Deadlands: The Way of the Brave
The Burning Man
Saturday night, June 15, 1878, a group of riverboat men wandering the streets of St. Louis, MO drunk and surly came upon a lonely drunk, Harvey Wells, in an alleyway. The man had drank himself almost unconscious with whiskey by the time the rowdies found him.
Seeing an easy target for robbery, the men searched his pockets for money. When they found none, they became angry and began to beat the poor man. During the course of the beating, Harvey was knocked into a street lamp. The man had drunk so much, the alcohol on his breath caught fire, and he burned up from the inside out.
Now, many regulars claim to have seen the ghost of the drunk, who they call the Burning Man, searching for his murderers. The local lawmen would likely be interested in interviewing the “ghost” because recently a number of burned bodies have turned up in the rubble-filled alleys of the city.
A known drunk, Nathan Ranney, supposedly survived an attack by the Burning Man on Saturday, May 3, 1879. He escaped from the incident with only a severe burn in the shape of a hand on his arm. No authorities have reported this event and the play characters only learned of it by plying Mr. Ranney with free booze. Of course, the validity of this report is questionable at best.
On Saturday night, May 10, 1879, the body of Charles Simpson was found. His nose and mouth were severely burned and the city coroner discovered that the inside of his mouth, nasal cavity, throat, lungs, and stomach were burned as well. Officially, the actual cause of his death was unknown, but his murder has since been attributed to the Burning Man.
One week later on May 17, 1879, Eugene Haas was supposedly killed by the Burning Man. His entire head was burned and charred. His identity was only determined by papers found in his coat pocket.
On Saturday, May 24, another victim was found. His head and upper chest were severely burned. He has yet to be identified.
John Colvin was killed by the Burning Man on Saturday, May 31st, after drinking at the Snake’s Den. His body from the waist up was severely burned. The player characters saw this attack and confronted the ghost, eventually driving him away with magic.
The next Saturday, June 7th, the body of Luther McCord was found. He was severely burned from his knees up. A broken bottle of Rebel Yell whiskey (cheapest whiskey in town) was noticed lying next to the body by a player character.