GURPS Deadlands Campaign
This page is for the Deadlands campaign I am running in GURPS 3E.
Please include these items on your character sheet, even if you put 0 CPs into the skill for quick reference during play.Skills
GURPS Character Assistant
When using the GCA please load the following GCF files in order.
Present: Margret June Maxwell “Max” (Jessica), Jhin (Ryan), Dave Buckler (Robby) and Jim Kestler (Drake)Reverend Grimme’s Strangle Hold on the West
Tombstone Epitaph / Lacey O’Malley
Reverend Grimme, the despotic ruler of the City of Lost Angels is not what he claims to be. Though not an elected official of the city Grimme uses his influence to set policy none-the-less. His followers sabotage rail lines while he protests the approach of the rail lines to his city saying they bring nothing by sin in their wake. What he really fears is an easy way to import food to the starved city.
Grimme uses his power to make it hard for anyone save himself to get food into the city, so when he throws his scraps to the populous, he looks like hero. Grimme has also instituted harsh punishment for anyone breaking the “law of God” and has bands of “Avenging Angels” patrolling the city arresting offenders who go before the church court. Where the punishment is either a stiff fine or life imprisonment in the churches island prison; The Rock.
L.A. is situated on the confluence of all the three consistently navigable channels through the maze and one of the best harbors in the Maze. Because of this over 90% of the ghost rock of the maze passes through L.A. Grimme uses this to control the flow of ghost rock and those dependent on it. Its time someone took control of the city from this mad man.Dave's Nightmare III
Dave is hunting in woods near Dead Hallow when he comes upon a hunting shack. The door is ajar, and he hears grunting and scuffing sounds from inside. He approaches quietly and peers through the door. He enters, the shack is empty except for a tall, ugly man wearing buckskins lying on the floor. He’s been shot through the heart. He’s dead.
Dave hears grunting from another room. He opens the door and sees a wolf-man standing over the corpse of a tall ugly man. Dave’s not afraid. His purple suit coat protects him. The wolf-man jumps out a window. Dave jumps out after him. The wolf-man is gone. Dave bends down and finds the wolf-man’s tracks. Rifle in hand he jogs after the wolf-man. Soon he comes upon the corps of a tall ugly man dressed in buckskins. His heart has been ripped out. Dave continues to jog after the wolf-man.
He follows for what seems like days, finding more tall ugly men missing their hearts. Then he sees the wolf-man in a meadow of tall grass and wild flowers. Dave takes aim and shoots the wolf-man falls and Dave loses sight of him in the tall grass. He carefully approaches where the wolf-man fell. At the spot he finds himself lying dead shot through the heart.Ogden, UT
Jan 21 (Friday)
After spending the night in the Belle Aire hotel the posse eats breakfast and heads back to the Temple where they meet with Elder Miller. He escorts them to see First Counselor Enoch Khan. He’s in his room and greets them at the door where they have a brief conversation. He’s a slender redheaded man of average height. He says the night of the incident he was in his room when he heard a crash, then Miller screaming. He went out front and saw the body. Dietz was a good man and can’t image anyone who would want to hurt him. Ledbetter, Dietz and he have been close friends and colleges for 15 years. Jhin believes he’s telling the truth.
Next the posse visit Priest Clinton Whateley in his room, he’s a young man barely sprouting whiskers with green eyes and a limp when he walks. He dresses like all the temple staff in white shirt, dark tie and dark trousers. Despite being the youngest staff member, his room is about twice the size of the others. It’s more of a studio with a bed than a bedroom. There’s an easel with a partially finished painting. The entire canvas is filled with a screaming face with an odd symbol on the fore head depicted in purples and yellows. It has a messy, angry and disordered feel to it. There are at least dozen paintings stacked against the walls. Among those visible are a mountain landscape, a cityscape, a man and a boy, and a ship at sea. They use the same color pallet and have a disjointed feel about them.
