The story of the game is set in late summer – September 1866, in Durantown, Nebraska. Durantown is a settlement growing by an emerging railway line running between Omaha, in the East, and Sacramento on the West Coast. Durantown is a young, small, town full of wooden houses. It is awaiting its first mayor to be elected and its first sheriff to be appointed. Currently the Union Pacific Railroad company management is still responsible for the enforcement of law and order. The company, lead by its main shareholder Thomas C. Durant, is doing its best to build the railway up to the spot called Promontory Point as fast as possible. If the company reaches the point before its competitor, who is constructing the railway from the West, it will be granted generous subsidies and future contracts.
However, things are getting rough. The construction has entered the territory of the Cheyenne tribe. The workers are getting restless. Racial clashes are becoming frequent, wages are being delayed, and the head engineer hanged himself two weeks ago. The coming days will show whether all the difficulties will be overcome and the construction will start advancing rapidly, or whether the company and its workers will succumb to the adversities of fate.
The game draws strongly on the TV series of the same name. If you are familiar with the series you can enjoy experiencing the stories of familiar characters. We have also borrowed initial situations, relationships and starting plots from the series. Don’t worry, though – every character’s story is original and written exclusively for the game, so that you can get a first-hand experience of much more than just the series. For this we also draw a great deal of inspiration from history. The history of the Pacific Railroad is recorded in great detail and offers many aspects you can think about, interpret, and use in the game. It does not matter if you do not know the series – the relevant information will be available to you on the website and before the game so you will learn everything you will need for the game.
“In June, the tables of the police prefects in all larger towns were already piled with heaps of papers informing about riots, shop robberies, and worse still, brawls ending with deaths. The war was over but men kept dying – not for the “right thing” any more, but out of sheer despair that the bloody lady had brought them. The situation was getting unbearable, the jails were overflowing with men who, until recently, had been wearing the blue coats of the Union or the grey coats of the Confederacy. In the countryside, the price to pay for the war was equally cruel; it often surpassed the worst nightmares. Farms plundered and burned, families of the soldiers hanged on trees, unburied bodies left as a feast for dogs. Men returning home from war found nothing from what they had left behind, nothing they had been fighting for, and suddenly lost the meaning of their lives. They were only left with hatred and the feeling that anything was justifiable – robberies, murders for their own profit, and preferably at the expense of the victorious Union.
In this moment, a seemingly simple solution occurred – Congress agreed to increase subsidies for construction of the railway across the continent. The railway claimed thousands of workers, engineers and land surveyors, and with them, the heart of the American West started beating; a bloody and restless heart.”