Dear God, I almost don’t know where to begin. After yesterday’s events & a short trek through the desert on my trusty horse (who has no name) we arrived at the entrance to the mine. We entered, exploring the strange recesses of the collapsed cavern. We searched in vain for obvious collapsed passages (& for the critically important explosives cache), but only succeeded in finding some freakishly large & aggressive bats. I covered myself in glory as the vermin fell around me. My compadres helped too.
After hours of searching, we started finding the walls marked with strange runes. Our new friend Yvonne de Borgia was able to translate some of the writings. They revealed strange information about an odd, seemingly Egyptian, snake-cult. The runes also revealed the solution too a dangerous puzzle, an immovable door could only be opened when we turned out our lamps.
The next few moments were pure chaos. The door opened, Vernon McGill rushed through, a thump, a scream, the door closed as we turned our lights on, we shut out our lights, heard scrambling & scraping, Blake (the damn fool) fired a lightning bolt wildly into the chamber, the doors closed & his bolt slammed ineffectually on the other side of the chamber. The doors opened again & we rushed in, an explosion rang through the chamber deafening Blake, Buffalo Soldiers opened a crater intuitively under a mysterious figure who entered from the left.
An interesting figure was trapped in the crater. His disheveled clothes suggested that he had been here for quite a while, & his two Le Mat Revolvers suggested that he was dangerous (& not at all new to the West). This strange character did a lot of complaining in the following few hours while we searched some remaining tunnels. After Buffalo Soldiers played a rather clever audio trick on Blake, we found a fork in the tunnel & explored the eastern shaft. For some time, the shaft continued as usual, but it soon became conspicuously linear…
As we traversed the new, narrow tunnel, we got into marching order with yours truly in the lead. Eventually, we heard some more mechanical clanking (eerily similar to the clockwork spiders we destroyed on our first day in town). We encountered & destroyed two spiders, identifying them as the work of Darius Hellstrom. After more trekking through a continually widening mine shaft, Buffalo Soldiers identified the clankings of a great mechanical device. It was clear in but a moment how truly horrible the machine was.
The monstrosity hulked twice the height of a man & three times as wide. It’s thick plate armor was able to shrug off most damage, & it’s noisy engine & boiler belched black smoke that reeked of souls. I charged the machine as my compadres launched ranged attacks at it. Buffalo threw open great craters beneath it to trip it as it lumbered toward us, spewing bullets. The great kettle struck Blake, temporarily ruining him. Our female companion Yvonne uttered strange syllables, causing shadows to dance across the tunnel & her weapon to glow. Reaching the machine, I deflected it’s flailing, hooked chain with my glittering axes, then struck at it’s weak point, a thin copper plate behind it’s cow-catcher.
After several minutes of give & take with the monstrosity it exploded, critically wounding Buffalo & our new friend, (who called himself Raleigh, presumably a Southerner). I was able to stabilize them, & afterward Raleigh brutally attacked Yvonne (who interestingly had turned into some sort of lizard creature). I wrassled him to the ground & restrained him with the help of my true friends. He was hogtied & gagged while Yvonne told us the story of her people & the Hellstrom machines. Currently he is in our custody & we are on our way to the Libratorium (God knows how long that will last). Clearly, for the sake of the community & for the benefit of Yvonne’s species we must stop the vile machinations of Hellstrom company. In the long term, I hope to reform the practices of the Libratorium & open a practice in Salsipuedes. I can’t truly fulfill my Hippocratic Oath if I spend all of my days with the dead. Irregardless, more exciting updates are sure to follow. I can’t imagine what else God will reveal to me in the next few days, but I pray that I can be of service to all in some way.