Deadlands: Hell on Earth

McGovern AFB Back-Up Plans
Out with a bang, What's the password, Wakeup call

McGovern Air Force Base

The Cultist’s mercenaries pump bullets out at Ben and Nigel. Nigel returns with a volley, taking out a Trog and a merc. Ben explodes a guy’s head with his auto-shotgun.

The Cultist, heavily wounded and losing, runs out the door of the mess hall. He then turns while gathering a bright green ball. He launches the ball into the back end of the room, exploding forth a Nuke blast.

The force of the blast kills all of the remaining Mercs and Trogs. The Cultist himself is blwon back into a wall, killing him on impact.

Nigel is the first to get up. Perhaps sheer luck, or a little help from his EMP shielding- he is basically unscathed. Sound is muffled and the room is full of smoke/dust, making in hard to see more than a few feet. Nigel charges out into the hallway to take out the Cultist, but finds his charred corpse.

Hammond rolls back over, feeling pain in his leg and his torso. He hears something but cannot make out the sound. Eventually his hearing adjusts and he realizes it is Nigel calling out. Then the sound of Ben yelling for help.

Nigel and Hammond find Ben splayed out on the ground. His leg has blown off and a large piece of re-bar has pierced his arm. Hammond quickly gets to work to stop the bleeding- Ben is in shock, but conscious enough to assist Hammy with the make-shift tourniquet. Nigel searches around for Ben’s leg.

All three pick up on the groans and creaks coming from the building. The Nuke blast did major structural damage, and it does not appear that this building will stay standing for long. One of the sections near the kitchen completely collapses.

Nigel locates the leg and they head out. Hammond carries Ben as they attempt to find a way out of the building. Ben notices they’ve taken a wrong turn, but spots a window. They climb through and get clear of the building just before this section caves in on itself.

They spot the hanger building nearby. Ben mentions how they could have avoided this mess if they had gone to look in the hanger first. Hammy- “You know what they say- hindsight is always 50/50” Ben- _"Uhm, I think that’s 20/20".

Hammond asks Nigel to assist in carrying Ben into the hanger. The main hanger doors are locked, but an old side door opens with a little help from the hammer. Ben Mind-scans before they enter and detects 2 “human” minds. Despite the risk, they decide to enter to avoid being vulnerable out in the open.

Once inside, they realize that this small room is actually a maintenance office. The janitor’s body sits in a chair. The back side of his head is gone; an old pistol lay on the floor next to the chair.

Nigel and Hammond clear off a desk and place Ben on top. They position the leg and Hammond begins to perform Lay-on-Hands. Nigel ventures into the rest of the building to get more info about these 2 minds detected within.

Nigel explores the next room. He finds a door from which a low constant humming sound can be heard. Nigel also finds some paperwork and pieces together that this is not a hanger, but a storage facility for secondary items (those not directly used in the war efforts).

The healing session goes well. Ben, though still heavily wounded, is back in one piece. He searches around for some new pants. The crew meets back up and checks out the humming door. Ben blasts it open to reveal it’s secrets.

Inside the room is a large structure made out of an odd looking metallic substance. The structure has a door and a small push-button mechanical keypad. The metal is very cold to the touch. The crew discusses possibilities (cryogenics, biological weapons, etc.)

Ben finds a key code on the ID of one of the corpses. They punch the numbers in and unlock the metal door. As it opens they hear the release of pressure and are hit by a waft of clean air. The short step in leads them to a vast warehouse. Large stockpiles of weapons, armor, and other supplies line the walls. Several vehicles in pristine condition sit in the middle of the room.

Along one wall they find a row of large tubes with small red lights on them. In the first few they can see dried corpses with tubes and wires. Nigel find this disturbing and proceeds to check the rest of the area.

Ben and Hammond check out the other tubes and find 2 with green lights instead of red. The bodies inside these tubes appear normal. These must be the 2 minds detected. At the end of the row they find a small storage unit with maintenance robots. Next to the robots is a small interfacing terminal screen.

The interface terminal requests 3 pass-codes to access. They find the remaining codes on the other 2 office workers. The codes provide them access to the main functions- Operations and Database. They find some interesting info- such as the name project “Blue Belle” and all as follows:

(In Summary) McGovern was chosen for project Blue Belle for its anonymity, the large pocket of Ghost Rock under the facility, as well as a the heat vent/power source. “Blue Belle” is a secret double classified detachment of the CSA Ranger Corp. They will be held in stasis and a set of supplies will be allocated to assist in their mission. Total destructive war is seen as unavoidable, this deployment will be deployed AFTER the war to solidify CSA presence and re-establish society. It is also in response to a similar program from the NA- and may be used to combat the NA presence. While there are multiple independent deploments of “Blue Belle” they can be synchronized using the pass code “Remember Richmond”

Hammond remarks – “No wonder the world went to shit. They were already planning a war after the war.”

