A group of veterans of the Tellurian War rode the New Orleans Special train from New Orleans to Granada, Mississippi. Once there, they went into a farmer’s field to investigate some standing stones that popped up overnight.
Minnie Eudeen Craig. (Bryan) No nonsense survivor of the war, her veteran benefits contested by some paperwork mixup or something. She has the athame from being weirded in the war, and she needs money to sort out her legal troubles. She has an apprentice, Cora White.
Henri Sire. (Adam) He doesn’t talk much about his service, as there seems to have been some mistake that led to some trouble with the government. He is ably assisted by Dr. Teodora Giroux of the Louisiana College System.
Wolfram Nazareth. (Brian) He survived the assault on Lace Falls, and has the mask to prove it. Once again he follows danger for money. He was trained as an alienist, with an edge for figuring out fey riddles.
Ismael Delourney. (Vandel) Marksman survivor of Topeka, he was not unchanged, and he prefers wearing a gas mask now.
Mason. (Tim) A gunner who spent the war on guard duty, now ready to make his own assignments.
At the Train Station
They arrived as some drunk and hungry protesters were marching in a demonstration, claiming the government was colluding with the fey. They started throwing rocks at unsettled soldiers, and Craig stepped in and gave the mob a verbal dressing down, then turned her attention to the soldiers, sending them scurrying onto the train.
With the supplies and soldiers and everything else loaded, the train left the station.
The Ride North
The sergeant installed himself in the armory car and didn’t stir. Cpl. Orman led a roving patrol past the armory car; a gunner hung back and offered to sell them illegal fey drugs. Sire took the offer poorly, threatening the gunner, who hid behind the rest of the fire team.
Sire considered turning the gunner in to Orman, who would hear no talk of drugs. He didn’t, but he insisted the gunner lose his stash off the side of the train. Grumpy but intimidated, the gunner threw his drugs away.
Delourney crept to the dining car for food, but was not allowed in. Earlier Craig had sent White to get some food, and she had to go all the way to the caboose, but she came back with food and shared it with Delourney before she got it back to the group. Craig trained her well to respect veterans, even the damaged and creepy ones. Maybe ESPECIALLY the damaged and creepy ones.
Hostages On the Rails
There was some gunfire as the journey barreled towards a conclusion. The train started accelerating too fast. Craig went to have a look, and was distressed to see a satyr and two pixies holding the engineer and brakeman hostage, while a soldier cowered from hallucinatory bees. She threw her hat to the others, who realized something was wrong.
They massed to attack. Sire burst in on the fey and barely missed the pixie threatening the conductor’s eyeball. Craig fired from the coal car, scoring a hit on the satyr, who retreated in desperation, bleeding everywhere. The rest of the roof riders burst in, fighting in too confined a space, trying to regain control of the locomotive at the same time.
As they fought, the corporal over the gunner team on the front of the train started banging on the window, howling about fish people; the fairy dust had him seeing all sorts of wild images.
The roof riders dispatched the fey, straightened out the engine operation, and dragged the wounded and hallucinating to get some help. Then they reported to the sergeant. When they arrived in Granada, they got paid and fed and sent to the Watershed, a creaky old wreck of a hotel.
Field of Vision
They got a ride on a wagon out to the farmer’s field. He wanted nothing to do with the centuries-old site that appeared overnight. In fact, he tried to drag a standing stone away with a team of horses, but as the stone toppled it revealed a hole leading deep into the earth.That’s when he telegraphed for help.
They put together a rope aid to get up and down, then entered the darkness. They moved through the shaped clay, in past a portcullis. They saw stairs leading up far higher than the surface, as well as down into the earth. Then they saw the statue.
Not liking the look of it, they shot it. While Wolfram was examining it and noting the green veins in the stone, it animated and tried to kill him. Then it succumbed to a hail of bullet fire.
The adventurers rested and reloaded, and the doctor observed that the thing had a warpstone core and warpstone threads through its mass. This was likely a pocket dimension, shaped by the dreaming of a person or thing, that used to connect elsewhere but now connected in a farmer’s field. The most likely way to close it would be to find a door somewhere in the depths of the dimension and seal it shut once more.
They moved on down, finding more statues forming out of the earth, and gunning one down; the other retreated into the blackness, and they reluctantly followed in time to see it merging with a much bigger gargoyle.
They poured ammunition into it, but couldn’t destroy it before it breathed warpstone fire over them. Delourney’s lucky shot finished it off, and Wolfram led the effort of scooping up as much warpstone as possible as they heard things stirring beyond the light.
Happily Ever After
They barely escaped before what pursued them caught them. They then spent time and effort to erect the stone over the tunnel once more.
Upon returning to civilization they got a voucher from the local government office in exchange for the warpst0ne they collected and turned in for the bounty. Then they had a long soak in saltwater baths to get rid of the warpstone residue.
(Special thanks to Luka Rejec for a fantastic map!)