Manifest Destiny

The Original Riders
The world WAS in good hands...

GM RETCON

Going over my notes I have realized that in my enthusiasm to show the Peregrines as normal folks I did indeed make a mistake with the timeline that I cannot ignore, even is if it is an alternate reality. I assume you all are attempting to figure out the mystery of what the hell is up with Delilah, and I’ve thrown in so many small details to help you guys out with that it is unfair of me not to admit the mistake and try to hand wave it later.

Please make note that Jebidiah did not attend an ENGAGEMENT party for Del and Will, he attended ANNIVERSARY party, and Del and Will were both aged appropriately (mid to late 30s) in that respective reality. That reality’s timeline does indeed sync to the “real world.” Thank you and have a nice day.

Points of note:

KNOW YOUR OTHER

Felicity

Felicity awoke to find herself in a lab with very little memory of what she was doing and how she got where she was. She was being harassed by her lab partner and had the voice of her mother whispering in her ear. In the other reality is was revealed that:

  • She attended Cambridge at the same time as “Alexander” and was the first woman to ever be granted a doctorate in Biology, and at an impressively young age.
  • In her attempts to recreate the Hellstromme’s automatons she became a violent paranoid schizophrenic thanks to the manitou (the voice of her mum) whispering in her ear.
  • Alexander’s real name is Simon Royce. In the other reality he was a pretty stand up guy, worried about Felicity’s health and the long hours she was putting in.

Things came to a head when Simon decided to sneak into Felicity’s house to see what she was up to and discovered that she was responsible for the missing prostitutes. Felicity was under the delusion that she was using pig carcasses. “Mother” transformed Felicity into an abomination in order to “protect” her from Simon. Felicity was able to break mother’s hold and saw things clearly for the first time in months. She begged Simon to kill her but her was unable to do it. Felicity mustered the strength to force “Mother” out of her, but the process left her a simple childlike shell of her former self.

Cobb

Cobb woke up to find himself on the ground suffering from mild heatstroke. He remembered his “other life” as a particularly vivid dream. it was revealed that:

  • Cobb’s best friend Andy Sharpe had become sheriff of Canton, KS instead of Cobb, though Cobb acted as his deputy.
  • Cobb had married Rebbecca and the two of them had a son.
  • Andy had done a lot of legwork into the mystery of some mutilated cattle and tracked down an Agency man in an attempt to suss out what was happening before things got too bad.
  • Cobb agreed to rally the townsfolk and make them give up their silver jewelry, though he though Andy and the Agency man were touched in the head.

Things came to a head when werewolves attacked Canton that night. But thanks to the legwork Cobb, Sharpe and the other men of the town were better prepared. They managed to pull the wolves back to a choke point where they easily picked them off. Cobb gloated that he managed to kill more wolves than Andy, but if it hadn’t been for Andy’s quick shot Rebbecca would surely have been bitten by the wolves. When it was all over, Andy decided to join up with the Agency to fight evil and trusted “his ole buddy Jim” to take care of Canton.

Jebidiah

Jebidiah was very pleasantly woken up by his partner in crime, Miss Juliette Montreau. He remembered his “other life” as a particularly vivid dream. It was revealed that:

  • Long, Juliette and their quick handed, spell slinging partner Molly were a successful team of cons that enjoyed parting fools from their money.
  • Juliette managed to score them an invite to the Deveroux residence where they were throwing a swanky ANNIVERSARY party for their daughter Delilah and her husband Will.
  • After drinking a hell and making sweet love to virginal debutantes, Long checked in with Juliette who said she had an easy mark.

Things came to a head when their “easy mark” inadvertently lead them into a Nosferatu trap. Long ran for Sheriff Peregrine is in a semi drunk haze started to organize a search party. Molly cast earshot and realize that the Nosferatu where underneath the church. She found a secret door and Long followed her down despite his better judgment. At seeing the scene of vampire carnage, Long very nearly had a heart attack. Molly foolhardily took on the head Nosferatu while Long shot from behind a corner and managed to take out 2 of the lessor one. They managed to successfully defeat the creatures and rescue Juliette. Juliette and Jebidiah decided to skip town, and Molly went her own separate way to track down evil.