They attempt to access the Operations menu to open the tanks. All functions under this menu require the master code. Hammy and Ben figure out that the janitor they found is actually the “Blue Belle” commanding officer. They search his body and find his key code. The command is successful and the tubes power up and open. The lights in the warehouse turn on and the air begins flowing.

The two Rangers step out- cool and calm, though a bit disoriented. “Identify yourselves” they state. Ben provides his name/rank and Nigel does the same. The soldiers identify themselves and ask about the year and the status. Ben notes that the crew has a bit of explaining to do “The original team is dead, the world has collapsed. Things have changed.”

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McGovern AFB Gathering Clues
A long scream, detailed notes, dinner guests

Outskirts of Tuscon

The three men push forward into the dark maze of industrial ruins and warehouses. They reach a relatively clear area, what may have once been a field or park. The space is clear, but craters and scorched earth are it’s main make-up. Off in the distance they see the remains of McGovern Air Force Base.

Hammond asks Ben and Nigel if they can recognize any of the layout. Several of the secondary buildings are still standing, as well as what looks to be a hanger. Ben spots the barracks and the men head towards them across the pock-marked field. The dirt beneath them crunches with each step.

The silence is broken by a rapid beat of the same crush sound. Ben spies a scraggly character with a rifle running. The man looks scared. Then all three posse members notice the thing of which he is afraid. A gangly creature nearly 12 feet tall with a flat oval head and very few features. It has dark pits for eyes and a freakish grin. Ben and Hammond recognize it to be a “Night Stalker”. The Night Stalker hunts down those who meet eyes with it, tracking the prey until they are dead, or until the Stalker disappears into the sun light.

The running man stumbles and lands hard on the ground. The Stalker’s long steps close the gap and it makes a gesture with it’s hand. The man floats up and hovers in front of the gruesome smile. He begins to scream as his flesh slowly peels away in long thin strips all flowing into the Stalker’s mouth like “man-ghetti”.

Nigel uses his rifle to shoot the stalker right through the head. The shot lands but nothing happens. Seeing this the crew makes a run for the barracks. Hammond knocks down the fence. Just then Nigel glances back but quickly looks away to avoid the Night Stalker’s gaze. The fallen man’s screams finally stop.

McGovern Air Force Base

The three enter and find the ruins of an old office. Ben suggests they burn one of the chairs for light. They find the dried remains of several workers. There is a paper that indicates some directory information for the base. They set out for the food/catering area in search of the rest of the MRE supply.

They head down several long hallways until they come to the mess hall. They enter and head for the back toward the kitchen. They search through the documents there, but find little. They check a body at a desk and find an old notebook with entries dating near the Reckoning. The entry mentions a mis-shipment of MRE containers. There is also indication of concern regarding the highly increased number of job fatalities/accidents. With this information they decide to head towards the infirmary.

As the men start heading back to the hallway they spot a couple of Trogs, followed by some armed thugs and a Cult of Doom member. They try to slink away, but the Cultist spots them. “Well, Well. What’s this? Some scroungers from Near Tuscon? Kill them men!”

Realizing they are stuck in another battle, the posse pulls out their weapons. Hammond makes a charge right on the Cultist, delivering 2 hefty blows. The surrounding Trogs are startled but turn to attack him.

Some of the Trogs toss cafeteria tables at Ben and Nigel. Ben pulls off Aztec Surprise on the Cultist dealing some damage. Nigel fires on the Trogs taking a few out.

The Cultist’s hired guns start laying down some fire on the whole crew. Fortunately the frantic movement helps them avoid damage. Nigel and Ben thin out the Cultist’s gang with rapid fire. The Cultist blasts Hammy and Ben gets hit by stray bullets in the arm and leg.

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A New Old Problem
It's hard to explain, Who are all these people?, Inside the Maelstrom

Near-Tuscon

The van appears instantly just outside the gates of Near-Tuscon. The posse hears yelling from the guards. Ben suggests they get out and say “Ta-da!” Hammond dismisses him and steps out of the vehicle with extreme caution.

“Who are you, where the hell did you come from?!” the guards shout with a slight tremble of fear. Hammond recites his name and asks to speak with Tulip. The one guard goes to fetch her while the others stand with guns pointed at the posse. The three men look around while waiting. they notice a small shanty town has been set up outside the gates.

Tulip arrives and recognizes them all. She tells the guards to let them in, they have much to discuss. Near-Tuscon has changed quite a bit since they last were here. the population has doubled or tripled and the whole interior of the town is occupied.

Tulip asks how they managed to appear here. The three try and explain, but she is a little reluctant to believe. “I’d rather you just got out and said ‘Ta-da!’, at least that would be amusing.”

