Friday, June 28, 2013

Deadlands, Part XXXIX

When last we left our heroes, they encountered an infectious, blasphemous evil (that apparently infected Ruby), were run out of Tucson for being a nuisance, and were going to take a train to Amarillo by way of Albuquerque.  From there, they hope to hit the town of Garrison Wells.  (Meanwhile, Ollie and Rufina were almost eaten by a horde of little lizards.)

David, Father Seward, Ollie, Rex, Ruby, and Rufina gather themselves as the train approaches.  The train stops by the group's camp and allows them to board.  As their tickets are for the simple passenger car, it's going to be a hot, uncomfortable couple of days until Albuquerque.

Since the group is not staying in a sleeper car, and the appropriate tools for an exorcism are hard to come by on a train, the group decides to wait until the stopover in Albuquerque to perform any ritual.  Despite the fact that the black veins in Ruby's eyes are getting more pronounced as the day progresses.

They'll be in Albuquerque in a couple of days.  That should be enough time.  Hopefully.

The decision is made when Father Seward awakens to find Ruby, half asleep, corset undone, straddling him in his seat and kissing him.  She falls asleep on his chest, and after his initial confusion passes, he awakens her.  She is embarrassed and horrified by her behavior, and quietly returns to her seat.

Seward awakens David and tells him what happened.  They then awaken the others and indicate that the exorcism likely needs to happen tonight.

Knowing that Father Seward needs a Bible and a silver cross, as well as a private space, David goes in search of the conductor.  He finds the man in first class, and explains that one of their companions has fallen ill, and that they need a spot to keep her away from the other passengers, and by the way, she would be greatly comforted to have a Bible and a silver cross.

The conductor doesn't have a silver cross, but he does loan David a Bible, and lets them use the cattle car (fortunately for the group's purposes, it is a car or two removed from passengers, and is extremely noisy).  When David tries to bribe the man to get him to fetch a pail of water, the man gets offended and storms off.

As the cattle car is adjacent to the baggage car, the group starts tossing luggage.  Finding a shallow silver bowl, David takes it, writes a note of apology, and leaves a wad of bills in the person's luggage.  With no other source of silver around, Rufina bends it into a roughly cruciform shape.

Rufina then goes and gets a spittoon, washes it out, and fills it with water.  She brings it to Father Seward for use as a holy water basin.

The group prepares itself.  Father Seward notes the dangers to all and asks if Ruby wishes to proceed; she agrees.  Ruby strips down to her bloomers and lies on the floor of the train car.  Father Seward changes into his tattered evening wear to help protect his good clothes.  Seward borrows David's belt to strap the silver cross to Ruby's chest.  Ollie, Rex, and Rufina prepare to hold her down while Father Seward and David enact the ritual.

As Father Seward and David begin walking, chanting, and sprinkling holy water, Ruby's flesh begins smoking.  Her voice drops, and she screams, swears, and utters blasphemies at the group.  She says something to Ollie in Norwegian, something so vile that it sends him scampering into the corner of the train car in horror.  She throws Rex across the car several times; Rufina is the only one who can hold her down.  Unable to throw her off, the Ruby-thing proceeds to humiliate her by ripping her blouse and suckling at her breast.

A few hours into the ritual, the car starts leaking urine; the walls, floor, and ceiling release a foul, urine "sweat" that drenches everything in the car.  The Ruby-thing herself begins urinating profusely, all the while shouting blasphemies and threatening her own life and the life of her unborn child.  Shortly thereafter, she tears off her own bloomers and starts violently masturbating.

Father Seward and David proceed, undaunted.

The Ruby-thing defecates herself, projectile vomits, and continues to hurl threats and insults as the group while trying to assault them.  She hurls another invective at Ollie, prompting him to soil himself and reducing him to a gibbering wreck in the corner of the car.  As the ordeal continues, the Ruby-thing discharges a thick, black, tarring substance from her womb.  The car clatters and rattles, and the cattle doors bang open and closed.  She seems to return to normal, pleading with the group that they can stop, that she's better, that they're hurting her and her child, that they're killing her.

Father Seward and David proceed, undaunted.

After eight grueling hours, taking them from the dark of night to a few hours after sunrise, the exorcism is over.  The car stops its violent clatter, stops leaking urine.  The group has a moment to look at the morning sunshine as the train passes over a bridge over a canyon.  As the group starts to gather itself, Father Seward smiles at Rufina and helps her to her feet.

That's when the knife sinks in.

The knife in Father Seward's right hand is shoved into her gut as he looks her right in the eye and says in a gravelly voice that is not totally his, "You were warned not to go to Garrison Wells."  He lets go of the knife and kicks her out of the train.

************************************

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tarrasque Miniature Mothballed

Here's something I randomly found on an open internet: somebody was trying to make a tarrasque miniature and fund it through Kickstarter.