Eli

Eli awoke to his sister trying to get him out of bed to do work for the day. He remembered his “other life” as a particularly vivid dream. It was revealed that:

  • Eli’s legs were not healed. Rather he seems to be coping rather well by using a tricked out wheelchair from Smith and Robards.
  • Eli became a speech writer for senator hopeful Caleb McKinney. Caleb was a devote man, blessed by the Lord to do good works. Claudia is his fiance.
  • Lacy O’Mally still respects Eli’s work in this reality and invited him to write for the Epitaph anytime.
  • Caleb’s platform was reconciliation between the North and the South. He also hold that all are equal in the eyes of god, and encourage the Negro vote.

Things came to a head when McKinney to his campaign team to the Ybor residence. Sabine Vinoy tried to trick McKinney into helping her complete her ritual but Eli advise it to be a bad idea and McKinney wholeheartedly agreed. Vinoy attempted to attack but Eli blasted her fool head off. Caleb managed to hold poor possessed little Angela, and he completed an exorcism. When it was all done, he talked about dropping his bid for candidacy in order to be a solider for the Lord traveling the west and spreading His message. Eli was proud to join him.

KNOW WHAT THEY DID

  • Simon was spurred by what happened to Felicity to lead a movement against Mad Science. He became involved in politics and rose the position of Prime Minister. He convinces Parliament that they should focus on Pure Science, which will also allow England to extract itself from the war between the American States since they will no longer be dependent on ghost rock.
  • Caleb continued to preach his message of forgiveness to solders of both sides, stressing that they are all brother and sisters in the eyes of the Lord.
  • Molly and Sharpe meet up at some point and discover the existence of Blood Wolves, an unholy hybrid of werewolf and vampire. The team together to hunt the abominations.

KNOW HOW THEY SACRIFICED

  • Simon is pushing a childlike Felicity through a garden in a sanitarium. Melissa chides Simon, say that people talk about his “visitations.” He replies to Melissa as he moves in front of the chair to look at Felicity “You didn’t know her Melissa, before, at Cambridge. So brilliant but so lonely. How can I leave her alone now?” Suddenly there was a loud bang and a cry of “LONG LIVE NEW SCIENCE!” Simon crumples in front of Felicity’s chair as his blood seeps into the ground. He smiles up at her, and closes his eye for the last time.
  • Eli watches from a hillside as a battle takes place in a valley of bones. Caleb stands in the middle of the valley and raises his arms to Heaven as an enormous tidal wave heads towards the valley. Caleb shouts at the top of his lungs “LORD! CLEANSE ME OF MY SINS AND WASH AWAY MY INEQUITIES!” as the wave crashes down, obliterating the valley.
  • Molly pulls a barely living, mangled Sharpe up a ridge as an ungodly number of blood wolves close in on them. Molly lights a stick of dynamite then uses the dynamite to light cigars for her and Sharpe. She then drops the stick onto a covered wagon. The wagon explodes catastrophically, covering the wolves and the ridge in a searing, cleansing fire.

KNOW HOW THEY WERE DESTROYED

  • A teenage Caleb has been perversely nailed to a cross in a church and he screams for mercy. A gunman responds in a raspy voice, “Sure” and shoots him in the head.
  • A women clutches a twelve year old Andy Sharpe and begs for the gunman to spare her son. The gunman replies “It’s your son I’m hear for” and he fires.
  • A family looks over the side of a boat in a panic screaming “Molly! MOLLY!” In the murky water the gunman drags the lifeless corpse of a little girl as he walks the bottom of the river, not seeming to need air.
  • The gunman aims at Simon as the latter carries his pregnant sister. The woman is coughing blood as Simon kicks open a cellar door. The gunman pauses for a moment, then seems to change his mind and walks away.

Back in the Real World

The posse wakes up to find that little time has passed. The Hall of Possibilities has been destroyed and the doppelganger is burst to a crisp. Mama Jolou and Del are both lying on the ground as well. Del is no longer wearing her duster or hat, though she still has her pendant. She wakes up in hysterics not knowing where she is or what’s happening, she seems to have a vague recollection of Cobb but doesn’t seem to know anyone else. Alexander sedated her and she was brought into Mama Jolou’s tent.

Mama Jolou invited everyone in for swamp tea and cookies. She offered to answer questions, but admitted that she doesn’t know everything, and that she sometimes “cheats” with spies. She also states that whatever Del was/is is more powerful than she. The Reckoners are brought up again and Mama Jolou states that they they are manitou, demon, rada, whatever you call an evil spirit they are the worst and the most powerful, and they seek entrance into the physical world. They feed off fear and are weakened by hope. That’s the task of the undead gunman, to destroy those who would give hope. That’s why those who oppose the Reckoners have tried to manipulate the fate of the posse, because they need the message of hope carried, though not as overtly. She described that gunman as the Servitor of Death (OOC NOTE: I feel the need to point out she never said the name “Stone” because she does not know his name, we talked about “Stone” OOC) She whacked Cobb several times with her stick when he talked about tracking down the Servitor, telling him that he is too headstrong and that throwing his life away needlessly is not heroism, it’s foolishness. She warned that the Servitor has been shot, stabbed, beaten, burn, and sunk to the bottom of the ocean, but he always returns.