She tells them that the new folks in town are mostly people who have fled from Kingman. Based on the stories she heard, there was a big battle lead by a group with a Templar and a syker- she thinks she knows who they were talking about now.

The Cult of Doom teamed up with the Hill People mutants. Together they took back Kingman. There is a small rebel force there (composed of the freedom fighters). They are the only reason that the Cult/Hillpeople force in Kingman hasn’t pushed any farther out.

The people of Near-Tuscon have decided to construct some junker-tech defensive weapons for the town so they can allocate a few more troop to send to Globe to keep the trade/food safe. They have plenty of structural components, but James (the town’s junker and general fix-it man) needs other components, including ghost rock. They could also use some conventional weapons for the troops.

The crew offers their help; Since the guys are already headed into McGovern Air Force Base, they can bring back any items that will assist in the town’s defense. They meet with James to find out what he needs and head out on the road towards McGovern.

They drive up Route 10 as far as they can. As they near the Maelstrom they can see it’s form. The twisted souls spin around within the mighty cyclone; though their screams seem subdued for the moment. The van passes through the outer edge. The three men feel a sense of sullenness and decay, but experience no real harm.

Inside the maelstrom the moans of the dead can be heard all around. All of the surrounding seem darker and more dangerous than before the crossing. Cars and military vehicles litter the roadway; pileups block their way through. From here on in they’ll be without the use of the van.

The twisted metal of the wreckage seems almost menacing. The shadows of the hollow buildings almost reach out to grab them. It feels as if the whole land, the entirety of their surroundings is out to kill them. They head toward the base’s Army-detachment building (the origin of Hammond’s MRE.

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Quiet Mountain Winner Takes All
A few tense hands, dealing out knowledge, express route

A hazy gaming parlor

Mr. D’s smoke wills the room. The chips are dolled out and stacked before each of the players. The cards shuffle and are dealt with eerie silence.

Mr. D sits across for the three posse members. “The cards have always been stacked against you. Is this the first time you’ve noticed?”

The first few hands go to Ben. “Well Mr. Collins, you’re a lucky man” says Mr. D. “It’s a shame your life hasn’t been so lucky.”

Ben replies with a sarcastic quip -“At least I have my looks.”

“If you make it out, you’ll look like you used to” Mr D reminds him.

After a few curious bets from Mr. Winthorpe, Hammond mentions that he should try to remember they are playing against the house, not each other.

The chips shuffle around the table with each turn of fate. Hammond catches a lucky break and keeps himself in the game.

Slowly but steadily they pull the chips away from Mr. D. He offers a bit of advice to Hammond about not being cynical. “The cynical man knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.”

Mr. D reveals his name, Baron Samedi (a Haitian god of death/sex/pleasure/revival). If Samedi had been revered instead of nation’s fear of death- then the Reckoning would have just been a grand party he explains with a smile.

They talk more of the belief in the Baron, and of the many different “wacky” beliefs in the world- such as Wendigos and Native American spirits.

The conversation turns to Quiet Mountain itself. The real town is long gone. It used to be a nice vacation place for the wealthy.

The Baron mentions he does not associate with the 4 horsemen. Hammond inquires. Samedi reveals they have stirred up quite a bit of trouble, pissing some people off.

In the beginning evil was spread all over the world. There was death and horror all over. There we other spirits who were unhappy with this. The evil of the world was sucked into the Hunting Grounds and sealed by several of the Elder Spirits.

Samedi asks Hammy about being a templar. “Why do you fight?” Hammond responds- “Why does anyone do anything? We do what we do because it’s what we do.”

Nigel asks what Samedi would gain from this game. He replies that he would gain the three of them. “What if you manage to kill the 4 horsemen? Will you keep fighting?” Some more discussion continues, but the Baron becomes few up and commands All-In for the last hand.

As luck would have it Nigel, who was down to his last 2 chips, wins the final hand, thus saving the three men. The Baron hands each man a special chip.

You asked earlier why some dislike the 4 horsemen. It is because they cheated. The 4 had already lost. You are living through the second time in this world. The 4 Reckoners cheated and bent the world by sending an agent back through time. Their greatest Servitor, Stone, was sent back. Stone and his other self joined forces to help the Reckoners. There is only an ancient Stone is left now but he seeks out those who want to stop the 4.

The Baron points out that he plays fair, and offers to drop them off wherever they like. Half in disbelief, the posse requests Near-Tuscon and asks to bring the van as well. Samedi obliges and the crew appears inside the van. Out of the darkness through the windshield, they see a monstrously large version of the Baron pick them up in his hand- “Happy Hunting” he says before swallowing them. Suddenly in Near-Tuscon a van appears out of thin air. The guards are startled and look on in shock.

