Regrouping around the train, the survivors of the train crash and outlaw ambush setup camp, as night was drawing close, and creatures such as wolves roamed during the dark. Whilst they did this, the posse headed down to the lost baggage car to check what had happened… and retrieve their rifles ! They were accompanied by the lady from Boston, Laura Giles, who was interested in retrieving some of her “personal effects.
At the carriage they found it deserted and surrounded by signs of blood and bodies dragged away. Inside, the crate had been smashed open… from the INSIDE. The party gathered there guns, whilst Laura picked up her valuables – some jewelry that seemed somewhat valueless costume jewelry to Felix. Stilt-like tracks led away from the train wreck, seeming to drag bodies with it, but the night drew on so the party returned to rest for the night.
Overnight, Samson heard scratching noises outside. Investigating the sound revealed nothing, but in the morning the bodies of the dead outlaws had vanished from outside the train. The party set out to find what was doing this, this time accompanied by Denise Merritt, who was still very keen to find her story for the Tomestone Epitath. The others said they would wait a day before moving on toward Denver – rations were low and they coudl starve otherwise. Whilst Denver was two days ride away – meaning several days walk – Laura knew of a small settlement called Coffin Rock to the North that couldn’t be more than a day’s walk away.
Following the tracks the next day bought the group to a snowy clearing high up the side of the pass. Opposite them lay a cliff wall with a small cave in it, but before they entered Jed muttered that the group had been turned and disturbed. Not just to conceal tracks, but something bigger. Sweeping the snow aside, Samson found a frozen arm from one the dead train crew. Then the arm twitched… and another arm appeared ! Soon four dead crewmen / outlaws were rising from the snow to claw and tear at the party ! Jed and Denise almost lost there breakfast with the horror of the situation, and Samson started in fright as one rose right infront of him. Composures were soon recovered and shots fired, soon taking one of the walking corpses down with a loud… screeech ? Another shot from Jed’s rifle took down another, with claws tearing out the bullet wound before the corpse fell.The final two were not so easily stopped, as Samson and Felix tore them down, small spider like creatures tore out of the wounds and jumped toward the party, trying to tear them apart and blind them with their poison spittle. Felix took a nasty tear to the arm before the final two could be dispatched, falling with final screeches.
Samon strode over and muttered a prayer, and soon Felix’s wound seemed naught more than a scratch ! Denise continued to hurriedly scribble notes on the fantastical creatures, and the heroic actions of the group. But none of these small creatuers could account for what lay inside the crate, and after a brief rest, the group took into the cave single file. This cave was short and ended in a small cavern. Samson passed the torch over the floor, and therefore was caught unawares by a much larger spider like creature thumping down on his back, digging in with it’s clawed feet to try and bite into his neck. Felix quickly bounded into the cave and swung his rifle to bear on the spider-like abomination , but in the waving lantern light his aim was poor and tore into Samson’s arm ! Before he could recover from the friendly fire, the spider-creature tore it’s mandible into Samson’s neck, leaving him twitching on the ground, blood pooling around his body.
The creature then turned on Felix, who was having little luck with his guns, each jamming on him at crucial moments. Denise and Jed fired shots in, Denise scoring a hit that angered the beast, causing it to spit poison into her eyes, leaving her blinded. As Felix switched to his Tomahawk, which struggled to penetrate the thick chitinous hide, the beast turned on Jed, who’s rifle had left it badly hurt. It jumped at the injured bounty hunter, knocking him down, and rendering him unconcious. Felix moved in to engage again, as Denise finally stood, poison now most worn off from her eyes. She took aim, with a shaking hand, realising that one more shot would bring the beasts attention to her once more, perhaps fatally. As she prepared to squeeze the trigger, she started screaming with the shock of the last few moments, which breifly drew the attention of the creature. Not for long, but just long enough for Felix to raise his tomahawk and bring it down right behind the creature head. In an epxlosion of green ichor, the beast’s scream matched that of the reporter briefly before it twitched and stopped moving.
The group surveyed their fallen. Jed would soon come around, but needed a long period of medical care before he would be fit again. Samson though had not lasted long after the spider creatures bite, and had died within moments. Denise and Felix built a fire to keep warm and burn the bodies, whilst waiting for Jed to come around. An hour later found the three of them coming down the slope, back toward the train, only to find the group has already moved on. A note from Laura explained she had not thought they would return, so ordered the group ahead, but should the party have found and killed the creature to come to Denver and look her up, care of the Pinkerton Dectective Agency, for an apology and reward for there efforts. She had left enough rations for a days travel, long enough for the three of the them to walk to the nearby town of Coffin Rock.
The next day the group walked toward Coffin Rock. In the hills nearby, four shambling corpses ambushed the party – but this time there were no insects inside – these were the real deal ! The walking dead ! Gunfire took down these creatures, leaving the group to run into town babbling to the local church about zombies, which seemed to meet understanding but perhaps unbelieveing ears. The strange order of monks suggested they might take rest, and perhaps the local doctor might help. Jed visited first, at night, and after a shot of moonshine was asleep on the surgery table, awaking in the morning with tended wounds but patches of skin cut away from his body. The doctor explained they had been infected by an animal bite and needed to be removed to avoid infection. Offering lighter medical care to Felix, the group settled back to the Inn to rest – having seen his reflection in the window, Felix realised he looked awful, a run down version of his former self, and several days of bed rest would do all of them much good…