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If I ran a Deadlands game it would be much less overt than the standard setting. Magic and all those things would exist, but they would not be common knowledge. From the first glance the world would look exactly as ours did in 1873.

Rules Snafus

Hey, look what I found!

The Posse

Reuben McRotch An ornery old cuss of a prospector who cant seem to keep his mouth shut about how he doesnt trust people, or his ex partner, or, well, anythin' really.

Jonah Benton A huckster from back east. Or at least he dresses like it.

Miranda Valentine A two-gun gal from parts unknown. She doesnt say much, she lets her six-guns do the talkin'.

Other Available Characters

Most likely, any new character would be an Agency operative. But just in case, or for one off purposes, I will keep these guys here. Who knows when you might need a priest?

Wandering Bear A Shaman of the Peiute tribe. His entire tribal group was wiped out just a few months ago, leaving him their sole survivor. Even though he is only 13, he is determined to complete his visionquest and reunite his tribe and return them to their former glory.

lil' Tim McKenzie A wanderin' muckraker who just might be the one who writes that book about what is happenin' that nobody'll speak of. The tales livin' in this brain pan might curdle a double whiskey.

Father 'Silver' Hank O'Keefe A travellin' preacher who resolves to drive the devils back to hell by force of his faith and will, alone if necessary. He's seen 'em, but he has enough sense to keep to himself about it.

The Links that Fasten 'Em

All of the characters, as well as potential characters, have direct knowledge of the supernatural evil thats pointin' its bony finger at the world. All of 'em are damn sworn to do whats necessary to stop it, too.

The Setting

It is the world of 1873 (its 1874 now, the game began December 1873). Things are pretty much as you might see in a history book, with a few exceptions. The Civil War rages on, seemingly endlessly. Every time one side or the other seems poised to make a telling strike, something happens to prevent the conclusion from occurrin'. People are a little on edge; things are a little unnerving everywhere. Nobody knows why, but somehow they all know. The superstitious whisper about devils, or monsters, or things that cant be described. But nobody has any proof, nobody of any respectability has seen them, and no serious intellectual considers it anythin' more than wives tales.

Current Recap

After acceptin' the Agency's offer, the posse begins trainin' back in Denver.

The Mission

Its a warm afternoon when Agent Andrew Sykes invites the posse into his office. He is pleased with their progress, and is ready to offer them a job to do. Seems one of their field agents has been out of contact for over 6 weeks. They need to find out why. His last known whereabouts was somewhere in eastern Arizona, and he was investigatin' some religious outfit.

Wait, Arizona? Aint that Confederate territory?

Damn right pardner, damn right. This is gonna take a good cover story and some undercover work. But be careful, if'n the Confederates get wind o' what yer doin', its espionage, and that is punishable by hangin'.

Now that we have that out of the way...

The Trip

After some conversin', the posse decides that religious folk is the best cover story. They can be on some sort of pilgrimage, and it makes sense to visit other religious establishments along the way. Yep, that works all well and proper.

So the posse hits the trail, and for the next three days makes their way to the missing agents last known whereabouts.

Pueblo Viejo

Its nothin' but a tiny, one-horse town of maybe 50 folks. They make their way to the local roomin' house and saloon and secure themselves some lodgin's. After checkin' in, they proceed to gently probe the barkeep about the missin' agent.

It seems that no one has seen him or anyone from the mission in weeks. Thats a mite strange too, considerin' they used to make it to town every two weeks or so for supplies and such. Its almost a two day ride out there, but the posse decides they had better hit the mission pronto.

Finally, They Arrive

Its an uneventful day and a half ride to the site of the mission. When they arrive, around one, the scene is still and serene. Deadly serene.

Cautiously they approach, guns drawn, alert on high. The compound is surrounded by an adobe, 8 foot wall, with a thick, log gate in the front. Lucky for them, its wide open. Did I say lucky?

Scattered around the inside of the compound are bodies and plenty of them. Old and picked, with some arrows stickin' in 'em all nice like. The compound itself consists of 5 buildin's, one of 'em a church. The others, well, we will see soon now wont we?

Mission, Proper

Once inside the posse splits up and investigates the buildin's. They quickly determine that they consist of a mens and womens dormitory, a rectory, a church and a dining hall. Each of them seems to be also full of bodies, and the dormitories have a selection of beds; some slept in, some not.