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Quiet Mountain Deus Ex
I don't remember that..., things in the fog, you have to pay to play

In the darkness

Hammond feels a sting in his throat. He coughs and opens his eyes. He’s in an old abandoned grocery store. He sees Ben asleep on top of some old crates. A black plastic trash bag sits on the floor, stretched by what appears to be a body within it.

A man sits on the end of a cashier’s desk not far from the group. He greets Hammond and says he rescued the three men from a terrible crash. “You shouldn’t have tried to come down that causeway.” He answers a few questions about the crash, but none of the details bring up any memories. They are in a town called Quiet Mountain. The strange man has never heard of JunkYard- how peculiar.

Quiet Mountain

The strange man puts out his cigarette and says that since they’re all waking up, he’ll be on his way. Hammond thanks him with a handshake and asks for the stranger’s name. “Mr. D.” he replies before heading through the door.

Ben wakes up. At second glance Hammy notices that Ben looks normal- as is no longer mutated. The two acknowledge this, but conversation turns to Nigel. The garbage bags jolt upright as a familiar face rips through the plastic. Nigel makes a mighty gasp for air. His pulse is elevated. “Come to think of it, this is all a bit off.” They are no longer wearing their own clothes, but “modern civilian” clothing.

The three men note the strange occurrences, and the presence of a dull pain within them. None of them has a memory of the crash. Nigel finds a lighter in his pocket. Ben checks his own and turns up a screwdriver and a set of lock-picks. Hammond’s pocket holds 2 tokens for the Nightshade Amusement Emporium.

They cautiously venture outside. Extreme fog obscures their view beyond a few yards. It appears to be day, but the sky is so uniformly grey it is impossible to tell what time. There’s a nearby electronics shop, but its metal gate is drawn down and locked. Hammond finds a cigarette butt with the logo “D.E.”

They see an intersection and head over to get their bearings. The sign indicates that they are on Erebus rd. and the cross street is Abaddon. Hammond and Ben recognize the name Abbaddon- Biblical angel, watcher in the dark, Greek for destroyer, king of locusts. Nigel has heard of Erebus- God of Darkness, Son of Chaos.

They head back past the grocery store. This time they continue down the road to a wooded area. The road continues to a collapsed tunnel. The men turn and find a grisly crash site. It’s the van; the front end split in several ways by tree trunks. How in the world did they survive this?

Something seems amiss. The fuel has soaked into the upholstery, but it nearly evaporated. The van is far more rusted and broken down that it should be. Nigel enlists Ben and Hammy’s help to climb a tree for a chance to see out over the fog. He grabs hold of a branch, but it snaps sending him falling to the earth. The wood is dry and nearly dead. They make a crude torch from it. Nigel grabs a bullet casing from the van’s interior.

A sound echoes out in the fog. Thwup-Thwup, A sound like a heavy rug being shaken out. They see bird-like things above them starting to circle. Suddenly one of the bird-monsters swoops down. They are huge, nearly man-sized with long wings. The posse runs back up and dives into the grocery store. One of the bird-monsters follows but loses them once they enter the building. It lets out a screech and flies away.

They plan to make a run and try to enter the electronics store for some kind of supplies. They head out and try to rip the metal gate off, but are unsuccessful. They hear the screeching again. Ben runs back to the store, Hammond takes off down the road and around the corner, and Nigel stays to try the door again.

The creature lands on Nigel, slashing his shoulder badly. He runs down the road towards the woods. Ben crawls out and is completely ignored by the creatures. He begins to think they are only able to sense by sound.

Hammond rounds the corner and heads down Abaddon street. He finds a wrecked car with no motor and hops into the engine compartment, slamming the hood behind him. He grips the hood while one of the bird-monsters climbs about the car. It steps onto the roof, which crumples slightly, making a large clang.

On the other side of the road, the bird-monsters hear the loud clang and fly after it. Ben and Nigel regroup and start quietly making there way out to find Hammond. The bird-monsters poke around the car a bit but eventually fly off. Hammond waits until the coast is clear and exits the car. He searches around inside and finds a journal. The entry in the journal reads:
I feel like I’ve been here for days or weeks. Found this. Want to write about us. No way out. Just those things. I hear them in the dark. Going to try to use this car to drive my way out. Crash my way out if I need to.

The three men are reunited and they check the trunk of the car. They find a Baseball bat, a pistol with 12 shots, and a crossbow with 12 bolts. They divvy up the items and start talking strategy. Ben notices a shape shuffling oddly down the road towards them.

As the thing nears, they see it is shaped like a human, but looks as though it were wrapped in a flesh bag. There is a grotesque mouth in the middle of the chest that has small tendrils hanging from it. They are totally monstrous, shades of the abyss- not of their world. Two other creatures appear from behind the men, they are now surrounded.

