Manifest Destiny

Consider the Past
"Consdier the past, and you shall know the future" ~ Chinese Proverb

The posse arrive in Boston and began to get their baring.

Eli
Eli immediately went to the Back Bay district to meet with his sister. He experienced a little trouble getting through the checkpoint, but was eventually escorted through without incident though he had to leave his gun behind. The reunion was joyous and he plans to stay at the estate for the foreseeable future.

Jeb
Jeb seems to have gone into an exploratory mode and found out a bit about the city (covered below). He found out where to buy a new suit, get some mighty fine sarsaparilla. Tried to find himself a high class lady friend but was unsuccessful…this time.

Cobb
Cobb is walking around in his Western finery and with guns in tow, authorities be damned. Agent Callahan cleared him to carry his guns to the lunch party, but warned that others might not overlook the fact that Cobb’s armed. he got bored with the fine lunch party and he and Delilah ran off to have some fun on their own.

Felicity
She made acquaintances with Claudia and is maintaining her cover as Alexander’s wife as he seems to be doing…something?

Kai
Kai ran into some trouble trying to navigate the white neighborhoods of Boston. He had to pretend that he’s Jeb’s…servant? Bodyguard? As soon as he could he went to Chinatown to find someone who could repair his sword. He found a man willing to do it for $16, and was told to come back for it in 4 days. Upon arriving at the Higgins estate he discovered that Warlord Kang one of the guests of honor. Kang immediately demanded that Kai join his retinue. When the party was over, Kang had Zhǎnshǒu inform Kai to be on the roof of the Golden Dragon come nightfall.

Alexander
The Doctor has been writing furiously in his notebook as of late and seems to be even less willing socially engage than usual.

Delilah
Tried to lessen the tension between Kang and Kai and failed miserably. Ran off with Cobb before the party was over.

Misc Facts

  • Kang’s prescience seems to have something to do with the increasing concerns over Chinese immigration. There was also a lot of flowery talk about uniting the East and the West.
  • The Beacon Hill area is currently uninhabitable and is referred to as “The Fire Zone.” The neighborhood burned to the ground in 1872 and further attempt to build anything on the site as met with fiery results as well. Claudia mentioned that she heard something about ghost rock fumes, and that there are still people living in the zone.
  • And lots of other things that I hope you wrote down.
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Transitions
“The devil is in the details” - German Proverb

Following the advice of Wyatt Earp, the posse got on the first train out of Dodge heading towards Boston. The first 2 days are fairly uneventful. On the 3rd day the train was forced to a halt due to sabotage on the rail line. The posse opted to get off the train and go to the next town to wait and hear for word of when the train will resume it’s journey.

In town, Jeb decided to do some digging on the sabotage and find out if there had been any suspicious characters about town. He discovered there were 2 men and 1 women who had puttered about town and then headed off to the old (supposedly haunted Barlow residence). Jeb and Eli, being the curious sort, decide to go check it out.

One they get to the house, they discover the corpse of 2 men in the house. Right then, Felicity is possessed by a spirit known as a “Weeping Widow.” She designates Eli as her “beloved” and attempts to literally kiss him to death. When other posse members interfere, she calls them murderers and tries to kill them WITH ACID TEARS OF DOOM!! For some reason, Jeb and Kai decide that they are going to try to kill her without any further ado. Kai hits her with his sword and damages it on her acid tears (sword now has a reliability of 18)

Eli throws up a protection miracle and Felicity temporarily regains control and Jeb and Kai (sort of) decide to stop their attacks. They eventually decide to try an exorcism. Jeb and Alexander obtain materials and obtain the help of local priest, Father O’Mally. After 8 hours and a minor struggle, Eli, Jeb, Alexander, Delilah and the Father manage to complete the exorcism and banish the spirit.

They return into town and discover the train will resume at 6PM.

GM Notes

  • Though you don’t know it now, a number of very, very important things happened in this session. Just because you didn’t get to Boston doesn’t mean it’s a throwaway. In fact, from this point forward, it would be foolish indeed to treat any session as a throwaway.
  • I find it very interesting that the when Felicity got possessed that the go to reaction was: “Wow, this person who has been my friend/companion obviously has something wrong with them in a house I know to be haunted, I need to start attacking her soul with lethal spells /slicing her body up with a sword.” And Eli and Cobb don’t get a pass on this, it took the intervention of Delilah and Alexander to stop Jeb and Kai. Next time, no GM intervention and I let it play out to its natural conclusion. It’s not like the Reckoners make sure that these sort of Abominations exist in order to trick the Heroes into killing each other, right? And it’s not like I have an in game mechanic to track evil actions by your character that will ultimately turn them into an NPC tool of the Reckoners and that attempted murder of your possessed party member may count as little evil.
    I’m not telling you to be a saint. Reluctant, cranky, curmudgeonly, Anti-Heroes are all well and good. Moral ambiguity is great. I will intentionally put some of you in no-win situations that have no “good” answer. But if you seek out evil action your character will eventually turn into a Villain, which means they turn into an NPC.
    This is your one warning so you’re not surprised if you run around killing innocent people and I one day reach over and take your sheet and tell you to make a new character.
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Hiatus!
Tune in Next Time!

