Deadlands: The Way of the Brave

Coffin Rock Epilogue
I Need A Break
Time:Monday – September 01, 1879
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Lucius Jones
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Game Notes

This epilogue marks the end (at least temporarily) of roughly 1.5 years of role-playing in Deadlands Reloaded (2.5 months of game time). We usually met one night a week every two weeks. Even with such a low frequency, real life responsibilities forced several players to quit the game. It just goes to show that we can’t game like when we were teenagers; time is too precious.

Exploring Coffin Rock cleared up a couple of major loose ends in the game, such as Yang Li’s brother and Sterling’s patron, so it seemed like a good place to stop and re-evaluate. We may pick the game back up in the future, try something new (I own Hell On Earth Reloaded now), or just enjoy other activities for a while. I think everyone enjoyed the game and hopefully, you enjoyed reading my updates on Obsidian Portal. This was my first time both running a game of Deadlands Reloaded (or even Savage Worlds) and using Obsidian Portal to document my own game.

Session Notes

The last several weeks were busy and full of changes for the folks in Coffin Rock. After the battle at the church, the posse was met by a group of the townsfolk led by Shelly Pearl Daly. They were coming to investigate all the commotion. (Shelly Pearl had arrived in town that morning after speaking with the posse in the hills.) Tobias came out to meet the posse as well; although haggard, he appeared better than he had in days. Brother Allen recommended they all retire to the Six Feet Under to hear the tale. Once there, he told how he and the others, with help from the Lord Almighty, managed to defeat the evil summoned by Reverend Cheval. Coffin Rock was pulled back from the brink of damnation! (Way to lower that Fear Level, Preacher! – Ed.)

Although not everyone fully believed Brother Allen’s tale of demons and abominations, the townsfolk could feel that the pall over the town had been lifted and most had never liked Reverend Cheval’s cult. Many a glass was raised in honor of the posse that afternoon.

Additionally, Tobias told the others an interesting story. On their first night in town, Tobias had met a man who was interested in playing cards. The man’s name was Mr. Ares. Mr. Ares had lost a few hands at the Six Feet Under Saloon when he suggested upping the stakes. He then played Tobias for his soul… and Tobias had lost. Tobias did not remember anything else until he was woken up by the bartender as the bar closed. When he asked about Mr. Ares, the bartender didn’t know what he was talking about; Tobias had been sitting alone all night. As the days passed, Tobias knew something was wrong; he couldn’t leave the hotel and he also couldn’t talk to the posse about it. He became violently ill if he even thought about saying anything. His illness did not leave him until the posse’s battle at the church was ended. Obviously, Mr. Ares had wanted to insure that Tobias and his magic were kept out of the fight. Of course, no one could be sure that Tobias had fully recovered his soul, or what might result if he still did not have it.

The posse also learned that Deputy Smith had been seen riding from town that morning and no one had seen him since. This really didn’t seem to worry the townsfolk. The general consensus was that Clem Smith was just as bad as Marshal Bryce and the other deputies – only Shelly Pearl wished she and her gang had the chance to “say goodbye” to the deputy.

As the sun set that day, Brother Allen led a delegation to the church to burn it down – “clean out the last traces of the heathens with fire” as he put it. The fire burned most of the night and when dawn came, little remained but a few smoldering timbers. Oddly enough, as Brother Allen was looking over the ruins the next day, he found his missing Bible lying in the ashes, whole and unharmed – a true miracle! (Yang Li was the Bible thief. He had been inspired by his book, The Art of Funny, to replace the Bible with a fake he had made in Denver. Once he realized how angry the loss had made Brother Allen, he was too embarrassed to return the Bible directly. Therefore, he left it for the preacher to find himself, with no one being the wiser.)

The following week saw the funeral service for Ed Green (which was attending by all the townsfolk as a sign of respect), the discovery of the town deeds in the mayor’s office (leading to Shelly Pearl reclaiming her birthright), and the exorcism of Lucius Jones by Brother Allen. During the exorcism, Lucius confessed all his sins to the preacher and eventually found forgiveness in the Lord’s arms. He was buried next to Ed under his own name, Boyd Sutton, and a letter was sent to his parents back in Georgia.

In the days following Lucius’ burial, a new copper vein was found in the mountains surrounding Coffin Rock which soon led to new claims all over the area. Tacheene apparently kept his promise of a reward (but don’t tell the Preacher that! – Ed.). The Cooked Earth Mine did the best — copper was found in every tunnel and new seams opened almost daily.

Soon after Lucius’ funeral, Sterling quietly left town. After his actions in the battle at the church, he never quite earned back the trust of the other members of the posse. Still seeking fame and fortune, he claimed an urge to explore the rest of the West and perhaps visit Salt Lake City.

Brother Allen travelled to Denver with Tennesy, Tobias, and Yang Li, returning with marble tombstones for Ed and Lucius, and a strongbox containing a large percentage of his family fortune. With this money, Brother Allen helped Shelly Pearl with initial operating expenses for the mine and became a partner in the Crooked Earth Mine. He even loaned Shelly Pearl a strange mining tool that almost doubled the normal output for a single miner. He also invested in several businesses around Coffin Rock, helping it to reach the booming vision of John Daly.TOMBSTONES FOR EDWARD GREEN AND BOYD SUTTONShelly Pearl was soon elected mayor in a special election called by none other than Mayor Hambly himself. He claimed that the job had taken enough from him and it was time for new blood to take the reins. One of her first duties as mayor was to offer the position of town marshal to Tennesy, who accepted graciously on behalf of himself and his new deputy, Yang Li.

Eventually, the green slime protection that Brother Allen had worn for so long dried and hardened, losing the ability to react to kinetic energy. Allen was forced to painfully cut it off as Yang Li had, but suffered no other ill effects.

Although peace had come to Coffin Rock, it was still located in the Weird West. Rumors of nightmare creatures and disappearing miners in the mountains occasionally cropped up, and there were still claims that the abandoned school was haunted. Luckily, there was a group in town who had some experience dealing with ghosts and other horrors, but that is a tale for another day…

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Preacher Versus Preacher
You May Call Me, Mr. Ares
Time:Friday – August 08, 1879 – 11:30 AM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

All around Coffin Rock, members of the posse appeared in bursts of flame and smoke. Brother Allen found himself inside the Marshal’s Office, in front of the ornamental star hanging in the window. Sterling picked himself up from the dust on the floor of the barber shop. Tennsy startled many people by appearing in front of the cracked mirror behind the counter of the Six Feet Under Saloon. Yang Li arrived closest to the church, appearing in front of a mirror in the lobby of the Crystal River Hotel.

As the posse gathered at the hotel, they noticed that they had lost almost an hour during the transport, the wind was picking up, and the sky was rapidly darkening with storm clouds. They could feel the electricity in the air. The group reloaded their weapons and prepared themselves for battle. Sterling raced up to his room and returned with the parts to his energy collector. They then walked across the street to the church.

The posse listened at the doors of the church, but could hear little more than muffled chanting from inside. The doors would not open so Tennesy picked the lock. Unfortunately, the doors would not open even with the lock disengaged.

Having failed to enter through the main doors, the group decided on a different approach. Tennsy placed a lit stick of dynamite on the sill outside one of the church’s blasphemous stained glass windows. However, when it exploded, the building was left unharmed. Sterling examined the building with his luminiferous ether detection goggles and could see a wall of energy completely surrounding the church. He also noticed an energy signature coming from Yang Li’s liuye dao.

The group decided that they should fight magic with magic and that Yang Li should try to hack open the doors with his sword. However, first they decided to take a break for half a minute to assemble Sterling’s energy collector. It would be more cumbersome to move fully assembled but would be ready to use in an instant. The collector was assembled quickly and one of the church doors yielded quickly to a powerful slash from Yang Li.

Reverend Cheval was standing behind the copper altar, reading horrible, twisting words from a large leather book. He showed no signs of the wound he had received from Brother Allen earlier. The pews were filled with his robed followers, who quickly turned toward the posse. Deacon Plume screamed at the flock to kill the intruders as he drew a dagger and led them against the heroes.

While Yang Li and Tennesy kept the cultists at bay at the church doors, Brother Allen and Sterling carried the collector to the side of the building. Sterling did not believe that the collector would work without a clear line-of-sight to the altar and Cheval, the focal point of the ritual. Once they reached the side of the building, Brother Allen lit three sticks of dynamite and left them on the window sill. Whatever magic protected the church could not protect it from such an explosion. A huge hole was blown in the side of the building.

Moving quickly, Sterling activated the collector and grabbed up his trusted hoar tosser. He fired a cloud of freezing mist into the church, killing several cultists and leaving an opening for Brother Allen. Allen ran into the church, killing a cultist that rushed to attack him. Suddenly, a weird rippling appeared in the air before Reverend Cheval, who stopped chanting and began laughing in evil glee. However, just as suddenly, the rippling energy was sucked into Sterling’s energy collector. Screaming in fury, Reverend Cheval picked up an evil-looking black blade from the altar.

