Reporting on The Flood

Introduction

The entire continent is ghost rock crazy! The wonder-fuel would be the miracle either the north or the south needs to resume killing and win this prolonged civil war. They’ve each offered the same reward: exclusive rights to sell ghost rock to the government to the first rail company to build a trans-continental rail line to the treasure trove of ghost rock in California.

This was the spark that ignited the Great Rail Wars, the most impact the Civil War has had on the west. The rail companies have resorted to violence, bribery, sabotage, and even (if you believe the most outrageous stories of the Tombstone Epitaph) a little black magic to achieve their ends. Hellstrome’s Wasatach rail line even is trying to borrow through the rockies!

On Nov 25, 1879, John Clum sent our Heroes, in his employ at the Tombstone Epitaph, a letter:

Dear Friends,

Most of the great rail lines – all but Wasatach and Dixie rails – have made major inroads into California. Its looking like things will come to a head in the next several months. I want reporters on the ground! I would usually send Lacy O’Malley on this sort of venture, but he’s MIA, and you all have proven you have a strange knack to stumble onto good stories!

I would head to the City of Lost Angels to start with. The rail lines will all head there, the best port in the Maze, while the authorities there will reject any outside influences. [Reverend Grimme]] doesn’t allow just anyone into his theocratic city state, so while you’re waiting for an entry visa, you’ll have to stay in Ghost Town (the neighboring tent-village). I’ve arranged a room at the Vestibule inn there.

Obviously you can’t take a rail line all the way there. I’ve gotten you tickets that will take you as far as fort Douglas in the Sierra Nevadas. From there, you should be able to catch a caravan to LA.

Good luck and Godspeed!

John Clum

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Indians, tunnels, and mad science!

Our intrepid adventurers were on a rail line to Fort Douglas, to catch a caravan to The City of Lost Angels. It was a rainy, uneventful night. Suddenly, the train hit its breaks. The train derailed, and the ghost rock boiler exploded!

Surrounded by burning debris, the heroes fought off a savage ambush of Indians. Jake knocked the leader off his horse. Then Abigale shot him with a Gatling rifle she found in the rubble. The rest of the Indians ran off.

Seeking shelter, the players hid in the hold in the ground, which they found led to a tunnel with tracks. They followed it about a half mile with the intention of making camp. Soon though, an explosion rocked the cavern as the fallout blocking the track to the northeast was blown away. A Wasatch train came by the heroes.

Taking a covert picture of the train, with flash, and invisible Leland tipped the riders off. Charley-Bill came out to investigate, armed with two henchmen. Combat was avoided however as Jane called out to him and explained about the crash above. Cagily, Charley-Bill offered them a ride to camp, while insisting his men would take care of the horses.

Arriving at camp, the Heroes foundDarius Hellstromme and Lacey O’Malley having wine. They greet them, and have short discussion. It turns out Hellstromme intends on holding them in camp until they break out of the tunnel near LA next week. Jake handles this well, offering to join Hellstromme as a body-guard. Leland, who mistrusts all Mormons and those allied with them, is less pleased.

However, all heroes join forces when the engineer in charge of Hellstromme’s digging machine is attacked by giant insects. They save him, and Lacey O’Malley eagerly interviews the heroes.

The general impression of O’Malley is that he’s an opportunist, willing to sacrifice his principals to get a story off of Hellstromme.

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Hellstromme's Wild Ride

For the next week the adventurer’s got to know the camp better. Generally, people were friendly, or at least civil. Darius Hellstromme almost seemed glad to have an audience for his “great moment in history”, and took a liking to the posse. Lacey O’Malley was rather friendly as well, especially when our heroes told him that they were actually also reporters working for the Tombstone Epitaph. When they asked him what his plans were during the upcoming battle to take Lost Angels, he became cagey, and mentioned he might actually need their help at that time. A friend of his, Sam Hellman (no relation to Hellstromme) was in trouble. He wouldn’t say more.

Leland, who had been bitten by a tunnel critter in the last adventure, turned up sick. And by sick, we mean he got a case of paralysis, and it became apparent the bugger actually injected eggs into him! Hellstromme gave him a doctor, and let him ride in his personal caboose during the reamainder of this episode.

