The Outlaws of Down Cthulhu

For A Few Monsters More

Sept 19

Arrive New Orleans. Etienne meets us at the train and takes us to the hotel in a nice stylish train. We will meet him for dinner tonight at a favorite restauraunt “The Golden Glove”. Boucharde and Doc John will be joining us.
Jake “What’s going on?”
“I’ll tell you tonight.”

First time Jesse and Chief have been here.

From our hotel, Dog goes right for the Absinthe bar “Who’s coming with me!? Chief, Chief is coming with me!! If you’re not an alcoholic you will be soon.” Jake joins them; Will, Nick and Luke hit a gambling hall.
Dog “Absinthe helps me see Jack clearly.”
John has our August and Sept Juju sets ready! With no Wang to pick up Aug’s, they are still here. One was going to be sent to NY Inv, but we keep it instead.
Before dinner, Luke takes us shopping at a tailor for dinner attire.

At dinner, Etienne and Doc are waiting. Dog is wasted, trying to jokingly pull teeth for at least an hour by the time he calms down. Not long after we arrive, Boucharde follows. He wears a fashionable derby, kerchief hanging over the side of his face that was skinned off.
Will “How you holdin’ up Boucharde?”
“Not well at all.”
Waiters are called, 9 course meal!!
Etienne explains: As we know, Boucharde was practically at death’s door;
Dog “Lucky for you I skinned death 3 weeks ago!”
Jake “Dog, settle down now.”
Bousharde hired a nurse, Madeleine Short; “most beautiful woman alive” gentle creature who nursed him to health. They are in love, engaged.
Dog “Who killed her?”
Jesse “Please, continue.”
Boucharde “She died.”
Dog “I told you.”
Another, Charles Beaumont, was also in love with her, extremely wealthy, large plantation a little up Mississippi, much wealthier than Boucharde; mader her an offer she rubuffed. She and Boucharde married. Morning after wedding he awoke to find her dead beside him. No sign of violence or anything else. 3 days later, buried in family tomb. He went there next day and body was stolen. Hundreds have been disappearing for a year now, much worse recently though.
There is a local Sleeping Sickness going around, almost all from underclass. Go to sleep and die. Their bodies disappear from tomb, or grave dug up. Watch has been posted at times and nothing happens until it is finally taken off. Next day they’re gone.
Now we know if its watched for a week, nothing happens.
Couple passing witnesses. Saw people looking like transients digging up the grave. By the time police arrived, crime is done. Drunk swears he saw the ground erupt from underneath and a body rise up out of one of the graves.
Boucharde drank 3 days straight after her death. That’s when Etienne forced him sober and got the story of Mad’s death.
They consulted Doc John. As Doc researching, B dreamed 3 nights in a row of Mad calling to him from the tower of a castle.
They then visited Beaumont assuming he was to blame, but he had left night before her body stolen with some of his men. None there knew where he had departed to. One servant overheard him making arrangements to go into swamp of NO.
Now, Doc John takes up the story, of why they called us:
Only 1 castle he knows of here is in the swamp deep; built by a Legendre. Rumors he’s a voodoo priest; hungarian; lived here for some 40 years, as an adult; his nickname is ‘Murder Legendre’. There are rumors of why. Comes into town only once in a while to carouse. He looks much younger than he must be.
They want to go to his castle. They figure that’s where Beaumont is and where Mad is. He may have turned her into a zombie. John personally believes he may be behind the sleeping sickness as well, that he’s building a zombie army. Why? Who knows.
He has a sugar mill outside of NO up the river north a couple hours.
They want heavy firepower to help them, hence us.
Boucharde is devastated still.

Back to hotel.

Sept 20

Small boat rented for us, 2 hrs to sugarmill. It’s Etienne, Jake, Billy and Dog.

Workers who hitch us to the pier move very slowly and methodical, not a word to us. Blank stare on their face.
Up to office.
Etienne “I don’t like the look of this.”
Half naked guy, its hot here still, sits inside the entry. Very strong but chubby, straw sombrero.
“Seniors what can I do for you?”
Luke gave us a great idea, pretend to be agents from Texas here to look into sugar interests from this business.
“I’m the manager here, my name’s Pedro” he’s authorized to sell to anyone, prices are great. Billy “May we see the product”
He rings a bell, another Mexican Alfonso enters and is told to take us to see the warehouse. Etienne says we want to see the operation mill too, make sure its clean and proper.

The bags are waxed on outside, anti insect. Dozens of the drone men work the operation.
Billy “You seem to have a motivated workforce here.”
He chuckles “Oh yeah. They work hard, don’t complain and don’t eat much.”
We meet Gregorio, in charge of the mill operation. Another Mexican.

Back at office, he has a contract for us. Jake says we only buy a sack to take to our backers for trial then talk to our moneymen.
On our way out we notice there are some other bags off to the side; same bag but say Hyatt Company carefully segregated from sugar.

Back to NO.

Boucharde is anxiously awaiting us. He’s had another dream of Mad begging for help again.

Etienne looks into this Hyatt. They have a coffee shop and tea house here, and half dozen employees who don’t seem to do anything.
Every well to do person that got the sleeping sickness, the day before had frequented one of those 2 shops.
When the employees go into city, usually 1 or more in the quarter they visit get the sickness.

Doc John analyzies the sugar: just sugar.

Chief and Jesse are sent up and keep watch on mill for suspicious activity; Jake and Jesse join them. Wilberforce insists on joinin them.
We see a flat bottom (so could go into swamp) boat pull up to the dock. Z crew numbers 12, plus a normal guy but with a slinkiness to him, bit slouch hat. In the boat’s torch light he looks almost right at us; his features are hard and feral.
Billy “That doesn’t look good.”
Pedro, Alf and Gregorio come down. 3 bags are unloaded from the boat. Again the guy looks around and we’d swear he looks at us again.
He and the Z, under his command, get off the boat.
As they are disapearing into the dark, we head their way.
Closest to river is Chief, then Jake, Billy, Jesse. Wilberforce hangs behind us.

Not far, the man from the boat appears in front of Chief, pointy fangs and long nasty talons!!
It tries to dominate chief but fails! Chief war whoops and springs upon him! Yelling “Vampire”.
The cut heals as he makes it.

Zombies pour from the underbrush upon us, Pedro, Alf and Greg behind ordering them on.
Pedro also “Kristof, where are you!”
Kristof the vamp “Taking and indian back for the master.”
Chief calls to the spirits of the sky for power (card) and presses his attack.
Jake fires on Gregorio who yells “They shootin’ at us!” and moves back.
Pedro “Let’s get the F out of here” all 3 beat a hasty retreat.
Billy 2 wpn double taps a Z down.
Some of the Z’ follow the 3 mexicans, making for the flatbottom boat!
Jesse fires into the crowd.
Guns blaze as the zombies start crowding us, Jake a little better than the others after backing off.
Jake and Billy dropping Z’s quick; once Jake empties his Peacmaker, with his frontier juju loaded, he has to go to the carbine.
Chief is skillfully dodging this obvious vampire spawn but the numbers are possibly too much.
Billy starts reloading while dodging deftly, then starts firing.
Chief brings the vamp spawn down, and it dissipated into vapor.
We hear the boat leaving.
The battle continues until we’ve killed 28. And a vampire.

We burn the mill with the bodies save 1 for Doc J to look over; and bags labelled for the Company.
Doc J says the vampire, if it lives at the castle, will never make it in time to survive.

Now we know for certain he’s not only a potential voodoo master, but also a vampire.

Sept 21 to 23

Doc J says dead guy definitely a Z. The bag is full of Z dust.
At the tea and coffee, they are probably picking individuals for a reason to change.

Gathering info:

Will, Luke and Etienne gather info in the underworld. Word is out if you go to tea or coffee house with enough money and an enemy, they’ll die. Then become Z. Others are also killed randomly making Z’s just to raise Legendre’s numbers.

We go see Del Rio. He shows us Le Cult de Morte in an abridge version. Bizarre tome, claims the world is a skull of the true god. It can communicate across time and continents. Tulsc’cha. Rites include incest and transmigration of the souls;book is a blue print of the Cult of the Skull.
This reminds us of the the Keenness of 2 Alike and the family from Davies’ Landing.
A real copy has the info for a good researcher to find the pit of the shaggoths in Maine, HQ of the cult. Existing copies known are incomplete, 4 of them. In each, chapter showing location is missing.
Spells: The Keenness of 2 alike (YES!), mind exchange, create voodoo Z.
There is another in it, more difficult, to create even more powerful voodoo Z’s.

Z’s whose minds are trapped deeply in their brain are able to be saved, though might be insane. Others are dead Z’s, minds are gone and souls are departed.
Jake “Is there a way to tell the difference, outwardly?” The first can occasionally break away the mental control and slip out a word or 2 of their own. Their eyes are not as dead, look almost human.

Etienne says we may be able to get some cops on our side, esp if we show them the temp effects of a low dose. At least to deal with the coffee house and tea house.
Only way to prove it is to stake them out with the cops, let them leave to commit a crime and catch them in the act. But that risks them succeeding in killing another victim.
Other option: vigilante justice. Out sort of justice.

Total of 14 employees. 12 will be at a meeting the next Friday. Etienne wants to send his own trusted men. We don’t want to have citizens involved.

Etienne has bought out one of the employees he knew to be bribable via sex and money.
He is to live, will make sure doors are unlocked for us to get in.
He’s a particularly vile person.
For sure all the employees are in on it.
The meeting is about more targets.

The other 2 are roomates. Chief and Jesse are sent to take them out at the same time tonight.
Chief is hiding under the bed. The 2 men enter at night, get nude, 69 oral sex.
Chief has the curtains open.
Jesse has a clear shot from a nearby rooftop with the buffalo rifle. As they are continuing, Jesse catches them kneeling, holding each other, and hits them with 1 round through and through DEAD.
Chief escapes the scene.

We blow the entire tea house where the meeting was with TNT. ALl die.
Etienne’s cop contacts keep the investigative trail off of us.

Jake visits Granny Goodro. She makes up 10 juju bags for us to wear as neclaces. Plus 4 to will saves vs domination. Only good for how long the ingredients in the bag are good, so a matter of days.

Julia Jackson creates a tonic, 9 doses of restoratives for con or str loss.

Sept 24

Etienne has 1 trusted officer, Floyd G. Laroux, friend to join us to the castle. 2 others with boat skill to help run the boat there. Billy can pilot.
Tracker named Pierre Lemond skilled in swamp as well.
Morning, a box is at the front desk of our hotel. No one at the counter knows how it got there or when overnight. Blessed rounds!!

Mabel Gibson, best friend of Beucharde’s late wife, shows up to go as we are getting on the boat! Grrr! We don’t want to risk an innocent life here, she’s no hero, just a normal citizen. But she’s also persistent. She is a nurse though, friend of wife from work, so would supply treat injury skill we may need. Believes in occult and has knowledge in it as well. Good researcher too, for future reference.

One large flat bottom boat takes us out. It’s a 12 hour journey through the swamp! We’ll time it to arrive next afternoon Goodro warns us, the further we go into the swamp, the more evil encompasses the land.

We camp tonight.
A light in the distance, fire. Couple hundred yards toward coast. Lemond says looks like a campfire.
Luke “Chief, go check it out.”
Chief “F off. I am no good in swamp.”
Jake sends Pierre up, with Chief, to scout it out. They come to a hill, like our own, camp with a wagon atop; 3 kids and an old woman. 2 men then step into view, one old an thin the other young and strong. Look right at us and Lemond signals them, they beckon us over.
“Come, sit down” call the old man. One eye a glassy milky color.
Lamond asks how the hell they got here with their wagon?
Old man is Scarengi, his wife, 3 grandchildren, son Carloni. His wife has passed away.
Pierre and Chief sit with them. They lay out dinner and offer fortunes to be told, its a gypsy wagon.
Pierre is superstitious, so returns to our camp to inform us.
Jake and Luke head up with Pierre.
They to help us, the old man says ominously.
“Much good it’ll do ya” says the son.
He offers fortune told.
Chief is missing, they say he left.
“My beautiful daughter Valana will do the honors”. The wagon doors open and she comes to Jake, firelight glistening off her large black eyes.
She sits, frying pan in her lap. Drops stone tiles into it “The trouble began when I cast runes for that quiet and young man. perhaps it will end with another casting. The lost one has called thee. The dead will walk with the coming storm! You must find a way to put them to rest. Or else the rain will turn to blood, it will drown you and all of NO!”
Old man tries to stop it “end of the fortune” but she continues on unabated “Don’t go on unless your willing to face the horrors of the night, and beware the power behind the power.”
The old man bids us go back to your camp.
She turns as she enters the wagon “Beware the madman, beware his blood.”

We refuse to leave w/o Chief. As night comes, we become incapable of staying awake and pass out.

Sept 25

Their camp is gone. Still no Chief.
Chief comes staggering into camp, claw marks upon him.
Will “What the hell happened, Chief.”
He has no memory. He went from sitting by their fire to staggering through the swamp to here. He carries a sack.
Nick “What’s in the sack you got there?” He doesn’t know “It feels like a stone.”
It’s a fragment of stone, perhaps an ancient wall or door, with native American glyphs on it.
On the left is a large wheel, like pie pieces, with a spiral upon it. Portal/gate/whirlpool?
To the right a series of figures.
Skull
Some kind of creature or animal
the sort of elder sign like a tree branch
Perhaps a tentacled creature
other unknowns
Between Etienne and Dr. Jon they know some of the symbols but not what it means. One is a destructive chaos being of many names, Tharizdun/Azathoth among others. The spiral is one of his symbol, so this should be destroyed but for the elder sign on the other side. That means this could be a counter or charm to be used this being’s influence.
Jake “Maybe it needs put back into place where it came from.”

Dog carries it in his pack.

After another couple hours, the weeds are stuffing up the propeller.
Pierre sends his 2 sailors into the water to clear it.
Jake “Keep an eye out boys.”

Nick and Billy see what looks like a log move closer, against the current.
Then Nick “Alligator!” They both hit it.
Jake calls for Dog to help him get the sailors out of the water “Jesse fire”.
It’s too close, Jesse was watching from the other end. He gets into a firing position as it reaches us!
Jake gets his man into the boat in time.
Dog does not. Nick, Jesse and Billy all hit but it opens it’s maw and bits clamps onto the sailor.
Dog leaps in onto it!
We all think of Mike Kelly’s grizzly bear fight. He may one up him. Dog grapples the croc in a strangle hold and lays a haymaker into its soft underbelly!! It lets the sailor go. They struggle in the foaming water as Jesse Pierre and Jesse pull the wounded sailor out and Mabel gets to work on him. It waylays dog with a massive panicked tail swipe but he grasps it and torques it’s neck way back, grabs a let and breaks a bone! It’s in its last throes, it’s bite missing as Dog keeps wrenching and squeezing and twisting, coming up and back down repeatedly as the grapple is thrown about. Finally it goes limp and Dog surfaces, back into the boat.
The other sailor refuses to get back into the water to finish the job.
Jake “Dog your already in the water.”
Pierre would love to take this back, but we have no room for it.

Couple hours later, we are about an hour and half away and its tangled even worse. We have to use the poles to push it from here on out. Ron, Nick, Floyd and Billy on one side; Dog, Jake, Pierre and Chief on the other.

The swamp has become more and more twisted as we go. No matter which way we turn, the foliage seems to always be flowing back into us blocking our passage.

Suddenly, a scorpion the size of a man comes from the water. Jesse, Bouchard, Luke and Will fire their rifles immediately; Jesse, Will and Bouchard hit and kill it.
Another, bigger, already on the way for us.
Luke misses again, fumbling. Will and Jesse gun it down with crits.
Another one, even bigger still!
Far off in the swamp we can see a glow now.
Jake “A gate?”
Etienne “Likely.”
Jake “Keep pushing while they fire!”
Billy “Push push!!”
Same 4 fire again. Luke almost fumbles “I say, how does one use this again? I think I may have loaded these bullets backwards.” The other 3 hit but it gets to the left side this gime.
Pierre dodges the tail!
Will, Luke and Jesse hit, Boucharde misses. The boatman left hits as well.
Still up!
We are trying to push it away but can’t escape in time for it to attack, going for Pierre again. It double claws and stings him for good measure. He remains up, wounded.
Combined we just barely take it down!

As we push away, the glow closes. Mabel sees to Pierre.
Mile further, we come to a beat up old hovel of a shack. We stop to investigate. Jake, Dog and Ron find a man sitting inside, French man maybe 20ish. Dressed like a dandy but filthy and ragged, unbathed for weeks. Speaks English. 10 lit lanterns. Odd.
He does not reply.
We walk to him, book of nursery rhymes in his lap. Jake waves his hand before the man’s eyes. He recites “ring around the rosey, pocket full of posey, undead undead don’t fall down”.
Ron shakes his shoulder “Hey, sir.” He looks up at us “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Jimmy John, freakish fast”.
Ron checks a barrel, fool of water. Boxes with it are food. Both fresh, last day or 2 at most.
Jake “Can I look at your book there buddy.”

To Luke, my beloved brother Marcel

Dog checks the oil, some are full, others low. Can full of oil half full for refueling. He’s been keeping the light up constantly.
Jake asks why the constant light. No answer. He’s one step from catatonic.
Jake calls for Jesse to look for track signs. Only someone with heavy boots in last 2 days has entered and left the shack to a boat at water’s edge.
“Question is not who killed Marcel, question is who brought him back.”
Jake “Who brought him back?”
Ron “The Zombie King.”
“The question is, is marcel a vampire or a zombie. Then you’ll know who brought him back.”
So, perhaps his dead brother came back to see him and it totally blitzed his mind.
“Don’t read from the scroll of life.”
Jake “Why?”
“Then Marcel will come and visit you in the night. And you’ll wish you didn’t.”
Book is just simple nursery rhymes.
Ron snuffs a lantern, to see what he does. He freaks out and keeps yelling repeating ‘light’.
Ron relights.
“Must have light all the time. Fear the dark, fight the dark, fear the dark” sits back down to rock again. Can’t get anymore from him.
Walking out, he puts a jacket on and follows us into the boat.
He replies to no questions, only rocks back and forth.

Off we go with him.

Half hour later we come to the village; square mile of sugar cane nearby; caste on the highest hill. Dock with half dozen boats, bigger dock at the plantation. One is the boat we saw at the mill.
Etienne says it was brought over brick by brick from the old world.
We dock at the village pier.
There is an inn, oddly enough, near the pier. Hmm. Also the local pub. Only a room or 2 to rent.
Bakery, cemetery, caretaker’s cottage as well, other cottages, blacksmith, general store, church.
No one greets us. Streets are empty. We make for the inn first.
Pierre, his boatman, Dr. John and Mabel stay with the boat.

We split into 2 groups to explore the village.
Billy leads Chief, Beverlys, Boucharde, Jesse.
Jake leads Dog, Etienne, Floyd, Luke, Ron.

Jake goes for the inn first.
Billy for the church.
As we start, the bell rings in the church.

At the Full Moon Inn: low wall surrounding a courtyard, empty stable; inside is the bar and common room, owner greets us “Goodness where did you come from.”
His name is Gerald, wife Henrietta, Lyllan his daughter and head server.
Jake asks where is everybody? At a funeral.
Jake “Who died?” There friend Jeremiah de Grie dropped dead, they don’t know why. Been happening a lot around here. Smell stench of rotten meat, then someone dies before you.
Etienne panicked “What did you say?”
“The smell of rotten meat.” de Grie, who they are burying, dropped over dead right here in the inn. The serving girl says he clutched his chest before he died.
“We must defeat this evil, the most heinous you can imagine. This is no zombie Master. This is a Zombie Lord. The ZM is one who uses a figurine, often made of wax, pinch of z dust, and a belonging of the person. But facing a ZL is as serious as facing a vampire. Some say they can crush your heart with a squeezing movement of their hand. Everywhere they go, this stench follows them. The only way to stop their z horde is to kill them. He can only bring z from those who are dead. He’s a fowl creature but not a sorcerer or mythos follower. He’s more a killer with animal cunning. Undead. He didn’t open the portal.”
There are multiple evils here, then. What they think of one another we don’t know yet.
The town is terrified of the “Master”, nobody messes with him.
Jake to confirm what we know “Legendre?” Yes. Murder Legendre. Came from Eastern Europe years ago. Never out in daytime, hasn’t aged.
The old man of plantation went up when he first got here to discuss things, then left like a slave to Legendre, also never came out at night. Also still alive, hasn’t aged a year. He lives in castle.
Jake “Who does live in the plantation?” Just Jean.
Asking about Marcel gives same info as the Father. But, he’s never been buried. The other 2 brothers brought his body to the church, where it laid 2 nights. Then vanished! Lucian came out of it a shaken, horrified man and Luke was crazy.
Jake “So they were there when the body vanished?” Yes, and whatever happened messed them up.

They have comfortable room for 6. They leave to talk to the Father and meet up with the other.

At the church, as they approach, the doors open. The priest exits with 2 altar boys, smoking censor, coffin carried by bearers followed by 60 some others in the funeral.
The coffin is wrapped in chains. Never good.
They proceed to the cemetery. We follow. Once there, they mourn Jeremiah de Grie and his untimely death. The priest starts the ceremony, calling him to depart this place and go the the next world with our blessing.
A pounding comes from the coffin. It rocks back and forth. One guy kicks it. No voice from it, though.
As they pick it up to lower it, more sounds of attempted escape. The priest makes the sign of the cross and whispers “Jeremiah, be still.”
Into the ground he goes.
We talk to Father Lucian.
Will “That sounded like a living body in there.”
Lucian “No, my sons, you can be assured he’s dead.”
The kid Luke has jumped off the boat and races into town, the Father sees him and yells “What are you doing off your island?”
He begs Father to help find his brother Marcel. He tries to calm the kid down, that Marcel is dead, until Luke says he comes to him at night.
Will and Billy explain how he got here. The Father has been bringing him supplies.
Will “I think this kid’s brother is alive or undead.”
The father says its the only place he’s happy and safe, his island. He says they all have lived in this place of horror for years, but that of the master in the castle didn’t effect us so long as we paid taxes and fish etc. Strangers living in the sheds on the other side side of the island though are not like us. Don’t speak, just work and sleep.
He goes on: About month ago, Marcel died. The sugar plantation is owned by the Tarascon family, paid homage and portion of profit to master in the castle.
3 brothers in Tarascon family: twins Marcel and Jean; young Luke who worshiped Marcel. He died, Luke blamed himself for some reason and went nuts. Jean lives in the plantation big house. The plantation big house is the family house. Jean is seldom seen, stays in the plantation big house starting with Marcel’s death. The servants ran away to this village, say its a bad place. Plantation always worked by zombies. These new ones moved in recently. Anyone who leaves the island dies.
Otherwise day to day life was fine here, until the deaths.
We ask Luke why he blames himself but he ignores us.

Jake et al arrive now. Father says the mayor is named Hans Gremin. Did not come with the Legendre, was here before. Short, nasty, irritated and irritating. Son died 3 weeks ago, one of the ones who dropped dead. He goes to graveyard to sit at his sons grave in case he hears something.
de Grie dropped over dead at the inn.

Ok, the ZM is crushing hearts to kill people, then making them Z’s.
Father warns us we can’t stay in the graveyard, nobody goes there at night “Not nobody, not nohow!”

There is one cottage at the cemetery, windows and doors nailed shut, adorned with garlic and wolf’s bane and holy symbols. Father says that’s old Fiora, local old crone; daughter used to work as server at plantation, beautiful, vanished 2 weeks ago.

We knock. After several locks, the door opens; nails are pulled out and it opens, crucifix in her hand.
“Have you seen my Teresa? The dark man came and took my Teresa.”
From her house, you can see over a wall into the cemetery.
Jake shows her his cross. She hands us garlic et al “put these on our windows” it will stop the dark man. She can’t speak of this man, or he’ll “rip out my heart, he comes as a mist in the night, or a bat, or a wolf; and at night fowl creatures dig up the graves in the cemetery”.
She can’t say why, after all this time, he started doing such things suddenly.
She has seen zombies in the streets, undead rending, fighting each other.
Jake “They are fighting each other.”
“And we in the middle!” ZL vs Vampire who may also be a ZM.

We go talk to Jean next. Luke would come, but Father says it may be too much for him to go there. Jake, Luke, Jesse and Etienne go to see him.
The rest hang at the inn. An older gentleman enters, asking to speak to our leader.
Billy steps up.
“Can you come back to my house with me, I have to talk to you about something important.”
His name is Mordu. Claims he knows what is going on in her, keeps touching Billy as he talks, must talk in private though.
House is right up the street.
Billy “Ill be happy to, in private, but with my friend Will.”
He agrees.
Billy tells Nick and Ron that “we’re walking into this trap, I have a sneaking suspicion that its a vampire trap. I’m pretty sure will can handle it.” Will looks around perplexed at that, Billy continues “But if we’re not back before nightfall something bad happened.”
Nick gives Will his 4 blessed .45 rounds.

Off they go. Mondu is excitable, rather than nervous or scared like everyone else. On the door is a big elder sign.
Will “That’s a good sign” ba dumb, ch.
We enter, he offers licorice. Red, so Will takes a piece. He starts some herbal tea. He has several favorites, Will asks for Chinese and he does have chai!
“Everyone thinks that its zombies and vampires. Its neither that is behind this. Have you ever heard of the cult of the swamp?”
Billy “Yes. We fought them last time.”
He says survivors have regrouped here! They are behind it all!
Billy “You’re sure about this?” He says he will find proof, but we don’t want him getting killed trying.
“They can’t stop me, I am the great Mordu. Greatest scholar of Hastur and Cthulhu you will find. Look at my library” he moves a hutch out of the way, behind are shelves loaded with books. Most appear to be popular fiction novels, mixed in are some occult histories. He show us one he claims has been the most helpful. Will takes it, he says we can borrow it. He says “come back tomorrow and I will have final proof it is this cult that is behind all this”.
Billy warns him there are vamps and z about, still, so be careful.
“I have protection. I’ve taken this knowledge to the master, he’s promised to protect him” during his investigations!
So, this cult could be here, another faction the Master is against in a power struggle. The Master has assured him they are all working with the cult for one great evil. That’s why the Master came here even, to hunt and kill all the vampires, was quite happy Mordu discovered all of this.
The master told him to use only salt vs vampires, everything else we know about them like garlic et al is false. He keeps a line of salt at his door threshold.
Is the Master using this gullible guy for misinformation?
He’ll keep us in the loop. What he doesn’t understand is that most people who have come here since we defeated the cult, have come to live at the castle. Though the master says he’s been putting together a group to crush the cult once and for all.
Mordu suggests we talk to and join with the Master.

At plantation, we find it very run down being sans workers. Jean apologizes, no servants even. Treats us with lemonade.
He says z and ghouls roam the streets, coming from the cemetery “I know you think i’m crazy.” He says the Master rules with an iron hand, his dad just a pawn to him. The master is evil “but there’s no fighting him”. Everyone vacated this place out of fear, that he has something to do with what is going on.
Jake “What gave them that idea?”
“I am rather set in my ways. And I did act somewhat crazy after my twin was killed.” At the moment he cares nothing for the village.
“So, you use voodoo z on your plantation?” He wishes not to discuss that though “if we did, we had no choice in the matter.”
Jake “What happened with your brother in the church?” The body burst into flames, sat up and got off the slab, staggered about the room. Most horrific thing they had ever seen. Finally collapsed dead again.
He’s acting rational, but he’s half crazy.
He does not want to talk of zombies. He calls them the walking dead, not zombies. Just empty husks “same as using steam engines”. He’s very defensive w/o admitting “Just cause we are able to not pay for labor” etc. “What is more evil for us to use, if we were, bodies brought back into motion, or to use slaves?”
Finally he breaks and admits it, they still use them.
Jake “The master forced you to or you did this before?”
“Good lord, we don’t know how to make z”
Jake “Who does?”
“Daddy Marco. The Master’s zombie master.” He came with the Master, but is Haitian.
He serves us mint juleps. He hopes the z’s rip the heart out of the butler for leaving. The evil zombies, he means. Theirs wouldn’t hurt anyone, “just like the ones at the sugar mill”. Master assured them.
Jake says they attacked us. “Master lied.” He gets a glassy look “The master never lies” then snaps out of it. Doesn’t believe his type of z could hurt anyone.
Jake “So where are these other z coming from then?” He doesn’t know.

Definitely some kind of war going on here.

Back to inn.
Mabel will read the book Mordu gave us.

We use the garlic et al to protect our rooms.

To the cemetery: Jake, Billy, Jesse, Chief, Luke (shockingly decides is safer with Jake, Billy and Dog in definite danger than with the others in only possible danger), Floyd

We take positions, hiding.
Jake hears the z coming first, then sees one. Then we all see them. 2 or 3 reach the grave and start opening it up.
Jake’s sees him! Jake withdraws, kneels turning on his lantern to its face = dead eyes; stands raising his shotgun almost bringing it down with 1 barrel, the 2nd brings one down, then draws his pistol.
More are going after each of us by then. Luke starts shooting his winchester; Floyd his shotgun; Jesse shotgun; Billy’s revolvers slinging lead fast, dropping them as they come at him; Chief his revolver for 1 shot then melee.
Each of us shoot and move as much as we can, using the many tombs to keep from being surrounded.
They can hear the gunfire from the inn. Nick gets to an upstairs window facing that direction and looks out, seeing the single lantern and the muzzle flashes.
The battle continues. Mabel "Oh my, I hope they’re ok.:
Will “So long as we hear plenty of bullets flying, they’re ok.”
After about a minute, the next wave are tougher than the first!
Luke “I say Billy, Jake, I could use a little help over here” after taking a couple hits. Floyd as well. There are only a few of the tougher ones thankfully.
Luke is hit again! He’s getting really worried.
Floyd is hit bad, 4 times in one round, now at 0 total hp!!
Luke yells “I’m out of here!” and withdraws.
Jake “Both of you, get out of here!” Jake clears a lane for Floyd, who then withdraws as well.
Jake out of bullets in both guns, brings his winchester into action. Billy already began reloaded rounds before.
A hulking beast of a z attacks Jesse and crits 23 but he stays up!
Chief has had a rough melee going, but getting the better of all comers.

When Luke and Floyd get to the inn wounded, Mabel gets to work on Floyd. Luke reports the natural born killers out there are doing fine, regardless of how he and Floyd look.

Billy continues his rapid fire killing and reloading, he and Jake get clear to help Chief and Jesse out to end the battle. The last couple are major beasts, Chief is battered terribly. Then Jesse takes a massive beating dropping him to minus 1!!!
He and Chief have to retreat, Jake steps in front of the last 3 foes to clear their withdraw. Jake’s winchester is empty right at the end.

The body was not taken. We open it up and shotgun it to death. It is a zombie.

Back to the inn, where Chief and Jesse are already with Mabel.
Nick “What the hell happened out there.”

Sept 26

Mabel reports the book is a very clever fake. It lies about much and invents more. Only truth is that Hastur is behind the cult, and don’t allow the King in Yellow to be performed anywhere.
We already knew that.

Barmaid went missing, in an ally is a large stain of blood, specks against a wall. Near it is a piece of red licorice.

We go to see Mordu about this. Knock gets no response. We walk in, its unlocked. He’s dead! Nailed to the wall alive. Took several of his occult books and forced them down his throat until he couldn’t swallow or breath anymore. His stomach is still bloated with paper.

A servant of the master, large black man, invites us all to dinner. A coach will arrive at 10 tonight. We can bring a coach full. He requests the lady attend.
We try to convince Boucharde not to go, but he keeps insisting. Promising he’ll be good.
6 plus the woman: Dog, Jake, Billy, Etienne, Boucharde, Luke.

The carriage picks us up right on time. Several servants are dressed in old time Eastern European outfits. 4 others are already in the dining hall, 12 seats set. So one other to come.
Legendre
Pierre, the 3 sons’ dad
old black man, treated as equal, named Daddy Marco
Charles Beaumont, the missing guy; his fists clenching at the sight of Boucharde; and vice versa

Small talk only, no one giving anything away
Leg met Daddy Marco when he stopped in Haiti for a few years after first coming from Old World; to go into business; in Haiti they had tried to go into business to become wealthy.

We are called into dinner. Leg’s young ward, Martine Phillips, beautiful girl, enters.
Boucharde “It’s Madeleine. Look at her hair, that’s her hair.” He’s about to act the fool, Jake tells Luke to chill him out before it’s too late.
Jake whispers to Etienne “Can you see what he sees?”
“No, I think he’s lost his mind.”

The dinner begins, passing uneventfully.
Leg “Alright, let me come to the point. A great evil has come to my island. And yes, I say mine. I own it, the people, the sugar cane. My next plan is to build my mill here. I had one on the mainland but eventually it burnt down. The evil must be eradicated first.”
Jake “Who’s the evil?”
“How much do you know about the occult?” He goes on: speaks of an evil undead creature that creates zombies, the Zombie Lord; Daddy Marco is emphatic about it’s vileness; Leg says only living creatures should create zombies; Tarascan boys came up with the idea, even when he first came here “Isn’t that right Pierre?” suddenly the first light of the night comes into his eyes and he affirms Leg’s claim;
Boucharde asks how long Martine has been here: Beaumont says she arrived recently; Leg gives him a dirty look and he changes his tune to several years. “Isn’t that right my dear” she nods quietly. She has said nothing. Beaumont “She’s such a delicate flower.” they are to be wed actually.
He wants to hire us to hunt down this ZL.
Billy “How much are you going to pay us?” 1000 dollars in gold.
Jake “Not bad. Where is he?” They don’t know, but ask Luke and Lucias. They know.
He says they lied to us about the flaming body; Total fabrication.

He invites some of us to stay if we want, for the night.
Jake, Billy, Mad Dog, and Boucharde get rooms, as well as Mabel.
The gang camps outside in the courtyard.

There is a back and forth, we all go back to the hotel as Jesse’s insistence. Jake has to convince Boucharde to leave for now.
They seemed over interested in Mabel.

