Deadlands: No Man's Land
Fortune Falls is located northeast of Yuma in the Kofa mountains. When Desmond Finch bought this huge track of land most people scoffed saying it was a no man’s land but Finch seemed to know better. He moved in his mining company and began bringing in silver, gold and ghost rock by the cart load. Once word got out Fortune Falls began to grow into a bustling boom town. Soon the town had theaters, saloons, stores, a telegraph, dentist and doctor. The Santa Fe railroad, seeing the success of the town immediately began to run a line to the town even though they had agreed to leave their tracks out of the locale Apache tribes territory. Of course as the town grew so did the number of strange happenings reported. Most notably the glowing green sludge bubbling up out of the ground in the mountains and reports of strange black stars in the night sky. The town has a government and marshal but Finch is the man calling the shots. More than one mouthy muckraker or independent prospector has “gone missing” in Fortune Falls. That said Finch has seemed to be much less of a presence in town lately and some think the stress is finally getting to the man.
Coleman’s Crotch Mine
Supposedly named after Finch’s expedition man, though no one seems to know this Coleman, many have begun to call Finch’s mine the devil’s throat. A nickname gained from the high concentrations of the “devil’s flem”, the glowing green goop that oozes from the ground in the mountains around Fortune Falls. The mine is located in a crotch between two mountains about a half mile out of town. The mining operation here is one of the biggest in the west employing 150 miners. The area in between the mine and Fortune Falls has turned into a mining camp, housing Finch, his employees, the miners, equipment sheds, and a wait rail yard; the camp itself could be a town and the highest ranking employees are not want for comfort. The mine is expanding deeper into the mountain which seems to be a never ending vault of riches.
Grand Wash is the home of a small but troublesome tribe of Apache’s under the war leader Coyachi. It’s also the only easy way to Fortune Falls through the Kofa’s. The Apache here are constant trouble for Fortune Falls and are delaying the Santa Fe from finishing it’s line to the town. There are only about 100 Apache in Coyachi’s band but they know the land. Tensions are building but the small Grand Wash valley is rocky and dangerous terrain which is keeping Finch’s men out…for now.
The Ghost Ridge
On the east side of Grand Wash, high above Coyachi’s camp lies The Ghost Ridge. It’s a place feared by the Apache and full of bad medicine. The wind screams of the jagged rocky surface of the ridge, twisted dead bristle cone pines creak and moan, and anyone brave enough to make the climb up to the top has an overwhelming fear of dread. Worse still the Apache believe that some creature stalks the ridge, ready to devour anyone dumb enough to venture up to The Ghost Ridge.
Fleet’s Ridge was established 20 years before Fortune Falls it by Daniel Fleet. Located in southern Colorado Fleet’s Ridge was a boom town that grew up after Fleet discovered silver. 3 years before founding Fortune Falls Finch wanted to buy the claim out from Fleet but Fleet refused to sell. Finch tried to drive Fleet’s people off but eventually seemed to lose interest and moved onto to the claim at Fortune Falls. Fleet’s ridge was a much smaller settlement then Fortune Falls and was shrinking in size as the silver seemed to dry up. Fleet himself died 2 years after the trouble with Finch and it seems the town will follow him.
Yuma is quickly growing since the Santa Fe & El Paso has driven their line to the town. The rail road combined with the federal government building a new federal prison here has helped greatly in the towns development. The town has gone from a few buildings on a single road to a bustling gateway to California. Yuma now has a federal bank and post office. Town boss Emanuel Rojo, is petition for more business to move in and has made Yuma a rival in prosperity to nearby Tombstone with the help of the rail road. Although Rojo tried to get the Bayou Vermilion line to his town he grew tired of waiting and so did the C.S.A. as they have diverted many of their rail road subsides to Santa Fe & El Paso line owner Card. Fortune Falls growing has helped Yuma grow and until the rail line reaches the town all business has to go through Yuma. There is a dark-side to all this growth though crime in Yuma is on the rise and recently a series of grisly murders have plagued the town.
Carversville was a small protestant community located about 40 miles east of Yuma along the Gila river. The inhabitants had decided to head west to California to escape the decadence and burdens of war in the east. Reverend John Carver pushed his flock of nearly 100 west and did a damn fine job of it. He lost no one, save his own wife but the lord spared his 3 daughters and 2 sons. When the group reached the spot that would become Carversville they thought they were looking onto paradise and decided to go no further. By 1864 Carversville had been established and was trading with Yuma. The community was solitary except for this trips to town for a few supplies every couple of months. Then in 1869 all contact stopped. Yuma county sheriff John Carlisle made a trip to the town to find it completely deserted. Everything had been left where it was and it seemed like Carver’s people had simply vanished into thin air. Carlisle said the church felt bad and was the only building that looked like it hadn’t been used that day. Since the sheriff visit very few ventured to Carversville. People say the town is haunted, cursed or both.
The Reverend Carver’s chapel sits on a hill in the center of the small ring of homes and buildings that make up Carversville. It was the first building the settlers raised in the town and thus the oldest. It was just a simple wooden chapel large enough for the population of the town. Also located on the low rise is the towns small cemetery with a few plots marked with simple wooden crosses.