This is a continuation of a write-up of our Deadlands game, started here and then left by the wayside as life got busier.
A quick recap of that previous write-up: player characters are Carson, a gunslinger, Steve, a wannabe lawman, Tesla, a mad scientist, and Solomon, a drifter and folk singer. I play Solomon, so she's the narrator here.
We started on a train heading west that crashed into a sinkhole, that turned out to be an underground railroad being built by Hellstromme in an effort to surreptitiously win the rail wars (ie, be the first to connect the east and west of the USA by rail). As this was a secret undertaken, we had to stay with him until he'd broken ground: having done so, we were accompanying him on his rail-less train 'The Good Intentions' toward Lost Angels when we were attacked by a small band from Warlord Kang's Iron Dragon railway. Having successfully fought them off, we rested and that's where this section of the tale begins.
The Good Intentions had been damaged in the fight with Warlord Kang's troop, but we were able to repair it well enough to get moving and see a view of Lost Angels by sunset of the 15th September, 1879. Hellstromme's men deployed a fort around the engine, and Hellstromme advised us and O'Malley to stay out of the way, so we observed Lost Angels from behind the fort. The city was surrounded by a barricade, and campfires with red-robed figures stalking between - Grimme's enforcers, the 'Guardian Angels', O'Malley said. Even thought we got a glimpse of the ruler of Lost Angels himself. Carson took a few potshots at the city defenders to help Hellstromme's efforts, but saw something like lightning and thought better of it. Kang and Hellstromme weren't the only railway barons in the area: the guy from New Orleans had also made it.
O'Malley asked us to help him out: he had a friend in town, name of Sam Helman, who was in trouble with Grimme. The small armies encamping around Lost Angels would have Grimme distracted, so now was likely the safest time to try to try and help. We agreed, of course.
The townsfolk seemed fearful, peering from behind blackout blinds. The few we saw were skinny as strays, ribs clearly visible, and it only got more disturbing. A group of wounded soldiers met a wagon of Guardian Angels - they were pleased to see the angels initially, greeting 'Sister Andrea', before the 'Angels' turned on them and clubbed them to death. We froze, partly in fear and confusion and partly feeling if we tried to help we'd be added to the cart. The cries, though, will haunt me for a long time. "Oh God, no, not there. Please don't take me there'. O'Malley had no better idea than us on that. We kept going, but it didn't sit comfy. 'Lost Angels' indeed.
Sam's room at the boarding house seemed unused. O'Malley said they must have got to him already and we had to leave, fast. Found a back route through the kitchen (filled with rotten carcasses: I remember wondering why they'd let the food go off when it was so scarce. Course, now I know food just doesn't keep in this forsaken State).
We were less careful leaving the town as entering it, and ran into a patrol. They called us 'curfew breakers' and demanded our surrender. What we'd seen with the cart, that wasn't something we were minded to give. The leader threw a bone into the ground and a dead guy clambered out. I tried to run to the roofs, but he caught me as I struggled to climb, squeezed me so hard thought I'd be dead too. The others fought: a lucky shot from O'Malley made the dead guy really dead, and most of the others - including the leader - fled as he fell.
We made it outside the city limits just in time to see an airship arrive to bomb the battlefield and the sprawl we'd just left.. Some of the buildings survived and we could see people inside so we tried to help. I don't remember much, just there were so many bodies.
O'Malley called us heroes.
He told us there's real evil in Lost Angels - he didn't know exactly what, but was trying to find out and that's part of why he was looking for Sam, who would know more. Told us about the Explorer's Society - a society of people trying to do good in the World. Told us to go to the Shan Fan club house and tell Roderick Pennington-Smythe O'Malley had sent us and what we'd seen. He also said page 13 of the Tombstone Epitaph is where he leaves notes for members of the Explorer's Society, and he'll use the tag 'Good Intentions' to indicate a message is intended for us. I'd like to have spent more time with him, found out mroe about how he became a journalist and how I could, but he had to go south.
The bombing had shaken all of us. It was Hellstromme who'd ordered it, and the devastation seemed at odds with all he'd said about wanting to end the war and suffering it caused. Still, we slept in their camp that night before heading north to Shan Fan. It was nice to say bye to Hegerty, at least.