There is an intense struggle between them. The creatures swipe with their tendrils. Each time they contact, there’s a slight burning hiss sound- like corrosive acid. With some luck and teamwork they dispatch the foul beasts. Each one dies, disintegrating into ash.

A group of the bird-monsters has noted the struggle and sits perched upon the building in the direction of the grocery store. The three men see no choice but to continue down this new road Samedi Blvd. They continue down until they find a boardwalk at the edge of a lake. There’s a sign for Nightshade Lake Boardwalk. The dark black of the lake stretches out before them. The fog does not appear over the lake, in fact it appears to be emanating from it.

On the left they spy the Nightshade Amusement Emporium. A glare shines through the windows- there’s an arcade game still on inside. They enter and find the windows are blacked out from within. The only light comes from the game- “Gates of Doom”. It plays in a continuous demo. A man, wearing a freakish grinning mask, slaughters person after person.

Hammond retrieves the tokens from his pocket and inserts them into the game. It lights up and Rara ceremonial music plays. The machine sprouts legs and moves aside to reveal a door.

The three men enter and find Mr. D. sitting at a table smoking. From behind the cloud of smoke a skull appears over his face. “Care for a drink” He gestures. He knows that Hammond has “something of his” (a reference to the cursed ration perhaps?). He informs them that they have come to play for their very existence. They must ante up. But first Nigel must hand over Mr. D’s lighter- (the black chip).

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Retracing Steps
another road trip, run-in with the Anti-Templars, evil recruits evil

Boise

The next few days are relatively easy. The posse members heal up and make preparations for travel. The few remaining Templars in town gather up a few mercenaries and head to track down the rest of the Anti-Templars. The townsfolk get back to their day-to-day activities.

Every once in a while one of the Squires tries to win Hammond’s favor by showboating or telling him of a good deed. Marilyn has gone into inner Boise to help scavenge supplies and search for useful items.

Ben seeks out someone to assist with his armor project. He’s looking to use the remains of the kevlar vests to create some protection for the posse’s legs and arms. He finds a tailor who is willing to help, but the Kevlar first needs to be cut and formed.

They seek out Douglas to use his blade to cut the Kevlar. They find him in the Temple. He obliges their request, but the blade is not very useful in this task. He suggests use of a saw, which they may find amongst the workers at Simon’s Rock.

Simon’s Rock

The area of Simon’s Rock is constructed within an old gated community. There is a large “rock” in the middle; a chunk of building which had fallen to the ground. It’s landing was said to have been a prophetic symbol of Simon’s arrival.

While walking about Simon’s Rock they do some last minute shopping and plot out their driving path down to McGovern Air Force Base (near Tuscon). At the very least they’ll need to stop at JunkYard to refuel. They scout around for gas/spook juice and are directed to speak to a man named Eli.

They find him; a scruffy tan-skinned fellow thumbing through an old porn magazine. He is able to supply them with 10 gallons of spook juice (on account of the caravan having lost most of it’s supply). They buy the fuel and he throws in the container as well.

The three men head out on the road. Nigel takes the wheel. The first 8 hours drag by in a n uneventful fashion, which is a good thing.

As they begin to make their way towards the flatlands around JunkYard they spot a poorly disguised tack-strip. Nigel swerves to avoid it. A nearby boulder sheds it’s outer layer- a tarp revealing an armored SUV with a mounted chain-gun. A man in a black-tabard leans out the window- “Kill ‘em!”. Nigel steers back on course and hits the gas.
The SUV makes a quick turn around. They begin chasing down the van. The chain-gun fires and grazes the Black Widow. Ben fires unsuccessfully at the driver of the SUV. Hammond follows suit but this shot lands.

The Black Widow is switched to full-auto and launches a volley of bullets at the vehicles. Ben takes another shot, smearing the driver all over the inside of the cab. A second goon in the back seat quickly takes over control of the SUV.

A bullet from the chain-gun strikes one of the tires of the van. Another bullet catches Ben in the leg. Ben kills the second driver in a single shot. The Black Widow fills the chain-gunner with holes. With no driver, the SUV weaves out of control and crashes.

The group quickly turns around. The Anti-Templar is gone from the wreck. Ben find him with Mind-Scan. Hammond hops out and chases the black tabard down. Leaping off of a nearby wreck, he strikes a devastating blow. Ben finishes him off with a shot to the head. The two grab the tabards and head back to the van.

Meanwhile, in an unknown location…

A darkly dressed man sits in cabin. “Not too many people know I’m here.” he says to a figure nearby. “And the only ones who would come are those who wish to kill me.”

The figure moves, revealing 2 sub-machine guns. With ungodly speed, the man dodges the flurry of bullets. The man and the figure struggle, until the man gets the advantage. He throws the figure across the room. It stands raising its arms and a host of dark tendrils. The figure’s face is revealed. The dried rotting visage of Sylvia Chambers. “That’s no way to treat a friend.” She says

”Who are you?” he asks. With a sly smirk she says “It’s not who I am, but what I can do.” “I’m Interested” he replies.