Jonah finds hisself in the church, lookin' through every nook and cranny all by his lonesome. He inspects the pews, enters the prayer room, and even hits the bell tower for a spell. But by far the most interesting discovery is somethin' found in the confessional.

On the floor he spies a gold double eagle, wedged between a chair and the wall, and partially under the wall itself. Behind the priests chair a concealed panel hides the entrance to a tiny room. After opening it, he finds what was likely a treasury of some sort. Now, however, its only home to $120 and a torn bag.

Reuben is in the mens dormitory, futtsin' around with this and that. He counts bodies and beds, and finds that the members of this sect had little for personal effects. He also notices a collection of scratches near the base of a pot bellied stove and that gives him an idear or two. He gives it a fine shove and it moves revealin' a passageway.

The Star of the Desert

Armed with this new discovery, he makes his way to the courtyard and signals the others. After a few minutes of waitin', the posse is reunited and alerted of the system of tunnels residin' just a few feet below. This leads to a resumed search of the others, and discovery o' four more tunnels: one in each buildin'.

Together, the posse descends into the depths below. After a thorough investigation and some cogitatin' they determine that the maze of tunnels creates a pentagram. They all seem clear, well, except the one beneath the church.

The Tip of the Starberg

Under the pulpit sits an altar, a horizontal, blood stained, symbolically engraved abomination of an altar. Reuben and his sharp old eyes notice spigots leading down the corners into blood stained grooves on the floor. Everyone is disgusted.

But Jonah, as focused as he is, begins contemplatin' exactly what they are findin'. After reflectin', he comes to the conclusion that some sort of summonin' ritual is goin' on here.

Its been a nice hard first night, so the posse decides to make camp here.

Little Indian Girl

During the second watch, a little something happens. Something I am sure at least one of the posse wishes they could forget. But between you and me, I doubt she ever will.

Jonah is up, keepin' watch on the posse as they sleep. Everythin' seems to be goin' pretty much as they would expect. Miranda starts to become restless; tossin' turnin' and other evidence of less than ideal sleep. Then, suddenly, she bolts up and mutters:

Dream, girl, crazy...laughing, doll, blood...AAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Immediately she is in hysterics. Reuben and Jonah do their best to calm her down, but it takes a while. Eventually its clear that she had a nightmare, and a particularly awful one at that. After some calmin' and a little proddin' from the others, she relates her tale o' horror.

She found herself wakin' up in one of the dormitories to the sound of a gigglin' child, and when she walked into the courtyard she could see fires burnin' all around. The shadows are eerie, and occasionally a dark figure darts from one to another. She can never make 'em out, but somehow she knows these are the ones who killed the disciples.

And speakin' o' the disciples, their mutilated bodies, fresh and bloody, litter the compound in front of her. Again she hears the laughin' and she turns to find a little Indian girl runnin' away clutchin' a doll. Somehow she keeps pace ahead, and even finds time to stop next to a gruesome corpse and touch the blood, still bein' all giggly-like.

That was it. Miranda couldnt take anymore and ran full steam up to the lil' gal and grabbed the back o' her dress. She pulled her away from the body and turned her around to face her. And when she did, it was clear her throat had been violently slashed. Blood drained down the front of her dress. Oh, and that doll, well its neck was cut so deeply that its head lolled back and forth as she moved. She was still gigglin' all right. Clear as day.


After everyone finally calms down a bit, they get a little rest. But not much. Reuben makes his famous biscuits for breakfast the next day, but the conversation is sparse and light. Eventually they decide to split up their duties slightly. Jonah and Reuben will pile up the dead and make a bonfire, while Miranda does some searchin' outside the compound. Its a tedious days work, but it has to get done.

Outside Miranda finds a path to the east that leads to an outside pulpit and pews up on a hill. There is a grove of trees and a sparse collection of underbrush. Its interestin', so she comes back and shares her discovery with the rest of the posse immediately. Jonah and Reuben take a welcome break from their grim task and venture out there for a looksy.

Immediately Jonah notices somethin' aint right. At first the others dont see it, but when its pointed out, its clear as day that the pews and pulpit are facin' the same direction (the mission). That means that whoever did the preachin', did it with his back to the flock. Mighty strange if you ask me.

When they return Reuben and Jonah get back to work, and ol' Miranda circles around and looks for anythin' else she can muster outside. Eventually she finds some tracks, and follows them all the way to a cave on a small mountainside. Inside she finds some shackles secured to a wall.

What the hell was that?

