Deadlands: Hell on Earth

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

face to face, ill-conceived, the grand charade

Obsidian Chamber

The posse faces off against the Incubus’s three cohorts. The experience is similar to staring at themselves in a corrupted fun-house mirror, their dark reflections peering back at them.

The eldritch flame of the Pumpkin King spills forth from his face, and blazes from the open hole in his head. Floating behind is the Scarlet Sorceress cloaked in deep crimson with eyes that glow red. The man in black stands stoic, sunglasses on even in the cave.

“Who will play? Who you say?, Come my friends, you’re at the end .. of your rope. Come Coil it round and round. Oh your feet will dangle as they try to touch the ground. Save yourself, Hang, yourself, kill yourself. It’s much better than what we’re going to do to you.” says the Pumpkin King in his evil-tinged rhyme.

Nigel maintains aim on the Sorceress’s head while he speaks.

The Pumpkin head opens his mouth and drops 2 orbs of flaming matter to the ground. The smoldering vine material begins to writhe and bubble, forming into two hideous venous scarecrows.

“I’m gonna give y’all one more chance to get outta the way.” Hammond calls out.

“You know we can’t do that Templar. All of your paths have lead to this moment. This is your destiny.” Says the man in black.

“You got that wrong. Well maybe you got that destiny part right. Looks like you’re just on the wrong side of the blade” Hammond retorts.

“I’ve felt the sting of a blade before. Tell me, do you fear death?” – MiB

“Anything living does.” -Hammy

’Anything living? Interesting…"

“Not just anything living.” Nigel chimes in. “I’ve made his acquaintance so to say.”

“You’ve met a feeble god, who clangs and clatters at a long forgotten glory. He’ll use you as a pawn, just as he uses the one that sent you here.” – MiB

’And are you any different? Are you not a pawn yourself?" – Nigel

“I am a knight.” -MiB

“Looks like a queen to me.” -Ben wittily snaps.

“No, that would be the child. She will be the queen of a new world. Whether or not we like it.” -Mib

“Speak for yourself, I like it fine. Come on dearies, you’re wasting time!” the pumpkin key notes.

“I think thats the one time I’m gonna agree with you. all this time spent yakkin, you got somethin you wanna do, lets get it started.” – Hammond states impatiently

“Or perhaps it’s best to heed the Templar’s Advice and Stand Aside!” Nigel states.

“I’m afraid that is impossible. You have come far enough. Now is the time for retribution. Now is the time to wash away this world. you and the rest of your ilk will die, and my master will live again!” – The scarlet sorceress viciously screeches.

Nigel pulls the trigger and fires right at the head of the sorceress. The bullet just grazes her.

The two groups fight furiously.

Ben quips – “I guess it’s gonna be ugly vs ugly.”

The sorceress claps her hands together and pulls them apart to create a purpleish, smokey haze across the room. The haze blankets the room and makes it difficult to discern forms. The posse has a hard time aiming.

Hammond calls out that he will take the Man in Black. He rushes forward into the smoke. Ben shouts he’ll take the ugly one (Pumpkin King). Nigel goes after the Sorceress.

Ben fires on the Pumpkin King and the fleshy scarecrow figures using his exploding fire ball. Hammond attacks the man in black.

The Man in Black leaps up and over Hammond right after Ben. The MiB waylays Ben with a flurry of lightning fast blows. Then the MiB punches into the air- a wave of energy flies at Nigel hitting him with great force.

The burnt crisps of the scarecrows burst open, as new veins begin to grow out. They are regrowing.

The Pumpkin King fires a blast of eldritch flame at Hammond. Nigel Fires at the Sorceress, damaging her slightly. In response she casts a spell at the ground. Bursting forth from the earth, a group of undead warriors emerges. They are dressed in viking armor.

Hammond rushes to catch up to the MiB. They resume trading blows. Ben places a force field around himself.

The viking warriors attack Nigel. The posse battles to put them down quickly.

Ben uses the latin spell that was found in the prison against the Pumpkin King. He manages to pull off the spell, sending a blast of radiant light at the monster. The two scarecrows are instantly destroyed. The pumpkin King reels back in pain and rushes to attack in melee combat. clearly he has been weakened. Ben uses the spell again to obliterate the Pumpkin King. The explosion throws Ben across the room into a wall.