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Boise Decisions, Decisions
digging up info, Simon's charges, something in the air

A Large Crater

Many years ago, within a deep crater- like a giant canyon stained with blood. It is littered with humans and anouks. Air units fire down on a mighty white pillar of rock. Nearby an airship is blasted by purple lightning. Ben Collins is within. The ship begins to crash. It comes to a full stop just above the ground. Though the window Ben can see a “skinny” known only as “Karg”

Karg begins crushing the ship, laughs, and then hurls it towards a mass of human troops. It crashes into the troops’ APC. The explosion rings out “POP”…

Ben opens his eyes to the sound of a champagne cork “POP”. “I knew there was a reason I didn’t drink.” – Ben mutters to himself.

Boise

Ben and Hammond discuss the celebration. Hammy and Nigel have a talk about bar-b-q. The purchase some soda from Sam Hinkelman- a vendor in town. Ben recognizes Sam from when he had come back to Boise. He used to drink Sam’s horrible soda to help him forget the horrors of Banshee.

Some of the caravan members come up and thank the posse. Marilyn meets some other kids and begins telling them some of her adventures. A few of the templars are milling about. There’s a stern looking woman with a katana and a stalwart man with a broad sword. Kayla Blaze dances in with the crowd. They also spot Jonathan Douglas. While Douglas joins in the festivities, he is constantly scanning the crowd with intent scrutiny. Simon and Biletnikoff are not present.

Hammond confronts J. Douglas about the relation he has to the Anti-Templar they met in Junkyard. Douglas has anticipated the question – “you want to know about Michael”. They retreat to a more private location.

Jonathan and Michael knew each other before the war. Michael does not consider himself an Anti-Templar. When they crossed paths, the two discussed he situation. Michael convinced Douglas that the oath of blood was a waste for both of them. Douglas followed Michael in disguise. He observed Michael performing deeds of great altruism, never exhibiting the negative sides of the Anti-Templars.

Finally Douglas came back to Boise and spoke with Simon. Based on his acts of goodness, and the fact that Michael’s powers were totally unlike the Anti-Templars (Michael had summoned lightning from the sky), he did not find him to be a threat. While he was not happy Simon understood and, with a little convincing from Biletnikoff, he allowed Douglass off the hook.

Douglas confesses he is also in love with Michael, and this was yet another reason he could not fight him. The discussion moves to Simon’s sickness and Marilyn’s dilemma.

Ben spends some time getting parts for the van and the black widow. Soria talks with Nigel about his history- before being a cyborg, time on the Unity, what his job was… etc.

Ben talks a bit with Marilyn about helping rebuild the van / black widow. She asks if the posse is leaving her here in Boise. Ben is a little surprised by the question.

Marilyn realizes after talking to the town’s children that she isn’t like them. They have more simplistic thoughts on things. She also realizes she’s not selfish like they are. She’s conflicted. On one hand she is interested in staying to help the people of Boise (since she’s so good at scroungin’ things). On the other hand, she wants to stay with the posse.

The group gathers around and discusses the situation. They mutually decide to have Hammy talk with Simon about getting Marilyn in as a squire.

At the temple, Hammond enters and interrupts a conversation between Biletnikoff and Simon. He brings for the idea of Marilyn’s possible squirehood. Simon states she will be tested, but she must stay here in Boise while they attend to their business. He will have Jonathan Douglas watch over her. Soria will be allowed to stay in town as well to help care for Marilyn.

The conversation with Simon turns to the other deeds that the group accomplished. They speak of the Dead Towns. It is much like the old stories of a band of vampires who traveled the West on a train. Others continue to be reported, it is a growing concerns. Simon Charges Hammond with solving this problem. This discussion leads into talk of the Incubus and the need to destroy it.

Simon also inquires about the events in Kingman and JunkYard. He is very pleased with the outcomes (particularly in regard to JunkYard). Hammond also tells him of Globe, Near Tuscon and the trade routes established.

In the end Simon charges Hammond with investigating the Dead Towns, trying to convince Michael the mysterious A.T. to abandon the black tabard (or else), but of most importance is the dispatch of the Incubus.

Meanwhile, J. Douglas begins giving Marilyn a little lesson in the basics of sword fighting. She’s not very good with a weapon, but she’s determined and a fast learner.

Daphne thanks the Posse and gives back their kevlar vests. She also mentions that the Boise Horror has struck again.

Ben Hammond and Nigel tell Soria and Marilyn about staying here in Boise. Hammond talks with
Douglas about Simon’s charge to confront Michael. Ben tries to convince Soria to come with them, but she is has a purpose now- watching over Marilyn.