She then asked everyone except Felicity to leave the tent. Once they were alone, Mama Jolou warned Felicity that she did not know why Simon Royce was spared by the Servitor. The only reason is that the Reckoners believe that they can use him in their cause. She says that he his “broken.” Mama Jolou warns Felicity that Simon must die in order for her to live, but she doesn’t know if Simon does so willingly or unwillingly.

Felicity tries to speak with Alexander afterwards. At first he praises her for discovering his identity, but Felicity pushes the matter slightly too far by mentioning his sister.

Mama Jolou then summons “Alexander” and Eli to help remove her eye and heal her, which they do expertly. She expresses great pleasure at her new glass eye. She then heads off into seclusion and says Sam will contact them once her preparation are complete. She also asks the posse to see to her remains, and says that she want Cobb to carry her ashes with him.

The posse returned to Tombstone.

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There Shall Come A Reckoning
I wouldn't eat that hamburger...

Points of Note

  • The posse successfully defended the town from Goodman and the diseased cattle. This is legend chip and grit worthy, needs to be awarded next session.
  • Posse got their first full look at one of the Harrowed. Felicity had the great displeasure of seeing how manipulative the manitous are when the manitou allowed the subjugated personality of Goodman to come to the forefront in order to lure Felicity closer.
  • G & G ranch had been taken over by Mitch the cowhand.
  • Long & Cobb found a book on the occult in Goodman’s study, will allow posse to raise their occult skill to a max of 4.
  • Hooperville is good shape…with the exception of the Louis Ranch.
  • Baron LaCroix has taken the Louis Ranch hostage and forced Jeb, Eli, Felicity and Alexander to swear an oath to bring him Mama Jolou’s right eye. In return he has sworn on his power that he will pose them no further threat unless they meddle again in his affairs. Cobb is exempt from both the promise to obtain the eye and the promise of protection.
  • Eli has agreed to be penpals with Susan. Susan has agreed to update the posse about the Louis family in next letter.
  • The posse has arrived in Tombstone and found Mama Jolou telling fortunes in a nearby circus. Del was there, acting as her bodyguard.
  • Del said she was there tracking a doppelganger, a creature of the Reckoning that devours an individual and takes on their identity.
  • Jeb asked about the Reckoning…Del was evasive as ever, saying that she can’t say too much too soon. She invoked the old adage “For want of a nail.”
  • The doppelganger showed up and the posse + Del chased it into the “Hall of Possibilities,” Alexander stayed outside.

The Final Moments:

Del: “You’re not a normal one of your kind.”

Doppelganger: “Neither are you. Do they even know what they are dealing with?”

Del: “No, but maybe it’s time they get an idea.”

The tent is filled with a blinding white light….

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Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
Eli and Felicity get themselves in a heap of trouble

Points of Note:

  • Eli & Felicity concocted a scheme to infiltrate the G.G. Ranch. Felicity posed as a housekeeper/cook in order to gain access to the house and Eli posed as a ranch hand in order to gain access to the rest of the farm.
  • Eli discovered that the cows were being fed a special supplement. He obtained a sample and brought it back to Alexander to analyze. Alexander determined that feed is certainly not a health supplement and in fact reacted violently with a small retained sample of his smallpox curative.
  • Felicity discovered the horror in the cellar. There is a human zombie with puss filled boils chained to the wall alongside a rabid looking zombie dog.
  • Jebidiah taught Susan how to play poker.
  • Alexander told what he knows of the Harrowed, though he admits to never running into one in person.
  • Felicity blew her cover and Goodman has revealed that he is indeed Harrowed.

Where we are at the moment:

Felicity has been mindf**ked by Goodman into admitting everything she knows. Granger has interposed himself between Felicity and Goodman. Cobb has reached the ranch first and is about to kick in the door. Thanks to Ace, he will have 2 rounds ahead before Eli, Jebidiah and Alexander catch up.

