In the midst of the American Civil War, Dr. Campbell, the owner of the Cross of Coronado, was living in the plains between Dodge City and Empire with his Apache wife and his newborn son, Colton, running a hospital that served mainly Native Americans.
One day, a group of soldiers on horseback led by Thomas Magruder appeared at the doorstep, asking for the cross. When the doctor claimed he didn't know about the cross, Magruder ordered one of the soldiers to search the house, and returned with the it. When an Apache patient (apparently a friend of the doctor) objected and insulted Magruder, he shot and killed him; Ned, one of the soldiers, protested at this needless death, only to have Magruder shoot him as well, and apparently killed him, too.
In a fit of rage, Magruder decapitated Dr. Campbell. After Campbell's wife (Colton's mother) shot Magruder in his eye, a massacre broke out, which saw Magruder's men slaughter the hospital's entirety and ransacked the area before leaving.
However, before this had happened, she had given the baby Colton to the son of the Apache Chief, the future Chief Many Wounds (Colton's brother), and ordered them to hide behind a nearby rock. After the massacre, Many Wounds found the body of his father, and swore to avenge his father's death.
The wounded Ned, who had woken up. Ned confessed, in Apache language, that he felt terrible and regretful for giving the cross' location to Magruder. Many Wounds then handed the infant Colton to Ned, saying to repay his debt to the Apaches by raising him as his own. Ned agreed, and adopted Colton on the spot. Colton, however, would not learn of this until his adulthood.
Life With NedEdit
Many years passed. By 1880, the game's starting period, Colton and Ned were making livings as mountain men in the mountains of Montana, hunting game and selling it to the passing Mississippi steamboats. They had no permanent home, instead camping whereever they went. On a warm fall day, Ned and Colton went out hunting. During this hunting session, Ned tested Colton's gunhand by releasing Quail, which Colton shot down using his Quickdraw. The couple were then attacked by wolves, but easily fended off the attack.
After this, they went to kill some elk with use of their sharpshooters. After another attack by wolves, Ned was knocked to the ground by a furious Grizzly Bear. Colton, who's rifle was too weak to penetrate the bear's thick hide, used Ned's rifle and killed the bear. As Colton started skinning the bear, the steamship SS Morning Star showed up on the nearby river.
Attack on the MorningstarEdit
When on the Morningstar, Ned entered a room with a woman that Colton had never met before. Since Ned failed to close the door all the way, Colton saw the woman open a safe and show Ned something inside of it. When Colton was caught looking at them, Ned managed to shut the door all the way.
With nothing to do but waiting for Ned to finish up, a middle aged preacher approached and struck up a conversation with Colton. Later, the preacher grabbed the woman Ned had been with earlier and asked her where "the item" is. She refused to answer him and slapped him. She scurried away when he pulled out an axe and threw it into the back of her head causing her body to fall overboard. He then gave a signal for his accomplices to attack.
Colton and Ned fought their way to the back wheel to unblock it. As they did that, the boat came into the middle of a lake and became under attack by cannons which killed the pilot and set fire to the boilers. Ned began to tell Colton, "Son listen close, cause there ain't much time. I done my best to raise you right, but all your life I've been lying to you.
The boilers are going to blow. Quick, take is." He handed Colton a token and said, "That's a token to the Alhambra, the cathouse in Dodge City. Go there and ask for Jenny." Colton replied to Ned with, "I ain't leaving you Pa!" Ned answered, "God damn it, that's I've been trying to tell you. I ain't your father. Now go!" He then threw Colton off the boat. With no ammo, Ned attacked enemies around him with the back of his rifle. Colton shouted to him as he swam in the water, "PA! PA... JUMP!" Just then the ship exploded, killing everyone on board.