Nigel and Hammond discuss the odd possibility of Simon being the Boise Horror. Night Falls.

Ben is met in the hostel by Barb of Doom. She flirts heavily with him before pulling up his wrappings and planting a kiss on him. The two of them enter his room- she quickly disrobes….

In the barracks Hammond here’s a noise in the night. It turns out to be Soria. They talk for a bit. She wants his opinion if she should stay. They agree she should, for Marilyn’s sake. She then reveals some intimate feelings for Hammond. The moonlight is kind to her tonight and the two lock hands before embracing on the bed…..

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Boise Laid to Rest
With a little help from my friends, Modeen's legacy, Honor and Exaltation

Blood Orchard

Hammy gets a running start and performs a kick-jump off of a nearby tree, trying to take a surprise swipe at Modeen’s head. Brad just avoids the attack, but is startled. Ben takes out the Anti-Templar nearby by using both of his weapons again.

Hammy stabs at Modeen again, the blade barely scratches his armor as Brad uses his full strength to stop the hit. Some gang members fire on Ben and other try to take out the back widow.

Modeen takes a massive swipe at Hammond, but misses and cleaves a nearby tree. Marilyn continues to fire the Black widow. One of the scouts runs up and shoots at Ben, grazing his arm. A goon lands a successful shot on the black widow, causing some serious damage. Another lacky tries to shoot Ben, but his gun jams. A third Anti-Templar charges him as well, but misses.

One of the Anti-Templars attacking the van attempts to leap on top after the black widow. He fails and falls backwards. The second Anti-Templar smashes through the window with his ax and attempts to strike Daphne. He misses, but rips the door off in the process.

Ben is struck in the side of the head with an ax. Fortunately his armor holds and he is just a little shaken up. Daphne gets slashed in the arm. Amidst all of the chaos, Soria rips off her duster and begins transforming into the monster (viridian goliath). She immediately attacks the nearest Anti-Templar, nearly crushing him, in armor, with her mighty claws. Marilyn uses the SAM 50 to shoot the Anti-Templar who was attacking Daphne.

Modeen takes an unsuccessful slash at Hammond. Daphne shoots the nearby Anti-Templar in the arm. Barb launches her Nuke power and everyone in the area takes notice.

Several gang members are instantly turned to dust. Ben manages to take cover behind a tree to avoid some damage. Neaby, one of the Anti-Templars is burned to death. Hammy takes several burns, but stays on his feet. Barb is knocked out by her own power.

Ben uses T.K. to pull Aiken’s Blade out of the fallen tree and strike at Modeen’s guts. Daphne shoots one of the adjacent Anti-Templars. Ben slashes yet again.

Modeen makes a few unsuccessful attacks. The other Anti-Templars attack soria and Daphne. Marilyn fires on them as well. Modeen, Hammy, and Ben’s floating sword dance around in a series of whirling near misses.

Marilyn nails one of the Anti-Templars in the head. Soria rips an Anti-Templar in half, grabs his ax and charges after Modeen. Modeen is shaken by her presence and strikes her in the guts. Seeing an opportunity, Hammond hops on Modeen’s back and slits his throat.

The posse releases the caravan members. They try and heal as many as they can. Daphne’s father is still alive and is elated to see her.

Ben uses telekinesis to move “Despair” into the van, insisting that no one touch it. Hammy collects the other end of Aiken’s Blade. As he nears the Destroyer’s body he feels a strange tinge and closes his eyes.

In his mind’s eye he sees himself in a swirling blackness. An emaciated face appears, followed by a great bloody sword, a pieces of rotten flesh, and finally a skull. The skull turns to view him; it is draped in a cloak and carries a scythe. Hammond feels the touch of evil.

Since the caravan had no vehicles left, it takes everyone a day or so to make it back to Boise. The sun rises and a soft wind blows. The townsfolk had set up blockades and defenses. The dust clears and the posse enters with Modeen’s body strapped to the hood.

Boise

This time passing through the Maelstrom has practically no effect. The people of the town cheer and rejoice. The posse drags The Destroyer’s body out and down to the Temple. Biletnikoff sees them and is awestruck at their return. Simon is back on his throne, though is still noticeably weary.

Simon approaches and grips Modeen. "You insolent child, you are my Lucifer. One of my greatest, and my greatest failure. But you chose this path. May your soul burn in hell for all eternity.: He turns to the posse – “And my all of yours be blessed for you all are still alive.”

Some revelers enter in through the main doors. Simon calls Hammond forward. Several other templars emerge and join them (Jonathan Douglas included). Simon unsheathes his sword and honors the rest of the posse; knighting them as companions."

He has some words of praise for them all. He asks Ben about his time with Hillary Jackson. Simon then asks Hammond for his opinion before bestowing Ben with the companion title.

