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TOPIC: [R2 - 2015] Antidog's Deadlands Reloaded

[R2 - 2015] Antidog's Deadlands Reloaded 4 years 10 months ago #265

  • antidog
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Hi chaps

Here's the write up of this week's session. Again, feel free to add your own story to this. It's worth a bennie for those that do!

Part 4 – How The West Was Wrong

The posse left the folks in Red Hill subdued but relieved that the threat to their existence had been ended by this strange group of heroes. With promises of better times ahead, the villagers watched them go.

After a brief stop over in Odessa to return the hired horses, the posse left on mounts 'appropriated' from those left by Evan Henshaw's gang.

It was a long ride up into the mountains, the ominous peaks before them thrusting up into the sky to pierce the clouds. After being on the trail for most of the day, the posse noted that the sun was setting fast. Days don't last long up in the mountains and forests of the Rockies.

They found a suitably picturesque place to set up camp for the night soft moss covered ground and where a mountain stream bubbled through the clefts in the rocks and roots of the forest floor.

Before long, a warm and welcoming campfire burned merrily, the smoke drifted lazily up into the darkening sky, embers danced among the stars.

After a simple meal of beans, bread and corn was prepared and eaten, the four heroes stared into the orange flames, each lost in their own thoughts.

It was Rabbi Wolowitz who spoke up first, whether prompted by thoughts of happier times or a need to fill the silence, he couldn't say. The Rabbi reminisced about his sister and how she used to look after him when they were children. He laughed ruefully as he recounted to the others about his Bar Mitzvah where he got overly 'enthusiastic' with a young Jewish girl, his teenage hormones getting the better of him, perhaps as a result of too much coffee.

His sister, Rachael, had stepped in just in time and prevented the young Abraham from embarrassing himself in front of his friends and relatives. Just one example of the many times his sister has got him out of trouble. Rabbi Wolowitz sighed, he'd not seen his sister in a long time and the only contact with her he's had has been the occasional brief letter. They had been very close as children and he missed her calm and wise presence every day.

The normally gruff and reserved Bob Two-Feathers spoke up then, giving a rare insight into his past and the difficulties his mixed background had caused him. This detachment from his Indian community led the young gunfighter to form a close bond with his dog, also called Bob. Two-Feathers recounted his tragic tale, describing a time when he and his dog were out foraging when they were set upon by wild dogs, hungry and emaciated from a lean winter and looking for an easy meal.

Bob's dog leaped to the defence of his master and companion, taking grievous injuries to ensure Two-Feathers was safe. The wild pack was finally driven off but the wounds Bob the hound had received proved too much for the plucky canine and so he died several days later, leaving the young mixed race Indian boy sad and alone to fend for himself against an unjust world.

Even the young Mexican, Antonio, felt driven to tell some of his own tale to the rest of his companions. His was a story of anger and vengeance and of his soul bound to his fine sword. His story revealed the turmoil in his home country, the violence of Santa Anna (or Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón to give him his full name) and the death of his parents at the hands of this vicious man. Cast out and penniless, Antonio's only possession was the sword he still carried; a weapon that the young Mexican vows will be plunged into the heart of Santa Anna himself, and thus quench the fires of vengeance burning so fiercely in Antonio's pickled heart.

Cobb Whateley, the strangely pale huckster, listened to these tales, his face inscrutable and his thoughts a mystery. Was he recalling a time in his own dark past that was particularly influential on his older self? If he was, he wasn't telling. Cobb Whateley's thin red lips remained sealed, his sharp, cold eyes stared into the heart of the fire before him.

As the evening drew on, the posse decided to clamber into their bedrolls to get some much needed rest, it had been a busy few days and was likely to get worse later on. A watch was set, Antonio leaping to take the first, perhaps not trusting himself to stay awake having taken a few glugs from the hip flask that none of the others were aware of.

The first watch ended without incident and Rabbi Wolowitz took the second. The trials of the last couple of days, both physical and spiritual, took their toll on him and he dozed off halfway through his turn on lookout.

Bob Two-Feathers, used to spending long nights under the night sky, was roused by his own body clock when his own turn to watch came. He glanced over at the gently snoring Jew, shook his head, and chuckled to himself.