Another Night in Paradise

And so it begins, another night on the trail. Sure is a glamorous life our agents lead, eh? At least they have roofs over their heads. O' course, those roofs are inside a spooky compound littered with nearly 50 bodies. Now thats a vacation!

Miranda knows whats comin'. Yep, but there aint nothin' gonna prevent it. Nope, no siree.

When she drifts off into la-la land, it all begins in the same place, and continues just as before. But that aint all. It goes on, and I dont rightly know if thats any better or not.

This time, after she turns the little girl to face her, she wrests herself free from Mirandas grip and skips away toward the church. Miranda yells to stop, but she aint listenin', almost like it were her ears cut instead o' her neck. Once she reaches the front steps of the church she kneels and begins to play in the dirt while hummin' some kind o' song or rhyme. As Miranda approaches it begins to become clear.

'This is the church, and this is the steeple...' She then reaches back and flings open the door. 'Open the door and see all the people!'

Inside, the room is ablaze with light distilled red through the stained glass of the churches windows. Unnerving as that is, it is just the beginnin'. Impaled on hooks from the ceilin' are at least 10 bodies, still writhin' with life. Their agony is clear and disturbin', and Miranda starts awake.

Frenchy 'n Friends

The next day Reuben and Miranda are tryin' to figure out the best way to git into the well while Jonah is investigatin' the chapel. Its mid-mornin', and the sun is startin' to get warm. Just as the two prepare to drop dynamite down into the abyss, they notice a couple o' gentlemen approachin' on horseback. He hails the two and they begin a discussion.

Then, outta nowheres, the men come chargin' into the mission, guns a'blazin'. All the while two other men are climbin' the fence and makin' their way into the courtyard. The posse is surrounded!

The leader charges past Miranda and Reuben as Miranda stands dumbstruck. Reuben, thinkin' quickly, jumps on top o' her and covers as the leader rains shots down upon them. Two of them find their mark, but he is only grazed. Two men dismount and head into buildin's for cover, one of them shootin' shotgun blasts all the while. Reuben fires at the leader as he rides on by, but it is wide left.

Now things get interestin'. Reuben rolls off of Miranda and takes a shot at the leader, grazin' him. Jonah steps into the doorway of the chapel and the leader blasts him with two pistols. He is seriously injured. Rifle and shotguns blaze from the doorways from the invadin' henchmen, but Miranda finds cover behind the well and blasts one of 'em with both pistols. He stumbles back inside.

Utter chaos reigns as guns blaze from everyone, everywhere for what seems like forever. Some henchmen are hit, Jonah takes on another wound, and Miranda has her dress ripped to shreds by shot. Reuben gets all crotchety and impatient, and lights a stick o' dynamite and throws it into a buildin'. The henchman inside has no choice but to run out towards the other buildin', but Miranda gives him a generous gift of lead. In the middle of it all an injured man crawls over the fence to his waitin' horse.


Everybody keeps their head down for a minute, but Reuben is busy lightin' another stick. The single mounted dude (the leader), gains control of his horse just as the other stick flies in his direction. He tries to get away, and squeezes off a shot or two, but the inevitable comes.


Unbeknownst to Reuben, behind him two other henchmen have entered the chapel and begun shootin' it out with Jonah, and unfortunately, it aint goin' so well. A flurry of shots sends Jonah to the floor, but one of the invaders gets wounded in the process. Miranda finds her bearings and opens fire. Reuben gets her back and blasts the last henchman on his side with a shotgun. Finally, the last remainin' one heads for the fence and a safe getaway, but when he wont stop the posse is forced to gun him down too.

Aftermath (or After French, if you prefer)

When the smoke clears Reuben and Miranda know they need to find the missin' invader. They split up and head outside, but its clear that he aint gone far, since his horse is still tethered to the fence. Before they embark on a long, drawn out search, they decide they should make sure Jonah will be ok.

He looks terrible, but fortunately, he should be ok. After a little R 'n R, the posse commences a search.

Right Under Their Noses

And their feet as well. Eventually, the search leads down into the catacombs, where lyin' on the main altar they find the mutilated body o' the escaped desperado. Blood is everywhere, but organs seem to be gone. Grisly though it is, the posse spends the next few hours doin' a thorough search. Still no perpetrator.

Past Recaps

Deadlands Recaps

What's Next?

Next Sunday: A trip to Salt Lake City (The City o' Gloom) and a walk down The Road to Hell.

Now that the posse are agents of the Secret Service all right and proper, the whole world is different.


This game is active and weekly.