The core of the railway construction community and the most numerous groups with the best position when it comes to negotiating their interests. Here you can find former convicts, war veterans or simple fortune seekers with their wives. Their weakness? They’re nowhere as tight-knit as other national groups.
ALEXANDER DRYSDALE (29)
He only moved to Durantown a short time ago, together with his wife. They want to settle down here and start a new life for themselves, or possibly move a few more settlements into the west. Alexander is an honest and hard-working man, which makes the others easily accept him, but he’s running away from something in his past that doesn’t let him sleep. That brings strife and unhappiness even to his relationship with his wife, Emma. The character will have his fair share of fear, paranoia and lies in the game. He can be characterized as primarily dramatic (strongly oriented on playing for others), but he has his own demons and decisions he needs to come to terms with.
BENJAMIN HART (26) – ROLE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE GAME
Benjamin is an ordinary accountant from Philadelphia who never experienced any real danger. However, only until his wife ran away from him, possibly for adventure, or maybe another man. Benjamin decided to abandon his comfortable life, find his wife and get her back. Thus, he finds himself in a strange and dangerous environment which he doesn’t understand and does not know how to manage. He is determined to do everything he can to get his wife back and in the cause of that he might get involved in matters much graver than his personal problem… A character with a strong personal story about fighting for his love and the transformation of a city fellow into a tough man. The character is meant for the second half of the game and follows after the character of Nathan Bedford (see below).
Nobody knows the first name of this man and nobody needs to know it. Bolan used to be a gunslinger, a right hand of the Swede at a time when he was still right in his head and worked as the chief of security. An escalated conflict with Cullen Bohannon which ended by Bolan being shot put an end to that. Instead of guns Bolan usually holds a bottle in his hand now and instead of being the right hand of the sheriff, he is just an ordinary worker. Nobody can tell what hides behind his sharp eyes. Did he give up, or does he still have a goal, a dream about returning to the top and holding a gun in his hand? The character is about being at the bottom. Its player should be prepared that the character can appear bad and leave a negative impression, and is more focused on achieving goals than deep inner experience, although the game does offer him some of that (including a possibility for a romantic relationship).
CHARLES PERKINS (20)
The son of John and Sarah Perkins, the owners of the Gold Nugget saloon. He decided not to shut is eyes before the immoralities and swindles of his parents. He is disgusted by a world where everyone does what he wants and money becomes the law. He would like to live an honest live, do the right things and make the others do the some – but that will not be easy amongst the railway people. Installing order will be a hard nut to crack, and his parents will not let go of their power easily – his father still hopes that his son will follow in his footsteps. Charles wasn’t willing to solve matters with gun in his hand until now, but he is starting to realize and being afraid that there might not be any other way… Playing this character will be mostly about dealing with relationships, and tilting at windmills. He also has his own personal plot which includes striving for independence and a right for freedom. The future will show what he’s willing to sacrifice for law and order in Durantown.
DANNY CASEMENT (25)
Life is meant to be lived. To the full. That might be the motto of Danny Casement, who’s come to the railway with his brother, to help him manage the construction. But he’s really not that interested in the work. Hell on Wheels smells of adventure, rule-breaking and entertainment. Danny is the case of an adult who still seems to be more like a child, because he’s never been through anything really difficult; anything that would help him grow up. He falls in love easily, insults people easily and talks his way out of things easily. But Hell on Wheels is not a kindergarten and even the greatest optimists will hit the rock bottom… And Danny will soon see, that almost nobody is able to keep his hands clean here… The character has a strong romantic line. Apart from that, he will be thrown into the problems of managing the company, as well as into the problems of common workers.
DOC WHITEHEAD (49)
Doctor Whitehead is an experienced and honest man who got into bad company far too often in his life. His medical experience is invaluable, just as his advice, or even his friendship. But everyone makes mistakes, and even Whitehead is haunted by his past. Like the doctor he is, Doc doesn’t want to fight it with a gun in hand, but rather by an appeal to people’s conscience and drawing a thick line behind what had happened. But not everyone wants to forget the good old times… Doc Whitehead is a character who tries to help others, but has his own demons from the past he has to deal with. The character offers a tragic personal story, as well as an outwards oriented game, determined by his need to help even those, who might not want it.
ELI WALLACE PULLMAN (35)
At first sight he looks just like one of the many common railroad workers. In reality, he has his own, very clear goals at the railroad. In the war he fought for the Union, where he made many friends and enemies. One of those is Larry Griggs, and a few days ago, a biologist called Nathan Bedford arrived, and he and Eli have been meeting quite a lot. Eli is, it would seem, an uneducated hick who isn’t exactly a thinker and isn’t very capable of independent work. But when you look into his eyes, you’ll see a look that is much brighter than you’d expect… A role for more experienced players, who want primarily a „gamist“ character who assigns more importance to personal goals and secrets than the general matters surrounding the railway. Not a suitable character for players who would like a „do-gooder“ character.