Predictably, Wizards of the Coast sent a cease-and-desist letter to him a day after the Kickstarter started kicking.

Interested parties can view the story here, or view the original Kickstarter here.

(Now, oddly, if someone were to Kickstart a piece of religious statuary depicting the tarasque, and it just so happened to be roughly 1/60 scale, then the creator can hardly be responsible if a bunch of heretic hooligans use a religious statue for wargaming.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Perils of Online Meetups

This guy apparently met some people in person while responding to an advert to play D&D.  The video explains better than I could:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Deadlands, Part XXXVIII

When last we left our heroes, they arrived in Tucson, discussed selling the pterodactyls, and met the town doctor.  Ruby found him to be her brother-in-law, Arthur Snead (evidently going by the name "Montgomery Snead" with the townsfolk), and he appears to be laboring under some form of mutation, holding Ruby at gunpoint and saying he is going to "kill the bird in its cage."

When Snead does not immediately shoot, Ruby begins to try to talk him down.  This tense standoff continues until Ruby hears somebody quietly sneaking through the back of the shop.  When she calls the person out, acknowledging the intrusion, Snead turns and fires at the person.

The blast is enormous, and definitely catches Rex's attention.

Slowly, Snead then turns the gun on himself.  His aim is disrupted when Rex throws open the door, but the gun discharges, blowing off a large portion of Snead's face.  He collapses on the ground.

Rex checks on Ruby, and then sees the other man who was killed — a sheriff's deputy.  The blast threw him across the room and lodged some black, nasty, cancerous thing in his chest.  He looks thoroughly dead.

Ruby quickly explains what happened here.  Rex sends Ruby to go and get the others while he remains to train a gun on Snead's unconscious body.  Rex then waits for the law to arrive, and when they do, he explains what happened, further explaining that some of his associates — experts in this sort of weirdness, as the sheriff seems to be somewhat familiar with strangeness — are on the way to help with the investigation.  They manage to wrench the deputy's body off the wall, and go searching around to find the town’s actual doctor — evidently, Snead wasn't it.

Meanwhile, Ollie and Rufina are waiting atop the plateau.  Things are relatively quiet until several dog-sized, lizard things begin climbing the cliff and swarming them.  They manage to fight them off, only to be confronted with an enormous such creature, easily bigger than a wagon.  Ollie and Rufina clamber into the pterodactyls and fly away just as the thing roars and lashes out at them.

Ruby reaches the hotel and explains the situation to David Hood and Father Seward.  The trio returns to the doctor's office.  After being ushered through the crowd, the sheriff indicates that he will let them handle the situation if they can do so quietly — the sheriff explains that this is the third such case that has recently occurred, and the second case was one of the victims of the first attack, suggesting some form of virulent evil.  While Father Seward heals the man, they discuss disposing the unconscious body in the desert, but finally decide on an old warehouse.  A deputy sneaks them out the back and leads them to the facility.

Once inside, Father Seward awakens Snead.  His voice is pained, and his eyes and limbs are lined with black veins.  Snead begs for death, and after some consideration, the group decides to cover him with a sheet and Rex will stand behind him and slit his throat.  He does so, and a high volume of dark fluid, reeking of filth, pours out of the wound.  It assumes a vaguely humanoid shape and begins making some horrific noise.  This touches Ruby somewhere in the hindquarters of her brain, and she begins firing at the thing until she runs out of bullets.  She continues to mechanically pull the trigger on empty cylinders after that.  The rest of the group tries shooting, but as that does not harm the creature, Rex pulls one of the lanterns and throws it on the creature, setting it ablaze.  A sound like laughter emerges as the flames shoot high enough to engulf the warehouse roof, and a black, acrid, sooty smoke emerges from the blaze.  The group flees the warehouse to see that it has caught fire, and as they sneak through back alleys to find somewhere to wash off the soot, a bucket brigade has already formed.

They finally find a horse trough, and wash off just in time to be greeted by the sheriff.  He beckons them to drop their weapons and follow him, whereupon he incarcerates them in a jail cell.

Meanwhile, Ollie and Rufina fly towards Tucson.  Seeing the bucket brigade and large fire, they anticipate that their traveling companions are to blame.  They land their pterodactyls in the trainyard, and while Ollie tinkers with the broken-down engines, Rufina goes to search for her fellows.

The sheriff returns to the jail in about an hour.  He indicates that while there would normally be a trial and due process of law, he has found that holding adventurer-type folks in his jail usually just invites trouble to his town.  He finds it more expedient to exile such trouble magnets before anything happens.  As such, he says that he will escort the group to the edge of town, return the group's guns to them, and let them be.  When David Hood says that he was making train arrangements, the sheriff says he will arrange for the train to stop about fifteen miles outside of town the next morning.  Everyone reluctantly agrees to this, and he and his deputies begin escorting the group.

