Ethnic Germans are a very hard-working and responsible group which should not be trifled with. In Hell on Wheels they often take positions of craftsmen (smiths, bakers, butchers etc.) They are quite reserved towards other groups, some of them may even come off as pedantic or hostile, but it’s a question how much of it is just a defence mechanism in strange surroundings.
ANNA BLENKER (17)
Anna is a young girl from a German family with an uneasy fate. She, her twin brother Hermann, and her sister Maria lost their parents when they were very young and Anna had to work since she was a child. They have often moved and in the end they have found work at the railroad. Anna works as a helper at the local telegraph office which serves as the fastest connection to the world. She dreams of a better and easier life, but she lives in a place where the only ways a woman can achieve something like that are marriage and prostitution. But there may be a third way open for her – in Durantown there are women who can handle a gun better than any man. Anna is a character with open possibilities to fulfil her fate. She has a number of relationship-oriented lines, but she will also be part of action-based scenes.
CARL MAYER (38)
Carl is a real hero of the Wild West. He comes from far away and he’s never stopped believing there’s good in people. He is a man of faith originally from Austria (from Brno) with a black past he’s ashamed of. That made him give up on his original mission and now he’s working as a common labourer at the railroad construction. Carl is a member of the group of Germans and he hasn’t yet given up on the hope that he might return to his original position here. However, he has several dark secrets and debts from his past that he needs to take care of before he can once again become a man of God. But in Hell on Wheels, all solutions smell of blood and mud… This character’s game can be both dramatic (playing for the others) and strongly emotional. It will address issues of conscience, betrayal and choosing the lesser evil. Carl will try to bring back the good and hope to this God-forsaken place. But it seems that to do that he will need to take care of some dirty business and deal with skeletons that come back from his rough past to haunt him.
GEORG BAUER (48)
He works as a butcher here in Durantown and he’s a very straightforward man. He’s not a racist but his motto is “eye for an eye” and prides himself on his German frankness and honour. He is very pedantic, does not tolerate back talk and does his work fast and professionally. Sometimes he likes to take justice into his own hands – when it cannot be avoided. He leads the German group who are seen as the most skilled labour force at the railroad. Thanks to his trade he is much respected in town, but nobody seems to know what he really wants. To settle down? To gain more influence? The character is good for players who don’t mind resolute action and almost pathological (and for others extremely weird) emphasis on order, rules and precision (it is therefore very much possible to play with the character in terms of dramatic approach). His game will mostly be filled by solving problems and dealing with important events in Durantown.
GRETE ABERDEEN (39)
A German widow who owns General store where almost everyone in Durantown goes to obtain goods. That means that she knows everyone and is very much engaged in town matters and its future. She is a bit older, but very well-to-do, which makes her potentially very eligible. There are men who’d be interested in her, but she doesn’t make it easy for them, because she’s very dominant, not easy to influence and up till now she’s been politely refusing all suitors. A character suitable for an active player. An experienced woman who tries to get influence, while not sacrificing her freedom to men to whom she has a complicated relationship.
HERMANN BLENKER (17)
Hermann is a young boy from a German family and he’s the youngest labourer working at the railroad. He’s the brother of Maria and also Anna’s twin. When they were young they lost their parents and had to take care of themselves. Hermann is full of strength and energy and has long seen himself as a man grown, capable of the same as other “adults”. However, the others still see him as a little boy, and so Hermann keeps trying to prove that he can do more, and shows off in everything he can. Especially in drinking, gambling and fighting. It hasn’t worked very well and Hermann keeps wondering about something proper he could do to prove the other he’s not a child anymore… The character is suitable for an active player and he deals mostly with family relationships and above all with his efforts to be accepted as an adult, which often gets him into problems and conflicts.
MARIA BLENKER (21)
Maria is Anna’s and Hermann’s sister. When they were young they lost their parents and it was up to them to provide for themselves. Together they fought their way through life. As the oldest, Maria was a surrogate mother to her siblings and had no other option but to look for work at the end of the world – in Durantown. Her brother and sister are almost grown up and they’re starting to have a mind of their own. Maria tries to keep them under control, but that’s not as easy as it used to be. Maria is a God-fearing girl who helps out with various jobs in different businesses in town and contemplates settling down here. She is young, but she’s not naïve and life has taught her a lot. Her game is very much about her responsibility for her family and efforts to provide for herself and them. It also contains motives of faith.
OTTO SCHMIDT (35)
Otto Schmidt is a proud and vigorous German immigrant, who is often assigned responsibility for railroad work because of his organizational skills (he is not really the foreman, but he’s responsible for some works, and the workers must treat him with respect). He has quite a temper and word goes that when he gets mad, he can break logs with one hand. He used to frequent the brothel, but recently he’s been quite interested in Anna Blenker, who’s also from Germany. Otto frowns a lot, doesn’t hesitate to swear at a black man and he’s very hard to get close to. Will anyone manage that? A character for a player who doesn’t mind playing an unpopular and slightly hateful (and therefore more difficult) character, who, however, is an important person in town who is needed by the others. The previous runs have shown that he can be approached not only very dramatically, but also bring a strong inner experience.
THOR ‘SWEDE’ GUNDERSEN (36)
The Swede is an inherent and also slightly tragic part of Hell on Wheels. He’s been working under Durant since the end of the war, and during that time he worked as his accountant, chief of security and now… gravedigger. He roams around town with a shovel, thinking of his past position, and hatefully glaring at Cullen Bohannon who robbed him of it. He is a bit of a madman and nobody takes him seriously anymore. He keeps meeting with another “outsider” – Reverend Cole. Despite his fall, he has many contacts and unsolved matters… Morally and ethically twisted character for a player who’s not afraid of playing on the outskirts of society. However, the character also has a large network of contacts and can be very dramatic and atmospheric.