EMMA DRYSDALE (28)
A young, industrious, and relatively dominant woman from a rich family who married a coachman, Alexander Drysdale. She believes that they are able to make their own way towards a happy life, prosperity and good fortune. She and her husband have only arrived to Durantown very recently and they’re thinking of staying. Her husband’s opinions on certain issues differ from hers and he is slightly less ambitious than Emma would like. For now they’ve been living with Alexander’s cousin, Mr. Tool, but that will hopefully get better. Emma is in her nature a true and possibly slightly arrogant lady, whose main goal is to achieve power and influence. While some people try not to get involved in serious matters, she actively wants to be involved and live a splendid life. The character is meant for a player who likes to scheme, do business and look for different ways to achieve her goals. At the same time she must cope with a complicated relationship towards her husband.
JOHN PERKINS (42) – ROLE FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME
John and his wife Sarah own the Gold Nugget saloon. John is a tough guy and some say that his hands aren’t exactly clean. What’s sure is that he’s been through a lot in his life and that left a mark on the way he behaves. He knows how to push through and thinks like a crafty businessman, that is John Perkins. The Perkins family business is a competition to the McGinneses‘ pub and there is a great deal of tension between them. Gold Nugget mostly serves German labourers who dislike the Irish. This character focuses above all on achieving goals using all means possible. He will be interested in dealing with the competition and improving on his lot in Durantown. The character’s story will reach it climax around half of the game. In the second half, the player will take up a new role – William Frederic Cody.
GREGORY TOOL (36)
A man who tries to live the hard life of a labourer in the emerging Durantown. A short time ago he decided to settle down here with his wife Eva. They built a small house and they’re living there together, happily. Or do they? Mr. Tool has a few friends amongst the workers in town, and also a few enemies – and after a rough experience when he was shot and almost died, he’s afraid to stand up to them. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a slowly growing hatred of them. Gregory Tool is a character with a strong personal and possibly even tragic story. He is an important character between the workers and apart from his own relationship line, he also deals with their problems.
NATHAN BEDFORD (41) – ROLE FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME
Nathan is a biologist, completely consumed by his passion. He’s arrived to Durantown a few days ago, allegedly to conduct a botanic research of the local environment, and he is also very interested in general matters around the construction. It also seems that he’s waiting for the upcoming auction of lands around the railroad, so it is possible that he’ll want to settle down here. Nathan has several acquaintances in Durantown, and of course also his personal goals that he brought here. The character is good for a player who will enjoy a slightly absent-minded and dreamy naïve character who has his own secrets and clear goals which touch upon the game’s main plot. This character has a scripted ending to his story and is followed by the character of Benjamin Hart.
PEARL HART (25)
Pearl Hart used to live a boring and ordinary life with her husband Benjamin in Philadelphia. She longed for some excitement, something to get her blood pumping. She found a lover and in the end ran away with him, starting a wild life on the edge, full of liquor, fighting and gambling. Pearl doesn’t make much fuss over anyone, and can beat most men in all of these things. There is also a rumour that she shot a famous gunslinger, Joe Boot, in Columbus. She wanted to start up her own business in Durantown, but since she’s come here, she almost never left the saloon. A quarrelsome character about search for freedom and the price one has to pay for it, for a player who isn’t afraid of playing a tough woman.
REV. NATHANIEL COLE (53)
A man of faith without faith. A man slowly consumed by madness and the demons of alcohol. In town he’s lost almost all of his priestly dignity that he got through the few years in Hell on Wheels. A man with an escalated and possibly tragically ending personal story. A man looking for a path to God which he isn’t able to find. His children (his own Ruth and adopted Joseph) as well as some other people in Durantown are trying to save him, but in vain. Recently he’s often been seen with the local gravedigger, called Swede. This character’s game will be focused on fanaticism, the meaning of life, justice in the world and dealing with one’s own failure. It emphasizes inner experience, but also gives space for tense dramatic scenes.
RUTH COLE (22)
Ruth is a young, but strong woman, who will take over the local church after her desolated father, and who keeps trying to maintain spirituality on this town. She is on the verge of breaking up with her partner Joseph Blackmoon and recently Sean McGinnes has been interested in her. But she wants above all to dedicate her life to God and to saving the remnants of humanity in this place. She will also need to deal with her relationship to her father, who’s already given up on his life and only keeps destroying everything Ruth’s been striving for in his bouts of madness. Her game will be very much focused on relationships with other characters and it will touch upon topics such as faith, family, and morals; but Ruth will also need to handle her relationships with men and scars from the past. She is a gently feminine character, strongly oriented inwards, and deeply moral and conservative. However, no need to fear that she wouldn’t have her fair share of purely practical worries which are much more important than it would seem upon first glance.
SARAH PERKINS (40)
Sarah Perkins and her husband John own the Gold Nugget saloon, favoured mostly by German workers. They are a competition to the McGinneses‘ pub and there is a great deal of tension between them. When it comes to business, it’s obvious that Sarah often has the last word, and she can be even harder on the customers than her husband. However, she is tough and determined primarily in order to provide for her family which means everything to her – and that makes it very painful when something concerning it fails. The character is above all about solving the situation in town where she is very important and about achieving goals through various means. Her game also offers a strong personal storyline and an emphasis on family relationships which mean a lot to her.