Deadlands Noir Extinct in the Big Easy

Oh dear, I don't think the Bishop is going to going to be very happy about this.

Father Ryan?
Yes, son?
This is for you.
What is it?
You have been served, Father.
Oh dear, I don’t think the Bishop is going to going to be very happy about this. Earl Brewton and I are going to have to have a chat…..

Several days Earlier…
So, My lads and I made our way down into the catacombs under Earl’s amusement park and destroyed all of the abominations we have been calling False Faces, only to discover a room with a “doorway” to the hellish place commonly known as “The Hunting Grounds”. Not Knowing how to close such a portal, we backed out of the room and had Nicky seal it.
We started asking around, talking to people we knew, to find out how to close this opening. Claude introduced us to Anson, a local Houngan, who said he could help us out. We also found out that we had to get the story out to the public, to let them know that there was less to fear in the world, that there were people stepping up to fight the evils from their nightmares. Unfortunately, Earl wasn’t happy about the story getting out and offered us another $500.00 each to keep quiet. He wasn’t very happy when I told him that I wouldn’t keep quiet and that the rest of my lads wouldn’t either. He said that he would sue us, I told him that wouldn’t be wise, Me being his parish priest and all.

We then talked to a rather attractive lady reporter for a western paper. Both Claude and Content Not Found: null seem rather smitten with her, I found her to be a little on the old side. I think the story must have been syndicated, everyone was talking about it. Including Bishop Laval. He called me into his office the morning the story hit the paper and made it very clear that Archbishop Shaw was not happy with my moonlighting and wanted it to end. Bishop Laval said that he thought I was doing the Lord’s work, but it would probably be best if I kept a lower profile….

A bargain at any price

When making a deal, the key is being in control of the situation. This generally means knowing how much the thing being exchanged is worth. I am terrible at deal-making. When the Manitou offered me some power in exchange for the occasional meal, well this seemed like a good idea in the heat of the moment. So far it has helped in the fight with the falsefaces and vampires and it has not cost me anything but I feel like my good luck on that score can’t last long. I am looking at it this way…I can’t eat a meal if I am being devoured by a roller coaster riding Giant Clown Spider so good deal so far!

I think I need something better than brass

So, my tailor (what, you thought I bought suits this size off the rack?) knows a jeweler who specializes in gentleman’s accessories; he did right by me with my watch, so I went to him with this idea I had of insetting silver crosses in my brass knuckles. It turns out a friend of his who’s not so particular made something similar for a fellow out West a while back.


I think my guy was offended at the suggestion he would ever work in brass in the first place, honestly, but after some talking back and forth, we settled on something that didn’t insult him and I might be able to afford. We agreed that solid silver would be the best for just the punching—it’s heavier than brass—but that I’d be too old and feeble to lift ’em by the time I could scrape up the dough to pay for ’em.

We also thought I might want to expand the effectiveness a bit, considering I intend to use ‘em to beat on things that go bump in the night (yeah, he’s in the know. Or maybe he’s just superstitious. Either way, about half of the things in his shop are just prettier versions of the little wards and stuff you’d see in an old village woman’s house to keep out troll, and have little tags on them saying “this item not for sale”). So he’s having the body of ‘em made out of black iron, with the crosses embossed really high on each knuckle. He’ll drill a cavity into the palm and fill it with lead to compensate for the fact that iron is lighter than brass (who knew?), then he’ll electroplate the whole things in silver to about the thickness of an old man’s toenail. Then he’ll grind just the crosses down to the bare iron.

We’re inscribing “PS:23” on the belly of each, where my fingers will rest, and on the back, where they’ll rest in my palm, the left will say “käpp” and the right will say “stav”. Between the silver, the iron, and Father Ryan’s blessing, I figure they’ll help me out if I run into any more boojums like we dealt with up by the lake. I just gotta remember not to use ’em on the run of the mill bastards at the Lily. Those assholes can settle for good old brass.

Anyway, he’s agreed to go ahead and make them now, and hold on to them until I can afford to buy them, or a year, whichever comes first. Says he figures they’ll make a nice display item in the shop; remind folks he does good custom work; get their imaginations going. Plus he says he likes the idea of taking the fight to the boogeyman. You should have seen the grin on his face when he asked if I had any friends who might want some “special” items, too.

Session 4

Tony hobbled into the fake graveyard with pain in his body and murder on his mind. The monsters that killed that little girl… everyone seemed little compared to the massive ex-boxer… was going to pay in blood. “Come on, he said,” and led the way down the steps through the fake graveyard into the smugglers tunnels. Rumor had it that the pirate Jean Lafitte was responsible for these maze-like catacombs beneath the Big Easy.