Meanwhile, Yang Li had killed several cultists in the vestibule, creating an opening for Tennesy to throw a couple of sticks of dynamite into the church. The resulting explosion almost wiped out the cultists entirely. Brother Allen fired upon Reverend Cheval, wounding him severely, as Yang Li killed another cultist with his liuye dao.

Then, Sterling’s energy collector unexpectedly activated once again. This time, it projected a wave of energy that ripped open space, revealing a kaleidoscope of colors. Out of this portal stepped Sterling’s secret patron! As soon as he exited, the portal snapped shut behind him and the energy collector shut down.

Sterling’s patron greeted him and congratulated him on his success. Sterling, being a bit leery, asked his patron to taste some salt (to verify he wasn’t one of the mysterious Fire People), which the man gladly did with no ill effects. He then introduced himself as Mr. Ares, finally feeling free to give Sterling his name after all this time.

As Sterling and Mr. Ares chatted, a strange figure burst into the church. He wore a pillow case mask and carried two pistols. He shouted, “I’m here for ya, Preacher! Don’t worry!” before firing upon the last remaining cultist, killing him with expert marksmanship. Oddly, the voice was recognized by Brother Allen and Yang Li as belonging to Lucius Jones, their friend who had died in St. Louis!

Instead of showing fear at the fall of his cult, Reverend Cheval’s face only showed anger and determination. He gripped his blade tightly as he began chanting in a language which hurt the ears to hear. It was at this point that Sterling asked Mr. Ares if he could help since it was not a good time to chat. Mr. Ares seemed amused by the suggestion and agreed, rapidly walking into the church toward Reverend Cheval. As Mr. Ares entered the building, Yang Li’s sword burst into flame and he felt intense hatred emanating from the blade.

Mr. Ares walked straight up to Reverend Cheval and in the blink of an eye, choked off the cult leader’s chant by grabbing him by the throat. He held Cheval up in the air for an instant before sending him hurtling through the window on the opposite side of the church. Afterwards, Mr. Ares dusted off his hands and said, “Now perhaps we can chat without distractions…

Sterling walked up to continue his conversation with Mr. Ares as the rest of the posse, including Lucius, quickly filed out of the church to verify that Cheval was well and truly dead. (The flames around Yang Li’s sword extinguished as he left the church.) They found Cheval’s body lying in the dirt roughly 20 feet from the church with obviously broken bones. The cult leader wasn’t breathing, but Brother Allen put a bullet in his head “just to be safe.

After seeing to Reverend Cheval, the group turned to Lucius; it was his turn to explain. He removed his mask to reveal a gaunt face with sunken eyes; he did not look well. (Then again, he probably looked terrific for a dead man! – Ed.) He told the preacher that he needed Brother Allen’s help. He had died but for some reason, he hadn’t gone to Heaven or Hell. He was stuck here on Earth as some sort of walking ghost. He could move through things if he concentrated real hard, but for the most part, he was as solid as a rock. He had thought he was still here because he had to deliver a pistol to Jonah Thurgood in Coffin Rock, so he had made his way here. Along the way, he had seen his picture on a wanted poster and thought it was best to hide his face with a mask. He made one out of a white pillow case – like the kind ghosts are suppose to wear. When he finally found Jonah and delivered the pistol, nothing changed. He didn’t know what to do. He happened to see the posse when they arrived in town and had been following them, trying to figure out how to talk to the preacher about all this. He couldn’t help but jump in the fight at church once he realized what was going on. He begged Brother Allen to help him move on to the after-life. Whenever he slept, he had horrible dreams and there were times that he heard a voice whispering terrible things for him to do. Brother Allen promised to help, but first, they needed to go speak with Sterling’s visitor.

Meanwhile, Sterling was having an interesting conversation with Mr. Ares. His patron began by once again praising his good work and saying that he hoped their relationship could continue. Mr. Ares also explained to Sterling that emotions held power just like certain devices and rituals could hold power (as he occasionally detected with his goggles). The greatest power could be derived from fear. Fear was a very strong emotion. He proposed that Sterling work for him spreading fear in the territories. In exchange, Mr. Ares could assist Sterling in gaining enough fame and fortune to rival that of famed scientist, Dr. Hellstromme.

Sterling was pondering this offer as the rest of the posse returned to the church. (Yang Li’s sword once again burst into flame.) Mr. Ares turned to the group and explained he had just offered a job to Sterling, a job with which they all could assist for great reward. He then explained about fear energy just as he had with Sterling. He was just finishing his explanation when Brother Allen broke into prayer, asking the Lord for guidance. Mr. Ares did not seem to like this and promptly told Allen to stop as he stepped toward the group. It was then that Yang Li, following urges from his sword, directed his own chi energy through it. The sword converted this energy into a bolt of flame that struck Mr. Ares.

Mr. Ares cried out as the flaming bolt struck him and then something horrible occurred. His flesh seemed to rip open and drop off, revealing Mr. Ares as a huge, red-skinned demon. The church bell began to peal as thunder rolled from above. The demon ripped off a chunk of the copper altar, quickly forming it into a huge scimitar, and advanced on the group. A melee ensued between the demon and the posse. Normal weapons had no effect on it, but it could be harmed by Yang Li’s sword. Brother Allen quickly learned to pray for God’s blessings on their weapons (i.e., smite power). As the battle continued, the demon called for Sterling to assist him, but Sterling encountered difficulties that prevented him from entering the battle for either side. Initially, he suffered from a “sudden” Charley horse that caused him to fall to the ground. Once he managed to massage the muscle spasm away, he then “accidentally” dropped Hildegarde and was forced to find it amidst the church’s rubble.

Yang Li, Lucius (armed with the preacher’s blessed Gatling pistol), and Tennesy (armed with his blessed rifle) finally defeated the demon, but not before Yang Li had been laid low by the abomination. Thankfully, Brother Allen was there to ask God to heal the warrior’s wounds. After its fall, the demon began to dissolve into a foul-smelling, black smoke. As it did, Sterling rushed up and with a loud cry of “Die, foul beast!” fired a bolt from Hildegarde into the demon’s body.

As the last of the demon dissolved, the church bell fell from the bell tower and smashed to pieces. Additionally, the thunder clouds immediately began to dissipate. Exhausted, and not fully pleased with Sterling’s actions, the posse slowly made their way out of the church.

Experience Award:3

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To The Mine
Jai ma Kali!
Time:Friday – August 08, 1879 – 08:00 AM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

Believing the tunnels from the spirit walk were the Crooked Earth Mine, the posse decided to spend Friday investigating the mine. Unfortunately, they would do so without Tobias, who still did not feel well. As a replacement, they took the Green brothers with them. Feeling a major battle could be ahead, they also armed themselves with multiple sticks of dynamite.

As they made their way into the mountains surrounding Coffin Rock, they paused to signal Shelly Pearl. Once she arrived with her gang, they explained that almost all the deputies had been killed the night before. She and her group could return to Coffin Rock. Knowing how she had been treated by Bryce, Tennesy gave her the marshal’s badge.

After meeting with Shelly Pearl, the posse continued their journey to the Crooked Earth Mine. When they reached the mine, they found the entrance matched their vision: appearing as a tomahawk wound in the earth. As they rode closer, Sterling, Tennesy, and Yang Li heard whispers on the wind, but could not make out any words. They tied the horses outside and entered the mine.

Just inside the entrance was a large wooden elevator. The elevator could be raised or lowered via cranks in the center. As the group examined the elevator, Sterling noticed some strange wires attached to the frame and running up above. He felt that these wires were not related to the function of the elevator but were possibly some form of alarm or trap. He simply unhooked the wires without any negative effects.

The posse descended roughly one hundred feet in the elevator before reaching the bottom of the shaft. The mine tunnel was lit by a red glow from crimson veins running through the rock walls. As the group started down the passageway, they could all hear whispering voices pleading for help. Suddenly, vague, softly-glowing wisps appeared before them. The lead wisp slowly solidified into the shape of a miner (although still transparent) who asked the posse for help. The specter explained that before his death, he was the mine foreman, William Wood. He had been taken deep into the mine and killed in an unholy ritual which left his spirit trapped here. His body had been used to create an abomination of burning rock and mud, a blood man. (A creature the likes of which the posse had already encountered battling Shelly Pearl Daly.) The other spirits behind him were miners that had met the same fate.

The ghost felt that if he and the other miners could reach the blood men, they might be able to reclaim their bodies and find peace. Unfortunately, they were unable to move deeper into the mine due to the glowing veins in the walls; they could not pass them on their own. They needed living bodies to act as vessels for them in order to get to the blood men. The ghost of the foreman begged the posse for their assistance.

