A Railway Disaster at Vermillion Station
19 OCTOBER TARANT
- On the afternoon of Thursday, it our painful task to state, an appalling accident occurred at
Vermillion Station, in the very heart of our fair city.
A train of the Brackenton line, carrying passengers to
Tarant's central railway station, lost the use of its braking mechanism and was derailed upon
reaching the station, causing much confusion, property damage and injury to persons aboard the
train, if not outright loss of life.
The accident, more than terrible enough had it occurred
outside the city limits, was all the more horrifying because it took place not ten paces from the
busy platform, before the eyes of nearly two hundred witnesses. Rail officials, ticket takers,
would-be passengers and those waiting for loved ones and acquaintances to disembark from the
self-same train watched aghast, in no way able to interfere with the train, which barreled into
the station out-of-control.
It was only by the offices of gentle Providence that this train
had slowed earlier on its approach to the station, and that it did not in fact overturn as
derailed trains have been wont to do on other occasions. One hesitates to conjecture what
terrible losses the city of Tarant might have incurred had the train been going faster when
those brakes failed!
A very slight difference in the speed of the train, or a few seconds'
difference in the time of the brake failure, would have made the calamity far more dreadful.
As it stands, even the engineers escaped this collision with only cuts and bruises,
although the valiant brakeman suffered a broken arm.
Captain Tyler of the Tarantian Board of Trade has already concluded his investigation into this matter, and
his official report has been published. Several witnesses agree that moments before the train's final approach,
an altercation had broken out on the platform, and magery of some kind was almost certainly involved.
The engine drawing the Brackenton passenger train was one of the most approved modern construction and great
power; it was sensitive to the least stirring of Supernatural Forces, and the practice of Mystical Arts in
its general vicinity was most expressly forbidden to prevent just such accidents as this from occurring.
Thus magickal error is to blame for the accident, and the inspector has criticized the laxity of the system
which allowed a practicing mage to stand on the station platform so near to a massive piece of Technology.
Whether the mage in question cast the offending spell out of knowing malice or simple ignorance is unknown,
but something must be done to prevent a more costly error in the future, which might lead to many deaths.
A new system must be adopted in the working of the line, now that we have examined the immediate causes by
which the Vermillion Accident was produced. Although the blame for this particular incident is apportioned
largely to the offending practitioner of the mystical Arts, a small portion must surely fall to the owners
of the railroad! The operators of the Brackenton line and other railways have not yet arrived at any
principles which might be generally of use in protecting their passengers from Malicious Magery, and this
incident offers vivid proof of what the consequences of their negligence may be.