Manifest Destiny will be on a 2-3 week hiatus! Tune in late May for the next episode of The New Riders. In the meantime, check out our new trailer on the home page for what’s in store for the posse.

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In the Jailhouse Now
So what exactly happened here?

Jailhouse Intro

This was a session to just let the players have fun and tell their own story. They were given the above video as an intro and had to work from there. The man in the purple suit with the sheriff’s badge is Wyatt Earp during his time as sheriff of Dodge. Here is the story they told:

Jeb stayed in town while Cobb visited his old home. The posse went with Cobb. Nothing too exciting happened there. Cobb picked up some of his belongings and went back into town. When they got back to town Jeb had collected an IOU from gent who said that a baker in Dodge owed him money.

The party decided to ride to Dodge directly instead of heading north and taking the train. On the way they found a caravan that had been ravaged. Horses were gone and no bodies to be found, but there was tacky blood on the canvas. In the wreckage Felicity found an abandoned baby.

They took the baby with them to Dodge. At the town limits the posse had to turn in their guns in accordance with the gun law. Cobb got to keep his because he’s a lawman and friends with Earp. Kai got to keep his sword because there is no sword law.

The menfolk go searching for the thing that killed the caravan and find a jackalope and “scare it away.” The women go to find a wet nurse for the baby and find out that a creature known as a “two-face” is most likely responsible for killing the family.

It turns out the men didn’t actually scare the jackalope away and it followed Eli and cursed him with bad luck. Eli ended up eating an entire plate of bad mussels that eventually caused him to pass out.

The rest of the posse when looking for Jeb who had gone to collect his money from the baker. Turned out the man wasn’t really a baker, and he had a man-on for Confederate boys. Jeb came flying through a window and a fight ensued. Kai killed one of the men with his sword, which kind of exposed the flaw in the gun law. Earp showed up at that point and took everyone into custody.

Eventually, the posse killed the two-face in an epic (and glossed over) battle and reunited the baby with her family in Dodge. They were also advised to leave town post haste, since Earp could claim the stabbing was in self defense, but sticking around wouldn’t be wise.

As the posse was getting ready to pack up and go, a letter arrived for Eli, from his estranged sister in Boston.

And with that, The New Riders is going on a 3 week hiatus while the Marshal and her husband are out of the country. Tune in late May for the next episode!

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100 Ways to Do it Wrong
I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong - Benjamin Franklin

After the battle in Tombstone the posse decides to skedaddle before the Cowboys have a chance to regroup. The majority of the posse wishes to honor Mama Jolou’s last request and take her ashes to Canton, but Cobb is strangely resistant. He refuses to rell the party why he doesn’t want to go to Canton, causing bafflement and some called him cowardly. He insists that taking Mama Jolou to Canton is foolish, and says they should just bury her ashes in her bayou home when they get back to New Orleans. Now matter what the ultimate plan is, heading back East for the moment seems the best option.

The Train Ride

The posse hops on the rail and begins to travel. As the train reaches New Orleans Delilah begins to get sick. Alexander insists that he’s never heard of a disease that gets worse based on geographic location. As it gets worse, Jeb decides to take the opportunity to cast hunch on her, to see if he can get a glimpse of why she’s sick and what makes her so unusual. As he places his hands both he and Delilah start screaming and Jeb collapses into a seizure.

An Apocalyptic Vision
Jeb immediately knows that his vision is not working the way as expected. He feels himself lying on the ground, and when he looks at his hands he seems almost spectral. He pushes himself off the ground and surrounded by chaos. He’s in a place with impossibly tall buildings that seem to be fully electrified. He sees a sign that says “Broadway.” People are dressed extremely oddly, and many of the women are wearing spike heeled shoes with immodestly short skirts. A voice booms out of nowhere “We’re back with Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve 2099!” and a huge, strange, animated drawing of an overly tanned man appears on some sort of magic picture window. The crow begins the countdown to New Years 2100, and just as they are shouting “Happy New Years!” A strange an overly bight point of green light appears in the sky. The light expands into a skull shape. Everyone stares for a moment in complete silence. The silence is broken as the skull rushes toward the ground as it makes a noise that sounds like the screaming of the damned. Jeb watches as people begin to run and panic as the light seems to just dissolve the building as it rushes down. Just as it’s about to hit him he wakes up in the car.

Back On the Train

Jeb wakes up and Delilah is passed out. Eli sticks his head in and says he heard 2 girls screaming. Jeb asks if anyone know a guy by the name of “Dick Clark.” There are some bad dick jokes made.