After a week, on December 10th, 1879, they burst out into the sunlight in California. Hellstromme invited his new friends to join him. His train amazingly rose from the tracks in the tunnel, and road off along the desert landscape. Shortly, they found the railhead, where his workers held a grand celebration. War machinery was packed up onto railcars, and they shipped out down the track (which was built long before Hellstromme was viewed as a real contender for the rail wars) to Lost Angels.

The ride was not a smooth one though. Somehow, Iron Dragon (a rail company run by Kang, a Chinese immigrant), heard about Hellstromme’s impending victory. Red Petals Su (Kang’s right hand woman) attacked from a gyro-copter, while steam carriages attacked the train from the ground. Martial artists, and one Chinese Ogre, boarded the train, and tried to take the engine. The posse shot down Red Petals Su, and gallantly repulsed the forces, greatly impressing Hellstromme (who isn’t easily impressed).

By dusk the next day, they road into a fort built at the very end of the Wasatch rail-line, overlooking Lost Angels. It appeared that most of the other rail lines were already there, a battle having occurred earlier that day. Union Pacific and Black River to the north, Dixie Rails and Baiyou Vermillion to the south. Past them all, guarding Lost Angels, stood hundreds of red-robed Gaurdian Angels, with Grimme visible giving a sermon to his flock.

The fort was abuzz with activity as Hellstromme’s members rushed around to prepare for the on slot. Darius Hellstromme recommended the posse to hunker down, paid them, and wished them well.

The other four rail lines began to advance…

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Lost Angels

Our heroes witnessed the start of the Battle of Lost Angels. Four of the major rail lines advanced upon Hellstromme’s forces, which were hunkered down in a fort. The posse, realizing that things were about to get dangerous, grabbed their horses and skedaddled.

Finding Lacey O’Malley, they watched as Hellstromme was shot off of the fort’s battlements, and the battlefield opened up into a hail of gunfire. They used their last epitaph camera plate to capture the battle.

Lacey then asked the posse if they could help him. A friend of his, Sam Hellman, had been investigating Grimm, and mentioned he might be in trouble. The posse agreed to help, and they all entered Ghost Town, the tent city on the eastern outskirts of LA.

Passing through ghost town, and getting help from Lacey’s friend Ike, they found a hole in the wall of LA. They passed through, and avoided several flights of Guardian Angels, Grimm’s enforcers.

While traversing the city, Jane L Juno found a scrap of paper in her coat pocket that could not have been their before. So far, she hasn’t revealed to her friends what it said.

While hiding from one patrol of Guardian Angels, the posse saw Andrea Baird, Reverend Grimm’s right hand woman, traveling with several flights of Guardian Angels. They seemed to be traveling the city, beating citizens, and adding them to her cart. 15 angels around her beat two citizens senseless in front of the heroes.

Later, they found Sam Hellman‘s room empty. There were small bits of evidence of a struggle. It wasn’t obvious if he ran off, was killed, or captured. While searching for evidence, the posse was caught off guard by some Guardian angels, who had a bloody, skinless zombie aiding them.

During the ensuing fight, Charley-Bill Buckner came by, being chased by Andrea Baird and her flight of angels. Andrea overconfidently charged at Jake, and was shot down simultaneously by the posse. She abruptly exploded into green flame, scattering her guards in panic.
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The Aftermath

After killing Andrea, the posse entered the boarding house, and confronted the clerk. After some cajoling, they convinced him to reveal that Sam Hellman was captured by the Guardian Angels, probably brought to Rock Island where all the worse undesirables go by Grimm.

They then quickly made their escape, making a sighting of a winged man flying above, probably looking for them. Several flights of Guardian angels also seemed on the prowl.

However, they made it to the wall, and slipped through their original entrance. They had no problem getting their mounts, and getting back to the overlook to see the Battle of LA. There they saw Wasatch‘s fort under siege by an overwhelming number of opponents. It looked that they soon were to be overwhelmed. Then, from the north east, three airships arrived. Each dropped a bomb onto the field. Two landed on the battlefield. One landed in ghost town. The explosions were deafening, erupting into a high skull-shaped cloud. The one landing in ghost town also seemed to ignite some ghost-rock under the surface, creating a roaring inferno. Lacey O’Malley and the posse rescued several refugees, including one Joey Shelton.

After the people were rescued, Lacey told the Posse about a secret society, called the Twilight Legion, with a front called the Explorer’s Society. The legion is a loose-net group of people who try to fight supernatural evil wherever they come to it. Lacey invited the posse to join, and suggested they go to Shan Fan to meet Captian Roderick Pennington-Smythe, and get inducted.

