Deadlands: Troubleshooters

Session Two: Burning down the house of god

Burning down the house of god

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Seeing that Amelia has set the church alight, Randy worries that there may an innocent holy man trapped inside having been taken hostage by the men behind the attack on the town. Wasting no time, he barrels into the church door, only to find that it has been blocked from the inside (making a complete horse's ass of himself in the process). Randy instead decides to smash in one of the windows towards the front of the church and enter through there. He finds himself in a small antechamber (rather unusual for a southern church) featuring a few chairs and a table, as well as a door that assuming leads to the main body of the church. As he pokes his head through the door, Randy spots 4 cultists preforming some manner of ritual as well as a preacher tied to a pillar near the altar. Hoping the men wont spot him Randy sneaks around the outside of the room to reach the hostage, the men far too busy with their foul magic to notice his approach. unfortunately, as Randy is cutting the preacher free, he makes too much noise and the pair are spotted just as the preacher is cut free. Both the Barber-Surgeon and the Holy man bolt for the rear window behind the altar. Neither turn to look as balls of purple fire whizz past their heads. Randy is able to break through the glass and emerge unscathed, however the preach is not so lucky. Having been struck with one of the bolts he clumsily falls through the window pane, hitting the ground below. As the man writhes and screams in agony Randy sees that the man’s left arm has been blown clean off by the attack.

Having been waiting outside with the rest of the posse, Marshall and Louis run around to the rear of the church upon hearing the preacher’s cries. Jefferiah chooses to peer through one of the side windows and then attempts to talk the cultists down from a fight. The men are somewhat confused as to where the musician came from and why he is trying to bargain with them, leaving them momentarily distracted. Marshal and Louis take advantage of this and open fire from the back window, as does John who runs over to join the shootout. Amelia wanting no part in the oncoming tussle, stands at a safe distance and makes notes. The Cultist are very slow on the uptake and in the coming moments are completely riddled with bullets by the group, with only one of the four surviving the onslaught.

With the gunfight seemingly over, Cezer and John enter the church to secure the last cultist as a prisoner and Randy goes to attend to the still screaming preacher. Not very much time has actually passed however the wooden church continues to burn as smoke starts to fill the room and the roof begins to groan. All of a sudden, the door to vestry slams open and a glowing eyed man storms forward, shrouded is a shimmering black mist. Marshall shouts for Milton to stop as the man opens fire with a Gatling pistol on the group. Jefferiah, John and Cezer all take hits from the pistol and try to escape from the room. Cezer is able to shoot Milton as he leaps through the window. The rest of the group continue to fill the man with lead until John deals the finishing blow, then grabs the hostage cultist and leaps through the window behind Cezer as the roof of the church caves in.

Hoping that the fighting is finally over, Randy quickly gets to work delivering first aid to everyone that was wounded in the gunfight. Having seen far too much supernatural quackery for one evening, Amelia rather firmly asks Marshall to tell the group exactly what has been happening. He tells the group that the men they fought were a group of voodoo cultists he and his partner Milton had been chasing all over Texas. The two men work for an organisation known as the Texas Rangers which deal with the supernatural and try to keep the public in the dark due to fear of mass hysteria. He goes on to tell the group that these voodoo worshipers follow a man known as Ayzio and were hoping to catch him this evening. Milton had asked Marshall to remain in the saloon and keep an eye on the town while he goes to track the cultists down. Marshall was to gather up a posse, and then upon Milton’s return ambush the cultists while the hid from the storm. When Milton did not return, and the dead began assaulting the town he knew they were most likely hold up in St. Matthews church outside of town. With no other options he tried to gather a posse in the saloon and go forth to stop the cultists before the town was overrun.

Jefferiah believes the man’s words and tells the group as such. With the cultist no longer a threat Cezer suggests that they interrogate him to see exactly what he knows about Ayzio. The man who identifies himself as Bartram refuses to speak about his master at first, merely saying that Ayzio is a man of great power who communes with incredibly powerful beings from beyond our realm. Amelia then convinces the man she can make things easier for him if she writes a piece about the group as well at the fact Bartram was willing to work with the Rangers. At this the man’s facade crumbles and he turns into a blubbering mess. He tells the group that Ayzio is currently operating at out of one of the groups hideouts in Tombstone, a large town on the southern border although he is not sure if Ayzio will still be there. He talks about how he grew up on the streets poor and orphaned until Ayzio took him in and taught him as well as other children about magic and the practice of voodoo. Amelia stresses that if Bartram knows anything that may help with Ayzios capture then his sentencing is likely to be reduced. Bartram and his fellows had largely been kept in the dark, however he was about to give a description of Ayzio as a large and well-dressed man of Haitian descent and is covered in strange tattoos. Bartram also talked of a meeting he briefly observed between Ayzio and a native man in Ayzio's study. He did not stay long due to fear of punishment but the man he saw had feathers in his hair and a cloak of very bizarre animal hide. The purpose of their group was to simply try and cause as much chaos accross Texas as they could while avoiding interferance from the law.

Satisfied for now the group makes its way back to town with prisoner and preacher in toe, and upon arriving back at the saloon see the towns people were largely about to fend off the dead with only minor casualty. Cezer and Marshal make their way to the sheriff’s office where they find the town's lawman asleep in a chair. The man curses when he finds out exactly what he missed and allows the men to lock the cultist in one of the empty cells. Meanwhile Jefferiah regales the townsfolk with an amazing tale of heroics and daring-dos. Supposedly Mexicans had journeyed up from south of the border, burned the church down and drugged a bunch of people causing them to go insane. Luckily, he and the rest of the posse fought off the Mexican threat. Luckily the crowd of drunk slack jawed yokels believed Jefferiahs story. As Jeffs tale ends, Marshal arrives back to the saloon an asks the group to accompany him to the federal building in Dallas, where they can help him explain what exactly happened in Lubbock as well as the role they played. Marshal promised the group would be paid for their involvement and there may potentially be a job offer following on from that. He and the rest of the group and exhausted and all retreat to bed/get drunk, except from Amelia. She begins writing an article which tells a different tale of the events in Lubbock, placing the blame on natives.

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