Getting Cobb to Canton

Once they get off the train in New Orleans, Cobb once again tries to resist going to Canton while the rest of the posse tries to force him. As he tries to hand off the box of Mama’s ashes to someone else, he finds himself mystically paralyzed. The party takes to opportunity to chloroform him and get him on a river boat heading north. Cobb comes too just as they are arriving in Canton and he is pissed.

It’s Werewolf Day!

Cobb finds himself unbelievably tired after his drugged out trip and lies down to get some real sleep, doing his best to avoid everyone in town. He wakes up at around 6:30 in the evening, to the sound of god awful music coming from downstairs. It turns out that Jeb lost a bet to some townsfolk and had to sing a song…only Jeb can’t sing. Felicity and Alexander just stand their in horror, Eli ends up having to do-si-do and Kai eventually knocks Jeb out. Cobb tries to leave the hotel, but he is recognized by George Sharpe. George tells him that he thinks the wolves are back, they’ve been savaging wagons but no one’s been hurt yet. Cobb wanders the streets and gets ambushed by the wolves. He is easily defeated and passes out from bloodloss…

And he wakes up back in his bed at 6:30PM as horrible music plays from downstairs. And it happens again…and again…and again. Sometimes he’s killed, sometimes one of the women he is with are killed and at least one time Eli managed to blow all them up.

He finally decides to scatter Mama Jolou’s ashes and fights the wolves on consecrated ground and finally beat them. Only to feel himself passing out again.

This time when he “woke up” he was in Mama Jolou’s hut in the swamp, only Mama Jolou was looking considerably younger. Mama Jolou admits that she is responsible for what is happening to him. But not in the way he thinks. She mentions that she is being “tested” for what she is to become and made an error by using her powers to subvert his free will. She tells him that he must choose whether to face Canton or turn away for good, knowing that turning away will mark him. She tells him that he is as full of rage as any of the wolves, and asks what is more important, the man or the beast? It also mentioned that Peregrine has great faith in him, though Mama is evasive on the details. She then sent him back even further in time. To the train just after Jeb has his vision.

Cobb’s Journey

This time around Cobb decides to go to Canton. He prepares for fighting the werewolves if needed and sort of explains his situation to the rest of the posse. He arrives in Canton early in the day and discovers that there is an Injun living in the hills near where wolf caves are. He heads off into the hills with the posse where he meets with the Injun. He is referred to as Alpha, and reveals that Canton is built on lands that once belonged to his people. He also seems to know Delilah, and calls her Wolf Tamer though she does not recognize him. The rest of Alpha’s pack shows up. One of the members, the Greater Wolf is revealed to be Walt, Cobb’s brother in law who got infected by during the initial raid on the town. Walt is enraged that the wolves are not attacking Cobb and transforms on the spot, as he does, the area around him becomes darker, tainted. Walt’s wolf form grows even larger and starts foaming at the mouth as he lashes out at both the posse and his own pack. They manage to take Walt down, and Eli heals Alpha’s infected wounds. Cobb chooses to end the killing, and allows Alpha and his remaining pack to go free. He then looks for a way to get Walt’s body back to town respectfully and sees that he is buried next to Rebecca. Thus ended the 1st arc of Cobb’s personal story.

Effects on Cobb

Thanks to Cobb’s decidedly non-vengeful actions towards the man/wolf who caused him all this grief to begin with, Cobb has lost his vengeful hinderence. Instead he now has his personal edge/hinderence:

Show Me a Hero…

For the moment, this functions are the heroic hinderence. It represents how Cobb is heavily inclined to help people right wrongs and fight injustice, regardless of his own personal well being. He can be as ornery as he wants about it, act like he’s taking care of a bunch of idiots, or if he really wants to he can choose not to help. However the more dangerous the situation is, the bigger the rewards will be. If you want to get an idea of how this will likely turn out for him in the end, find the other half of the quote.

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Season Finale- Li Grand Zombi Pt 2
“Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.” - Susan Cheever

Breaching the House

The posse managed to stealth their way into the Baron’s manor. As they left the pantry/kitchen area, Jeb caught sight of at least 2 zombies lying in wait in the dark house. They engaged the zombies in combat and managed to dispatch them fairly quickly.

During the fight Eli suddenly felt as though he’d been punched in the gut, and heard a woman scream.

After the zombies were dispatched, the passe heard screaming from beneath the floorboards and realized there must be a basement. Jeb tried to blast through the floorboards but discovered that it was reinforced. They searched for an entrance and found a hidden tunnel behind the bookshelf. Cobb just nearly escaped being blasted by a shotgun trap as they went down the basement stairs.