The grizzled Indian gunfighter sat huddled in his blankets, and tried to stay warm in the cold mountain air as he kept watch against the night.

The surrounding forest was full of unsettling sounds. The rustling and snuffling of many unknown nocturnal creatures surrounded him, all of which felt threatening and unnatural to him, despite his tribal connection to the earth and the spirits.

As the stars slowly wheeled overhead, Bob gradually became aware of a change in the forest atmosphere, a hush of expectancy that grew in waves around him until a palpable sense of pressure pushed in on him, leaving him with a feeling of acute claustrophobia. The skin on Two-Feather's scalp and neck crawled with growing fear.

He quickly roused the others, with the exception of Antonio, who slept on dreaming of warm, ample saloon gals and strong sippin' liquor.

The other three, weapons drawn, peered into the forest to try and see what this new threat was. The usual forest sounds had ceased and the gaps in the surrounding trees appeared far darker than was natural.

Rabbi Wolowitz called on his divine powers and caused a nearby pine to glow with a holy light, illuminating a large patch of forest. If anything, this made the shadows of the trees even more eerie, stark against the bright light.

Still nothing tangible could be seen amongst the trees, but the feeling of threat continued until a wave of darkness suddenly rushed at them with a piercing shriek.

Within the darkness countless things flapped madly, fierce red eyes and gleaming teeth glimpsed writhing within the inky mass.

Suddenly, the swarm of darkness hurtled into the campsite and spiralled up into the clear sky before dissipating. Bob Two-Feathers fired his shotgun up into the seething cloud but this seemed to have no effect whatsoever.

The noise of the gun still didn't wake the slumbering Mexican.

Whatever it was had gone. Gradually, the sounds of nocturnal animals rooting through the undergrowth returned and the sense of pressure lifted, leaving the posse bemused and somewhat shaken with the exception of Cobb.

'Bats.' He grunted before returning to his bedroll.

Abraham and Bob looked at each other but did not speak. Silent communication passed between them as they both understood that whatever had happened was definitely not mere bats. This was something more, something supernatural. And the worst part about it was that they will probably never understand exactly what had just happened. It seemed the stories were true. It was pretty weird out west.

The posse woke to a chilly, misty morning after an unsettling night and fixed a hearty breakfast of hot porridge, except for Antonio who had to make do with a bowl of cold congealing oats having not woken early enough, as usual. He shrugged, taking it in his stride.

The mist gradually burnt off as the sun rose higher into the thin blue sky. It was slow going up here as the posse rode for several hours, following the map that they found in Evan Henshaw's hideout.

Around mid-afternoon, as clouds began to roll in, the trail levelled off and the posse found themselves looking at what had to be the town of Silver Plume. Like Red Hill, it was unusually deserted. While there had been some signs of life in Red Hill, here there were none.

Silver Plume nestled in a fairly narrow valley. Buildings stretched out on either side of a wide main street. A little further down a crossroads split the town in two. Behind the left row of houses the dense pines continued; behind the right row and the far end, the ground was very rocky and quickly rose up to vast mountains.

The posse quickly surveyed the area, noticing at once some items strewn in the dirt leading away from the General Store. Candles, dented cans and the like littered the street. Listening carefully, one of the posse heard faint shouting coming from the left hand crossroad.

Antonio, spotting the Silver Ace saloon over the road, hurried over to it in search of a refill for his hipflask. The rest of the team were more interested in the only signs of life in this ghost town.

Rushing to investigate, the posse spotted a man further down the track, his back to them, shouting at someone or something round the corner. He appeared to be demanding to know where 'it' is. Whatever 'it' was, the man seemed really desperate to get hold of it.

Striding forward, the Rabbi hailed the man in a friendly manner. The man spun about in surprise, his hand going instinctively to his sidearm. Another man appeared from round the corner then to find out what was going on.

'What in the durn hell do you bunch of whoreson's want?' The first man spat. 'I'd git outta here if you know what's good for ya. We've got some business to attend to with this young lady.'

He gestured vaguely behind him.

The posse pushed forward, determined to calm the situation and resolve whatever this disagreement was about.

Unfortunately, the man had other ideas. He drew his pistol and planted a shot at the Indian gunfighter.

Big mistake.