They ask about the paintings and Whateley says he doesn’t know what the symbol on the man’s forehead he is just dreamed it. He paints what he dreams. He’s been plagued with nightmares the last year or so and painting what he dreams helps soothe him. He hasn’t noticed anything strange with Dietz or his dealings with anyone. It’s been the status quo around here. Ledbetter, Khan and Dietz have lots of private meetings and meetings with the rest of the staff as well. That night he was painting and didn’t notice anything until he heard Miller scream. He went outside and saw Miller alone next to the body. When asked about the hooded figure, he starts getting agitated and says he doesn’t believe anyone would do that to Dietz. When asked if Ledbetter and Dietz got along okay or if anyone else at the temple had an issue with Dietz, he gets very animated saying everyone gets along just fine and he doesn’t want to talk to them anymore. He wants them to leave. They do.The Law
The posse visit Sherriff Eli Boehlert at his office. They ask him about the investigation he says. “Miller came and got me. When we arrived on the scene the temple staff and a few bystanders were there. Dietz was dead, impaled on the fence and the Bishop’s office window was broken. There’s no way anyone could jump that far from that window and even less likely anyone could throw a man that far. That scene was staged. Miller was the first to find the body and the only one to see the “cloaked” man who stabbed Dietz. He was my prime suspect. I looked at the office. It was a mess, but no trace of blood. There were books on the floor, a bookcase has been smashed, the Bishop’s heavy desk was upended against the wall but strangest of all was the smell of burnt tobacco and something sweet. We Mormons don’t usually smoke, so who would be smoking in the Bishop’s office is beyond me. I interviewed everyone and when the undertaker took the body away, I turned in for the night planning to come back in the morning.”
“The next day before I headed over, I got a visit from a Pinkerton calling himself Jesseph Kohl. He said he’s on the trail of a Mad Scientist that’s crated an elixir that makes a man as strong as an ox and as fast as a rattler but can also make some go berserk. He recently passed through Ogden, that’s why he was here. I took him over to see the body and he said he could tell there were sill traces of the elixir in Dietz’s mouth. Kohl said this was now a Pinkerton investigation and that no local assistance was needed. He said it was a suicide and within an hour left town in pursuit of the mad scientist.”
When pressed about the investigation he says nothing about this death adds up, but the elixir and suicide explain everything, except the stab wound. Either way it’s not his case anymore. The Pinkerton’s have jurisdiction and they’ve asserted it, and when they say to butt out it’s usually best to do so.The Drawer
The posse go back to the church and meet with Miller and the Bishop. They tell him their investigation is concluded and they’ll be leaving soon, they appreciate them putting up with their investigation and to thank the Bishop and temple they would like to use their woodworking skills to repair the books shelves in the Bishop’s office. He agrees and Miller leads them to the office.
Dave and Jim get to work while Max and Jhin start asking Miller questions about that night. They tell him about the Pinkerton’s elixir conclusion, and he doesn’t believe Dietz would take something like that. They convince him to walk the two of them through what happened that night step-by-step.
While Jim and Dave work on the shelves Miller takes Max and Jhin to the meeting room he was in during the murder points out where he saw the cloaked man run from the temple to Dietz like he was waiting for him. Then the slender cloaked man raised the knife, paused for several seconds then stabbed Dietz. Then he ran out the gate and down the street. Miller could see where he went due to the angle of the window. He walks them through the path the cloaked man took. Then they walk around the temple fence. Around back there is a back entrance that leads to the adjacent cemetery.
Max informs Miller of everything they’ve learned and that they don’t know what happened, so there will be no charge. Miller says even though they don’t know what happened he’s learned a lot and says he will pay them for their time. Max and Jhin insist they will not take his money. The three of them then rejoin the others in the office.
While Max and Jhin were keeping Miller busy Dave and Jim try to pick the lock on the false-bottom drawer with a screwdriver, but neither of them have ever done so before and give up after several minutes. They saw a long slender hole in the back of the drawer where the secret compartment is. They shake the drawer, a letter, and a book fall out. The book is Hoyle’s book of Games with several paragraphs circled under the games: Whist, Piquet and Faro. They have no idea why; the para graphs are circled at random as far as they can tell.
615 Pere Antoine Alley
I find your proposed action to be a risky and costly in the extreme. The probability for lasting meaningful success is slight while the probability for disastrous effect is significant. Yet upon failure we will at least we can choose the vessel and the time. Eventually your charge will succumb, and we will lose any advantage.
Given the inescapable threat Knicknevin poses and the lack of alternative options I sanction your proposal. You will find a separate diagram with the information you requested. It is in Welsh; I’ve included a translation as well.
Good luck and may God have mercy on us all,
After reading the letter several times the replace the drawer and its contents leaving the small hole, they sawed hoping it will be some time before it is discovered. It takes them several hours to repair the shelves. The posse spend another night in the Belle Aire hotel before taking the train back to Salt Lake City in the morning.Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 22 (Saturday)
The posse visits the Salt Lake City Pinkerton office. It’s very small and in the junkyard like most every non-Mormon business in the city. They meet with agent Bill Baker, he is polite, patient and knows agent Kohl, but doesn’t provide much information.
Posse: Can you tell us anything about the mad scientist agent Kolh is tracking or his elixir?
