Matt Burnett

Deadlands in CLT - Session 1

August 8, 2021

Setting Summary

Savage Worlds - Deadlands: The Weird West Wild West Pulp Horror

It’s set in an alternate 1884 Western USA. The Great Quake of 1868 shattered California into a labyrinth of cracks and maze of sea. The Quake also exposed “Ghost Rock”, which burns 10 times hotter than coal and “screeches like a banshee” when burned. Ghost Rock has given way to the development of Infernal Devices that are damn near bordering on magical.

There are several competing rail lines feeding the profitable Civil War with devices and Ghost Rock from the west.

Some say the Great Quake was caused by the gates of hell itself being opened. And if the horrors people have been seeing since are true, they might be closer to the truth than they would probably prefer.

Player Characters in this session

  • Rick “Happy” Smith the Mad Scientist
  • Curtis “Bullseye” Rivers the Escaped Slave & Ex-Union Soldier
  • Vincent “Corvid” Corbings the Polish expat on the run

The story begins

Our journey begins with 3 men sharing a tiny jail in a rinky dink town smack dab in middle of the Mississippi Delta area of Arkansas. It probably had a name, probably something real dumbass too, like Dumas or something. Who knows and who really cares? The men were locked up for one crime or another. All 3 were set to be hung as soon as The Judge came around. This town didn’t get to see much hangin’ and it didn’t really matter what the crimes were, crimes were crimes and the townsfolk loved them a good hangin’, especially a threefer!

Happy was Curious little fellow just over 5ft tall and was accused of inspecting women’s corsets. An innocent enough crime you’d figure, but the problem was most of the corsets were still attached to the women wearing them. In his defense, he probably didn’t mean no harm, he had just learned of them and was trying to figure out how they worked.

Curtis had been accused of desertion, but this was rural Arkansas after all, so who knows if the charges were trumped-up or not. He seemed like an honorable man, but was definitely haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Corvid on the other hand... Corvid was probably the only one who actually belonged there. The list of charges for him were long. Horse Theivin’, Robbery, Arson, and the list keeps going longer than my third arm! He was a real loud fucker too and was constantly arguing with the Jailer/Sheriff. They bickered back and forth so much you’d figure they’d been married 20yrs or more.

But, the Judge never showed. Instead a representative from the Lone Star Railroad came in, had a hushed discussion with the Sheriff in the corner, exchanged something and then turned to the prisoners and proclaimed that he was buying their freedom!

With a catch of course.

They were to head up to Little Rock and sabotage the Black River’s rail line in the area, to stop their supplies heading East to aid in the Civil War, it was cuttin’ into their profits. As anyone from the American South West in the year of the Lord 1884 should know, the Rail Wars were long over. That’s why prisoners convicted in town ain’t nobody never heard of would be the perfect crew to pull something like this.

Not only did the Lone Star rep offer their freedom, but offered them “a generous reward” and possible future work. It wasn’t much of a decision for the three men stuck in the leaky, smelly, moldy jail, it was be hung or be turned into a frog or some shit by one of Ma Devlin’s witches of the Black River railroad.

But before the group set off, the polish gunslinger Corvid was able to persuade that damn no-good redneck bum they called Sheriff into a duelin’ him. The Sheriff was able to get a few good hits on ol’ Covid, but in the end with some help from his new found friends causing a little bit of distraction such as Happy askin’ where the brick from the Jail had come from, but managed to blow the sheriff’s brains all over the field behind the jail.

The new crew requested some more “provisions” to aid in their task, things they had a hard time gettin’, such as Dynamite. So the Lone Star rep sent a telegraph to procure some dynamite for them and have it meet them at the train station they were to get off at, but the transmission failed and was intercepted by the Witches.

So when they arrived, they had no dynamite waiting for them. They waited a couple hours, but decided that they should act quickly and under the cover of darkness, rather than waiting on dynamite that might be 100miles away. They didn’t realize they Witches had intercepted the Telegraph, but it didn’t matter because due to their swift action they were able to make it to the connection where the free rails connected to the Black River rails before anyone could notify the locals.

Thankfully though Happy, was able to put together a makeshift bomb out of a little ghost rock, a frying pan, and some oil and managed to make easy work out of a huge chunk of the rail line. Corvid had taken a sniper position on the hill across the river overlooking Happy and Curtis hid just inside the tree-line.

The explosion woke up the lone Witch defender of this rural station in this tiny town. However though, she turned out to be quite powerful one, which she was probably allowed to be there alone instead of the normal trio Witches fight in. As exited the building, she immediately saw Happy slowly running away and began to raise her hands glowing bright green. This is when Corvid took his shot, winging her in the arm... which only made her madder. First she turned one of the large decorative plants in front of building into a Spider, then conjured 2 Swarms of Large Tarantulas, and just before she left, she conjured 2 more just for Corvid and willed the plant-spider abomination to kill him first, before she disappeared back into her station and presumably off to gather reinforcements.

Happy was able to easily subdue the first group of creepy crawlies, but the star of the battle was the Ambidextrous Ex-Union soldier Curtis Rivers, who lived up to his nickname “bullseye”. This badass son of a bitch not only took out 2 swarms of tarantulas and then nearly single handedly destroyed the main plant spider monstrosity, who was able to absorb 5 wounds and seemed to be harder to damage than armadillo wearin’ a leather coat (16 toughness)!

After they dispatched the monsters, they fled the town and found refuge in an abandoned building a few miles south of Little Rock.

...some how, some way, a very well dressed man with an odd accent found them and just strolled into their shack like he owned the place.

Though he didn’t introduce himself, he said he was there on the behalf of Lone Star and when asked if he was an Agent, he shook simply his head. He told the trio that Lonestar was impressed, but more importantly the Agents and Rangers were even more impressed with their work and offered them another job in Dallas.

The details were slim, but the trio accepted... I mean, what else did they have to lose?

They were promised money and respect and probably the most important thing, free and securest travel they could offer all the way to Dallas, now that the Witchita Witches were out for their heads.