Bob Two-Feathers drew his shotgun and blasted his assailant into the dirt.

Everything happened quickly then. As the posse rounded the corner, they saw a young girl of about twelve in a shirt and dungarees surrounded by five other men. Mean lookin' hombres that even their mothers would have trouble loving.

As soon as the sound of the first shots died away, one of the gang bolted for the trees, trying to get away. The others decided to face these unwelcome newcomers.

It didn't last long, the posse traded lead with the gang and soon only one trembling adversary was left. He was in no state to continue the fight.

Just then Antonio stumbled from the tree line, an eager look on his face and said,'Did someone mention something about a young lady?'

The others turned to him, shook their heads and pointed at the girl.

Antonio looked to where they gestured. His face fell and at least had the good grace to look embarrassed.

'Oh. Mis disculpas. I'm sorry.' He muttered.

Bob and Abraham questioned the man about what this was all about but he was clearly only hired muscle with little knowledge of their true purpose here. He just kept pointing at one of the corpses sprawled in the dirt and saying that Jimmy Nine-toes was the boss and hired him as back up.

Digusted with the lack of information forthcoming, the posse bound and gagged the poor henchman and threw him over the back of one of the horses. They figured they'd work out what to do with him later.

Turning to the young girl, the posse helped her collect the supplies she'd dropped and offered to escort her back to her farmstead which she revealed lay further up the trail. She said her mum would be able to help answer some of their questions.

They walked for perhaps half an hour before a small side track appeared, hard to see from the road, and they headed down it.

It was just starting to rain when they were led off the main track, through the trees and along a rough cart path. In the fading light, the posse spotted welcoming lights twinkling from the windows of a small farmhouse just ahead. Two barns, one fallen into disrepair, and a pigpen framed the main building.

A wan, but pretty, woman in her late twenties, came out of the house wielding a shotgun. She looked warily at the posse then at the girl, concern and barely disguised fear in her eyes.

The girl, Susan, introduced the posse to her mom. Once she realised what the posse had done to save her daughter, she relaxed and became more friendly. She introduced herself as Sherilyn Conway and the girl was her daughter.

Sherilyn thanked the posse again and offered them the warm barn to sleep in for the night before pointedly saying 'before you head on in the morning'. Whilst hospitable, she clearly wasn't comfortable with these strange men staying any longer than was necessary.

After tying their captive to a tree on the other side of the farmstead, behind the chicken coop, they headed into the main house for supper, Susan warned them not to go into the old barn as it was dangerous and likely to collapse at any minute.

'Pa will repair it soon'. She said.

At this comment, Bob noticed that Sherilyn became visibly upset at this, though she tried to hide it. Something was definitely going on here, he thought.

Over a welcome supper of soup and corn, the posse asked what happened to the town. With a sigh, Sherilyn began to recount the events of the last few months.

'About three months ago, the townsfolk started disappearing. At first it was only one or two. Although the families were distressed by the tragedy, this sort of thing isn't unusual in these parts, given the wild animals and 'other things' people claim live in the woods. One day shortly after the first disappearances, an entire shift of miners, around twenty men, didn't return from their shift.'

Sherilyn paused, recalling the events clearly troubled her. Taking a deep breath, she continued.

'The second shift headed up to the mine fearing the worst: a cave-in or gas pocket explosion but they never returned either. My husband went with them to help but he also disappeared. The rest of the townsfolk, mainly women and children, along with some old timers, fled the town shortly afterwards. Susan and I went up to the town a bit later and found the bodies of those that had remained. We think they were killed and left where they were.

'Up until today, we've managed to avoid being spotted on the occasional trips into town for supplies. Our house is quite well hidden this far back into the woods, which is why I think we've stayed undiscovered for so long.'

Some of the posse made the connection that all this happened three months ago, the same time Evan Henshaw took over Red Hill. Clearly something sinister was going on here. Quite what it was, though, remained a mystery.

Bob nodded to himself, no wonder this woman looked upset earlier when her daughter mentioned her dad.

Thanking their hosts for supper, the posse headed out to the barn to get some much need shut-eye. It had barely seemed like they'd closed their eyes when Bob was woken by noises coming from the dilapidated barn. He also heard faint footsteps crunching across the gravel from the house.

