Wednesday 15 November 2017

Deadlands - Tam's War Ends; Our Next Steps

The war spills across the streets. Armed with the key we'd worked so hard for, the one we'd broken so many morals to earn, we head to the ruins of the Explorers' Lodge. The watchtower is mostly intact, so I approach - and quickly step back, hands raised, as shots land at my feet. Pennignton-Smythe calls out an apology to me, and we scurry in. They explain they're there because they think Kwan's men will come for the amulet, and as they say it, we see them coming.

The fight is short and brutal, with ogres and martial artists... and a set of twins, who make me on my creepiest day look like some kind of angel. They cast a spell on the tower, coating it in some kind of sticky black fire that drags it down to hell. We start to flee, but realise Chin's still inside. I manage to grab his hand and pull him out as the tower sank below the ground, leaving a sticky, stinky pit. The twins teleport away before we can regroup to retaliate.

We set to work clearing the rubble over the vault. It's long, heavy work and by the time we're done, the fighting that had spilled through the streets of Shan Fan was over. We hear Kang making a speech and look over to the Heavenly Park to see Tam holding Kwan in chains. Tam and Kang are working together now - Kang wants Tam's help rebuilding the Lion's Roar Triad and in return will give Tam the support of the Iron Dragons. He - Kang - talks about being destined to rule California, then walks up to Kwan and, with his bare hand, rips out Kwan's heart. I gag.

We pause for a shocked moment, then hurry into the vault and start helping Pennington-Smythe and Dillenger clear the bits they need. As thanks, they let us each pick an item, Smith & Robard gadgets. Chin gets a new pair of shoes - soft and grippy, to help him climb and sneak around quietly. Tesla chooses an electric stun gun. I don't spot Carson's pick, but I get something they call a 'spirit camera' - they claim it can take photos of ghosts. Give me a few plates and developing fluid and talk me through how to use it.

As we turn to leave the vault, a large, damaged piece of stone catches our eyes. Despite the damage, it looks like a map of California. We peer closer: there's a few curious marks on it, like lightning bolts. There's one around about where the cave was, the one with the Wailing Horror and (I shudder) that pile of bodies. The cave where Pennington-Smythe had hidden the amulet. We'd seen a lightning bolt on the wall there. Thinking on it, there was a similar mark at Felheimer's Folly, too - and sure enough, there's one on the map there too. I reason these are important - Explorer Society mission important - but Pennington-Smythe and Dillinger don't know anything about them. They hadn't even spotted the marks before, or had only ever seen them as damage. The stone's too big to take with us, so Tesla takes a rubbing.

We head back to the Sunrise Lodge. Now they have what they needed to protect, Pennington-Smythe and Dillinger leave for New York, telling us to telegraph if we need them. We stay in town for a few days, and learn that Kang and Tam have, indeed, made peace. Neither is in charge: they've crowned Joshua Norton as the Emperor of California to be their figurehead. 

The nearest lightning mark looks to be on the Isle of Ghost Tears, and I want to find out more about the place. It's meant to be very haunted, and it's said anyone who goes there comes back mad - or dead. Story is, Chiang-Nu came to Shan Fan with his wife Meng to join him here later. Problem is, he found alcohol and opium before she got there. They argued and she ran - just as the Quake hit. It seemed to be centred on her, and she dropped dead on the spot.

I'm frustrated that no one else is interested in the place, but we spot a message in the Tombstone Epitaph telling us of a meeting in Perdition in 8 days. It doesn't give us long to get there: we leave immediately and make it in 6: All Hallow's Eve.


  1. Just checking in again; loving these writeups! My group finished up the Triad War a few weeks ago.

    1. Glad you like them! I'm trying to be organised and catch up to where we actually are; I make a lot of notes during the game and Husbit's kind enough to let me borrow the notebook from his GM's stash to write up when I get time