Baker: I’m sorry, but I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
Posse: Can you tell us who E. Lukas or Mr. Knicknevin are?
Baker: I don’t know those names, but even if I did I couldn’t comment if it involved an ongoing investigation.
Posse: If the victim was stabbed in the back how could it have been a suicide?
Baker: I’m sorry, but I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
In the end they leave a message for Agent Kohl asking him the same questions and to please contact them about the case.Ogden, UT
Jan 24 (Monday)
The posse have been in town for a couple of days since the Ogden Temple case when a letter arrives.
Thank you for the work you did looking into the killing of my friend Friedrich Dietz. The information you provided is helpful and I have not given up. I will not let it be thought he killed himself. You refused payment, but I will not accept your assistance without recompense. I’ve enclosed a money order for $500 US.
Max writes her own letter to Agent Maxwell, a Pinkerton agent who owes here asking if he can provide any information on the case Agent Kohl is working on.Bookkeeping
04. Salvation I Jan 15-20, 1876 • IRL Date: 4/27/2019
Present: Margret June Maxwell “Max” (Jessica), Jhin (Ryan), Dave Buckler (Robby) and Jim Kestler (Drake)Reverend Grimme and his Great Works
LA Times / Theodore Bender
Gold fanned the flames of men’s greed drawing them to the California coast where they settled towns filled with alcohol and brothels. God took offense and wiped the coast clean with the Great Quake in ‘68. The hot beds of greed, lust and murder like Los Angeles and San Francisco were swallowed by the ocean. When the quake was over every major city and all arable land gone. Man corrupted God’s oasis, so God turned it into a barren wasteland.
Among the survivors was Reverend Ezekiel Grimme, a truly devout man, a beacon in the darkness. God guided the Reverend to food and water to sustain himself. Others joined him. The wicked died of thirst and starvation while the Reverend provided for his ever-growing flock which he called his ‘Lost Angels’.
God gave the Reverend a vision of a great Celestial City. The Reverend guided his flock to the appointed spot, and they built a church, and from that church grew the great city of Lost Angels arranged in concentric circle according to the Reverend’s vision. Every aspect of the city is according to God’s design and no building other than the church can be more that 2 stories so all can see the great Church of Lost Angels.
The land around the city is parched and barren the city is God’s oasis. Every Sunday after the Reverend’s service a magnificent public feast is held. The city’s hospital provides free health care to all church members. Lost Angels is truly the divine jewel of the West.Dave's Nightmare II
Dave is hunting in woods near Dead Hallow when he comes upon a hunting shack. The door is ajar, and he hears grunting and scuffing sounds from inside. He approaches quietly and peers through the door. He enters, the shack is empty except for a tall, ugly man wearing buckskins lying on the floor. He’s been shot through the heart. He’s dead.
Dave hears screaming from outside. He turns around. The door doesn’t lead to the woods anymore, but a small town. He steps outside, everyone is rushing about screaming. He hears guns shots. The wolf-man comes crashing through a window into the street. A tall ugly man dressed in buckskins shoots the wolf-man in the chest just before the wolf-man jumps on him and tears out his throat with his teeth. The wolf-man puts a hand on his bullet wound, it glows with a blinding violet light. Wisps of smoke rise from the wound and Dave smells burning hair. The wolf-man pulls his hand away and instead of a bullet wound there’s an ugly burn scar.
The wolf-man looks up and charges at Dave. Dave just stands there. The wolf-man stops just in front of him, snarls, sniffs the purple suit-coat Dave wears then bounds off and pounces on a tall ugly man running away, tears out his heart and glances back at Dave before devouring the heart.Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
Jan 15 (Saturday) Morning
After killing the spider in the tree Jhin rejoins the posse on the ground where they discuss their next move, before they decide they hear a far off “WUP, WUP, WUP” sound from the west. Its roughly in the direction of camp so they start back. The sound is moving about; north and south back and forth, and slowly getting closer. Then it quickly fades away. It takes them about an hour go to camp.
Everyone is gathered around something they have only heard of before; an auto gyro. It’s a metal contraption with a large rotating blade-wing over a ghost rock engine surrounded by twisted jumble of pipes and struts. Stenciled on maybe the only flat surface is “Smith & Robards Delivery”. In front is an open-air seat with just enough tubes around it to mount the controls. The machine sits on a pair of wide skids, covered with boxes of cargo. A woman dressed in heavy clothing is unstrapping the cargo as the group caries boxes to the train.