Tony easily followed the blood trail around a bend. He felt like he was back at the Garden, walking those back halls toward the screaming fans and the bright light…
Content Not Found: null heard different types of screams: those caused by young women suffering immense pain.
Inside, the gumshoes see a traffic jam of smashed bumper cars, like stepping stones in a stream, leading across the dirt floor to a cropping of rocks, where a gaggle of False Faces feast on still living captured teenagers who’d snuck into the closed amusement park for a cheap thrill. They’re all missing parts of their limbs, chewed to the bone. Several have bled themselves to a coma. Others cry in agony, resigned to their horrid fate, legs broken by large rocks.
Nicky runs in first. He raises his shotgun and fires. He doesn’t see the nosferatu rising from the dirt floor behind him, claws extended, foul saliva spilling from its maw.
Tony runs past and begins wailing on the False Faces. Father Ryan moves in next to Nicky, baseball bat swinging away. Back in the corridor, Antonio slaps the apple tattoo on his ass, summoning a very eager Hungry Jim. Antonio powers up his bolt and sends a monster streak that knocks the digger nosferatu off its feet. Father Ryan smashes the foul creature with his baseball bat, dealing more than enough damage to send such an imp of Satan back to the pit. This was no ordinary creature, Father Ryan realized. This type of undead could only be taken out by a good blow to the heart, whether by stake or by bullet.
Claude runs up and jabs the ferris wheel lynch pin into the creature’s heart. The beast instantly turns to ash. Another vampire pops up behind Tony, trapping him between itself and the remaining False Faces.
After coordinated attacks, the nosferatu and False Faces are whittled away. In the end, Tony drags a dying False Face across the dirt floor as bait, hoping to lure any remaining nosferatu. “Vampire! Come out and play!” he playfully calls.
The gumshoes rescue one teenage girl, missing a leg and part of an arm. She asks about her brother Quinn and friend Favor, who managed to escape the False Faces, leading them on a chase throughout the dungeon. The girl, Teresa Keogh, was unable to escape. Father Ryan vows to find her brother and friend, and Tony leads the way back into the corridor.
The group explores the other chamber on this level of the dungeon complex and finds a bone room. Passing through the arch, they find an entire chamber filled with the skeletal remains of the False Faces’ victims. Shreds of identifying clothing, wallets and purses just out from the jagged, gnawed-on bones. There are three five foot high piles of darkened bones that rise above the rest. Every now and again, they hear squeaking and see tails dart from between the bones of shattered rib cages.

Father Ryan identifies the arcane cloud as a passageway from Hell, what Native Americans call the “Hunting Grounds.” He announces that he’ll need to consult with his mentors to determine a way to destroy the passageway through which the horrors are born. Nicky’s tasked to seal up the bone room’s doorway until they can return.

They descend the stairs and find a narrow corridor filled with balloons. Tony wades through them and pops one. Antonio crouches and sees clown shoes behind Tony. “Behind you!” he shouts, and the balloons start bouncing around as claws and fists whirl in a violent clash. Claude takes swigs from his flash and spits it in the air, then ignites the booze with his lighter. Large amounts of balloons burst.

Tony picks up the last of the three False Faces and smashes its head through the stone wall. Letting the body drop, he turns to see a chamber behind him. The investigators find the room bathed in a other-worldly light coming from odd crystals surrounding a gigantic haunting statue that Tony dedicates his remaining energy to destroying. The others find a ladder and human-sized footprints heading toward the ladder… clown foot prints in pursuit.

The group ascends the ladder and finds themselves in the shadow of the Wild Maus Roller Coaster. They see two dozen False Faces scaling the scaffolding of the roller coaster, racing to the pinnacle where two children clutch the tattered Confederate flag for stability seventy feet off the cement. On the far side of the roller coaster, the palm trees sway and snap like twigs as hairy spider legs the size of lamp posts emerge from the tropical setting. Shortly behind the legs, the gumshoes see the head of the angriest clown they’ve ever seen, teeth chomping, spittle flying.

