Deadlands: The Way of the Brave

Welcome to St. Louis

[Saturday] Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

TIME: Saturday – May 24, 1879 – 06:00 PM
LOCATION: St. Louis, MO [MAP]
POSSE ROLE-CALL: Allen Jabour
Lucius JonesDiary Entry
Seamus McNamara
Sterling Simms
Tobias Rogers


SESSION SUMMARY:

The game session began with the player characters already in St. Louis, Missouri and visiting one of the finer establishments in the city, Alexander’s Saloon. Alexander’s offered good food and drink, as well as a few gambling tables. It was frequented by the Confederate officers in the city, which kept the level of rowdiness well below the other saloons in town.

Lucius attempted to keep a low profile and eat a simple meal, while Seamus and Tobias interacted with the patrons at the bar. Tobias sought a game of cards with a couple of officers and was quickly joined by Sterling. For over an hour, Tobias raked in the money from the game, easily beating the officers and Sterling (even when trying NOT to win). His skill and luck at the cards eventually reached a point where the officers believed he may be cheating – he was a stinking Yankee after all. Tobias managed to throw the last game and leave the table before things got completely out of hand.

Meanwhile, the other characters had ended up sharing a table with Lucius (much to his discomfort). Although the hour was well past the time for normal businesses to close, Seamus suggested they visit Robertson’s Sundries, a shop that held a few artifacts from some of the Indian burial mounds that surround St. Louis. Seamus being Seamus, he had no idea where the shop was located (he never asked directions), but lead his companions, Sterling and Lucius, further toward the Mississippi. There little group was followed by Tobias, who in turn was more discretely followed by Allen. (Allen had noticed a group of low-ranking officers leave Alexander’s soon after Tobias, but quickly disappear into the streets of St. Louis).

The group eventually asked for directions from a pitiable drunk sitting in front of Eberhand’s Saloon and learned that they were traveling in the exact opposite direction to find Robertson’s Sundries. As they were about to turn around, they were suddenly surrounded by the officers from Alexander’s Saloon. The officers, led by a Lieutenant Daniel Weatherly, wanted to have a “discussion” with Tobias. Most of the group quickly distanced themselves from Tobias. Sterling (through a miss step in conversation) gained the officers’ ire as well. A fist-fight soon broke out and things did not look well for Tobias and Sterling. Fortunately, they weathered the fight long enough for the others to actually join in to assist (except for Allen, who simply watched the fight with his shotgun to insure that it remained a fist-fight). The player characters won the day and left Lieutenant Weatherly and his companions lying unconscious in the street.

The posse once again set off to find the location of Robertson’s Sundries (heading in the correct direction this time). As they walked the streets, they heard a horrible scream of pain. Allen was able to pin-point the direction of the scream and the others followed him to a body in an alley. The upper chest and face of the man had been horribly burned, but no ignition source could be seen. Sterling raced off to find the proper authorities and found a Confederate patrol who quickly summoned law enforcement. The posse was questioned but allowed to leave. From comments made by the soldiers and the town deputies, it was made apparent that this was not the only burnt body found of late.

The night growing late, the player characters decided to save their excursion to Anderson’s Sundries for the next day and instead retire to their various rooms. Only Seamus decided to return to Alexander’s Saloon for a few more drinks and social interaction. He was quite the life of the party and learned of the legend of the Burning Man, the ghost of a drunk who died a horrible death and seeks revenge for the crime.

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Diary of Lucius Jones

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From the pen of Sterling Simms

My journey is off to an inauspicious start, it seems. Some problem further up the tracks forced our train to stop on the Missouri border. While lingering around the station, I struck up a companionship with a cardsharp named Tobias. He is a New Yorker like myself, but beyond that, I’m proud to say we have nothing in common. That shifty-eyed scoundrel is so firmly predestined for Hellfire he reeks of brimstone. Still, with my benefactor desperate for my help, and no end to the delays on the Union Blue line, I was compelled to follow him across the border into Secsh territory—St. Louis—in search of another route west.