Lacey then left, heading to find some people to help them bust our Sam from prison. The posse entered town, retrieved some supplies. They found that Hellstromme and Grimme came to a mutually exclusive deal for access to the ports, ending The Great Rail Wars.

Meanwhile Jane found in her pocket an odd message from a man named Jerimiah. It demanded 10 liters of blood from Jane.

The posse spent a few days at the Big M Ranch, working as guards. They became good friends with Dwight Shelton.

The night Jeremiah required the blood, the Posse setup an ambush. Jeremiah proved to be able to regenerate wounds lightning fast, and was hard to put down. He did manage to put a slug into Jane though, which seems to be magically embedded in her, and can’t be removed.

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Into Shan Fan

Limited time this week, so I’ll just summarize the main points.

  1. Posse discovered they couldn’t remove bullet
  2. They meet Captain Hunt, and get on-board his ship for passage to Shan Fan
  3. In Shan Fan, they go to White Lotus Society, which studies supernatural activities. They are given several jobs to do, if they’d like to. They should investigate the Devil’s Postpiles, Van Helmer’s Horn, and Grimm’s cathedral and alter.
  4. Explorer’s Society lodge is found burnt down.
  5. They find Rutherford Ellington Dillenger at the Sunrise House, rather shaken. Captain Roderick Pennington-Smythe has been captured while he was trying to hide the [[Amulet of Rahashimir].
  6. They go to Long-Haired Tony, Marshal of Shan Fan, who, bemusedly, tells them where to find Smythe. He doesn’t take them very seriously.
  7. Finding the shack in the skids where he’s held, the Posse lob dynamite from a nearby building, killing off the guards all at once.
  8. Smythe tells them that the amulet is hidden in a small cave in the mountains North of Shan Fan. Getting there, they find 20 horses, but no men. The hole the amulet was hidden in has been blown open. Inside, they see several bodies.
  9. One of them was let in slowly to the cave, with a rope around her. Once inside, a loud wail erupted from around her, shaking her companions. A vast beast made of stone and sand comes from the ground. Rocks begin to cave in around her.
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The Amulet of Rashamir

This adventure began where our last left off: A large 12’ tall creature made of rock and mud erupted from the earth, let out a loud wail, and trapped Sherridan in the cave with it. The posse took quick action. Leland used his Telekentic gloves to raise Sherridan up and out through the narrow opening in the top of the rubble blocking the tunnel. She was hurt passing through though, and was rendered unconscious.

The rock beast then pounded on the debris, scattering it out, hammering Leland. A tough old bastard, he held his ground. Jake dragged Sherridan to the horses. Then the rock monster magically increased the size of the cave opening, and exited. Leland shot it with lightning, but to little effect.

Jake found some dynamite by the cave entrance (the Tong soldiers had used some to open up the cave earlier), but before he got the chance to use it, Captian Roderick Pennington-Smythe realized he had seen a creature like this before, and recognized the small garnet on its forhead as its power source.

As the beast started beating Leland into a bloody pulp, Jane took aim at the garnet, and in a terrific shot blasted it to pieces, shattering the monster.

At that moment, amid the confusion, Ox leapt out of the cave, carrying the evil Amulet of Rashamir, supposedly having the power to raise the dead. Stealing a horse, he tried to escape, but not before the heroes subdued him and filled him with lead. Jake, whose father Ox had killed, was eager for vengeance, although it was Jane who made the final blow.

Before killing Ox, the heroes questioned him. However, he (apparently) didn’t know much. He only knew Thin Noodles Ma wanted the amulet for some dark magical purpose. The heroes then killed their victim.

Ox had mentioned one other thing, a glowing glyph in the cave. They posse decided to investigate. The cave was grotesque though. The remains of Ma’s men were smashed and scattered throughout the cave. Some of the posse had to exit the cave, throwing up.

The glyph itself was lightning shaped, and smeared with very old blood, probably from some ritual. Roderick recognized the symbol as Indian. Abigale touched it, the blood from her hand (still on it from providing medical care earlier) instantly was absorbed into the glyph, causing the ground to shake, and three hoodoo to emerge from the earth!

The posse were hard pressed to break through the hoodoos’ thick rocky hides, but were making some progress, when the amulet of Rashamir glowed brightly, and awoke the dead flesh smeared about the cave. The more intact bodies morphed into demonic looking creatures, and the limbs, entrails, and guts began to writhe and try to grasp the posse.