In the Basement

The party walked into the basement to see 4 dead bodies surrounding the Baron, their hearts ripped out. LaCroix himself is standing there shirtless, with a bloody knife in hanging from his belt and blood dripping down his own arms from where he performed a ritual self mutilation. He laughs at the party, telling them it is happening just as he has foreseen, that Mama Jolou’s eye has provided him with great power and foresight. He toys with the party for awhile before he uses his unholy power after the 1st round to raise 4 of the most ineffectual veteran walking dead ever because the GM botched their quickness roll the second round.

Cobb
Cobb tried to unload into the LaCroix. But LaCroix’s unholy masters provided him with great protection. Cobb’s bullets just disintegrated in mid air. Cobb then worked on dispatching the zombies which he did with his usual skill. After the zombies were dispatched and Jeb destroyed the altar Cobb tackled the Baron to keep him distracted after Felicity indicated that fighting the Baron hand to hand might work. It didn’t work out so well at all, at least not for Cobb.

Jeb
Jeb busted out his Huckstering to try and give the party extra actions with his Draw spell each round. After that he would attempt to Soul Blast the Baron. Unfortunately the manitous were not making it easy for him after a couple of weak and failed blasts, he finally managed to wrangle a nice powerful manitou, only to have it attempt to take over his body (black jokers are a bitch!). Eventually made his way over to the altar and managed to smash it to pieces. The Baron didn’t take to kindly to that, so he cast Puppet on long, forcing the Huckster over to bad guy’s side temporarily.

Kai
The martial artist was feeling flushed with success after his knife handing a zombie through its undead skull upstairs, so he immediately crossed the room to the Baron and tried to take LaCroix down hand to hand. Barehanded attacks were ineffectual. Kai drew his sword and attempted to cut the Baron down with his blade. He landed a bone crushing attack that should have cut LaCroix in two, but Kai watched in amazement as the Baron’s bone and flesh rapidly knitted back together.

Felicity
The Baron singled out Felicity from the very beginning, trying to cast Nightmare on her and making Jeb attack her once the Huckster was under the Puppet spell. He seemed to enjoy toying with her, insinuating how much “fun” he was going to have once he had dispatched the rest. The Baron forced a high difficulty fear check, which caused Felicity to use her legend chip for a soul transfer with Alexander. This allowed her to coolly and calmly analyze the scene in front of her. She determined that the Baron must have done the ritual mutilation with the knife on his belt, though for some unknown reason she decided to be cryptic about getting the belt knife, causing Cobb and Kai to misunderstand at first and simply attempt to attack him hand to hand. The soul transfer also caused Alexander to go into a rage at Jeb for his attempts to harm Felicity, and it’s not good to be bear hugged by a man who’s just drank some Sampson Elixir. Eventually Felicity did reveal that she meant that the men should go for the knife.

Eli
Eli had some of the hardest time in the basement. As a Blessed operating in the Baron’s place of power (at type of “unholy sanctification”) every time he attempted a miracle he had to fight through the evil forces protecting the Baron. He managed to Battle Hymn to bolster the souls of the posse and tried to strike the Baron blind but LaCroix proved too strong for the latter. On his second attempt to Strike Blind he succumbed to the unholy presence around him, and ended up writhing on the floor in pain.
Meanwhile he kept getting these periodic “almost visions.” He would feel pain in his midsection and hear women screaming and crying.

Trust In Mama

Between Jeb’s possession, Eli’s convulsions, Felicity’s bizarre cryptic statements, and the Baron’s invulnerability things were going to hell. Finally Felicity indicated to Kai that he should go for the knife specifically. The Baron reacted to this but throwing off a “Bolts of Doom” blast, which very nearly killed Cobb by inflicting burns all over his body. As Cobb lay on the ground, almost dead from his wounds, he heard a faint voice saying “Heehee!” And felt his wound beginning to heal.

The Baron decided to stop playing with them. Screaming that he is the favored chual of the great petro spirits, he steepled his fingers and tried to summon “Baron Samedi”.* LaCroix was shocked when Samedi doesn’t respond. His soon discovers that his powers are diminished. Kai takes advantage of the Baron’s weakness, snatches the bloody knife and plunges it up to the hilt in LaCroix’s chest. Wide eyed, LaCroix drops to his knees as he says “No, I was supposed to win…” He then topples over, dead.

As the party catches its breath LaCroix’s corpse sits up suddenly, looks at the party and says “Heehee!” Mama Jolou has temporarily taken over LaCroix’s corpse. She congratulates the party and says a few cryptic things (as usual, see the write up of Mama Jolou for specifics). She says she will take care of the Bayou Vermilion and that its purpose will be be changed to suit more noble ends.

Back in Tombstone

The posse arrives back in Tombstone to discover that the battle between the Cowboys and the Baron’s men spilled out of the train depot into the town proper. They found Delilah tending to wounded in the Grand Hotel tending to the wounded. She tells Eli that she and Susan tried to get the boys from the Cullen Orphanage to safety. Susan was shot in the process, Delilah was unsure which side fired on the two of them. Cobb notices some blood on Delilah’s dress and 5 bullet holes, though the women seems unharmed. Cobb tried to question her about it, and she just gets upset. He decides not to push it for now.

