The action opens with Cole finding “the gun” in Black Dog’s saddlebag. It’s made of black metal with a white bone handle, a red snake and a black snake are in-laid either side of the handle, it has no hammer, and the cylinder is encased so you can’t see the ammunition or load the gun. Cole tells the posse and Sutter. Creed thinks it’s “witchery.”
There’s no rest on a cattle drive, so the herd leaves at down in the general direction of Roswell.
The herd takes almost two weeks until it gets to an abandoned farmhouse before the trail turns into desert. On the way, the posse sees a Hangin’ Judge riding after the Lost Devil Gang, run off some Comanches trying to steal some horses, and spot their first sign of CSA presence in the area.
There’s a well at the Abandoned Farmhouse and it take the better part of a day to water the animals and cowboys. Cole rigs up a contraption to make the job easier and frees up much manpower.
The Abandoned Farmhouse itself proves to be a mystery. Locked from the inside, several valuables, a weird (but quite normal) loaded gun… but no clue what happened to the inhabitants. Sutter shrugs and says “probably Camanches” which you assume is his answer to many things in this area.
In late afternoon, Danny Murray (a dandy cowboy) and Junior Boukman (clearly so kind of voodoo priest) arrive to talk to Sutter and Cole about the gun on behalf of Bayou Vermillion. They try to negotiate on the basis the gun is dangerous, then offer Sutter a fair amount for the herd (“that train has left the station, son”), then offer Cole escalating amounts up to $500. When that is refused, Murray seems disappointed but leaves.
The desert is brutal, but the posse mostly manages. The herd almost goes into a stampede as it nears a tributary of the Colorado River. Cole’s horse is attacked by a swarm of red and black snakes (both indigenous to the area), but they disappear as others arrive on the scene.
It’s a week of easy riding, and the herd is left in a box canyon outside Roswell. Sutter, Abby, and a couple of hands go into Roswell to try to sell part (or all) of the herd.
On the second night, a spy using a rocket pack takes off outside Roswell and crashes a mile from the herd. Sent to investigate, the posse finds a the dead spy, a rocket pack with a bullet hole in it, some Deseret bank notes, and a drawing of a mechanical man with scientific notations. While investigating the scene, CSA soldiers come running down the hill and open fire on the posse. Ace gets hit, but the “battle” is very one-sided and the soldiers get mowed down.
Creed heals a couple of the soldiers, Ace grabs the shotgun and goes back to camp, Cole stashes his backpack with “the gun” in it, and eventually the duo are taken into custody by followup CSA forces. They buy the story after seeing the healed soldiers, the lack of a shotgun, Creed’s collar, and Cole’s sincerity.
The CSA proves to be inept interrogators and investigators, they buy the entire story, shrug their shoulders, and the incident is over. They do tell Sutter to move his herd along.
While leaving Roswell, long story short, Cole and Creed (and later Ace) meet Johnston Hanley a weird scientist (and weapon expert) for the CSA. He’s able to tell them a little bit about the gun (it has limited charges, don’t fire it when it’s out) but directs them to Mahlon Roesch in Denver for more information. He also offers to sell the posse some of his prototypes… as long as they give him a full field report.
- This was the “closer look at the setting” portion of the adventure.
- I’m not fond of the constant Survival and Vigor Rolls. I’m going to change that up.
- Black Dog’s death has me changing quite a bit in the adventure which is fine.
- I’m still not sure what I think about Savage Worlds as a system. Definitely things I like, definitely things I don’t.