The posse fought out of the cave, taking out two of the four zombies. A mysterious sniper took out a third. The final demon-zombie sprouted wings (with a bit of help from the amulet) and tried to fly off, but not before Jane in an amazing long distance shot took it out.

Meanwhile, they had pulverized the three hoodoo, and had exited the cave. However, the mass of dead human flesh was growing was forming into a tentacled beast with a large eye on a stock. it almost impaled Jane, when it was shot with the mysterious sniper.

The heroes tossed a bundle of dynamite into the cave, which exploded, sealing the thing inside. Abigale saw the sniper, and recognized the trenchcoat and hat to be that of Jerimiah. He jumped down from his perch atop a tall tree, and turned into a wolf! The creature bounded off.

The posse and Roderick retreated into the woods to camp and patch up their wounds. Smythe identified Jerimiah as likely a vampire. He also invited the heroes into the Explorer’s Society.

What’s next for our heroes?

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The Devil's Postiles
  • Captian Roderick Pennington-Smythe decided to bring the Aumlet of Rahashmir to a hiding place. He took Jake with him.
  • Before leaving, Roderrick informed the posse that a means to destroy the amulet, Merlyn’s Agent was in a safe hidden in the rubble of their lodge.
  • The Key to the Safe is held by Big Ears Tam.
  • The posse, financially backed by Dillinger, prepares a ruse where they dress as proprietors of a museum of art back east looking to buy the key. They send Tam a Letter of introduction, saying they are in the area for a couple weeks, and await a reply.
  • The White Lotus Society scientist, Shu Lu, tells them that with some more data taken by the posse she could probably finish her “chi tracker”, which could let them use the bullet in Jane to find Jerimiah — since the only way to safely fight a vampire is by surprise in the daytime this is probably their best bet!
  • Any of the missions given by the White Lotus Society could potentially give this data.
  • The posse, waiting for a reply from Tam, travel to The Devil’s Post-piles to take some pictures
  • They met Susan Delgado, a widow who’s husband and daughter had died from bandits, had buried her family at the postpiles
  • That night, the dead awaken, and attack the posse.
  • Susan runs to the embrace of her daughter (now resurrected), but is killed by her husband Ben, despite the best efforts of Jane
  • Leland is swarmed by zombies, and consumed.
  • Just as the posse retreats (from Ben, who flung lightning at them!), an agent helicopter flies in to take out the zombies. An agent attempts to wipe Abigale and Jane’s memory, but Jane stops him by showing him her explorer’s society ring.
  • When the posse gets to the nearest town, they find a telegram saying that Tam will see them!
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Return to Shan Fan
A new hero..

Arrival in Shan Fan

White Lotus Society

  • They return to The White Lotus Society for their payment. They find several of the employees cornered by a faminite. Jane shoots the faminite and saves them.
  • Doctor Ellington thanks the posse cooly, obviously unhappy to loose the specimin. He takes their camera to be fixed, and is VERY pleased with their pictures of the Devil’s Postpiles.

Confronting Big Ears Tam

  • The posse prepares for their ruse: they will pretend to be a group of museum curators in Shan Fan to purchase the Key to the Explorer’s Society safe, which is a work of art.
  • The posse notices that they are being followed that night after dinner. The spy escaped. They were concerned they were seen with Dillenger, and if the spy worked for Big Ears Tam, their story was not going to work.
  • The posse arrives at Big Ears Tam’s estate the next day. They were admitted immediately, but were put on edge… it felt like a trap.
  • They met Tam, who was bordered by masked guards and a translator
  • Tam seemed to be testing them… maybe to see if they were really from a museum, this included giving them a fake key.
  • Anafiel proved he was more than met the eye: he prayed to god for knowledge of the Chinese language, and received the ability! He discovered that Tam was just playing with them, he knew exactly who they are. His spies had seen them fighting Ox at the cave!
  • Tam’s soldiers attacked, but the Posse made short work of them. Turned out they were prisoners of Tam’s being forced to fight to avoid being executed.
  • Tam, laughing, revealed he always knew who they were, and wasn’t interested in selling the key. But, he seemed impressed by their abilities, and was interesting in hiring them. He would give the key to them if they sunk The Abysmal.
  • Anafiel, disgusted with Tam, insisted that Tam release one of his prisoners into his custody. Tam relents, and allows this.
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