Saturday 20 January 2018

Deadlands - A Grimme History

We return to Born in a Bowl's Necessity Alliance. There's noticeably fewer people here - she explains this is because Stalks the Night and his followers have now left. They made up a larger part of the Alliance than we'd realised.

We present her with the skull of Sees Far Ahead, which she accepts in sorrow. She sits cross-legged and places the skull in her lap, then starts a droning chant. We sit around her for a while, growing sleepy, drifting off...

When I wake, I'm sitting on a rock. Looking around, it looks like the Great Quake hit recently. There's a flock of people looking hopefully at me. I glance in a still pool, and the reflection that looks back is Reverend Grimme; younger, shocked, human.

There's a fight, against 13 powerful people. My neck is snapped. There's blackness, and then I'm Grimme again, but this time the Grimme we've seen before: the creature wearing the body of Grimme. Around him, the 13 who killed him...

And I snap awake again, in front of Born in a Bowl and with a feeling like a dread hangover. She speaks in a strange, faraway voice we've not heard from her before. The only way to defeat Grimme is to defeat the 13 'ghouls' within an hour of each other, and for this reason they stay far apart except for the anniversary of the day they ate Grimme and his flock: 23rd August. There is prophecy that a flood will do this; to trigger the flood, we need to bleed on 7 signs of the earth spirits - the lightning glyphs - and then, the same person (or people) must bleed on the raw earth at the centre of the 'cathedral'.

Carson insists on being our sacrifice. I start to argue, but accept I'm the best choice to stay alive and tell the tale. 

Besides, a Hero's Death will save his soul, for all he doesn't believe it can be saved.

Born in a Bowl says that Grimme is Famine's servitor. "Famine?" I query, "like the Horseman from Revelations?" She says a Manitou in the Hunting Grounds saw the imagery and latched onto it. 

The vision had shown us the faces of the 13 ghouls, and we realise we've seen two of them already: 'Sister Andrea', who'd been overseeing the cart the first time we went to Lost Angels, and the Father we'd spotted overseeing Jehosaphat Valley when we spied on it before breaking in.

Born in a Bowl tells us there's others who may be able to help us in this, and suggests we find the 'Prospector'. She doesn't know where he is, but says we'll know when we've found him. She says we'll have a safe haven here, if we need it, as there's nothing else they can offer us for this very dangerous task.

Before we leave, Tesla rows to a nearby mesa and starts messing around on the beach. He's doing something with a lot of technology and realised it might not go down well with the locals, after his experience with Eyes Like Fire. I watch, captivated, as he sets up four metal pylons in a square, marking the cardinal points - as each one is embedded in the sand, thunderclouds form in that direction. He places metal plates to the north and south, then stands in the centre, shirtless and with raised arms as lightning bolts screech down to hit each pylon. The plates fly at him and tie themselves against the ribs Eyes Like Fire mangled.

He comes back to us; I keep catching him looking at my eye patch and making notes. I am NOT letting him near my face with that thing.

And so we depart the Necessity Alliance and head back to Shan Fan once more, now knowing the lightning marks on the ragged map are the earth glyphs we seek and remembering there's one at the Isle of Ghost Tears. We arrive at Shan Fan late in the evening of 17th December 1879, sleep and travel to the Isle early in the morning.  

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