Once the posse arrives Emily Aster introduces herself. She’s a scout out looking for the train. She’s dropped off some food, water, blankets and other survival supplies then she’s headed back to report their location. A train should arrive from the west in the next day or so to rescue them. She can take two back with her if they are willing to be strapped to the skids. Jenny Wilson and her son take her up on it. Soon after she wraps scarf around her face, puts on her googles and with a “WUP, WUP, WUP” the auto gyro is gone.
The next day a train arrives, and the remaining survivors cross the ravine and board for the trip back. The posse give the personal items they found (pistols, watch, ring, etc.) to the railroad, but don’t mention the 3 lbs. of ghostrock they found.Salt Lake City
Jan 19 (Wednesday)
City ‘o Gloom
The posse arrives in Salt Lake City by train. They didn’t know what to expect, but this is not it. Even with a glance they can tell this is a city like no other. The town proper looks like most towns laid out is neat rows with the addition of a crisscrossing network of wires connecting every building to the power grid. The posse has heard of some cities with small pockets electricity, but an entire city is unheard of. Jutting up above the houses is the massive Mormon temple wrapped in construction scaffolding.
The southern edge of town could not be more different. Hellstromme Industries has built a massive complex of factories pumping out noise and smoke. Roads snake their way through buildings squeezed between the residential area and the Wasatch mountains.
The Junkyard is also squeezed between the town and mountains and borders Hellstromme Industries which it makes look neat and tidy in comparison. The posse make their way to the address they were given in the Junkyard. The whole district looks like a deranged child built it with blocks and spaghetti if the blocks were factories, saloons and apartment buildings and noodles were pipes and wires. Entering the Junkyard is like entering a tunnel. Any sun that is not blocked by overhead pipes and wires – called the steel sky by the locals - is blocked out by the smog. Everything is covered in grease or soot. Everyone here has a mask, a few are fancy respirators, but most are simply bandanas covering their mouth and nose. There is a constant din of clanking metal and hissing steam pipes.
The posse arrives at the address, the sign over the door reads “Velocipede Detective Agency”. Inside they find a small office with a few desks, chairs and some office supplies. Upstairs are four small apartments and a shared bathroom. Two of the rooms have windows; one has a view of a very large pipe, the other a view of several small pipes.
The posse is settling in when someone walks through the front door. He’s tall, broad and has a full beard and dark hair. He’s dressed in white shirt, dark blue tie and brown trousers. He introduces himself as Jim Miller and says “I want to hire you to find Fred Dietz’s killer. Two days ago, he ‘jumped’ from the third story of the Mormon temple in Ogden, impaling himself on a fence. Immediately after someone in a cloak stabbed him and ran away. The Ogden Sheriff says it is a suicide. The Ogden Bishop seems to just want it to all go away.”
The posse agree to see if there is a case.Ogden, UT
Jan 20 (Thursday)
The posse take a train to Ogden and go straight to the undertaker. After introducing themselves and saying they are there on behalf of Elder Miller they are allowed to see the body. Dietz is middle aged with dark hair and an average build lying naked on a table. They find dark, angry bruises on the bottom of his hands, three jagged punctures across his gut, a stab wound from a small to medium sized blade in his back through the heart, and a small 2mm puncture in on the back of his neck at the base of his skull. The clothes he was wearing were covered in blood, so they were discarded, burned in the incinerator with the rest of the trash.
Next, they visit the Mormon temple and identify themselves as private investigators hired anonymously to investigate the death of Second Counselor Dietz. They meet the Bishop of the Ogden ward, Joseph Ledbetter. He’s average height and just on the pudgy side with short curly blond hair that is just starting to turn gray. He’s somewhat aloof and, condescending. He wears a dark blue tie, dark brown trousers, a University of Chicago 1859 class ring and a St. George medal. At the Bishop won’t allow them into any of the private areas of the temple, but from their conversation he surmises their anonymous client is Elder Miller and agrees to allow them to investigate under Elder Miller’s supervision and informs them all Elder Miller will be held accountable for their actions.Alderman
They are left alone with Elder Kelly Alderman for a brief time. He’s and older gentleman with white hair and a slender build. He wears a white shirt, dark brown trousers and has rumpled look about him. He moves slowly and his voice shakes a bit when he talks. He says Dietz and he were friends for 15 years. They ask him where he was when the death occurred. He says “I was outside the bishop’s office and I heard muffled voices. It’s hard to say for sure, but I think it was the Bishop, Dietz and someone I didn’t recognize. At first, they were just talking, then there was shouting, crashes and then glass breaking. I knocked, but there was no answer, then I heard a commotion outside and went out front. Second Counselor Dietz was impaled on the fence and Priest Whatley and Elder Miller were there. I didn’t get close.”