After a short discussion, the posse agreed and the spirits merged with their bodies. The ghost of William Wood merged with Brother Allen. The spirits of miners, Joe Bryant and Leroy Jenkins, merged with Tennesy and Sterling. Most surprisingly, the last spirit was the ghost of Yang Meng, Yang Li’s brother. He merged with his brother. No other spirits were present so the Green brothers were left alone.

As the ghosts slowly merged with their bodies, the posse felt as if they were being immersed in cold water. A chill washed over them and then memories came. Each posse member felt his skin being scalded as he was forced down into red, bubbling mud. His screams were drowned out as the mud poured down his throat. His last feeling was of searing pain washing over every inch of his body. Slowly the memories faded and the posse found themselves in the mine corridor again. Although seeming to last minutes, the memories had really only lasted the blink of an eye so the Green brothers had not noticed anything amiss.

William Wood, speaking through Brother Allen, said, “Let’s get this over with,” and the group started walking deeper into the mine (and danger). As they walked, the posse was able to converse with the spirits, although it was with their own voices. They learned that Joe Bryant and Leroy Jenkins had been forced into the mud by Reverend Cheval and his followers from the church. William Wood had been held under by blood men, as had Yang Meng.

Yang Meng spoke the most of any of the spirits; he had much to explain to his brother. While in China, he had dreams in which the family patriarch, Yang Zheng, had visited him and told him that the family blade was needed in America. It could do much good against the building evil. He was haunted by these dreams for many weeks but told no one. He was already known to have a vivid imagination and as the youngest son, he knew no one in the family would believe him. Eventually, he simply took the blade one night and left for America. His travels eventually led him to Coffin Rock where he found employment at the Crooked Earth Mine. It was here that he was tested and found wanting. He had failed to defeat the evil and had lost the sword. However, the sword was still on him when he was killed and he believed that it had become part of the created blood man. It was still possible for Yang Li to retrieve the sword and restore the family honor!

Eventually, the tunnel opened up into a large cavern. Floating in the air above a pit of magma and boiling mud, held by a glowing field of blue energy, was the earth spirit, Tacheene. Two blood men stood nearby, slowly pushing a man into the pit. Another blood man stood between the posse and the pit. The group also noticed a man dressed as a preacher standing on a ledge over-looking the pit.

Upon seeing the preacher, Leroy Jenkins (via Sterling) suddenly shouted, “Reverend Cheval – you bastard!” and with the mighty battle cry of “Leroy Jenkins!” Sterling teleported himself and Brother Allen to the ledge. Once there, Allen fired his shotgun, severely wounding Cheval. His face contorted in a grimace of pain and anger, Reverend Cheval ordered his blood men to slay the intruders before jumping off the ledge into a burst of flame and disappearing.

As the blood men moved forward to do Cheval’s bidding, the spirits of the slain miners burst forth from the posse. They immediately merged with the blood men’s bodies, but were unable to stop them. However, as the blood men engaged the posse, it was clear that the spirits were having an effect. The abominations were not as quick or resilient as the blood man the posse had previously fought. Unfortunately, the blood men were quickly joined by another that emerged from the pit, unhampered by any ghost.

The fight was brutal and at times, extremely worrying, since the entire posse was armed with dynamite and the blood men were composed of hot mud and magma. The posse eventually destroyed all of the blood men (allowing the spirits of the miners to find rest), but not before paying a price: Ed Green, loyal follower of Brother Allen, was killed.

The battle over, Yang Li spent a few moments searching through the remains of one of the blood men while Brother Allen called upon the Lord to heal the posse’s wounds. Inside the crumbling exterior of rock and mud, Yang Li found his family’s sword, a liuye dao, lying next to his brother’s skeletal remains. Brother Allen said a quick prayer over the body of Ed Greene before the group turned toward their attention toward the captured spirit, Tacheene.

Tacheene thanked the posse for their assistance. It explained that destroying the blood men had negated much of the power Cheval had over it. However, it could still not escape Cheval’s mystical hold. It further explained that Cheval had tapped into its power to transport away earlier and offered to open a portal for the posse to follow him. The group agreed and a burning ring rose from the pit. Inside, the posse could see Reverend Cheval organizing his followers at the church, but the image quickly flickered to show the inside of the Jewel Theatre, a splintered view of the Six Feet Under Saloon, and the interiors of other buildings in Coffin Rock. The earth spirit issued a groaning apology to the group; it was too weak to perfectly control the portal’s destination. The portal would take them to Coffin Rock, but the exact destination was unknown. The spirit was able to detect that Cheval was starting a very powerful ritual and must be stopped quickly or the town would be doomed. Fearing that the ritual would be completed before the group could ride back to Coffin Rock from the mine, the posse had no choice but try the portal. Just before stepping through, Brother Allen ordered Nathan Green to return to town with the horses and his brother’s body; the preacher would exact the Lord’s vengeance on Cheval for Ed’s death.

Experience Award:3

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Death And Guns
He Had A Gun Like Yours
Time:Thursday – August 07, 1879 – 08:00 PM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

Brother Allen, Sterling, Tennesy, and Yang Li stopped by the Crystal River Hotel on their way to the cemetery to speak with Allen’s flock and check on Tobias. Brother Allen explained to his followers about the coming meeting in the cemetery and asked them to maintain a watch: should they hear the sound of his Gatling pistol, they should come running and ready to fight. The group then went to check on Tobias. After much knocking, he finally answered his door. He was pale and shaky, although he still claimed that he was only suffering from a severe hang-over. The group was worried about his condition, but they had to hurry to the cemetery meeting so they left him be.

The posse found the cemetery gates closed but unlocked. They entered the cemetery and walked amongst the graves, looking about in the poor light of the moon, but saw no one. They decided to wait by Daly’s mausoleum, the most prominent feature of the graveyard.

After roughly 30 minutes of waiting, the deputy warily entered the cemetery. Once he noticed the preacher, he headed straight for Brother Allen. The deputy introduced himself as Clem Smith and explained that if the preacher would let him ride out of town peacefully, he would tell Allen everything about the murder. Brother Allen did not know the murder about which Clem was speaking, but played along, slowly getting the story out of Clem without revealing his own ignorance.

According to Clem, back in May, a man named Alex Indigo arrived in town. He asked a lot of questions, which made Marshal Bryce nervous. Marshal Bryce eventually arranged an ambush in the cemetery. All the deputies were involved, including Clem, although Clem claimed that he did not actually fire at the man. After it was all over, Bryce found a badge for a United States agency of which he had never heard on Alex Indigo’s body. He also found a Gatling pistol, a weapon which would cost him over 6-months wages. Marshal Bryce became even more worried. He ordered the deputies to bury the body in an unmarked grave in the cemetery while he destroyed the badge and pistol.

The Gatling pistol was how Marshal Bryce and the others knew Brother Allen was a member of the same agency as the dead man. They knew that there was no way a preacher could afford such a weapon on his own. Of course, the questions Allen had been asking since arriving in town only confirmed their suspicions.

After Marshal Bryce was killed by the masked man (who Clem assumed was a United States agent), Clem knew it was just a matter of time before the deputies were killed or taken prisoner. Therefore, he tried to cut a deal with Brother Allen. As Clem finished explaining, a shot rang out and he fell to the ground.

Brother Allen moved quickly to call upon the Lord to heal Clem as he lay bleeding to death. Meanwhile, Yang Li and Tennesy raced toward a shadowy figure whom they saw drop behind the cemetery fence. Sterling quickly sought cover behind the mausoleum.

Reaching the wall, Yang Li and Tennesy stopped to listen and see between the fence’s wooden planks. They saw nothing but heard the sound of boots on gravel racing away. The ambushers seemed to be running parallel to the fence and away from Yang Li and Tennesy… toward the cemetery gate!

God had answered Brother Allen’s prayer and healed Clem. Allen was helping Clem up when the ambushers reached the gate and opened fire, using the fence as cover. The posse could just barely see their badges reflecting the dim moonlight; they were the other deputies! After a quick consultation, Sterling teleported himself and Brother Allen past the deputies (and their cover). The smoke had barely cleared before Brother Allen opened fire with his Gatling pistol. He quickly killed four of the deputies, leaving the last to be killed by a well-aimed shot from Tennesy’s rifle.

The bells of the church were ringing as Brother Allen’s flock arrived at the cemetery (summoned by the shots of the Gatling pistol). Allen ordered them to watch the bodies while he, Sterling, Tennesy, Yang Li, and Deputy Clem Smith went to report the incident. (Brother Allen wanted to insure the group was able to tell their side of the story before any additional problems arose – after all, they had just killed almost all of the town’s deputies.) As Allen was speaking with his flock, Sterling slipped over to the bodies and took one of the deputy badges.

The group’s first stop was the town blacksmith, Jonah Thurgood. Brother Allen felt that Jonah had a good head on his shoulders and seemed to have a healthy paranoia about the town. The posse woke up Jonah but he didn’t wish to be involved. He recommended they speak with the mayor.

