Dead Letter Office

Session 4: Back to school
Climb aboard the Murder Train!

In possession of a good-sized truck (though considerably smaller than 33,000 lbs), and planning to head back into the unknown of the zombie apocalypse, the party decided to investigate a local railyard to see about fortifying and enhancing the truck. With the aid of cantankerous retired machinist Micky Rhodes, they found a number of tools and scrap metal with which to create a vehicle worthy of the Road Warrior. Souped up with body armor, wheel defenses, window guards, a ram plate and no shortage of spikes, the once-humble, and now considerably less maneuverable truck was dubbed Murder Train. Our heroes were ready to set out exploring the ravaged countryside for answers.

So armored, and possibly blasting a intimidating death metal soundtrack, the party drove the few miles along Filmore Avenue to the north side of Aragon, to investigate the Indiana Institute of Technology (affectionately called “iit”) for clues and possibly anyone with insight into the zombie plague. Approaching the iit campus, they found the remnants of a National Guard Stand off, with broken barricades littering the roadway. Further in, a new group of survivors had fortified the central classroom building, and sentries could be seen patrolling its borders. Natalie guided the Murder Train up to their gate and the party exchanged words with a man named Carl who stood at a guard post. Though Carl offered to bring the Train inside the compound, the party found him suspicious and opted to leave it outside, but stepped through the gate themselves to talk things over.

The questions were exchanged, and Carl revealed that he and his wife, Melissa, had joined this group about a month ago with a few other neighbors who had been run out of their homes. He had had to kill one or two people who threatened them, and reported dropping “maybe thirty” of the walking dead in his tenure as gate guard. As to the question of possible lab equipment or hopes of someone with answers, Carl explained that there had been a man called Dr. Marcus living with them, who was looking into the plague. Though he’d indicated initially hopeful results, he soon became obsessed with his investigation and when one too many of their number fell trying to guard him in his daily excursions across campus to the morgue facility, he was left to his own devices. No one had seen him for at least a week.

The party exited the gated compound and drove the Murder Train across the expansive parking lot to iit’s Mortuary Science Instructional Facility (also the Teller County morgue). Carefully sidestepping a group of zombies pestering a cat trapped in a car by the building’s main entrance, they investigated alternative means of gaining access. When a heavy maintenance door proved impervious to light kicks, Bluedog Magog bashed into a conference room window with Vera the Axe. The noise brought the curious dead, three of which were easily enough dispatched with a few bullets, arrows, axe swings and knife jabs. As Natalie, Ray, and Moonmage searched the interior of the building, Felix remained outside to guard the Murder Train from threats, dead or living.

Inside, the search team found a number of offices strewn with papers and minimal salvageable goods, but scored a nice cache of ammo from a ballistics lab. With some persuasion, Ray and Bluedog managed to push in a pair of double doors and dispatch a zombie inside – a zombie which would prove to have been the abandoned Dr. Marcus. They also found a grisly scene in the locked room – the morgue facility itself, complete with the source of Bluedog’s most unsettling moniker yet, Morgue Drawers – it’s exam tables strewn with corpses and body parts all showing signs of decreasingly scientific dissection. It was apparent the expired Dr. Marcus had been living here alone for some time. Among a stack of scribbled notes and equipment, Ray came across an account of the professor’s findings. According to Marcus, the plague-infected could be treated with antibiotics and antivirals alike, though naturally derived medication proved less effective, and he could find no sign of any microorganism that might be the cause. He became convinced that only the bite of the dead could spread the disease, not any other content, no matter how gruesome. In a final desperate act, Marcus had allowed himself to be bitten, in hopes of documenting his own death and turn. He then wrote of knowing “where the creatures are going, what they want” and hearing “the master’s voice.” On the final, blood-stained page, he had scrawled “he calls us to him…to serve…my army”.

Leaving this unpleasant scene, the party returned to the main campus building to inform Carl of what they had found – abridging their findings only to the fact of Dr. Marcus’s demise. They then climbed aboard the Murder Train once more and returned into town and the relative safety of the Post Office.

Session 3: On the road again


Our heroes took their truck-load of foodstuff back on the road. Natalie drove, with Ray and newcomer Jack riding beside her, while Felix and Bluedog hung onto the outside of the cab. The highway was strewn with abandoned vehicles and debris, but the roadway was clean enough for Natalie to pick a path – only once squeezing Felix uncomfortably close to the trees alongside.


Before long, the clear-enough path was blocked by a makeshift barricade, apparently constructed by local residents early in the zombie rising and now seeming abandoned. The team debated the best course of action, and settled on tearing a hole in the obstruction wide enough to get their truck through. Bluedog attempted to identify weaknesses in the structure that might aid in dismantling it, but was puzzled by its complex-though-shoddy construction, and advised just tearing it down. As he and Felix got started, the party spotted a group of zombies lurking in the woods off the side of the road. These seemed disinterested at first, but soon came closer as the work proceeded.