Dr. John gets to work making anti Hastur conjure bags for the others.
While in the common room, we hear a scream from outside in the swamp fog!
Mad Dog, Nick, Jesse and Billy are sent to check it out to scout, into an alley, finding a dark cloaked figure. He turns and flees into the darkness!! The innkeeper’s daughter was returning from a friend’s house, no lying on the ground, blood coming out of her throat. Dog rushes to try to save her and stops the bleeding! She was stabbed twice, chest and throat cut. Not deep enough thanks to our interuption.
Back to inn. The innkeeper wants to send for the priest, so the Bev’s and Ron bring him back from the church.
He blames himself. We confront him about the church story.
He now tells us the truth about the church and Marcel:
Luke and Marcel found a secret passage that led deep underground, while looking for the Pendant of Undeath. Attacked by undead creatures. Luke carried Marcel to the church, but they did find the pendant!! “I placed the pendant around Marcel’s neck” while praying to the Lord of All, the Great one.
Jake “Hastur?”
“The King in Yellow” then Marcel rose, but not alive nor dead. He was a hideous thing.
Jake “He’s the Zombie Lord?”
“Yes.”
Will “Is his brother hiding him out?”
“Maybe.”
Nick “Where does he keep his z horde?” Swamp, graveyard, sugar cane fields, he doesn’t know. The only one that knows is Luke.
He turns, pleading to Luke as he walks over to him “You must come back, from the land of the insane. You must come back.”
He rips open his cassock, and underneath he’s wearing The Yellow Sign!!!!
He leaps behind Luke, a curved knife to his throat “Come near me and I’ll kill hit.”
Luke “Don’t hurt the kid, put it down.”
He backs to the door, “I must escape, if the Master finds out I’ve betrayed him to the King in Yellow, I’ll become one of his undead minions.”
He worships the King in Yellow!
Dog “You worship the King in Yellow? We worship him. I’ve seen the play 3 times!” He tosses the kid aside, kneels before Dog, helpless, begging to be taken away before his soul is eaten.
Dog guarentees his safety form vamp’s, Z’s and all the dark creatures because to our similar faith! “You stay behind me.” and he hides behind Dog now.
Neither he nor Luke are willing to go to the big house.
Jake asks why he needs Luke back to normal: cause Luke knows the entrance to the underground.
Nick “Alright Dr. John, how do we get him back?” He doesn’t know.

A large man enters, large sledge and small sledge in hand, begging for help. His daughter, Nadine, is good friends with the innkeeper daughter, it was her she was visiting. There was a crash at her window, and now she’s gone!
He leads to his house Chief, Jake, Billy, Ron, Nick. Chief easily picks up the trail, right to the Jean’s plantation Big House. Lights are on in the dining room. Chief sees 2 servants, though supposedly all his servants left. Chief thinks they may be z’s. We take a look, but they are more skeletal with tight skin.
Ghouls. They are setting the table.
Jean enters, cloak like the attacker. He flings it to them “Jacque and Pierre will be bringing in the feast. Summon the other servants.” One of the ghouls hits a small table gong.
Other parodies of servants enter, like a female ghoul in a french maid outfit. Eeewwwww, butler, coachman, etc. All undead.
The french chef enters, ghoul too, in his French chef outfit “Dinner is served, master” pushing a cart with the nude body of Nadine! “I have a treat for you! Tonight you have the live quivering flesh of a virgin!” They are far too happy. They pick her up to lie her on the table, screaming.
We rush to the front door.
Nick volunteers to stay at the window. If we don’t make it in time, he’ll start blasting to keep them busy. The blacksmith stays, he’ll go through the window. Chief decides to do the same.

Into the front door go Jake, Billy and Ron.
Jean “Scream your heart out, little girl. You’ll wish for death long before it comes” draws a curved knife “we’ll carve pieces off for the diners”. She is in total panic mode.
He has a Yellow Sign pendant as well, holds it out in his hand, it starts to glow. He pushes it on top of her right breast, sizzling sound “They prefer it raw, I like my meat cooked”. One ghoul reaches for her thigh, that another next to him was oggling. They hiss at each other terribly. As they dive for each other to the death over choice meat opposite side from the window, the door bursts open as our 3 enter!! He turns to us, and starts to cast. The pendant bursts into fire in his hand.
Nick fires, Chief and the blacksmith climb in.
We start unleashing hell. Nick and Ron combine to drop the ghoul to Jean’s right. Jake and Billy start firing upon Jean, he’s only grazed but rocks from the hits (card). We feel a familiar presence for the briefest moment of David Tucker!
All the ghouls dive for Chief and the blacksmith.
Chief is paralyzed! Nick falls into the window taking 1 shot then kicks a spitoon toward them, hoping to draw one off of Chief.
Billy hits, Jake nails him DEAD!!!
Jordie the blacksmith kills all 3, trying desperately to save his daughter!
Ron charges to Chief’s melee, bullrushing right into one but fails to rush him over, draws his bowie knife.
One charges Nick, Ron’s turns to him. 2 others still go for Chief, start chomping on him.
Jordie starts freeing his daughter. Nick drops his, Billy and Jake step to get clear shots to help Chief.
Chief is getting ripped into. Nick takes it down. Only Ron’s remains.
Jake guns down the remnants of the 2 fighting themselves. Billy finishes off the final ghoul, Ron’s.

A search of the house is made. In the basement we find a hidden room with a shrine and huge portrait of Hastur. We get some turpentine and Dog removes it.

The villagers are caught in the middle of Vampire vs Zombies vs Cultists

Back to inn. Mabel is helping take care of kid Luke.
The priest says he worshipped with them at the basement temple, he wants to go back to the church and repent! Pray to Christ for redemption. He seems very sincere.

Sept 27

We let the priest return to the temple.
We want to take out the Mythos problem first, that means Marcel the Vampire Lord.
We need to get Luke to talk.
The coach from the castle arrives, Pedro in tow along with an old withered black man. There is instant hatred tween he and Dr. John. It’s Daddy Marco “My master has sent me to speak with you” there is a disturbance, we must destroy the ZM today! Pedro, Alfonso and Gregorio will stay with us to help destroy. They feel the ZL gathering his forces. We go outside. The sky is darkening, dark clouds are moving in, forming a ceiling out over the swamp. Out there, there is a pillar of dark going upward. We need to get out there.
A strange clanking comes from the sugarcane fields. Chief and Ron go to take look. We start loading up. They see nothing, clanking all through the fields. Ron wants to just start burning. They come upon 3 z’s fighting with tools! 2 of them get the other down and destroy it. The dead one looks like one of the workers. The others are ragged. Marco’s z’s are being attacked by the ZL’s.
One staggers toward them out of the cane, blood all over his face, reaching out.
Ron “Say something!” It’s alfonso, throws his arms over Ron’s shoulders. He says the Z’s are attacking!
His eyes roll back and he falls over. There is a machete right tween his shoulder blades.
The other 2 victors are moving for Ron and Chief.
Ron fires his shotgun and Chief his revolver both drop. More noise including Gregorio yelling in Mexican trying to organize his z’s. They smell smoke, the field is burning.
They rush turn and head out. On a hilltop nearby, they see 15 ish z’s behind them with Gregorio, horde of enemy z’s attacking from all sides.
They exit the cane edge to a mass of z’s exiting around them. They rush to the inn.
Gregorio scream as he is brought down DEAD.

As they run through town, z’s are entering the town even out of the swamp water!
Alarm is raised, the town battens down the hatches.
Jake “What happens to a ZL’s zombies when you kill it?”
Dr John confirms his suspicion, they drop.
Etienne thinks we should all flee to the castle with the town. Billy says just get the town inside the castle walls “We have to take out the ZL”.

The dark pillar in the distance, to the clouds, is turning yellow.

Watching as we prepare, Jesse sees Legendre, is approaching the inn, effortlessly slaying every z that meets him “We must find the ZL”.
We know.
He motions, making his voice like thunder “all villagers run to the castle now!”
People flee through the z’s for the castle. Jordie the blacksmith stops, asks if we want him to go with us or castle. We tell him stay here with his family. He leads the way for all who follow.
We send Boucharde to the castle, with the 2 boatmen, with Etienne and Dr. John and Mable. Jake gives her his anti vamp charm necklace after Legendre leaves.
We get on one boat, Pierre running it.
To the Yellow Pillar we go. The Gang, Pedro, Laroux and Pierre. As we go, all z attackers ignore us in favor of the castle siege.

The closer we get, the unnaturally darker the day becomes. The Yellow becomes impossible to properly describe, like a dark yellow. A yellow that absorbs light.
The boat begins to slow down, water has an unnatural tint to it. It feels almost like wet jelly, a putrid sickening jelly.
It starts to get difficult to go. We try the poles, but it takes a minute to go a few yards.
Chief checks its ability to hold weight. It can’t. He puts a leg in, and it starts to feel like its falling asleep. Lots of red spots on his pant legs. Pulls his pantleg up, lots of tiny white tendril worms burrowing into his leg.
Dog douses his leg with 100 proof gain. He plucks one out, and sees a red line going up his leg. Poisoning him? It broke as he pulled it, probably releases a poison. It’ll have to be slower work but he’ll get them out. Couple hours of work. Had about 30 in his legs total.
Will tosses a box off the raft, and it splashes in the water further out. The jelly is only around the boat. We toss several more things, and it seems about 15’ out all around.
Being the bayou, Nick thinks we should rope into a tree to get out.
Will then hears a grinding sound.
Nick “Something gnawing on the boat.” Will spots a worm like head at the side of the boat for a moment.
Nick and Will lasso ropes into the trees. Water is starting to leak in. They lead the way, Dog and Chief right behind; then Billy and Jake; Pierre and Laroux; Pedro and Jesse; Ron, then Luke looks worried. Will "just lashes yourself tight and let Dog pull you up.
As we are going out of the tree, the boat slowly sinks.
We keep moving for the pillar.
Z’s then rise up around us, enough for 2 to 1 odds against. We keep Laroux, Luke and Pedro at the center. We clean them out with plenty of led.
Reload and move on. The drums begin, the bayou drums are calling.
Pierre “Can z’s can’t play drum.”
Laroux “More likely cultists.”

Pierre scouts forward as we get close. He sees small island. 5 of the villagers are there playign drums, cultists; and 2 playing flutes; and 3 dancers in the midst. Plus what may be the Zombie Lord in a yellow mask before an altar in front of which the dancers dance.
3 z’s emanating a feint yellow glow rise around him!! Tween us and the dancers et al are 4 cultist axemen guards.
He takes 9 and retreats to us and report. They sink back under the water.
We split: Laroux, Will, Dog and Billy left; Jake, Pedro, Chief and Ron right; Pierre, Nick and Jesse, Pierre and Nick firing rifles from our central approach with Luke at the axemen.

The yellow beam is rising from the altar. They are in a frenzy.

Chief is the signal. He sneaks up on the music line to the rear, a drummer and cleaves into the back of his neck crit!! DEAD and that looses the gunfire.
An axemen and both flutists drop immediately, Billy doing most of the work. Jake is firing at the high priest.
The 3 zombies that attacked Pierre now jump Pedro. 3 rounds and he’s dead in the swamp, they drag his body away.
In their frenetic fervor, only the ZM moves 30’ toward the left; and the high priest. He turns to cast upon Jake but the bullet went through his neck and the wound ruins the verbal component!! (card),
Will fires in desperation at the ZL confronting them, hitting twice. Jake slip hammers the HP but he stays up again! Billy lays into the ZL with 4 slugs.
All the axemen are eliminated now.
The high priest runs and takes cover behind the altar!
ZL looks at Will, dismisses him and attacks Billy.
The drummers are killed off this round.
Ron fires into the women as Jake is sending rounds at the barely visible priest. Dog engages the ZL as Billy empties his guns into it like lightning!
The HP now recovers his voice enough and hits Jake with a Fist of Yogsothoth!
Dog is hammered and almost dropped!!

The women throw up their hands to surrender “They made us do it” routine.

Jake hits the priest 23 DEAD!! Billy draws new guns and unleashes as many rounds as possible DEAD.

Only the girls remain. Laroux walks in to take charge of them.
They actually don’t have the wild in their eyes. Looking more scared, actually.

The pillar of yellow begins to disapate.
We destroy all their instruments, Ron sets charges and blows the altar to pieces.
We take off the yellow mask. We take the head back in a bag, as requested. It looks like what Marcel should be.

While this is happening, Luke is ambushed by the 2 missing zombies when he steps aside to take a leak hitting twice. Luke barely avoids being taken down.
The big one, however, seems to want woman flesh instead and grabs one of the women from underwater and takes her away before Laroux can locate her!!
Luke flees toward Dog!
The zombies fall back into the water.
Will “How is that even possible? We killed the ZL, Dr. John said they should have died.”
Pierre “They do stand out. Maybe they weren’t under the ZL directly.”

Back to town in the canoes the cultists came out in, further beyond the ritual position.

All’s quiet in the town, so we go right to the castle. The villagers are in the courtyard. The sun is now back out, Legendre has not been seen since the yellow beam stopped. We get the 2 girls dressed.

Close to dusk by now. The Z’s in town disappeared about the time the beam ended.
We have dinner with Legendre. We show him the head, its not Marcel anymore! It was a dupe!
We killed the magic user, so no danger of arcane. Now, just Marcel and zombies.

We go to Luc in one of the bedrooms. Mabel is still with him. Legendre says he’s the local magistrate, he has a place to keep the 2 captive women. Laroux declines, they are under him.
Legendre says fine, the truce needs to stand until this evil is defeated.

Dr. John decides to try some voodoo magic on Luke. It takes all night with Mabel attending. No dice.

Sept 28

We’ll let Luc rest until this evening and try again unless we find it. In the meantime, we’ll just start searching.
Will asks if the church has any old records that the 2 brothers may have consulted in the past to find this place. The Father says yes, there is an old chronicle!

With the Father go Jesse (staying outside to spot), Jake, Billy, Chief, Etienne, Will, Ron.

Will researches the chronicle which is about the village itself. Etienne and the Father have to translate some cryptic latin passages. Will takes a liking to this latin thing. He’s never seen its sort before.
There is an old house on the towns outskirts. After questioning the Father on his local knowledge some, he thinks there is an entrance in it to a complex of tunnels. Where the pendant was found, where the older brother was killed, likely where Marcel hides out.
The pieces are spread out, but Will puts it together pretty quickly.

At that moment, we hear Jesse’s buffalo rifle fire!
Will rushes and looks out the front “zombie horde!”
Etienne “Can we make it out?”
“No, too close” as they doors are pounded already.

We move pews against the doors asap.
Father is frantically praying then “We’re all gonna die!!!”
Nick “Shoulda thought of that before you worshiped Hastur.”
Jesse yells down that they are all around, then starts firing the buffalo rifle at will as we try to think of a way out.
He fires all his .50 buffalo rounds then yells down he’s out; Killed 18; between 60 to 90 remaining he figures.
There is a cloudburst soon after, causing a virtual flash flood halting them getting too close too fast and helping to wash them back until they get their footing again.

Taking advantage, we figure we’ll make a sortie to see how many we can kill. Will and Ron with shotguns, Etienne and Father reloading 2 others in between shots; Jake rifle, Jesse from above rifle.

After we fall back in post barrage, Jesse calls down a few moments later: down to about 30!!
Etienne sees Ron’s tnt. He thinks we should lure them inside and blow them up.
Ron says have Chief lure them to the front, then inside. We can escape out the back.
Jake and Billy agree though, we can shoot them down.
We funnel some more rounds up to Jesse. He finishes the mass off.

The entrance is in the large crypt in the graveyard. As we get ready, Ron rides hard for the castle before more zombies come, and brings Mad Dog and Nick. The Father and Etienne go with him and stay with the community.

Late afternoon, the entire gang sans Luke enter the graveyard. A mythos ghoul appears “You seek, you seeeek the zombie lord. He steal sour food!! This way! This way!” We follow “We thrive beneath the cemeteries of Orleans eating the dead.”
He leads us to the crypt, leaping atop, crouching “there, there lies the ZL. There lies the ZL.”
Jake “Can you lead us to him?”
“I will show you the way. You may call me Xkarhi.”
Chief “Sounds like Harry.” Harry it is.
Steps go down, door only 5’ high. Lanterns lit, Dog stoops through first. He hears a growl, and a man sized dog leaps upon him!! But not a dog afterall once in the full light. It’s body is lean, and its ravenous. Half melted appearance, blue puss as its skin or exudes it, we’re not sure. Utterly horrifying.
It lunges upon Dog, a long grotesque tongue lashing out for his neck, acid dripping from its claws! The tongue misses, but the claws don’t. Dog crit grapples the beast!! Grabbing both legs, he wrenches them in opposite directions and it lets out a pain filled otherworldly whelp as he tears it apart!!
Nick “That was impressive.”
Will “That’s why Dog goes in first.”

Down into the earth we go.
Harry “Ttthhhis way, this way.”
Billy “Did you know that thing was in here?”
Harry “No.”

In the back of the crypt, he pulls some stones away revealing stairs going down. Harry says this is where the gibbering moron (the kid) and the ZL came from.
Down into the earth we go.
At the bottom is a stone door.
Harry “Beyond this door lies your doom and your worst nightmare.”
Dog tries to open the door, ghoul next to him. He steps ahead of us and kicks at the door.
The ghoul leaps out of the path of the falling door trap, it knocks Dog clear 36 damage. Ouch.
We give dog some moments to rest.
In we go, ancient symbols all over. This town isn’t that old. This is a bit odd. The dust on the floor is well tracked, but almost an inch think where undesturbed.
Suddenly, Wang Wei and Wang Lo are amongst us.
They say the man Wilkerson and Rathbone must see this. This writing is from their Proto History.
Lo “Strange. In a swamp, how has this survived?”

The hall is 60’ long and 10’ wide, 2 doors along both sides, and ends in another.
Jesse and Nick stand just ahead watching down the hall, Chief right behind them.
We stand back, Ron volunteers to open the door. As he touches it, all the doors open but for the one at the end, zombies pouring forth!!
The ghoul crawls up the walls to the ceiling.
Wei and Lo leap into the door behind us, keeping our back in check.
Wei tumbles in to a clear spot, firing rounds profusely bringing one down.
Ron is pulled in and lets loose with his shotgun.
Billy follows him inside, Will in the doorway, both firing away. Will misses wildly in the surprising confusion, Billy drops the z Ron wounded.
The rest volley down the hallway. They keep them at bay briefly until the first one gets to Nick
The z keep trying to get Ron down to the ground but he’s fending them off. After he empties his shotgun he draws his revolver.
We are killing them in the hall fast enough that no more than 1 gets to Jesse and Nick.
Jake tells Dog to switch with one of the 2 in front and go hand to hand to save ammo. He swaps with Jesse. He moves forward 10’ to their position and they swarm him.
Nick soon runs up and attacks with his knife, to draw targets from Dog. He has taken some shots.
Ron’s room is finished first, then the hallway, leaving 1 with the Wangs who Wei immediately finishes off.

As we reload, Wang Long is suddenly among us as well! With ammo too!
Rest.

Each room has empty, dust filled coffins. To the final door at the end into a huge irregular room, large sarcophagus at the far end. No visible exits.

We make our way toward the coffin, slow and wary. More proto history writing on the stone.
Billy calls for Ron to check it out. He moves forward. As he tries to lift it, there is a click and a the wall slides open behind it!
Ron step through first. A pane of glass drops, cutting him off. We can’t break it!!
We can still hear him. It reverberates if struck. The room is 20×20.
He waves us back, he’s going to try and blow it with tnt.
A door opens across the room, and zombies start shambling in.
We get out of the way. He drops a few multi packs, lights them as the z’s get there, and rushes to a corner and gets low. They move toward him, all tween he and the blast. The glass like material shatters when the blast goes off! None of the zombies go down, and Ron is mostly unscathed.

Ron brings his shotgun to bare as they attack him en masse, 16 total. Once the explosion clears, the 3 Wangs enter as Ron pulls his bowie knife.
Jake, Ron and Jesse next firing from the rear.
We clear them out easily.

The room the zombies came out of have stairs going down. So, down we go.
We come to a room with a brass altar. 3 doors all broken open lead out, all to a room. 2 are empty dead ends, though one has an empty recepticle.
Wang’s said it likely once held a book that the brothers probable came for when they were overwhelmed.
The 3rd has another door out and 2 tapestries hanging, looking of ancient life. The Wang’s feel proto history. They take note of what is on them. When we look behind them, they fall to dust. Ron, Wei and Long enter the room and check behind the tapestries, they fall to dust in our hands.
Then through the door to darkness, columns line the room. Far in the distance is a throne, zombie master seated upon it lit by braziers.
Billy “Jesse, shoot him.”
Ron “He’s just sitting on a chair.”
Jesse brings out the buffalo rifle, takes aim, and fires. It shatters on a clear wall on its way.
Maybe 200’ away. In we must go, to blow the glass.
Chief, Jake Dog, Ron make the front line; Will, Billy Nick behind them, then Jesse. Wei in the center rear, Long and Lo to his flanks at the columns.
About half way to the glass, a couple dozen zombies attack from all sides. A trap pit under Chief opens, he barely jumping clear.
6 drop in the first volley then they reach us, but we keep firing but for the Deadly Wangs.
We make short work of them.

At the other end, the ZM disappears through a doorway.
Ron thinks the 10 ended up being overkill last time. So he uses 4 this time and it shatters. The doorway leads to a roughly cut tunnel. Harry says now we enter his world.
We follow.

It curves and twists to a 4 way intersection. Chief is sure he didn’t go straight. He thinks right, but not 100% sure.
Nick asks Harry if he can sniff him out, but the z’s infest this place too much for him to distinguish.

Jake goes left with Lo, Dog, Jesse, Harry and Ron.
Billy right with Lo, Wei, Chief and the Beverlys.

The right group follows some turns, Chief leading them.

The left, the floor caves in and we fall into another hall. 16 zombies attack from 1 direction. Harry hisses, ready to fight this time.
A couple volleys before they hit us.
Jake tells Harry to stay back, he’s our only way of getting out.
Suddenly, Lo is hammered 40!! Some of these z’s are much more powerful it seems, and varying strengths! At the last possible second, Wang is pulled away by Dog!! The blow puts a hole in the ground.
Round after round, finally Jake drops one. Then Dog.
Wang has to dodge what would have been another heavy blow, then later only makes a thresh save with an AP! He’s hanging on for dear life. Buddha, then another dodge with Quick saves a death blow again!!
Jake runs out of rounds in both revolvers, and has to pull his rifle before we finish them off, a final shot from Jake dropping the big monster.
We climb out of the pit.

The other group heard the sounds of gunfire, but kept on their way. Trusting the gang’s ability, they continue on to a dead end room. A hole in the ground is a ramp going deeper. A terrible, fetid odor emanates from it. Chief thinks its a trap to lead us into something horrible. Long says this is not from z’s. Something else lurks there.
Wei “We should not investigate without talking to Harry.”
Every instinct tells us don’t go down there.
Then, 40 some zombies hit from the rear. Trapping us at the hole.
Luckily, Ron had us take some tnt packs. We hurl all 5 down the hall as they come and then back off.
Zombie parts fly everywhere and Billy looses a volley. Only 17 remain; then we fire again as they are closing in.
The weaker ones are taken out first, leaving the massive monster like fought Lo remaining. Luckily, no crits on Billy though. Then suddenly Billy is caught off turned and is almost crushed, but Long leaps in the path and takes the hit!!
Wei’s crane kick then brings him down.

The 2 gangs join up, Harry says the ZM is down there, he wants us to come down.
Jake “What’s that reeking? That doesn’t smell like zombies.”
He has a massive guardian down there. Harry knows right where the ZM is. About 15 minutes in. We’ll have to sneak past the giant Guardian “I’ll show you.”
Harry reluctantly leads us down. Its a bit maze like, wide halls about 20’ on average.

Long and Nick bring up the rear. Chief, Ron and Wei take the lead; then Lo flanked by Jake and Billy; then Dog flanked by Jesse and Will. Harry keeps between our front 2 lines.

Forward we go, until Harry “Very quiet now, he’s just ahead. On the right.”
We come to a big opening on the right. Looking in, its empty.
Harry “No, no good. Where is is?”
Forward again, and it opens into a larger area with a massive horde of zombies. 100, maybe 200.
We start quietly in, but they spot us and shamble for us. About 60’ away from us, and the
guardian erupts from the ground right next to us!!!!!1 A 4 legged huge creature, thick legs, matted fur covering it, one toothy maw atop its central body pointing unnaturally upward; and it stinks to high heaven; 4 heavy claws.
The Wangs warn of big DR!

We back off, and it reaches down and grabs Harry! He is lifted off the ground squealing “HELP!”and torn to pieces, then begins to eat him piece by piece.
We take a tactical retreat, unload rounds and load blessed ones. Once we are ready, we aim and comes our way. Jake, Ron, Jesse, Nick and Will fire blessed rifle rounds. All hits! Chief crits! Wei hits it with a shriveling spell as well.
The horde of zombies are behind him.
Billy “You aiming where I’m aiming?” (card)
Jake “For the black spot” where the shriveling is taking place.
Their rounds tear the weakened hole to shreds.
We reload and firestorm the zombies once the close in right in front of us. 47 go down, 3 others badly wounded.
Then get in positions for their attack: Wangs in front; then Chief, Ron, Dog; then Billy, Jeake, Will; then Nick and Jesse.
About 80 still remain. 9 drop at the first volley. As they reach us, more drop. Then they start coming among us. Dog and Chief go into melee with the Wangs as they shamble amongs us.
They keep filing in among us as we attack, getting deeper and deeper into our lines. Long is crushing in the center front, with his combat ref.
Jesse has to reload early; then Jake, Billy, and the Bev’s run out too. Billy resorts to his derringers and empties them. Jake, Nick and Billy reload amidst the mess.
Will weaves through them with 3 on him, getting his back to the wall and goes defensive for the moment.
Ron pulls his knife and joins the melee.
Jesse right behind him “Hey thanks, dude!” sarcastically, the lane more open to get to him now. Truly, Jesse does not care at all.
At this point, Jesse is done reloading his rifle and starts firing at will.
Will then reloads.
36 left now: 4 on each of the front 3, 3 on everyone else.
Billy starts shooting first after a quick reload. Then Jake and the Nick resume firing, too.
Then Will is back in action right after.
Billy empties his partial load then pulls his knife too.
Jake and Nick empty again!
26 remain! Nick and Jake go to knives now too as Will runs out again, and starts reloading.
Dog is taken into wound pts!! Only 11 remain though, one for each of us.
Finally, Chief and Dog finishes them off.

Jake turns to the Wangs “Thank you for coming. If it weren’t for you 3, we’d have been sent back to the surface a while ago.”

We back off, rest and reload. Long has been hit pretty good, and Dog is into wound pts as said.

Going through our ammo, we need to back out and return again.
Without Harry, we are unsure of where to go but for Mad Dog. He is sure Jack remembers the way, Miraculously, Dog somehow leads us safely out!! We are harried by a few zombies at a time on the way out, but its no big issue. We keep Dog, Chief (both heavily damaged) in the center for safety.

Back to the castle unmolested once outside.
Surprisingly, the castle camp has been incident free.
Luke “Ah, yes gentlemen. I say, I had everything covered.”
We restock on ammo.
Though we don’t like the idea of them being more prepared for us, several of us are in bad shape and we must rest the night.

Murder invites us all to dinner after our day long fighting, not including Pierre and the 2 boatmen.
The girl who may be Boucharde’s fiance, but looking different, is present as well; as well as Murder’s ZL sorcerer. Beaumont is absent.
We stick to the water, and our own whiskey. Leaving his wine be.

Boucharde keeps trying to talk to Madeleine. She answers questions but politely curtly. She also speaks very monotone, like she’s not fully with mental faculties.
Jake in convo asks where Beaumont is. Murder claims he’s not certain, around somewhere. We retire to our rooms.

Billy wakes up in the middle of the night to a hand reaching slowly in the dim light, stealing a coin he has from Frederick with the vamp’s family crest upon it. Billy pulls a gun from under his pillow and fires! The thief falls to the floor, Billy turns the lamp up. Its a castle servant. He begs for Billy to not shoot. Claims he wasn’t stealing anything, came in by accident he says. Billy puts his gun to the man’s head “Yuo have 2 seconds to give me the real answer or you’re never leaving this room.” Billy reaches 2 and sends him to his grave.
We all arrive shortly after. Murder orders the body disposed of, with deepest apologies.

Soon after, Jake awake in bed hears the door open silently. Someone sneaks it. They are moving extremely slowly and carefully. Heading for the bureau with his personal effects upon it. Jake slinks tween them and the door, kicks it shut gun in hand.
Jake “What’s all this then?” Then raises his light. It’s murder’s ZL? "Why are you skulking about my personal effects? He reaches to it, holding Jake’s locket with the pic of his wife.
Jake “You;ll do well to put that down?”
He blows a cloud of dust into Jake’s face! Throws the pic back down and surrenders.
He insists he blew nothing into Jake’s face. Jake finds a bag on him, pistol whips him, dumps some in his face and makes him eat some.
“It’s just dust!!”
Jake fires off one round out the window to bring everyone here.
Jake gives the remaining dust to Dr. John, Etienne and Mabel to investigate.
Murder tries to calm the entire situation down, wants to sort it out in the morning.
Jake “No, it’ll be sorted out now.”
They aren’t sure what the dust says. Jake feels his muscles start to stiffen up!
Zombie dust!
Jake coup de grace’s the ZL.
HE had put the locket down, but had grabbed Jake’s handkerchief.

Murder apologizes profusely!! Though he says we have now nixed their zombie army, now we’ll be doing it alone.
We’ve been doing that anyway.
If they were willing to do that, they would have offered before.

Morning comes, we breakfast here. Murder asks Jake to step into his study to discuss strategy.
“I never discuss strategy alone.” Taking Billy with him.
After they are gone, Nick “Be alarmed, fella’s.”
Jesse hears low banging upstairs. He and Long go up the steps to investigate. At a door, a muffled banging from the other side.
Sounds like someone tied up, banging for help.
Jesse “Kick the door in.”
A few shoulders from both of them busts the door in. They find Madeleine in sleeping clothes, tied up!! They rush in and free her. SHe says days and days now feel like a bad dream. About 2am she awoke out of it with a start, and a few minutes later Murder arrived and tied her up. 2am is when Jake killed the ZL.

Sept 29

With Murder early, he starts talking plans for the assault. Jake feels off for a moment, chalked up to the dust effect lingering.

We exit to Madeleine with the group! Murder says this can all be resolved after the Z menace is over. Not wanting a confrontation in our state, we take our leave with her.

We briefle discuss eliminating Legendre now, searching for his lair now. But we decide to take out the Mythos powered evil first, Luke’s main point.

Now, down a long hallway to a double door that resists opening. Dog blasts it open with sheer might. Total darkness but for our lanterns.
It looks like an ancient chapel/crype. At the far end is a symbol that seems to wrythe and glow, that of the King in Yellow!
We see figures in the shadows all over the room. Then, the voice of the ZM “Do you fear the dark?”
Billy “We fear no dark.”
“Now you will know why you should.”
40 zombies swarm toward us. The Wangs and chief form a skirmish line, the rest of us unleash lead to support.
They come in 4 waves of 10 as if directed. Starting with shotguns most of us, then to winchesters but for Billy and Luke. The first line we take down fast, only a few reach us, then they start surrounding our melee line. The last group is the strongest. THen the ZM appears! Dog flies into a rage and rushes him heedlessly!
Billy runs out of rounds at one point and draws Luke’s revolver!
Lo an Wei are attacked each by an elite Z.
It’s a terrible fight up front. Long is the first to start taking wound pts!
Dog starts with 2 slugs, and it somehow succeeds in missing Dog in return!
Long then withdraws behind Ron and Nick.
Somehow, someway, another 1 causes a miss on Dog!!
Dog “Thanks Jack! You keep holding him back!”
Long’s 2 now move in onto Ron.
Chief then retreats, into light wounds like Long.
Zombies are dropping all over, but it takes round after round to take down those in this final wave.
The ZL reels back (card), Dog has him on the ropes! (Or is it Jack?)
Wang Wei has been fighting like a blur, the enemy unable to so much as touch him.
Chief and Long now jump back in as numbers dwindle, triple teaming a tougher Z with Ron.
The 2 strongest Z henchmen from the last wave still fighting Wei and Lo. Lo falls KO’s from a massive hit!
The ZM is getting visibly angry, glaring at us in shock that his attack has failed!
Luke moves up and starts dragging Lo out. He is so unassuming, the big Z ignores him.
Wei takes a diagonal step, hoping his foes will follow, and now being closer he’ll attract Lo’s free one, being closer than it than Jake now.
Finally, Dog is hit but only grazed.
We get them down to the 2 tough Lt Z’s, Wei and Long flanking 1, both attacking Wei; our guns blazing in support as Dog remains 1 on 1!! Then, suddenly, he’s walloped for 29! He takes it like a man!!
Our gunfire takes down 1, Wei the other. Now, only the ZM remains.
The ZM misses wildly!
Wei enters the melee with Dog, Ron with him from the other side.
With bullets ripping through him, Dog slugging him twice in the face DESTROYED!!

Back at the castle, Murder has fled! He left a note “See you soon, idiots.”
Jake gives it to Dog “It’s for you.”

Lamonde has a couple ideas on his routes he may have taken; he had to have left via boat. Unfortunately, he evades us. We are sure he went to NO though.
We get back and rest up.
We hunker down at Boucharde’s as a group, including Mabel, Etienne, and Marie.

When we get to NO, we figure Beaumont was with him. We enter at the docks, and the boat is there. Registered as Beaumont’s. THe dockman knows nothing, but we ask about the dockworkers. The crew was 3 shambling black men; Beaumong; brought an oblong box with them.
Laroux’s badge gets us onto the boat to search. Will, Jake, Billy, Laroux, and Etienne get on to search.
Jake is first into the cabin. Jake spots 2 black men, 1 on either side as he enters with machete’s waiting to kill. Jake tumbles forward, drawing. Billy steps right into the doorway, both guns flash out and he fires one gun at each side. Both DEAD.

