The Weird West

A Trip to the Museum

A scavenger hunt reveals new details about the Wizard's plot

After resting up from the events at the Charnel House, the party goes to meet with their Secret Service contact, Mr. Lodge. They ask about Greta von Breuner, but Lodge does not have much more information to give them: she is fond of dressing all in white, she arrived in the city a few years ago to represent her father the Count’s interests on the Hellstromme Ironworks board, she rarely appears in public except at the nighttime gladiatorial matches, and during her few appearances in the smog-shrouded daytime she carries an umbrella.

The party also asks Lodge about getting into the Pinkerton Headquarters. They obtained three Pinkerton cards, which are needed to avoid setting off an alarm. Lodge tells them that if they want to obtain more, they could trek back along the railroad tracks to find one of the guards that fell from the train, or they could reach out to a mystical forger in town, Maximilian Hunt, to create fake cards for them. Lodge also informs them that the building has only two ground floor entrances: the main doors and the Archives entrance, which is always left unlocked but from which no one ever seems to return. There is also a landing pad for autogyros on the roof.

Before breaking out Alan Pinkerton, the party decides to investigate the rogue Secret Service agent Tinker Taylor, who has organized a scavenger hunt to supply components for his latest custom invention. The reclusive Taylor will only meet with the winners of the contest, so the heroes follow a tip from Lodge and head to the Museum—sort of the Junkyard’s junkyard where Hellstromme Ironworks disposes of its broken and obsolete devices.

Sorting through the scrap heaps, the party begins to find the items on their checklist: old copper pipes, autogyro engine chassis, and thermometers. After gathering half the required items, Argent New Haven and Maria stay to guard the collection while Jack heads off to hire a horse and cart and Hightower and Vincent split up to continue the search.

Hightower spots the last of the copper pipe, but unfortunately it is behind a group of armed men being led through some sort of ritual by a man in a white hood. Hightower approaches stealthily and notices that a gang of black augments is preparing to ambush the first gang. Hightower takes out the Klansman leading the ritual with a single shot and picks off another one of the group while the augments finish off the rest. He learns that augments are members of the Crooked Razors, one of two major gangs in town, the other being the 10th Street Reds, which is allied with the Klan. The Razors are grateful for Hightower’s assistance and are willing to pitch in on a future endeavor.

Jack, meanwhile, was ambushed on his way to the stables. His old enemy Reginald Van Cleef, along with a hired augment, leapt from a dark alley and attacked. Though wounded, Jack managed to break free from the augment’s grasp and take cover from across the street. Once the augment was slain, Van Cleef fled, but not before threatening to return.

Hightower and Vincent returned to the group with the remaining components and Jack returned with the cart. The only item left on the scavenger hunt list was the hide of a white buffalo. However, as the party began loading their items onto the cart, they were challenged by a little old man in a tattered tweed suit. Calling himself the Curator of the Museum, he reprimanded the party for trying to cart off items from its collection.

Vincent managed to convince the Curator that they were merely taking the artifacts to be cleaned. The Curator agreed to allow them to borrow the items in exchange for obtaining a white buffalo hide for him from a woman named Madame Fortuna. He took the party into the Museum’s Special Collections section hidden beneath a large pile of rubbish, where he introduced the party to Yoric, his fossilized Utahraptor guardian.

On the way back to the hotel with the supplies, Vincent and Jack reviewed the scavenger hunt list and came to a startling conclusion. The components could be assembling into a bomb that could flood a mystically constrained area with toxic aetherstone fumes.

After unloading the supplies, Vincent and Hightower traveled to a bazaar the southwest outskirts of the Junkyard, where amid the various Indian craftsmen and merchants they found Madame Fortuna’s brilliantly decorated wooden wagon. Inside, Madame Fortuna, a woman of about forty with Mediterranean features and colorful dress, offered to read their fortunes. Vincent was told he did not have long to live, while Hightower’s future contained peace and wealth.

When the heroes explained they had come about the white buffalo and revealed they had survived encounters with supernatural creatures before, Madame Fortuna dropped her air of mystery and matter-of-factly explained the situation. The daughter of a gypsy and a cowboy, Eliza Fortuna’s father had abandoned them when she was quite young. When she married a cowboy herself, her mother cast binding spell on him to keep him from abandoning her. Unfortunately, the spell was so powerful that when her husband was killed during the war, he crawled out of the grave and came looking for her. Madame Fortuna was using the white buffalo hide to ward him off, but every night he still hung around nearby calling her name. She has been forced move frequently, as his wailing tends to bother the neighbors

Fortuna asked the heroes to deal with her late husband, after which she’d gladly give them the hide. With some investigation, the party learned that her husband, Jed Lawson, simply wanted to apologize and say his goodbye to his wife. The party brought the two together for an awkwardly tender reunion and then set Lawson’s remains on fire. Fortuna gave them the white buffalo hide and offered to assist them should they ever need information about the supernatural.

Having gathered all the scavenger hunt items, the party arranged a meeting with Tinker Taylor at the hotel and then alerted Lodge about their plans to ambush the rogue spy. A man with a narrow face and frazzled beard and hair, Taylor arrived at 8 p.m. wearing smoke-darkened glasses that hid his eyes. While the rest of the party trained their guns on his guards, Vincent teleported behind him and tried to knock him out. Unfortunately, Taylor proved difficult to subdue and only the timely arrival of Argent managed to knock him unconscious.

Underneath his glasses, Taylor’s eyes were pitch black. Lodge recognized the condition and rolled the man over to reveal an open wound at the base of his skull. While the party held him down, Lodge poured some of the hotel owner’s moonshine into the wound to drive out the braincrawler that had possessed Taylor.

The following morning, Taylor came to and explained that he had been infected as part of a plot by the Dark Woman to kill Brigham Young and the leaders of Deseret, frame it on the Secret Service, and ignite a war between the Mormons and the U.S.

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