Deadlands Noir Extinct in the Big Easy

Tiger burning bright

I can only assume that the tiger that intervened in the fight last night was an avatar or worse of the Hindu deity commonly associated with health and magic. I really was only trying to get in the head of the Kali priestess but apparently there are forces at work that want to counter whatever this cult was attempting. I spent some time at several shrines dedicated to Dhatr when I was on an Indian Ocean route moving cloves and ore out of Madagascar into Bombay. I knew that I had a special talent and was looking for guidance. I will honor Dhatr with my next tattoo.

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ALWAYS Check on the Refund Policy

Charlie and I had a good interview. Then a good drink. I learned a lot from both.

Turns out old Chuck drank when he had time between races. Right before his last one, he drove to a crossroads and made a deal for a place in the fans’ hearts forever. He thought he’d whiz by the checkered flag a few years in a row or something, build a driving dynasty, but he wrecked in the 12th lap.

Looking back, he calls it a mistake, but he doesn’t see that he’s on the way to fame as a commentator. No, he’s still nursing that crash. Knowing what I know about the back end of that kind of deal, what I learned next is a bit chilling.

We went to St. Elmo’s again for dinner (they make a nice cocktail) and found out Charlie liked to come there to drink too. The night after his crash, he dug up the box he left at the crossroads, showed it to Joe at the bar calling it a crate of lies. Bet that idiot thought he was taking his currency back for services not rendered.

And now that box of his left under lockers, calling hounds’ attention, and he’s not even concerned. Hell, maybe he thinks it makes for fun sound bytes. Dammit I hope I never was this stupid.

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If someone says summon a god you say yes

That was an interesting fight…scarecrows, tigers and Kali…ohhh mmmy!

I have come to the conclusion that I am a smartass. If someone is trying to summon a god with years of apparent preparation with dimwitted brainwashing of the populace with nonsense ditties and mystical popcorn, most people would run.

I think, “gee, that looks neat” and try to summon a god of my own. I am beginning to think that my search for mystical power is becoming out of control and that my hubris is possible a danger to myself and those around me. I can handle the risk of the former but I am unwilling to risk the later. I intend to talk to the father concerning this issue…he is reasonable but I know my attitude and allegiances disturb him.

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After the barn
36

We finished up the fight at the barn.
Father Ryan killed a little girl and her mother. Add this to the way he works his way through impressionable young girls, and I think I may need to have a talk with him concerning his attitude toward women. I’m not sure he actually sees them as people.
After the fight, we came back to Indy and went to St. Elmo’s for dinner. While we were there we saw the skittish looking redhead we last saw around the dead man in the elevator with a hoof print on his chest. We also encountered a madam who talked a little shit and tried to drum up some business with us. A minute after she left, so did the skittish redhead, then we heard breaking glass and ran out to find the madam dead with a hoof print on her chest.

We went to her office in the stockyards and found a ledger, written in code.

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A cleansing fire

Sven went into the barn to free the captive hobo’s and the child’s father tried to stop him. Otherworldly aid or not, the man didn’t stand a chance going one on one with Sven. After Sven put the father down, the mother tried to revive him. Knowing the expenditure required to bring a man back from the brink of death, I made sure to call on St. Michael to make sure he was consumed by the Holy fire. Sven managed to disarm the mother but but because she was a woman, he was unable to harm her otherwise.

Fortunately for him, I have no issues with harming the warriors of evil. Whilst my physical attacks were less than spectacular, St. Michael was able to aid my attempts to stop her. Permanently. Realizing that her dark magics were ineffectual against us, she ran back to the house where I cornered her with a grenade in her hand. Calling on the Archangel once more, I made sure she didn’t get a chance to pull the grenade’s pin.

After the fight, Content Not Found: null found the stash of festival food and fed the starving hobos. I recovered a box of ritual materials and the schedule of ceremonies an incantations. During the fight several fires were started. Rather than attempt to put them out, we let them burn. I then prayed for the purification of the land and asked for the Lord to bless the land.

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A Boy Should Listen to His Momma
From the Journal of the Hostage Farm Hand

Not a week goes by when Momma doesn’t whack me over the head with a soup ladel and ask why I haven’t gotten a job yet. And for all that, when I tell her I got one, she whacks me over the head again for working with such a man as Poppa Popcorn.

“That man’s evil,” she ‘tells’ me at the top of her lungs. “He practices witchcraft, he does. And that little girl of his, I looked into her eyes once and couldn’t sleep for three days, my hand to heaven.”

