Ghost River

The Plot Thickens...

Coming soon!

Faces in the cliffs, and more zombies!

Once we felled the werewolf, we took a look at our (now not-so-) furry friend. Wilhelmena and Josie noticed that the werewolf was covered in a silvery dust. On closer examination, I realized that this was actually silver dust. None of us recognized the significance at that moment.

Dusty dragged the body into the charnel house that was the shack filled with zombie bodies, and we resolved to backtrack the werewolf to its point of origin. So after cleaning up the area and covering our tracks as much as possible, we saddled up and sallied forth into the dark unknown.

After a couple of hours’ backtracking the wolf, following it into a narrow gorge, it finally got too late to keep my eyes open. I figure it was around four in the morning when I slumped in the saddle. I would guess that we stopped fairly soon after that and camped for the night, because the next thing I knew, I was getting kicked in the ribs by Wilhelmena, because everyone else had ridden off. I still wasn’t very fresh, it being only an hour or so after sunrise, but I was conscious, more or less. I guess some people can go for days without sleep and be happy doing it. I sure couldn’t, and wasn’t.

The canyon we were in was still dark, since the sun’s angle was so shallow and the gorge so deep. The floor probably only got about an hour of sunlight a day. I don’t know how he did it, but Dusty managed to find a box of four lanterns hidden in a crack in the rocks. We lit them and continued on, the horses not very happy about the situation. (Well, my horse is never happy about the situation whenever I’m around. We have a hate-hate relationship, but I have the saddle and the bridle, and the horse doesn’t have voting rights.)

Dusty mentioned something about the walls of the canyon “looking down at us.” I don’t know what the hell he was talking about, but the area was definitely giving off a foreboding aura. I guess the grinning skeleton pair we found a little further down the gorge didn’t help with that feeling.

We eventually ended up in a dead-end clearing, with a tiny mining shack, waterfall, mine entrance and burro yoke. I checked out the shack, which had a bag full of silver ore, but no other identifying items inside. At this moment, something flashed into my consciousness: The werewolf was covered in silver dust, yet werewolves are supposed to be deathly allergic to the stuff. And the moon wasn’t anywhere near full, which is supposed to be the time those critters roam. Something didn’t make sense here, but I was damned if I knew what it was. I filed it away in my brain-box for later perusal. Searching around the clearing didn’t reveal anything else interesting. The burro yoke hinted at the ownership of the mine claim, but it wasn’t certain by any stretch. So we decided to investigate the mine itself.

We entered the mine, and we split up at the first fork, Dusty going right, Tabitha going left, me going straight ahead to the next fork. Caleb, Josie, and Wilhelmena stayed at the fork itself, alert for trouble. It didn’t take very long for trouble to rear its head. Almost simultaneously, Dusty and Tabitha yelled a warning. Yes, more zombies. A bazillion of them. In both the left and right branches of the fork. I was going to have words with Old Coot if any of us survived this.

The next minute was a blur. Wilhelmena ran down to cover Dusty, who fired a shot down the hallway toward the zombies before backing off. I ran to help Tabitha, who had become surrounded and had taken a serious hit from the clawed flailing limbs around her. I got in between her and the deaders assaulting her and popped off a shot with my shotgun barrel, which staggered, but did not drop the closest deader. Oh oh. These were tough sumbitches. We were in for some serious hurt.

Then I heard a call from Caleb, who then tossed a stick downrange. It blew a small crater in the floor, along with most of the zombies shambling toward Dusty and Wilhelmena. Josie started retreating toward the entrance, she being the smartest of our lot. I shot another zombie, with much the same result as the first. Perhaps some bone and body fragments got blown off, but the deader kept coming. Right through me, and right at Tabitha. Well, they WERE coming right at Tabitha, but she wasn’t there any more. In her place was a little squirrel dashing down the mine towards the entrance in that funny bouncing run squirrels do. Did I mention it was a squirrel, instead of Tabitha? I think I did.

The Walkers swept by me, more intent on the squirrel than me. I guess squirrels are a tasty treat for the dead. I got off another shot as they pushed by me in pursuit of the squirrel, and I finally took care of one of them. I think Wilhelmena got another, while Dusty cleaned up in the other tunnel, until he got taken down by the surging mob surrounding him. Then a stick of dynamite hit me. I guess Caleb didn’t judge his throw very well, because he managed to slip the dynamite through the hoard of zombies coming at him, and basically drop it in my lap. Which was bad. The explosion clean knocked me out cold. I was probably dying, but since I wasn’t awake, It didn’t bother me very much. I guess the explosion also managed to take down most of the zombies in my branch of the fork, because the next thing I knew, Tabitha was kneeling over me, and I was awake. And mostly okay. Which was odd, considering I had taken a stick of dynamite to the gut.

While Tabitha was tending to Dusty and everyone else was regrouping, I decided to see what the fuss in the mine was about. I figured that there had to be something worth taking, if there was a reason to stock a mine full of deaders. I found some strange green-glowing rocks spread on the ground, obviously mined from the wall. I grabbed a large one, and took it back to the group, still at the fork.