Brother Allen and Yang Li went with Deputy Smith to the Six Feet Under to find Mayor Hambly. Meanwhile, Tennesy and Sterling went over to the Marshal’s Office to find any incriminating documents linked to Marshal Bryce. Sterling and Tennesy didn’t find any evidence against the dead marshal, but Tennesy did find the marshal’s badge and took it once he realized Sterling was searching for it.

At the Six Feet Under, Brother Allen, Yang Li, and Deputy Smith found several of the townsfolk, including a drunken Mayor Hambly. Brother Allen told the tale of the ambush by the deputies and how Deputy Smith helped the posse fight them off. (Although Clem did very little, Allen wanted him to have the majority of the credit… and the responsibility.) After Brother Allen’s tale, Deputy Smith led the majority of the saloon’s patrons to gather the bodies.

After such an eventful night, the posse returned to the Crystal River Hotel for some well-deserved rest. The majority of the group enjoyed a peaceful night, but Tennesy had terrible dreams of clockwork horrors (as usual for him – Ed.) and Tobias tossed and turned.

Experience Award:3

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Crazy Coyote Shaman
Don't Listen to His God-less Talk!
Time:Thursday – August 07, 1879 – 12:00 PM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

As Brother Allen, Tennesy, and Yang Li enjoyed lunch at the Six Feet Under, they were joined by Sterling. He had completed his latest invention! He explained it and his dream that had revealed it to him over lunch.

After lunch, the group returned to the town’s abandoned barber shop. Once there, Sterling took his turn to view the dark watcher in the mirror. After a short discussion, the posse decided to try to find this man on Coffin Rock. Brother Allen broke off a piece of the mirror to take with them, but once it was removed from the whole, the background image of Coffin Rock was lost.

The group was winding its way on horseback through the mountain passes when they suddenly heard a woman’s scream. They rode as quickly as possible toward the sound. (Unfortunately, none of them had the Riding skill so a fast trot was the best they could manage. – Ed.) They soon found themselves in a small valley where an attractive young woman was being attacked by a large humanoid rock monster! The creature stood over 7 feet tall. Its eyes were molten flame. It seemed to be made of living rock and hot mud.

The group wasted no time in engaging the monstrosity. Their weapons, combined with the woman’s own Colt Peacemaker, managed to lay the creature low. After the battle, the posse introduced themselves to the woman, whom they learned was Shelly Pearl Daly. She was the daughter of Coffin Rock’s founder, John Daly. She had been invited to Coffin Rock by her father but had arrived after his death. Marshal Bryce told her that her father had turned over the town to him, but Shelly Pearl knew from her father’s letters that he had never sold any deeds to the man. When she confronted Bryce with this information, he had tried to kill her. She escaped into the hills where she had formed a gang with Coffin Rock women that had suffered under the Marshal and his deputies. She was happy to learn of Bryce’s death at the hands of the posse.

When the topic turned to the rock man, Shelly explained that her group had occasionally met such creatures in the mountain passes. They were very dangerous and would mindlessly attack anyone they encountered. She had accidentally stumbled upon this one while scouting for a new camp site and been thrown by her horse before she could ride away. She was very grateful to the characters for their help. Before leaving, she told them a way to signal her with gun shots should they ever need her again.

The posse then continued their journey to the top of Coffin Rock. Eventually, the ground turned steep and treacherous, forcing the group to leave their horses tied to some sparse trees. Upon reaching the summit, the posse found a cave which dropped down into the rock. Wisps of smoke rose from the cave mouth next to a crude rope ladder that provided easy access below.

Wary of any traps, the posse called into the cave and were greeted by Indian shaman who stepped into view. He introduced himself as Laughs at Darkness and thanked them for responding to his sendings. He had great matters to discuss with them and asked them to join him in his kiva (the underground chamber).

The posse climbed down the rope ladder to find themselves in a small cave. Laughs at Darkness asked them to sit with him on a stone bench that lined one wall. A fire burned in the center of the chamber, filling the room with pungent herb-scented smoke. As a sign of peace, Laughs at Darkness passed around a long pipe. As they smoked, Laughs at Darkness explained that they had been chosen as champions in a war with a great evil. The events in the White Man’s town were a small, but significant skirmish in this war, and he had been sent to give them the spiritual tools to succeed.

At this point, Brother Allen interrupted to ask who had sent Laughs at Darkness. He was not pleased to learn that the shaman had been brought to Coffin Rock by visions from Coyote, his spirit guide. In fact, Allen refused to hear any more from “the devil-worshipping heathen,” and climbed back out of the kiva. Laughs at Darkness tried to present the preacher with an eagle’s feather as a token of peace before he left, but Brother Allen would have nothing to do with the shaman’s pagan religion and warned the rest of the posse that they should leave as well if they valued their immortal souls. Sterling, Tennesy, and Yang Li decided to finish hearing what Laughs at Darkness had to say, leaving Brother Allen to watch their horses.

Once Brother Allen left, Laughs at Darkness warned the others that before he could share any more, they must first pass a dangerous test. Many Indian braves had been humbled by this test, and he would not think less of them if they wished to leave. They all chose to be tested. Laughs at Darkness threw a handful of herbs into the fire pit which flared with a mauve flame. He then laughed and told them that they had passed the test!

The smoke from the flames quickly filled the chamber and as Sterling, Tennesy, and Yang Li breathed the fumes, their spirits were catapulted from their bodies. They floated above Coffin Rock before flying to an cave entrance in a mountainside. Red rock around the opening made it look like a tomahawk wound in the earth. An eerie red glow emanated from the depths.

The men’s spirits dived into the cave, passing through numerous tunnels before reaching a large cavern. A humanoid creature made of rough red stone floated in the air on the far side of the chamber. It was surrounded by a glowing field of blue energy which seemed to hold its arms painfully outspread. Large gaping wounds in its body poured magma like blood into a pit below.
EARTH SPIRITThe creature’s flaming gaze rested on the men’s spirits as they approached. The group suddenly heard a rumbling voice in their minds which said, “I am called Tacheene and I must ask for your help. The land around this place is under my protection. I have been here since the earth was young. Some time ago the thing you call a mine was begun, and deep wounds were dug into the earth. Then a man came with magic unfamiliar to me. I do not know how he found me but he called upon the magic of the sky, my nemesis, and trapped me. I cannot touch the earth and so I only have a fraction of my power. The man drains my power and uses it for his own dark purposes. I know not what they are but I ask you, please, find me beneath this mine of yours and free me. Do not let one of your kind twist my power so. Help me and I will be generous in my reward.

Finishing his plea, the creature seemed to shudder with pain and the men’s spirits were sent hurtling back to their bodies. They groggily rose from the stone bench to find that the fire had burned low; only the embers remained to light the cave. Laughs at Darkness was nowhere to be seen. They left the chamber and joined Brother Allen with the horses. Hours had passed since they had entered the shaman’s kiva and they had to hurry to return to town before nightfall. As they rode back down the mountain trails, they filled Allen in on their experiences (describing Tacheene as a captured angel in order to keep things civil).

They reached Coffin Rock just as the sun was setting. The group grabbed a quick dinner at the Six Feet Under Saloon before heading to Brother Allen’s meeting at the cemetery.

Experience Award:2

View
Funeral
I Know Why You're Here
Time:Thursday – August 07, 1879 – 08:00 AM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

The temperature had drastically fallen during the night in Coffin Rock. The strong wind the day before had brought a cold front that dropped the temperature to a brisk 49 degrees Fahrenheit. A warning that fall was fast approaching.

Donning their coats, Allen, Tennesy, and Yang Li decided to go rustle up some breakfast at the Six Feet Under Saloon. They asked both Sterling and Tobias to join them, but Sterling was in one of his feverish “inventive” states (due to his dream – Ed.) and Tobias seemed badly hung-over. The streets were pretty quiet as they walked doen 2nd Avenue to the saloon. Unfortunately, once there, they discovered it was closed.

The group then decided to join Brother Allen’s flock at the livery stable for breakfast at the posse’s wagon. Along the way, they stopped off at the Marshal’s Office, hoping to learn more about the events from the previous night. As they walked up to the door, they noticed that the nearby wall was covered in weathered wanted posters. Looking over the posters, Yang Li found one for himself…WANTED: YANG LI - DEAD OR ALIVE

It was not like the poster he had previously seen for the Simms Gang. This poster was specifically for him, with a well-drawn picture, but provided very little information otherwise. According to the poster, he was wanted dead or alive, but someone had crossed out the word ALIVE with red ink. The poster looked as weathered as the others; it had obviously been hanging there for a month or more. Yang Li was a little worried, but felt that as long as he did not draw too much attention to himself, he should be fine. After all, he had bumped into the marshal and a couple of deputies around town already and no one had mentioned the poster.