Along the way, Rufina sees them.  The group explains that she and another are with them, and they have two flying machines.  The sheriff wants them all out of town.  He sends a deputy to escort Rufina to the trainyard while the others go to the edge of town.

Once everyone is reunited, they decide to park the pterodactyl flying machines in a desolate spot and walk back to the rail line to make camp.

As they awaken in the morning, Father Seward notes that Ruby has black veins in her eyes — presumably the beginning of whatever infestation claimed Snead and the others.  Father Seward notifies her and the others of this fact, and he says he will perform an exorcism on the train.

The group gathers its supplies as the train approaches from Tucson.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Free RPG Day 2013

Just a quick reminder: this year's Free RPG Day is on Saturday, June 15.  So look forward to that.

Expect a post here much like last year's review post.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Game of Thrones:

"I keep hearing all these barmy berks rattling their bone-boxes about Lannisters and Starks and Targaryens, but I can't bang my brain-box on it. Clueless and primes to the last man. The dark of it is that I've never seen those Westeros types banging around the Cage, that's for damn sure. Just a collection of outsiders, screeds, and sods. So what if they've got jink or galbas, or if a bunch of bodies are counting worms? They don't know the chant about the Blood War, and they aren't offering me a ride. Pike it, leatherhead." — Tratus Pastoj, planewalker

Deadlands, Part XXXVII

When last we left our heroes, they blew up a robot dinosaur and destroyed Sweet Water once and for all, but saved the United States (and the world) in the process.

Following the waterways through Arizona, the group successfully pilots their pterodactyl flying-machines to a plateau outside of Tucson.  Father Seward, Ollie, and Rex decide to remain and watch the flying-machines while David, Ruby, and Rufina go into town to gather supplies and determine their next move.

David, Ruby, and Rufina find a hotel, bathe, and shop for supplies.  Rufina is kind enough to purchase replacement garments for Father Seward.  While the others continue their affairs, Rufina decides to return to the plateau to get the others.

Meanwhile, Father Seward and Rex have been waiting while Ollie tinkers with the flying-machines to determine how they function.  When Rufina arrives, she gives Father Seward a suit of clothes, and then the group discusses their next move.  When the prospect of selling the flying-machines arises, Ollie gets very upset, wanting to keep one for himself despite the constant upkeep required.  While he thinks about things, Father Seward and Rex will travel to Tucson.  Rufina will remain with Ollie.

Once David and Ruby reunite with Rex and Seward, the group continues preparations.  Father Seward goes around town trying to find someone who might purchase their flying machines, while David decides to go visit the town doctor to see about his injuries.

David Hood meets the doctor — a fellow by the name of Montgomery Snead — and learns that Snead is something of an amateur adventurer.  He is fascinated by adventure stories, and has a scrapbook of newspaper clippings regarding various strange events.  He even determines that he has a story or two penned by David Hood.

David also manages to catch a glimpse of a story in his scrapbook containing the phrase "Garrison Wells" — he asks to see it, and learns that Garrison Wells is a place.  It has currently suffered from a failing crop and resultant sandstorm which likely swallowed and destroyed the town.

While operating on Hood, Snead and Hood have a long conversation about things, and it is relatively clear that Snead is a total tinhorn whose ignorance will likely get himself killed someday.  He even has a custom-made firearm that is more decorative than functional, although he seems unaware of this fact.

Hood does manage to learn that the blacksmith in the train yards may have an interest in super-science gadgetry from Sweet Water.

The only strange thing about him is that he extracts a vial of Hood's blood, although he explains that he wishes to craft a tonic from the blood of adventurers, as he feels there is something special about them.  Before he leaves, David Hood steals the vial back.  He then makes his way to the blacksmith, although he hears a gunshot emanate from the doctor's office — evidently a misfiring of that gaudy pistol.

Having heard the same thing, Father Seward incidentally meets David Hood at the train yards, and the two go to visit the blacksmith.  A busy man, he seems annoyed at the intrusion and suspects that Hood and Seward are wasting his time, but he says that he'll offer $500 if they actually present some sort of flying machine.

Meanwhile, Rex goes to the doctor's office.  Finding him amiable, they have a long discussion about adventuring.

When Hood and Seward return to the hotel, they describe their encounters in town to Ruby, who recognizes the name Snead as her brother-in-law's name (although his first name is Arthur rather than Montgomery, and he's not a doctor).  She decides to get ready and pay the doctor a visit.

Ruby arrives just as Rex is leaving.  As she enters, she finds the office to be empty.  However, the door closes behind her and she hears a voice say, "Hello, darlin'."  She turns around to see her brother-in-law standing in front of the doorway.  One of his arms is covered in strange sigils, and the whole limb appears to have mutated and merged with the gaudy-looking pistol in his hand.  He levels the pistol at her belly as he says, "Kill the bird in its cage."

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