Hell on the High Plains
Saddle up, partners!
Julesburg, Colorado. 1879. Located on the north-eastern edge of the disputed Colorado territory along the banks of the mighty South Platte River, Julesburg is home to the only Colorado stop along the famous Pony Express Route and is home to one of the Denver-Pacific Railroad Company’s major connecting stations. In spitting distance of both Nebraska and Kansas, Julesburg is smack dab in the middle of the High Plains — nothing but miles and miles of rolling grasslands, sagebrush, arroyos and buttes in all directions. The land is dusty and arid, and the weather can be extreme, but it teeters on the edge of greatness as a vital link to the gold, silver and ghost rock flowing out of the Rockies to all points East, and Sedgewick County is prime cattle grazing country.
Drifters from all over pass through bustling Julesburg, many on their way to and from Denver, the Queen City of the West. Prospecters, miners, cattlemen, railhands, farmers, trappers, traders, and no small number of outlaws tend to make a stop here, and where so many diverse interests cross paths, the results can either be profitable or downright deadly. Julesburg has the steadily growing reputation as one of the wildest places in the Wild West: forgotten by both the Union and Confederate governments and full of rowdy characters, law dogs tend to have short and unfruitful careers, especially when they start sniffing around places where they aren’t welcome.
As if that weren’t enough, tensions with the original locals of the area are pretty high. Tribes of the Ute, Cheyenne and Pawnee nations are beginning the feel the pinch of all these White folk passing through, with many of them settling and squandering some prime hunting and living territory. Skirmishes between disgruntled Natives and settlers occasionally occur, and former U.S. Colonel Chivington has established a territorial militia and a modest camp nearby, calling the place Fort Sedgwick after his former commander and one-time Federal General in the area. As it stands, however, Chivington’s 13th Colorado Cavalry is only nominally under control of the Colorado government, and the Colonel pretty much has free reign out in these parts.
As it stands now in the year 1879, well, weird things are starting to happen out in Julesburg of late. Folks wander off and go missing, homesteads found abandoned, and strange rumors of unfamiliar critters slinking around out in the dark. Of course, these are wild and woolly times to be alive, and nothing is certain out in the Deadlands.