Bluedog abandoned his work to meet the zombies as they came in sight and Felix fired a series of ill-aimed shots in their direction. Ray and Natalie took up positions of relative safety on top of the truck’s cab and fired at their attackers from there. As the attack continued, and Bluedog took a number of heavy slams from the dead, Ray (thanks to Natalie’s binoculars) spotted several large creatures running towards them from the woods – wolves! Zombie wolves! The party managed to kill several of the first group of zombies before the wolves arrived and soon enough the road was littered with human and canine corpses – but not before Felix abandoned his unfaithful revolver for a length of rebar, and Bluedog suffered several nasty bites. The precaution of bashing in heads was once again taken.

No worse for wear – as of yet – Bluedog and Felix set to tearing down the barricade, and the truck was rolling again before long. Back at the ranch, the party nursed wounded legs and ammo stores for several days. Bluedog convalesced under Ray’s watchful care, suffering only one day of serious vomiting before recovering fully from his zombie infection, unturned.

During their down time, they discussed with resident biology professor Sarah Drake the oddity of large wolves appearing in Indiana – even considering the zombie apocalypse. They determined to pay a visit to the local Polytechnic, hoping resources – or survivors – there might help shed some light on the goings on.

Session 2: We're going shopping!

As promised, Ray quickly tended to Natalie’s zombie wound received last time. Happily, she suffered no threat of being turned. After retrieving arrows and spent shell casings [in retcon], the party set off once more to find the store and search for food. They were able to cover the last stretch with little effort, and soon came upon a small shopping center, including their supermarket target and a collection of other stores. Opting to search the strip first, our heroes first looked into a bait shop to see what supplies might remain. Despite initially high hopes, they turned up only a smattering of fishing tackle [mechanical parts] and a single fishing rod. No knives, and only a shattered display case to taunt them with guns and ammo already looted. Taking the risky decision to split the party, Natalie and Ray moved on to investigate a nearby nail salon while Felix and Bluedog searched a Subway restaurant. The nail salon offered little in the way of salvage, and though they heard sounds coming from the back room, Ray and Natalie opted to leave well enough alone and join the others. Felix was able to salvage some useful parts from the kitchen appliances, but otherwise found only rancid mayonnaise and distressingly well preserved meat products. Still no knives.

The party next scouted the exterior of the grocery store before heading in. They found the front entrances of the store barricaded with an assortment of debris, though one of these had been opened again by some previous visitor. Around back they found a loading dock and employee entrance, both locked, and a delivery truck full of rotten produce. Entering the store over the wrecked barricade, they collected carts and baskets but soon abandoned these upon hearing something rummaging around down an aisle further in. They approached quietly (for the most part), but Ray slipped on a spill in Aisle 1 and his exclamation alerted a zombie, which soon came shambling into view. Natalie silently pierced its head with an arrow, and the party was able to surround two of its fellows and bring them down with a few well-placed axe blows and rifle jabs. The commotion summoned two more zombies from elsewhere in the store, with the party resorting to gunfire to drop them.

Finally able to begin searching the store for salvage, Felix began loading canned goods into shopping carts, while Ray investigated the remains of the pharmacy. For his part, Bluedog took the precaution of de-braining the zombies and a few other corpses found around the store. Natalie set to work restringing her bow, which had suffered a minor accident. As they searched, the party soon realized the locked storeroom housed another group of zombies. They also discovered a strange area against the far wall of the store where all the food and debris appeared to have been swept away. As the investigated this, and gained little insight, they soon became aware they were being watched. Following their observer back into the administrative offices, they encountered a teenage boy named Jack who had been hiding in the store alone for several days.

Upon questioning him, they learned that Jack had come with his family and several neighbors to find supplies a few weeks ago. Finding it only lightly picked over, the group decided to stay and try to fortify the store. The built the barricades and survived inside for a while. A few days ago, a group of raiders came and tried to seize the store. Jack was able to hide, but heard the invaders rounding up the others and locking them in the storeroom. Some time later he heard a new disturbance: gunfire, distressed yelling among the men, and a sound he described as a “whoooosh! like a tornado, but just for a second.”

Despite the trauma of recent events (and Bluedog’s intimidating presence) Felix was able to convince Jack they could take him to a safe place if he wanted to return to the Post Office with them. The party was able to quickly execute the ten zombies locked in the storeroom, which likely included the remaining members of Jack’s family. They found a large amount of food, including several pallets of canned goods, and loaded these onto the delivery truck outside – which required only minor modifications to get running and slight scrubbing to remove the rotting vegetables. Thus supplied, and in possession of good truck, they headed back onto the highway they had followed before, to bring this food to their waiting community.

Dead Letter Office will return in “On the Road Again”

Session 1: Supply run

Our heroes bravely ventured forth to investigate a local grocery store and hopefully return with some much needed food and supplies to sustain their colony of survivors. Traveling south on foot, they followed a path Felix had previously taken to locate the store. Conditions can change quickly when the world turns to chaos, but the party was able to pick their way along the road for several miles. In a near-superhuman display of perception, Bluedog spotted a pair of zombies on the road ahead, devouring the corpse of a dog. Natalie approached quietly and was able to spike one with an arrow before the zombies knew their un-lives were soon to end. Assured by Bluedog that nothing else was within earshot, Felix and Ray soon laid them down with gunfire, but not before one managed to slam Natalie across the face. Felix’s trusty jammed in the process, but he was quickly able to clear things up. Ray promised to patch up Natalie’s wound as they set off down the road again toward their goal.


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