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A Small(pox) Dilemma, Part 2

Points of note

  • There is something suspicious at the Goodman-Granger Ranch. Jebidiah managed to cast Hunch which revealed that Goodman is not the invalid he appears to be.
  • Goodman is a right bastard. Granger seems to be a little more receptive to the posse, but is also under Goodman’s thumb.
  • Alexander really really really doesn’t like being around pregnant women. But he still seems concerned for their health.
  • Susan is all about Eli. Felicity appears jealous, but can’t do much because it would break her cover as Alexander’s wife.
  • Eli contracted Smallpox but is recovering quickly.
  • Cobb realized that the train job wasn’t reported to the Texas Rangers.
  • The cows are also suffering from Texas cattle fever. There seems to be a connection to the Smallpox outbreak but no one can figure out what it is at the moment.
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A Small(pox) Dilemma, Part 1
In which our heros try to get ahead of the law, only to be detained by a plauge

This session described the PC’s interactions with the “Women in Black,” as Alexander calls them. Details of the individual encounters have been posted to the characters’ bio page.

Points of Note

  • The posse managed to get out of the train job without killing anyone. Jebidiah used Hunch to discover that potion in the barrels created controllable undead. Jebidiah destroyed the contents of LaCroix’s barrels.
  • Hooperville is indeed a real place, though it’s clear that the storyteller in the future took some liberties with the details.
  • Felicity and Alexander have taken Jebidiah into their confidence, he now knows that they are spies traveling under cover and part of their mission is to track down the Women in Black, and Delilah clearly seems to be one. Jebidiah also realized that may have come into contact with one of the Women in the past.
  • Alexander revealed that process of making philosopher’s stone, further explaining way he doesn’t run around with a case full of potions. Jebidiah agreed to provide a blood sample to see if his blood is capable of creating the stone as well.
  • Cobb got himself a spiffy new mustang by the name of Ace. He’s a mean cuss but seems to like Cobb just fine. Really doesn’t seem to like Jebidiah or Alexander very much.
  • Alexander and Felicity had an exceedingly awkward conversation where he 1) revealed that idea of sexual intercourse repulses him and 2) that he was unaware that he was upsetting Felicity with his comments about her weight. He promised he would stop and even (sort of) paid her compliment. Felicity also found out that the idea of being around pregnant women upsets him.

The Smallpox Dilemma

Upon arriving in Hooperville, the posse discovered that the Sheriff had contracted hemorrhagic smallpox and several were exposed. Jebidiah and Eli are both at risk for contracting the disease. It is still too early in the infection cycle to determine if other townfolk have been infected, right now only the sheriff is symptomatic. Alexander is attempting to modify one of his formulas to make it safe for people to leave town to obtain vaccine, but he requires ghost rock to do so. When we left off:

Eli – Went to the chapel to get the reverend to see to the spiritual needs of the town. There he met Rev Henry Smith and his pretty daughter Susan Smith, who appears to be a bit of a Tombstone Epitaph fangirl.

Jebidiah – Heading to the Goodman-Granger Ranch to see if he can get some ghost rock.

Cobb – Gave some instructions on setting up the Pest Tent, then joined Jebidiah on his quest for ghost rock.

Felicity – Helping Alexander with the alchemical concoction.

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The Train Job
"Jebidiah Smash!"

As we rejoin the posse in New Orleans, Eli has requested that the group help him investigate unexplained quick growth of Bayou Vermilion Railroad. While trying to send his story to the Tombstone Epitaph a hobo came into the Times Picayune building and tried to sell a story about seeing strange dead looking men workign the rails late at night. Eli had heard that the head of the railroad, Baron Simone LeCroix, is rumored to be a powerful Bokor, so it sounded like a story in the making. Felicity, Alexander, and Eli all managed to get on-board the closed train semi legitimately, Cobb and Long had to jump on.

Things to note:

  • On the train was Jebidiah’s old friend Billy, a black pony express rider who owes him a favor.
  • Jebidiah is really good at Corporeal Tweaking.
  • Alexander managed to obtain a vial of “purple potion” before anyone else touched it.
  • Felicity does hysterics very well.
  • Jebidiah stuck his hand into the “purple potion.” The potion was unnaturally cold and evaporated off of his skin quickly. As far as he can tell he has suffered no ill effects.
  • Eli’s message to the Tombstone Epitaph did not go through, but he does not know that In Character yet. Gremlins fouled the line and Lacy O’Mally is wondering why Cruz sent him a story on doilies.
  • We need to stat out Cobb’s animal sidekick before next session.