Yang Li had also caught a glimpse of his reflection in the large, shiny ornamental star hanging in the office’s window. His reflection had an angry red welt around his throat, an apparent rope burn. Definitely not the best of omens.

The group’s activities inside were very anticlimactic after the events on the office porch. They found the office empty except for a deputy propped up and loudly snoring in a chair behind the desk. Since the law men in town had not shown themselves to be very civil even in the best of circumstances, they left without disturbing the sleeping man.

Brother Allen, Tennesy, and Yang Li finally joined Allen’s flock for breakfast by their wagon at the livery stable. As they sat and ate their simple fare, they heard banging and smoke coming from the blacksmith. After breakfast, they walked over to investigate.

The building’s windows had all been smeared with dirt or soot from the inside, making it impossible to see inside as the group approached the front door. A large, shirt-less man answered Brother’s Allen knock. He had obviously been working at a forge inside. In response to Allen’s introductions, he introduced himself as Jonah Thurgood. Behind him, the group could see a large table holding sabers as well as a gun rack with several rifles. Pistols with cleaning supplies were laying atop another table. During his short conversation with the group, Jonah shared his view that something was wrong with Coffin Rock and recommended that the group leave town. When asked about his windows and reflections, Jonah confirmed that he had rubbed soot over the windows to avoid any reflections and recommended that the group avoid looking at any reflective surface: the reflections could play tricks with the mind.

When the group left Jonah to return to his work, they noticed several buzzards circling near the cemetery. They walked over and determined that the bullet-ridden body from last night was attracting the scavengers. Brother Allen suggested that they should be the first to report the body and so the group returned to the Marshal’s Office.

This time as they entered, the deputy, Sam Jones, awoke from his sleep. Once they explained the reason for their visit, the deputy left with them to examine the body. Oddly enough, one of the first questions he asked was whether the body was wearing a white hood, like a pillow case with eye holes. He seemed a bit disappointed when Brother Allen answered him with a no.

On their way to the cemetery, Deputy Jones explained. Last night, the marshal had been shot. (Jones was not the deputy who had encountered Allen and Yang Li outside the hotel.) While search parties had sought the culprit(s) responsible, they had stumbled upon a man wearing a white hood. He proved his guilt by running when the deputies approached so they chased after him, eventually cornering him in an abandoned building with only one door. The deputies then grouped together in front of the door and decided to make things easy. When the man did not give himself up to their shouted warning, they emptied their revolvers into the building. It was riddled with bullets, yet when they checked inside, they found nothing: no body and no other exits.

By this time, the group had reached the body. Deputy Jones was surprised to see that it appeared to be the remains of John Daly. He couldn’t understand why anyone would take the body out of his mausoleum and shoot it. Deciding that there was enough on his plate besides worrying about a man dead for over a month, Jones ordered Tennesy and Yang Li to haul the body back into the mausoleum. Once the body was returned, Deputy Jones left for the Marshal’s Office, but not before recommending Brother Allen leave the town. It was obviously drying up and held nothing for him. (Allen was starting to get tired of everyone telling him to leave. – Ed.)

The group was intrigued by Deputy Jones’ story of the masked man so once Jones left, they set off in search of a bullet-ridden building. While wandering down 3rd Avenue near the abandoned school, a rock narrowly missed Brother Allen. The group stopped but saw no one else on the street. Yang Li saw a second rock lift off the school yard grounds by some invisible force and sail toward Tennesy. Fortunately, it merely skipped off his shoulder.

The group began moving toward the school when suddenly a storm of debris lifted up all around them. There was no wind, but the group was pelted by flying stones and bits of wood. The heroes quickly retreated from this barrage back down 2nd Avenue toward the hotel. Yang Li was the last one to escape, and heard a child’s laugh erupt from directly behind him as he ran. Once the group had moved away, the storm of objects settled once again on the ground.

The group decided that the school house was not for them this day and continued their search on Daly Street and then 2nd Avenue. Near the Six Feet Under Saloon, they finally found the abandoned building. It was the same building on which Sterling had noticed the man-shaped energy signature the day before. Numerous bullet holes dotted the front and the windows had been boarded up. The group searched the interior, but found nothing of interest.

Leaving the building and walking past the saloon, the men noticed the marshal’s funeral procession coming down the street. Deacon Plume rode with a man in the wagon carrying the coffin which was followed by the town’s six deputies as well as the mayor. All of the deputies were a bit unsteady on their feet and were passing a bottle of whiskey between each other.

After a quick discussion, Brother Allen, Tennesy, and Yang Li decided to attend and followed the wagon to the cemetery. A grave had already been dug with a simple wooden marker. Deacon Plume entered into a fiery sermon concerning judgement and damnation for the man responsible for the marshal’s death. As he spoke, the deputies continued to drink, occasionaly hollering at the more enthusiastic punishments spoken of by the deacon. One of the deputies stumbled over next to Allen and whispered out of the side of his mouth: “I know why you’re here. I’ll talk if you let me go.” Upon hearing this, Brother Allen shouted an amen in confirmation and the deputy stumbled away for another toke from the bottle.

When the funeral ended, Allen, Tennesy, and Tang Li decided to visit the barber shop. They were curious about what they would find after hearing from Tennesy about the message Sterling had decoded last night. They found the barber shop deserted with many of the furnishings gone. However, a large mirror along the wall still remained. Anyone looking into it appeared wild-looking and very hairy. Additionally, instead of the back wall of the shop, the background of the reflection was Coffin Rock, and standing on top of the bluff was a watcher in shadows.

Lunch time was approaching so the group headed for a meal at the Six Feet Under. As soon as they entered, they noticed the deputies sitting around a table. The three immediately turned about and left the saloon. Spending time with the six drunken deputies seemed a bit too dangerous at the moment. They were just outside the door when a man raced past them and inside, shouting that Ol’ Pete had gone crazy.

The deputies immediately followed the man outside as he explained that Ol’ Pete, one of the prospectors that occasionally came to town, had gone crazy and was hold up in one of the abandoned buildings by the Marshal’s Office. He had shouted to the man that everyone should stay away and had fired his pistol at him. Hearing this, the posse members decided to follow the deputies to Ol’ Pete. They were definitely more sober and might be able to resolve the situation without killing anyone.

They found Ol’ Pete right where the man had said. He fired a shot at the group as they reached the street, warning them to stay away and that he had a hostage. The deputies began working on a plan where they would use an old wagon as cover until they could get close enough to rush the crazed man. Brother Allen suggested they let him speak with Pete before risking any bloodshed. They agreed and Allen tried to convince Pete to give himself up. During the shouted conversation, it became obvious that Pete was scared and believed that he was being framed for the Marshal’s murder: he had seen a wanted poster for himself on the wall of the Marshal’s Office! (The deputies claimed ignorance of any of this.) Allen grew more and more worried that as time passed, Pete or the deputies would do something foolish, so he prayed to God to stop Pete from doing any harm. (Good old stun miracle to the rescue! – Ed.) He then raced into the building with the others, knocking Pete’s pistol from his hand. Pete’s hostage, his mining partner, Junior, was tied to a support beam and had a head wound, but seemed otherwise unharmed. As the deputies marched Pete to a jail cell, Brother Allen inspected the wall of posters for any poster of Pete. He found none. He also didn’t find the poster he had seen earlier in the day for Yang Li.

As the posse members left for lunch at the Six Feet Under Saloon, one of the deputies, who had “forgotten” his hat during all the excitement, passed by them. It was the same deputy that had whispered to Brother Allen at the funeral. This time he told the preacher that he thought the others were suspicious and he had to be careful. He would meet Brother Allen at the cemetery that night.

Experience Award:1

View
Sleepy Time
Only In My Dreams...
Time:Wednesday – August 06, 1879 – 11:00 PM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

As Yang Li and Tennesy prepared for bed, they suddenly heard a mass of gunfire from somewhere in the town. They quickly left their rooms, met each other in the hall, and went to wake up Brother Allen. Upon hearing the news, Brother Allen quickly re-donned his clothes and went with the group outside the hotel. They listened for any other activity, but hearing none nearby, decided to investigate in the morning and returned to bed.

Later that night, Sterling dreamed that he was standing before a door. He knocked and a voice invited him inside. Proceeding through the door, he found himself in a large and elegant office. Sitting beside the various chairs and filing cabinets were all manner of scientific equipment. A white-haired, rotund man with a carefully trimmed beard and handlebar moustache rose from behind a large oaken desk as Sterling entered. He was wearing an expensive suit and a large smile as he shook Sterling’s hand. He explained that he was Sterling’s secret patron and by using a New Science device that was standing on a nearby table, he had managed to introduce himself into Sterling’s dreams.

Sterling took a seat and enjoyed a cigar with brandy as he and his patron conversed. Unfortunately, his patron was not yet ready to reveal his name to Sterling. (He claimed to be a man with many enemies and jealous rivals.) He hoped to be able to do so at some point in the future when they actually met in the physical world.

