Beta Phi Sigma

Let's Burn 'em Out

September 24, 1877: In order to tell a Proper Story I must run the reel back a bit:

In our previous Deadlands game the Posse was working for The Black Feather Syndicate {BFS for short}, a Secret Society investigating the preternatural. Their assignment took a wrong turn, partially due to a mole in their midst, that inadvertently lead to the downfall of the BFS and a TPK. This was actually part of my plan {well the TPK wasn’t planned it was just a bonus} and a set up for the next leg of the adventure. Ahh, the joys of convincing a Gamer to play the mole!

Now the BFS is trying to rebuild. To that end associates of the BFS, not active members mind you, have been recruited by the enigmatic Isaac Stone to help rebuild and discover who was behind its destruction. The Posse now resides in the last remaining bastion of the BFS, the town of Corners Port in Northern California just above the Maze.

Dramatis Persona

J.J. O’Mallorey: a PI from New York, was an outside investigator for the BFS {a lucky SOB, I’ve taken him down several times only to have him soak it all with his Fate Chips…}

John Hudson: A Bounty Hunter from Texas {you can guess his function outside the BFS}, and good friend of J.J., he has his eye on the now open sheriffs position.

Father Joseph Donavan: Preacher Man from Alabama, the only member of the Posse who personally knows Stoney. A Veteran of the Weird West with an Opium habit…

Professor Richard James John Harrison: an Operative from the English branch of the BFS {basically a Ripper thrown into the Weird West}. He specializes in gun play and psychology…

Michael Corbin: A gunsmith educated Kolladema Academe a BFS academy and thus owes the BFS a favor or twenty. He’s a haunted man, literally, a joker earned him a specter that the players refer to as Big Blue because of the mini I use to represent it…

Smith Jaxon: The only person without any ties to the BFS. He came here hunting for a previous PC who was hanged {along with another PC} for the attempted murder of the town doctor… But that’s another tale. Jaxon joined in with the town militia, winning a place with the populace, he then proved to be a very able tracker thus the Posse kept him around.

William MacDoogle: The Body Guard, recruited by Isaac to protect Kelly Donavan, Father Donavan’s brother, a bit of a coward who hightailed it when pirates started firing cannons at them. Now MacDoogle serves as the Body Guard for Stoney, or so he would like to believe…

While the Posse awaited the arrival of Stoney, now a wanted man, the town was besieged by pirates working for the Big Bad. The pirates robbed the bank, kidnapped the Sheriff, destroyed the Ship Yard and The Walrus and the Carpenter, and then launched an attack on the Rebecca Ann Ranch, the outpost of the BFS. {Marshal’s Note: this was all done to gain the attention of Isaac Stone and finish off the BFS…}

After all this calamity the town understandably turned on the new comers: “None of these things started until they came to town.” “Them pirates seem to know when to attack” “They must be in league with them pirates.”

In order to allay their suspicions the Posse went to the influential people in the town with the idea that the pirates may be on “Marsh Island” and would like to route them out. Taking some towns folk {as witnesses to their good intentions} on a steam launch to the island the Posse discovers that the pirates have indeed set up a large camp near the southern river and marshes. They also find Stoney and a couple of Maze Runners who were escorting him to the town. Under cover of a storm and the attacks on the town the pirates also attacked the runner destroying the prow of the boat and critically wounding Stoney… Now the Posse must protect Stoney and get off the island!

Due to their inability to remain sneaky the pirates, and the Big Bad, hear them and attack, giving the Posse a resounding beating!!! As they beat a hasty retreat the Posse spots two Maze runners, one with steam gatlings for and aft.

Once back on their steam launch they are pursued by a Steam Junk. Thinking quickly they turn north to the shallows where the Junk keels. Picking off the Pirates one by one the Posse is able to board the junk and take two of its cannons before it completely capsizes. Thus armed they return to the town to fortify, lick their wounds and try to come up with a better plan…

They mount the two cannons near the remains of the Walrus and the Carpenter, organize the town’s folk to defend the town, dig some fortifications and wait. And wait, and wait… Getting bored with the seeming inaction of the pirates William MacDoogle conceives a plan that the rest of the Posse is more than ready to jump on!

