rest of the passengers.

The night passed slowly, thanks to something wandering at the edge of everyone's vision out in the darkness. The unknown creature was dragging away the bodies and keeping everyone on edge. Morning came without an attack though, and the group decided to go and track it down while everyone else waited.

The posse hiked through a thick forest tracking the creature, and eventually came to a clearing with a cave nearby. Suddenly, bodies began digging themselves out of the ground, and attacked! It was soon discovered that the bodies were not walkin' dead, but rather had smaller versions of the creature inside them that were essentially using them as puppets. A few wounds were sustained but the six creature spawn were put down without any great difficulty.

In the nearby cave, the mother waited. She got in a cheap shot on the Texas ranger, but he shrugged it off and a brief firefight ensued. A few shells later, the thing joined its children in death.

Afterward, all of the bodies were burned and a cover story was concocted by the ranger and his associate, much to the annoyance of the muckraker and Virginia Knights. The posse then rejoined the rest of the passengers and began hiking out of the mountains…

2-26-09

The group of train wreck survivors hiked along the tracks for a day or so, searching for some sort of civilization. In the distance, they saw a train waystation, which appeared to be mostly deserted. A closer inspection revealed that assumption to be true — no one was manning the station, and a mostly empty pistol was found in the stationmaster's bedroom along with a broken window and several bullet holes below it.

A thorough search produced the corpse, which had been dumped into the outhouse pit. The small amount of blood present in the bedroom, combined with the total lack of blood anywhere else (including the corpse) indicated that whatever attacked the man had drained away his blood.

The group continued on down the tracks for another day, and finally managed to come to a town. It was your typical western town, with a buffalo hunters camp nearby. The posse rested and resupplied, but were quickly hired on to protect an inmate from a lynch mob by a rather meek deputy. The timid man said that the town's sheriff had disappeared a few days ago, and he was unsure if he could stop the mob that was surely about to form to lynch the nasty sack of fat and filth that was being kept in the jail.

The posse agreed to help. At around 10 pm, the mob approached the jail and confronted the posse. The two sides exchanged a few statements and insults, and the mob's leader (the town mayor) managed to taunt Virginia Knights such that she unloaded both barrels into him, killing him instantly. When one of the mob fired back at Virginia and blew off a chunk of her right leg, she remained unfazed and told the mob to get the hell away from the jail. This final attempt at diplomacy worked, and the mayor was the only person in town to die.

During the night, a train whistle could be heard blowing in the distance. It grew closer, and with one final screaming blow of the whistle (which seemed to darken the landscape with a blanket of fear), slowly stopped in the train station.

…what was on the train?

3-5-09

The train pulled into the station of Varney Flats, blew its whistle, and a score of hungry vampires poured out. They began to grab townsfolk and haul them back to the train; the posse tried to fight back, and managed to kill a few of the vampires with significant difficulty. The whistle blew again, and all of the vampires fled back to the train with their prey, and the train began to leave.

A certain muckraker, who had taken a picture in the battle, had his camera destroyed by the Texas ranger; the posse then grabbed some horses and took off after the train. They managed to stop it with the help of a new huckster, who used a Phantom Fingers hex to detach certain train cars so that the engine, the majority of the vampires, and the victims were spread out over the tracks.

When the posse opened up the victim's car, four more vampires jumped out, but were killed by the posse in another battle. The group then began to head back to town with the rescued townies…

3-12-09

The posse managed to rescue all of the victims that the vampires had dragged away, and got them back to town. After a brief discussion on tactics, the group went back to the train (which was preparing to leave) in order to blow it up and finish the job.

The Texas Ranger and Jeremiah rode up to the engine, dispatched the undead engineer, and planted the dynamite in the boiler. The Ranger was able to get away in time, but Jeremiah was caught in the blast and sustained serious injury. The new member of the posse, a huckster of some sort, was able to use a hex to pull Jeremiah out of the way and ensure a safe landing after the blast.

Back in town, Virginia Knights and Miss Kitty had an argument with the Texas Ranger about covering up the incident. Jeremiah was able to get Virginia to grudgingly agree to stop being so blatant, but left some bad blood between her and the Ranger.

Afterwards, the posse purchased horses and started riding off towards Salt Lake City.