Well, Wilhelmena freaked out about the rock, saying something about it “whispering” at her. So did Josie and Tabitha. I tossed it back down the hall, and we discussed what the hell we had found. Wilhelmena said that she had heard of this stuff, and she thought it was called “Ghost Rock.” My jaw hit the ground, and I rudely interrupted her explanation in my excitement. As the others retreated down toward the entrance, I tried to explain how valuable Ghost Rock was, and what it meant for the future. this stuff burned hotter than coal, and for much longer. I guess my exuberance was a little off-putting, since Dusty looked at me like I was crazy, and leveled his cannon at me. Remind me to pointedly discuss with him how much I dislike having guns pointed in my direction. For now I ignored him, and as everyone else left the mine, I went back into the room where I found the Ghost Rock and pocketed as much as I could carry. It had to be worth at least fifty or a hundred dollars; it would have been silly to leave it behind.

As I rejoined the rest of the group, the thing that had been banging on my hindbrain became more pronounced. Echoing through the canyon was the sound of war drums. Oh good. More company.

So, werewolves.

So we killed a werewolf. And some zombies. And saw the Ferryman. All this three days after arriving in town. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We arrived in Ghost River on a Wednesday. It’s a sleepy little town, and the addition of our stage coach train raised the population by a whole 2%, not counting the horses, which boosted this one-horse town to a grand total of four (plus an ass. But that’s another story.)

Things started out as you might expect; getting settled in Pringle’s Boarding House (dinner at six sharp, no drinking, no shooting, no hanky-panky, please-and-thank-you!), checking out the local saloon (rubes, all of them, but I went easy on them this time.), getting the general lowdown of the place. Sherrif paid us a visit at dinner and laid down the law, as expected. I think our motley crew gave him a bit of a scare, but he covered it pretty well.

After dinner, Caleb and I headed to the Saloon for the usual night’s entertainment (meaning, I pulled out the old 52, and he sat at the bar and did whatever he did while I liberated the townsfolk and visitors of their hard-earned dollars. Don’t look at me that way; I bought at least four rounds for the table during the course of the night. I may be merciless with a pack of cards, but I have a soul.) Only after a few hands, we heard the jangling spurs of Dusty crashing down the main street, toward the old dry river wash. (You can hear him coming a mile away with those things; you’d think that they’d teach a man how to be stealthy in the Rangers, but I digress.)

When we hit the street, Dusty was already almost out of earshot, with his military sabre drawn, streetlight flashing off of the blade as he ran (it being a new moon and all.) He shouted something about the “girls” off to the east, and some other nonsense about a green glow coming from the dry riverbed. Of course, now that you mention it, there was a greenish tinge to the horizon as we approached the river, moonlight glinting off of the surface.

We stood staring, a little slackjawed, for a spell, until Josie heaved a rock into the river. The waves propagated across the still water, bouncing off of the skiff slowly moving down the middle of the river. Looking hard, we could see a single figure in the skiff. The figure turned toward us as it pulled even, fixing each of us with what I guess would be a look of warning or maybe something else entirely. It was hard to tell, since we couldn’t see it’s face. Calling out didn’t yield any results, other than the figure pointedly ignoring us and continuing down the river.

Wilhelmena suggested we ask crazy old Coot about the river and the boatman, divining with flawless logic that he would be the one most likely to even discuss the subject, being crazy and all. So we walked back to the stables and found him sleeping in the stall with his burro. After jostling him awake and introducing ourselves, we asked him about the river and the boatman. He laughed with that disturbing, wheezing laugh all old people have, and told us that whenever he appeared, people tended to go missing. And something about carrying their souls to Hell.

Since the boatman was gone, and Coot didn’t actually have any useful information, I decided to finish out my card game back at the Saloon. The ladies and Dusty went back to the boarding house and after a few more rounds and a couple more drinks, I closed out the poker table and headed in to get some shut-eye myself.

I was woken up a couple of hours before sunup by a commotion at the Sheriff’s office. I met Wilhelmena and Josie on my way out to the ruckus, and the three of us walked over to find out what was wrong. Turns out that a farmer’s kids had disappeared in the night, and there was no sign of the Sheriff. After a couple of hard bangs on the door to verify that he was indeed out, and not out cold, I formed a posse of the townsfolk to search the area around the farmstead. I roused Dusty and Caleb from their rooms, and we headed out to the farmstead ourselves.

After some searching around, Dusty and Wilhelmena spotted tracks leading away from the farm. Big tracks. With claws. So of course, we followed them.

After a few hours’ tracking time, we arrived in a small box canyon. The tracks led straight up to a shack at the far end of the canyon. A brief check revealed something moving around inside of the shack. And the shack was barred from the outside, so clearly whatever it was with the big feet and the claws couldn’t be inside, as no other tracks were visible. A check at the roof airhole revealed pitch blackness inside, so Josie decided to partially unbar the door and take a look.

