Deadlands: Reloaded

Another Stone

Showdown at the Cathedral of Lost Angels leaves a bittersweet victory and defeat

The posse pulled guns as the demon hordes closed in on them. Bullets and fists rained down on the gibbering hordes, who returned with bites and flaming breath. Soon Zachariah was trapped in the middle, just avoiding being fully outflanked by Li Fu’s shaolin skills and a hail of bullets from a member of the agency caught in the melee.

On the far flank, Ned kept several demons at bay, diving aside from their attacks and trying to put rifles bullets through there think scaled hides to put them down for good. Preventing the posse from being fully overwhelmed, Annie summoned clouds of spores and pollen which made the devilish horde sluggish and caused some of the minor demons to fall into a slumber.

Two larger demons strode in, one quickly falling to Trixabelle’s stones fly from hands power – a display to mystical power that would lead to the crowd muttering words like witch and devil child afterwards, serving to remind the posse that most god-fearing folk see many of their supernatural powers as being just as devilish as the demonic foes they faced.

The second larger demon spewed clouds of flame across the crowd and the posse, many dodging to one side at the last minute. It came in close to claw at Annie, who prompted took on the form of tumbleweed and let the winds through the shattered cathedral window blow her to safety. The demon turned to kill Trixabelle before she could use her stone bolts on any of his kin, but was blown backwards by an accurate and deadly shot from Ned’s rifle.

As the demonic numbers grew less, the demon lord at the front, still locked in a battle with Grimme, called out in pain and uttered that this instrument of the lord was too strong, and that they must make efforts to flee. The demon flew from the window, the rest of the demons dissolving to black muck as Grimme cried triumphant for the victory was ours !

As the Guardian Angels set about work of tending to the wounded, terrified and dying, Stone and the posse eyed up the podium – the Heart of Darkness was missing. Stone pulled down his hat and made his way from the church, not wishing to attract the attention of the Reverend and his men. The posse followed and headed towards the rendezvous point, accompanied by the agent who had assisted them in the fight inside, one Betsy Sullivan.

Reaching the warehouse, they pushed there way inside, and found it full of crates. Making there way in to the back wall, they found Old Pete waiting by a table, with the Heart. Immediately Stone pushed his way forward, drew pistols and pointed one at Pete and the other at the posse, claiming he would take the stone now. As he did so, his face peeled away to reveal gaunt, sallow features and pale, decayed flesh. “But first, how do you know so much about me” he demanded from Old Pete, who replied by flinging his mask off and revealing the same gaunt, sallow face. They were practically identical now.

“Lets just say I am you and you are me, and we’ve got a lot to discuss” replied Old Pete, picking up the stone, and signalling toward the back wall. The posse protested, Li FU leaping forward first, but with lightening speed and deadly accuracy Pete had drawn and put a bullet through his leg and the bone, leaving him prone and badly wounded. Trixabelle felt a warm glow from being near the stone – all the scrapes and tears from the demons felt as if they had never happened. She took this chance to summon the last of her stone showers, but again without being able to do any more than move a matter of inches, Stone had placed a bullet in her shoulder which sent her spinning backwards.

Laughing at the posses attempts to talk them down, and shrugging off a bluff that they had the wrong gen as “something they’d better hope was not true, because that means we’ll be back”, the pair stepped towards the back wall and ghost walked through it. Annie cast out her mind and entered the head of “Old Pete” seeing the world through his eyes. She saw the gun-slinging duo had walked into a trap, surrounded by 12 agents who waited outside the building. Then the world went into a whirl, as the two forms dived, firing round after deadly round into the agents, most shots penetrating between the eyes. In seconds, all the agents lay dead, only a few rounds fired from their gatling pistols. Neither had even needed to reload.

Old Pete then laughed and pushed Annie out of his mind, in time for her to return to the warehouse to see walking dead crash out of the crates and into the warehouse. The badly injured posse fled, into a patrol of Guardian Angels. They had come on a mission of mercy, being guided by the lord that the posse would uncover more evil (as they had) and proceeded to mow down the undead forces with there remmington shotguns. They then invited the posse to accompany them to the Cathedral, where the posse feasted on the foods offered, received thanks for there help, and giving Zachariah the chance to speak a few words to calm the troubled souls of Lost Angels, and even a little time to chat with the Reverend himself.

The Reverend told Zachariah of his need to destroy the evil gem in the ceremony of holy worship, and that was the fate of the dark stone. He also implored the group that they should look out for Stone, the one who was trying to use the gem for evil before the Reverend had rescued it from him, and that he was a very dangerous and wicked man indeed.

Zachariah carefully considered his next action, and on the mental toss of a coin, let his hand slide away from the shotgun butt and let the Reverend leave after accepting a blessing that rejuvenated his body. Offering similar prayers to his companions though left him tired – perhaps the holy powers within Lost Angels had been exhausted for one day ? The posse returned to their rooms, the more injured (Li Fu) taking medical comfort from less mystical avenues, and calling for a local doctor to tend to his shot leg.

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