Eli goes to the church with Felicity and Alexander. They see Susan’s body, shredded by a shotgun blast to the midsection. A discussing with the deacon confirms that Susan has been dead over an hour, the Resurrection Elixir would be ineffectual.

Eli prays over Susan’s body. The world grows dark and slows down around him. An immense shadow appears over Susan’s body. A voice rasps in his ear. It promises to restore Susan, just as she was. All he has to do is agree to do it a favor in the future. Eli struggles with the temptation for a moment, then tells the devil to leave. It laughs at him and the world return to normal.

Long confirms that the Cowboys are very unhappy about the current scenario and determines it’s better to get out of town sooner than later.

GM Notes:

*History Lesson!

As a game clarification and out of respect to the Vodou faith, I must clarify that LaCroix was not summoning the loa spirit known as Baron Samedi, he was summoning a Reckoner who he believes is Baron Samedi.

If you have any interest in the real life beliefs regarding Baron Samedi, Wikipedia actually does a halfway decent job of summarizing him.

In the Deadlands universe, the loa are very similar to dealing with nature spirits, they are entities with their own agendas who generally like where they are in the cosmos, and have no great love for the Reckoners’ scheming. In fact, if you want to see how the Deadland’s Baron Samedi actually helped the party, check out Mama Will Provide.

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Li Grand Zombi
“Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement.”

Breakfast on the 26th Day

The party was sitting around having a normal breakfast on the 26th day if their stay in Tombstone. Thanks to the crowded breakfast room, the group was sitting near a young Chinese man. Eli attempted a friendly overture, but gentleman was standoffish. Kung fu

Suddenly, Susan appeared in the hotel and rushed over to Eli. It turned out that the “large negro” has left the Lewis farm and hopped on the train to Tombstone with a group of hired hands. Hearing this, Jebidiah tried to get the party to join him in private to discuss the issue of LaCroix, however it took them awhile to realize this. As they spoke in public, the Chinaman overheard them talking about the Baron and decided to listen in.

The posse talked for a few moments before they notices the Chinaman being decidedly un-sneaky outside. They invited him into the room where they discovered that he was an agent of the Iron Railroad by the name of Zheng Rong Kai. He also had an interest in taking out LaCroix. He decided to join with them, despite the fact that Jebidiah and Eli insist on calling him Kyle.

The party split up to prepare for the fight.

Eli

Eli returned to the Epitaph to see if Lacey had any last minute insights. He and Lacey looked through the the files again, and Eli found a box with an attempted interview with LaCroix. It talked about how he came from Haiti and had a sister who was deceased. However the reporter was unable to actually interview as he seemed to be disdainful of speaking to her because she was a woman.

Cobb, Jeb, & Felicity

All three of them went about town to see if they could get more info on the Baron’s (possibly haunted) compound. Cobb talked to Doc Holliday, Jeb headed to chat with Curly Bill and Felicity took the ladies and chatted about town. They discovered that the Baron’s compound is about 2 miles south of town and people rarely go there. There is definitely a staff on hand and people do take care of it when the Baron is out of town. Everyone is definitely wary, if not outright scared, of the Baron.

Zheng

Waited until dark to sneak out to LaCroix’s compound to reconnoiter. He snuck around the outer fence and tried to catch a glimpse inside. He discovered that it was a large, ranch-style house that patrolled on the exterior by about 12-15 men. He also caught of glimpse dead bodies possessed by Yaoguai, the ones called walking dead.

The Evening

They reconvened at the Grand Hotel to debrief on what they discovered. Sam, Mama Jolou’s spy in the Baron’s organization, came in with a box that contains Mama Jolou’s ashes. Sam reads from a note that states they have to move quickly and that carrying the ashes into the battle will provide some protection from the Baron’s powers, but not to rely on it too much. She has also stated that she wants Cobb to take her ashes to Canton, KS and warns that she will haunt him if he refuses. Jeb has the idea to use the Cowboys to split LaCroix’s forces and talks Curly Bill into trying to hit up the train depot by bluffing that there is large cash deposit there. He attempts to get them to hit up LaCroix’s place as well, but behind the scenes Johnny Ringo screws that up. They decide that the group headed to the Baron’s compound would consist of Cobb, Long, Zheng, the Smoots and Cruz. Susan and Delilah were to stay behind, though Delilah wasn’t terribly happy about it.

Long’s Hunch on the Gun

Before heading out, Cobb nudged Long to perform a Hunch on Delilah’s custom Buntline Special. While he didn’t get anything relating directly to the mission at hand, he did get a vision of the gun lying on the ground and being picked up by Delilah while she is still in her wedding dress. She screams “Come back here! I swear I will kill you!” The gun in then pointed at a figure in a black coat and hat running away. While he couldn’t see the face, it did look remarkably similar to the Servant of Death that made and appearance in the alternate reality visions.
Veve

The Compound

The posse got to the compund just in time to see 6 men leaving for the depot. Once they realized that the Cowboys weren’t going to show up, they proceeded to take out the men guarding the perimeter with relative ease. They were just about to enter the house proper…

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Succubus
Just needed a quickie.

