The year is 1877, and the end of Summer is nearing fast. One of the warmest on record, we’re told in the margins surrounding yet another set of “suspicious disappearances” and “freak accidents.” At least in all the papers that used to be worth the paper they were printed on. Nowadays, it seems like the tabloids are the more reliable source. Eleven years ago, the West Coast fell into the sea, leaving spires of so called Ghost Rock. This material proved far more powerful than coal, attracting rail barons, industrialists and scientists alike to the new maze of waterways. Since that day, ghost stories, legends, monsters, myths, have been exploding across the States. And as near as anyone can tell, the truth is becoming stranger than fiction. Back east, the cemeteries are even reportedly cracking open to leave otherwise decisive battles in this War Between the States stalemates, leaving no end in sight. Both sides, North and South, have laid out a bounty, offering immense wealth and connection for whoever first builds a railroad across the continent to what used to be California. Sometimes, in pursuit of these Rail Wars, the ambitious rail companies hire agents, both to deal with these new supernatural phenomena, and with each other. And worst of all, one of those agents has one of my employer’s guns. August is going to be a long month.
-Recovered from the diary of an unnamed debt collector, written mid-August, 1877.