3-19-09

The posse continued their trip to Salt Lake City, though the Texas Ranger and his charge opted to head south on their own. A little ways into the trip, they encountered a stage coach that was under attack by bandits. A doctor and martial artist were inside, and the posse rushed to their aid. The bandits were quickly disposed of.

The martial artist and doctor were also heading north to Salt Lake, so they joined the posse. As night fell, the group came upon a farmhouse inhabited by a woman and her young son. The posse was allowed to stay there for the night. The farm had two barns, one dilapidated and one new. The male members of the posse were allowed to stay in the new barn, while Virginia Knights and Miss Kitty got a room in the house.

Sometime around midnight, some of the posse noticed the woman's son sneaking out to the dilapidated barn, and heard him talking to someone inside. Virginia snuck over to the new barn to see if any of the other posse members had noticed; they had, and were wondering what was going on. Suddenly, a steam wagon full of gatling pistol-toting guys drove up to the old barn. A strange creature of metal, wood, and steam charged out — an automaton — and engaged the men in a brief fight. The automaton was quickly put down, nothing more than shards of scrap metal left.

When questioned, the boy believed that his father WAS the automaton. The mother said she knew nothing about this. After some thought, the posse concluded that it was one of Hellstromme's automatons who worked on the H. I. railroad, and that it had originally been the boy's father and had managed to come back.

The posse then took off after the thugs, and caught up to them several hours later. They were indeed Hellstromme "cleaners" and had tracked the escaped automaton to the farmhouse. The posse's remaining huckster tried several times to conjure a powerful Phantom Fingers hex, and finally managed it after suffering backlash a few times. The Hellstromme steam wagon the cleaners had been riding in was tossed in the air, and a massive firefight ensued. The posse emerged victorious, and even chased down the four that tried to escape.

The last remaining cleaner was captured and (unfortunately) tortured by the posse. He gave up little useful information. Virginia noted afterwards that she "didn't endorse that kind of interrogation," and the posse left to continue its journey northward.

3-26-09

Session canceled.

4-2-09

The posse finally reached Salt Lake City. When they arrived, Virginia and Jeremiah immediately proceeded to Smith and Robards to purchase some New Science, while Miss Kitty went to her bar to see how well it was doing.

Jeremiah was chasing a fugitive, and got a lead at a brothel about the location of someone who might know his location. Upon arriving at the town, the group heard about alleged vampires who had killed a few of the town's inhabitants.

After investigating for a while, the posse was awoken during the night by the owner of the town's hotel, who said his wife had been kidnapped. The posse found the wife's body out in the woods, and investigation revealed that it was highly likely that the man was the murderer. The posse forced him back to town.

Later, a young girl named Maisy had run off in the woods to talk to her friend. When the posse went out there, they found that her friend was actually a wounded and delirious man…the lead that Jeremiah had been chasing. They quickly got him back to town.

Unfortunately, the town thought that he was the "vampire" and a lynch mob formed, primarily because of the innkeeper's murdered wife. After a long standoff, the town was convinced that the husband was actually the murderer, and the situation was resolved.

4-9-09

After the "vampire" incident, the posse headed back for Salt Lake City. Some of the New Science ordered by Virginia and Jeremiah had been created, and those were picked up. More investigation by Jeremiah had turned up three potential towns where the fugitive may have been hiding — Coffin Rock, Bent Fork, and Buck Snort.

The posse went to Coffin Rock first. A pall of fear hung over the town, and the local copper mines had been played out and the town was dying. The law was probably corrupt as well.

The posse poked around town for a while, not coming up with much. They were about to leave, and decided to try and ride out near Coffin Rock itself (the mesa, not the town) when they encountered a young woman who was fighting off a bloody zombie. The posse quickly jumped into help, and the creature was dispatched easily.

The young woman was the heiress of the Daly fortune. Daly was a rich man who owned most of the town, but died mysteriously in a fire. Most of his possessions went to the "state"…aka, the town's corrupt sheriff. The young miss Daly had a small gang with her and were trying to come up with a way to get revenge.

Hearing this, the posse decided to try and find documents that supported the young Daly's claim to her father's fortune. They snuck into the derelict mayor's office and found some legal papers (the new Huckster found some in the sheriff's office), so the case looks good…

4-16-09

Session canceled.

