Thorn-Alder Rail

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The Western Line 

The Western Line was conceived “to nail down the West,” to quote one of its founders, M. Dorian Thorn.

To the east, Thorn said, is the ocean. The ocean is unknowable, unspeakable and best left to its ghosts.

The West, however with its cliffs and its ravines, can be known, and can be conquered.  The ghosts of the land can more easily be put to rest, or if not to rest, then to work.1

Stretching due west from Shipwreck Cove, the Western Line provides a foothold into the western lands.  It offers a place from which the truly brave can explore out to the north and south, searching for lands unseen since the Last Fall.  Or one can simply take the Western line to see the sights from the comfort of your train car, visiting the stops as they come along, and explore the safely settled regions around the train stations.

Whichever you choose, however you wish to see the West, the Western Line and Thorn Alder Rail are here for you.

1 See pages 20-25 of To Nail the West Down, written by Joce Shcove in PY2 about the life & times of M. Dorian Thorn, for more on this subject. Thorn has always had quite a bit to say on the topic of the West, although what has been written about Thorn’s ideas on the East might be considered even more elucidating.

Shipwreck Cove

Founded in 1 YP, Shipwreck Cove is one of the oldest settlements of the known world.  It is a thriving, if small community centered around its namesake cove. The populace here is focused primarily on bookmaking and as a manufacturing hub for the Western Line.

In a tertiary role, Shipwreck Cove serves as an experimental farm, growing plants with cannot be supported by the landscape of some of the less ideally situated stations on the line. 

The titular shipwreck remains as a monument to the hubris of earlier civilizations. 

Not far to the east of the shipwreck, another monument to lost times can be found.  While one of the underwater temples has been partially explored, the others remain, to date, untouched.  Should you wish to explore them during your visit to Shipwreck Cove, we here at Thorn Alder Rail caution care – and ideally breathing gear.  Several of those from Shipwreck Cove have lost their lives in exploration of these ruins, and the times passed have already claimed far too many lives. 

If, however, you wish to linger in the shallows of Shipwreck Cove, you may see one of the famed dolphins, said to be good luck should they “kiss” you or sing to you. 

The fishing is also quite good off of the Shipwreck Cove Station docks, although we ask, of course, that you give right of way to any incoming or outgoing boats. 

Speaking of boats, while one can come in by land to the station, through the village of Shipwreck Cove, one can also come by boat. Docks are available, as well as long-term boat storage, for free to passengers of the Western line, or one can rent a boat from the station to go exploring, for the cost of one stick per rental.

In addition, you can spend the night in the Shipwreck Cove Inn – free to all passengers of Thorn-Alder Rail!  The cozy inn can hold up to five guests, and the breakfast bar downstairs will offer you a wide variety of breakfast foods.

Jump off stop: Zombie Ravine 

Located between Shipwreck Cove and Sheep Swamp Station,  Zombie Ravine features a deep ravine with cave vines and a tidily-blocked Zombie Spawner, where one can practice zombie killing at a very low risk.

Note: Thorn Alder Rails does not in any way suggest or endorse jumping INTO the ravine.   Please use the provided ladder after jumping off before or after the bridge.

Sheep swamp

Pigs are actually the most populous creature around Sheep Swamp Station, leaving some to assume that the name is fallacious alliteration.  However, sheep, as well as cows and frogs can also be found around Sheep Swamp Station.

(The community at the Station does raise the more common pigs, including prized Black Pigs, which are available to Western Line passengers for the price of two potatoes.   Potatoes can be harvested for free from the Station garden.)

Sheep Swamp is sparsely populated and mostly unsettled,  due primarily to the unfriendly terrain and the habit the land has of ppl 9eqflooding unpredictably.  Most homes in Sheep Swamp are built on stilts, necessitating ladder climbing or complex stair systems.

The swamp is, however, resource-rich, holding large clay veins, beautiful vines, thick oak forests, and the occasional stand of sugar cane.  In addition, quinoa grows wild here, and you can often trip over wild ginger and onions!

Stop in for a night, pass on through to the Western Reaches, or camp out for a week at the well-appointed Sheep Swamp Station while you explore the wonders of the swamp. Just remember to pack your waders — Alder Thorn Rail offers no paths into the swamp, and you WILL get wet.

Jump off stop: The Birch Tunnel

Travelling through the Great Birch Mountain, Birch Tunnel offers an unparalleled view of the underground of our land, including crossing an underground lake.  There is no formal stop in the Tunnel, but furnaces and a crafting station are available for those who wish to jump off and do a little mining. 

As with all jump-off stations, passengers do so at their own risk; as with all mining, miners do so at their own risk and with their own equipment. Beware of lava, giant spiders, silverfish, and zombies; Thorn Alder Rail cannot replace lost equipment in case of an accident. 

Thorn Alder Rail will, however, buy any iron or gold mined which you wish to sell in return for seeds or plants at a 1:10 iron:seeds or 1:5 iron:plants rate.

This brochure is in need of update and does not include the Western Portal Purple Line or the Magenta Desert Extension.

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