This draws a bit of a crowd that Laroux handles. We find a portrait of an unidentified woman, like a 4×6; modern photo. That’s it.
We find out they loaded the box into a wagon, no one saw which directions. Laroux is putting police rescources to work on it.
Nondescrip wagon, they loose track quickly.

Lo is taken to a hospital for recovery.

We all stay at Boucharde’s as a group.

Sept 30

Plans of action developed. We have to hit his social night haunts to talk to the regulars; check into any places he may own even under assumed names or subsidiaries, etc.

We have little research skill, but Luke calls in a local favor and has someone else get the info for us. Legendre we find out owns a tenement, warehouse, and a small house.
Beaumont has a plantation house in the area, couple hours ride outside of the city.

Tonight, we start finding and hitting the places Legendre and Beaumont frequent when in town. No info found out though.

Oct 1

We start with Legengre’s places in town. We split into 3 groups of 3, gang only.
Billy, Chief, and Will to the warehouse: armed guards around it! Clubs only. Billy asks to see the guy in charge. An elderly man, goatee, comes to meet us. He takes us into the office, 10 or 12 guys inside working on a pyramid of paper machet. For a float next year; dragon motif with feathers. Will asks which Krewe, the Feathered Serpent.
Will “That’s my favorite Krewe!” THe man offer Will a tour! It’s a very good representation of a central american pyramid. He says the other cofounder could tell you about it, named Louie Deburau, famous archaeologist, but he died 2 weeks ago. Did much work in central amer and Mex.
It’s an hour tour and talk, Brandy, fine cigar. Nothing we see looks suspicious at all.
Jesse “Why the guards?” The crimson king krewe want to find out what they are up to, they’re after them. If they find out, “they’ll find a way to top us”. No box the night before, but for an oblong box dropped off by wagon for the landlord a week ago. Oblong box! Full of dirt! Will bluffs him into letting us take it with us. We get a cab to take it back to Bouchardes. From there to the river where we break it up and dump it into the Mississippi.

Jake, Dog and Luke to tenement: packed house. They know the landlord is Legendre, a terrible landlord. Never upgrades anything. He’s never around. Big ugly black guy takes care of the place. Lives in one of the 2 basement apartments. We meet him, scratches his head a lot. Bugs. He does not know Beaumont. We believe him. Last delivery here was about a week ago, box moved into the other apartment in the cellar. Unrented. For cash he is perfectly fine showing it to us. Totally dark, no windows. Oblong box! Full of dirt. We bust it up, Dog takes a bit shite in the dirt. Jake gifts the manager another chunk of change for his trouble.
A message on the floor under it! “If thou truly seeketh me, seek high rather than low”. The manager wonders if it had anything to do with the delivery to the roof the other day.
“Strangest thing, like just a small stone pillar. More money to him and up we go. Indeed, its there, out of an unusual gray stone; triangle on its top made of a green stone. Few feet tall.
“I haven’t the faintes idea what it’s for.”
Could there be 2 others marking 3 points elsewhere?
He didn’t notice the green triangle before. Luke feels strongly we should not touch it.
We warn him not to touch it, leave it be.
Jake “Bad hoodoo or something.”
We leave it here for now.

Jesse, Nick and Ron to the small house:
Plesant small house, 2 kids playing outside, 8 and 10. The kids are residents; dad is away on a trip. Ron has the kids bring the mom out, about 30. Apron drying her hands on, dressed poorly but cleanly. She says owner of sugar mill is owner, Legendre. She says has not seen him in 6 months; he’s an infrequent visitor.
About a year ago, they were looking for a place; Legendre has a realestate office in town that handles his properties. He interviewed us and thought we’d be a good fit. Took a liking to he husband. George Modot, a musician, clarinet. Plays at the Magic Noir nightclub a lot. One of Legendre’s frequents.
At the question of where her husband is out of town, she starts to cry "He’s disappeared, 2 weeks ago. An accident on Bourbon st. A steamcar hit a carriage, he tried to help the man from the car, but he died, named Deburau. George had been there to meet someone for a gig. When George came home, he was quiet, morose, cold, distant. Like that for next day. Then went to work and never returned. She is getting concerned for when the money is gone.

Checking news from 2 weeks before, confirms that info. Deburau left behind a wife Beatrice Deburau. She then claims she has been in close contace with her husband thanks to a local spiritualist medium Jaime Stardust. Has been giving her messages through him.
The Feathered Serpent krewe hold a grand ball in 3 days. She wasn’t planning on going, but her husband now wants her to go. Jesse is sure he’s a cultist.
Back together at Boucharde’s. We see Mabel and Del Rio about the stone and triangle. Del Rio "sounds like a hoodoo booby trap. Set when a certain action happens. Like the destruction of the coffin may have charged it. Touching the jade will be bad for the toucher. He feels we should go and get it. He thinks its no more than that.
Back to tenement, the roof is on fire!! The manager falls from the roof, dead on the ground. A black, bat winged humanoid sweeps down into the crowd. Del Rio “Nightgaunt!” It swoops down toward Mabel! It picks her up and starts to fly up! Luke shoots it out of the sky!! Dog runs under it to catch Mabel and succeeds!!
Jake is stunned at Luke’s accurate shot.

The pic from the boat is of Beatrice, Deburau’s wife. We go to visit her. He was obsessed with the dance coming up and the krewe. Stardust came knocking 3 days after Louie died, said Louie was contacting him. He has asked for no money. Other than go to the dance, has told the things you would expect, misses her, will watch over her, etc. At his death, he had a appointement with a musician to hire for the dance, George Modot.
She gives us Stardust’s card. Shows us a pic of Stardust, we don’t recognize him.
Billy, Jake, Jesse, Luke and Will go to meet him. The address is a flophouse above a pool hall. We walk in, dead silence at our entry. Sailors, hookers, etc.
“We don’t like strangers around here.”
Some money again, and they say a flashy dressed man (Legendre from the description), picked him up. For more coin, they let us into his room.
Luke buys a round for the house as we go up.
Some voodoo stuff.
Suit with wallet, ID card of George Modot
Journal, starts as if in the middle, looks very old, cryptically written; references to Deburau’s house and wife, marrying her, reference to leaving George Modot’s wife "I must find a new place to live, I believe she suspects; needing to return home after all these years despite a ‘vexing complication’; "I should have never taken Legendre into my confidence; willing his fortune to Legendre.

We wait all night and he never shows! Jesse notices someone spying from across the street though.
Jake and Billy sneak out the back and bushwack him. We drag him inside and up to the room. Tie him up.
Wake him up with water. He’s a tough nut to crack, seems a fanatic! He won’t say anything. We put a we sock in his mouth and start burning the souls of his feet.
Young guy. He wears a rosary! We tell him the full truth of what we are doing here.
Still, nothing but silence. As we keep giving details he demands we cease our activities at once. Then asks us to come with him.
Let him go and follow, leads us into the sewers. After wandering a while, and we are quite confused as to our whereabouts, we come to a wall. He somehow opens a secret wall to steps going down, mist rising from it.
Through an even older set of tunnels, but not human made we are sure. Periodic other steps back up. Eventually our tunnel ends in a locked iron door upon it an green elder sign. He pounds 3 times. Other side answers with 2. He gives a sequence of quick raps again, then it’s opened for us. Guards wielding shotguns keep us at barrel’s length.
He finally says his name is Allan Krystal. This is HQ of Lasanta Harmandad, wing of Catholic Church fighting the mythos! He leads us through the vaulted ceilings, rooms with tapestries and furniture; huge torture chamber. He is a Capuchin Monk, responsible for death of Deburau. Investigated him for 70 years, from his previous life. Switched 30 years ago, hopped from body to body for centuries. Killed him to stop a horrific thing from happening, they feel the krewe is preparing for a mythos ritual.
But he jumped into Modot, then took on character of Stardust. He may be impossible to kill.
Billy “Challenge accepted.”
“Kill him and he jumps into the nearest body.” He is sorcerous symbiot, some think he was originally a lizardman sorcerer long long ago.
We explain more about all we found. They think Legendre has been helping toward the mythos end some way, and as payment Legendre gets his fortune.
Pure coincidence they killed him as he was about to meet his new identity, he thinks. But probably planning on taking over the new guy all along.

Back to Boucharde’s.

Late, to the Magic Noir.
The musicians The Funky Butts miss Modot, but kind of angered he took off. New clarinet player is awful. New player is Clyde Creole. With him standing right there, they say they’d fire him in a minute should George return.

They give us a drop point; we tell them use Del Rio’s shop as the same for us.
Warn us not to go to party, something dangerous is going to happen there.

Oct 2

To plantation. Beaumont is there, a gibbering moron at first, then a madly smiling idiot!
“I knew, I know there were z’s! I didn’tknow there was a vampire, I didn’t know there was more than a vampire” immortal things that jump from person to person.
He is hopelessly insane, raves on and on about Legendre and the foul beings he communes with. And, the thing that’s coming at the dance.

We leave.

Oct 3

Will goes to see head of krewe to tell him he lost his pass, we get 4 passes.
Luke is able to get one on his own. Between us we get a few guests too.
We tell Laroux to be on hand outside. He’ll be there with 10 men.

Dance.
To mansion just outside city proper, owned by Legendre via some fake company!

Mrs Deburau is there, wearing a big pendant her husband gifted her. Stardust told her her husband said to wear it.
At midnight, a dance line starts. Readers have papers that they start reading, a chant!!
We start to postion ourselves. The pendant starts to glow. Stardust tears it off, shoves it into a space on the wall, the whole wall glows green. Dread blankets the room. Buzzing like alien insects. The cops burst inside, outside the terrain shifts to that of a dense jungle! Room getting misty.
Terrible figure rises from the mist like a sickening demon. Panic all around, but for Stardust who stands before it. Half dozen guests draw guns and start shooting at it. It has giang breasts, covered with night gaunts suckling! They start to fly at the crowd! jake feels a hand on his shoulder! Legendre!! "Welcome to your nightmare!!
Jake “Welcome to yours!”
Will “Dog get that jewel out of the wall!”
A few people have panicked and ran out into the jungle.
The night gaunts are picking up victims to bring back to be devoured by their master!!

6 of the Priests we just met reveal themselves! Col. Harcourt of the cav is a krewe member, came along with seven officers from his regiment, all in sidearm/sword dress uniforms. They are all blasting nightgauts with us.
Nick yells for our allies to get the guests into the side rooms to bottleneck them in. The Col bellows a mighty order to do so!
Luke helps the Col organize and get people out of the main hall.
Ron and Nick rush and close the doors, make sure no one else runs out, and start plugging nightgaunts.
Dog “Everybody move!” runs for the jewel. People start leaping out of his path.
Ron “Chief, take Stardust down!” Chief drops his first arrow in the confusio. Stardust is in awe of his beast, paying no heed to us; the 2nd hits home but only wings him.
Bill, Will, Jesse start gunning down nightgaunts.
Jake fast draws and starts slinging juju lead into Legendre DESTROYED!! He becomes mist!
The batte is waging.
Chief then crits Stardust! He only prays more fervently but sways badly wounded.
Jake puts blows a nightgaunts head off. Will drops one, Billy has dropped 2.
A nightgaunt blocks Dog as he gets to the jewel. Dog grabs it in his clutches and crushes it do death in his hugeness.
Jake turns on the nighgaunts as well dropping 2. He and Billy are send them to the ground fastest by far.
Chief hits Stardust twice more DEAD!
Once will’s gun is out, he starts helping herd people to safety of the side rooms.
Dog yanks the jewel from the wall after we’ve killed 12.

Everything shimmers again, fades back to reality. Those 4 who got out of the house are trapped where we were.
We quickly fine Legendre’s mist, he has no where in the house to go! Soon, as we follow, he disipates into oblivion before our very eyes!

Only 5 people were successfully taken to the beast’s maw. Some of the crowd are mentally broken at least temporarily, however.
No one was near Stardust when he died. We order the doors closed, leaving all in the main hall with us.
The wife is alive.

Oct 4 through Nov 5

Plenty of rest. Jesse, Dog and Chief are still in need especially for first couple days.

Oct 5: we read in the paper Beaumont has blown his own brains out at his plantation home.

Through Etienne and Del Rio, we are hooked up with an alienist who begins to have some sanity increasing sessions with Jake, the Beverly, Ron and Billy. We eash have a session a week for the next month.

Will and Luke get right to reading Monsters and their Kynd.

On Oct 6 at Etienne’s club there is a big blowout party for Jake’s birthday.

Lo is in hospital for coupel weeks or so before disappearing as the Wangs tend to do. We don’t see the other 2 either after our return from the swamp.

End Oct, Dr. John has new Juju rounds ready, but we send them to Investigators in NY. All shotgun rounds. We told the Wangs before they disappeared to take the next set of blessed rounds from Uriel to them, too.

After some research, Del Rio thinks the place we may have seen outside the mansion is called the lJungle of Kled, a place in the Dreamworld.
The creatures summoned was one Yig Tissl

We tell Pierre to stop and say thank you again to Granny, Jake thinks the weird feeling when he and Billy met w/ Murder in his office was Legendre trying to dominate him. Billy then mention she felt the same thing! They were both wearing the pouches from Granny at the time!

Nov 6 through the New Year

Train to Texas, to Clayton Ranch. We stay with them through Thanksgiving weekend.
Then, to El Dorado and Riverside.
While at Clayton Ranch, Wei arrives briefly Sunday after Thanksgiving with early round delivery from Uriel and Dr. John.

Epilogue: Ror the next month or 2, several giant scorpion attacks happen in the area. 1 is killed by hunters, 2 by Pierre and friends; finally Pierre and Laroux organize a hunting party that eliminate what they think is the last few.
But tales continue further north out of the bayou, soon after we depart, of a lone survivor that moved out of the swampland. Eventually, local authorities and hunters kill it.

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If You Torture Anne Kelly, Pray for Your Death

Aug 16

Arrive Promise City. Author Wilberforce awaits us with letter of intro from Earl of Mansauce. He will be travelling with us to document our deeds for the foreseeable future.
Luke declines the $600 from the Churiba gold. It’s low enough he doesn’t care. We’ll keep aside for emergencies.

Aug 17

2 letters await us, handed over personally by Wang Lo!

Archie:
Sends a warning and recommendation: he and Wang Dong feel that worse things are coming for our American West, and there could be artifacts found by us that will need safe keeping; we should strongly consider finding a defendable hiding spot/base in the near future. As Westinghouse put it during his recent visit “Whether literally or figuratively, a high point with a narrow approach”.
Wei to the gang “I’m fairly certain most places meet that criteria if you are the ones defending.”

2 immediate possibilities, at least for now:
1) Clayton Ranch
2) long abandoned Desperadoes Den

Anne:
(see Johnny made handout, yellow paper)

Lo says Wang Long is still tailing Anne all the way. She left Chicago about 2 weeks ago.

Neither Wang has any idea what the Massa De Requiem Per Shuggay is.
Luckily, Lo and Long thought to tell the Investigators first. 4 days after our arrival, Father Jon is done with research and is back in NYC. Wires us that he and Theo will meet us with info in Sioux Falls to pass it along in writing personally (see rest of Johnny made handout above).

Aug 18

Prep and tickets.

Aug 19 thru 21

To Sioux Falls.

Aug 22

arrive mid SD. Horse from there.

Aug 23 to 30

Travel to and arrive Deadwood.

Windy Point Mining Camp is 4 day ride from Deadwood at border of Sioux reservation.

Aug 31 to Sept 3rd

Not far into our trip, we notice we are being followed by at least half dozen men very stealthily. Since we aren’t trying to look suspicious, we just continue nonchalantly.
Lo and Wei will get to town about half day before us, skulking away the last night we camp, to find Long and get a report. They sneak into the chinese miner camp and find Long.
By now we see our tail are Sioux.

He says evil forces at work, Anne disappeared 3 days ago. Wallace is at the office.
Over last several months, 8 miners have died. 6 by suicide.
Some kind of disease spreading too, 6 miners in infirmary now.
Lots of miners have families here, and there are prostitutes. Several other women have disappeared. 4 have been recovered, all dead and horribly mutilated, all about a week after vanishing.
Currently 11 girls missing counting Anne. Miners are on strike. The Sioux miners quit and have the place surrounded. They insist if anything evil tries to leave the mine they will kill it. Small brave parties are always scouting. New World has sent for the 7th cavalry to make the Sioux get back on the res.
The Italian and Irish are up in arms vs the Chinese. 1 of 8 dead, murdered Italian, with Chinese symbols carved into chest. Lots of incidents of fights tween chinese vs Irish/Italians.
He saw the markings, they were not Oriental, just made to look like them. The chinese know and said all along they didn’t do it.

They go back to meet the gang before we arrive. Jake and Chief make contact with our tail. John Redfoot talks to us. While we talk some behind say “shoot ’em now”. They won’t listen, then a shot rings out and hits by his horse’s hoof!
An indian atop an adjacent ridge aims down, hulking Sioux brave, tin star on his light vest “You leave them alone, John Redfoot! They are no company men!” Redfoot backs down.
This guy is William Jackrabbit. He says Tommy Morningstar wants to see us, predicted we would come. The owls told him, we would come to make this trouble right, in times to come we would cross oceans and space.
Nick “Already done that 2nd one once.”
Tommy is at reservation, half days ride. Come after your business in town.
Redfoot rides off, angry. He doesn’t like us at all.

Into the mining camp. In a gully at base of Windy Point. The camp is a series of wooden buildings, necessities. Mine is right at the camp.

BlackHillsMine.jpg

First, to the office. See a good looking man with fine smile.
Will “Must be Wallace.”
He says “Ah, you must be the shootists that we ordered.”
Jake “Yes, we are.”!!!!!
He says_ one shaft A28 caved in at the start of all the problems. Dug out, but then miners afraid to go in. Things are back._ Now since plague last few days, no one is working!

Jake “What do you want a bunch of shootists to do?” He doesn’t know yet. One, help security get miners back to work.
Plague victims seem random. Some of horses started dying too.

Shouting now from outside! At Norbridge’s offrice (he runs entire mine), Norbridge is dead. We are wisked to him quickly. Head of security and Doc Simmons are already there.
He has arcane diagram in chalk on his back wall, a mandala pattern, very comlex and precise, laced with a strange alien script. Lo says it has no similarity to anything they know, except Forbidden Lore lang’s like Aklo!
His body has Sioux knife through his skull, leaning back in his chair, angle is straight in, 90 degree angle; stabbed or thrown; John Redfoot’s knife! He had a big fight with Norbridge as they left the job. He’s known to be an expert knife thrower.
Ledger on desk, covered in blood.

Will spends the evening going through the ledger and his paperwork.
Luke needs to talk to the miners. Many want to go after the indians. Dumb idea. Before those suicides, they were having nightmares, acting crazily, etc.
Dog examines the sick miners. 6 more are brought in before end of day. All same sypmtoms. Blisters, teeth falling out, etc. No rhyme or reason to which mines they worked in.
Shafts: gold, 2x lead, 2x pitch blend ore. A28 was a lead one.
Nick “Pitch Blend?” being sent to San Fran where its being refined.
Will “What for?” to get uranium. A worthless heavy metal but dangerously radioactive. They aren’t sure why its wanted.

Will finds something odd: someone has been steeling pitch blend, carefully hidden in records. Wagon loads of it! Disappearing, looks like the dead guy did it himself. Also private letter to wife back east, talking about nightmares he’s been having.
Will “Maybe he shoved the knife in his own head.”
Billy “Definitely possible.” Plague started almost week before the ledger inconsistencies.

Sleep. We get a guest cabin, one big room with bunkbeds. Just us. We set 3 guard shifts.
Midshift, Jesse and Chief: they hear a distant rumbling sound. They see some wagons moving into the woodline. Chief goes and ID’s the specific miners, some of all 3 races. 12 total.

Sept 4

Will wakes up after having terrible nightmares! Uh oh. Buzzing in his ears; itchiness as if inside his head.
Will “I think we need to figure this out fast, guys.”
When asked, the miners deny having done so. But they are miners who have started acting strange, nightmares started night before.
Dog looks them over. 2 have broken vessels in face, admit to feeling nauseous. Plague.

Meanwhile, we send Chief to track the previous nights wagons; 5 miles away, a cave at base of granite promontary.
Cave and area around is utterlly silent, no animal life even. Grass is withered and dead, as are closest trees. Insects and birds lying all around as if enire area poisoned or cursed.
Miners doing night time trips must be ones getting sick. So, other mines should be ok to search.
We should go no closer than this to this cave.
We wonder if the tracks leading here come from the lead cave. The tracks from the wagon lead from the pitch storage shed.

We are concerned for Will, so want to take him to the res. Jake will take him with Chief and Wei.
Luke, Long, and Jesse stay to watch over the camp; Wilberforce with them.
The rest into A28.

Res:
Jackrabbit meets us in woods and guides us in. Tommy is about 90! Jake greets him in plains tongue.
He tells us a story: from time of grandfather’s grandfather, when the tribe found the Black Hills. Winter, evil spirits caused trouble, make the night black.
Spirits turned into locusts that made people crazy; Akiyara tribe was driven mad, forgot ancestors, became greedy cannibals and child murderers! Finally Tommy’s people joined the Lakota to stop this. They were taught a song to stop the locust madness, his song was stronger and they went to sleep in the hills. The mining woke them up!!
Indians call them locusts of Shuggay.
To prove this, he turns to Will and sings a strange haunting song!! As he does, an insect thing crawls out, no through like a phantom, Will’s skull. It falls to the floor and Tommy stomps it to death with a pop! Will is fine!
The song makes them corporeal, it takes only 1 pt to kill. Otherwise, blessed or magic or the like.
He warns, you can not go into the mine unless you know the song or the locusts will posess your minds!
Doh!
Chief, Wei and Jake all learn the song. It takes 3 rounds to do the chant. He says in years to come we will cross the oceand, go to the stars, fighting to stop the darkest of spirits from entering the world.
He also says its the locust creatures that need the radiation, they bathe on it, feet on it. They are the ones making the radioactive material out of the ore!

Immediately, we have Jackrabbit rush back to tell our men, likely infected from inside the mine, to hold tight. We have the cure.

Camp:
Patrolling, they find a nude chinese girl staggering through the woods.
We rush to her. She’s in terrible shape. Obviously assaulted numerous times; welts all over; nasty purple pinchmarks form torture, etc.
She says the policemen came and stole her. The camp security! At a hidden hut they keep the other girls until they dump the bodies. She managed to pick the lock on the chain with a sliver of wood and escape.
Very rescourceful.
Luke “I stayed in town to avoid danger.”
Long “We could get some of the miners.”
Luke “Yeah good idea. but they’ll never believe this Chinese girl.”
Luke thinks he should wait to tell the others in town, while Long and Jesse rescue them.
Jesse “To the hut, Luke. Let’s go.”
We know all but 2 security are in the camp. Other 2 are unknown whereabouts.
We decide to send Luke back to keep the guards at the camp, he offers a card game since its nice and quiet around camp. He loses to keep them interested. Lots of alcohol too.

Meanwhile, Jesse keeps watch from a vantage point and Long enters. 10 chics, including Anne! Also assaulted. Uh oh, Dog is going to go wild. All 11 security are in on it. They speak an alien language while doing the dirty deeds here on the women.
Long frees them w/o issue. Several are injured, need help getting around.
We get them back and sneak them into our own cabin after dark.

Anne tells her story: She thinks Wallace is a good guy. They both worked in the office, he’s a chief trouble shooter, thinks NW is the greatest thing. Most who work for them are ignorant of the truth. She was sleeping with him to get access to areas with more info. Since then, they’ve grown very close. He was sent here and brought her because she’s smart but also cause of their sexual relations. He was sent to deal with the native workers quitting et al. They need this ore badly to ship to San Fran to be weaponized for some purpose. They have an expedition in the Pacific somewhere. May even have several ships with submersables. Cover story of oceanography.
NW had no idea their head here was stealing ore from them!!

A 24:
3 galleries open, 4th about to be open at cave in. Ladder from level to level.
Twisting turning tunnels throughout.
We start with the main path and the galleries. Faint humming of insects as we go through; random equipment as if set up to trip explorers.
Back to the mining camp.

Tonight, Jackrabbit shows up with the warning, but we guessed the wrong cave. They must mean the poisoned/cursed cave.

Jesse and Lo and Long patrol around tonight.
First, though they have a cabin here, at least a couple security snuck off to the cabin, so they know now.

On Long’s patrol area, he sees an Irishman approach him. Wants him to come quick, show him something. Evidence! Long goes but suspiciously. To a clearing where 11 other miners step out, those who are wammied!!
Wei ducks the first attacker, tumbling to the edge of the clearing. 2 others come at him, he jumps up, grabbing a branch, swings over the attacks, and outruns them into the dark and back to our cabin.

Later, same 12 are loading wagons. Lo spots them. He runs back to get help, figuring we should waylay them to save them from the poison cave. Both Wangs, Dog, Nick and Ron will brawl them ko’d. Billy and Jesse will cover us.
Anne needs to rest, Luke stands guard.

We approach right at them and they attack with clubs as they did vs Wang earlier.
3 on each Wang, 2 on each of the others.
Long’s Dragon Kung Fu has no issues, nor does Dog; Lo has only slightly less easy of a time; Ron and Nick’s fights drag on longer though they suffer little ill effect. They’re just too tough.
Once we knock them out, the creatures come out of their skulls! The first 7 all attack Dog! Dog is stunned!
Jesse and Billy start loading blessed or juju rounds.
Nick is stunned next! Then another one hits him.
Billy and Jesse fire.
Long stunned! Then Lo too!
Billy kills a monster locust going into Nick’s head, then does same to save Dog too!!
We are able kill all the locust creatures before they inhabit any of us but used many special rounds.

Sept 5

We expect to be besieged the next morning, but we are not. We stay put. It takes a lot of cajolling to get Dog from going out to kill them all.
Early afternoon Jake et al return. We walk out and meet them and all go back inside.
The 11 security soon enough come walking down.
As they close in, Dog goes into a berserk charge “Jack flank them!”
They scream that the creatures have left us!! They barely remember anything they did. They turn and flee the scene!!
Jake “Anne, call for Dog! You’re the only one who can calm him down. They were posessed.”
She won’t.
Jake and Nick run out for Dog, telling him we need to consentrate on who and what the real problem is. This is just wasting energy on those who aren’t a threat anymore.
Other than Anne, Jake is the only person who could possibly talk him down; and he miraculously does!

We unfortunately have to enter the poison cave. A few of us go to the office first where the men hang out. They are packing up to leave.
Will “I suggest you all head for the east coast, and never cross the Mississippi again thereafter.”
They apologize publicly.
We leave but Dog sneaks to the window and listens just behind us.

The man in charge, Jean Mallow, says “I want the 10 of you get out of here, never wanna see you again. You are horrible bastards and you should all be dead.”
Another “Hey, wasn’t our fault.”
Jean “Who’s was it then.”
“Yours, your the one who started it then.” He denies, it was “the thing”.
Gads!! Only the ringleader was posessed!
The ringleader of the other 10 knifes the formerly posessed!!
Dog’s skin is turning beet red as this goes on. He walks around front raising his gun to the door. We see this and rush to him as the front door opens and the villain ringleader exits.

The ringleader tries to claim they took care of him for us “he was the ringleader”.
Dog looses a barrel on him w/o a word. The 2nd kills him.

As the rest go for their guns Jake and Billy spring into the office over the dead body, firing as Dog reloads then joins the firefight. The others cover the exits to take out escapers.
Jake drops one immediately.
Dog drops one with a massive double barrel blast.
Jake and Billy each drop one as Dog’s fury takes over and he charges the leader on Jake.
Bullets fly all around us as we make quick and easy work of these scum.
Billy and Jake put 4 rounds into the last guy DEAD. Dog haymakers the leader then grapples him. Uh oh. He’s goes ko’d. Dog dislocates each shoulder. That wakes him up.
Outside Will “No one’s coming out.”
Nick “Probably over too fast.”

Dog keeps him alive and takes him back to Anne. This guy used pliers on Anne’s nipples. He gets the same and much more worse from the Kellys, Anne especially relishes some fine knife work. A couple others we find aren’t quite dead yet either. We drag them to Anne and Dot where they get similar treatment.
We leave them alone for a bit with their pray while we have a victory drink.

Dog finally goes barrels deep up the villain ringleader’s ass and unloads for a final death, painful until the last double barrel blast destroys him inside out. It’s a horrific scene.

Anne emphatically does not think we should tell Wallace the truth of NW. He’s clean and could lead him to more stuff unknowingly. Keeping him w/o suspicion in NW is more important.

We pull together 600 bucks for the rescued girls. We’ll recover that from Luke’s share he didn’t take when we get the gold money anyway.

Meanwhile Jake and Jackrabbit go to talk to the surrounding Sioux and Redfoot before cavalry arrive; give leader his knife back. Jake convinces him to not only back down, he sends the miners back to the camp like they have been working and he and 3 others will join us in the cave.
His knife went missing night before he left. The guy must have killed himself with one of those things in his head.

Luke goes to talk to Wallace about their relationship and reason for being here together. He backs up Anne. We explain about his boss stealing ore, and the beasts unleased via the mining. He wants to clean out the sons of bitches. He’s in!

Back to the camp. So, we either risk radiation issues we have no clear information on, or just blow the cave itself deep enough in to hopefully seal it for good. There is ample explosives at the camp to collapse it.

To the cave to blow it. Jake wants to blow it at least 40’ deep. Ron gets to work setting it up; Wallace, Dog and Nick, Lo and Long assist as well as Redfoot and his 3 men.
Our singers start singing preemptively. Suddenly the buzzing starts further in, they attack the crew inside. Suddenly Wallace yells a warning to us as he levels his pistol at Wei’s head from behind, he’s being wammied!! He struggles valiantly with it enough for Anne to move to him and take his pistol! Billy then grabs him.
Our 3 singers move forward as both Wang’s, all the injuns and Nick are stunned. We send them fleeing or kill them fast enough to save everyone.
The explosion goes w/o a hitch.

Later,
Wallace meets the cavalry and chills them out, away they go.
The mine will stay open, new supervisor will arrive.

Anne and Wallace go back to Chicago.

Next day we ride for Deadwood.

Sept 9

Arrive Deadwood.
A letter is waiting for us from Etienne “Come to New Orleans, I need you!” We ride to the train to Sioux Falls and book passage for NO.

Sept 17

Arr. Sioux Falls.

Sept 18

Board train south. During trip all 3 Wangs disappear.

View
Mountains in Flames: Churiba's Final Stand

July 26

Gang et al arrive at pass and watch building. We move up carefully, assuming the bird demon has given them warning. Its a huge old mill. We find Cheif there waiting for us.
We approach carefully using cover as best we can on the broken ground around, splitting up front and back door. The menonites are to make sure any who get out lose their lives. Warren stays with them as well, Luke with him.

Front double door: Jake, Dog, Will, Ron, Dyo.
Back: Jesse, Nick, Wei, Billy, Chief.

Front, Dog bursts the door in though it is barred with a heavy wooden block. This was a textile mill, lots of looms and such. Dog takes the center, Jake and Ron left/right respectively. Wei and Will backup.
A man stands up to Jake’s left and cuts a rope as Jake shoots him in reaction. A mass of ropes and a loom falls, Will jumping aside but Dyo is clipped. 3 musketmen rise around us from behind various cover.
Rope cutter raises a rifle as Jake and Ron begin the shootout proper. Dyo charges one and disarms his man’s musket.
Ron kills one, Jake the cutter, Will the furthest away, then Dog charges Dyo’s ,last remaining, crit punch turns his head so hard his neck snaps.
Dyo “You are a mighty ally”
One double door out. Jake has Dog go first. Dyo makes to join him but Dog “I got this.” As Dog opens, Dyo joins him anyway. He steps on a pressure sensitive floor spot. He instincively drops to the floor. A long blade on 2 iron rods drops from ceiling over his head and just ahead of where Dog is standing.
The room has a number of empty vats. Some with remnants of nasty smelling liquids. One is coated in inside with a metal like aluminum. Jake climbs up the ladder which has a hidden spot on it he avoids. Hitting it would flood the contents onto the floor. This one is full of acid. Its a trap.

The rear group enters into a long workroom with long worktables. 4 Japanese monks drop on us chief and Wei, then as Billy enters a gunman straight ahead rises from cover and draws on Billy. In the chaos they both empty 2 guns w/o either being killed. They stare for a second then each draw again, Billy his lightning and his opponent a sawed off shotgun. Billy finishes him off with all 6 rounds.
Meanwhile, the monks fail to successfully strike either of Wei and Chief. They attack and move to give line of sight to Nick and Jesse.
Billy then joins in on that fight, where Chief has been brutalized again and stunned. Billy and Jesse drop one of them.
Suddenly Chief gets his second wind like from the spirit world, letting off a wild warcry breaking the stun. As Wei drops kills one of his, Chief hits with 2 crits DEAD also. Jesse guns down the last.
2 doors out, one double one single. We take the single which is the closest.
Wei hears nothing as we reload. He leads the way. Nothing upon opening so he carefully steps in. He stops suddenly, his hand brushing against a thread across at about head height. Billy says follow it to the wall, where it goes around a pulley to half a dozen muskets all aimed at the door.
We take positions, and he pulls it and they all fire. It’s full of more boxes and such.
In the far corner we find steps going downward and trapdoor in another corner ceiling.

We all meet up, this floor is clear.

Ron says we should just burn the place. Using supplies inside, we make the place a blaze. Soon, we hear cries of distress from the 2nd floor. A door opens on the 2nd floor and fire down with muskets. We take cover, they jump down and we take them out.
The bird man bursts from the ceiling!! Jesse, buffalo rifle at the ready for escapees, tracks and fires. Puff of feathers. It noiselessly plummets downward with a crash onto the ground.
Ron “Laugh at that, mother &$^$&$*!! HAHA!” He runs over to its melting corpse and pisses on it. It was 16’ tall with a 15’ wingspan.

We camp here, no one comes by.

July 27

Early, make it to the cave. Ortega is staked dead, the shrine destroyed and defaced the statue. Chief surveys the scene. Dozens of pairs of sandles, Mexican not Indian mocassins.

