- The silence was broken by the sound of a whiskey bottle shattering on the saloon floor. The man cleaning the tables turned away from the stranger in the doorway and stormed out of the room. The bartenter seemed just as confused as to what was going on. He told them that the man in the gray suit was called Malone and that he was fond of hanging around the abandoned train station.
- After finishing their breakfast, Victor decided to get some sleep at the Last Lights hotel while the others went to find Mr. Malone. The conversation with Malone at the train station was somewhat unnerving and confusing. The man seemed to display a very calm and curious insanity - and was very interested in them. After they concluded their discussion, Leah went to see about getting into the post office where she'd be working while the others took a cue from Victor and decided to get some rest.
- After a short rest, James went with Victor out to check up on his sister Sara. She was very happy to see them, and obviously distressed at her husband Edward's behavior. She told them that he'd disappeared for a few weeks, and since he'd returned he'd been out digging in the pasture. She was concerned about his sanity, and also that his partners - other former coal miners with whom he'd started the ranch - were going to kick him out. The two went out to the pasture where he had dug 9 holes about the same size and shape as graves, and was just staring at them. As Victor expressed his sister's concerns, Edward became confrontational. He rambled about the heat, about not believing it, and about having to go back before collapsing into near-unconsciousness. Victor and James got him back to the house, and Sara called for Father Clarence and a nurse called Jessica Farns.
- That night at the saloon, James and Victor got into a brief scrape with a man called Jack Santos they'd seen earlier that day at the Ranch. Some time later Mr Malone appeared again near Jack and a few others - they seemed very agitated by his presense. As he walked back to the door of the saloon, he asked them "who it was going to be". Jack pointed angrily at James, but Mr Malone told him "No, not that one - he's not one of us." The marshall then got up and said they could take this disagreement outside, but Mr Malone told him it was too late for that. It was then that Jack pulled out his gun and shot another man. Both he and Jack seemed utterly shocked by this. Mr Malone walked outside, muttering something to himself.
- Chaos ensued, during which a candle was tipped into a puddle of spilled liquor and ignited a fire. One of the other men took off after Mr Malone. James was the first outside, where he saw a large splatter of blood in the street leading toward a darkened alley. Down the alleyway he found more blood, entrails, and body parts. As he examined them, he caught a brief glimpse of a spindly shadow moving further into the darkness. The others joined him in searching, but they found no more evidence beyond some strange scorch marks on a few nearby buildings...
Setting: Dark West, Northern New Mexico Territory, Town of Redwood
System: In The Cards (homebrew)
- Leah [Sheri] :: The new postmistress
- Victor [Tim] :: Rancher coming to visit his sister
- Oliver [Dave] :: Company man come to find out why coal shipments have stopped
- Roxanne [Taylor] :: ???
- James [Tony] :: Traveler looking for a fresh start in a new place
- A group of travelers meet up on the road and camp together with a man called an old prospector a few hours outside the town of Redwood. They all shared dinner and had a nice chat about the area. Elijah, the prospector, told them that the area had been declining quite a bit since the coal mine closed and the trains stopped coming into town, but he was hopeful that the area would stick it out and survive.
- Late that night, the group was awakened to the sounds of Elijah hurriedly packing up his things in a near panic. They found the stagecoach driver and his two guards dead from apparent stab wounds, and Roxanna saw something moving outside the camp. Whatever it was, Elijah apparently caught sight of it too, and went screaming into the night in the opposite direction as Leanne swore she heard a distant train whistle. On edge but unwilling to risk the horses in the darkness, the group holed up in the camp until morning.
- The next day they headed into Redwood. While Leanne and Victor delivered the mail to the town hall and spoke to the marshall about what had happened, Oliver, James, and Roxanna went to the Bucksaw Saloon for some breakfast and an early drink to calm their nerves. They spoke to the bartender about the previous night's events, and James asked if there were any local natives that might have stories about "things" roaming the wilderness. He told them he could only think of one natve that lived in town - the widow of a miner by the name of Caleb Solomon. One of the barhands seemed to be listening to the conversation and seemed, for some reason, to be growing very angry because of it.
- It was then that another man appeared in the saloon entrance. He wore a nice, grey suit and was looking at a gold pocketwatch. The already quiet saloon fell completely silent. As he looked up, he smiled and said in a low voice "Can you hear that train, a-comin'?"...
GM's Note: The idea for this game came out of a conversation a month or so ago when someone suggested we do some kind of horror one-shot on halloween. I kicked around a few ideas while putting it together, but pretty quickly decided this would be a great opportunity to finish the idea I had for a western-themed game system that used only cards and poker chips - no dice or even character sheets. Over the course of a week or so, I fleshed out the basic ideas and put together a creepy, Dark West game to run with it. It didn't take super long to explain, seemed to run quite well, and everyone really loved the feel of it. I may make further tweaks, but I'm quite happy with how it came out. Of course, I cannot "one-shot" a "one-shot", so we only made it through about 1/3 of the scenario, but everyone liked it enough that we decided we would try to get together soon to see if we couldn't continue it.