4-23-09

The posse had just acquired the documentation they needed to prove the heiress owned most of the town, and the first thing they did was go capture the sheriff. He was in the local whorehouse, and Virginia Knights noticed that he was "different," which prompted a talk from Miss Kitty about the facts of life. The corrupt deputies were rounded up and jailed as well.

Later, the posse went to check out the schoolhouse, which had the ghost of a little girl inside. Talk quickly turned to combat, and Bert stunned the girl with black lightning while Jeremiah grabbed the corpse and ran off to bury it, ending the haunting. A minor victory but not the real problem the town was facing.

The posse then rode out to Coffin Rock itself, climbed to the top, and met a shaman. He sent them on a vision quest with the help of some peyote, and the posse learned from the earth spirit that it was having its power drained away by an evil shaman. The group hurried to the mine where the spirit was imprisoned.

At the mine, the posse rode the elevator down and saw blood red veins running through the walls. The mine itself seemed to be alive and breathing. Some ghosts showed up, miners who had been separated from their bodies, who needed to "hitch a ride" to get back to them. The posse had just worked out the particulars of this when the session ended…

4-30-09

Session canceled.

5-7-09

Session canceled.

5-14-09

The Chinaman rejoined the posse in the mine, and after the ghosts of the miners hitched a ride in most of the posse they continued on. The cave opened up and they spotted the imprisoned spirit; at that time, the evil priest jumped into a pit of blood and his bloodman minions charged the posse. The fight was a bit nasty, and the Dark Man wound up blowing up his own allies, but the posse prevailed and they were defeated. The spirit summoned up enough power to open a portal to the town after telling them that the priest was doing a ritual in the town's old church, and the posse jumped in, winding up in various houses after having emerged from the mirrors around town.

The posse hurried to the church where the evil priest and his cultists attacked them. Another magical explosion from the Dark Man blew away most of the cultists, but another spell shoved the rest of the posse away and caused a pile of church pews to slam into both the high priest and Virginia Knights. The priest died, and Virginia was rendered inert for a while…and was quite angry at the Dark Man's reckless spellcasting.

A crowd began to form outside the church, and after telling the heroic tale and having a few strong drinks, the posse set out for Salt Lake City…

5-21-09

On their way to Salt Lake City (after dealing with the problems in Coffin Rock), the posse heard a fusillade of gunshots in the distance. They raced to the source, and found a small wagon train that had obviously been attacked, and a few Indians snooping around. The Indians quickly fled, and the posse investigated the wreckage. A family of 11 was dead; the posse took some of their personal effects and weapons and went to track the creatures that had attacked them…they had cloven hooves, whatever they were.

When found, there were four of the creatures. They appeared to be buffalo-men hybrids, and attacked on sight. The posse was getting overwhelmed, and retreated after only managing to kill one of the creatures. Virginia Knights covered the posse's retreat with liberal use of her Ghost power and repeated attempts at Overawe. She finally Burrowed away once the rest of the group had escaped.

The posse returned to the wreckage and headed to a nearby town to rest, where an Injun was about to be hanged…

5-28-09

Session canceled.

6-4-09

The posse found themselves in a very small town — one that was still under construction. The townspeople had been complaining about Indian attacks on their wagon trains. Of course, it was actually the evil buffalo creatures, but they didn't know that. They were about to hang an Indian.

After asking a few questions, Virginia Knights shot the hanging rope down and intimidated the assembled townies such that they all fainted! The posse spoke to the Indian while waiting for the townies to recover, and he offered to cast a spell that would allow the posse to damage the were-buffaloes much more easily.

The townies awoke and the posse wasn't able to calm them down. They left the town with the shaman to track down the were-buffaloes. Later that day, they saw them on the plains ahead, and a fight ensued — they were easily shot to pieces with the shaman's help. The creatures reverted to human form — they were a squad of Union soldiers. The posse gave them a couple of guns and sent them on their way.

Afterwards, the posse returned to the ever-out of reach Salt Lake City, to purchase equipment from Smith and Robards. They made plans to attack a gang called the Scorpions, an offshoot of a less bloody gang known as the Outcasts, in order to acquire a gatling gun…

6-11-09

Session canceled.

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