Then we ride to the village at the foot of the mt. Roughly 20 huts, animal pens, seems fairly well to do. Maria beckons us to enjoy there hospitality, ay. She says periodically the indians and monks take supplies from here. Warns us to not take the trail up the mt. No interlopers live who go.
They serve us lamb stew for dinner alongside them. It tastes funny for lamb. We eat only the vegetables. They eat the meat with great relish.
They allow us to spend the night in a large hut.

On 2nd watch is Jesse (roof), Will (front) and 2 rangers (horses). Out of the corner of his eye, Jesse catches a light suddenly below, a bright one heading straight for the hut. A lit fuse!! He fires at teh line but misses. Will runs to the back as Jesse yells “Bomb!” The rangers arrive. Will runs up with his bowie knife as Jesse’s 2nd shot hits 3’ from his feet cutting the fuse!
The rest of us come out the front carefully at first
Dog "What the $^%$& ya shootin’ out here!!T then Will meet us and explains.
Dog “Jake, I know we’re tryin’ to redeem, but its Prairie Gulchin’ time.”
The 2 rangers are surrounded by club wielding peasants at the back!!
Jesse yells to warn us.
Cut off, they get their backs to the wall as Jesse fires downward.
Another swarm comes at the Gang out front, madness in their eyes!!
There is a wailing coming from elsewhere in the village, Marie.
From the dark, zombies approaching!!
We surround the building, yell to the Menonites to get behind us, and loose our firestorm in all directions. In fear the Menonites hit the ground. The town is wiped out in a bloody heap by the end, our guns all empty and smoking. The Menonites are in utter shock at the death dealing.

The children who weren’t crazed cultist enough to attack are now a quandry, maybe 15 of them.
The Menonites volunteer to take them in at their place and raise them. Billy wanted them all to be slaughtered.

July 28

2 of the Menonites leave with the children first light.
We start up the trail on foot, leaving the horses here. Dangerous to leave them here or outside once we get to the temple, but the further away from it the safer we figure.
Several Apache fire from the rocks at us.
We take cover, then give cover then distracting fire so Jesse and Chief get out under the cover. Jesse sneaks around and up, finds a perch to spot from.
Chief stalks closer in to ambush in melee.
Chief jumps him, but fumbles his axe, so turns to his dagger almost fumbles again.
They begin to battle.
Chief struggles here but slays his foe.
All this while Jesse begins to fire and they return upon him.

2 others jump Chief moments after his battle ends. Jesse still trading fire with 3 to 4 of them.
The last, having fired his musket, moves while Jesse is taking out a couple with repeaters and joins the melee vs chief who kills them all.

Up top, a man waves a white flag to parlay.
Jake takes Mad Dog up to talk.
Th cultist says there are demons in temple, they want to kill us rather than us go inside. They want us to fight like men. HA!! Up above, we see some Injun faces watching.
Obviously they are trying to keep us out of temple.
Jake “Mad Dog, separate his gut from his hips.” As Dog’s blast goes off, Jake waves the others quickly forward. The scum dives back into the rocks injured, as we rush forward under fire! Dog pulls out his steam gattling gun for cover fire. They duck fast and we get rush down the opening ending at huge double doors not far in.
Jake “Luke, you and Dog first.”
Luke “I find that highly unammusing.”
Dog and Jesse lead the way in, shotguns in hand. Jake and Billy next, then Wei/Dyo, Will/Luke, Warren, Ron/Nick. The Menonites stay in the entryway to watch the rear, Chief with them. Forward down a hall to another double door, rungs in middle to pull on. Dog readies his gattling pistol.
Jesse grabs one side and pulls, Dog at the ready to fire.
Wei “Everybody step back.”
A fire trap goes off around Jesse and Dog, then a bright light shines out of the door briefly eliminating all vision. A terrible pain rushes through all of us, like bones are broken/kicked repeatedly in groin/skin on fire. Several of us shake it off, but Jake, Nick and Ron are unable to.
Another hall, ending at a T section. Shadows quickly disappear as we enter. A feint red glow emanates as well, generally.
Nick/Ron swap places with Dog/Jesse. We can’t have the same people taking 34 or 17 to fire traps every door.
Up to the T, the halls open up to 10’ wide. To left stands a stone gargoyle at a right turn. with 2 heads, one looking each direction. Rock flames flow out of its mouths.
Nick “Fire trap.”
The right ends at a dead end.
Will, out best at searching, has to check the gargoyle area for traps. Luke checks with the Menonites, who send their best tracker up. He goes with Nick to the dead end while Wei goes with Will. Ranger finds a pressure plate right in front of the wall at the end. He stands back.
Jake “Avoid that spot, look for a secret opening.” He finds a hidden latch.
Will dupicates but finds nothing leading up to the gargoyle which is what’s illuminating the area; its carved right out of the rock, a basin above has oil in it which feeds the lamps, nor wrapping around the corner. The hall goes 20’ to a thick black curtain, radiance beyond.
Ron and Jesse take the rear. Jake and Billy agree to check behind curtain before anything else. They, Dyo, Dog, Will and We approach, Wei peers in carefully. Doors equadistant lead out on each of 4 wall. Chains half from ceiling ending in sconces. Sconces are lit, but dimly. A shadow or 2 may have moved. Walls have brass mirrors, as to pillars in the room.
Jake “Ron, bring up some dynamite.” In go a bunch of sticks, eliminating any mirror disadvantage for us inside!
In the rush, Nick and Jake shake the pain off for their attacks.
Then Wei and Dyo lead the way in, a quick acrobatic rush into the room, to the shock of 2 foes beind a pillar. Wei sweeps then caves his head in with a heel kick.
Billy with pistols and Jake with shotgun enter and fire, Jake killing one; Wei draws and fires his 6 guns, as they engage us.
Ron steps in calmly and double barrels one of Billy’s 2 foes. Dog does the same to Jake’s. Both die, then Dyo disembowels one of his 2.
Jake and Billy each gun a man down!
Dog then charges in to help Wei, who is taking hits, Ron draws his pistol and begins firing as well.
We finish them offf moments later and take a breather.

Off this room, one door goes into a kitchen. Next, the larder with large quantities of rice. Last is the quarters for these monks for maybe 2 dozen.
We come $40 in silver dollars.
The wracking pain is beginning to subside.
Only way left is via hidden door, so Dog pull the lever, Ron backing him up. It clicks open revealing a large chamber with a stone rimmed fireplace in the center, burning. In the rear, 10’ alcove. A 6 arm female stone idol stands in it, as if watching over the room. No visible exits. Ron and Dog flank left right, Ron finds a door semi disguised in the wall art. As Dog nears the statue and Ron starts to listen at the door, the stone statue leaps in front of Dog!! Its not of stone, a living creature. It seems to shimmer in the air slightly. It exudes the horror of the mythos.
Jake, Billy, Ron, and Will begin firing. It pummels Mad Dog with a number of hits, he’s bleeding all over.
Dog withdraws, trying to hold everywhere at once “I hurt everywhere!” Those in the fires as as Ron combines 3 bundles of TNT together. Jake and Billy and Will unload on it, drawing its attention as they back out of the door. It follows them, giving Ron the time to prep. Then the menonite slams the door in its face. Ron yells to it to draw its eye upon him. It charges him! He drops the lit pack at his feet and runs, leaping behing the fireplace as it explodes!
Door burst open!! Jake and Billy fire as they move into the corner, Jesse is also waiting now with his buffalo rifle and crits from the doorway!! It then walks around to Ron and slams him! Will begins fire as well as Ron stands up, taking an AoO in the process. Ron draws a dagger in order to take its beating and stabs it!
Jesse’s rifle then hits home again bringing it down DEAD!

Food, incense, perfume, fine feminine garments and poetry fill the alcove. We burn it all. We open the door after a rest. The pain is completely gone now in those who were effected.
Ron lead the way down a 5’ wide hall to an 4 way intersection. Ron takes the left. This leads us through a series of interconnecting hallways until finally we come to a room, someone’s quarters, but with a stone pallet and headrest to sleep on.
Will in the rear warns of someone approaching. Nick and Jesse are at the reaty, Will behind them. An oriental man, very effeminate, approaches them. Waves of energy from both hands.
“When I am through with you all, you shall fall and fellate me at my will!”
Suddenly there are 6 of him, identical, all shimmering!
Will “It’s an illusion!” This man is extremely confident, even arrogant, and he’s not ready for the suddenness of our response.
“I am the greatest monk who ever lived!” as we unleash! After the first volley, 2 images left.
“Come my children, come and fellate me!” He’s stunned (for the round)!! Wei finishes off the last image!
He has some other defenses, that are absorbing our damage. Wei says keep firing, it should have a limit!
Ron hurls his TNT at him now and it blows, obviously rocking him now!
He finally reaches us now, Ron right in front of him, who takes his hits like a champ!
Dog steps up and unloads both barrels into him, we fire again!! And Again, and again. A double barrel again from Dog finally brings him down!

We take a quick break and reload, then go through the only door out of his room and into what looks to be a training room. The floor skirts around a large pit, full of vertical posts with tops cut flat, all the way around. On the far side of the room are 3 of the cult monks, the dark acolytes.
2 immediately turns and run out of the room.
The last says in mandarin “Hello Wei Wang” I haven’t seen you since I deserted the temple.
Wei knows this Dong Chi. In the pit is a warrior monk woman.
She yells up “Come down and fight me, fight me like men.”
Dong “Don’t shoot at her, you’ll regret it” Wei translates. “This is the pit of fairplay.”
Billy “Let’s just walk out of the room and leave her there.”
We make our way over to Dong Chi.
Wei “Can she leave there, Dong.”
She yells “Zafira, come to my aid!”
Dong “Zafira is her sister.”
A twin of her materializes in the room, and the other leaps from the pit, now one on each end end of the room.
Nick “Now that she’s out of the pit can we shoot her.”
Dong Chi “Yes!”
Zafira wields 2 temple swords, Deepti fights unarmed.
Billy surprisingly gives them one chance to surrender, being women.
The 2 who ran now arrive with 4 others.

Dong “All that is beyond here is the room containing the Spawn of Yogsothoth.” We raise weapons and move into position, but Deepti hurls a flurry of flame darts at Dyo “Die Jappo!” hitting several times.
We unleash a firestorm of hot lead!! Only Will too slow to join. Wei yells for Dyo to hit the deck. All the dark acolytes are killed outright.
Each woman leaps into the pit, Will getting a last would on Zafira then runs over to look down, and they seem to get smaller and smaller as they fall and fall into nothing.
Dong Chi hit the deck in time, surviving!

He tells us all we know about the creature.
“If you go in and fight this thing it may kill you all. Seeing it will crack your sanity. Third, it is immune to cold and fire. 4th, if it grabs you with one of its tentacles, it draws blood via tiny mouths along their length” damaging constitution.
It is behind an ornate door at the end of the hallway. Chi has actually seen it devour people. It is large size, they expect it to grow much larger.

Wang says it is unlikely to be aware at this point what is happening beyond its nesting room. While devouring someone, it will become temporary visible.

One way to do this. Ron has to allow himself to be grappled to bring it visible!! Then the rest of us will concentrate firepower upon it.

Ron enters and it allows himself to be grappled! We rush in right behind, gather and unleash hell!! Lots of shotguns. DEATH FOLLOWS US ALWAYS!!! It drops in a heap of disgusting too!
Ron plops to the ground covered in nastiness, having lost 3 con.

Fast back to Chief and the Menonite Rangers!!
Wei “There’s a problem.” We are hemmed in by Churiba’s Indians!! They’re all around us. It’s going to be one hell of a fight to kill them
Will “We can’t leave the cult surviving behind us.”
Wei “They must all be killed.”

They begin with a rush of 5 men, who are intercepted and quickly dealt with by Chief, Dog and Wei. Wei, Dong, and Dyo then sneak away to our left to attack the edge of their line there; the rest of us begin firing at archers who are in the forefront of the attack. Dundee animates one of the enemy dead into a zombie which attacks his own man. A firing match begins tween Jesse and a sniper on a high outcrop about 100’ away.
More of their archers then make a charge, then more soon after that as we continue firing; the Menonites and Dog have moved down a level and engaged in heated melee at the center, cutting the enemy down before stronger foes then arrive in numbers.
Once they have cleared our left, Wei, Dong and Dyo head furthur out that side searching for hiding enemies; Chief makes his way down from us to join them.
Every couple rounds or so, Warren raises a zombie. Typically they eliminate their enemy but a nearby foe then finishes it off.
Wei et al ambush a trio first. Wei drops from 30’ with a crit heal kick DEAD so start it off, not even seeing Chief skulking in his direction. The fight engages.
Next to head out, once central melee is almost over, are the Beverly Brothers. Jake and Billy are reloading by this time.

Ron has begun to make his way up the creek now, Jake follows just after reloading. The Beverly’s come under fire from 2 briefly and take cover, Jesse returning their fire and hitting once crit but not killing. Ron draws out 3 cultists and Jake fires in to back him up. Jake and Ron take them out, the toughest we’ve fought yet, then Billy arrives following us now.
After a 2nd volley tween Beverly’s and the gunman across from them, he vanishes back.

There is a brief period of silence, they must be doing some repositioning, as Dong makes his way back to Luke and Jesse. By the end of the Chief/Wei fight he is done. Dog and the Men’s rest a minute before moving on.

Ron, Billy, Jake continue stalking up creek; then Chief, Wei, Dyo make their way further up the left side of the field.

Our right encounters the first resistance. Jake has gone onto cover on our left bank, saw men in ambush, and drops one with a shotgun blast. The jig up, 3 men rush Ron from his right and are on top oh him immediately; 3 on his right start shooting at him as well. Billy following behind him starts slinging lead of his own.
Dog and the Men’s rush up the gut taking cover at a rise while that fight continues, and Wang/Dyo/Chief get to the left fork creek edge to cross.
Nick and Will are trading fire with 2 snipers on a rise left of center, Jesse gets a few shots at the high spire but only hits once, as that sniper fires upon Billy in the creek.

Dog and the Men’s get upon the low central rise and rush the enemy there; A sniper fires at the Chief group so he and Wei get higher to him as Dyo rushes under a pass at another shooter.

Billy has taken a few moments to reload his pistols under cover from the sniper who was hot after him, who then turned upon Jake.
Billy “That’s why I took cover!”
Jake “Get back out here then!”
Chief comes under fire from he and Wei’s sniper and 2 others nearby to his rear and right.

We spot 3 men moving back to the far ridge, likely others are too, massing around Churiba on that rise.
The snipers on the spire stop shooting and take cover, Jesse now helps the Bev’s in their ongoing firefight, both sides under good cover so its tough shooting. Jesse is having more difficulty in this open firefight than we had hoped.
Jake reloads as Billy re enters with Ron to finish off the last foe at their side. Ron has to resort to his knife to take him down. They all then finish reloading.

Nick brings down one of he and Will’s men. Chief finishes off his man, then charges the final Beverly foe! He is killed by Jesse, Nick and Chief’s damage at once.
Jake, Billy and Ron wrap around the central rise, firing into the rear of the enemy line vs Dog and the Men’s.
An unexpected incredible shot from Jesse takes down Dog’s man just as Dog was going to crush him down, Dog turns and shakes his fist at Jesse. Wei kills his man now too.
The Bev’s start reloading; Jake, Billy and Ron fire now. Dog drops the next on that line, Billy the last.

They are gone now but for the snipers hiding on the high spire and Churiba et al on the far high ground, awaiting our attack we assume.

We consolidate at the central ridge under cover to meet. Jake wants to send the Menonites around the high left with Wang and Dong to get at their rear unseen to block retreat/attack their rear. Put a couple rifleman at the high ground adjacent to us at left to cover the spire snipers and our approach. Billy wants to take the snipers out first, and here Warren says he can help us get there. He heals Dog some and Wei as well, then levitates Dog up to the spire as we provide cover fire, with a rope to get back down. Will ties the knot for him. They show themselves and take a couple rounds but they kill one of the Menonites. They then duck for cover as we keep firing. Dog gets to the top, and one of them spins on him as he tries to stealthily approach but Dog’s scattergun goes off and in church latin “With fire and iron, like beasts into memory”. The gun clicks. That is so Mad Dog.
The Injun is so shocked that he’s alive, he stands stunned momentarily. Dog rushes the other who’s not looking and bullrushes him right off the edge. The other draws his hatchet and they engage. Dog drops his gun and grapples the scum wrenching his arm. The cultist tries to take Dog with him over the edge but Dog realizes this and instead tries to use the man’s own momentum to let him go, but he resists. He tries to pull Dog again but fails, and Dog pushes off from him with a kick, toppling him off the edge to his death. He comes down on the rope.
Dog “I got one, Jack got the other.”
Warren is too drained to help anymore at this point.

Wei, Dong, Chief and Dyo go around the left side ridge to hit the flank. The menonites take the high spot with deep cover to our left, Jesse and Luke to our right at the base of the spire, all providing rifle fire up the middle. The remainder go right to the creek and up it to hit their right.
Our riflemen see lots of glimpses and sound of movement, they are repositioning. Jesse fires a few potshots to keep them honest.
Our riflemen open up, they begin to return fire.
When our creek force is in position, the Beverly’s get on the rise and fire rifles at the enemy top. Dog comes around the corner and unleashes his gattling gun down the line of the 4 foes on the lower ground in front of us and Ron, Jake and Billy fires as well. 1 man goes down. The others fire upon Dog.
Dyo, Wei, Dong and Chief hit them on the other side.
All the enemy there engage them in melee.

(pic from side)

The Beverly’s target returns fire on them.
The fight continues, Jesse finally killing a rifleman next to Churiba and his Lt.
The Beverly’s drop their target as Jake drops one on the flank.
One of the men at their center sees the futility of the situation, comes to his crazed senses and attacks Churiba’s Lt. “you ruined my life!!” The Lt. cuts him to ribbons.
Churiba guns down one of the Menonite rifleman pair on our left high ground. He and Ron had become somewhat of pals, and Ron is super pissed watching him fall from the height into the river.
Jake rushes across the creek, followed by the Beverly’s, to cut off Churiba’s rear exit; Dog’s fire drops one, leaving one remaining on that flank. Their right side vs our sneakers is a knock down drag out fight.
Churiba heads out the rear!! He sees the Beverly’s but not Jake. They all open fire and all plug him. He is so shocked he tries to duck and dodge, allowing us to plug him a couple more times. Churiba then recovers his senses to charge Jake, but Dog slings a vicious insult at him something about fighting like a man or “everyone everywhere will call you the biggest yellow belly in Central America” making him turn on Dog and fire. Later Will will correct him that we’re in Mexico.
Dog “That’s close though.”
Will “Well, north Mexico, not far across the border really. But whatever you want buddy.”
Dog brings down the last cultists on that flank.
Dong is forced to withdraw, exactly out of wound.
Jake, as Churiba is just turning his attention back on him, hits Churiba DEAD!
Chief then has to bow out, leavind Dyo and Wei vs 5, with the menonite firing support.
Boththe Bev’s move up and put a bullet each into Churiba. Ron finishes off Chruuiba’s LT with his knife then charges across the Ridge, joining into the melee to help Wei and Dong, crit DEAD to the first he attacks.
Chief fires in with his rifle now.
Dyo then withdraws, leaving Ron and Wei now!
Ron kills another, as does the menonite!
Billy arrives, 1 pistol reloaded, and fires into the fight DEAD. 1 remains with no escape. He hits Ron before he and Wei massacre him.

Rest at village through the night.

July 29 to 30

There are only a couple wagons here, after those used for posessions and supplies the Menonites took for the rescued, so much of the treasure we’ll have to leave. We go through it all, packing up what we can get out with. We will be leaving a portion with the Menonites for the now orphaned children.
We also discuss the possibility of making several forays here for all of it before we go back home. We’ll decide that by once back in town. Plus there’s the loot under the 1st temple. If we can blast the caves shut before the living flames can attack, it’s all ours as well!

Total loot: we figure some 3000lbs of gold from the various chambers in all!!! Enough of it in small forms, but there are others like a mask weighing a few hundred pounds and such we are forced to leave behind at least for now.
We take all we can, starting with larger we can transport and any pieces of obvious cult motif, to be melted down back home.
Total lbs = 300 which we will split evenly, including Anne; Wei declines.

Jake and Will will agree that if word gets out about all this gold before we get it out ourselves someone bad will come from the military/gov’t/bandits to get it. We need to get it out now. We tell the Menonites once back in town, who will use their rangers to bring it in little by little and secretly. Will gives them many tips on how to use it so as to attract least attention from the evil Mexican authorities and bandits.

Jake wants much of the loot to go to those whose homes and ranches have been previously burned out by the cult, those who have been hurt or maimed or lost loved ones, etc; as well as the orphaned village children, hospital, etc.

Then we head for home, arriving Aug 16.

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Mountains in Flames: Temple of the Fire Vampires

July 17

We head up into the hills.
SierraMadreMts.jpg
Red Throat, Klaus Apache pal, comes as well. He guides the burrow.
In evening, we rest, before we get into the rough country tomorrow. He stops us at a good cave for resting.
We leave 2 guards at the mouthof the cave, and 2 inside awake. 1 at back end of the cave, 1 near the horse area, its a large side alcove.

During the first watch, Johnson puts his hand in the licks of the fire. Jake leaps up from not quite asleep and pulls his arms out but they’re alread burnt.
Ron rushes in, Nick too telling Jesse to stay put. Dog is now doing the same.
Jake holding Johnson “Put the fire out!” Nick begins to do so as Ron gets Dog away. He isn’t burnt yet.
Dog turns and grabs at Ron, grasping his throat “The fire monster!! Aaagghh.”
Will rushes over and spashes water in Dog’s face.
Bracada helps nick hold Johnson down.
Ron miraculously breaks free!
Dog yells “Don’t hold me back, Jack. Stop holding me back!”

Dog is mass jumped by a lot of us.

Nick returns to the front, and Jesse thinks he saw Red Throat messing with Dog’s canteen earlier. He was just near it, moving some stuff that I saw, but now I think he was up to something.
Billy suggests killing them all.

Dog and Johnson fail to snap out of it, we have to tie them up tightly.
Back to our guard positions.
In the rear, Ron hears a noise from further in. He sees a vague figure approaching.
He calls to it “Hold”. Small person, about 5’2". It doesn’t stop, so he fires rifle crit 29 DEAD. A swarm of them come pooring out. We wake at the shot.
Ron draws and begins firing. It’s an unhealthy sound as the bullets go in.
Ron lets them drag him away in a net, wanting to see where they take him.
Others chuck spears at those rushing for the gunfire. Jake and Billy at the head, Chief and Penn with them as Jake yelled for him to follow. Luke, the npc’s, Will and Anne stay at camp.

We fire back. Jake drops 2 and wounds 2. Chief finishes one of them off. Billy blazes away wounding 4 of them. The ranger wounds 1. They hurl their last spears at us hitting only Penn.
We fire again, we drop a few more.
That’s 8 dead, they flee. We reload and give chase.

We hear yelling and laughing ahead. The cave goes deeper to a place where the walls, floor and ceiling are finished stonework, strange symbols on the walls.
One of the men with Ron starts to spasm and falls down. He splits as the other watch at the film. The 2 halves are still alive!! Some of others carry the 2 halves in another direction, each half growing something out of it.

We come to steps going downward and descend. The open into a large rectangular chamber, carvings on them seem to squirm and wriggle. A broken obsidian obelisk lies in the middle of the room.
The men we were chasing are amongst the rubble and charge as we enter.
We fire first, dropping 5. Chief drops one as they engage him and rush past. He gets AoO on 2 others hitting 1.
2 engage Billy, 1 on the ranger, 2 on Jake.
The ranger, with close combat shot, kills one as Jake and Billy attack with daggers.
One of Jake’s steps over to Penn.
The ranger drops another as Chief kills his, steps to one of Billy’s and engages it.
That one turns to chief.
Ranger out of rounds pulls his dagger as well.
It takes a few more rounds still to finish them off.

3 passages lead out, Chief after a minute thinks they went to the right with Ron. A short passage leads to a room, circular flaming pit. The room is full of steam.
4 fungi men appear, dressed in robes. Priests? 2 around either side of the pit, threatentingly wielding long sticks with symbols at the head. Something large looms behind them. Humanoid, very tall, cone shaped head with a ropy strand of some sort hanging from its pinnacle.
Chief moves forward, engaging both priests on our left. Jake steps back and fires upon the creature. Billy and Penn each fire upon another priest both DEAD. Chief and Billy’s rip a clip drops one of Chief’s.
Jake slip hammers and drops the creature like a bad habit with one crit.
Chief tears up the last priest. We reload.
One exit, to our left. ALong the passage there is another hall cutting left, and doors at the end of this one. Chief checks the marks and says they turned left. It leads to a 4 way intersection. Chief leads us right into a room with a fountain. On opposite side is an exit into another room with an underground stream and a huge white tree.
Hanging from the tree are half dozen creatures, from 1’ to 7" tall, hanging from the tendril at the top of their heads.
Ron is here as well, a horde of his kidnappers as well about to tie him to a cross covered in old dried blood. He sees us.

We also hear running footsteps behind us. Chief runs headlong into 4 just inside the door.
Ron, obviously counting on us finding him in time, uses their turned attention to climb up the cross and into the tree (card) then plugs one of them below. Jake in the doorway kills the one chief hit and damages another on the right flank of the tree. Ranger moves in on teh right, Billy left, and they fire. Billy drops one.
11 throw their spears at Ron. 1 hits home.
The rest rush us.
Only 2 are left up front after 2 rounds.
The rest throw at Ron again, hitting 3 times.
Mad Dog rushes into the room!! He had woken up, and followed the gunfire as fast as he could. He goes right at the men to the trees left. He fires a barrel of his scattergun DEAD
As we fire, a few more rush Penn, a gang climbs into the tre after Ron.
Ron hits one 15. We drop all but 3 remaining, 1 on Dog, one on the ranger.
We begin firing into the tree.
Dog finishes his last man, and grabs the legs of the lowest enemy in the tree. He pulls him down, ripping him in half at his artificial middle!! as Jake and Billy start dropping foes in the tree.
After we finish them off, Ron gets out of the tree.

We hear horns blowing from the halls. No time to return, we have to use the ranger’s dynamite now. We put all 6 around the tree, Ron helps set it and we take off. It blows the tree off its roots. The creatures mew and drip goo as we leave.
We need to get back for extra ammo so we head straight for camp.

We tell everyone what happened as we load up with ammo, weapons and dynamite. The anthropologist joins us. The whole gang comes down. The npc’s stay put at camp. The ranger stays with us though.

The anthropologist is astounded at the carvings. We start looking for enemies. First we come to a large bunk room. 50 or more have partial fungi men growing. So, they split in half and the halves grow into full bodies. We cut them to ribbons.
Then we come to a kitchen and dining room. 2 giant coneheads wait for us here. We blow one to hell in a coupel rounds, while the other grags Dog and pulls him into a grapple. Once the first is down after smacking Ron a couple times for hefty damage, Jake shoots Dog’s and Ron stabs it.
Penn and Billy fire into the grapple as well, all 3 with Precise Shot. Dog struggles but we bring it down.
Reloads.
A few more turns further, we come to big doors blocked by 10 of the little guys. They warn us to come no further, their king is behind this door.
Benjamin rushes forward to them stops, turns and yells “No! Do not slay a new race!”
The gang steps to the front, Dog suddenly unloads his scattergun staggering him. He turns to the others “My friends I will protect you!”
We firestorm killing them all and blowing the doors in. Penn is in some awe.
Jake “Reload.”

We enter the king’s chamber. Empty throne, 1 large door and 2 smaller doors. We go throught he large door first into a 20×25 room. A hall cuts back at our left, an unfinished cave, and a well in the middle of the room.
Back to teh small doors. The first is an empty apartment. The other houses one of the little things “I am the king.” He’s crying.
Will “Fungi can cry?”
“Our race has been here for millions of years, my line goes back unbroken before there were even humans. I recognize that kidnapping and crucifying people to our eldritch gods is wrong, Let me live, and I will leave with the rest of my people, if any survived, and go deep into the earth never to return again.”
Jake “Dog.”
Dog feels bad suddenly about ending a species.
We are shocked.
Billy finishes the king off.

We smell teh same smell of the shaggoth from down the well!
Apparently, no water in the well.
Where is the fountain getting water from?
We go back to the stream. We search the rest of the place, all empty.

Back to camp at the cave. We will remember to report this Investigators about the writings, and shaggoth.

July 18

We get some real rest, sleeping in the next morning, not leaving until after lunch. We tell Luke and Will to check Red Throat’s stuff as soon as they get the chance for any drugs and such. And everyone “keep your canteens with you”.
Unfortunately, he wears his pouch at all times.
So, we confront him instead. He said he gave them “cure”.
Luke “For what?”
“Crazy.”
He says we must have watcher while using Bachana.
Jake knows it as something most indians are deathly afraid of, the plant’s song will supposedly drive one mad. But, if already cut, it is safe for its herbal properties.
He says it was mistake, he did not know they would drink before sleep. Thought to guide them on spirit trip to cure them of craziness.
He has 3 more, it’s very rare. You grind it up, put it in water. Whle under its influence you are dangerously attracted to fire and become crazy. But if you fall asleep you’re fine. Either way, gain d8 sanity. You can make spirit journeys, speak with the dead, percieve the invisible world, visit the dreamlands.
Jake asks if we can have some, and he gives us one. Great to use on a person with 0 sanity.

Deeper into the rough country we go, into the Sierra Madre’s. We come to a large forest fire!! We retreat. We see some of the natives who have set the fire, started in almost 2 dozen places at once just when we were approaching. We have to move fast!!
Luke is slowest at reacting on horseback, and is caught in the rear. He rides out of the smoke toward us, Ron is at our rear and rides towards him. Just as he gets beside him a shot meant for Luke that may have taken him down, and sounds like a buffalo rifle, hits Ron.
We take cover quick as wel can and dismount, getting them behind cover as well. Jesse pulls out his buffalo rifle “I’ll be right back.” He head off.
Jesses sets in a position but can’t sight the sniper, but a shot is fired at him but misses. The cat and mouse continues. Again he outspots Jesse but hits his cover. More hiding and spotting. Jesse is shot at again, but missed again.
This time Jesse spots him several minutes later and fires, hitting true 18 DEAD with the enemy aiming at him simultaneously.

After about 30 minutes, Jesse returns triumphant.
Soon, we can get around the fire. We stop at a pristine looking pool at night, and a cave with primitive stone wall at the outside.
Klaus does not know who this once belonged too.
There are half dozen skeletons at least 100 years ago lie inside. They look like primitive society type things. Older than modern native culture.
At the back of the cave, some kind of writing on the wall and a stacked row after row of mummies. Another place to tell the Investigators about.

Also, 5 panels on the wall with pics .
1) Star above with men and women worshipping it from below by a large building below a notched peak. Klaus say that is El Pico Dentato, right where the enemy lives.
2) Terrible burning wheel; connected to teh star by a long twisting line
3) people are consumed by smaller versions of the wheel of flame
4) a hero with a large knife stands among native priests. One feeds the hero what looks liek bachana, the other poors something into his ear from a vessel
5) the hero is at the castle and has cut the line tween the star and the wheel; it is disappearing. Something we may have to do later.

We camp here. Uneventful night.

July 19

Outside, Red Throat lies dead by the pool of water. The bachana is still on his person. Someone has poisoned the pool or it was already bad water.
No one else drank anywater from it yet.
As we are readying to leave, and old woman with a walking stick creaks into camp.
She says the great spirit told her to come and find us, she is a brewha. Her face is 2/3 painted red.
Klaus says to ignore her, just a senile old b&$#.
Jake “What can you do to help us old woman.”
“Offer me tea” and she sits down.
Jake isn’t sure if we have tea, but of course Luke has some. He makes her a cup.
She drinks and claims she had a dream; that men would come seeking the skull of a great warrior and his treasure of gold. And the great fire monster, the god of fire, would appear, and burn all creation. This will happen on the northers slope of el pico dentado, at the Red Castle.
Jake “Is this where Chiriba lives?”
“Yes. The fire monster comes, and only a great hero can stop it.”
WIll “What is this skull you’rt talking about?”
“YOu will find us at the red mountain.” She speaks some strange tongue then, including the word Cthulhu. “They come, the great old one come” meaning Cthugha. But, Wichuri can stop him." From her medicine bag she removes a smelly white pulpish stuff. That is Wichuri, she begs us to take it and use it.
NIck “HOw?”
“Like this” you put it in your ear. Gives you clear vision, to see all that is unseen, the connections tween people and creatures, the earth and the stars.
Jake “What about the bachana?”
“You must use it with wichuri. Then” chopping motion.
She gets up and wanders away.
Jake “Thank you crone.”
Will “That was weird.”
As she walks away, she reaches the top of the hill and crests it, she seems to disappear before she should have walked out of sight.
Jake “Good thing you had that tea, Luke.”

We move out.

Klaus says we are only about 10 miles away. We approach by midafternoon and can smell burning.
We creep up, getting close to nightfall. At the edge of a clearing we spy an old tiered pyramid, a flat roof about 100’ around. Natives stand atop it with torches, some mexicans, some white men. Others walk across our field of view with torches as well heading for the wide steps up to the top. On edge of the platform at the top we see a skull atop a huge pile of gold ingots. A bonfire rages in teh middle of the roof; thick metal rods, red hot, are pulled and they burn each other with them in their ecstasy.
Appears to only be steps on this side.
Jake “Well, everybody ready.”
We need a brewha for the ceremony.
Warren comes forward and says “I am a brewha.”
That’s right, he is a bit of a spellcaster. The magic killed my mother and sisters, so he has learned it to fight back.
Jake “It’s on you then.” He knows the rituals, he can do it. We’re not sure if we can trust him though.
John steps forward “I can solve this easily. The voice of god does not speak lightly.” He pulls his bowie knife and tells us all to surrender, we’ll go to the cult and join the cult of truth.
We put our hands up, Jake bluff him out and fast draws. Billy notices and draws, putting a bullet through Johnson’s jaw shattering it as Jake puts one directly between his eyes DEAD.
Jesse will cover us from down here, it’s a healthy distance to the top but well lit by torchlights.