Nigel manages to strike down the Sorceress in a barrage of bullets.

The Man in Black picks up Nigel and throws him at Ben. Their bodies collide forcefully. They shake it off and join back in the fight.

The MiB cannot dodge attacks from all of them, and finally catches a blade in the chest.

“My debt is paid. Now I return to the place I was born.” MiB

The Vision

As the MiB breathes his last breath, the obsidian walls begin to clear. Swirls of time and space mix with color and distort. Through the walls they can see the hunting grounds.

They are shown a vision of the past. A man walks in a dirty cloak. He looks like a disheveled hermit. He is surrounded by a variety of entities, blobs and twisted forms of spirits. The man is none other than John Prophet.

Before him is a painfully beautiful women. She beckons him seductively. He comes to her embrace. They entangle for a moment, but he is able to break away. He generates a bloom of energy and blasts the Succubus with the energy. It’s form explodes.

John Prophet begins to walk away. He summons the image of a cobblestone path before him hill he walks off into the distance.

The remaining energy of the Succubus begins to reform. It’s shape begins to appear. It is united back intuit the form of a man. He is newly birthed, but fully grown. This is the birth of the MiB. The vision fades and the walls return to black.

Obsidian Chamber

Back in the chamber they advance to the back of the cave. There is yet another gate. This door is much more recently crafted.

The bars are crafted of a dark metallic material, one which is not familiar. It is engraved with the strange demonic writing.

The posse braces themselves for a strange vision, but nothing happens when they touch the gate. The whole piece moves with extreme ease. A cold shiver runs up their spines. The Incubus has left this open for them. They step through the threshold.

The Enchanted Forest

The posse emerges to find themselves in a picturesque wooded area. They hear the chirping of birds and the buzz of insects. There is dew on the grass and a sweet smell of wildflowers and other flora.

They glance at each other and find their appearance has changed drastically. Nigel is dressed as a nobel-man of old. Ben is draped in the cloth and leathers of a roguish brigand. Hammond is an armored knight of legend.

They ponder what kind of trickery this is. Are they in an illusion,like the ones they experienced in the Salem Apartment Towers?

They hear bells jingling nearby, approaching ever closer. An impish creature with a familiar face appears from the bushes. It looks like the gremlin from the underground area outside of Kingman, except he is dressed as a jester.

The jester greets them and speaks to them in a tongue of old english- a mishmash of language approximating an English accent.

Still not fully convinced this is real, Ben raises his weapon (a crossbow) and shoots the imp in the face. It falls to the ground dead instantly.

They surmise this is not a mere illusion, but perhaps a dream world created by the Incubus. It is unknown what effect their actions may have on the real world, so they will have to exercise a bit more caution.

Hammond climbs a tree to get a better view. There is a path that leads through the forest to a field. Past the pined he can just make out the top of a great castle.

Ben speculates that this dream world might be able to be bent to their will. He states that if they are heroes, then they should have mighty steeds.

Within seconds they hear another rustling in the bushes. Much to their surprise, it is not horses that emerge, but a large mechanized spider. The spider seems to follow their will.

They conclude that this must be cross between their van and the black widow. It seems this dream world is a re-imaged version of the real one. Each of the posse members is cloaked in a costume of what they represent idealistically. The things around them are the approximations of real things, seen through the filter of a fantasy / make-believe world.

They climb aboard the spider and head off towards the castle. As they approach they see it is a great white building, draped in banners bearing the Templar cross.

The guards outside are actually Haldeman and Dixon. They question the posse. Hammond responds in a terrible acting move, claiming to be Sir Hammond of Cleiboldton. The guards state they were expected, and allow them entrance.

Inside the castle is a large throne room. A large flight of stairs leads to the actual throne, upon which Queen Marilyn sits. Standing before her is a shimmering golden knight.

The golden one tunes around, revealing the helmet- oversized and bearing 3 sets of eye holes. This must be the Incubus.

The Golden knight professes his allegiance to the Queen, and begins to slander the posse members. He insults them personally, and makes claims that they are murderers and brigands.

He cites the incident of the imp in the forest as example of Ben’s disregard for life. He also makes mention of the time when Hammond killed a group of “guards” at the royal hotel (a reference to the abduction attempt at the Yard Arms in Junkyard).

The posse murmurs to each other, trying to develop a plan for how to proceed.



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