He had never contacted Sterling before in this manner because he could not; his device would only work while Sterling was in Coffin Rock. Apparently, the wall between Coffin Rock and the ethereal had been weakened, allowing the mind of his patron to ride the ethereal waves to meet Sterling. This weakening of the wall between the physical and meta-physical not only facilitated his contact but was also the main reason for his visit. Some individual or group in Coffin Rock was attempting to breach the wall and bring something over, something dangerous to the world. It was important that Sterling stop this. However, simply stopping the process once it had begun could be very dangerous; the energy could be discharged in any number of unpredictable ways. Therefore, his patron showed Sterling a blueprint for a marvelous New Science device that was portable and could safely collect the energy for dissipation.

The device was based upon several basic principles with which Sterling was already familiar thanks to his experience with his luminiferous ether detection goggles, aetheric transportation device, and even the strange portal-controlling machines of the Masters. Initially, the power to activate the energy collector would be provided by Hildegarde and it would take at least several seconds to set up once Sterling was near the energy source. During this time, he would have to count on the help of his travelling companions to protect him.

Their discussion at an end, Sterling once again shook hands with his patron. The gentleman wished him luck and expressed his pleasure at how well Sterling had grown in his knowledge and abilities since leaving New York. He hoped to one day be able to fully partner with Sterling to change the world for the better.

View
The Search for Daly
Did You Just Call Me "Boy"?
Time:Wednesday – August 06, 1879 – 10:15 PM
Location:Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

Session Notes

As Brother Allen prepared for bed at the Crystal River Hotel, he opened his Bible to read a few passages. Imagine his surprise when he discovered the pages were blank! He raced to the Green brothers’ room, awakening them and asking to see one of their Bibles. It contained the text as normal. Since they had been guarding the group’s gear all day, he asked the brothers if they knew of anyone who might have done this blasphemous act to his Bible. They could think of no one who would have done it. However, Nathan noticed that the Bible he held was only a replica of Brother Allen’s own Bible. It was a good copy, but it did not have all the wear and tear his Bible had received over the years. Having this pointed out, Brother Allen began to think that someone had replaced his Bible as some sort of joke. He immediately stormed off to find Sterling.

When Sterling didn’t answer the door to his room, Brother Allen headed downstairs to retrieve Sterling’s room key from the front desk. However, the front desk was where he found Sterling; he was conversing with Tennesy. Tossing Sterling the fake Bible, Brother Allen immediately demanded Sterling tell him what he knew of the malicious prank. Sterling claimed innocence and after several minutes of discussion (mixed with checking his gear for any other mischief), Allen decided to let the matter drop in favor of handling the walking dead man Tennesy had found.

While Sterling and Brother Allen discussed the blank Bible, Tennesy examined the gates at the cemetery. Although it was difficult in the waning moonlight, Tennesy was able to determine that a single set of footprints had passed out the graveyard within the last few hours. (But he was unwilling to enter the cemetery alone.) He was eventually joined by Brother Allen and Sterling. As a group, they entered the cemetery, in which the majority of graves were recent and marked with simple wooden crosses. A significant grave was the mausoleum of John Daly. The door was standing slightly ajar. Brother Allen latched the mausoleum (it did not have a lock) and the group left for the ruins of the burned mansion.

Walking down Daly Street, the group was met by Marshal Bryce. He was just as confrontational as he had been earlier in the day. He demanded to know why they were headed to that side of town at that time of night. Brother Allen explained about the dead man found by Tennesy. Marshal Bryce was very dubious of this story, but agreed to go with the group… on the condition that if this walking dead man was not found, he would arrest them for disturbing the peace.

When the group reached the ruined mansion, there was no one there. Tennesy thought he had found a trail leading off away from town, but Marshal Bryce would not listen. He was ready to arrest the group then and there. Brother Allen tried to convince him to follow the trail, but Marshal Bryce merely drew his pistol and demanded the group drop their weapons. Trying to buy more time, Brother Allen prayed for protection while he spoke to the marshal. At the same time, Yang Li centered himself, tapping into his chi to prepare to seize the pearl of death (i.e., the deflection spell). A barrier formed between Allen and Marshal Bryce. The near-invisible wall of force shocked Bryce into opening fire. However, his bullet was stopped by the barrier. He and Brother Allen continued to talk, but Marshal Bryce would still not listen (and became very upset over Allen’s use of the term, “boy”). Unable to find any other peaceful resolution, Brother Allen dismissed the miraculous barrier and dropped his gun belt to the ground. It was then that Yang Li attempted to disarm the marshal. His powerful kick slammed into the marshal’s gun arm, but the pistol stayed in Bryce’s grasp.

Marshal Bryce fired at Yang Li, who managed to dodge the bullet but failed to throw it back at Bryce (per seize the pearl of death). Tennesy brought up his rifle and fired, only grazing the marshal. However, this shot was quickly followed by a second, piercing the marshal’s heart. Brother Allen rushed forward to assist the dying man, but the last of the marshal’s life blood pumped out as he reached him. In the distance, the church bell began to toll.

Brother Allen said a brief prayer before the group left to follow the trail found by Tennesy. Tennesy led the way, carefully picking out the trail through the tall grass and brambles. They eventually saw a figure stumbling ahead of them in the dim moonlight. He was walking a parallel path to Daly Street, heading toward the cemetery. Brother Allen moved ahead and caught up to the figure at the back wall of the cemetery. The man turned, finally allowing his horribly burned visage to be seen. He was obviously dead. The dead man swung his clawed hands at Brother Allen but fortunately missed as Allen backed away. Allen fired his Gatling pistol at the abomination, but the shots missed. Yang Li rushed forward and kicked the walking dead in the ribs, obviously breaking several but not slowing the undead thing down. Tennesy fired a shot at the dead man’s head that only succeeded in hitting the cemetery’s fence. It was Brother Allen who brought the thing low with a burst from his Gatling pistol that flowed up the undead man’s chest, ending at his forehead.

Knowing the shots would bring others, the group continued past the cemetery and around the church, trying to keep as quiet as possible. Brother Allen and Yang Li knocked at the door to the church while Tennesy slipped across the street and into the hotel. Deacon Plume answered the door and Brother Allen’s questions about the church bell, explaining that the wind would occasionally cause the bell to ring. Brother Allen thanked him for his time and began to cross the street with Yang Li in tow.

They were intercepted by one of the town deputies carrying a lantern. He asked them about the recent shots and why they were wandering about the town. Brother Allen carefully skirted the truth, explaining that they had heard the shots (Duh… they were the ones who fired them! – Ed.) as well as the church bell ringing. He added that he and Yang Li had just left the church after being informed by Deacon Plume that wind could cause the bell to ring. The deputy accepted Allen’s tale and told them to return to the hotel. The marshal had been shot; he and the other deputies were searching for the culprit.

Experience Award:2

View
Welcome to Coffin Rock
Something Is Definitely Wrong Here
Time:Wednesday – August 06, 1879 – 07:00 AM
Location:South of Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
Posse Role-Call:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li * DIARY ENTRY


Session Notes

Tennesy Waya awoke Wednesday morning more rested than he had in a long time. Although he had dreamed, the nightmares that had haunted him for weeks had not come. Instead, he dreamed of a small town in the shadow of a cliff emblazoned with a skull in reddish rock. As he hovered over the town, he noticed a human figure waving at him from the cliff top. He swooped down to see an Indian shaman shouting and gesturing for him to approach closer. When he attempted to do so, a great wind blew him away and down into the town. As he swept past the buildings, he saw a ramshackle sign welcoming him to Coffin Rock before awakening in his bed roll. Tennesy saw the dream as a sign that he should travel with the others to Coffin Rock.

Although Brother Allen was hesitant to travel with an “Indian heathen,” the others did not have the same problem, especially since Tennesy had proven himself handy with a rifle the night before. When the group broke camp and headed off to Coffin Rock, Tennesy went with them. Sterling rode in the wagon with the majority of Brother Allen’s flock and spent his time recharging his various devices.

The posse arrived at Coffin Rock in the early afternoon. It matched the town in Tennesy’s dream and a pall seemed to hang over it. It was obviously a town in decline. Many of the wooden buildings were abandoned and those that weren’t could use a fresh coat of paint. As the posse rode down Main Street and 2nd Avenue, the only building that had any activity was the Six Feet Under Saloon. 2nd Avenue terminated at Daly Avenue, which led to the town’s only hotel, The Crystal River Hotel. The hotel had seen better days. Peeling paint on the hotel’s sign over the door made it read: “Cry a River Hotel.”