CobaPyramidMex.jpg

We turn to attack quickly, since our ambush has been ruined.
Kaus pulls his shotgun out, aims it at Warren and pulls the trigger.
CLICK/CLICK” “Oh F&%#& I have failed the master!”
Dog fires both barrels DEAD.
Ron jumps in front of Warren.
No one else is a turncoat.

They are ready for us, 15 ranks of three down the steps in our way. Dog, Dyo and Chief charge as we unleash from the treeline onto the steps. Wei follows firing his revolvers.
Jesse however fires at their top. The men on the top have rifles and fire back, those on the steps have bow and spear.
A flaming body runs off the side of the pyramid tumbling to his death in the first half minute.
We hear cries of pain as well as ecstacy continue from the top.
The fight wages on, and Luke has to crawl away wounded into full cover.
Some people are up there who don’t want to be tortured, others up there do, it seems.
Dog, Dyo, and Chief work their way up the steps, rank by rank, as we take foes down within their ranks blocking their path.
Jesse has basically picked off a rifleman per round on the top.
Later, Jake has 5 skilled rifleman firing at him, and he ducks out for full cover. Bracada, Ron, and Billy charge up the steps as our 3 melee are nearing the roof.
Jake and the ranger, both low on fatigue, run to either side of the steps taking cover at the base.
The fight gets to 1 man on the steps.
A group of their prime rifleman move in to block our melee from reaching the top and fire into melee. Chief is hit, maneuvers and they hit their last man 3 times DEAD.
Our melee engage at the edge of the roof, the ones behind shoot now at the edge rifleman. Jake and Penn begin to climb the steps. Wei tumbles into their ranks at the top unleashing his kung fu.
A fantastic sniper and the priest, now showing up to fire, bring Bracada down!
Agonizing screamd still coming from around the fire.
Jake kneels and fires on the sniper DEAD!
Billy unleashes lead, finishing off one of Wei’s hs has badly damaged.
Jesse kills from the jungle line.
Luke fires a desparate shot out of the junge and fires his rifle upward miss
Chief crits with his tomahawk DEAD then hits another with his knife.
Dog has picked a man up, and is about to toss him over the edge.
Only 7 left now, plus the priest. 2 on each of Wei, Dyo and Chief. Dog’s fails to grapple him in return.
The priest yells “You shall not pass!” and bursts in flame, fire vampires popping from him like popcorn. He is left standing, wielding a flaming sword, transformed.
He’s in horrible pain, flesh fried. He is also large size.
Dog hurls his man downward off the ledge. He bounces down 4 ledges DEAD. Dog moves to the platform
Dyo kills 1; Billy fires on the priest 14 and 12; Nick fails to pass the dR of a fire vamp; Will misses another as does Penn; Jake almost kills one with slip hammer; Chief hits his man twice. The Beverly brothers move to the base of the steps.
The priest picks up a large rock, which becomes flaming, and hurls it at Ron, going right past Jake’s head; the fire vampires all settle around Dyo.
Will fails to bypass the DR, Nick misses; Penn draws his pistol and double taps a FV finishing Jake’s. Dyo has trouble getting through the DR in melee. Billy starts to reload.
Jake slip hammers a FV DEAD; Ron hits one DEAD; Dog bullrushes another off the ledge, sending him hurtling off hte ledge so far he misses the first and almost the next ledge before he hits, but lives; Chief misses twice!
The priest leaps down onto the steps with a flaming sword next to Penn and Jake. He slays Penn with 1 mighty blow!
Bracada has self stabalized!
The FV miss Dyo again.
Dog steps over to the last on Wei and grabs him from behind easily into a full Nelson, whereupon Wei throttles him with a vicious kick across the head DEAD; Will hits the priest, Nick misses. Jake moves down a few steps out of the priest’s reach and fires 19, a shot disarming the blade! It bounces all the way down the steps in front of Nick and Will.
He turns toward Jake and his fallen blade, and Billy gets an easy shot in on him. Jesse hits the priest 8.
We see now another high priest at the very back of the temple, who walks into the light, surrounded by a field of energy: the true high priest!!
The last 2 priests are still fighitng Dyo and Chief.
Dog charges into the field and bounces off 5. Jesse hits the priest 20; the Beverlys both miss him; Billy fires into the FV killing 1, and hits Anne’s priest; Jake hits the priest 18; Ron hits cultist vs Dyo. Anne kills 1 of the mexican priests with Bowie.
Jesse starts to lead Warren up the steps to do his ritual!
The guy Dog tosses comes around the corner toward the Beverlys.
The Flaming Priest hits Ron with his fist 12.
Jake hits the flaming priest 20; Nic crits the running cultist DEAD. Dyo hits his cultist crit DEAD. He advances up with Dog.
Billy fires at the last FV DEAD but misses the flame priest. Ron slip hammers the flaming priest 16. Dog is trying to figure out the shield.
Jesse hits the flaming priest 14 DEAD; Dog pulls his scattergun and pops in 2 juju rounds
Jake “Jesse, great shot, get up here!”
Chief heads over to the shield.
2 more rounds, Warren arrives. Jake checks Bracada, finds him still alive, but Penn is dead.
Jese and Billy glance into the poral as Warren yells “Don’t look into the vortex”. Its a flaming vortex.
Jake “He’s not bringing Cthugha through, we know that for sure.” A large spectral tentacle begins slithering in the air, moving for him.
Dog fires double juju rounds into the portal. It pops. Jake and Billy’s readied actions fire at the priest, and Chief hits him from the side opposite Dog. Billy hits twice, Jake once DEAD!! The portal fizzles to a close immediately!!!
Warren suffers 2 con damage.
All is quiet.
Jake “Fine fighting, boys.”
We rescue the last few sacrificial victims still alive, but they are horribly burned. 1 so bad, she wishes only for death. Jake puts her out of her misery.
We will take Penn’s body back with us, to arrange for it to be sent north to the Ranger HQ. Bracada is out of the adventure as well.

July 20

First, into the temple. There is an entrance here at the top. The inside feels warmer than it should be, immediately.
Chief is patrolling the perimeter, Jesse spots from the roof. Will and Luke will also stay out to look after the wounded.
The rest of the gang enters.

Some time after we go in, Chief spots an injun, surely one of Churiba’s, stalking around. He has a rifle with him, he is looking for a sniping spot. Chief ambushes him and cuts him to ribbons.

Inside, we go down a turning staircase, it feels like we are going deeper than the pyramid itself is tall. It leads to a long pillared temple room, full of gold artifacts!!
We plunder, while Mad Dog keeps watch on the 2 other passages out.
Soon, as we are still gathering loot, he sees gangs of red eyes from both directions stalking in toward us.
Then, a shimmering flame appears near the altar, and moves to it.
Mad Dog lets loose, blowing one to smithereens. They charge him.

fire_vampires.jpg

Jake and Billy each hit with a blessed round, but both for minimum! Then it attacks Anne!! But misses with its 2 attacks. Nick and Ron then fire at it as well.
They cut into Dog good, but he grabs one and crushes it to death, then proceeds to hit a Mo Fo with another Mo Fo.
Another ghoul enters the fray as well.
Wei ducks, rolls out of the fray and misses with a shot. Jake hits it 17 with a blessed again; Billy hits twice 12 blessed, his last.
It turns, and goes after Billy, hitting once 10 and 4 fire.
Jake finishes it off.
Dog is getting cut to shreds, but has killed several already.
Nick turns and drops a ghul, Ron moves closer and hits one.
Anne moves forward and kills one too.
Dog clubs one of the 2 left, more are coming again. He kills it. 3 others move in, and 2 come out of no where from behind us to the sides of the altar, rushing to Wei.
Dog is leeking blood.
NIck drops one on Dog, Jake kills 2, Dog kills another. Ron rushes to leap atop the last on Dog with his knife, gun empty.
Billy doubletaps to help Wei killing one, they finishe it.
The last turns to Ron now. Dog is not in good shape but it missed completely. Another comes down the steps behind us by the altar.
Jake and Billy reload. Nick hits the new one but it keeps coming. Wei draws and fires as it moans some gibberish DEAD. Ron kills the last on Dog.
Nick starts reloading, as does Dog.
4 more coming from the altar side.

Ron charges into one side with his knife rather than reload. We fire and take them all down along with Ron’s charge.
They keep coming and coming in gangs of around a half dozen. WE keep mowing them down.
After a minute or 2 straight, it is obvious this could continue for far too long. We retreat back upward and out, closing it up behind us.
We plan to wait a day or 2, come back once they are gone from the temple, blow the 2 tunnels they were coming down from then loot at our leisure.

We send Nick, our toughest and best rider, riding hard on our best horse back to town for the Menonite rangers. Wei and Chief are sent forward to scout Churiba’s ranch.

Bracada, w/o a doctor here, is likely mortally wounded. He insists we go forward with the plan, and get Warren back home. Knows we must leave him here to die. If by some miracle he lives upon our return, we can take him back. But we can’t take him back nor continue with him. We will have to leave him here.

July 21

Continue resting at camp. Late, Nick arrives at the Menonites and explains the situation.

July 22

Menonites outfit and ride out with Nick in afternoon.
Continue resting at camp. An arrow hits the ground at the feet of Ron, on watch. A note on it explodes when opened in a fiery explosion. He regrets volunteering for this shift now. From the sky a vile cackle replies to the scene. A humaniod feather birdman, female for sure.
Ron “You winged bitch!”
It flies away.

Mid day, our scouts come to a pass with a single 2 story building, stream with waterfall and waterwheel that hasn’t worked in years by the look of it. We could easily sneak past, but there are people inside and 2 outside. We sneak past and continue on.
Few more miles to a rough wooden shrine to the virgin mary. Looks well kept oddly. shallow cave nearby, where we meet a bearded figure covered in rags.
“I have no name. I gave up my name as everything else when I came into these hills to gain enlightenment and learn the ways of God.” The one god, the Christian god. “The devil worshippers have no power over me.” The Madonna protects him from all evil. He came from a wealthy family, his name was Juan Ortego, famous taco makers. He was supposedly killed by Indiand years ago.
He smells really bad of body odor and feces. His matted hair is almost to his waste, long beard with bugs crawling around in it. “I am a friend to all the lords beasts.”
For as ugly as he is, the shrine is that pristine.
“Come, pray at my most holy inshrined house of worship.”
Chief prays at the shrine. Juan puts a cross on his forehead with a stinky oil. For next day, there is a plus 4 to smell him. But, he is a plus 2 to all d20 rolls as well as damage, for 24 hours. He warns us to go no further up the path, for the village and temple of great evil are there. Of golden evil. “Touch not the gold! It is cursed! Owned by evil.”
If you go up the path, a great horrific tiger will kill you. He probably means a cougar. It’s his great nemesis, lurks out there always watching. Though it can get no closer than 100 yards of shrine.
He says Churiba and his men are all evil! They had a priestess from the town, now dead giving birth to an abomination which prepares to conquor all of Chihuahua. The natives fall to their knees and worship it!
His dinner is rancid old meat that he found lying about. God has given him the ability to eat the nastiest stuff and get proper nourishment, though that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t like a treat.
We come clean that our men are here to destroy this evil. He offers to do a mind meld with one of us, for which Wei volunteers.
Wei feels a powerful presence flow into his brain. It only lasts a few moments. Ortega leans back and says now he knows we are telling the truth.
Wei feels like he has a natural affinity for the natural world, who are innocent to him. Even insects. He’ll feel bad if the campfire kills insects. He also feels a spiritual affinity with the Christian God.
Juan prays into a trance now. When he comes out of it he tells us Churiba has about 50 men; women and children are kept elsewhere far away from the evil area.
“Beware the flying demon.” A birdlike humanoid female with a bow. There are cultist monks up there as well who have come from far away.
We figure Japanese.
He has a village of mexican peasants who may or may not be innocent who supply the temple.
“It’s the duty of your group to lift the curse” but suggests we go back rather than keep moving forward.
After goodbyes we move on.

Later we stop to rest and hear a noise! We spring up at the ready, a werecreature looking humanoid steps out “Now you die and I feast.”
We engage, Wei sweep kicks him followed by a heel kick to the chest. Chief flanks with tomahawk and dagger striking twice.
It fights us from the ground, but as we continue to hit, it leaps up taking 2 heavy AoO.
He tumbles away and retreats, we charge and hit him again!
He goes into a rage! Turning back upon Chief and bites his left let ferociously. Chief goes down!! Wei then takes him down, coup de grace finisher. He drags Chief back to Juan’s shrine and calls for Juan. He smears a horrific salve all over his leg. Over the next few hours it begins to bind the wounds together.
Wei hoofs it back too the gang.

July 23

Rest at camp.

July 24

Early afternoon, Nick arrives with Menonites. Wei arrives and reports.
Bracada is no better. He will die soon.

July 25

On trail.

View
Mountains in Flames: In the Heat of San Antonio

June 14

Frisco crew back at Riverside.
We wait for word of jobs from a Wang, and our intel.

Jake gets letter from Gen. Amos Dundee, of Tx army.
Had run in with him around Fort Griffin in the old days.
Paraphrase: He is now retired. It begs us to come see him on an important matter. During Civil War, he was a union major of prison camp in Tx. He chased an Apache Sierra Churiba into Mexico and defeated his band. But Churiba survived unknown to anyone else. During my famous incursion into Mex. in 1878 I again faced him but he again escaped. It is important he finds someone to go to Mex. and kill him. Were I able, I’d ride with you. I rely on you to end the last of the Chiraqaua Apache. He knows he can not pay a man such as Jake what he deserves, but Churiba has gold hidden in the mts, it will be ours if we can find it. Expedition will depart from El Paso in about 30 days time, preparations are already made.

A visit to the local newspaper tells us a few months ago a house fire in Austin killed his entire family but one son.
Billy “So, we go into Mexico, kill and evil bastard and come back with limitles gold.”
Nick “Sounds perfect.”

Jake sends response that we will be there to see him.
He returns a note: associates of his will join us, they are good men and bad company. Southern Chihuahua is the destination, and feels our expertise is perfect for this ask.
Luke reluctantly decides to accompany us. Jim Beam and crew will remain to start their job when information from Anne funnels in.

We spend weeks looking for Chief and find him!!!

A few weeks later we travel to see Dundee. Jake, Billy and Jesse go to talk to him. A few others are there as well, he introduces:

  • Anacelto Bracada, once a Mexican officer but worked with Dundee before as scout, guide, interpreter (speaks Mexican and several Indian languages; fearless follower of Dundee and carries his sword; very badly burned on arm and part of face; does not talk of why.
  • Heavy black man John Johnson, once African American manservant of Dundee’s wife; now out for vengeance; has Warren’s back big time; also burned.
  • Warren Dundee: his son; he is 19 years old; away at Yale during fire; here to avenge dead mom and sisters; he is out for revenge and its obvious.
  • Julius Penn, used to fight apaches as a Tx Ranger; now on ‘leave’; a ‘one riot, one ranger’ type.
  • Tsomu Dyo: Jap; one of the 526 japanese who emigrated to TX from Mexico in 1878; one of those that came to Santa Anna’s Mexico, realized the death cult it was really for, and fled to Tx.

First, Jake apologizes for “all the problems I may have caused” him in the past. Though we never met personally, only through actions and rep.
He says “If you manage to pull this off all is forgiven.”
He says one reason he needs us, besides the obvious, is that none of these men are leaders. We are in charge.

Chihuahua is temperate and dry. It pays tribute and manpower to captitol and Deathless Santa Anna. Pretty much run by warlords, especially in wilder part. Churiba is one of them. His 2nd in command is Mexican Major Marcano Chimones.
Sierra Madre del Morte Occidental Mts feared for centuries by locals: rumors of satanists, cultists, and degenerates are rife; lots of disappearances and tragedies long into the past.
And that’s where we are going, Churiba’s territory.
We pack up on ammo, TnT and equipment. Pack mules for the TnT for stability.
1000 rounds of ammo/person on averge. Billy 2 or 3 times that.

July 12

We arrive city of Chihuahua same day we leave El Paso, today via train. It will be 50 miles across desert west to San Antonio, Mex. from here.
Stay the night here and leave in morning.

July 13

Morning we are about to leave, Bracada introduces 2 mexicans Pedro and Paco, our guides, He knew them in the old days. They know the area in the mts to take us up to.
“Dundee didn’t say anything about this.”
We leave. The 2 guides ride point. About noon, a scream from ahead. 1 of them has fallen off his horse, screaming. The other turns to haul ass to us, gives huge bellow of pain. He burst open, a flame spewing forth from his torso! A writhing lick of flame, free from his body now, comes toward us.
Billy doubletaps and hits true, it flickers. A dart of flame flies past Billy, singing some hair and lightly charring one side of his face.
Jake hits it next, another flicker. Ron, Nick and Dog hit it and it puffs out of existance.
Dog checks the other mexican, who drops his pants. He has 3rd degree burns down the outside of his leg.
We put him on his horse and send him back to town.
So, this is what burned Dundee’s house down. Jake turns and intimidates Bracada. He is here for one reason To kill Marcana Chimones and get rich off the gold. He was aid de camp for Dundee, but there things happening he hasn’t told us. There is a terrible cult in those hills, for some reason Dundee and the cult are at war.
“Why wouldn’t he tell us the specifics.”
He figured none would believe him.
Bracada wants to find out what is going on up there to protect Dundee as well. Chimones used his samurai sword to behead both Bracada’s parents back in the day!! We turn to Johnson, who insists on knowing nothing about any cult. He is only here to make sure Warren gets home to his dad alive after he failed to save the others. The flames did act like the flame we just saw!!
“Thank you, finally. No more bullshit or you can turn around.”
Warren “That is all bullshit.”
Jake “You weren’t even home. Just a bunch of devil worshipers.”
He insists this was a trick of the desert.

We press on.

July 14

Uneventful travel

July 15

We arrive tonight in San Antonio. One hotel in town, the dilapidated Colibri. We park our mounts and walk inside. A stout man comes out from around the front desk welcoming us. Jesus Harara, mayor. And owner of hotel.
We get rooms and our horses stabled and fed.
He says North and NW are Menonite settlements, from Canada. Main one is Manitoba. SW and South is the area called Little Nagasaki, the japanese. Otherwise Mexicans. Apache live in mts.
He wishes not to talk about the tales of horror connected to the mts.
Barmaid says Harara is the last survivor of his family. All wiped out, hacienda destroyed by Chiriba and Chimones. Mayor is their avowed enemy.
Jake gets him to open up about the cults. He says trust no one. He sits with us. Devil worshipers, he calls them. Names a place of a big massacre a couple years ago. Most recently they have attacked menonites but leave japanese alone.
Small bands have gone into the hills; they don’t return, or a few do with tales of fire and slaughter. Other than a lot of unexplained fires, no evils come to or around the city really.
There is a trade school in town, agriculture and also steam engines, built on grounds of old spanish mission; also a hospital with a large dedicated burn unit.

Cheif watches until about 1am for anyone leaving town for the mts (informants) but no one does.

July 16

Luke and Dog to hospital. He meets a young pretty nurse named Gabriella, happy to tell that whole hospital funded by Menonites. Hospital free for everyone.
Desert in the Menonite area rapidly becoming a paradise. She just doesn’t understand why so many burn patients. Most die, few burn to death on the spot. They all suffer.
Lots of people in town have burns. She finds Mad Dog a somewhat capable medic. She has also heard of the talk of devil worship in the hills, and strange lights in the mts. Some farmers here now, burned in mysterious fires after threatening by Apache. A couple indians with burns who refuse to talk.
One indian willing to talk, she warns he’s a spinner of tall tales. He says he had a pair of fine goats, the apache bandits came for them and everything else they owned. He refused, so their sorcerer burned him with flame from his very hands. The sorcerer was Chimenes. “He comes from an ancient tribe of evil villains, worship a ball of living fire! If you meet a person in the hills named Alma Rodriges, they are a genuine brewhah, powerful, a good person who may help you”. Difficult to find, he may find us. His family still there, but they took the goats. Have nothing but a small corn field left, we’ll likely starve he says.

jake stops at trade school with NIck and Ron. Operator is Herberto Uriarte. Says he was a great man once, had chair of history at Univ. of Mexico; opposed Santa Anna now relegated to teaching farming; its paid for by Menonites who have become very locally popular; still may have to leave thanks to Chiriba, recenlty burned an entire orchard of theirs. His library includes the diary of a General Dundee!! He lets us see it. Jake opens the wooden case, but its empty.
“Impossible! Someone has stolen it, why would someone do that!” No one ever read it.
He can think of no one in town who would want to steal it.
We start asking around, if anyone saw anything concerning the theft and when. About 30 students, plus his 2 or 3 assistants. A couple of students saw someone sneaking in last night. A young man, in dark clothing. He left back up the street to the hotel.
Luke “Dundee’s son.”
Jake “Good call.”

Jake back with professor “If we wanted to talk to these Menonites, who should we speak to?”
“Isaac Dyck, at the main place. Klaas Heide is their border scout leader. They call them rangers.”
Ron and Will learn that Chiriba and Chimones operate out of a ranch north of lake Bustillos; not a secret where they base from then.
There are villages in the hils that may have more info about Dundee’s former ops here; some have been burned out and deserted, others not. Menonites doing rebuilding in some of the ghost town ones.

Dyo has been talking to the beggars, digging for info. We have returned to hotel and Warren denies stealing the book. Dyo said a begger knows thing of interest.
Jake leaves Billy at hotel, round up everyone downstairs and the place is searched. Jake goes to talk to the beggar. Ron joins him, with Jesse. Dyo has to take a huge crap, hating beans, and he takes off fast after introducing us.
The beggar starts to chant, his whole side starts to blister. Jake draws and shoots him between the eyes. Too late, a living flame appears. His hut starts buring down. We run outside. Ron tosses a stick of TnT into the fire on the way out. This thing is easily 3 times bigger than the last.
Jake and Jesse fire revolver and winchester, respectively. Jesse’s gunshot goes through the flame, but knocks a basin of water off a nearby shelf. It falls into the monster. That hurt it pretty good. It goes after Jesse and hits him 18 and 7 fire. It hits Ron as well 12 and 10.
Jake and Jesse hit it twice, Ron once. It goes after Jake miss/11 plus 2.
Ron hits 7, Jake hits 17, Jesse finishes it off!!

His hovel burns to the ground. We find the journal in Dundee’s son’s room. He is not happy that we are reading it. Jake says he’s lucky he’s not getting pistol whipped into the dirt.
It describes a ritual in the mts which Dundee witnessed during the campaign of 1878.
We sit the kid down and question him. Bracada comes forward and tells him to take off his shirt. He refuses, and Bracada says ‘strip him’. Dog strips his shirt off revealing small circular burn scars, like part of a ritual.
The kid says some words and a burn on his skin sizzles. A small lick of fire vampire leaps from his finger and the kid says “Kill it before it attacks”.
Ron grabs a water and dumps it upon it DEAD.
‘Yes, I know the magic" sneering. "You don’t get it do you. My father learned the magic and used it in his campaigns. He thought he had destroyed the fire cult, but Churiba survived and it grew back. His agents killedy my family and I am here to destroy every last member of the cult using their own fire against them; and to protect my father’s secret."
Bracada insists he was burned fighting them, he’s no part of this; and Johnson the same, from trying to rescue the wife and daughter.
Bracada suspected this, but didn’t know. Johnson knew nothing.
Bracada thinks Dundee convinced Churiba he wanted to join the cult, during a period where he disappeared for several days. Returned a changed man. He must have figured it a good idea to use his enemies powers against the same enemy.

A French man named Benjamin, anthropologist, wants to find a lost race in the hills that he wants to find. They are called the Kuuta.
Jake “What makes you think they’re up there?”
“Come with me to the hospital. To the morgue.”
We follow. When we get there the Dr. refuses to show at first, but relents. They show us a body of a man, about 5’ 3"; body feels oddly mushy, has a line runing down the middle of his face like a scar. Down his body to his groin, and wraps back up the other side. No genitals!
Some kind of Edgar Suit. He says this is one of the tribe.
They open the autopsy wounds up. At first it looks like human. There are 2 hearts, 2 livers, 2 of everything. The 2 sides of his face look slightly different. Dog checks his teeth. He says the 2 sides are very close, but no cigar. There is also some kind of a film dividing him inside from front to back.
This reminds us in a way of the Uriel Mad Scientist.
We agree he can come. He shows us under a microscope, the cellular structure looks like a fungus.
Billy says you are not welcome if you are not willing to kill when necessary, or at least not stop us from killing.

We leave for the Menonites, and visit Isaac Dyke, their leader. He welcomes us in a deep voice. Billy ingratiates himself with him by speaking in some PA Dutch.
He calls them the Sha’a cultists, “they come down and burn everything.” They say they sent big balls of fire out of the darkness to burn fields and such. AKA Fire Vampires we assums.
He says if we go to destroy them we will need a guide.
Jake “I guess you have a guide for us?”
He sends for Klaus Heidi. He knows the hills. He thinks Churiba is involved, with the Mexicans, forming the Burning Cult.
Klaus enters and agrees, but warns it will be difficult and dangerous. It is no country for old men. Some, or all, may never return. Says water is scarce, he’ll supply kegs on a mule.
Asked about the Kuuta: never heard of them.

Tomorrow we head out.

View
Planning vs Haelstrom/New World

June 2

Entire Gang in Riverside. Awaiting us is Wei, with 7 Juju shotgun shells from Dr. John in New Orleans.
Will is going to Frisco to see the Tong, taking Wei, Nick, JW and Luke.
Anne to Chicago. Lo and Long have ID’d NY Will’s contact there who poofed away that last night, he still works at NW!! With her go Dog and Ron.

June 6

Anne in Chicago. Meet the man Gregory Benfield at his house. Will and Anne go inside. The Wangs see a man in a long cloak, hat down over his head, watching the apartment.
Says he can not help us directly, but can place an agent inside for us easily by getting them a job. Anne volunteers.

June 7

Anne gets the job in bookkeeping. Perfect!!
Wil goes back to NY. One of Lo and Long at least will watch over her. Dog and Ron go back to Riverside.
Week later, she is doing well. Finds out that important records on the probable deeper cult activities are kept on the next to the top floor, which she has no access to. But, she has access to all the info we need on shipping! It will only take a short time for her to feed us info.

June 9

Will in San Francisco:

Will meets with some old business partner friends who deal with Chinatown people Will has dealt with before. The Black Dragon Benevolence Society. By tonight we are being led through an underground complex to meet the 3rd in command of the Tong, Lin Su, who has met Will before. After some good back and forth about their last business deal which left Will with a full billfold, Will letting him know he is one of the 3 wisest men in California, and after a great haggle, it concludes with:
They will place a man with our squad to make sure their deal is met.
First 6 months of any profit is all ours. Next 6 months they get 20% of gold, silver, cash. After that, they get 40% of that. First month, which they say it will take to begin funnelling info, does not count.
He asks why we hate NW, Will says it is beyond any evil the Tong performs. Beyond understanding unless you have seen such horrors.
He says “Maybe if you hit NW hard enough, it’ll have an impact on Temco. A word of advice, speak to the New Moon Temple. Things may grow beyond what we now have.”
Temco?
“The next time you return Will Beverly, we should again match our skills at Go (oriental chess).”
“I look forward to that, as always Lin.”
He leaves it at that.
We leave.
We ask around about the temple. It’s downtown, been there a good 10 years. Leonard Baird, head of temple, used to be a homeless alcoholic. Used to say he had terrible dreams and visions of The Black Man!!

June 10

Chicago crew, sans Anne, return to Riverside.

San Francisco:
We visit the temple. A woman greet us, says we should give ourselves to the Black Man. We just wanna talk to Baird. In the main hall, grotesque statues stand all about the room. 1 an pharaoh, the bloody tongue aspect, bloated woman, etc…
SHe takes us to an audience chamber. The curtains part dramatically to a man in a normal dark suit, well kept scruffy face. In his eyes, Will sees the calmness of a sociopath. He has gained ‘true enlightenment’. He says he and dark one has been awaiting our coming. The Dark Man needs us vs the great fight coming to the Earth because we know the truth. ONly through the Dark Man can we be saves. It’s true, Harbinger is coming!!
Will “What’s this harbinger?”
“It is in the mysteries. Just know it is coming.”
He wants us to prove we are worthy “We need you to join with us in the orgy of destruction to save the earth”.
Nick “Why are we so important?”
“I am just the vessel, the darkman says you are important.”
Will “What do we have to do to stop them? And who is them?”
“Temco. Monarch. Red Dragon. The Tribunal. New World. An onion to be peeled. ALways there is someone else even the Dark One doesn’t know their true purpose or identity.” He says Cthulhu fears Harbinger, who is behind it ‘all’. We must work to stop it. He dismisses and dramically exits.
So, is it all lies? Only NW have we heard before.
We forward info to investigators in NY.

June 11 to 13

Will recalls hearing of Look to the Future and checks around about any former attendees not dead. He finds several! Tween them we get the same basic story. Got involved on a lark, deeper they got into it the more their self started slipping away. Enrire order exists for 2 reasons:
Provide some sort ofpower to this dark lord
Provide this lord with info to stop this coming apocalypse

All dropped out before went to the RItual of Longevity we were invited to. Once you do that there is no backing out.
We decide not to check it out further right now. Investigators seem like the experts to deal with this.

View
Privilegio

May 18

Jake rides to Promise City.
Houston should receive Jake’s letter today.
Overnight May 18/19, we arrive Privilegio and sleep; we’ll meet Marshal in morning.

May 19

Jake gets wire, come to capital or send representative to Penitentiary. They will be released to your care. Luke volunteers to go so the others can meet Billy et al asap. Jake, Jesse, and Ron leave on train south asap.

Marshal meets us quickly. Says town mostly made up of Mexicans and Indians.
Will "Why are they attacking over and over? What the hell do you have?
Just supplies; they raid every couple months. Next raid could be any day now coming up.
We get settled at the hotel. Get introduced around some, and then get some good rest.
Night, we are in a saloon across from marshal’s office:
see mayor, Dr. and 2 prominent men of town slip into the marshal’’s office. Billy walks over and knocks, asked to come in. They claim just friends sharing drink and converstion. They all leave.
Weren’t talking long, huh. Marshal Granger stays in office. Billy converses, sternly about hiding anything and being bullshited. He insists they were talking plans on aftermath of all of this, other business.
Billy leaves, asking to be invited to such things from now on.

May 20

Morning, Jake, Jesse and Ron ride for the town.

Start asking around about how the Bandits enter, details on the raids. There are a coulple nearby fords, but no particular direction other than that. Hills behind town, opposite Rio. They come in whooping and hollering.
Their leader is known as El Generalisimo. Bit stache; very impressive old military uniform, 2 rows of medals, bit shiny boots. He owns his own steamcar, he drive around in his home grounds. His fort there is the town, plus another nearby it. There may be a gov’t, but he’s in charge.
Folks say there have been 3 attacks; another 2; numbers killed don’t agree, neither do their individual stories of attacks and dead. They say dead have been burned.
Everything about this town is successful. Something is off here.
Billy says we will do nothing at all. If raiders come in and yelling, we sit on our asses. We tell the marshal nothing at all, but that we have our counter attack ready.

Late, Jake arrives with Jesse and Ron.

May 21

Luke arrives, Huntsville.

Marshal says scouts say a raid is coming!! Wants to know if we are ready.
Billy lies that the gattling gun is hidden in the coral and “stay away from our business, or you’ll be my business.” We have a covered wagon as the fake gattling gun, in the coral. In reality, we sneaked it last night into our rooms in its pieces.
When the banditos are approaching, our guards at the gattling gun ruse will just leave the post and return to the hotel.

May 22

10AM: Marshal says get gattling gu nready, ad dawn they crossed the Rio.
Billly tells him to get his men set up. Grainger says they will want to talk first so he’ll give the signal when to fire.
11AM: 40 Mexicans ride up to the town, armed to the teeth.
Obese man riding a big draft horse underneath him leads them, not Generalisimo. This is Sgt. Garcia. “So, Wyatt my friend, have you reconsidered?”
“No, the answers still the same.”
“What, you got 20 men? I bring 40. General say if you give us the staff, we let bygons by bygons and no blood is spilled.”
Wyatt insists he can’t do that.
Garcia “If I don’t come back with the staff, the General and his whole tin pot army will come back, kill everyone in this town.”
Wyatt says w/o the staff this town dies, “we’re in the middle of the desert”.
Garcia “No, w/o the staff, you die.”

Jake and Billy discuss: they have an artifact helping them out, linked to nature or luck. Why haven’t the bandits taken it already, if Garcia can just go back, tell the Gen. they didn’t give it to him, and the Gen. will come and kill everyone.

Marshal stands with them, a man at each side, the other 9 lined up down the streets.
Garcia says, basically, well if you will not give in then….he takes his hat off like a mounted bow, covering his gun. As we know, whenever a mexican covers his gun….

Billy steps out of the Saloon next door to our hotel, where all the action is taking place.
Billy “Excuse me, dirty Mexican!”
Garcia is flabergasted.
Billy warns them he’ll be the first to die.
Garcia laughs it off, says in Spanish to his crew “Pedro, FIlipe, and 2 other guys, when things start, shoot the Gringo in the back”.
We see a few others with hands on guns.
Billy warns a trained buffalo hunter has his gun on him “I welcome your friends to join the fight as your head explodes. So please, draw your gun.”
Garcia explains if he goes back and tells the general that he just rode away, with so many men under his command, there will be hell to pay.
He slowly dismounts, surprisingly w/o help.
Garcia offers to have a drink and talk this over. Billy agrees, with Wyatt in the conversation. Billy leads them to the marshal’s office.
Door is opened, and Garica bullrushes, hits the floor atop the marshal, yells “fire, fire, fire!”
jake, Nick, Ron, and Mad Dog shotguns were trained on men ready to draw, and we let loose. All 4 drop dead, so no shot into Billy’s back.
Garcia rolls over to fire at Billy, who of course fires first 15/17.
The marshal pulls a knife but misses Garcia.
Garcia’s 2 rounds go wild.
Wyatt’s men drop 2 others as well. The dirty banditos return fire all around.
Couple rounds in, Dog begins firing the steam gattling pistol.
Garcia is soon gunned down on the floor by Billy. The marshel gets out from underneath him.
Bullets are going all around, like buzzing bees. Its hard to tell much of the time who’s bullet finishes off with bandito.
Marshal joins Billy at the door, firing into the group.
Once there are 8 left, they flee!! Jake says bring them down.
We fire after them as they turn and ride, mowing down all 8.
Reload.