Nicky pulls out his tool belt and sets to work on the roller coaster controls. Soon, the chains are moving, and the lights begin to flash. The group, except Antonio and Nicky, piles into the coaster cars, melee weapons ready to whack at any False Faces within reach. As they round the first bend, Tony smashes one in the face and sends it flying away from the track. Its head smashes on the cement below. As the Maus cars zip along a series of hills, False Faces reach out from above but barely manage to touch the investigators. The coaster takes a sharp turn before ascending toward the peak. A pack of False Faces extend their arms, hoping to knock the gumshoes out of the cars. Claude suffers a massive impact to his ribs, and he hollers out in pain.

On the ground, Nicky struggles to adjust the settings to give his friends the advantage. Then, he breaks one critical wire…

An exhausted Portuguese sailor, Antonio, summons the last of his reserve to blast the King Clown-Spider, crippling one of its legs. He switches to his gun and fires round after round. One such round sends a jolt of energy throughout the scaffold, sending all the remaining False Faces falling to a hard and fatal landing.

…Nicky busted the red wire in the coaster controls, then looked up to see his companions, now with the two kids inside the coaster cars, start to roll backwards then gain speed as they rode the coaster backwards. The kids started screaming.
The giant spider-clown glowered at Antonio. Its face rippled and then formed a grotesque caricature of Antonio’s own facial features. The creature lunged forward, capturing the Portuguese tattooed man in its maw and bit down hard.

The roller coaster charged across track directly over the spider-clown’s head. The ferris wheel lynch pin, heated by Claude’s lighter, held in Tony’s strong hands, was driven through the spider-clown’s back. It hollered in agony as Father Ryan swung his baseball bat, driving the steel rod deeper into the creature’s abdomen, rupturing its heart.

The beast collapsed.


Dear Mor och Far

As usual, do not try to write back. I am still in hiding, from the Italians and cannot tell you where I am.

I know it has not been as long as usual since my last letter, but I have a big fight tomorrow and have not had time to recover from the last, so it may be quite some time before I am able to write again, if at all.

I am no longer fighting other boxers in rings for the amusement of crowds. These days, I have found a better use for my fists. I earn my day to day living beating men who have harmed women, and as a sideline, it would seem I now am in the business of hunting troll och demoner.

A local businessman had been suffering some vandalism and food losses, and offered payment to anyone who could discover the cause and stop it. Some friends and I decided we could use the money and, having nothing else to do that night, we went to the man’s place of business and quickly sorted it out. Nokken och Draugen had been coming up from the water and feeding on the man’s wares! No, I am not joking, I have not begun drinking, and I have not gone insane, Mor.

We fought and destroyed the ones that dared come ashore, but after, we spoke to the man who had led them there; another local businessman whose business had already been destroyed by them. He told us that the ones we had just fought (and who had broken one of my ribs!) were but a small group of them.

Tonight we go to where they nest to end their depredations. I am, as always, confident that I will win this fight, but there is always a chance that things will go badly, and so I am writing to let you know that simply that I am thinking of you.

Give my love to Inge and Olaf.
Your devoted son,

(the above was put in a stamped, sealed envelope addressed to Sven’s parents. That envelope was put in another stamped envelope with a $1 bill and a note saying “Please drop the enclosed envelope in the nearest mailbox. Here is a dollar for your trouble, thank you,” and addressed to a random address in Chicago. That envelope was put in yet a third envelope with another dollar bill and a similar note and mailed to a random address in Kansas City)

A haunting we will go
The House of Horrors
We met Earl Brewton at the entrance to his park where upon he gave us his keys to the park. We started off at the restraunt, abandoned other than the nude and unconscious body of a CSA sailor in the fountain. We pulled him out of the fountain and revived him. Unfortunately, he had no memory of the last 2 days, including how he had been shot and then treated for his wounds. We escorted him back out the gate and placed him in Mr. Brewton’s charge before continuing our explorations.

We found 4 abandoned bicycles at the casino and apparently Content Not Found: null saw something that the rest of us didn’t. No matter, nothing happened to the rest of us and we continued on to the Ferris wheel where we were attacked by 2 more clowns which we beat down, somehow releasing the ferris wheel from it’s mounts in the process. We then went into the haunted house which turned out to be a House of Horrors. The original scenes have been grotesquely added to in Earl’s absence.

We were attacked once again by 2 more clowns in the graveyard and once again we beat them down. The bones and skeletal remains were bad enough, but when Tony and I discovered the half-eaten body of Crystal, we panicked and ran until I realized Tony hadn’t run. I gathered myself up and went back to find him passed out where he had last been standing. I revived him and we gathered ourselves back up to go and finish this fight.

A Wild Nights Work
More Stupid People Should Pay Me to Beat Them

So, priority one: don’t eat the cart food at amusement parks ever again. You miss out on stuff while keeping the important organs from coming out.

