Flood

Those Smug Bastards Stopped!!
The Sunday Lightbringer, December 8, 1879

The saffron-clad menace of the bullet-dodging Chinaman and his goblin assistant has been ended! Honest Tom’s Discreet Services, a bounty hunting outfit with a highfalutin’ name (not that we mind, for we men of science are guilty of the same) was contracted to bring the vandals to justice, and justice appears to have been done! Mostly. The monks were injured, though not killed or imprisoned, and have shared the reasons for their violent attacks (which, we must admit, left no one dead or even particularly badly injured.) They believe there is some sort of corruption as yet unknown to the New Science involved in working with Ghost Rock. I’ll believe it when I see the research!

Vigilante Crushes Highwaymen

A group of bandits were found having been rendered dead with the most extreme prejudice by a caravan to Shan Fan. “It looked like they were torn apart or crushed!” said one frightened merchant. There was a bounty offered for the protection of the caravan, but the clerk who paid the bounty describes the man who came to collect as simply “big.”

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New Legionnaires
Journal of Rutherford Ellington Dillenger

November 29, 1879
Lacey O’Malley has sent a small bounty hunting operation to my doorstep, with recommendations that they join the Twilight Legion. Unfortunately, my doorstep is now the hall of a hotel in Shan Fan’s lovely Red Lantern district that seems very popular with young, unmarried women. Pennington-Smythe chose it for safety after our home was burned down, and believes the owner is trustworthy. While a bit cramped, the quality of furnishings is impeccable, and our bodyguards do not appear to mind staying here. To compound the already-existing problems, Pennington-Smythe has not returned from his journey to hide the Amulet of Rahashimir. As I prefer to make the best of a bad situation, I have sent the bounty hunters in search of my colleague. If they prove trustworthy and competent, they may well be Twilight Legion material. If lacking, Pennington-Smythe is resourceful enough to escape on his own. At worst, I can rescue him myself using the Amulet of the Closed Eye.

November 30, 1879
My colleague has been returned, and the Amulet is safely stored away. While the rowan box is an imperfect means of containment, solar exposure would be too much of a risk when the amulet is being targeted for theft. The bounty hunters seem like good lads, rescuing Pennington-Smythe with minimal loss of life, even destroying some sort of beast of animated earth and stone. Members of the criminal gangs that run this city seem to be implicated in the theft and abduction, but I am told that this is simply Chinese politics. While the attempt to obtain the Amulet of Rahashimir for an evil purpose (for with this foul stone there is no other kind of purpose) has failed, we must still try to find out why.

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Kang's Pirate Queen Escapes!!!
Sacramento Bugle, November 30, 1879

Three days ago, Kang’s lieutenant Red Petals Su was captured by a bounty hunter known only as the Dread Pirate Roberts. She was handed over to the Union salvage transport Bathynomus for transport to Fort Lincoln for trial. One day out from the fort, the cell was found empty, two men on watch were unconscious, and one was missing. In response, the live bounty for Red Petals Su has been lowered.

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Lost Angels and Progress, CA

Fault Lines and Indian Mystical Practices (Abstract)

Experiment Ended November 24, 1879

In a geological survey of the area now referred to as the Great Maze, I observed a set of petroglyphs repeated in multiple locations along the San Andreas fault line, in the style of the local Indians. They were identified as symbols of the ‘Earth Spirits’ by both a Chumash and Lakota Indian. My initial hypothesis is that these spirits were a pre-scientific understanding of geological faults. Further data is inconsistent with this, including petroglyphs that have a reaction to human blood. In addition, disturbing one of these glyphs led to an attack by unidentified lithic beasts. This leads to a secondary theory that there is some manner of aetheric presence connected to these petroglyphs.

Murderous Rail Warriors Thumb Nose at God!!

Lost Angels Times, November 25, 1879

A full flight of Guardian Angels led by Rooster Petersen, sent to negotiate with the boatwrights of Progress for the welfare of our fair city, has been murdered by the barbarous mercenaries of Union Blue. They were shot in a cowardly ambush, and disposed of like animals in a canyon north of the Holy City.

The remainder is a Jeremiad against the rail companies.

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Excerpted Notes from Lacey O'Malley's Journal
November 11-22, 1979

Notes translated from Lacey’s own shorthand/code.

November 11, Late
One doesn’t expect to meet new people in this Plutonian tunnel, but that’s exactly what happened this afternoon. Hellstromme’s digging has caused a collapse aboveground, and derailed a D-P train. Hellstromme seems unconcerned at these accidental deaths. The survivors have been taken under protective custody, so as not to reveal Hellstromme’s plan to end the Rail wars. They seem to be a disreputable lot, mercenaries keen to make a profit on the last days of the Rail Wars. Surprisingly diverse group. There’s an Englishman, an Irish immigrant, a Chinese girl, and an Indian I believe to be of the Sioux Nations.

November 15, After Breakfast
I may have misjudged the four from the D-P crash. Yesterday, the camp was set upon by those unnatural insects the worm-repellant devices seem to attract. All the guards went to defend the camp, leaving only Hellstromme’s guests and the miners in camp. We were surprised soon after to see the miners rushing away from the Hellbore, which was also being attacked. With no one else available to help, the four from the train ran to the rescue, with little concern for their own safety. The Irishman even took the risk of deploying a gadget of the new science in his efforts to defend the miners and the camp. I believe it was meant to be a portable flamethrower, but it acted as a firebomb. He sustained a few minor burns, and I assume was very thankful for the leatherworkers who made his coat. It’s likely he will need to place another order with them. Despite that mishap, the bugs were destroyed and Dr. Cid Haggerty saved.

November 21, Noon
The tunnel has finally reached daylight. I hope we can end the Rail Wars with minimal violence.
Transcript of Hellstromme’s speeches follow.
Train attacked by Iron Dragon. The heroes from the D-P train are still with us, and defended us from harm, even killing something that looks like an ogre out of Chinese legend. I may have to ask them to assist me with the problem of S.

November 22, Morning
Yesterday the Great Rail Wars ended. Hellstromme killed them all. Some kind of ghost rock bombs. One hit Ghost Town, outside of Lost Angels. Too many are dead. We helped who we could, but it wasn’t enough. I had to shoot a man who was on fire and begging for help just so he wouldn’t burn me. At least I had help. Gave Joshua, Milly, Quentin, and Robin a recommendation for an employer, Pennington-Smythe. If they’re seeking fortune in the Maze, they may as well do good at the same time.

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DP Train Derailed!
Tombstone Epitaph, November 12, 1879, Page 5

Denver-Pacific Train 113, headed to Cedar City, Nevada, failed to arrive. After 24 hours, the Cedar City Denver-Pacific office dispatched an auto-gryo to investigate. A flyover revealed that the train had derailed a short distance from a sinkhole that swallowed part of the track. The crash caused an explosion in the ghost rock boiler, severely damaging the engine and spreading burning ghost dust over the immediate area. No survivors were spotted, though the auto-gyro operator circled for nearly half an hour. There is not yet any word on the cause of the sinkhole, but the tracks are in rattler country. Smith and Robards Co. has not yet replied to inquiries on the effectiveness of their worm-repelling devices.

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