Waking the others, except for Antonio who was clearly dreaming about Sherilyn and her pink bits and was not likely to wake anytime soon, Bob whispered to them what he'd heard.

The Rabbi agreed to watch the door while Cobb and Bob went to investigate. Bob, silent as a cat, sneaked across the distance between the barns but Cobb, never one for stealth, tripped over a rock and cursed loudly.

Fortunately, no one seemed to notice the noise and the two men managed to find a good place to peer through the gaps in the planks of the barn.

What they saw made them gasp. Susan was in the barn, talking to someone or something just outside of the faint lamplight. After a moment, a huge figure stepped into the pool of light. It was a massive humanoid thing made out of metal - some sort of automaton. Steam puffed quietly from a small pipe in its back as it lumbered forward. At the end of one arm was a vicious looking claw and at the end of the other a huge Gatling Gun was mounted.

They both realised that the Gatling Gun was an identical model to the one they'd been delivering to Henshaw in Red Hill.

They overheard Susan saying to the behemoth something about 'telling mom'. The automaton didn't appear capable of speaking but seemed to be shaking its head.

Deciding they'd seen enough, Cobb and Bob sneaked back into the barn and quickly woke the others, including Antonio. They described what they'd seen in the other barn. Considering the reaction and lack of fear that Susan displayed when confronted by the mechanical man, some of the posse thought that the automaton could be her father, Rob Conway. The idea seemed incredible but the evidence suggested that at least Susan believed this to be the case.

Determining to discuss this new revelation with Sherilyn and Susan the next morning, the posse settled back down to sleep.

Before their heads touched the hay, they heard the unmistakable rumble of cartwheels and hoofbeats approaching along the track from the main path. They were discovered!

Grabbing their weapons, the posse burst out of the barn in time to see a heavy wooden covered wagon, banded and studded with metal and drawn by two horses come hurtling into the yard in front of the house.

Several men dressed all in black and armed with Gatling Pistols leaped out of the back and took up positions around the wagon. They didn't look like they were going to take any prisoners...

Who were these men in black? What did they want? Were they after the thing in the barn? What was that thing in the barn and what was the posse going to do about it?

Find out next week in Part 5 - 'A Fistful of Horrors'.
Why does my D20 only go up to 4?
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[R2 - 2015] Antidog's Deadlands Reloaded 4 years 10 months ago #319

  • mikeawmids
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Hello fellow Deadlanders, I will not be able to make it to the club this evening. :(

Please don't kill Antonio in my absence - or allow him to have unnatural relations with a pig. :s
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[R2 - 2015] Antidog's Deadlands Reloaded 4 years 10 months ago #321

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OK no worries Mike. I'm more than willing for the characters to appear in a future Deadlands rotation if everyone's up for it.

However, Mark isn't going to be able to make it tonight either so that leaves us with 2 players left. I did prep a one sheet just in case for tonight if needed. Do we run with it or take this last week off?
Why does my D20 only go up to 4?
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[R2 - 2015] Antidog's Deadlands Reloaded 4 years 10 months ago #322

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Hi all

Thinking about it, it probably isn't worth running it for 2 players tonight so we'll scrub tonight's session.

Don't turn up chaps! See you next week.


Andy S
Why does my D20 only go up to 4?
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rhodsey - Tue 25 Feb - 21:55

@mike can you bring those DND blank sheets from the library on Thurs please incase we need any?

TheRanger - Thu 20 Feb - 17:55

I ay got anything planned. I'll give it a miss too

rhodsey - Thu 20 Feb - 17:42

Unless any of the saltmarsh group want to do a one shot I'll miss tonight as well. If any of the waterdeep people want to grab me about anything just PM me on here.

min - Thu 20 Feb - 16:53

Hey guys, I won't be there tonight. Caught what feels definitely like the plague. Will be there next week though!

MellyMel - Thu 20 Feb - 14:36

I shall be giving it a miss then. Ho hum

Mr. B - Thu 20 Feb - 12:25

To Orienteers B - we still suiting and booting for tonight?!

Aka - Thu 20 Feb - 09:17

saltmarsh guys sorry cant make it tonight

MellyMel - Mon 17 Feb - 13:35

cheers vic - he's sorted now

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