Marshal wants to talk to us.
Jake “Now you owe us a full explanation.”
They were drawing help here with false reports of attacks after they found out that the mexicans discovered their secret of the staff. It helps them with everything.
Billy was on the verge of killing him the last couple days “I don’t take kindly to liars.” We tell his original plan wasn’t even to help you fight this battle.
Billy threatens his brother, if he knows everything. Wyatt says he does not know everything.
Wyatt implores, how are they supposed to tell anyone about this.
Jake “Tell us how you came about this staff. A dark man dressed all in black. Told us his name was Mr. Scratch.” He called it the Staff of his Mother, other times the Staff of the Mother. The man simply went away after they put it in the cave he told us to. Once a year they have a ceremony. Here, Wyatt’s hands cover his face, rocks back and fore a few times. They worship Astarte, consort of Baal, consort of Syble, the Magna Matre. They chant of Shub NIggurath!
Damn it.
“Black man said he had come from the Crimson Desert, where he had seen Irem, worshipped Nug and Yeb. We needed only bow down before the staff and worship Syble, the Shub Nigguroth.” More and more folks worshipped, more prosperous they got.
If they stop, things would turn 100x worse. So, no turning batk. One family tried to leave the town. Didn’t make it 20 miles before they were torn to pieces.
He swears, no sacrificing of any kind. Nothing of any sort we ever see.
Billy wants to bring the others of the central coven, who met him here at his office, here.
We get all 7 gathered here.
They all tell the same story but for a few details different. One says they kill no one, but people do die. Someone just dies. They insist too strong of no sacrifices of sons or daughters.
Then one breaks, the banker “Liars! Every year we must sacrifice a virgin maiden and virgin young man to the thing. The Shub Nigguroth thing.”
Piece by piece the truth comes out. It is done in the cave; they have indeed seen the creature. Next sacrifice is not until Winter Solstice.

We visit the cave, very close in the hills. There is a carving of a tentacled face with symbols like writing underneath. They say it is the creature that lives here. Tentacles are like trunks that suck the life essence and souls out of the victims and devour them.
They then say they killed Scratch, buried him, then walked back into town later. Said he’d be back when the time was right to take the staff to the next owners.
Will copies the writing carefully. The staff is stuck in the town, overgrown with ivy that shouldn’t be in a cave. Green in color. This is where Scratch put it, touching it means death according to him.
We get a live mexican villain, not quite dead, and Dog puts his hand on the ivy surrounding the staff. The ivy wraps around up his arm as he screams, the leaves turning red!!! It pulls him in engulfing him, the ivy grows as we still hear the screaming for a minute. We get another, with cowhide gloves. Same thing happens. Dog lops his arm off at the elbow. Ron drags his body back. Ivy launches out to try to grab him, sprouting in a few directions as if it can not really see but knows something is there. Ron gets back in time.
Mexican dies. A third mexican is forced to reach for it with a stick; the stick is suckes out of his hand and in, but is is instantly shot back out barely missing him. But into a townsman’s arm. The mexican is shot by Nick. Dog douses it in lighter fluid and lights it up as we all step back.
Only pieces catch alight. Those pieces shoot out as flaming tendrils. 2 of them, burning, hit Dog for a few pts.
Anne douses him. Those tendrils are dead.
We hear a crackling sound, and from the ground around the stone more tendrils surround it.
We start to walk out, and a gobule of green fluid from the ivy just misses Dog.
A tall, gaunt, bearded, looks like a peddler, meets us outside the cave.
Jake “So you’re Mr. Scratch?”
“Yes, I’ve been waiting for you gentlemen for quite a while. We’ve had several appointments we’ve missed.”
Jake “We don’t plan on going anywhere for quite a while. I got way to much still to do.”
“I can make it easier for you? How would you like the power of the staff? I would let you take it. Do you want it?”
Jake “You can help us out by not wasting our time.”
He says he has a prior offer, willing to give up his soul for the staff. He has to get to it first. We figure he means El Generalisimo.\
Dog whispers to Jake “I think we can take him, Jack’s already in position.”
He warns us, you don’t want that staff going to Mexico, there’s evil there. He says he’s playful, Evil. What is in Mexico is EVIL. He claims to love and feed the human race. General not working for it, at least knowingly. Items of great power are migrating to Mexico, they want to go there.
Jake “To who?”
“Oh, I can’t tell you that. There’s rules! Cosmic rules. Rules that these others don’t follow. But we who fight on the side of good and evil have such rules. How about you share a drink with me for old time’s sake?” He suddenly has a jug in his hand.
Nick “We know that from the good old days, and we ain’t gonna trust it.”
He swears on our souls, that they are not at risk.
Dog takes a drink. He feels a burning in his stomach. Suddenly he starts jerking and twitching, his arms bulge out a little, as does his chest, muscularly. Dog feels stronger.
Jake drinks.
Billy “May as well make it a threesome.”
He disappears in a puff of sulfer after “you have 48 hours. ANd then its done” as in wears off. He probably helped in the one way he could.
Str, Dex, and Con go up by 4 for 2 days. At will, we can heroic surge twice per encounter for the next 2 days as well.

Back at town, Jake wires Archie for a pickup, to get the writing to NY and London.

We start setting up barracades and defenses around town. Nothing else happens.

May 23

Jim Beam and Buddy out, on train with Luke west to catch up with us.

Morning: Jesse was left at a hiding position watching the ford on the Rio Grande. 3 men appear on a rise about 200’ from the bank, wearing big sombreros. Same as the now dead Sgt’s gang. One goes straight to the ford, one left and one right along the river. Seem to be scouting for ambushes. The center one rides across the ford, stops in the middle, drinks from his hat, spashes self with a bit, puts it back on. Definitely a greasy Mexican. Gets to our side. Now about 200’ away from Jesse. Starts riding forwars. Both others have moved toward the center, crossing the ford and cross halfway. Front guy waves his hat, a 4th at the top of the hill waves. Then a line of of about 100 appears at the crest!! A portly man rides over the hill in a car. Not just a steamcar, an armored car. Top opens and he peeps out, barely squeezing out of it; big cigar.
Jesse beats it down his rise for the town to warn us. Hears a shot from the ridge behind him, way out of range. 5 men on their fastest horses take off after him.
Nick, partway to Jesse, hears the shot. From his high point, sees Jesse in the distance with riders on his tail. They are firing on Jesse.
Jesse continues riding hard. His horse gets hit.
Nick fires a shot to warn the town. Dust far off, a lot of men. He rides hard for town to warn, seeing that Jesse is far ahead of his pursuers.
We get rifles on buildings

Jesse gets here, the 5 run off. 2 men ride in to talk to our leader. Jake and Billy ride out and meet them, Dog bahind them at the intersection of Front and Main. We see men far outside of town milling about. Men are surely approaching on foot that we do not see.
We decline their offer of us giving up. They turn, we both let go 2 barrels in their backs DEAD and DEAD.
Reload.
Shots from afar begin, hitting nothing but wall. They start with a few charging a perimeter residence, Slim’s house, with 2 townsfolk in it. One is shot dead before they start getting inside. Slim books it out his door and around the corner. He beats it into the coral next door.
Another group coming in toward Wong’s a Slim’s house fills up, firefight to and from.
Jake rides toward SLim’s, Billy to Wong’s. Jake kills one at a window. By next round the house is all dead men. Billy rides directly at the group of 6 banditos firing away.
Jake rides to Slim’s house and fires around the corner, killing one of the new group coming. Billy drops 3 in 2 rounds at his group double tapping.
Wyatt comes out of his office and drops one at Billy.
Billy finishes them off. Jake drops the leader and another; a 3rd killed by a townsfolk rifle.
Death dealing on both fronts.
A short break, then Ron hears the sound of chopping wood from downstairs of the courthouse, he’s on the roof. Mexicans must be in the claims office and chopping in.
25 men ride up main street toward Mad Dog, past the Wells Fargo Corral. Once they are almost at Dog, the gattling gun fires across the street.
They kill 3 of our men in the fighting here and our gattlings go off again.
It’s a massacre. Jake shows up and he and Billy kill 2 others and only 2 get away.
Ron goes downstairs and sees them indeed starting to chop a hole from the adjacent building. Ron puts a pack of 4 sticks and runs a line to to front steps. When they break through and move in he detonates.
His townsfolk partner fires at the 2 still standing out of 6 and wounds. Both back off into the claims office. Firefight back and forth. CItizen Andy kills, the other runs and mounts a horse to ride off. Citizen hits him DEAD.
We reload.
We have lost 9 citizens. Jake and Billy check on Ron after the explosion.

Their next wave comes in about 20 minutes. We see the armored canon car approaching from the other side of town. We clear out the buildings on the edge of town there.
It begins firing at long range, we barely get all of our men out. That edge of town is soon in ruins from the Palace down to the Claim’s Office.
It moves closer, dust in the air, 60’ away, and calls for our surrender or he’ll blow up the entire town.
Moves closer, right to the edge of the rubble and dust field. They demand surrender as we begin to flank them. Our gattling was moved behind the General Store, so it is right there. Billy leads Will and the gattling gun around to fire upon them; from the other flank around the claim’s office rubble comes Jake, Ron, Anne and Dog.
We open fire. Jake drops one; Billy wounds; Will only wounds; the gattling gun rips through them, taking down 6 more and wounding many others.
The attack throws them into momentary disorder.
Billy and Jake each kill another and wound one. Anne runs to atop the car, and (card) is percieved as unimportant by the Mexicans. The gattling guns go off but the firer panicks. Dog kills another and wouds a few. WIll mounts on the horse and starts to pull it around the corner.
They fire back finally, winging Dog once. The gunner is hit 9/12/8, exactly out of fatigue. Ron rides to the car following Anne.
Billy, sheathing his carbine, and Jake ride closer. Jake readies to fire at anyone who goes for the car. Dog’s gattling pistol fires, massacring many of the badly wounded.
Only 5 of them are left. 2 return fire at Dog hitting 12. Another aims for Ron but Jake’s ready goes off 17 DEAD. The last 2 fire at Billy but miss.
Ron lashes the dynamite and Anne lights it. 6 sticks together and they duck for cover. It blows wide off. Shrapnel damages those inside, as well as Ron who lands atop Anne to shield her.
Billy rides into the 2 men still behind the car, killing 1 and wounding the leader.
Anne goes up and drop into the car, Bowie’s knife drawn. Heroic Surge and she strikes one of the Mexicans inside DEAD.
Jake hits one of the 2 riding for Dog twice but he keeps coming.
Dog pulls his scattergun and critical fumbles, but it backfires badly probably ruining the firing mechanism, doing 23 to Dog!!!!
These last 3 are tougher leaders.
The other 2 pull knifes and charge for Dog. His gun is ruined!! MIke Kelly’s old scattergun is finally no more.
There are 5 in the car, 4 draw knives and attack Anne. The last, the man in command, has a machine pistol of some sort and is waiting for a clear shot.

On the other side, in the lumber yard, 3 banditos almost surprise our 2 men there. There’s a throwdown. These 3 are killers. They drop the man in the lumber yard and badly would the man in the building, who closes and locks the door, gets down.
The 3 go across the lumber yard to the entrance. The man in the building has the detonator and blows the TNT. It hits all 3 of them. Johnny Walker stairs them down across the street in the corral as it blows.
The marshal and Jesse, outside his office and Gay Lady respectively, turn rifles that way. Nick crosses the Long Branch roof and aims down the street.
The blast kills 2 of the gunmen. The 3rd is wounded.
He fires at JW 9, not moving from just inside the entrance. Nick has no sight of him, nor does the Marshal. Jesse fires, multiple increments away and vs cover doind 15 DEAD. JW misses at that range.
Ron jumps on top the front of the car and misses a bandito vs Dog with his rifle.
Billy fires again at his DEAD. He surges, hitting one vs Dog DEAD. Jake hits DOg’s last twice DEAD.
Anne kills 2 and wounds 2, wielding 2 knives.
They try to overpower Anne. The first fails. The second one succeeds, the commander, grabs Anne as a shield telling the other to stay put. That does not sit well with the shieldless bandito who turns on him and shoots him twice in the back as he turned. The 2nd in command turns and fires his machine pistol back killing him, killing him.
He yells out "everyone move away or I’ll cut her throat.
He takes her up and out of the hatch, threatening to kill her if we don’t let him go. Ron is behind him, he faces Jake, Dog and Billy now generally at the car’s rear.
Ron springs up from the other side of the hatch, behind him, grappling him and holding his armed hand. Anne slips out, slicing for 13 but no instant kill. She uses her last surge for the day 8 putting him into wound pts. He fails to escape. Anne hits DEAD.
Will joins us all at Allen and Main.

From the other side of town JW “We got trouble coming!!”
Our men in the lumber and Wells Fargo Corral run to other buildings.
NIck runs downstairs and outside the Long Branch. A large force begins marching into town up Main. 3 men are now on the roof of Drover’s. The enemy march up Main.
We fire in a line (Marshal, Jake, Nick, Ron, Billy, Will, Jesse) taking down 5.
The middle forece of the enemy fires up en masse at Drover’s roof. One dies, one has to retreat downstairs. The front fires up the street at our line or rifleman. Ron is crited bad.
They march forward still, making it to the corner of the Wainwright. More of our men in the buildings begin to fire. The marshal’s deputy, to our rear from the Rio Grande, forms many men up into a firing line at ALlen and Main. Johnny yells to Brandy to get men wrapping around behind Drover’s to flank them.
Anne makes it to a hiding position in the Wells Fargo Corral.
We fire again, Jake and Wyatt killing 2.
They kill both of our men in the Wells Fargo office, 1 in Wainwright, both in bootmaker shop.
They advance.
Brandy lines men up in front of Drover’s instead, facing the intersection to create a crossfire.
We drop a few more. Dog steps out just onto Main, next to JW and fires the gattling pistol hitting 5 men.killing one. Jesse, Nick and Will come out from their cover and advance a move toward them.
They fire back taking down a couple citizens in buildings as usual. We ready the Firestorm as they advance to beside Dog.
Firestorm unleashes from Jake, Billy, Ron, the Beverlys, JW, Dog, Jesse. A tide of them goes down as we empty our rifles into them like hell.
Our line in front of Brandy advances to about 15’ behind Dog. He and Johnny need to get out of their way.
They advance, the lines to 20’ apart and they fire.

JW dives through the window into the Bootmaker and Dog moves to his end of our line. Our men down Front can now fire. We fire as well and Anne leaps out of the Corral and comes up behind them and kills 2. Jake and Billy each drop 2.
Our lines are getting mixed, people running to dodge and weave all over the street.
We drop another with some combined fire and they begin firing on Anne. They almost take her down, but Ron takes the last bullet for her that would have brought her down. She’s hurt badly.
A few of their top guys turn on Jake and Billy as they have only 10 guys left.
Ron and Anne get into the Bootmaker behind JW, too hurt.

By the end, the citizens are in very bad shape. Only the Generalisimo and one other Lt. are standing, trapped, and he surrenders. Ron walks out with Bowie’s knife.
Jake, Billy and the Beverlys are all out of rounds by this time. He demands a horse and sent home safely. Jake kicks him in the gut and onto the ground. He has caused too much death to this town.

Talking into the evening, the town is going to have to disband and go their separate ways. We plan on dynamiting the cave to trap the staff, if nothing else can be done.
We find a big anthill in the area, cover him with thick sugar water, and tie him atop it for a couple hours

May 24

Luke, Jim, Buddy arrive Sanderson, TX. Ride out w/in an hour.

El Generalisimo is hanged until dead.
Full on clean up begins.
Ron blows the cave, thourough.

Late night, Luke et al arrives.

May 25

Jake has the serious discussion with Beam and his crew: arcane, mythos, supernatural, what we are fighting against now and why. Then, that he wants them to handle the robbery of haelstrom and NW shipments when we get the information coming in.
Beam and his men, as expected, are with us to the end.

We will stay here to rest a few days or so then back to El Dorado; befoe we leave, Beam’s men take a quick train trip to get some stashed guns and ammo they have, will meet back up with us in Riverside.

View
Bad Ride from Tucumcari

May 14

Arrive Stetson City just before dinner. Jimmy meets us at train station. He has good news and bad news. Buddy and Jim are in Huntsville, as in the penitentiary. Brandy took up with some floorflusher named Arson Roulette(real name Arson Arakov) in Tucumcari, NM Texas Territory. That is so Brandy. Johnny Walker is with her.

May 15

Jake writes a letter to President Temple Houston of Tx, requesting a meeting with him at Promise City or with a representative to speak on the supernatural and getting some old friends out of prison.
Billy leaves to collect Brandy and JW. He takes Dog, Anne, and the Beverlys.
Jake leaves on train to Fort Grifin, from which he will ride to Two Feathers to speak with the shaman. With him ride Ron and Jesse.
Luke goes with Jake to Fort Griffin but continues on to Promise City. He will do some solid gambling in the city while we are taking care of these side ventures.

Arr. Tucumcara:
Town is doing quite well, lots of rough looking workers and saloons.
Evening, we go into a random saloon.
Will goes to best gambling hall, Occidental Saloon and Gaming Emporium, as told at station. Goes with NIch.
Billy goes into first saloon he comes across at 5pm. Andy’s mudhole. He asks the barkeep if he knows of Brandy, JW, Roulette.
“Oh, you mean Col. Arson Roulette.” Barkeep says he knows him as an aristocrat from New Orleans. He and his entourage are staying at the Occidental.
At Occidental, its enormous, bar is huge. Balcony around most of the top. STage and piano player; large round tables; free lunch counter going on with beer purchases, etc.
Large archway to one side into another room just as large that houses the gambling tables. About 30 in here now, actually looks kind of slow for the size.
6 bartenders at the long bar.
Women walk around with cigars and drinks in stockings, heels, etc.
No sight of Brandy nor Johnny.
Nick goes to bar for a beer; Will in to join a Faro game.
A man nearby playing stud with 4 others, at a table for 7, offers Will to join. He says he shall after a few faro hands.
Nick asks about JW, barkeep says he should be back in an hour or 2, out recruiting gunhands; his boss Col. Roulette has taken a job for 1 of the town’s leading citizens. Roulette has been here about a month, upstairs room 307. He stays with his mistress. He says they should all be coming in about 7 or 8.
NIck eats some lunch, extened by owner Baily Granger, for the day.
Spurs clank into the bar behind NIck “I don’t I know you, you new in town?”
Just got here; he’s town marshal. Says keep in mind we don’t like trouble and you’ll be fine." Nick introduces self as Nick Waverly.
He is Bailey Granger; the Marshal too.
Nick “Hand in multiple pots, always a fine idea.” Gives NIck his first beer on the house.
He says ’we have the cleanest whores this side of the panhandle, unlike The Crease across the street."
He stresses the 2 rooms are strictly separate. This room for drinking and eating, the other for gambling.
He goes on his way.
Billy et al enter.

Faro dealer says a Brandy is here, to Will, but she’s no whore, but the mistress of Roulette.
He asks if any interesting players are in town. Says roulette is a high roller, and guy at table with 2 big Remingtons and black vest is Bill Cullen, the well known gunfighter. Been all over Oklahoma. He was a lawman there. Since then came here and does a lot of gambling.
Will “What’s this Roulette guy like?”
Will joins the poker game. A townsman, a young punk, a dutified man, and a man in black with big beard and black hat. WIll wins first hand, dutified man is out. He throws more money on the table and the kid smarts off to him. Over next 45, Cullen and townsman loses a fair amount of money. Dutified guy loses a whole lot. The Jew, Rabbi Heimi Morganstein breaks even. Big winners are Will and the kid who is drinking in excess. HE makes a lot of comments at the expense of the dutified Mr. Logan, who owns largest cattle spread in area. Kid’s name is Mel Granger.
Logan ran agains his Pa in county sherif election via political connections. After he lost, he got his brother certified as a Tx Marshal after the former Marshal was bushwacked. “Mr. Logan is a polcat, a stinkin’ polcat”.
Logan backhands the punk kid, knocking him and chair on the ground.
Kid “Ok Logan, reach for you’re gun!”
Cullen “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, kid.” Stands up, talks to the kid for a minute and the 2 sit back down to play. Cullen acting very reasonable. The townfolk bows out, the local Dr. Branson.
Few more hands are played. Will wins again, after Logan betting heavy and giving Will a glare. Heimi draws out and goes back to his “tailor shop” but ends up staying to watch the game.
Soon, Cullen drops out, then it ends up being Will and Logan who is very confident. Big pot at the end, and Will is sure he is going to win. Figuring we’ll be here only tonight, Will calls. The kid has 4 Aces; unfortunately for him Will drops a straight flush.
Kid “That’s just not natural.”
Kid tries to muscle all the money off the table.
7 big brawny tough looking cowpokes come over. Logan calls the cowpokes over to beat up me and the kid. Insists Will and the kid were cheating. Tells them to take out the Jew on general principal.
2 others guard the archway, make sure none of us can get out.

Granger enters soon, following Anne in, asks to have dinner in his private room. She agrees.
Nick Waverly, Bill Waverly is how Nick introduces. Billy introduces himself in truth. Recognizes that name from all those years ago.
Marshal is sort of impressed, but insists on now trouble. Tells Billy ’there money is no good tonight, they get anything they want."

We hear Will cry of distress.
We walk in.
Cullen stands up. Asks them not to beat up Mel cause ‘I like the kid’. Mel is up, fists out, ready to go. Says to Cullen “Stay outta my business Cullen.” Who replies “Ok, i tried.”
Mel starts walking up to Logan, 2 big guys blocking his way. Mel hits one right in the mouth, bleeding lip but otherwise unphased. The other grabs Mel from behind, holding his hands, and the other gutpunches 3 times, kid vomits, then he keeps punching.
Billy calls it all to stop.
Logan “You don’t know hwo I am, but I run this place, this town, this county.” Says get out or he’ll sick his dogs on us. Billy insists he can’t stand for a poor kid to get roughed up. He orders his men to break his arms and Billy draws his gun, followed by the rest of us.
Billy “Any damage done to anyone in this room, there will be retribution to be paid or I will be outside waiting for ya.”
He tells them to break Billy’s thumbs.
Dog intercepts them. Nick steps beside him.
They come for us.
The 2 at the door stop Will as he is backing out, picking him up “Unhand me you fiends!”
Dog gives the 7 in front of us a mean look, insisting he is breaking all of their arms once they are unconcious. They are quite scared, all are shaken!!
Will “Break their thumbs too.”
Billy uses pistol whip, NIck and Dog brawl.
One of the 2 holding Will is smashed with a chair. It’s Mel!! He starts fighting him and Will slips free!
Anne is not here, she is upstairs already with the Marshal.
Will goes into total defense mode and the fight begins, Dog grappling one of his “Jack, give him 2 in the gut! 2 in the gut!”
After first round, the Jew rushes one of the guys on Billy.
Mel gets hit with a crit on the 2nd round knocking him out!!
Heimi charges in and waps one of the men on Billy as the fight continues, Dog suplexing the man down stunning him with Dog still atop him now.
These guys hit hard, NIck having taken a solid shot. Mel’s man comes at Will also.
Dog then tries to dislocate the man’s shoulders but they hold; Will pops his guy one haha and derides him.
Fight continues.
Billy KO’s his man then moves to help Heimi.
Mel’s man then moves to Mel again.
Another round and Dog dislocates both shoulders, which brings the guy out of it. He starts hitting a m&$^#&#&&$& with another m*&$##($&#.
Mel’s man goes to break his arms, so Billy moves to help the kid and shoulderblocks him to the ground.
That guy stands and attacks Billy.
Wil hits again for a wopping 1 and goads him again.
The guy swings wildly missing twice at Will; Dog swings the man’s body, hitting one of his other attackers.
Will “I’m going to beat this guy on points!”
Finally Dog throws the poor tough as he hits a friends, KO’ing the friend. The thown has already passed out.
Will is finally hit 10 as the fight goes on.
Dog then KO’s his last guy.
Dog then takes Nick’s other guy the next round.
Billy ko’s Mel’s attacker now.
Dog grapples Nick’s 2nd guy next.
Billy charges back to help Heimi again as the fight continues.
Dog slams the guy through the nearest table.
Another round or 2 and Heimi is KO’d.
Dog’s man get up and slugs him
Nick KO’s his guy as Will attacks again 1.
Dog KO’s his with a crit.
Only 2 left, on Billy and Will. Nick and Dog move in an grab an arm each. Will proceeds with repeated body shots.
Billy starts breaking thumbs.
Logan “I don’t thing the marshal is going to like that.”
Billy “I don’t think I give a $$$$.” Agrees to break only one thumb on each.
Dog starts breaking the other thumb.
Logan had run out a round ago, sending a bullet at Mel while he ran past that missed.
The Marshal rushes downstairs, pistol drawn.
He calls for Doc Branson to check on his son.
Will explains what happened, in great detail.
Mel wakes up, and tells a story in which we come across as his posse.
Does say he never could have handled all 8 by himself, and we pretty much saved him.
We keep his pride in tact.
Marshal thanks Heimi for stepping in and assisting as well “You’re a pretty good guy for a Jew.”
Marshal owns the store, tripled prices on Logan. Logan got together with some ranchers; farmers on Marshal’s side. Logan set up his own store on his property. Town council passed an ordinance against it so “I blew it up.” The president sent Rangers who put a stop to the whole thing. 3 rangers in the county. “I run the town, he runs the rest of the county and we otherwise we play nice.”
Marshal “I owe you gents for all this.”
Marshal sees Roulette as a merc, but on neither side. Not mixed up in it but hired by the Marshal for another job: town of Privilegio has some problems. Marshal’s brother Wyatt is the marshal there and needs some help, has surprise for him and some may try to prevent him from receiving it. So, hiring some escorts here via train to Sanderson, Tx; then by wagon straight SE for 2 days until you hit destination along the Rio Grande.
Once he finds out we are here for JW and come from Promise City, he offers 2x $20 piece up front, and another 2x $20 gold piece upon delivery. He can pay 4. He could stretch to $200 total, from each side. Package weighs 2000lbs, padlocked.
Just then, knock at the door. Man w/ french accent is at the door when Dog answers. Maybe early 40’s, long pointy nose. It’s Roulette, dressed all in white, large stetson hat.
He comes in.
Dog “I’m lookin for Johnny Walker and Brandy.”
“Brandy is my special lady, and Johnny my right hand man. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any gunman willing to go.”
Billy “What’s his problem if he needs a gattling gun?”
Billy is immediately thinking to skin out with the money and the gun, and just keep the thing for ourselves.
Town has been raided several times by Mexican bandits. Once any extra law shows up they don’t return. After they leave, raid again. Previous sheriff killed by the raiders.
Then Wyatt Granger made town Marshal. Knows from intel they are planning on returning, but a nice gattling gun would help do the job.
Will offers our escort, plus extra men and help vs the Mexicans if we get to keep the gattling gun. He agrees, but with the question of ‘what if the raid doesn’t come after a month and you guys are ready to leave?"
Will “We’ll take that up with Wyatt when the time comes.”
He says train can leave tomorrow.

Jake arr. Fort Griffin:
Jake gets an earlier train and arrives Fort Griffin; rides immediately for Justice, arriving there late but pushes on to the ranch. He has decided to check in on the friends of Frederik while nearby.
Johnny returns and its a warm greeting all around. Same with Brandy.
JW will join us. The Col. is ‘in charge’ so he is going to. Will says BS he’s in charge, he had nothing to do with this. Brandy is a bit taken with her.
We inspect gun and ammo first, all seem on the up and up.

May 16

Jake arrives late Two Feathers.

We find out theat the freight car, just behind the coal car, has a safe full of gold on it too!!
Billy. About 24 passengers not counting us. 2 other guards also.
We will have one person in freight car at all times. Dog.
Including old school marm Petunia plump, 10 yr old brat Zeke, womand with a baby, and sir Arthur Charles (brit business man doing business here).
Being official guards, we have the run of the train.
Greasy Joe Higgins is engineer, Dirty Pete is coal guy, Smiley William Twain the conductor; Smitty the break/switchman.
Away we go.

Train goes to Promise City, stopping only briefly before we turn south through Brewster.
We see Luke, informing him of what is going on so that he can tell Jake when he returns. We say if anything changes on where we will be, we will keep him updated via wire.
About 2 hrs in, Brandy talks to Dog. Last night after it was decided we were leaving, Roulette went down and had a drink at the bar, made a sneaky hand call sign, and a guy got up and rode fast out of town.
He tells her to bring Billy here, and Dog informs him.
Will and Anne are working the crowd. Across from them sits a preacher and the old marm.

Nick knows the terrain all around this area of Tx. He calls a time he figures, about 5 hours in, that is the most likely area to attack. Will agrees.

Nick and JW get on roofs of the 2 box cars
Billy goes back to caboose to watch. for now. He plans on returning to freight with Dog for the attack, and Nick will take his place in caboose.
Billy “Everybody stay alert, keep your wits about you.”
Will and Billy take to calling Roulette Guy LaDouche.

From the copse of trees, we see 8 riders appear. Just the copse of trees Nick figured on! JW sees 8 guys on each side, the other from around a gully.

LaDouche made for the freight car “It’s sort of a shame you guys came along. Trip like this can be mighty dangerous to your health.”
The guard at the freight sees the 8. He opens the doors. LaDouche pushes him out of the train.
Guy to Billy and Dog “Gentlemen, you are about to become $100,000 richer. This plan has been in the works for over a month.”
Nick is in the rear with the breakman and the other guard, hitting and the man fall off his horse.
2 of the riders approach to get onto the back of the train.
Dog closes the freight door and Billy pulls his gun on Guy “put ’em up.”
A scream, and the fire man has fallen off, shot.
NIck misses him, and the robber misses Nick.
Johnny has fired 3 times from the roof.

Dog locks the freight car door.
Billy “Dog, you stay here, make sure nobody comes through that door. ANy reason that door opens, you kill whoever is on the other side.”
Billy takes LaDouch back to the passender car, gun on him. Tells Anne to sit down with him “Keep your knife on him, if he tries to do anything you don’t like..make him a woman.” Her knife is up agains his balls.
Will tells everyone to get on the floor. Billy “Anybody in this passenger car that doesn’t want to be shot at, stay out of sight. We’re about to get robbed.”
All but 3 cowboys drop, who draw on us. The marm took a gun from her purse and aims at Will. The priest pulls a derringer out of his bible on us!!
Marm “We got ’em under control Col.”
Will fires at the marm, Billy the cowboys.

Nick crits other in rear 27 DEAD. Both the guard and breakman fire out side windows at the enemy as well.
Johnny continues to fire from atop.
Billy kills a cowboy and wounds another, Will hits 9 marm.
Minister hurls a throwing knife at Will 6. Otherwise they have missed him since first hit.

Brandy has been firing, hitting a cowboy once.
One turns to fire on her.
Couple rounds later, Will kils the marm with 2 fan fires. Brandy is critted 24 by her target!! Makes the save.
Billy drops another cowboy.
Brandy hits the last cowboy 17 DEAD.
The minister goes to surrender, Wills puts one in his head. Billy puts his last 2 bullets into 2 of the downed cowboys.
Reload.
In the back, Nick tells the other 2 to keep at the windows as he fires out the back.

Dog has strapped on his gattling pistol.

By now, Nick has dropped 3 in the rear. They are swarming. Another is killed by the guard.
More riders have joined them by now. They get the door to the freight car open.
Dog lets loose, hitting a few of them.
6 fire in at Dog.

In the passenger car, Will fires out the window. Billy goes into the freight car and starts shooting.

Nick drops another. Dog kills one. JW drops one.

The bloody guy who first came into the torn open door finally draws and fires at Billy.
Will then drops one.
They are firing round after round into the cars we are shooting from, but our cover is helping win the day. Billy drops 2.
Dog fires his gun again, dropping one and wounding 2 others.

Brandy after taking that big shot, has taken cover.

Firing back, they hit Dog 3 times!
Nick kills in the back, as does Will at the front.
Billly drops another at the front; JW hits DEAD; Dog fires the gattling.

The train begins to stop!!

Billy yells for Dog to push the door closed after Billy’s last volley.
Will kills one.
Billy doubletaps twice, hiting once 18 DEAD, rip a clips another 6.
Billy is out of bullets and Dog pushes door closed.
The guard at the rear kills; JW hits DEAD.

Now 4 left at rear, and 4 at front. Plus whoever is at the engine in control.

The men in front ride to the front as the train is stopping.

The kid in the rear drops one; JW crits 23 DEAD.
Train now at a stop!!

The kids gun is empty and he’s almost dead and he sits down; Nick kills one; Guard kills one.
No more in the rear.

They yell for us to give up. They figure they’ve killed at least 5 of us. Ha!!
Billy “Come on in and find out.”
They threaten to shoot the engineer if we don’t give them the gold “You got to the count of 10.”
Anne asks to let him say something, and someone yells help.
Billy lets the count get to 10 and a gunshot goes off.
We let loose on some horses in view, taking out 2 before they get them out of the way.

We have reloaded.

Billy says for them to ride away and we won’t kill you.
“In case you haven’t noticed, we have the upper hand.”
Will “We have Roulette!”
They ask for their boss, and they’ll ride away.
Will “They’re going to be right pissed at him for leading them into this.”

More waiting and talking back and forth. Billy challenges their best man to a shootout. WInner gets the gold.
They decline.
Billy wants to send Nick, Will and Anne sneaking up to the train. Brandy will watch LaDouche.
The other guard will watch the back with the wounded kid.
Once they’re at the front, Billy and Dog will go out and draw their attention. When they react, we’ll surprise them as well as JW on the roof.