Where we ended:

Alexander and Felicity were ejected from the moving train. Felicity suffered no wounds, Alexander has a heavy wound to the guts and moaned about not having his bag. They are within visual range of the uncoupled caboose, but cannot see the uncoupled stable car from where they are.

Jebidiah and Eli stayed aboard the uncoupled caboose. Jebidiah cast a +3 die type Corporeal Tweak. The 2 incapacitated guards are on the floor of the caboose and 2 guards with shotguns are currently staring them down from the doorway.

Cobb and Billy retrieved the luggage and the horses and are making their way back to the rest of the posse.

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A Very Special Deadlands
How the G.G. Ranch Stole Christmas

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming for a special holiday session of Deadlands.

It’s Christmas Eve in the town of Hooperville in the year 1890. A young boy and girl are caught by their father as they sneak downstairs to try and catch Santa Claus. They demand that he tell them a story. The father then tells the kids the “true” story of how two Brits, a reporter, a gunman, and a gambler came to the town of Hoopervile in 1877 and saved the town from the supernatural evils of the Goodman-Granger Ranch.

The kids loved the story and their father put them to bed. After tucking them in, the father goes up to the attic to get the presents for the kids chuckling to himself over the ending of the story. As he opens up the a chest a hoarse voice come from behind him:

“Yup, those where fun days weren’t they Eli?”

Eli turns to see a figure standing behind him and his eyes widen.

“But…but you’re dead!” he replies…

GM Note:
This in NO WAY gives Eli plot immunity. I’ve got no less than 4 different ways to justify this scene should something happen to Eli, so don’t get any funny ideas.

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The Story So Far

Our story begins with JT Cobb and Jebidiah Long saving the town of Pawnee Rock from an invasion of angry undead (oh yeah, an Injun Teamster and a Chinese whore/medicine woman may have been involved).

It was at this time Long came into possession of the Peregrine Confederate Sabre It was given to him by the Widow Hapgood who claimed that her husband Tom told her that Long would be there to claim it one day.

Long and Cobb accompanied the teamster on his journey to make a gold delivery to a bank in Tampa Town. Upon arriving in Tampa they became involved in a carriage hold up, and chased away a mysterious woman in a black coat who appeared to be trying to kidnap Angela Ybor, daughter of cigar tycoon Vicente Ybor. They tentatively joined forces with a reporter by the name of Eli Cruz and the carriage driver, a British woman named Felicity Smoot.

Unfortunetely all was not as it appeared. The woman in black turned out to be sort sort of vigilante by the name of Delilah Peregrine. She was trying to retrieve her stolen property and save the little Angela by extension. However, the representative of the Black Magic cult, Sabine Vinoy, managed to trick Cruz into completing the ritual on the stolen wedding ring that would allow the a demon to possess Angela and repel any Blessed who attempted to interfere. The posse won out in the end, defeating the demon and saving Angela (though Abuela Ybor suffered a nasty gunshot to the leg).

Shortly after the battle, a man by the Alexander Smoot showed saying he was Felicity’s husband and insisted on accompanying the posse on it’s further travels. Del asked for assistance in traveling back to New Orleans to remove the curse on her dead husband’s ring. There was an event filled boat ride to Port Orleans.

Upon arriving in New Orleans, the posse sought out a voodooienne by the name of Mama Jolou. Mama Jolou removed the curse from the ring and offered fortunetelling in return. Curse removed, the ring was returned to the Peregrine tomb. Del experienced some form of distress as she left the tomb. Long confronted her about it, which only seemed to make her a might defensive.

Upon returning to the city proper, Long ran into a former conquest by the name of Juliette Montreau. Juliette was actually in league with a vampire cult that obtained blood for a coven of Nosferatu and she arraigned for the kidnapping of both Long and Alexander. The party tracked down the coven to rescue their companions. During the showdown, Del was bitten by a Nosferatu and her angel pendant emitted a blinding white light. There was a rush of arcane energy, and when the light faded the vampire was burnt to a crisp and Del had vanished.

While Cruz sent in a series of stories to the Tombstone Epitaph, the rest of the posse tried investigated the disappearance of Del by traveling back to the Peregrine tomb, visiting Mama Jolou and returning to Del’s hometown of Shreveport. While they found out quite a bit about where she came from (and Long realized Del hasn’t apparently aged in 13 years), they were unable to determine where she could have disappeared to.

When they returned to New Orleans they met back up with Cruz and he informed them he needed help robbing a train…

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