They ask how long it took him to get there he says he’s not sure. When pressed he looks around and in a low voice says “You can’t tell anyone, since this is blasphemy, but I saw a fairy on the way downstairs, not directly, just out of the corner of my eye, you can’t see them if you look directly. I see them around the church occasionally. Sometimes hear them whispering too. Sometimes I follow them, and sometimes I get confused, I don’t remember if followed them that night or not.Miller
Elder Miller guides them upstairs to the offices and private quarters. The Bishop is not in his office, so they look around. There is a portrait of Brigham Young and one of St. George slaying a dragon on the wall. There is a large desk in front of a large window and books shelves built into one wall. One set of shelves has been smashed. It looks like a single blow broke each of the shelves from top to bottom. The desk has fresh scratches and dents on the top, as do the floor and books shelves next to it. The window has been freshly replaced. Miller draws the line at going through the desk drawers.
The posse investigates Dietz’s room next and find it very spartan. There is a neatly made bed a chest of drawers with clothing and nothing more. No personal effects. Miller says he read a lot, studying scripture and other religious texts including some that might be considered borderline occult. There are no books here.
Dave says he needs to use the restroom and slips into the Bishop’s office and searches the desk. He only has a few minutes and quickly looks through the papers. They appear to be normal church business. He finds one of the drawers has a false bottom but needs a key to open it. Short on time he returns to the posseBishop
The posse meets with the Bishop again. They ask where he was when Dietz died. He says he was in the relic room by himself and he didn’t hear the commotion at first. When asked why he favors St. George the patron of the military he says St. George is a protector and he sees himself a s protector as well. When asked if he’s a protector of the church or its member he says they are one in the same. Jhin thinks he’s lying.Bookkeeping
03. Commin’ ’Round the Mountain III Jan 13-15, 1876 • IRL Date: 4/13/2019
Present: Margret June Maxwell “Max” (Jessica), Jhin (Ryan), Dave Buckler (Robby) and Jim Kestler (Drake)Gash Spotted, $2500 Reward
Deseret News / Julia Stark
The notorious Dr. Leonitas P. Gash, a once respected scientist at Deseret University, pioneered the science of “augmentation” where lost limbs are replaced with steam-powered imitations. Considered an abomination by Mormons, it allows many of the gentiles who have lost limbs in factory accidents a somewhat normal life, so the practice was tolerated.
Then it was found patients were seeking Dr. Gash out to replace healthy limbs. He was fired from the university, expelled from the church and ordered to cease the practice entirely. Augmentation was labeled blasphemy and the practice outlawed in Utah.
Shortly after that Dr. Gash disappeared. Many assumed he’d move to on, probably to the maze. That was several years ago and with the steady stream of Junkers with new augmentations, it seems clear there is someone in Salt Lake still performing augmentations and most believe when Dr. Gash disappeared, he simply moved his operation underground.
Percival E. Walker, a mechanic who builds rolling stock at plant #1, says last Tuesday he saw when Dr. Gash and two other “science-looking fellows” came into the Steamer Saloon. They were there for a half hour discussing something in hushed tones at one of the booths.
The Salt Lake Sheriff’s office is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone who brings the good doctor in alive.Dave's Nightmare I
Dave is hunting in woods near Dead Hallow when he comes upon a hunting shack. The door is ajar, and he hears grunting and scuffing sounds from inside the shack. He approaches quietly and peers through the door. He sees a tall, ugly man lying on the floor with blood freely running from a wound over his heart. Dave looks down and the man’s blood is on his shirt and hands. Dave hears intense sniffing from the shack and looks up. There’s a wolf-man crouched over another body sniffing the air. The beast turns, its muzzle covered in fresh blood and sees Dave.
Dave runs. He doesn’t have his rifle. He’s not sure when he lost it. He runs through the woods as fast as he can. He can’t see the wolf man, but he hears him crashing through the woods just behind him. Somehow, he makes it home and slams the door shut and bolts it. His father is there, and Dave tells him of the wolf-man. His father looks around, but there is no sign of it.
Dave is still upset. There is blood dripping from his hands, but his father doesn’t seem to notice. His father gives him a purple suit coat with a yellow swirl pattern embroidered on the cuffs. He tells Dave this coat has kept him safe since he was a young man as it did his father before him. Now it will keep Dave safe. Dave doesn’t remember ever seeing his father or grandfather ever wearing such a jacket.Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
Jan 13 (Thursday) Evening
The posse scrambles to the top of the rocky hill and picks up its trail a retreating spider. Occasionally, then with more frequency they see other spider tracks crossing its path. They come to a clearing with lots of tracks. They carefully investigate the clearing but find no spiders or “spider zombie” graves. They continue tracking the spider and increasingly more tracks are converging somewhere ahead.