“If we set the southern tip of the island on fire, it will route them out and prove to them that we are too crazy to be worth messing with!” “Hear, hear!” “I say we do it!” “Great Idea!” “That will show them!” “What are we waiting for?!” “That’s a _Bad Idea_…” Yes, only one of them thought it was a bad idea, but he was holed up in Doctor Ashwood’s infirmary and thus didn’t have much influence on the rest of the Posse.

I did use leading citizens of the town to tell them it was a bad idea. Mason, the blacksmith, told them that fire is uncontrollable, him working a furnace he should know. Mayor Jenkins felt is was too big of a danger to the town. Dr. Ashwood thought they were “damned fools!”

However the Posse had a Talker, Kelly Donavan – this being his last act before hightailing it out of town – the boy had a charisma of an 8!


That night, armed with two 5 gallon barrels and four sealed one gallon mason jars of kerosene, Smith, J.J. and John set out for the island in a rowboat. The three of them liberally poured the kerosene over the brush and trees and strategically placed the sealed mason jars. As J.J. and Smith waited in the boat John threw a lamp into the kerosene soaked forest, and then ran hell-bent-for-leather for to the boat. Rowing for all they were worth they made slow going, as J.J.’s right arm was in a sling due to their run in with the pirates.

The fire raged, fed by the wind and kerosene soaked woods. As J.J., Smith and John rowed for shore the mason jars exploded, spreading their fuel into the foliage of the nearby trees {the mason jars were suggested by Mr. Cleveland, the owner of the hardware store. At this time I figured it would be more fun to add to the Posse’s chaos then to fight it…}

Faced with an uncontrolled fire the pirates made their getaway in the Runner with the gatling guns, only to be confronted by the cannons stationed near the remains of the Walrus and the Carpenter. William, Father Donavan, Professor Harrison, Mason {the blacksmith} and two of his smithies were manning the cannons very effectively. A fight ensued the Posse giving better then they got; William and the Professor proving to be ready hands at the cannons and the Father casting Smite on the artillery. After taking a rigorous pounding the pirates turned tail and ran at full steam. William couldn’t – wouldn’t – let them get away. Triple charging the cannon {I gave him the option of further range at less damage, with a possible blow out on a 1, 2 or 3, or more damage, he chose the range} he fired, hitting the boiler, and sank the runner near the southern tip of the island {as I felt it was more cinematic I played fast and loose with the distances… very loose,}. As they cheered to their success the Professor spotted another runner, it’s prow in a state of rickety repair coming towards them from the north {earlier the Posse noticed that Ben & Arlin, Stoney’s Maze Runner pilots, were no where to be found}, as he wasn’t there when the Posse found Stoney he had no idea about that Maze Runner…

Buy now the rowboat was closing in on shore, but not fast enough. Another runner, carbine lights shining, cannons a blazing, came around from the west side of the island, stopping long enough to pick up the survivors and fire a shot at the row boat. J.J.’s “Danger Sense” {which he just purchased} began tingling, yelling “jump!” he dove over the side, the others followed suite just as the cannon ball hit the row boat dead center.


The Professor pointed out the rogue runner to William who, after sighting it through the telescope, dismissed it as Stoney’s runner, now repaired. Big mistake, the pirates had found Ben & Arlin fixing their runner, captured Ben & Arlin, stole the runner and used it as a decoy.

As Smith, J.J and John swam to the shore they heard more cannon fire from the north. Taking horses they rode as fast as they could to the peninsula where the cannons were located. There they found that one of the cannons and the two smithies were out of the fight. The runner was using grape shot to great effect and the Posse had a limited supply of cannon balls. The fight was brutal, William taking out the boiler, the pirates taking out William, Father Donavan, Smith, J.J. {he keeps getting back up, that boy is one lucky bastard} and Mason. John continued to pound the pirates as the Professor tended to the wounded. John finally took down the pirates, taking four as prisoners, and the Professor healed Father Donavan who then began casting Heal on the rest of the wounded.

Believing their fight to be over the Posse turned the more seriously wounded over to Dr. Ashwood and retired to lick their wounds.

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Lord_Skudley

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