Long

Ate some bad chili or something, he was sick all day.

All the rest

The “Smoots” got drunk and ate pie, everyone else just ate pie. A guy came into the bar area of the hotel saying that the deputy had been killed. As both Felicity and the Doc were blitzed on gin, Delilah put them to bed while the rest of the posse checked out what was going on.

The town doctor and Sheriff let Cobb & Eli see the body. The deputy appeared to have been mummified. It reminded Cobb of bodies he had seen where the poor sap had been dehydrated in the dessert.

Everyone went to bed and Eli had a dream about a naked women eating his face in a bordello.

Through a series of events that involved Alexander digging up a grave in his underclothes and Eli getting a very expensive camera that he never actually used, the posse came to the conclusion that the deputy and at least 5 other men in town had been killed by a succubus working out of the High Times Saloon.

Felicity & Delilah infiltrated the bordello as ladies of the evening and the gentlemen came in as potential customers. The madam, Maria Delgado, immediately recognized Cobb and tried to put the moves on him. Felicity was able to identify the succubus as Madame Delgado and tried to warn Cobb. Madame Delgado realized that the jig was up and a fight ensued. Unfortunately, the succubus could only be hurt by holy items and the party was unable to kill Delgado before expending all of their blessed bullets. And Eli fell under the sway of the succubus so he was completely useless for one round. Eventually Alexander and Cobb managed to restrain the succubus and Eli tried to kill her by stabbing her in the belly, shouting, “Back to hell you devil whore!” Unfortunately she lived through the stabbing, prompting Cobb to shout “Jesus Christ!” as he grabbed Eli’s arm and mad him stab her again, finally killing her.

Nothing terribly noteworthy in terms of meta-plot this session, just some good, old fashioned devil whore killing.

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Felicitous Pt 2 - What Binds
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self, so therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.” Kahlil Gibran

Eli & Jeb

Where were they? Who knows? Hanging with the Cowboys? Chasing unicorns? Making sweet, sweet love to each other love? Probably off getting into mischief, those rascally kids!

Cobb & Delilah

Cobb & Delilah spent a delightful day together. The two of them went to the blacksmith and commissioned the making of silver bullets and cold iron bullets. Cobb then took Del to teach her how to shoot. Her performance on the range confirmed to Cobb that she is not pretending in the slightest, her abilities are really gone (however she managed not to shoot any little old ladies, unlike SOME people I could mention). They then returned to the hotel, where Delilah shooed staff out of the kitchen so she could bake Cobb a pie. Cobb on his part chatted with Doc Holliday about whether or not a spell could cause Del to loose her memory. Holliday says it was possible, but he has nothing in his arsenal that would be good for determining something of the nature.

Felicity & Dr. Royce

The next morning, tensions remained over Alexander’s reprimand of Felicity over the Cullen House incident. Felicity was called to the sheriff’s office to give a recounting of the incident. On her way back to the hotel a man bumped into her and dropped a piece of paper baring her name. She picked it up, and on the inside was written a riddle. The riddle lead her to an apple cart where she was given another riddle that instructed her to pay a quarter to the man for an apple. He gave her a fake apple that had another riddle inside that lead her to the locksmith. The locksmith gave her a key with instructions to meet at the Harriman Hotel, to come alone, and with a code indicating that an officer of high rank wished to speak with her.

She went to the meeting and was met by Sir Edward Rellington, a tall gentleman with a pinched face, thin mustache and mutton chops. He gave her a coffee and complimented her on her abilities to deal with Dr. Royce and his eccentricities. Rellington indicated that getting close to the doctor had actually been her primary assignment all along. He needed someone to obtain information from Royce and it would be information he would not give up willingly. He claimed that Royce was hiding the formula for an extraordinary elixir from the Crown, and its formulation was most likely caused the death of Royce’s sister. Sir Edward gave Felicity a mad science device called a Memory Miner which would allow her to extract the thoughts from another person’s head. He also gave her a potion of Sleep Paralysis, which would restrain Royce while keeping him conscious has needed to be mentally aware for the device to work. He let her know that she would be richly rewarded for success, and heavily punished for failure.

Felicity struggled with the task for a bit, very nearly putting the potion in Alexander’s tea, but ultimately refused. When she attempted to interrogate Alexander in an attempt to gain the information without the machine he became suspicious. She confessed to meeting with Rellington, and Alexander immediately guessed what he was after. Alexander stated he was glad that she hadn’t used the Memory Miner. Apparently the device works fairly well when the two parties are willing, but has been known to have nasty side effect when the subject being read is resistant, most likely why Rellington was not willing to do it himself.