While the others checked into the hotel and watched the wagon, Tobias and Tennesy made a quick ride through the rest of the town, noting the businesses that still seemed to be open. Leaving Brother Allen’s flock to watch the wagon, Allen, Sterling, and Yang Li entered the hotel and introduced themselves to the hotel’s withdrawn proprietor, Carl Testeverde. Sterling quickly asked about any messages waiting for him (hoping for something from his patron). He did not have any, but he did notice Carl glance at an envelope in one of the cubby holes behind the front desk. Carl explained that rooms cost a $1 a room, but no meals would be served. When asked about the meals by Brother Allen, he further explained that his late wife, Dorothy, had cooked the meals and she had passed away last winter. Allen expressed his condolences as the group gathered their room keys. He also asked about the livery stable and learned that it had been abandoned. Carl suggested that they simply park their wagon in the empty corral with their horses; no-one left in town would care. Allen also learned from Carl that the town had been founded by John Daly, owner of a copper mine, the Crooked Earth. Things had gone well for a time, with copper and other minerals being found in the hills surrounding the town and the Crooked Earth paying off well. Eventually though, the copper started playing out, even at the Crooked Earth. The town started dying and Daly tried to stop it. He bought the failing mines and even paid miners to continue to prospect in the hills. Daly also brought in a town marshal to add a bit of respectability. Things got a bit better, the town even attracted a preacher and his flock, but then Daly died in a house fire. Without his support, the town went downhill quickly. Carl explained that there were only a few folk left in town along with a handful of prospectors that hadn’t given up on finding a good claim in the surrounding mountains.

When Tobias and Tennesy returned from scouting, they decided to visit the Six Feet Under Saloon for a late lunch. Sterling and Brother Allen would join them after first visiting the assay office. (With so few businesses in operation, they thought the office would be a good place to check on deeds. Brother Allen was curious about the mines in the as well as the abandoned lots in town while Sterling wanted to buy the bluff over-looking the town. He wanted to build a lab in the eye socket of the skull-shaped red rock.) Meanwhile, Yang Li and Brother Allen’s flock would handle the wagon and the horses, placing them in the corral at the livery stable. Afterwards, Yang Li and the Green brothers would stand guard over them while the other flock members enjoyed the simple comforts of the hotel.

As Sterling and Brother Allen approached the assay office, they noticed a man exit the building and begin locking the door. (Very odd since it was the middle of the afternoon. – Ed.) They walked up and introduced themselves, in exchange learning that the man was the town assayer, Ike Turnbull. Ike explained that he had been closing up to go have a nip at the Six Feet Under, but would gladly open up the office for business. He was a bit crest-fallen to learn that Brother Allen and Sterling did not have any precious metals to trade, but was kind enough to explain that he did not keep any deeds for the town or mines. He only dealt with mine production. He believed the deeds would be available at the mayor’s office (which Tobias and Tennesy had already reported as closed). He also mentioned that the mayor himself could be found most days at the Six Feet Under.

Meanwhile, Tobias and Tennesy visited the Six Feet Under Saloon. As they passed the dusty front windows, Tennesy was jolted to notice that for a brief moment, their reflections seemed haggard and angry. As they entered the saloon, they were greeted with a fist-fight directly in front of the door. Based on their clothing, the combatants seemed to be prospectors. As they watched, one landed a mighty right-cross on the other, who dropped to the floor unconscious amidst the hoots and hollers from several in the room (including a man wearing a badge near the wall). The man wearing the badge demanded the winner help him haul the other one to the jail to be locked-up for disturbing the peace. They carried the loser between them and passed by Tobias and Tennesy without so much as a word. (However, Tobias and Tennesy couldn’t help but notice the heavy smell of drink wafting from all three of the men.)

The remaining patrons went back to their drinks and card games as Tennesy and Tobias approached the bar. The barkeep was a surly man who served them their drinks and ham sandwiches with as few words as possible. A piano player with a dirty bandage on his arm played a nocturne to while away the time. A plump, but not unattractive, woman swept and cleaned up the remains of the fight. A haggard drunk sat alone with a bottle of absinthe for company. A group of three ragged men (presumably prospectors from the hills) played a game of low-stakes poker with a pale anemic.

As Tennesy enjoyed the simple fare, he noticed that a small puddle left under his glass had the appearance of the Coffin Rock overlooking the town. Afterwards, the more he looked around, the more the plaster cracks and water stains around the saloon seemed to emulate the cliff as well.

When Brother Allen and Sterling arrived at the Six Feet Under, they noticed the same change in their reflections that Tennesy had. Sterling quickly activated his luminiferous ether detection goggles and although he did not notice any strange auras around the windows, he did notice a man-shaped field of magical energy on the wall of a nearby abandoned building. It reminded him of the energy left by the railyard ghost in St. Louis. However, he and Brother Allen decided to ignore the energy signature for the moment and went inside to meet the others. They enjoyed (or at least consumed if not enjoyed – Ed.) a couple of ham sandwiches with Tobias and Tennesy before they all decided to explore the town.

The group’s meandering path eventually led them to a burned out mansion at the end of town. There was little left of the former building except the remains of a grand staircase and the collapsed walls of the ground floor, strewn with debris. As they examined the charred remains, they were approached by a scowling man wearing a badge. He introduced himself as Marshal Bryce and demanded to know what business they had in the ruins. After hearing their explanation that they were new to town and exploring the environs, the marshal told them that it would be best if they minded their own business while in Coffin Rock and left any exploring to the prospectors in the surrounding hills. Trying to avoid a confrontation, the posse members agreed with the marshal and headed back over to the Six Feet Under for a quick dinner.

Not much had changed during their absence from the saloon. Ike Turnbull had found him a seat at the bar. The deputy and prospector from earlier in the afternoon had returned. Brother Allen spoke with Ike for a few moments and learned that the drunk drinking the absinthe was actually the town’s mayor. Allen then joined the mayor at his table. Mayor Wilfred Hambly had been drinking for most of the day and it showed. During their conversation, he had nothing but kind words to say about the town’s founder, John Daly. He also seemed quite a bit depressed about the current state of Coffin Rock. Brother Allen informed the mayor that he was considering opening a new business or two in town and asked permission to check over the various abandoned lots. Mayor Hambly told him that he could do whatever he wanted (whether the mayor would remember the drunken conversation later is another matter – Ed.).

After dinner, Sterling was interested in seeing a play (hoping for Hamlet) so he and Tennesy headed over to the Jewel Theater. As they passed under the Jewel’s gaily painted wooden sign, they noticed dim silhouettes moving behind the silk-draped windows in a red light. They could already hear the laughter and music inside. As soon as they entered, they were welcomed by the darkly beautiful and sensual Belle Sygrove, owner of the Jewel Theater. She told them that they could take any of the available seats scattered in front of the raised stage. She also asked if either of them would care for drinks. Both Sterling and Tennesy were so inclined so she sent a girl for their drinks as they found some seats. Cherry piano music blared from backstage as a couple of girls danced to the music on the stage. Other girls lounged on a sweeping staircase that led to a balcony where private rooms could be found. The theater was lit by flickering, red, glass oil lamps whose light was amplified by ornate mirrors lining the walls. An odd effect of the flickering light as it touched the dusty windows made them appear streaked with blood. Additionally, Sterling and Tennesy couldn’t help but be reminded of grasping hands by the shadows in the room’s corners. One of the girls on the staircase managed to catch Sterling’s eye and quickly came over to talk to him. Sterling, however, sent her away after only a few minutes of conversation. She kept trying to convince him to go upstairs when he had come to the theater to obviously watch the performance. Unfortunately, Sterling quickly grew tired of the stage performance (not up to his high standards) and the boorish attitude of the theater patrons. (They were seemingly comprised by rough prospectors with no sense of proper theater manners. In fact, some even had the theater ladies sitting in their laps!) He soon returned with Tennesy to the Crystal River Hotel.

Meanwhile, Brother Allen had decided to visit the town’s only church and Tobias wanted to tag along. As the two approached the double doors of the large, white church, they could hear singing coming from inside. They entered and were quickly greeted by Deacon Robert Plume, who was leading the church congregation (15 members) in worship. He and Brother Allen had a long discussion during which Deacon Plume explained that he and the others were members of the Brotherhood of the New Covenant. The group was led by Reverend Cheval, who believed the town was under an evil pall and spent a great deal of time scouring the countryside searching for the source. In the meantime, the Brotherhood prayed day and night for the town’s salvation. Brother Allen tried to engage the deacon in a conversation about the church’s stained glass windows, but the deacon was very evasive. (The windows seemed to depict the final judgement, but a priest sat in judgement instead of Christ.)

Deadlands reloaded   savage worlds   coffin rock   church   window   fear level 4Another unusual feature of the church was the copper clad altar. The metal was perfectly polished and provided amazingly clear reflections on its surface. Eventually, the deacon continued the prayer meeting with Brother Allen and Tobias joining in (although to be fair, Tobias spent a great deal of the time slumped forward with his eyes closed “in prayer” – Ed.). After a few hours, the deacon ended the service and asked Allen and Tobias to leave. Based on the bedding material in one corner, it was apparent that the Brotherhood’s followers were actually sleeping in the church at night. The church service over, Brother Allen returned to the hotel while Tobias sought entertainment at the Jewel Theater.