Simon tells Biletnikoff to make ready a great celebration. The Anti-Templars are still around and must be dealt with. J. Douglas is instructed to burn the body and mount Aiken and Modeen’s weapons in the hall.

“Rest and recouperate. Enjoy this celebration, for the happy times are few and far between. What point is there to fighting this evil if it does not help to bring happiness into this world. The posse exits the temple to join in with the celebration.

That night, Ben, Hammy, Marilyn, and Soria are visited by the spirit of Aaron McConnell. He thanks them and offers his blessing.

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Boise A Hint of Fear
Trap? what trap?, Anti-Templars attack, The posse tries to keep it together

Blood Orchard.

The clang of the weapons rings out in the orchard. Brad Modeen catches Hammy in the guts, giving him a small wound. Hammond fakes out Modeen, drops the hammer, and swings around stabbing out with the bayonet. Hammond gets a little help from the spirit of Ronin Lynch.

The bayonet blade pierces Modeen in the chest. A quick flash of fear shows in his eyes before he lets out a laugh. “They fell into the trap boys, get them!” Brad shouts. His war band looks bewildered and fumbles to get into action.

Ben uses Arson on some of the nearby goons, covering them in a wall of fire. Soria exits the van and fires on more gangers. Nigel scoots closer and unloads into the crowd of baddies. Marilyn takes over the Black Widow, unleashing a storm of bullets onto Modeen’s men. Barb uses her blasts on a few guys.

Hammond swipes at Modeen. The Destroyer parries the attack and slashes back, catching Hammy in the shoulder. The rest of his gang gets it together and opens fire on the posse.

Ben takes a few shots in the arms, then uses Telekinesis(T.K.) to lunge his piece of Aiken’s Blade at Modeen. Brad sees the blade at the last second and ducks out of the way. The blade flies by and embeds in the side of a tree.

Two of the Anit-Templars rush forward and attack Ben. One of them catches him in the leg. Ben uses T.K. to assist Hammy to strike Modeen’s face. The blade just catches his cheek, leaving an insignificant cut.

Daphne and Barb attack. Barb starts preparing her Nuke power. Ben fires his rifle at Anti-Templar 1 with T.K. and uses the auto-shotgun on Anti-Templar 2. A second group of Anti-Templars attacks the posse in and around the van. Soria is slightly wounded. Marilyn unleashes with the black widow, carving a path rough some of the lesser gang members.

Ben turns and uses both of his weapons on Anti-Templar 1 in the hopes of quickly dispatching him. The plan works and the Anti-Templar is instantly minced. Simultaneously, Modeen slices a deep cut into Hammy’s leg. Marilyn and Soria see this and begin firing on Brad, distracting him just enough for Hammy to avoid losing the leg. Some of the gang members fire on Nigel and Ben. Marilyn kills a few more and Nigel takes out some as well.

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Boise The Direct Approach
The first black tabard falls, Back to the orchard, Face off with the Destroyer

One of Modeen’s War Band Camps.

Ben attempts to use Aztec Surprise on the Anti-Templar. The Black Tabard clutches his chest and gives a knowing glance. “Kill that mother-f*er!” he shouts and charges toward Ben wildly swinging his ax.

Marilyn fires on the Anti-Templar. Nigel runs over and takes a bead on him. Hammy swings around and breaks the Anti-Templar’s back with his hammer. The rest of the war band member start running away.

Marilyn and Nigel take shots at them. Soria blasts a gang member in the leg. Nigel cuffs him and drags him over for questioning.

A little back and forth, and some coercion reveals- Modeen has grown tired of waiting for Simon and plans on hanging the rest of the caravan at the orchard. Nigel asks what Modeen would think about the gang member for talking. Modeen would kill him, horribly. Nigel mentions that the gang member is lucky, since Nigel himself is so merciful- then shoots him in the head.

The posse spends a few moments gathering items and gets back in the van. Hammy grabs the Anti-Templar’s ax and ties the black tabard to it. They patch each other up on the road.

Blood Orchard.

The posse discusses the plans before rolling in. They decide to have Hammy drive up, with only Daphne, Marilyn, and Soria in the van. Nigel and Ben are going to sneak in from the outside in the woods.

Hammy pulls up the van and honks the horn. He gets out and calls for Modeen. One of the other Anti-Templars approaches and ridicules Hammond. Hammy throws the dead Anti-Templar’s ax down, and insists he speak with Modeen directly.

Modeen arrives and puts up a pretty good front trying to dismiss Hammond, but Hammy keeps pressing. After alluding to the idea that Modeen hiding behind his war band, Hammy calls out Modeen to fight one-on-one. “Are we gonna do this or not, ‘cause I’m done talking”
“Then come..” Modeen beckons with his mighty ax (Despair) in hand. Hammond charges Modeen and the two clang weapons together and stand off.

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