Depositing our things at the hotel, Tobias expressed interest in “finding a game,” and suggested we go to the Alexander Saloon, where encamped Confederate officers often play cards into the small hours of the night. I must admit, I was as eager to go as my companion. I wanted to meet true Confederate officers, oft spoken of as the finest of gentlemen. Why, even in the bloodiest days of the war, I remember officers like Lee and Jackson spoken of in only the most reverent tones, the most adamant of men, like King Arthur’s knights in bearing, dignity, and good humor.

I’m sad to report that there was not a Lee or Jackson among the gilded rabble at the Alexander. In fact, I cannot imagine a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Sitting down to what I assumed would be a friendly game of cards, I was promptly liberated of nearly 30 dollars, most of it going into Tobias’ pocket! But this is not the last nor the least of my troubles that night.

Finding myself a month’s pay poorer in slightly less than an hour, I left the table and went in search of good conversation. But here, the Alexander was barren as the plains of Sodom. Most of the Secsh officers glared at me with suspicion, as if I was the utter ghost of Lincoln himself. The only friendly company I could find were with a half-mad preacher better armed than the fortifications along the river, an Irishman who was well fortified himself with whiskey, and a beetle-browed oaf. This last one had a scurrilous demeanor and marked nervousness around the officers. I suspect he is an enlisted man on a “French furlough” as they say. Most likely, he left his post to loll in some milkmaid’s enseamen’d bed. If this was the United States, I wouldn’t have hesitated in delivering him to the authorities for a proper flogging. But finding myself on foreign soil, surrounded by sullen and unwelcoming officers, I decided his regiments roll call was not my bailiwick.

During my fruitless search for a intellect to match my own, Tobias had continued playing with the the officers, taking no small sum of money from them. There was grumbling that he was cheating. I don’t know if he was or not, but it’s quite likely. His type will never play honestly if it can be helped. Soon, me and my companions, all outsiders in this nest of graybacks, were pelted with hateful glances and words of conspiracy from all sides. When the Irishman decided to go seating for some sundry shop by the river, I felt it was best to go with them.

But this was a case of leaping from the frying pan straight into the fire, I’m afraid. None of us being native to St. Louis and my companions as drunk as Cooter Brown by this point, we were soon hopelessly lost on the bad side of town. (Or since this is St. Louis, what should be considered the worse side of town.) No sooner had we turned around to find out way back to the Alexander than Tobias—that very footman of Old Scratch—came running up to us with five graybacks in pursuit. It seems they were looking to restore some of the tarnished honor (and cash) Tobias had taken from their regiment, and seeing as we were all outsiders, they promptly attacked our small company. I took several blows about the face and chest myself, but delivered even more. And by God, my companions proved quite handy in a fight. Together, we gave the secsh scum what-for, leaving them rolling and groaning around the same gutters they were most likely conceived in.

Since then, I’ve spent time pondering the dangers of the West. These companions—uncouth as they may be—might prove useful again ere long. I’ve decided to keep them close at hand, provided they do not interfere with my benefactor’s aims and the Irishman does not try to rape some farmer’s sheep.

In fact, blooded by our battle, we were all feeling quite joyous on our way back to our rooms. That is, until the preacher heard screams and followed them to a alley in the bad side of town. We followed this inhuman cacophony to a most dreadful sight—a poor soul charred across most of his body.

Investigating, I could find no obvious reason this man burned to death. And when we summoned what passes for a police force in this area, they spun a long yarn about a “Burning Man,” a tormented ghost who haunts the docks and the burnt-black bodies of his victims that turn up from time to time.

Several of my companions want to investigate this Burning Man, out of morbid curiosity or some grandiose notion of eradicating evil. Quite likely, it is just the fever-fantasies of drunkard riverboat men suffering through the delirium tremens. But if this specter is real, it will provide an fine chance to test my aetheric detection goggles. And if nothing else, this mystery will provide some mental stimulation, keeping my mind from becoming as dull and laggardly as those of my recent company.


Comments

I moved Kris’ comment into the actual wiki entry. You other players should feel free to click on the pencil/paper icon and add your own stories to the wiki, or simply start a new page and link to it from this entry.

Welcome to St. Louis
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