Mexico, 1838 – it is a time of great tension and a period of constant change in the Americas. No longer under Spanish rule, Mexico is at risk of disintegrating. The desire of Texas for independence led to a recent revolt and, despite General Santa Anna’s initial success at the Alamo in March 1836, the Texians won the day at San Jacinto a month later and the general was forced to grant Texas its freedom. Now the Republic of Texas is courting union with the ever-expanding United States, and the Mexican borders are constantly under threat. To the east, Texas looks to expand its territories westwards to the Rio Grande, whilst in the north the United States has its eyes firmly on the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico. Despite the ongoing hostilities with Texas and the fragile relations with the United States, commerce between the countries continues and the trade routes remain open. Whilst the Santa Fe Trail between Kansas and New Mexico is fraught with danger because of the recent uprising, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which continues southwards through the rugged mountainous terrain to Mexico City, is free from Texian raiders, although the usual threats from bandits, native Indians and wild animals remain.
In the midst of this turmoil lies El Rancho de la Enana Peluda. This provides the only stopover on El Camino Real for those travelling between the large town of Chihuahua and the silver-mining town of Hidalgo del Parral in the Sierra Madre mountains. This stretch of the trail is renowned as being a particularly perilous one. The remote mountains provide an ideal hideout for bandits and outlaws, whilst wolves and cougars constantly stalk the land in search of fresh meat, and snakes, scorpions and other poisonous creepy crawlies pose yet another danger for unwary travellers. The local Rarámuri and Conchos Indians are far from friendly, mainly due to the threat of capture and enslavement by the miners of Parral. This has turned them against the white man and there have been several reports of brutal attacks on travellers in these parts. The Conchos are renowned for raping and scalping their victims, both male and female, whilst the Rarámuri have been known to outrun a horse over very long distances. The only refuge in this area is El Rancho de la Enana Peluda, and travellers usually leave Chihuahua or Parral very early in the morning to ensure that they reach the ranch before nightfall.
Throughout the afternoon of Friday 26th October 1838, a number of travellers arrive at El Rancho de la Enana Peluda. With winter fast approaching the days are growing shorter and the nights longer, with the sun disappearing below the horizon by late afternoon. Consequently, not everyone is able to make it before darkness falls and those who arrive later do so with a great sense of relief. For those who have passed through here previously, the promise of a warm welcome is a comforting thought, although in these times of strained relations with neighbouring countries that welcome is sometimes given grudgingly to foreigners. There are beds and stables aplenty, and the saloon room has a reputation for providing fine liquor and good entertainment. A relaxing evening in this safe haven is just the ticket for the weary travellers, but an unexpected turn of events leads to adventure and even in this most inhospitable of regions, greater dangers than any of them could ever have imagined.
As this is a scenario set in Mexico during the period of the American Wild West, you will be asked to come up with (or will be provided with by us, if preferred) a character suitable for this era. For example, you could play a mineworker, a cowhand, a gambler, a trader, a bounty hunter, a soldier, a hunter, an emigrant, or even an outlaw, and you could be Mexican, American, Indian, or an immigrant from Europe. These are just a few possibilities, but of course you are free to come up with anything that would fit into the background given above. Remember that it is a time when the conflict between Mexico and the newly independent Texas is still fresh in everyone’s mind, but the war between Mexico and the United States has not yet happened (this took place in 1846-8 following the annexation of Texas to the United States in 1845). Therefore, whilst Texians (the general pre-1850 name for inhabitants of Texas) are treated with contempt and suspicion by most Mexicans, Americans are generally more acceptable in Mexico.
A name for your character will be required, along with a brief background that includes age, sex, occupation, the direction the character is travelling in (north or south), and any life history you would like to add in order to flesh out your character. There will be plenty of opportunity to add further details at a later date and more information will be provided in the form of play-by-mail during the lead up to the scenario.
The scenario will start around 8pm on Friday evening and will end about midnight on Saturday night. Food provided will include an In-Game meal on Friday evening, a cooked breakfast and a light lunch on Saturday, and a post-scenario meal once the event has finished. You will also have a cooked breakfast on Sunday morning before your departure. Whilst playing your character you are requested to wear clothing appropriate to the period in which the scenario is set. You can bring any props that are suitable for that time and would fit in with your character, although all props must be cleared by the scenario organisers prior to the event. As this is a Wild West scenario it is anticipated that many characters will have guns, but only visual representations (Vis-Reps) of guns will be acceptable (no real guns!) and they must be appropriate to the period (e.g. six-shooters and muskets/rifles will be acceptable, but semi-automatics and machine guns will not). Vis-Reps of bows and arrows will also be acceptable.
If you would like to book your place on this scenario or have any questions about the above, please contact John Roberts via e-mail at FOTDSJR@aol.com.