Alexander then surprised Felicity by volunteering to use the Memory Miner, in the hopes that she would see something that he had missed in his experiment for the potion in question. She had a slight reservation, but decided to go through with it.

Felicity found herself watching the memories of Simon Royce, through his eyes, from approximately 1 year prior. He is in his basement lab when his very pregnant sister, Melissa, surprises him with a visit. While he is happy to see her, he admonishes her for being up and about and insist that she go home as soon as possible. She insists on stay for a cup of tea and he relents. Heading back into the house proper they heat the kettle and begin to banter back and forth. Melissa complains that she is cold and says she is going to go upstairs and get a blanket. Simon tells Melissa to sit down, he’s going to run out to the back to get some wood for the fire and then he will go upstairs and get a blanket. He fetches the firewood and as he renters to house he hears a thud. He drops the wood and runs into the next room to see Melissa lying limp at the bottom of the staircase. Felicity immediately saw that the woman’s neck was bent at an odd angle, but she watched as a distraught Simon attempts to revive his sister.

As Simon cradles her body in his arms his hand rests on her pregnant belly and he feels movement. The baby is still alive. He reaches into is vest pocket and slugs back a strength elixir. He picks up his sister and kicks the back door off the hinges so he can get to the cellar entrance. As he is about to kick in the cellar door he notices movement out of the corner of his eye and looks around. Felicity realizes that he saw the Servant of Death. Simon shakes it off and gets into the cellar. He neatly performs a Cesarean and removes his niece from his sister’s body, though the little girl is having trouble breathing.

He turns to the table and starts screaming at his experiment, demanding to know what it doesn’t work, saying he would give anything for it to work. Suddenly a raspy voice whispers in his ear “The cord…the cord connects death to life.” He goes back to his sister’s corpse and picks up the umbilical cord and adds it to his potion.

At this point Felicity is jolted out of Simon’s body and can see the scene from a third person perspective. Her eyes are immediately drawn to two sources of light. One is a dimly flickering light emanating from the little baby. The second in coming from Simon himself. He is outlined in white with a chain of rainbow colored lights running up the center of his torso. Felicity realizes she is seeing the chakras, as explained to her so long ago. But the light is marred by a grotesque…thing. As Simon work on his potion it is wrapping tendrils around the column of light focusing on the green heart-light, trying to infect it. She hears the creature’s voice change as it coos instructions on the potion to him, and for a second she would have sworn it sounded exactly like her mother, before it settles in on the voice of Melissa. Simon is so focused on the potion and on “Melissa” he fails to notice when the baby stops crying and Felicity sees it’s little light wink out.

“My poor brother.”

Felicity turns to see the spirit of Melissa standing next to hear observing this scene.

“We have a rare opportunity to set something right, or at least repair damages made. What happened to him…” Melissa says as she gestures at the scene in front of them.

Felicity realizes that Simon has discovered his niece is dead as well. He seems conflicted…he mutter something to himself about human tests being unethical. The creature eggs him on, saying that “she” wants “her baby” saved. Simon fills a syringe with the potion and injects it into the baby.

Felicity sees light flare back into existence around the child and it wails, its lungs healthy and strong. She watches as Simon giddily injects Melissa as well. His sister’s corpse twitches a bit, but remains still. He collapses next to her.

“Silly boy,” the manitou says in its gross parody of Melissa, “Of course you cannot bring me back, the death is required. But look, you have enough for, 10…15 potions? You have done only what Christ himself has done. You are a god.”

Simon stands up and silently picks up the child as the manitou continues to talk to him. “What is one life when you can save so many? You just need to find others to make such sacrifices.”

Simon stares at the baby in his arms and very quietly says “I shall do no harm.”

Felicity watches as Simon’s soul flares in its attempt to dislodge the creature. The manitou fights back, screeching. Felicity watches as chucks of Simon’s soul are completely destroyed. The red primal light that governs instinct and fear is almost completely obliterated. The orange light that governs hunger and desire, both spiritual and physical, is torn in two. The green heart light is weakened and flickers unsteadily from its efforts to resist being changed. The breath, the voice and the intellect remain intact, but they have precious little left to guide them. A cold and calculating calmness falls over him. This is the “Alexander” that travels with with the party now.

Melissa’s spirit speaks, “A man cannot live with half a soul. He teeters on a precipice. He forgets little by little why he resisted in the first place. He is a good man, you can help him stay that way if you are willing. But there will be a price.”

Felicity agrees and asks what she needs to do.

Melissa reaches out to touch her and says, “You must share pain.”

There is another disruption and Felicity finds herself inside of her own memory. She is 8 years old…and daddy is coming into the room. She can feel Simon’s presence watching as she is reliving the horrors of what happened to her. Suddenly a calmness comes over her. She finds herself able to look at the scene rationally. This is in the past. The man is dead and gone. It is illogical for her to fear him or allow this memory to affect her now.