I got paid $50 to club a car thief last night! Best beating ever!!

Well, the car thief technically was just trying to run to survive attacks from demonic clowns, but he was told to RUN, not DRIVE. He deserved what he got.

Then the guy, the same guy that had the gumption to touch my Baby, has the audacity to bet that I couldn’t fix his boat. I had a better chance of not beating him up for touching my car than not making a boat run. Sucker.

Our client wasn’t too pleased at the state his park was in the following morning, but we were able to cheer him up – a competitor of his had his own infestation, and the mook laid bait in a path to Harry’s park. Bad news is we didn’t finish these creeps off, but the good news is we know where their nest is. The other bad news is we’ll have to tear through ANOTHER one of these parks to get to it.

So I ain’t thinking about that. I’m thinking about the oil I could afford to pick up and how smooth Baby’s gonna run once I set her engine up proper. Better’n a night’s sleep on Mr. Hill’s hooch!

The Dragon

I hate the Dragon. I received the other two tattoos and understood their power. I had to get more and increase my power. The urge slowly grew on me until one night in Shanghai I couldn’t resist. I got the Dragon from one who understand the potential and it came with something else that I didn’t understand at the time. The Dragon was chained…controlled but imperfectly. That night on the MIstek the Dragon slipped it’s chain and the ship did not survive the event. I fear the next night that the Dragon is unleashed.


Setting the scene

In the spirit of the self portraits some of us have been using as our posts, and realizing that there was a week of our “fun park” adventure when I did not post, I give you the (now demolished and replaced, of course) ferris wheel:

Session 3

Baby’s engines fired up but wouldn’t consistently fire. Nicky explodes from the Ship Ahoy! Restroom, pants around his ankles. He grabs a crow bar and taps on his car’s window. Earl rolls down the window and stammers, “The Father told me to get out of here fast. He meant for me to take this, right?”

The Father did not mean that. Once Earl got out of the car, Nicky was quick to slam the crow bar against Earl’s arm.

“Everybody calm down,” Father Ryan plead.

“Yeah, he’s offered us five hundred bucks each to clear out his park,” Tony reasoned.
“If this psycho swings that crow bar again, I’m cutting the offer down a hundred bucks,” Earl protested.

Nicky scores fifty bucks on a wager that he can get his boat repaired. Fifteen minutes later, Nicky collects the cash. While Nicky works magic with his tools, Father Ryan tries to help Tony with his ribs. A slip of the fingers later, Tony hollers into the night, in even more pain.

Earl takes off down the lake, and the group gathers on the pier to stand watch over the waterfront, making sure more False Faces don’t show up.

Nicky reminisces about his childhood, when his dad snuck him out of the house late at night and drove him to the shore. They’d watch the passing vehicles, and Nicky’s father made up stories about all the important jobs the drivers were performing and all the places the trucks were headed. “You’re in the best place of all,” Nicky’ father said… “Home.”

The next morning, the group gathers at Claude’s restaurant for breakfast. Claude spends time training Sammy, the great-great niece of the restaurant’s original owner. Father Ryan performs mass and hears confessions. He visits with the widow Jenkins, a neighborhood busy body who lives near the French Quarter. She informs the Father that someone saw Earl Brewton in town… without his family, moving about like a man on a mission. Tony, already a night owl, continues his typical routine. Nicky gives baby a tune up.

The gumshoes meet Earl at 6pm outside the Old Spanish Fort. Earl gives them a run down of the place and opens the gates and gives them the key. He informs them he’ll wait in his car. If any creatures look like they’re coming out of the park, he’ll take off.

The gumshoes pass through the rusted, creaking front gates of the Old Spanish Fort Amusement Park onto Main Street, CSA. To their left is the casino. To the right is the restaurant, Over the Rhine. Further back, they see the Scenic Railway tracks, rising like an alien temple from the vines and trees. In their mind, they can hear the screams from the passengers who rode over it last July 4th. Ahead of them is a Civil War submersible, quite possibly the world’s first submarine. A plaque commemorates the brave crew of the submersible “Pioneer.”

Over the Rhine is a classy German restaurant. The dining room is in a recessed floor. On one side of the restaurant, they see an ornate fountain, water still trickling down the stones into the bowl. It looks like the place could be cleaned and open for business tomorrow. Of course, there’s the horrible stench that assaults them when they step inside.

