Railroad to the Reckoning
The Rail Lines:
Union Blue: Leader: Joshua Chamberlain
Common Information: One of the two national lines in the Rail Wars, Union Blue, naturally, serves as the Union’s proxy in the Rail Wars. Founded at the very begining of the conflict, Union Blue would likely have run all the way through Union territory if Watsach had not gotten involved. Now though the line has been forced south through the disputed territories of Kansas and Colorado. During the Civil War, Union Blue was supported and guarded by the Union military, but that support has been officially withdrawn since the war’s end, causing the line to rely on mercenaries for it’s security.
Rumors: there are indications that Union Blue’s funds are running low. However there are also reports that Chamberlain is receiving unofficial aid from his war buddies and maybe even support from the Agency.
Dixie Rails: Leader: Fitzhugh Lee
Common Information: Dixie Rails was founded by Robert E. Lee and is currently run by his nephew. Like the rival Union Blue, Dixie Rails serves as the Confederate proxy in the Rail Wars. Unlike Union Blue, Dixie has managed to remain in it’s home territories, and is poised to begin building into California.
Rumors: When Fitzhugh took the reins of Dixie, the line’s progress noticeably slowed, to the point that Dixie Rails was regarded as an underdog in the race. Lately though, it has managed to pick up the pace to what it had when it first started. There are questions as to how this is happening, and word on the street is that Fitzhugh is getting help from somewhere.
Black River: Leader: Mina Devlin
Common Information: Black River is the second southern railroad, and is run by the widow of the former owner of the line, and is known to be rather ruthless and aggressive in its right of way deals, as well as its connection to the notorious outlaw gang known as the Wichita Witches. Since it mostly runs through disputed territories, it is unlikely to face any legal consequences for its actions. It is known to have made alliances with some of the other lines, and to have broken those alliances too. It is also known as a company where women can advance themselves, so long as their attitudes match the company’s.
Rumors: There are whispers that the Wichita Witches don’t just call themselves witches for show. It is also rumored that Mrs. Devlin has her eyes on Joshua Chamberlain, despite his being married. It is also whispered that the Confederate government might be able to do something about Black River if it wanted to.
Bayou Vermillion: Leader: Baron Simone LaCroix
Common Information: Bayou Vermillion is the southern most rail line, owned by a New Orleans merchant named Baron Simone LaCroix. It is unknown as to why LaCroix entered the race, what is known is that his workers have (somehow) kept a steady pace up until the rail line reached the Mojave Desert, where the pace suddenly slowed, most likely due to the harsh conditions.
Rumors: Nobody knows much about Bayou Vermillion or its reclusive owner, which has led many in these uncertain times to speculate a great deal. Due to this LaCroix has a reputation as someone who is up to his elbows in Black Magic. Others call him a necromancer, especially those rail warriors who have clashed with Bayou Vermillion’s guards, who claim that they have seen walking dead both laying track, and guarding it’s territory. More claim that La Croix has cut some kind of deal with Gen. Santa Anna of Mexico. Everyone agrees though that the Apache tribes in the mojave region likely know something as there is evidence of them launching raids on Bayou Vermillion work parties.
Iron Dragon: Leader: Kang
Common Information: The Iron Dragon was formed when the Maze Warlord Kang bought out the Chicago and NorthWestern Line. The line entered the Rail Wars later that most of its competitors, forcing Kang to pass his railroad through the Sioux Nations. Somehow he’s managed to negotiate a right of way that allows Iron Dragon to not only pass through the Sioux Territory, but also allows the line to run into the treaty city of Deadwood. Iron Dragon is a predominantly Asian line, with most of the workers and guards being immigrants from countries like China or Japan. This will likely give Kang an edge in dealing with the Triad in Shan Fan, the city his line is building towards.
Rumors: It is widely believed that Kang started as a Maze Pirate, and that several of his employees are likely to have a shady past. There are rumors also that he is not dealing with some of the Triad heads in trying to gain his right of way to Shan Fan. It is also said that Kang is not just a fierce fighter, but that he’s some kind of sorcerer.
Watsach: Leader: Dr. Darius Hellstrome
Common information: One of the earliest lines to compete in the Rail Wars, the Deseret based Watsach Rail Co. was the one most people expected to win, due to the combination of Hellstromme’s wealth, willingness to make deals, and his ruthlessness. One of the preeminent deals he made was with the Denver-Pacific Railroad, which was owned by his scientific rivals Smith & Robards. However something went sour with the arrangement, and DP backed out of the deal, putting paid to the possibility of a scientific monopoly on the rails. As such currently Watsach is hemmed in by Union Blue to the south, and the Sioux Nations to the north. But for those who have money on the line for Watsach’s success, you can bet that the good doctor has a plan. Whether it is the buyout offers he’s been making to DP or some spawn of his own genius, only time will tell.
Rumors: If Watsach wins the Rail Wars, there are many who think that, due to the fact that Desert is a neutral nation, and in a few interviews Hellstrome has expressed no bias to north or south, that the current truce might remain intact, and even lead to a lasting peace. Others claim that Hellstrome is already nearly at the end, mentioning the work going on at the rumored “Camp Hades”
Church of Lost Angels: Leader: Rev. Ezekiah Grimme
Common Information: The Church of Lost angels is one the (if not THE) most successful of the groups and organizations of survivors that emerged in the wake of the Great Quake of ‘68. Indeed the church is the founding and governing organization of the City of Lost Angles, at the site where they emerged from the Maze and found a natural water spring. Their city is the goal of the Rail Wars, as it would serve as a natural shipping point for the Maze. However it seems that Rev. Grimme does not care much for this possibility, as at his regular fire and brimstone sermons he has railed against the coming of the rail lines. It should also be noted that violence between bands of Lost Angels and Rail warriors are common. Another point of fact is that the Church is popular in the City not for it’s preachings, but for the feasts that are thrown after the sermons. In a region where food is always scarce, the Feast of Grimme are must attend events. Combined with the Edict of ‘77, it becomes apparent why everyone in the City of Lost angels at least pays lip service to Church’s beliefs.
Rumors: Before the Edict of ‘77 was made, there were reports of a slaughter at the Church during one of the sermons. The reports are confused at this point, but there is mention of demons being part of the attack. Everytime things start to look up for the food supply of region around the City of Lost Angels, something goes wrong. So where is Grimme getting his food? Finally, there have been some who have looked closely at the Lost Angels’ history, and it has been plagued by mysterious disappearances. While some can be explained by death due to accident, starvation or plague (especially in the early days when the Lost Angels were wandering the maze) the reason for other disappearances can’t be determined. In any case, when one starts looking closely at the City of Lost Angels, the stranger things seem to get.