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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.