10 men come from the front to blast Billy and Dog!
We ambush them. Nick is atop the coal car; Will from tween coal car and freight. JW fires from above and behind us.
Anne comes up from under the coalcar, and sees 2 cowboys in the engine. She jumps them. Both are Mexican, and she wields Bowie’s knife! One dies instantly, the other she wounds. He goes to shoot her, her AoO hits.
1 drops.
They fire back, hitting Dog.
Our next volley and Dog reloads kills no one. The guard steps out the back and fires from distance and behind us. He crits 22 DEAD.
Anne hits and kills.
4 others, the last 4, step out from the front and fire.
Then the guard kills another!! Anne starts firing.
Volleys continue.
Having no where to run, they fight to the last man. And die to the last man.
The Coal man is dead as well.
We get the train to the next town and are delayed until the next day.

May 17

Jake’s first day at Two Feathers.
Shaman says Yig is indeed a friend of the natives of Americas. Very positive influence.
He has felt the badness, malaise, across the west.
After a great talk about the evils, he can provide about a dozen blessed rounds a month, starting in about a week.

The others arrive last stop, Sanderson, TX. Ride immediately for Privilegio.
We get a 10% reward for the money in the safe, they say it should be processed and waiting in about a week.

View
City of Lost Angels

The church runs everything in City of Lost Angels. It is very poor. People subsist mainly on the great meat feasts provided by the church.
Strict moral rules apply everywhere but the Golden Circle, where much more vice is to be had by the church and people there. Rev. Grim even has a harem “Vestal Virgins”.
Will sends a letter of intent, stating his business cover, and that he wishes to enter. After wiring his peeps in San Fran to supply his cover story if he is checked on.
The city is big on business, its the lifeblood, and he is quickly accepted.
Luke completes the cover: He is Will’s investing partner; Ann his girlfriend; Dog his doctor; Nick his security; Ron security.
They are to stay at the hotel on the Golden Circle.

April 24

We arrive.
We are warned, first thing, if we leave the Circle we are subject to all the laws of the city. Lots of death penalty stuff like taking prophets name in vane.
The hotel is 7 stories, second to Cathedral.
From our top floor we can see into harbor, including Rock Island Prison “The Rock” where worst prisoners are sent.
One person to a room. Will’s is a suite, and he finds a very attractive blonde girl in the room. She calls herself ‘furniture’ for this room.
Will “Perfect.”
Rooms here are very expensive. But it is free for the first few days if you talk business. All is comped if business and investing us a success.
Mr. Snerd, and elder of church, responsible for business developement, is our contact. His assistant, mousey little man, Fontaine; body guard, mountain of a man, Luther.
He invites us to dinner in the hall that evening. Our contact claims there is no science to invest in here, though we know the Temple of Invention is in the Circle. He says not much trade is going on here. Business if mostly manufacturing: clothing, wagons, shipbuilding, rails et al for Union Pacific.
Mayor is only official of city elected, although all report to Grim of course. He is Marshal Job ‘Hogleg’ Dunston. He seems not in the churches pocket. He has a bunch of dep’s and other officers of the law who try to enforce regular law and detective work. It’s an uphill battle though. His deputies are The Untouchables. There is a court system as well.
Guardian Angels are the rank and file law of the church; often step in and take over cases, take prisoners at will, etc. Their court is the Court of Angels, 2 possible punishments: death usually by torture (preferable) or The Rock.
Inquisitors have power over life and death, on the spot.
Occasionally figures will fly high above the city. Look out them, and they seem sort of out of focus. Supposedly they are Grim’s female angels, super powerful. It is said they will occasionally appear and wreak justice on opponents of the church.

Will wants to be informed and shown over the next couple days or so of what opportunities one has him.

Will is offered debauchery at the club, but he declines to get rest.

April 25

Producer shows up with wire about Stone and the Diamond. He says there is a pawnbroker in the city here named Mr. James Welby. He knows everything and everyone. Producer gives us a small token to show to him, and for a fee he will be able to tell us much we may wish to know. It is a dangerous connection, hence his former apprehension to tell us about this.

More tours.
They can only pass death judgement.

April 26

More tours for Will and business talking.
Snead accompanies Will back, and the girl is prepared to be used and murdered. Will declines, and Snead says “I don’t think you are the type to deal business with us.”
They accept some cash for investments in their manufacturing, but he gets nothing from them about ghost rock et al.

Luke and Anne go to meet Welby, with NIck.
City seems fairly dangerous, lots of sideways looks. Obvious slavers hanging in alleyways.
They can only pass death judgement.
Dingy and dirty.
A lot of the populace have a strange feral look to them.
The shop is in the dock area. Looks like it may be even worse than the rest of the city.
Mesh screen above the counter separated the operator from customer.
Welby greets us from the other side. Luke slips him the token.
“Very interesting. What can I do for you?”
Luke first asks of Stone, Doc Snead, and the Heart of Darkness: $100 gold. ‘Come back tomorrow with it and I will either have your answer or tell you I can’t find out.’ He asks a few questions of specifics, just whatever we know about the subjects; we answer what we can.

April 27

Will takes the day to solidify what deals he is making in manufacturing.

Luke brings Welby his payment: Stone is staying at Hardwicks boarding house, in the 6th circles. There are 9 in the city. Gives directions.
Doc Snead is staying at a flophouse in the trader’s quarter. There are many, he knows not which one.
Found out nothing about the gem, his sources dried up completely at the mention of it, one of his best disappeared.
Leaving shop, behind us as we walk away a patrol of 8 Guaridan Angels and 1 Inquisitor burst into the shop behind us. They exit with captured Welby, draggin him away.
Luke “I think we need to leave.” He’s going to be interrogated.

They go straight back to get Will, who is in a meeting. about 30 minutes later, Will arrives.
Will is ready to get the heck out of here, anyway.
We probably have little time. They will be shutting the city down to us soon as Welby breaks, which we must assume will be immediate.

Though the sheriff is a potential contact and support, we don’t want to endanger his entire operation if he would hide us out. We make fast for the docks to get out of here.

We show our papers at the gate “Just a moment.” Gets on a phone!!
Luke slips him some money. He take it “Sorry sir, wait over here.”
He says Snead would like to have a word with Will. The rest of us can leave if we wish.
Odd, Welby didn’t meet Will.
Will “Let’s wait then.”
He gets here, and only was surprised Will was leaving in the middle of a meeting. He needs to sign the papers. The church will be insulted. Will returns.

Guardians show up at the docks, nabbing up red heads about Anne’s height. They insist Anne comes with them, Dog insists on joining her. They lock them all up in a holding cell. One by one each red head is taken out and questioned, then most leave through a door but 3 are put in another cell instead.
Anne is finally taken in, questioned about her whereabouts the last few days, by and Inquisitor.
Seems like Anne gives them a believable story.
2 guards are talking outside of Dog’s cell. He hears nothing but something about inquisitors.
They let both of Dog and Anne. As they leave, they hear the Grand Inquisitor calls the separated 3 into the room, dragged to their doom. They believe one of them is Anne.

Anne reports back that we seem safe, for now.
We make for Hardwick’s. Lots of dock workers and miners. Top floor has nicer rooms for visitors.
Crotchety old man sits in a chair behind the desk. Seeing us, he puts down his newspaper and greets us.
Luke “We’re here to see a guest of your establishment.”
“Go away, I gotta maintain the privacy of my customers.”
Luke “Fine, I didn’t want to have to report you are housing a wanted man. I guess I’ll have to report this to the Inquisitors.”
He asks us not to be so hasty, but he denies Stone is here.
Nick slips him 5 silver dollars, but it takes 5 more cause there were religious entanglements. Another 2 and he tells us Stone was taken by Angels 3 days ago. Cleared everyone out.
So he was gone by the time we knew about it. Welby was set up.
Rev. Grim himself, as well as 2 of the highest Inquisitors went up for him. Lots of flashes of light.
He keeps asking for another 1 or 2. Luke now gives him 10.
A shifty looking man was here visiting Stone before that, couple days. He left and came back with the Angels. He had a machine with him that looked like part of an auto gyro, and a wooden box he did not leave with.
He will permit us to look at the room. Door is knocked off the hinges.
Room is shambles, burnt patches all over floor to ceiling; cracks. Thoroughly searched.
We search ourselves.
Room is turned upside down, but more from a tornado and winds not a physical fight. Little is really broken but what would have from a fall.
Scorch marks all over are in separate patches, like some weapon firing.
Pieces of gizmos are found lying about the room.
We take the pieces with us. It had a seat for sure, and maybe a propellor.
Puddles of metal, like melted revolvers.
Small wooden box that survived. Lock is broken; empty but for packing. Glued to lid is paper with this address; engraved plate ‘Dr. Garland Snead’.
So, Grim likely has it himself.
Will “I think it’s time to see the marshal.”

Marshal’s office:
Dozens of people going in and out as we get there. It is an overworked operation to be sure.
Desk Sgt. stops us. Says no one just walks in and talks to the Marshal.
“Nobody talks to the Marshal, not no body not no how.”
He stonewalls us. We need to find out where the Marshal lives and where he frequents.
Anne gets to work.
She finds out that sometimes, after working until 7 or 8, has dinner around 5 pending on how busy he is. It may be brought in from the diner or eats at one of 3 different places.
We get Anne some cheap clothes. When an old man comes from the diner with food, Will smoothly takes the tray out of hi hands as he walks by an alley, Dog pulls him in, and Anne gets under way.
After asking for his office, she delivers.
She says we have common interests with him vs the establishment and corruption.
She mentions ‘an item’ brought here from outside; Snead; Stone.
After a few minutes, he allows the rest of us in. Giving us 5 minutes, telling Dep. Morgan to call in 5 minutes. He allows 2 of us. Luke and Will enter.
We tell him in more detail what happened and what we are looking for; what has happened with our contact and since.
He gives us a card, says to go to Guardian Angel and talk to the man on the card: Clem Norbert. He says don’t bring more than 2 men inside.
Luke and Will go inside. The HQ is ominous, across from the Cathedral. Well guarded all around.
We are stopped by an Angel, who tell us we are at the official entrance only. Public entrance is at the side so we go there.
The desk is 10’ up, so the man looms over us, a light glowing all around him from behind; pipe organ music plays in the background.
He starts with asking us “who are we here to condemn today?” He sends us to ‘other business’.
We enter the room of public records, populated by scrawny or fat bureaucrats; we are taken and sat to wait to see him.
After an hour and 15 minutes, nothing yet. Luke really wants to leave now, Will asks him if it will be much longer. He says it could be “today or tomorrow” as he taps his hand for a bribe. Will slips a 5 spot, silver. He takes us right in.
In a corrupt bureaucracy, money talks No money waits.
We are taken to his office, he sits at the desk.
The nicest thing here is his chair, he seems a low level official.
He becomes us to sit down. Will asks where we can find a Dr. Snead, right after he sets a file down on top of a folder that says Snead.
Luke and Will each slips him a silver from each side.
Will brings him down to $50!!!!
‘Snead had helped them with something, picked up on a morals charge but provided them with information the allowed to go. He is staying at Murphy’s Flophouse in the trader quarter.
As we leave, a light goes n above the door and a thin weaselly man enters his office behind.
As we walk through town, the weasel is tailing us. We stop for a few drinks, leaving Ron behind, he checks and no force to be called upon by him is following the man.
Ron meets back up with us at our rooms, where Anne has remained so as not to be seen.

Leaving, Anne, we follow Luke’s plan and all 5 go a separate direction. He follows Luke, the other 4 pick Anne back up and go to Snead’s.

Dog intimidates the pimply faced clerk, who quickly tells us the 2nd floor, room 3.
Will hangs below, making sure the clerk goes no where.
Small, tattered suitcase; case of beer empty; half drank whiskey; smell of alcohol.
Just clothes in the suitcase and a very elaborate gattling pistol.
Ralph, clerk, says he has not seen him in about 2 days. Paid for a week in advance.

Closest bar is Labyrinth Saloon, open 24 hours. We go inside.
A complete Den of Iniquity. Dark, filled with people, ladies for hire; bar is long with almost a dozen bartenders, lots of gambling. It’s also a gambling hall.
From the description, one man drinking at a table in the back has a bunch of friendly people around him.
The man buys drinks like there is no tomorrow, for his buds.
So, he’s been buying drinks for 2 days. He looks and smells like it. They’re drinking rotgut whiskey.
Luke shows up, figuring this guy is no harm who is following us.
Luke approaches with Anne. Snead immediately invites them for a drink, emptying another botton “Barkeep, bring 2 this time!”
Says he’s just having a drink with his new friends, cause my old friends are going to kill him for a transaction that went bad. He’s going to stay drunk until they find him.
Will comes with a bottle and sits with them. HE is supposed to show up with money; in a week or 2 they’ll realize something is up and “Rex” and his men will be here for him. Rex, Elvira, and Zick the Claw.
Will gets him to tell him where his friends are. Still he won’t tell us about what he did.
He is ready to go back to his room, we volunteer to go with him, taking a bottle.
He passes out in his bed.
Dog and Nick stay, the others go to have a bit of fun at the saloon.

Right after they leave, a knock at the door.
Dog “Who is it?”
Nick sees no one covering the window outside.
“Let me in” a voice sounding hurt or sick.
Nick “Open it” winchester out.
Dog opens the door. A man stands there, in a wooden mask, hooded. Dog slams the door shut.
Dog “No”.
“Open, I have to talk to you.”
Dog lets him in.
NIck “Come in.”
He does, Dog closes the door.
He says he does not want to tell his story twice. Nick runs to get and returns with the others fast.
He knows why we are here, an item. His name is Pete, old Pete. He can pay, with information for our help. We can see scar tissue around the eyes and edges of mouth.
NIck “You know of that Yella King fella? Why the mask?”
He claims to know not of Hastur.
Dog “Were you burned by acid or something?”
He takes it off revealing a grid of scar tissue from flaying, a red ruin, teeth completely visible, no nose; pentagram branded on his forehead. He puts it on quickly.
NIck “So explain what you are doing here?”
He’s a burglar captured by the Angels; sent to the Rock (wished 1000 times they had killed him instead); 3 years there; wanted info about Kang, Chinese pirate warlord in the Maze; but he was not an agent for him so knew nothing; saw horrible things at Rock; Grim and the Church is evil an corrupt out to destroy the world; escaped with 2 others; they died on the swim to shore; 2 years ago this happened, been here the entire time; old friend captured by Angels and sent to Rock named ‘Stone’, they go way back to childhood together; has not been in contact with him; knows we look for the Heart which he can help with if we help his friend escape and we can have it; and he can pay us $500 each; he can give us great info to get him out but can’t go; what we see is what they did to him there and he won’t go near it again; he does not know why Stone sought the heart.
Will wants his plan.
The man says every day we wait makes it more difficult. There are guardians on the Rock; monsters. Most are gone but a few remain. Grim is preparing for a ritual to dramatically expand his power, when he does not know. Most of the guardians are with Grim preparing the ritual.
For sure not next few days but soon.
He has a rough drawing of the Rock. The subasement is at sea level with a sewage tunnel. He plans to boat us in that way.
Will really does not want to go in w/o Jake and Billy.
He says he will contact us every day until we are ready; especially if his contacts tell him the ritual is ready to go before we are.
Ritual will take place in the cathedral in the center of the Gold Circle.

April 28

Snead wakes up. He knows his gang was hired by Stone to steal the heart. Never met him before this deal; Stone has a terrifying aura of power around him.
Wire Jake early in morning.

Next Few Days

Snead continues drinking. On May 2, Dog checks on him and finds him dead, and badly. carved open like cattle.

May 4

Jake, Billy, Jesse arrived overnight. No word yet from Pete about ritual happening for sure so tonight is the night.

We file on to Pete’s boat, last on the boat is Wang Wei….wait, Wei!?!?
Nick “Wang, there i hell did you come from?”
He tells us about the bullets. Need blood, maybe some other bodily part, but blood works best.
Pete takes us out on a completely silent steam powered small boat. There is much activity we have to avoid, of patrolling boat guards. We climb from the boat through a circular tube. It runs low with fecal and blood filled water. We haul Luke in via a rope, as he is unskilled in acrobatics and climb. 20’ walk in, and its quite gross. Suddenly Luke and Jesse each get pretty ill on the way through into the sewage chamber, almost waste high. Nick notices a ladder going up to a door in the ceiling, with a wheel lock on this side.
Dog leads the way up. The portal almost sticks, almost (it would have for anyone else) and opens the portal slowly as ordered and peeks through.
He whispers "Fairly large room, several bodies hanging by their feet over butcher blocks. Lots of cutting implements; chart on wall of human body separated into ‘cuts’ like a cows cuts of beef.
Suddenly, just as he is about to go in, a person walks right past “Hey Bert, stop eating the gizzards.”
“I aint eating, Im gona make a kidny pie.”
A third says in th voice of a dumb “I like kidney pie.”
“Shut up Bill.”
“You shut up, Tom.”
They wear thick aprons.
Dog to Jake “You want me to rearange the angle of necktitude?”
Jake “Yes, Dog.”
Dog, Ron, and Wang enter first. Then Billy, Nick, and Anne.

Dog crawls through. One man looks very strong, sawing the leg off of a body. A second looks equally strong, bald, has a medical reflector headband wielding a nasty looking tool to pry open the ribs of a body; the third is 7’ tall with a pin head. He’s huge, gnawing on human intestines.
Dog hurtles the door open and goes for pinhead.
The others turn to see what is going on.
Dog is struck twice by his brawling; Dog hits him with a haymaker.
Wei has snuck up on top hat, sweeping him then heal kicks him 19, he moves to assist one of his buddies. Baldy is Ron’s target, and he crits the scum with his bowie knife.
Wang his missed; Baldy leaps and comes down with a pile drive like downward punch on Ron 13 (or 9 as Ron calls it).
Dog is hit 8/13; Dog hits 11.
Anne moves and flanks with Dog. Billy and Nick were each to cover a door, but instead NIck helps Wei and Billy w/ Ron. Wei kicks and hits twice, his nose is broken and blood is pouring from his mouth. Ron misses.
Ron is hit 9; Pinhead “Pretty woman” and turns on Anne but misses twice.
Dog hits 11; Nick brawls 7, and he feels a rib break; Anne hits with saber and dagger for massive crits.
Jake enters and guards a door, as does Will.
Jesse and Luke are slowed by their fowl bellies.
Wang miss/4 on Top Hat; Ron hits w/ knife 8; Wang is struck 12; Ron is hit 15; Anne is hit 9/14.
Billy stabs 9; Dog hits 27; Anne kills him dead; Wei kills top hat; Ron hits 8.
Ron is missed. Billy crits with bowie 12; Nick moves to him and stabs 3; Ron crits and slits his throat open, cutting spine.
Now that we can see the room, sanity checks all around for the bloody viscera.

No sound coming from the 2 passages. From the right, we start to hear noise of working. Feet coming closer, multiple running in boots, from the left.
Wang cracks open the right. Cold air rushes out of a freezer, bodies hanging on chains attached runners above. A door at the other end of the room.
Wang “We have a buffer room.” Someone opens the other door in a big chefs hat, grabs a body and takes it away.
A woman’s voice says “That’ll do nicely Peter.”

The others line up in semi circle at the other door: our left to right Nick (shotgun), Billy (shotgun), Dog (scatter), Jesse (shotgun), Jake (shogtun), Ron (shotgun).
Enough quiet, time for killin’.
The door bursts open and a man with a truncheon “You’re all under arrest.” They begin to draw guns.
We fire first, at the ready, all w/ both barrels.
Dog, Jake, Nick, Jesse each kill.
The others draw.
Jake draws and hits leader 18; Nick is hit 8; Ron is missed; Billy firing 2 guns DEAD/DEAD; Ldr fires at Dog hits, and another hits him again; Jesse pulls his rifle misses; Nick draws carbine 19; Ron draws revolver 7 DOWN DEAD.
Dog draws his lamatte but only grazes the last non leader left.
Jake hits ldr 23 DEAD; Billy last 9/14 DEAD.
Reload.
We hear an alarm go off as we finish up reloading.
Billy “Let’s go through the meat locker and into the kitchen.”

Kitchen is awful, intestines strewn onto the floor; large disposal grate on the floor into the sewage.
Peter, Paul and Mary the cannibal chefs are here.
They cower in the corner. We move on past them.
We head out the only door into a hall which splits.
We go right past a door and turns. We continue on and circle back around to the room we just fought in. We back up following a corridor we passed.
Coming to a door to our left; to right stairs up and stairs down. We open the door into a huge storage room of food, armory, and more.
We believe the lab with the gem is downstairs so we go down and begin to explore. Come to a room with a stone shrine, stained with much old blood. Walls are covered in black curtains. No visible exit. Behind the curtains we come to a passage north to a door. No noise but rattling of bones. Dog has to break it open, one try.
A throne in an octagonal throne surrounded by a sea of human bones. We see a door at the other side. We enter atop the bones, and they start moving like something creeps underneath before it bursts forth in the midst of us.
When we are about half way to the other side a large roughly human and toad like appearance, sharp toothed, spines across its upper back. Some real nasty demon.
Teamwork ability time: Concentrated Firepower.
It is slower than all of us.
148 pts of damage on round 1. Only Luke misses.
I hits with only 1 claw. A stench almost unbearable reaches us from the creature. Luke drops back throwing up again.
Anne moves in with Sam Bowie’s Knife.
It falls lifeless, bleeding disgusting ‘blood’.
We now can see 2 doorways ahead just like the one we came through.
We make straight for the doorway fast. We take the left.
We enter into an art gallery of mosaics and sculpture, made out of human bones. All are abstract twisted shapes from 1’ to 6’ tall, but for a single 10’. They are oddly beautiful and well made in their grotesqueness (sanity check).
As we leave back to the bone room, another patrol enters from out original entrance guns out. Guns blaze.
Ron tosses a stick and damages one. Dog steps up 10’ before firing and kills one, the only one we kill the first round.
Billy steps forward to start the next round, ready to get into the first range increment next round, and hits.
Anne moves 10’ forward before missing badly. Firing continues; Ron prepares more TNT. Jake kills. Wang moves up this round too and misses.
Dog charges the leader, who stumbles back 15’ knocking over a mexican behind him.
Billy moves w/in first increment and fires again to begin the next round. He kills 2.
Anne gets across the bones and enters into melee and kills one.
The 1st leader now brawls Dog 8.
Ron throws more TNT hitting multiple targets this time. Jake kills 2.
Wei engages in melee near Anne. Nick kills one. Dog knocks the leader down.
Billy kills 2.
Ann reaches a Mexican with Bowie’s knife DEAD. Jake kills one.
Leader 2 calls a retreat but fires and hits Dog.
Wei then kills. Nick kills a Mexican who shot Dog in the back.
Dog chases down the ldr running away grabbing at him and catching his pants, the belt rips and pants slip down, stumbling the man. Billy staggers one who slumps against the wall.
Anne slices the 1st leader wide open DEAD.
Run steps outside and crits Dog’s man DEAD.
Jesse from across the fight crits the last man up DEAD.
Anne finishes off the staggered guard.
Reloading all around.

Now down the right passage, to a long snaking hallway ending in a door. No sound and unlocked. Dog opens the door to see a horrific thing leap out at him from above as he steps in.
Dog “Ooooooohh!” It is but a dead body, set to fall.
The room is maybe 20′ × 50′. At the far end a set of door, perhaps cells. In the middle is a medical table with a body atop it.
Shelves of bottles all along the wall, with various body parts and organs. The body is split wide open like an autopsy or dissection. The organs are all laid out. Seems abandoned, he thinks hours only. The body is not fully human looking, but appears to be another race of humanoid altogether. Nothing any of us have ever seen. Thin, long fingers with talons. The mouth is slightly snout like.
Dog looks at the Dr’s notes nearby, with sketches of the body. The operator was obviously trying to figure this thing out.
We take all the notes. There is a camera on one shelf as well, We take it, too, as there is film in it.
As we rummage about the room, Dog comes across a jar with a small malformed fetus within, eyes open. It turns in the bottle, floating like. He reels a shiver down his spine. He puts it in his satchel.
BIlly looks in the cells. One just splattered with blood. Next 2 empty. Number 4 has a man manacled to the wall, he looks up with a groan Trying to keep his eyes open and head up.
He “Who are you? Let me out, I can help.”
Billy “Who the hell are you?”
“Stone, my name’s Stone.”
This looks just like the description we have of him.
Luke gets the keys from where they hang and brings them over.
No sign of the Heart of Darkness.
We go in and he says they took the Heart yesterday. Grimm was in the middle of his autopsy after they had finished torturing me. A messenger came, he grabbed the heart and took off in a rush.
Jake “How can you guarantee that?” He says he has a connection to it, ever since he found it from the late Dr. The gang we faced in Texas were hired by Grimm, not Stone. Stone tried to buy it from the drunken Snead we knew of late. Stone is surprised to hear he lived through Stone’s attempting killing of him by strangulation because the Dr. had decided to go back on the deal, over fear of Grimm. Then he was interrupted by Grimm’s men in his hotel room. So, the doctor’s body was left there.
So, we need to take him. He says there is a booby trap as Luke walks in after unlocking. He gets the feel of static electricity. Luke jumps forward as a bolt of lighting leaps across the air across the room. A humming sound follows. It probably reset.
Luke unlocks him.
We look for a lever outside the cell and easily see it now, and turn it off.
Dog and Ron help him out of the cell. He gets his guns on the way out and straps them on.
After he is out, Jake whispers to Dog to go back into the cell, take any skin samples from the shackles, and hair that looks to be from Stone.
Billy and Jake have discussed letting the prisoners of the major cell block free, to delay the guards.
Back up to the basement. We want to find if there are any important prisoners especially our contact that was dragged away in the city. We do find another small block of 5 cells.
Dog kicks it the iron door in that leads to the block. We go inside.
Jake “Welby are you in here?”
One man yells that he is Nick Carter, detective for US Secret Service. He needs to get back to US to inform them of the cannibalism that he has discovered and the dangers here!
He has us poor some alcohol on his wrist, revealing a brief glow of a mystical axe tatoo. We let him out with the keys we find. Welby is in the next cell!!!
Irishman in the next cell, MIchael Francis McGoo. Says was arrested on trumped up espionage. He seems like a serial killer, he’s too smooth.
Next cell, a man sitting silently. Scrawny and mousey “you can just leave me here”. He is afraid of us. Barry Blake. He might consider going if we have a way out. Otherwise he’ll be tortured and beaten. We think about taking this guy.
Next cell is a chinaman. He and Wei speak in Mandarin. The man is Lee Fangh, a financial agent for the Tong leader Kang in San Fran, same guy who ruins the Chinese pirates in the maze. Fangh says he can spiritually kill himself, he can not withstand the torture much longer and can not betray his master.
We get them all out of their cells. As the Barry Blake guy comes out, he fixates on Wei. Wherever Wei walks, this guy is 2’ behind him. McGoo does a bunch of acrobatics. “The Great McGoo!!! Worlds greatest acrobat!!!!” Has been with Barnum and Bailey.
He tumbles out in to the hall “there’s nobody here” and tumbles back in. He is very fast and lithe. With a running start, he leaps entirely over Billy.
Carter says these are the top 5 prisoners. So, why McGoo. Luke thinks he’s acting like an idiot to throw us off.
Billy things Blake could be a plant, Jake thinks he probably saw something he shouldn’t have seen and their trying to keep him quiet.
Billy threatens to cripple McGoo if he does not quiet down.
He leads the way up the steps. Wei keeps an eye on Barry.
At the top is a barricade to keep us out. 6 guards there are already dead, not a mark on their bodies. Wei and Dog check them out. They are still warm; blood runs out of the mouth of one; 2 others have broken necks; another has a major indentation in his chest. We enter into a processing and records room. Large, tables and waiting benches. It’s L shaped. Several exits. Carter was led into and through here from another block so he is of some help concerning directions. Couple of cell blocks, main records room, stairs to floor above.
Will goes to the record room, Luke says burn all the record files they have. They both go there.
The others go to cell block B to start releasing prisoners.
The doors open to a group of guards lined up with shotguns. Jake drops one with a shotgun after Dog opens the door, clearing behind it as he does. Billy fires both pistols.
They return fire, hitting Jake once.
Jake fastdraws his revolver and hits one. Billy fires again dropping one, then rip a clips DEAD. Other gun hits 9.
The 3 left hit Billy once.
Jake kills his wounded one, quick hammers DEAD. Billy fires at the last DEAD.
We reload.
At next door, Dog hears clicks.
Dog cracks the door open open. Ron tosses a triple stick of TNT in. After it goes off, Dog opens the door and charges into the carnage. They are all dead.
Behind next door is a lot of clanging. It’s the cell block, all the prisoners banging on bars.
Dog, Ron, Nick unlock doors. Jake, Billy , Jesse cover the situation with Wang.
Jesse hears a man coming down the hall. Turning, he sees a priest with his hand up “peace my brothers, I am here to show you the way of light”. He beckons us toward the light. “I the Reverend Hardcastle….” he’s a Grimm man.
Jake “Jesse take this guy out.”
Jesse misses badly with his winchester.
“Don’t shoot at me, follow me. I can take you to Grimm.”
Billy “We don’t want to go to Grimm.”
Billy “F&^# Grimm.”
Jesse fires again and crits 33; it seem as if it slowed for a moment at an unseen barrier before breaking through. He points at Billy, a bolt of fire at Billy 9.
Jake hits as well 16 but it hits the barrier and does nothing. Billy misses. He draws his knife "Wang, lets kill this guy the old fashioned way.
Our rescued back up.
Wang and Billy engage. His field of static hits our front line.
Him “Don’t make me hurt you. Just come with me enjoy the pleasure of pain.”
Stone draws and fires 6 shots, hitting 4 times. They have no effect.
Wang misses with a kick.
Jake yells back for Dog. Billy misses. They side step to open up shooting lane.
A shimmering blade of force conjures in the rev’s hand and he strikes Billy 18.
Stone empties his other gun into him, hitting 4 times.
Billy “Mad Dog, we need you!”
Jesse hits 20, and bursts the shield, but hits another line of defense doing little damage.
Jake hits 24. Rev looks down in surprise, seeing blood running from the wound “It is obvious you are all beyond saving”. A cloud of smoke is manifested, and he is gone.
We finish unlocking the last few, then at the entrance pull the master lever which opens all the doors.
We rush out, followed by them. They rush for the front door and the wharf. We let the other cell block free, devoid of guards. We find the girl arrested in Anne’s place. We take her too. The others make for the wharf, too.
Lots of chaos in their wake as we make for the sewer and our boat.
We grab up Will and Luke.
The girl has been raped repeatedly and tortured.
The records show that Fangh may have stretched the truth a bit or lied to them: They have details of numbers of pirate ships in the maze.
Not much on Welby.
On Carter: They had no idea he was Secret Service, only a smuggler and suspected he was a Texas Ranger under cover.
Blake: was in with the general population; have a large check mark next to his name with a notation that he was to be experimented on before vivisected. They don’t say why him, but ‘we have found one’.
McGoo: “after costing the lives of 11 Guardian Angels this man deserves to die. If we can uncover his secret he might be worth converting to our ranks.” That was 2 weeks ago. From a couple days ago “this man is too dangerous and intractable to use and too annoying to let live. He needs to die”.
We pack onto the boat, very crowded. Once ashore McGoo takes off, Welby goes off to get help from the underground, Blake has no where to go so he stays with us. The girl, named Sherry, we tell to stay with us as well. Carter says he needs to get out of the city as quickly as possible. Stone says we need to get into Grimm’s inner sanctums to get the Heart.

We all hide out in the city over night with Welby’s underground.

May 5

The ritual is tonight. The population is summoned tonight to the cathedral. Stone’s hideous friend tells us of a warehouse that is a safe place to escape too if things go bad.
Evening, dusk.
As we walk into the huge cathedral in street clothes and coats to cover our weapons, close to 1000 people there. Many Guardian Angels on guard.
Grimm is already at the pulpit. The Heart too, glowing with evil intensity.
As he is speaking with booming voice, the stained glass window behind him shatters!! Demons flood through into the crowd, attacking. The Angels start to fire at the demon. A large winged demon duels Grimm.
Luke “Go get the heart McGoo.”
Wei starts to make his way to the pulpit asap.
Dog lets out a deafening roar. McGoo yells for Dog to “punch Barry. Punch him!” He does.
Barry fall back, then screams as his body begins to bulge. He races forward throwing people and demons aside, Wei following his path. McGoo rushes up, leaping inhumanly on his way landing behind the demon vs Grimm fight facing us.
Luke, followed by Will, get to the exit to ‘hold the door open for us’.
Ron, with rifle, shoots the gem off the pulpit.
McGoo grabs it “I got the dingus”. A huge horn sprouts from his chest from behind. Wei grabs the Heart from his loosening hand. It lifts him up roaring, McGoo still alive and writhing.
Wei books for the exit. We rush after him. Behind us, Barry the Hulk is wading through demons, Angels, and citizens alike.
Out the door we go. The underground booked it as soon as the demons showed up.
Fangh has disappeared. Carter is running with us and Sherry.
As we made it out, it seemed the demons were loosing the battle.
Dog is the last out, covering our rear behind Jake and Billy. There is a lot of smoke in the room. Billy sees ghostly streams rising from the dead he can see, flowing into the Reverend Grimm. McGoo. The demon is banished out by Grimm as he relishes his victory and feeding on the life essences of the dead.
McGoo’s body, and a few of the killed Angels, are being taken out the back to the infirmary. We rush around the back while Grimm is still feeding.
As we get to the rear, the Hulk bursts through the back of the cathedral and rampages to the door of the infirmary where the closest people to him are. The guards fire, and he destroys them. He charges into the building, and moments later out the side and down the street. Jake and Billy lead Dog in. 4 guards are still there. We see them first. Jake hits 24 DEAD and quick hammers 8 and hits him again DEAD.
Billy fires both guns, misfiring first then crit DEAD rip a clip the last shot (card) 15 DEAD.
Dog grabs the body.

