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The Great Northwest: Bad Dreams

 
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Uthoroc
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Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Posts: 69
Location: Siegen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: The Great Northwest: Bad Dreams Reply with quote

Previous game sessions are here.

This is the 22nd session log of our Deadlands Reloaded campaign "The Great Northwest" (March 13th 2014)

The night after the battle for the mining camp Toni, Gus, Tyler and Hunter all suffered terrible nightmares.

Toni found herself on a bleak desert highland surrounded by the corpse of starved and slaughtered cattle. A priest was handing out rotten meat to a hungry crows which they eagerly devoured. An old, emaciate crone sat behind him on a cow's corpse gnawing a bone. She gave Toni a wicked stare and cackled loudly. Then the priest turned to Toni and offered a a plate of rotten offal which he abhorred and desired at the same time. With an effort of will she resisted taking it and woke up with a scream.

In his dream Gus stood on a battlefield strewn with the slain, French and German, US and Confederate soldiers, Indian braves and White settlers. The thunder of artillery rumbled in the distance and black smoke of burning villages obscured the sky. From among the fallen rose a huge Indian brave, painted with blood, holding a scalp in one hand and a blood-drenched tomahawk in the other. Gus recognized him as Raven and felt a rifle in his hands. The bayonet was set and bloodied and Gus felt like he had killed against the Lord's law. Raven bared his chest and belly before Gus, daring to stab him with the bayonet or be killed. Gus refused to attack and when the hatchet came whistling down, he awoke in a cold sweat, muttering "This ain't how it was, this ain't how it was like."

Tyler dreamed of a nightmarish city of technology, machines, pipes, poisonous fumes and the screams of burning ghost rock. He was hurrying home to his sick family, with a cure given to him by a scientist - a huge syringe bubbling with a vile green liquid. He found his wife (Lotus Blossom Wen) and his boy and girl in a rickety hut among the machinery. They were disfigured by metal "augmentations" and his daughter lay in a horrible fever. But when he bent down to administer his medicine - the only thing able to stop the sickness - his daughter was deathly afraid and pleaded with him not to use the syringe. He fought with himself for a moment, remembering the earnest and convinced scientist who had given it to him, but with an effort of will resisted the urge to force the medicine on her. We woke up with a cough and a bit of a fever himself.

Hunter found himself in a parched and deserted western town, with only skeletons for company one even dangling from a gallows in the street. Then he heard slow but steady steps around the corner accompanied by the clink of spurs. For a moment he did not know whether he was the hunter or the prey. Then a gunslinger in a faded coat, high top hat and two enormous Army revolvers in his belt stepped out into the street. Hunter just knew he didn't stand a chance against this man in combat, and when the figure told him "Draw... or run" the urge to turn around and flee became overwhelming. But he resisted it and drew his gun, fast enough even to outdraw the gunslinger. The bullet hit him in the chest, but the figure just shrugged as if it hardly felt the shot. Hunter woke in a sweat as he looked into his opponents barrel and the trigger finger began to bend. He held his own smoking gun in hand, having it fired in his sleep.



Except for Tyler, who just turned around and went to sleep again, everybody gathered for some coffee and told their dreams. After a while it occurred to Gus, that the nightmares had the themes of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse: Hunger, War, Pestilence and Death. They wondered what that meant and felt like they had caught the attention of something incredibly evil. In a gut feeling Toni connected her vision of the priest with the stories she had heard about Reverend Grimme in the City of Lost Angels, though there was no evidence to support this theory.

After that horrible night, the day started out surprisingly well. Mama Ayida had decided to stay at Hell's Canyon and found a settlement here, as that seemed the best way to keep the Seven Devils in check and prevent further Ghost Rock mining. The posse managed to convince most of the workers to stay with here. Only about 30 or so wanted to head westwards, to Walla Walla and then on to California and Lost Angels. Pete and Hank volunteered to take them to Walla Walla together with the captive regulators, and were paid a generous bonus by the posse. Mr. Dunlevy proved pretty resistant against attempts to have him cede his claim to the workers. Mama Ayida decided to keep him and put him to work in the kitchens. Hopefully this would teach him some humility, though it seemed unlikely.

Hunter found some Sasquatch tracks not far from the mine, which headed back north into the wilderness. He took that as a good sign, as their own path also lay northwards to Clearwater River and the area where the Old Glade was to be found. They set out the next morning, now only accompanied by Chris, Racing Cloud and Bu.

Several days later the posse reached the Clearwater River area. They noticed a column of cavalry and eventually learned that it was the company from Walla Walla, led by Colonel Jones and his new Indian Scout: Angry Mouse. Apparently Angry Mouse had shown up in Walla Wallla a while after they left, claiming to know the general location of the Sasquatchs' home. As there had been more attacks and now also killings, Colonel Jones decided to mount an expedition to strike at the Sasquatch and defeat them once and for all. 70 men and 4 cannons were on their way.

The posse saw this with dismay and headed onwards to meet the Sasquatch before battle could be joined. As they crossed a pass towards the valley where the Old Glade was most likely located, the noticed the presence of Wendigo in the area, but also realized that these were focused not on them but on the soldiers. The next day was one of searching and tracking with many promising leads towards the Old Glade ending in dead ends or destroyed paths. As the sun was setting and they headed into a narrow side valley, they suddenly heard gun and cannon fire from the pass behind them, then faint screams on the wind and finally silence. They feared the worst for the cavalry but headed onwards ... and ran into a party of Sasquatch. They had finally found the way into the Old Glade and were met by a gang of suspicious warriors, branding spears and clubs.