Sterling and Tennesy had left the theater by the time Tobias arrived. He stayed for a few drinks but his interest soon waned without a poker game available. He left intending to return to the hotel when he bumped into a nicely-dressed man on the street who claimed to be looking for a game. They proceeded to the Six Feet Under to test their skills.

Having returned to the hotel, Tennesy and Sterling parted ways. Tennesy wanted to scout around the town more and Sterling wanted the privacy of his room. As soon as Tennesy had left, Sterling stealthily approached the front desk and examined the envelope he had noticed earlier in the day. Surprisingly, it was addressed to a name he recognized: John White! Sterling’s interception and decoding of telegrams to John White in Denver were what had led him to leave New York for Coffin Rock! Sterling took the envelope up to his room and carefully steamed it open. Inside, he found several pages of correspondance that he quickly recognized as being coded in the cypher he had discovered so long ago. He spent many long minutes carefully decoding the contents into the following message:

I must be dead. Evil here.
DALY death strange. BRYCE may be involved.
JEWEL robs travelers.
Mirrors not good. Mountain seen in BARBER.
Innocent taken by rock men in hills.
Meet man tonight at graves for wisdom.

(The cypher used a King James Bible so the decoded words had to be found in the Bible. Therefore, phrasing for decoded messages may seem odd. Some words could be escaped and written out in plain text. These words appeared in all capital letters above. – Ed.)

After decoding the message, Sterling sealed the letter back in the envelope and crept downstairs to return it where he had found it. He had just placed the envelope back in the cubby hole when Tennesy burst through the door. Apparently, while wandering the town, Tennesy had noticed a figure shambling down Daly Street. He had followed the figure to the charred ruins of the Daly mansion. That was then that the moonlight had broken the clouds to allow him a good view of the figure: it appeared to be a badly-burned corpse! Perhaps John Daly himself! Tennesy stealthily left to find help. However, before returning to the hotel, he passed by the cemetery across the street. The cemetery gates had been left open by someone… or some thing.

Experience Award:1

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The Dead Do Not Rest Peaceful
Walking Voice For Roaring Thunder
TIME:Tuesday – August 05, 1879 – 07:15 PM
LOCATION:South of Coffin Rock, CO [MAP]
POSSE ROLE-CALL:Allen Jabour with his flock (Anne Wilmarth, Bernard Ackeley, Ed Green, Henry Noyes, Nathan Green)
Sterling Simms (a.k.a. David Davidson)
Tennesy Waya
Tobias Rogers
Yang Li

GAME NOTES:

This session introduces a new posse member: Tennesy Waya!

SESSION SUMMARY:

As evening approached, a lone Cherokee, Tennesy Waya, rode the trails through the Rockies, taking a circuitous route to his home in the Coyote Confederation. He had grown tired of working as a scout for the Confederate army and it had sickened him to see the results of an attack on a Union Blue camp in the Southwest. A new science device had literally melted the flesh off the camp inhabitants – that was no way for any man to die. When the device suffered some sort of malfunction, Tennesy saw his chance and rode away. He would not work for men who would do such things to other men.

Working his way through a mountain valley, he came upon a campsite. Tennesay was greeted by an old man, possibly a shaman, whose whispering voice invited him to partake of the rabbit roasting over the fire. The man claimed that the spirits had told him that the young warrior would be coming. The man’s face was hidden by his robe’s hood, but Tennesy recognized his clothing and tribal markings as Osage – a tribe the Cherokee had fought more than 60 years before. But that was old history, before the Trail of Tears and long before the founding of the Coyote Confederation… and Tennesy was hungry and tired after a long day of travelling through the mountains.

As the sun lowered behind the mountain tops, Tennesy ate and spoke with the medicine man, who called himself Ho Tah Moie, which meant “Walking Voice For Roaring Thunder.” As they discussed current events in the land, it became obvious that Ho Tah Moie had an intense hatred of the white man, both Union and Confederate, and saw no good from his expansion to the West. Tennesy also noticed an oddity as they sat around the warmth of the fire: the palms of Ho Tah Moie’s hands were black, as if dyed. However, before he could ask Ho Tah Moie about his hands, the shaman broke into a story about the battles fought in the mountains. He claimed that not long ago, scouting parties of Union and Confederate troops had stumbled upon each other in the very same valley where he and Tennesy enjoyed a warm fire. A bloody battle had erupted from which only a single, badly wounded survivor escaped, leaving the bodies of men and horses to rot in the sun. Ho Tah Moie went on to explain that sometimes, when the bodies of men with such violence and hate die, their spirits refuse to leave. Instead, they stay in the world, becoming even more bitter and angry in death. At this point, Ho Tah Moie told Tennesy that he should already know much of such men, since he had worked for the white man. Ho Tah Moie accused him of being a lackey to the white man, a traitor to all the Indian tribes, as were his people, the Cherokee, when they warred with the Osage long ago. If the Cherokee had not moved as the white man said move, they would have never ventured into Osage hunting grounds. The medicine man went on to explain that he had provided food and rest to Tennesy so that when the dead men of this valley came for him, he would die knowing that his best efforts could not save him. With these final words, Ho Tah Moie threw back his hood, revealing a face blackened and seared by fire. His whispering voice broke into laughter as his body faded from view. At the same time, a rotting hand burst from the earth near the campfire, quickly followed by another. Hearing the sounds of movement all around him, Tennesy did not wait to see what was dragging itself from the ground, but instead jumped onto the back of his horse and rode away as fast as possible.

As Tennesy rode, he heard the call of a bugle behind him and soon heard the sounds of pursuit… a pursuit which was gaining. He raced through wooded valleys and rocky crags, but never lost his pursuers. He eventually spotted the light from a campsite and rode there for help.

The posse and Brother Allen’s flock were comfortably enjoying their campfire, preparing for bed, when Tennesy burst from the darkness. He dropped off his horse and tried to warn the group of his undead pursuers as he gasped for breath. Almost as soon as he was off his horse, Brother Allen had his trusty LeMat pointed at Tennesy’s face; ever wary was Brother Allen.

The group then heard horses coming to a halt in the darkness and a voice command, “Dismount!,” which was soon followed by “Form up!” Brother Allen, Sterling, and Tobias all shouted toward the voice and claimed to support the Union; however, Allen’s Southern drawl only received a reply of “You’re not fooling anyone, Johnny Reb!” The voice then shouted that anyone for the Union should drop their weapons by the fire and could walk through the pickets. Ignoring Tennesy’s warning that the Union soldiers were not men, both Sterling and Tobias did just that, but Sterling did palm his alien lightning gun and activate his goggles before walking away from the campfire. Sterling could see magical energies outlining roughly seven humanoid figures, although two groups of three were so close together that they almost seemed as one.

Sterling and Tobias walked out roughly 20 feet from the camp and were about to pass the picket line when shots rang out. They had been shot by the soldiers! Fortunately, they were only slightly grazed by the bullets, which glowed with an eerie green light. Directed by Sterling, Tobias immediately threw a bolt toward one group of shadowy figures, but missed. Sterling fired his lightning gun and hit, but only grazed his target. The bluish light given off by the electricity exposed a nightmarish scene: the rotting remains of three Union soldiers were melded together to create a horrific abomination. (A ’glom! – Ed.) What Sterling had thought were three figures was actually one. The sight of this undead conglomeration was too much for the sanity of Brother Allen’s flock, as well as Yang Li. They all panicked and ran from the horror.

As the fight continued, Sterling ran back to the safety of the camp as another ’glom and their undead captain emerged into the moonlight. The captain stayed back, firing with his pistol, while the ’gloms moved forward and attacked the posse with rusty sabers. Brother Allen and Tennesy joined the fun with shots from their firearms. Even Yang Li found his courage and returned to engage one of the ’gloms.

One ‘glom was defeated by the combined efforts of Tobias and Tennesy. Numerous bolts from Tobias left it reeling and allowed Tennesy to finish it off with a rifle shot. The other ’glom fought well but after being badly wounded by a bolt of electricity from Sterling, it was finished off by a barrage from the preacher’s flock. They had been rallied by the Green brothers and returned to the fight. The undead captain looked a bit worried just before a bullet from Tobias’ hold-out Derringer blew the back of his head open. The posse was once again victorious!

In the aftermath, Tennesy used the healing skills he had learned to bandage the wounds of Sterling, Tobias, and even Brother Allen. All felt immensely better, although a nasty cut on Tobias’ arm would still take time to heal. They allowed Tennesy to share their camp for the rest of the night, keeping a watch in case other dangers should present themselves.

EXPERIENCE AWARD: 2

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