The tracks lead to a cave. It resembles a crack that’s about 3 yards across at the ground and narrows to nothing about 7 yards up. It fades into darkness about 6 yards in. Jim launches a star-shell into the cave, and it goes twice that distance before turning. Once the star-shell burns out they light lanterns and enter the cave. They hear skittering but with all the echoes it’s hard to tell where its coming from. Even with two lanterns the cave is dark with lots of nooks and crannies, a spider could hide almost anywhere. They spot a spider on the wall ahead and take a shot but miss. A web from somewhere above and behind nearly misses Jim. The spider in front skitters into the dark. Another web nearly misses Max from somewhere overhead. They hear more skittering and more webs shoot out of the darkness, all misses. They get out of the cave as fast as they can leaving one of the lanterns behind.
The posse watches the cave entrance for an hour but see no spiders. They decide to stay the night and while making camp a spider leaves the cave and skitters up the rock face out of sight. During the night the spiders attack. Three of them come out of the dark night shooting webs at the posse. One of them literally explodes when Dave’s .44-90 bullet hits it square in the torso. Max hits another leaving a gaping hole in its side and the spiders retreat. The rest of the night passes quietly.Jan 14 (Friday)
The posse returns to camp to find Jacob Emmit the Mormon missionary, Rick Wilson and his boy Amos were killed during the night. The daytime engineer and fireman who were killed when the locomotive crashed must have been made into “zombies” by the spiders. They climbed up the inclined sleeper car and into the lead passenger car where they attacked the sleeping survivors. Laura shot one of them twice with her Gatling pistol, but it didn’t slow them down. The zombies walked of into the woods after that.
Jhin’s harnesses his chi and climbs down the inclined sleeper car with ease. He looks around and finds two shallow, empty graves where the spiders must have buried the two. The firebox is cracked, and the door is missing, the ghost rock is still burning and luckily contained. Jhin picks up 3 lbs. of unlit loose ghost rock (worth about $720) from the cabin and finds a Colt M1860 Army .44 Caplock Army with 20 shots stashed in a compartment.
They build a pyre and burn the three bodies. Jim is telling everyone about the spiders they saw showing off a leg he brought back. Laura asks to see it. Once in her hands she exclaims it’s disgusting and flings it away, it lands in the fire.Back to the Cave
The posse goes back to the cave and find no spiders. Jhin climbs about and finds some nests. Max takes closer look at the cave and determines its very unstable, it would not take much to bring the whole thing down. The posse conceal themselves outside the cave and wait until nightfall for the spiders to return, but they do not. They make camp and stay the night.Jan 15 (Saturday)
The posse breaks camp and come across a fresh spider track and follow it until it suddenly ends. After a bit they find where is leaped high up into a nearby tree. Jhin climbs up and without realizing it puts his hand right on a sleeping spider. Both are surprised for a couple seconds. The spider starts biting and shooting webs while Jhin punches. Fighting a tree would be hard for most, but with Jhin’s Chi he’s able to cling to the tree as easily as walking on flat ground. After a few blows the thing is dead.Bookkeeping
02. Commin’ ’Round the Mountain II Jan 12-13, 1876 • IRL Date: 3/9/2019
Tombstone Epitaph / Lacy O'Malley
This reporter finds it hard to believe, but after multiple reports is seams denizens of the Junkyard are being attacked by quote “walking heads”. Clarence Walker was returning to his apartment in the Junkyard after work at Plant #22. When three human heads dropped from the maze of overhead pipe-works and attacked him. He has several bites to prove an attack did take place. Clarence claims his assailants were disembodied human heads. For locomotion each head had two to three human arms directly attached. Two other Junkyardians have made similar claims, but Clarence is the only one willing to be identified by name. The Salt Lake City marshals’ office say though they do not believe the outlandish claim as to the attacker, they do take attacks seriously and are investigating.Dark Flares! New, from S&R
Deseret News / Advertisement
Smith and Robards once again prove we are always at the forefront of invasion with our new Dark-Flares®. These flares are easy to light and burn for 30 minutes just like our Hand-Flares, but instead of visible light Dark-Flares® emit Dark-Rays® shrouding an area in darkness. Portable shade for the well-equipped traveler.Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
Jan 12 (Wednesday)
The posse checks the perimeter and find stilt-walker tracks all around the camp. During the night Abel left camp to urinate and was drug away by whatever is making the stilt tracks. The posse and Aloysius follow the tracks. About a mile from camp they come to a spot where the ground is all churned up with lots of stilt-walker tracks. They move in to investigate and see a human hand lying in the soil. They start clearing the dirt from around the hand. The soil is loose, so even with bare hands its easy work. The hand starts moving, they keep clearing the soil. Then the body sits up. It’s Able. Aloysius is overjoyed, then Able bites Jhin’s neck and another body climbs up from under the dirt, it’s the bandit they killed the day before.