I tried telling her that was nonsense, that Poppa probably just had a fancy watering system or something. Every season somebody’s got some new way to make crops grow faster. It’s the way of the future, I explained. Progress rolls forward, and it’s up to us to either grab on or get bowled over.

I figure there might’ve been better ways to put it. Ways that would’ve saved my ears some hurt. Hell if I know what they are, though.

I got through my first two days fine enough, though. Now the daughter is a strange one, but she mostly keeps to herself (I think she collects mice?) so I ain’t gonna complain. Everyone I’ve met there seems more interested in keeping noses to grindstones than being friendly. It gets a bit tense at time, but ain’t no one gonna say I’m afraid to put in a hard day’s work for my bread.

I think I’m making a good impression. Poppa told me he was gonna show me around some of his special equipment. “The secret of the magic” he called it. He must see my potential. It’s about time someone did!

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Why did it have to be girls
35

So, yeah, this went downhill kind of fast, but, let’s face it, not all that much faster than I expected. I mean, the whole reason we come up here to LaFontaine was because everybody just kept talktalktalking and I finally said “well, while you guys are chewing air I’m going to go rescue some hobos,” so all of us but Nicky, who isn’t responding to any language but engine rumbles these days, piled into a couple of Model T’s (one just for me, thank Gud) and hit the road.

We got to town (“town,” ha! In
Eskilstuna we would have laughed at how small this place was) around lunchtime, so we stopped into the restaurant for a bite and to get the lay of the land. It seems Poppa Popcorn’s a big man around here, but that nobody likes him much. That reminded me a bit of home, too. So, anyway, we head out to the farm, and a) the corn is about half again as high as it should be by this early in the year and b) there are way more scarecrows visible than seems normal. There’s also a gathering of about fifty mice all lined up looking straight at us, then turning and moving off as one.

Anybody else having memories of cockroaches?

The Padre talked to some farm hands and one of them led us up to the farmhouse, where the whole family has been
very rude to us. And once I mentioned kidnapped hobos, by “rude” I mean “firing shotguns at us.”

Which is about what I expected to happen, really, and what I came mentally prepared for…except for the women. Mrs. Popcorn has taken a few shots at me and I am frankly at a loss as to what to do about it. Her husband was easy; I just punched him ‘til he stopped. But somehow I need to get that shotgun out of her hands an….oh.

So
that’s what all those scarecrows were about.

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What evil is it

What evil chooses to turn a child into its instrument of Death? How is it that simple Midwestern farmers choose to call on Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Death? Was the child the Cause or merely a result of the influence?

All these questions and the only thing I know for certain is that I will be seeing that young girl’s face hitting that rock on the ground in my sleep for a long time to come.

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A Day at the Track

It was way easier today than my first day, but then that wouldn’t take much. Mostly just tinkering with the car, figuring out what its eccentricities are and what not. I got a few ideas of how to get some extra horsepower into it I want to run by Harry. Most of them are easy and clean, a few are a bit more on the Weird Science side.

I hope everyone else is having as much fun as I am.

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Not what I expected

So, we arrived in Indianapolis after a 2 day train ride. We no sooner get off the train than we are nearly bowled over by a hobo being chased by a bunch of goons. Then, the hobo sheds his coat, revealing a young woman in a red cocktail dress! Naturally, Sven and I felt obliged to assist! Imagine my surprise when we caught up to her and there stood Mary Katherine Gallagher!

Sven and I made short work of the goons, finding out that, in the process, that they were assigned to kidnap hobos and take them to a farm in LaFontaine, IN. Apparently Smith and Smith, the corn kings sponsor a big Corn festival in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500.

Further investigation revealed that the Goodwill Ambassadors are handing out song cards with seemingly nonsensical lyrics,. When I sounded out the nonsense phrases, Content Not Found: null recognized that the cards were really phonetically spelled Hindu prayer cards to Kali.

Yes, Kali the Goddess of Death.

We are now making plans to go check out this farm. Mary Katherine ,meanwhile, explains that she has made a deal with a Crossroads Demon to gain the powers of precognition. Using these powers, she discovered that someone in the Chicago mob was in possession of some compromising photos of a Hollywood starlet. She stole the photos to stop the Mob from blackmailing the starlet. After mending our fences, Mary Katherine gave me the photos for safekeeping.

Tomorrow we venture north.

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