Whatever it was inside slammed against the door and threw Josie and the bar clear. Then that whatever emerged, followed by a group of about six other whatevers. Whatever they were, they looked like at some point they were townsfolk. They weren’t townsfolk any more.

The first one came shambling toward me with its claws raised, so I blew it away with ol’ Betty. At close range, the 16-gauge barrel can really pack a wallop. Not only was there a hole clean through the Walker (Whilhelmena told me later those things are called “Walking Dead.” An apt description, since they’re dead, but still walking around. Sort of.) but I blew it back a couple of feet with the impact.

That didn’t seem to go over very well with the other Walkers, as I then had four surrounding me. One made a swipe that near pulled my arm off, but Wilhelmena took care of that one. I think Josie got another one, but things were pretty confused at that point. Especially after Caleb tossed that stick of dynamite nearby. That took care of the rest of the Walkers, and damn near took care of us too. As it was, it took a few moments to clear our heads, and my ears are still ringing.

Dusty joined us from his sniping position, and then we heard some more movement from the shack. Yup, you guessed it. Two kids came shambling from the shack, matching the description of the ones who were taken. We took care of them.

Afterward, we cleaned up the area (and ourselves; Walkers make quite a mess when they explode) and headed back, agreeing that the best thing to do would be to tell the townsfolk we hadn’t found anything yet. Better that than explaining that we had shot two kids who weren’t kids any more. Those kinds of explanations never tend to go well. We made plans to return to the box canyon at night, to trap whatever it was that was abducting the townsfolk and turning them into un-townsfolk.

We bumped into the Sheriff back in town. Apparently he had been dealing with some injun trouble out to the west of town. With nothing to report, I headed to get something to eat, while the girls went shopping. Dusty headed to the bar for some hard drinks to calm his nerves. Or maybe he had a sasparilla. The ladies headed out to do some shopping and research. I met up with Wilhemena in the boarding house parlor, who informed me that we were most likely dealing with a werewolf. I nodded, as it made sense that if we were dealing with ghost rivers, phantom skiffs with phantom boatmen, and zombies, we would of course be dealing with something else nasty that could rip the heads from our shoulders quicker than you could say “boo.” That’s just the way of things.

So I went to the Trading Post and haggled for some silver jewelry. I’m good at that kind of thing. I dropped off some chains for Caleb to spike his sticks with, dropped off some odds and ends with Dusty for his rifle, then headed over to the blacksmith’s shop with my bullet molds and shells. All told, after I was done, I had a couple of loads for each of my pistols, including some real pretty buckshot, and a couple of rifle cartridges. The ladies got a couple of loads of bullets as well. I figured we were ready as we could be. We headed back out at sundown.

Round about midnight, we made it back to the box canyon, everything pretty much as we had left it, except for that whole darkness thing. I sent my ornery nag into the corral, and set up shop with my Winchester ’76 on the fence, giving me a clear shot of the entire box canyon. The ladies followed suit, taking cover inside the corral or in the canyon, and Caleb hunkered down near the shed. Dusty chose to take watch over the entire box canyon from the entrance, which proved to be unfortunate.

Not two minutes after we had set up, we heard a deep howl from outside the box canyon. And then all hell broke loose.

Dusty, having planted himself in the bushes at the entrance, was totally unprepared for the 8-foot tall slavering hulk standing behind him. He got a shot off, which went wide, before the beast took a giant swipe at him that knocked him clear into the box canyon. Fortunately, other than being a little shaken up, Dusty was none the worse for wear. Tough as nails, that Dusty.

The ladies and I proceeded to open up on the monster. I caught it in the shoulder with my first rifle shot. Wilhemena damn near took its head off with a well-placed shot from her glowing gun (Don’t ask me. I don’t know how it works.) and Josie did the damnest thing with a bag of marbles. They must have been some kind of mini-explosives or something, because she nailed that beast square in the chest with those three marbles. Those little pieces of glass did more than the two of us with the silver bullets combined. Between the three of us, we had the beast on the ropes.

The beast was staggered, so we each got another shot in: Wilhemena almost taking its arm off this time, me plugging it square in the gut with my shot, Josie tossing some more of those marble-grenades, and Dusty getting a shot off with that cannon he calls a rifle. Caleb was itching to toss one of his firecrackers into the party, but before he could, the thing swayed and crashed to the earth, the life from its eyes completely gone out.

I walked up to it, stopping Dusty from smashing the monster’s head in with the butt of his rifle, and took a look. The man was bleeding from a dozen wounds we had inflicted, and he was most assuredly dead. Too bad you can’t question a corpse, because there were a couple of things I would have liked to ask him. Of course, he had taken the first swipe, so he himself had taken negotiation off the table. We tossed his body into the shack and re-barred the door. Wilhemena commented that he might look a bit like Ms. Pringle’s lost husband. We set our minds to have a chat with her when we got back into town.

But right now, I think it might be time to get out of this box canyon and find out what’s really going on. I don’t think the werewolf was the source of those Walkers, more of an errand-boy. And then there’s the river boatman. And that injun trouble out West. And I need a drink.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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