Jhin starts punching and the rest of the posse start shooting. Its mayhem. Shoots that miss the “zombies” narrowly missing friendlies. Max accidentally shoots Aloysius in the leg. The zombies keep ripping and tearing at the posse with their hands while bullets and Jhin’s spear hands tear away chunks of their flesh without phasing them. Wounds that would kill a man don’t even slow them down. The posse finally put the zombies down, but they aren’t sure what exactly “killed” them. They take some time to patch up their wounds and burn the bodies.
They see two sets of pogo tracks leaving the burial site and follow one. Dave loses the trail after a couple hundred yards. They check the trees and find scratch marks going up a nearby trunk. Dave climbs up and slips, bounces from branch to branch on the way down and lands squarely on his head. Jim climbs up and looks around. After a bit they find where the stilt-walker jumped to another tree, and from there to another, and so on. After climbing a few more trees they decide it will take too long to track these things moving through the tree-tops. They return to the burial site and follow the other set of tracks. Those tracks take to the trees as well.
The posse gets back to camp in the early afternoon where everyone is gathered around two campfires keeping warm. Jim and Dave go hunting, but game is scarce, they find a few rabbit, wolf and stilt-walker tracks, but no game.
Laura asks Jhin what happened. He says nothing much, Max was loading her gun and accidentally shot Aloysius. She asks why they heard at least half a dozen shots. Jhin, just kind of looks at her with no idea what to say. Max decides to tell everyone exactly what happened, people listen, but when she gets to the part about zombies there are a few sniggers and some heckling. This group doesn’t seem to believe in zombies.
That evening watches are set in pairs. Jim is on first watch and though not on watch Laura stands with Jim for a while asking more of what happened. She’s very scared and concerned. She urges Jim to do something, they can’t just wait here while whatever is out there picks them off one-by-one. Then she starts sniffing the air and asks Jim if he smells something odd, almost tangy. They both keep sniffing, but Jim smells nothing. Laura retires, and the evening passes without incident.Jan 13 (Thursday)
No one went missing during the night. The posse go to the caboose and take another look around. There’s nothing new, so they follow the drag marks. They lead to the northeast which is roughly the same direction as the burial site they found the day before.
About half a mile from the crash site they find another spot where the ground has been churned up. They cautiously probe and dig. It’s not long before something starts moving under the dirt. The conductor, the female crewman and the “museum-man” transporting the statues climb out of shallow graves. The posse starts shooting as the zombies start clawing. The posse’s adrenalin rises when they see the museum-man clutched his Gatling pistol, and wonder if he is smart enough to use it. He moves toward Jhin, raises the pistol, and swings it like a club. The posse blow and tear chunks from zombies who are unphased just like the last group.
After a few seconds of battle something about the size of a baseball whizzes by Jhin from behind. Max notices it too and turns around. A few yards away there is a spider with a body the size of a medium dog and legs about 3’ long and is covered with fur-like bristles. It is dark brown and with cream colored stripes on its legs and a blotchy pattern on its back. She shoots and misses, the spider jumps a good 5 yards into a rocky outcropping and nestles into the rocks.
One of the zombies hits Dave in the groin and he goes down rolling on the ground. The zombie moves in, but Jhin knocks it aside at the last moment. Max is fighting zombies again and is hit from behind with a sticky web. She’s wrapped up and unable to move her arms or legs. She struggles to free herself, but the webs are strong. Finally, the last of the zombies are put down. The spider is nowhere to be seen. It is no trouble to cut Max free with a sharp blade.
