Crossing the border into California, the posse found a crashed steam wagon, its driver dead and evidence of its cargo having been dragged off. The only apparent survivor of the crash had been killed shortly afterwards by some sort of creature, but Jeb was unable to identify it as any local animal. Following the trail left by the cargo, the posse found an old farmhouse which was infested with strange creatures unlike anything the posse had encountered before. The cargo turned out to be a device capable of opening portals to another world or dimension, and the creatures had been stepping through for some time. The posse were able to deactivate the device and arranged for the Pinkertons to take custody of the device.
• The survivor of the crash had a journal in his pocket and a key around his neck. The journal explained that the device had been fashioned by Niccolo da Vinci, the brother Leonardo da Vinci. He had designed it to mimic a creature shown in the bible capable of bringing Armageddon to the world. The method of starting the device had been lost to time but the key was to be used to shut the device down should it activate.
• Evidence at the crash site indicated that a lightning strike had caused the device to activate, resulting in the driver hitting a tree. Once activated, the device was capable of movement, and had dragged itself to the barn.
• Benjamin decided to take the key to ensure that the posse had a way to deactivate the device should it become reactivated in the future.
Based on ‘Engine Trouble’ from More Adventures in Arkham Country published by Chaosium.