The memory fades and they find themselves back in the hotel room. Felicity is calm and collected whereas Simon is nearly doubled over, sobs wrack his body as he tries to regain control of himself. He reaches out a hand to Felicity and looks her in the eyes. She takes his hands and this sensation of warmth passes between them. Felicity finds herself needing to catch her breath as she suddenly feels…whole again. Simon…Alexander abruptly stops sobbing and seems confused by his own actions. After a moment he suggests getting a stiff drink and then confronting Rellington in the morning.

Want to know what Simon thought of the whole thing? Take a look at Promises

GM Notes
  • This session saw the introduction of the unique edge/hinderence. You will each be getting one at the completion/climax of your personal session(s). Your actions during the session will determine what that special ability is and I do have different ones lined up for different outcomes. For example, since Felicity didn’t betray his trust and was willing to bolster his soul, she now has the Special: Soul Bond-Simon Royce. She can spend chips to protect him spiritually/emotionally, he can spend chips to protect her physically. Had she acted differently, the Special could have been “Mortal Enemy-Alexander” (had she gone through with the plan and Alexander escaped) “Enemies Closer-Sir Edward Rellington,” (had she gone through with the plan and killed Alexander, which yes, was an option) or “Playing Both Sides” (going through with the plan until she realized that she had been deceived but trying to still stay in good graces with Rellington).
  • I will, when dramatically appropriate, make a distinction between Simon/Alexander OOC. In game do what makes sense IC.
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Felicitous
Rewards and Punishments

Murder at the Lord’s Table Wrap Up

Cobb
Established himself as badass by shooting and killing Buck Peters on the street and shaking up the Cowboy’s leadership.

Long
Used the opportunity to get himself in with the Cowboys.

Eli & Felicity
Confronted the Deacon and his wife.

Conclusion
Curly Bill is now the leader of the Cowboys and has asked Long to get friendly with the lawman who blew away Buck. The Cowboys seem to be regrouping. The Tayliks admitted their involvement then skipped town.

Felicitous Pt 1
Suffer the Little Children

A black woman by the name of Flo Givens is arrested for attempting to murder old Mrs. Cullen, who runs the Cullen House for Orphan Boys. She raves that the old woman is some sort of monster and the boys at the home back up the story that Mrs. Cullen is a very bad lady. Anyone hearing these wild accusations feels extreme anger at the accuser. The only member of the posse who seems to be willing to listen at all is Felicity. Flo’s little boy, Scottie, just tugs at her heartstrings. She agrees to meet with the boys at Midnight that night even though Alexander pulls rank and specifically forbids her from going. He tells her to stay at the hotel until she can get her head on straight. The rest of the posse leaves to go to see “As You Like It” at the theater.

Felicity disobeys, of course, and goes to the orphanage anyway. She witnesses three of the boys attack poor Mrs. Cullen as Scottie plays the piano saying that “it keeps her calmer.” Just as Felicity was about to be compelled to come to Mrs. Cullen’s rescue, Slingshot Sammy screamed “You gotta help us against this boogieman!”

With that Felicity was able to see Mrs. Cullen for the abomination that she was. She shot it through the heart, ending it’s reign of terror on the boys but bringing down trouble as the sheriff comes to investigate the sound of a gunshot in the middle of the night. The boys and Felicity manage to convince the sheriff that Felicity acted in defense of the boys. The rest of the posse shows up at all the commotion and it become very clear that they have had an adventure of their own. Cobb looks like he was dragged along 10 miles of bad road, Long looks like he was briefly set on fire, Alexander’s missing his shirt because he apparently used it to sling up Eli’s busted arm, and Del is riding Ace and carrying a zombie head in a burlap sack. Each of the posse members has a note in their own handwriting warning them about what they went through. The posse heads to their respective rooms to figure out what to do next.

By the time Felicity returns to the the room, Alexander has already dismembered the zombie head for experimentation (apparently related to something having to do with the vial of LaCroix liquid that he claimed earlier). Alexander is also writing up a letter detailing Felicity’s insubordination to be filed with the British Intelligence. He berates her for walking into a dangerous situation with a group of 10 year old for backup, and laments the amount of paperwork he would have had to fill out if she had gotten herself killed.

Oh…and Felicity did in fact save the life of a young Scott Joplin, who would have been killed that night had Felicity not followed her heart and helped him and the boys. In 1911, with the help of Scott Hayden, he will finally perfect and perform the song he came up with to keep the boogieman at bay. He will call it the “Felicity Reg”

Thus ends part 1…

Misc:

  • Cobb is putting the moves on Del…that sly dog.
  • Eli received a letter from Susan stating that the Louis family seems well enough at the moment though she doesn’t like the “large Negro” staying with them at all.
  • Adam made note that Jeb is an alcoholic in recovery.
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