We make for the underground’s hideout. Dog first aids McGoo, who is barely alive. Jake, Billy, Dog go to meet Stone with Wei. Carter volunteers to join us. We leave the Heart with Ron. He and the rest stay with the underground. We may be getting to Stone’s boat and stealing it. We want to meet Old Pete w/o the Heart.
Stone pulls both his guns out and not quite aiming at old Pete wants to know who the hell he is, how he knows so much about him, and why he was so interested in getting Stone out of jail.
Pete asks for the Heart.
Stone says if anyone gets out of here with it “it’s gonna be me”.
We all wanna know who Pete is. He unmasks revealing his hideous face.
He rips the false disguise off. It’s Stone!! Stone says “What the?”
Pete says the 2 of them have a lot to talk about after we get the heart from these dudes.
Fortunately, we thought ahead and did not bring it. They have us covered. Stone comes over and searches us, not believing us.
They are very disappointed.
Pete suggests they kill us, Jake says we should all kill Pete since he’ s the real mystery.
Pete backs up “I don’t believe in letting my enemies live to fight another day, but there is good reason to keep you men alive. Stone, come with me.”
They leave, slamming the door behind them.
As we open the door, something like gravel is thrown into the street before us by Pete “We will keep you busy until we are gone.”
A couple dozen fiendish demon creatures are conjured from them. More are around the building, surrounding the entire place. Humanoids with goat like heads and hooves. They carry double edged axes, some also crossbows. At least a couple dozen surround the place.
We lock the doors and go up to the roof. We start picking off these demon things.
Jake wants to wait them out, figuring being from an item they are likely temporary, just delaying tactic. We sit down, have a smoke and a drink of Dog’s ever present ‘anesthetic’. An hour later they pop out of existence.
Back to the Underground. We tell them what has happened. Sherry says before we leave, we need to go somewhere, she needs to get something before we leave. She leads us to cheap hotel. She gets a key from the clerk and leads us to her 3rd floor room. Pries up a board in the floor to a small metal box. Putting her thumb to a plate it pops open. From inside she takes out an unusual gun. She says she’s from the future, as is this gun. She needs our help. Says the Heat is a key to the possible future she is from, which she wants to stop. In hers, the Heart was used to create a Bastion and area that could not be penetrated and awakened the Great Old Ones from within it. Year 2094. But, she is pretty sure this rising may actually happen much sooner.
Her people had a stonghold in Devil’s Tower. We found an arcane means of sending someone into the past to kill the prime mover of the cult. Stone.
Jake “I thought you’d say that.”
We race for Pete’s boat where it was stashed and it’s still there!!

On the trip, she explains that ‘The evil found out and sent an agent here to stop her: The second Stone. He is still alive in our time. Killing him is beyond your capabilities. We can destroy the Heart in the future at Devil’s Tower’.
Too risky that she is a cultist herself. It needs to be destroyed here and now. She says there is a gate in Devils Tower now, through which she was going to send it. She wants to stay here though, worried if it is taken into the future it destroys it and her existence will cease.
She wants to stay with us until we can destroy it.

Into Hollywoodland. We sneak in, get to the Producer’s house.
We stay the night there.
Carter says his goodbyes and leaves immediately.

We plan to rest here a few days.
Sherry says she intentionally got herself caught to keep Anne out of jail, she knew she needed us to save her future.

The next morning, Wei is gone, along with the Heart of Darkness. He leave a note that he will get the Heart to those who can best deal with it. We expected this so its no surprise.
First thing, Jake wires Jimmy to try to find Buddy, Jim, Brandy, and Johnny.
Wynnwood ships the camera, film, notes, et al from prison disection to Detective Agency in NYC.

The morning after, Sherry has disappeared.

Note: Fangh disappeared during the Cathedral fight. McGoo is left with Welby to take care of him. We tell Welby to also look out for Blake if he survives the night.

After about a week stay, back to Texas. Jimmy is wired to meet us in Riverside. By May 14 we are at Riverside.

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"3 Guns for El Dorado"
Jake, Billy and Jesse return to the old haunt

April 22

Night time, all 6 arrive Stetson City. We see an Indian, like the turban wearing kind, in a tailored suit carrying a black leather attache case. He looks us up and down and says:
“Would you per chance be Jake Washington and William Logan?”
He is Hanuman, and bows. Billy tips his hat to him.
Asks to join for refreshments. He says he has extraordinary knowledge, that’s how he knew we were coming.
Jake “I don’t trust that, but I guess we can have a drink with you.”
We have a drink at a nearby saloon. A woman sits at a table, dressed like a well to do city girl from Chicago or something like that including one of those single lens glasses on a stick. He takes us to that table and we sit.
He introduces Hildegard Newhouse. She puts down her lens and brings up a deck, shuffling, and dealing cards out on the table like a solitaire game.
Jake “What kind of cards are these?”
Westinghouse “I believe tarot, or somehting similar.”
Her “You use cards to play at money. I use cards to play at fate.”
Hanuman “I’m sorry but your friends are not welcome in this discussion. They are not in the vision.”
The NY 3 excuse themselves to the bar.
It concerns him that they were not part of the vision, she says that perhaps they have only a small part to play in what is to come.
They have been waiting for us for days, since before we knew we were coming.
“Hildegard can see the future. Sometimes more clearly than others.”
They need competent, intelligent, and discreet assistance from mighty slayers. The cards said the mightiest slayers available would arrive today.
They need our help vs a heinous villainy. Men have been killed an items of great values stolen. The villains have fled. He can’t tell us what or where from the item was stolen. The enemy is here, Hildegard has discovered their location and identities.
HIm “Have you ever heard of the Tremende Gang?”
Jake “Yes.” There are 6 dime novels written about them. Some call them the Tremendez gang, once. They hate being called that, saying they are not greasers and hate being confused for such.
Leader is Marshal Rex Tremende, called that cause he wears the badge of a marshal he killed, his specialty. Inside his coat he has the badge of each that he has killed. Elvira Santa Domingo (Spanish; would be gorgeous but for long scar going from face down into her shirt; master of martial arts), Zick (over 500 lbs. and augmented by Haelstroms labs; steam arm w/ huge car in place of right hand), front man Kasper Zedd (English born; people think he’s a werewolf cause of white hair on head sticking straight up and hairy hands), Walter Hardiron (Apache); techno wizard Doc Sneade (inventor gone bad; specializes in flying gizmos; total drunk; spends his share of cash on drunken binges). Known as a savage gang. They are hiding out somewhere in this county. We are to find them for $10000. 1000 up front, 9000 when we return the item.
He says if something happens to the 2 of them, take the item to our employer. We must sign a non disclosure agreement to not tell anyone ever about anything that happens about this. If we do, measures will be taken.
“When you find out who your employer is, you’ll understand.”
We refuse to sign, until we know who they are; we will not steal an item from one bunch of villains only to give it to another.
He shows us an article from the Tombstone Epitaph. After seeing that, he says either to sign or he will say no more.
Title of the article “What a rock…..foretells end of the world”.
Black diamond “The Heart of Darkness” given to Dr. Haelstrom at an event (see article) from an explorer’s society Sir Burn. Society based on Boston, roots in that of United Kingdom.
Has appeared in many native tales creation stories here in Americas. Supposedly cursed. The money will be given to Harvard for funding.
Essentially, Hanuman works for Haelstrom who does not want any word of this getting out.
Jake is against signing it, as they already told us all they know anyway. We need their agreement for nothing. Billy and Jesse think we should sign so as to stop them from bringing in any other competition before we finish.
We sign.
They love saloons, so they’re probably in a town. They must not be ‘hiding’ too much.
We figure they may be in Riverside, or Riverside will have the word at least. They could be in one of the outlying towns instead, like along the now dead cattle trail to the east of Promise City.

Investigators leave this day, a few hours later.

We get a room at the Magnolia House, best place in town. Wasn’t here back in the day.
We get 2 rooms. Jesse alone, Jake and Billy together.

Overnight:

Jesse wakes to a man poking him in the chest w/ a shotgun. 3 men total stand there. Black robed, hooded, cross necklaces.
One of them “We are not here, but a figment of your imagination. We have been sent to you by brother Brigham Young and have questions for you. Were you hired by Haelstrom? Do not return the Heart of Darkness to Haelstrom. You are to give it to us, the Danites. We are the execution arm of the church. When you have it, we will be back. You will give it to us of your own free will. Only we Mormons can be trusted not to use it for the end of the world.”
“What if my partners refuse to do so?”
“We will pay whatever we need to. Demolition, torture, kidnap and murder are allowed to the Danites. Robbery is not. Tell your men.” They leave out the window, one with the shotgun last to go into the night.
Jesse “Jake! Jake!”
Jake and Billy wakes and run over, Jesse explains.

April 23

We ride for Riverside. Jesse acts as scout as we travel.
He spots dust far behind us. Jesse rides closer, seeing 8 of them looking like potential toughs and gunmen; they all wear boulers and masks. They stop once and a man looks around on the ground like they are tracking us. He then rides to report to Jake and Billy.
Jake “Bouller hats huh?”
Billy “Uh oh.”
We are in the badlands nearing Riverside at this point.
Jesse takes a perfect shooting position. Jake and Billy wait for their approach. They arrive Jake says “Bad choice of hats fellas.” Jake and Billy are mounted still.
They greet us.
Billy “Why you following us.”
“We’re not, just heading to the town in the badlands.”
Billy “You know the name of the town.”
The talker stumbles his words.
Billy “Do you know who you are following?”
“Never saw you guys before. I’m sure you haven’t see us before.”
Billy “Well I’m sure we haven’t seen you.”
“Don’t you recognize these boullers? Those and black dusters are the trademarks for the employees of Smith and Robards.”
It’s the same company of the catalogue. They sell everything, especially great guns and ammo. They are the primary competitor of Haelstrom, even having gunbattles at times tween their hired men. There is violence between them.
The leader rides up closer and gives Jake his card: Cpt. Tom Baxter, Regulator.
They offer a fancy price for when we get it.
“We’ll take it under advisement if we are indeed searching for such an item.”
Billy “We should let them ride along and nearby.”
Jake “Sure.”
Billy “We’d be happy for you to ride along together.”
They are also willing to buy any of the other items the gang stole from Haelstrom, including prototype weapons.
Jake insists they do not wear their hats in his presence however.
They accept, for now.

We arrive at Riverside in the evening, getting rooms at a hotel and going straight for the saloon. We start asking about the Tremende Gang.
We here they were heading into the badlands just a couple days ago. Went north. There is a gunsmith they sold some stuff to.
We ask about our old assayer friend, Jim. He still has his shop. We plan to see him tomorrow.
He doesn’t live in his store anymore, has a house just outside of town. Jake goes to visit him.

Billy and Jesse hear commotion outside. They take a look, the town marshal. He says he doesn’t like murders in my town, “3 men found dead in an ally. Strangers. They had just arrived this evening.” He asks where we strangers have been, so he checks in the saloon and barkeep vouches for us.
Marshal “Somebody practically tore these guys apart. Vicious wounds all over.” Like a machete or something. They arrived, got rooms, left and no one saw them until they were found. They each had a knapsack, in them were black hoods!! The Mormons!!
“Who could have killed these guys?”
Our guys with the bowler hats have not been with us all evening. Could have been the enemy gang. He says at least some of the Gang stayed. His deputy tracked them, and at least one of them split off but he wasn’t able to follow it much. Then they all doubled back south but he lost the trail.

Jake stays for the evening, asking about the gang. They stayed a couple days, just long enough to stay and supply before heading north for the Reservation, for who knows what.They made it clear where they were going.
Jake "A little too clear. On another note, I have a question. Ever hear of a weird black diamond in the native folklore? "
“About yo big, totally black? There are some things best spoken of in light of day. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you.”
“All right, I’ll bring breakfast.”

Jake goes back to the saloon before midnight.
So are they still in town? Just outside of it? Did they only double back to have one of their men kill the Mormons then head on their way?

April 24

Jake takes steak, eggs, potatoes to meet Jim.
The others to the gunsmith.

Jake:
Jim is nervous about the subject.
“Have you ever heard of the Krull?”
“No.”
“Thousands of years ago they ruled on earth over the Native races. Bringing with them a power source.”
The diamons?
“It’s said to be an alien artifact, so powerful it could transform the world should it be unleashed.”
“For good or ill.”
“No, only for ill so far as I can tell.”
“What would you use this thing for nowadays?”
“Supposedly it allows some sort of unspeakable monsters to travel here, to Earth. It can not be destroyed so they say, so the Indians tried to keep it hidden.” He says it eats souls, so do not die near it.

So,likely, Haelstrom knows just what it does. Smith and Roebard’s probably just sees it innocently as a power source, knowing not what it will really unleash. Could be that the Mormons just want it to hide it from the world like the Indians.

Billy/Jesse:

It’s a girl.
Billy “We’ve heard you may have come into possession of some unusual weapons. Is that true?”
“Not many.”
Billy “What do you have?”
First, she shows Billy a piece of garbage gattling pistol. She took it apart to try to see how to build her own.
“You need Ghostrock for that, ya know?”
“I have some fuel.”
Shows him a bowie knife, cuts paper in half like butter.
Out back she has a pistol range with 3 wooden Indians “Watch this. Good for distance as well.”
Blade shoots out and knocks the head off of one.
Billy “Is it for sale?”
“I was going to take it apart to see how it works, but now I’m afraid to.” She shows Billy how to reload it and fire it. She needs the proper first, high tensil steel.
Shows us a contraption, a steam pack you wear connected to mechanical arms that your arms go in, giving a 25 str.
The enemy Gang sold all these to her and have
more.
Billy does not want to spend the cash. He goes to find the Sears men and finds 3, asking for springs like that. They say they have a repair kit that has 3 but they want to know why he wants them.
Billy explains but is cut off by gunfire down Main St. He and Jesse walk to investigate.
Jake is riding into town right about now.

Billy sees Jake at the other end of the street. A Sears man, minus hat, lies on the ground w/ bullet in the head and hat lying nearby. A man stands over him with hair straight up, smoking 6 gun in his hand.
Billy continues on. Jesse hangs back, making for the roof of a 2 story building nearby.
Jake rides for the scene, Frontier drawn.
Marshal arrives with 2 deputy, ordering him to drop his guns. He begins to give them butt first, then performs a border shift hitting both deputies. A shotgun fires and the Marshal flies halfway across the street. That man comes out of the near building, we don’t recognize him.
‘You can all see it was self deefense. And my pards here will swear to it." 2 others come out of the saloon, again not of the actual gang. Kasper skillfully twirls his guns into his holsers.
Jesse sees across from him is a man w/ a Sharpe’s covering the street for the enemy.
Billy calls that he cares not about the law, only about where “your buddies are. You can tell me now and I’ll take you down fast, or slow and it’ll be painful.”
“Last time I checked there was 4 of us and only 1 of you.”
Billy draws both guns going for the random gunmen. He fires 6 shots before anyone else shots, killing all 3.
Jesse fires at the rifleman 21.
Soon as Kasper draws, Jake blows one of his guns out of his hand. We want him alive.
Jesse hits again 20.
Kasper hits Billy, who then goes for his gun but misses.
Jake hits the rifleman from long range 12 wound points, who then misses Billy thanks to the neg!!
Kasper hits Billy 8.
Jake crits him 35 DEAD.
Billy turns and fires to the roof man 12, Jake hits him 11.
He turns to stumble away but Jesse hits DEAD.
Reload all around.
Billy looks at Jake and shakes his head.
Jake “You don’t think you’ll come for us now?”
Billy searches Kasper.
Jake searches the hired guns, their pay is ours now gold Double Eagle each. $80 on Kasper. We take all their guns and gunbelts. We keep the ammo.
The Marshal is close to death, the deputies get up. Marshal will be laid up for a few weeks.

April 25

An Injun rides into town. It’s Hotiron! He walks into the saloon where we are having breakfast “Is the Jake Washington Gang here? We heard you killed Kasper.”
Jake “That’s right.”
“I’m thinking maybe we…Rex sent me to have a powow with you guys.”
Billy “What the f does he want.”
“He wants to know what you are hunting him for.”
Jake “He should know.”
“Well we don’t know so tell me.”
Billy “We were hired by an interested party to acquire an item you have recently acquired.”
“First, what makes you think we acquired it. Second, what makes you think we still have it.”
Billy “We were told on good authority you do, and if you dont…”
Jake “You’re still the next line of inquiry.”
He says 1 single member, Doc Sneade, left to take it to the person who hired them. We know he has not been see by anyone here.
He asks for $1000 to tell us where the jewel went, and for us to get off their tail.
He says he, personally, is not scared. He’s Apache. He just has no loyalty to who hired them.
Others in his gang must be seriously worried though. He says our reputation precedes us, it’s not trouble they want.
In talking, its clear they have no idea what the gem is really for. They did it for the money, assuming it was just a very valuable jewel.
Jake says we don’t have close to that. We can give them all the money from their friends, their guns, gunbelts, horses plus $100.
He wants his partners stuff, an IOU for the $1000 and promise we leave them alone.
We deal down to the 1000 minus the 160 money his men had on them that we give back. Plus we will leave them be if they do not interfere with us again. We keep guns and belts.

‘A gunfighter named Stone, deadliest in the West. He hired them. They stole it, and had a gyrocopter that Doc took to City of Lost Angels to deliver to Stone. He is an enemy of Haelstrom, why Hot Iron does not know. There was a Stone in the Revolution days, feared by the Injuns for his savagery. Always been a Stone in the West. He said something about a reckoning, he worships old gods. They say he can not die, he’s the ghost who walks.
We send Jesse to telegraph to our men in City of Lost Angels immediately to get to work on this!

Billy takes the springs to the gunsmith so that she can make more.
Wire LA producer about Stone and all, so that our men there can look into this stuff if possible.

Late afternoon we head out for Justice.
Arrive Stetson City, stay the night.

April 25

Train to Fort Griffon.
Ride to and arrive Justice, night.

April 26

There is a bed of unseasonal snow still on the ground. Cold late in the year.
Early morning, ride north into woods.
As we approach the cabin, its quiet. Too quiet. When we come into sight, the cabin is nothing but burnt ruins!!!!
We investigate. There are dead bodies, pretty rotted. At least a few weeks dead; half a dozen gunmen they are.
We also find Sam’s lifeless body; and the werewolf brother.
5 or 6 dead men outside the shack with bullet holes in them. Lots of bullets in the shack walls outside. Shack mostly caved in and burned.
We dig to the tunnel entrance, it’s open and charred on the open side, so it was open when the place was burned, and head down. Huge fighting here, no coffin.
Jesse finds no signs of tracks around.
We take 20 with the search. Underneath the open hatch, Jake finds a paper and hands it to Billy. Looks like cryptic directions in the vampire’s hand. 18 miles from
The bullets used vs the werwolf were silver.
These guys knew what they were going after. We find 14 nonfired silver bullets.

We ride SW immediately, 18 miles as the letter tells us, in a rush. It’s evening when we have gone that far, sun almost down. Ahead, a lonely ranch. We ride to it.
Billy suggests setting Jesse up as a sniper, just in case of trouble
Jake and Billy ride forward.
McAllister Ranch, with the MR brand in a circle, just like on the letter. Few deserted trees, large field of corn, well at a windmill, and another by the bunkhouse. Ranch house, 2 outhouses, barn, bunkhouse.
No one sight. Couple people are sitting on porch.
Her husband Travis owns it, this is his wife Lacy approaches us. Old woman with a big 8 gauge shotgun comes out “any damn Mexicans here?” She still thinks she’s in the war vs Santa Anna.
Jake “No ma’am.”
Travis walks out, mid 30’s.
Jake says we are looking for an old friend, Fredrick Von Brown. They say they have no idea, we better move on.
We ask to set up camp here “we’d be awful grateful”. He says we can stay in the bunkhouse. We warn them of another, Jesse, coming.
Jake introduces himself and says thanks, after he swears our boss is named Stone.
“Reckon you guys will have a nice time in the bunkhouse.”
Billy “Reckon I will too.”

Big, burly black man, Doug, opens door, invites us on in. Introduces us to the formen, Parker Yates (about 45). He looks tough and mean, but 1 leg has brace just so he can walk. Wears old leather vest, place not as faded is outlined of Texas Ranger Star.
3 other men there as well. Clem does much of the talkin, his brothers are Lemm and Pete. Offer us some beans left if we want some. Little drinkin’ and card playing. In small talk, they know nothing, but winter was particularly tough this year. 13 year old son Owen of Travis and Lacy was out early in winter. He was caught in a blizzard while everyone was gathering up cattle. A neighbor found him though, name of Fred.
“Shut your mouth Clem.”
We try to tell them we came to see him, but hey say we are too late, he moved back east.
We get to sleep. Doug leaves, as he sleeps in the main house. His daughter, Velma (8), as well.
Billy and Jake talk. Billy is getting impatient with them. He thinks we should sneak up to the house during the night, break in, and check the situation out on our own. Tomorrow morning, kill everyone if we have to.
Jake wants to be more careful. From all they have said, he thinks the vampire is being hidden here and they are too cautious to just believe anyone who stops by. He hopes, ideally, that during the night the vampire, if indeed here and so told by Travis who we claim to be, will come to us.
To bed. One of us stays awake at any one time. Billy first. Couple hours later, he hears a click in the middle of the floor. A hatch opens just a bit and a hand reaches out. Someone exits, really gracefully, wearing a cape and hood. Hatch silently closes. The figure practically slides along the floor to Billy’s bed, who has gun at the ready. It reaches for his throat, but stops inches away.
Voice says “Guten Nacht, William.” It’s Fredrick!! "Get a good nights sleep, we’ll talk in the morning. He vanishes into the dark.

April 27

Invited to main house for breakfast, 2" thick steaks and eggs. Travis and Lacy have 3 kids (1,10,13).
Ranger Parker Yates, former Cpt., retired because of the bad leg.
Rather quickly Fredrick shows up! We are happy to see him alive, Jake greets him enthusiatically.
Travis explains they owed Fred for saving the son, so when he showed up hurt, weak, hunted, they hid him.
Jake “Damn, that was at great risk.”
Few days later, sent Parker to cabin and brought out coffin and repaired it.
We tell him our run in with Stone’s men.
Fred says Stone makes little sense. Kills men, kids, outlaws, lawmen.
Fred has no idea what the Heart of Darkness is, or why he attacked “He’s the most powerful single entity ever faced.” Says is immortal or something, many strengths but sensed no vampirism; undead of something; no fangs though.
At the very least, artificially old and powerful by some means. Likely unnatural even if not undead per se.
Couple guys did stop by recently, they turned them away. There may be more still looking.

So, no leads of any value from Fredrick; very unfortunate.
After breakfast, Jake, mostly, speaks privately with Fred about the Mythos et al: He has heard nothing of this mythos, but he has heard of the Red Death. He despises it, as it is the backer of Dracula and he is a mortal enemy of Dracula though Drac is more powerful.
Jake tells him of Paul, that perhaps they can assist each other once Fredrick is in Europe, except that he is a vampire and Paul’s crew hunts monsters.
Fredrick "Perhaps I can help them surreptitiously.
Fred wants to get to Europe, Stone was too powerful for him. He’s not going back to face Drac in combat, only engineer his destruction. Dracula is super powerful.
We explain Drac’s plan in California that we stopped.
He is surprised first that we stopped his plans at all, then explains that Drac was more into subverting individuals and changing history and such like that, not blanket vampirism to take over a continent. He has a hard time believing it was him. If so, he has very much altered the way he does things and his outlook.
“These are deep waters my friends, too deep for us to understand at this time and place.”

A shot rings out. We look out and Clem is riding across the fields as fast as he can to get here.
Jake “Better get a high point Jesse.”
Jake and Billy meet Clem outside. He was caring for stray cattle and saw 20 Injuns approaching. Seeing they were not from 2 Feathers, half painted black for war. They are a kill party.
We see them lined up on a nearby rise. The chief holds up feathered coup stick, and mexicans and white men appear wearing Injun feathers = Comancheros. One of the Mexicans waves a white rag from his rifle and rides up to the porch.
“Good day, ladies and gentlemen. You are all dead men. You have 1 hope of survival. Othewise the men die, the children are raised as Comanche, and the women raped to death.”
Billy “What is our way out?”
“Send out the vampire. That’s right, we know what he is. The price on his head is very high. Senior Stone has left us with the job of killing him.”
2 barrels of an 8 gauge shotgun fire out the window as Jake is about to draw and fire anyway, killing the dirtbag.
Billy “no Mexicans on the property.”
She yells out and curses loudly to them.
A rifle shot rings out from an unseen sniper, just missing Granny’s head. Jesse spots the shot, 100 yards out, and returns fire. The sniper is on his stomach, but Jesse’s shot goes right through his forehead DEAD.
The others ride out of view, then we see them driving the cattle away.

Jesse keeps watch.

Afternoon:
The kids are put in the root cellar under the house. The Ranger and BIlly are in the bunkhouse with Douglas. Jesse is on the.
In the ranch house 1st floor: Jake; Clem/Lemm/Pete/Fredrick/Nannie/Lacy on 1st floor; son and Travis on 2nd floor with rifles front and back;

20 Comanch come riding into view and surround the house, riding around and around, whooping it up. Some with bows and arrows, some rifles. Jake gives Clem his winchester.
Clem and bros miss. Jake hits with shotgun DEAD. Owen crits one who falls off his horse and stumbles out of the fight fast. Jesse hits DEAD.

4 men are at the far end of the corral from the bunkhouse. 4 others are out in the open at the end of the property sneaking toward the bunkhouse. 2 others creep to the corner of the barn near the corral. Another from the loft entrance to the barn.
Billy moves toward the 4 open men. Douglas from the side to the corral, Yates to the barn. We fire, they didn’t know we had men in there. Yates begins firing at the loft shooter. Billy’s shotgun crits DEAD.
Next round Billy pulls revolvers. The other 2 continue with rifles. Yates and Douglas hit for low damage. Billy hits one for 8 and another 17. Douglas is hit 8/13.

jake hits w/ shotgun DEAD and 13; Lemm hits 9; Jesse hits 14 DEAD; Owen hits 18 DEAD and another for 15.; Travis hits 15 DEAD.
Clemm is killed outright by a rifle shot; Lemm is hit 14; Pete is hit 5 by bow.
Owen is hit, slumps down badly hurt, then runs to the root cellar. Lacy takes a wound point, and moves to the root cellar.

At bunks:
Douglas and Yates each kill a man. Billy fires both pistols DEAD and DEAD. Yates is hit for 16. Billy gets more shots off 11. Billy is now out of rounds.
They miss and charge in, the last 5.
Pete kills one; Jake kills and quick hammers 9; Nanna hits 20; Jesse hits DEAD.
Lemm takes a round to the face DEAD. Pete is staggered.
Jesse hits again 15.

They attack into the bunkhouse. Fire back and forth and Billy kills one; Douglas is it badly twice, into moderate wounds; Yates hits DEAD and 9; Yates is hit 12. 3 left now.

Billy turns “Doug drop down!” he does and Billy fires at those 2, killing one.
Yates hits 16/11 DEAD.
Billy succeeds at a threshold save.

Jake hits DEAD and 17; Jesse hits DEAD. Pete hits 11. Only Travis is hit 14. Pete gets a hole put through his head DEAD.
Jake fires away killing 2 then the oldest leader. Travis is crited 24 taken to neg 10.

Last guy at bunkhouse jumps out and misfires. Yates returns fire 9/6. Billy fires as well 11/crit DEAD.
The final 6 ride away from the house. Jake hits one on the way out 10. Jesse hits DEAD; he fires again but misses.

Billy and Yates drag Doug back to the house.

Travis has 1 wound point left.
Lacy has 1 wp on her.
Owen only 1 wp left.
Doug has 4 wp left.

Nanna sees to the wounded with Lacy.

Soon enough, the last of the Comanch and Comancheros ride to the property.
Jake asks for their surrender.
The last 18 call us out to “fight like men.”
Jake wants to go for it.
Travis “There’s no way you 2 can take on 18 men.”
Jake “There’s 3 of us.”
Billy “Travis can join us.”
Jake “Once the shooting starts, to hell with them. Jesse and Nanna, gun them down from the house. Jesse, no one leaves the property arrive.”
Jesse “You got it, Jake.”
Jake, Billy and Travis walk out to meet them. Once the shooting starts, Jesse and Nanna will fire from the house.
It’s just after 11am. Yates in the middle, Jake to his right, Billy to his left.

Jake and Billy crush them on the stairdown. Only 1 is at -2 init. The rest at -4 but for the Injuns who are too unfamiliar with the area and such proceedings to know fear here.
Jake’s Stern Visage also makes all but the Comanche shaken.
Everyone draws. Billy is the lead as always.

By the end of the shootout round, only 2 comancheros and 4 Comanch remain, but Yates is just into wp. Billy has killed the most, Jake most of the rest.
After the next round, 3 remain including chief and comanchero leader. Billy and Jake are out of rounds. Billy charges the Comanchere leader with a deafening scream, drawing bowie knife, but misses.
He drops his gun, quick draws tomohak and dagger attacking Billy.
Jesse hits an Injun.
Billy misses. He hits Billy. Jake steps back and hits 15.

The last Comanche and Nanna continue trading shots.
Jesse misses.

Billy misses him again. He cuts Billy 8/4/8.
Jesse hits low. Jake hits again.

He missed Billy. Jake misses. Nana kills a Comanche. Billy’s final cut and a shot from Jake finally bring the leader down.
The last Comanche makes a break for it. Jesse brings him down on the run.
We get to Yates, but sadly he is dead.

We lay out the bodies, The wife is very sad, they loved Yates who died protecting the ranch. She is very upset how they will survive until the dad is back on his feet.

As far as how they were getting Fredrick: all the Comanche leaders had holy symbols. Each of the Comancheros of the second group had 2 silver bullets but for the leaders who had more. Total we get 50 silver bullets. Plus, we gather 9 flasks of holy water.
Billy walks around, putting a bullet in the head of each dead body that still needs one.

We spend the rest of the day beginning to gather together their cattle. Luckily for us, the came to attack quickly after driving them away and off so a majority have not gotten far.
Still, we wish the Beverlys were here to do this.

April 28

Still rounding cattle back to the property. Mostly done. With the Beverly Brothers this would have been done yesterday.
Jake rides to Justice late in the afternoon to report what has befallen Travis and his family. He wants to get a doctor to come back with him in the morning and spread word that the family will need assistance immediately and is looking to hire 3 hands, too.
His visit to town goes smoothly. The doctor agrees to be ready by morning.

April 29

Jake meets the Doc at the livery. Another man is there, dressed in black leather, black hat. He dumps a liquid onto his hands from a vial and rubs it in, stoppers it and puts it away. Then empties first cylinder, takes out a bullet from his belt and puts it in the first chamber. To Jake “I’m afraid you are going to have to come with me.” Bounty on Jake’s head; he won’t say from who. Refuses to take this to a marshal, as Jake says this can’t be from a legal standpoint so it must be from a private citizen.
They stare down, Jake intimidates him and his stern visage shakes the bounty hunter. Jake draws, one shot and the man drops dead. Jake fires another shot, fast, and makes sure. Jake sends to Doc to get the law, and while he’s gone searches and takes the vial; also silver bullets, 9 in all. Each member of the Gang has their name finely engraved on one bullet.
Says that’s Mr. Boggins. A top bounty hunter, he has a family of killers. They’re going to come after you now. His brothers Red, Baby, 6 more total.
He confirms the legality of it all but warns, the Boggins’s are back shooters “Watch your back.”
Jake explains that the man would not tell who put up the bounty. The marshals says for sure there is no legal bounty on Jake. So indeed, it was private and illegal. The marshal searches him, finding a bunch of 10 dollar silvers. Paid well, and whoever did it “must be south of the border” for they are Mexican silver pieces.
Jake knows no one in Mexico who could want us dead.
So, now we need to worry about more bounty killers.

He says go ahead and move along. He’ll take care of all of this with the judge who won’t be here for 2 weeks. He’ll inform the County and Rangers what exactly happened. He needs me for maybe 2 hours to make the report and then Jake and the Doc ride out.
Jake wires New Orleans about bullets and oil, wants they and Westinghouse to check out the chemistry/arcane of the bullets and oil to see if we can make them for our own enemies. No reply by the time Jake leaves.
Also wires Archie, that he needs a Wang pickup asap.
Marshals says he or a deputy will bring supplies themselves so they can look in on the family.
He says being Injuns and comancheros, just mass bury them ourselves.

All is calm out at the homestead when Jake arrives with the Doc.

Vamp says I can feel it in the wind, something is going on. Something awful and scary.

April 30

All day, no marshal.
Evening Jake and Jesse begin riding to town. Come across saddled horse on prairie. Body beside it: it’s the marshal. He’s shot in the back.
Message from Westinghouse is on him. Papa John called it Gunfighter Blood, aka Gunfighter Oil to non voodoo types.
Jesse looks for tracks.
Jake “Wait, blood is still wet. Get on high ground and take a look around.”
Suddenly, a bullet at Jesse 13. Then the sound reaches us.
No cover nearby.
Jake “Mount up!”
Seems to be coming from some low hills over 300 yards away. A second bullet hits Jesse 20.
We gallop hard away for the homestead. Jesse hit again 18. Gallop further, next shot misses.
Back to the ranch.
Ahead of us, 2 men with winchesters wait.
One yells “You shot our brother!”
We ride wide around, shots miss.

We make it back to the homestead.

Jake asks the vampire to wait for nightfall and scout out their camp, figuring they must be camped nearby to harass us.
He comes back a couple hours later and says there is no sign of them, must be getting ready to wait for you somewhere else. They aren’t the types for a siege.
Billy jokingly says we should wire Luke to put out a bounty on their heads. American silver.

May 1

We ride for town first thing in morning. We get marshal’s body and bring it back. Deputy is distraught.
He says a Ranger will be sent to act as acting marshal.
Another Want is there, Wang Lo. He leaves with the bullets to New Orleans.

Wire Luke, to seriously put the Bounty out on the brothers head. He puts up $1000 for each brother. Will helps him put the word out in the underworld.
Wire waiting for us from California as well to get back soon before ritual with Heart of Darkness.

May 2

Note (add in proper place above): ! (That’s who we will find that paid the killers in Texas after the Heart of Darkness)!!

Train for California.

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