May 1st, 1880
When riding a Union Blue Rail to Denver, Colorado to attend Rail Days the train begins shaking and making noises. Smoke soon starts to billow from the front of the train. It slows down and stops.
Cornelius stands up and screams that the train is going to explode and dives out the window of the train.
After the rest of the passengers disembark calmly Cole retrieves Cornelius’s briefcase from the train. When asked why he thought the train would explode he takes some papers from a suit coat pocket and says his calculations were a little off, probably cause the train was made of some wood. He also thinks the trees may have caused the break down. There are no tree’s in the middle of no where Colorado.
We notice there is a town a short distance away, maybe a 30 minute walk, and it has a very unusual hill rising above it in the background. It doesn’t appear like a natural hill.
A conductor comes by and explains it would be a few days before the train can be fixed. Suggests we head to the town.
Warren invites everyone from the train to the nearest inn and he’s buying the first round of drinks.
Cornelius’s brief case seems to have wheels built in, and he pulls it along.
Cole is wearing a black duster and has several weapons on a belt and a rifle in hand.
Josephine is traveling with Sturdy Sam and has a beautiful necklace on.
When arriving in town a respectable looking man is on the edge of town and appears eager to greet the passengers. The town seems pretty quiet and has a layer of dust, probably ghost rock, on much of the houses and buildings. The hill behind it appears even more strange the closer we are to it, almost like an ant hill that was built up.
The man introduces himself as Mayor Darrel Bolt of Coffin’s Nail. Says it’s a mining town on tough times and indicates the Brass Nickle as the town’s only Inn/Tavern. It is owned by Zeke. If looking for work we could seek out Baron Orville Richards the owner and operator of the mine near town.
When going to the Brass Nickle it is filled with a few patrons. At the bar is Brass’s Dog drinking whiskey and tells us about how his horse was attacked by some huge worms with tentacles and how it dragged the horse under ground right in front of his eyes.
Dog thinks that the worms attacked the tracks.
Warren buys drinks. Engages in conversation with Dog about the worms.
A well groomed man in a very nice suit and top hat enters the tavern. He introduces himself as Baron Orville Richards the owner of the mining operation. About a week ago a large hill appeared right over the mine, causing the camp nearby to be destroyed and the entrance to have caved in. All the miners have gone missing. The Baron is looking for someone to investigate and willing to pay.
Warren and Dog are immediately interested, but Josephine takes over the discussion and begins to negotiate terms for help. She and the Baron settle on -
$500 to secure the mine
Find 5 missing miners, an additional $20 each
Access to mining supplies and equipment for the investigation.
There has been several sightings of these worms, could be the cause of the problem. If we want more information we should seek out Harold Frey, a local tanner & leather worker who may have some other information for us regarding this problem.
Group will go in the morning. Can buy lodging at the inn or we could try the school house for free lodging. We are to ask from Ms. Applewood the local school mistress.
Cornelius indicates he has a niece in these parts, his brother’s Earl daughter in named Applewood.
The group goes to the school and finds out that Ms. Applewood is indead Cornelius’s niece and she also seems to be an inventor like Cornelius. She explains the town has been plagued by worms for a week. She has created a “Ghostrock Detector” for the mine to help find additional ghostrock and that after giving the prototype to a group of miners the hill appeared shortly after. She has created a second one which she shows us. Cornelius puts it in the ground and uses it, Brass’s Dog shoots the device but it’s too late as several worms break through the floor boards of the school house and attack the group.
Brass’s Dog, Cole & Warren easily dispatch the worms with gun play, while Cornelius pulls at a magnificent new weapon from his briefcase and shoots fire at several.
After defeat several of the worms, at least half a dozen, the group seems to be slightly injured but nothing serious. It seems the device attracted the worms, and may be why the miners disappeared.
The group splits up, with some heading to talk to Harold Frey about worms, while Cole & Cornelius will clean up and study the worms.
Harold lives on the outskirts of town. He informs us the worms are just babies and the parents are like 50’ long and have thick hides which make them difficult to kill. Skins of the babies are worth alot, $20 each.
Harold suggests looking at the worms so we take him to the school house, he has a limp and difficulty walking.
Back at the school house the worms are burnt completely. No evidence is left to show Harold. School house smells and needed to be cleaned up.
Dog takes Harold back, the rest of us bed down in the loft. Dog doesn’t come back. We go to Harold’s and he tells us that Dog has a drink and left a while ago but that he couldn’t handle the liquor. We find Dog drunk several minutes away and bring him back.
In the morning we get ready to depart and Sturdy Sam shows up with Steam Wagon.
We also hear the train, pulling away, leaving us stuck here in Coffin’s Nail.
Ms. Applewood reminds us the prototype Ghostrock Detector is still in mine and she’d like it back.
We get supplies, rope, lanterns, etc. Leave most of the dynamite.
We ride the steam wagon to the mine. The hill is impressive and definitely isn’t natural. Where the camp should be, there is a sink hole with three different sized entrances. In front of the mine, where the camp is there are dozens of weird boulder/eggs that are white in color. They are not natural.
We make our way down carefully and Cornelius starts to use his weapon to start fire with them. We throw a lantern and light the oil on a group. Some of the eggs burn but other have baby worms burst free.
Dog heads towards one of the tunnels and looks in while Cornelius burns most of the eggs.
We can hear more worms coming from the tunnels and we engage in a fight killing several. A stick of dynamite is used to hurt some more. Several members are injured and as we kill the last of them a large noise and shaking comes from inside the mine. It definitely sounds like one of the parents is coming out.
We decide to fall back to town and come up with a plan to deal with the larger, more deadly worms.