The posse still isn’t sure how to kill the zombies other than keep hitting and the eventually fall. This fight was a lot harder than the first, much harder than one additional zombie and the brief encounter with the spider can account for. They wonder if it was just luck, or were they tougher because they were probably the first taken or is it something else? The posse spends some time patching up wounds, no one is seriously injured. They search the bodies and find the museum-man’s Gatling pistol, extra magazine and gun belt along with the conductor’s pocket watch. While the bodies burn, they talk about what to do with the loot. These people are dead, but taking their property is still theft. They keep it for now.Bookkeeping
01. Commin’ ’Round the Mountain I Jan 11, 1876 • IRL Date: 2/23/2019
The Tombstone Epitaph / Lacy O'Malley
Nancy Gilbertson, a Creston, Wyoming working girl claims to have given birth to a half-bat half-human baby. By all accounts the consummation - by an unidentified father, the pregnancy, and delivery were normal in all respects. Several days after the birth bat wing like membranes formed under the baby boys’ arms and he died several days after that. As strange as it seems it appears to be true, multiple sources have seen the body and confirmed the strange tale.Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
Jan 11 (Tuesday)
The posse is on a DPRR train bound for Salt Lake City to begin their assignment as undercover DPRR agents posing as a firm if private detectives. The posse gets to know one another. Margret June Maxwell “Max” is a bit of a tomboy who’s a skilled healer and dabbles in new science. Jhin is a traditional marital artist from Tibet. Dave Buckler grew up hunting and is a dead shot with a rifle. Jim Kestler was badly burned as a child and covers himself head to toe to hide his scars.
There are about 20 passengers on the train, the posse meets a few including Penelope Brown; an attractive red-haired mail-order-bride on the lookout for better prospects. She flirts openly with many of the male passengers including Dave who is not receptive.
Gregory Dawson is a gambler from back east who has migrated to dryer climate since contracting the consumption. After a short stay in Salt Lake he’s headed to the maze. Most of the posse play poker with him a bit and win a small amount, when he suggests they up the stakes they decide its best to take their winning and go. Later they hear him discussing a treasure map, he can no longer pursue due to this health. After a bit of haggling the posse buys the map for $500.
Laura Giles, the daughter of a wealthy cattle baron from Texas, is a on a tour of the west. She wears a fine green dress and caries small beaded purse.
Abele and Aloysius Squatpump are trappers and twin brothers relocating to the west. Dave makes fun of their name and Abele punches him in the face.
The posse notices a finely dressed man with a Gatling pistol on his hip head back to the off-limits baggage car accompanied by the conductor. They ask about and find he’s from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and a couple times a day he checks on the “priceless” statues he is transporting .The Robbery
The train starts decelerating quickly but smoothly, then an explosion is heard up ahead and the passengers are jolted as the breaks start to squeel. Then the train slams to a stop, passengers are thrown about. A few moments later shots come through the windows. Someone is robbing the train. The posse and the bandits exchange fire. After two of the bandits are wounded and another is killed, they retreat.
The bandits dynamited the bridge and train couldn’t stop before the first two cars went over. The locomotive is at the bottom of a ravine near a stream. It is damaged far beyond repair, the two crewmen are dead, the firebox is broken open and the ghost rock inside is still burning. The fire is contained, but the ghost rock scattered about the crew compartment and the broken timbers from the bridge all about the locomotive are an inferno waiting to happen. The sleeper car’s front is resting at the bottom of the ravine and the back at the top. The caboose and baggage car with most of the posse’s gear are missing. Leaving the two passenger cars and the dining car relatively unharmed.
Jenny Wilson has a broken leg and Penelope Brown a broken arm. Everyone else got off with bumps and bruises. It may be as much as a week before another train comes along, they have food for one day and most of the passengers are not dressed for the subzero temperatures in the snowy mountain pass.The Caboose
The posse searches for the missing train cars and find them about three miles back. They rolled back down the slope and overturned at a bend. The posse told Laura Giles, to stay at the passenger cars, but she followed the posse anyway and shows up at the second crash site few minutes after they do. There are lots of tracks around the cars like someone was walking around on stilts. Based on drag marks and blood found in the rail cars it looks like two to three people died in the crash and were drug into the woods by “stilt-walkers”. There is one body in the caboose. It looks like its head was smashed against the wall in the crash, but now it is a desiccated husk with puncture marks on the neck.
In the baggage car the posse finds their gear, some U.S. mail, the Squatpump’s survival gear, animal traps and rifles, food, clothing and blankets. They load up and head back to the passenger cars. Laura, the, spoiled debutant, surprised the posse by pulling her weight carrying gear. One the way back she takes a keen interest in Jim surprising the posse again. His crude manners and not exposing a bit of skin drive most people away but seems to be attracting Laura.Nightfall
Back at the passenger cars they tally the food and determine with rationing they have about 3 days’ worth of food. While they were gone the only surviving crew member, the cook, has organized everyone and they’ve made some crude defenses from rocks and branches in case the bandits return and built a fire. They set some of the Squatpump’s traps in the tree line, set watches and retire.
In the morning they find stilt-walker tracks all around the camp and during the night Abele left camp to urinate and was drug away by whatever is making the stilt tracks.Bookkeeping