The investigators see an arm sticking out of the fountain. Claude sees a Betty Boop in CSA naval uniform tattoo on his arm. Father Ryan recognizes it as the tattoo found on all members of Mallroy’s Ironclads, a Confederate Navy Flotilla that’s in charge of the CSA Army Supply Depot in the Lower Ninth. They step closer and find the man has several bullet wounds, all professionally and recently patched up.

After some healing and wrapping the unconscious man in a table cloth, they finally get him talking. His name is Elijah Joyce, and the last thing he remembers is leaving the house two days ago to report for training. They walk Elijah out of the park. Elijah and Earl uncomfortably make small talk.

The gumshoes follow tracks into the hotel-casino and find four bikes ditched in the lobby. The prints lead into the casino, which is eerily silent… to everyone but Antonio. A spotlight illuminates a pale spindly demon with black circles around his albino face. He wears a black and white striped suit and calls from an empty dealer’s table. “New table. Fresh cards! Get a fresh start! Everybody wants to be a winner!”

The dealer looks over at Antonio. “Game isn’t rigged. I keep it fair. How about it, bucko? Wanna belly up to the table, get a little more fire flowing through that ink [bottle/cock cannon]? Call on me, your spells will be more powerful. You’ll be able to defeat any foe, win any kitten’s bacon… why’d I have to say bacon? I’m starving, which brings me to the cost… in exchange for an exclusive seat at my table, in exchange for more potent effects, I just want to eat at the tables you’ve eaten at, without having to deal with splitting the bill or doggy bags. I’ll take the food right from there [he points at Antonio’s belly]. Belly up, big boy! You’ll feel a bit peckish after playing with me, but help yourself to a buffet, get yourself some jambalaya and you’ll be right as rain. Do we have a deal? Let’s shake on it!”

The dealer pulls out a shotgun and blows away a ghoul leaving the casino. “No stealing office supplies, Gus!” the dealer shouts. A dozen pens (most are broken) fall out of the sky. A red one lands in the dealer’s hand. With a wave he produces a contract. “Sign on the dotted line, Tex?”

Antonio signs on the line, and Hungry Jim puts a new tattoo on Antonio’s thigh: an apple with a bite missing.

The gumshoes leave the hotel-casino and make their way toward the ferris wheel, where they find a bench broken and blood on the wooden safety bar. False Face footprints lead into the haunted house. Two clown-like monstrosities come out of the haunted house’s shadows and attack. Tony punches one in the face, knocking its head off, into the air, and it lands impaled on a flag pole. Claude finds an iron bar sticking out of the ferris wheel and attacks the other, smashing it. The ferris wheel, missing a lynch pin, breaks loose and chases Antonio toward the fence.

The attraction wasn’t well cared for the seasons before the False Faces arrived, making it look even more genuine as a haunted house. Now, it’s an accident waiting to happen. The floor threatens to break beneath your feet. Cobwebs fill the interior. Besides the rot and mold, there’s even the smell of a gas leak. Wooden coffins mounted to railroad flat cars serve as the transportation through the house of nightmares.
Antonio casts Dark vision on himself and Tony, who leads the way into the Bird’s Eye room. A giant photograph of New Orleans, taken from a Hellestromme zeppelin, fills the entire floor. The walls and ceiling look like the night sky. Luckily, no one has a phobia of heights.
Moving forward…

To the south side of the track, you see a massive guillotine, big enough to chop the head off a giant. A small hill of severed heads lie in front of the guillotine. Then, in front of the tombstones, the graves are open. Skeletons pull themselves out of the ground. Zombies rise from the graves.

Tony nearly falls into an open fake grave. Claude notes the gnawed bones are real… And probably human. As Father Ryan and Antonio reach the far end of the room, two False Faces emerge from a false grave that contains a stairway leading beneath the attraction.
After dispatching the creatures, Father Ryan and Antonio proceed into the next room to secure the upper level, leaving the others to defend the stairs.

The walls, ceiling and floor of the eastern room are painted to resemble hellfire. Fans blow gels in front of lights to create a flickering fire effect. Statues of demons and foul creatures sacrifice innocent victims. As you progress through the chamber you’re haunted by a feeling that some abysmal force is watching you.

Tony realizes the sacrificial victim on the altar seems too life like. He approaches and discovers it’s the corpse of Crystal Turner, eaten alive. Father Ryan backs away and takes off running toward the others. Tony’s heart stutters, his vision blurs, and he drops, coming to thirty seconds later, Father Ryan pouring medicinal brandy down his gullet.


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