To be continued...
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Last edited by Uthoroc on Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Uthoroc
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Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Posts: 69
Location: Siegen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: The Big Chief is Dead Reply with quote

This is the 23rd session log of our Dealdands Reloaded campaign "The Great Northwest" (April 4th 2014)

Attention: Major Spoilers for the Trail Guide campaign follow.

Having found the path to the Old Glade, the posse was now surrounded by at least 20 sasquatch warriors. Fortunately these did not seem intent on attacking them right away. Instead they took them into their midst and escorted the posse up into the high mountain valley where the ancestral village of the sasquatch was hidden among a grove of ancient sequoias.


The group was confronted by a sasquatch shaman on the way, who got into an argument with Rrurgh, the leader of the band. As Gus prayed to understand the alien tongue, Chris produced a wampun that spread the miracle of tongues' power to the whole group.* The shaman, Worragh was his name, had followed and observed the posse, and now spoke highly of them and their fight against the Seven Devils in Hell's Canyon. But the had been exiled from the Old Glade by the Big Chief, and Rrurgh was reluctant to allow him to accompany the group. But Tyler managed to convince him to allow it.
[*Again I ignored the original Trail Guide campaign here, removing the character Hunting Hawk and let the players' powers work properly.]

In the glade the whole tribe of more than a hundred sasquatch, elders, adults, children and all, surounded posse, with suspicion, fear but also some hope on their faces. There were two more humans: Angry Mouse and a Shaolin monk by the name of Li Chang, who turned out to be Lotus Blossom Wen's brother.*
[*The replacement PC for Matt, who had died in the last session.]

Then Big Chief arrived, guarded by eight of the toughest and meanest Bigfoot the posse had ever seen. And they soon realized what was wrong: The Big Chief was Harrowed, and the manitou controlling him was causing all the trouble between humans and sasquatch.

At first Gus had thought the chief's death wounds could still be healed and had offered to do so. Cunningly, the Harrowed challenged him to try it - sure in the knowledge that such an attempt must surely fail. But Gus turned it around, insisting that the healing would need to take all night in the presense of Big Chief - giving him a chance at attempting an exorcism. Still Big Chief was confident the little human could not harm him - and backing out of the healing challenge would surely make his tribe wonder now.

So the posse was taken to the chief's tree and Gus taken inside together with the Harrowed. After a while the chief fell into the Harrowed's death-like sleep, but his guards were still around and kept a close eye on Gus and his friends. The posse began to worry that the chief would kill Gus in the morning before the ritual could be completed. To avoid this they resolved to get the tribe together to watch. Tyler and Hunter sat out to do this and managed to get both Rurrgh's and Worragh's help in getting the tribe together. And Gus was able to browbeat the guards to carry the sleeping Big Chief outside so everything would happen in the open.


[You can download the full-size A1 pdf of the battlemap by clicking on the image above.]

So more than a hundred Sasquatch and the whole posse watched as Big Chief awoke again, and Gus neared the end of his ritual. The harrowed chief glared the Blessed and the struggle between their spirits began in earnest. Back and forth did the fight go, but then Gus remembered the successes they had in fighting evil spirits and with a great shout banished the manitou.*
[*Very fittingly, Gus' player had drawn the Legend Chip the group had won for deafeating the Seven Devils and freeing the workers at Hell's Canyon. When the spirit roll went against him, he used the chip to add a 1d6 to the result... and that die exploded three times! An epic result.]

With a final lounge Big Chief tried to get at Gus before the manitou was driven away, but Tyler and Racing Clound protected their friend. Li Chang put down a sasquatch with one blow, Bu wrestled one to a standstill and Hunter stunned another. Then Worragh, Rrurgh and other sasquatch intervened, putting a stop to the fighting. Seeing their chief lying there, the posse managed to convince the sasquatch that he had been dead for a long time and that the war against the humans was the will of an evil spirit. The siege of Walla Walla was at an end.

[And here the campaign ended, with the prospect of following this up in the future with "The Flood" or perhaps "Last Sons". I will put up a summary of the whole campaign in a later post.]
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Uthoroc
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Joined: 07 Dec 2009
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Location: Siegen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: The End Reply with quote

And with that, our Deadlands Reloaded campaign had ended - for the time being.

Many thanks Matthew Cutter for the great campaign included with the "Great Northwest" trail guide. We took it, made it our own and and it gave as one and a half years of awesome gaming.

We started the campaign in September 2012 and ended in April 2014. We had 23 game sessions, or a little more than 1.2 sessions per month. Not very many, but that is grown-up life with families and everything.

The PCs started out as Novices and gained 50 XP over the course of the campaign, reaching Veteran rank. We had five players (plus me as GM), and only one PC death in the next-to-last session.

All players were really happy with the campaign, though it was unusually combat-heavy for our group. It's the first campaign ever that I managed to write up logs for each and every session.
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Cutter XXIII
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Joined: 27 Sep 2005
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Location: I dwell in the Village of Rock, MD

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: The End Reply with quote

Uthoroc wrote:
Many thanks Matthew Cutter for the great campaign included with the "Great Northwest" trail guide. We took it, made it our own and and it gave as one and a half years of awesome gaming.

You're quite welcome!

And thank you not only for sharing the stories (which I've been enjoying all along), but also for making the campaign your own. I try to write every Plot Point so it serves as a toolkit as well as a recipe, and I love the way you customized this one for your group.

And the climactic exorcism scene? Genius. That's why we game.
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